St Patrick's Church, Ballyphilip

The present Church of St Patrick was built in 1762 by the Rev James McTeggart to replace the old ‘Mass House’.

The church ran parallel with the road, the altar being at the north gable and the main door being at the south gable.

 

A date stone commerating the builders can be seen near on the gable near the north porch entrance.
In 1831 the Rev James McAleenan re-roofed and carried out extensive repairs to the church. A stone plaque commerates this occasion.

He removed the old holy water font from the ancient church of St Cumain, in the townland of Derry, to St Patrick’s Church, where it is still in use in the north porch.

The Rev James Killen enlarged the church in 1845 by building the western wing   (now the central portion of the church) and removing the High Altar from the northern gable to the eastern side wall where it now stands. He also erected two new galleries.

During his three years as Parish Priest the the Rev G Crolly built the present sacristy and the bell tower, which was completed in December 1914.

On the 12th February 1939, when the Rev Patrick McKillop was Parish Priest, a new bell, weighing 161/2 cwt was solemnly blessed by the Most Rev Dr Mageean and installed in the tower of the church.

Further extensive renovations were carried out while Rev G Laverty was PP and a plaque commerating the Blessing and Re-dedication of the church on 27th May 1990 can be seen in the new entrance porch.

 

Parish Priests of Ballyphilip

 

St Patrick’s Church, Portaferry is the second oldest church in the Diocese of Down & Connor and was built in 1745. The following is a record of Parish Priests who served in the Parish of Ballyphilip from that date until the present day.

Rev. Fr. Patrick O’Prey

The first priest registered as working in the Parish of Ballyphilip was Father Patrick O’Prey. He was ordained in Ardpatrick, Co Louth by St. Oliver Plunkett in 1761 and died in the year 1717. From 1717 the Parish of Ballyphilip was united to Ardkeen Parish, a union that continued until 1780.

 

Rev. Fr. John Fitzsimons

Father John was appointed as Parish Priest of Ballyphilip from 1780-1785 and died in 1798.

 

Rev. Fr. Patrick Magrevey

Father Patrick was ordained in 1778, was appointed as Parish Priest of Ballyphilip from 1785-1823, and died 23rd October 1812, aged 62 years.

 

Rev. Fr. Edward McQuoid

Father Edward was born in 1776, ordained in August 1800, was appointed as Parish Priest of Ballyphilip from 1812-1815, and died in October 1815.

 

Rev. Fr. Peter Denvir
Father Peter was born in 1783, was ordained in December 1809, was appointed as Parish Priest of Ballyphilip from 1815-1825, and died on 8th November 1855, aged 72 years.

 

Rev. Fr. James McAleenan
Father James was born in 1788, was ordained in Autumn of 1812, was appointed as Parish Priest of Ballyphilip from 1825-1843, and died on 22nd February 1876, aged 88 years.

 

Rev. Fr. James Killen
Father James was born on 17th November 1806, was ordained in 1832, was appointed as Parish Priest of Ballyphilip from 1843-1882, and died on 6th February 1881, aged 75 years, and is now buried in Ballyphilip graveyard.

 

Rev. Fr. Richard Killen

Father Richard was born in 1814, was ordained on 3rd February 1839, was appointed as Parish Priest of Ballyphilip from 1881-1898, and died in 1898, aged 84 years, and is bow buried in Ballyphilip graveyard alongside his brother Father James Killen.

 

Very Rev. Fr. Hugh Magorrian
Father Hugh was born on 2nd April 1845, was ordained in July 1869, was appointed as Parish Priest of Ballyphilip from 1898-1912, and died on 5th May 1912, and is now buried in Ballyphilip graveyard.

 

Very Rev. Fr. G. Crolly
Father Crolly was born in August 1860, was ordained on 24th March 1883, and was appointed as Parish Priest of Ballyphilip from 1912-1915.

 

Very Rev. James Canon Kennedy
Father James was born on 8th October 1852, was ordained on 2nd February 1876, was appointe as Parish Priest of Ballyphilip from 1916-1928, and died on 7th May 1929, and is now buried in Ballyphilip graveyard.

 

Very Rev. Fr. Patrick McKillop

Father Patrick was born on 16th October 1869, was ordained on 16th June 1895, was appointed as Parish Priest of Ballyphilip from 1929-1945, and died on 23rd November 1945, and is now buried in Ballyphilip graveyard.

 

Very Rev. Fr. George Watson
Father George was born in 1889, was ordained on 22nd June 1914, was appointed as Parish Priest of Ballyphilip from 1946-1960, and died on 8th November 1960, and is now buried in Ballyphilip graveyard.

 

Very Rev. Fr. Patrick McAlea

Father Patrick was born in 1901, was ordained on 7th June 1925, was appointed as Parish Priest of Ballyphilip from 1960-1965, and died on 2nd December 1972, aged 71 years, and is now buried in Ballyphilip graveyard.

 

Very Rev. Fr. David Morgan

Father David was born in 1905, was ordained on 21st June 1931, was appointed as Parish Priest of Ballyphilip from 1965-1985, and died on 17th December 1989, aged 84 years, and is now buried in Ballyphilip graveyard.

 

Very Rev. Fr. Gerard Laverty

Father Gerard was ordained in 1941, was appointed as Parish Priest of Ballyphilip from 1985-1992.

 

Rt. Rev. Dean Brendan McGee

Father Brendan was ordained on 18th June 1950, was appointed Parish Priest of Portaferry from 1992 – 2000, and is currently assisting in St. Patrick’s Parish, Donegall St., Belfast.

 

Very Rev. Fr. Martin Kelly

Father Martin was born in the Parish of Bailieboro, Co Caven in 1941. He was ordained in St. Peter’s Cathedral Parish 1966, and afterwards appointed Chaplin to St Patrick’s Training Schools, Musgrave Park, and Foster Green Hospitals. In 1968 he became Spiritual Director of St. Malachy’s College, Belfast, and in addition Diocesan Vocation Director from 1976-1985. Following his role in the education of Seminarians for the Priesthood, he was appointed as curate of Holy Trinity Parish (1985-88). Afterwards, he was sent to St. Patrick’s Parish, primarily as a curate and then in 1988 as Administrator of that same Parish. From 1994 until 2000, Father Martin was Parish Priest of St. Agnes’, Belfast, before being appointed by Bishop Walsh as Parish Priest of Ballyphilip, Portaferry from August 2000 until 8th October, Fr Martin was appointed parish priest of Drumbo and Carryduff, by Bishop Noel Traynor, on 8th Oct. 2009.

 

Very Rev. Patrick Mulholland

Fr. Patrick, a native of the Parish of Aghagallon and Ballinderry was educated at St. Mary's Primary School Derrymore and Rathmore Grammar Finaghy. He studied for his B.Sc. at Queen's University Belfast and then entered St.Patrick's College Maynooth to study for the Priesthood. Fr. Patrick was ordained by Bishop Patrick Walsh in St. Patrick's Aghagallon in July 1992. He served as curate in the parishes of  Upper Mourne (Kilkeel) Aug. 1992-1996, St. Mary's on the Hill, Glengormley, Aug.1996-2002, St. Paul's Belfast Aug.2002-March2007, Fr. Patrick was appointed Parish Priest of Ballygalget by Bishop Walsh in March 2007 and in Oct 2009 appointed Parish Priest of Portaferry and Ballygalget by Bishop Noel Treanor.