Church reopening

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St Cronan's, Balla


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.





Fr Denis’s Easter Mass Broadcast

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Fr Denis will celebrate Mass tomorrow at 10.30 am in the Church of the Holy Rosary, Castlebar to remember the intentions of all the people of Balla, Belcarra, Manulla, Clogher and Mayo Abbey and beyond.  He will especially remember those who are suffering because of Covid-19 and all the wonderful frontline staff, volunteers and people working in essential services e.g. shops etc.

You can join in his ceremony at 10.30 am using the link here.

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

Prayers at Home March 2020

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Prayers at Home When Gathering for the Mass is Not Possible March 2020

In these extraordinary times when we cannot gather for Mass, we would encourage you to download from and print out this prayer booklet for use at home. Click on this link.

Prayers at Home When Gathering for the Mass is Not Possible March 2020

Perhaps consider printing off some copies to pass on to people who may not have internet access.

While you can pray this at any time, a good time to do so would be at the time Mass is normally celebrated in your local parish.

This prayer booklet has been prepared by the Diocese of Clonfert and the Diocese of Elphin specifically for this time we find ourselves in.  We are very grateful to them for allowing us to share it.

We continue to keep each other in prayer during this time. Please remember to take care of yourself, your family and loved ones and follow the advice of the HSE.

Click here for the most up to date advice given by the HSE 

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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

Upcoming Card Games

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BALLA NATIONAL SCHOOL Annual Card Game in Balla Resource Centre on Friday Nov. 25th at 9pm. Great prizes on offer. All support welcome.

FUNDRAISING 25 Card Game in Manulla Community Centre on Nov. 20th at 9pm.  Proceeds to Sensory Garden project at Western Care residential/respite Manulla. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Craggagh National School will hold their Annual 25 Drive on Tuesday 22nd Nov. at 9pm. In Craggagh Community Centre. Tickets are now on sale.

Well done Balla GAA!

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Balla 2-11 Ballycastle 2-7

A comprehensive  match report is online at the Mayo Advertiser here


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school holidays

As our national schools close for the summer holidays
we hope everyone has a pleasant and safe holiday.

Confirmation Classes 2016

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wp-1455578555187.jpgThanks to Kathy Lyons for this lovely photo of our 2016 Confirmation

class from Balla NS.


Here’s our lovely group from Clogher NS