MESSAGE TO BALLA AND BELCARRA PARISHIONERS
I hope that you are keeping well. As you are aware public celebration of Mass and the Sacraments has been suspended since March. Thankfully from June 29th they can re-commence. The Parish Pastoral Council is actively planning to ensure that parishioners can once again attend Mass minimising the risk of infection. We have taken a number of decisions.
- Mass will be celebrated in Balla church on Monday at 10am, Friday 7.30pm, Saturday 8pm, and Sunday at 11am. A Webcam is being installed in Balla church. It is hoped to have it operational this weekend. These Masses can be viewed on http://churchtv.ie/balla.html
- Mass will not be celebrated in Belcarra initially. The Friday /Saturday Masses in Balla church will in reality be Belcarra Masses. Those who usually attend Belcarra on a Saturday are encouraged to attend in Balla on Friday or Saturday. It is intended that stewards, ushers, cleaners, Readers and Ministers of the Eucharist from the Belcarra area will ‘take care’ of that Mass.
- The Sunday morning Mass will involve stewards, ushers etc from the Balla church area. The people who normally attend on a Sunday are asked not to attend on Friday/ Saturday initially. They should attend on Sunday or Monday
- As social distancing will apply only 58 people can be accommodated in Balla (only 36 in Belcarra). Some who turn up may be disappointed when they don’t get in. We ask for your patience and understanding in this regard. We ask that people who attend on the first week would give others an opportunity to come to Mass on the second week and so on.
- Older people and those with underlying health issues are asked not to attend Mass for another while. It can be arranged that a family member will bring them Holy Communion. Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 or who within the last 14 days has been in the company of a person with the virus should not attend
- Initially I will be celebrating the Masses in Mayo Abbey on Thursday and Sunday. This is in order to offer support to Fr. Austin who is in the most vulnerable category at this time. Please God before too long he will be able to celebrate the Masses.
- Before our church can be reopened we have to have a lot of volunteers in place to help with stewarding and cleaning. I would like to thank those who have already volunteered. But more are needed. I am appealing to you to consider volunteering to act as a steward or to help with the cleaning.
Public Masses can only begin when we have enough volunteers. Many hands make light work so if you are under 70 and in good health I invite you to help us and ensure that Mass, Baptisms, First Communion Confirmation and Funerals can take place in the parish church. You can give your name and contact details to the members of the Pastoral Council. Pat McDonnell, Eamon O’Connor, Noel Cronin, Anne Marie Hyland, Mary Duffy, Walburg Ruane, Carmel Gallagher, Mary Jo Cannon, Mary McDonagh, Eileen Costello, John Bourke, Margaret Routledge, Antoinette Weekes, Mary O’Neill, Caroline Brennan, Anna Mae Bourke, Rachel Brennan,
Government and Diocesan authorities will only allow us to open when we can show that the necessary preparations have been carried out. There is a lot of work involved Again I ask you to be patient with us. It will take a while to get everything right but I promise that we will do our best. That will be made easier if you volunteer and support us. As our plans progress and bearing in mind any change to Government guidelines I will write to you again.
In the meantime please take care and may God bless you and your family.
Fr. Denis Carney P.P.
Phone: 094 9365025
STATEMENT RE CHURCH REOPENING
The date set by Government for the reopening of churches is June 29th. For churches to open a lot of work has to be done at local level which will necessitate a large number of volunteers. The parish Pastoral Council met during the week and after discussing what is involved in reopening made the following decisions in order to minimise the risk of infection to those attending ceremonies and all volunteers.
- A webcam will be installed in St Cronan’s church. This will enable older people and people with underlying health issues to watch Mass within the parish from their own homes. Family members will be encouraged to bring them Holy Communion.
- Mass will be celebrated in St Cronan’s on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Mass will not be celebrated in St. Anne’s initially. St Cronan’s will facilitate larger numbers which will enable more people to attend and allow volunteers focus on one church for the time being and get it ‘right’. This will be a temporary measure.
- The Masses on Friday and Saturday evenings will cover the intentions booked for St. Anne’s and volunteers from the Belcarra/Clogher areas will be asked to take responsibility for these two days.
- Funerals, from the Belcarra area should they arise will take place in St Anne’s (unless the family want webcam)
- Fr Denis will be celebrating Mass in Mayo Abbey on Thursday evening and Sunday morning (10am). Facefield will not have Mass for the moment.
- Ceremonies will only commence if sufficient numbers of volunteers from all areas of the parish come forward. Those who are under 70 and have no underlying health issues are asked to volunteer NOW to act as stewards or to help with by giving your name to Fr Denis or any Pastoral Council member so that we can move on to the next stage of planning Thanks to those who have already done so.
- Confirmation/Communion ceremonies will be arranged when it is practical to do so and provided that we have sufficient volunteers to help with the ceremonies.