ST. BRIGID'S CHURCH. SOLEMN DEDICATION. The opening service and dedication of St. Brigid's Church, Aberdeen-street, West Perth, took place with full cere monial and in the presence of a crowded congregation yesterday morning. Bishop Gibney attended, and at the invitation of Right Rev. Monsignor Bourke, vicar general, a large number of visiting clergymen also took part, amongst them being the Rev. Fathers Hunt, Keogh, P. Gibney, Lowham, O'Reilly, and Mar tella, as well as the Rev. Father Bren nan, curate of the parish. Rev. Father Lowham preached an earnest memorial sermon from the text "This is no other but the House of God and the Gate of Heaven" (Genesis, 28-17). This, said the preacher, was the inspired exclamation of Jacob, as slumbering upon the barren plain, the hard earth his pillow, the sky above his only roof-tree, he saw suddenly a won drous vision - the gates of Heaven roll- ed back. Four thousand years had passed since that revelation, and they were witnessing that morning in reality, not in a vision, the opening of a House of God and a gate of Heaven. Thou sands of redeemed souls would here lay down the burden of their sins and enter upon the narrower path that led up wards to God. He therefore asked them to stir up their faith in this great old indestructible Catholic Church, the House of God, the gate of Heaven. Let them consider her great vitality and ever-increasing extensions during the long march of 1000 years, and compare it, for example, with the Roman Em pire. When Rome,reached the height of her power under Augustus, the founder of the Church had come to light in one of the smallest provinces of the Empire. There were then two claim ants to universal empire - Augustus and Christ, the one born into all the cir cumstances of earthly greatness, the other laid in a manger, his birth only revealed to a few peasant shepherds. Which was the more likely to obtain, and which did obtain, the true mastery of the world? For years the Empire struggled to crush the Church, and the latter, to all the weapons of power and oppression, could only oppose poverty, patience and meekness. The Roman Empire fell, but the Church went calm ly on, building its temples, and raised the Roman Popes in the place of the Roman Caesars. But this was only the first great triumph of the Church. She gave Christianity to the northern conquerors of Rome, and thereby they established the civilised governments of Europe. Then came the Church's greater trial, the wars of the Cross and the Crescent. Out of that thousand years of strife it was true the Church came with her garments dripping with blood, but in her hands were power and the palm leaves of peace. But then, again, adversaries arose. Schisms had been raised against her from the days of Judas Iscariot to those of Joe Smith. Schisms flourished to-day in Europe and America, but there was no sign of fail ing in the Church: her dominion and her missionary spirit were greater than ever before. He urged them to cherish and maintain their own Church, which was dedicated to St. Brigid, the mother of Ireland. The impressiveness of the dedication ceremony was enhanced by the fine music rendered by a large choir and orchestra. The arranging of this por tion of the service had been entrusted to the choir belonging to the Redemp torist Monastery at North Perth, and this body was heartily supported and aided by representatives from the Fre mantle choirs as well as many leading members from the choir of the Roman Catholic Cathedral. Guonod's "Messe Solennelle" (St. Cecilia) was performed, the soloists being Miss Kathleen O'Con nell, soprano, Mr. H. A. Neumann, tenor, and Mr. Claude Westhoven, bari tone. Mr. M. McDonnell wielded the baton. Mr. H. C. Hill presided at the organ, and the instrumentalists were led by Mr. J. F. Edwards. During the offertory Miss Kathleen O'Connell sang the "Ave Maria" (Bach-Gounod), to which Mr. J. Hart supplied a violin ob- bligato, and at the conclusion of the ser vice choir and orchestra joined in Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus." The collection taken up for the build ing fund amounted to £261. The cost of'the church, exclusive of furniture, to tals £4,600. and a pleasing feature of the sanctuary is the ornamentation in brass gratuitously carried out by Mr. S. Czynski. At the evening devotions the pulpit was again occupied by the Rev. Father Lowham. C.SS.R., who took for his text Thessalonians, iv. ch., 11 v., and urged the paramount necessity of the eternal salvation of the soul. During the next two weeks a renewal mission will he car ried out by the Redemptorist Fathers. The New Church. St. Brigid's is situate on the corner of Fitzgerald and Aberdeen streets, the centre of a district fully adapted in population and in other respects, to the support of so handsome and capacious a place of worship. The architectural style is Gothic, of the type known as perpendicular; the walls are of red brick. The church has three aisles, be about 60ft. wide by 115ft, long. Over the main entrance is a traceried window, bold in size and design. The spire sur
mounting the well-pitched roof covers a belfrey, in which a bell specially im ported from England will be hung. The side windows are mullioned and traceried, the openings being of free stone. Green Welsh slates have been used for the roof. The height from floor to ceiling is 40ft., and there is seating accommodation for about 700 or 800 persons. The furniture was designed specially for the church, and is in solid polished jarrah throughout. The con tractors who carried out the work were Messrs. Ward Bros.. and Mr. P. Fallon was the clerk of works. The church was designed by and carried out under the supervision of Messrs. M. F. Cavanagh, F.R.I.B.A. (London), and J. C. Cava nagh, architects, of this city.