No.1894 ~ FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
CHRISTMAS MASSES 2021
17 Christmas Masses have been arranged in Ballinascreen and Desertmartin. To maintain social distancing there must be a limit on how many can attend each Mass. It is therefore ESSENTIAL that you BOOK ONLINE and follow all the booking instructions. There are still some spaces available for the Christmas Masses on Sunday 26 December, the Feast of the Holy Family.
You may book for and attend only ONE MASS over these three days.
CHRISTMAS EVE ~ FRIDAY 24
St Patrick’s Sixtowns ~ 3.00 pm
St Columba’s Straw ~ 3.00 pm
St Eugene’s Moneyneena ~ 5.00 pm
St Mary’s Coolcalm ~ 5.00 pm
Holy Rosary ~ 7.00 pm
St Patrick’s Keenaught ~ 7.00 pm
CHRISTMAS DAY ~ SATURDAY 25
St Columba’s Straw ~ 9.00 am
St Mary’s Coolcalm ~ 10.00 am
St Patrick’s Sixtowns ~ 11.00 am
St Eugene’s Moneyneena 11.00 am
Holy Rosary ~ 12 noon
St Patrick’s Keenaught ~ 12 .30 pm
FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY ~ SUNDAY 26
St Columba’s Straw~ 9.00 am
St Mary’s Coolcalm:~ 10.00 am
St Patrick’s Sixtowns ~ 11.00 am
St Eugene’s Moneyneena: ~11.00 am
Holy Rosary ~ 12 noon
A valid email address and contact number MUST be provided when booking
To make a booking please visit your parish website:
DAILY MASS TIMES
Holy Rosary Church
Monday and Wednesday ~ 11.00 am
St Mary’s Coolcalm
Tuesday and Thursday ~ 11.00 am
NB See above for Christmas Mass times for Friday, Saturday and Sunday
All Masses in the Holy Rosary Church are transmitted live on the Ballinascreen parish webcam:
All Masses in St Mary’s Coolcalm are transmitted live on the Desertmartin parish webcam:
PARISH CONTACT DETAILS
Fr. Peter Madden PP VF
31 Sixtowns Road
Fr Dermot McGirr CC
50 Tobermore Road, Desertmartin
Fr John Downey Priest In Residence
36 Moneyneena Rd
9 High Street Phone: (028)79628248
Open Monday and Tuesday from 9.00 am until 3.00 pm
NOTICES FOR THE BULLETIN
Notices for the Bulletin should be received by 1.00 pm on Wednesday email@example.com
Bulletins are presently only available:
Online at www.parishofballinascreen.com
On the noticeboard inside the front porch of Holy Rosary Church.
Helpline telephone number: 07710838050
BALLINASCREEN COMMUNITY SUPPORT GROUP
Please click the link https://www.parishofballinascreen.com/ballinascreen-community-support-gro for full details of Ballinascreen Community Support Group.
FEASTS OF THE WEEK
Tuesday 21: St Peter Canisius, priest and doctor of the Church.
Thursday 23: St John of Kanty, priest.
Saturday 25: The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
WEEKDAY MASSES & CHRISTMAS MASSES 2021
Masses this week, including the Masses for Christmas are detailed at the top of this bulletin.
MESSAGE FROM BISHOP McKEOWN ~ COVID 19 - OMICRON VARIANT
Bishop McKeown, having received the most recent scientific and medical advice, has written to all parishes to reinforce the following safety points to ensure that our churches remain as safe environments as possible.
All Church events must continue to be risk assessed.
Face coverings be worn, not just for entering and leaving the church, but also when seated. This is winter, but ventilation is still vital and social distancing is critical, both in the church and when entering or leaving.
The routine celebration of the Sacrament of Confession should not take place in the current circumstances.
Holy Communion should not be distributed on the tongue. A right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue is not an absolute right and, at the moment, must be restricted for the protection of human life, a key part of the church’s pro-life stance.
NEXT PARISH ANNIVERSARY MASS
As Friday next is Christmas Eve there will be NO Anniversary Mass on this date. The next Parish Anniversary Mass will be on Friday 31 December. If you wish to have a deceased loved one prayed for at this Mass on 31 December 31 please email their name to the Parish Office.
We extend our prayerful sympathy to the family and relatives of:
Paddy Leyden, Tonagh Road;
Thomas John McLoughlin, Drummullan.
Pat J Molloy,
We welcome into God’s family through the Sacrament of Baptism:
Sienna Mary Sargent, Cavanreagh Road,
Shea Anthony O'Kane, Tirruadh Square.
SVP ANNUAL APPEAL - NOTE OF THANKS
Ballinascreen and Desertmartin SVP acknowledge with sincere thanks the many generous donations recently received for their Annual Christmas Appeal. Further donations are welcome, please place your donation in an envelope and mark it SVP. Donations may be placed in the collection box at Mass or left in the Parish Offices or Parochial Houses. Thank you
TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS DRAW 2021
Desertmartin Parish is having a CHRISTMAS DRAW once again this year. There will be draws every day of the 12 days between Christmas Day and Wednesday 5 January 2022. Everyone’s ticket will be in for ALL the draws, which means you have 33 chances to win prizes. Total prize fund is £5,000.
TICKETS are £20 each, available from:
Coolcalm and Keenaught Churches before and after Mass,
Ballinascreen and Desertmartin Parish Offices
Fr. McGirr, Parochial House, 50 Tobermore Road.
Heron’s Gift Shop, Draperstown
Moneyneena Post Office.
A ticket would make a nice Christmas gift to send inside your Christmas cards to members of your family and friends this Christmastime.
If anyone would like a ticket posted to them, please contact Fr. McGirr on 028 79632196 or
On the first 10 days there will be 3 prizes each day of £100.
On the 11th day the draw will be for 2 prizes of £500 and
On the 12th and last Day of Christmas there will be one final prize of £1,000.
Please let your family and friends know about our special Christmas Draw.
Thank you for your generous support of the Draw last Christmas. Good luck to everyone who enters the Twelve Days of Christmas Draw.
PILGRIMAGE TO MEDJUGORJE 2022
Seven Night Pilgrimage to Medjugorje will take place 21 – 28 May 2022. Spiritual Director Fr. Séamus Kelly. Bed/Breakfast and dinner. Price £655 (includes insurance). Offer of Special Price for early booking: £605 – if paid before 20 December 2021. Money must be paid in full. Flight from Belfast. Contact Martina for more details, phone 77741219.
A Family Prayer Booklet, for family prayer at home during Advent, has been been created by the diocese in conjunction with the Northern Pastoral Network. The booklet contains a Gospel reading for each Sunday of Advent, a family activity, prayers and a reflection. It can be downloaded at https://www.derrydiocese.org/advent
PARISH ANNIVERSARY AND MONTH’S MIND MASSES
If parishioners wish to have their loved one prayed for at any Anniversary Friday Mass, you MUST please emailtheir name to Ballinascreen Parish Office by 12 noon on Thursday of the relevant week. e mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE NOTE: First Anniversary and Month's Mind notices should be received the previous week in order for them to be placed in the Bulletin the weekend before the Friday Anniversary Mass.
HEALTH AND SAFETY NOTICE
Due to ongoing Covid 19 restrictions and the very great need for us to maintain social distance inside buildings, we remind you that only family members of those being remembered attend the Parish Anniversary Masses.
Please remain at home and follow the Mass on the parish webcam. As Covid numbers continue to be a cause for concern, there are only a limited number of seats available. Families remembering the Month’s Mind of a loved one or a First Anniversary must have precedence until the pandemic is over.
At Bishop McKeown’s request, those attending any mass or service in our churches must wear a face mask.
Thank you for your cooperation on these important matters.
Sincere thanks to all who have returned parish envelopes, established standing orders, made online payments or used the ‘Donate’ button on Parish Website. Envelopes may be returned at any parish Mass, to Parish Office or any Parochial House.
Thank you for your generous support which is greatly appreciated.
CHILDREN IN CROSSFIRE 2021 ADVENT APPEAL
Envelopes containing details of the tremendous work carried out by Children in Crossfire, particularly in Ethiopia are available in all Church porches. Please take one home, details of how to support their vital work to save children’s lives are also provided in these envelopes. Thank you.
THE NET DECEMBER 2021
For coverage of faith stories please email email@example.com
Coverage in this edition includes:
• Christmas message from Bishop Donal
• World Youth Day at home
• Long Tower celebrations for St Columba • Children’s digital book on St Colmcille
• Answering God’s call to youth ministry –
• Reflection on St Joseph
• Christmas Novena to Divine Child
• Trócaire’s Gifts of Love
• Support for pro-life vigil
• Belfast Rosary of Reparation
• Is Sr Clare Crockett a saint? – Part II
• Irish section by Fr Oliver Crilly
• December Blessed Brunch & Books
• Children’s Catechism Club – C3
• Saints we celebrate during December
• Gifting talents to parish family
Comments from across the Diocese:
Young writers share thoughts on .. Preparing for Christmas
Gratitude for faith passed on
Caring for others less fortunate
Synodality is about seeking together to discover God’s way forward in a new time and place.
This is not just a time of change but a change of time.
It is about learning to journey in hope from the great figures of the Advent liturgy: Isaiah, John the Baptist, Mary and Joseph.
We are a pilgrim people, following the voice of God who calls us one step at a time.
We are moving beyond a Church where everything depends on ‘Father’.
Pope Francis has asked us to rediscover the Advent spirit of leaving our secure base and trusting that the Lord will guide our feet into the way of peace.
We aim to have a time of local listening to one another in January/February, building towards a diocesan submission to an Irish national response.
All national responses will be considered by the Vatican and a Working Document sent back for local reflection and comment in late 2022 – building towards the Synod of Bishops’ meeting in October 2023, and beyond.
This is the beginning of a new way of being Church. It is not just a passing initiative. It is facing the future together, open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Advent is not just a season of the year. It is a permanent part of our identity as Church.
MARY’S MEALS ~ GIFT CARDS
Mary’s Meals are now bringing joy to over 2 million children with a daily meal in the children’s places of education. Their Double the Love Campaign runs until 31 January 2022, all donations up to a total of £1.6 million will be matched by a generous group of private donors. Every little act of love will go that little bit further during this period to help them reach the next child waiting, so please consider supporting this campaign and praying for its success. There are many ways to get involved including choosing a Mary’s Meals gift card or setting a place at their Big Family Christmas table- find out more at www.marysmeals.org.ukor phone 0800 6981212.
PRAYER FOR THE SYNOD
We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your name.
With You alone to guide us, make Yourself at home in our hearts; Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it.
We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder. Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions.
Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life and not stray from the way of truth and what is right.
All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time, in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever. Amen.
THE SYNOD PRAYER ~ IRISH TRANSLATION (Paidir an tSionaid)
Seasaimid i Do láthairse, a Spioraid Naoimh,
agus muid ag teacht le chéile i D’ainm
Agus Tusa amháin mar threoraí againn
socraigh Tú féin síos inár gcroíthe;
Múin dúinn an tslí a chaithfimid dul
agus conas is féidir linn leanúint di.
Táimid lag agus claonta chun peaca;
ná lig dúinn ainriail a chur chun cinn.
Ná lig don aineolas sinn a chur amú,
ná don chlaonpháirtíocht ár ngníomhartha a mhúnlú.
Lig dúinn teacht Ort inár n-aontacht
chun go dtriallfaimid le chéile chun na beatha síoraí
gan dul ar strae ó bhealach na fírinne ná ón cheart.
Iarraimid é seo uile Ort,
Tusa a bhíonn ag obair de shíor agus i ngach uile áit,
i gcomaoin an Athar agus an Mhic,
trí shaol na saol.
To learn more about the Synodal Pathway for the Catholic Church in Ireland please visit:
To learn more about the worldwide Synod please visit: https://www.synod.va/en.html
Please say each day in your prayers the following prayer for the success of the Synodal Process which is both old and new.
YEAR OF ST JOSEPH
We invite you to come to the Shrine of St Joseph in Holy Rosary Church and to place written petitions to St Joseph in the box provided. Please do not put money in your petition envelopes as all petitions will be burned unopened.
REGULATIONS FOR ATTENDANCE AT RELIGIOUS SERVICES
Since Monday 12 April, regulations on the number of people attending weddings, funerals and baptisms have been relaxed, so the following arrangements are now in place in Ballinascreen and Desertmartin parishes. All churches have been risked assessed and the number of places determined for each church is as follows:
Holy Rosary: 100
St Columbna’s, Straw: 100
St Eugene’s, Moneyneena: 100
St Patrick’s, Sixtowns: 50
St Mary’s, Coolcalm: 60
St Patrick’s, Keenaught: 100
These numbers do not include priests, sacristans, or musicians as they have already designated places.
While extra places are now available, we ask that families be mindful of those who are vulnerable, even if they have been vaccinated. Social distancing and hand sanitising are necessary requirements inside the church but a lack of social distancing outside the church and elsewhere is a potential danger that should not be lightly ignored. Many outbreaks of Covid 19 have occurred when large numbers have gathered in homes and other places where the protocols have not been followed.
Track and trace is obligatory at all weddings, funerals and baptisms. Families will be provided with a template on which all names and contact details of those attending a wedding, funeral or baptism must be recorded and once completed returned to the relevant Parish Office.
As well as providing a Track and Trace contact sheet, couples will receive a plan of the church where their wedding will take place so that they can prepare their own church seating plan. This plan will then assist the church stewards to direct guests to their designated seats as they arrive. The plan must be received by the Parish Office three days before the date of the wedding. For the distribution of Holy Communion, guests will be asked to stand in their place and the priest or Eucharistic Minister will distribute Holy Communion to them. Masks must be worn by all attending the wedding. The bridal party, with the exception of the bride and groom, must wear masks when they are in their place.
Unlike a wedding where there is plenty of time to prepare a church seating plan, families will receive specially printed admittance cards and families may distribute these cards as they wish. These cards MUST be shown at the door of the church to one of the stewards. Please do not ask to be admitted into the church if you have not been given one of these cards. Families are requested to adhere to social distancing inside the church, and so sit in their ‘bubbles’ of two, three or more. Occasionally, stewards may have to respectfully request mourners to move to another seat to ensure proper social distancing is maintained. For the distribution of Holy Communion, mourners will be asked to stand in their place and the priest or Eucharistic Minister will distribute Holy Communion to them.
Face masks must be worn by everyone. A track and trace contact sheet must be completed the day before the funeral.
PRAYERS FOR OUR PROTECTION
The Irish Catholic Bishops have asked for prayers for those affected by the Coronavirus. Placing all our trust in the Lord, and asking Our Lady to intercede for us, the bishops invite everyone to pray these prayers:
EXTRACT FROM SAINT PATRICK’S BREASTPLATE
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to you,
O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer. Amen