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Group of young priests band together to buy a church in Limerick

The Church of the Sacred Heart Crescent in Limerick had lain empty for six years after a developer bought and – subsequently -abandoned it.

Image: www.institute-christ-king.ie via Creative Commons/Flickr

A GROUP OF young priests have banded together to buy a church in Limerick that had stood empty for six years after a developer had bought and subsequently abandoned it.

The Church of the Sacred Heart Crescent in Limerick, also known as the Jesuit Church after its first builders and long-term occupants, has been purchased by a group of priests called the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

The group said they decided to buy the church and adjacent building because it had been vacant for six years and was in danger of falling into ruin. The Institute said many people from Limerick and other parts of the country had helped them in bringing the Church of the Sacred Heart and its residence “back to life”.

A young community of members will soon move into the attached residence, which is currently in a “rather poor” condition, and use the church itself as their chapel for a time.

The Institute of Christ the King has had a residence in the diocese since 2009, with the permission of the Bishop of Limerick, and offers Mass every Sunday in the Extraordinary Form at St Patrick’s Church, as well as a few other neighbouring dioceses.
The Institute is a Roman-Catholic Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right in canonical form, which was founded in 1990 and currently has 64 members.

The group says it intends to restore the church and once more make it a place for worship and community life, but that careful historical restoration work will have to be completed before the building can be open to the public once again.

Spokesperson for the Institute Canon Lebocq said:

This beautiful church at the Crescent is still today a special architectural jewel, and many deplored its closing and long-term vacancy.  The Institute of Christ the King, which has a special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, truly desires to reopen this church for the benefit of all, in close collaboration with the local civil and ecclesiastical authorities. In this way, yet another sign of a brighter future will again come alive in Limerick.

Those who would like to know more about this project can find further information at www.institute-christ-king.ie or by visiting the community at the Crescent.

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