THE REV. THOMAS CONNELLAN, - The Gospel Magazine

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THE REV. THOMAS CONNELLAN, - The Gospel Magazine

538 The Gosp~l Magazine,

him a perjurer and a Judas, and consigned him to everlasting

;torments.

As to the spirit engendered at Maynooth, it was one of abject slavery.

Independence of thought or action was discouraged, frowned down,

denounced. On the contrary, the stolid animal who took kindly to his

bit and curb, and paced with docility before the Church chariot, re- .

ceived every mark of approbation and every reward which the college

could bestow. Rome has her annual Juggernaut Festival in Maynooth,

when a hundred young men, or thereabout, go down on all fours on the

morning of ordination, and solemnly swear before God to bear the Pope

upon their backs for the rest of their lives. To be sure, the choice is

supposed to be a voluntal} one. The candidates have arrived at the

years of discretion. No jlrson is forced. Of course not: yet we

have seen how the opposition has been driven out of court; how Rome,

along with a special pleader, calls to her aid family influence, ignorant

prejudice, deceit, nay, unblushing falsehood; for the books by whose

aid the young ecclesiastic is expected to make up his mind bristle with

falsehood on every page. -

On that morning, June 20, 1880, when I first donned the chasuble

of Rome, I gloried in my new character. Was not Roman Catholicism

the genuine Apostolical religion, leading up link by link in unbroken

succession to Jesus Christ 1 Had not I satisfied myself by public and

private reading that she was the true spouse of the Lamb, and did not

I long for the time to come when I might break a lance with those blind

and wicked men who opposed her 1 I really believed it was so, and,

although in extreme bodily weakness, I left for ever my Alma Mater in

extraordinary spiritual strength.

After six weeks' holiday I was put on the" Sligo staff," to use the

bishop's words in a letter whose contents I well remember. I had not

then much opportunity of coming into personal contact with my

bishop, for in a few days the" Sligo staff" was broken up, and I was

sent as a curate to Strokestown. I had not been there quite four

months, when in the depths of the severest winter I have ever known,

January, 1881, I was recalled to Sligo. Strokestown was the first place

where I had charge of a flock, and I shall not soon forget the evening

on which I bade them good-bye. The tears were streaming from rny

eyes almost until I reached my father's place, twenty miles distant.

Next day I made my entry to the bishop's new palace at Sligo, destined

to be my home for four years afterwards. I now came into very

immediate contact with my bishop.

. During my first couple of years in his lordship's mansion I was

obliged to teach in the college, look after ceremonies, superintend

schools, and be responsible for a large district. My life was exceedingly

busy, and my duties were too much for my strength. After that

I got charge of a lovely strip of country, extendiI\g along the northern

shore of Lough Gill. The scenery was varied and exceedingly

picturesque, while the people were as good as they were primitive.

I absolutely revelled in my new domain.

Dear, primitive region of Calry, with Lough Gill, "the bright lake,"

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