I have previously said that Bishop Cornelius Lucey became Bishop of Cork on August 24 1952. By May 29 1953 he announced to a monster meeting in the City Hall that the City needed five new churches around its edge and that each would cost at lease IR£80,000. They were to become known as the Rosary Churches, each dedicated to one of the Glorious Mysteries.
Top of the first list of subscriptions in the July 1953 first issue of the Diocesan Magazine The Fold, another initiative of Bishop Lucey and the first such publication in the Country, was the Munster and Leinster Bank, having given IR£2,500. By the time that the last of the five was completed, the central fund had received IR£209,562 6s 4d and IR£1,300 13s 9d was left over.
When you consider the straightened circumstances of the people of Ireland, and especially the people of Cork, during this time, it is easy to see that these Churches, following initial joy, were carried through by hardship and sacrifice, leading to the glories we see today, truly deserve the title of the Rosary Churches.
A mere two years after the first announcement, the first of the churches to be completed was the Church of the Ascension, Gurranabraher, a well-known landmark in the city, situated majestically above the city.
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us!
First published on the St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association blog in October, 2010.