About The Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga
The Catholic Women’s Social Guild – now known as the Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga Inc. – was founded in the Melbourne Archdiocese in 1916 by a group of young Catholic women whose aim was to bring about change in world affairs through prayer and action.
During the 1950’s, the Bishop of Wagga Wagga requested that members of the Wagga Wagga Diocese be accepted as part of the Victorian Catholic Women’s League. This request was agreed to by the then Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne.
Over the years, League members have continued to endeavour to change world affairs through prayer and action. Members of the League assist women and children in times of need, e.g., with food, education and micro credit, etc. Submissions are made to Governments when proposals for change to laws are against the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Mary Glowrey Prayer Cards
The Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga has created beautiful Mary Glowrey prayer cards.
The card shows Mary Glowrey reading to children in India on the front, with the following words from Mary: “There is but one question. Does Our Lord want me to do this for him?” On the back is the prayer for the canonisation of Dr Sr Mary Glowrey JMJ, Servant of God. The imprimatur is by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli.
Requests for cards, along with a stamped self-addressed envelope, can be sent to:
Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga
132-134 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy, Victoria 3065
100th anniversary of Mary Glowrey’s arrival in India
Mary Glowrey was first in Madras a century ago, on 11 February, 1920. This date is celebrated by the Catholic Church as the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the World Day of the Sick.
The Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI) and the Society of Jesus Mary Joseph (JMJ) are commemorating the 100th anniversary of Mary Glowrey’s arrival in India.
CHAI sent a message to member organisations and supporters this week, with the accompanying image and prayer below. The message describes Mary Glowrey’s arrival in India in February as having ‘marked the beginning of a new chapter in the healthcare of the country’. It notes that Mary Glowrey developed processes and structures to promote efficient and sustainable health care delivery to the poor, and that she established CHAI, along with a team of Sisters.
CHAI and the JMJ Sisters have prepared a Novena Prayer for the one hundred year anniversary of Mary Glowrey’s arrival in India and Feast days. They encourage all to download and pray the prayer.
Novena Prayer to Sr Dr Mary Glowrey, Servant of God
Merciful and loving Father, You sent Your only Son, Jesus Christ to heal and save the world. In Your loving compassion, You chose Sr Dr Mary Glowrey, founder of the Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI), to follow in Your Son’s healing ministry. As a model of benevolent care to the millions of sick, destitute, and impoverished in India, she spread Your message of love and healing. May we, the beneficiaries of her service, continue to spread the same love and healing to the people we now serve.
Lord, we pray for all health care workers and caregivers who tirelessly follow in the footsteps of the Divine Healer to alleviate suffering and bring glory to Your Name. May we have the courage to walk the unbeaten path of Sr Dr Mary Glowrey as we continue Your healing ministry. May the members of CHAI grow in unity, through our founder’s example of selfless love, hard work and concern for the poor.
Through the intercession of the Servant of God Sr Dr Mary Glowrey, we ardently ask You to grant favours to those in need of Christ’s physical, mental, social and spiritual healing. We pray with confidence that Sr Dr Mary Glowrey may soon be raised to sainthood and become the patron saint of CHAI. This prayer we make through Christ, Our Lord, Amen.
3 Hail Mary’s and 1 Glory be.
For more information about CHAI:
The League operates from Mary Glowrey House in Fitzroy and has branches throughout the Dioceses of Victoria and Wagga Wagga.
Our work is dedicated to the Holy Spirit and to Our Lady, Help of Christians.
The Catholic Women’s League’s General Conference was held in Bendigo this year. The Opening Mass, held in White Hills Parish, Bendigo, was celebrated by Bishop Les Tomlinson and concelebrated by Fr Dell’Avo (Parish Priest of White Hills), Fr Harte (former Parish Priest of that Parish), Fr Pat Harvey (Spiritual Director Melbourne Archdiocese), Fr Ferwerda (Spiritual Director of the League in Sandhurst Diocese). Since the conference was held on the feast day of the Queenship of Mary, Bishop Tomlinson placed a wreath of flowers on the statue of our Lady of Fatima in the Church.
Mayor Margaret O’Rourke officially welcomed attendees in the nearby Fr Ted Harte Hall. Bendigo is obviously a thriving inland city, with a wide range of planned developments. Mayor O’Rourke called it a city within a forest. Growing so rapidly, the municipality infrastructure needs have to be foremost in Council plans. Speaking as a private citizen, Mayor O’Rourke also spoke about the Aspire Precinct development, which is connected with the Sacred Heart Cathedral. Set up in 2011, it aims to honour the religious history of the city.
The first Guest Speaker was Phil Bretherton, Director of Mission Integration, St John of God Hospital, who gave a very informative presentation on the history of the hospital, its founder St John of God and its various outreach programs. The St John of God website states,
“The Congregation of the Sisters of St John of God was founded in Wexford, Ireland, in 1871. Inspired by the work of their patron saint, St John of God, they nursed those in poverty. Saint John of God devoted his life to alleviating human suffering, and comforted the afflicted, sick and dying in Spain in the 1500s. He was particularly passionate about combating the injustices experienced by people disadvantaged through illness or destitution.
As the Congregation of the Sisters of St John of God expanded, Bishop Matthew Gibney of Perth invited the Sisters to Western Australia to help care for the sick. The first group of eight Sisters arrived in Perth in late 1895 and began visiting the sick in their homes and established a convent hospital. In 1898, the Sisters opened a convent, hospital and school in the Perth suburb of Subiaco. They established a number of schools at this time and over the following decades, hospitals in Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. By the 1980s, the Sisters had nine hospitals as well as pathology and radiology services. Major changes in medical science, government policies and Catholic Church thinking at this time led the Sisters to rethink the governance and functioning of their hospitals. Recognition that a multi-hospital approach was needed led to the creation of St John of God Health Care Inc on 20 September 1989. All of the Sisters’ services transferred to this new organisation.”
The outreach programs to homeless youth, young mothers, Mother and Baby Unit, community meals for those in need and scholarships are truly amazing and a credit to the hospital’s enterprise and energy.
The second Speaker was Dr Donna Bailey, Diocesan Archivist. It seems to me that collating and analyzing data donated to the Archive Centre is meticulous detective work with a measure of good fortune. Donna presented some fascinating work being done to uncover why some events happened. Why did more pioneers die in March than in any other month? Why were a significant number of early pioneers married and where did they come from?
Although our diocese was formed in 1874, with the Most Rev. Martin Crane OSA our first Bishop, there were five missions – in Sandhurst, Beechworth, Wangaratta, Heathcote and Echuca – already established, so our history is varied and interesting.
Donna had some wonderful photographs including one of lightning striking the Cathedral in November 2017. The history of the Cathedral, from the time Dr Henry Backhaus purchased the land, through the addition of the spire, the visit by the von Trapp family, to the present all make a fascinating record.
Our last Guest Speaker was Catherine Holmes from the Gianna Centre, in Bendigo. The Centre opened in 2004, in Victoria Lane, Pall Mall, near one of the doors of Myers. It is in a great location and offers a wide range of services to mothers and babies and to couples. Bishop Grech supported them financially in the beginning and this support has been on-going. Some League branches support them too and they are obviously grateful for not only the assistance, but for the recognition. The number of services the Gianna Centre offers has increased over the years. Catherine’s drive and energy has not diminished in that time. If she could bottle that and sell it, they would make a fortune.
Many people have contacted us to say how informative and inspiring the speakers were and how much they enjoyed hearing them. May God bless each of our Speakers for their good works, love and commitment.
Mary Glowrey House 132-134 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia 3065. Phone: (03) 9417 3379