Bulletin: 26th April 2020

PARISH BULLETIN – 3rd Sunday of Easter – 26th April 2020


Deaths and Anniversaries

Please remember in your prayers:

Celine Arkins, Carrickfergus,

Monny McSorley, Maghera,

Josie McNally, Cordarragh

who were buried during the week


Mary MacOscar, Pat McPeake, Susan Higgins, Michael McCann and Lawrence Devenney

whose anniversaries occur at this time.


May Altars in our Homes

Friday next is the first day of May and the Feast of St Joseph.

It has long been a tradition for families to erect an altar of adoration to Our Lady in their homes.  As parishioners cannot attend Mass in church at the moment, this tradition is more important than ever.  We invite families, especially the children of the parish to create a prayer space in their home.  They can use images or statues of Our Lady or even create their own image on paper.  This Friday, 1st May, the prayer spaces and May Altars in all the homes in both parishes will be blessed at both morning and evening Masses.


Holy Hour on Monday 27th April at 3 pm from the Holy Rosary Church.  You’re welcome to join in via Ballinascreen Parish webcam.


Day of Fasting and Prayer – A ‘Virtual Pilgrimage’

Bishop McKeown is inviting people to join him on Friday 1st May on a ‘virtual pilgrimage’, to fast and pray, asking God to free us from this pandemic and to support those who are fighting it; to comfort those who have been afflicted with this pandemic; and to ask God for the wisdom to know how to live now and in the aftermath of the pandemic.  It is proposed that the time of prayer and penance at home will take its shape from core elements of the 3-day Lough Derg pilgrimage.  Each person is invited to participate in whatever parts of the penitential ‘virtual pilgrimage’ that they feel able to adopt.  If anyone is suffering from weakness or ill health, they should not overexert themselves.

At the heart of the full Lough Derg pilgrimage are the following elements:

1)  Fasting:

To join spiritually with the Bishop on this ‘virtual pilgrimage’ people are invited, if they are physically able, to adopt the Lough Derg-style Fast from 12 midnight on Thursday night until after 7 am on Saturday morning.  The Lough Derg Fast consists of water or black tea or coffee (sugar is permitted) with dry bread, toast and oatcakes at one time during the day. ‘Pilgrims’ can drink water, tea or coffee anytime.

2)  Praying the Lough Derg Stations:

Throughout the first day, participants on Lough Derg would normally pray three ‘Stations’ outside.  However, in this case, participants are invited to pray three Stations at home during the course of the day.  They can join through webcam with Bishop McKeown in praying these three Stations.  Details of the Station prayers will be made available later.

3)  The Night Vigil:

During the Night Vigil, four Stations are prayed.  Bishop McKeown proposes to stay in the Cathedral during Friday night and lead the four Stations on the webcam – at 12 midnight, 1.30 am, 3.00 am and 4.30 am.

The Vigil will end with the special ‘Mass in time of a Pandemic’, as proposed by Pope Francis, at 6 am on Saturday 2nd May.


Parish Anniversary Mass

If parishioners in Desertmartin and Ballinascreen wish to have their loved one prayed for at the 10 am Mass in Holy Rosary or the 7.30 pm Mass in Coolcam on a Friday, email desertmartinparish@gmail.com by 12 noon on Thursday of the relevant week.  These Masses from the Holy Rosary and Coolcalm may be viewed on the respective Parish webcam.


Parish Baptisms

In accordance with the Government statement and guidelines issued by Bishop McKeown, there will be no baptisms until further notice.  Baptisms will resume as soon as possible, but we ask parents not to be anxious.  It is customary nowadays for children to be baptised many weeks and months after they are born.  Parents can bless their children with the Sign of the Cross morning and evening and recite the Guardian Angel Prayer for them:

Angel of God
My guardian dear
To whom God’s love
Commits me here
Ever this day
Be at my side
To light and guard
To rule and guide.   Amen.


The Messenger

Messenger Publications are offering a free online copy of the May edition (and possibly further editions) of ‘The Messenger’, given that it is impossible to distribute the paper copy in the usual manner.  To access the May edition, visit: https://issuu.com/messengerpublications/docs/05_messenger_may_2020.

Even if you don’t normally receive The Messenger, you are welcome to access this link.  If you have any difficulty accessing the link or if you have any further queries, please email c.henry@messenger.ie.


Online Resources

Resources are available on the Derry Diocesan Catechetical website to help families, young people and children to continue to engage with their Faith Formation during this time.  Log on to www.catecheticalcentre.org.

Primary School Resources: https://catecheticalcentre.org/category/primary-school-resources/

Post Primary School Resources: https://catecheticalcentre.org/category/post-primary-school-resources/

Youth Resources: https://catecheticalcentre.org/category/youth-resources/


The Net

The April 2020 edition of ‘The Net’, the monthly publication sharing the fruits of the faith in parishes and schools within the Diocese of Derry, marks its fifth anniversary.  Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the April edition will be available only on the Diocesan website at this stage.  However, the publication will be available again in parishes when the restrictions are lifted.  For inclusion of your faith news in future editions please email: editorthenet15@gmail.com.


Part-Time Certificate in Religious Education

St. Angela’s College, Sligo, is inviting applications for this online course, which begins Autumn 2020.  The course is open to:  Qualified primary school teachers and Qualified post-primary school teachers who wish to transfer to primary school teaching.  Parents, sacramental preparation teams and parish catechists who have a specific interest in the area of primary religious education may also apply.  Closing date for applications is Friday 15th May.  For more details and application forms, contact Mary Kearns, Education Department, St. Angela’s College, Lough Gill, Sligo: mkearns@stangelas.nuigalway.ie or visit www.stangelas.nuigalway.ie.

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