PARISHIONERS of St Anne's Church in
Finaghy travelled to Carryduff on Saturday to attend Requiem
Mass for their former Parish Priest, Monsignor Thomas
Bartley who recently passed away . The Principal Celebrant
at the Church of Mary Immaculate where Monsignor Bartley
served as full time Curate after leaving St. Anne's was the
Most Rev. Patrick Walsh, Bishop of Down and Connor.
Bishop Walsh described the Monsignor's
dying and death as 'a grace to those closest to
He said this applied especially to the
group of young priests who kept a constant prayerful vigil'
at his side as he 'waited in calm and in peace for that
final call of the Lord to share in eternal glory'.
The Bishop also said Monsignor Bartley,
who served as Down and Connor's Vicar General, had lived the
words of St Paul 'be sure to finish -the work you are given
in the Lord's service'.
"When he retired as Parish Priest of St.
Anne's in 2002 he certainly did not see his work in the
Lord's service as finished," Bishop Walsh continued.
"He wished to continue to serve in full
time Ministry as curate here in the parish of Drumbo and
"I wish to thank the people of this
parish for making those last five years such happy ones for
him. I also thank the parishioners of St. Annes for their
loyalty during his long years with them."
Monsignor Bartley's remains were laid to
rest at St. MacNissi's College, Garron Tower where he was
one of five priests who formed the nucleus of staff when the
school opened in the early 1950's.
He remained there for 34 years serving as
President from 1979 to 1985 when he was appointed Parish
Priest of Derriaghy. The position of Vicar General was
bestowed in 1986.
In 1994 the Parish was divided to make
St. Anne's a Parish in its own right and the Monsignor was
made its Parish Priest.
Two years later the Parish of Our Lady
Queen of Peace was formed out of St. Anne's. Education
remained his great interest and locally he oversaw the
setting up of the primary school in the new Parish of Christ
the Redeemer and the development of St. Colm's High School
He also oversaw the setting up of Aquinas
Grammar School and continued as a Governor of St. MacNissis.
He also served as Chairman of the Board
of Governors at Rathmore Grammar School.