On behalf of Bishop Séamus Freeman SAC, Father William Purcell and I with the staff and devoted parishioners I welcome you to The Cathedral website. St Marys Cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ossory – a diocese which includes most of County Kilkenny and portions of Counties Laois and Offaly.
On the Sunday morning of 18th August, 1843 the foundation stone was laid for the Cathedral after 8 0’clock Holy Mass. On the Sunday morning of 4th October at 6.15a.m the Cathedral was consecrated. On the 9th April 1899, after some renovation work and with the completion of the work begun in 1844 a solemn opening was celebrated before a large congregation. With the passing of the years other works were undertaken much of which was to do with ongoing works of repair and upkeep of such a building. In the late 1970s, following the Second Vatican Council and the mood of the times further renovation was undertaken which included many changes to the sanctuary area.
St Marys is currently undergoing much necessary renovation with the provision of special facilities for our parishioners, the good people of the Diocese, for pilgrims and visitors. The mission is to reconnect The Cathedral to the Diocese and the City of Kilkenny and to ensure the Cathedral, as a sacred space, remains a place of prayer and worship for generations to come.
Phase 1 of the redevelopment was completed in September 2012. This phase saw the Chapter House, which includes the main sacristy ,located adjacent to the Cathedral restored and developed. We now have facilities which include tea rooms with dining al fresco in season, a book shop and a beautiful conference room – all now in operation.
Phase 2 will see the former coal store and area in the basement of the Cathedral Sanctuary transformed into a beautiful adoration chapel that will allow exposition of the Blessed Sacrament daily between 9 am and 9 pm. It is hoped that this will bring the parishioners and citizens of Kilkenny into closer union with the true presence of Our Lord. This phase will also include improving access to the Cathedral campus and related areas.
Phase 3 of the project will begin with some necessary structural work on the roof. In this phase also work, with the imput of many gifted people, will assist and help us to rediscover and unveil the beauty and treasures of the sacred space that is Saint Mary’s , The Cathedral of the Assumption and Church of Saint Kieran.
Much work needs to be done but we look forward to the months and years ahead with a sense of joy, hope and renewal. We also look forward to your visit where you will find not just a welcome but also a community of deep faith and warm hospitality.
Monsignor Kieron Kennedy, Adm