yule 1920s

Fr Dominique Pradiers came down from PNG, ill and taken to hospital. He died at St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney. No photos of him available, so some photos of Yule Island and a tribute to the French MSC and OLSH who served in PNG since 1885.

Steve Dives advises: It is with much sadness that we advise you that Fr Dominique Pradiers msc died peacefully last night about 7pm. Dominique was a member of the French Province and has been working in Papua New Guinea for over forty years. He was 75 years old.  Dominique was brought down from Port Moresby in a very critical condition. The doctors did everything they could for him, but his heart and body were too weak to recover.

Chris McPhee and Leo Wearden visited him yesterday after the Provincial Council meeting and prayed with him and anointed him. (Leo worked with the French MSC in PNG before his time in the NT.)

map yule 10 44

Googling Dominique Pradiers

brought attention to him, including on this site where his translation of the documents for the cause of Jules Chevalier into English was noted. Then the following story of the OLSH Sisters celebration of their coming to PNG in 2012 where he plays a part, so:


To highlight the 125th anniversary celebration of the first arrival of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart to PNG, a Sisters’ delegation, who were mainly participants at the Australia Pacific Asia Conference for OLSH Leaders and Formators accompanied with some former PNG Missionaries from overseas including local visitors took a day trip on a pilgrimage to Yule Island on July 18, 2012. The pilgrimage was in fact an action of grace, an expression of solidarity and deep appreciation for the first arrival of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred to Yule Island and to PNG since August 1, 1887.

verius first mass 2

Site of first Mass celebrated by Henri Verius, 1885

After a 2 hours long drive from Port Moresby along the Hiritano highway, they were especially welcome by the children and community near the beach at Poukama before crossing on the decorated dinghies to Yule Island. Although it was a beautiful day, the sea was not too rough but enough to give rise to one’s heart and mind filled with reflections traveling down the memory lane evoking a deep sense of appreciation for the rough and tough years that unfolded the work, dedication and commitment of the Sisters over the 125 years laboring in the Lord’s vineyard in PNG.

verius statue

Tribute to Henri Verius at Port Leon, seen through the church in the photo above

On arrival at St Patrick’s Beach in front of the OLSH Novitiate, there was another welcome parade with more dancing and singing by the children, parents and religious on the island. After a quick reception and refreshment at the Villa Verius, the Delegation was back again on the water to sail around the island. Even though some of the delegates looked a bit frail and vulnerable; they dared not missed this life-time opportunity to circumnavigate the island. It was also a memorable occasion for taking digital pictures to show-off to those absent from the occasion. As one would imagine, the rough seas provided fright for both the nerves and the fragile yet it was part of the day’s adventure and challenge to getting in touch with history as reflections bundled and rolled over the water with the dancing patterns of the waves.

After the excitement, much laughter and delightful cruising not too far off the coastline, the convoy approached Port Leon, which provided the landing location for the first Missionaries led by Bishop Henry Verius on 1 July 1885 then followed again by the first Daughters of our Lady of the Sacred Heart in 1887. The approach and landing provided the perfect occasion for the keen novices to present the re-enactment of the first arrival of the Sisters, dressed in their original colours and religious outfit to the welcome and reception by Fr Dominique Pradiers MSC with his brothers capturing once more that moment of history when finally the Sisters set foot for the first time on PNG soil since 125 years ago.

yule again