Fr Denis

Fr Denis’ Easter Message

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EASTER MESSAGE

As we celebrate the beautiful feast of Easter, I pray that the Risen Lord will pour down many blessings on every person in Balla and Mayo Abbey parishes, on all who are spending Easter with us and on our family members who are away from home.  The feast is one of hope.  Jesus who died on the cross out of love for us has overcome death and the grave and has won for us the gift of new and eternal life.  Easter  also reminds us that we are never alone.  In good times and in bad, in joy and in sorrow the Risen Lord is with us.  Let us rejoice in his presence, draw comfort and support from it and make it known by our daily living.

At this time nature is reawakening all around us. The fields are growing greener, the shrubs are blooming, the lambs are dancing in the fields, the day is growing longer.  All signs of new life and new hope.

As disciples of Christ may we walk in that hope and be inspired by it as we face the ups and downs the joys and sorrows of life.

As we celebrate in  the resurrection I pray that your hearts will be filled with peace and joy, may this beautiful Feast be uplifting for you. To those who are happy may  it bring more joy.  To those who are sad may  it bring comfort and hope.

To us all may it bring peace.

May the blessings of the Risen Lord be with you all.

Fr Denis

Centenary of St Cronan’s Church, Balla

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Homily by Fr. Denis
on Sunday February 19th 2017

2018 marks the centenary of St. Cronan’s Church. Over the coming months both the Pastoral Council and Finance Committee will discuss how best the centenary can be celebrated. Today I would like to invite the views of you and all parishioners on that. If you have any suggestions on how we might mark the centenary please contact me and I will bring it to the discussions.

Everyone  agrees that St. Cronan’s is a beautiful church building. It was built in very difficult times.  It started in 1913 and was dedicated in May 1918. At that time the First World War was taking place. Yet despite  the difficulties of the time when money was scarce the people of the time spared no effort in building a very fine church which 100 years later we can be proud of.

Some years ago when renovations were being planned the Architect asked me what I would like to do. I told him that I would like to honour those who put it here. I would like to do that again next year as well as celebrating the faith that has been witnessed to in this building for the last 100 years and which please God will continue to be celebrated here for many years to come. I would also like to see the centenary celebration as an inclusive community event.

As regards the building itself some work needs to be carried out on it. The priority is the conservation of the beautiful window over the Mass altar that depicts the Crucifixion scene. The window now urgently needs attention and at the moment some companies who specialise in stained glass work are engaged in a tendering process. While I do not have exact figures I would expect it to be anything up to €80,000.  It is very specialised and detailed work that will take a number of months. Some works on upgrading the toilet facilities also needs to take place. That means money has to be spent and while we have money in the account we will need to do some fundraising.  Over the last 30 years very few demands have been made for funding for the church. It is a topic I do not like discussing but at this time I have to. Fundraising will have to take place over the coming year but it will not be major. I would hope that most people within the parish community will respond in a positive manner.

While not everyone comes to Mass virtually every family in the parish uses the church at some time or other for a Baptism, a First Communion, a Confirmation, a Marriage or a family Funeral.An appeal will be made to all, seeking help and please God many will contribute Also some families might like to make a particular donation and that too would be most welcome.

At this time the new boxes of envelopes for the coming year go out.  I would like to thank those who deliver them. I thank all of you who contribute week in and week out towards the upkeep of the church.  It is your continued support coupled with so much voluntary work that keeps our heads above water.  If any of you are in a position to put a little extra into your envelope it would be of enormous help. Every euro adds up.  I would also like to mention that I have a weekly envelope myself. I do not say that as self praise . I have a weekly income and therefore have a responsibility to do my bit in the same way as everyone else.

We have a church that we can be very proud of. I have every confidence that this community will respond to its needs at this time and over the coming months as plans for the renovations and the centenary develops I will keep you informed and if anyone would like to help in any way or make any suggestions please contact me.

– Christmas Message – from Fr Denis

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nativity

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

As we celebrate this beautiful Feast of Christmas, we celebrate in a very special way, the great love that God has for us.  He sent his Son into the world as a living sign of how loved we are by Him.  Jesus came into the world as our Saviour. He came to forgive our sins and to win for us the gift of eternal life.  That is what Christmas is about.  It is the real meaning of the season.  May we all find hope in the fact that Jesus came into our world as a light shining in the darkness.

Today many people face darkness and uncertainty through sickness, bereavement, personal or family difficulties, financial worries and so on. Christmas reminds us that we do not  face these challenges on our own. God is with us. May his presence fill us with peace and hope as we go forward on the journey of life.

At this time I would like to express my appreciation to all parishioners for the kindness, support and generosity shown to me in so many ways over the year.  I wish to express a particular word of thanks to all who are involved in parish committees, liturgical ministries and to all who care for St. Cronan’s and St. Anne’s and their grounds.  Without your generosity of service the parish could not function.  A word of thanks also to the parish staff for their ongoing work and commitment.

Congratulations to all who celebrated Marriage, Baptisms, First Communion and Confirmation this year.  There are all very happy occasions that we rejoice in.  Christmas can be a very lonely and difficult time for those who have suffered a bereavement during the year.  Many of us have heavy hearts this Christmas.  Let us be very mindful in our prayers of all who have had a bereavement, of those who are sick and of all who face challenges of any kind at this time.

Likewise, we think of our emigrants. Distance may separate us but prayer unites us.  This Christmas, as we reflect on God’s love for us let us be thankful for all who share love and goodness with us.  Let us place our families, our neighbours, our friends before God in prayer. 

May the blessing of this most sacred Feast fill our hearts with peace and hope.  May all of us bring a little peace, a little joy and a little hope into some else’s life this Christmas time.  Let us seek to bring a little light into someone else’s life at this time.

May God bless you all this Christmas and throughout 2017.

 

Happy Christmas

Fr Denis

Fr Denis’ Easter Message 2016

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easter 2016

As we celebrate the beautiful feast of Easter, I pray that the Risen Lord will pour down many blessings on every person in Balla and Mayo Abbey parishes, on all who are spending Easter with us and on all our emigrants.  The feast is one of hope, Jesus who died on the cross out of love for us has overcome death and the grave and has won for us the gift of new and eternal life.  The feast also reminds us that we are never alone.  In good times and in bad, in joy and in sorrow the Risen Lord is with us.  Let us rejoice in his presence, draw comfort and support from it and make it known by our daily living.

As we rejoice in the resurrection I pray that your hearts will be filled with peace and joy, may this beautiful Feast be uplifting for you. To those who are happy let it bring more joy.  To those who are sad let it bring comfort and hope.  To us all may it bring peace.

As we celebrate Easter this year, let us think of those who lost their lives in the drowning accident in Buncrana and as a result of the terrorist attacks in Brussels.  May they come to dwell in the light of eternal life.  May their loved ones be comforted and may our world come to know real peace.

May the blessings of the Risen Lord be with you all.

Fr Denis

Fr Denis’ Christmas Message 2015

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CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

As we celebrate the beautiful Feast of Christmas  I would like to thank all parishioners for the kindness, support and generosity shown to me in so many ways over the year.  It is truly appreciated.  I wish to express a particular word of thanks to all who are involved in any parish committee or ministry. Your giving of your time ensures that our parish is a vibrant one where the message of Jesus Christ is witnessed to in a whole variety of ways. Your input makes such a huge difference to the parish.

A word of thanks too goes to the parish staff who  go about their work in such an efficient manner. Their work makes mine that much easier.  In all areas of the parish there is a lot of voluntary work done that enhances the community and makes it a better place for us all to live in.

Congratulations to all in the parish who celebrated  Marriage and baptism during the year.  They are happy occasions that we all rejoice in.   As we come to Christmas let us spare a thought for those who have lost a loved one during the year as Christmas can be a difficult time for all who were bereaved during 2015.  Let us keep them and indeed all who are sick or facing any challenge in our prayers at this time.  Likewise let us think of those who are far away from home.  Miles may separate us but you are in our thoughts and prayers.

I  thank all who do such great work in the schools of the parish at both primary and secondary level and to all who give so generously of their time to voluntary organisations in all four areas of the parish. Our community is a much better place as a result of your efforts.

During the year I assumed the role of Parish Priest of Mayo Abbey . It reflects the reality of parish life today.  It will bring changes to both parishes going forward . We should never be afraid of change.  We should embrace it and move forward in hope. As we celebrate Christmas we welcome Emmanuel a name which means God is with us.  

May God be with us all as we go forward. May he fill our hearts with peace and hope.  May you all experience his presence during this Christmas time and throughout 2016.

Happy Christmas to all in the parish and to former parishioners wherever you are now.

Fr  Denis