BISHOP JOINS PARISHIONERS FOR SPECIAL DAY
The restored St
Joseph's Church in Glenavy. US22-789SP
The re-opening of
St Joseph's Church and dedication of the
Altar al Glenavy. Bishop Patrick Walsh
saying Mass. Picture William Smyth.
THE beautifully restored St Joseph's Church
in Glenavy was re-opened and dedicated last Sunday (May 28) at a
special service attended by Bishop Patrick Walsh.
Parishioners, clergy and invited guests
joined Bishop Walsh and Parish Priest Father Luke McWilliams for
the service to give thanks for the church that has served
Glenavy for almost two centuries.
Amongst the distinguished visitors were the
Deputy Mayor of Lisburn, Councillor Trevor Lunn, former
Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Reverend Dr
John Dunlop and Mrs Rosemary Dunlop, Church of Ireland Rector of
Glenavy and Crumlin, the Reverend John Rutter and local
Methodist minister, the Reverend Leslie Spence and Mrs Irene
Speaking about the history of the church and
its renovation, Father McWilliams said: "Our present church was
dedicated under the invocation of St Joseph and consecrated by
Bishop Dorrian on September 13, 1868.
"Its existence was the result of the vision
and drive of a very dedicated and popular priest, Father Pye,
who was parish priest from 1848-1890. It replaced an older
church, built on the site by Father Crangle some 60 years
Father McWilliams went on to say: "To meet
the requirements of the modern liturgy and the growing Catholic
population of the area, restoration and re-ordering were
undertaken and an extension added.
"To the credit of all involved, the design
and use of materials, so sympathetic to the original, have
ensured that the new harmonises perfectly with the old.
"There is no doubt that the restored St
Joseph's Church is now a fitting place to be a house of prayer
and a centre for the Eucharistic Liturgy, which binds the parish
into a community of God's people."
He concluded by paying tribute to helped to
restore the church to its former glory. "1 would wish to pay
tribute to all those whose work, advice, expertise and prayerful
support have contributed in so many ways to the final result of
which the parish can be justly proud."
Offering his congratulations to everyone
involved with restoring the church, Bishop Walsh during Sunday's
service, said: "I thank Fr McWilliams and Fr Feeney for their
leadership and I thank you, above all, my dear parishioners, for
the support which you have given to your priests and for the
enthusiasm with which this work has been undertaken.
"It is a great achievement. You are handing
on a worthy legacy to the generations who will come after you
and who will continue to worship God in this sacred place.
"There is so much that you should be proud
of, so much for which to thank God, so much to make this day a
day of great joy for your parish. It is a day of renewal, of
renovation. You each have a place in the mission of the church,
in the mission of the Christ, here in Glenavy and Killead."