Congratulations, sisters, on your 200th anniversary
In a richly symbolic gesture, the Cathaoirleach of the Municipal Council, Councillor Michael Whelan, along with other councillors and officials, presented the New Ross Flag to the Carmelite Nuns in recognition of their contribution to the life of New Ross over the last 200 years, recently.
Cllr Whelan thanked the Carmelites, present and past, for giving generously to the people of New Ross.
He recognised that they came to serve the poorest of the town by starting a free school when there was none and that this continued from 1817 until 1932. Parallel with this they taught the girls skills which helped them to gain employment and improve the living standards of their families. The Carmelites brought the name of New Ross into international renown as New Ross lace won awards at many prestigious awards around the world including New York, Paris, London, Brussels and Milan. Two gold medals were won at the Chicago World Fair and another at the Edinburgh Fair. These three gold medals are embedded in the foundation stone of St. Mary’s and St. Michaels Parish Church in New Ross.
To this day, people make their way to the visitors’ grill and find great consolation from a listening ear and the assurance of prayers.
Dean Chapman, the parish priest of the day, was freely accused of having obtained a lease of this residence under false pretences and threatened with litigation on the part of the landlord.
‘Of course we now know that Dean Chapman was equal to the occasion and the Carmelites came in July 1817 and to this day give selflessly of themselves in the heart of New Ross.’
Cllr Whelan said the Municipal council wanted to recognise the contribution of the Carmelites and the official presentation of the New Ross flag was one symbolic way of doing this.
Sr. Anne, Mother Prioress of Mount Carmel, warmly welcomed the the council.
She said: ‘The people of New Ross are always held deep in the heart of the Carmelites and unceasingly are remembered in prayer. Since it was to serve the people of New Ross that the Carmelites were called it is indeed a beautiful symbolic gesture that the flags of the Carmelites and New Ross Town would fly side by side.’
Mother Prioress Sr Anne said: ‘It is a great honour to receive the New Ross town flag from the town council.
We will be delighted to have it flying over our Mount Carmel Monastery. It is a symbol of our closeness to the peope of te town and surrounding areas, a closeness which spans 200 years. On behalf of all of the sisters of the past and present to would like to thank you council chairman and the council.’
She extended an invitation to the cathaoirleach, council and officials, past and present to a thanksgiving Mass to be held on the evening of Thursday, July 20, the 200th anniversary to the day of the very first Mass to be celebrated in Mount Carmel on July 20, 1817.
Cllr Whelan accepted the invitation.
New Ross Standard