Confessions for First Friday after 8.30 a.m. Mass on Thursday. All other times after daily Mass or by request
Eucharistic Adoration every Wednesday 6.00 p.m.—8.00 p.m.
A parish situated in Mid West of the diocese of Kilmore surrounded by the parishes of Kilmore, Kildallan, Carrigallen & Drumreilly Upper, Moyne (Diocese of Ardagh & Clonmacnoise), Gowna (Diocese of Ardagh & Clonmacnoise), & Ballintemple. There are two towns and three churches within the parish. The principal parish church of St. Brigid is situated beside the town of Killeshandra, with the Church of the Sacred Heart in Arva town and the Church of the Immaculate Conception situated at Coronea.
Killeshandra was a dependency of the Priory of Drumlane at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century. This meant that the rectorial tithes of the parish were paid to Drumlane Priory and in turn it appointed a vicar who took care of the spiritual needs of the people. With the Dissolution of the Monasteries the possessions of Drumlane, both spiritual and temporal, passed to the Crown. In 1570 they were leased to Hugh Conallach O’Reilly for 21 years at a yearly rent of £8-14-8 and later to the Dillons. By taking leases both the O’Reillys and Dillons hoped to save the monastic lands and titles of Drumlane for the Church. In 1590 Killeshandra parish church was declared Crown property. A grant to Sir Alexander Hamilton, of Endervicke in Scotland under the Plantation of Ulster in 1610 gave him 2,000 acres in the vicinity of Killeshandra and also the advowson and right of presentation to the benefice of Killeshandra. This right was later purchased from the Hamiltons by Trinity College in 1764. In the 1610’s Killeshandra church was one of eighteen Catholic churches in Kilmore handed over to the Established Church for use as places of worship. In 1619 Killeshandra got its first Protestant minister and the Catholic church of Cill na Sean-Ratha, built in a semi-circular ‘rath’ or fort on the north eastern side of the town was re-roofed and used for Protestant worship down to 1688 when it was re-constructed on a major scale. It continued in use until 1842 when the present Protestant church was built. The ruined remains of the 1688 church still stand surrounded by a mixed cemetery at the north-east end of the town.
Fr. Edmund O’Reilly was parish priest of Killeshandra from 1784 to 1814. He had the first Church of St. Brigid built in the 1790s. Its ruined walls still stand adjacent to the present church. It served the people down to the 1860s when the present church was built by Rev. John O’Reilly, parish priest from 1853 to 1889.
The date-stone on the church gives the year of erection as 1862. The new Church of St. Brigid was opened and dedicated on 20 September 1863.
On the Feast of the Ascension, 7 June 1962, the church of St. Brigid celebrated its centenary – one hundred years of service. Special centenary celebrations were arranged by Very Rev. James Canon Sheridan, P.P. In 1977, Very Rev. Thomas Canon McCauley, P.P., undertook major internal repairs to the church which involved a new sacristy, new seating, new confessionals, interior decoration and bringing the new sanctuary into line with modern liturgical requirements.
On the 20th September 2013 the Sesquicentennial – 150th Anniversary – of the opening and dedication of St. Brigid’s was celebrated.