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Open doors reveal church treasures on Culture Night

By Ann Marie Foley - 15 September, 2016


Nashville and a 800-year jubilee come together in Limerick this Friday on Culture Night.

The Dominican’s mark the 800th jubilee of their order, present in Limerick from almost the beginning but with a youthful Nashville twist.

The Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia only recently arrived in Limerick from Nashville Tennessee and will open their doors to the public for the night.

The Sisters hope to breath new life into St Saviour’s which was vacated by the Dominican friars in July.

The Sisters took over in mid-August stating that “This beautiful space in the heart of the city might otherwise have been lost”.

At St Saviour’s on Culture Night (16 September) they will speak about the 800-year-old Dominican Order, its foundation and how it has been shaped by prayer. Then everyone will be invited to join in night prayer and the reception that follows.

“All are welcome to a beautiful night were we celebrate the Dominican charism and pray together for Ireland,” Sr Mara Grace told catholicireland.net.

She is the superior of the group of four who came from their Mother house in Nashville, Tennessee.

St Saviours

St Saviours

Three Sisters are originally from the USA (Seattle, California and Kentucky) and one is from Cork, although they all come via the Nashville house.

Bishop Brendan Leahy, Bishop of Limerick sent a request for Sisters in the hope that the Dominican’s presence might remain in Limerick.

“Our mother superior was very excited to help the church in that way. The four of us arrived in August and we are working in the parish here at Sr Saviours and keeping it open and doing other work for the diocese,” said Sr Mara Grace.

This is a teaching order with schools all over the world, but mostly the United States.

The Sisters will be involved in catechesis in Limerick diocese as well as in the parish where they have been warmly welcomed.

“It was pretty overwhelming when we arrived, but we soon felt right at home. The people of Limerick are very hospitable,” said Sr Mara Grace.

On Friday they will open the doors of  St Saviour’s Church, Glentworth Street from 7pm – 8pm.

Many other landmarks of the church will open on Culture night including Clonliffe College in Dublin which will celebrate Crosscare on its 75 year anniversary and focus on the year 1941 when the charity began its work.

There will be church music played on the very fine organ, photographic exhibition, as well as 40s music and archival material.


This year the Liturgy Resource Centre Team, which Fr Pat O’Donoghue leads, is working in collaboration with Diocesan Archives and the Diocesan Support Agency Crosscare, and they have prepared three separate presentations which people can attend individually or consecutively.

“It is the nature of culture night is people come and then they go on elsewhere,” Fr Pat O’Donoghue told Catholicireland.net.

“It is enjoyable and we have built up regular visitors. We’ve always had the artistic, historical, and musical.”

This is the fourth time running that Clonliffe College has opened its doors for Culture Night, and expects the normal attendance of around 100.

At Clonliffe College Church (6-7pm)  Fr Damian McNeice will present a talk at accompanied with live sacred music. He will discuss its history and architecture and how it is such an important element in the religious and cultural heritage of the Diocese.

Next in the Marmion Room (7-8pm) the celebration of 75 years of Crosscare, with Conor Hickey, CEO, Crosscare, and his team in illustrating with photographs their ongoing work in the Dublin Diocese.

Finally in the Academy Room (8-9.15pm) there will be a focus on 1941 with a Swing Band and the Dublin Diocesan Music Group led by Fr Pat O’Donoghue.

Noelle Dowling, Diocesan Archivist will present unseen archival material from 1941.

Participants are encouraged to dress in costume from the graceful 40s to add to the atmosphere.

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