10 Aug 2022

Ireland's oldest Catholic church to re-open in Waterford on Friday

Ireland's oldest Catholic church to re-open in Waterford on Friday

Ireland's oldest Catholic church to re-open in Waterford on Friday

St Patrick’s Church in Jenkin’s Lane, Waterford is to officially re-open its doors on Friday, September 13 and the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, Alphonsus Cullinan will be there to bless the new footpath and all those present.

Holy Mass was celebrated in St Patrick’s right throughout the 18th century when Irish Catholics suffered terrible persecution under the penal laws, with the earliest Mass being recorded there in 1704.

Local Historian, Daire Keogh explains how Blessed Edmund Rice, Founder of the Christian and Presentation Brothers often attended St Patrick’s as a young merchant:

“About the year 1790, at the age of 28, [Edmund] joined a number of young men in Waterford who formed a pious association, under the influence of the Jesuits. This was to be a particularly formative period in Rice’s life; it was within this circle that he was introduced to the wealth of Jesuit spirituality."

"The Waterford group met in St. Patrick’s, the ‘Little Chapel’ in Jenkins Lane, and its members were committed to living more active Christian lives, along the lines promoted by St. Ignatius and his early companions. Among the various duties they promoted were: private prayer, spiritual reading, the practice of charity, and the frequent reception of the sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession."

"This was a radical commitment, since frequent communion was then uncommon.”

The Blessing of the new lane will take place at 9:30am at St Patrick’s Church, Jenkin Lane which can be accessed from John Robert’s Square.

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