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Cara Delay

journal describing her daughter’s upbringing, a Cork woman wrote that her daughter first visited the altar at the age of two-and-a-half. Three months later, the girl attended mass, and ‘knew first chapter in catechism in August 1861’ – when she was a little more than four years old.25 Exposed to Catholic liturgy as a toddler, this Cork girl learned how to conduct herself in the space of the chapel and memorise the catechism; she thus interacted with the spatial and literate elements of the ‘devotional revolution’ from a very early age. Catholicism had moved to the

in Irish women and the creation of modern Catholicism, 1850–1950
David Geiringer

sacrament of confession, a defining feature of Catholic liturgy before the war, had become largely obsolete for a high proportion of Catholics by the late 1970s. 114 Many of the interviewees attended confession regularly in their youth and early marriage, but stopped between the ages of forty and sixty. Joan found it impossible to give the priests any credibility: ‘I just stopped thinking what they had to

in The Pope and the pill