Dublin Beauty

Photos by John Briody

In recent years, Saint Kevin’s in Portobello has been the home of the Latin Mass Chaplaincy for the Dublin Archdiocese. This 19th century Gothic gem is glowing with color and statuary. People are traveling to be part of the parish. The trendy neighborhood has been treated to the sights and sounds of orthodox Catholic worship for the first time in decades. But what do the people think? REGINA Magazine interviewed parishioners to find out.

“I was first introduced to the Latin Mass as a student. I realised straightaway, although not in so many words, that this ancient form of the Roman Rite made visible and communicated in a very powerful way, through its liturgy, chant, vestments and incense, the Mystery of the Incarnation, of God-with-us. At the same time, I discovered that  the TLM shaped our response to this once-enacted, oft re-presented Mystery: the worship of God really, truly and substantially present on our altars. This by means of orientation, silence, kneeling and the reception of Holy Communion on the tongue.”   Adula, 50

“Our Latin Mass community had a nomadic existence for many years, wandering from church to church – like the Children of Israel in the desert. When His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI promulgated his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum (July 2007), there was great joy, vastly enhanced by the generous decision of His Grace, Dr. Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, to establish a Latin Mass Chaplaincy for the Dublin Archdiocese at St Kevin’s in fashionable Portobello. I think that wandering in the desert for TLM community led to a very re-active Faith, since it survived in a largely misunderstanding environment. Perhaps we tended to be on the defensive, always ready to justify our love for the ancient Roman Rite and its disciplines.”    Adula, 50

“I was immensely grateful to God and the Chaplain, Fr. Gerard Deighan, that for his funeral my Dad had the Traditional Latin Requiem Mass with Gregorian Chant. Subsequently, the same blessing was shared by my Mum and my Godmother. St. Kevin’s gave stability to our community, allowing us to put down roots and live a normal Catholic life. Apart from attending Holy Mass and various devotions such as First Fridays, I am involved in St Kevin’s Schola Cantorum and I help with the flower arranging. There are a number of social activities, such as tea in the parish hall, organised by a different family each month. Recently there was a walking pilgrimage to the ancient monastery of St Kevin in Glendalough.”  Adula, 50

“I have been attending St Kevin’s since 2009. I am about a fifteen minute drive from St Kevin’s on a Sunday morning. I discovered St Kevin’s when some friends from the prolife movement told me about the Latin Mass and invited me to attend with them.”      Brian, 30

“I loved it. I felt like I was attending Mass as it was intended to be. Mass is clearly presented as a sacrifice and a return to Calvary and inspires the truth of the Catholic faith. Furthermore, the priests at St. Kevin’s are true shepherds, consistently delivering sermons that challenge and inspire.”     Brian, 30

“Before discovering St Kevin’s, my experience of Mass had been largely disappointing. The banal and superficial guitar music with the priest turning his back to God, was perhaps fine when I was five or ten years old, but it frustrated and undermined a mature, masculine and dignified spirit of prayer and reverence.” Brian, 30

“The Mass at St Kevin’s is magnificent. The church itself is a Pugin Gothic monument to the great Irish saint and the Gregorian Chant raises the soul to God. I do all I can to bring friends to this glorious Mass.”   Brian, 30

“My prior experience was the Novus Ordo in my local parishes of Rathgar and Terenure, and with the Carmelite Order where I was at school. The Holy Sacrifice of Mass in the EF has considerably deepened my faith, and strengthened my Catholic identity.”  Ian, 45

“I am married and have five children — ages 9, 7, 5, 3, and an 8 month old.  I was brought up a practising Catholic with Mass on Sunday, the Rosary before bed and a very good foundation. This was thanks to my devout Mother, who grew up in a time when the catechism was well learned and put into practice.  I suppose I honestly thought I was doing the best that I could.  Looking back I wasn’t. I was what you might call now “lukewarm”.  I just went along with my eyes closed and didn’t put much thought into many things. I left the thinking to other people.”  Claire, 40

“The reason I initially choose St Kevin’s was because they celebrate the Traditional Latin mass; a very good priest friend of mine stirred me in this direction.  The Traditional Mass at St Kevin’s had an immediate effect and attraction.  I began to love the Mass and started to feel positively different.  I wanted my family to experience this as well.”      Claire, 40

“This most beautiful mass, being our highest form of prayer, is carried out with such respect and reverence that it draws you in. How many graces this Mass must attain for us.  Jesus deserves our utmost devotion and honour so why accept or give him anything less than our best. ”     Claire, 40

“It is compulsory to kneel and receive Holy Communion on the tongue and not in the hand. What a beautiful expression of humility and belief.  The Protestants didn’t believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist; originally in the 16th century they introduced taking Communion in their hand as a sign of their belief.  Some Catholic clergy in Holland brought it in after Vatican II.  I do believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, so for me it is important not only to show my respect to Jesus but to proclaim this truth, and with the support of these priests making it the norm I can do this with ease.”    Claire, 40

“The beauty of the Mass itself is complemented by the surroundings.  The high altar is adorned with heavenly angels and saints and the exquisite stained glass windows bring you into the mysteries of Our Lord and Our Lady’s lives here on earth.  The perfect setting where you can sit and contemplate how each of these events played out.  I have listened to many a great Sermon. They teach truths that many may fear tackling because of the kind of society we live in today where “wrong is right and right is wrong”, what diabolical disorientation we have to live through. We must love the truth and defend it. I see these Priests as true shepherds who really care and protect us. In our time when dogmas are undermined and trampled underfoot we need heroic priests to voice with us, Traditional Catholic beliefs.  By safeguarding our Catholic Tradition and truths, they are the stars that will lead us to heaven.  I want this for my children, doesn’t every mother?”        Claire, 40

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