by jdurney on March 2, 2011

The Kildare Observer, Saturday, 21st November 1891


On Sunday the solemn and impressive ceremony of the blessing of the new bell for the Carmelite Church, Kildare, took place in the presence of a large congregation. The Most Rev. Dr. Comerford, Coadjutor Bishop of the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, officiated at the ceremonies, which commenced at ten o’clock.  The bell, which for the present is suspended from a wooden structure in the grounds attached to the church, was supplied by the Fountainhead Bell Foundary, James’s street, Dublin, and reflects credit on the manufacturer, Mr. Mathew Byrne.
It is one of the largest in the diocese, weighs 25 cwt. and is of very fine tone. The ceremony of consecration lasted over an hour.
At eleven o’clock Pontificial High Mass was sung, the celebrant being Very Rev. Father Bartley, ex-Provincial; deacon, Rev. Father O’Reilly, O.C.C.; sub-deacon, Rev. Father Byrne, The Very Rev. Father Butler, O.C.C., Sydney Australia, officiated as master of ceremonies. His lordship the Most Rev. Dr. Comeriod presided at the Throne, and was assisted by the Very Rev. Father Hall, Provincial, Dublin.
The other clergymen present were:-
Very Rev. N.A. Staples, Prior Kildare; Rev. John Daly, O.C.C., Dublin; Very Rev. Dr. Murphy P.P. V.G., Kildare; Very Rev. Father Skelly, O.P. Newbridge; Rev. Father Ransbott, P.P., Suncroft; Rev. George Going, C.C. do.; Rev. John Cullen, C.C., Kildare; Rev. Joseph Delaney, Curragh Camp, Rev. P. Byrne, C.C. Rathangah.
After the first Gospel the Very Rev. Dr. Murphy, P.P., V.G. ascended the alter, and preached an appropiate [Sic] sermon, taking from his text: – “This is the victory which overcometh the world – our faith” – words from the first Gospel of St. John, 5th chapter and 4th verse. The preacher said the consecration of a bell for the use of Catholic purposes is a rite of solemnity and suggestiveness. The minister of the ceremony must be a prelate endowed with the plenitude of the priesthood and clothed in his Pontifical garments. He reads over that material object many prayers and benedictions, employs various mystic ceremonies, and by the use of holy oil finally consecrates it to the service of the Almighty God. The bell consecrated to-day has become a sacred thing. It shall be used no more for profane purposes, but only in the service of religion. It would be a sacrilege to injure it maliciously, or to treat it with disrespect. By virtue of its consecration it has received a certain supernatural character and dignity. Its sound shall be the voice of God – sweet, melodious, and inviting all to comply with God’s Words. Of the Apostles it has been written that their voice went forth into all the earth and their words into the end of the world; so the tongue of this bell shall for ever speak the words of faith, shall avert calamities, drive away the demons, shall be the rebuke of the wicked and a warning to the sinner, an exhortation to the just, and a grace of inspiration to all. From its eminence in the tower of this beautiful church, whether it reminds us in the morning, at noon and in the afternoon to commemorate with grateful love and adoring worship the incarnation of the son of God – it invites us to this beautiful temple to celebrate its sacred mysteries, or again, it inspires us with sympathy for the suffering dead, it shall be for ever the symbol of that faith which is the root and the beginning of human salvation – of that Faith, which in the words of the text overcometh the world.
The words of the text imply that there was an antagonism between our Faith and the world. They imply too, that in the strife of human life, wherein eternity is at stake, there is no escape from the perdition of the world, except through the agency and sanctity of holy faith. Continuing the preacher traced the history and character of that conflict which is ever progressing between the spirit of the world which opposed to the spirit of Faith, and what are the principals of the world which are the contradiction to the principals of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? The spirit of the maxims of the world are that riches, honour, preferment ,and renown is happiness- that the joys of life and the delights of sin are happiness; that poverty is a curse; that insults are to be resented; that the rules of society are the supreme standard of what is right and wrong. Looking out upon the world what did it show? He did not mean in this Catholic land that no prayers are ever said, that God is never honoured. No, but he meant that the homage due to God is not given, that His majesty is well-nigh outraged by the poor pittance of honour which mortals – the creatures of His own hand – consent to pay Him. He is regarded as an obstacle and inconvenience, demanding from men a service they have neither time nor inclination to render, that the time and attention which should be devoted to his honour and the service of His holy law are wasted in the pursuit of passing pleasures in the external seeking after money. Is not, then this world an enemy of God? Are not its maxims the very opposite of the maxims of the Gospel? What does Jesus Christ say? One thing is necessary – “What will it profit a man to gain the whole world if he suffers the loss of his soul? Seek first the Kingdom of God and His justice. If any man be My disciple let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me – pray always.”
It was not easy to resist the spirit of the world. Man has three more powerful enemies – the world, the flesh, and the evil, and over these no victory can be gained without prayer and the grace of God. For those exposed to the world there is much danger, so we have much reason to fear for them. Everything is presented to inflame the passions of sin, and develop in the human heart the root of crime. Vices are exhibited in the most attractive shape, certainly by attractions it is hard to resist. There are theatres, balls, shows and plays, books and pictures, amusement and society. There is the love of distinction, ambition, pride, jealousy. There are factions and party feelings, and the thousand other instruments which the world employs in doing the devil’s work, in resisting God and wrecking human souls. Therefore, if we would be saved, we must put away from us the spirit of the world, to take no part in the world’s customs, which are opposed to the laws of God and which serve as the occasion of sin – to resist its pleasures and attractions when these are incompatible with our duty to our holy faith.
As the conclusion of High Mass, the Rev. Father Staples ascended the alter and said, with the permission of his lordship he took this opportunity of thanking him, not only for officiating to-day, but for his unvaried kindness to the Carmelite Community. To the Very Rev. Dr. Murphy, the preacher, he also offered his grateful thanks for kindly preaching on the occasion, and for his kind and generous sympathy on every occasion when needed since he came to Kildare, and he (Father Staples) may thus publicly be permitted to say that it will not be his fault if the worldly spirit referred to in his sermon will not be absent from the people of whom he has pastoral charge. To the benefactors of the late Mr. Cassidy of Monasterevan; of Mr. Richard Bolger, of Dublin, and of Mr. Ralph Bowen, of Brownstown, who had given £100 towards the bell and tower, and also the two handsome confessionals which added so much to the appearance of the church. The religious ceremonies were brought to a close with the Benediction of the Most Holy Sacrament, at which his Lordship the Bishop officiated. A collection was made.

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