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THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS.

The dedication ceremony in connection with the newly-erected Homan Catholic Church in Burnett street west took place yesterday morning, when the Right Rev. Bishop Redwood, of Wellington, was present, and preached to crowded congregations, both morning and evening. Before describing what took ulace yesterday it may he as well to furnish our readers with a few particulars respecting the really fine church under notice, tho foundationstone of which was laid upon the 15th of January last. The building is of concrete, with white stone facings, and the windows are formed of beautifully-colored glass, and both inside and out the church presents a most attractive appearance. It was originally intended to build it of wood, but the idea was aha idoned in favor of the employment of the more durable material, and although the difference in the cost of construction was probably very largo we think the Catholics have done wisely in eschewing half measures and determining, while they were about it, that what was worth doing at all was worth doing well. But it should not he forgotten that, whatever the Catholics, either individually or collectively, have accomplished in connection with the building of their handsome new church, much very much credit is duo to the Rev. Father Coffey, who has been indefatigable in his efforts to provide a more suitable place of worship for his numerous congregation than the little wooden structure which, serviceable enough in the past, no longer affords adequate ac ommodation for'the members of the church in this district. The new church is 80 feet long by 40 feet wide, total height, 52 feet 6 inches, and height from floor to ceiling, 40 feet. The two porches are each 9 feet 6 inches by 9 feet 6 inches. Tho baptistry is 15 feet by 15 feet. On entering the chur.ih the visitor is at once struck with its loftiness and its light and elegant appearance. Tho ais’es on either side are separated from the nave by five marbled pillars supporting the roof, resting on Port Chalmers stone and with concrete found itions. The pillars in soma churches are a great deal more useful than ornamental; not so in this instance, however, for here they combine lightness with strength, and add considerably to the ensemble. The dadoing all round is of varnished kauri, and extremely nice it looks. At the south end of the building is the organ loft—ls feet by 15 feet—which is furnished with an excel’ent American organ of great sweetness and purity of tone, specially imported. At the north end of the church and facing the organ loft is the altar, above which hang some paintings of a sacred character. The chancel remains to he added at some future time, when funds will admit, and when this is done it will give the building a much m >re imposing appearance, extending it 40 feet by 20 feet, and giving it the form ff a crucifix. The lower is 40 feaf in height, and is as yet in an unfinished condition, bring intended to carry it sufficiently high to serve as a landmark for mile< around. The church is remarkably well lighted, there being no less than sixty single windows, the glass of which has a sage green ground figured with various colored crosses, the tints blending v.ith the happiest effect and shedding a soft subdued light within, very pleasing to the eye. Tho architect was Mr F. W. Petre, of Dunedin ; the contractor, Mr Small, of the same place; his foreman being Mr Stevens ; and the sub-contractors for the masonry were Messrs Stephenson and Haigh, of Dunedin and Christchurch. The'painting was all dune by Mr Small, and no fault can be found with the manner in which the work has been performed. ,The plumbing, which appears to have been executed in first rate style, was entrusted to Mr Walter Dolman. Altogether the Catholics may well feel proud of their new church, which is probably as handsome and well finished a structure of tho kind as is to be found in the colony. The church was built to accommodate between 600 and 700 people, and yesterday morning it was well filled by Catholics and a good many visitors belonging to other denominations, many having come long distance's to be present on such an interesting and important occasion.

The Rev. Father O’Donnell, of Christchurch, conducted the service in a very impressive manner, the choir rendering the responses, etc., in a way that evinced the care they had bestowed on the music. Bishop Redwood then delivered a most eloouent sermon on the text “ Behold I am with you all days even until the consummation of the world ” —Matthew 28 chap., 20th vers?. The discourse was chiefly devoted to a brief outline of the history of the Romish Church, in which the preacher alluded to its great antiquity, and expatiated on the difficulties and the dangers it had encountered, and the persecutions and the wrongs it had suffered, from all of which it had emerged triumphant, unchanged and unchanging. The Catholic Church was the tree of life which struck its roots right down to the very orign of the world ; she was formed iiirthe womb of time, and would last until the end of the world. She had played the most important part in the world’s history, for hn 1 influence for good had been enormous, and her power could never die, for she was eternal; as well might they attempt to pluck the sun from the firmament as lessen or destroy the power of the Catholic Church. The Bishop brought his remarks to a close by warmly congratulating his hearers on the possession of such a beautiful church, which lie must confess had surpassed all his expectations. And if thochnrch was beautiful, than, what would It bo when the chancel was added, when the tower was completed, and when the bells joyously rang out I Who would have thought six or seven years ago that Ashburton would have such a church as they were then assembled in that day ? Six or seven years ago he passed through the place himself, and there was nothing then to mark it but a public-house and a few cottages. See how it had risen —see how the church had risen. He thanked them for that church, and ho thankee 1 their good priest who had been untiring in his efforts to get the church erected. Father Coffey had indeed been full of energy and courage. Lie (the Bishop) regretted there was yet, a debt upon the church. On an occasion iko that they might well feel pleased and proud at what they had accomplished, and he trusted they would not tire of the good work they had aided so well, for he was going to appeal once more to their generosity, and before he did so, he would tell thorn that although he had much upon his hands, and the demands were heavy upon his purse for ho was a poor Bishop, yet he could not let that occasion pass without the honorand the pleasure of giving a donation. Although ho had already given a handsome donation he would give again, and he hoped that they would show themselves worthy of the land they came from by giving liberally and freely. fie would begin by putting a ten-pound-note in the plate, and he hoped many of them would double that. Father Coffey, who was more i , tercsted in that particular church than he was, had given L2o—double his (the Bishop’s) gift—and ho hoped they would not allow their priest and those assisting him to out-do them in liberality. They were not to give to him (the Bishop) they were not to give to their priest, they were to give to God. The plate was then handed round, and the Bishop’s earnest appeal met with a moat liberal response. The Rev. Father O’Donnell then celebrated mass, the choir rendering Mozart’s beautiful and impressive music in the most praiseworthy manner. The choir

was composed as follows Trebles : Mesdames Craighead and Savage, and Misses Sinclair, Green, and Butler. Altos: Misses Cullen, Savage, and G. Gates. Tenors ; Messrs Higgins, Pickford, Moison, C. R. Andrewes, Quinlan, and W. Townshend. Basses : Messrs Simmons, T. A. Gates, A. S. Gates, and W. Adams. Soloists : Mrs Craighead and Mr E. Higgins. The whole of these ladies and gentlemen, who have been practising most assiduously for the occasion for some time past, acquitted themselves with much credit, more especially Mrs Craighead and Mr Higgins, the soloists. Mr Horace Gates, who has made quite a name for himself as a musical conductor, led the choir most efficiently, and a notice of this kind would be incomplete without a word of especial praise to Miss Gates, who pro dded so ably at the organ. Vespers were held at 7 o’clock in the evening, after which Bishop Redwood again preached. There wes once more a crowded congregation. At tho close of the service Bishop Redwood thanked the choir in the name of the congregation for the valuable assistance they rendered, and which had gone so far to make the service beautiful, attractive, and impressive. The offertories, morning and evening, amounted to the handsome sum of L2OO, a fact which speaks volumes for the Catholics as a body, for it proves them anxious and willing to second the efforts of their priest. It may not be out of place to mention here that Mr Horace Gates was presented the other oveninr, by Father Coffey, in the presence of the assembled choir, with a handsomely silver-mounted ebony baton, in recognition of the valuable services rendered by him in connection with the music. It should also be stated that Miss Gates has been presented by Father Coffey with a handsomely bound work four volume? being comprised in two, — entitled, “The National Portrait Gallery,” and tho books, in their rich crimson and gilt covers are fit to adorn the shelves of any library. The gift was made as a small testimony to the efficiency and ability of Miss Gates as an organist.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18821211.2.9

Bibliographic details

THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume IV, Issue 815, 11 December 1882

Word Count
1,693

THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume IV, Issue 815, 11 December 1882

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