Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Galway 'Celtic Tiger' hotel becomes parish church

A vibrant and growing parish in the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora has secured a permanent parish church on the site of a former hotel.

Following eight years of utilising a local sports hall for weekly Masses, the Good Shepherd parish in the east of Galway City hosted Bishop Martin Drennan last Sunday for the celebration of the first Mass in its new church, just in time for the Christmas period.

The former hotel in the parish, originally the preferred accommodation for race-goers attending the nearby Ballybrit course is now set to be a full parish community centre in an area that has seen a massive increase in Catholic residents since the year 2000.

The building’s function room has been set aside and consecrated as a church, leaving the remainder of the building available for a host of parish projects.

Cooperation 

A spokesman for the parish said that the Good Shepherd church represented not only the cooperation between the Galway diocese and the city council, both of which made loans and grants available to secure and refurbish the hotel for church use, “but the tireless efforts of the parishioners too, who not donated thousands of euro but who also worked on a totally voluntary basis since August to get the building ready”.

From an area originally comprising 100 houses, the Good Shepherd parish has seen major growth and is now  home to over 7,000 people, made up of some 40 nationalities who migrated to Ireland during the Celtic Tiger years and have since made Galway their permanent home.

Fr Martin Glynn, parish priest of the Good Shepherd, said of the inaugural Mass: “It was an absolutely marvellous occasion and a fabulous moment for the community.”

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