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Cemetery chapel comes to life

Events

For the first time in two decades, All Souls Day will be celebrated in the Smyth Memorial Chapel in West Terrace Cemetery, following the restoration of the State Heritage listed building.

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The 148-year-old chapel, located in the Catholic section of the cemetery, was rededicated by Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ last month and is ready to be once again used for funerals and other services.

Built in 1870 in memory of Fr John Smyth, a popular priest and Vicar General for many years, the chapel is the burial spot of Fr Smyth, Bishop Lawrence Sheil OFM and Archdeacon Patrick Russell who are interred in a crypt beneath the chapel.

Bishop O’Kelly said the chapel was built at a time when the diocese was bankrupt and was an important symbol standing in the middle of the “community that has gone before us, reminding all who come of where we are going and why we were born”.

“To venerate the dead is to venerate life; life is a gift, something God gives forever,” he said. “So inside this beautiful little place we gather with reverence, with a sense of tenderness and care for those who have gone before us, a reminder of our own destinies.”

The rededication ceremony was attended by representatives of the South Australian Government and Adelaide Cemeteries Authority which, together with the Adelaide Archdiocese, funded the $600,000 project.

Bishop O’Kelly thanked the government and the ACA for their generosity in “keeping alive something for future generations”.

ACA chief executive officer Robert Pitt said it was the first full restoration in the chapel’s history.

“Regardless of your faith and belief, it’s very difficult not to be touched by the power and spirituality of this building,” he said.

All Souls Day Mass will be held in the chapel at 11am on November 2.

 

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