Fr Denis

Exciting news

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new parish webcam


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.

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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







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.

Fr Denis’s Easter Message

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Easter Message

The Easter Vigil usually begins with the lighting of the fire at the church door. From this fire the Paschal Candle is lit.  The candle is then carried through the church with the words Christ our Light being spoken many times. At the same time the candles held by the congregation are lit. Gradually the darkness within the church gives way to the increasing light and the Exultet rejoices in the Resurrection. We are singing a song of joy.

This year the setting is different. The church is empty, the candle is lit quietly, there is no congregation. Our society, our economics, our church community has been turned upside down. We suddenly find ourselves living in strange times, filled with worry caused by the Coronavirus.

But we have to be people of hope. Easter is a time of hope. It celebrates the fact that we are not alone. The risen Christ is with us and we can place our trust in him. God has never abandoned his people. Easter proclaims that. Just as there was darkness over the whole land when Jesus was crucified there is a form of darkness in our world at this time. But Christ is with us as a light shining in the darkness.

As we look around us so many different lights are shining brightly, such as our healthcare workers, our essential service providers, those engaging in neighbourly and voluntary acts to name but a few. It is wonderful to see so many giving of themselves to lighten the darkness for others. It is heartening to see such positive community spirit at this difficult time. This time of darkness will pass, and we will please God be able to gather together as a worshipping community again before too long.

In the meantime, please take care, stay safe and remember that we are an Easter people. Easter brings us hope. It reminds us that light is greater than darkness, eternal life greater than death. May all who have gone before us rest in eternal life and may each of us continue to witness to Christ our Light.

You are in my prayers and Masses at this time. May the blessings of the risen Lord be with you and yours.

Happy Easter.

Fr Denis

Fr Denis’s Christmas Message

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Christmas Message

On July 20th 1969 Apollo 11 landed on the moon and millions watched as Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the lunar surface followed shortly by fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin. It was a remarkable achievement. When Armstrong put his feet on the surface of the moon he said ‘ That’s one small step for man, and a giant step for mankind’. It was seen as the greatest event in human history.

Some years later another astronaut, James Irwin also walked on the moon and he was prompted to say that the most significant happening of our age is not that man stood on the moon, but rather that God in Christ stood on the earth. At Christmas we celebrate God sending his Son to walk on this earth, to journey with his people and to win for us the promise of eternal life.

At Christmas time we celebrate Christ revealing the love and mercy of the Father. Jesus shares life’s journey with us. We are never alone, even in our darkest hour.  Christ is the light shining in our darkness offering us the light of hope.

Jesus reveals God’s love to us and in so doing He invites us to share that love with others in acts of kindness, care and support. He invites us to live  his message and Christmas gives us the opportunity to reach out in love to all in our community, especially those most  in need. May we all do our bit to make it a happy Christmas for everyone. As we celebrate God’s opening his heart to us, let us strive to open our hearts to others.

May the blessings of Christ be with you all this Christmas time wherever you are. May the presence of Christ bring you and yours the precious gifts of love, joy and peace.

Happy Christmas

Fr Denis