St. Killian’s Candle Company, a Tipperary-based provider of religious candles, debuted its new smokeless candle in the US on St Patrick’s Day. The first US order for the green-friendly product was placed by New York’s venerable St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The institution selected St. Killian’s products as a cleaner, safer and more cost-effective alternative to the older-generation candles currently used by churches across the US. The order was secured with assistance from Enterprise Ireland’s New York office.
The order was celebrated after St Patrick’s Day Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Attendees included Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Minister for Trade and Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore along with executives from St. Killian’s Candle Company and the Most Rev. Archbishop Dolan of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The Taoiseach and Minister Gilmore were in New York to attend business events organised by Enterprise Ireland to mark Ireland’s tight commercial links with the US.
“It is fitting for us to mark our US debut on St. Patrick’s Day with an order from St. Patrick’s Cathedral,” said St. Killians’ CEO, Michael Barrett. “We’re honoured to count St. Patrick’s Cathedral as our first US customer. They have stringent performance, environmental, aesthetic and safety standards for their candles. We’re glad that our products meet their requirements.”
According to the Very Rev. Mgr. Robert T. Richie at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, “We’re pleased to source these candles from St. Killian’s Candle Company - a dedicated supplier of church candles. Beyond high quality and affordability, St. Killian’s smokeless products are helping us meet our environmental priorities.”
Enterprise Ireland’s Chairman, Hugh Cooney also commented, “St. Killian’s Candle Company typifies the ambitious enterprises emerging in Ireland today. They’re making high-quality, innovative products and exporting to high-growth markets. Few companies, however, enter a new market with a marquee first customer. We congratulate St. Killian’s for this big win and we wish them luck as they expand their US market presence.”
The market for church candles in the US is large and growing. Currently, more than 1500 distributors supply products to churches across the country. Next to the Vatican, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the world’s second most important cathedral and one of the largest customers of church candles. The iconic building draws more than 5.5 million visitors per year, including hundreds of priests from all corners of the world.
St. Killian’s is well positioned to serve St. Patrick’s and other US customers. Founded in 2008, the company is already serving churches in ten European countries. It recently established an office in Syracuse, NY and sealed relationships with three US distributors to support and grow its US presence.
The company’s smokeless product represents a new class of church candle. Conventional candles are typically secured in a single glass or plastic container. As the candle burns, it tilts to the side where the heat of the flame causes the glass to shatter or the plastic to ignite. St. Killian’s candles feature a patented glass configuration comprised of two glass containers, one external and one internal. The internal glass dish secures the candle and prevents tilting, which protects the glass from the flame. Millions of St. Killian’s candles are used in European churches. Not a single glass has shattered. Moreover, the used wax is collected and recycled.