History of our Parish Churches

History of our Parish Churches

St Patrick’s Church, Celbridge

By 1855 the Mass House which had served the people of Celbridge for over one hundred years was in a poor state of repair. It was situated in front of the present church. It was known as a Mass House as Mass was the only service allowed in it. Other sacraments and ceremonies were administered in people’s homes.

The Mass House had a thatched roof and the priest’s house was where the present bell is sited. The House had served the people of Celbridge for over 100 years. It had been erected to replace the confiscated churches after the Reformation.

Fr Daniel Byrne, the parish priest of Celbridge, launched an appeal for funds to repair the Mass House but the repairs were not satisfactory. He then launched an appeal to build a new church. He intended having a bell tower to the front but funds did not allow for it. By 4th March 1857, £700 had been collected and on 15th March the foundation was laid.

The church was blessed and officially opened in June 1859 by Rev. Dr Moriarty, Bishop of Kerry in the absence of the Archbishop. The cost of the building amounted to £4,869.

The centenary of the church was celebrated on Sunday 2nd August 1959 when His Grace, the most Rev. Dr J C McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin, presided at High Mass celebrated by the Very Rev. John McLaughlin P.P.

– Tony Doohan, A History of Celbridge.

St Brigid’s Church, Straffan

There is mention of a church in Straffan in 690 AD. although this is not easily verified. Ecclesiastical records call the church St Patrick’s. In medieval times Straffan became a parish. From 1534 it was listed as the parish of Straffan and Kildrought (Celbridge). When Straffan church ceased being the main parish church the name St Patrick’s Church changed to Celbridge which had been dedicated to St Mochua. The foundation stone of St Brigid’s was laid  225 years ago by Mr Henry. He was a local landowner and had the church built for the Catholics of his estate.

-Mary Purcell.