Recent Happenings

Fr Denis’s Easter Message 2022

Posted on

Rejoice! He is Risen

Easter Message 2022

It is great to be back. After an absence of two years, we have our Easter ceremonies back. It is wonderful to be able to gather over the last few days and celebrate all that is central to our faith. While online ceremonies have something to offer it is not the same as joining in person with our neighbours to reflect, to pray and to celebrate God’s love for us.

This day is made by the Lord let us rejoice and be glad is the response to the psalm on Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday is indeed a day to rejoice as we celebrate the fact that Christ by rising from the dead has changed the meaning of life and death forever. Easter Sunday is a day of hope and that is something we all need as we see the daily effect of war, violence, poverty and hunger in different parts of the world.

We see the effect of the war in Ukraine daily with many being killed, millions displaced, thousands coming to our own country. We also see that the rate of  inflation is rising and that effects everyone and we worry about what the future will bring So, we need hope more than ever. On this Easter Sunday God offers us that hope and for that we give thanks and rejoice.

We give thanks for the goodness and generosity that so many people have shown to those coming to our country . We welcome the Ukrainian children who have come to Balla and Belcarra schools. We hope that they will be happy.

While we witness great suffering on a daily basis we also see great love and care being shown by so many, our volunteers in the churches, and in the local communities continue to give witness to care and service and they are beacons of hope. May we always appreciate the great work that they do.

May Easter be a time of blessings for us all. May all who are sick, suffering or challenged in any way within our community feel loved and supported and may God bless us all as we continue on our pilgrim journey seeking to give witness to his living presence with us.

May you have a happy and peaceful Easter and may God fill your hearts with the joy, peace and hope that only he can give.  

Fr Denis

New Year’s Greeting from Fr Denis

Posted on Updated on

NEW YEAR GREETINGS

As we begin a New Year we do so with the Covid pandemic still bringing us many challenges.

Please God 2022 will see it decline, so that we can return to many of the activities that we were used to, in our homes, churches, and community.

May the Lord bless us all throughout the year as we seek to live out our Christian calling-loving, supporting and caring for one another.

May the year be good to us and may it bring us health, peace, and happiness.

May 2022 bring you and yours many blessings.

Happy New Year

Fr Denis

A picture containing text, tool

Description automatically generated

Church Centenary Book Launch

Posted on

BOOK COVER.jpg

ST CRONAN’S CENTENARY BOOK

St Cronan’s Centenary Book was launched on Sunday December 1st immediately after 11am Mass by Michael Commins of Mid -West Radio and The Mayo News.

 

This 96 page colour production contains a variety of articles that detail the history of St. Cronan’s, Balla and its people as well as happenings in the other areas of our parish, namely Belcarra, Clogher and Manulla.

 

The publication has some marvellous photographs of the beautiful windows and sanctuary. It is very well produced and sells at €10. It is a must for people in the area and for those whose roots are in Balla. The committee responsible for its publication deserve great credit for what they have achieved. We are indebted to them.

 

All were welcomed to come along on Sunday for the launch and to join in light refreshments afterwards in the nearby Community Room.

Model of St Cronan’s

Posted on

MODEL OF ST. CRONAN’S CHURCH

This amazing model is made of matches which was very kindly donated to mark the centenary is now on display in the porch. Sincere thanks to the donor, the Monaghan Brothers who donated the table and John Killeen who assembled it free of charge. It is a beautiful display and legacy of the centenary.

Congrats to Balla Tidy Towns

Posted on

 

 

tidy towns

TIDY TOWNS

Congratulations to the Tidy Towns Committees within the parish on the excellent results obtained in this year’s competition.

Balla received 302 points (an increase of 14 points).

Belcarra received 306 points (an increase of 5 points)

Clogher received 305 points (an increase of 8 points)

This is due recognition  of the hard work put in by the committees and local volunteers.

Well done to all concerned.

St Cronan’s Centenary

Posted on Updated on

‘This day was made by the Lord let us rejoice and be glad’ is a line taken from the Psalms.  It could well sum up the celebration taking place within our parish this Sunday May 27th.  We celebrate the centenary of our beautiful St. Cronan’s church. It is indeed a noble structure with its many outstanding features. It is a truly fitting place of worship and today we celebrate and honour the people who in very hard times funded and built the it.

We think of our many emigrants in the United States and elsewhere who donated hard earned money to ensure that St. Cronan’s became a reality.  We honour and give thanks for all those who worked hard and long hours to build it. We thin too of all those who have gathered within its hallowed walls to pray over the decades, those who were baptised here, those who were sealed with the oil of chrism on confirmation day, those who committed themselves in love through the sacrament of marriage, those who prostrated themselves before the altar on ordination day and all those who welcomed the Lord’s mercy in the sacrament of reconciliation and His presence in the Eucharist. We also commend to the Lord today all whose funeral liturgies have taken place here. We pray that they now rejoice in the halls of heaven .We think too of all those who have sat in these seats and lifted up their hearts to the Lord in times of petition and likewise in thanksgiving.

Today we give thanks for all who have passed on this beautiful building to us. As a community let us commit to ensuring that this sacred place is maintained as a fitting monument to generations past. Let us pray also that we will be true to our faith and ensure that it is passed on to those that come after us.  Faith inspired the people of Balla to build this church 100 years ago. May our faith enable us to appreciate it and ensure that it remains a place where we continue to lift up our hearts in prayer to God.

On this day of celebration I would also like to remember all the priests who have ministered in this parish over the years and the priests and religious who have left here to share the Christian message with other people at home and abroad, and to acknowledge the tremendous work that over 300 people do in various ministries in both Balla and Belcarra. Without their generosity of service our parish could not operate.

On this centenary celebration day I thank all who are helping to make it a happy and positive occasion for everyone and I pray that God will pour down many blessings on us and on our parish as we give thanks for the past, celebrate the present and pray for the future.

‘This day was made by the Lord let us rejoice and be glad.’ Psalm 117:V24/

Denis Carney,

Parish Priest.

27th May 2018.

Photos courtesy of Colin Redmond, Kathy Lyons and Michael Durkan.

December update on works at St Cronan’s

Posted on Updated on

church 4WORK ON THE CHURCH is continuing. Most of the raking out of the joints is now done. It is very slow work – as particularly it has revealed that a lot of water has been trapped within the gable wall for some time. That water has to be removed before grouting and repointing begins. The coping stones at the top of the gable wall will be lifted off and all the damaged lead replaced. Our Architect is very happy with the work carried out. Again many thanks to all who are contributing extra in the weekly envelope and to the individuals, families and organisations that have made specific donations. It is this generosity that is enabling this essential work to take place.

Please click hereto see a fascinating up close and personal report where you will see images of the work in the December report to the parish.

Church Restoration update

Posted on Updated on

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

WORK ON ST CRONAN’S

The raking out of all joints on the east gable has begun after permission was granted by the Mayo County Council Heritage Office. Some of the coping on the gable will be lifted to see if there is any water ingress there. This is very slow work.

When this is done the repointing will start and work on the window externally can commence. At the end of that work a full conservation plan for the entire church will have to be drawn up.

As the work progresses we will keep everyone one fully informed. A sincere thank you to allwho have increased their weekly contributions and to those who have made specific donations.

It is much appreciated I can assure you.

Sincere Thanks to Michael Durkan and John McEllin for their photos to keep us all updated on the fabulous work being done to preserve St Cronan’s for its next 100 years.

Conservation & Restoration Works

Posted on Updated on

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Conservation and Restoration Works

As you are aware we will mark the centenary of this church next year. As I mentioned to you some months ago conservation and restoration work needs to be carried out on the main window over the altar here and also the toilet facilities in the sacristy need to be seriously upgraded with some renovation also needing to be carried out on the sacristy itself. The fire alarm system has to be upgraded to comply fully with insurance demands on a listed building.

The Parish Finance Committee over the last few months have been working away on these projects under the guidance of Michael Horan of Axo Architects in Castlebar and in close consultation with Siobhan Sexton, Heritage Officer with Mayo County Council. Because the building is listed we have to adhere to the stipulations of the Heritage Officer.

Today I have a mixture of good and bad news. Three companies were asked to tender for the work on the window and the reports that they gave us were very varied- you could say totally opposed to each other. The good news is that the window does not have to be taken out. The conservation and restoration work can be done on site over a period of about seven weeks (depending on the weather) about three weeks inside and four weeks outside. We have also been able to secure a saving on the cost of the window works. It will now cost €45,000. Still a substantial sum of money but considerably less than we had feared. The work will start in the next 10 days or so.

As you can see in the newsletter we are now starting the tendering process for the essential works in the sacristy and toilets. For those of you not familiar with the sacristy there is only one very small toilet with very basic facilities and at the time of weddings and funerals you can have people queuing up out the yard or indeed coming over to my house to use toilets. The sacristy itself needs some decorating and electrical works carried out.

I had mentioned that work to you when I spoke a few months ago but unfortunately we have received some bad news about the building itself. When the company that will be carrying out the work on the window Aria Stained Glass from Galway were surveying the window they noticed that water was getting into the gable through cracks in the pointing. After consulting with the Heritage Officer we had the entire building investigated by a qualified person and we have been told that the same thing is happening all around the church and that the only remedy is to re-point the entire structure.

As the conservation and renovation work begins on the altar window we pray that all will go well with this phase of the work. It will take about three weeks internally and then the work will move outside. It is at this stage that work on the pointing of the gable will begin.