Saturday vigil: February, April, June, August, October and December.
(Summer months 8pm. Winter months 7pm.)
*Weekday mass times subject to change
THE CORRAN HERALD • 2010/2011
Golden Jubilee of Culfadda Church 1959 – 2009 by John Higgins
Bishop Brendan Kelly was the chief celebrant at the Golden Jubilee Mass in the Church of the Holy Rosary, Culfadda, which took place on July 5th, 2009. There was a vey large congregation present for this special occasion. In his homily, the Bishop congratulated the local community for their loyalty and commitment to the church over the years. He paid special tribute to Canon Jim Finan PP and the organising committee for the marvellous work they had done in preparing the church for the occasion. Canon Finan welcomed the Bishop, the large number of clergy present from the diocese, and the laity from the parish and the surrounding areas. John Higgins, retired teacher, speaking on behalf of the local community, traced the history of the church from the time work commenced on its erection in the mid 1950s. The erection of the church was made possible by the generosity of a son of the parish, the late Fr Nicholas Rafferty. Fr Nicholas was born in the townland of Dernagrang in 1881 and spent most of his life in the U.S. Returning home on his retirement, he decided to fund the building of this very beautiful church in honour of Our Lady, but he was called to his eternal reward when the work was about two thirds complete. The work however was completed according to the original plans thanks to the goodwill and cooperation of the local community. Work commenced in 1955 when the blocks used in the construction of the church were made on site, by three men with a small cement mixer. The foundations were laid in 1956.
The following people worked on the building: John Dodd, contractor, and his brothers Joe and Christy, Andrew Davy, Josie Connor, Vincent Murray, Bertie Langton, Owen McGowan, Paddy Kielty, John Francis McGowan, Ned Keane, John Scanlon, Mike Ward, Paddy Higgins, Tommy Scanlon, Tom Drury, John Igoe (Senior), John Igoe (Junior), Kevin Igoe, Matthew Reid, Sean Conroy, John Hannon, Mike McGowan, Paddy McGowan and John Higgins.
The roofing contractors were the Lynch Brothers. Tommy Hamilton and Vincent O’Shea designed the ceiling. There was no modern technology at the time, no teleporters or cherry pickers, no hoists and no running water. The water for mixing the concrete was carried in buckets from the local river. The building blocks were carried on the men’s shoulders up ladders and as they were not unionised nobody complained about working conditions. People were delighted to have this employment in the area at the time, as there was a severe economic crisis in the country then. Work commenced at 8 am and finished at 6 pm five days a week and the working week finished at 4 pm on Saturday. The weekly wage for labourers was £5-2-6, which was less than the minimum wage per hour paid to today’s workers.
The building was completed in 1958 and was officially blessed and opened on February 22nd, 1959, by the late Bishop James Fergus.
The cost of the church was £22 600. It has seating accommodation for 400 people. It was designed by Leonard Architects, Dublin. Gowna Wood Industries Ltd, Tubbercurry, supplied the altar and altar rails. The furniture was designed to harmonise with the general architectural character of the building. The figurines depicting the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary on the stained glass windows and the stations of the cross are certainly the jewel in the crown. Bishop Fergus said at the official opening “It would be difficult to find anywhere in a country parish a succursal church as beautiful as this”. Before the erection of this church, the place of worship was in the building next door which had been the local church from the early years of the nineteenth century, and before that it was in a thatched church in the townland of Lisconry. The last Mass in the old church was celebrated by Fr Michael Giblin of St Nathy’s College, on the morning of the official opening of this church. Canon Peter Harte was PP here when the building of the new church commenced, and Canon Eddie Gallagher was PP when it opened. Canon John (Jack) McGarry replaced Canon Gallagher in 1973 and was PP here until 1985. He was replaced by Canon Christy McLoughlin who remained as PP until 1990 when the present incumbent, Canon Jim Finan, was appointed.
The following priests served as curates during the last fifty years: Rev James Flannery 1954 – 1981 Rev Pat Lynch 1981 – 1986 Rev Farrel Cawley 1986 – 1987 Rev Tom Flanagan 1987 – 1989 Rev Roger McDonagh 1989 – 1993 Rev John Geelan 1993 – 1999 and the last curate in Culfadda was retired Archdeacon James Gavigan from 1999 until his death in 2005. The first person baptised in this church was Nicholas Murray and the first couple married here were Mary Doyle and Paddy Candon. The first funeral from it was that of Martin Dwyer, Townaghy. John concluded his address by expressing the hope that many of the congregation present would be alive for the celebration of the centenary in 2059.
Photo Gallery – External Church Photos
Photo Gallery – Internal Church Photos
Introductory text coming soon.
Photo Gallery – Windows
Introductory text coming soon.