2023 Fr John Wallis Scholarship recipient announced

Four women standing outside in a row

The MSS are delighted to announce that Geraldine Vytilingam is the recipient of the 2023-2024 Fr John Wallis Scholarship. Geraldine, 23, will use the inaugural scholarship (awarded in 2022) to pursue a Masters of Theological Studies through Catholic Theological College. Geraldine moved from Melbourne to Swan Hill, in Victoria’s north earlier this year, to start her new role at St Mary MacKillop College, as faith in action leader. Formerly, she’d been a youth minister and acting director of faith and mission at Catholic Regional College North Keilor.

Upon receiving the scholarship, Geraldine said, ‘I am deeply honoured to be the recipient of the Fr John Wallis Scholarship. I am so grateful that my application resonated with you. I feel as though the Lord has called me into rural and regional ministry time and time again, which has been both a surprise and a delight.

‘I have felt a stirring to pursue postgraduate studies for a while now, and after some setbacks I was doubting whether this was the vocation God was calling me to. Little did I know that God wanted me to pursue this by firstly learning about the foundations of God and the Church. I am excited to use this knowledge in Catholic Education, the Church and secular society. It’s a more beautiful path than I had ever envisioned, and the Missionary Sisters of Service and Stewardship Council are to thank for that. Your generosity is healing, beyond words. Thank you, thank you, thank you!’

Geraldine also recently graduated from The University of Melbourne (Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology and Creative Writing).

Photo above, from left: Gabrielle McMullen (MSS Stewardship council member), Congregational leader Stancea Vichie MSS, Geraldine Vytilingam and Bernadette Wallis MSS.


Scholarships for two years are being offered by the MSS as part of their legacy and will be managed by the University of Divinity, Melbourne. The first, The Father John Wallis Scholarship, focussed on Vatican II–post Vatican II and began in 2023. It was awarded in honour of Fr John’s 90th anniversary of ordination (18 December 2022). Read more about this scholarship, here.

The Missionary Sisters of Service Scholarship will be awarded in 2023. This scholarship will focus on women and ecological studies , on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the foundation of MSS, 

The First Australians Scholarship will commemorate the 5th anniversary of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, honouring the call for Voice Treaty and Truth. This will be awarded late 2024.