Sunday 10 May 2009

Eighth Monthly Mass in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin

A glorious Summer's afternoon was the setting for the eighth monthly Mass in Newbridge.

The Church of Our Lady (Cill Mhuire in Irish - which is also the Irish name of Kilmurry near Clane, Co. Kildare) was designed by Delaney Architects, Newbridge, and built by McGoff's of Naas. It was built in 1982, during the Pastorate of the late Very Reverend Father Laurence Newman, P.P., to meet the needs of the expanding population in the area.

The foundation stone on the wall of the sacristy reads in Irish:

Ba é an Dochtúir Ró-Oirmhoimeach Pádraig Ó Lionáin, D.D.
Easbag Chill Dara agus Leighlinne
a bheannaigh agus a leag an chloch bhoinn seo
17 Deireagh Fomhair, 1982

Which reads in English:

It was the Most Reverend Doctor Patrick Lennon, D.D.
Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin
who blessed and laid this foundation stone
17 September, 1982

Ballymany is the name of one of the six ancient Parishes that makes up the territory of the present Parish of St. Conleth's, Newbridge, the others being Morristown Billar, Great Connell, Old Connell, Kilashee and Carnalway. Cill Mhuire is a little over 3 miles from Fr. Moore's Well, to which St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association made a pilgrimage last July.

The style of the Church is distinctly modern, basically hexagonal in plan, with a sloping roof that reaches its highest point over an off-centre apse, to the 'Epistle side' of the Altar, that contains the tabernacle. The Church has a seating capacity of 800, which is roughly similar to that of the two other Churches in the Parish, St. Conleth's Parish Church (1852) and St. Eustace's Dominican Church (1966).

The stained glass windows are in an abstract style representing themes from Psalms 148 and 149 by Lua Breen, who , being a past pupil of the Dominican College in Newbridge, might be said to have continued the traditions of what might almost be called a 'Dominican School' of plastic arts begun by Fr. Henry Flanagan, O.P., a noted sculptor.

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