Interpretation

Interpretation

Sisters of Charity saying Grace before a Meal | Joseph Bail, 1895

Sisters of Charity saying Grace before a Meal | Joseph Bail, 1895

Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel | 1952 or 1953

Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel | 1952 or 1953

On the Feast of the Seven Doulours of the Blessed Virgin Mary in September, 1843, Holy Cross Cemetery was consecrated by Archbishop William Walsh, and the chapel was named “Our Lady of Sorrows”.

The colourful circumstances surrounding the erection of the chapel were celebrated as a great monument to Catholic communal effort and cohesiveness. In late July of that year, perhaps 1800-2000 male Catholics congregated at the cathedral, attended Mass and then paraded in procession down Spring Garden Road, marshalled by wardens. The objectives of that day were focused on the necessary infrastructure: land clearing, building of a bridge (over what is now an underground brook), fencing, excavation of the foundation, laying out of the paths, and the like. walsh_gravestoneBy 6:15pm, the jobs had been completed and, after an address by Bishop, Walsh, the workers regrouped in procession and retraced their path to the cathedral.

Some paid work continued on the 28th and 29th of August, and supplies were assembled – loads of flagstones (for the drain), sand, stone, lime, and granite quoins. On August 31st, a similar concerted effort with the same pomp and ceremony took place, with a similar number of men participating. The frame was raised, and the structure roofed, lathed, boarded, shingled, and painted in both exterior and interior. Finishing work, of course, continued for some time by local tradesmen. “It was” the Register newspaper reported, “the miracle of the day”.