Category Archives: Catholic Education

St. Dominic & The Dominicans and The Dominicans in Ireland


The Revolution Triumphant: Irish Hierarchy’s June Meeting, 1966


The following press release was issued by the Irish hierarchy following their meeting at St. Patrick’s Maynooth on the 21st-22nd June, 1966:

THE DEVELOPMENT OF MAYNOOTH

The Second Vatican Council has called for the development of Catholic University facilities, especially in the sphere of philosophy and theology, in order to show the harmony of Christian teaching with true human culture and scientific development, and to provide all priests, religious and laity with the fullest opportunity of Christian formation.

The Irish bishops at their June meeting have had under consideration how this development could be secured in this country, and propose to develop Maynooth as an open centre of higher studies, and to extend its facilities and courses so as to meet the requirements, not merely of priests, diocesan and regular, but also of brothers, nuns and laity.
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The Revolution Triumphant: Irish Hierarchy’s June Meeting, 1965


The following press release was issued by the Irish hierarchy following their meeting at St. Patrick’s Maynooth on the 22nd-23rd June, 1965:

Among the matters discussed were:

SACRED LITURGY

In addition to proposals for more extensive use of the vernacular, draft texts of the “Prayer of the Faithful” and of the funeral service also were considered, and were referred to the Episcopal Liturgical Commission for revision.

A number of decisions also were taken to ensure the proper formation of the students of Maynooth in the doctrine and principles of the Constitution on the Liturgy. A Professor of Sacred Liturgy has been appointed and will pursue special studies at a liturgical institute before taking up his duties.

Liturgical actions in the college are to be carried out in conformity with the new liturgical norms. One of the oratories in the college is to be remodelled with an altar facing the congregation in order to familiarise the students with the new structure of the ceremonies.
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Letter to the Catholic Clergy of Ireland by Dr. Bartholomew Woodlock, Rector of the Catholic University of Ireland


3rd November, 1873

Rev. Dear Sir,

Some months ago, as you are aware, a scheme of University Education for Ireland was introduced into Parliament. In it the declarations of our Prelates, and our own oft-repeated profession of the necessity of Catholic Education for Catholics, were ignored, nay, openly set at nought. While the existing system was acknowledged to be “miserably bad, scandalously bad” it was sought to substitute for it a more gigantic scheme of godless education under the supreme control of the State.

To the men who, during the last few years have done much to redress the numberless grievances of our country, and who have so often promised to undo, as far as possible, the misgovernment of the past, we ought not to impute other motives than those avowed by them when introducing the Irish University Bill of last session. But, judging the measure on its own merits, we are compelled to say that it evinced a total ignorance of the wants, or disregard for the wishes, of Catholic Ireland. And if English statesmanship, even when swayed by feelings the most friendly to our country, can or will produce nothing better, it is time for Irish Catholics to look for the redress of their admitted grievances elsewhere than to those with whom false liberalism and the theories of doctrinaires prevail over the sacred convictions of a whole nation in a matter which is part of their religion.
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The Jesuits In America: Life Magazine, October 11th, 1954


Click here to read (for an index of the priests mentioned see: Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit)

Click here to read the inaugural issue of America magazine, April 17th, 1909

Letter of Cardinal Cullen to the Catholic Clergy, Secular and Regular, of the Diocese of Dublin


6th November, 1873

Very Rev. and Dear Sir,

Within the present week an important circular regarding the Catholic University will be addressed to you by the Rector, the Very Rev. Monsignor Woodlock.

I beg of you to read that document for your faithful flocks, and at the same time to impress upon them the necessity of upholding the cause of religious education, and providing the youth of the country with the means of acquiring not only all useful scientific knowledge, but also solid instruction in the practices and doctrines of the one, holy, Catholic Church, out of which there is no salvation. If this be not done, and if children be not brought up in the fear and love of God, and inspired with a spirit of respect and obedience for the laws of God and the Church, they will forget the interests of their immortal souls, and their eternal salvation will be exposed to the greatest danger. For, according to the Scripture, if a young man gets into a wrong path, even when he grows old, he will not retire from it.
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Irish Colleges on the Continent: Salamanca, Madrid and Alcalá de Henares


Irish College, Salamanca

From the Irish Ecclesiastical Record, December, 1872:

SALAMANCA

Before we begin our brief outline of this famous College, we feel bound to acknowledge our obligations to the writer of the able and original article in our July Number on the College of Lisbon. He has many sources of information not open to us, and we trust that he will kindly assist us in our present inquiry; also, as it is a subject with which he must be, from his position, perfectly familiar.

The College of Salamanca, in the Kingdom of Leon, in Spain, was founded in 1582 by the Rev. Thomas White, and endowed by the States of Castille and Leon for the education of Irish secular priests, and was one (1) of the first establishments the Irish Catholics obtained on the Continent after the Reformation. From the earliest times Ireland was, perhaps, more closely connected with Spain than with any other foreign country. The traditional belief of our people was that their ancestors had come immediately from Spain. Identity of national usages favoured this belief, which was further strengthened by frequent commercial intercourse. During the latter part of the sixteenth century a new motive of friendship was found in the unity of religious interests. Queen Elizabeth provoked a war with Spain by openly supporting the Dutch Protestants, who, from fanatical zeal, had risen against Philip; at the very same time she was persecuting her Catholic subjects in Ireland, and using every means to root out the ancient faith. The Irish chieftains fled to Spain for protection, and sought that religious freedom there which they could not enjoy at home. Thus were the Irish Catholics bound more closely than ever to their Spanish brethren, who, on the other hand, never failed to protect and support them in their distress. The first and most urgent want of Ireland was to provide for the education of her priesthood, and Spain was the first nation in Europe that founded Colleges for this purpose.
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Irish Colleges on the Continent: Alcala, Seville and Lisbon


From the Irish Ecclesiastical Record, October, 1872:

The two interesting notices which have appeared on the Irish Colleges abroad make us conscious of the great blanks in our ecclesiastical history [see article below - shane], and make us feel the keenest regret at not knowing something more concerning the men, who, like Stapleton and Carney, served their Church and country in those colleges. Many of them who exercised great influence for good in their generation, and worked with zeal for the welfare of fatherland, dropped into such oblivion that even their names have remained unknown for more than two hundred years. One of these was “the very venerable Father James O’Carney,” of the Society of Jesus. Although he cannot well be identified with the Father James Carney mentioned in the July Record, (1) he was intimately connected with the Irish College of Salamanca, and, consequently, deserves a passing notice in our sketches of the Irish Colleges of the Continent.

F. Redan or Reade, S.J., in the preface to his Commentary on the Machabees, gives the following account of this distinguished Irishman: —
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Jansenism and Irish Catholicism


“Jansenism”. The Oxford Companion to Irish History. 2007.

“Jansenism was viewed with great suspicion by Rome, and 17th-century Irish synods toed the Roman line. Indeed, while its moral rigorism made it attractive to elements of the Counter-Reformation church, Jansenism’s theological and political radicalism alienated both local hierarchies and Catholic monarchs. This was especially the case in France and most Irish clerical students there associated with the milieux hostile to the movement. Indeed their anti-Jansenist opinions were singled out for criticism by the pro-Jansenist journal Nouvelles ecclésiastiques, Irish clerics, in general, being more attracted to Jesuit-style humanism. The success of the anti-Jansenist bull Unigenitus (1713) marginalized the movement but it survived as a popular millenarian-cum-miracle cult. Neither as a theology nor as a political attitude did Jansenism recommend itself to the Irish Catholic community, either at home or abroad. The frequent claim that Irish Catholicism was Jansenist-influenced springs from the tendency to confuse Jansenism with mere moral rigorism.”

—Dr. Thomas O’Connor. Ph.D., is Senior Lecturer at the Department of History, National University of Ireland. He is the author of Irish Jansenists 1600-1670: politics and religion in Flanders, France, Ireland and Rome (Dublin, 2008), Strangers to Citizens: the Irish in Europe 1600-1800 (Dublin, 2008), An Irish Jansenist in seventeenth-century France: John Callaghan 1605-54 (Dublin, 2005) and An Irish Theologian in Enlightenment Europe: Luke Joseph Hooke 1714-96 (Dublin, 1995).

John Healy, Maynooth College: Its Centenary History (Dublin, 1895), p. 274

“During the eighteenth century many of the most eminent Churchmen in France were, to some extent, tinctured with these Jansenistic views, even when repudiating the Jansenistic errors regarding the operation of grace and free will. But although so many of our Irish ecclesiastics were educated in France during the eighteenth century, none of those who came to Ireland ever showed the slightest trace of this Jansenistic influence, either in their writings or their sermons. Nor has any respectable authority asserted, so far as we know, that the French Professors of Maynooth were in any way tinged with the spirit of Jansenism.”

—Most Rev. John Healy, D.D., LL.D., M.R.I.A.

Vexilla Regis: Maynooth Laymen’s Annual, 1951, p. 84

“Off the playing-fields [of Maynooth seminary] at the end of a short avenue of tall cypresses, there is a little cemetery. Here are the graves of some of the greatest men in the history of modern Irish Catholicism. Here, also, are the graves of Irish boys who had consecrated themselves to God but whom God took to Himself before they reached the priesthood. A few French priests rest here, too. For the original staff at Maynooth consisted of Irish priests from Paris and some French colleagues whom they brought with them. (To this day the College gown is an adaptation of that worn by the clerical professors at the Sorbonne in pre-Revolution times.)

Those gentle dead are sometimes accused of having brought Jansenism into Ireland. My friend, Mr. Tom Wall, Assistant Librarian at University College, Dublin, has written admirably on this silly accusation and on the whole history of the remarkable part played by Irish priests in Paris in the Jansenist controversy. The so-called Jansenism of late nineteenth century Ireland was nothing more than an element of Victorianism that came over with the compulsory English after the Famine.”

—Chevalier Thomas MacGreevy

Liturgical Reform in Ireland



Many thanks to Jaykay for recounting his experiences of the post-conciliar liturgical reforms:

The new version came in from the first Sunday in January 1970 – at least in Armagh Archdiocese. That would have been Sunday 4th January. I clearly remember that the church was packed. We kids had got our new books just after Christmas (probably again in Woolworths!) and I recall that it was quite confusing as we hadn’t done any of the preparatory stuff in school before Christmas. Even the priests made loads of “mistakes” (and at that time it was still common for older priests to lapse into Latin if they got distracted e.g. to say “Dominus vobis… erm, eh… The Lord be with you…”). Nobody laughed in those days, of course! We had to learn the new versions of the confiteor and Domine non sum dignus (we were still told to strike the breast at the correct places – something me and some people of my generation still do) but otherwise the Ordinary was unchanged – until 1975.

Cardinal Conway was in charge and was quite conservative, so there was very little, if any, “creativity” on the part of priests.  Most of the older priests were also quite conservative so we still had loads of Latin Benedictions, 40 hours, confraternities etc. It really didn’t change until the 80s. It’s still not too bad in my neck of the woods, but the banality is everywhere  e.g. no incense at the main Mass on Easter Sunday and the usual flat, boring “let’s get it over with” attitude. No wonder the average age is about 50+!

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Irish Hierarchy’s Statement on Proselytism in Ireland


The following statement was issued in 1925 by the Irish hierarchy at their June meeting in St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth:

We are of the opinion that the Catholic public generally are not aware of the extent to which proselytism is carried on in this country, especially in large centres such as Dublin. It is no exaggeration to say that within recent years thousands of children, born of Catholic parents, have been robbed of their inheritance, the faith, owing to the nefarious activities of the proselytisers, who, well equipped with funds, seek their victims among the poor and the fallen.

In combatting this appalling evil the ‘Catholic Protection and Rescue Society’ (30 South Anne Street, Dublin) has been doing excellent work. It has saved hundreds of children and others from the clutches of the proselytiser. But it is sadly handicapped for want of funds.
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The Historians of Ireland


The Rise and Fall of the Catholic Church in Ireland


The following is an editorial from Church and State magazine (the organ of the old Campaign to Seperate Church and State), January, 2010:

The Age Of My Craven Deference Is Finally Over.” That was the headline on Professor Ronan Fanning’s article on the Murphy Report (Sun. Independent, 6 Dec.). Well, it was almost the headline. Fanning used the collective “our” rather than the personal “my”. But in the case of the Professor of Modern History at the chief College of the National University the personal and the collective merge. The Professor (singular) determines in great part what characterised the plurality of those who went through the educational system to its highest level.

It became well known to us long ago that the paid intelligentsia of the state were craven in their attitude towards the Church. They were sceptics in private but were cynically respectful in public, because they were craven.
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Catholic Common Sense


The Integral Irish Tradition


Archbishop McQuaid on Catholic Education: its function and scope


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