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Ecumenics then and now

monkstown_church.jpgThe Venerable Patrick Lawrence, Rector of Julianstown and Archdeacon of Meath and Kildare, has been appointed the new Rector of Monkstown (church pictured here) in the Diocese of Dublin. While AMDG does not conscientiously report all Church of Ireland appointments, this one has special news value because Patrick’s wife Anne teaches Maths and Science in Belvedere, and his daughter Jane is a Leaving Certificate student in Loreto College, Balbriggan. Ecumenism moves slowly, but to see that there has been some movement, compare this news with a letter in 1847 from the Rector of Belvedere to the Jesuit General (see below)…Fr Meagher wrote: “Your Paternity has asked about the employment of a heretic as a teacher here. He was taken on because of the extreme difficulty of finding a suitable Catholic, and because of his excellence as a teacher. He taught Latin and Greek for two hours every morning. The Prefect of Studies or I myself was with him almost all the time. He was employed in a temporary capacity and let go as soon as possible.” As our Belvederian Finance Minister would say, we have put blue water between then and now.