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150th Anniversary of St Eugene's Cathedral

St Eugene's Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Diocese of Derry, which stretches from Malin head to Omagh, and from Killygordon to Bellaghy. It was opened and dedicated on May 4th 1873. The foundation stone of the Cathedral had been laid in 1851. It took twenty two years to build.

The first Mass was celebrated on the morning of May 4th 1873. Over the next 150 years many generations of people have celebrated their faith in the Cathedral. St Eugene's is also the parish Church of Templemore. It has been where so many significant moments in people's lives have been celebrated and where many people come every day to pray. 

2023 sees the 150th anniversary of the Cathedral. To mark the occasion, there will be a Mass on Sunday, 30th April at 3:00pm, celebrated by Bishop of Derry, Donal McKeown. At this Mass Bishop McKeown will be wearing a new chasuble (vestment) that has been specially made for the occasion. The chasuble has been designed and created by Marie Horton, a former shirt factory worker to remember and celebrate the women of Derry who worked for so many years in the shirt factory industry. The name of every shirt factory in Derry as well as an image of the Rosemount Factory, in the Cathedral parish, is embroidered onto the vestment. There are also other images marking the shirt making industry, including a cross made from shirt material.

At the end of this Mass every parish in the diocese of Derry will be presented with two oak trees.

To also celebrate the 150th Anniversary, a new statue has been commissioned for the Cathedral, of Blessed Carlo Acutis. Italian teenager Carlo, was born on May 3rd 1991. A gamer and computer programmer who loved soccer, he had a deep faith, especially in the Eucharist and the Rosary. As a teenager, Carlo was diagnosed with leukemia. He offered his sufferings for Pope Benedict XVI and for the Church, saying: "I offer all the suffering I will have to suffer for the Lord, for the Pope, and the Church."

He died on October 12th 2006, and at his request was buried in Assisi, because of his love for St. Francis of Assisi. Carlo was beatified in Rome on October 10th 2020. He is a powerful example of faith for young people. Having Carlo's statue in the Cathedral is an encouragement to make the Cathedral a place for young people to pray.

The statue was carved in Italy in the factory of Ferdinard Stuflesser. Carlo's mother Antonia, has gifted the Cathedral a lock of his hair which will be displayed beside the statue. Bishop McKeown will bless the statue of Carlo at 10.00am Mass on Wednesday, 3rd May, Carlo's birthday.

On the 150th Anniversary Day itself, May 4th 2023, Bishop McKeown will celebrate the 7.30pm evening Mass. Our very own native Dana, will sing her new song dedicated to St Patrick at that Mass.

Everyone is welcome to come to all the Masses to celebrate this wonderful anniversary. People are also invited to visit the Cathedral for quiet prayer too.

Mark the dates:

Sunday, 30th April at 3:00pm - Diocesan 150th Anniversary Mass
Wednesday, 3rd May at 10:00am - Blessing of Blessed Carlo Acutis statue

Thursday, 4th May at 7:30pm - Parish 150th Anniversary Mass 

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Diocesan Offices
St Eugene’s Cathedral
Francis Street, Derry
BT48 9AP

Tel: 028 7126 2302

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