Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Sisters of Charity of NY celebrate 200 years | Irish Central

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John J. Hughes Memorial

Sculptor Rowan Gillespie installing the Hughes memorial in front of the Old Cathedral with his crew for Sunday’s unveiling. Photo by: Irish Voice

Turlough McConnell Communications had the honor of coordinating an historic event on November 22, 2015 at the Sheen Center in Manhattan: A ceremony commemorating the twin Bicentennials of the founding of the Sisters of Charity of New York (1817–2017) and the opening of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral (1815–2015).

This celebration wove together an exciting variety of performances to tell the story of immigrant Irish-Americans, their struggles and the courage of those who fought for their rights in early 19th century New York.

In addition to the celebration, Turlough McConnell Communications also unveiled a bronze memorial to Archbishop John J. Hughes recently completed by prestigious Irish sculptor, Rowan Gillespie and opened the exhibition, “How the Nuns of New York Tamed the Gangs of New York”at the Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s on Prince and Mott Streets in SoHo.

Cahir O’Doherty provided coverage of these events for Irish Central:

The cathedral opened and the Sisters arrived in Manhattan within two years of each other between 1815 and 1817, the latter group arriving at the behest of Elizabeth Ann Seton, herself a onetime New Yorker.

On Sunday, 200 years later, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the 10th archbishop of New York, blessed the newly restored Basilica and unveiled a spectacular new bronze memorial to the city’s first Archbishop John J. Hughes created by sculptor Rowan Gillespie, who attended the performance and the blessing.

At the performance, narrators Neil Bradley and Carey Van Driest said it was Pope Pius VII who established the Diocese of New York in 1808, in response to the population surge spurred on by immigration.

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