Tuesday, 21 March 2017


Since we are well into this Lenten Season, we should have a look at some reminders of Lent. The most vivid reminder of Lent is the Cross so let’s take a brief look at a very special Cross in St Patrick’s Church.

Inscription on Mission Cross,
St Patrick's Church
St Patrick’s Church officially opened in August 1881.  Parish missions were a frequent occurrence in Ireland and our forebears were not slow when it came to safeguarding their souls.  A parish mission was soon in progress in the new church.  This first mission was conducted by the Redemptorist Fathers in December 1882 and, as was common in those days, the parishioners turned out in droves.  The successful mission concluded with the erection of a Mission Cross. 

We will see from the two old photographs of the interior of the church that the Cross has been moved several times.  
The Mission Cross is to the left of the Sanctuary

Originally, the Mission Cross was located at the front of the church.  The above photo is of the original altar of St Patrick's Church and the Mission Cross can be seen to the left of the Sanctuary.
Men's Mission, St Patrick's Church, Lent 1953

The picture of the Men's Mission of 1953 is almost unbelievable today.  The sheer number of men who, after a hard day's work, came out every evening for a whole week is something that 21st century minds probably find difficult to comprehend.  Even the choir loft is full, as are the aisles.  Perhaps the only fire hazard they were concerned with was the one that the Mission Priests were talking about!  From this photo, we can see that the Mission Cross has been relocated to the back of the church.  It is to the left of the door and, as the custom dictates, the figure of Christ is covered with a purple cloth.

The Redemptorist Mission Cross,
St Patrick's  Church, 1882
The Redemptorist Mission Cross is currently at the back of St Patrick's Church, just to the left as you enter the church by the main door.  The Cross is inscribed “Redemptorist Mission” and in a heart, “Mission Cross erected on Dec 18th 1882”. This Mission Cross is a familiar sight to all of us.  It has graced St Patrick's Church for more than 134 years.  Over the years, the feet have been worn smooth by generations of pious souls who have been touched and inspired by this magnificent representation of our Crucified Saviour.

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