Who was Mary Glowrey?

Mary was born in Birregurra in 1887 in regional Victoria. She won scholarships to secondary school and the University of Melbourne and graduated in Medicine in 1910. She worked in leading Melbourne hospitals.

In 1916 Mary became the first General 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 take up a calling to India to care for vulnerable women and children. She became a religious Sister with the Society of Jesus Mary Joseph in Guntur and served as a Sister doctor in Guntur. She directly and indirectly ministered to hundreds of thousands of patients who would not otherwise have received care. 

Mary Glowrey led and trained others in healthcare provision. In 1943, she founded the Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI), whose members today care for at least 21 million people annually.

She died in Bengaluru (Bangalore) in 1957.

Mary Glowrey is only the second Australian to be considered for official recognition as a saint.

Her Cause for Canonisation opened in India in 2010, and the Catholic Church has granted her the title Servant of God.



This website is published by Mary Glowrey Heritage Limited (ABN 39 604 292 346) and all rights are reserved. Except where otherwise specified, photographs are from the Mary Glowrey Collection, which is owned by the Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga Inc (ABN 18 342 098 335) and are published with their kind permission. All requests to use or reproduce any content on this website or from the Mary Glowrey Collection should be made in the first instance to info@maryglowreymuseum.info as outlined on our Contact Us page.