Fr Brennan said: Today is the most historic day in the Parish of Haggardstown and Blackrock in living memory. The occasion of the dedication of a church and an altar is considered among the most solemn liturgical services. This is the most important liturgical event to be celebrated in the parish since Saint Oliver Plunkett’s Church, Blackrock, was opened and dedicated in 1923. The work on the construction of the Haggardstown church probably began shortly after Catholic emancipation in 1829, as there is a record of a wedding being celebrated in 1833. However, the church was not consecrated until 1854. At the outset the church was named Saint Fursey’s. Saint Fursa was born in Ireland in the seventh century and became one of the great monastic missionaries aboard, first in East Anglia and later in France.
A church is a place where the Christian community is gathered to hear the word of God, to offer intercession and praise to God, and to celebrate the Eucharist. There is a sense in which we shape our buildings and then our building shape us. This is especially true in the case of a church. The sacred space of our church environment can mould us, shape us and form us spiritually.
The second Vatican Council’s constitution on the liturgy speaks of the noble beauty which is befitting to a place of worship. The people of God deserve an environment that speaks of mystery, wonder and awe in God’s presence. The Church renovation committee, the architect Brian Quinn, the contractor Michael Denaghy and the sub-contractors have played a very important part in creating the beautiful re-construction of this nineteen century church. To all of them I am deeply grateful.
May we leave this church, filled with hope, knowing that we have here, God’s continual Presence, his gift of unconditional love, and the opportunity to share with others, in this church of Saint Fursey’s, that is steeped in tradition.