Mission at Tulla County Clare

15th July 1867
Edit

Newspaper Extract from the Irish Examiner, 15 July 1867

The Dominican Fathers are at present conducting a mission in the parish of Tulla, County Clare.  The labours of these devout and holy men have been crowned with success, for the chapel was thronged during the week with postulants availing themselves of the opportunity thus afforded of approaching the adorable Sacrament, and reconciling themselves with God.  The mission was formally opened on Sunday by a procession and solemn high mass, which was celebrated by that gifted young clergyman, the Rev. John Egan, of the Diocesan College, Ennis.  The Rev. E. O'Mealy, P.P., Scariff, presided in the choir.  Immediately after Mass, there was a most eloquent and impressive discourse preached by the Rev. F. Williard of the Dominican Convent, Cork, on that most awful text, which has led to the most remarkable conversions in every age of Christianity - "What doth it avail a man if he gain the world and suffer the loss of his own soul".  The Rev. gentleman was listened to with most marked attention by a very large and respectable congregation as he portrayed in solemn and awful accents the importance of eternal salvation and the frightful consequences that would attend its forfeiture.  This mission will produce results in the parish, the salutary effects of which shall be felt for many years to come.  The pressure of outward circumstances on the humbler classes at present is so burdensome that nothing short of strong religious feeling and a lively sense of their obligations to God can enable them to bear their loads without mourning and bitter complaints, and look up from the wrong and the persecutions of this world to their Heavenly Father for comfort and peace of mind.  The poor struggling man, when fortified with the sacred rites and consolations of the Catholic Church, can bear with humility and without murmuring those depressing circumstances which, otherwise, would steep him in hopeless wretchedness and drive him to do deeds destructive alike to soul and body.  To the parishioners of Tulla, our Lord, in His great mercy, has vouchsafed this mission in a manner so special that we think it worthy of particular record.  Under the inspiration of God this mission has been inaugurated through the generosity and piety of a lady connected with the parish, and deriving some income from it.  This lady is Mrs. Nicholas Murphy, of Norwood, Queenstown.  Her husband, some time ago, waited on the respected parish priest of Tulla, and said he and his good lady were anxious on account of their connection with the parish, to do something for the people, and that above all things, they were anxious to have a mission carried out, the expenses of which they would defray.  They preferred this to anything else they could do (and many are their acts of kindness) as being most likely to do the greatest amount of good.  The amount of good, spiritually and temporarily, which will accrue from this mission, cannot be overestimated, and it is refreshing to find examples of this kind when people are wearied, day after day, with accounts of the rigour  with which  the rights of property are exacted by parties by whom its duties stem to be absolutely forgotten.  Many a fervent prayer has been offered up this week at Tulla for Mr. and Mrs. Murphy, for they have been instrumental in waking up feelings and kindly aspirations in the hearts and souls of those who have hung with devotional fervour on the Divine truths that fell with irresistible persuasiveness, from the lips of the saintly Dominican Fathers.  The clergy of the parish gave the holy fathers that assistance which with them is a labour of love; and with that fervent zeal which is the true characteristic of our Irish priesthood.  We remember the evidence of Dr Doyle before the House of Lords.  That illustrious and gifted prelate stated that the greatest difficulty he had to encounter in his mission was that of reconciling the poor man to the dispensations of Providence.  The poor man on the roadside breaking stones for a miserable pittance murmured against the destiny which placed him on so low a level, while the violater of all laws-religious and social-rolled by in his carriage, covering the roadside sufferer with dust, or spattering him with the mud of the highway.  But the balm of religion allayed the bitterness of the poor man's heart, and instead of rebelling against the dispensations of Providence, he bowed down his head in humility, accepting all for the better, and thanking God for the grace vouchsafed him to thus see things in their proper light.  We have no doubt but the preaching of the pious Fathers during the past week at Tulla will be followed by similar salutary effects, and that the sacred influences of religious, with God's holy grace, will enable the people of this favoured parish to bear without complaining, the crosses and sufferings which seem, in a manner, to be inseparable from the lot of the poor Catholics of Ireland-- Tipperary and Clare Independence.