Sts. Peter and Paul
Ballon/ Rathoe Parish
Fr. Jim O’Connell, Adm. 086-810 2675. 059-9180641
Fr. E. Whelan PE.
Parish Office: The Old School. Open Tuesday to Thursday 10am – 1pm
For Catholic Newsletter Items
Ballon Rathoe Parish Office, The Old School, Ballon
087- 421 3030
The history of this church is scant. According to John Duffy in his excellent book, ‘The Churches of Kildare & Leighlin, 2000 AD’ the following is given. The original rectangular church was built in stages from 1714 to 1731 during Penal Times and was thatched; it consisted of the present two side – aisles. The walls in the present church are built with granite from Ballon Hill. The stone is very hard and has a green tint. Now cruciform, the church’s long aisle was built by Rev. John Kehoe P.P; in the 1870’s. He also roofed the church with slates. A bust of Fr. Kehoe is placed in the main aisle. In October 1901 the new High Altar was consecrated by Bishop Patrick Foley in memory of Fr. P.F. Nolan P.P. Atop the four gables are four granite crosses, each one a different style. Internal refurbishing took place 1977 – 1978, with further renovations in 1996 – 1997. Some additional notes have been made available from Nancy Abbey, of Ballon Hill,from her childhood copy book. The entrance to the original church was on the hill side and the door is where the vestry is now. It is the only church still in use in the Diocese since the Penal days apart from Duiske Abbey. In 1873 Fr. Kinsella left £2000 in his will to start a Christian Brothers School. This didn’t materialise as there was no resident priest in Ballon and therefore they couldn’t have Mass every day. Within the graveyard stands a small portion of the walls of a church. A tombstone inside this ruin marks the grave of a person named Byrne who died in 1708. This is said to be the grave of a priest. There was a Mass house built in Ballon since the first year of the reign of George 1st in 1714 and it was located somewhere around the position of the present Confessional Box.
Pope John Paul 11 Medalist
Fr, Howard PP presents the Pope John Paul medal to John Donohoe from Sraugh, Ballon, 22/2/15
Seen here with his parents and Kathleen Condron, Sacristan
Confirmation was held for 5th and 5th class and our new Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin , Most Rev. Dr. Denis Nulty
Sacristan Kathleen took the opportunity to get some of the first pictures with the new bishop.
The following link is of the Group Picture
Pope John Paul 11 Medalists
The Congress Niche