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The First Time We Made the Front Page - January 21, 1924

The following is a transcript of the front page and Florida Times Union, published 100 years ago.


Impressive Ceremonies Arranged for the Day, a Feature Being the First Communion at the Hands of Bishop Barry of Sixty Children of the Parish – Many Priests Will Take Part in Dedicatory Services.

Sunday afternoon at 3:30 o’clock the hopes and dreams of the parishioners of the church of The Holy Rosary, Cottage and Laura streets, will be fulfilled with the dedication off their beautiful edifice by Rt. Rev. Patrick Barry, Bishop of Florida. In 1915 a small chapel was built on sixteenth street to care for the Catholics of Springfield by Rv. Father Maher, pastor of the Immaculate Conception church in whose parish these people belonged at the time.

Later on in 1917 the chapel was united with the parish of Lackawanna and given in charge of Father William Barry, who, finding the parish increasing, enlarged the chapel to care for the two hundred and fifty souls who worshiped there. In the fall of 1919, Father Barry moved this building to Cottage avenue at which location it remained until the new church was built.

November 1, 1921, the Rev. Father Dennis Lyons was appointed pastor of the parish of The Holy Rosary and commenced at once to formulate plans for a new church for his flock. On January 27, 1922 work was started on the new building and March 5 of the same year witnessed the laying of the cornerstone by Bishop Barry.

The appointment of Father Lyons to this parish was the last official act of Bishop Curley before he was elevated to Archbishop of Baltimore and was the last parish to be created by Bishop Curley in Florida.

The first mass in this church was a Solemn High mass celebrated by Father Lyons who was assisted at this mass by Father Cahill of the Catholic University of Washington D.C. as Deacon and Father Halligan, assistant pastor as sub-deacon, on Christmas eve.

Dedication Services

Impressive ceremonies have been arranged for the dedication and the day will begin with the receiving of their First Communion at the hands of Bishop Barry, by sixty children of the parish. Bishop Barry will read the 8 o’clock mass at which time the children will receive Holy Communion. High Mass will be sung at 10 o’clock by Rev. Father Mullalay of Daytona.

A musical program has been arranged by Mrs. James J Moran, leader of the choir for the dedicatory exercises in the afternoon. As the procession leaves the church headed by on hundred altar boys from the church of the Holy Rosary and St. Paul, Mrs. Moran will play a procession march. During the blessing of the church by Bishop Barry, the choir will sing Queen of the Holy Rosary. After the ceremony WB Stephen will sing Veni-Creator which will be followed by a sermon by Father Conoley.

The altar boys will be in charge of Father Halligan assistant pastor of the church of The Holy Rosary assisted by Father Casey from St. Paul parish of Riverside. These boys will be dressed in cassocks of red, purple and black with white surplices.

Bishop Barry will be assisted at the dedication by Rev. Abott Charles O.S.B. of St. Leo’s College, St. Leo, Florida, and Rev. Father John F. Conoley, D.D., of Gainesville, Fla.

The visiting priests that will attend the services will be Father P.J. Bresnahan of South Jacksonville, Rev. M. Gumbleton of St. Pius, Jacksonville; Rev. William Barry of St. Paul, Jacksonville, Rev James Mehan of Immaculate Conception, Jacksonville, Rev. Patrick Roach, Immaculate Conception, Jacksonville, Rev. Michael Fennel of Loretta, Fla., Rev. John Numan of Fernandina; rev. Michael Sloan of Springfield, Ill. Rev. John Eckenrode of Washington, D.C. and Rev. Father Edgar, O.S.B. of St. Leo’s College, St. Leo, Fla.

To Serve Banquet

Solemn pontifical benediction will be celebrated after the dedication of the church by Bishop Barry, who will be assisted by Father Lyons as master of ceremonies. Following benediction, a banquet will be served in the residence of the pastor for the visiting priests by the Altar Society comprised of the women of the parish.

At the benediction, special music has been arranged by Mrs. Moran. M()lard’s Ave Maria will be sung by Mrs. Moran. O Salutaris by Wallace will be sung as a solo and duet by Mrs. Schenkel and Mrs. Fannin. Tan-Tum-Ergo will be sung by Mrs. Schenkel and choir. At the end of the services the choir will render Holy God We Praise Thy Name.

The parishioners of the Holy Rosary parish are proud of their new place of worship and now that the greater part of their efforts are done they are gazing upon their beautiful edifice with a pride that comes to those after strenuous times and many trial and sacrifices have been made and gone through. Through the efforts of E.L. Murphy Charles Saunders and Leroy Micklers the land where the church has been bult was purchased and given to the pastor, Father Lyons.

Much credit goes to Father Lyons for the building of the church. Father Lyons has increased the membership of his parish from less than fifty to nearly 1,000 in the short time he has been assigned to the parish. There are now six Catholic parishes in the city of Jacksonville.

These six have been created from the mother parish, Immaculate Conception, during the past fifteen years. This record bears out the fact that Jacksonville is rapidly growing in size and population.

The church was built by Contractor W.T. Hadlow of Jacksonville who deserves much praise for the work done by him and his men. Mr. Hadlow has been in the contracting business in Jacksonville for many years and his experience in the building line has made him one of the foremost in the South.

Built from the drawings of Architect James Walsh of Jacksonville, this church is the finest of its kind in the South. Erected on the lines of Romanesque architecture it has a touch of Gothic also and with the blending of Gothic with Romanesque this beautiful building sets out as a memento to the Catholics of Springfield.

Above the main entrance to the church lies a panel a replica of the Holy Rosary Group. The Original of this panel is in Rome in one of the Vatican buildings. This panel is made from Kre-Tex cut stone and was cut out by George Howard an English sculptor from the Arnold Stone Brick and Tile Company of Jacksonville. It is handsome in its effect and impressive to those entering the church.

Three Altars in the Church

There are to be thre(e) altars placed inside the edifice and these have been ordered by Father Lyons and will be delivered within a short time.

The main altar will be made from marble and of a substantial size. The two side altars both the Gospel and Epistle will be constructed from marble as well as the main altar but will be smaller in size.

The large rose window above the entrance will be stained in colors that will throw a soothing light upon the congregation. The windows on the sides will be memorial windows of the standard type and will be donated by the members of the parish. Three of these windows have been ordered already and it is expected that they will arrive in time to be installed for Easter Sunday. The interior of the church has been finished in white Kre-Tex Cutstone matching the decorations in color. A baptismal font is being made by the Arnold Company and will be placed in the baptistry when completed The choi will be above the vestry in the rear of the church and an organ has been ordered and expected to arrive in the near future.

It is expected by Father Lyons to have a bell for the church by next summer and arrangement are being made for its purchase. The main altar is being made at the studio De Proto, noted scul(p)tor in New York city, and Father Lyons expects this altar to arrive shortly.

Father Dennis Lyons, pastor of the church of the Holy Rosary, is a native of Illinois, having been born in Chicago. Receiving his early education in the public schools of Chicago, Father Lyons went to St. Charles College in Maryland and also St. Mary’s seminary. Going from the seminary to the Catholic University at Washington D.C. when he finished his education. Father Lyons was ordained in Baltimore by the late Cardinal Gibbons in 19[]. After his ordination Father Lyons came to St. Augustine where he was made chancellor of the diocese of Florida and assistant rector of the Cathedral by Bishop Michael Curley who was bishop of Florida at that time.

After a short time at St. Augustine Father Lyons was sent to Moccasin Branch to erect a convent for the Sister of St. Joseph. From there he was sent to Jacksonville where he was made pastor of The Holy Rosary parish. Father Lyons has as his assistant Rev. Father P.J. Halligan.


The mill work used in the erection of the Holy Rosary church in Springfield to be dedicated tomorrow, was done at the plant of the Duval Planing Mill Company of Jacksonville. This company has a long business standing in this city. All work done at this plant comes directly under the supervision of George C. Bucci who has been connected with the lumber interests of Florida for many years and thoroughly understands the wood working business from the start to finish. The altar rails of the church which were hand turned by the Duval Planing Mill Company are very artistic in their design and come from the very best of material. The Duval Planing Mill Company is noted for turning out nothing but the very highest class of work and have furnished many of the buildings throughout the state with woodwork material.

Lime and Cement Used in New Church from Baker & Holmes

The many uses lime and cement have today in the building are beyond number. At most every turn in the work either of these two materials must be used. Haker and Holmes Company, who handle these important ingredients of the building trade today furnished the material used at the new Church of the Holy Rosary in Springfield. A firm of long standing in this community Baker and Holmes Company need no introduction to the building trade. Their materials have stood the test of age and weather and from the amount of business that has come to this concern during the past number of years qualifies it to be rated with the leading companies of its kind in the country.


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