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Around the year 1850, the villages of Ligoniel and Wolfhill were in St. Patrick's Parish. The parishioners had to walk from this area into the city centre for Mass, no matter the weather! These mountain people were hardy and full of faith.
In 1851 the Society of St Vincent de Paul bought a site in Ligoniel, and the next year constructed a school at the cost of £370. A lot of money in the mid 1800's! Thirteen years late, the Bishop of the Diocese had this school building converted to a church, and the Parish of Saint Vincent de Paul was born!
Belfast was expanding a lot in those days. The flax mill was coming to its strength by developing the work force of North Belfast. Within a short while Ligoniel Road was known as Tram Routes 15 and 16 from Castle Junction; Ligoniel was a hive of activity with more owrk than the inhabitants could handle so they bussed people in morning, noon and night.
Connected with this expansion was the introduction of the Cross and Passion Religious Order to nearby Ardoyne. At the time, this was the only Religious Order in Ireland to have a parish. Full Parish status, however, was soon granted to Ligoniel in 1891.
In 1894 Canon McDonnell & the Bishop of Down and Connor, Dr Henry, bought a new site further down the Ligoniel Rd and on this spot arose the present Church, school (now the boxing club) and parochial house. The Church was dedicated on 12th January 1898 by Dr Henry. Since then, an inside porch and the Lourdes grotto have been added.