For a few weeks before the closing of the Old Year, the worthy pastor of this parish, the Very Rev.Canon Loftus, P.P. gave instructions to his flock on the manner in which the Holy Year was to be introduced, so as to give practical effect to the pious and beneficient intentions of Our Holy Father, Leo XIII.
The spacious Church of the Immaculate Conception which had been chastefully and beautifully decorated for Christmastide, was still further embellished for the solemn and impressive ceremines which were begun at midnight on the 31st of December.
The priests of the parish heard confessions all day on Saturday and on Sunday, after last Mass until 11 o clock, pm, with the gratifying result that upwards of seven hundred persons received the most Holy Sacrament at the mid-night Mass. At an early hour on Sunday night, crowds began to fill the nave and aisles of the sacred edifices, and long before 12 o clock the congregation was so densely packed that not even standing room could be obtained in the sacristy, gallery, or passages, as all were desirous to manifest by their presence and devotional zeal, their ever ready compliance with the wishes of him who occupies the chair of St. Peter.
The Blessed Sacrament was exposed at 12 o clock precisely and Mass was celebrated in its presence by the Very Rev. Canon. The deep religious fervour of the immense congregation was most edifying. The choir did the work in its usual excellent style under the able superintendence of Mrs Kelly; while the beauty and solemnity of the intonation of the Mass by the celebrant added much to the venoration due to the sacred rites.
At the conclusion, the Very Rev. Canon, having referred in terms of praise to the unprecedented numbers who had the happiness of being communicants on such a solemn and memorable occasion in the church.
The choir exquisitely rendered the "Te Deum", and the vast congregation dispersed.