Tributes paid to popular Stewartstown priest

Father Aloysius MacCourt
Father Aloysius MacCourt

Hundreds of mourners turned out on Saturday to pay their respects to popular Stewartstown priest Father Aloysius MacCourt who passed away last week.

Father MacCourt, was curate in the Parish of Ballyclog and Donaghenry from 2002, and was born and raised in Dungannon.

Funeral mass for the 82-year-old took place on Saturday (February 22) in St Mary’s Church Stewartstown with burial afterwards in adjoining cemetery.

Father MacCourt was ordained on June 2nd 1985 in St Patrick’s Church, Dungannon and served in a total of seven parishes throughout his life.

He was Curate in Ardboe Parish from his ordination in 1985 to 1987, he then moved to Moy where he served from 1987 to 1991. In the 90’s he served as Curate in the Parishes of Cullyhanna, Cloghogue, Middle Killeavy and Loughgall before moving to Stewartstown in 2002.

Speaking at the requiem mass for Father MacCourt, Dean Colum Curry said he was a ‘patriarchal figure’ who will not be forgotten,

He said: “His influence will live on for some people in a very personal way because of his pastoral care; for others it’s the memory of his cheerful greeting and his lively humour and for some it might be the recollection of a sharp remark or a challenging comment. I’m sure we will hold those memories long into the future as we recall his presence among us in story and in prayer.

“Here in Stewartstown he was something of a patriarchal figure, the centre piece of the community, the one who was very much at home among the people he loved.”