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1798 - 1960 The forming of a Parish


The forming of a Parish – 1798-1960

In the eighteenth century, Ballymena was quite a small town. It got its name from the Gaelic, Ballymenagh, meaning the ‘middle town’ as it was situated mid-way between the villages of Broughshane and Galgorm. As a result of the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century, mills driven by water power were built on the Braidwater River and the linen weaving industry transferred from the rural cottages to these new mills. People began to move from the rural areas to find employment in the mills.

1960 Centenary Celebrations

1960 – Centenary Celebrations

All Saints’ Centenary Celebrations took place on Sunday, 6 November 1960 with solemn High Mass at which His Lordship Most Rev Dr Mageean presided.  The Most Rev Dr Conway, Titular Bishop of Neve and Auxiliary to His Eminence Cardinal D’Alton was the special preacher.

1961 - 1980 The Parish Expands

The Parish expands and suffers  - 1961-1980

This year was the fifteen hundredth anniversary of the death of Saint Patrick and was accordingly proclaimed a Patrician Year.  Celebrations were held in Dublin, and in our Diocese there were celebrations in Connor, Belfast and Down.  In Connor the celebrations consisted of Pontifical High Mass offered by His Lordship Dr Kyne, Bishop of Meath.  This was in the open air, on the side of Slemish, scene of Patrick’s boyhood captivity.   The sermon was preached by Very Rev Cahal Daly, Queen’s University.

1981 - 1990 The Parish Changes

The Parish changes – 1981-1990

Mrs Lena MacRory provided the money for a statue of Our Lady for the Church in Harryville.  It was purchased and transported from Dublin by car.

During 1981 expensive repair work replacing lead in all the roof valleys and gutters of the Parochial Hall had to be carried out.  Electrical wiring of All Saints was in an unsafe condition and had to be replaced.  A new side entrance incorporating a toilet block and new confessionals was built at the side of All Saints.

1991 - 1999 The Parish Copes

The Parish copes – 1991-1999

Early in 1991 an appeal had been made for nominated persons to act as lay Ministers of the Eucharist in the parish.  Bishop Farquhar came to the Parish in June and commissioned fifty-eight Ministers of the Eucharist.  In December these Eucharistic Ministers met in ‘Kenbaan’ to organise the bringing of Holy Communion to the sick and housebound on Christmas Day.  This was a ‘first’ for the parish and it was recorded that if it was well accepted by parishioners the Ministers of the Eucharist would do this every Sunday.

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