Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Patrick, Oldham - Roman Catholic
Union St West,
The original chapel in Foundry Street had been bought by Fr. Conway in 1858. In 1862 Fr. Cardinael was made first Rector of the parish. In 1868 Fr. Richard Brindle was appointed and soon began to undertake the building of a new church on land provided by a recent convert, John Lees Ainsworth. The church was at the time in the deanery of St. Patrick's, Manchester, and in the absence of the Bishop Canon Cantwell laid the foundation stone on Easter Monday, 1869. Canon Toole of St. Wilfrid's preached. The whole gathering was very representative of the diocese in the past century; among those present were Provost Croskell, Canon Carter of Bolton, Fr. Ed. O'Neill, Fr. Beswick, Fr. Beesley, Fr. Wrennall, Fr. Boulaye-all men of distinction. When the church was opened in 1870 the Rev. Charles Boardman, S.J., later Rector of Longridge, preached. Thus St. Patrick's was launched on its great career.
For 26 years Fr. Brindle worked in this mission and set it firmly in place. In 1886 he was made Dean of the Oldham Conference. When he died in 1894 his loss was felt by all. "His whole life had been one of tenderness and charity. He was ever willing to sacrifice himself for his people. Night or day, sick or well himself, in all kinds of weather, he was always ready even to risk life itself to attend to a sick call from any of his parishioners."
He was followed by Fr. Thomas O'Callaghan, who had been doing good work at Greenacres. He was faced with the task of building new schools and had to contract a debt of £11,000. He raised much of the money by bazaars. In 1906 he undertook the complete restoration of the church, doing the work so thoroughly that a new floor and new seating were put in-a new church except for the shell of the building. It was opened in 1907 with High Mass sung by Canon Tynan, and Bishop Casartelli preached.
One of several inscriptions on marble in the church may be quoted:
died December 28, 1866, aged 63 For many years he held the office of High Constable and Councillor of Oldham with credit and Honour to Himself and to the Burgesses. He was kind to the poor especially to those of the household of the Faith, and the Catholics of Oldham are much indebted to him for the munificence to their Church and his donation to their school.
In more recent times St. Patrick's has been under the rectorship of Mgr. Francis Canon Nugent, Vicar-General, Canon Michael McGrath, and Canon Michael Fitzgerald.
Taken from "Salford Diocese and its Catholic past", a survey by Charles A. Bolton, a Priest of the above Diocese. Published 1950 on the First Centenary for the Diocese of Salford.
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