Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

St. Lazerian's Church

Source: "The Churches of Kildare & Leighlin 2000 A.D."

St. Lazerian's Church (above) was built c1770 in the style of Cruciform. It is constructed of rubble stone with granite door, window jambs and mullions. The bell tower, which differs in architectural style from the church, is thought to be much older than St. Lazerian's, but information on the structure is difficult to come by.

Leighlinbridge is about 4 Km from Old Leighlin and is situated on the River Barrow.  It was originally called New Leighlin prior to the building of the first stone bridge over the river by Maurice Jakis, a Cannon of the Cathedral of Kildare, in 1320. Leighlinbridge has been regarded as one of the most important river crossings in Ireland for more than a thousand years.  For a long period of time the River Barrow was the limit of the Pale. The crossing was controlled by the McMurrough Kavanaghs who extracted payment from the Crown for safe passage.

The Carmelites had a monastery near the Black Castle, on the east bank of the River Barrow, founded by one of the Carews. This lasted until c.1828.

Before the construction of the present church of St. Lazerian, a penal-day chapel existed in Conicare which was probably had a thatched roof with mud walls.  The spot is known as "the church field".

Fr, Patrick Kehoe P.P. (1827-1858) had the church raised and re-roofed.  Fr. James Connolly P.P. (1890-1897) added the alter area, sacristy and the granite decorations. Generous donations were made by two illustrious native sons: Cardinal Moran, Archbishop of Sydney, presented a marble alter, while Bishop Patrick Foley, Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin (1896-1926) sponsored the communication rails. Australia's first Cardinal, Patrick Moran (1830-1911), was born at Bridge Street, Leighlinbridge, Carlow., and was appointed Bishop of Ossery in 1872, and Archbishop of Sydney in 1884.


Carmelites (kr'məlīts) , Roman Catholic order of mendicant friars. Originally a group of hermits, apparently European, living on Mt. Carmel in Palestine, their supervision was undertaken (c.1150) by St. Berthold. In 1238 they moved to Cyprus, and thence to Western Europe. St. Simon Stock (d. 1265), an Englishman, was their second founder.

He transformed them into an order of friars resembling Dominicans and Franciscans and founded monasteries at Oxford, Cambridge, Paris, and Bologna. They rapidly became prominent in university life. An enclosed order of Carmelite nuns was established. The Carmelites, like other orders, declined in the 15th cent. They were revived by St. Theresa (of vila) and St. John of the Cross in 16th-century Spain. These great contemplatives gave the order a special orientation toward mysticism.

Their reformed branch is the Discalced (or Barefoot) Carmelites; it is now more numerous than the Carmelites of the Old Observance. The Discalced Carmelites cultivate the contemplative life in all aspects, and they have produced many works on mystical theology. St. Theresa (of Lisieux) is a well-known Discalced Carmelite of the 19th cent. In 1790 the first community came to the United States and settled near Port Tobacco, Md. There are presently about 6,900 priests and brothers living in Carmelite communities, with 500 living in the United States.

Old Leighlin Road

Church Cathedral

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