History - Dominicans Sligo

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The Order of Preachers were founded by St.Dominic de Guzman in 1216ad to preach the truth of the Gospel in a time when Europe was rife with the Albegensian Heresy. St.Dominic stated clearly that his Order was established for the "preaching of the Gospel and the salvation of souls". Since those days the Order has strived to preach the hope of Christ’s message in whatever situation they find themselves.
Having come to Ireland in 1224, the Dominicans came to the Sligo area in 1252. Parts of the original Abbey can still be seen today and are now a tourist feature of the town. Since their arrival in 1252 the Order has moved to different locations depending in the main on the political situation of the day. The 1630s were a time of bitter persecution. Holy Cross was reduced to ruins, the Church was used as a court-house, and the Dominicans hid in caves and woods. Over the next two hundred years are so the Dominicans continued to live in and around the Sligo area.
The present location of Holy Cross Priory, or "friary" as it is known by the local people, one of the smaller communities of Dominicans in Ireland, was re-established in on 6th January 1848. Though the Church was opened and dedicated on that date, the Community continued to live in Pound Street for another 20 years. A new Priory attached to the Church was opened in 1865. They are situated in the centre of Sligo town. This Church would remain the place of Dominican celebration of the faith until the final Mass was celebrated in the old Church on 12th May 1971. The old Church was demolished (the former apse with its mosaics was left standing) and the new present Church was opened and dedicated on 13th May 1973.
Holy Cross is the only Church run by religious priests in the Diocese of Elphin. Along with the celebration of Masses, particular emphasis is placed on the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

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