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Mater. Exceptional People. Exceptional Care.


Father Cassian Double OFM—"The Priest who wore safari suits"

20 March 1925―14 September 2009

Known as a man for all seasons and a priest for all people, long-standing member of the Mater community—Father Cassian Double—passed away on 14 September at the age of 84.

Director of Mission Support, Peter Martin remembers Father Cassian fondly.

“Father Cass, as he was affectionately known, was essentially a simple follower of Francis,” Mr Martin said

“The Franciscan values of detachment, loving life simply and caring for everything in person and nature permeated his life until the very end.”

Originally from Invercargill on New Zealand’s South Island, Father Cassian first entered the Franciscan Order of Friars in February 1947 and was ordained a priest in July 1954.

“As a priest, Father Cass displayed an interesting combination of attributes,” Mr Martin continued.

“He was a dedicated priest, yet a high risk taker; a genuine follower of the vow of poverty—he hardly owned anything and gave away whatever people gave to him—and a lover of fine food and wine.

“He loved wide spaces as a marathon runner and the open road on his motorbike, yet he loved being within the confines of hospital wards as a chaplain; he treasured belonging to a religious community yet spent many years living alone; and he loved his church but was very open to people without faith or religion.”

At Mater, Father Cassian is remembered as someone who was always available and ever kind. For more than a decade he was “the priest who wore safari suits”.

Father Cassian


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