On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of this week the Passionist Fathers of St. Mary's Retreat, Carmarthen, celebrated with a Triduurn of Thanksgiving the golden jubilee of the foundation of their house.
Mgr. Michael McGrath was present and sang the pontifical High Mass of Thanksgiving on Whit Sunday.
It was in May, 1889, that Fr. Dominic (O'Neill) went to Carmarthen as the first Passionist rector. The parish was already well established and the church, which had been opened in 1851, the gift of a pious lady, Miss Richardson, had up to that time been served zealously by the secular clergy.
New Mass Centres
In 1894 the Catholic population had increased to 170, and the Passionists began to open up new Mass centres in Cardigan and Llandovery. Two years later they received the first visit of Mgr. Mostyn, at that time Vicar Apostolic of Wales.
In 1902 the work of extending the monastery was completed, and for the next ten years the house enjoyed the status of novitiate of the province. In 1909 the Fathers became chaplains to the Hon. Mrs Hunter at Abermarlais Park, and in 1911 Mass centres were opened up at Llandrindod Wells and Ammanford.
The chaplaincy at Abermarlais Park, Llangadock, continued until 1936, when Mrs Hunter left the neighbourhood, but the other two centres are now fullyfledged parishes.
In 1923 the new schools were opened, and later Mass centres were established at Kidevelly and Tumble.
In one way the jubilee year has been most fittingly celebrated—by the opening of a new retreat in Wales, at St. David's.