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Dr Sr Mary Glowrey JMJ

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Copyright Catholic Women's League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga. Used with permission.

The inaugural President of the League was Mary Glowrey, a gifted young doctor whose actions were grounded in an understanding of the absolute inviolability of human life.  In 1920, Mary left her thriving career as an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. Surrendering herself completely to God’s will, Mary sailed for India to become a medical missionary with the Congregation of the Society of Jesus Mary Joseph (JMJ) in Guntur.  Pope Pius XI bestowed a special blessing on her medical mission work and Sister Mary of the Sacred Heart, as Mary Glowrey was then known, became the first nun-doctor missionary.  

Dr Sr Mary Glowrey was said to radiate Christ by word and example. The poor were the people of her choice and incurable patients had a special place in her heart. Mary never attempted anything without praying to the Holy Spirit, knowing that with the help of the Holy Spirit all things are possible. For the last two years of her life, she shouldered the Cross of excruciating physical pain brought upon by cancer which she bore with extraordinary courage and patience. The sisters who witnessed her apostolate of suffering have described the calm, serene joy radiating from Mary’s face, which struck all who approached her.  Dr Sr Mary Glowrey JMJ died on Sunday, 5 May, 1957.  

Throughout her extraordinary life and death, Mary Glowrey so corresponded with God’s grace that she has become an authentic witness to hope.   In her very person, Mary Glowrey makes present to us in a visible, tangible way, the true dignity of humanity and the calling of love that is the vocation of every man, woman and child. Her capacity to galvanise a new generation into action in the service of life, and the protection of the weakest in our midst, retains a freshness and a potency which transcends the barriers imposed by culture, time and history.

On 2nd December 2010, Archbishop Denis Hart announced that the preliminary phase of the cause for canonisation of Dr Sr Mary Glowrey has commenced in Bangalore, India. The preliminary phase involves a careful evaluation of her a careful evaluation of her work and writings, together with her religious life. The Archbishop of Bangalore, the Most Rev. Dr. Bernard Moras, appointed Fr Paul Puthanangady on 11th November 2010 to assist and guide the Society of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (JMJ) in the preparation of all documents and records needed in the preliminary phase of Mary Glowrey’s cause.

The beautiful prayer for the cause of Dr Mary Glowrey was written by Fr Dan Strickland from the Missionaries of God’s Love (MGLs) and granted a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur on 23rd June 2008.   The League trusts that the Lord will inspire many people to pray for the cause of Mary Glowrey and that her life of holiness will be acknowledged by the Church.

Alternatively, people can write to League to request a prayer card, enclosing a self-addressed and stamped DL envelope to:

Committee for the Cause of Sr Dr Mary Glowrey JMJ
Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga
Mary Glowrey House
132-134 Nicholson St
Fitzroy VIC 3065

The League’s Committee for the Cause of Dr Sr Mary Glowrey JMJ can also be contacted via e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .