By a Stag Reporter Many of those who like to travel for their holidays will this year, in view of the present restrictions, be forced to look nearer home for places of interest. It is certain that Ireland will claim many Catholic visitors, not only among those who have relatives there, but also among those who want tia make closer acquaintance with this great Catholic country. Among the most famous beauty spots in Ireland is Limerick. This covey, apart from better known points of interest for the traveller and the tourist, like the city of Limerick, the works of the Shannon scheme and Shannon airport itself, has special interests in the Jesuit College at Mungret, the Palace Kenory agricultural school and the Benedictine Priory School at Glenstal.
STORY BOOK CASTLE
This famous Benedictine foundation recently erected into an independent Priory is housed in one of the most romantic-looking castles any traveller could wish to see. Its massive round towers and its tall square keep has a story-book perfection. Benedictines were established in the castle Just over 26 years ago.
The Apostolic Indult erecting Glenstal into a Conventual Priory, was granted by the Holy See through Dom Theodore Neve. Abbot President of the Belgian Congregation. The documents of erection were read to the Chapter at Glenstal op Friday, February 6. This Act of the Holy See makes Of the Priory an independent Benedictine Monastery. At present there are fifteen such conventual priories in the Benedictine Order, one of which was recently created at Ealing near London.
A conventual priory is governed by a Prior who rules in temporals and spirituals as an Abbot. Ordinarily he is elected by the Chapter of the Monastery and holds office for life. He is assisted by a SubPrior whose office is similar to that of a claustral prior in an abbey.
BELGIAN ABBOT'S LAST ACT
The Very Rev. Dom Bernard O'Dea has been nominated as the Conventual Prior by the Lord Abbot of Maredsous, who exercised his final act of jurisdiction in Glenstal. It is his privilege as the founder to appoint the first Prior.
Dom Bernard O'Dea, a Clare man has been superior of the priory since 1945. He called on the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Mgr. Kinane, and received 1-115 Grace's Blessing on this new phase of Irish Monastic life.
Thus is ratified, by Papal Rescript, the great wish of the late Irish Abbot of Maredsous, Dom Columba Marmion, who ardently desired to restore the Benedictine Order to Ireland.
In 1928, the Abbot of Maredsous, as a tribute to Dom Marmion, his predecessor, agreed, on the invitation of the Archbishop of Cashel. Most Rev. Dr. Harty, to send some of his monks to Ireland. This was rendered possible through the generosity of Mgr. James 1. Ryan of Thurles, who placed at their disposal the recently acquired property of Glenstal Castle.
PLANS FOR FUTURE
The group of four monks, led by Dom Gerard Francois. has to-day grown to a community of 37, 30 of whom are Irish. With growth in numbers, it is hoped that Glenstal will rival the great monasteries of the continent us a centre of liturgical worship, scholarship, and craftsmanship.
'Elie monks have already cornpleted plans of an abbey church and monastery; which it is hoped ie ill be commenced within a few months.