Monday, 19 October 2015

Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Sligo

Members and friends of Saint Assicus' Catholic Heritage Association made their pilgrimage to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in the afternoon of Saturday, 17th October, for a Traditional Latin Mass.

The Cathedral was designed by English architect George Goldie (1828-1887), who was also responsible for the design of Churches in Bohola (1859), Ballymote (1859), Strokestown (1860), Gurteen (1866), and Killasser (1868).  The Cathedral's design was 1867.  Building took place between 1867 and 1875.  It was opened on 26th July, 1874, by Paul, Cardinal Cullen and consecrated by Cardinal Cullen on 1st July, 1897.

The design is in a massive Lombard Romanesque, the only 19th Century Irish Cathedral in the Romanesque style.  It is in a basilican style with the triforium gallery extended across the transepts. This effect can also be seen, 'though less correctly and with much less effect, in a Gothic context, in Ss. Peter and Paul's, Cork City.  The tower reaches a height of 70 meters.  The interior is 69 meters wide at the transepts and 19 meters high.  The aisles continue under the triforium right through into a fine ambulatory with a corona chapel that is now a baptistery.  The High Altar, surmounted by a statue of Mary Immaculate is intact under a brass baldachino.  Some of the stained glass is by Lobin of Tours.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Sligo Abbey (Walsh)

From Walsh, Thomas; History of the Irish Hierarchy, chapter lx, p. 655 ff.

Sligo, the capital of the county; a seaport, market-town and a parliamentary borough.

Maurice Fitzgerald, who was Lord Justice of Ireland in the year 1229, and who retained that office from 1232 to 1245, founded this noble monastery on the bank of the river Gitly and adjacent to the castle of Sligo, which Maurice erected A.D. 1245. The church was dedicated under the invocation of the Holy Cross, of which a commemoration was made daily in the divine office. It was supplied with
friars of the order of St. Dominick.

O'Connor Sligo was a liberal benefactor to this monastery. So was Pierce O'Timony, whose statue was erected in the cloister.

A.D. 1360, Mac William Bourke spoiled and burned the town.

A.D. 1414, the sacred edifice was destroyed by an accidental fire: at this time twenty friars were resident in the abbey. Pope John XXIII granted an indulgence to all who would contribute towards the expenses of refounding it.

A.D. 1416, the monastery was rebuilt by friar Bryan Mac Dermot Mac Donagh.

A.D. 1454, Bryan Mac Donagh, dynast of Tirerill, was interred here.

At the general suppression, it was granted to Sir William Taaffe.  It is at present in the possession of Lord Palmerston, who can be styled the "Cecil" of England in this enlightened century.

The ruins of this spacious and beautiful monastery indicate its former magnificence. The northern and southern sides of the arcade, with the east one, still remain covered with an arched roof, which will soon yield to the wreck of time. The arches and pillars are of extraordinary workmanship, a few of which are adorned with sculpture. The east window is beautiful, and the high altar, which still remains, is decorated with relievo sculpture in the Gothic style. On the south side of the altar is a monument of O'Connor, with his own figure and that of his lady.

Archdale observes that Cromwell has done some injury to this monastery, but "that merit" rather belongs to Ireton and Sir Charles Coote, who could perceive no fault in the "frolics" of his soldiers when transfixing Irish innocent babes with their bayonets, and then elevating them on their points, in order that the writhings of those "innocents" would afford diversion to the puritan soldiery of England. Cromwell was never in Connaught.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

National Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Knock 2015

The National Latin Mass Pilgrimage is a special event in Knock.  Unique among Latin Mass pilgrimages around the Country, His Grace, the Archbishop of Tuam has designated this pilgrimage under his own authority and appointed a chaplain, Fr. John Loftus of the Diocese of Killala.

The organisation of the National Pilgrimage was undertaken by Our Lady's Catholic Heritage Association in co-ordination with the other Catholic Heritage Associations around the Country but all Latin Mass Communities, Chaplaincies, Associations and groups around the Country are invited to participate each year.

As usual, the main exercises of the pilgrimage took place in the old Parish Church of Knock, whish stood when the apparitions took place.  The apparitions are uniquely Eucharistic in that the Blessed Sacrament was present in the form of the Lamb of God with Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John, during the whole of the apparition.  That may be the reason for the silence of the apparition and perhaps the key to it's central message, the importance of silence in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament - very appropriate for the Traditional Latin Mass.

There was a tremendous turn out from all parts of the Country for a Missa Cantata of Our Lady celebrated by Fr. Loftus.  In keeping with the exercises of the official pilgrimages to the Shrine, the Missa Cantata was followed by the Stations of the Cross and the pilgrimage concluded with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

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.

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.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Pilgrimage to Athlone

This was the first time that we had made a pilgrimage to Athlone.  The magnificent Church of Ss. Peter and Paul, sometimes known as the Cathedral of the Shannon, is a major landmark at the central point of Ireland, at the main crossing of the Shannon, which divides the Country roughly in half, east and west, by the main road between Dublin and Galway that joins the east coast to the west and divides the Country roughly in half, north and south.  The town straddles two provices (Leinster and Connacht), two Counties (Westmeath and Roscommon), and two Dioceses (Ardagh & Clomnacnoise and Elphin).

The Church was completed in 1937 and, like many post-Independence Churches, is in a fusion of styles - Galway Cathedral being the high point of the fusion movement - Doric and Baroque.  The Doric is most obvious in the stark exterior, a restrained Baroque more notable in the interior that has a range of marble features, still complete.  Several fine Harry Clarke windows are in place.  It is one of the most complete and most harmonious Churches in the Country, being built and decorated to a single design in one project.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Athlone Abbey (Walsh)

From Thomas Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy chapter lix, p. 623 ff:

Athlone, situated on the river Shannon. A market-town and parliamentary borough, rendered famous through its vigorous defence against the arms of King William III., the "Absalom" of England, and gives the title of earl to the family of Ginckle.

A Cistercian abbey was founded here, in the twelfth century, which was called de Innocentia.

A.D. 1216. King John, by a grant, dated the 30th of May, gives to this abbey four carucates of land, in the fee of Lagscueth, in exchange for the site on which he erected the castle of Athlone, and granted to the said monks the tenth of the expenses of the aforesaid castle.

A.D. 1279, King Edward I., on the 6th of June, granted to this abbey the weirs and fisheries of Athlone, and the toll of the bridge; also eight acres of arable land, at the yearly rent of £12.

A.D. 1455, died the abbot Thomas Cumin, a man celebrated for extensive knowledge and unexampled wisdom.

In the time of Queen Elizabeth, this abbey was in the possession of Sir Kichard Bingham, knight, first commissioner of Connaught, together with three chapels in the barony of Athlone, Gama, Kiltoame,
and Drayme, collectively worth 70s. Irish money.

Twentieth of Queen Elizabeth, a grant was made to Edmund O'Fallon, of Athlone, of a mill, on the water of Clonekille, in this county, and two other mills above the bridge of Athlone, with a castle on the east end of the bridge, and a small piece of land adjacent to said castle, lately built in the county of Westmeath, to hold the same at the annual rent of 12d. Irish money. And on the 5th of August preceding, another royal grant was made to said Edmund, of a stone house, and two gardens tliereunto belonging, with two other houses on the south side of the said castle, and an eel-weir on the river Shannon — all parcels of the property of this abbey.

In the ninth of King James I. it was found, that a house and garden thereunto annexed, in the town of Athlone, parcel of this abbey, annual value, besides reprises, 12d., was, by a grant trom the crown, in
the possession of Edward White, late of Ballynderry, in this county.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Prayer for the Church in Ireland

God of our fathers,
renew us in the faith which is our life and salvation,
the hope which promises forgiveness and interior renewal,
the charity which purifies and opens our hearts
to love you, and in you, each of our brothers and sisters.
Lord Jesus Christ,
may the Church in Ireland renew her age-old commitment
to the education of our young people in the way of truth and goodness, holiness and generous service to society.
Holy Spirit, comforter, advocate and guide,
inspire a new springtime of holiness and apostolic zeal
for the Church in Ireland.
May our sorrow and our tears,
our sincere effort to redress past wrongs,
and our firm purpose of amendment
bear an abundant harvest of grace
for the deepening of the faith
in our families, parishes, schools and communities,
for the spiritual progress of Irish society,
and the growth of charity, justice, joy and peace
within the whole human family.
To you, Triune God,
confident in the loving protection of Mary,
Queen of Ireland, our Mother,
and of Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and all the saints,
do we entrust ourselves, our children,
and the needs of the Church in Ireland.

Pope Benedict XVI
19th March, 2010
Solemnity of St. Joseph

Friday, 8 May 2015

Saint Assicus of Elphin (Ware)

From Sir James Ware's The antiquities and history of Ireland at 147:

"Elphin or as some write it Elfin is situate in a fertile and pleasant Country something rising where St. Patrick built the Cathedral near a little river that flows from two Fountains about the middle of the fifth Century and there placed Asicus a monk of an austere life. Some say that this Asicus was a goldsmith and by his art adorned the Church with monuments of excellent workmanship. After many centuries and not long after the coming of the English, the See of Roscommon being translated hither, this See of Elphin was very much enriched and endowed with large possessions. When Ardcarn, Drumclive and other Sees of less note were united to this, I confess I know not but it is probable that it was before the coming of the English. Their names are not in the distribution made in the year 1152 nor, which is strange, the See of Elphin itself. From whence I cannot but think that it was at that time namely before the said translation united to the See of Roscommon. However it is certain that the See of Elphin by these unions was esteemed one of the richest in Ireland and had more or less 79 Parish Churches. The ignorant vulgar think the name was given it from a great stone there to be seen called the stone of the giant Fin Mac Cool.

"Saint Asicus
"Promot. circ. 450

"Elphin or as some write it Elfin is situated in a pleasant and fertile country of a gentle ascent St. Patrick founded a Cathedral in this place near a little river issuing from two fountains about the middle of the 5th Century and placed over it St Asicus a Monk and a great lover of penance and austerity whom he consecrated Bishop and who soon after filled it with monks. He died at Rathcunge in Tirconnell and was there also buried. [But the time of his Death is no where related, that I know of.  His festival is celebrated on the 27th of April.] Some say this Asicus was an excellent goldsmith and that by his skill he beautyfied the Cathedral with monuments of elegant workmanship. The Author of the Tripartite Life of St Patrick saith that Asicus wrought for St Patrick in brass and that he made for him altars quadrangular, books and quadrangular chalices, one of which was preserved at Armagh, one at Elpbin and one at Domnach mór. After many centuries and a little before the arrival of the English in Ireland this See of Elpbin was enriched with many and large Estates upon the translation of the See of Roscommon to it. I confess I am at a loss to discover at what time the Sees of Ardcarn, Drumclive and others of less note were united and annexed to this. But it is very probable that they were joined either to the See of Elpbin or to that of Roscommon before the arrival of the English. Their Names indeed are not to be found in that Disposition of the Bishopricks of Ireland made in 1152 which I have so often before mentioned and which is strange the See of Elpbin itself is omitted in that Distribution. From whence I cannot but suspect that before the said translation it was for some time annexed to the See of Roscommon. However it is certain that by these unions the See of Elphin came at last to be looked upon as one of the richest of all Ireland and had subject to it about 79 Parish Churches. The foolish common People are silly enough to dream that the name of this place was taken from a huge Stone there to be seen called the Stone of the giant Fin Mac Cool. Others with more probability interpret the name to signifie a stone of a clear transparent fountain, Ail signifying in old Irish a stone and Fin or Fion white. Its name was antiently [sic] Imleach Ona being the Donation of Ono a petty Prince of that Territory to St. Patrick. Flaherty gives an account that this stone fell prostrate to the ground on the 9th of Oclober, 1675 and that the certain day and hour of its falling was foretold by some person who called out witnesses to see it fall. Possibly this was effected by some contrivance of his that he might gain the reputation of a prophet. I find no mention made of any of the Successors of St. Asicus in the See of Elpbin before the arrival of the English except of two viz., Domnald O Dubbai, who was also Bishop of Clonmacnois and died at Clonfert in 1136 or 1137, and Flanachan O Dubhai, who died in 1168."

Sunday, 19 April 2015

National Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Armagh Cathedral

The Irish are very devoted to pilgrimage.  In the Golden Age of Faith the Saints of Ireland undertook Peregrinatio Pro Christo to Heaven-knew-where to bring them the Catholic Faith.  It is a startlingly rare thing to make a pilgrimage to Armagh, the seat of Saint Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, and his successor the Primate of All Ireland, and, in a sense, the spiritual heart and ecclesiastical capital of Ireland.

The present Cathedral, the National Cathedral, as Cardinal Logue called it, was built between 1840 and 1904, the medieval Cathedral having been confiscated during the 16th century.  Historic images of the Cathedral can be seen here.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Latin Mass in Ballinasloe

On Saturday, 28th March, 2015, members and friends of the Catholic Heritage Association made their first pilgrimage to the Diocese of Clonfert culminating in a Latin Mass in St. Michael's Church (1858), Ballinasloe, Co. Galway.  St. Michael's is one of the finest Churches in the Diocese, rivaling the Cathedral of the Diocese, Loughrea, 50 years its junior.