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The sanctuary lamp – Kinvara 1982

Connacht Tribune 22nd October, 1982 p.6

Seamount College Kinvara Photo: EO'D
Seamount College Kinvara
Photo: EO’D

The magnificent sanctuary lamp, which for over 50 years was one of the attractive fittings in the chapel of Seamount College, Kinvara, is now in Ghana, Africa, beginning another phase in its colourful life. This silver ruby-studded lamp adorned the College chapel from 1926 until 1978 when the people of Kinvara presented the Mercy Order with a new altar and fittings to mark their centenary.
Recently the nuns presented it to the Gort Apostolic Work Society, who provide the foreign missions with altar linens, vestments and sacred vessels. It arrived just on time for their annual exhibition of members’ work. The lamp caught the eye of many of the visitors to the exhibition. A number of offers were made for its purchase and one very substantial sum was turned down. The members decided it should go instead to the missions when, lo and behold, who should walk in but a missionary priest, Father Butler. He was in the process of building a parish church in Ghana and needed a sanctuary lamp. His luck was in. Not alone did he get the lamp but it wasn’t long until the Apostolic Work Society found him a suitable bell also. Father Butler has let the Gort members know he intends to use the services of a native silversmith to make two lamps in another of his churches. Between the ball and the lamps what a lot of history could be tolled!