Mass Sunday May 3rd

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Fr Denis will celebrate Mass on Sunday May 3rd @ 10.30 am.  Mass will be offered for the intentions of everyone in the parish of Balla, Belcarra, Clogher, Manulla and Mayo Abbey.  Included in the Mass intentions will be all frontline staff and other people working to look after us all during this time.

Mass will be broadcast from Castlebar here at 10.30 am.


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to the Faithful for the Month of May 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The month of May is approaching, a time when the People of God express with particular intensity their love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is traditional in this month to pray the Rosary at home within the family. The restrictions of the pandemic have made us come to appreciate all the more this “family” aspect, also from a spiritual point of view.

For this reason, I want to encourage everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May. This can be done either as a group or individually; you can decide according to your own situations, making the most of both opportunities. The key to doing this is always simplicity, and it is easy also on the internet to find good models of prayers to follow.

I am also providing two prayers to Our Lady that you can recite at the end of the Rosary, and that I myself will pray in the month of May, in spiritual union with all of you. I include them with this letter so that they are available to everyone.

Dear brothers and sisters, contemplating the face of Christ with the heart of Mary our Mother will make us even more united as a spiritual family and will help us overcome this time of trial. I keep all of you in my prayers, especially those suffering most greatly, and I ask you, please, to pray for me. I thank you, and with great affection I send you my blessing.

Rome, Saint John Lateran, 25 April 2020 Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist




 “We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God”.

In the present tragic situation, when the whole world is prey to suffering and anxiety, we fly to you, Mother of God and our Mother, and seek refuge under your protection.

Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes towards us amid this coronavirus pandemic. Comfort those who are distraught and mourn their loved ones who have died, and at times are buried in a way that grieves them deeply. Be close to those who are concerned for their loved ones who are sick and who, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, cannot be close to them. Fill with hope those who are troubled by the uncertainty of the future and the consequences for the economy and employment.

Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us to God, the Father of mercies, that this great suffering may end and that hope and peace may dawn anew. Plead with your divine Son, as you did at Cana, so that the families of the sick and the victims be comforted, and their hearts be opened to confidence and trust.

Protect those doctors, nurses, health workers and volunteers who are on the frontline of this emergency, and are risking their lives to save others. Support their heroic effort and grant them strength, generosity and continued health.

Be close to those who assist the sick night and day, and to priests who, in their pastoral concern and fidelity to the Gospel, are trying to help and support everyone.

Blessed Virgin, illumine the minds of men and women engaged in scientific research, that they may find effective solutions to overcome this virus.

Support national leaders, that with wisdom, solicitude and generosity they may come to the aid of those lacking the basic necessities of life and may devise social and economic solutions inspired by farsightedness and solidarity.

Mary Most Holy, stir our consciences, so that the enormous funds invested in developing and stockpiling arms will instead be spent on promoting effective research on how to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

Beloved Mother, help us realise that we are all members of one great family and to recognise the bond that unites us, so that, in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity, we can help to alleviate countless situations of poverty and need. Make us strong in faith, persevering in service, constant in prayer.

Mary, Consolation of the afflicted, embrace all your children in distress and pray that God will stretch out his all-powerful hand and free us from this terrible pandemic, so that life can serenely resume its normal course.

To you, who shine on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope, do we entrust ourselves, O Clement, O

Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.


Mass April 26th

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Fr Denis will celebrate Mass tomorrow, Sunday April 26th @ 12 pm.  Mass will be offered for the intentions of everyone in the parish of Balla, Belcarra, Clogher, Manulla and Mayo Abbey.  Included in the Mass intentions will be all frontline staff and other people working to look after us all during this time.

Mass will be broadcast from Castlebar here at 12 pm.


Mass Sunday April 19th

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Fr Denis will again celebrate Mass live on webcam from the Church of the Holy Rosary, Castlebar at 10.30 am on this Sunday morning, April 19th.

Masswill be offered for the sake of the intentions of all the people of the parish of Balla, Belcarra, Clogher, Manulla and Mayo Abbey and to thank all the people on the frontline, working in shops/services and volunteering during this challenging time.

Easter Sunday – Letter from Archbishop Michael

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My brothers and sisters the “peace of Jesus Christ be with you”.  All around us we see the hope, joy and new life of Spring as growth is taking place, trees beginning to bud forth and birds are singing and busy building their nests. Yet, in the midst of all this  we endeavour to cope with the chilling challenge of Covid-19 and its consequences of death, disruption and disillusionment.  We are living through a very traumatic time not just for Ireland but for the whole world.  The results will be far-reaching in terms of physical, psychological, emotional health and the economic situation.


Not being able to visit with our family and friends at Easter time is a huge sacrifice.  Thanks to modern technology and social media, however, we can still keep in touch with our loved ones and ensure that those who are isolated will be remembered and assured that we are thinking of them.  This microscopic virus has effectively shut down the world in many respects, yet this challenge brings out the best in people and has awakened in us the need for connectivity and community. We witness the goodness, generosity, and gentleness being exercised in a very powerful, profound and personal way.  This becomes abundantly evident in the way people responsibly accept the restrictions for the good of all.  This has impinged on Church goers who cannot attend Mass, on families where funerals are restricted, on weddings and baptisms.


At times it is very difficult to see above and beyond the immediate situation, particularly if it is painful and life-threatening.  As a people of hope we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  These days our faith acknowledges that the execution of Jesus must have plunged so many of his disciples into despair.  Nobody knew what was to come next or even if there would be a future.  The hopes of the earliest disciples of Jesus seemed to run aground on Calvary and be buried with him in the Tomb.  All of us who have lost loved ones will know the experience of the day after the burial when time seems to stand still. Similarly for the disciples on Holy Saturday; nobody knew how long the Saturday would last.  Saturday, that in-between-day of doubt and despair when time stands still.  That Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday was about abandonment, disappointment and disillusionment.  At times we feel that Holy Saturday is being re-presented now for us as we cope with the challenge of Covid-19 which leads us to a re-evaluation of what is important in our society.


The events of the Middle East 2000 years ago provide us with a perspective on our present situation. Social distancing, closed doors and fear stalk the streets and the thoroughfares of cities across our world.  The followers of Jesus were forced to meet in fear behind locked doors. It was to this situation that Jesus came into their midst with the words “peace be with you”.  This Easter we ponder the contradiction between death and risen life. We realise that our own faith is being tried and tested in the present situation.  When the risen Jesus appeared to his disciples He carried the wounds of suffering, pain and death as He had been executed on the Friday. These continue to be the marks of the risen life. Prior to the onslaught of the coronavirus we prided ourselves on the progress which humanity had made in various areas.  We boasted of our independence and control. Perhaps now, we are beginning to recognise our fragility and vulnerability, that we are not self-reliant and that we depend on God.  And the God in whom we believe does not abandon us.


St. John reminds us that Jesus “breathed on them”, performing a kind of artificial respiration on his faltering followers.  He said, “receive the Holy Spirit”.  We remember and we pray for those on ventilators in I.C.U. units and those at the frontline who are ministering to them.  We take responsibility in the present and actively pursue the means of containing the virus and finding a cure for it.  At the same time, in hope, we look to a new future.  However, the future will have to include and make provision for the concrete memories of the coronavirus with which we cope today.


Our faith in Christ’s rising from the dead enables us to embrace the present situation and at the same time opens us to new possibilities.  Already we witness signs of hope in the goodness, generosity, altruism, sensitivity towards and support for others.


May the risen Christ bless us with the peace that will enable us to recognise that the Lord is journeying with us as we cope with this new challenge.  I want to reassure you of my prayers and I ask for remembrance in yours.  At this time my daily Masses are being celebrated for:


  • The front-liners in the fight against Covid-19;
  • For the success of medical researchers in the hopes that they will discover a lasting cure for Covid-19 and a vaccine to prevent it;
  • For all infected by this virus;
  • For the safety of all families and homes who have members in isolation;
  • For all those dying alone that they will feel the presence of the Lord in their suffering;
  • I will be remembering all families as they cope with the anxiety and fears that this virus has visited on them.

Yours sincerely,

+Michael Neary

Archbishop of Tuam

Fr Denis’s Easter Mass Broadcast

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Fr Denis will celebrate Mass tomorrow at 10.30 am in the Church of the Holy Rosary, Castlebar to remember the intentions of all the people of Balla, Belcarra, Manulla, Clogher and Mayo Abbey and beyond.  He will especially remember those who are suffering because of Covid-19 and all the wonderful frontline staff, volunteers and people working in essential services e.g. shops etc.

You can join in his ceremony at 10.30 am using the link here.