Thursday, 12 November 2015

Bicentenary of Fr Andrew Hart, Died 20 November 1815

Fr Andrew Hart, 1785-1815
    This is the statue we know so well from seeing it every time we go to Mass in St Mary's, Saggart.  Or maybe we don't know it so well as we never really see it. The reason for this is because we know so little about the man whom the statue commemorates. All we have is the inscription underneath the effigy, an inscription written in Latin of a very elaborate kind that is 'all Greek (or Latin)' to us today. Our late P.P. Fr Laurence O'Sullivan had a small framed translation put up beside the memorial in 1999, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of St Mary's. (For the text and a more recent translation of the inscription, see here.)
    The bicentenary of St Finian's in 2013 saw the publication of a book containing a chapter about the parish priest responsible for the building of that church (i.e. Fr Andrew Hart), thanks to which we know more about the man than ever before. In 2013 the parish of Newcastle marked the bicentenary of the church he built; now, in 2015, we in Saggart/Rathcoole/Brittas, have the opportunity to mark the bicentenary of the man himself in the church where he is buried. Now is the moment when the people of Saggart can pay him their own tribute. Let us do so in as fitting a way as we can, beginning Sunday 22nd, at 11.30 Mass in St Mary's.  
Donal McMahon (
and Liam Roche,
Andrew Hart Bicentenary Committee (new members very welcome!).

Mass for All Parishioners who Died during the Year

St Finian's Cemetery, Newcastle Lyons
May he support us all day long, 
till the shades lengthen and the evening comes, 
and the busy world is hushed, 
and the fever of life is over,              
and our work is done.

Then in His mercy may He give us a safe lodging, 
and a holy rest,
and peace at the last.   (John Henry Newman)

In Saggart church on Friday 20th November, at 7.30 p.m., Mass will be offered for the repose of the souls of those who died this year. We will also, of course, remember all our dear departed from previous years