Recollections of My Life and Reflections on Times and Events During It: A Memoir by Father W. J. Howlett

Page 59

          I did not travel much for mere sightseeing, but went where there were people whom I wished to visit, so, many of the beauties of Ireland I know only as anyone who reads of them. A trip to Cork, however, was a necessity, for there lived my good old aunt -- the saint of her convent -- patiently suffering from cancer of the face, and patiently and lovingly attended by another saint--Sister Ursula. At Doneralle Sisters Agatha and Monica still lived, the two remaining sisters of my father-- Monica an invalid, Aunt Agatha quite lively. This was before the day of the author of “My New Curate,” or I might have another note to add to these recollections. Once again, the following year, I saw these three religious people when I brought a niece whom they had never seen to visit them. People do not travel much in Ireland.

          My second year in Paris was very much like the first. Two events marked it as important, namely: my reception at Christmas of Minor Orders, and of the subdiaconate at the Trinity ordinations following. I had not planned leaving Paris this summer, but my superiors thought a change was necessary and again I went to Ireland. I was alone this time, for my relative had been called home in May and ordained in Ireland. I went to Dieppe but was desperately sick from the action of the train, and more so on the boat crossing from Dieppe to New Haven. A night’s rest in London restored me, and I was happy to meet there a fellow student who had been ordained at Innsbruck in Austria and was returning to Ireland. His name was Father John O’Mahoney and his home was near Cork in the Diocese of Ross. We traveled together as far as Dublin after spending a couple of days in London together, where we met two of our former Paris students-- Rev Father Walter Wyley and Rev Philip Newman. We called at the house of Cardinal Manning but he was not in, but we saw one of his assistant bishops. I remember getting my first lobster luncheon in London with Father OMahoney [O’Mahoney]. Fresh from the sea, cooked just right and the shell cracked so that every part could be easily removed, and served with a delicious sauce and lettuce-- it was a dish fit for an epicure.

          My visit to Cork was varied this year as Father O’Mahoney was my companion for a time, and we visited Blarney Castle about six miles from Cork on that river famed also for

                    “Those Bells of Shandon, that toll so grand on
                     The silvery waters of the River lee.”

         Your thoughts run now to the Blarney Stone? Yes, it is there and I do not like to stip [strip] it of any of its fame, but it is so woefully overrated. The feat of kissing it is not the dangerous operation so often described, although some have not the steadiness of nerve to look down upon trees waving in space beneath them, and Father O’Mahoney was one of them, but there is no hanging by the

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