Monday, 31 August 2015

Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Carlow Cathedral

Members and friends of St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association and other Catholic Heritage Associations were delighted to make another annual pilgrimage to the Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow, in the Month of the Assumption.  Reports of previous pilgrimages can be found here: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 (May), 2013 (December), 2014
 
There is something special about making a pilgrimage to a Cathedral.  Ireland has its ancient sites and its holy wells (too often left only to the locals), Ireland has the sites associated with our National Apostle (although Armagh never became the place of pilgrimage it deserves), its apparition shrine in Knock and National Shrines (too often neglected by pilgrims) to various Saints.  However, Ireland, after long centuries of dispossession and persecution has begun again to have her Cathedrals.  It is a special duty of love to make a pilgrimage to the Mother Church of one's own Diocese and a special privilege to make pilgrimages to other Cathedrals around the Country.  Our first Cathedral pilgrimage was to Carlow, one of our oldest extant Cathedrals still in the hands of the Catholic Church.
 
While the Cathedrals in Waterford (1793), Cork (1808) and Dublin (1825) may be older, Carlow Cathedral is the first fruits of Catholic Emancipation that came in 1829.  Completed in 1833, with its near contemporary in Tuam (1836) it stands in contrast to the soaring confidence of its younger sisters of the 19th and 20th Centuries.  It is the more to be treasured for all that. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Latin Mass for the Assumption in Ballaghaderreen

By the kind permission of Bishop Kelly of Achonry and Father Gavigan, Adm., friends and members of our Association from across the Country made a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of the Annunciation and Saint Nathy for the feast of the Assumption. The Mass was offered for the late Bishop Thomas Flynn of Achonry who had been a great friend to the Gregorian Rite.  By a beautiful coincidence, we were met by the Bishop and the Religious of the Diocese who were there to celebrate the Year for Consecrated Life. 

Ballaghaderreen is the only Parish of the Diocese of Achonry in the County of Roscommon, although it was part of County Mayo until an Act of the British Parliament in 1859.

The Cathedral was designed for Bishop Patrick Durnin of Achonry (1852-1875) about 1855 by the English architects Matthew Ellison Hadfield and George Goldie. The Civil Engineer and Architect's Journal 19 (Oct 1856), 325 (illus., Pl. XXIX) described it as: "New cathedral in Early English style. It was commenced some three or four years ago, and after laying the basement course, the works were suspended under the direction of the above named firm [Weightman, Hadfield & Goldie]. The plan consists of a spacious nave and aisles, chancel, side chapels, western tower and sacristy. The proportions of these various portions were already determined before Messrs. Weightman and Co. commenced operations, and they have been in consequence very much crippled in carrying out their design."

It was consecrated on 3rd November, 1860. The site was donated by Lord Dillon and the local blue limestone came from quarries on his estate. The High altar is by Henry Lane of Dublin.  The Dillons were prominent in the National struggle.  The newspaper The Nation, was co-founded by John Blake Dillon with Thomas Davis and Charles Gavin Duffy.




Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Kildare Abbey (Walsh)

The following is from Fr. Thomas Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy, published in New York in 1854, chapter xlviii, at p. 488 and following:

A monastery for canons of St Augustine was founded at Kildare of which St Natfroich is said to have been the first abbot he was the priest who attended the institution of St Brigid before the appointment of its first bishop he is spoken of as the spiritual companion of St Brigid and to have remained with her all his life notwithstanding the superintendence of Conlaeth and it is also stated that he was wont to read in the refectory while the nuns were at their meals St Derlugdacha who is said to have been a great favorite with St Brigid succeeded as abbess and survived her only a year The feast of this saint is observed also on the 1st February AD 694 died the abbot Lochen the wise and the silent AD 726 died the abbess St Sebdana daughter of Corcius AD 738 died the abbess St Affrica AD 747 died the abbot Cathald Mac Forannan AD 833 died the abbess Affrica the Danes plundered Kildare AD 836 the Danes attacked Kildare destroyed the shrines of SS Conlaeth and Brigid her relics were conveyed to Down about this time AD 862 died Owen Britto scribe and anchorite of Kildare aged 116 years AD 868 died the abbot O Muredach a man of exemplary piety and wisdom AD 870 died the abbot of Kildare Murrough Mac Brian formerly king of Leinster AD 919 died the abbess Morean AD 962 died the abbess Murenna The Danes committed awful ravages Neil Oherluibh redeemed at his own expense as many of the ecclesiastics as could stand in the great house and church of St Brigid AD 1009 died the abbess Eithne AD 1112 died the abbess Gormfhlaith She was a remarkable exemplar of penitence AD 1135 Diarmod MacMurrough king of Leinster forcibly took the abbess from her cloister and compelled her to marry one of his own people It is related that 170 persons of the town and abbey were destroyed during the commission of this sacrilegious act AD 1220 Henry de Loundres archbishop of Dublin extinguished the fire which had been preserved by the nuns of St Brigid Of this inextinguishable fire as it is called nothing was known in the lifetime of St Brigid The first author who mentions it is Gerald Barry AD 1643 the earl of Castlehaven quartered his troops in Kildare In the twenty seventh of Elizabeth who has been the disgrace of her sex and whose infamies were legalized by an act of parliament the monastery of St Brigid with its appurtenances was granted to Anthony Deering and the renegade of the ancient faith which the perjured queen of England strove to supplant Ledwich has declared the patroness of Ireland as an imaginary person in his antiquities Hardiman of Gal way who is justly styled the light of the west assures us that there is not one word of truth in the book of Ledwich except what he has taken from O Flaherty's Ogygia A manuscript copy of the four evangelists was preserved at Kildare in the time of Gerald Barry said to have been dictated by an angel to St Brigid and elaborately described by Gerald as an unequalled specimen of caligraphy and illumination Gray Abbey was erected for Franciscans in the year 1260 by lord William de Vesci AD 1320 a provincial chapter was held here AD 1520 the strict observance was received Thomas was guardian of this house in the thirty first of queen Elizabeth Daniel Sutton obtained a grant of this abbey and its property in capite or by military service at the annual rent of 2s 3d Irish money A considerable part of the abbey still remains.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Annual Latin Mass for the Assumption, Letterkenny Cathedral

A good friend has asked us to let you know that the annual Latin Mass for the feast of Our Lady's Assumption will take place on Saturday, 15th August, at 4 p.m.  Photos of a previous Mass can be found here.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Latin Mass in Bray, County Wicklow

This is the first occasion on which our Association has made a pilgrimage to Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland. On 4th July, we made a pilgrimage to Bray for a Traditional Latin Mass in the Church of the Holy Redeemer on the Main Street. Building upon the existing Chapel of c. 1824, our old friend Patrick Byrne enlarged the Church and added a tower and facade strikingly similar to St. Patrick's, Wicklow Town (c. 1844) and to Byrne's St. John's, Blackrock (c. 1845).  W.H. Byrne further enlarged the Chapel into the present envelope, a Romanesque Church with colonnaded transepts and an apsidal Sanctuary c. 1894-1898, for Most Reverend Nicholas Donnelly, D.D., P.P., V.G., then Parish Priest of Bray and Greystones, Bishop of Canae and Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin.  Presumably at the same time as the modernist facade was added (1965) the sanctuary was re-ordered and the organ erected in the apse.










Thursday, 2 July 2015

A Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Midleton

What could have been more perfect than a pilgrimage to Midleton, Co. Cork, in the Diocese of Cloyne?  We learned that although Midleton is a medieval foundation, but that the foundation of the See at nearby town of Cloyne by St. Colman Mac Léníne takes the history of the place back to the earliest days of Christianity in this part of Ireland.

The present Parish Church of the Most Holy Rosary is a breathtaking example of the neo-gothic style of George Ashlin.  The foundation stone was laid by the great Archbishop Croke of Cashel on 13th May, 1894, and the building was substantially complete by 1895.  Ashlin was also responsible for the Churches in Clonakilty (1880), the Lough (1881), Ballycotton (1900) and St. Colman's Cathedral, Cobh (1878), perhaps the finest neo-gothic church in Ireland.

To quote Bishop Browne, who consecrated the Church on the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary, 7th October, 1928: "This magnificent Church is a credit to the zeal of the clergy and people of Midleton and for all time will stand as a memorial to what this generation and their forefathers did for God."  It stands today as a credit to the Priests and people of Midleton of this and past generations who have preserved intact what had been handed down to them.

We were blessed to conclude our pilgrimage to Midleton with Holy Mass in the Gregorian Rite in the Parish Church followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  It was our second pilgrimage organised to the Diocese of Cloyne, the pilgrimage to Charleville in May having been the first.









 


Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Ad Multos Annos Cardinal Burke


To His Eminence, Raymond Leo, Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Patron of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Prefect Emeritus of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, Cardinal Deacon of S. Agata dei Goti and son of Cork, we wish our most heartfelt good wishes for his birthday and many more of them.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

The Fall of Fort St Elmo

The Fall of Fort St. Elmo

On this the 450th anniversary of the fall of Fort St. Elmo I am re-posting an article from 2009.

What these few knights, soldiers and civilians withstood for a horrifying month is nothing short of miraculous. Below is an excerpt of a talk given by Michael Davies in 2002 that was part of a conference given at the Dietrich von Hildebrand Institute 2002 Summer Symposia entitled “The 1st Through 8th Crusades; Military Orders; Catharist Crusade; and the Siege of Malta.” The full article can be read here, it describes some of what they went through during that month.

Mustapha finally acknowledged that St. Elmo could not be taken within that day and ordered the recall. St. Angelo's suddenly heard a burst of cheering from their brothers in St. Elmo. They had lost 200 men in the battle, in comparison to 2,000 Turks. But they knew the end was near, for there would be no more reinforcements.

St. Elmo's men readied themselves for a fight to the death. The two chaplains who had stayed with the defenders throughout the siege confessed the remaining knights and soldiers. Determined that the Mohammedans would not have the opportunity to mock or desecrate their holy relics, the knights and the chaplains hid the precious objects of the Faith beneath the stone floors of the chapel, and dragged the tapestries, pictures and wooden furniture outside and set them on fire
. They then tolled the bell of the small chapel to announce to their brethren in the nearby forts that they were ready for the end.

In the gray pre-dawn light of the 23rd of June, Piali's ships closed in for the kill. The galleys, pointing their lean bows at the ruined fort, opened up their bow chasers in unison with the first charge made by the entire Turkish army. To the astonishment of Mustapha and his council, Fort St. Elmo held for over an hour. Less than 100 men remained after that first onslaught, yet the Ottoman army was forced to draw back and re-form. The knights who were too wounded to stand placed themselves in chairs in the breach with swords in their hands.

There was something about the next attack that told the garrisons looking on from Birgu and Senglea that all was over. The white-robed troops poured down the slopes, hesitated like a curling roller above the wall, and then burst across the fort, spreading like an ocean over St. Elmo. One by one the defenders perished, some quickly and mercifully, others dying of wounds among the bodies of their friends.

The Italian Knight Francisco Lanfreducci, acting on orders received before the battle began, crossed to the wall opposite Bighi Bay and lit the signal fire. As the smoke curled up and eddied in the clear blue sky, La Valette knew that the heroic garrison and the fort they had defended to the end were lost.

It was now that Mustapha Pasha impatiently strode to view his conquest. A standard-bearer carrying the banner of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent stepped through the breach into St. Elmo. Standing victorious on the ruins of St. Elmo's walls, with the flag of St. John in the dust at his feet, Mustapha gazed at the massive bulk of Fort St. Angelo on the horizon. “Allah!” he cried. “If so small a son has cost us so dear, what price shall we have to pay for so large a father?”


In an offensive act of cruelty, he ordered the bodies of the knights to be set apart from the common soldiers. Their heads were struck from their bodies and fixed on stakes overlooking Grand Harbor. The beheaded corpses were then stripped of their mail, nailed to crossbeams of wood in mockery of the crucifixion, and launched onto the waters of Grand Harbor that night.

It was the eve of the Feast of St. John, the patron saint of the Order. Despite the loss of St. Elmo, the Grand Master had given orders for the normal celebrations to take place. Bonfires were lit and church bells were rung throughout Birgu and Senglea. The next morning the headless bodies of the knights washed up at the base of Fort St. Angelo.

Image: THE CAPTURE OF FORT ST. ELMO by Mateo Perez d’Aleccio

Monday, 22 June 2015

The Last Day Before the Fall of St. Elmo

From an account of the Great Siege of Malta from the Malta Heritage Site. On the day before the fall of Fort St. Elmo the remaining 100 defenders, without ammunition, their leaders dead and themselves half dead from exhaustion and their own wounds prepared themselves for the final battle.

As the hours passed and no relief came, the survivors in Fort St Elmo realized that no help was going to come to them. With this bitter recognition, they resigned themselves to their fate and they started to comfort each other through these agonizing moments. They were determined to die in the service of Jesus Christ and although they were half dead from fatigue, they never rested but worked to improve their defences.
This was surely a dreadful time for our men and to make things worse, the enemy spent the whole night bombarding them, sounding the alarm and skirmishing. Clearly, they did so in order to break down the defenders so that by morning, they would be completely worn out.
As their end seemed to get closer by the hour, the last defenders of Fort St Elmo confessed to each other and implored Our Lord to have mercy on their souls for the sake of the blood that He had shed for their redemption.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Ad Multos Annos Cardinal Pell


To His Eminence, George, Cardinal Pell, Cardinal Prefect of the Secretariate of the Economy, Cardinal Priest of S. Maria Domenica Mazzarello, and son of Ireland, we wish our most heartfelt good wishes for his birthday and many more of them.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Defenders Repeat their Plea to Withdraw From St. Elmo

It has been a week since the bombardment of Fort St. Elmo began and nearly two weeks since Commander Eguaras sent the Spanish Captain Juan de la Cerda to inform La Vallette that the Fort could not be defended and seek his permission to withdraw. During this time the knights and the other defenders had fought bravely but the incessant bombardment that was only strengthening was having a demoralizing effect on them. Dracut's artillery was firing from multiple locations in such a way to prevent the troops in Fort St. Elmo from having any safe place of refuge.

The men met in the piazza to discuss their plight and this time agreed to send Captain Medrano to the Grand Master to again inform him of the desperate situation they faced and the fact that it would be soon impossible to defend the Fort. The failure of relief troops to appear as promised and the determined efforts of the enemy meant that time was running out before a full scale invasion. La Vallette realized that this was only too true but knew also that each hour that the attention of the Ottomans was on Fort St. Elmo it gave the other defenses of the Knights the time to strengthen themselves. He was unwilling to give away the Fort and encouraged Medrano to remind the defenders of their duty and to continue battling as they had always done. He promised to send more relief and recalled Fra Giovanni Vagnone and a hundred of his men from Mdina to reinforce the troops at St. Elmo.