Yesterday we went to St. Mel’s Cathedral and it was fantastic! The trip to Longford took about an hour and it was hilarious at the back of the bus. Eventually we reached the Cathedral (which I honestly thought was a courthouse from the sheer size of it) and it was even more impressive inside that outside! There was a massive baptismal font the moment you enter the Cathedral and a magnificent water mosaic around it. They kept a bible and the three oils in glass cases with intricate designs made of silver. The Church has 28 massive four ton pillars made of limestone holding up the ceiling which has small glass windows built into it. The Altar was simply amazing and had very ornate patterns in the back. In fact the whole sanctuary looks absolutely splendid. We met a nun, Sister Rose and Mrs. Hughes, who knew the place inside out. There was a couple of schools there, about three including us, who had all come for a Confirmation Retreat to the Cathedral. We firstly went to Mass and said some prayers, then we were put into our groups and the tour began, Mrs. Hughes explained that the Cathedral burned down in 2009 and very little was salvageable, but there was a cross made of charred wood near the altar that actually looked pretty good. The tour brought us to the magnificent gallery and the crypt (all of which I got photos in) and they all were amazing places! After the tour we had a meditative session and prayed, we spoke about symbols and their meanings and about confirmation. Unfortunately the time flew and we were back on the bus. We arrived at the school at 2:30 and we received no homework. (Eoin).
Our Confirmation Retreat this year was on 04/04/2017. We went to St. Mel’s Cathedral in Longford. It is the Cathedral of our diocese. When it burned on Christmas Night 2009 many people thought that it could never be repaired. In the fire many statues were destroyed, the copper roof held in the heat like an oven door. The temperature inside would have been almost 100 degrees Celsius. When the roof did fall in it went through the floor into the crypt. A man living in a house nearby saw the light of the fire and called the fire brigade. The night was so cold that the pipes were frozen, water had to be pumped across town from the river to put out the fire. When the Cathedral was being repaired it was the biggest project in Europe at the time. About forty different contractors were called in to help out. All 28 limestone pillars were replaced and some of the 30 angels had to be recreated. A few statues and pictures survived the fire while others were repaired by professionals. A wooden statue of Mother Mary and a picture of Joseph, Mary and Jesus were shown to us by Monsignor Noonan, Sister Rose and Kitty.
I really enjoyed our visit to St. Mel’s Cathedral and I would recommend a visit. I was amazed by the size of it. I liked the modern stained glass windows and the huge organ. We went up to where the old gallery was and we looked down at the sanctuary, where the Altar is and looked up at the plaster ceiling which was so ornately designed. The pillars were so thick that when you were sitting in the side aisles in certain places you couldn’t see the Altar so there was a glass screen either side that had the mass projected onto it. You could hear the bells going off. The Baptismal font was very big and was surrounded by beautiful mosaics of blue and gold tile. There is so much to see in St. Mel’s Cathedral it makes a great day out if you’re around Longford. I would lie to thank Ms. Leslie and Ms. O’Connell for bringing us there, we all really enjoyed it. (Rachel).