Jesuit Church may be used for Traditional Latin Masses.by Jennifer O'Connor, of the Limerick Leader
This article appeared in the "Limerick Leader"
Traditional Latin Masses could be offered at the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Jesuit church on The Crescent if the order completes the planned move from
the premises next June.
Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, exterior, interior
The Limerick Leader understands that there is at least one group from abroad
willing to offer such Masses, but they are waiting on the go-ahead from
Church authorities to officially announce their interest.
The Tridentine Mass was given official status within the Church in 1984*
(see footnote) when Pope John Paul II issued the motu proprio, Ecclesia Dei.
Fr. Dermot Murray SJ confirmed this week that he had heard rumours of
interest by groups in the Church.
"I have heard rumours and know that there are groups who say Latin Masses,
but I don't know if they will take over the church - that's a possibility,"
He said that factors such as the number of churches in the area, diminishing
congregations and fewer vocations had all contributed to the decision to
close the church.
"The decision has been taken, and we would like to carry it through with the
least amount of sadness possible," Fr. Murray said.
The news that another religious group might take over the church should ease
the anxiety of churchgoers who have expressed fears that the premisies could
be used as a business or entertainment centre should it be left in the hands
of a non-religious group.
"Limerick is the bedrock of the Jesuits. The Jesuits are deep inside the
hearts of the people of Limerick. It's the nicest sanctuary, not only in
Limerick, but in Munster. To think that one day it could be reduced to
nothing is terrible," said John Leonard.
Mr. Leonard is part of a group of local campaigners who have urged people to
show solidarity with the church in the hope that the closure decision will
"Next year is the 450th anniversary of the death of St. Ignatius in 1556 and
also the 500th anniversary of the birth of Francis Xavier and Peter Faber.
It is ironic that they are looking to close in a year of celebration," said
"There are about 21,000 Jesuits in 128 countries. Surely they could bring in
someone from another country to help in the church? We have sent priests and
missionaries all over the world, why can't they send someone here?" he
A notice was issued to the congregation last April that the church, which
was built in 1868 and was the first church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of
Jesus, would be closed.
"We have to ensure that older Jesuits are not over-burdened with the
administration of large churches and buildings which can just become too
much to bear," wrote Jesuit Provincial Fr. John Dardis in the notice.
Citing reasons such as the number of churches in the local area, Fr. Dardis
said that a centre for spirituality, faith and culture would be opened in
the Limerick area.
This article appeared in the "Limerick Leader", November 27th, 2005
Note: In 1984 Pope, John Paul II ruled that the traditional Latin Mass could
be made available again to the faithful on request, though there were many
restrictions. In 1988, due to the illicit episcopal consecrations perfomed
by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Archbishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Tulle,
France, and Bishop Antonio de Castro-Meyer, Bishop Emeritus of Campos,
Brazil, His Holiness lifted all restrictions on the celebration of the old
Rite, having decided that, due to the actions of Mons Lefebvre, there was an
obvious and urgent need for the faithful to have access to the old Liturgy.
He issued this decree of his own free will (Motu Proprio) and called on the
world's bishops to be generous in their application of this so-called
indult. This indult is known by the first three words of its Latin text,
"Ecclesia Dei Adflicta". The previous indult of 1984 was known as "Quattuor