K&L Primary Schools Altar Cloth

Hear the story behind the creation of the Altar Cloth from separate squares from almost every primary school in the diocese of Kildare & Leighlin.

Thank you

Thank you to all the schools that contributed squares to our Altar Cloth Project.

In all, 167 of the 173 Catholic Primary schools in the diocese participated which is a tremendous response.

The finished Altar Cloth looks absolutely beautiful and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Betty Murphy who sewed it all together. Thanks also to Hazel O’Connor who cut out the squares and worked on the design for the cloth. The cloth was displayed in the Cathedral on Friday evening and all day Saturday and was much admired by all who attended the Diocesan Eucharistic Congress over the weekend.

It was such a privilege to see it being placed upon the altar at the preparation of the table to receive our gifts of bread and wine.

There is already much interest from parishes in having the altar cloth for special celebrations. If your school or parish is interested in using the altar cloth in the coming months please contact Maeve: maeve.mahon@kandle.ie or call 0599164084

A Living Memory

The Altar Cloth will become a living memory of this important year in the Irish Church. Just as people have memorabilia from the Eucharistic Congress in 1932 we hope that in the years to come our altar cloth will become part of the memory of the Eucharistic Congress 2012. We also hope that the altar cloth will become a part of celebrations of the Eucharist in our parishes and our diocese in the future. Schools and parishes will be able to request the altar cloth for their use from the diocesan office. It is envisaged that the cloth, together with a suggested prayer service, will travel around the diocese in the coming months to help schools prepare for and learn about the International Eucharistic Congress.

School’s Participation

All schools received a square of material (20cm²). Pupils and staff were asked to turn this blank square into an image of what Eucharist means to them. Where do they see their place at the table? What would they like their square to say about their understanding of coming to the Table of the Lord and sharing in the Bread of Life?

They were given the following suggestions:

  • Feel free to use your imagination.
  • Use plenty of vibrant colours
  • Use fabric paint, markers or crayons. If you decide to use a collage style please make sure that everything is well stuck using good fabric glue.
  • Include the name of your school, parish
  • Please leave a margin of 10mm around the side of the square to facilitate the sewing together of the squares from your parish.


3 Responses to “K&L Primary Schools Altar Cloth” Subscribe

  1. Betty 28 May 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    It’s almost 2 years since the first Diocesan Eucharistic Congress. I still feel so privileged to have been the one chosen to sew the Altar Cloth together.

    It was a great challenge for me. I believe on my own I couldn’t have completed it. But I prayed so much to the Holy Spirit to inspire me as there was so many dimensions to it. Sewing, painting, writing, and so on. You have to see it up close to see that I inserted several white triangle of material, and on them was written in gold, a few lines from a Gospel, or ‘The International Eucharistic Congress’ and ‘The Diocesan Eucharistic Congress Altar Cloth’ plus more.

    I felt very close to my Mother who was a dressmaker and I feel I inherited her talent. So please God in years to come, someone will say a prayer for the Betty Murphy who sewed together the Diocesan Eucharistic Congress Altar Cloth with so much love and prayers.

    Betty Murphy SFO. Carlow.

    • Mollie 11 August 2013 at 2:47 pm #


      I have just seen a photograph of your wonderful work and I couldn’t be more proud of you

      I know how much love and effort you have put into this and many other Parish projects and am delighted to know that you are forevermore part of the history of the Diocese.


  2. Maeve 29 May 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    Betty, thank you for your comment! The cloth continues to be a source of much admiration and delight for those who see and use it. It has been in many parishes in the diocese over the last 24 months and hopefully it will be used during the Ordination of Fr Denis in August. It could not have happened without your skill, determination and faith. You will certainly remain in the prayers of all who see and use this cloth for many years to come.

    Maeve Mahon

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