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Redemptorist Order

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Brief Parish History & Geographical Location

At the request of Bishop Ryan, the Redemptorists came to Limerick in 1851 to give a mission in St John's Church. In May 1852, the Redemptorists gave another mission in St Michael's church. By 1853, the Redemptorists had moved to Ireland permanently. Their first house in Ireland was situated in Bank Place. They converted a room in Bank Place to a chapel and this chapel was opened on 8 December 1853. They had a temporary chapel in Upper Henry St. in 1854. This chapel took 6 weeks to build and cost £800. It was used until the opening of the present church.

The rector, Fr Louis de Buggemoms decided a permanent residence was needed. Bishop Ryan laid the foundation stone of the church in Mount St Alphonsus on 22 May 1858. Bishop Bulter dedicated the church to St Alphonsus on 7 December 1862. The builder was Mr. Wallace under the supervision of William Corbett while the architect was Thomas Hardwick. The church cost £17,000 to build.

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This 13th century gothic style church is built from dark Limerick limestone with some horizontal sections of red marble. The church is oblong in shape with double transepts. To the left of the church is the monastery of the Redemptorist community, next to which is St Clement's College, a secondary school for boys. The church is situated in St Joseph's parish.

On the right of the door of the church, there is a Mission Cross donated by the Drapers Assistants in memory of the Mission to Men. This mission was preached in the church in January 1868. Above the door of the church there is a statue of Our Lord surrounded by angels. On the gable wall of the monastery, there is a statue of St Patrick, which was sculpted by Patrick Pearse's father.

Inside the main door of the church there is a statue to St Alphonsus. On both sides of the porch there is a list of over 70 members of the Redemptorist order who are buried in the crypt under the high altar. To the right-hand side of the porch, there is an altar to St Anne and a shrine called Ecce Homo. This shrine is a representation of Jesus in prison. On the left-hand side of the porch there is a statue of Christ holding a book on which are the Greek letters alpha and omega.

At the back left of the church, there is a stained glass window of St Brigid and St Margaret. There is a statue of St Theresa of the Child Jesus, also known as the Little Flower. Over the confession box, there is a stained glass window of the Visitation of Archangel Gabriel to Mary and the birth of Jesus. This window was erected to the memory of Margaret Humphrey, and was donated by her son William in 1885.

Also on the left hand side of the nave is a stained glass window which includes a depiction of St Alphonsus. Towards the front of the nave, on the left, there is a statue of St Columcille and a stained glass window of St Patrick and St Bridget converting the people of Ireland to Christianity. The inscription on the window asks that people pray for the souls of John and Bridget Ebrill. In 1893, on the occasion of their silver jubilee, the Men's Holy Family Confraternity donated a statue of St Peter with the keys of Heaven in his hand. This statue is situated on the left of the church and above it there is an altar to the Sacred Heart.

This chapel was erected to the memory of Mrs. M. Kelly in 1876. There is a painting of the Sacred Heart in the chapel. The front of the altar depicts the apparition of the Sacred Heart to Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque.

There is an altar to Our Lady of Grace to the left of the high altar. It was built in 1866. It depicts two scenes from the life of St Alphonsus on either side of the statue; St Alphonsus praying and writing. Over this altar there are stained glass windows of St Teresa, St Alphonsus and St Mary Magdalene. There are also stained glass windows of the calling of St John and of John and Jesus.

At the back right of the church, there is a statue of St Philomena, the Patroness of the Children of Mercy and the Patroness of the Living Rosary. There is a stained glass window of Jesus and a woman. Unfortunately we have been unable to ascertain who this woman is. An inscription on the window asks people to pray for Margaret, Teresa and Mary Kelly. Beside this window, there is another stained glass window of Jesus and the Apostles fishing on the Lake of Galilee, with an inscription asking people to pray for the souls of James and Margaret Delany.

There is an altar to the Redemptorist saint, St Gerard Majella on the right-hand side of the nave. He was known as 'the mother's saint'. He lived and died in Italy in the eighteenth century. The altar was erected in 1904 following a donation from Miss Teresa Kelly. There is a stained glass window of Jesus and the fishermen and Jesus breaking bread with St John the Evangelist next to this altar.

A chapel to Our Lady of Perpetual Help was erected in 1868. It was designed by Mr. Ashlin. An inscription in the chapel asks people to pray for the souls of Margaret Teresa and Mary Ann Kelly who built and decorated this chapel. Within the chapel there are a number of stained glass windows. On the left hand side there are stained glass windows of the crowning of Mary as the Queen of Heaven and of an unknown angel and a man. The windows opposite depict the death of St Joseph and Jesus learning the trade of carpentry. This window was dedicated to Richard Raleigh. On the ceiling of the chapel there is a stained glass window of Our Lady. Pope Pius IX gave a picture to the Redemptorists in 1866. It is now placed in this chapel. The chapel also contains mosaics and a mural done by Harry Hodgkinson. The Stations of the Cross date from 1866. They were painted by Alcan of Paris, France and cost £270. Hayball of Sheffield, England framed the paintings. Aubrey Hodgkinson from Henry St in Limerick restored them in 1989.

Towards the front of the nave, there is a chapel to Our Lady of Dolours, which contains a Pieta. Also within the chapel, there is a shrine to St Urban, the Boy Martyr. In December 1867 the relics of St Urban were brought to the church from the Catacombs in Rome. St Urban was killed around 300 AD in Rome.

To the right of the high altar there is an altar to St Joseph and the Child Jesus, which was erected in 1867. The two figures kneeling in front of the altar are St Alphonsus and Sister Maria Crostarosa. The stained glass windows above this altar depict St Philip Neri, St Michael, and St Cajetan.

The high altar was constructed in 1865 and Mr John Quin donated it. George Goldie designed the altar. The mosaic in the sanctuary over the high altar was completed between 1925 and 1927. It depicts Christ the King and St Alphonsus with the Redemptorist family underneath them. A Latin inscription reads 'with him is plentiful redemption'.

In 1865, the Sheehan family donated the pulpit, which was also designed by Mr Goldie.

Above the high altar on the left, there is a rose window, which depicts a number of different symbols. The top panel is the dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit and peace. Below this panel, are the symbols of chi-rho, the bread of life and the Greek symbols alpha and omega. Chi-rho is a combination of the first two Greek letters of Christ's name, X or chi, and P or rho. Alpha and omega are the symbols for the beginning and the end. The bottom section of the window depicts the Scourging at the Pillar and the Crown of Thorns.

The impressive stained glass window above the main door of the church depicts scenes from the life of Jesus, including the Holy Family, the Crucifixion, and the Ascension into Heaven. The church organ, which dates from the beginning of the twentieth century, is situated beneath this window.

Mr. John Quin, a merchant, donated a lot of the church fixtures. He also paid for the construction of the bell tower in the church, which cost £8,000. The bells cost £1,195. The Redemptorists church had a bell tower before the tower of St John's Cathedral was completed. In 1879 the Mount St Alphonsus Bell Ringers Society was formed. This society is still in existence and continues to sound the bells across the city of Limerick.

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List of Priests

Buried within the church are:

Rev. A. Van Everdinger 1856
Rev. J. Roes 1860
Rev. P. Furlong 1864
Rev. J. Lalor 1869
Rev. P. Tierney 1878
Rev. T. Doyle 1882
Rev. J. O'Connell 1889
J. McSweeney (Juvenist) 1890
Rev. W. Burke 1891
Rev. J. Bradley 1892
Bro. P. Franken 1892
Bro. F. Dubucquois 1897
Rev. D. Healy 1898
Bro. T. McManus 1899
Rev. J. Hartigan 1899
W. O'Donovan (Juvenist) 1900
Rev. M. Geoghan 1900
Rev. F. Feighery 1902
Rev. W. Lambert 1903
Rev. E. Stephenson 1904
Bro. B. Cooke 1905
Bro. A. MacAnany 1907
Bro. S. Mac Veigh 1909
Rev. A. Barry 1909
Ed. O'Sullivan (Juvenist) 1911
Bro. G. Walsh 1916
Bro. J. Lynas 1917
Rev. E. O'Laverty 1917
Rev. C. Geraghty 1918
Rev. F. Tierney 1919
Rev. D. Turner 1926
Rev. W. Cagney 1928
Rev. D. Tierney 1929
Rev. J. Cleere 1931
Rev. T. Walsh 1931
Bro. T. Tinsley 1933
Rev. T. Power 1933
Rev. J. Connolly 1891
Jr. Gearty (Juvenist) 1934
Rev. A. Maguire 1934
Rev. C. McDermott 1934
Rev. C. Hunt 1938
Rev. C. O'Flynn 1939
Rev. J. Collier 1939
Bro. S. Moloney 1941
Rev. E. O'Connor 1941
Rev. R. Murphy 1943
Rev. R. O'Flynn 1944
Bro. A. Fenlon 1944
Rev. C. O'Sullivan 1949
Rev. P. Murphy 1949
Bro. J. James 1949
Rev. A. Kelly 1952
Bro. K. Stapleton 1954
Rev. F. Russell 1957
Most Rev. P. Murray 1959
Very Rev. M. Curran 1961
Rev. R. Culhane 1961
Rev. J. Carr 1962
Rev. J. Lawlor 1964
Rev. S. Conneely 1965
Rev. J. Walsh 1966
Rev. M. Caoney 1967
Bro. J. Carville 1968
Bro. F. Buckley 1968
Rev. J. Scanlan 1968
Rev. R. Cleere 1969
Rev. J. Breen 1969
Rev. C. Kearns 1969
Rev. M. Hickey 1969
Rev. L. O'Halloran 1970
Rev. C. Reynolds 1970
Rev. J. Reynolds 1971
Bro. P. Magee 1971
Rev. A. O'Connor 1972
Bro. P. O'Sullivan 1974
Bro. C. McDonnell 1973
Bro. J. O'Sullivan 1974
Rev. T. Connolly 1974
Rev. J. Deeney 1975
Rev. D. Murphy 1976
Rev. J. Whelan 1976
Bro. T. Murphy 1976
Rev. C. Power 1980
Rev. M. Fox 1983
Rev. W. Murphy 1981
Rev. C. O'Connell 1983
Rev. T. Roche 1986
Rev. M. Coffey 1986
Bro. E. O'Dwyer 1988
Rev. L. C. O'Carroll 1989
Rev. J. McGrath 1989
Rev. S. M. Magnier 1990
Rev. J. Power 1991
Rev. W. Daly 1991
Rev. T. Long 1993
Rev. M. Baily 1995
Bro. P. J. Moore 1996
Bro. P. Kinsella 1997
Bro. M. Carey 1997
Rev. T. M. Magnier 1999
Rev. Colm Norris 2001


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