Rev. Cornelius Claffey, at church entrance, full-length portrait

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Where: Mount Saint Joseph Abbey, Lisnageeragh, Mount St Joseph, Co. Offaly, Ireland

When: Unknown

To welcome the new week we have a portrait from the Keogh Collection. This intriguing ecclesiastic capture begs a number of questions all of which I am confident that you will answer!
Who was Rev Claffey? Which Church is this? Any idea of the occasion?

And our faith (sorry) in getting some answers was well founded. The general concensus is that this is Dom Camillus Claffey, who was abbot of the Cistercian Mount St Joseph Abbey (near Roscrea) from 1944 to 1962. This gives us a very likely subject, possible location, and at least some pause on the catalogue date range. In a veritible "whos/who and whats/what" of eccelisiastical matters and dress, Bernard Healy suggests that this image captures a relatively important occasion or high-mass. Perhaps even the abott's own pontificaliacation, enhattification, inauguration, benediction, or "promotion" into abbot-hood. Maybe taken therefore in 1944. Or taken perhaps just prior (at the monastery), if taken while he was just 'Prior' (of the monastery).


Photographer: Brendan Keogh

Collection: Keogh Photographic Collection

Date: c.1930-1940. Though perhaps sometime later in 1940s...

NLI Ref: Ke 301

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 4686
brendankeogh thekeoghphotographiccollection keoghbrothersltd nationallibraryofireland revcorneliusclaffey churchentrance portrait staff mitre ring priest enhattification pontificalia prior abbot camillus claffey camillusclaffey roscrea abbey monastery mountstjoseph cistercian trappist garb crozier chasuble justprior

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  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 27/Feb/2017 07:40:50

    He's at Mount St. Joseph in Roscrea in another Keogh photo.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 27/Feb/2017 09:22:52

    The church dates from 1884. They did get a new bell tower, foundation stone laid 1940: Name: JONES & KELLY Building: CO. OFFALY, MOUNT ST JOSEPH ABBEY (RC, CISTERCIAN) Date: 1938;1940 Nature: New bell tower; new church, FS laid May 1940. Refs: IB 80, 1 Oct 1938, 810; 82, 11 May 1940, 318; Capuchin Annual 12 (1941), 302

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    Niall McAuley

    • 27/Feb/2017 09:24:30

    Wikipedia gives a list of abbots: Dom Athanasius Donovan (Prior) Dom Camillus Beardwood Dom Justin McCarthy Dom Camillus Claffey Dom Eugene Boylan Dom Colmcille O'Toole Dom Laurence Walsh Dom Kevin Daly Dom Richard Purcell (current)

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    domenico milella

    • 27/Feb/2017 09:26:46

    Congratulation for your beautiful Album.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 27/Feb/2017 09:27:03

    In June 1952, Cardinal Norman Gilroy, Archbishop of Sydney, visited Mount Saint Joseph Abbey, Roscrea in Ireland and formally requested its abbot, Dom Camillus Claffey that he make a foundation in the Archdiocese of Sydney,

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    Niall McAuley

    • 27/Feb/2017 09:28:08

    Camillus CLAFFEY — Abbot — 25/09/1944 – 21/02/1962

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    Niall McAuley

    • 27/Feb/2017 09:33:07

    So if that is an Abbot hat, the date range is off. I confess that I am not an expert on ecclesiastical headwarmers.

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    beachcomberaustralia

    • 27/Feb/2017 09:46:53

    The Australian connection in 1954 - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/145682888?searchTerm=c... - includes photo in a different hat trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/210673462?searchTerm=c... - 15 tons of equipment ! trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/172540388?searchTerm=c... - details of the Cistercian foundation

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    Niall McAuley

    • 27/Feb/2017 09:58:33

    This hat is the fanciest in the three fancy hat line-up in the archive. I suspect that the photographer was here to record the new abbot on his enhattification.

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    beachcomberaustralia

    • 27/Feb/2017 10:15:13

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] Enhattification !! [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia/32330492713/]

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 27/Feb/2017 10:17:03

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] Enhattification, I like it. I think it deserves to be tagged!!

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    Niall McAuley

    • 27/Feb/2017 10:22:07

    According to this book, Claffey was Prior of the abbey before being made abbot. I also see that he was a native of Portumna - perhaps Gerald Anthony, 17 in the 1911 census?

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    DannyM8

    • 27/Feb/2017 15:29:11

    There is some photo-shopping going on here. On the left of the inside arch, two flag poles (or similar) have been scratched out!

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    Bernard Healy

    • 27/Feb/2017 16:00:18

    Enhattification is a wonderful word, but I'm afraid the ceremony by which a monk is made an abbot is (rather disappointingly) called his Blessing or his Benediction. Assuming we're certain that this is Dom Cornelius Claffey, then the vestments he is wearing show that this picture could only have been taken while he was abbot. A monk of lesser rank would not have worn them. In essence, he's dressed in the same way a bishop would for High Mass according to the way these things were done before the changes flowing from Vatican II. The technical term for what he's wearing is 'Pontificalia'. Back then, as a general rule, an Abbot was allowed wear these 'pontificalia' on the day he was blessed, and after that, only three times a year. Similarly, he was, as a general rule, only permitted to wear these vestments in his own Abbey. So we can be almost certain that this picture was taken at Mt St Joseph's. I'll label the vestments, etc, on the photograph.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 27/Feb/2017 16:30:45

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] Re: that picture of the Abbot standing between two other clergy with mitres, I don''t think that gives us any solid evidence that these pictures were taken on the day of Dom Cornelius's blessing. They're certainly two abbots or bishops dressed for a solemn ceremony, but the key indication that this was Dom Cornelius's blessing would be a photo of him with the Bishop who blessed him. That Bishop would be wearing different vestments to the two guys in the picture. He'd be dressed for Mass in the same way that Dom Cornelius is with gloves and chasuable. I'm not saying that it couldn't be his blessing, just that there's no evidence for it in the photo.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 27/Feb/2017 16:38:25

    Also you'll spot Dom Cornelius in this procession here: catalogue.nli.ie/Search/Results?lookfor=%22%20Mount%20Sai... The distinctive white hats are the birettas which used to be worn by members of the Cistercian order. I suspect that this is a picture from an earlier visit of Keogh to Roscrea as Dom Cornelius doesn't have an Abbot's cross on his chest.

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    jamica1

    • 27/Feb/2017 17:09:50

    Looks quite pleased with himself.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 27/Feb/2017 17:22:56

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy] Pontificalia also deserves to be tagged!!

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    silverio10

    • 27/Feb/2017 20:49:32

    Buenas fotos antiguas .

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 28/Feb/2017 01:26:31

    Thanks again all - especially to [https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy] on the master-class in ecclesiastical garb. With apologies for yet more word play, I've updated the description, tags, and mapped the image to Mount St Joseph. Brilliant stuff as always...

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 28/Feb/2017 02:49:21

    Pray be to God, Alleluia. We have discovered who he is.

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    CASSIDY PHOTOGRAPHY

    • 01/Mar/2017 10:02:54

    It is OK to acknowledge Roman Catholic.