Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Holy Family Church
Parish of Askea.

Askea Holy Family Parish Church, Browneshill road, Carlow.

ASKEA, (Easca, Eascah or Eaascaigh; A Marsh, connected with water channel; all derived from the word Uisce, meaning water).

Date of church: 1976
Seating capacity: 850
Cost of building: £185,000
Architect: Mr. E. Quinn
Building contractor: D. & J. Carbery.

The site acquired for the church was part of the farm of St. Dympna’s Hospital, Carlow. Askea Church was opened in a ceremony performed by Bishop Patrick Lennon. The first resident priest in Askea from 1976 was Fr. Francis MacNamara C.C. Holy Family Church served as a relief church for the Cathedral Parish, which in the previous twenty years had experienced a considerable population growth. Most Rev. Laurence Ryan constituted Askea as a new parish in 1990. It continues to be a mensal parish, like the Cathedral, with an Administrator leading the parish on behalf of the Bishop, who is technically the Parish Priest.

The church is of a unique architectural style, oval in shape. The image, which inspired its design, is the Old Testament moving Tent, which contained the Ark of the Covenant during the period after the Exodus, when the people of Israel wandered through the desert towards the Promised Land. Thus the roof is of a particularly unusual design.

The tabernacle is a scale replica of the building. The seating arrangement accords with the curvature of the outside walls and slopes towards the sanctuary. The resulting effect is one of greater participation in the liturgy. The baptistery and the tabernacle areas balance each other on either side of the altar area. Thus great prominence is visually given to the two Sacraments (Baptism and Eucharist), through which members are imitated into the family of the Church.

The Stations of the Cross are unusual in that they are painted directly on to the brickwork. The artist was Willie Early.

Repairs were made to the roof in the late 1990s. The interior of the church has been completely refurbished during Jubilee Year 2000.

The roof has also been recently been repaired and the whole roof is now sheeted in copper!

Source: THE CHURCHES OF KILDARE & LEIGHLIN 2000 A.D. by John McEvoy & John Duffy

Brownshill Road

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