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IMPORTANT CEREMONY AT ST. JOSEPH'S CATHEDRAL.

There was a very large congregation at St. Joseph's Cathedral yesterday forenoon, when pontificial high mass was celebrated and a picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Succor was unveiled by Bishop Moran. Before the service commenced the Young Cecilians, under the Rev. Bro. Hughes, sang the hymn to the Lady of Perpetual Succor. The picture that was unveiled is an authentic copy of the original, which is exposed in the Church of San Alphonso —a church of the Redemptorist Fathers—on the Etquilinc, Via Merulana, Rome. It is painted on gold ground. The Grecian or Byzantine style thows that it comes from the East, and the best judges agree that the original must have been painted in the thirteenth or fourteenth century. The following is a description of it:—" Our Blessed Lady, in half figure, has her Child on her left arm, and in her right hand she holds the hands of Viet T>ivine Infant. The eyes o{ tVie BleßSed. Virgin are turned upon the beholder with a loving, but earnest expression, and seem to tell the aDguish of her soul at the sufferings of her Son. On either side of her head four Greek letters are seen whioh stand for the words ' Mother of God.' The Divine Infant is in full figure. He wears sandals, one of which is fastened to the foot, the other hanging loose. Over Hia left shoulder are the Greek letters signifying ' Jesus Christ.' He clasps His mother's right hand in His own as though He would seek protection from her, for He sees the instruments of His Passion presented to Him by the two angels at Fis side. The angel on the right, over whom are to be seen in Greek the initial letters of the name of ' Michael, the Archangel,' presents to the Holy Child the lance, the reed, and the sponge of His future Passion, while the angel on the left holds up before His gaze four nails and a cross with two beams, as well as the tablet of the inscription ; over Him are the initials in Greek of ' Gabriel' the Archangel.'" The copy that has been erected in St. Joseph's Cathedral was obtained from the *lsery Rev. N. Mauron, C.SS.R., superior-general and rector-major of the Rcdeinptorists, Rome ; it was blessed by His Holiness Leo P.P. XIII., and indulgenced by brief bearing date the 25th September, 188 S. The painting of the picture and the framework was done in Rome, but the rest of the work was done in Dunedin—and done in a manner that reflects the highest credit on the workmanehip employed. The designs wore supplied by Mr F. W. Petre, the brass work was executed by Messrs A. and T, Bart, the carving by M r Godfrey, the gilding aud painting of the side panels by Mr Scott (of the Octagon), and the wood work by Mr D. W. Woods.

The Rev. Father Lynch read the brief-of His Holiness the Pope, granting several indulgences in connection with the picture. Bishop Moran, having unveiled the picture, begged permission to eay a few words concerning the picture. He wished to Bay these words not for the purpose of instructing them—for already they were thoroughly well instructed—in reference to this matter, but for the purpose of reminding them—as it was only fitting in his opinion that they should be reminded on such an occasion—of the objects they had in view and the motives by which they were actuated in erecting that picture and in unveiling it that day. In that church they had a confraternity called the Confraternity of Our Lady of Perpetual Succor. This confraternity had been blessed by the church; it had been already established, he might say universally, throughout the church; and experience showed it had been the source of untold blessing to the members and to others in the congregation, and in a large sense to the neighborhood. His Holiness the Pope had by indulgences commended this picture to them, but the honor they paid it was not to the picture itself. No doubt they honored the picture as they would honor portraits of their father and mother, and they paid to it a certain amount of respect; but they did not appeal to the picture, because it was without life and sense to hear or help them. The object of their honor, therefore, was not so much the picture in itself as the person represented by the picture ; and in giving a certain amount of honor to the picture they honored the person who was represented. This was their intention, and this was what they did. There could be no doubt that if they were to dishonor a picture or image of the Sovereign they would dishonor the Sovereign herself, and be guilty in a certain sense of an act of treason. In various parts of Great Britain there were statues of Her Majesty the Queen. If these were dishonored or outraged, all would consider that an outrage had been offered to Her Majesty and to the sovereign authority. Many years ago, when he was himself a schoolboy, a statue of William 111. in College Green, Dublin, was thrown down by some wild, daring fellows, and that was regarded as an act of treason against his memory and as an outrageous deed. Now, was it not clear that if by treating with dishonor a picture they were regarded as treating the person represented with dishonor, so on the other hand if they honored a picture or statue they honored the individuals represented; and the honor was not given to the material statue, but because it was representative of one who was deserving of honor. If it was considered a meritorious act and an evidence of lcyalty to erect a statue to Her Majesty, the Queen, was it not permissible to raise statues and erect images in honor of the blessed mother of the Divine Redeemer ? The honor, therefore, was paid not to the statue itself, but to the person represented. He might ask them a further question: Why did they honor the blessed Virgin Mary at all ? The reason was that she deserved it both on account of her dignified position and her relation to the three persons of the adorable Trinity, and because of her own intrinsic merits. She was the blessed mother of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; Ho was' the Godmade man; and as Jesus Christ was God, she was therefore the mother of God. She held a place immeasurably, of course, below that of the Godhead, but immensely above that of the rest of creation. Her position was unique, for there could not be another incarnation. They honored her because she was the mother of Jesus, and because of the honor that God bestowed upon her in the annunciation, and surely it was their duty to follow the example of God. She was eminently deserving of honor, and without grudging sentiments and with all their hearts they should honor her for God's sake, for the sake of her Divine Son, and for her great chastity and humility, her great obedience and great sufferings, and for the great part she was permitted to take in the amazing work of the redemption of mankind. Therefore it was that they raised statues in her honor and that they erected pictures in her memory—those were their objects and reasons. It would be a holy thing and a meritorious thing for them to come there from time to time to offer up their petitions to ask for assistance in their necessities, to bewail their transgressions and to ask the holy mother of the Divine Redeemer to take them under her particular protection, to be to them a mother in need, and to present their petitions through the merits of her DiviDo Sou to the Eternal Father. Ho felt, and had no doubt, that that would be a holy spot, that it would emphatically be a place of prayer, and he had not the slightest doubt that their devotion would bring down upon them all gic.tt blessings for time and eternity. His Lordship concluded by giving the congregation the plenary indulgence.

The celebrant of mass was the bishop, aad the Right Rev. Monsignor Coleman was assistant priest. The Very Rev. Father M'Kay and the Rev. Father Burke were the deacons on the throne ; the Rev. Father P. O'Neill, deacon ; the Eev, FatherM'Manns, Bub-deacon ; and the Revs. Fathers Lynch and O'Dormell, masters of ceremonies. Farmer's Mass in 13 Jl.it was rendered, the choir being accompanied by a string qmtet, consisting of Messrs Schacht (first violin), Ziele (second violin), Cameron ('cello), Royco (viola), and Robcrtshaw (bass), in addition to Miss Horan, the organist of St. Joseph's. The soloists were—Misses Corrigan, Woods, and Mills (sopranos), Mrs Angus and Miss Murphy (altos); Messrs Carolinand N. Smith (tenors), Messrs Corrigan and Cantwell (basses). Tnc choral portion of the service, which was under the conductorship of Mr Ward (the choirmaster), also included the hymn 'Gome, O Creator, Spirit blessed,' the hymn to Our Lady of Perpetual Succor (which was sung by the choir and congregation after the unveiling of the picture), Webb's 'Ecce Sacerdos,' and the Rev. Dr Crookall's 'Te Deum Laudamus.' Mr Schacht played in addition a romance by Cainpagnoli as a violin solo.

The altar and picture were tastefully decorated by the Dominican nuns, and when the candles were lighted the effect was very beautiful.

At the conclusion of the servico Bishop Moran thanked the choir for their services, which had helped materially to make the mass so successful, and alluded to the elevation of Father Coleman to the rank of monaignor as being a well-deserved honor. A set of handsome branch candlesticks lor fie altar, presented to the cathedral by the Very Rev. James Canon Lee (of Dublin), an old friend of the bishop's, were used for the first time at this service; and the bishop also wore, for the first time, a beautiful gold pectoral cross, on which were engraved the bishop's coat of arms—a figure of St. Pattick, with his arms, and a bunch of shamrocks. The cross was suspended on a massive gold chain, and the whole were a gift to the bishop from some friends.

DOMINICAN CONVENT PRIORY.

In the afternoon the ceremony of blessing the corner atone of the Dominican Convent Priory that is in course of erection was performed by Bishop Moran, in the presence of several hundred persons assembled both inside the groundß and in tin streets. The proceedings were almost entirely of a devotional nature. The choir on the occasion consisted of the priests, the nuns, the choir of St. Joseph's, the pupils of the convent, and the choir boys of the Cathedral. The psalms ' Quam dilecta,' 'Nisi Dominus,' • Miserere,' and the hymn ' Veni Creator' were sung, after which the bishop solemnly blessed the stone, under which were placed nopies of tho daily papers and of the «Tablet.'

Bishop Moban then addressed a few words to those who were present, stating that while he was in Ireland a gentleman, who was unknown to them, placed in his hands a very handsome subscription in aid of the erection of that building. He would place that subscription on the stone, together with a subscription of his own—an instalment only of what he intended to give. Be commended the work most earnestly to them, and intimated that contributions towards its completion would be received on the stone. His Lordship, however, subsequently stated that as probably they had not come prepared to lay their contributions upon the stone, those who desired to contribute might leave their names and forward their subscriptions to the treasurer. The ' Magnificat' was then sung, followed by the 'Vivat,' and the proceedings then terminated.

The cathedral was again crowded at vespers in the evening. Before the servico the picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Succor was lighted up, and the whole congregation Bang a hymn. Bishop Moran presided, and was supported by the Very Rev. Father M'Kay, Father O'Neill, and Father Burke, the latter acting as officiant, assisted by Fathers O'Donnell and M'Manus. The Right Rev. Monsignor Coleman was in the sanctuary, and the Rev. Father Lynch was the master of ceremonies'. The choral service included the ' Tantum Ego ' and Crookall's *Te Deum.' Mr Dunn, of Wellington, sang ' O, salutaris,' and Mr Schacht played as a violin solo one of Beethoven's compositions. The bishop preached, and in the course of his sermon referred to the Roman question, stating that the Pope was practically a prisoner in the Vatican.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18891014.2.2

Bibliographic details

IMPORTANT CEREMONY AT ST. JOSEPH'S CATHEDRAL., Issue 8037, 14 October 1889

Word Count
2,100

IMPORTANT CEREMONY AT ST. JOSEPH'S CATHEDRAL. Issue 8037, 14 October 1889

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