The totally transformed Holy Family Church in Gowna looked magnificent on Sunday morning when a massive congregation thronged the church to witness the rededication by the Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, Most Reverend Colm O'Reilly.
Situated in the parish of Gowna and Colmcille, the church is unique in the fact that half of the parish is in Longford and the Gowna end is in Cavan and not alone that, but each half is in a different province.
Bishop Colm O'Reilly said everyone present had close links to the Holy Family Church and it was now a church everyone could be proud of, as it has been restored to a very high standard. It is a tremendous setting for special occasions like Holy Communion, Weddings, Confirmation and Christenings, he said.
However you feel when you get up on Sunday morning, this will be a place that will answer your needs.
It is a place where you can find consolation and hope in your lives and it will be a good experience, the bishop told the congregation last Sunday.
The parish priest P.J. Fitzpatrick told The Anglo-Celt that a massive renovation and refurbishment job has been carried out on the Gothic-style church, which includes a complete new floor with ceramic tiles and can seat 300 people.
The total cost of the work is running close to €300,000.
The beautiful new seats made from Irish ash look superb and add a wonderful bright dimension to the church. There is a complete new heating system, lighting, a new altar, ambo, chair, baptismal font and tabernacle stand.
The entire church structure has been repainted and the stations of the cross have also been revamped. The church was also washed down on the exterior prior to painting. A total of eight new stain glass windows were also fitted.
Fr. Fitzpatrick said this refurbishment was the first major repairs carried out on the church since it was built.
The foundation stone for the Holy Family Church was laid on the fest of Corpus Christi on June 1, 1903 and Most Reverend Dr. Hoare, Bishop of Ardagh, performed the solemn blessing and opening for divine service on October 8, 1905.
Fr. Fitzpatrick told The Anglo-Celt that he would like to sincerely thank all the parishioners who generously donated money towards the cost of the works and some families even sponsored various items in the church.
Over 100 new houses have been constructed in and around this vibrant village in recent years and there is a great community spirit in the area.
Fr. Fitzpatrick said he was most impressed with the great response from parishioners in these recessionary times.