Geraldine McCarthy, daughter of sacristan Margaret holding the chalice. Pic: Fr Tom Hayes

THE origins of a chalice used in St Joseph’s church in Castletown Kinneigh has become the subject of a transatlantic search.

The chalice that has been in use in the parish for almost 100 years, was originally donated in 1913 by ex-parishioners who had moved to Boston, USA.

Now, with the centenary approaching, Enniskeane Parish Priest Fr Tom Hayes is trying to find out who those donors were.

According to Fr Hayes the only real clue to their identity is an inscription that appears on the bottom of the chalice: “For use in the Castletown Chapel. Presented by a few former parishioners. Boston, April 1913.”

The chalice is of particular interest as it seems to have remained at St Joseph’s church ever since it was donated, while normal practice sees priests bring their own chalice with them as they move from parish to parish.

Investigations into church documents in Boston have failed to throw any light on the subject making it likely that the chalice was donated by a group of private individuals rather than officially from the Church itself.

The case of the mystery chalice donors has been taken up by the Catholic media in Boston in the hope of jogging some family recollections of its origin and Fr Hayes says that a parishioner in Enniskeane also told him that the name Sehily had a connection with the donation.

If the original donor’s identities can be traced Fr Hayes plans to honour them in a liturgical celebration.