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.