Church Centenary

A Message from Canon Goaley

T he Centenary of a Church in any Parish marks a very important milestone in its history. It is a time for celebration, not only for the Church itself but for the whole parish community. We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Fr. Walter Conway, the Parish Priest responsible for the building of the Church of St Patrick in 1904-1905, but also to the people who supported him so generously in difficult times and built this magnificent stone Gothic Church for our Parish.

A Church touches the lives of a person from their Baptism until their Funerals. A long procession of people winds its way through the history of our Parish from March 1904 until the present day. Reading through the Parish Church records - Baptisms, FIrst Confessions, Holy Communions, Confirmations, Marriages & Funerals, - we are reading the unfolding life story of a people. We think of all who entered the house of God to worship and pray, pobal De Ghleann na Madadh, bringing the work of their hands and minds, their joys and sorrows, their hopes and fears, their laughter and tears, to God's love and forgiveness. They departed to their life's work each week having heard the Word of God, having shared in His sacrifice and sacraments, to "go forth and serve the Lord and one another". We thank God for the many graces and blessings that have come to the people of Glenamaddy and surrounding areas through this Church in the century that has passed.

                                                           

                                                                       Canon Michael Goaley

I would like to record our thanks to all who actively help in life of this Church and Parish, the Priests who have ministered here, the Sisters of Mercy, Eucharistic ministers, lay Readers, choirs, sacristan, servers, collectors, altar society and all who prepare for and celebrate the Eucharist. A special word of thanks to all who have been so generous, in their weekly contributions to the restoration and maintenance of the Church.
We rejoice that the Church has been declared a Protected Structure by Galway Co.Council because of its architectural and heritage value, not least its priceless Clarke windows. "How lovely is Your dwelling-place, Lord God of Hosts".
May St Patrick, patron of our Church, always protect God's family in our Parish. Cunamh chugainn a Phadraig, is Padraig Aspal Eireann agus Aspal Ghleann na Madadh.

Centenary Project

The idea of a Centenary Celebration was first mooted by Canon.Goaley P.P in 2003. He felt that this was an occasion well worthy of celebration, and that it was an opportunity too, to illustrate that the work done by many Community Organizations, clubs and by individuals was inextricably linked with the activities of the local Church in its service of the community. The idea gathered momentum and it received strong support, an Association was formed and divided into five Sub-Committees with an overall co-ordinating committee of four appointed as an executive group.
T
he laying of the foundation stone of 1904 was commemorated at the opening ceremony on St Patricks Day 2004. The old stone cross from the roof of the Old Church was carried in ceremony from the cemetery to the grounds of the present Church where it will be part of a Centenary memorial soon to be constructed. The transfer of this Cross was accompanied by the Archbishop Michael Neary and many of the Priests who served in the Parish, together with altar servers and the Church Choir.

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The laying of the foundation stone of 1904 was commemorated at the opening ceremony on St Patricks Day 2004. The old stone cross from the roof of the Old Church was carried in ceremony from the cemetery to the grounds of the present Church where it will be part of a Centenary memorial soon to be constructed. The transfer of this Cross was accompanied by the Archbishop Michael Neary and many of the Priests who served in the Parish, together with altar servers and the Church Choir. Parishioners and others turned out in huge numbers to join the procession from the Community Centre. They were led by the three flag bearers who carried the National Flag, the Papal Flag and a specially designed Centenary Flag bearing the Glenamaddy emblem and club colours. The East Galway School of Music Band followed, leading club members bearing flags and banners. The weather was fine for the occasion which added considerably to everyone's enjoyment and gave an opportunity to the many photographers to have some memories of the day.

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The Cross was blessed in its new site by the Archbishop, and after he had raised the Centenary Flag to declare the opening of the Centenary Year, all entered the Church for Mass. The chief Celebrant was Canon Michael Goaley assisted by former and visiting Priests. Archbishop Neary presided and gave the homily. He reminded the congregation of the difficult days of 100 years ago when Ireland was still suffering from the effects of the Famine, the standard of living was low, but the people had a strong faith and the Church everywhere - like Glenamaddy - thrived despite all its difficulties. He complimented Canon Goaley on his work for the Parish and congratulated all involved in the Centenary Year celebrations and the many people involved in Community work particulary in the area of care of the elderly.

Following the Mass a social evening was held in the Community Centre. Everybody who attended and the numbers exceeded four hundred, received refreshments. There was Music, Song and Dance. The Archbishop launched a special community book entitled "St Patrick's Church, Glenamaddy : The First Hundred Years 1904 - 2004". This book provides an interesting read for anyone associated with Glenamaddy. It was compiled, written and presented by the Heritage Group of the Centenary Association. Numerous copies have been sold for 5.00 each. The Co-Ordinating Committee wish to thank the many people who helped to make St Patrick's Day such an outstanding success, and we hope that the spirit of the day will prevail in our community long into the future.

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Centenary Committee;  Mary Conneally PRO, Seamus Walsh Chairman, Patricia Keady Secretary, Eileen Brennan Treasurer

 

 

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Glenamaddy Church front façade