Church Of The Descent Of The Holy Spirit

Church Of The Descent Of The Holy Spirit

Located at Dennehys Cross, Cork, Ireland. One of Bishop Lucey’s ‘Rosary of Churches’


Back in the days when I was young there was the ‘Holy Ghost’ but over the years the ‘Holy Spirit’ took over. To be honest, I never really thought about it until I visited the Church Of The Descent Of The Holy Spirit and noticed that the foundation stone referred to it as Church Of The Descent Of The Holy Ghost. I decided that it might be a good idea to check if there was a difference between the two terms and found the following: Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost mean exactly the same thing as both refer to the third Person of the Trinity. The phrase Holy Ghost is an older term that dates back many generations and was used in the King James Version of the Bible. The word ghost has a different meaning today than it in the past. In the days of Shakespeare or King James, ghost meant the living essence of a person.

The substantial size and form of this church make it an imposing feature in the landscape, which is further augmented by the large dome roof and tall flanking side towers. The design by J.R. Boyd Barrett allows for a large and bright interior. It forms part of a group with the other Rosary Churches, each dedicated to one of the Glorious Mysteries, built to serve the growing city under the direction of Bishop Lucey following his election. The decorative apse represents a considerable artistic achievement. The use of limestone, granite and red brick adds textural variety to the site, while the execution of these materials attests to the skill of the church's builders.


In May 1953, Bishop Lucey, responding to the population shifts in Cork city announced a plan to erect what he referred to as a Rosary of Churches under the patronage of Our Lady of the Rosary. The churches would be placed strategically to meet the new population needs.

According to the plan the five churches would be dedicated to the five Glorious Mysteries: the Resurrection, the Ascension, the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Assumption and the Coronation of Our Lady. Conscious of the major new housing developments outside of the traditional city area, Bishop Lucey held that “surely it is right and proper always and everywhere to have God’s house among the houses of his people”.

During his tenure the bishop founded a total of thirteen churches in Cork.

In 1985, as part of the Cork 800 festival, a site between Grand Parade and South Main Street was developed into an urban park named "Bishop Lucey Park".



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