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Priest’s memory continues to inspire

Remembered: Brisbane’s apostle Fr Joseph Canali.

Remembered: Brisbane’s apostle Fr Joseph Canali.

TRIBUTES to an Italian architect whose death 100 years ago has fostered countless priestly vocations have spread throughout the city this week.

Joseph Canali arrived in Brisbane in 1872 following a request from the city’s first episcopal leader, Bishop James Quinn, to complete works on St Stephen’s Cathedral.

While working on the Cathedral he felt a call to the priesthood and in 1879 was ordained.

He continued designing buildings and worked at Brisbane General Hospital (now the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital) for 36 years before dying of head injuries from falling from a moving tram in 1915.

Fr Canali’s work in Brisbane inspired archdiocesan discernment house, Canali House, which has helped Catholic men find their vocation.

Some of those men gathered at Nudgee Cemetery to pay honour to the man whose life in Brisbane inspired their discernments.

Vocation Brisbane director Fr Morgan Batt said Fr Canali was “a faithful servant to the people of God in Brisbane”.

“His countless years of service and ministry have been remembered by many devotions to his memory,” Fr Batt said.

“Over the last 12 years many men have lived in Canali House, becoming priests, seminarians, husbands, fathers, ministers and workers throughout our Archdiocese and beyond, formed in the memory of Canali.”

The apostle of Brisbane’s hospital chaplaincy successor, Fr James O’Donoghue, also honoured Fr Canali with a Mass at the Italian’s former work site.

Fr O’Donoghue said anybody could “touch (Fr Canali’s) construction works” today.

Fr Canali’s architectural splendours still standing today include St Stephen’s Cathedral, the entry gates at All Hallows’ School, bricks from the original St Brigid’s Church, and a classroom at St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace.

The Jubilee parish pastoral associate said he hoped to start a youth pilgrimage to visit the Brisbane apostle’s landmarks.

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