Behind the doors of St Patrick’s archive is a wealth of historical materials and documents relating to the Church and Parish. From paper documents like St Patricks school registers and local maps to some slightly more ornate objects…
A Monstrance is a vessel in which the consecrated host is held in the Catholic Church. The word Monstrance derives from the Latin word monstrare, meaning ‘to show’, so they are often ornate and aim to draw the eye. The Monstrance in St Patrick’s does just that. It was designed by John Smith & Sons in their Wicklow St, Co Dublin studios, which developed an impressive reputation in the 19th century as manufacturers of tasteful, Italian style, ecclesiastical objects. The Monstrance was thoughtfully designed with representations of the disciples Matthew (man), Mark (lion), Luke (Ox), & John (Eagle), aiming to reflect the stages of the cross. Given its delicacy, the Monstrance is kept in secure conditions, inside a box. Although it has occasionally been used in mass services in St Patrick’s Church since 1999.
In the Catholic Church service, the Chalice is used as a receptacle to hold the sacramental wine. St Patrick’s Chalice is distinctly ornate. Fashioned from gold, the stem of the Chalice is shaped as a tree trunk. On the base of the Chalice, a scene from the garden of the Mount of Olives with men asleep on ground is depicted and also a paten with Lamb of God. The Monstrance also holds special symbolism to the parish as it was a gift. The Chalice was gifted to the parish on 25th September 2019 by a Father Seamus Kerr, which the then serving Priest in St Patrick’s, Father Tony McAleese, gratefully received. The chalice had first been a gift to Father Kerr from his deceased brother on the occasion of his 50th Anniversary to the priesthood. Both Father Kerr and his brother had been altar servers in St Patricks, although he was more recently a priest in the diocese of Washington State, USA.
St Patrick’s is home to many more ornate and beautiful objects, designed lovingly by craftsmen as testament to the depth of their Catholic faith. Unfortunately, these cannot always be on a show or are not in regular use. They do, however, remain lovingly cared for behind closed doors. Here, we have shed light into just two pieces of St Patrick’s wealth of archival gems!