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New Church of St Bernard opens


A brief history of our Parish 

The parish of St Mary's on the Hill was established on the 15th July 1969 when the then Bishop of Down & Connor diocese, Dr William Philbin divided Whitehouse parish into the parishes of St Gerard�s, St Mary�s Greencastle St James� Whiteabbey, Whitehouse and Greencastle and Saint Mary's on the Hill

Saint Mary�s on the Hill church  (pictured left) has been a landmark in Glengormley for over 100 years. The original church was built by Fr James Hamill (the first Parish Priest of Whitehouse) and was dedicated by Bishop Henry on the 15th August 1897. The bell-tower was capped, perhaps to be added at a later date, as with her sister church, Saint Mary's Star of the Sea, Whitehouse. Saint Mary's Star of the Sea had a bell-tower added at the time Saint Mary's on the Hill was being built. 

In time for its centennial celebrations the church received a much needed refurbishment. The roof was replaced and as well as a major interior re-design, a porch was added.

In 1988 to meet  the needs of a growing congregation, our second church was opened and quickly became the center of our community. Saint Bernard's was built to replace a temporary structure which had been erected on the site until a permanent church could be built (Mass had been said here from early in the life of the parish). This original building still stands and has served us well during our recent crisis, as mass has again been said there.   The church at Saint Bernard's was a modern building, light and airy, yet felt like it had always been there. 

Our third Church was opened in 1984 and dedicated to Saint MacNissi. Although smaller than the others it performs a vital role in the parish and services there have a more intimate family feeling.

Unfortunately on the 11th June 2001 Saint Bernard's church (pictured below) was totally destroyed by arsonists. (Click here for BBC Report REAL Player)

The parish was shocked and could not comprehend why some one would wish to do this. Our Parish Priest Father Dan Whyte, on a BBC news report gave reassurance and hope "We do, of course, plan to rebuild Saint Bernard�s. A new Saint Bernard�s will rise out of the ashes that we see here this morning and we will do that as quickly as possible. And I want to assure our people that that will be our priority and we will replace this special place for them. We will replace it as soon as possible".

Work began on the new church almost immediately and eighteen months (to the day) saw the opening of the new church (pictured below). We have been humbled by the sincere support and generosity shown to us from many people near and far and feel the incident has united both religious communities in this area and strengthened our faith.
 A new Saint Bernard's has indeed risen from the ashes and
brings with it an uplifting belief on renewed faith and a sign of hope for our parish.

Children's Liturgy at 1pm mass every Sunday. Read more....

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