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1951

Sr Mary Gleeson lcm

inducted 2017 Service

About Sr Mary Gleeson lcm

Sister Mary Gleeson has given a life of service to others in providing support to prisoners.

Mary Gleeson was born in “Killara”, Killarney (Vic) to parents Mary and Michael Gleeson. Mary came from a very happy family of 11 children, all growing up on a country property. She was educated by the Good Samaritan Sisters at Crossley and boarded at St. Ann’s College during 1945 to 1950. Mary says she owes much to her teachers – these great women who helped to steer her on her life’s journey. She kept in close contact with them until the last of her teachers, Sr. Mary McAllen R.S.M. passed away in 2014.

Mary said, “Whilst at boarding school there were some good times, however, we had to make our own fun, which we did! Regularly, in the warmer months, we had our weekly swim at the beach. Some of us enjoyed tennis and basketball at which we did well winning some competitions. Each Sunday morning, we eagerly looked forward to receiving a list of the football results from the car driver.”

In 1955 Mary joined a religious order – the Little Company of Mary at Lewisham NSW, and has given a life of service for others. The little Company of Mary is a nursing order founded in Nottingham UK in 1877 by Mary Potter to pray and care for the sick, suffering and dying. During this era, in Ireland, Catherine McAuley in 1837 had founded the Sisters of Mercy. Florence Nightingale had also commenced her great work 1820-1910 in England.

Mary spent several years in different capacities at hospitals in Hobart, South
Caulfield Vic and Lewisham NSW. It was after a sabbatical that Mary found herself in Prison Ministry as a Chaplain at Long Bay Jail and Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre. “On the whole, most of the people there were just like the rest of us, most unfortunately falling into wrong company or had a difficult upbringing.

Drugs were a big factor. Being stripped of everything, all belongings and separated from their family and friends, most hit rock bottom. At this time, they would reach out in their need for compassion, support and understanding. I was privileged to see how some were able to turn their life around.”

After ten years there, Mary made a thirty-day desert retreat in Arizona USA followed by visits to the Little Company of Mary Hospitals in the USA and Italy. A more recent visit to Nottingham brought 86 sisters from around the world to celebrate the centenary of Mary Potter’s death. Mary now resides at their retirement village in Ryde and is still quite active.


View Sr Mary's biography below:

Sr Mary Gleeson lcm

View Sr Mary's biography