© Sacred Heart church
The present church, the Sacred Heart church, is situated
at the Crescent, on O'Connell Street. It was completed in 1868 and opened
to the public on January 27 1869. The architect of this church was William
Corbett and the church is in the parish of St Joseph's. According to
Murphy, it was originally intended to dedicate the church to St Aloysius
but when it was dedicated in 1869 it was called the Church of the Sacred
Heart. The façade of the church is Classical/Grecian in design.
It was renovated in 1900. There is a statue of the Sacred Heart above
the porch. There are no aisles in the church but the nave has two rows
of pews. The nave was extended in 1919.
Just inside the main door of the church there are two
holy water fonts. At the back right of the church, there is a picture
of Regina Societatis Iesu, whose feastday is on April 22nd. There is
also a picture of Blessed Dominic Collins. Dominic was born in Youghal,
Co. Cork around 1566. He returned to his native town where the English
hanged him on 31 October 1602. His crime was refusing to conform to
the religion of the ruling English.
© Bust of St Ignatius Loyola
On the right hand side of the church, there is a statue
of St Jude and a picture of St Claude la Colombiere. There is a bust
of the conversion of St Ignatius Loyola in 1521. Hans Heinzeller from
Oberammergau sculpted this woodcarving. This bust was given by U.S.
soldiers to Fr Philip V. Sullivan of the Maryland Province on the occasion
of Fr R. Nash's retreat to American Army and Air Force Chaplains at
Beuron in June 1952. On either side of the bust, there are pictures
of Fr John Sullivan, who died in 1933, and Blessed Dominic Collins.
© Altar to the Sacred Heart
At the back left of the church, there is an altar to the
Sacred Heart, on either side of which there are statues of St Margaret
Mary and St Claude la Colombiere. Beside this, there is a statue of
St Therese of Lisieux. There is also a shrine to St Francis Xavier.
There is a small medallion about 6 inches high of Our
Lady and the Child on the front of the gallery, facing the altar.
© Archangel Michael, St Jude and St Joseph
At the right apex of the transept and the nave, there
is a statue of the Archangel Michael and a statue of St Joseph on the
left apex. There is a statue of the Pieta in the left transept. Opposite
this, in the right transept, there is a Calvary scene.
© The Pieta
There is an altar to Our Lady of Lourdes in the right
transept. This altar was the first of its type in Ireland. It was designed
by Mr. Goldie and was a gift from Thomas E. O'Brien. Above the altar
to Our Lady of Lourdes, there is a mosaic of Our Lady and three Jesuit
saints. These saints are (from left to right) St Robert Bellarmime,
St Alphonsus and St Aloysius Bonzagh. Beside this altar, there is a
statue of St Patrick.
© Altar to St Joseph
In the left transept, there is an altar to St Joseph.
A painting of St Joseph and the Infant Jesus forms the centerpiece of
this altar. Above the altar, there is a mosaic of St Ignatuis Loyola
and his first group of Jesuits. On the left of this altar, there is
a statue of St Francis Xavier.
© Mosaics in Sacred Heart church
Also in the left transept, there is an altar to Our Lady
of the Wayside. The picture of Our Lady of the Wayside is a mosaic copy
of a painting in the Jesuit church, The Gesu, Rome. To the right of
this painting, there is a statue of Jesus and his Mother. This statue
is unusual because it depicts Jesus as a boy, rather than the more common
depictions of him as a baby or as a man. The Limerick Jesuits commissioned
this statue in 1950. It was sculpted by Gabrielle Hayes. There is also
a statue of the Child of Prague within the altar rails of this shrine.
© Statue of Mary and the Boy Jesus
The ceiling of the church is panelled with floriated ornaments
in Stucco work. The high altar was designed by William Corbett and is
made from 22 types of precious marble. On each side of the altar there
are statues of kneeling angels. The carving on the front of the high
altar depicts a scene from the Last Supper. On the floor around the
high altar, there are the symbols of the four writers of the Gospels.
The angel represents Matthew, the lion represents Mark while Luke and
John are represented by the bull and eagle respectively.
© Carving on the High Altar
Some of the stained glass windows throughout the church
show the letters 'IHS'. These letters are the first three letters of
the Greek word for Jesus which is IHSOUS. In Latin the letters stand
for Jesus hominum salvator which translates as 'Jesus, Saviour of men'.
© Altar in the Sacred Heart church and Altar to Our Lady of the
There are nine mosaics above the high altar. The central
mosaic is of the Sacred Heart ascending in the presence of St Margaret
Mary Alacoque and Blessed Claude la Colombiere. It is surrounded (from
left to right) by depictions of St Francis Jerome, St Francis Borgia,
St Francis Xavier, St Ignatius, St Stanislaus, St Aloysius, St John
Berchmans and St Francis Regis.
To the left of the high altar there is a statue of the
Immaculate Conception and on the right, there is a statue of Christ
the King. To the right of the altar, there is a small statue of Our
Lady of Fatima.
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