Recognising Fr Gerard Dowling

October 16, 2016

The College and Old Collegians would like to offer our best wishes to inducted College Legend Fr Gerard Dowling (SPC 1949-50) who is retiring from active ministry and will celebrate his last Mass at St Cecilia’s Parish in Glen Iris on Sunday, October 23.

Fr Dowling has long been a passionate and active supporter of SPC and the Old Collegians Association and was an inaugural inductee as a College Legend in 2002.

He and his twin sister Mary Simpson were born in Essendon in 1932 and Gerard came to St Patrick’s College from St Bernard’s College, Essendon. In his Matriculation year, 1950, he was a Councillor of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Consultor of the Holy Name Society, and a member of the St Vincent de Paul Conference. Gerard was a keen entrant in oratory competitions and represented the College in the 5th rowing crew in 1950, and was involved in the Oval football competition where he played for Galvin House.

Fr Dowling is well-known across Victoria for his excellence in social work and for his regular appearance on a weekly radio counselling program on Sport 927.

Fr Dowling has authored several books including a detailed history of his beloved North Melbourne Football Club entitled The North Story, which was published in 1997.

Since 1963 Fr Dowling has worked as a counsellor with CatholicCare and in 1985 he received a Medal of the Order of Australia.

Fr Dowling was the Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne- until 2003 and is known by many for his pastoral outreach. He celebrated his 50th Golden Jubilee in July 2008 and is currently the priest-in-residence at St Cecilia’s in Glen Iris.

We congratulate Fr Dowling on an amazing career and wish him the best of luck and health in retirement.