Rorate Caeli

ICKSP Given Church in Ireland

From the Catholic Heritage Association:


We have just received the following GLORIOUS news from the Institute of Christ the King in Ireland:

"Sacred Heart Church purchased by the Institute of Christ the King in Limerick, Ireland

With the help of numerous friends from Ireland, the United States and Continental Europe, the Church of the Sacred Heart at the Crescent in Limerick, also known as the Jesuit Church after its first builders and long-term occupants, was recently purchased by a young priestly community called the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. The church and adjacent building, sold to a developer some years ago, had stood vacant for six years and was in danger of falling into ruin. Therefore many people from Limerick and other parts of Ireland were happy to help this Institute bring the Church of the Sacred Heart and its residence back to life.

A young community of members of the Institute of Christ the King will very soon move into the attached residence in spite of its rather poor condition, and the church will serve for the time being as its chapel. With the permission of the Bishop of Limerick, the Institute of Christ the King has had a residence in the diocese since 2009 and offers Mass every Sunday in the Extraordinary Form at St. Patrick's Church, whilst also working in a few neighbouring dioceses.

Founded in 1990, the Institute is a Roman-Catholic Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right in canonical form. The 64 priests of the Institute work all over the world to promote the spiritual Kingship of Christ. A special emphasis is laid on the harmony between faith and culture, and thus the young community has acquired a reputation for promoting the arts, especially sacred music and architecture. This experience will serve to restore the Church of the Sacred Heart to its classical beauty and make it available once more as a point of reference for the cultural life of Limerick.

The mother-house and international seminary of the Institute of Christ the King is based in Florence, Italy, where 80 seminarians are training for the priesthood and 21 religious sisters are especially devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Among these are already several Irish vocations. This young community has missions in Gabon (Africa) and important apostolates in the United States, England, France, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Sweden and naturally in Rome, where their founder, Msgr. Gilles Wach, was ordained to the priesthood by Blessed Pope John Paul. The provincial superior of the community in Ireland is at present Msgr. Michael Schmitz, who was ordained a priest by the present Holy Father, the then Cardinal Ratzinger.

The prior of the Church of the Sacred Heart is a 38 year-old priest, Canon Wulfran Lebocq, choir-master of the Institute and permanently resident in the diocese since 2010. For the time being, the community in Limerick is composed of four members, whose average age is 32.

The Institute of Christ the King follows the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales, which is expressed in the motto of the Institute: Live the truth in charity, and could be summarised in the famous quote of the Doctor of Charity: Cook the truth in charity until it tastes sweet. The Canons of the Institute of Christ the King have a vast experience in working with the young. Schools, youth camps, days of recollection, musical training and many other activities are among the benefits they are used to bringing to the places where they work.

In Limerick, the Institute of Christ the King, supported by many local residents and a large group of friends in Ireland and abroad, intends to restore the Church of the Sacred Heart to its original purpose as a vibrant spiritual and cultural centre and a beautiful place of worship through a dynamic and open community life as a spiritual family. However, this will require a careful historical restoration before the Church may be opened once again to the greater public.

The Institute of Christ the King celebrates the classical Roman Liturgy, the Latin Mass, in its Extraordinary Form according to the liturgical books promulgated by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1962. This liturgy, promoted by Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI in various documents, attracts today an ever greater number of people, especially young adults, students and families. The Institute is accustomed to see a lively family of faithful in its churches and wishes to bring the uplifting beauty of sacrality and genuine culture to all.

This beautiful church at the Crescent is still today a special architectural jewel, and many deplored its closing and long-term vacancy. The Institute of Christ the King, which has a special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, truly desires to reopen this church for the benefit of all, in close collaboration with the local civil and ecclesiastical authorities. In this way, yet another sign of a brighter future will again come alive in Limerick.

Those who would like to know more about this important project for Limerick City can find further information either on their website ( or by visiting the community at the Crescent: Come and see!"

We say: REJOICE! REJOICE! REJOICE! [Tip: reader]


  1. This image looks like a beautiful church.
    Praise God for this great news!

    The ICRSS has been offering daily Mass in St Josephs House in Limerick for a while now.

  2. Anonymous5:40 PM

    For anyone who wants to be nasty in how they speak of the contributors of this blog, people whom give their time, freely, taking it away from their families to provide you with information, please save it.

    Better yet, please stop reading altogether.

  3. Elizabeth5:45 PM

    Great news. Ireland needs it. I pray for many blessings upon the priests who will serve there and everyone who attaches themselves to it.

  4. Gravitas6:19 PM

    ICKSP is a wonderful, holy order. They are a blessing in the United States. Their sense of tradition and art is incredible.

  5. Robert Salazar6:44 PM

    The Institute will be a Godsend for many in Ireland. We pray that they continue to flourish and grow in Ireland and in all their apostolates.

  6. Thomas6:56 PM

    God bless the ICRSS!

  7. Anonymous7:32 PM

    Here is a photo montage I did some time ago of the former Jesuit Church.... Great news indeed!

    Michael (Limerick)

  8. What a beautiful church! What all churches should look like. Looks a little bit to me like our lady of mt.carmel church in the bronx,ny.

  9. Jameson10:47 PM

    Wait a minute. This was purchased with funding by private individuals and organizations from several countries? And not given them by the Vatican with funding from the Faithful who sit in the pews each week for YEARS and put their in their sheckels??

  10. Jameson,The Vatican could not have given this church to anyone as the Jesuits had sold it to a private developer 6/7 years ago. It was originally sold for about a million and half euro. The developer who bought it could not do much with it as it had a preservation order. The developer has since died and the property was either sold by his estate or by NAMA. How could the Vatican give what it does not own?

  11. Thank you, Michael, for the link to the video, so beautifully presented. It moved me to tears of sadness. But then the latest news about the church moved me to tears of joy.

    O Sacred heart of Jesus, I place my trust in Thee!

  12. Gratias5:17 AM

    This is great news for the efforts of our Holy Father with the Year of Faith that starts in October. There is no better Evangelization of previously Catholic countries than the Extraordinary Traditional Latin Mass.

    Probably buying back churches may be a very good strategy. As they are sold out in Europe (and also here), good preconciliar buildings will become a bargain. In Edinburgh I saw a very beautiful Gothic church (probably sold by Protestants) that was used as a Discotheque. It will be up to us Traditionalists to come up with more funds than our Novus Ordo brethren.

  13. Our novus ordo brethren methinks are satisfied with their community centers and multi-purpose buildings, so we don't need to worry about competition.

  14. Ivan K8:05 PM

    The Jesuits of today may not appreciate tradition and orthodoxy, but they do appreciate cash.

  15. Peter5:31 PM

    I understand that all the sacred items, altar stones, relics, statues, etc., have long since been removed, and that the building itself is need of extensive renovation.

    Well, now that it is back in Catholic hands, let the good work begin !

  16. In the Irish Times today it said they got this for €700,000, one-sixth of the asking price. What a bargain

    They also need €300k to repair the Church


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