Saturday 25 June 2011

A Latin Mass in Monasterevin

On Saturday 25th June more than forty people attended a Latin Mass which took place took place in the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, Monasterevin on the borders of Counties Kildare and Laois. This was the first time in almost fifty years Mass in the Gregorian Rite had been celebrated in this church. The Mass was offered for the repose of the soul of H.E. Fra' Fredrik Crichton-Stuart, the recently deceased former President of the International Federation "Una Voce" of which this organisation is a member.

The church was designed by William Hague and completed in 1880. The altar rails were originally made for the Church of Saint Stefano, Venice. They were then sold to Stephen Ram of Ramsfort, Gorey, Co. Wexford, who brought them to Ireland and placed them on his terrace. The family were slowly converted, one by one, to the Catholic Faith through the prayers of the nuns of the local Convent. Some notable conversions in County Wexford was the story of those conversions of the Rams of Ramsfort and the Cliffes of Bellvue, written by Father Francis Kirk, of the Oblates of St. Charles, who had been the Anglican Minister of Gorey and the first convert of the nuns' prayers. They were moved to the church in the 1870s.

Saint Evin, from whom the town derives its name, featured in an earlier post on this blog.

The ones that got away - Borris

The Parish Church of the Sacred Heart, Borris, Co. Carlow, forces me to address the perametres of this series. What do I mean by the ones that got away? Borris - and a number of other Churches in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin - retain some of the elements of a traditional Sanctuary but not all. It retains two fine Side Altars, a complete span of Altar Rails with Sanctuary gates (fairly rare and probably what the late Bishop Ryan meant by only 10% of the Churches in the Diocese remain to be 'reordered'), and the body of the High Altar with reredos (only gradines in fact). However, it has lost the mensa of the Altar, the Altar strictly speaking, or at least that Altar has been brought forward to facilitate the celebration of Mass versus populum, while preventing the celebration of Mass versus Deum - perhaps unintended in this case due to the shallowness of the Sanctuary but frequently all too obvious a factor, by the creation of the 'cliff' that I consider to be a characteristic liturgical symbol of the Diocese. Yet, I include it in the ones that got away because it is still usable for the Usus Antiquior, and partly because of the number of original features that have been retained, and partly because it still looks like a Church, inside and out. Judge for yourself.

Fota IV

The Fourth Fota International Liturgy Conference (Fota IV) will take place in Cork, Ireland. Session I: 9th, 10th and 11th July 2011. Session II: 29th July, 2011.

The Conference will explore the topic: Benedict XVI and the Roman Missal. Drawing on a panel of expert speakers from the U.S.A., Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and Ireland, it will examine the approach of Benedict XVI/Joseph Ratzinger to understanding and appreciating the Roman Missal as one of the central texts of Catholic Worship. The Conference will be opened by His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke who will also give the key note address.

First Session programme:
Musical arrangements:

The second session of the Fourth Fota International Liturgy Conference will be held at the Imperial Hotel, Cork City, Ireland on 29 July 2011. The second session will consist of a presentation of the new English language translation of the Roman Missal. Prof. D. Vincent Twomey, SVD will chair the seminar. George Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney and President of the Vox Clara Committee will moderate the session and deliver the key-note address. Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, New Jersey, and Chariman of the Liturgical Commission of the United States Catholic Bishops’ Conference will also address the session. Mons. James Moroney, executive secretary of the Vox Clara Committee and a member of the faculty of Saint John’s Seminary in Boston, will provide an extensive introduction to the details of the new English translation. Monsignor Moroney is also adjunct faculty to the Liturgical Institute in Chicago and the International Consultation on Theological Education in Rome.

Second session programme:

Further information may be obtained from:
Contact: The Secretary
Tel: 00353 214 813445

Saturday 18 June 2011

Mass in Monasterevin

For the first time in almost 50 years, Mass in the Gregorian Rite will be celebrated in the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, Monasterevin, Co. Kildare, at 9.30 a.m. on Saturday, 25th June, 2011. As previously announced, it will be offered for the respose of the soul of H.E. Fra' Fredrik Crichton-Stuart (1940-2011), the recently deceased former President of the International Federation "Una Voce".

Ss. Peter and Paul, pray for us!
St. Eimhin of Monasterevin, pray for us!

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Fra' Fredrik Crichton-Stuart (1940-2011)

Fra' Fredrik (centre) with Dr. Helmut Ruckriegel (right) meeting Pope Benedict XVI in 2006

The news has reached us of the death this morning in Edinburgh, of Fra' Fredrik Crichton-Stuart, President Emeritus of the International Federation "Una Voce". Of your charity, pray for the repose of his soul.

Born on 6th September, 1940, the eldest son of Lord Rhidian and Lady Selina Crichton-Stuart, he was the grandson of John Crichton-Stuart, K.T., 4th Marquess of Bute, and Augusta, Lady Bute, née Bellingham, of the notable Louth family. The Hon. Fredrik Crichton-Stuart was educated at Ampleforth College. A qualified Chartered Accountant, throughout his life Fra' Fredrik involved himself in many works of charity and public benefit for many years.

His brief period as Executive President of the FIUV was the culmination of many years of effort in the cause of the Traditional Latin Liturgy. He first joined Una Voce Scotland in 1996, becoming secretary in 2000. In 2002, he became Councillor and Senior Vice-President of the FIUV, being elected President in 2005.

He was also a Knight of Justice of the Order of Malta (hence the "Fra'" for Frater or Brother). Having been a member of the Order since 1962, Delegate of Scotland and the Northern Marches, and first Chancellor of the restored Grand Priory of England, he was installed as the second Grand Prior of England since the Reformation in 2008, succeeding Fra' Matthew Festing, who had been elected Prince and Grand Master of the Order to succeed Fra' Andrew Bertie, a cousin of Fra' Fredrik. Through his various positions, he was able to give even greater service to Our Lords the Sick and Our Lords the Poor.

The forthcoming Mass in Monasterevin will be offered for the repose of his soul.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasail.

Saturday 11 June 2011

Interpolations in the Traditional Catholic lections for Mass

In the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, there is the very interesting article that says "In Masses celebrated in the presence of the people in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII, the readings may be given in the vernacular, using editions recognised by the Apostolic See." I’ve read some people arguing that this means that the reading is to be done at the sermon as at present. As for the edition, any approved Bible – but please God, do not let the USCCB impose the NAB on us!

I don’t want to really get into a discussion of that issue (although personally, I feel there is a great weight on the side of a single vernacular reading and not reading before the sermon). I merely want use it as the springboard for an interesting aspect of the Traditional liturgy.

One thing perhaps some people don’t realize is that the Traditional lectionary does not always reproduce the biblical passage exactly. There are interpolations sometimes. The first type is a simple one: the incipits. The usual incipits [there are few exceptions] are as below.

Gospels begin with "In illo tempore"[At that time]. Old Testament readings begin with "Haec dicit Dominus [Deus]" [Thus says the Lord (God) a goodly phrase I remember from my KJV days] if they are from the prophets. If they are recounting a historical incident or a narrative then "In diebus illis" [in those days]. The Acts of the Apostles and Revelations use the same incipit. Epistles from St. Paul most often with "Fratres" [Brothers]; those of a more pastoral nature such as to Timothy and Titus with "Carissime" [Dearly beloved] Those of St. Peter, James and John – the so-called Catholic Epistles - with "Carissimi" [Dearly beloved]

The incipits are often expanded to give the wider picture or the context, or even in some cases, provide allusions. I’m sure some people may be familiar with them. For example, the famous Gospel of the BVM "In illo tempore: loquente Iesu ad turbas, extollens vocem quaedam mulier de turba dixit illi" [at that time, (as) Jesus was speaking to the crowd, lifting up her voice a certain women from the crowd said to him..."]

The initial part "At that time, (as) Jesus was speaking to the crowd" is not in the original text. It is added to provide the 'scene' as it were. There are of course others: In illo tempore... dixit Iesus turbis Iudaeorum [Jesus said to the crowd of Jews]... "dixit Iesus turbis Iudaeorum, et principibus sacerdotum parabolam hanc" [Jesus spoke to the crowd of Jews and chief priests this prable]... "dixit Iesus Simoni Petri" [Jesus said to Simon Peter]... "dixit Iesus dicipulis suis" [Jesus said to his disciples] and so on.

There are also such additions in the Epistles. One particular one caught my attention this time, with all the controversy over the Good Friday prayer. It is the prayer of Jeremiah but in context is clearly meant to form an allusion to the Passion of Christ. Which probably explains the interesting beginning "In diebus illis, dixerunt impii Iudaei ad invicem" [In those days the impii Jews said to one another - I’ve purposely left impii untranslated. You'd say impious but for for some reason, the hand missals I checked [all before '58] give the translation as wicked.

That’s incipits, there are also conclusions though these are rarer. A common ending to prayers, which is seen especially in the readings from the OT, such as of Jeremiah, in the Traditional lectionary in Lent is "Dominus Deus noster" [(O) Lord our God] or "Domine Deus meus [(O) Lord my God]. One ending to some of the readings from the Pauline Epistles is “in Christo Jesu Domino nostro" [in Christ Jesus our Lord].

But one of the biggest "stitches" is in the passage "Ecce Sacerdos Magnus". Some may be familiar with this which is a famous responsory sung for Episcopal visitations, and important Episcopal and Sacerdotal functions. It also has an expanded for as an Epistle for assigned for many saintly popes and bishops and is the Epistle of the Common of Bishop Confessors. My hand missal informs me that is is from Sirach 44:16-27; and 45 3-20. Quite a broad ascription for so short a passage. But that’s because it isn’t exactly the passage. The interesting thing is how the Bible text is reproduced. Regrettably I can’t find out how to do side by side tables, so hopefully you will be content with highlighting. The boldened text is the phrases taken directly from Scripture or extremely close to it. The unboldened text is inserted. The lection is as follows:

Ecce sacerdos magnus, qui in diebus suis placuit Deo, et inventus est Justus : et in tempore iracundiae factus est reconciliation. Non est inventus similes illi, qui conservavit legem Excelsi. Ideo jurejurando fecit illum Dominus crescere in plebem suam Benedictionem omnium gentium dedit illi, et testamentum suum confirmavit super caput ejus. Agnovit eum in benedictionibus suis : conservavit illi misericordiam suam : et invenit gratiam coram oculis Domini. Magnificavit eum in conspectu regum : et dedit illi coronam gloriae. Statuit illi testamentum aeternum, et dedit illi sacerdotium magnum : et beatificavit illum in gloria. Fungi sacerdotio, et habere laudem in nomine ipsius, et offerre illi incensum dignum in odorem suavitatis.

OK, so they added a word or two. Big deal. Actually no. This is Sirach 44:16-27; and 45: 3-20. The first verse however, is actually from Sirach 50. The boldened text is the excerpts given in the Epistle reading.

Simon Onii filius sacerdos magnus qui in vita sua suffulsit domum et in diebus suis corroboravit
(Chapter 50:1) Enoch placuit Deo et translatus est in paradiso ut det gentibus paenitentiam. Noe inventus est perfectus iustus et in tempore iracundiae factus est reconciliatio ideo dimissum est reliquum terrae cum factum est diluvium testamenta saeculi posita sunt apud illum ne deleri possit diluvio omnis caro Abraham magnus pater multitudinis gentium et non est inventus similis illi in gloria qui conservavit legem Excelsi et fuit in testamento cum illo in carne eius stare fecit testamentum et in temptatione inventus est fidelis ideo iureiurando dedit illi semen in gente sua crescere illum quasi terrae cumulum et ut stellas exaltare semen eius et hereditari illos a mari usque ad mare et a Flumine usque ad terminos terrae et in Isaac eodem fecit modo propter Abraham patrem ipsius benedictionem omnium gentium dedit illi et testamentum confirmavit super caput Iacob agnovit eum in benedictionibus suis et dedit illi hereditatem et divisit ei partem in tribus duodecim et conservavit illis homines misericordiae invenientes gratiam in oculis omnis carnis Dilectus a Deo et hominibus Moses cuius memoria in benedictione est similem illum fecit in gloria sanctorum et magnificavit eum in timore inimicorum et in verbis suis monstra placavit glorificavit illum in conspectu regum et iussit illi coram populo suo et ostendit illi gloriam suam in fide et lenitate ipsius sanctum fecit illum et elegit illum de omni carne audivit eum et vocem ipsius et induxit illum in nubem et dedit illi coram praecepta legem vitae et disciplinae docere Iacob testamentum et iudicia sua Israhel excelsum fecit Aaron fratrem eius et similem sibi de tribu Levi statuit ei testamentum aeternum et dedit illi sacerdotium gentis et beatificavit illum in gloria et circumcinxit illum zonam gloriae induit illum stolam gloriae et coronavit illum in vasis virtutis circumpedes et femoralia et umeralem posuit ei et cinxit illum tintinabulis aureis plurimis in gyro dare sonitum in successu suo auditum facere sonitum in templo in memoriam filiis gentis suae stola sancta auro et hyacintho et purpura opus textile viri sapientis iudicio et veritate praediti torto cocco opus artificis gemmis pretiosis figuratis in ligatura auri et opere lapidarii sculptilis in memoriam secundum numerum tribuum Israhel coronam auream supra mitram eius expressam signo sanctitatis gloria honoris et opus virtutis desideria oculorum ornata sic pulchra ante ipsum non fuerunt talia usque ad originem non indutus est illa alienigena aliquis sed tantum filii ipsius soli et nepotes eius per omne tempus sacrificia ipsius consumpta sunt igni cotidie conplevit Moses manus eius et unxit illum oleo sancto factum est illi in testamentum aeternum et semini eius sicut dies caeli fungi sacerdotio et habere laudem et glorificare populum suum in nomine suo ipsum elegit eum ab omni vivente adferre sacrificium Deo incensum et bonum odorem in memoriam placere populo suo [the phrase in oderem suasvitatis is actually from Ephesians]

It’s a bit difficult to do the same with the English text but I’ve tried.

Behold a great priest, who in his days pleased God, and was found just; and in the time of wrath he was made a reconciliation. There was not found the like to him who kept the law of the most High. Therefore by an oath the Lord made him to increase among his people. He gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed His covenant upon his head. He acknowledged him in His blessings; He preserved for him His mercy; and he found grace before the eyes of the Lord. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him a crown of glory. He made an everlasting covenant with him, and gave him a great priesthood : and made him blessed in glory. To execute the office of the priesthood, and to have praised in His name, and to offer him a worthy incense for an odour of sweetness.
Sirach 44:16-27; and 45:3-20

Simon the high priest, the son of Onias, who in his life propped up the house, and in his days fortified the temple (Chp 50) Enoch pleased God, and was translated into paradise, that he may give repentance to the nations. Noe was found perfect, just, and in the time of wrath he was made a reconciliation. Therefore was there a remnant left to the earth, when the flood came. The covenants of the world were made with him, that all flesh should no more be destroyed with the flood. Abraham was the great father of a multitude of nations, and there was not found the like to him in glory, who kept the law of the most High, and was in covenant with him. In his flesh he established the covenant, and in temptation he was found faithful. Therefore by an oath he gave him glory in his posterity, that he should increase as the dust of the earth, and that he would exalt his seed as the stars, and they should inherit from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. And he did in like manner with Isaac for the sake of Abraham his father. The Lord gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed his covenant upon the head of Jacob. He acknowledged him in his blessings, and gave him an inheritance, and divided him his portion in twelve tribes. And he preserved for him men of mercy, that found grace in the eyes of all flesh. Moses was beloved of God, and men: whose memory is in benediction. He made him like the saints in glory, and magnified him in the fear of his enemies, and with his words he made prodigies to cease. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him commandments in the sight of his people, and showed him his glory. He sanctified him in his faith, and meekness, and chose him out of all flesh. For he heard him, and his voice, and brought him into a cloud. And he gave him commandments before his face, and a law of life and instruction, that he might teach Jacob his covenant, and Israel his judgments. He exalted Aaron his brother, and like to himself of the tribe of Levi: He made an everlasting covenant with him, and gave him the priesthood of the nation, and made him blessed in glory, and he girded him about with a glorious girdle, and clothed him with a robe of glory, and crowned him with majestic attire. He put upon him a garment to the feet, and breeches, and as ephod, and he compassed him with many little bells of gold all round about, That as he went there might be a sound, and a noise made that might be heard in the temple, for a memorial to the children of his people. He gave him a holy robe of gold, and blue, and purple, a woven work of a wise man, endued with judgment and truth: Of twisted scarlet the work of an artist, with precious stones cut and set in gold, and graven by the work of a lapidary for a memorial, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. And a crown of gold upon his mitre wherein was engraved Holiness, an ornament of honour: a work of power, and delightful to the eyes for its beauty. Before him there were none so beautiful, even from the beginning. No stranger was ever clothed with them, but only his children alone, and his grandchildren for ever. His sacrifices were consumed with fire every day. Moses filled his hands and anointed him with holy oil. This was made to him for an everlasting testament, and to his seed as the days of heaven, to execute the office of the priesthood, and to have praise, and to glorify his people in his name.
[the English does not indicate the difference in his; the Latin refers to two - Moses and God] He chose him out of all men living, to offer sacrifice to God, incense, and a good odour, for a memorial to make reconciliation for his people.

Amazing, isn’t it, the things one can find in the Traditional Missal. It's like a liturgical history puzzle. Perhaps a little ungainly as Bugnini thought, but maybe that's where the attraction and 'charm' is.

First published in February, 2008
Since which time the Instruction Universiae Ecclesiae has said: "26. As foreseen by article 6 of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, the readings of the Holy Mass of the Missal of 1962 can be proclaimed either solely in the Latin language, or in Latin followed by the vernacular or, in Low Masses, solely in the vernacular."

Monday 6 June 2011

Tres abhinc annos

On this day, the feast of St. Coca of Kilcock, three years ago (tres abhinc annos), this blog was started. The first anniversary post and second anniversary post gave earlier statistics.

Of the 500 most recent visitors we have been privileged to welcome, 28.2% came from Ireland (up from second place), 24.2% came from the United States (down from first place), 19.6% from the United Kingdom (including the North of Ireland, according to our statistics provider), 6.4% came from Italy (including a number of visitors from Pontifical Colleges but none from the Holy See this month... come back, Your Holiness!), 2.4% from Canada and 2.2% from Australia.

If you break that down by region, Dublin topped the chart again this year with 11%, Kilkenny was next with 10.4%. Next came Tennessee, Pennsylvania, London and Belfast on about 3% each.

The favourite exit links were the LMS Chairman's Blog and New Liturgical Movement (Joseph and Shawn take note!).

Verbum Patris, New Liturgical Movement and Forest Murmers were the top referrers.

The most popular search words among those 500 most recent searchers were: "fra fredrik crichton stuart" "mt melleray shrine" and "Butler family history". Google (, .ie, .com) was once again the favourite search engine but down to 96.1%, followed by Yahoo.

Our two associated blogs had reached 44,935 ( and 253,100 ( unique hits by this morning. Our own total was a tolerable 85,197 unique visits.

In the past year we have been especially blessed by the contributions of Recorder (16 posts), Just a Girl (13 posts), Brigit (11 posts), Des 'Doc' Hannon and Maeve 'Shandon Belle' (10 posts each), Ritualist (8 posts), Anka (4 posts) Semper Eadem (3 posts) and Standing Stone (2 posts). We are just short of out 400th post - not bad for 3 years!

St. Brigid, St. Conleth and St. Coca pray for the contributers, for the visitors and for the friends who showed them the way! May everything they publish and every internet visit they make redound to the Greater Glory of God, the honour of His Blessed Mother and the good of souls!

Friday 3 June 2011

The Lords Abbot of Mount Melleray

Our recent retreat to Mount Melleray Abbey was the first to take place since the election of the new Lord Abbot. Dom Augustine McGregor, elected Abbot on 3rd November last, is the thirteenth Lord Abbot of Mount Melleray.

The first Lord Abbot, Dom Vincent Ryan (b. 1788, e. 1835, d. 1845), was both founder and, in a sense, the embodiment of the Community. As Prior of the Abbey of Melleray in France, he was the senior Irish monk of the Community, and a native of Waterford. He entered the Cistercian noviciate in 1810 while the Community was in exile at Lulworth, England, having been driven out of France by the revolutionaries in 1794. He was ordained in 1815. In 1817, Melleray was restored but only temporarily. In 1831, the monks were once again expelled. In anticipation, Fr. Vincent had been to Ireland in a search for a home in exile. This bore fruit when the English and Irish exiles arrived at Cobh on 1st December, 1831, and made their way to Rathmore, Co. Kerry. The following year land as Scrahan came to Fr. Vincent's attention. On 30th May, 1831, the lease was signed with Sir Richard Keane and on the next morning, Ascension Thursday, Fr. Vincent celebrated Mass at the single cottage, christened 'Bethlehem', and at the place now christened Mount Melleray. That same day a cheque for £100 was received from the Duke of Devonshire of Lismore Castle.

The foundation stone of the new monastery was laid on 20th August, 1833. The stone read: Gregorio XVI. Pont. Max; Guilielmo Abraham, S.T.D., R.C.E W. et L.; R.P. Vincento; S.R. Keane, E.S.S.; Die 20 Augusti 1833." The monastery was raised to the status of an Abbey in February, 1935, and Dom Vincent Ryan was given that abbatial blessing by Bishop Abraham on 17th May, feast of St. Carthage of Lismore. He was the first Abbot to be blessed in Ireland since the despoilation of the monasteries. On 22nd October, 1838, the first Abbey Church was opened for public worship.

The bell, a familiar sound to all visitors to Mount Melleray, the work of Murphy's Irish Bell Foundry of James' Street, Dublin, was hung in the tower in 1844. Dom Vincent wrote to Mr. Murphy that: "for beauty of form, solidity of construction, power and sweetness of tone, continues to give universal satisfaction and is an object of admiration to our numerous visitors who declare it cannot be excelled by any bell of its size or weight in the country." It was transferred to the tower of the present Abbey Church on 21st March, 1938.

Dom Vincent died on 9th December, 1845, at the age of only 57 years, a religious for 34 years and Abbot of Mount Melleray for 10 years. He was described in an obituary: "Dr. Ryan was a religious of no ordinary mold. He was cast by God for the noble purpose of restoring the monastic life to Ireland in a time and under circumstances of no ordinary difficulty. Great was his faith and confidence in God, even to the removing of mountains! Pure and burning his charity towards God and man! First in every duty, vigilant in prayer, constant as his frequent sickness would permit him in labour, singular in humility, he was a faithful illustration of the religious, painted in his own excellent work on the duties of the monastic state."

On 15th January, 1846, the Community elected the Sub-Prior, a Clonmel man, Dom Joseph Mary Ryan (b. 1801, e. 1846, r. 1847 d. 1856), as the second Lord Abbot of Mount Melleray. He had entered the noviciate at Mount Melleray in 1839. His was the first public consecration of an Abbot in Ireland since the reformation. He retired as Lord Abbot on 28th October, 1847, and lived another nine years as a monk of Mount Melleray.

Before the election on 4th April, 1848, of Dom Bruno Fitzpatrick (b. 1812, e. 1848, d. 1893), as third Lord Abbot, the approval of the Holy See to exempt the Abbey from the jurisdiction of the Local Ordinary and to place it under the Abbot General and the Chapter General of La Trappe, was received. Dom Bruno was educated at St. Suplice and the Irish College, Paris. And while a professor of philosophy in Carlow College in 1836, was ordained for the Archdiocese of Dublin. He entered Mount Melleray in May, 1843. Once elected, he proposed a foundation in America and on 25th July, 1848, Fr. Bernard McCaffrey set out on the mision that would eventually bear fruit in New Melleray Abbey the following year. His consacration was took place on 14th September, 1848. Dom Bruno attended the consacration of the Cathedral of St. Louis on 3rd May, 1857. The foundation of the second daughter house, Mount Saint Joseph, at Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, and of the Ecclesiastical Seminary were other monuments to his time. He also made an attempt to reintroduce Cistercian nuns to Ireland in 1861. The Lodge, so familiar to the hungry guest and the subject of the 66th Chapter of the Rule of St. Benedict, was built in 1862. In 1868, Dom Bruno also saw the restoration of solemn vows by the Holy See. There had been within the Cistercian Order, as with the Benedictines, a multiplicity of 'Congregations' or groups of houses but in 1892, as part of a wider attempt by Pope Leo XIII to 'streamline' Orders, three Congregations of stricter observance of the Holy Rule formed a distinct Order, the 'Ordo Cisterciensium Strictioris Observantiae.' On 4th December, 1893, after a prolonged period of ill-health, Dom Bruno fell asleep in the Lord during an influenza epidemic at the age of 81 years, 52 years in religion and 45 as Lord Abbot. He is remembered as the second founder of Mount Melleray.

On 15th January, 1894, Dom Carthage Delaney (b. 1836, e. 1894, r. 1908, d. 1909) was elected as the fourth Lord Abbot of Mount Melleray. A Longford man and student of the College at Mount Melleray, he entered the Abbey in 1859 and had been claustral Prior for 30 years at the time of his election. At the age of 58, he was the oldest Abbot elected by the community at the time by some years. His was the first abbatial consacration (29th April) presided over by the representative of the Abbot General. An interesting notion - giving some insight into the interior and prayer life of a Trappist - is that the Rosary Confraternity was established in the monastery at the beginning of Dom Carthage's term, the October devotions being practiced each evening of the month after Compline. Dom Carthage purchased the stained glass window from Meyer of Munich that was then installed behind the High Altar of the Abbey Church and is now in the Sanctuary of St. Philomena's, the Public Church, the central panel of which is a facsimile of Murillo's Immaculate Conception, the lower ones, Ss. Brigid, Malachy, Bernard and Patrick. Dom Carthage resigned in 1908 in his 78th year.

Dom Carthage's headstone in the Community Cemetary reads: "Hic Requiescat JOANNES CARTHAGUS DELANY natus in comitatu Longfordiensi adhuc juvenis nomen religioni dedit in coenobio Beatae Mariae de Monte Melleario et in eodem coenobio munere praepositi sex lustra et abbatis tria pie functus virtute clarus obdormavit in domino xviii kal feb. mcmix aetatis suae lxxiii. Orate pro eo."

The grave of Dom Carthage Delaney, O.C.S.O., in the foreground

On 8th May, 1908, the community elected the man who had succeeded Dom Carthage as claustral Prior, Dom Maurus Phelan of Kilrossanty, Co. Waterford as fifth Lord Abbot of Mount Melleray (b. 1853, e. 1908, d.1931). Dom Maurus entered Mount Melleray at the age of 19 years in 1872. Dom Maurus was a native speaker of Irish and was instrumental in the promotion of the Irish language by the monks and schools of Mount Melleray. He preached a sermon in Irish every Sunday and published the Leabhar Urnaighthe, a prayerbook in the Irish language. He was consacrated Abbot on 15th August, 1908. In 1912, electricity was introduced to the monastery. In July, 1913, Bl. Dom Columba Marmion preached the annual retreat to the community. In 1914, the Lord Abbot of Mount Melleray became the father immediate of the Trappistine Nuns of Holy Cross Abbey, Stapehill, Dorset, Dom Maurus succeeded where Dom Bruno had failed in reintroducing Cistercian nuns to Ireland at St. Mary's Abbey, Glencairn, although they arrived just after his death on 10th July, 1931. On 20th August, 1932, the Barracks Chapel from Fermoy that he had purchased was re-erected and opened as the College Chapel.

On 16th August, 1931, Dom Stanislaus Hickey (b. 1865, e. 1931, d. 1933) was elected sixth Lord Abbot. Dom Stanislaus, a native of Co. Tipperary, entered the community in 1884. He had been claustral Prior and Definitor of the Order in Romesince 1925. He published Summula Philosophae Scholasticae in 1902. He was Lord Abbot for only eighteen months. He died of pneumonia on 25th February, 1933, at only 66 years.

The seventh Lord Abbot of Mount Melleray, Dom Celsus O'Connell (e. 1933, r. 1957, d. 1958), a native of Mourne Abbey, Co. Cork, was elected on 5th April, 1933. He was a monk of Mount Melleray but had been Definitor of the Order in Rome from 1920 and Abbot of Mount St. Bernard in England from 1929. His term began with the celebration of the centenary of the Abbey on 20th August, 1833. The celebrations took place from 15th to 17th August, 1933. On the third day, Cardinal McRory, Archbishop of Armagh, laid the foundation stone of the present Church. By 1935, the sacristy and chapter house had been built. In 1937, the spire of the old Church had been replaced by the lantern of the present tower. The monastic Church and the public Church were both roofed and externally complete by the end of 1939. The 200 choir stalls of the monastic Church commenced to be used from 15th December, 1940.

Cardinal McRory approved the foundation of New Mellifont Abbey in his Archdiocese in 1938. 10 years later, another foundation was made at Our Lady of Bethlehem Abbey, Portglenone, Co. Antrim.

On 20th August, 1952, came the most momentous event of Dom Celsus' term, the consacration of the new Abbey Church. In 1954, a foundation was made in New Zealand, Our Lady of the Southern Star Abbey.

By 1954, changes were already starting to be made within the Order with the ending of the obligation of the daily recitation of the Office for the Dead, except one day a week, and the obligation to recite the Little Office of Our Lady daily abolished for feast days of Our Lady, and abolished entirely in 1956. Dom Celsus retired as Abbot on 3rd February, 1957 (the website of the General House says 2nd but the monastic community wasn't informed until the following day). Dom Celsus fell asleep in the Lord on 13th November, 1958.

The graves of Dom Stanislaus Hickey, Dom Maurus Phelan and Dom Celsus O'Connell, respectively.

Dom Finbar Cashman was elected to succeed his fellow Cork man on 26th April, 1957, and he was consacrated on 16th July of the same year. A new Abbot General elected in January, 1964, oversaw the Chapter General that abolished the distinctive habit of laybrothers, as well as the cowl and monastic tonsure. In 1968, the Office began to be recited in the vernacular. In 1969, the election of Abbots for life was ended. On 2nd July, 1971, Dom Finbar was succeeded by Dom Pól Ó hAonghusa, the ninth and first temporary Lord Abbot of Mount Melleray, who was installed on 21st September, 1971. In 1974, Mount Melleray College closed after 140 years. Dom Edward Ducey, a founder monk of New Mellifont Abbey and Abbot there since 1974, became Superior ad nutum and was elected tenth Lord Abbot on 26th August, 1976 and was installed on 29th September. Dom Justin MacCarthy was elected on 26th June, 1980. Dom Eamon Fitzgerald was elected on 19th July, 1989. He was elected Abbot General in September, 2008, and was replaced by Fr. Michael Ahern as Superior ad nutum until he was replaced Dom Augustine McGregor, formerly Abbot of New Mellifont, in June, 2010. Dom Augustine McGregor was elected as thirteenth Lord Abbot on 3rd November, 2010.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Mass in Carlow Cathedral

For only the second time, Mass in the Gregorian Rite was celebrated at the new Altar of Carlow Cathedral on Saturday, 21st May, to honour Our Lady's Month and, belatedly, the feast of St. Conleth, Patron of the Diocese of Kildare and of our Association.