Built in 1829, our beautiful St Mary’s Roman Catholic church is  situated in the corner of The Square. It originally consisted of one aisle and two galleries at the sides. It was renovated and a spire and porch added in 1865. The side aisles were added in 1910. In line with reforms that followed Vatican II, much of the old altar was removed and the pulpit taken out. 

Paddy Horgan R.I.P. a lovely local man whom I met when I first came to Listowel in the 1970’s, told me  that the reason the Angelus bell rang at 7.00 rather than 6.00p.m. was because Lord Listowel, in his day the biggest employer in town, prevailed upon the clergy to ring the Angelus bell at 7.00 pm so that he could get an extra hour’s work from his men. I don’t know when the practice was discontinued.

In late 1998, a huge job of rewiring and painting the church was undertaken. In the 2000’s  the church was completely repainted and more recently the roof has  been repaired.

Now some more renovations are under way. A new boiler is keeping the faithful cosy and warm.  Pews have been removed to allow people who use wheelchairs to move from the back of the church and take a place among the congregation, if they wish.

When I read the following in the church newsletter I took my camera to ST. Mary’s to keep all my blog followers up to date with developments;

Confessional Boxes:At the moment we are in the process of converting two Confessional Boxes (which are surplus to requirement) into side sanctuaries / altars, one for St. Pio and the other perhaps St. Anthony and Divine Mercy. The sanctuaries will be built with the original fabric and will be kept as close as possible to the symmetry of the original confessional. This project is being done in consultation with the Parish Finance Council and the Conservation Office of Kerry County Council.

This is the left hand aisle with the site of the removed confession box soon to be shrine.

This is the right hand aisle with the 2 confessionals. The one on the left is the one to be reinvented as a shrine.

I took the opportunity while I was in the church with my camera to photograph some of the lovely wood and mosaic detail in St. Mary’s.  It is a fascinating building. I must return to it here another day.

N.B. NKRO meeting tonight in The Seanchaí at 7.30p.m. Everyone welcome!