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Vatican II

On 19th March 1959, Very Rev. Canon Thomas Pettit, a former President of St. Colman's College, Newry, was appointed P.P., Tullylish. A quiet unassuming gentleman, he undertook beautiful and artistic renovations of Laurencetown and Clare churches. A dedicated and enthusiastic committee assisted him. Meanwhile, in 1962, a committee under the guidance of the late Fr. Christopher Murray undertook a refurbishment of Gilford Church on a voluntary basis. A new floor and a reconstructed gallery and stairway was completed.

On Sunday 30th January 1966, the Church of Saints Colman and Patrick, Laurencetown was rededicated and reopened by Most Rev. Dr. O’Doherty. The celebrant of the Mass was Rev. A. Byrne, St. Colman’s College, Newry; deacon, Rev. M. O’Rourke, CC Derrytrasna; sub deacon, Rev. L. McAleavey, C.C., Lurgan and Master of Ceremonies, Rev. J. Lynch, Adm., Newry. The special sermon on this occasion was preached by Rev. C.F. Murray, C.C. Gilford. The reopening of the church followed extensive renovations including a raised roof, projecting confessionals and baptistry at west and east transepts respectively, a new sanctuary, sacristy, Gallery and committee rooms to the rear. The redesigned attar conformed to the new liturgical requirements of Vatican II. The contractor for this project was Messrs. Chas. Monaghan, Ltd., Laurencetown. Laurencetown. The completed reconstruction cost was £40,000. On Saturday 6th May 1967, Dr. O’Doherty reopened St. Colman’s Church, Clare. It had undergone extensive renovations costing £15,000.

Due to deteriorating health, Canon Pettit resigned his parish on 25th. January 1970 and, from that date, was a patient in the St. John of God Nursing Home, Newry. He died on 21st. February 1975 and was buried in Laurencetown.

 

 

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