02 June 2023

Daily prayers in Ordinary Time
with USPG: (5) 2 June 2023

The portico at the church at Kimmage Manor … the Spiritans or Holy Ghost Congregation moved to Kimmage Manor in 1911 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

The Fifty days of Easter season came to an end on Sunday, the Day of Pentecost (28 May 2023), or Whit Sunday, and Ordinary Time resumed on Monday (29 May 2023).

Before this day gets busy, I am taking some time this morning for prayer and reflection.

In this first week in Ordinary Time, between the Day of Pentecost and Trinity Sunday (4 June 2023), I am reflecting each morning in these ways:

1, Looking at an image or stained glass window in a church or cathedral I know depicting Pentecost, the Holy Spirit, or the Feast of the Day;

2, the Gospel reading of the day in the Church of England lectionary;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.

Kimmage Manor was the home of the Holy Ghost Missionary College from 1911 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

My photographs this morning (2 June 2023) are from Kimmage Manor, Dublin. I studied theology at the Holy Ghost Missionary College, later the Kimmage Mission Institute, in 1984-1987 on a course leading to the BD from the Pontifical University Maynooth, and in my final year I was a student member of the Theology Faculty Council.

I was studying theology full-time there while holding down a full-time position as a journalist with The Irish Times. Although I was a complete outsider – most of the other students were members of religious communities, such as the Spiritans and the Redemptorists – I was made welcome and I still keep in contact with friends I made over those three years.

All the lands of Kimmage, Terenure and Milltown were owned by Peter Barnewall in 1641, and they included a castle on the lands of Kimmage. Through the years that followed, there were various owners and tenants, and Rocque’s map from the mid-18th century shows extensive buildings on the site of the present Manor House.

Frederick Shaw (1799-1876), his wife Thomasine-Emily, and their children came to live in Kimmage House in 1829. Shaw was the second son of Colonel Sir Robert Shaw (1774-1849) of Bushy Park, Co Dublin. The Shaw family originally came from Co Kilkenny and Frederick Shaw’s grandfather, Robert Shaw (1749-1796), first leased Terenure House (Terenure Castle or Terenure College) from Joseph Deane in 1785. His younger brother, Bernard Shaw (1768-1826), was the grandfather of the playwright and Nobel Prize laureate, George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950).

Sir Robert Shaw, who inherited Terenure House, was MP for New Ross, Co Wexford, in the Irish House of Commons and voted against the Act of Union. Later, he was MP for Dublin from 1804 to 1826 in the British House of Commons. He was a founder of Shaw’s Bank, which later became the Royal Bank of Ireland.

He inherited a vast estate in south Co Dublin, including Bushy Park House and Kimmage House (now Kimmage Manor), through his marriage to Maria Wilkinson of Bushy Park, a wealthy heiress.

His second son, Frederick Shaw, was Recorder (or part-time municipal judge) for Dublin and Dundalk. A year after moving into Kimmage House, Shaw was elected MP for Dublin City in 1830, and was then sat MP for Dublin University (1832-1848).

Shaw rebuilt Kimmage House on the banks of the old Dublin watercourse in the style of Tudor manor, with high, triangular gables, spiral turrets and tall chimneys. The windows, especially the projecting oriel window, the doorways and the interior designs – including the vaulted vestibule, miniature great hall, panelled ceilings and ornate mouldings – are all modelled on Elizabethan architectural styles.

The Shaw family lived in an L-shaped section of the present manor house. The historian of Kimmage Manor, Father Paddy Ryan, who was my lecturer in Church History, estimates this L-shaped section of the house is at least 250 years old.

Within two years of their arrival, the Shaw family had built a two-storey addition to the south side of the L-shaped existing building and more than doubled their floor area, building the front entrance, entrance hall, reception area and staircase.

Frederick Shaw’s younger brother, the Revd George Augustus Shaw (1815-1839), was the perpetual curate or Vicar of Rathfarnham when he died of typhus fever at their father’s house, Bushy Park, at the age of 24 in 1839.

When his elder brother, Sir Robert Shaw, died in 1869 and Sir Frederick Shaw inherited the family title, he decided not to move to Bushy Park, and continued living at Kimmage Manor. He died at Kimmage House in 1876 and was buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery, Harold’s Cross. His eldest son, Sir Robert Shaw (1821-1895), became the fourth baronet and the moved with his family to Bushy Park, where he lived until he died.

Kimmage House was leased to various tenants. Edward Chetwode later sold his lease to Edgar Kenyon, but the house was often unoccupied. Mrs Mary Ida Clayton leased the house and lands in perpetuity in 1898, and came to live in the house with her two sons. By the beginning of the 20th century, Kimmage House was known as Kimmage Manor.

The Spiritans bought Kimmage Manor in 1911, and the new foundation was named the Holy Ghost Missionary College, Kimmage, Dublin.

Students from other orders, including Redemptorists, and lay people were accepted in Kimmage Manor from the 1970s, and from the 1980s students received our BD degree from the Pontifical University Maynooth. The college church became the Kimmage Manor Parish Church in 1990.

The Kimmage Mission Institute of Theology and Cultures (KMI) was founded in Kimmage in 1991, in association with other Irish missionary congregations. KMI moved to the Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy in 2003, and formally merged with Milltown in 2006

The Milltown Institute closed in 2015. Kimmage Manor is now the location of the Spiritan Mission Resource and Heritage Centre. Training for Transformation, which has worked with the Spiritans, is based in Kimmage Manor.

Kimmage Manor … remodelled by Sir Frederick Shaw as Kimmage House after moving in 1829 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Matthew 8: 1-4 (NRSVA):

1 When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; 2 and there was a leper who came to him and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.’ 3 He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, ‘I do choose. Be made clean!’ Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 Then Jesus said to him, ‘See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.’

The oriel window at Kimmage Manor … part of the Elizabethan and Tudor restyling of Kimmage House by Sir Frederick Shaw (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Today’s prayer:

The theme in the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) this week is ‘Pentecost.’ USPG’s Chaplain, the Revd Jessie Anand, introduced this theme on Sunday, reflecting on Pentecost and languages.

The USPG Prayer invites us to pray this morning (Friday 2 June 2023):

Let us pray for peace and stability in the Philippines. May its government build a nation free from fear and oppression and work to build a society that is just and fair.


Almighty God,
you have broken the tyranny of sin
and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts
whereby we call you Father:
give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service,
that we and all creation may be brought
to the glorious liberty of the children of God;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion:

O God, whose beauty is beyond our imagining
and whose power we cannot comprehend:
show us your glory as far as we can grasp it,
and shield us from knowing more than we can bear
until we may look upon you without fear;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

The Spiritans offered me a warm welcome at Kimmage Manor in 1984-1987 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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