MISSION AT TIMARU.
New Zealand Tablet, Rōrahi XII, Putanga 48, 20 Poutūterangi 1885, Page 17
MISSION AT TIMARU.
One of the most important events, from a religious point of view, that ever occurred in our midst has been the mission given last week by the good Redenaptorist Fathers. They arrived here after having concluded their good work at Christchurch and Aflhburton. The Very Rev. Father Vaughan, assisted by the Rev. Father O'Neill, opened the mission before a crowded congregation on Sunday morning, the 22ad of February last. A more brilliant and effectual pulpit orator than the Rev. Father had, perhaps, never before been' heard in Timaru, and ttie impression he made here will certainly nob soon be forgotten. The Rev. Father Stocks arrived on the following Tuesday, when to the regret of all, the Very Father Vaughan, and the Rev. Father Heggarty where compelled to leave the Colony to return to Sydney, where important and pressing work awaited them. The Rev. Fathers O'Neill and Stocks, however, set to work in good earnest, and for a full fortnight they worked with incessant zeal in our midst, and that they did so in a most successful manner was clearly shown by the crowded congregations which three times a day filled our beautiful little church. To the non-Catholic, the sight of crowds of worshippers, many* of them coming long distances, hurrying three times a day to the church for a full fortnight, appeared quite inexplicable, and certainly most edifying. So great was the impression it made, that we may expect the conversion of some of them. It was truly a most consoling and touching sight to see the crowds flocking around the confessionals and, the Holy Table, atnongst which were to be seen many hardened sinners, who tbus were brought back to .the feet o! their Redeemer,
The mission closed on Sunday, the Bth inst., in a most impressive manner. After a solemn Missa Cantata at 11 o'clock the Rev. Father Stocks preached a most eloquent sermon on " The Cross," announcing at its conclusion that a beautiful cross would be erected outside the church, to commemorate the mission. A procession was then formed in the following manner ; twelve acolytes, preceded by the Crossbearer ; the Rev. parish priest, Father Devoy, his vicar Father Goggan ; the missionary Fathers Stocks, and O'Neill, followed by the congregation,— the choir singing the Vexilla Regis. The procession haying reached the spot where the cross was to be erected, the congregation formed a semi-circle, and all kneelinp. the solemn and impressive ceremony was performed by the Eev. Father O'Neill, assisted by the clergy as above-named. At the conclusion, the choir singing the Stdbat Mater, the procession re-formed and re-entered the church. In the evening the final ceremonies and offices took place. Never was sucha crowded congregation seen within the walls of our church. Long before the bells had ceased ringing, every available space was occupied. Very near a thousand persons must have been present. After the Rosary, the Rev. Father O'Neill preached a beautiful sermon on " Final Perseverance," and at its conclusion, took the opportunity of publicly thanking, as he said, first, our beloved pariah priest and his Vicar for the hearty, kind and devoted manner they had treated and helped them daring tbe time they had been in our midst ; then he likewise wished to express their grateful thanks to the choir and to all those who had kindly helped in decorating the church or otherwise assisted in making the mission the grand succesa it had been; and, finally, he wished to thank the whole parish for the true Catholic spirit they had displayed by their zeal, devotion, piety and attendance at the holy mission, concluding by calling on all to kneel that he might give them their parting blessings. This he did in the most beautiful, touching, and impressive manner possible. So efEectingly was this done, that there was scarcely a dry eye in the church, and no one present, I am sure, will ever be able to forget it. Having wished ns a farewell good-bye, he proceeded by giving in a mo3t solemn manner the final Pontifical Blessing. Our beloved pastor, Father Devoy, who bad been seated all the while in the sanctuary, then rose up, and in a voice which but too clearly showed his deep emotion, returned thanks, on behalf of himself, colleague and congregation for all the good they bad done in our midst. The Te Dewm. was then sung, followed by a solemn Benedict ion of the Blessed Sacrament— the altar being most beautifully decorate! with the choicest flowers and a perfect blaze of candle". Thus ended the most brilliant and impressive ceremonies, and the most successful mission ever seen or given in this parish, and perhaps never equalled and certainly never surpassed in the Colony. On the day following, Monday, the Eev. Fathers had a solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of all the souls of the friends of tbe parishioners, and at which a large congregation likewise assisted,— the Rev. Father Stocks preaching on the doctrine of purgatory and the devotion to the holy souls. M. D.