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NEW CATHOUC CHURCH.
OPENED AT INNISFAIL.
A STATELY EDIFICE f'
OFFICIATES ,"->! ?. -
INNISFAIL, August S,
. The big- new Catholic church, Which for »onie considerable time han been under construction at Innisfail, was opened to-day, and blessed, with all thc dignity and solemn ceremonial incidental to such an occasion cf importance. Indeed it waa a veritable epoch in the history of the Catholic faith at Innisfail and in the sur- rounding Johnstone River district, marking as it did the transition from a place of worship which was restricted in size, to the stately and imposing edifice which " stands on a high eminence at In * nisfail, and commands such a
sweeping and scenic view of the whole district for miles around. The new church, which bas been built on cathedral lines, is on a site fronting Ranlrin.strect, per- haps the most important thorough- fare cf Innisfail, the old place used for worship being further back. Thc view from the vicinity has always been admired by re- sidents and visitors alike.
From this point of vantage arc to bc seen ever-changing shades and col- ours, and the blending, especially at eventide, forms a scenic panorama that is almost indescribable.- The landscape to the east, towards the sea, includes the famous Innisfail Es- tate, just across the Johnstone Kiver, where cane has been grown for thc past half century, and which is the scene of the first sugar mill which was erected in the Johnstone area. Of course that primitive factory has long since gone, hut some, of the remains are still rusting on the estate to-day. The scenery hereabout, a line view of which is obtained from the. gallery of the big new church, is one of enchant- ment and grandeur. To the north rear up thc great gaunt peaks of Bellender Ker and Bartle Frere mountains, whilst westward the hills give a line set-off of distant beauty. Mere again, the colouring, light, and shade are something which give this portion of thc district a reputation for land- scape grandeur. To the south can be seen the South Johnstone cane-conn try, with beautiful fields dotting the vision as far as the eye can reach, and standing out prominently is the Bas- ilisk Hange, at the foot of which lies the very neat and presentable South Johnstone Sugar Experiment Station. The Johnstone Valley is a thing of beauty and a joy for ever, and from this magnificent church the resplend- ent view gives the spectator some idea of the glorious vistas to he obtained in this district of nature's enchant- ing riches.
ll was in the year 1018 that a terrible cyclone brought devastation to property wholesale al Innisfail, and loss of valuable lives, and one of the prominent buildings to suffer badly in that fearful convulsion of nature was the Roman Catholic church. The wind 1 literally smashed it up. The Reverend
Father Clancy, parish priest, and his parishioners, had the unfortunate spec- tacle of seeing their church and de- voted place of worship razed to thc ground by furious elements.
But, bad as fflic damage was, and great thc financial loss to thc parish, Falber Clancy did not abandon every- thing as lost, lie was made of stern- er stuff. To him the visitation came as a stirring call to higher things and larger ideals for the parish and its church. Always possessing a reputa- tion during his thirty years slay at Innisfail for indomitable pluck and fortitude in thc most trying circum- stances, the parish' priest determined that the loss should not only be made good, but that on the site of the wreck- ed church there should arise anollic sacred edifice constructed of tcmpesr defying material, a building that would bc perfect in all its parts, and endure beyond the years of the present gen- eration. He quietly, but firmly, ser to work, and, aided by a willing and energetic baud of workers, whose co- operation knew no bounds, efforts w<;rc directed and conce'Mraled to- wards one fixed goal, that of the. new church on cathedral lines, to bc erect- ed on thc highest eminence al Innis- fail, an eminence visible for- many miles.
Thc work went on; the adherents ot the church were loyal and responsive to thc call of duty liiade upon them, and to-day their loyalty and generos- ity have been rewarded with thc com- pletion, blessing, and opening of the biggest Catholic church outside thc capital, and at a cost of over ¿£20.000.
Approaching Innisfail from miles distant, thc traveller sccs this great church standing out as a beckoning landmark. Its tall spires pointing heavenward are an allurement, and entreat lo better things, lt is, with- out doubt, a magnificent edifice, and no better or enduring monument to thc thirty years and more of spiritual work in the parish by Father Clancy could have been erected. He was a proud man to-day when he saw the dream of his life-that of a church built so stiongly that it could defy thc stress and storms of time conic true.
Thc goal as at last reached; the ob- jective attained: the finished edifice stood ready to function for the spirit- ual nari of the faith which had brought it into being. Father Clancy was also glad lo think that quite a num- ber pf the pioneers who were with him in the early days of the district, were still alive to see this, thc coping stone of his life's work, well and faithfully blessed and opened,
ABOUT FATHER CLANCY.
The reputation of Father Clancy as a church dignitary has long since spread beyond thc confines of Innis- fail and district. A local resident when visiting Sydney some time ago was asked "What manner of man is Father .Clancy?" It was his fan»! which had prompted the question; yet Father Clancy is thc very last man to seek fame of any kind from the world- ly standpoint. His whole object and mission in life has been to advance thc
interests pf the church and its ad- herents to whom bc has so long and faithfully ministered. Having spent a lifetime at Innisfail, Father Clancy has naturally a fund of information, intensely interesting, to relate i of other days, also of other people as well, some of whom have since gone to their rest, but who, when in life, were among those who pioneered tire ' district, and helped to make llinir.fail
llie prosperous-and thriving town h is to-day, and thc district the great hive of industry-which prevails due to the , rainmifications of thc growth of cane, ' and the manufacture of sugar. Father ' Clancy Was seen thc sugar industry
cxpnn«! from a few acres, compara- tively speaking, to the thousands of acres which are under cane to-day. lt "uiy uot he known hy everybody thr.t
I Tallier Clancy is an authority on soils,
and his advice on farming proposi- tions has been sought many times with lasting and beneficial results of tlie seekers. Indeed it was remarked by Mr. J. 'J'. McNaince ul a function livid some little time ago at Innisfail that if Father Clancy had not entered the church, but had chosen a worldly occupation for his career in life, he might have been a wealthy man to- day, so far-seeing was his vision, and so justifiable, the conclusions he ar- rived at when addressing himself to any problem fhich confronted him However, bc applied his abilities and undobuted shrewd foresight to the cause of the church, and his parish- ioners have much to thank him for. There the great new church stands to-day in all its imposing grandeur,
a veritable monument to Father
Clancy, his persistence, his diligence, his self-sacrificing labours, and his never-dying belief in the people of the district, and their charitable charac- teristics, lt may bc repeated that hu was a proud niau to-day when he saw his objective attained, and his goal
THE NEW CHURCH.
The length of thc new sacred edi- fice is 120 feet, and the width 63 feet, whilst the construction is of reinforc- ed concrete throughout. Solidity and firmness are thc first characteristics which present themselves as one ap- proaches the building. lt is really splendid workmanship all over, and the contractor, Mr. Kiley, can be con- gratulated upon what he and his men have accomplished. The big choir gallery is reached by ascending a windin» staircase, and, from the top, one gathers some idea of the ornate and exquisite beauly of the interior of the building. Down to thc small- est detail everything is perfection. The hand of the artist has been at work here with' splendid effect, whilst the fittings, furnishings, and other appur- tenances all combine to provide for the interior that scene of dignity, sol menity, and ornateness so appropri- ate to such a sacred edifice. A double manual organ, electrically driven, has been installed in the gallery, and, from this portion of the church, thc choir and organist will bc heard to thc very best effect. The railing of thc gallery is of reinforced concrete. Special al lention has been paid to the accouslic properties of the interior of the Church, and these should be all that can bc desired. There arc thirty-five members in the church choir, and they have been practising assiduously for the great event which took place to-day. The choir is a decided asset to the church, and their contribution to the form of worship is compellingly
A magnificent marble altar, pre- sented by Mr. M. O'Connor, at a cost of a thousand pounds, had unfortun- ately not arrived in time for the open- ing and blessing of the church to-day, but will be installed a little later, lt is understood this is coming from Italy. Inside the church, thc figures representative of the Stations of the Cross aro of Roman cement, and the Rev. Father Clancy informed a re- presentative of the "Post" that these were donated by the Downing family at a cost of two hundred pounds.
A SPLENDID BUILDING.
The building is of pointed gothic design and is erected in reinforced concrete. The inside measurements are: Length 116ft. Oin., and breadth 5S ft. úin. The nave is 28ft. Oin. between round columns and the aisles are 12ft. 6in. wide. The sanctuary is circular in shape, with domed ceiling itt plas- ter. The sanctuary floor is tiled and thc platform of the altar is raised above thc lloor of the church, a height of 3 it. Oin. Two sacristies arc provided on either side of the sanctuary. The choir gallery is reached by a spiral staircase. Thc front of the church is flanked with two towers, one housing the stairs to thc choir gallery and the other being the bell tower. Three entrances are provided to thc front and one entrance at either side. Thc roof is constructed with hammer beams and the ceiling, which is forty feet from thc floor, is panelled iibro ccmeiit. The visible timbers of the roof are stained dark sepia, and make a very linc contrast. The confess- ionals arc recessed in thc walls. Thc nave is separated from thu aisles by a row of columns with gothic arches carrying the clear storey. Thc win- dow frames are steel frames and are glazed with neat pattern leadlights. A bapistry is arranged just inside one of the lowers. The seats are of silky oak. Thc seating accommodation of thc church is approximately 1000 per I sous. The stations of thc Cross are
of cast plaster work, neatly tinted and are very effective.
The work was carried out by Mr. J. J. Riley, builder to thc plans and spec- ifications and under the supervision of Messrs. Lawrence and Lordau, ar- chitects, of Cairns).
Tin- falsework and other gear hav- ing been removed from thc exterior during the.past week, a photograph ot the very linc edifice was taken. Both the interior and exterior bear wit- ness uf the great care, attention, and thoroughness bestowed on the church in its construction, and thc building which was opeped to-day has thc hall- mark of perfection. It is something of which Innisfail can lay claim to he justly proud, in fact it is stated that no other church outside thc metro- polis has had such modern attention to detail lavished upon it. lu regard to thc construction it is interesting to note that thc gravel and saud came from Mulgrave, and strange ttl say it was procured cheaper from that point than it could he obtained in thc John- stone- River district.
The ceremonies consequent on the official opening of the church to-dav were very largely attended, and amongst the digni;aries who were present for thc occasion were his Ex- cellency, the Apostolic Delegate (Dr. Cattaueo), who performed the bless- ing and opening, assisted by his Grace, Dr. Duhig (Archbishop of Brisbane), and Dr. Shiel (Bishop of Rockhampton). During their short stay at innisfail, and prior to the im- port-ant ceremonies of to-day, these distinguished visitors were shown something of the district and its beau tics, with which they were quite
There was High Mass at ll a.m. to-day , and thc Procession of thc Blessed Sacrament at 2.30 p.m.
A GREAT DAY
Although the weather carly to-day was threatening, no rain fell at Innis- fail, and thc stately ceremony of open- ing thc new Catholic Church was car- ried, out without hindrance. Thousands of pconle came to Innisfail from Cairns. Ingham, Tully, South Johnstone and Mourilyan, all trains being crowded.
Thc church grounds presented a gay appearance with streamers fluttering.
, everywhere, whilst thc Australian ami
thc Papal flags were flown on the emin- ence near the church. The name of the edifice is the Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel.
The procession of thc Blessed Sac- rament was witnessed by an enormous crowd and carried out with dignity and perfection.
DR. DUHIG'S SERMON
Thc seating accommodation in the big church was fully taxed when His Grace Dr. Duhig, preached thc sermon. He said that they had thal afternoon dedicated the new temple to the service of God, and as such it would always remain a holy place to his Divine name. They bad there a beautiful struclurre. something to admire, and they should ever remember that the object of that place was the honor and glory of God. One writer had compared the empty churches of England alter the Reforma- tion lo the empty sepulchre of Christ after his Resurrection. His disciples and the holy women went to the empty sepulchre looking for him. There they were met by an angel who declared., "lie is not here. Come, behold the place where the Lord lay." To-day, angels were standing- unseen by the door of the Catholic Church, saying "Come in, he is here. Come and behold where ha dwells."
On the night before thc Crucifixion, when Our Lord was about to leave this earth, it was not the sword that he be- stowed on his followers. It was thc blessed Eucharist. "I will not leave you comfortless," said the Christ. "Lo. I am with you always." lu that church, they had thc Presence of God in whom they lived and moved and had their be- ing, and thc special presence of Christ. Christ remained as their friend, saying, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 1 will refresh you."
There was not one present in the church thal afternoon who did not want friends, but there was one Friend above all others they could claim, and that was the Eternal Christ, lt was St. Peter, the disciple, who had said, "O Lord, to whom shall we go but Thee. Thou hast the words of eternal life."
ll was delightful to know that in the present day there was not one village, town or city in Australia that did not have its Catholic school and Cathoic Church. Thc children learned to love the everlasting Christ when young, and gathered around Him. It was the same Christ who was with their forefathers in their faith, the same Christ whom they worshipped when they were driven to thc mountain side owing to their be- lief, thc same living Lord who walked and talked with the. people in thc high- ways and byways, the same Christ was with them at innisfail that afternoon with the same love and desire to'uplift hearts to himself. There were bless- ings for everybody from the life of our Lord. Christ had promised, "He that eatcth my flesh and driuketh my blood nhidcth in Me and I in him." There they had thc blessing of the promise. Let them be faithful to Christ throughout life and become part of His life, «eek Christ, adore Him, follow Him, and tins would lucan that His hearers by and by would see Him in the glory of the hcr.veus.
"Mav wc," concluded the Archbishop, "all meet in that Eternal City, thc eternal home in the heavens."
Speaking at High Mass in thc morn- ing. Dr. Duhig preached from the first verse of the 121st Psalm. His Grace reminded the people with what joy thev had looked forward to thc dedication of thc new church which would stand for all time as a monument lo thc glory of
God and a testimony to their Catholic
failli. The occasion was rendered all the more joyous by the presence of thc Apostolic Delegate who had come to participate in the memorable ceremony.
The Archbishop recalled the begin- nings of Catholicity in Australia, now tn bc crowned by the holding of a Euch- aristic Congress and the dedication of thc Mother Church of Australia (St. Mary's in Sydney). It was, he said, less than fifty years since the first priest celebrated mass in Innisfail.
When Father Clancy came to Innis- fail .10 years ago, there was only a small wooden church. This and a subsequent church were destroyed by cyclones. Now they had a church which should last for all "lime. Its graceful proportions were emblematical of their faith which., he trusted, would never fail. A church, wherever built, was an acknowledgment of God's supremacy and of the equality of all men before him. for within its dcors distinctions ceased. All heard tho same Gospel and received thc same Sac- rament. All the fine arts, architecture, sculpture, etc.. were called into thc church to bc used for the glory nf God. The material building itself of the church had a wonderful effect on man. because it filled him with thc spirit of
The Archbishop congratulated Father Clancy on thc great achievement by him- self and his people. He also extended his congratulations lo the'architects and
Father Clancy received a hundred congratulations during thc day at having seen his big new church blessed and . opened. .. , .. . _ , , .....