The Church of the Irish Martyrs will this weekend celebrate the ordination of Father Stephen Gorman and it’s twenty year anniversary.
The church of the Irish Martyrs was opened on May 29, 1994 in Ballyraine by Bishop Séamus Hegarty the former Bishop of Raphoe.
The church was the first to bear the name of the Irish Martyrs and in the year 2000, the Holy year, was established as a separate parish within the expanding Letterkenny geographical area and given the name Aughaninsin after an old Franciscan monastery which was located in the area.
The octagonal granite structure, has over the years become the sacred home of hundreds of Letterkenny parishioners.
The structure which holds eight hundred parishioners is simplicity in itself.
During Mass, soft and radiant life stream through the many glass windows creating an ambience of peace and serenity.
The ideology behind the simplicity of the structure was that the people within the building would themselves bring life to their spiritual home.
“The church was established here at a time when the population of Letterkenny was increasing due to development and from people moving here from surrounding rural areas. The church was built by the people, for the people and the objective was that the people would take ownership of it,” Father Brian Quinn said.
The priests who have served in the church over the years are Father Fergal Rooney, Séamus Dagens, Joe O’Donnell and Father Brian Quinn.
“I and the other priests who have worked here are merely servants to the people,” Father Quinn said. Trees create a feathered hemming to the green lawns of the church where the people of Letterkenny have celebrated many sacraments within the body of their sacred home.
The wooden pews have been the seating for occasions of joy, such as marriage and baptisms but they have also created support for those who have grieved the loss of a loved one during the ever changing seasons of life.
Father Stephen O Gorman will celebrate his first Mass of Thanksgiving in the Church of the Irish Martyrs on Monday night at 7pm and everyone is invited to be in attendance.
It will be followed by a social event in the Mount Errigal Hotel and everyone is welcome.
Originally from Dramore on the outskirts of Letterkenny, Father O Gorman studied for the priesthood in Maynooth.
He will be the first young man from the parish to be ordained as a priest.
His father, Séamus O Gorman, since deceased, was one of the very first Eucharistic members in the Church of the Irish Martyrs.
Father O Gorman will be ordained in Saint Eunan’s Cathedral in Letterkenny on June 29 at 3pm.
His mother Monica, siblings, relations and wide circle of friends will all be present to mark the event.
He is being ordained for the diocesan and will serve the diocese of Raphoe. It is, as yet, not certain the exact parish which he will serve in.