Fr Denis

St Cronan’s Centenary

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‘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.

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Belcarra Church Newsletter 29th April 2018

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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.
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. May it encourage us as we face the joys and sorrows that come our way in life. May it also be a reminder to us that our loved ones who have died have been called to share in the fullness of new life. May they rest in peace and may all of us take comfort from the Risen Lord.

May His blessings be with you all.
Fr Denis

Death of Mrs Maura Carney RIP

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On today, the 28th anniversary of his father’s untimely death we wish to extend our deepest and heartfelt sympathies to our Parish Priest and true friend Fr Denis Carney, his brothers and sisters, brother in law and sisters in law, aunts/uncle, nieces, nephews, grand nieces/nephews, extended family and friends on the sudden death of his loving mother, Maura.

Fr Denis often spoke about his mother, her sense of hard work, dedication and loyalty to family, her deep faith, loyalty to her home area of Tuam and adopted home of Cornanool and pride in and love of her family, neighbours and friends.

We pray that God will be with them in a special way over the difficult days ahead.

Funeral Arrangements are as follows:

Maura Carney (nee Naughton), Cornanool, Castlebar – suddenly. Predeceased by her husband John. Lovingly missed by her children, Fr Denis, Bernadette, Paddy, Sean, Breege, Gerard, Ann Marie, Oliver, and Paul, son-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sisters Peggy and Nancy, brother Michael, extended family, friends and neighbours.

Reposing in St. Aidan’s Room, Islandeady on Thursday evening from 5pm with removal at 8pm to the adjoining St. Patrick’s Church, Islandeady. Requiem Mass on Friday at 1pm with funeral proceeding to Islandeady Cemetery. House private please. Family flowers only. Donations to Croí, c/o Coady Funeral Directors, Castlebar.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis

Fr Denis’ Christmas Message

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Christmas Message

As we prepare to celebrate the Feast of Christmas I would like to express my thanks to all in the parish for your support and kindness throughout the year. A particular word of thanks to all who are involved in parish committees and liturgical ministry.  Thanks to all who care for St. Cronan’s and St. Anne’s and their grounds. It is only because of your involvement that our parish can function. Long gone are the days when the priest can do it on his own.

 

I congratulate all who had joyful celebrations during the year. To those who have had a bereavement and to all who are sick or facing any particular challenge in life.

 

I assure you of a special place in our Christmas Masses. I also wish to remember our emigrants. Wherever you are this Christmas I am sure that your thoughts are with us here in Balla, Belcarra, Clogher and Manulla. I assure you that as we celebrate this special season you are remembered at ceremonies at both St. Cronan’s and St. Anne’s. I extend our good wishes to you in whatever part of the world you now reside.

 

Next year will be a very significant year in our parish. We will mark the centenary of St. Cronan’s on Sunday May 27th when Archbishop Neary will join us. Other events will also take place during the year. At the moment the church is undergoing renovations. While work was taking place on the main altar window it was noticed that water was engressing the gable wall. This would eventually undermine the building. We are currently working on that gable. The work consists of raking out every joint and repointing it. The coping stones on top have also had to be removed and new leading put in. It is very slow and costly work.

 

I take this opportunity to thank all those who are contributing a little extra in their Weekly Envelope and also those who have made specific donations. It is this generosity that is allowing the work to take place. All donations no matter how big or small are welcome. When that phase of the work is done we will have to put a plan in place for the remainder of the building.

 

In October we will celebrate the centenary of The Columban Fathers. On October 28th a celebration marking this great event will take place in St. Anne’s recognising the fact that one of the co-founders was Fr. John Blowick. This should be a very special celebration. We can take great pride in what Fr. John did in the true missionary spirit of the Gospel. So please God we have much to look forward to in 2018.

 

In the meantime, I take this opportunity to wish you and yours a happy and peaceful Christmas. May the Lord pour down abundant blessings on you all.

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.