FUNERAL OF THE LATE DEAN CHERVIER.
New Zealand Tablet, Volume XXIX, Issue 7, 14 February 1901, Page 15
FUNERAL OF THE LATE DEAN CHERVIER.
... 1 1,.,, OUR Christchnrch correspondent is indebted to Mr. Fay. of Doyleston, for a copy of the Ellesmere Guardian from which the following report of the funeral of the late Dean Chervier, which took place on Thursday, January 31, is taken :— The funeral of the late Dean Chervier afforded the inhabitants of the Ellesmere District an opportunity of paying their last reepectß to one loved and respected by all who knew him. Not Ellesmere alone, but all the portions of the vast parish that he had once administered, sent forth representatives to show the general sorrow. Mourners were present from Rangiora and Kaiapoi, from Opawa and New Headford, Darfield, Sheffield, Springston, and from all parts of Canterbury. On the morning appointed the Catholic Church at Leeston was filled long before 11 a.m. with people of all classes, creeds, and ages. Each of these wore, more or less, some outward sign of the grief felt for the decease of one who had been the friend of all, rich or poor, man, woman, or child. The children of the Convent School Bat in their usual seats, the older girls being attired in their blue school gowns with wreaths of white flowers over their veils. The boys all wore a badge of mourning. The altars in the church were draped heavily in black, and the walls were hung with the same sombre hue. In the open space before the altar at which he had officiated so long, lay the coffin of the dead priest, bearing a burden of wreaths of white flowers. The members of the Hibernian Friendly Society, with those of kindred societies from other places were on the right. A number of these had their Bashes hidden with crape. Shortly after lla large number of priests entered, preceding the entry of Bishop Grimes. A Solemn Requiem Macs was then sung, the celebrant being Father Le Menant des Chesnais, V.G. ; Dean O'Donnell, Ashburton and Father Marnane, Christchurch, acting as deacon and subdeacon, respectively. Among the clergy present were the Very Rev. Father Ginaty, Rev. Father Regnault, Rev. Father Fay, a pupil of the late
Dean, and Rev. Fathers Aubry, Goggan, Walsh, Crotty, Price, Hyland, McDonnell, Richards, and Chastagnon. At the conclusion of the Mass his Lordship addressed the congregation, and 6aid it would take hours to do justice to the life of that noble pastor. Some of those present oould remember better than he (the speaker) could, how the deceased had come to New Zealand and worked in the early stajrea of the Church in Canterbury. It would take hourß alone to give a list of all the good works that he had accomplished here. His LordHhip then gave a short Pummary of the life of the late Dean, who left France for New Zealand in 1861. On his way thither, when passing through London, the late Father, then a young priest, was met by the preacher who, only a student, implored his blessing. This whs given, and with it an invitation— it surely, by the light of later events, seemed a prophetic intimation —to follow him (Father Chervier) to the destined sphere of his labors. Father Chervier came to New Zealand, and when years after he (Bishop Grimes) came out here to take up his charge, the second priest to welcome him was Father Chervier, the very one that had given him his blessing in London so many years before. At first the late Father had been assistant to Father Chastagnier in a parish as large, if not larger than any diocese in Europe. He had to face all kinds of perils, to endure all kinds of hardships. There were the flooded rivers and the long unknown ways. He, his Bishop, would never have known of them had he not heard of the trials Father Chervier had undergone, from other lips than his, and what he learnt from the Father himself was told in his own simple unaffected way, as if all the danger and trouble were as nothing. Father Chervier had received kindness from all, irrespective of creed, and he, his Bighop, standing there that day, had to thank those who had shown him kindness in the name of himself and of his clergy. Of the work that Father Chervier had done his churches and schools bore witness. He established and taught in the first school in Christchurch. He built schools and churches at Rangiora, Darfield, Oxford, Leeston, Southbridge, and other places. Once when, in the interests of the Church, he (Bishop Grimes) had resolved on severing from the Leeston parish the flourishing district of Darfield. he had consulted their pastor. What was his answer ? ' It is in the interest of the Church, my Lord, though you take from me my best people, buc it is for the good of the Church.' His Lordship then thanked those who had attended the late Dean in hia last illness, and especially thanked the medical attendant who, the late prie9t had said, had attended to him as if he were his father. The coffin was then borne out of the church by the clergy, and the mournful procession to the cemetery was formed. At the head marched the school children under the direction of the Sisters, after which came the members of the Hibernian Society, the leading members of the Church, the Bishop and his clergy, and the long line of vehicles and horsemen. On arrival at the cemetery, Bishop Grimes himself officiated at the grave, into which the coffin was lowered by Messrs. P. O'Boyle, J. O'Boyle, T. Greenan, M. Needham, P. McEvedy, P. Commons, M. O'Neill, and other members who had been associated with the deceased during his long connection with the Church in Canterbury. At the two Masses celebrated at Shand's Track on Sunday last the Rev. Father Richards made feeling reference to the death of the Very Rev. Dean Chervier, so long and favorably known and revered by the parishioners. At 9.30 on the following morning (Monday) a Solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated by the Rev. Father Richards for the repose of the soul of the late Dean at which there was a large attendance of those to whom in years past he had so lovingly ministered. The exceptionally large congregation present at the Mass at a time when all are so much engaged at harvest operations testified eloquently to the high regard in which the late Dean Chervier was held by the people of the Ellesmere district.