Centenary of the Death of Bishop Jeremiah Doyle

June 2, 2009 8:51 pm

A Mass to commemorate the centenary of the death of the first Bishop of Lismore, Most Reverend Jeremiah Joseph Doyle, will be celebrated in St Carthage’s Cathedral Lismore on Wednesday 3rd June at 7.00pm. The principal celebrant will be the fifth and current Bishop of Lismore Most Rev. Geoffrey Jarrett D.D. Administrator of the Cathedral, Fr Paul McDonald said ‘This is an occasion of great significance for the city of Lismore and the Diocese as we come together to honour this prominent civic and church leader. Everyone is welcome to attend.’ Fr McDonald said that a power point presentation and display of some of Bishop Doyle’s personal items will be available for viewing at the back of the Cathedral. A commemorative bookmark has been produced for distribution throughout Catholic Schools in the Diocese. The centenary of his death recalls the impact of his life on the history of this district. As a public figure Bishop Doyle’s contribution to the Lismore community was extraordinary. Renowned for his organizational abilities he promoted the development of a water and gas supply in Lismore, helped establish a municipal government in the town, campaigned for the extension of the railway line, personally organized the installation of the telephone exchange, the establishment of Lismore Base Hospital, the School of Arts, the Agricultural Society and the acquisition of the reserve at Rocky Creek to ensure Lismore’s water supply. It is said that when Bishop Doyle rode into Lismore for the first time on the 4th July 1878 he became its 500th citizen, allowing the small community to petition for the status of municipality. As well as contributing to the establishment of the town’s infrastructure, Bishop Doyle was also active in the establishment of schools – opening the first Catholic school in 1881. Prior to the concelebrated Mass on Wednesday the cathedral bells will peal in memory of the Bishop who brought them to Lismore. After Bishop Doyle’s unexpected death and in recognition of Bishop Doyle’s enormous contribution to the civic life of Lismore, the then Lismore Council paid for the bells and their installation. Bishop Doyle is buried in the Lady Chapel of the beautiful Cathedral he built, which has been described as a silent witness to his ministry and work in the area.