LETTER FROM BIDDULPH

Biddulph, May 21, 1877

To the Editor of the Irish Canadian.
DEAR SIR On Pentecost Sunday the Bishop Of London, Right Rev. Dr. Walsh, visited his devoted flock in the Biddulph mission. His Lordship was greeted with the most affectionate demonstrations by the people and welcomed with every manifestation of enthusiasm. Being escorted to the pastoral residence by the vast concourse, among whom were conspicuous the members of the St. Patrick’s T.A. Society,

[...]Right Reverend and dear Father:
We, the members of St. Patrick's Temperance Society of the Parish of Biddulph, greet you on your safe return from Rome,

[...]Right Reverend and dear Father, we love Rome; but there is an Isle we love too, and you have been there also. Tell us how thrives that Emerald Isle, whose rivers and valleys the most beautiful, and whose scenery so grand, many of us still remember with fondest love and affection. It is true we are here in Canada; but it seems our hearts are at home; and so with childllike confidence we look to a friend for information, and none kinder than you can we find to tell us of our own dear native Isle Ireland.

[...]His Lordship replied in most feeling terms as to Rome. He spoke of the Holy Father, of his difficulties, his trials, and his sufferings. He promised moreover that the Apostolic Benediction would be imparted to them after mass. As to the dear Isle to which they had referred, and which he had so recently left, he gave them a cheering word. He reminded them in a few short words of their duties to God, to society, and to themselves; and assured them that were they to put these constantly in practice God would see in His own good time that the isle they loved so much would once again attain the high honor it long ago held,

[...]The society then formed into procession, and followed by his Lordship the bishop, together with the altar boys, at once proceeded to the Church where high Mass was celebrated by the Rev. Father Tierna of London. After Communion his Lordship spoke to the audience, which was very large, upon the beauties of fraternal charity, and also of the consequent necessity for practicing it. At the conclusion of his discourse he showed how the voice of intemperance tended only to sully the beauties of this virtue of fraternal charity. His Lordship was followed by the Rev. Father Tiernan, who described in language truly eloquent the evils of intemperance and the advantages of the opposite virtue.

Immediately after mass his Lordship exhorted the members of the Society to renew their pledge. They came forward to the railing to a man, and were followed by others who were not members. They cheered the Bishop’s heart by promising him to comply with his wishes. The number of those who renewed their pledge must have been great. Beyond doubt god will bless the members of Saint Patrick’s T.A.T. Society for this little sacrifice made in honor of his Sacred Thirst. May it long Prosper.

A Little Spectator.

Source: Unknown, "Letter From Biddulph," Irish Canadian, May 30, 1877.

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