13 July 2023

Daily prayers in Ordinary Time
with USPG: (46) 13 July 2023

Holy Trinity Church, or the Father Mathew Memorial Church, the Capuchin church on Father Mathew Quay, Cork (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

We are in Ordinary Time in the Church Calendar, and this week began with the Fifth Sunday after Trinity (9 July 2023).

Before this day begins, I am taking some time this morning for prayer, reading and reflection.

Over these weeks after Trinity Sunday, I have been reflecting each morning in these ways:

1, Looking at relevant images or stained glass window in a church, chapel or cathedral I know;

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

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.

Building work on the church began in 1832, but it was not completed until 1890 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Holy Trinity Church (Father Mathew Memorial Church), Cork:

Holy Trinity Church, also known as the Father Mathew Memorial Church, is a Gothic Revival church and friary on Father Mathew Quay, on the banks of the River Lee in Cork.

The church belongs to the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin and is the only church dedicated to Father Theobald Mathew (1790-1856), the Temperance campaigner.

The Capuchins arrived in Cork in 1637, 12 years after the first Capuchin community in Ireland was established in Dublin.

The church was built by the Capuchins, under the guidance of Father Theobald Mathew, on what was once known as Charlotte Quay. It replaced an earlier, smaller church that stand in a lane nearby, behind Sullivan’s Quay.

The name of Charlotte Quay was later changed in honour of Father Mathew.

The church was designed by the architect George Richard Pain (1793-1838). It is aligned on a north/south axis, rather than the traditional, liturgical east/west axis.

The foundation stone was laid on 10 October 1832, Father Mathew’s birthday. Pain died in 1838, and supervision was taken over by Thomas Coakley. The Great Famine interrupted the building project, and Thomas Deane was chosen to complete the church without its portico and spire, while William Atkins was responsible for the interior.

The church finally opened on 10 October 1850. However, the church was not completed until 1890, in time for the centenary of Father Mathew’s birth. The friary to the west of the church was completed in 1884.

Inside the church are some magnificent examples of stained-glass windows. The sanctuary window is dedicated to Daniel O’Connell, and a number of windows on the south aisle are the work of Harry Clarke and the Harry Clarke studios.

One window was commissioned by the Cork and District Trades and Labour Council and dedicated to the Cork Capuchin Brother Thomas Dowling, who had mediated during a strike. It was produced by Joshua Clarke to a design by his son Harry Clarke and under his supervision. It depicts Christ as Prince of Peace and Saint Francis holding a dove, with the city’s skyline at the bottom of the window.

Two other windows were commissioned from Harry Clarke and his brother, Walter Clarke, depicting the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Conception being venerated by Munster saints.

The Father Mathew Memorial Church was designed by the architect George Richard Pain (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Mark 10: 7-15 (NRSVA):

[Jesus said:] 7 ‘As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” 8 Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. 9 Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for labourers deserve their food. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. 12 As you enter the house, greet it. 13 If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for that town.’

Inside the church, facing the liturgical east (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Today’s Prayer:

The theme this week in ‘Pray With the World Church,’ the Prayer Diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel), is ‘Fighting Climate Change Appeal – Hermani’s story’. This theme was introduced on Sunday.

Find out more HERE.

The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (13 July 2023) invites us to pray:

We bring before you our world leaders and governments as they make decisions around the environment and climate. May they work together with the understanding that all must be involved to create change.


Almighty and everlasting God,
by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church
is governed and sanctified:
hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people,
that in their vocation and ministry
they may serve you in holiness and truth
to the glory of your name;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion:

Grant, O Lord, we beseech you,
that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered
by your governance,
that your Church may joyfully serve you in all godly quietness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Sacred Heart depicted with angels and saints in a Harry Clarke window in the Father Mathew Memorial Church (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

Saints in one of the Harry Clarke Windows in the Father Mathew Memorial Church (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

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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