St. Mary's Church, built on an elevated site
facing Main Street, is approached by two flights of stone
steps stretching across the front of the building and leading
up to the main entrance. The walls are built of limestone
with chiselled dressings. The main section of the building
was completed in 1879 and the tower block as added in 1925.
The tower block was surmounted by a large limestone cross
which was subsequently removed because of its excessive weight.
This cross has recently been erected at the entrance to the
local Famine Cemetery following its restoration and upgrading
for the 150th anniversary of this tragic event.
The two side porches and confessionals were
added in 1979 when the sanctuary area was being re¬designed.
They too are constructed of limestone, retrieved from the
site of the old Fever Hospital which was built in 1849 to
relieve gross overcrowding in the adjacent Workhouse.
St. Mary's measures 170 feet long, 60 feet
wide and 60 feet high. As you enter the Church through the
front door there is a vestibule stretching the entire width
of the building. Your attention is immediately drawn to the
magnificent wrought iron spiral staircase leading up to the
organ gallery. The interior consists of the nave and two side
aisles, chancel (sacristy) and altar of reservation and baptistery.
At the rear of the chancel there is a spacious sacristy and
prayer room which is also used as a chapel of adoration. The
aisles are divided from the nave by a series of pointed arches
sustained by polished granite pillars with moulded bases of
Portland stone and ornamental caps. The seating throughout
is made of pitch pine with ornamental terminals.
In 1979, in line with Vatican II recommendations,
the sanctuary area was re-designed. The main altar was dismantled
and portions of it were used to construct the side Altar,
Tabernacle and surrounding area where the Blessed Sacrament
is reserved.The altar rails were used to enhance the corresponding
area on the right side of the main altar where the Baptismal
font is located.
The painting positioned at the back of the
main altar, depicting Christ the Teacher, was created by the
well known artist Ray Carroll.
The parishioners of Kiltoghert can be justifiably
proud of the fact that since 1984 there has been uninterrupted
Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Mary's