Monday, 15 August 2016

The titular patrons of Churches in the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora

Galway Cathedral was consecrated on 15th August, 1965.  Under the rubrics of the Gregorian Rite it is a I class feast throughout the Diocese.  The Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora consists of thirty-nine parishes, grouped into five deaneries, covering parts of counties Galway, Clare and Mayo.

It is not surprising that the devotion of the Irish people to Our Lady is giving a very concrete expression in the patronage of Churches in the Diocese.

Our Lord
Eight Churches have titles dedicated to Our Lord: Church of the Resurrection, Ballinfoyle; Good Shepherd Church, Doughiska Road; Sacred Heart Church, Seamus Quirke Road, Christ the King, Salthill; Corpus Christi, Lisdoonvarna; the Holy Family, Mervue; Séipéal an Ioncolaithe, Rosmuc; The Nativity, Kilchreest.

Our Lady
Twenty Churches are dedicated to Our Lady under various titles, including the Assumption three times, the Immaculate Conception six times and Our Lady of Lourdes twice: Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven & St Nicholas; The Assumption and Saint James, Claregalway; An Deastógáil, Camus; Immaculate Conception, Moycullen; Immaculate Conception, Oranmore; Immaculate Conception, Oughterard; Immaculate Conception, Glencorrib; Immaculate Conception, Collinamuck; Church of the Immaculate Conception, Lahinch; Our Lady of Lourdes, Toovahera; Ban Tiarna Lourdes agus Naomh Colmcille, Leitirmóir; Saint Mary on the Hill, Claddagh; Our Lady of the Valley, Glann; Mary Immaculate Queen, Barna; Immaculate Heart of Mary, Killanin; the Annunciation, Clarinbridge; Holy Rosary, Doolin; Cill Mhuire, Na Minna; Holy Family, Mervue; Church of Our Lady & St Michael, Ennistymon

The Saints
Of the Saints having Churches in the Diocese dedicated to them, St. Columba and St. Colman are joint favourites with five each: Saint Columba, Castlegar; Saint Columba, Kilbeacanty; Saint Columba, Carron; Church of St Columba, Clouna; Ban Tiarna Lourdes agus Naomh Colmcille, Leitirmóir; Saint Colman, Ballinderreen; Saint Colman, Craughwell; Saint Colman, Gort Saint Colman, Tierneevan; Saint Colman, Kinvara.

Saint Joseph is next with five dedications (including the Holy Family): Saint Joseph, Maree; Saint Joseph, Presentation Road; Saint Joseph, Shrule; Saint Joseph, Kinvara; Holy Family, Mervue.

Our National Apostle, with three dedications, is equal in number with the Spanish St. Teresa of Avila, perhaps reflecting a Spanish connection with Galway: Saint Patrick, Forster Street; Saint Patrick, Murrough; Saint Patrick, New Quay; Saint Teresa of Avila, Ardrahan; Cill Treasa, Ros a' Mhíl; Saint Teresa, Castledaly.

Saint Brigid, with two dedications, shares that with Saint Attracta and, perhaps surprisingly, Saint Augustine: Saint Brigid, Ballybane; Saint Brigid, Liscannor; Saint Attracta, Kiltartan; Saint Attracta, Kiltoraght; Saint Augustine, Middle Street; Saint Augustine, Kilshanny.

The remaining Saints have only one dedication each: Church of Our Lady & St Michael, Ennistymon; Saint John the Baptist, Ballyvaughan; Saint Ann, Beagh; Saint Thomas Apostle, Peterswell; The Assumption and Saint James, Claregalway; Saint John the Apostle, Knocknacarra; Saint Flannan, Moymore; Saint Kieran, Durus; Saint Moucha, Noughaval; Cill Éinde, An Spidéal; Saint Fachanan, Kilfenora; Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven & St Nicholas; Saint Oliver Plunkett, Renmore; Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Francis Street, Galway.

It would appear that the Church in Gort Mór has no specific dedication.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

The Weeping Madonna of Gyor

The Chapel of Saint Anne, Gyor

In a Chapel dedicated to Saint Anne in the Cathedral of Gyor in Hungary is enshrined a crowned image of Our Lady and the Child Jesus. It is known as the Irish Madonna. The image had once hung in the Cathedral of Clonfert.

It was saved from the maurading Cromwellian forces by Walter Lynch, Bishop of Clonfert, who had escaped from imprisonment on Innisboffin in 1649 and was able, three years later to flee into exile with the painting.

In his exile he met Bishop János Puski of Gyor who made him a member of his Cathedral Chapter in 1655, saving him from destitution. Bishop Lynch died in 1663, leaving the Madonna to Bishop Puski, who had it placed for the veneration of the faithful in the Cathedral.

The Irish Madonna of Gyor

On 17th March, 1697, the feast of Saint Patrick, the Madonna began to weep tears of blood from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. The picture was removed and the wall examined and found to be dry. The phenomenon was attested to by hundreds of people including Count Seigebert Hester, Captain General of the City, the Bishop, and even by Lutheran and Calvinist Ministers and a Jewish Rabbi. The Captain General and his wife had a shrine built for the Irish Madonna and established a fund to ensure Benediction and the Litany were celebrated before it every Saturday and Feast of Our Lady.

On the 250th Anniversary of the miraculous weeping the Bishops of Hungary came to venerate the Madonna and do so every years on 17th March. For the Marian Year in 1997 a Papal Legate was sent to the shrine, which was raised to the status of Minor Basilica. The Basilica also contains the tombs of St. Ladislaus I and Blessed Vilmos Apor. St. John Paul II prayed at the shrine of the Irish Madonna on his visit to Hungary. The Hungarians have spread devotion to the Irish Madonna of Gyor across the world, especially across the United States of America.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

High Mass for Galway Cathedral 50th Anniversary

This afternoon, members and friends of the Catholic Heritage Association of Ireland gathered for an historic High Mass in the Gregorian Rite to mark the 50th Anniversary of the dedication of Galway Cathedral.  The Mass was offered for the benefactors of the Catholic Heritage Association of Ireland.

Given the date, months after the Instruction 'Inter Ocumenici' (26th September, 1964), and the Decree of the Congregation of Rites (27th January, 1965) issuing the 'interim' Missal, it is likely that today's Mass was the very first time that Mass was celebrated using the Missal of 1962 in Galway Cathedral.

Priests from several Dioceses and servers from several branches of the Catholic Heritage Association around Ireland were very ably accompanied by the Lassus Scholars of the Dublin Choral Foundation for the Mass of the Ember Saturday in September.

On the previous day, a very successful training day for Priests on the celebration of Mass in the Gregorian Rite was organised by the Catholic Heritage Association, again in Galway Cathedral, with the support of the Archdiocese of Tuam and the Diocese of Galway, and a further series of training days are planned for the Western Dioceses in the coming months.

Galway Cathedral is the eighth Cathedral in which the Catholic Heritage Association has organised a pilgrimage with Mass in the Gregorian Rite in the past year.  Two further pilgrimages to Cathedrals, including Traditional Latin Masses are scheduled for October.  The Catholic Heritage Association of Ireland now has branches based in half of Ireland's 26 Dioceses.

The Diocese of Galway is the youngest Diocese in Ireland.  While most of our native Dioceses date from the Synods of Ráth Breasail (1111) or Kells (1152), the Diocese of Galway didn't come into being until much later.  In 1485, Pope Innocent VIII created the Wardenship of Galway, a quasi-diocesan structure removed from the Ordinary jurisdiction of the Archbishops of Tuam.  Only in 1831 did it become a Diocese, later to be joined with Kilfenora and perpetual Apostolic Administration of Kilmacduagh (1883).

The Diocese is young in another sense.  The population of the Diocese has doubled since 1950, 91% of them being Catholic.  Thanks to the presence of the National University of Ireland, Galway, and Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, 17% of the population are students and 30% are aged between 15 and 24 years.

The youngest Diocese in the Country also has the youngest Cathedral.  The Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and Saint Nicholas was built upon the site of Galway gaol, which was, as Dr. Browne, the then Bishop of Galway wrote: "...Now that the site has become available, I submit to you there could be no more noble or more fitting use than to erect on it a Cathedral in thanksgiving to God, Who sustained our people in their days of trial. A Cathedral replacing a jail is the most perfect symbol of the triumph of a people who were proscribed for being Irish and Catholic. A noble Cathedral on this site would be also a fine addition to the beauty and dignity of this City of Galway, and an object of pride to all in the country..."

The Cathedral is built upon Nun's Island in the River Corrib, which was granted by the City Council of Galway on 10th July, 1649, to the Poor Clare Nuns, whose present Convent on the site has been in continuous occupation since 1825.

Construction of the Cathedral began in 1958 in an eclectic style that was a fusion of baroque, gothic and American missionary styles.  It was the last Catholic Cathedral to be built in Ireland - although a few Dioceses still retain their Pro-Cathedrals in expectation - and the last Cathedral in Europe to be built of stone.  The Cathedral was dedicated on 15th August, 1965.  Richard, Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, was the Papal Legate.

The Diocese also has a regular Gregorian Rite Mass offered every Sunday at 2.30 p.m. in the Dominican Church, the Claddagh, by Canons of the Institute of Christ the King.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Pilgrimage to Galway

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.