ACU honours composer and prison chaplain

Fr Christopher Willcock SJ and Sr Mary O’Shannassy SGS (Supplied)

A Jesuit composer and a Good Samaritan Sister prison chaplain received honorary doctorates from the Australian Catholic University last week. Source: Jesuit Media and Melbourne Catholic

Fr Christopher Willcock SJ was awarded an honorary doctorate for his contribution to liturgical music within the Catholic Church.

Sr Mary O’Shannassy SGS received her doctorate in recognition of her service to Victorian prisoners and for her chaplaincy leadership.

The honorary doctorates were conferred on Fr Willcock and Sr Mary at a graduation ceremony at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on April 28.

In accepting the honour, Fr Willcock said: “Whilst the honour has me as its target, I am not the full story. That is to be found in the people among whom my life and ministry as priest and composer has been spent: the many parishes, communities and individuals who have sung and played what I have written, either in their worship or outside their worship.

“Music, more than words, images, textures and aromas, brings us into contact with the utterly inexpressible, in short, it brings us into contact with the divine.”

Sr Mary also said it was an honour to be recognised. “Prison chaplaincy has been 25 years of my life and my whole time in prison has been one of learning and privilege. To me, it is an honour for the whole of the chaplaincy team throughout Victoria because I believe the leader is only as effective as the individual team members.”


Jesuit composer conferred Honorary Doctorate by ACU for contribution to liturgical music (Jesuit Media)

An honour for prison chaplaincy (Melbourne Catholic)

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