The Magauran Chalice 1820

magauran-chalice _018__15th nov_2011 In St. Clare's church there is an old and very beautiful chalice named after its first owner.  This is the story of how it came to stay in Manorhamilton.

Father Bernard Peter Magauran O.F.M. was a native of Ballintogher, Co. Sligo in the Killery section of Killanummery and Killery parish. He was a Franciscan priest who was educated at St. Anthony’s College, Louvain, Belgium and also taught there for some time. On returning to Ireland he served initially in Merchants’ Quay Franciscan church which was commonly know as Adam and Eve’s. In penal times the Franciscan chapel was hidden away in nearby Cook Street, behind a tavern with the sign “Adam and Eve” hung over it. To reach the chapel Catholics had to mingle with the sailors who frequented the tavern and walk through it to the rear. The chapel was demolished several times and the friars arrested, but they kept returning to rebuild the chapel and minister to their flock. 

It was while Father Magauran was in Adam and Eve’s that the chalice was made. It is of silver material with gilt inside. The circumference is 10½ inches and the base is 5 inches in diameter. The inscription around the base reads: “Reverendus B Petrus Magaurane ADAM & EVE CONVENTUS Anno Domine 1820.” There is a small cross with the figure of Christ crucified on the base.

magauran chalice__15th_nov 2011

In 1826 Father Magauran became parish priest of Killanummery and Killery, and Titular Guardian of Creevelea Friary, Dromahair, Co. Leitrim. He was a very devout man, generous to the poor and caring of the sick and dying. He was often seen praying before a carving of “St. Francis preaching to the birds” on one of the pillars in the cloister of the Friary. He died at his residence in Rathmoney, Ballintogher on 17th December 1837 aged 65 years, and was interred in the cloisters of Creevelea Friary. After his death, and to this day, his grave is reverenced by the people of the parish and the wider area. Particles of clay are often taken away as a cure for various ailments.

Fr. Magauran’s vestments and chalice were his private property and on his death they passed to his sister Catherine Mulrooney of Ballintogher. Her grand-daughter, Mary Conlon, was married to a policeman named Clarke from Bailieborough who was stationed in Ballintogher. He was a relation of Father Edward Sheridan and so the chalice and vestments were passed to him. He used them on the missions and at home in various parishes of Kilmore diocese. He was PP of Knockbride until his death there on 27th October 1898. The chalice then passed to his brothers Bernard and Michael in Crossdoney.

Canon Hugh Lynch of Finea, Co. Cavan was, as a young priest, a frequent visitor to Crossdoney and he often said Mass there using Fr. Sheridan’s vestments and chalice. The Sheridans gave him the chalice for his use on the missions and later at home. He became PP of Killanummery and Killery in 1924. He frequently visited Manorhamilton hospital where many of his parishioners were sent for treatment and became very friendly with Monsignor Patrick Soden PP of Cloonclare parish. In 1932, the Eucharistic Congress year, because he regarded it as a Kilmore chalice, Canon Lynch decided to present the chalice to Cloonclare parish, Manorhamilton where it is to this day.