Posted on April 23, 2011, in Cardinal Joseph MacRory, Catholic Education, CATHOLIC PAMPHLETS, Catholic Social Teaching, Eucharist, Images, International Eucharistic Congress, 1932, Irish History, Irish Language, Liturgy, Mass, Media Archives, Music, Papacy, Persecution, Processions, St. Patrick. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Actually, Shane, now that I recall a bit more, they were probably in their Children of Mary dresses and veils, rather than confirmation dresses, since they were 13 or so. It was a Mercy Sisters school so membership was pretty much compulsory. But I think it looked the same. My father was also there as he was in the scouts, with the Baden Powell hats! He was about 14. They’re both dead for some years but used to talk about it a lot. Many memories!

  2. Thanks Jaykay, most interesting. Incidentally, if you’d like to share any of those memories, you’re always more than welcome to do so.

  3. My father grew up in the Oxmantown Road area, where I did also, very near the Phoenix Park. Indeed our parish, Holy Family, Aughrim Street, includes what is now Áras an Uachtaráin that was then still, I think, called the Viceregal Lodge. The Zoo is also within the parish boundaries! So is the Depot where recruits to An Garda Síochána did their training up to 1964. They used to march to the 11am Mass in Aughrim St every Sunday, sometimes with the band.

    My Dad was 19 when the Eucharistic Congress took place and was proud of a photo taken in the Phoenix Park, probably after the Mass, of himself and some of his pals. That event was one of three public events that were memorable for him. The second was the FA Cup Final in Wembley at which Manchester United, with Jackie Carey, a ‘Dub’, as their captain defeating Blackpool 4-2. The third was the visit of Pope John Paul II, which he reluctantly agreed was on a par with the Congress!

    We used to have a Corpus Christi procession around the parish on the Sunday evening after the feast and many homes flew the Congress flag, right up to the 1960s.

    Maisie Ward has a delightful story about the Congress in her biography of GK Chesterton, who attended the event. It seems the weather was glorious for the duration but looked as if it might break towards the end. Chesterton was highly amused when he heard a Dublin ‘shawlie’ say, ‘If it rains He’ll have only Himself to blame!’ (‘Shawlie’ was the term for women, usually poor, who wore a shawl, a common sight up to the 1960s, as I recall.)

    The Eucharistic Congress next year won’t be anything like that in 1932 and I can’t imagine Enda Kenny, or the new president whoever he or she may be, greeting the papal delegate in the kind of terms that De Valera used, especially what he said in Irish. But I hope and pray that the event and the preparation for it will be accepted by people as a time of special grace for Ireland.

  4. Again, thanks for the stunning comments Father. Chesterton’s description of the poor’s devotion is fascinating:

    Men who could not paint had painted pictures on their walls: and somehow painted them well. Men who could hardly write had written up inscriptions; and somehow they were dogmas as well as jokes. Somebody wrote, ‘Love live St Patrick’, as hoping that he might recover from his recent indisposition. Somebody wrote, ‘God Bless Christ the King’, and I knew I was staring at one of the staggering paradoxes of Christianity.

    I went through all this glow and glory of poverty quite bewildered…One nameless impecunious person, in a slum, heard that the Legate was coming and laid down a red carpet on his doorstep.

    G.K. Chesterton, Christendom in Dublin, Dublin: Sheed & Ward 1932, 16-17

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