This week marked 100 years since the Australian born and educated Servant of God Dr Sr Mary Glowrey JMJ made her Temporary Vows as a religious sister at St Agnes Church in the town of Guntur, in south-eastern India. Just two years earlier, Mary Glowrey had been an established doctor and eye specialist in inner Melbourne, and a well-known member of the Victorian Catholic community. In the newly published Autobiography of Dr Sr Mary Glowrey JMJ: ‘God’s Good for Nothing, Mary's story comes to life – in her own words – from her beginnings in country Victoria to her studies and professional work in Melbourne, and finally her mission to India where she felt called by God to serve the most vulnerable.

Last Sunday, the annual ecumenical Holding the Light service was held in East Melbourne, as a way to honour and advocate for those who have died due to violence. The service included a solemn ringing of the bell – 39 times to be exact – one for each woman who has died this year due to violence.

We also look at the recently launched Summit Online, which for decades has been an important resource for parish and school liturgy teams. The new website contains a range of articles, suggested prayers of intercession and music suggestions to assist in local celebrations. And finally, with the Year of St Joseph set to conclude this coming Wednesday (8 December), Sr Maria Casey rsj provides the final reflection on St Joseph – a man who was dedicated to the law but remained utterly faithful to the whisperings of God in his heart.

Dr Sr Mary Glowrey JMJ: ‘God’s Good for Nothing’
This month, a century after Mary completed her novitiate and made her Temporary Vows, the Mary Glowrey Museum has published her autobiography, with the support of ACU. This is the first time this account has been published in its entirety. The new publication, The Autobiography of Dr Sr Mary Glowrey JMJ: ‘God’s Good for Nothing’, also includes Sr Peter Julian’s continuation of Mary’s story, a contemporaneous preface written by another Sister and beautiful photos from the Mary Glowrey Collection. Archbishop Peter A Comensoli has written the Foreword. To provide historical and cultural context for the accounts, researched commentaries and additional information have also been included in this 200-page publication.
Holding the light for those impacted by domestic violence
Last Sunday, the bell from St Peter’s Eastern Hill, East Melbourne, tolled 39 times. Each toll marked the ‘known death’ of a woman at the hands of domestic and other forms of gender violence in Australia since 1 January. It was done as part of the annual Holding the Light ecumenical service of lament, which remembers victims and survivors of domestic and other forms of gender violence. ‘Today we gather for a service of naming,’ said Nicole Rotaru rsm, a member of the CSSV Council and Domestic Violence Working Group. ‘We will name the dimensions and dynamics of the serious problem of violence in our society. We will name survivors and victims of family domestic violence who are known to us.’
Victorians urged to engage in First Nation’s process of truth-telling, justice, and healing
Prof. Eleanor Bourke, chairperson of Victoria’s Yoo-rrook Justice Commission, has called upon all Victorians to join with First Nations Peoples to engage in the process of truth-telling, justice, and healing. In presenting the 2021 Knox Public Lecture in early November, she unpacked the commission’s historic and broad mandate and outlined its vision and priority areas.
500 food hampers for a brighter Christmas
For most of us, Christmas is a joyous season. But after 18 months of COVID-19 and the challenges that come with it – lockdown, job loss, and Victoria’s housing emergency – hope can feel very far away for many families across our state. With the help of our donors and supporters, CatholicCare Victoria has this week packed 500 food hampers which the team will deliver to vulnerable families and individuals in the coming days.
New heights: a fresh new look for The Summit Online
In case you missed it, the new Summit Online website was officially launched last Friday. The new website has been developed to provide Melbourne parishes with high-quality, freely accessible and engaging liturgical resources and materials for liturgical formation. It is the latest iteration of the Summit which has been serving Melbourne parishes for decades.
Desmond O'Grady, Melbourne-born writer, dies at 91
Last weekend, Melbourne-born Catholic novelist and journalist Desmond O’Grady passed away at 91 years of age. O’Grady has several works of fiction and non-fiction to his name, including poems and plays that have been produced on stage and on radio. He was also the Roman correspondent for The National Catholic Reporter during the years of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).
St Joseph – a Man of Law
With the Year of St Joseph set to conclude on 8 December, this reflection by Sr Maria Casey, a Sister of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart and a former president of the Canon Law Society of Australia and New Zealand, offers a look at St Joseph as a Man of Law. She describes Joseph as a just man who knew and understood the law and was guided by it. He also paid close attention to the whisperings of God in his heart and lived the words of Jeremiah: “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people” (Jeremiah 31:33).
Continue reading: St Joseph – a Man of Law
5 books to read this Advent
An important way of entering into Advent and nurturing excitement for Christmas is by having good literature on hand, for both our mind and our imagination. If you want some advice, forget the Christmas TV binge, get the Christmas shopping out of the way, and pick up one of these books to prepare yourself to celebrate this central feast of the liturgical calendar.
Continue reading: 5 books to read this Advent
Mary kept in the background, while spreading ‘the light of her good deeds over a very great distance’.
Sr Assumptia van Ray JMJ
Describing Sr Dr Mary Glowrey JMJ as a lighthouse to all, in a letter Sr Assumptia wrote to Mary's parents
Upcoming events
Ordination Mass at Patrick's Cathedral
Saturday 4 December 2021
Join us for the Ordination Mass of transitional deacons Alexander Chow, Hoang Dinh, Jaycee Napoles, Joseph Nguyen and Samuel Pearson at St Patrick's Cathedral on Saturday 4 December. The Mass will be broadcast live on our YouTube channel ( and via free-to-air TV on Community Channel C31 (channel 44 on...
Webinar: Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor
Tuesday 7 December 2021
Organised by the Pastoral Ministry Network and Mission Planners Network of Oceania, this reflective webinar features Sr Kathleen Rushton RSM who will reflect on how we have listened to the cry of our earth and the cry of the poor, and how we can integrate this Gospel mandate to care...
2021 Virtual Series on the Advent Readings
Tuesday 23 November 2021
Hosted by Garratt Publishing, Yarra Theological Union and the University of Divinity, this free Advent series of virtual talks is being offered over four weeks with five Australian biblical scholars reflecting on the extraordinary richness and beauty of the Advent readings. Speakers inlcude: Dr Mark O'Brien OP, is a Dominican...
Festive Music for Christmas at St Patrick's Cathedral
Wednesday 15 December 2021
St Patrick's Cathedral and Cathedral Brass present a festive program including works for ten brass, percussion and organ. Musicians include some of Australia’s leading brass exponents who have performed extensively within Australia and internationally, as ensemble and solo artists and as members of Australia’s finest orchestras. A variety of music...
Advent: The Grace of Waiting
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