Category Archives: Conversion
Prayers of an Irish Mother
I’m indebted to jaykay for kindly sending these extracts from Prayers of an Irish Mother, which give a splendid insight into Irish popular piety in pre-conciliar times.
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.
Read the rest of this entry
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.
Read the rest of this entry
Patrician Year (1961): Bl. John XXIII’s Letter to the Irish Hierarchy
To Our Beloved Son
John Cardinal D’Alton
Archbishop of Armagh
And to Our Venerable Brothers
The Archbishops and Bishops of Ireland
Beloved Son and Venerable Brothers, Health and Apostolic Benediction.
Holy Church, founded by Christ Jesus to free mankind from death, shines throughout the world by her sanctity, is nourished by grace, lives by truth and, in the words of Saint Irenaeus, “as the sun, God’s creature, is one and the same in the whole world, so the light, which the preaching of truth is, shines forth in every place and enlightens all men” (Adv. Haer. 1, 10, 2; MG f. 552). This preaching of truth, Beloved Son and Venerable Brothers, is a special glory of your country — for through the centuries its distinguishing mark has always been: “peregrinari pro Christo”. Irish priests and religious, as is well known, from the coming of the Gospel message to their land, spurred on by the splendid example of Saint Patrick, your illustrious Father and Apostle, went forth and made their way through many European lands to bring them the flame of faith and an unconquerable zeal in winning souls for Christ.
The genius of your nation has won for the Church in Ireland imperishable renown and admiration among the many peoples who owe their Christian origin and development to the burning love of Irish Apostles and to their active priestly ministry. These Catholic people in themselves are a manifest and an eloquent testimony to Catholic Ireland’s missionary character; they show it forth to the whole world and add splendour to its titles to glory.
Read the rest of this entry
Patrician Year (1961): Bl. John XXIII on the Irish Church
The following letter was addressed to Cardinal John D’Alton, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland, on the occassion of the opening of the Patrician Year celebrations, 17th March, 1961.
The fifteenth centenary of the death of Saint Patrick, the Apostle of the Irish, is about to be celebrated with fitting solemnity throughout Ireland, particularly in his own episcopal city.
As soon as We learned of this forthcoming celebration, We desired to extend Our warm congratulations to you, Beloved Son, and to your zealous colleagues in the hierarchy, on your intelligent foresight and on your zeal for religion. Because one result of this commemoration will be — as We confidently hope and believe — that greater attention will be focused on recording events of the saint’s life and the sterling Irish people will be moved, as they see more clearly the incomparable benefits which Saint Patrick brought them, to imitate his example and to follow his footsteps in leading their Christian lives.
Read the rest of this entry
Patrician Year (1961): Cardinal Cushing on St. Patrick and the Irish Catholic People
The above video features clips of the opening of the Patrician Year celebrations, 17th March, 1961, marked by Pontifical High Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh. The celebrant was the papal legate, Cardinal James Francis McIntyre, Archbishop of Los Angelus.
Irish state dignitaries were very prominent in attendance, not least President Éamonn de Valera and the Taoiseach [Prime Minister] Séan Lemass. Church prelates and state leaders, escorted by prominent local clergy, walked in solemn procession towards the Cathedral, walking past vast, cheering crowds. President De Valera was seated in a special blue and gold draped prie-dieu, affixed with the national emblem of a golden harp, while Mr. Lemass was also accorded a special prie-dieu. As Cardinal McIntyre entered through the massive oak doors, the cathedral organ thundered out the papal hymn Tu es Petrus, and His Eminence proceeded through the highly colourful and lavishly decorated cathedral to the marble-canopied throne on the Gospel side of the high altar, where he occupied a seat upholstered by white silk, affixed with the papal coat of arms on the reverse. Prelates attending included multitudes of abbots and bishops from all over the world, 50 archbishops and 4 Cardinals: Cardinal McIntyre, Cardinal John D’Alton, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland, Cardinal William Godfrey, Archbishop of Westminster, and Cardinal Richard Cushing, Archbishop of Boston.
Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, gave the following sermon:
“Their sound has gone forth unto all the earth: and their words unto the ends of the world.” (Psalm 18, Verse 5)
The theme of Ireland’s holy and historic celebration this year has been taken from the text by which the liturgy proclaims the glory and the triumph of all the Apostles. No more appropriate text could have been chosen to commemorate the incomparable Apostle to Ireland and to pay tribute to the apostolic spirit that St. Patrick inspired in the Irish people.
The text proper to the Apostles is deservedly applied to him, for St. Patrick takes his place beside the greatest and most glorious of the Apostles.
Cardinal Bourne on Ecumenism
The following is the Lenten pastoral letter of Francis Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster from 1924.
The discussions which have taken place since the beginning of this year on the question of the union of Christendom, so long broken by heresy and schism, have been of special interest to those who as members of the Catholic Church see clearly how such union can be accomplished. They have noted with thanksgiving to God that on all sides there is a renewed and intensified longing for such union, and a keen realisation that disunion is evidently contrary to the declared will of Our Lord and Saviour and the cause of untold harm to men.
At the same time it is clear that on the part of our fellow-countrymen who do not accept the authority of the Holy See there is almost complete misapprehension of the sole basis of union which is in conformity with the will of Christ — namely, the frank and complete acceptance of divinely revealed truth.
In the letter issued from Lambeth in 1920 the following words occur, taken from a report of 1908, and they are quoted also in the recent letter of his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury: —
“There can be no fulfillment of the divine purpose in any scheme of re-union which does not ultimately include the great Latin Church of the West, with which our history has been so closely associated in the past, and to which we are still bound by many ties of common faith and tradition.”
It is fitting, therefore, that we who today in England represent that Latin Church, which was from the early preaching of Christianity until the 16th century the only Church known to and accepted by the English people — to which we alone now stand in a relation of unbroken continuity — should make quite plain our attitude towards the desires and suggestions for reunion which meet us on every side.