I am delighted to welcome you to this sacred space called the Goldie Chapel – named after its Architect, George Goldie the renowned nineteenth-century English ecclesiastical architect who specialised in Roman Catholic churches.
The chapel was designed in 1864 to hold a large congregation – the overflow from the nearby South Parish Church. The Presentation Sisters occupied the side chapel, separated by a metal grille from the main aisle. When the Lough Parish church was built in 1879 the sisters reclaimed the whole building and installed the pews that you see lining both sides of the chapel. Many of the local people continued to join the Sisters for daily mass – the holy water font is still visible on the outer wall nearest the street.
In the 1800’s (eighteen hundreds) two parish priests of the South Parish chose to be buried here- Dean Jeremiah Collins and Dean Dominic Murphy and are interred beneath this chapel, the marble plaques on the wall commemorate them.
From 1865 until the 1980’s the Sisters gathered here many times a day for prayer, here they chanted the Divine Office, they celebrated solemn Liturgies with incense, organ music and song – women being clothed in the Religious Habit, making public profession of their vows, and finally lying in their coffin before the altar for solemn Requiem Mass.
So as we gather here in this sacred space for the final part of our celebrations of Nano’s legacy, I invite all of you to relax into this evening’s final moment of enjoyment as we complete this part of our pilgrimage.