Mary was born in Birregurra in 1887 in regional Victoria. She was described as a “shy, quiet and humble” child. She won scholarships to secondary school and the University of Melbourne and graduated in medicine in 1910.
In 1916 Mary became the first president of the Catholic Women’s Social Guild (now the Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga).
In 1920 Mary gave up her career as a doctor in Australia to go to India to care for the poorest women and children. She became a religious Sister with the Society of Jesus Mary Joseph in Guntur and for many years ministered to thousands of patients who could not otherwise have received care.
She founded the Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI), whose members today care for 21 million people a year.
Mary is only the second Australian to be considered for official recognition as a saint.
She was declared a Servant of God in 2013.