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CEREMONY AT CLONGOWES WOOD COLLEGE

The Kildare Observer November 9th 1929

Foundation Stone Laid
Ceremony at Clongowes Wood College
A Large Attendance
 

In cold, damp weather, and in the presence of a large assemblage of clergy, professors and students, the Most Rev. Dr. Cullen, Roman Catholic Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, on Monday afternoon laid the foundation stone of the auxiliary building at Clongowes Wood College, which will provide extra accommodation and facilities for the students of that well known educational establishment.
The new building, which will surround a quadrangle, will be 300 feet long and 300 feet in width. It is being built of local stone, and the estimated cost is £100,000. The architect s Mr. T.J. Cullen, Dublin. The contractors are Messrs. T. and R. Macken, Dublin, and the clerk of works is Mr. A. Kavanagh.
The new building will provide extra class-room and dormitory accommodation. Each student will have a room containing hot and cold water and the usual bedroom furniture. There will be eighteen class-rooms. The building will be heated and lighted by electricity and ventilated by electric fans. It will be in harmony with the old building, which is a fine specimen of architecture. The Bishop was presented with a silver trowel by the architect, and with an ebony and silver mallet by the contractors.
A procession took place from the college to the new building, where, after the blessing, the new stone was laid by the Bishop of Kildare. The Bishop was assisted by the Very Rev. J.R. Roche, Rector, Clongowes Wood College. The appropriate music was sung by the College choir. After the ceremony Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was given in the college chapel by the Bishop, assisted by the Provincial and Rector. The attendance included President Cosgrave (attended by Colonel J. O’Reilly, A.D.C), the Minister for Education, and the Minister for Justice.
 
HISTORY OF THE COLLEGE
The Very Rev. Father J.R. Roche, Rector, who presided at a luncheon held subsequently, expressed their gratitude to the Bishop for coming to perform the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the new building. From the beginning of their career in Clongowes they were indebted to his lordship’s illustrious predecessor, Dr. Doyle, the famous “J.K.L.” It was considerably owing to his efforts that the Jesuits were able to purchase that building, and through his advice, to overcome obstacles. On the 21st June, 1874, Dr. Lynch, the Coadjutor Bishop laid the foundation stone of the College, and now they were glad that the new building had the blessing of Dr. Cullen’s presence (Applause)
Having referred to the association of that district with education in the past, the Rector said that, even before the hedge schools, there were cabin schools, and the first mention of a cabin school was in 1654, when such a school was mentioned as being run by the Jesuits in the Bog of Allen. Clongowes was fortunate in the fact that this foundation stone was being laid in the centenary year of Catholic Emancipation. Fifteen years before Catholic Emancipation Clongowes was opened. As greater freedom was experienced by Catholics, Clongowes expanded, and now, in the full manhood of their freedom, Clongowes was still expanding. (Applause) He also thanked the President very sincerely for coming there that day. They appreciated very much his attendance and that of the other Ministers. The great J.K.L., in defending them in the past, said that the Jesuits, if left alone, would render most signal service to the cause of education. He hoped that the new Clongowes would render even greater service to the cause of education than the old Clongowes. (Applause).
 
OVER A CENTURY OF PROGRESS
The Most Rev. Dr. Cullen thanked the Rector for his kind references to his predecessors and himself. The associations between the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin and the Jesuit Order had always been of the most friendly character, and, as far as he could see, they were likely to remain so in the future. (Applause) The event which they celebrated that day was one which marked a very important epoch in the history of the College and the history of the country, because it told them how far they had advanced on the road of religious liberty during the past century. A little over a century ago the Jesuits came to Clongowes, as it were, by stealth, and for a considerable period they had to live by stealth. They certainly received no recognition or approval from the Government of the day. On the contrary, it would be the earnest wish of the Government if it could have expelled the Jesuits from Clongowes. But the Jesuit Order was a hardy perennial. It took root very quickly, and it was very hard to eradicate it. Clongowes had gone on flourishing during the past 100 years. It had sent out different generations of students, who occupied foremost positions, both in Church and State, and not only occupied those positions, but ornamented them. Applause). That day they had laid the foundation of a building which would bring their material establishment up to the latest requirements of science and sanitation.
A hundred years ago they had to live by stealth; today they were honoured by the President of the State and by other distinguished Ministers of State, who had come to rejoice with them, and to congratulate them on the movement which they had started. (Applause).  If Clongowes had done wonderful work during the past century, labouring under difficulties, then, surely, they might expect during the coming century that its achievements would be much wider still. (Applause).

PRESIDENT COSGRAVE’S ADDRESS
President Cosgrave, who was received with applause, expressed his pleasure at taking part in that ceremony, which, he said, was remarkable evidence of the new spirit that was abroad in the country.  This great and distinguished Order was extending its accommodation for the students of to-day and to-morrow.  It was a great pleasure to them all to know that this extension was taking place under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, whose predecessor a hundred years ago took such an important part in the emancipation, not only of Catholics, but of many other people in the country.   It was a matter for congratulation that the foundation stone should be laid in the centenary year.  This great Order in establishing themselves at Clongowes in times of difficulty had given evidence of their devotion to duty, and of their contribution towards education, towards religious instruction, and the improvement of mankind, to which generation after generation must pay tribute.  The extension now undertaken was a brave effort.  The cost would run into six figures, and it required courage, perseverance, and devotion to duty to embark on such a large undertaking.  It was a tribute to the confidence and faith which they had in the country (Applause).
 
FUTURE OF THE COLLEGE
Professor O’Sullivan, Minister of Education, said that the laying of the foundation stone symbolised a great act of faith on the part of the Jesuit Order. It was an act of faith in the future of Catholic education in this country. The new college would reach the high-water mark of Catholic education in Ireland.  Those among them who, like himself, were connected with the College could only re-echo the words of the Rector, that the future career of the College would be worthy of its past. (Applause).
Mr. J. Fitzgerald-Kenny, Minister for Justice, said that he regarded his old college with feeling of the greatest affection.  On behalf of old Clongowians, he expressed his gratitude to Father Roche, Rector, for the great work he had taken in hands.  He was proud that he was a Jesuit boy; for he recognised the great work that was done for Catholicism and for culture by the Jesuit Order. (Applause).
Mr. T.J. Cullen, architect, said that he wished to acknowledge the great assistance which he had received from Father joy and Father Wrafter in connection with the new building.
 
MAYNOOTH COLLEGE PRESIDENT
The Right Rev. Monsignor McCaffrey, President of Maynooth College, referred to the close associations between the two colleges, and said that they all congratulated Clongowes on the work of extending the College.  It was unnecessary to pay any tribute to the great work that the Jesuits had done for religion and for education in Ireland.  Clongowes had always been looked upon as the leading college in Ireland, and when this new building was completed he could safely say that Clongowes was not likely to have any rival in education in Ireland.  (Applause).
Mr. George Cussen, Senior Metropolitan District Juctice, President of the Clongowes College Union, said that he wished to acknowledge the kindness which the Union had always experienced from the Rector.
Amongst those present were :- The Rev. M. J. Tomkins, S.J.; the Rev. L. Kehoe, S.J.; The Rev. T. Murphy, S.J. ; the Very Rev. Canon Watters, P.P.; the Rev. T. Gahan, the Rev. J. Brennan, S.J.; the Rev. V. Byrne, S.J.; the Rev. L. Potter, S.J.; the Rev. H.V. Gill, S.J.; the Rev. J. Flinn, S.J.; the Rev. J. Keane, S.J.; the Rev. J. B. O’Connell, C.C.; the Rev. J. Wrafter, S.J.; the Rev. J. Joy, S.J.; the Rev. J. Whitaker, S.J.; the Rev. C. Mulcahy, S.J.; the Rev. J. Byrne, S.J.; the Rev. J. Finucane, S.J.; Messrs, Stephen Brown, solicitor; Vincent Kennedy, T.J. Fullerton, solicitor; E. Mulhern, Dr. C. O’Connor, Messrs. T. J. Bradley, J. Macken, J. Crombie, Joseph Brennan (Secretary, Currency Commission).
 
 

The Kildare Observer of November 9, 1929 reports on a large attendance at a ceremony at Clongowes Wood when the  the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin laid  the foundation stone of the auxiliary building.


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