The history of the church at Castle Bruce

In my previous article I describe the early history of the church at Castle Bruce.

Bishop James Moris,  sixth Bishop of Roseau (1922- 1957) ,saw the great need for   a church in Castle Bruce and  obtained from  Mrs. Johnson, the owner of the Castle Bruce Estate, 4 acres of  land for this purpose.

Already in 1940 the faithful of Castle Bruce, over 700 in number, were gathering local lumber to build a large chapel.

Under the leadership of Fr. Pascal Vrignaud  FMI the building of the church became a reality. On August 12, 1952 Bishop Antoon Demets, Coadjutor Bishop of Roseau ( 1946-1954), blessed the corner stone of the new church at Castle Bruce.

The Parish of Our Lady, Health of the sick was canonically erected on February 2, 1954 by Bishop James Moris C.Ss.R,  extending from the Pagua River to the Castle Bruce River , including, beyond the Castle Bruce River, the hamlets of Dix Pas and Tranto. This large area was before a part of the Parish of St. Saviour (which was canonically erected on February 8, 1866 by Bishop Poirier C.M.).

By July 1954 the parish church of Our Lady of Health was almost completed. The  doors & windows and interior fixtures were installed at a later date by Fr. Hilaire Maupetit  FMI, Fr. Pascal’s successor.

The church, surmounted by a graceful tower, became the pride of the people of Castle Bruce.   castle Bruce church with tower Jan 2007

Fr. Pascal Vrignaud returned to Castle Bruce and was living there in 1978 when Dr. Lennox Honychurch painted the mural behind the altar. Father Pascal sat for his own portrait.

Another important event in the history of this parish church was the extensive damage caused at 3 p.m. on November 29, 2007 by an earthquake. The 2007 Martinique earthquake took place underneath the Martinique Passage and had a magnitude of 7.4 on the Richter Scale.

Damage was located in three areas of this beautiful historical building: the tower, the sanctuary walls including the mural and the pointed arched windows.

The church was declared unsafe and the community had services in the Government Primary School for several months.

The damage to the church  amounted to more than EC $ 200,000.00.  As the building was under- insured the pay-out from the insurance was insufficient to do  all necessary repairs and reconstruction.

For public safety reasons, the bell tower, cracked from top to bottom, was demolished in  February and March 2008 to avoid danger to the public. The bell named PASCALINA   MARIA was stored away for future use.

Castle bruce church dec 2008

The parishioners moved back into their church on Palm Sunday the 16th of March 2008 although the windows still had to be replaced and repaired. This was done during the months of June- July 2008. The building was also completely rewired and repainted.

Today, almost 10 years after the November 2007 earthquake, the present parish priest Fr. Godfrey Tarimo is constructing a new tower, which will house the old bell.

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The High Altar of the Roseau Cathedral pre 1994 renovations

THE ROSEAU CATHEDRAL before the 1994 renovations

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The ornamental cross on the steeple of the Roseau Cathedral

by Bernard Lauwyck

The cross of the Roseau Cathedral before its removal in March 2017

In April  1854 , Most Reverend Michael Monaghan , first Bishop of Roseau (1850-1855), arrived  back in Dominica, after  a long absence due to travels to Trinidad, Rome and Ireland.

He wrote : “Sunday, September 11th, 1854 and Rosary Sunday, I  made  the collection in the Cathedral myself for the new steeple. I did the same on November 2nd. The work on the cathedral steeple proceeded at a steady pace as on March 1st, 1855 he could exult:  “The cross was place on the belfry to the great delight of the whole community. We are all very thankful  to God to see the work brought to completion in such a short time and in such beautiful style.  (source : The ECCLESIASTICAL BULLETIN OF ROSEAU).

For a long time I have  longed to find out more about this cross which perches 80 feet above  ground level on top of  the spire of  the Roseau Cathedral.

So you can understand that excitement was running high on Wednesday March 30, 2017 when it was reported to me that the workers had removed the ornamental cross from the steeple and brought it down to terra firma .

We found the 162 years iron cross  in remarkable good condition .

Its height, with anchors included,  is  80 inches, the height of a tall person.

The ornamentation is exquisite and the workmanship breathtaking.  At the center of the cross one sees the image of Our Lady of Heaven, the crowned Queen of Heaven, Mary the Virgin.

Lower down the cross are the letters A M standing for AVE MARIA, Latin for HAIL MARY, the words spoken by the angel Gabriel at the Annunciation.

Four stars surround the icon of Queen of Heaven.  All this symbolizes the close link between Mary’s mission on earth and Jesus’ cross and suffering.

We hope that it will not take too long before this beautiful cross is back restored at the apex of the new spire of the Roseau Cathedral.

Icon Mary Queen of Heaven on the Roseau Cathedral cross

detail cross cathedral

AVE MARIA on Cathedral cross

AVE MARIA detail

star detail cross of Cathedral

detail of one arm of the cross with the star and flowery design

grapes on the Cathedral cross

“I AM THE GRAPE VINE” detail

detail cross cathedral (1)

Cathedral crucifix on steeple March 2017

The whole cross measuring 53″ high

more news and updates on the Roseau Cathedral can be found on my other blog at the link

https://dioceser.wordpress.com/

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THE CRYPT IN THE ROSEAU CATHEDRAL part II

part II       By  Bernard Lauwyck add-text

As we enter the dark, gloomy, moist area that is the Cathedral crypt,                                 we immediately ask ourselves why candles are not burning in this                                burial place of  the Bishops of Roseau. 

The general appearance is one of neglect. Only the  red –yellow bricks in the vaulted ceiling  gives some colour to an otherwise desolate place.

french-poem-in-crypt

 

The back wall has a painted white cross with black drapes painted above.

The painted  black drapes, faded badly,  continue along the side walls. Otherwise there is no decoration.p1050299.

To the left and right of the white cross, on the back wall,  is a barely readable French poem .  I have been able to decipher this beautiful text  with the help of a lot of learned friends, mainly  local ones,  some overseas and I thank each of them for this.

They  are the 8th and 9th stanza of a POEM called  “STANCES CHRETIENNES SUR L’HOMME”  from  the pen of Monsignor  Olympe-Philippe  GERBERT (1798 -1864), Bishop of  Perpignan in France.

It  can be found  in its totally in his volume “LE CHANT DES CATACOMBES” on Google  “Annales de philosophie chrétienne, Volumes 70-71”  by Augustin Bonnetty, R. P. Laberthonnière, Charles Denis

« N’éteignez pas la lampe solitaire

Qui veille et luit dans un sombre caveau ;

N’éteignez pas l’espoir qui seul éclaire

La nuit du cœur et la nuit du tombeau.

 

Dieu lui réserve une fin magnifique ;

Il s’éteindra dans une autre clarté ;

Pour expirer, sa lueur prophétique

Attend un jour qui soit l’éternité. »

see the translation below :

poem-crypt

 

As mentioned before, our Cathedral crypt has 18 burial slots, three still vacant. That means that 15 persons are buried in this crypt. Most disappointedly is that the burial slots are not marked or labelled except one, which has a damaged notice reading :

 

“IN MEMORIAM  R.P.    RENATI     LAVA

  • René-Stanislas LAVA,  Redemptorist, was born in 1859 in Poperinge, Belgium and died in 1903 in Roseau Dominica,  where he  was doing God’s work the last 16 months of his life.

For several years a missionary in Belgium and Canada, he had, by his powerful sermons,  converted many a sinner.

On April 15th, 1903, he arrived at Roseau and was attached to the Cathedral staff.  A few months later he was in the grip of one of the most dreadful and dreaded of all tropical diseases, yellow fever, and died  after only a few days’ illness, on September 13th, 1903.

p1050220

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DOMINICA in 1844 : the census riots, part 8

The CENSUS REVOLT IN DOMINICA part 8                                                      by Bernard Lauwyck

The following testimonies indicate how strong African beliefs in magic (spells and charms) were shaping the motivations and actions of many ex-slaves during the census riots in 1844.

“ Francois of Berricoa states that …. at Geneva Bay  …the people assembled , danced and drank rum.  he followed like the rest when one Jean Laurent of Berricoa divided the people in tens and twelves to watch in different parts for Buccras to kill them. .. they must stand there and wait for the enemy the militia”

“Remy Occou from Stowe took men he picked out to stand on the beach to attack the militia. He told the people that he could tie the militia guns, bewitch them and make them give out water instead of balls that they might fire but could not hurt them.”

Germain Sorhaindo stated that “Joseph Occou  (Joseph was an African who had the repute of being an obeah doctor )  told him …that by his knowledge of divination that the Buccras [= pejorative for white masters] here had made plot with the French Buccras to come here to steal the blacks  [ note that slavery was still legal in the French islands] and make them slaves and that the road commenced to Castle Bruce was for the purpose of affording easy communication through the island for the French.”

“an Occou  [= African] would place a barrel on the beach which would catch all the balls and that there were Occous who could catch balls in their mouths and spit them out cold.”

Others claimed that “several others were charmed by Joseph to prevent balls hurting them.”

“Joseph arranged and charmed Jacques Edme’s gun.”

Source : CORRESPONDENCE RELATIVE TO DISTURBANCES AMONG THE NEGROES IN DOMINICA in ACCOUNTS AND PAPERS OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, Volume 31

There are interesting parallels with similar but much later events in Africa.

In April 1819 a large number of Xhosa warriors, under the leadership of Nxele, launched an attack against the British Colony on the Eastern Cape Colony, part of present day  South Africa. The Xhosan prophet, Nxele, had promised the Xhosan king, the Ndlambe, the ability to turn white men’s bullets to water. Due to the mystic’s promise, the Xhosan army was ordered into harm’s way and engaged the British colonial army in a rare pitched battle. Believing in the powerful magic of Nxele, they advanced in massed columns against their enemy. The British, lined-up in formation, opened a withering fire with their muskets and artillery and decimated the Xhosan ranks, led personally by Nxele.  One hundred warriors died, and nearly a thousand were wounded. The British army then invaded Xhosan territory and accepted, at a later date, the surrender of Nxele.  A belief in magic had brought about a military disaster for the Xhosan people. (source : BULLETS INTO WATER: THE SORCERERS OF AFRICA by Richard Petraitis)

Between 1905 and 1907 there was an violent rebellion against the german colonial rulers  in what is now Tanzania (Eastern Africa). This was named  the Maji Maji Rebellion. The rebels believed that bullets could not harm them as they were protected by magic. This magic was used by the leader of the uprising as an unifying force:  Kinjikitile Ngwale, a medicine man, healer and prophet claimed that he could turn German bullets into water. This gave the poorly armed warriors enormous confidence to attach German stronghold.  The result was a bloodbath as the Germans were equipped with machine guns.  The repression of the revolt by the colonial troops was brutal and horrific.

 

In July, 1964, a rebellion began in newly independent Congo. Whi ignited by the abuses of the newly established Congolese central government. The cadres of the rebel movement were leftist in ideology, but most of the rank and file was composed of spear-toting tribesmen from the Kivu and Orientale provinces. Many of the tribesmen were illiterate and they came from a tradition steeped in primitive animist beliefs. Rebels were promised immunity to bullets by witch doctors. The tribesmen were told by the magic men they would be transformed into “Simbas” (the Swahili word for lions) when entering battle.

Astonishingly, the Simbas managed to intimidate two heavily-armed battalions of government commandos into a retreat without battle. The victorious Simbas began to capture local capitals and soon, within weeks, half the Congo was in their hands.

The national troops had been scared into headlong retreat by witch doctors charging with only forty Simba fighters!       The magic warriors’ victories were stunning.   The rebellion was put down with the help of the former colonial powers Belgium and France and with help from the USA.

Also in Dominica, the belief in magical powers to turn bullets into water played a large role in the Census Revolt in the Grandbay. 

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The CRYPT in the ROSEAU CATHEDRAL : memorial slabs of the two first Bishops of Roseau

by  Bernard Lauwyck

Upon descending the 14  red tiled steps towards THE CRYPT  entrance, one notices two marble engraved memorial stones, set vertically into the walls .

They are the memorial slabs of  the first two Bishops of  Roseau . 

  • Most Rev. Michael MONAGHAN  was the first Bishop of Roseau , from his ordination on February 16, 1851 in Port of Spain till his death , at the age of 42 , on July 14, 1855 on the Island of St. Thomas, where he was buried. 

    stained-glass-bishop-monaghan

    STAINED GLASS WINDOW OF                                                   BISHOP MICHAEL MONAGHAN                                                  photograph by Bernard Lauwyck

Michael MONAGHAN was Irish, from the County Longford, Diocese of Ardagh.  and was the bishop responsible for the purchase and installation of the magnificent pure marble HIGH ALTAR, adorned with 7 splendid brass statuettes : St. Peter, St. Paul, Jesus as the Good Shepherd and the 4 evangelists.  During the 5 years that he was Bishop of Roseau, he was frequently absent from the Diocese as his friend and copatriot  Archbishop Richard Patrick Smith died in Trinidad on  6 May 1852.     During his time as Bishop of Roseau, the   imposing tower and steeple were erected over the main entrance of the cathedral.

On March 1, 1855 “the cross was placed on the belfry to the great delight of the whole community”.

retouched-bishop-monaghan-memorial-stone

MEMORIAL OF BISHOP MONAGHAN in Crypt of Roseau Cathedral in DOMINICA, photograph by Bernard Lauwyck

TRANSLATION OF LATIN INSCRIPTION :

memorial-bishop-monaghan-translation

  • THE SECOND SLAB IS DEDICATED TO the second Bishop of Roseau,  Michel VESQUE, who was French, born in Honfleur, Normandy and was ordained bishop on October 26,1856 in the Redemptorist community at Clapham, London.  He died scarcely 2 years later, at the age of 40, on July 10, 1858 on the island of St. Kitts. stained-glass-bishop-vesque His body was brought back to Roseau where  bishop Théodore-Augustin Forcade of Guadeloupe, among others,  attended the funeral service on August 25, 1858 in the Roseau Cathedral. 

Bishop Michel Vesque’s body was exhumed in March 1860 and brought to the UK to be reburied in the cemetery of the Sisters of the Faithful Virgins in Norwood, close to London, where he had been their pastor and spiritual leader for 8 years before becoming Bishop of Roseau.

Michel VESQUE   made a huge impact on future catholic education in Dominica by  bringing  the Order of the Faithful Virgins to Dominica. They started the Convent High School in his own “palace”, and later in St. Yves, with 6 students on February 2, 1858.  Bishop VESQUE also introduced the Redemptorists to the Danish islands of St. Thomas, St Croix, which was the beginning of a tremendous missionary trust into all the English speaking islands.

The initiatives of  a man who was barely two years Bishop of Roseau  shaped and still shapes,  up to this day, the destiny of thousands of our young people .

memorial-bishop-vesque

MEMORIAL SLAB of Bishop Michel VESQUE ,                                                                      photograph by Bernard Lauwyck

memorial-bishop-vesque-translation

Posted in 135 articles on DA and Cathedral, Bishops of Roseau, catholic missionaries in Dominica, DOMINICA 1855-1885, history of Dominica, ROSEAU CATHEDRAL, STAINED GLASS, The crypt in the Roseau Cathedral | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Beautiful stained glass at the Roseau Cathedral in Dominica

by  Bernard Lauwyck

MORE ARTICLES ON THE ROSEAU CATHEDRAL at link

http://www.avirtualdominica.com/project/the-roseau-cathedral/

cathedral-window-2-virgin-with-child-detail

stained-gass-at-the-roseau-cathedral-in-dominica

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DOMINICA in 1844 : the census riots

Part 7                                                                   by Bernard Lauwyck

In my previous article I presented the opinions of president Dugald Laidlaw, the owner of Stowe Estate William Ellisonde and catholic priests Morgan and Cosgrove on what caused the violence, looting and burning in the Grandbay district in 1844.

In this article I am quoting from the testimony of estate workers. They illustrate the agitated frame of mind of the labourers and also identify some of the leaders of the revolt.

In an Affidavit, Scotland of Berricoa Estate stated that on Monday the 3nd of June 1844  Mr. Johnston, manager of the Berricoa Estate, gave the names of all the labourers attached to the estate to Mr. Hardcastle, the enumerator… Mr Alfred Constable, the overseer of the estate, told Scotland that all negroes were to be made slaves again, that Mr Johnston had given the names of the people to Mr. Hardcastle for that purpose.

[ note:  Henry Hardcastle was the school master of the protestant school at Geneva and appointed by  Edward Lockhart as one of the enumerators under the Census Act at Geneva.]

Another witness, Louis of Geneva Estate, stated that “on Tuesday the 4th day of June there were a number of persons assembled on the bay at Geneva and Jean Laurent was distributing rum to them all.  Jean Laurent sent him for a drum which he brought and they all began to dance. A short time after this Jean Laurent stopped the drum and separated the men into three companies; one he despatched to Geneva; one to Berricoa and the other was to march down towards Roseau.

This last company was under the command of Remy Occou… They marched as far as Pichelin to see whether they would …meet any white persons.   Not having met with any, Remy said he had a great mind to go as far as Chopin’s [estate, located at Bellevue Chopin] to see what the people were doing there and if they were doing nothing, he would go as far as Kings Hill to join his brother Occous, for the Creoles had no courage.

After remaining there some time, he decided upon returning to Geneva and on their way they met with Richard Lockhart.  Immediately Remy called out: “Do not allow him to trespass” .   He held Lockhart by the leg.  Louis together with Abraham, Pierre and Jack Jolly were the persons who prevented Remy and St. Helen doing anything to Lockhart. They then went and joined the rest at Geneva by the river side. These were under the command of Edward Dubucq, who was armed with a gun and cutlass…. Remy Occou and Edward Dubucq stated that as they had not met with Buccras [= derogatory term for whites] they must go and break the shops so as to drink rum. They all went with Edward Dubucq to Berricoa where they met with Jean Laurent and his company. They …broke down the shop at Berricoa and stole everything.”

Louis further testified that “it is his firm belief that had it not been for Jean Laurent,  Edward Dubucq and Remy Occou that no disturbance would have taken place in the quarter.”

“Silvestre of Berricoa Estate stated that on Tuesday the 4th day of June last that

Edward Dubucq with his gang began by breaking down the shop at Geneva and stealing everything there.  After this he proceeded to the Mitchem road near Geneva House….Jean Laurent was the man that procured rum to give all the men in the morning in order to train them for battle.  Edward Dubucq told the people there were plenty of sheep at Geneva, Berricoa and at Coulibri and they must go for some that they might eat. He also said that all those who did not join him then he would cut off their heads after the business was over.”

The testimony below raises some interesting echoes from Africa :

“Remy Occou from Stowe took men he picked out to stand on the beach to attack the militia. He told the people that he could tie the militia guns, bewitch them and make them give out water instead of balls, that they might fire but could not hurt them . … Remy placed parties on the hill leading to Dubucq’s to roll stones with  crowbars …down on the militia as they passed. Since it was war they would not care for mother, priest or anyone. They would kill all the Buccras and mulattoes. Then they would kill all those who did not follow them and burn their houses.  … Remy said that he would, in case the militia should come by Soufriere, take his band and pass by Bellevue, take Chopin’s people and go to Wall House and see how things were at Roseau.”

Remy Occou is also mentioned as “Remy, African” in the documents, which I understand as Africa-born. In my next article I will link  his claim to be able to  turn bullets into water to  similar claims in African history.  

 

Source : CORRESPONDENCE RELATIVE TO DISTURBANCES AMONG THE NEGROES IN DOMINICA in ACCOUNTS AND PAPERS OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, Volume 31

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The crypt in the Roseau Cathedral in Dominica part 1

By  Bernard Lauwyck

One of the generally unknown and most mysterious spaces in the Roseau Cathedral is

the CRYPT, where several Bishops and clergy were buried.

french-poem-in-crypt

 

I had the privilege to give some priests, architects and friends the opportunity to visit the crypt and get some feedback from them.   I learned much from Dr. Lennox Honychurch during his visit, but still many questions remain to be answered. The translations of the Latin and French texts, faded with age,  were also quite a challenge, but with the help of many learned minds, I  am confident that we got as close as possible to the exact version.

In architecture , a crypt (from the Latin “crypta”)  designates any vaulted building partially or entirely below the ground level, such as sewers, the stalls for horses and chariots in a circus, storage cellars.

It was natural, therefore, for the early Christians to call their catacombs “cryptae” , which means “hidden places” in Greek.  When churches came to be erected over the tombs of saints and martyrs, underground chapels, known as crypts , were built around the actual tomb.

The most famous crypt is  St. Peter’s, built over the circus of  emperor Nero, the site of St. Peter’s martyrdom.

As early as the reign of the Roman emperor Constantine (AD 306–337), the crypt was considered a normal part of the church building. Further incentive to the building of crypts was provided by growth of ecclesiastical sanction of burials within the church walls. The Council of Mainz (813AD) officially approved the interment of bishops, abbots, worthy priests, or loyal laymen in a church, and from that time burials within the building, usually in the crypt, multiplied.

The practice was that the crypt had small burial slots called loculi (“little Places).

 

The Roseau Cathedral crypt has 18 burial slots, three still vacant, which  means that 15 persons are buried in this crypt.

The crypt is  8 feet wide  and 14 feet long. The height  from the floor to the apex of the  vaulted ceiling is 7‘-6”.  The vaulted ceiling is constructed out of red bricks and from the look of them, they seem to be homemade bricks and not the industrial hard, solid, sharp-edged  bricks which were used as ballast in ships crossing the ocean, as are  everywhere evident in the town of  St. George’s in Grenada.

The chapel above the crypt, which was built by Bishop R.M.C. Poirier, third  Bishop of Roseau, was consecrated on the 19th March 1873 so one can assume that the vaulted crypt was from the same period.

p1050131The date  is inscribed in a large marble plaque  set into  the wall of the chapel, which was at that time  called the St. Joseph chapel, establishing in 1873 the “perpetual cult” of  St. Joseph .  Saint Joseph the Worker  was a powerful saint  for Catholic workers.  Ten  years after Karl Marx’ “Das Kapital”,  “Rerum Novarum”  was  issued by Pope Leo XIII on May 15, 1891, establishing the Catholic workers movements as an answer to the socialist movement.

The use and name of this space or chapel has changed many times ever since.

After  the damage done by hurricane DAVID on August 29, 1979, the marble Baptismal Font was placed in this chapel and it became the Place for Baptism.

During the renovations  leading up to the September 7, 1994 ordination of  Bishop Edward Gilbert , it  was redesigned as the Blessed Sacrament chapel as the two stained glass windows  depicting  grain/bread  and grape/wine still testify.

Bishop Edward Gilbert  relocated the Blessed Sacrament and the space became the Marian or Lady’s  chapel with the statue of OUR LADY OF FAIR HAVEN.

On the floor in front of Her statue, a plywood  sheet covered with carpet hides the stairs to the crypt. p1050290

Upon descending the 14  red tiled steps towards the crypt entrance, one notices two marble engraved memorial stones, set upright (vertically) in the walls.

Memorials are a focus for mourning  and remembrance of our loved ones. In a Protestant context , the very wealthy often erected elaborate memorials  within churches rather than having simply external gravestones.

Memorial stones are very old as one can read in Joshua 4:1-9.    “After the nation crosses over, God commands Joshua to set up a memorial of the crossing. “And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying: “‘take twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. …Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant stood; and they are there to this day.”

As our engraved marble memorial stones were not exposed to rain and sun, they are fairly  well preserved, but still difficult to decipher. They are the memorial slabs for the first two Bishops of  Roseau:

  • Most Rev. Michael MONAGHAN  was the first Bishop of Roseau , from his ordination on February 16, 1851 in Port of Spain till his death , at the age of 42 , on July 14, 1855 on the Island of St. Thomas. He was buried there.
  • retouched-bishop-monaghan-memorial-stone

Michael MONAGHAN was Irish, from the County Longford, Diocese of Ardagh.  and was the bishop responsible for the purchase and installation of the magnificent pure marble HIGH ALTAR, adorned with 7 splendid brass statuettes : St. Peter, St. Paul, Jesus as the Good Shepherd and the 4 evangelists. He designed, planned and erected the Cathedral’s imposing central church tower and steeple, which still dominates the skyline of Roseau today.  On January 30, 1855 the wall plate was placed on the new tower.

 

 

  • The second Bishop of Roseau, Most Rev. Michel VESQUE was French, born in Honfleur, Normandy and was ordained bishop on October 26,1856 in the Redemptorist community at Clapham, London. He died scarcely 2 years later, at the age of 40, on July 10, 1858 on the island of St. Kitts.  His body was brought back to Roseau where  bishop Théodore-Augustin Forcade of Guadeloupe, among others,  attended the funeral service on August 25, 1858 in the Roseau Cathedral.
detail-memorial-stone

detail memorial stone  in the Roseau Cathedral

Bishop Michel Vesque’s body was exhumed in March 1860 and brought to the UK to be reburied in the cemetery of the Sisters of the Faithful Virgins in Norwood, close to London, where he had been their pastor and spiritual leader for 8 years before becoming Bishop of Roseau.

Michel VESQUE   made a huge impact on future catholic education in Dominica by  bringing  the Order of the Faithful Virgins to Dominica. They started the Convent High School in his own “palace”, and later in St. Yves, with 6 students on February 2, 1858.  Bishop VESQUE also introduced the Redemptorists to the Danish islands of St. Thomas, St Croix, which was the beginning of a tremendous missionary trust into all the English speaking islands. The initiatives of  a man who was barely two years Bishop of Roseau  shaped and still shapes,  up to this day, the destiny of thousands of our young people .

 

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description and history of beautiful churches and chapels in Dominica

can be found on my other blog at the link

https://dioceser.wordpress.com/

cockrane-chapel-nov-2009

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