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Spirited Ireland

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Modern Churches

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Images of Ireland - Belmullet Catholic Church

Belmullet

I don't know what happened to the Catholic Church in Ireland. I heard, not many bother with going to mass regularly. The mass in Belmullet, County Mayo, had many visitors though when I went there, curious, how mass in rural Ireland would be like. What I felt was pity for the many children, who tried to entertain themselves during the liturgy and preach. Someone told me, Irish priests hurry up to make sure, people (and themselves) don't miss to be back for football on TV. Doesn't count for the Belmullet priest though. The sermon about peace made sense, but was barely to understand. There was no singing, no music, nothing to let people join in except a few parts in liturgy. I got a flyer with the text and still couldn't follow, it was too quick. Would that leave any deeper impression in a childs heart?

Electric Lights

Electric candles banished real candlelight not only in Binghamstown, Mullet Peninsula, County Mayo. The nice habit to light a candle for people we love, people who suffer, for ourselves is spreaded all over the country. But is it still the same with "electric-trick"? Mind you, Sacre Coer in Paris and many other cathedreals have real candles. Of course, there's always the danger of fire, but if not the church offers authenticity, who then? I would love to discuss this subject with the bishops, honestly. For me it's one of the alarming signs, that church becomes more and more shallow. Even without the lately discovered lapses of priests - the Catholic Church in Ireland has a huge amount of work to do if the sense of religion shall survive.

Images of Ireland - Mullet Peninsula Binghamstown Catholic Church
Images of Ireland - Fossa Prince of Peace Church

Prince of Peace Church

Dedicated to the Prince of Peace and the ideal of reconciliation this church was built in 1977 by the people of Fossa, County Kerry, under the leadership of their priest Father James Galvin. It was designed and constructed by men and women of this islands Four Provinces, Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connacht.

Marriage

Can you imagine how great a marriage in this church would be? Looking through the huge window behind the altar, the lakes, the mountains, Gods presence in nature got a place in this amazing church. Excuse me for getting sentimental and carried away. In front of my inner eyes a loving couple is standing there, exchanging rings, and they not only give their promise to each other and to God, but to Ireland as such. What God has joined together ...

Images of Ireland - Fossa Prince of Peace Church
Images of Ireland - Fossa Prince of Peace Church

Priests Chair

I never was to mass in Fossa Church, but I can't imagine it's as boring as the other masses I visited. A priest, who works here, should carry some of the landscapes spirituality in his heart. And when then he sits down on this chair after preach, the visitors mind can wander to the cross outside and further down to the lake to take a rest from rational religious thoughts and find spirituality. It doesn't need huge cathedreals to meet God, just nature will do, but this little church is somewhat special. Guess I take the next chance to go to Mass in Fossa.

Stella Maris - Quilty

It happened in October 1907 when a raging storm hit the Clare coast. The French ship "Leon xiii" was completing her journey from America with a cargo of wheat when it was swept on the reefs near Quilty. The ship was smashed on a reef, splitting in two. The fishermen of Quilty made a brave effort to rescue the crew, using only their currachs. Newspaper reports lauded their bravery and a fund was established, partly for the needs of the fishermen but with the remainder to be used for the building of a church in Quilty. A site was provided free of charge. The architect offered his services. The sand and stones were provided at no cost and the necessary labour was provided by the people of Quilty. The church was opened on October 9th, 1911 and was named "Stella Maris" - Star of the Sea. It houses a lovely statue of St. Brigid.

Images of Ireland - Quilty Catholic Church

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