Sunday, 10 January 2010

Sixteenth Monthly Mass in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin

Five unfortunates made their way through hazardous conditions today to attend the regular monthly Mass in the Gregorian Rite celebrated by a Priest of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, to be told that it had been cancelled the day before, although nobody bothered to tell even those local people who have attended faithfully for many months. It was the only Mass cancelled today in the Parish of Newbridge.

If consolation can be drawn from these figures, it is that the new low is only slightly lower than previous lows. 8 persons attended the Mass in November. 10 persons attended the Mass in October. 10 persons attended the Mass in June.

Approaching the town of Newbridge from the Bog of Allen, one crosses the Railway at Mooney's Bridge. The first sight is the distant clock tower of Newbridge College run by the Dominican Order since 1852, the same year as the completion of the Parish Church. The Dominicans have a long and proud association with the area since the year 1356. The FitzEustace family were the first patrons of the Dominicans in Kildare, which is one source of the devotion to St. Eustace, who is the patron of the Dominican Church. The symbol of St. Eustace, the stag with the cross between its antlers, familiar to patrons of Jägermeister beer, is found in several places in the Church and adjoining Priory.

This is a closer view of the same scene. It looks down towards the clock tower from the west from the top of Mooney's Bridge, which crosses the Railway Tracks between Mount Carmel Estate and Ailsbury Park Estate.

The Church of St. Eustace staffed by the Dominican Order is the third to stand on the site, having been consecrated in 1966 by Michael Cardinal Brown, O.P., who had been Rector Magnificus of the Angelicum, Master of the Sacred Palace, Master General of the Dominicans, and who served the Church with great credit during the Second Vatican Council. The Church was built in a traditional plan with the choir at the 'eastern end. The High Altar has as much space in front as behind, indicating that it was built to accomodated Masses celebrated both versus Deum and versus populum.

The Church has a set of stained glass windows depicting scenes from the book of the Apocalypse and has a large number of works by Fr. Henry Flanagan, O.P., who was a member of the Dominican Community in Newbridge for many years. He is responsible for the Stations of the Cross, the Calvary scene above the High Altar, the Statues of Our Lady within and of St. Dominic and Blessed Peter O'Higgins, O.P. without the Church. Five Sunday Masses were celebrated here today - none were cancelled.

Walking towards the Parish Church along the River Liffey, looking back upstream towards the Dominican Church and Newbridge College.

A view of Newbridge College from 'The Bridge' of Newbridge. The Church tower can just be seen over the trees to the left. The clock tower of Newbridge College can just be seen over the trees to the right.

The campanile of the tower of St. Conleth's Parish Church, Newbridge, County Kildare, where five Sunday Masses were celebrated today - none were cancelled.

St. Conleth's Parish Church, was built close to the banks of the River Liffey (from where this photo is taken). St. Conleth himself lived not far from here until called to become Bishop at the nearby Ecclesiastical City of St. Brigid at Kildare.

St. Conleth's Church Parish Church was built on land donated by the local Mansfield family in a very prominent spot, unlike so many Irish Catholic Churches of the period that are hidden away in back streets our outside the centre of towns on account of the prejudice of the powerful Protestant minority.

Construction began in 1847, at the height of the Great Irish Famine, and was completed in 1852. The Transepts and Sanctuary are later additions. The stone was carried by the local people by horse-drawn cart from the hill of Boston several miles away. The local people of Newbridge know how to thrive in difficult circumstances.

Next to the Parish Church is the Patrician Brothers' Primary School. The Congregation was founded in the Diocese by Bishop Daniel Delaney of Kildare and Leighlin in 1808. The school, in red brick, was completed in 1914. The Patrician Brothers took over the Boys National School in 1939.

Cill Mhuire (The Church of Our Lady) where three Sunday Masses were celebrated today - the only Mass to be cancelled there was the monthly Gregorian Rite Mass, cancelled without warning to the Congregation.

You are welcome to use the images in this post but please credit this blog when doing so.

Our Lady of the Snows, pray for us!


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Anonymous said...

In fairness to the FSSP they have to come over from England where the bad weather is worse than here but would it have killed them to make a few calls?

Convenor said...

I don't doubt it but, when the decision was made (at least 24 hours before), how hard would it have been to make a few 'phone calls to the people who take the trouble to support them month in and month out.

The weather conditions were dreadful. As a matter of charity (courtesy being too much to ask), I would have thought that they would have saved people from danger.

For example, the Celbridge Mass was cancelled - or, at least, the Latin Mass was cancelled - so the organisers arranged to have a Novus Ordo celebrated by a Priest of the Parish at that time, in order that the people who did turn up could fulfil their obligation.

I got two calls and two texts from the organisers and from a friend making sure that I didn't travel to Celbridge by mistake. I had already been to two Masses that day anyway, so the obligation was fulfilled. I then got on the 'phone to everyone I knew who might be coming.

Some call it Charity. Some call it Courtesy. Some call it Christianity. I call it the most basic level of human decency not to let others put their lives in danger unnecessarily. Does anyone call it too much to expect?

WLMS said...

Sounds like fun. In either case do not loose heart!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures! Our Lady ad Nives bless you!

Anonymous said...

How many of those who attended on Sunday have provided their contact details to the organisers (phone or email) to allow them to be contacted?
Whilst no other Mass may have been cancelled in Newbridge on the Sunday in question, how many of these Masses rely on a priest flying from England, where the weather was/is markedly worse than here? If the answer is none, then you are not comparing like with like and therefore any comparison is irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

Your posting of attendance figures for January is misleading as no Mass took place, so there was nothing to attend. I have been in many Churches where Mass is not taking place, I am not attending anything.

Convenor said...

"How many of those who attended on Sunday have provided their contact details to the organisers (phone or email) to allow them to be contacted?"

I don't know but they certainly have all my contact details.

"Whilst no other Mass may have been cancelled in Newbridge on the Sunday in question, how many of these Masses rely on a priest flying from England..."

None but the monthly Masses don't have to rely upon a Priest flying from England either. I certainly made the offer several times that we could source a Priest if, as can happen, circumstances conspire to prevent an FSSP Priest from flying in. Another approach is the one in Celbridge where, when the celebrant couldn't come by reason of the snow, a Priest of the Parish celebrated a Novus Ordo Mass.

"If the answer is none, then you are not comparing like with like and therefore any comparison is irrelevant."

Dear me! Did I compare? I meant to CONTRAST!

Convenor said...

"Your posting of attendance figures for January is misleading as no Mass took place."

If you got that point, I suspect most others will too. I see no real risk of confusion. The same problem arose in October when the absence of communication was made obvious again. However, in October, it was just transferrence for the convenience of the organisers rathar than cancellation because they couldn't bring it off.

"I have been in many Churches where Mass is not taking place, I am not attending anything."

Would a reference to the True Presence be out of place here? Perhaps. How many times have you turned up to a Church to find that the scheduled event had been called off but nobody bothered to tell you? Do you see a difference anonymous? Or are you being misleading?

God bless you, anonymi one and all!

Anonymous said...

I see 2 points of view here. What does each want to achieve?

Convenor said...

I guess I'd have to give the answer that Richie Ryan, former Minister for Finance/Minister for Hardship, gave in a survey asking 'lifetime ambition'... the salvation of my soul.

If memory serves, the father of the present Finance Minister replied "already achieved," although it should be emphasised that their lifetime ambitions weren't the same!!!

If you're asking what I want to achieve by my comments it would be for the organisers to see sense and stop running this opportunity into the ground.

They swooped in and took credit for 15 years of other peoples' work - fine. They excluded the people of the Diocese, who had obtained the provision, for whose benefit the provision was made - okay. They prefer not to work with us - fair enough. That they should make such a mess of it once they have is completely unacceptable - and not just to me.

mindy said...

Great snow shots. The photographs in snow always bring so much. To bad I don't get to see that often in Las Vegas.

Anonymous said...

When are you going to show the two trends in attendance again? What are you scared of?

Anonymous said...

Its tragic that something so precious and historic that has been going since 1356 should be poorly attended. Cant they find people from the other churches in the city?

Anonymous said...

I am very surprised at the continuing slide in attendances. Whatever fools are responsible should start to rethink their strategy. Clearly it is not a strategy that attracts people. How can the organisers justify bringing a body of singers as fine as the Lassus Schola to something as disappointing as this?

Shandon Belle said...

Can I use the word 'lucky' about Kildare? I was down in the sunny and warm-er South for most of the Christmas vacation. You missed most of the flooding and got the best of the snow.

"Thánaig an Geimhreadh dian dubh gearradh lena ghéire ach ar Lá 'le Bríde tar dúinn Earrach Éireann!"

St. Gobnait's day soon... must see if we can get her to do something similar for Cork!


Anonymous said...

Great pictures. I like this blog very much. Keep doing what ur doing.

JTS said...

Do you know if the lordship of Kildare had any connection with the FitzEustace family? Are there any links between the Canons of St. Austin at Great Connell and the Friars of St. Dominic at Naas and Yeomanstown?

Jim S

Jim'll Fix It! said...

Excellent pictures. Shame about the Mass.

Recorder said...

I'm not much impressed with the way that this whole saga has been handled but the attendance is starting to stabalize and that has to be good.

Cousin Vinnie said...

Pretty typical of trads. What is it that puts their humanity to sleep?

Anonymous said...

I dont really know what is going on with the TLM in Kildare and Leighlin but can I just say that the snow pictures look fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Lovely pictures. Did the Mass take place the following week?

Vegas Wedding Photographer said...

1356! It's hard for an American - especially a Las Vegas Wedding Photographer - to imagine an institution in existence for 650 years. Incredible!

Veronica Lane said...

These pictures leave me breathless. The hand of God is here.

Philly said...

Sad to hear about the cancellation of any Mass but good that it was the only one. Amazing pictures.