2019-08-07 AUSTRALIA

Eugene Dwyer

Peter John Dwyer was born 3 September 1941 in East Melbourne to Margaret and John (Jack). He was the oldest of four boys – Bill, Michael (RIP) and Paul were his brothers. Eugene was one of the first students enrolled at Marcellin College Camberwell.

He entered the Juniorate at the age of 12 in January 1954, received the habit on 2 July 1958 and took first vows one year later. He made his final profession at Mt Gambier in 1965 and took the Vow of stability at Templestowe in 1981.

While a student at Champagnat College Dundas, Eugene came under the influence of Ron Fogarty who made a lasting impression. It seems that Eugene was determined to model himself on Ron. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science and a Diploma of Education, Eugene began his secondary school teaching at Forbes. He was intelligent, bright and articulate, and his talents were recognised early. At age 30 he was elected to the Melbourne Provincial Council.

The next, and most significant stage, of Eugene’s ministry began soon after. Between 1974 and 1978 he completed a Masters in Theology at Fordham University, New York, and a Licentiate in Psychology and Formation at the Gregorian University, Rome.

From this point on Eugene made an extraordinary contribution to Formation processes and programmes, not just in Australia or with the Marists, but much more broadly. He introduced contemporary formation processes, such as psychological assessment – something which was not always well received – by aspirants and postulants, or even by Formators. He was Master of Novices, Master of Scholastics and Director of Formation. He conducted Formation and accompaniment courses in Australia and elsewhere. He acted as a consultant in formation to other Congregations. He helped write the Institute’s Formation Guide. He worked at Marist International Centre (MIC) Nairobi, and Marist Asia Pacific Centre (MAPAC) Manila. This was a work of decades, and from 2006 to 2010 he lectured at the Sydney Institute Sydney and assisted with the formation of Seminarians. He was a respected Psychotherapist and Formator.

Eugene’s brother Bill recently commented that ‘Peter was always going to be a Brother and he made that well known from an early age’. And so it was. Eugene made his commitment as a 12 year old and never seemed to look back. His commitment was firm; his faithfulness unwavering.


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