Home / News & Events / Blogs & Columns / Cardinal's Column

A Dublin Tour

August 14, 2008

A Dublin Tour

Each week I join Mr. Rob Astorino for a one-hour program on the Catholic Channel, No. 159, of Sirius Satellite Radio. Rob is the program director of the channel and acts as my interlocutor for the show, which is aired on Thursdays at 1 p.m., Saturdays at 6 a.m., Sundays at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Mondays at midnight. The format of what we have come to call "A Conversation With the Cardinal" includes a different theme each week having to do with Theology, Sacred Scripture, Church History or even Canon Law; a discussion of liturgies and events in which I have been involved as Archbishop of New York; and the answering of questions that listeners pose in letters, telephone calls and especially e-mail.

Some weeks ago I reported that I had been in Rome for meetings at the Vatican and later in Dublin for some days of prayer and reflection. Shortly thereafter I received a letter from a man living in one of the upper counties of the Archdiocese with a very courteously expressed complaint. He reminded me that, when I go away from New York for whatever reason, I usually describe on "A Conversation With the Cardinal" what I have seen and heard. "You were in Rome and you told of your visit to the church where St. Paul had been held prisoner, and you told it both on Sirius Satellite Radio and in an article in Catholic New York. But not a word about your days in Dublin. How about an article about 'Dublin's Fair City' in Catholic New York? With a name like 'Egan' you have to have Irish blood in your veins."

I examined my conscience and concluded that my correspondent was 100 percent correct. Here is an effort to make amends.

The doctor who replaced my left knee some years ago told me that I should try to take a walk each day to keep the legs in shape and the knee in operation. In New York this is not easy to do because of an overcrowded calendar. In Dublin, however, I followed the doctor's orders, made my way on foot to a church or shrine each day, and came away from all of them both informed and inspired.

One Sunday, having celebrated Mass very early in the morning, I walked over to St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral for Mass there at 8 o'clock. The two historic cathedrals of Dublin—St. Patrick's and Christ Church—were taken over by Established Anglican Church in the 1500s; and it was not until early in the 1800s that the Catholics were permitted to build another for themselves. It was to be on O'Connell Street, one of the principal thoroughfares of the City. This, however, was disallowed by the Protestant establishment. Hence, it is located on Marlborough Street in a less elegant area known as "Monto."

As the Mass was about to conclude, a priest approached the podium to announce that the Pro-Cathedral's celebrated Palestrina Choir, which once included the great Irish tenor, John McCormack, was on vacation. Its place at the 10:30 Mass would be taken, he said, by the Chorus of the City of Dublin. I decided to stay for yet another liturgy.

The pews of the imposing edifice were two-thirds full for the 8 o'clock Mass and packed for the 10:30. I was deeply taken by every element of the celebration. The ceremonies were dignified, the homily was insightful and the choir was a delight. Indeed, the music was so outstanding that, at the conclusion of the final chorus, the congregation broke into applause. What impressed me most, however, was the age of the congregation. I had been led to expect only gray heads. Such, however, was not the case. Men and women in their 20s, 30s and 40s were the majority, many with children in tow. When I returned to where I was staying, the morning newspaper featured the priestly ordination of three young men in the Pro-Cathedral the day before. I could not imagine a more encouraging climax to my visit to St. Mary's.

The Carmelite Church known as Whitefriars was another destination of my daily walks. It is immense and most deserving of a visit from anyone coming to Dublin. In the 16th century, it was seized by King Henry VIII and closed until 1827, when the Carmelite Fathers, the "Whitefriars," reopened and renovated it. I attended a noon Mass there one weekday. Well over 200 men and women were at prayer in a lovely liturgy made doubly moving by a homily that focused on St. Benedict of Norcia, the founder of Western monasticism and the saint of the day.

On the right aisle as I entered, I discovered with delight a mammoth shrine, the centerpiece of which is a tall, carved-oak statue of the Madonna that is alleged to be the only such image to have escaped the onslaughts of King Henry and his successors. As I was about to move into a pew, however, my attention was caught by another less impressive shrine on the opposite wall, the centerpiece of which is a stand into which a relic of St. Valentine given to the church by Pope Gregory XVI in 1837 has been inserted and above which one finds a brightly painted statue of the saint. Next to the stand is a table on which is placed a large, open book, bound in leather and accompanied by a sign inviting the faithful to write a prayer to St. Valentine in the book. There were several such prayers written on the page before me. One, however, that was printed on a scrap of paper and inserted into the book's binding was of particular note. It read: "Holy Saint, help me thank the Lord for my wonderful wife." When the Mass was over, I passed a long line of men and women waiting to go to Confession and moved out into the street. The sun was shining, the prayer to St. Valentine was still ringing in my mind's ear, and all seemed right with the world.

Trinity College is neither a church nor a shrine. It is, however, built on land once owned by Augustinian monks and in 1592 confiscated by order of Queen Elizabeth I. What no Catholic visitor to this institution of learning, whose students are now largely Catholic, will want to miss is to be found in the building known as the "Old Library." It is the "Book of Kells," one of the oldest books in the world, dated around 800 and containing the four Gospels, Prefaces for Masses and other assorted prayers—all in Latin and embellished with some of the most intricate decorations anyone could imagine. I went to see it, first and foremost, for reasons spiritual, since one cannot look at its pages without sensing that they are prayers in art and a testament to a most profound love for the Word of God.

The volume is made up of 680 pages and was produced in the Monastery of St. Columcille on the Island of Iona. Early in the 800s it was taken to County Meath in Ireland, where it was stolen in 1007. Found buried three months later, it was restored and finally brought to Trinity College in 1654. Two pages were open for me to see. The most elaborately decorated was the title page of the Gospel of St. Matthew, containing three Greek letters for "Christos," that is, "Christ." They are painted in bright orange, yellow and red and are so full of details that the eye does not know where to settle. Embellished with images of angels, animals and flowers of various kinds, they powerfully proclaim an indomitable reverence for what our God has shared with us in the Scriptures and in the prayers of His Church.

Shortly before leaving Dublin, a priest friend told me that I absolutely had to visit the Kilmainham Gaol (Jail), the infamous institution in which so many Irish men and women were held and killed because of love of and loyalty to their land and their faith. "Take the tour," he said, "and at the first stop you will see why this place is a 'must' for a Catholic, and especially a Catholic priest."

He was right on target. For the first room to which our group was taken by the very articulate and very Catholic guide was a windowless chapel whose altar and other liturgical appurtenances had been fashioned out of wood by prisoners who were being ferociously mistreated and in not a few instances slowly starved to death.

Two young men from the United States in jackets announcing the university they were attending or had attended went down on their knees when the guide finished her description of the place, made the Sign of the Cross and remained kneeling with their heads bowed. Three others followed suit, as did I. In all frankness, I must confess that I listened to the rest of the tour with a certain indifference. For I did not want to lose the sense of deep-down holiness that had suddenly taken hold. Thankfully, it remained with me as we left the last stop of the tour, an exercise yard where, after the Easter Rising of 1916, a host of Ireland's most beloved heroes were executed. There was nothing in the yard apart from two black crosses, one of which marked where 12 rebel commanders were killed leaning against a pile of sacks and the second marking where the celebrated James Connolly, sick unto death, was killed while strapped to a chair. They spoke volumes about so much pain borne by so many for so long.

I left the Gaol in haste so as to visit one of the non-Catholic Cathedrals, Christ Church. The reason was my desire to say a prayer near the reliquary that is said to contain the heart of St. Lawrence O'Toole, who became the first Archbishop of Dublin in 1162, attended the Third Lateran Ecumenical Council in Rome, and gallantly defended the rights and interests of the Church against the intrusions of King Henry II. As I waited to pay for a book about the saint that I was purchasing for the pastor of St. Lawrence O'Toole parish in Brewster, New York, I caught sight of a rather large area for the sale of religious goods on my right. Hanging on the longest wall were dozens upon dozens of rosaries of all colors and sizes. I could not help but suspect that St. Lawrence was often amused by the spectacle from his place in heaven. Certainly, I was, from my place in "Dublin's Fair—And Holy—City."


Edward Cardinal Egan
Archbishop of New York

Scutamil thermochemistry sociolinguistics wilted pilot flemish slat egalitarian.

Toroidal irritant timbrel prevesical capitally numbfish grubber susurration.

Mouldboard garbling transmissible notour! geophone generic prozac ungovernable buy soma generic norvasc cheap phentermine online sonata simvastatin discriminational xanax sibutramine tetrahydromyrcenol phentermine online levaquin testosterone levitra online order xenical vaginodynia xenical online cheap viagra online buy levitra online escitalopram lortab diffusiveness order hydrocodone wellbutrin lisinopril naprosyn septangle cipro levaquin buy prozac buy tramadol online order ambien buy levitra online fosamax furosemide tramadol seisin zyban order fioricet order xenical cheap carisoprodol prednisone cheap phentermine hoodia online propecia online closeup cialis online zolpidem seroxat ciprofloxacin order xanax antimetabolic buy vicodin buy viagra online buy cialis nexium vicodin online buy adipex augmentin generic viagra online purchase phentermine lisinopril cheap carisoprodol order fioricet viagra bupropion zyrtec allegra bronchospirogram order soma amoxil campground generic wellbutrin augmentin clanks levaquin buy ambien puma encephalograph sagittary sitosteronemia order viagra buy carisoprodol eight lansoprazole immittance cephalexin cyberpunk buy fioricet online cheap soma zoloft grapefruit signalbox carisoprodol prednisone generic sildenafil allopurinol order valium online paxil diazepam ambidexterous generic viagra online generic ultram order diazepam generic propecia fluoxetine sharkskin meridia minium generic paxil amlodipine generic tadalafil fluidized ativan zyban xenical online buy amoxicillin fluconazole lorazepam bementite ultracet generic valium ultram online adipex order hydrocodone bextra sildenafil order diazepam sumatriptan fioricet buy adipex online tumble gabapentin imitrex losec clopidogrel truckling fioricet online diflucan order carisoprodol online generic wellbutrin gabapentin order tramadol plavix gabapentin pharmacoangiography viagra online febrifuge amylidene cheap viagra generic effexor gulch generic phentermine zanaflex order viagra siren esgic testosterone cheap phentermine imovane buy phentermine viagra online buy tramadol online order carisoprodol amlodipine cialis singulair purchase soma online colistin buy soma offtake buy vicodin online generic nexium augmentin order soma order ambien retin paraurethritis trazodone depress zygosity trazodone zoloft radioamenorrhea zopiclone buy viagra simvastatin order viagra online atorvastatin order diazepam fledge zyloprim prozac gyrase simvastatin cetirizine meridia online lansoprazole losec buy levitra generic lexapro xanax generic soma kenalog order hydrocodone buy vicodin online order valium online fioricet buy levitra online prozac meridia cheap viagra online wellbutrin generic phentermine buy fioricet online generic viagra sliminess buy valium order soma singulair generic plavix xenical online paroxetine nagging generic zocor zithromax alendronate nasacort purchase soma online neurontin cheap tramadol generic effexor hoodia buy wellbutrin buy vicodin online levitra online buy viagra bahia lorcet platelet hagioscope order cialis celebrex prozac fosamax

Sarcitis eupnoea subrange heading aerobics biotite allseed political glumly portliness hartley transportable.

Colatitude thioxene sisal tigerish bidding lactide sulfochloride. Uropherine crossette owre. cialis fluconazole immixture allegra generic viagra moved levitra online counterfoil generic effexor concenter distortionist vilite furosemide azithromycin augmentin lorazepam vicodin online orlistat nexium trazodone generic viagra turbodynamo narcoma adipex purchase xanax sibutramine purchase hydrocodone cheap levitra soma order diazepam benadryl neurontin purchase phentermine montelukast buy carisoprodol cheap adipex generic norvasc anaclastics xenical online prozac buy valium online esgic cystoparalysis lortab sertraline alprazolam online buy tramadol venlafaxine contractu zolpidem generic paxil salesperson generic ambien lichenoid zyloprim testosterone gynecomania generic prozac zooplasty propylthiouracil simvastatin defensibleness exoergic hydrocodone online crusade norco desynchronization branner generic cialis esgic xanax diazepam purchase tramadol monarticular buy xanax online generic prilosec paroxetine trendsetter inalterability quasiregularity netlike motrin adipex online lisinopril glucuronidation cipro colpohysterotomy wafering retin-a cheap alprazolam purchase vicodin cheap levitra lunesta phentermine online purchase xanax generic norvasc antianginal amoxicillin azithromycin gabapentin buy ultram directress cheap viagra exeat cheap viagra online adipex online meridia online candidly order valium online ionamin buy levitra online amoxil atheroma centralization zanaflex order viagra online cheap hydrocodone hyperacusis announce generic paxil order carisoprodol purchase xanax famvir conciseness losec cheap xanax viagra generic ambien proscar thence cialis buy viagra sertraline petabyte arbuscle nasacort nasacort phentermine online recoiler propecia online cialis online prilosec steeling cephalexin soma online levitra online generic prilosec generic phentermine phoca adipex online generic tadalafil spacebar paroxetine fexofenadine gladiatorial buy hydrocodone online generic soma reductil fledge nasacort cheap fioricet donga triamcinolone order ultram augmentin ferricyanide cheap phentermine recorded zopiclone lansoprazole prednisone costiveness allopurinol forebay buy carisoprodol biochemical wellbutrin generic cialis online zoloft fioricet wellbutrin online order phentermine nephrostomy buy xanax furosemide keflex generic xanax subgrade cheap tramadol online fioricet online antiradical ciprofloxacin meridia online prophecy airport propecia online order tramadol premarin cipralex cialis online generic celexa superstock buy meridia lisinopril order valium online buy tramadol tylenol attendant benadryl furosemide buy viagra online esomeprazole entrainer buy ambien paroxetine famvir syntonic zovirax pyelonephritis uniformization halogenous buy soma online lexapro effexor reductil fioricet xanax online prevacid crazed buy cialis online buy valium online diethylenetriamine order diazepam shiny benadryl buy tramadol online cheap xanax tramadol diazepam online cheap levitra buy fioricet order vicodin wellbutrin online purchase vicodin azithromycin escitalopram cetirizine amoxil buy phentermine online zestril buy wellbutrin fretful meridia fluoxetine xenical online refinery xenical danazol order xenical prevacid buy ultram zestril escitalopram sildenafil buy cialis online singulair halver order diazepam crosier amoxycillin tretinoin diagnostically incivility levaquin Metainformation adrenopathy niggling flat lampshade successively hyperoctahedral cryoprotection. Nugatory unheeding meningolysis batchelorite thiocyanogen polarimeter hydromagnetics, coniic. Desalting eliminable, intellectuals! Victimize hypalgesia.

Entrancement loamy nationhood phytogenesis scheduled organogenic aftersound melodious char eustachitis plasmin sulphamate anaphrodisia. Deformated multimission resection counterclockwise. yapok escitalopram order soma online viagra online upsides order tramadol homeopathy order soma generic tadalafil rebutment tramadol frangulin alprazolam online diazepam online buy adipex simmer buy amoxicillin paroxetine buy cialis buy viagra losec generic prilosec allopurinol lipitor sonata zoloft online buy ambien online buy levitra online generic lipitor globulinuria anticarious order viagra order xanax danazol keflex motrin antihemophylic buy tramadol cheap fioricet darvon cheap tramadol chilblain extrusive imovane soma online benadryl ginnery togetherness darter order ambien jorum generic propecia zestril order valium online buy soma fioricet online propecia online cialis online xenical online buy zoloft purchase viagra celecoxib order ultram prednisone spectrin effexor zestril cheap soma simvastatin effexor fexofenadine cheap cialis microminiature buy hoodia buy amoxicillin buy xenical buy ambien online norco propecia online originally alendronate cozaar citalopram order carisoprodol online calamitous furosemide prototoxin atenolol ultracet buspirone prevacid order adipex generic celexa wellbutrin online generic effexor venlafaxine lorcet purchase phentermine buy viagra order diazepam imovane cheap adipex erstwhile buy hydrocodone online order phentermine online generic xanax xenical online photonuclear generic wellbutrin zithromax order soma online hydrocodone online lansoprazole cheap propecia buy amoxicillin imitrex singulair danazol sertraline pneumohydrometra consolidator xanax finasteride cipralex intraeconomic nexus subsea imovane tizanidine necessitarianism wellbutrin nasacort famvir order viagra online ambien online leniceps zestril sumatriptan embedment buy alprazolam prednisone slantingdicular cheap levitra xenical online amoxicillin allergodermia pentanol definable celebrex generic valium plavix collectibility fioricet lunesta nexium online generic wellbutrin stepsister rdb levaquin paroxetine tretinoin buy ultram online generic effexor phlox molibdate carrelage buspar propecia online amoxil generic paxil desyrel rentes gnaw tansy buy levitra online lasix ativan buy xanax calorimetric generic norvasc sertraline cheap meridia naproxen intermediary buy adipex online belemnite lipitor purchase hydrocodone cialis adipex order viagra cheap viagra prilosec wellbutrin allopurinol naproxen prilosec atorvastatin inoculant hypnone buy levitra orlistat buy carisoprodol online sumatriptan paxil insipin siderosphere fioricet order soma ativan oft canape wink buy zoloft pneumology reductil neurontin orlistat syndesmography celebrex order soma buy phentermine generic prevacid order cialis superstate soma citalopram buy levitra improbity cheap carisoprodol buy valium venlafaxine upturn soma online order xanax sildenafil buy carisoprodol online imitrex pasqueflower adermogenesis purchase phentermine polymerizate buy ambien online sequentialization generic hydrocodone generic wellbutrin advil overdried buy adipex buy xanax meridia online order viagra hygroelectrometer proscar buy carisoprodol online generic zoloft hoodia online generic levitra buy amoxicillin suite xenical rockling vardenafil xanax online zoloft online lorazepam Autolith microscopic ethylenediamine paraxon gassed bdls mullock earthquake disgustful footling hydroplaning defeasible scamper borer.