St. Mary’s to be re-dedicated tonight

Fr Joe Gormley  and Fr Paul Fraser pictured with parishioners, pupils and teachers from Holy Child PS, St John's PS and St Cecilia's College at the present planting an Oak sapling to commemorate the 60th anniversary of St Mary's Church Creggan. DER2219GS-031
Fr Joe Gormley and Fr Paul Fraser pictured with parishioners, pupils and teachers from Holy Child PS, St John's PS and St Cecilia's College at the present planting an Oak sapling to commemorate the 60th anniversary of St Mary's Church Creggan. DER2219GS-031

St. Mary’s Church in Creggan will be re-dedicated tonight by Bishop of Derry, Dr. Donal McKeown, 60 years on from it’s official opening.

A special Mass will be held at 7.30pm tonight to mark the anniversary of what was described back in May, 1959, as a day that would go down in the annals of Derry’s history by the then Bishop, the late Reverend Dr. Neil Farren.

Pupils from Holy Child PS, St John's PS and St Cecilia's College help Fr Joe Gormley and Fr Paul Fraser plant an Oak sapling to commemorate the 60th anniversary of St Mary's Church Creggan. DER2219GS-027

Pupils from Holy Child PS, St John's PS and St Cecilia's College help Fr Joe Gormley and Fr Paul Fraser plant an Oak sapling to commemorate the 60th anniversary of St Mary's Church Creggan. DER2219GS-027

St. Mary’s parish has advised that all are welcome for the celebration this evening, especially all those who have been a part of the St Mary’s Parish during its 60 year history. The Mass can also be watched on a live stream at

www.churchservices.tv/creggan

The re-dedication tonight follows a week of events and Masses at St Mary’s to celebrate the milestone.

Back in 1959 the opening of the church was hailed as a momentous occasion in the then relatively new Creggan Estate, which housed in excess of 9,000 residents.

Bishop Neil Farren dedicating St Mary's Church in Creggan on May 30, 1959.

Bishop Neil Farren dedicating St Mary's Church in Creggan on May 30, 1959.

The ‘Derry Journal’ reported at the time how Bishop Farren concluded the Solemn High Mass by stating that the church was build on land previously confiscated from the church.

“On this estate we have a church that will be the centre of the life of that estate,” he said. He also praised the generosity of local people. “I cannot speak of the depth of feeling I have at your generosity since the first mention of this church,” he added. “Wherever there was a group of Catholics - in the factory, in a workshop, on the quays or wherever it was - there was a constant collection taken up, not on the suggestion of the Bishop or priests but spontaneously by the people.”