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A photo of Fr Gerard Dowling displayed at his funeral yesterday (Melbourne Catholic)

Melbourne’s “radio priest”, Fr Gerard Dowling, was farewelled at a Requiem Mass held yesterday at St Patrick’s Cathedral — the same place he was ordained to the priesthood 65 years ago. Source: Melbourne Catholic.

Fr Dowling died at Justin Villa, Balwyn, on November 25, aged 91 years.

More than a thousand people gathered for his Requiem Mass, with Fr Dowling’s family, friends, fellow clergy, former parishioners and colleagues in attendance.

Melbourne Archbishop Peter A Comensoli welcomed those who had gathered in person and online for Fr Dowling’s funeral, acknowledging the far-reaching impact of a “down-to-earth man of faith and compassion”.

“And many of you [were] fellow workers in the vineyard of the Lord, especially in social services,” said Archbishop Comensoli, who also acknowledged the presence of the many devoted listeners of Fr Dowling’s radio program, The Family Counsellor, which this year celebrated 50 years of continuous on-air broadcasting.

His radio co-host for the past 20 years, Philip Touzel, told the congregation that Fr Dowling saw the program as a means of providing comfort, compassion, a friendly ear and to spread the Good News.

“Fr Gerard would say the most important thing you could do was listen and be there for whoever was on the other end of the line,” Mr Touzel said.

“It’s difficult to say how many people benefitted from Fr Gerard on the air — from his intellect, his wisdom, his skill of counselling and his sense of humour. When you think about 50 years [on air] and 2600 shows, the answer must be in the tens of thousands. 

“Fr Gerard relished every moment on air. It was part of his life’s work.”


Friends and family farewell Fr Gerard Dowling OAM DE (Melbourne Catholic)


Melbourne’s ‘radio priest’, Fr Gerard Dowling OAM DE, dies at 91 (Melbourne Catholic)