Diocese of Kilfenora
Deoise Chill Fhionnúrach
St. Fachtnan was said to have founded a church in Kilfenora in the
However it was when the synod of Rathbreasail snubbed the claims for diocesan status by Kilfenora in 1111 that the O’Connors and the O’Loughlens came together.
It was their desire to remain aloof of the diocese of Killaloe which was very much under the patronage of the O’Briens. It was the O’Briens who had burned Kilfenora Abbey and its inhabitants in 1055.
In a show of determination to press its claims, some of the finest stonework bequeathed to us from the period, was produced. Seven carved stone crosses are associated with Kilfenora from this era, all survive with one removed to St. Flannan’s Cathedral in Killaloe.
The Burren actually had more churches per parish in the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries than anywhere else in Ireland. Some of its medieval churches were decorated by a fine school of twelfth century sculptors specialising in stylised human heads.
Kilfenora Cathedral was a focal point, with its present structure
dating from the late twelfth century.
At the Synod of Kells in 1152 Kilfenora did indeed prevail and win diocesan status and the beautiful Doorty Cross would seem to commemorate this event.
The Diocesan Seal consists of the Crosier of the HCCI upon which is placed the rose which symbolises Kilfenora - both presented on a blue shield, the colour which symbolises our Blessed Mother Mary, to whose care the diocese is entrusted.