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Thurles First Holy Communion 2013

F Commun
Picture shows just a small section of the many happy young people who received their First Holy Communion yesterday, in the Cathedral of The Assumption, here in Thurles, Co Tipperary, attending from a local primary school in the area.

First Communion is traditionally an important religious ceremony for Roman Catholic families.  Among those raised in the Catholic tradition, Holy Communion is the third sacrament received from seven sacraments.

The social mission of First Communion is a rite of passage leading to Confirmation and a tradition surrounding same usually include large family gatherings and this was indeed evident in Thurles Cathedral yesterday, with only standing room available for this most joyous of Christian annual events.

Thurles Cathedral Of The Assumption

The Cathedral of the Assumption stands on a site which has ecclesiastical associations since the beginning of the 14th century when a Carmelite Priory was established in Thurles.

About the year 1730 a humble thatched chapel was erected in the vicinity of the former priory, courtesy of the generosity and goodwill of the local Mathew family.  For the next eighty years this simple structure would serve the needs of a poor yet devout Roman Catholic Community.

During the years C.1804 -1807, at a cost of over (Stg) £10,000.00, Archbishop Thomas Bray replaced the thatched chapel with the very impressive “Big Chapel,” of Thurles. Though not formally constituted a Cathedral, this Big Chapel served as the Mother Church to the Archdiocese until, in September 1862, Archbishop Dr Patrick Leahy (Archbishop of Cashel & Emly from 1857 until 1875.) made a decision to substantially renovate and upgrade the then existing building.

The entire cost of the finished project amounted to some (Stg) £30,000.00, with the final design taken in good part from the Cathedral of Pisa in Italy.

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