Church of The Nativity of Our Lady, Loughmore

The present Church of the Nativity of Our Lady stands on the site of its 1825 predecessor.  Fund-raising for the project commenced in 1971.  Demolition of the old church began on 15 November 1976.  Mass was celebrated in the new church for the first time on 4 August 1977.  Five weeks later, on 11 September 1977, Archbishop Morris solemnly blessed and dedicated the church.

Loughmore church was designed by Patrick J. Sheahan and Partners, Limerick.

M. & J. Wallace of Wellington Bridge, Co Wexford were the main builders.

The Church of the Nativity of Our Lady has numerous impressive features.  Light enters the church through a dome and large glass areas over the main and side doors and sacristy.  The timber ceiling has recessed lighting.  Four full-length stained glass windows depict the main events in the life of Our Lady, her Immaculate Conception,  the Annunciation, the Visitation and the Birth of Christ.

The altar, ambo, celebrant’s chair or sedile and baptismal font are all in matching white and black marble.  Similarly, the tabernacle, paschal candle stand and candlesticks form a set.  The outer walls are in white dash while the roof is covered with blue-black slates.



St John the Baptist Church, Castleiney

St John the Baptist Church, Castleiney was erected in 1830.  It replaced the Penal-day chapel which stood nearby, across the road.

Castleiney church was extensively renovated for its centenary celebrations in 1930.  A very impressive and complete refurbishment of the church was undertaken in 1993.  The work was executed under the auspices of a F.Á.S Community Employment Scheme in which trainees learned their trade from a skilled instructor.  The church was stripped to its bare walls and practically rebuilt.

For a period during the refurbishment of the church, religious services were conducted in the adjacent parish hall.  The renewed church was blessed and dedicated by Archbishop Clifford on 24 June 1997.

Features of Castleiney church include stained glass windows which, on the west side, refer to the Passion of Christ and on the east side to Our Lady under various titles from the Litany of Loreto.  Those in the transepts commemorate SS Peter and Paul and the Evangelists while those over the main entrance depict St Patrick, St John the Baptist and St Brigid.  The lower parts of the church walls are decorated with mosaics with traditional religious symbols, and, an unusual feature, there is a radiator within the altar.  Both mosaic and radiator are characteristics of Fr Joseph Bergin (Associate Pastor (1986-98) who masterminded the project.   The churches of Moyne and Templetuohy, also renovated by Fr Joseph Bergin, have similar mosaics and radiators.  Fr Bergin, then advancing in years, joked that elderly priests in the future might need a little warmth!