In a grand commemoration witnessed by a substantial congregation, St. John’s Cathedral in Limerick celebrated its fiftieth anniversary on Sunday. The Most Rev. Dr O’Dwyer, Bishop of the diocese, took charge of the ceremonies that unfolded in the presence of the city’s residents. The occasion commenced with Solemn High Mass, Coram Episcopo, at noon. Rev. Jeremiah Connolly, C.C., served as the Celebrant, with Rev. Jeremiah O’Connor, C.C., as Deacon, Rev. J. O’Shea, C.C., as Sub-Deacon, and Rev. T. M‘Namara as the Master of Ceremonies. Father Murphy, Adm., assumed the role of Assistant Priest at the Throne. The Mayor, members of the Corporation, civic officers, and the fire brigade attended in specially reserved seats.
The jubilee sermon was delivered by Very Rev. Canon Murphy, D.D., Macroom. He reflected on the relatively young age of the Cathedral, noting that it did not serve as the ecclesiastical seat for illustrious Bishops in centuries past. Despite its youth, Canon Murphy praised the unwavering loyalty to faith and love of country demonstrated by the people of Limerick during heroic struggles. Acknowledging the proud inheritance from their forebears, he highlighted the flourishing state of the National Church, showcasing churches, schools, colleges, convents, and monasteries.
Canon Murphy paid tribute to Dr O’Dwyer, emphasizing the latter’s impactful voice on the Education question. The discourse shifted to global concerns, citing France as an example where an unholy combination of Jews and Freemasons sought to degrade and destroy the Catholic Church. Canon Murphy warned against turning a blind eye to the possibility of similar anti-Catholic legislation in Ireland, with legislators influenced by comparable ideas.
Additionally, Very Rev. Dr O’Riordan, currently on holidays in the Eternal City, delivered an engaging lecture at the Limerick Catholic Literary Institute. Dr O’Riordan delved into Ireland’s tumultuous history, emphasizing that the narrative of disaster, though sometimes deemed better left untold, was essential. He argued that beyond material pursuits, principles like honour, virtue, justice, and truth played significant roles in human lives. Ireland, throughout its history, maintained these principles, preserving truth even as it faced adversity.
Dr O’Riordan cautioned against reducing life to material gains and highlighted Ireland’s commitment to principles and truth throughout its history. As the land of Ireland reclaimed its rightful place after centuries, the lecture provided a thought-provoking perspective on the nation’s journey. The historical context of the jubilee celebration and the insightful lecture by Dr O’Riordan contribute to the ongoing narrative of Limerick’s cultural and spiritual tapestry.
Catholic Times and Catholic Opinion – Friday 26 October 1906