Tonight will mark a special anniversary for St Michaels’ Church in Creeslough, when they finally get to hold a public celebration to mark the church’s golden anniversary.
Bishop of Raphoe Alan McGuckian will be joined by Bishop Philip Boyce, retired Bishop of Raphoe, and local clergy including Fr John Joe Duffy CC and Fr Martin Doohan PP, on the day of its 51st anniversary to celebrate Mass at 7pm.
The church which was designed by Liam McCormick was consecrated in August 15th, 1971 by Bishop Anthony McFeely.
Last year the occasion was marked with a low-key Mass when restrictions on public gatherings halted any large-scale plans to hold a service marking the 50th anniversary.
Fr Duffy said Monday evening’s Mass will not only be a long awaited opportunity to celebrate five decades of the iconic church, but is also an opportunity to celebrate all those who have worked on and in the church in that time, as well as those who continue to serve it today.
He stated: “This was something we wanted to do last year but were unable to do so because of covid and we had to postpone it to this year. We will be celebrating Mass of the day, the Assumption, in thanksgiving for all the people who played a role in building the chapel and all who were present 51 years ago.
“But, it is also a Mass of thanksgiving for all the people of our parish. It is a tribute to not only the church building but also to the living faith we practice. It is for those who built it, those who maintain it and those play an active role in our church and across the community”.
The night will also feature a screening of the documentary film “The Church & The Mountain” made last year that tells the story of the building of the chapel captured on 8mm film at the time by local parish priest, the late Canon Tommy Doherty. There will also be a display of memorabilia from over the years.
Fr Duffy added that the work is still ongoing to repair the devastating damage caused to the building in the New Year by storm winds.
“Work is ongoing and hopefully it will be completed soon as it took time to get the work started due to administrative issues”, he added.
St Michael’s Church was designed by renowned architect Liam McCormick and is considered by many to be among his most ambitious projects where he used the distinctive outline of Muckish as inspiration for his design.
Prior to its construction parishioners worshiped in the old St Michael’s Church in Doe that dated back to 1784.
It was founded by local priest Fr Bernard Rodan, before it was rebuilt in 1830 by Fr Peter Galagher.