The 'new' altar, chair and ambo were fashioned from a back altar
that came from Portlaoise Church
In the mid 1980s (1985/1986), the church was very successfully adapted to the liturgical requirements of Vatican II by Fr. Thomas O’Reilly. Overseeing the required alterations was the architect Angel Bruton. The new altar, chair and ambo were fashioned from a back altar that had been removed from Portlaoise Church. This work was carried out by McKeon’s Stone Masons of Stradbally.
The altar railings which had been presented by D.J. ‘Sonny’ Foxe, seed merchant from Kilmeague in the 1950s, were removed and the crying room and toilets were constructed. Tarmacadam was laid in the front and side of the church and in the school car park. A great deal of this, and other work, was carried out on a voluntary basis.
Fr Daniel O'Rourke at the bronze cross
Also at this time, a bronze cross with three-leaf wings at the extremities, which had dominated the front aspect of the church for many years, was taken down and re-erected in the adjoining cemetery – without the leaf wings. This cross, which bears the following prayer, had been erected by Fr. O’Rourke in 1933:
“We adore Thee O Christ and bless Thee
because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the World.
In memory of the death of our Divine Lord.
Oh crucified Jesus have mercy on me.”
The Lourdes Grotto (donated by Catherine Dunne) and the Calvary Shrine were removed at this time also.