Cardinal Dolan of New York Cardinal Dolan of New York 

Cardinal Dolan to mark 150 years of Armagh's St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York will celebrate Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh, Ireland, to commemorate 150 years of its dedication, as the Archdiocese prepares for various celebrations and activities to remember the historic moment later this week.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, will celebrate Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh, Ireland, to commemorate 150 years of its dedication, which took place on 24 August 1873.

For the special occasion, the American prelate from St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, will be the main celebrant and preacher at a Mass of Thanksgiving in the cathedral on Sunday, 27 August, at 11 am.  

All are welcome to attend the Mass that will be a celebration, "to give praise and thanks to God for the faith expressed within the cathedral," the Archdiocese announced.

The Archdiocese of Armagh, from Thursday to Sunday of this week, will be celebrating the historical event. 

The foundation stone of the cathedral was laid by Archbishop and Primate William Crolly on Saint Patrick’s Day, 1840, but all building work was later suspended due to the famine, and funds raised were distributed for the relief of the poor. 

In 1854, work on the cathedral resumed after Easter under the leadership of Primate Joseph Dixon. But it was Primate Daniel McGettigan who oversaw the completion of the building, and declared Sunday 24 August 1873, as the day of its opening and dedication. Massive crowds from all over Ireland, and beyond, attended the opening.

Archbishop Eamon Martin invites everyone

Archbishop Eamon Martin has invited the people of Ireland and around the world, especially whose ancestors contributed to the construction of the cathedral, to join in joyful prayers of thanksgiving on this special anniversary. 

The Primate of All Ireland also invites all those who wish, to attend the celebrations together with the faith community of the Archdiocese of Armagh, representing the many generations who have passed through the doors of the cathedral over the past century and a half.

This week, on Thursday, 24 August, an outdoor ‘Celebration for Families’ will take place in the Shambles Yard, Armagh, at the cathedral's main gates, between 5 pm to 7 pm. 

For all families throughout the Archdiocese and beyond, there will be music, entertainment, and activities. For the evening prayer which will begin at 7:30 pm, groups and organisations from across the Archdiocese will follow bands in procession from the Shambles Yard to the cathedral, twenty minutes earlier.  

Countless activities to commemorate

Representatives of different groups and parishes from across the diocese will be involved. 

During the Evening Prayer, there will be an unveiling and dedication of a specially-commissioned icon of Saint Patrick, written by the Redemptoristine Sisters in Drumcondra, Dublin.

After the ceremony, a print of the icon will be presented to each parish of the Archdiocese.

Community and other Church leaders, and representatives from other dioceses,  join together that night. 

Archbishop Martin will lead the Evening Prayer, accompanied by the Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh, Bishop Michael Router, and retired Archbishop of Armagh, Cardinal Seán Brady.

Local primary school children's exhibition of thoughts about the cathedral, has been in place in the cathedral ambulatory since June, and will remain until after this weekend’s celebrations.

The Cardinal Ó Fiaich Library and Archive is also hosting a free exhibition of historical documents and artifacts covering the building of the cathedral. This exposition will run until the end of August, Monday to Friday from 10 am until 4 pm, and with introductory talks, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:45 am.

Listen to the report:


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22 August 2023, 08:38