The words Irish and Catholic always seem to go together. But, not in my family. We are Irish and Lutheran, which people always find hard to believe. Recently, I had a conversation with a priest and he made a comment about my being Irish Catholic, it was a bit odd to correct him on my being a life long Lutheran.
My Grandmother, Ida (Jaeger) O’Connell’s family was Lutheran and I just assumed that is why we are as well.
Well, studying my families genealogy brought some other reasons to light. Back in the 1800′s my Irish line was Catholic. My great-grandfather Dennis O’Connell was baptized at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middle Granville, NY on 16 Sept 1883. This is the church the family worshiped at while living in Granville, NY. Dennis’ mother, Bridget (Curran) O’Connell died in 1895 and is buried in Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel closed its doors on Easter sunday, 2009. The church still stands and they were trying to sell the building the last time I checked. It was sad to read this, knowing that it was a place my family worshiped and that the church was over 100 years old.
Some of the items that are within St Mary’s came from Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
There were many catholic churches in the area and worshipers chose their church based on the ethnicity. It is obvious that Our Lady of Mount Carmel was the chosen church for the Irish. The current priest has closed all of the other catholic churches in this area and everyone now attends St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
When the family moved from the Granville area to Hudson Falls, they attended St. Paul’s Catholic Church. St Paul’s had a bad fire and now all of the surviving church records are held at St Mary’s. St Mary’s opened their church to all of St Paul’s parishioners and it is now known as St Mary’s/St Paul’s.
In 1917, Dennis O’Connell left his wife (Rose Springer) and children to move to Canada. Sometime before 1930 they divorced and Rose remarried. Since then divorce has run through my family so much, that I am sure the catholic church would never let us back in.
In 2010, I was lucky enough to take a road trip east with my aunt and cousin to visit the places my ancestors lived, worshiped and were put to rest (which were all catholic cemeteries).
I was confirmed at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Chicago, IL and all three of my children were baptized there.
This post was written for submission into the 109 Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy.