Popular Catholic priest Father Les Campion of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church at Granville has died.
Fr Campion, who received a papal award from the Vatican in 2011 called the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice 2011 to mark his 61 years of priesthood, passed away on Sunday afternoon at 4.30pm at the Rosary Village at Yennora.
Father Campion was parish priest at Holy Trinity Parish Granville from 1975 until his retirement in 2007.
He also served as chairman of the board for Marian Nursing Home at North Parramatta for a number of years, which was established by the diocese of Parramatta in 1970.
Fr Campion is known for pastoral care he gave at the 1977 Granville rail disaster, when an express train from Mt Victoria bound for Central station derailed at the Bold Street Bridge and claimed the lives of 83 people and seriously injured 213.
Of the disaster, Fr Campion said: "It was absolute desolation, dust and wreckage and when you saw that terrible picture, the realisation that there were people in there.’’
A member of Fr Campion’s congregation recalled an eloquent speaker with a great sense of humour who loved the NRL and his favourite team – the Eels.
‘‘He never took a holiday and whenever someone called him, be it for the sacrament of the sick or otherwise, day or night he would be there.’’