The church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Culfadda was started in 1957 on the site of the old national school by Fr. Peter Harte and completed in 1958 when Fr. Edward Gallagher wad parish priest. The church was consecrated in February 1959 by Bishop Fergus. A notable feature of the church is the figurines of the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary inscribed in the stained glass windows. The church replaced an earlier one which dates back to at least 1826.
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 twothirds 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
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,
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
John concluded his address by
expressing the hope that many of the
congregation present would be alive
for the celebration of the centenary in