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Fr Edmond Travers MSC blesses Fr Henri Chetail’s grave (Hobart Archdiocese/Fr Sunil de Silva)

The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart have marked two significant anniversaries of both international and local significance for their order in Campbell Town, Tasmania. Source: Hobart Archdiocese.

Fr Edmond Travers MSC and Fr Bartha Paniyadimai MSC were joined by Hobart Archbishop Julian Porteous, several priests of the archdiocese, as well as Campbell Town parishioners for the Mass on March 15.

“Our order was celebrating that day across the world as March 15 was the 200th anniversary of the birth of our founder, Fr Jules Chevalier,” Fr Edmond explained.

Ministering in Tasmania for some 121 years, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart have a rich history in the state, following the invitation extended to them by then Archbishop of Hobart Daniel Murphy to take charge of the spiritual needs of what was then known as the Campbelltown mission.

Fr Henri Chetail MSC was the first priest of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart to serve in Tasmania, passing away in 1904 only four months after arriving, coincidentally, on March 15.

“A contemporary of our founder, Fr Henri Chetail died in Campbelltown on that same day, 120 years ago, with a reputation for sanctity in the Campbelltown region,” Fr Edmond said.

“Our congregation has been in Tasmania in an unbroken line since then.”

Having served at Campbell Town, Longford, King Island, Queenstown, Circular Head, Wynyard, Moonah and Kings Meadows, the congregation has also assisted wherever necessary across Tasmania.

“One of the nicest things that have been said about my predecessors here – men with a great variety of personalities – was that they were simply a part of the diocese as if they were part of the diocesan clergy.

“That pleases us because that’s indeed what our founder Fr Jules had in mind for us to be and do,” Fr Edmond concluded.


Significant anniversaries for Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (By Josh Low, Hobart Archdiocese)