Three Catholic Priests and a Seminarian are making their way toward the places where they would board the "unsinkable" R.M.S. TITANIC in the coming days.
In varying places, they must ensure that they participate in the sublime Liturgies of Holy Week culminating on Easter Sunday which in 1912 will fall on 7th April shortly before they embark. The joy of Easter is a spiritually elevating force, and as usual it comes against the background of Holy Week's reminders of the nature of their Priesthood and its origins , and its fundamental integration with sacrifice. It is as if each of them has undergone a set of spiritual exercises to particularly fit them for what is to come.
Incredibly, the great ship was only completed on 2nd April, 2012, and yet on the 10th of April she will commence boarding passengers.In the interim she must take on fuel ( 5,892 Tons of coal), crew and do sea trials. Then she must take on huge quantities of crockery, glassware, cutlery, food and drink and get the crew organised and settled into those routines which make for efficient action and perfect service.
The fitting out of TITANIC has involved fitting 29 Boilers, the massive engines and turbines, 200 miles of electric cable , 20 lifeboats (including four with collapsible canvas sides).Over 3,000,000 rivets have been used in her construction.
|Complete and magnificent in every detail - R.M.S. TITANIC .|
On, 2nd April, 1912, our three Heroic Catholic Priests and 1 Seminarian were making their way to their embarkation points for the travel on the "unsinkable"R.M.S. TITANIC's maiden voyage. An Englishman to officiate at his brother's wedding in New York, a German Benedictine to take up a teaching role in the United States and a (then Russian) Lithuanian to escape political persecution and a young orphaned Irishman to enjoy his Guardian 's ( a Bishop uncle) generosity . All of these holy men save one, God was moving into place for ministry to vast number in the appalling calamity soon to be revealed. The young man was being saved for a later greater ongoing calamity.
Amazingly, for such a huge vessel and the status of technology in 1912, TITANIC spent less than a full day in Sea Trials, she exercised her great engines at reasonable speed, turns to Port and Starboard , stopping, turning a full circle under the supervision of Captain E.J.Smith and his officers and the Executive Engineers of the builders Harland and Wolff. And that was that.No working up period for the crew, no shakedown trials of prolonged duration. The big day for embarkation of passengers was very near.
|R.M.S.TITANIC ALONGSIDE SOUTHAMPTON AWAITING FULL CREW AND PASSENGERS|
Thursday 4th April, 1912 after travelling the 570 miles ( 917 Km) from Belfast to Southampton, in the early minutes of the morning, R.M.S. TITANIC comes alongside Berth 44 at the WHITE STAR DOCK. Southampton is ideally situated for ease of travel from London by the Passengers. Both they and the balance of the crew will come aboard on the following Wednesday 10th April,1912.
Our Heroic Priests, ignorant of the great challenge ahead of them are travelling toward embarkation, no doubt full of detailed arrangements to be finalised and hearts full of prayer for the success of their separate missions. Our young Irish Seminarian, with a keen interest in photography must be marvelling at the opportunities which will present themselves to his lens on this glamorous maiden voyage which will take him on his short journey to Queenstown ( Cobh now).