On Friday 29 October 2021, following over six months of renovations, All Saints’ Church, Doohamlet in the Parish of Clontibret was blessed and re-opened by Bishop Larry Duffy, Bishop of Clogher. The Church had been closed since Easter Sunday. Since then, it has undergone extensive refurbishments, including the provision of an underground heating system – reducing the carbon footprint of the Church. Other improvements have included new seats the refurbishment of the sacristy and the re-painting of the building, which dates from 1861. The work was led and, for the most part, undertaken by a dedicated team of local volunteers. It is a shining example of a community taking ownership of the Church through collaboration.
Bishop Duffy was the chief-celebrant of the Mass on Friday. The Rite of Blessing was celebrated at the conclusion of the Liturgy of the Word.
The following is the text of his homily speaking notes for the Mass.
Homily Speaking Notes by Bishop Larry Duffy at the Blessing and Re-Opening of All Saints’ Church, Doohamlet (Parish of Clontibret), Co Monaghan, following renovations.
Friday 29 October 2021.
The last time I was in this church was a very memorable occasion – a priest’s 90th !
We wish Canon Phil continued good health & happiness. It wonderful to return for another joyful event – the blessing of your church, All Saints here in Doohamlet.
- I congratulate and thank all involved. You have restored this beautiful building and made it a fit place for worship. I thank the renovation committee, the many workers, volunteers, those who purchased seats, and those who gave generous donations. Fr Paudge, you can be proud of your efforts and that of the people. This work of restoration is a powerful expression of the faith of the community and pride you take in God’s house.
- I enjoyed Gary Carville’s short history of All Saints. There we see that the foundation stone of the Church was laid in 1857 and dedication of the building celebrated in 1861.
Two things the history makes clear:
- Prior to the building of this church priest and people gathered for Eucharist in a little hut or bothóg. From this we note that the celebration of the Christian faith has been an important part of life in good and difficult times over many centuries.
- Each generation has made a contribution to this building & its surrounds; the addition of a belfry in 1882; cemetery in 1920; Priests house built in 1950; new windows in 1968; re-ordering of sanctuary in 1988.
You can be proud that this generation has now played its part.
- The restoration of a church is an expression of faith and a sign of hope.
All Saints is a monument to the faith of past and present generations and a precious gift to future generations.
It is here that we are welcomed into God hands.
It is in this sacred place that Christ nourishes us with the sacraments.
This is God’s house where we find a welcome and a place of peace & reflection.
Where Eucharist is celebrated God is present to his people.
All Saints is Holy Ground where God is present to the people of Doohamlet.
May we – temples of God – welcome Him to our homes and places of work & education.
- Let me conclude by saying thanks to the priests of Muckno (Frs Adi & Stephen), Aughnamullen East (Fr Owen) and Tullycorbet (Canon Owen Joe) for their generosity in ministry to the people of Clontibret/Annyalla/Doohamlet. Your generosity is in keeping with that of Christ.
Notes to Editors
- Bishop Larry Duffy is the Bishop of Clogher
- The Diocese of Clogher encompasses all of Co Monaghan, virtually all of Co Fermanagh along with portions of Counties Tyrone, Donegal, Louth and Cavan. It has 37 parishes and 85 churches, with 51 priests and 1 deacon in parish ministry. The Cathedral church is in Monaghan and St Macartan is the patron saint of the diocese.
- All Saints’ Church at Doohamlet, Castleblayney, is one of three churches in the Parish of Clontibret, the others being St Mary’s, Clontibret and St Michael’s, Annyalla. All Saints’ Church was built in the 1850s and early 1860s on the site of a penal-day Mass hut or bothóg. It was dedicated by Bishop Charles McNally, Bishop of Clogher, on 7 May 1861. The most recent renovations included the provision of underground heating – thus reducing the carbon footprint of the building, the treatment of the walls of the church for dampness, the refurbishment of the sacristy and the provision of new seating. The original floor tiles have also been restored. The church was also re-painted.
- The Mass was broadcast via webcam and a recording is available on www.churchservices.tv/doohamlet