The churches and emigration from nineteenth-century Ireland

The book knits together two of the most significant themes in the social and cultural history of modern Ireland - mass emigration and religious change - and aims to provide fresh insight into both. It addresses the churches' responses to emigration, both in theory and in practice. The book also assesses how emigration impacted on the churches both in relation to their status in Ireland, and in terms of their ability to spread their influence abroad. It first deals with the theoretical positions of the clergy of each denomination in relation to emigration and how they changed over the course of the nineteenth century, as the character of emigration itself altered. It then explores the extent of practical clerical involvement in the temporal aspects of emigration. This includes attempts to prevent or limit it, a variety of facilitation services informally offered by parish clergymen, church-backed moves to safeguard emigrant welfare, clerical advice-giving and clerically planned schemes of migration. Irish monks between the fifth and eighth centuries had spread Christianity all over Europe, and should act as an inspiration to the modern cleric. Tied in with this reading of the past, of course, was a very particular view of the present: the perception that emigration represented the enactment of a providential mission to spread the faith.

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Francisco’s prominent ‘labour priest’ Peter Yorke forcefully impressed upon Maynooth’s Walter McDonald, when the latter visited America in 1900 – looked to Ireland and her church as to the ‘rising sun’; to them it was the revered monarch of an English-speaking Catholic kingdom.10 Though Yorke was chiding McDonald and the Irish church for not fully appreciating this fact, as Chapter Five demonstrated, it had in fact constructed and developed a powerful and widely accepted narrative of a ‘spiritual empire’ arising out of mass emigration. In that sense, the tensions the

in Population, providence and empire
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-way relationship between the sending society and the outflow. Specifically, it seeks to ascertain and compare how the Irish 1 Roddy_Population_Printer.indd 1 15/09/2014 11:47 Introduction Catholic, Presbyterian and Anglican churches responded to sustained emigration from their congregations during the nineteenth century, and in turn how they were affected by it, and, just as importantly, how they believed themselves to be affected by it. The book therefore knits together two of the most significant themes in the social and cultural history of modern Ireland – mass emigration

in Population, providence and empire
Emigration and the spread of Irish religious influence

5 The spiritual empire at home: emigration and the spread of Irish religious influence The idea that mass migration from nineteenth-century Ireland created an Irish ‘empire’ has had enduring appeal. It proved a rare source of pride during depressed periods in independent Ireland, particularly the 1940s and 1950s, and provided the basis of an evocative title for at least one popular version of the Irish diaspora’s story as late as the turn of this century.1 In the latter context especially, ‘Irish empire’ can appear simply a wry play on a far more common and not

in Population, providence and empire
The pastoral responses of the Irish churches to emigration

Education in Dublin in 1842. Therefore, while the notion that mass emigration from Ireland began in the 1840s is certainly outmoded, it would seem that the formal, organised involvement of the Irish churches in the religious care of diaspora communities was largely a mid-nineteenth century phenomenon. Before then, for most Irish emigrants, it was an ambition realised only occasionally and sometimes almost incidentally. There were several spurs to this concert of new and renewed activity, but the pleas of the destination churches loomed large. These were often the

in Population, providence and empire
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The clergy and emigration in principle

action that had the influential support of Bishop Doyle.78 It seems highly unlikely, therefore, that this was the primary reason for any mass flight from Taylor’s congregation, or any other, and perhaps the fact that he merely predicted (or threatened) such rather gives the game away. Other anti-emigration sentiment expressed by Catholic clergy was of a relatively benign nature. Even the innocuous observation of John Hanna of Down that, ‘People here [are] unwilling to emigrate, and, could they exist at all, cleave to their native place’ was a rarity.79 37 Roddy

in Population, providence and empire
Emigration and sectarian rivalry

possibility of Ireland losing its majority Catholic status, of ‘the faithful [being] supplanted by the proselytised’, was widely entertained.36 It followed that mass emigration, as the main ongoing agent 153 Roddy_Population_Printer.indd 153 15/09/2014 11:47 Population, providence and empire of such an outcome, had therefore to be resisted, condemned and lamented by Catholic clerical spokesmen. It was equally disingenuous, therefore, for Protestant commentators to claim that only a mercenary interest in retaining a steady stream of financial dues prompted priests’ dismay

in Population, providence and empire
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The clergy and emigration in practice

There were also examples of ecumenism on board ship. According to one recollection, the efforts of one ship’s captain to stop daily Mass were opposed by every Irish passenger, Orangemen included.68 That the captain had tried to curtail religious expression at all was likely to have been the lesson for most clergymen, however. Mindful of such possibilities, an acolyte of Archbishop Cullen wrote to the Emigration Commissioners in 1859 demanding unrestricted access to all parts of the ship for Catholic clergy and citing rules governing public hospitals, gaols and

in Population, providence and empire
Polio in Eastern Europe

Union and Czechoslovakia, where the Sabin vaccine was tested. Czechoslovakia became the first country in the world to practically eradicate polio in 1960 1 and the Hungarian model of annual intensive mass vaccination campaigns became one of the bases on which the WHO built its global strategy of polio eradication. 2 How did Eastern Europe come to play such an important role in laying the foundations of polio eradication

in The politics of vaccination
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Empire, migration and the 1928 English Schoolgirl Tour

. Empire unity The tour was part of the British Government’s Empire settlement scheme of the 1920s, as outlined in the previous chapter. The tour organizers, however, were operating on a much grander level than simply expecting that the twenty-five schoolgirls would themselves emigrate. Related to immigration, Empire unity was the theme behind the organization of educational excursions

in Female imperialism and national identity