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27 Sept 2022

Great attendance at rescheduled golden Jubilee of St Michael’s Church 

An event which was held to mark a significant milestone in the life of St Michael’s Church was described by Father John Joe Duffy as a joyful evening in which many young people participated ensuring the flame of faith will continue to be passed on to generations. 

On the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, a special anniversary Mass took place to mark the rescheduled golden Jubilee of St Michael’s Church, Creeslough. 

A large crowd attended the fifty-first Anniversary Mass which was celebrated by the Bishop of Raphoe Alan McGuckian, who was joined by Bishop Philip Boyce, OCD. Clergy from throughout the Diocese of Raphoe, the Capuchin Community at Ards Friary and clergy from other religious denominations were in attendance.

At the beginning of the Mass, Fr John Joe Duffy welcomed Bishop McGuickian and Bishop Philip Boyce, OCD, and the visiting clergy to the Mass. He welcomed all the congregation especially those including Danny Langan, Liam Ferry, Billy Boyle and others who had worked on the building of the Church and their families. The families of those who had worked there but who had passed away were also welcomed. 

He welcomed Leonard and Deirdre Hegarty, the son and daughter of the main contractor, John Hegarty who had built the church in 1971. 

He read an apology from the family of Liam McCormack who could not attend the Mass. He welcomed Ken Bond who had worked with McCormack on other projects, as an architect, and also the relatives of Canon Tommy Doherty and Fr James Deeney, who were the priests in the area when the Church was built. 

Special recognition was given to Margaret O’Brien who sang at the Mass and was in the choir on Monday, last, as well. The family of Creeslough native, John Silke, who was the homilist at opening Mass was present on the celebrious occasion.  

The Gospel was read by Archdeacon Willie McMenamin, a nephew of Fr Deeney. A reading was read by Tommy Francis, a nephew of Canon Tommy Doherty’s. The first reading was read by Canon George Irwin and the Prayers of the Faithful were said by Oisin Cannon.

Those who have prayed in the Church, all the kind benefactors, those who had been a part of the Church, the deceased members of the Ards Community, especially Brother Bosco, the deceased workers at the building of St. Michael’s Church, the fundraisers including Maureen Hegarty and the late Joe McGlinchey, and all who contributed to the parish over the years were remembered in prayers. 

Bishop McGuickian spoke of the pride people had in the building - he recognised the church had played a central part of the people’s lives. He described the people as the living stones of the church. He added there were challenging times ahead for the world and the people of the Church.

On behalf of the Church of Ireland community Revd. David Skuce acknowledged the manner in which the different denominations work together. Father Martin Doohan Parish Priest paid tribute to those who care for the church and those who support it. 

Speaking following the Mass, Fr Duffy said: “One of the hallmarks of the evening was the attendance of clergy for other denominations which shows the importance of the christian community working together and as Bishop McGuckian reminded us we are a living church and the most important thing is to accept the life that Christ gives and live that life according to the gospel.” 

St Michael’s Church was designed by renowned architect Liam McCormack and is considered by many to be among his most ambitious projects where he used the distinctive outline of Muckish as inspiration for his design.

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