Dean Curry's acknowledgement and thanks at the Dedication of St Malachy's Edendork

Welcome to the Dedication and Re-opening of St Malachy’s Edendork

My dear friends, it’s a great joy to welcome all of you back to St Malachy’s Church, Edendork in all its splendor. I am very conscious of the people in the marquee who couldn’t be accommodated and I thank them for their co-operation and their forbearance. 

First of all we thank God for bringing us safely to this day and I mean that, because there were many challenges in relation to this project, especially with so much traffic and activity around the front gate, so we thank God there were no incidents inside or outside during the course of the work.  

I want to thank Cardinal Brady for being with us today and for leading us in this beautiful ceremony of dedication. Archbishop Eamon Martin is out of the country at present but hopes to be here at another time. I thank the altar servers and all the priests as well.

I welcome our distinguished guests especially those who were responsible for this magnificent project – I welcome Benny Shields our local Architect and parishioner and I thank you Benny for your patience and wise guidance at all times. I can assure you, you were very well served by your two colleagues - Con McKeown and Denis O’Neill, whose professional expertise was outstanding. I know all of you, as a design team,  had a great respect for the historical importance of this building and that has been clearly demonstrated in the way it has been upgraded so sympathetically and refurbished so tastefully. 

I want to pay tribute to the main contractor Q Mac Construction and I welcome Peter Quinn and Rhona here today. You and all the other sub contractors associated with this project deserve great credit for the quality of workmanship and your attention to detail. This church will stand as a testament to your personal expertise and to the competency of your firm – Q Mac. 

I thank all who worked on the different elements of this project - there was a huge team of various skills and professions involved and I pay tribute to each and all of them. I mention the foremen Kevin and Martin for overseeing the work and I thank Martin on particular  for his calm reassurance in recent weeks that everything would be finished on time for today. I have to admit I did not think it was possible.

To mark the significance of this occasion a little souvenir booklet has been published. It mentions the names of all the many professions and trades people involved in this project; and the other thing you might find interesting is an explanation of the fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary on the windows of the church. That will be on sale for £4. 

There was a huge amount of work entailed in the restoration of this church and to give you some idea of what had to be done you will be able to watch at another time  a DVD which covers all of that in great detail. (You will appreciate there are a number of small items to be changed or amended and these will be attended to in due course.)

As you can see for yourselves there are many lovely elements and features in this church, but I would like to draw your attention to the marble altar, the rerdos surrounding the tabernacle, the baldachino and the ambo. You would nearly think they were always here and belonged to Edendork. But all of these were retrieved from a former church property in Belfast, and donated by the family of the late Desmond Mallon of Dungannon and for that I am are truly grateful.

I thank all who were involved in the immediate preparations of this day – the Parish Pastoral Council, Edendork Football Club, the stewards, Edendork Pipe Band the cleaners and countless other individuals, too numerous to mention,  My apologies if I have overlooked any one. I would like you to show your appreciation to all of them but above all I want to thank in a very particular way the choir, the musicians, the singers and all who enhanced this liturgy with such beautiful music and song.

I am very grateful to Mrs. McAlinden and the staff of Edendork PS along with a host of local ladies for the refreshments that will be served shortly in the school. 

(Could I suggest that you go to the school directly after Mass to allow the people in the marquee to come inside and have a look around and then you can come back later? The chapel will be open to late this evening and there will be Mass here each day during the coming week. )

Finally, I have to say that none of this would have been possible without the generosity and the co-operation of the people of the whole parish. Over the years I have been blessed with the support of some very wise mentors whose guidance has been invaluable. Ten years ago when we embarked on this programme of restoring all the churches in the parish and upgrading parochial properties, it was my hope that it would be more than just a building project – I had hoped it would be about forming community, about people taking ownership, exercising responsibility, working together and cultivating a sense of pride in their parish. I thank God I have seen all of that, and I have seen it in abundance. And for that in particular, I offer all of you my heartfelt gratitude and my warmest congratulations today to the people of Edendork.