St. Joseph's Catholic Church
St. Joseph's is the Catholic Church serving Bromyard and the surrounding area.
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‘Pax Intrantibus’ (Peace to all who come in)
In 1908 Father Denys Matthieu, a French Benedictine Monk, came to Bromyard, having been twenty years at Buckfast Abbey. He was a very accomplished, resourceful Monk, a splendid linguist, proficient painter in oils, made all his own clothes, vestments and even his sabots. There was no Catholic Church in Bromyard at that time, Mass was celebrated in the homes of local Catholics.
Father Denys set about building a Church and a site in Frog Lane was chosen. It involved much hard work and combined effort. Father Denys gave lessons in French and Painting to help purchase building materials. He himself designed the Church, and building was begun in 1913.
On Easter Day 1914 Mass and Benediction were celebrated in the new Church, dedicated to Saint Joseph. Later a room was added to the back where Whist Drives were held to raise funds.
The first wedding recorded in the Marriage Register was that of Terence James MacSwiney to Muriel Murphy in June 1917. McSwiney was a founder member of the IRA and one time Lord Mayor of Cork. Tradition has it that on arrival at the Church from Worcester Gaol, flanked by Prison Officers, he threw off his great-coat to reveal full IRA uniform.
Father Denys Matthieu retired in 1932. He died in 1935 and was buried at Belmont Abbey.
In 1947 Father Brislane came as Parish Priest. His continued efforts and the full co-operation of Parishioners provided the present Church and Presbytery in Old Road, for which he raised funds largely by the sale of second hand clothes and waste materials for which he advertised regularly in the Catholic Press. The first Mass was the Midnight Mass at Christmas 1956.
Father Brislane died in 1963 and is buried in the local Cemetery.