Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saint Ninian of Cloncurry

Dr. Comerford includes the following information on Saint Ninian of Cloncurry, in the modern Parish of Kilcock:

"The Saint chiefly connected with Cloncurry is Ninine, or Monine, whose feast is marked in our calendars at the 16th September. Thus the Martyrology of Tallaght has the entry: "Monenn Cluana Conaire;" and the Martyrology of Donegal, "Maoineann, Bishop of Cluain Conaire, in the north of Ui Failan." Some authorities suppose this saint to have been Ninidh Lamoidhan, or of the pure hand, who attended Saint Brigid when dying; but the weight of authority seems to be in favour of St. Ninian, so celebrated as a missioner in Scotland, in the fourth century; and Archbishop Moran unhesitatingly adopts this opinion. His Grace thus writes in his Irish Saints in Great Britain, p.133:

"It was amongst the Gallgaedhels of Galloway that another ornament of the British Church, St. Ninian, was born, about the year 360. Of this family only two traditions have come down to us: one is the tradition of Scotland, that Ninian was nephew of St. Martin of Tours; the other is a tradition of the Irish Church, preserved by Ussher, that it was in compliance with a request made to him by his mother, that, in his old age, he set out to associate himself with St. Palladius in the conversion of Ireland. We might, perhaps, from this fact, conjecture that she herself belonged to the Gaelic race. Being arrived at the age of manhood, Ninian proceeded to Rome. Alaric had not as yet knocked at the gates of the devoted city. In the full majesty of imperial sway, it was still at the golden height of its wealth and material splendour; and its palaces and forums and public monuments displayed all the profusion of magnificence with which the plunder of the world had enriched the proud mistress of nations. Pope Damasus then ruled the Church of God, and, with the blessings of peace, religion smiled on the seven hills. Silver and gold and precious marbles enriched the Basilicas devoted to Christian worship; the shrines of the martyrs were adorned with the most costly gems; the learning of St. Jerome and St. Ambrose added lustre to its sacred teaching, and Rome was, even then, not only the source of spiritual authority, but also the great centre of religious life, and of the love and affection of the Christian world.

For about twenty years St. Ninian lived in Rome... Being at length consecrated Bishop, he set out for his native Galloway, to merit by his sanctity and missionary labours the title of its chief apostle. On his homeward journey he remained for some time at Marmoutiers, to enjoy the heavenly lessons of wisdom of its great founder, St. Martin of Tours; and Aelred, in his Life of our Saint, mentions that he brought with him from the monastery some skilled masons, by whose aid he desired to erect in his native district a Church on the model of those which he had seen in Italy and France. He chose for its site a sheltered spot on the southern promontory of Galloway… The Church was built of chiselled stone, a style of edifice, as Bede states, till then unknown in N. Britain, from which circumstance it became known as Candida Casa, and in the British language it was called Whitherne, or the White House, which name, Whithorn, it retains to the present day. We learn from Ven. Bede that whilst engaged in erecting this Church, Ninian received intelligence of St. Martin’s death, and so convinced was he of the sanctity of that holy man, that he at once chose him for his patron in his missionary labours, and dedicated the Church to God under his invocation. St. Martin most probably died in the year 402. I need not dwell upon the apostolic labours of St. Ninian. He penetrated into the Pictish territory far beyond the British frontier, and, at his preaching, as Bede attests, many of the southern Picts forsook idolatry and became fervent children of God. He was remarkable, like most of the early Celtic Saints, for his austerities… Like St. Martin, he loved to withdraw himself, from time to time, from the busy world in which he laboured, to renew his spirit by meditation on heavenly things. The cave is still pointed out on the sea-shore of Wigtonshire in Galloway, whither he was wont to retire. It is placed high up in a white lofty precipitous range of rocks, against which the impetuous waves of the stormy Irish sea unceasingly spend their fury. The cave is open to the winds and spray, but runs inward about twenty feet. At the mouth it is twelve feet high and about as many in breadth, and it is only accessible by climbing from rock to rock."

The death of this saint is marked by Scottish writers as having occurred in the year 432; his remains were interred in St. Martin’s Church, and were honoured by many miracles. St. Ninian is commemorated in our Irish calendars on the 16th of September, under the name of Monennio, and it is a very ancient tradition, preserved in the Festology of St. Aengus and other authentic records, that a few years before his death he came to Ireland to aid Palladius, and erected at Cluain Conaire, now Cloncurry, in the north of the present County of Kildare, an oratory and religious institution which reproduced in miniature the great Church and Monastery of Whitherne. Bishop Forbes gives a list of more than sixty Churches, dedicated to him throughout Scotland; and Chalmers, in his Caledonia, writes that "the name of St. Ninian was venerated in every district of Scotland, and in the northern and western Isles."

The Four Masters record the death of an abbot of this Monastery of St. Ninian, in the year 869: "A.D. 869, Colga, son of Maetuile, abbot and anchorite of Cluain-Conaire-Tomain, died." As in the case of Whitherne, so also in that of Cloncurry, St. Ninian appears to have dedicated the Church to St. Martin of Tours conjointly with the B. Virgin."

St. Ninian of Cloncurry, pray for us!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Vienna 1683

Today, the feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary, marks the day, a mere three and a quarter centuries ago, when Christendom breathed a collective sigh of relief at the victory of the Holy League before the gates of Vienna. With this victory, the Holy League had finally halted the second Islamic pincer to enslave Europe.



The first pincer had swept across the whole of Christian North Africa in little more than a generation, from about 632. From North Africa, they advanced steadily into Europe through Iberia. The victory of Charles Martel at Poitiers in 732 checked the Arab advance but it was not until 1492 that Arab forces were finally expelled under the Catholic Monarchs of the Spains.

The second line of advance was contemporary with the first. It swept away the Christian powers of the Near East as it had swept away Christian North Africa and swept them away, never, it seems, to return. For some time, the Crusades checked the relentless tide. However, in 1453, while the Arabs still held parts of Iberia, the Ottoman Turks, already masters of Asia Minor, had captured Constantinople, the capital of the Christian East. Throughout the Mediterranean, nowhere was entirely safe from raids by one Islamic group or another.

With the fall of Constantinople, the Ottomans advanced seadily into the heart of Europe from the East, just as the Arabs had done from the South centuries earlier. Would they succeed now where their co-religionists had failed before? Christian cities fell like dominoes: Belgrade in 1521; Rhodes in 1522; and Buda(pest) in 1526 for the first time. Vienna was beseiged by the Turks in 1526. The Turk would be defeated again at Malta in 1565 and Lepanto in 1571 but Vienna remained a front-line City for more than a century. This is the scene as the Battle for Vienna commences in 1683. In truth, it was a battle for the future of Europe and the survival of Christendom.

The city was invested on 14th July, 1683. Graf von Starhemberg, the Governor of the city, refused to capitulate, which was a wise move, given the wholesale slaughter of the citzens of Perchtoldsdorf when they had surrendered a few days earlier.



Imperial forces under Charles V, Duke of Lorraine, were successfully harrying the forward guard of the beseiging Turks when Jan III Sobieski, elective King of Poland, responded to the appeals from Pope and Emperor to lend his aid to the beleagured Christian forces in Austria. He set out for Vienna in August, his forces marching behind the banner of the Blessed Virgin. Passing by the Sanctuary of Our Lady in Czestochowa, they implored Our Lady's help and blessing. Writing to the bishops of Poland, Pope Pius XII recalled the supplications of Sobieski to Mary at the Sanctuary:

"To the same Heavenly Queen, on Clear Mountain, the illustrious John Sobieski, whose eminent valour freed Christianity from the attacks of its old enemies, confided himself." [Cum iam lustri abeat, 1951]

The Polish army crossed the Danube on 6th September. The massed forces of the Holy League, under the flag of the Crown of Our Lady, identical to that used today for the European Union, assembled on the Kahlenberg Heights above Vienna. A key figure at this point was Friar Mark d'Aviano, confessor to Emperor Leopold I. He preached passionately to the men of the Holy League in his capacity as Papal Legate, ensuring that the Holy League remained united and persevered to victory. After Mass early on the morning of 12th September, 1683, the forces of the Holy League swept down upon the foe. In the aftermath of the victory, the Holy League swept the Turks before them out of Hungary, regaining Buda(pest) in 1686.

In 1513, Pope Julius II had granted a local indult to celebrate the feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary to the diocese of Cuenta in Spain. It was assigned a proper Office. With the reform of the Breviary undertaken by Pope St. Pius V, the feast was abolished, only to be reinstituted by his successor, Pope Sixtus V. The feast spread to the Archdiocese of Toledo by 1622 and, eventually, to all of Spain and to the Kingdom of Naples.

In thanksgiving for the victory, Blessed Innocent XI extended the feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary to the Universal Church, it then being celebrated upon the Sunday after the 8th of September, the feast of Our Lady's Nativity. Pope St. Pius X, by a decree of 8th July, 1908, fixed the feast upon the day of the victory itself.

Blessed be the Most Holy Name of Mary!

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Hallowing of Time

The Catholic Church, both in its wisdom and in its understanding of humanity, has many means of sanctifying time. Today, set between Candlemas, which brought Christmastide to a close, and Septuagesima, which opens the long period of preparation for Easter, is an excellent moment to consider the lesser cycles that sanctify time which are blessed by the Church.

Liturgically, we have Ember Days, seasonal periods of prayer and fasting, or Rogations, the twice-yearly occasions for rogating or imploring the mercy and goodness of God.

We also have the dedication of days and months to particular devotions. One traditional method, for example, dedicates Monday to the Holy Ghost, Tuesday to the Holy Angels, Wednesday to St. Joseph, Thursday to the Blessed Sacrament, Friday to the Sacred Passion, Saturday to Our Lady and Sunday to the Most Holy Trinity. The cycle of Votive Masses in the Missal varies from this formula slightly, dedicating Monday to the Most Holy Trinity and including the Holy Ghost on Thursday, while including the Holy Apostles in the dedication of Wednesday.

Of the days dedicated, the most familiar and the most commonly practised, even in our own day, is the dedication of Saturday to Our Lady. The visions of Simon Stock and the children of Fatima would seem to be confirmation from Heaven of this venerable tradition. However, the origin of the dedication of Saturday seems to originate in the Court of Charles the Great (742-814) with the monk Alcuin of York, who composed two Masses in honour of Our Lady for Saturdays. By the 11th Century, the devotion was well established in the Universal Church when St. Peter Damien famously promoted the devotion and Pope Urban II prescribed prayers to Our Lady on Saturdays for the success of the first Crusade.

The dedication of months is also very traditional and frequently enriched with Indulgences. One traditional method devotes January to the Holy Name of Jesus, March to St. Joseph, May to Our Lady, June to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, July to His Precious Blood, September to the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady, October to the Holy Rosary, November to the Holy Souls, and December to the Holy Infancy. Most of these are derived from liturgical feasts ocurring during the month.

The tradition of special devotions to Our Lady during the month of May can certainly be traced to the High Middle Ages, the Cantigas de Santa Maria of Alfonso X of Castille being frequently cited. The dedication of the entire month to Our Lady may have taken until the 17th Century to be widespread. However, to Pope Clement VIII we owe the custom of the Crowning of Images of Our Lady, now strongly associated with May.

The origin of the dedication of June to the Sacred Heart is less clouded in the mists of history. We owe it to Angéle de Saint Croix, a Parisienne schoolgirl of the 1830s, who was inspired to propose it to the Superioress, not because the feast of the Sacred Heart falls in June, since it is a movable feast dependent upon the timing of Easter, but because Angéle felt that, if Our Lady had a whole month of May, the Sacred Heart should have a whole month of June.

The Superioress recommended her to make the suggestion to the Archbishop when he visited the school the following week. This she did and the Archbishop responded immediately, dedicating the month of June to the Sacred Heart of Jesus throughout the Archdiocese for the joint intentions of the conversion of sinners and the return of France to the practice of the faith. The devotion soon spread and became universal throughout the Church.

In such ways, the Church recommends to the Faithful to dedicate each moment of time to God and to His Angels and Saints, to sanctify time and, by doing so, to sanctify ourselves.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Saint Auxilius of Ireland

Saint Patrick came twice into Kildare. The first occasion was about the year 448. He came south from Meath, passing through Straffan and Clane to Naas. In Naas, he baptised the local Chieftans, Ailill and Illan, sons of Dunling, and Ailill's two daughters, Mogain and Fedelma. The people of the area having converted to the Faith, St. Patrick appointed his nephew, St. Auxilius, as bishop there with his seat at Kilossy, now Kilashee or the Church of Auxilius, a few miles south of Naas.


Continuing his journey to the south, St. Patrick also placed St. Iserninus and Mac Tail as bishops at Old Kilcullen, in the present-day Archdiocese of Dublin. From there he carried on south, founding a Church at Narraghmore and, crossing the River Barrow near Athy, continued his journey as far as Stradbally, in County Laois and the historic Diocese of Leighlin, and then re-crossed the Barrow to the south and west of Rathangan, coming back into the County and Diocese of Kildare, and passing to the North of Newbridge, where a Holy Well is dedicated to him at Barrettstown, he continued to Allen and Kilcock, carrying on north, towards the seat of the High Kings at Tara in Meath.

Thus, although St. Auxilius is not the founder of the Diocese of Kildare - that honour goes to Saint Conleth - he must rank as the first Saint of Kildare.

Rev. Thomas Walsh, in his History of the Irish Hierarchy, states that:

"It is related that Auxilius, Iserninus, and others, received holy orders on the same day that St. Patrick was consecrated - and from the same bishop; these persons are spoken of as his companions on the mission of Ireland. Whether they accompanied him from Rome, or whether they were selected in Gaul, is not easily determined."

"From this district Saint Patrick went to Kildare, where he laid the foundation of several churches, arranged the boundaries of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and left the bishop, Auxilius, at Killossy, and the prelate, Iserninus, at Kilcullen. These transactions are supposed to have taken place about the end of the year 443."

"At this period, our Saint held two synods, in which salutary laws relating to morals and discipline were enacted. The first of these synods is entitled 'The Synod of St. Patrick;' the second bears the title of the Synod of Bishops, of Patrick, Auxilius, and Iserninus."

"In the 24th and 27th canons of the Synod, called that of St. Patrick, Auxilius, and Iserninus, it is ordered that no stranger do baptize, or offer the holy mysteries without the permission of the bishop."

"Killossy, called after St. Auxilius, a nephew of St. Patrick, and son of Restitutus, the Lombard, was bishop here, and assisted St. Patrick in compiling the ordinances by which the Irish church was to be guided. St. Auxilius died on the 27th of August, 455."

The Book of Obits of Christ Church gives the date of his death as: xiv Kal. Nov. S. Auxilius, episcopus et confessor. While he does not appear in the Martyrology of Tallaght, his death is found in the Annals of Ulster for 459 and in the Annals of the Four Masters for the year 454:

"S. Usaille Espucc a Chill Usaille hi Life xxvii August.
Aois Chiost, ceithre céd caocca asé. A hocht fichet do Laoghaire Enda, mac Cathbhadha, décc.
"

This translates into English as:

"St. Usaille, Bishop of Cill Usaille, in Liffe, on the twenty-seventh of August.
The Age of Christ, 456. The twenty-eight year of Laoghaire. Enda, son of Cathbhadh, died.
"

To put this into context, at the time that St. Auxilius died at Kilashee, about the year 450, both St. Conleth and St. Brigid were born, St. Patrick would live about another ten years, St. Peter Chrysologus had just died (31st July, 450), Laoghaire II Mac Néill (d. 462) was still High King of Ireland, Valentinian III was Emperor in Constantinople (r. 425-454), and St. Leo the Great was Pope (r. 440-461).

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Great Feast Day of Our Lady in Autumn

Today is known in the Irish Language as Lá Fhéile Mór Naomh Muire san Fhómhar, which is to day, the Great Feast Day of Our Lady in Autumn (or perhaps in Harvest Time).

During the long centuries of persecution, it was necessary for Irishmen to flee from their own country to preserve their Faith and their Culture, a Catholic Gaelic Heritage that was so intimately interwoven that the loss of Christian Gaelic Culture, they felt, would represent the loss of one of the Providential gifts to mankind and to the Church.

They fled abroad to Colleges such as Louvain and Rome, which still maintain links with Ireland to this day. The character of these clerics was not uniform, of course. Many became infected with Jansenism. Discipline was a problem, especially given that one custom was for persecuted Bishops in Ireland to ordain men before sending them to the Continental Seminaries, so that they could support themselves by means of Mass stipends.

One Priest who sought to root out this practice was Fr. Andrew Dunlevy (1680-1746) of the Collège des Lombards, Paris. In 1742, he published An Teagasg Críosduidhe do reir ceasada agus freagartha (The Cathecism or Christian Doctrine by way of question and answer) in order to supply the dire wants of the faithful back in Ireland, who were deprived of Priests, Sacraments, Catholic education and any form of Church organisation under the bitter persecution of English Heretics.

An appendix contained "‘an abridgement of the Christian doctrine in rhymed Irish, composed upwards of an Age ago by the zealous and learned F. Bonaventure Ó hEoghusa of the Order of S. Francis; and also with the elements of the Irish language, in favour of such as would fain learn to read it; and thereby be useful to their Neighbour."

The author mourns that Irish is "on the Brink of Utter Decay, to the great dishonour and shame of the Natives, who shall always pass every where for Irishmen, Although Irishmen without Irish is an incongruity, and a great bull. Besides, the Irish Language is undeniably a very ancient Mother-Language, and one of the smoothest in Europe, no way abounding in monosyllables, nor clogged with rugged consonants ... And there is still extant a great number of old valuable Irish manuscripts, both in publick and private hands, which would, if translated and published, give great light into antiquities of the Country, and furnish some able pen with materials enough, to write a compleat history of the Kingdom; What a discredit then must it be to the whole Nation, to let such a Language go to wrack ..."

In one section of Fr.
Ó hEoghusa's rhymed
catechism, on the subject
of Faith by Scripture alone,
we read:

Bheith d’ go Mhuire riamh ‘na hóigh,
Baisdeach leanbh gur chóir do grés,
Bheith ar an nDomhnach don Cháisg –
San scrioptúir, fós, cáit ‘nar légh?


This translates as:

That Mary was always a virgin;
That a child should always be baptised;
That Easter falls always on a Sunday,
Where did you read this in Scripture?

May the Gaels of today be worthy of their ancestors and their magnificent Gaelic and Catholic Heritage!

*The painting in this post is the Assumption, c. 1655, by Matteo Cerezo (1635-1685) that is today housed in the del Prado in Madrid, where a good deal of his work is to be found.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

St. Garbhan of Clonshambo and Athgarvan

Regarding Clonshambo in the Parish of Kilcock, Dr. Comerford tells us:

Cluain-seann-both, i.e., "the meadow of the old tent or hut"); this parish may have derived its name from the hermit’s cell of one of the saints who made it their abode. St. Garbhan, brother of St. Kevin of Glendalough, was culted here on the 14th of May. In the Life of St. Kevin it is related that at one time he was inclined to wander about as a pilgrim, but St. Garbhan (probably of Clonshanbo) prevented him by observing that "it was not by flying, birds hatched their eggs.

The patron saint of this district is St. German; the parochial register has "Parochia Sti. Germani de Clonshanbo;" and in Bishop MacGeoghegan’s list of parish churches, compiled about 1640, we find Ecclesia Sti. Germani de Cluenseannbo set down.

Which of the saints of that name was patron here it is not easy to determine. St. Patrick having preached the Gospel in this locality, gives probability to the supposition, that St. German, Bishop of Auxerre, the great spiritual guide under whose direction our National Saint prepared himself for the future Apostleship of Ireland, some say, for 14 years, others, for so many as 30 years, - is meant. Another opinion is that St. German, nephew of St. Patrick, who helped him in his missionary labours, and was afterwards the first Bishop of the Isle of Man, was the saint honoured at Clonshanbo. There is yet another theory on this subject. In the Life of St. Ciaran of Saighar, mention is made of a holy hermit named Geaman, or Gemman, who is called German by Colgan, and is identical with a bard of that name "who lived in Leinster, near the confines of Meath."

It is related that St. Columba, after receiving the Holy Order of Deaconship in the monastery of St. Finian of Mohill, set out for Leinster, and became a pupil of this Gemman, then advanced in years, and after passing some time with him, he entered the monastic school of Clonard (Loca. Patr., p.298). Between these three the choice seems to lie. The second-name is honoured in the Martyrology of Tallaght, at the 30th of July: German MacGuill."

Regarding Athgarvan in the Parish of Newbridge, he also relates

Father Shearman (Loca Patr. Gen. Tab. 10p.180) surmises that the name of this place may be derived from St. Garbhan (Ath-Garbhan, i.e., “the Ford of Garbhan”), nephew of St. Finnan of Clonard, and kinsman of St. Kevin of Glendalough. This Saint, whose feast was assigned to May 14th, was identified also with Clonshambo, as already stated in the Paper on Kilcock."

St. Garbhan of Clonshambo and Athgarvan, pray for us!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Latin Mass for 200th Anniversary of St. Brigid's Church, Milltown, Co. Kildare

We were privileged to be invited to join the celebrations for the 200th Anniversary of St. Brigid's Church, Milltown, Co. Kildare, by organising a Traditional Latin Mass there last Sunday, 9th July, 2017, Fifth Sunday after Pentecost.  The Vestments, Altar Cards and Missal used were those that had been used in that Church for decades and had happily been preserved.  The Rite of Mass was ever ancient, ever new, the Rite that found its home there for 150 of the Church's 200 years.

It was a very special occasion for our own Association too, marking, almost to the day, the 10th Anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI's Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum, and the 9th Anniversary of our very first pilgrimage, which started with a Traditional Latin Mass in St. Brigid's after which the intrepid pioneers walked to the nearby Fr. Moore's Well and then across the Curragh of Kildare, St. Brigid's pasture, to Kildare, town of St. Brigid, and finally to her well at Tully.

Many thanks to the people of Milltown for making us so welcome.








To conclude, and courtesy of the Milltown Heritage Center, this picture of St. Brigid's Church c. 1960, showing the beautiful traditional Sanctuary as it was then.


Friday, June 30, 2017

Bicentenary Pilgrimage to Milltown


St. Brigid's Church, Milltown, Co. Kildare, was erected in 1817 "...by Rev. John Lawler, P.P., and the subscriptions of the faithful..." Dr. Comerford tells us in Vol. 2 of his Collections relating to the Dioceses of Kildare and Leighlin under the entry for the Parish of Allen.  On Sunday, 9th July, at 3.30 p.m., there will be a Traditional Latin Mass in St. Brigid's Church to mark that Bicentenary.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

National Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Armagh 2017

To mark the 10th Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum the Catholic Heritage Association of Ireland made our second pilgrimage to St. Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh.  A report of the first pilgrimage can be read here.  It was a truly National Pilgrimage with members coming from Antrim, Armagh, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Limerick, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Wexford and Wicklow - the Four Provinces of Ireland all represented - to assist at Holy Mass and attend our Annual General Meeting held afterwards in the Synod Hall attached to the Cathedral.

However, one element of the pilgrimage above all made it a most blessed occasion, the presence of His Eminence Seán, Cardinal Brady, Archbishop Emeritus of Armagh, to celebrate the Mass.  In his homily, Cardinal Brady reminded the congregation that the Traditional Latin Mass had been the Mass of his Altar service, of his First Communion and Confirmation, and of his Ordination and his First Mass.  He also reminded us that this day, the feast of St. John the Baptist, was his own feast day.  Cardinal Brady is to attend the Consistory on 28th June with Our Holy Father, Pope Francis.  His Eminence was assisted by Fr. Aidan McCann, C.C., who was ordained in the Cathedral only two years ago.  It was a great privilege and joy for the members and friends of the Catholic Heritage Association to share so many grace-filled associations with Cardinal Brady and Fr. McCann and the Armagh Cathedral community.
















Monday, June 19, 2017

St. Senchel of Clane and Killeigh

St. Sinell, or Senchell, one of the most distinguished ecclesiastics of his time, founded a Monastery of Killeigh at the beginning of the sixth century. This monastery became afterwards known as the Priory of the Holy Cross of Canons Regular of St. Augustine. St. Senchell, who is stated to have been St. Patrick’s first convert, was the son of Kennfinnain, and grandson of Inchad, or Finchada, of the royal blood of Leinster (Colgan, Trias. Thaum.) The father of the saint was ninth in descent from Cathair Mor, monarch of Ireland. In both the Martyrology of Tallaght and the Feiliré, St. Aengus notes the 5th of April as the Feast of the first Baptism conferred by St. Patrick in Ireland: —“Baptisma Patricii venit ad Hiberniam.” (Mart. Tall.)

“Excellent Patrick’s baptism was kindled in Ireland.” (Feiliré.) On this latter the gloss in the Leabhar Breac adds, “i. Smell, son of Finchad of the Ui-Garrchon, he is the first person Patrick baptised in Ireland.” It is related that St. Ailbe, of Emly, presented him a cell, in which he had himself lived for some time, at Cluain Damh (now Clane, County Kildare). We find St. Senchell afterwards at Killeigh, where he founded a monastery, which in course of time became very celebrated. In order to distinguish him from another St. Senchell, a relative of his, who lived with him at Killeigh (and who is styled Bishop in the litany of St. Aengus), he is usually called senior.

Having lived to a good old age, he died on the 26th of March, AD 549, in his monastery at Killeigh, and was interred there. Petrie states that St Kieran and the two Senchells died of the Plague which raged in 549.

In the litany of St. Aengus Ceile De, written in AD. 799, we have evidence of the celebrity and holiness to which this religious establishment had attained. “Thrice fifty holy bishops with twelve pilgrims, under Senchell the elder, a priest; Senchell the younger, a bishop; and the twelve bishops who settled ia Cill Achaidh Dromfota in Hy Failghi. These are the names of the bishops of Cill Achaidh: —Three Budocis, three Canocis, Morgini, six Vedgonis, six Beaunis, six Bibis, nine Glonalis, nine Ercocinis, nine Grucimnis, twelve Uennocis, twelve Contumanis, twelve Onocis, Senchilli, Britanus from Britain, Cerrui, from Armenia. All these I invoke unto my aid through Jesus Christ.” And again: —“ The twelve Conchennaighi, with the two Senchells in Cill Achaidh, I invoke unto my aid through Jesus Christ.” (IE. Record, May, 1867.) The learned editor of this litany (which he copied from a MS. in the archives of St. Isidore’s at Rome), in a note on the eight monastic rules of the early Irish Saints extant, writes as follows “We may add that we have ourselves discovered another, some-what different from these, in the St. Isidore MS. from which this litany is published, and we regret that want of space alone prevents us from laying it before our readers. It is entitled— The Pious Rules and Practices of the School of Senchil. This was Senchil, surnamed the Elder. The Rules and Practices are 38 in number. When we say that an ardent desire of hearing, and offering up the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and frequent confession were amongst the rules and practices of a school which was celebrated in the first half of the sixth century, we have said enough to prove under what system of education Ireland became ‘another name for piety, and learning in most of the languages of Europe.”

The Irish Annalists relate that in the year 1163 “Glendalough was burned with the house of Kieran, the house of Kevin, and the Church of the two Senchells.” Commenting on this passage, Petrie writes “I am disposed to conclude that the unnamed Church to the S. of St. Kevin’s house (at Glendalough) is that called by the Annalists “The Regles of the two Senchells.’ I may add that we may infer, with every appearance of probability, that all these buildings were of contemporaneous age, and that, if not erected by the persons whose names they bore, those called after St. Kieran and the two Senchells were erected by St. Kevin in their honour, as, though they were all contemporaneous, and Kevin was the dearest friend of Kieran of Clonmacnoise, he survived both him and the Senchells more than sixty years, having lived, according to Tighernagh, to the extraordinary age of 129.” (Petrie’s Round Towers, p. 436.)

ANNALS OF KILLEIGH

AD. 548. St. Senchell the Elder, son of Ceanannan, Abbot of Cill-Achaidh-Droma-foda, died on the 26th day of March. Thirty and three hundred years was the length of his life. (Four Masters.) Colgan (AL SS., p. 747), thinks this number should be one hundred and thirty. In the Mart. Tal. we find at 26th March, “Sinchelli, Abb. Chilli Achaidh; and at 25th June, “Sinchell Cilli Achaidh.” The former refers to St. Senchell, Senior, the latter to St. Senchell, Junior.

The Feiliré makes the 26th of March the “Feast of the two perennial Sinchells of vast Cill Achid;” to which entry the gloss in the Leabhar Breac adds

“Three hundred years—fine satisfaction! That was (the elder) Siachelfs lifetimeAnd thrice ten years brightlyWithout sin, without sloth.”

26 March. Sincheall, Abbot of Cill-achaidh-dromfota, i.e., the old Sincheall. It was of him this character was given after his death: -

“The men of heaven, the men of earth,
A surrounding host,
Thought that the day of judgment
Was the Death of Seancheall.

There came not, there will not come from Adam,
One more austere, more strict in piety;
There came not, there will not come, all say it,
Another Saint more welcome to the men of heaven.”— (The Martyrology of Donegal)

From Dr. Comerford's Collections relating to the Dioceses of Kildare and Leighlin

St. Senchel of Clane and Killeigh, pray for us!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

St. Coca of Kilcock

Dr. Comerford's entry on the Parish of Kilcock begins thus:

"Derives its name from St. Coca, virgin, whose chief feast was celebrated on the 6th of June. We find her name calendared in the Martyrology of Donegal also, at the 8th January: "Cuach, virgin, of Cil-Cuaigh in Cairbre na Ciardha;" and again, in the same, under date April 29th : "Coningen, i. Cuach i. Ci Finn Maighi." A gloss on this passage states that the maiden Coinengean, or Cuach, was the pupil or Daltha of Mac Tail, Bishop of Kilcullen. She is stated to have been sister of St. Kevin of Glendalough, of St. Attracta, and other saints. (See Loca Patr.,p. 150.note.) Colgan, it should be added, considers that this was a different person from the Patron Saint of Kilcock. In the life of St. Ciaran of Saighir, it is stated that "he used to go to the sea rock that was far distant in the sea (where his nurse, i,e., Coca, was), without ship or boat, and used to return again." St. Coca was identified with this locality from a very early date... The Holy Well of the Saint, called Tubbermohocca, stood in what is now an enclosed yard in the town."

The well of St. Coca, which appears to have been in the yard of what was the Christian Brothers' Monastery in the Square, seems to have been covered over some time in the nineteenth century.

Tradition has it that St. Coca embroidered vestments for Saint Colmcille.

St. Coca of Kilcock, pray for us!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

St. Farnan of Downings

Most Rev. Dr. Comerford, in his entry for the Parish of Caragh and Downings in his historical work on the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, gives us the following information on St. Farnan of Downings:

"Here are the ruins of an old Church, measuring, according to Father O’ Hanlon (Lives I.S.S. 2, p. 564.) 42 ½ feet by 16. Tradition states that this Church occupies the site of the cell of St. Farnan, whose feast occurs in the Irish Calendar on the 15th of February. This Saint flourished in the sixth century, and was descended from King Niall of the Nine Hostages. Beside the ancient cemetery is the Well of St. Farnan; and it possesses - so the local story goes - the valuable property, imparted to it by the blessing of the Saint, that those who drank of it never afterwards have any relish for intoxicating drinks. The Dun from which this place probably takes its name (Dooneens, “the little fort,”) may still be seen a short distance from the village of Prosperous, on the left of the road to Caragh. The only doubt about its being so arises from the fact that, instead of being small, it, on the contrary, is one of considerable dimensions."

St. Farnan of Downings, pray for us!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

St. Laserian of Leighlin

About a century after Ss. Brigid and Conleth Patrons of Kildare lived St. Laserian or Molaise Patron of Leighlin. Today is the 1,371st (or 1,372nd) anniversary of his birth to heaven.

Revd. Fr. Lanigan, D.D., in his An Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, Vol. II, p. 402 ff., 1829 Ed., states:

St. Laserian, the other great supporter of the new Paschal computation, was, it is said, (57) son of Cairel a nobleman of Ulster and of Gemma daughter of Aiden king of the British Scots. (58) The year of his birth is not known (59); and the early part of his life is involved in obscurity. According to one account he was a disciple of Fintau Munnu, while another places him under an abbot Murin. (60) When arrived at a mature age, he is said to have proceeded to Rome, and to have remained there for 14 years. (6l) Then we are told that he was ordained priest by Pope Gregory the great, and soon after returned to Ireland. Coming to Leighlin (Old Leighlin) he was most kindly received by St. Gobban, who there governed a monastery. This saint conceived such a high opinion of Laserian that he gave up to him his establishment, and went to erect a monastery elsewhere. (62) Laserian is said to have had 150O monks under him at Leighlin. (63) About the year 63O he went again to Rome, probably as chief of the deputation sent by the heads of the Southern clergy after the synod of Maghlene, (64) and was there consecrated bishop by the then Pope, Honorius I. (65) After his return to Ireland, in or about 633, he greatly contributed towards the final settlement of the Paschal question in the South, (66) which he survived only a few years, having died in 639 (67) on the 18th of April. This saint was buried in his own church at Leighlin, and his memory has been greatly revered in the province of Leinster. (68)

(57) The Bollandists have (at 18 April) a Life of Laserian or Lasrean, which, they say, was written after the year 1100. They jiv.tly observe, that it is a confused tract and often not worthy of credit. He is sometimes called Molossius or Molaissus, latinized from Mo and Laisre his real name, in the same manner as his nanlesake of Devcnish was so called, with whom he must not (as has been done by Hanmer, p. 123, new ed.) be confounded. (See Not. 124 to Chap, xn.)
(58) Ware (Antiq. cap. 29. and Bishops at Leighlin) says, that Laserian was son of Cairel de Blitha. Harris (Bishops) translates by Blitha; and perhaps this was Ware's meaning; for his account of this saint differs in many respects from that of the Life published by the Bollandists. For instance, according to Ware, his mother was daughter of a king of the Picts.
(59) The Bollandists supposed, (Comment. praev.) but without any authority, that he was born about 566. This conjecture is connected with a huge mistake of theirs, of which lower down, in stating that Fintan Munnu was then a monk in Hy.
(60) The Bollandist Life makes Fintan his master. But it is probable that Laserian was nearly as old as Fintan, who was young at the time of Columbkill's death in 597. In the account of the contest between them at Whitefield there is no allusion to this discipleship. According to Ware, Laserian studied under Murin, until he set out for Rome. Who this Murin was Ware does not tell us. He could not have been St. Murus of Fahen, (in Donegal!) who flourished about the middle of the seventh century. Perhaps the person meant by the name of Murin was Murgenius abbot of Glean-Ussen ; (see Chap. xiv. §. 11.) and there is reason to think, that Laserian studied rather in the South, where the clergy were inclined to receive the Roman cycle, than in the North where it was violently opposed.
(61) Ware agrees with the Life as to these 14 years spent at Rome. The Bollandists think that, instead of fourteen, we ought to read four.
(62) Colgan was of opinion (AA. SS. p. 750) that this was the Gobban who governed a church at [Kill-Lamhraighea, a place in the West of Ossory, viz. after having left Leighlin, and who was buried at Clonenagh. Archdall (at Leighlin) refers to Colgan and Usher as if placing the death of Gobban in 639, although Usher says nothing about him, nor does Colgan even mention his name in the page referred to.
(63) See Not. 36.
(64) Ib. I wish the account of Laserian's having been at Rome in the time of Gregory the Great were as well founded as that of his mission thither after the synod of Magh-lene.
(65) Usher, p. 938. Ware, Antiq. cap. 29.
(66) See Not. 36.
(67) Annals of Innisfallen. (68) Ware, loc. cit.

Revd. Fr. Walsh, in his History of the Irish Hierarchy, p. 149 ff., 1854 Ed., writes:

"In the year 616, St. Gobhan founded a celebrated abbey at old Leighlin. About the year 630, a synod of the clergy was held in St. Gobhan's abbey, to debate on the proper time for the celebration of Easter, which was attended by most of the superiors of all the religious houses in Ireland. In 632, St. Gobhan, entertaining a high opinion of Laserian, who supported the Roman custom of celebrating Easter, gave him up his abbey at old Leighlin, and went elsewhere to found another. He is said to have ruled over fifteen hundred monks; they supported themselves by manual labor; and by reason of their numbers and the fertile district in which they had been situated, were enabled to receive a greater complement of students and inmates than many of the other institutions of the country. The schools of old Leighlin held a high rank among the literary establishments of Ireland, in the 7th century. The fame which it acquired in foreign countries, as well as in Ireland, attracted such numbers of students and of religious persons to its halls, that old Leighlin soon became a town of great note, and the surrounding district was usually called the territory of saints and scholars.

"St. Laserian, the first bishop and founder of this see, was the son of Cairel, a nobleman of Ulster, and of Gemma, daughter of Aiden, king of the British Scots. The time of his birth is unknown, and the early portion of his life is involved in obscurity. By some he is said to have been the disciple of Fintan Munnu, and by another account to have been instructed by an abbot Murin.

"Having arrived at maturity, he is said to have travelled to Rome, and there sojourned fourteen years —ordained priest by Gregory the Great, and to have returned shortly after to Ireland. Having been sent to Rome about 630, probably as head of the deputation from the southern clergy after the synod of old Leighlin, he was consecrated bishop by Pope Honorius I., and made legate of Ireland. Having returned to Ireland he founded the see, A.D. 632, and previously to his death, which occurred on the 18th of April, 639, he was a chief instrument in finally settling the question of the Easter controversy, in the south of Ireland. In the same year died St. Gohhan, founder of the abbey."

Revd. Fr. Alban Butler, in his The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints, Vol. IV, p. 176 ff., 1866 Ed., tells us:
"Laserian was son of Cairel and Blitha, persons of great distinction, who intrusted his education, from his infancy, to the Abbot St. Murin. He afterwards travelled to Rome in the days of Pope Gregory the Great, by whom he is said to have been ordained priest. Soon after his return to Ireland, he visited Leighlin, a place situated a mile and a half westward of the river Barrow, where St. Goban was then abbot, who, resigning to him his abbacy, built a little cell for himself and a small number of monks. A great synod being soon after assembled there, in the White Fields, St. Laserian strenuously maintained the Catholic time of celebrating Easter against St. Munnu. This council was held in March 630. But St. Laserian not being able to satisfy in it all his opponents, took another journey to Rome, where Pope Honorius ordained him bishop, without allotting him any particular see, and made him his legate in Ireland. Nor was his commission fruitless: for, after his return, the time of observing Easter was reformed in the south parts of Ireland. St. Laserian died on the 18th of April, 638, and was buried in his own church which he had founded. In a synod held at Dublin, in 1330, the feasts of St. Patrick, St Laserian, St. Bridget, St. Canic, and St. Edan, are enumerated among the double festivals through the province of Dublin. St. Laserian was the first bishop of Old Leighlin, now a village.— New Leighlin stands on the eastern bank of the river Barrow See Ware, p. 54, and Colgan's MSS. on the 18th of April."

St. Laserian of Leighlin pray for us!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

2017 Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Kilshanroe

January also included a first-time Pilgrimage to the Church of the Holy Family, Kilshanroe, Co. Meath, in the Parish of Carbury.  Dr. Comerford's entry on Carbury can be read here.  The Churcho f the Holy Family is a relatively modern Church serving the northern end of the Parish on the road between Edenderry and Johnstownbridge.  We were given a great welcome by Priests and people and after Mass were shown the footprint of the old cruciform Church that remains in the Churchyard next to the modern Church.








Sunday, January 22, 2017

2017 Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Allen

As has become customary, we began our pilgrimage year visiting the Church of the Holy Trinity, Allen, Co. Kildare. You can see reports of previous pilgrimages here and here. The Parish's entry in Dr. Comerford's Collections relating to the Dioceses of Kildare and Leighlin can be found here. It was written before the erection of the present splendid Church.





Monday, September 26, 2016

Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Carlow Cathedral for the Year of Mercy

On Ember Saturday, 24th September, members and friends of St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association made a pilgrimage to Carlow Cathedral.  Accounts of previous pilgrimages can be found here: 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2013, 2012, 2011.






Saturday, July 9, 2016

Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Rathangan 2016

Almost seven years after our first pilgrimage to Rathangan, which took place during the Holy Year for Priests (see here) the members and friends of St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association returned for a traditional Latin Mass during the Holy Year of Mercy.



The following article was contained in the 1956 Year Book of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin: 

Rathangan Builds 
The New Church and Schools are a Credit to Ireland 

 On Sunday, 6th November, 1956, the little town of Rathangan, by the River Spate, with a proud past that can be traced back well over a thousand years, added one more page to an illustrious history of Catholic devotion. For this memorable day witnessed a twin triumphant accomplishment, the laying of the foundation stone of the new Church of the Assumption by his Lordship, Most Rev. Dr. Keogh, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, and the blessing and opening of Rathangan's new schools named in honour of Saint Brigid.

Speaking with characteristic sincerity Most Rev. Dr. Keogh paid tribute to the priests, nuns, and faithful to whose devotion and self-sacrifice the new Church and Schools present so lasting a monument. "The people have dona a grand work in building their Church, the laying of the foundation stone of which symbolises that Christ and Christ's teaching should be the foundation stone of our lives."

And so, almost two hundred and fifty years from the year in which the first humble Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin was built in Rathangan, and one hundred and forty years from the founding of its successor, St. Patrick's Church, this second Church dedicated to the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady into Heaven is rearing its graceful lines to the sky.

The site upon which the new Church and Schools were destined to stand were donated by the local Order of Mercy nuns. Most Rev. Dr. Keogh visited these sites on Monday, 14th February, 1955. One week later fundamental operations were under way. Building started on May 16th. on the 6th November of 1955, the Feast of all Saints of Eire, "under the invocation also of St. Patrick," the cornerstone was solemnly blessed and laid. Already progress is well in evidence, and it seems a foregone conclusion that this beautifully planned Church will be completed well within the scheduled period of 15 to 18 months.

Designed in the Irish traditional style the Church will cost £60,000 and accommodate a congregation of four figures. One hundred and ninety feet long, sixty feet wide, and fifty two feet high, it will be graced with a belfry rising to an imposing height of one hundred and twelve feet. Its front elevation shows a dignified proportioned piece of architecture with gentle, graceful lines, the whole effect in perfect taste and symmetry.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Allen 2016

We started the year well, with a pilgrimage to Allen, Co. Kildare, a spot rich in Catholic heritage.  For us, it is the home place and burial place of one of our founder members - it is a holy and a wholesome thing to remember our debt to deceased members.

At the Hill of Allen we have a traditional residence of Fionn MacCumhail, the son-in-law of King Cormac MacAirt, the greatest of the High Kings of Ireland, who, by a happy inspiration, renounced the Pagan Gods and embraced the One True God, even before the arrival of Saint Patrick.  Sir Samuel Ferguson's poem gives the account:

"Crom Cruach and his sub-gods twelve,"
 Said Cormac "are but carven treene;
 The axe that made them, haft or helve,
 Had worthier of our worship been.

"But He who made the tree to grow,
 And hid in earth the iron-stone,
 And made the man with mind to know
 The axe's use, is God alone."

Anon to priests of Crom was brought —
Where, girded in their service dread,
They minister'd on red Moy Slaught —
Word of the words King Cormac said.

They loosed their curse against the king;
They cursesd him in his flesh and bones;
And daily in their mystic ring
They turn'd the maledictive stones,

Till, where at meat the monarch sate,
Amid the revel and the wine,
He choked upon the food he ate,
At Sletty, southward of the Boyne.

High vaunted then the priestly throng,
And far and wide they noised abroad
With trump and loud liturgic song
The praise of their avenging God.

But ere the voice was wholly spent
That priest and prince should still obey,
To awed attendants o'er him bent
Great Cormac gather'd breath to say, —

"Spread not the beds of Brugh for me
When restless death-bed's use is done:
But bury me at Rossnaree
And face me to the rising sun.

"For all the kings who lie in Brugh
Put trust in gods of wood and stone;
And 'twas at Ross that first I knew
One, Unseen, who is God alone.

"His glory lightens from the east;
His message soon shall reach our shore;
And idol-god, and cursing priest
Shall plague us from Moy Slaught no more."

Dead Cormac on his bier they laid: —
"He reign'd a king for forty years,
And shame it were," his captains said, 
"He lay not with his royal peers."

"His grandsire, Hundred-Battle, sleeps
Serene in Brugh: and, all around,
Dead kings in stone sepulchral keeps
Protect the sacred burial ground.

"What though a dying man should rave
Of changes o'er the eastern sea?
In Brugh of Boyne shall be his grave,
And not in noteless Rossnaree."

Then northward forth they bore the bier,
And down from Sletty side they drew,
With horsemen and with charioteer,
To cross the fords of Boyne to Brugh.

There came a breath of finer air
That touch'd the Boyne with ruffling wings,
It stir'd him in his sedgy lair 
And in his mossy moorland springs.

And as the burial train came down
With dirge and savage dolorous shows,
Across their pathway, broad and brown
The deep, full-hearted river rose;

From bank to bank through all his fords,
'Neath blackening squalls he swell'd and boil'd;
And thrice the wondering gentile lords 
Essay'd to cross, and thrice recoil'd.

Then forth stepp'd grey-hair'd warriors four:
They said, "Through angrier floods than these,
On link'd shields once our king we bore
From Dread-Spear and the hosts of Deece."

"And long as loyal will holds good,
And limbs respond with helpful thews,
Nor flood, nor fiend within the flood,
Shall bar him of his burial dues."

With slanted necks they stoop'd to lift;
They heaved him up to neck and chin;
And, pair and pair, with footsteps swift,
Lock'd arm and shoulder, bore him in.

'Twas brave to see them leave the shore;
to mark the deep'ning surges rise,
And fall subdued in foam before 
The tension of their striding thighs.

'Twas brave, when now a spear-cast out,
Breast-high the battling surges ran;
For weight was great, and limbs were stout,
And loyal man put trust in man.

But ere they reach'd the middle deep,
Nor steadying weight of clay they bore,
Nor strain of sinewy limbs could keep
Their feet beneath the swerving four.

And now they slide, and now they swim,
And now, amid the blackening squall,
Grey locks aloat, with clutching grim,
They plunge around the floating pall.

While, as a youth with practiced spear
Through justling crowds bears off the ring,
Boyne from their shoulders caught the bier
And proudly bore away the king.

At morning, on the grassy marge
Of Rossnaree, the corpse was found,
And shepherds at their early charge
Entomb'd it in the peaceful ground.

A tranquil spot: a hopeful sound
Comes from the ever youthful stream,
And still on daisied mead and mound
The dawn delays with tenderer beam.

Round Cormac Spring renews her buds:
In march perpetual by his side,
Down come the earth-fresh April floods,
And up the sea-fresh salmon glide;

And life and time rejoicing run
From age to age their wonted way;
But still he waits the risen Sun,
For still 'tis only' dawning Day.




Allen was the seat of the Bishops of Kildare in hiding during the Penal Era.  Bishop Comerford in his Collections quotes from a letter of Bishop Doyle of Kildare and Leighlin from 6th July, 1823:

“I am here placed in the centre of an immense bog, which takes its name from a small hill under whose declivity the chapel and house are built, where I now write. What perhaps interests me most in the wide and vast expanse of the Bog of Allen is, that it afforded, for nearly two centuries, a place of refuge to the apostolic men who have gone before me in preaching the faith, and administering the sacraments to a people in every respect worthy of such pastors. The haunts and retreats frequented by the Bishops of Kildare in the times of persecution are still pointed out by aged inhabitants of these marshes with a sort of pride mingled with piety; and they say-‘There he administered Confirmation; here he held an assembly of the clergy; on that hill he ordained some young priests, whom he sent to France to Spain, to Italy; and we remember, or we heard, how he lived in yonder old walls in common with the young priests whom he prepared for the mission. He sometimes left us with a staff in his hand, and being absent months, we feared he would never return; but he always came back, until he closed his days amongst us. Oh! If you saw him; he was like St. Patrick himself.’ What think you, my dear friend, must be my reflections on hearing of the danger, and labours, and virtues of these good men, and what a reproach to my own sloth, and sensuality, and pride! They of whom the world was not worthy, and who went about in fens and morasses, in nakedness, and thirst, and hunger, and watching, and terror, will be witnesses against me for not using to the best advantage the blessings which their merits have obtained from God for their children. Their spirit, indeed, seems to dwell here, and in those remote and uncultivated districts there are found a purity and simplicity of morals truly surprising. From five to six o’ clock this morning the roads and fields were covered with poor people, young and old, healthy and infirm, hurrying to see the Bishop, and assist at his Mass, and hear his instructions. They thought he should be like those saints whom they had seen or heard of to have gone before him”

Allen was the parish where the famous Father Moore ministered towards the end of that Era and was killed in hatred of his Priesthood on 12th March, 1826, aged 47 years, and where his healing ministry continues at the nearby Father Moore's Well to this day.

The first Mass in the present magnificent Church was celebrated on Easter Sunday, 1872.  Despite being one of the gems of Church architecture in the Diocese - recently magnificently restored - it is barely mentioned by Bishop Comerford, the great historian of the Diocese.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mass for Persecuted Christians in the Middle East 2015

For the second year a Mass for Persecuted Christians in the Middle East was organised by the Catholic Heritage Association in Cill Mhuire, Newbridge, Co. Kildare.