In 1958 the third of the Rosary of Churches on the outskirts of Cork City was built. It was the Church of the Resurrection, on what was then known as Spangle Hill and has now become Farranree. It is another of the 'hilltop' Rosary Churches, like Mayfield to the east and Gurranabraher to the south. Not the most elegant sight to my eye but it is notable all the same. As you stand on Patrick's Bridge and look to the west and the north it crowns the heights overlooking the city. A festival of flowers marked the golden jubilee a couple of years ago.
Fitzgerald Smith and Company, the Cork based architects on the project designed what was described as a basilica plan freely interpreted with an upward thrust intended to be symbolic of the Ressurection culminating in a 'fleche' or thin rooftop spire. At the blessing of the Church Bishop Lucey asked, is it too much to hope that as Christ's Ressurection began his glorious and triumphant reign after Calvary, so many this new Church of the Ressurection may begin for Cork an new era in which emigration and poverty and lack of housing and neglect of God's Commandments will be no more, in which religion and family life, trade, industry and the arts will flourish, in which he that sitteth on the throne can say of Cork: "Behold I have made thee and they people new according to My own Heart"?
The consacration was performed by the great Cardinal Cushing of Boston, whose connection with the Diocese of Cork and Ross, especially in connection with the Rosary Churches, is the stuff of legend.
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us!
First published on the St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association blog in October, 2010.