The Daily Herald. CLINTON, IOWA.

Official Paper of City and County.


Monday Evening, August 18, 1884.

THE BISHOP’S BENISON. The Corner Stone of the New Catholic Church Laid with Impressive Ceremonies - A Concourse in Attendance.

The ceremonies attending the laying of the corner stone of the new St. Mary’s Catholic church on Ninth avenue hill occurred on Sunday afternoon. The weather, which had been stormy in the early part of the day, became favorable for the services before the appointed hour; though the sky continued overcast, the temperature was cool and comfortable throughout the services.

Besides the usual masses at the old church in the morning, a solemn high mass was celebrated by Rev. Father T.P. Hodnett, of Chicago, pastor of St. Malachi’s church, at 10:30, assisted by Rev. J.J. Garland, of Center Grove, as Deacon, Rev. Michael Macken, of Chicago, assistant pastor of St. Malachi’s church, as sub-deacon, Rev. P. O’Dowd, of Deek Creek, as master of ceremonies, and Mr. T.B. Smith, of New Haven, Conn., as thurifier, or incense bearer.

Mass was said at the Sisters’ Chapel, on Fifth street, at six o’clock by Rt. Rev. John Hennessy, Bishop of the Dubuque diocese, and at half past six by Very Rev. H. Cosgrove, of Davenport, Bishop-elect of the southern Iowa diocese.

As early as two o’clock, while it was still raining, people began gathering at the new church, the foundation of which had been planked and covered with chairs for the accommodation of the people. A temporary stand for the speaker had been erected a few feet above the wall at the front near where the corner stone was to be laid, and a wooden cross was placed at the rear of the church.

About a quarter past three the Irish societies, preceded by the Catholic brass band, arrived from their hall on Third street, marching in procession with badges and banners, The Roman Catholic Total Abstinence Society were in advance, in charge of Marshal Martin Grimes, numbering about one hundred men, wearing the broad green regalia of their order, and followed by the Roman Catholic Mutual Protective Society, about thirty in number, in charge of Mr. Joseph Daly. The societies marched up the front stairway, and around the foundation, on which at the time were seated several hundred people, the church yard below and the street in front being also well filled with people, numbering over fifteen hundred during the exercises.

Following the societies above named, the Boys’ Sodality and Girls’ Sodality, numbering in all about one hundred were escorted from the school house to the church, and also marched upon the foundation.

Next came the procession of the priests from the parochial residence adjoining, in the following order:

T.B. Smith, of New Haven, bearing Silver


Rev. P. O’Dowd, Deep Creek.

Rev. G.H. Leuhrsmann, St. Boniface, Lyons.

Rev. Michael Macken, St. Malachi, Chicago.

Rev. J.J. Garland, Center Grove, bearing


Rev. E.J. McLaughlin, St. Mary’s, Clinton.

Rev. A.A. Lambert, Jesuit, St. Louis.

Very Rev. H. Cosgrove, Bishop-elect, Davenport, Deacon.

Rev. T.B. Hodnett, St. Malachi, Chicago, Sub-Deacon.

Rt. Rev. John Hennessy, Dubuque, Bishop.

Rev. M. Stack, Fulton, Ill.

Rev. T. Corbett, St. Irenus, Lyons.

The priests with the exception of Father Lambert, who was attired in a plain black gown, each wore a white surplice, of rich lace, Bishop-elect Cosgrove wearing one more ornamental than the others. Bishop Hennessy was distinguished by an elegant gold cape, a cassock and crosier, wearing upon his head the stately cap significant of his high station, the gilded miter of the Holy See. The miter was set with precious stones and with the habiliments of the reverend gentleman formed a costly and magnificent vestment.

The Bishop and his assistants marched twice around the church, halting the first time at the rear cross and blessing the sanctuary, pausing on the return and blessing the corner stone, which was slowly raised from the ground by a windlass and placed in position by Mr. Lewis Carter, master mason, and his assistants. On the second journey about the foundation, the clergy paused at the sides and blessed the foundations, the Bishop sprinkling the people with holy water from a gilded font.

On the second return the stone was formally laid, amid continuous chanting of the priests, the Bishop, with a small steel trowel set in ebony handle, spreading a portion of the mortar, and anointing the stone with holy water. The copper box containing the papers was then deposited, fitting snugly in the place hollowed in the center of the stone for its reception.

Rev. Father Lambert then ascended to the stand and delivered an earnest, eloquent discourse appropriate to the occasion, speaking for nearly an hour and holding the undivided attention of his auditors throughout.

Man, the speaker said, is by nature a religious being with a tendency towards divinity. No matter how humiliated, how oppressed, how deceived, this feeling is innate and inextinguishable. He is drawn intuitively and solemnly towards his creator, this establishing the existence of God and the duty of all to worship Him. The main question is, how shall man worship. God would not have implanted this holy feeling in man’s breast without providing a place of worship. That place is the church. Yet man sees about him many churches of different tenets of faith, and he is perplexed to know the right one. In this land of reason and independence, it is peculiarly the duty of every man to investigate and decide this question for himself.

The speaker then referred reverently to Christ, his miracles and teachings, drawing the conclusion that only divinity could have accomplished those things, and that as Christ was proven to be (next phrase unreadable) to the world, so must we accept and believe all the assertions of Jesus.

Following this line of argument, the speaker showed how the duty of continuing the church founded by Christ was delegated to Peter, and how an unbroken line of successors had since been preserved by the Roman Catholic church, down to the present Pope Leo. XIII. On this succession and continuation of ecclesiastic power, shown conclusively by sacred and profane history, Roman Catholics rest their claim to being the true church, founded by Christ. The homage paid to the Pope, the fact that the crowned potentates of Europe tremble at his edicts, were cited in support of the superhuman authority vested in the pontiff.

In conclusion, the speaker extorted his hearers to stand fast by the faith of their fathers and to unite earnestly and generously in uplifting this beautiful temple to the living God.

A collection was taken in the large audience, and about two hundred dollars raised to swell the building fund.

Messrs. Michael Purcell, J.E. Mooney, T.W. Hall, John Sheppard, F. Koetter and Thos. Spaulding officiated as ushers.

The audience was dismissed at half past five with the benediction of the Bishop.

The societies returned to their hall in line, and the people dispersed to their homes.

Submitted by: Barbara Theis

Message Boards

  • I hope that, if you have Clinton County newspapers, you will consider submitting articles for us to put online.  You can type them up and email them to me, Nettie Mae or post them to our Documents Board. You can also scan them and send the image in an email.  Please make sure to note the name and date of the newspaper.

    If you don't have the time or  inclination for typing or scanning, please consider sending any old newspapers or copies of articles, obits, etc.,  you have to me via regular mail.  I'd be more than happy to do the typing.  Please email me for my snail-mail address.