Archbishop Diarmuid Martin opens state-of-the-art new Malahide Parish Pastoral Centre

16 Nov 2013

State-of-the-Art New Malahide Parish Pastoral Centre officially opened

by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

The Most Reverend Dr. Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin officially opened the new, state-of-the-art St. Sylvester’s Parish Centre at a ceremony in Malahide today (16th November, 2013).   The formal opening and Mass marks the culmination of ten years work since the project commenced in 2003.

In his homily(attached)  at Mass to mark the opening of the centre, Archbishop Martin praised the vision and the work that brought the centre into reality, “This is not just the fruit of architectural best-practice; it is also a symbol of the manner in which the Church is called, generation after generation, to integrate the best of the past with the aspirations of the day and of tomorrow.” Praising the workmanship on the centre the Archbishop said “ In a world where we all daily encounter shoddy handwork this building is the fruit of workers who took pride in their work and have left us with a building complex of which we can all be proud.”  He said,” My prayer is that this new complex will be a place where for generations to come men and women will come here to form community, but also to be formed in that special community which is a Church which witnesses to the tender embrace of Jesus Christ and where the great commandment of love is lived out and above all is celebrated in the Eucharist.”

Designed by Sean Harrington Architects, the Centre offers new meeting spaces for a variety of parish activities, both religious and secular while as part of the brief to the architects, the existing church facilities have been restored and improved. The overall development now includes a new sacristy, prayer chapel, mortuary chapel, coffee shop, priest’s residence and car park.

The development was fortunate to benefit from the generosity of local resident, the late Micheal Gaffney whose contribution to the Centre was the key to financing the development. It is fitting that the refurbished parish hall within the building complex has been named Gaffney Hall in his memory.

Speaking about the official opening, Joe Mc Donnell Chairman of the Parish Council, said, “We are all delighted to see so many years of hard work and the efforts of so many celebrated here today. We are honoured that the Archbishop has taken the time to be here today and give the Centre his blessing and we look forward to the community of Malahide enjoying this wonderful building for many years to come”.

Also present at the ceremony were Right Reverend. Monsignor Peter Briscoe, Moderator and Very Reverend Peter O’Connor, the Very Reverends, Gary Darby and John Murphy with Martin O Farrell, Frank Reburn and Gertrude Gill, Sr Margaret Moynihan Parish Secretary and Sharon O Sullivan Parish Centre Manager who are all members of the Area Pastoral Team.  John Lynch, Chairman of the Parish Development Group was joined by the Very Reverend Gerard Tanham, former Parish Priest whose inspiration and energy were responsible for initiating the project and bringing it to an advanced stage of development. Very Reverend Paul Thornton, former curate at St. Sylvester’s, who played a key role in the development also attended .

The Centre is officially open for business and is at the heart of the parish with organisations from all over the community enjoying its wonderful facilities.


For more information please contact: P.J. Gunn  –  087 2565677 or Parish Centre Manager. Sharon O Sullivan 086 0492369