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Death of Tasmania's oldest priest

Fr John Wallis, one of Tasmania's best known priests, died in Hobart on Friday at the age of 91.

Fr Wallis, who was Archdiocesan Vicar for Religious until recently, founded the Missionary Sisters of Service and brought the Dominican sisters to the state. He was also instrumental in setting up the Catholic Development Fund (formerly the Schools Provident Fund).

A statement from the Archdiocesan media office quotes in Fr Wallis' own words his rationale for his achievements: "I saw something that needed to be done."

Hobart's Archbishop Adrian Doyle said: "During his 68 years as a priest, Fr Wallis showed wonderful qualities of faith, wisdom, enthusiasm, vision and encouragement... [He] was one who mastered the art of living in the Church in the modern world."

The media office statement said Fr Wallis often spoke of "availability", "flexibility" and "freedom". These ideas, it said, were foundational to his own spirituality and personal living and have been inherited as a legacy by the Missionary Sisters of Service.

Missionary Sisters of Service

6-Aug-01 SOURCE Catholic Media Office (TAS)