St Vincent de Paul Church, Eoligarry

Our church at Eoligarry is dedicated to St Vincent de Paul.  His followers, the Lazarists, were important missionaries to Barra during the penal times.  Vigil Mass is celebrated at Eoligarry on Saturday afternoon at 6pm. Mary Ceit MacKinnon writes…. In 1963 the building of St. Vincent’s church at Eoligarry was completed and, shortly afterwards, it was consecrated by the Rev. Stephen MacGill, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles.  The community of Eoligarry  were truly grateful that the church that they had spoken about for many years was completed and standing proudly in what had once been the garden of Eoligarry House. In 1959 fund raising had been suggested by Father Archie Mac Master, parish priest at Northbay, who also served the Eoligarry  community.  Plans were drawn up by Charles Grey of Edinburgh and by 1962 sufficient money had been accumulated and the building work commenced

Servers bow their heads as Canon MacQueen gives the Benediction at the ancient site of Kilbarr at Eoligarry on the Feast of Corpus Christi 2007

. The Eoligarry community had been established about 1920 following several land raids when Eoligarry farm had been seized and houses erected by landless cottars desperate for land.  Father Joseph Gillies was parish priest at Northbay at this time and he travelled on horseback to visit his new parishioners. On Sundays the Eoligarry people attended Mass at Northbay. Some walked, others arrived on horseback whilst the elderly travelled in small carts. In 1934 Eoligarry school opened and following this a classroom was used for the celebration of Mass on alternate Sundays.  In the early 1940’s Father Dominic MacKellaig, Parish Priest at Northbay,  petitioned the Bishop that the Diocese should purchase the vacant Eoligarry House that was rapidly falling into ruin for the purpose of using it as a church.  This was eventually done and Mass was celebrated there every Sunday.  This continued  until the present church was built in the 1960s. The church is situated near the ancient celtic site of St Barr.