Plans got underway to build a new church to cater for the growing population of Tralee in the mid-sixties. Rev. Peter Scott C.C. was appointed to establish a fund raising organisation which raised £88,000. A three quarter acre site was purchased from Miss Joanie O'Connell of Upper Rock Street, Tralee for £4,000.
Local architect Mr. Dan Kennedy was appointed to design a suitable place of worship for 950 people close to the altar. Fitzgerald Brothers were appointed builders to undertake the work. Whilst the estimated cost was £90,000 this increased to £114,000 due to higher wages and material costs.
FEATURES OF THE CHURCH
The design of the church is basically rectangular in shape with the main entrance and the altar at diagonally opposite corners. The ceiling is of Columbian Pine with inlaid lighting. The roof is made from prefabricated copper.
The simple granite altar was fittingly designed as a table of sacrifice by Ray Carroll of Dublin and was sculpted by Paddy Rowe. The blue carpet symbolises Our lady and the sea which is associated with St. Brendan.
The Reredos was added when further refurbishment was done in 1996. The painting and the banners on either side and behind the altar are the work of renowned artist Vicky Crowley. It is taked from the Book of Exodus. It illustrates the parting of the waters of the Red Sea.
The tabernacle door depicts a group of people hungering for The Bread of Life. The background is the biblical pillar of fire.
The main crucifix is beaten copper and the work of Benedict Tutty
The Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help
This is on the left as you face the altar. The icon shows the Virgin Mother of God, the Christ Child and the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. The Virgin holds the child in her left hand, while her right hand hold the hand of Jesus. One of his sandals is loose perhaps caused by the vision of the passion represented by the nails in the hands of the Arch Angel Gabriel. Archangel Michael presents him with the other instruments of the Passion, lance, pole with a sponge, and a vessel containing vinegar.
The Icon of St. Brendan
The icon depicts the life of St. Brendan, patron Saint of our Diocese and secondary patron of the Parish of Our Lady and St. Brendan. It is the work of Sr. Aloysius Mc Veigh from Derry. An icon is not merely a holy picture, a work of art, a mere representation or religious decoration. It is primarily an inspiration of the Holy Spirit, a symbol evokes our imagination and links us to the person and events it portrays. By its solemn consecration by Most Rev. William Murphy, Bishop of our Diocese, it has become a sacramental, vessel of grace, a presence and fruitful source of blessings for all. The icon was donated to our parish by the Sisters of Mercy, Balloonagh Convent, Tralee, Co. Kerry.
Statue of Our Lady of Peace
This statue is regarded as a fine work of art. It shows Our lady with a distinctly irish face holding in her hands two symbols of peace--a flower and a dove. She is standing on a tree trunk. The artist means to represent life and growth. The statue is beaten in copper by Imogen Stuart. It was commissioned by Mons. Bob Murphy about 1975. It was moved to its present position during the renovations and is a place of prayer and devotion for all who visit our church.
Stained Glass Windows
Pairs of narrow elongated single paned windows reaching to the floor provide a diffuse but adequate light to the interior. The coloured widows overhead were made and designed by Murphy & Devitt of Dublin. On the windows over the main entrance are depicted St. Brendan and Our Lady.
It was constructed in 1996. The most important element in the baptistry is the water itself, bubbling up as 'living water' and overflowing into a second baptismal font. The water can overflow from this into a large pool.
The MAKIN MB-338 organ is a digital computerised instrument and the actual sounds are samples from the great organs of Europe. All the stops are genuine pipe organ digitally recorded samples. In effect one is listening to a digital recording of actual organ pipes. The case depicts the Brendan Voyage.
We hope you have enjoyed this little tour of our Church and thank you for your interest.