60th Anniversary of Ordination
by Dave Stewart
Father Charlie Cheverie has always believed the more you give the more you get.
He credits different support systems for allowing him to have lived a full life, one that started with him playing varsity hockey and rugby in his school days and continued with him teaching biology at St. Dunstan’s University and UPEI.
He’s also known as an integral member of the Queens County Fiddlers and as someone who has helped countless people through addictions issues.
And, through most of it, he has balanced it with being a priest.
Cheverie will celebrate his 60th anniversary as a priest on Sunday, June 18 (he was actually ordained on June 15, 1957) with mass at St. Eugene’s Church in Covehead at 11 a.m., followed by a reception and open house at the North Shore Community Centre, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Cheverie was in Covehead for 40 of his 60 years as a priest.
“I thank the Lord for permitting me to grow in the different age brackets that I found myself in, from my school days to my college days to my early priesthood days,’’ Cheverie said.
“The students were lively, the parishioners were lively (and) the community of Covehead was lively for me.’’
His faith continued to grow at every stage of his life, entrenched in him by his mother, who was an avid churchgoer.
A 60th celebration
When: Sunday, June 18
Where: Mass at St. Eugene’s Church, Covehead, 11 a.m.
Where: Reception, open house, North Shore Community Centre, 12:30-2:30 p.m.
That faith continued to grow through Queens Square School, sports and the seminary before he experienced a brief hiccup at the university level.
“It took me a couple of years to really see that I had a mission there at the university, that there was a ministry in these young people. They became part of my support system, too.’’
After his 38-year career as a biology professor at UPEI, he served as the university’s chaplain for the next 15 years.
Fiddling has also been a big part of his life. He got involved in traditional fiddling in the late 1970s and in 1982 focused on the Queens County chapter.
“When I was a young lad, we lived on Richmond Street and fiddlers would be coming down (and playing in our house), mostly the Chaisson boys and Gary Chipman’s father. Those tunes would get stuck in my head,’’ he laughs.
Highlights from the life of Father Charlie Cheverie:
– Born in 1932 in Charlottetown
– Ordained in 1957
– Professor of biology at St. Dunstan’s and then UPEI until his retirement in 1997
– Served as chaplain at UPEI for 15 years after that
– Recipient of the Order of P.E.I.
Cheverie said as a young ordained priest he bounced around to different parishes before the bishop finally appointed him full time to Covehead. He retired six years ago and knows he will see some familiar faces on June 18.
“I journeyed with a lot of people that will be in that church and I shared with those people a lot of joy and baptisms and weddings and so forth. Also, as I look at each individual, (I can) identify sad journeys somewhere as well as joyful journeys.’’