Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches
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Lets have a look at another cathedral where something similar happened in 1996..Only here it was arson.
St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral Parramatta, Australia.
In 1792 five Catholic lay people (four men and one woman) who were resident in Parramatta petitioned Governor Philip to appoint a priest to minister to them and in 1803 it was announced by Governor King that Fr James Dixon was to fill the role. The first Mass in Parramatta was celebrated by Fr Dixon on 15 May 1803, but his appointment was revoked after the “Vinegar Hill Rebellion” at Castle Hill in 1804.
Fr John Joseph Therry arrived in Parramatta in 1820 and set about obtaining a grant of land for a Catholic church, while establishing Australia’s first Catholic school in Hunter Street, Parramatta. In 1836 the foundation stone for a church was laid by Bishop Polding, the building being opened in 1837. In 1854 a new church was commissioned, based on a design by A.W.N. Pugin, although the tower was not completed until 1880, with the spire following in 1883.
In 1936 the building was totally rebuilt to accommodate a larger congregation, although the Pugin-designed tower and spire were retained. With the growth of western Sydney the Diocese of Parramatta was created and in 1986 St Patrick’s was designated a Cathedral.
The first organ in St Patrick’s was built in 1852 by J.C. Bishop, of London, for St Benedict’s Broadway – it possessed two manuals and 12 stops. It served St Benedict’s until 1892 when it was installed at St Patrick’s by Charles Richardson. This rare instrument survived largely in original condition until the early 1960s, when vandals removed much of its metal pipework, resulting in the instrument’s dispersal. In 1981 St Patrick’s acquired yet another second-hand organ, this time from the Grand Masonic Lodge in Castlereagh Street, Sydney. Built in 1923 by Holroyd & Edwards, of Sydney, the organ (of two manuals and 10 speaking stops) had been electrified in 1970 by Pitchford & Garside, who also undertook some tonal modifications.
St Patrick’s was gutted in a fire that was set by an arsonist on 19 February 1996 and the Holroyd & Edwards instrument was totally destroyed. There began a lengthy process to raise funds and develop designs for the rebuilding of the 1936 church (to serve as the Blessed Sacrament Chapel) and the provision of a modern new cathedral to adjoin it. The state government provided a multi-million dollar grant to assist the project. The firm of Mitchell, Giurgola and Thorp (best known for its design of Parliament House in Canberra) was successful in being awarded the design contract and the completed building was opened on 29 November 2003. The Pope’s special envoy for the occasion, Cardinal Edward Cassidy, presided at the Mass.
The old church is no longer used for regular masses. A modern structure has been built beside it. Still called St Patrick’s Cathedral, this is where regular church services are being held.
I’m unable to find any photos of the original interior of St. Patrick’s, but I’m sure it was way better than whats there now.
The fire at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta (Australia) in February 1996 left only the exterior walls standing.The property damage came to US$ 4.3m.The arsonist was arrested the very next day after the inferno.
It was only when flames were seen shooting through the roof that the fire was discovered. By this time the cathedral was beyond saving, because just ten minutes later the entire roof was ablaze.
In spite of the massive fire-fighting effort – involving six teams on the ground and two aerial units – it was only possible to prevent the flames from spreading to a neighboring school.The cathedral burnt down to its exterior walls.
As the spire was threatening to collapse, fire fighters and construction workers removed parts of the structure that very night.The following day, the police succeeded in tracing a 21-year-old man who during the subsequent questioning confessed to starting the fires in the church. Previous fires in the vicinity of the church were also his work.