NEWCASTLE — All are welcome to assemble for a particular celebration of the brand new restorations accomplished on the historic St. Patrick Church on 380 Academy Hill Highway in Newcastle. A restoration presentation and reception is about for Sunday, July 17 at 1:15 p.m. contained in the previous church. July 17 is the 214th anniversary of the church’s dedication. A Mass of Thanksgiving will precede the occasion at 11 a.m. within the new church positioned on the identical property.
Devoted in 1808, St. Patrick Church is the oldest, energetic church in New England and residential to important artifacts just like the altar of Bishop Cheverus and a bell forged by Paul Revere & Sons. The restoration undertaking started in September of 2021 with brickwork and masonry repairs, however the root of the restoration might be traced to 2013.
“9 years in the past, it was delivered to the eye of the St. Patrick Historical past Group by member Chet Hopkins that our little church was exhibiting indicators of decay. This was particularly evident within the roof and brickwork,” stated Carrie Watson, the historian at St. Patrick. “How blessed we had been to have a parishioner, Tom Kronenberger, who co-owned a restoration firm in Connecticut earlier than retiring to Maine.”
Kronenberger and Sons met with the parish and gave an estimate of roughly $300,000.
“The undertaking would embody a brand new roof, repointing of bricks together with mortar restore, trim across the home windows, and extra exterior renovation,” stated Watson. “Extra funds had been wanted for the stained glass home windows.”
The prevailing shingled roof was eliminated and changed because the hooked up wooden shingles had been stripped off the sheathing under. Testing was accomplished to the prevailing bricks and mortar from numerous places to offer a recipe for the proper mortar and brick hardness. Bricks and mortar had been ordered primarily based upon amount, dimension, colour, and hardness. All ten stained glass home windows, together with their plexiglass safety, had been eliminated.
“The safety was a part of the issue because it didn’t present for correct air circulation and created what is called an oven impact, inflicting the result in soften which in flip started to trigger the home windows to sag,” stated Watson.
The home windows had been despatched to Rohlf’s Stained and Leaded Glass in New York had been they had been labored upon from September of 2021 till March of this yr.
The $320,000 price ticket was met because of the generosity of parishioners and neighborhood donors; the St. Patrick Everlasting Lay Belief Fund, fashioned over 60 years in the past by parishioners particularly for the preservation of the historic church; and the late Fr. Thomas Murphy, the pastor of All Saints when the undertaking started in earnest. Fr. Murphy handed away only a week after the work started.
“Fr. Murphy was a particular one who was a continuing supply of inspiration,” stated Watson. “His large assist helped us by way of many robust occasions.”
St. Patrick Church was designed by Irish architect Nicolas Codd and constructed on land donated by James Kavanagh and Matthew Cottrill, who had emigrated from County Wexford, Eire, to Boston. The Kavanaghs, Cottrills, and others arrived in Newcastle within the 1790s. Fr. Jean-Louis Lefebvre de Cheverus, who had celebrated Lots within the space for a few years, devoted St. Patrick Church on July 17, 1808, having been appointed the primary Bishop of Boston in April of that yr. The altar used in the course of the dedication Mass remains to be positioned within the church. St. Patrick Church has lengthy been a member of the Nationwide Historic Registry attributable to its historic significance.
The gathering on July 17 supplies the chance to rejoice, replicate, and provides thanks for its continued existence.
“Virtually 220 years in the past, pioneers got here from France and Eire and constructed this lovely little jewel. We give because of them and bear in mind them all the time. We reap the fruits of their work, and hope that they’re proud of what we’ve accomplished,” stated Watson. “It’s a sense of historical past that makes St. Patrick’s a particular non secular place, one for the religion of future generations.”