Catholic Education South Australia

Mercy Tradition

In 1914, the Mercy sisters from St Aloysius College in Angas Street were asked to take over St Thomas School. These sisters developed the values of Mercy expressed and taught by Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy. Catherine McAuley was guided by those powerful words of Jesus: "I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full."

At St Thomas, our aim is for each student to become a person of Mercy - guided by the values of Jesus, educated and self-disciplined, who has deep compassion and a strong sense of generosity. A person of mercy is willing to serve others and lead others and to share with them the Mercy values.

At St Thomas the Spirit of Mercy lives on…“For the circle of mercy is timeless,
It is the spirit of life itself
Which grounds us in faith and lifts us in hope
And holds us in God’s loving care.” (1993, Jeannette Goglia, RSM)

Mercy Cup

We have introduced a House system to acknowledge our Mercy heritage.

This system assists the building of community spirit at the school, with everybody, staff and students, in the school are part of a team.
The house system will not just be for Sports Day, but part of our pastoral care program by positively reinforcement.

Students collect points for their house by:


  • Representing the school
  • Performing acts of kindness
  • Providing service to others
  • Producing pleasing efforts towards school work

For our Mercy Cup, students are divided in four teams:



  • Thomas (Blue)
 - named after St Thomas, one of Jesus’ apostles and the namesake of our school.
  • McAuley (Green) 
- named after Sister Catherine McAuley, the founder of the sisters of Mercy.
  • Jordan (Red) 
- named after Sister Deirdre Jordan RSM, one of the prominent Mercy Sisters in Adelaide.
  • McLennan (Gold) 
- named after Father Kevin McLennan, a former parish priest at the Holy Cross Church.

Team Captains and Vice Captains are elected at the beginning of the year. At the end of the year the Mercy Cup is given to the team who has the highest points.

Mercy Awards

Mercy Awards are given to students for displaying our Mercy values in our school community. These include; Compassion, Integrity, Justice, Respect and Challenge.

Some examples of this may be using their initiative in keeping the school environment tidy, assisting another student in an activity or who may need a buddy. Teachers nominate students for Mercy Awards and our Principal  meets with the child and presents them with a Certificate. The information is then highlighted in our fortnightly newsletter.

Certificates are also used in conjunction with classroom incentives.