Derry’s Franciscan friars move to their new home in Galliagh

The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal have moved to their new home in Galliagh.

The small community of friars is now based in what was previously the parochial house of St Joseph’s Church.

Father Michael McCaughey, PP, The Three Patrons, officially welcomed the friars to Galliagh during a special Mass at St Joseph’s on Sunday afternoon.

The Mass of Thanksgiving for the Gift of Consecrated Life was attended by Diocesan Administrator Very Rev. Francis Bradley, retired Bishop of Derry, Dr. Seamus Hegarty, thirty priests and forty religious from across the Diocese.

Until recently, the friars had been living and working in the Long Tower parish.

Since their arrival in the city four-and-a-half years ago, they have been based in the former Long Tower parish parochial house at Victoria Place, just off Abercorn Road.

The Long Tower priests - currently based at the former Convent of Mercy in Pump Street - are hoping to return to their former home at Victoria Place.

It’s believed a decision on this will be made when the diocese’s new Bishop is appointed.

Speaking at Sunday’s Mass, Father Bradley said the Diocese of Derry has been and continues to be the “beneficiary of the courageous witness of so many and varied forms of consecrated life.”

He added: “It is my hope, as I am sure it is yours, that this diocese, and the Church as a whole, will continue to be the beneficiary of such a beautiful expression of the call to holiness which comes to everyone in baptism but which is lived out with such commitment by you as a people of faith.”

“For what it is worth, as we await the appointment of our new bishop, I pledge you my commitment to such support.

“I hope that the new Bishop will do likewise.

“Maybe he will be from a religious community and, if so, will know this need and offer this support all the more keenly still.”