ST MATTHEW’S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

St Matthew’s Church, which celebrated its centenary in 2006, is very active. There are three masses celebrated each weekend and one each weekday morning.

There is a very strong long-standing tradition of wonderful choirs and music in Ballymahon and the 11.30am mass on Sunday is usually sung in two or three part harmony by the Church Choir. There is a parish council associated with the church which meets each month or at any other time of emergency or necessity. A regular newsletter is issued at the weekend masses.

Everyone, catholic or not, is always welcome to visit, light a candle and pray or reflect in the quiet, peaceful calm of the church which is open each day. There is all-day adoration of The Blessed Sacrament each Tuesday and on the first Friday of each month and people are always welcome to commit to spending an hour or to drop in anytime.

As we write this, the parish is trying to recover from the shock of the recent sudden death, in February 2015, of parish priest Fr Padraig McGowan, who had ministered here for 28 years. He took tremendous pride in every aspect of the church and put meticulous effort into the various celebrations, particularly Christmas and Easter. He came into his own with his very special and highly appreciated, thoughtful way of conducting weddings and funerals. He was a sincere, hard-working, studious man who lived fairly abstemiously. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.

Masses

Saturday Vigil ………………………………….. 8pm

Sunday ………………………………………….. 9am and 11.30am (usually a sung mass by the church choir)

Holy Days ……………………………………….. 8pm on eve before, day time mass is 11.30am

Weekdays ………………………………………. 10am… Tuesday – Thursday – Friday

Sacraments

Confessions …………………………………… Saturday 12-1pm

Baptisms ………………………………………. By arrangement (three weeks notice necessary)

Marriages …………………………………….. Three months notice for all marriages Adoration of the Blessed

Sacrament ……………………………………. Tuesday 10.30am to 11pm & each first Friday 10.30 – 6pm

Prayer Group ………………………………… Thursday 8-9pm in Sisters of Mercy House, Main Street


First Holy Communion
…………………….. Sunday 10th May 2015
Parish Pastoral Council ……………………. Meet first Tuesday of month 7.30pm

Useful Contacts

Parochial House ……………………………………….. 090 6432253

St Vincent de Paul …………………………………….. 085 1699437

Accord Marriage Counselling ………………………. 043 3347222

CURA …………………………………………………… 090 6474272

Samaritans …………………………………………….. 090 6473133

 ST CATHERINE’S CHURCH, BALLYMAHON

This Anglican Church of Ireland in the diocese of Ardagh is in the United Dioceses of Elphin, Kilmore and Ardagh. The current bishop is The Right Rev Ferran Glenfield, who lives in Kilmore, Cavan.

St Catherine’s is administered by the Rev Canon AW Kingston who came to Ballymahon in 1982. Ballymahon is part of a group of five parishes known as the ‘Ardagh Group of Parishes’ and consists of Ballymahon, Ardagh, Kenagh, Tashinny, and Moydow.

The original church was situated in an area adjacent to Shrule graveyard. The earliest reference to its existence there was 1658. According to The Third Report of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for Ireland produced in 1836, the present church was built in 1736 and it can accommodate 200 people. According to the Report the cost of construction was unknown.

The church was enlarged in 1824 with the addition of the front porch, the two side-aisles (transepts), the bell-tower and the magnificent cut-stone spire. Inside, the church is a fine spacious building and also has a large gallery.

In 1890 the vestry room for robing was
erected, with two doors, an outside one
and one into the chancel area. The pews
are unusual box-style, each one having its
own door; the sanctuary area was tiled
with handsome encaustic tiles. Around this
time, a number of church furnishings
were presented to St Catherine’s, including
a handsomely-carved oak lectern which
was given in memory of the wife of Richard
Shaw in November 1890. It holds the Bible
and is dedicated to Henry Scott Burd who
ran a business in the town.

The present Rector is one of a long line
going back to the 1700s. On the back wall
of the church hang eight photos sourced by
Canon Kingston, showing the last eight
rectors going back to the late 1800s; they
are the Reverends Poe, Stone, Ellison, Birch,
Allcard, Montgomery, Pickering and Kingston.

The church is open for public worship
throughout the year, alternating with Ardagh
church every second Sunday. There are
services every Sunday in Kenagh and Tashinny
churches. Anyone passing through Ballymahon,
Co Longford will notice the fine spire pointing
to God and Heaven, symbolising the worship
and witness of St Catherine’s Church.

Compiled by:
The Rev Canon Kingston Feb 2015.

Church Services

Ardagh ……………………………………….. Every 2nd & 4th Sunday at 10am

Ballymahon …………………………………. Every 1st & 3rd Sunday at 10am

Kenagh ……………………………………….. Every Sunday at 11.30am

Tashiny ……………………………………….. Every Sunday at 11.30am

 ST MEL’S CATHEDRAL, LONGFORD

The Cathedral Church of St Mel is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, located in the town of Longford in Ireland.

Built between 1840 and 1856, with the belfry and portico as later additions, it has been considered the “flagship cathedral” of the Irish midlands region, Longford’s “landmark building” and “one of the finest Roman Catholic churches in Ireland”. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Mél (died 488), who came to Ireland with Saint Patrick and who was ordained bishop at Ardagh, County Longford.

On Christmas Day 2009 the cathedral was destroyed by a fire in the early hours of the morning. The restored cathedral re-opened in December 2014.