Bulletin: 12th December 2021

PARISH BULLETIN – 3rd Sunday of Advent – 12th December 2021




St. Eugene’s, Moneyneena:                5 pm

Holy Rosary, Draperstown:                6.15 pm [webcam]

St. Patrick’s, Keenaught:             7.30 pm



St. Columba’s, Straw:                         9 am

St. Mary’s, Coolcalm:                  10 am [webcam]

St. Patrick’s, Sixtowns:                       11 am

Holy Rosary, Draperstown:               12 noon [webcam]



Holy Rosary Church:  Monday and Wednesday ~ 11 am.  Friday ~ 7.30 pm.

St. Mary’s Church, Coolcalm:  Tuesday, Thursday and Friday ~ 11 am.


All Masses in St. Mary’s, Coolcalm are transmitted live via the Desertmartin parish webcam:


All Masses in the Holy Rosary Church are transmitted live on the Ballinascreen parish webcam:




Fr. Peter Madden P.P. V.F.                                    

31 Sixtowns Road, Draperstown

Phone:  028 7962 8376

Email:  ballinascreenparish@gmail.com


Fr. Dermot McGirr C.C.

50 Tobermore Road, Desertmartin

Telephone:  028 7963 2196

Email:  desertmartinparish@gmail.com


Fr. John Downey C.C.

36 Moneyneena Road

Telephone:  028 7962 8375

Email:  j.downey75@btinternet.com




Please remember in your prayers:


Bridie McGuigan, Peter McAllister, Robbie Crossett, Willie Kearney, Katie Donnelly and Michael Hegarty who died recently.


Pat McCluskey, Dublin and John Fitzgerald McGuigan, Moneyshanere and Amsterdam whose First Anniversaries occur at this time.


Annie Henry, Frankie McCann, Pat O’Neill, Gerard O’Neill and Briege McGurk whose anniversaries occur at this time.






To allow as many parishioners as possible attend Christmas Mass, in the present circumstances, 18 Masses have been arranged in Ballinascreen and Desertmartin from 24th December to 26th December.  To maintain social distancing there must be a limit on how many can attend each Mass.  It is therefore ESSENTIAL that you BOOK ONLINE and follow all the booking instructions.



St. Patrick’s, Sixtowns ~ 3 pm

St. Columba’s, Straw ~ 3 pm

St. Eugene’s, Moneyneena ~ 5 pm

St. Mary’s, Coolcalm ~ 5 pm

Holy Rosary ~  7 pm

St. Patrick’s, Keenaught ~ 7 pm



St. Columba’s, Straw ~ 9 am

St. Mary’s, Coolcalm ~ 10 am

St. Patrick’s, Sixtowns ~ 10 am

St. Eugene’s, Moneyneena ~ 11 am

Holy Rosary  ~  12 noon

St. Patrick’s, Keenaught ~ 12 .30 pm



St. Columba’s, Straw ~ 9 am

St. Mary’s, Coolcalm ~ 10 am

St. Patrick’s, Sixtowns ~ 11 am

St. Eugene’s, Moneyneena ~ 11 am

Holy Rosary ~  12 noon

St. Patrick’s, Keenaught ~ 12.30 pm


You may only book for and attend only ONE MASS over these three days.

A valid email address and contact number MUST be provided when booking.

Booking will commence at 7 pm on Tuesday 14th December.

To make a booking please visit your parish website, details below







The Annual Carol Service will be held today, Sunday 12th December, in Holy Rosary Church, Draperstown at 6 pm.  Due to the huge numbers that would want to attend it is not possible to open the service to the general public.  Therefore, it will only be available via the webcam, but we do hope that many families in the parish will gather in their homes to join in this important annual event.



On Saturday and Sunday until 4 pm each day, Holy Rosary Church will be open for parishioners to leave presents and non-perishable foodstuff for distribution by St. Vincent de Paul Society.




We welcome into God’s family through the Sacrament of Baptism:

Rory John Walls, 18B Luney Road.



THANK YOU for your generous contributions to the Parish.

Last Week:

Sunday Collection/Priests’ Collection envelopes:  £692.60.

Restoration Fund envelopes:  £429.00.

Retired Priests Collection envelopes:  £100.00.  (total so far:  £657.00)


Those who contribute with a church collection envelope, you are welcome to return them at any parish Mass or put them through the Parochial House letterbox at any time.  Thank you.

Thank you also to all parishioners who are supporting the Parish by direct debit.  Your contributions are appreciated very much.




The Parish is having a CHRISTMAS DRAW this year.  There will be draws every day of the 12 days between Christmas Day and Tuesday 5th January 2021.  As before, everyone’s ticket will be in for All the draws, which means you have 33 chances to win prizes.  Total prize fund is £5,000.  TICKETS are £20 each, available from:

  • the Churches before and after Mass

  • Desertmartin Parish Office on a Thursday between 10.30 am and 3 pm

  • from McGirr at the Parochial House, 50 Tobermore Road

  • Columb’s P.S., Cullion

  • Heron’s Gift Shop, Draperstown

  • Moneyneena Post Office

A ticket would make a nice Christmas gift to send inside your Christmas cards to members of your family and friends this Christmastime.


If anyone would like a Ticket Posted to them, please contact Fr. McGirr on 028 7963 2196 or email desertmartinparish@gmail.com


PRIZES ~ on the first 10 days there are 3 prizes each day of £100.  On 11th Day the draw will be for 2 prizes of £500 and on the 12th and last Day of Christmas there is one final prize of £1,000.  Please let your family and friends know about our special Christmas Draw.

Thank you for all your generous support of the Draw last Christmas.  This year’s Draw will be essential to helping with the basic running of the parish during these times into 2022.  Good luck to everyone who enters the Twelve Days of Christmas Draw.




Desertmartin Walk for Health Group will meet at the car park at Desertmartin chapel on Friday 10th December at 2 pm for an afternoon walk weather permitting.  This is the last planned walk until the new year.

Making Life Better, supported by the Public Health Agency.

Christmas Wreath / Table Top Arrangements with Mary on Friday 17th December at 7 pm.  You must register as places are limited. Mary will then email a list of suitable materials that you will need to bring with you.  Admission £5.

SPRED Group; Tuesday morning Exercise and Line-Dancing are stopping for a Christmas break.  All activities will resume again in January 2022.  Thanks to all who participate, keep safe and hope to see everyone in the New Year.

Due to Covid restrictions, it is important to register for sessions as numbers are Limited.  Contact Kathleen on 077 6427 7809, Anne on 028 7964 2711 or Olive on 078 8761 4094.



Santa Claus will be visiting Desertmartin and Draperstown on Saturday 18th December, arriving in Desertmartin first at 6 pm.   He will be accompanied by his elves and a few of the Mid Ulster truckers and their lorries.  Everyone welcome to come out and enjoy the Christmas spirit.



‘How Fit Is Your Soul?’ Programme:  The ‘How Fit Is Your Soul’ Programme is an online programme from St. Eugene’s Cathedral taking place during Advent.  This is for anyone who is interested in reflecting on and developing their prayer life, whether you would like to start praying, pray more or experience new ways to pray.  For more information, please email emmett.mullan@btinternet.com or phone St. Eugene’s Parish office on 028 71262 894.



A Family Prayer Booklet, for family prayer at home during Advent, has been created by the diocese in conjunction with the Northern Pastoral Network.  The booklet contains a Gospel reading for each Sunday of Advent, a family activity, prayers and a reflection.  It can be downloaded at this link https://www.derrydiocese.org/advent



Classroom Assistant in Gaelscoil na Speirini, 15 hours per week.  Job details on EA Website.

Building supervisor 12.5 hours per week.  Job details on EA Website.

Please contact the Gaelscoil on 028 7962 8445 or email skelly745@c2kni.net for more details.



There are Yoga Classes in Magherafelt led by Bernie on Monday nights at 5.45 pm in the Parish Centre across the road from the Church.  Classes are 80 minutes long.  A block of 6 classes is £60.  Anyone joining now, it’s £50.  Bring yoga mat pillow and blanket.  For more information, tel. 077 5900 1664.



Lough Derg online shop offers unique Christmas Cards, featuring scenes of the Island from across the centuries and bespoke Gifts including a limited edition Lough Derg Christmas Candle.  Christmas Mass Bouquet Cards are also available  –  Fr. La, Prior, will offer a triduum of Masses beginning on Christmas Eve for all those who are enrolled.  Visit www.loughderg.live/shop   Telephone 00353 71 9861518.  Delivery nationwide and Click and Collect Service available.



Carmelite Retreat Centre Termonbacca, Derry will host this Novena from 8th – 16th December.  Novena Mass and prayers will be live streamed via Facebook each evening at 7.30 pm.  Novena prayer leaflets containing the public prayers after Mass and the private prayers to be said at home are on Termonbacca Facebook page or email termonbaccaderry@gmail.com



Lectio Divina Reflections on the Advent and Christmas Gospels:  The Priory Institute is delighted to offer a Free of Charge online retreat (which is a repeat of the popular Advent Retreat ran in 2018).  Visit website prioryinstitute.com or click on this link https://bit.ly/3DWrTkx to register/find out more.



7 Nights Apartment B&B and return Airport transfer from Dubrovnik or Split from €315 per person sharing.  Guaranteed Airport transfer price for any flight.  Contact us for details and book the dates that suit you.  Tel. 00353 1443 4510 or email reservations@med-irishcentre.com



Al-Anon provides a free, confidential, non-judgmental support service to individuals and families whose life is or has been affected by someone else drinking.  All meetings are listed on the website www.al-anonuk.org.uk , or you may call the Confidential Helpline on 028 9068 2368.




Synodality is about seeking together to discover God’s way forward in a new time and place.

This is not just a time of change but a change of time.  It is about learning to journey in hope from the great figures of the Advent liturgy: Isaiah, John the Baptist, Mary and Joseph.  We are a pilgrim people, following the voice of God who calls us one step at a time.  We are moving beyond a Church where everything depends on ‘Father’.  Pope Francis has asked us to rediscover the Advent spirit of leaving our secure base and trusting that the Lord will guide our feet into the way of peace.

We aim to have a time of local listening to one another in January/February, building towards a diocesan submission to an Irish national response.  All national responses will be considered by the Vatican and a Working Document sent back for local reflection and comment in late 2022 – building towards the Synod of Bishops’ meeting in October 2023, and beyond.

This is the beginning of a new way of being Church.  It is not just a passing initiative. It is facing the future together, open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Advent is not just a season of the year.  It is a permanent part of our identity as Church.





If parishioners in Desertmartin and Ballinascreen wish to have their loved one prayed for at the 11 am Mass in Coolcalm or the 7.30 pm Mass in Holy Rosary on Friday, phone the Desertmartin Parish Office answering machine on 028 7939 7047 or email desertmartinparish@gmail.com by 12 noon on Thursday of the relevant week with the name and address of your deceased loved one.  These Masses from Coolcalm and the Holy Rosary may be viewed on the respective Parish webcams.

For Coolcalm go to www.desertmartinparish.com and click on the blue webcam button.

For Holy Rosary, go to www.parishofballinascreen.com and click on the word ‘webcams’ in yellow.



St. Mary’s, Coolcalm, will be open for private prayer and to light candles this week on Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm.

St. Patrick’s, Keenaught, will be open for private prayer and to light candles this week on Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm.

You must wear a face covering while entering and leaving the church.  Also, please use hand sanitiser at the door.  When you call into the church please pick up a coloured card at the door on the way to your seat.  When you have finished praying please leave the card behind on your seat.  That seat will be cleaned later in the day.  Do not sit on a seat where a card has been left behind.  Thank you.



In Desertmartin and Ballinascreen anyone may attend Sunday Mass inSt. Patrick’s, Keenaught; St. Columba’s, Straw; St. Eugene’s, Moneyneena and Holy Rosary, Draperstown.

The 2-week townland area rota continues in St. Mary’s, Coolcalm for Sunday Masses.



Stress is a normal reaction to the rapidly changing and uncertain times we are all living in at the moment.  If you are feeling a bit more stressed than usual and would like to learn some great ways, free-of-charge, to deal with common problems like anxiety, depression, panicky feelings, poor sleep and poor wellbeing then come along to our online Stress Control class.  ‘Stress Control’ is a six-session cognitive-behavioural therapy class used extensively in community-settings by the NHS (UK) and HSE (Ireland) and across the world.  You can find out more here: https://ni.stresscontrol.org/

As you can’t come to a regular Stress Control class due to the current circumstances, Stress Control will come to you and live stream the sessions.  Each session will be available on the YouTube channel from 9 am and will be 62 hours after the start time.  The sessions will be led by Dr. Jim White, consultant clinical psychologist, who created the class and who has taught most of the NHS (UK) and HSE (Ireland) trainers who would normally be running classes across the country.

To take part:

  1. Go to https://ni.stresscontrol.org/ where you can learn more about the class and get the dates. Everything you need to successfully complete the class – the booklets, self-assessment, relaxation and mindfulness – can be found in the ‘Free zone’.  If you can, please read, and start working on, the booklets in the ‘Preparing for the course’ section before Session 1.

  1. On the homepage, click on the ‘Stress Control Online’ link to access our YouTube channel where the classes will be available to view at the scheduled times. If you click the ‘Subscribe’ button on our YouTube page (free), you will receive notifications when a new session is available.  You can also follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdCfzKgmXbB30baWLv6L5-g

  1. The session will begin exactly on time, so make sure you are there from the start. Sessions run for about 90 minutes and there will be a 10-minute break in the middle.

  1. Each session is one piece of the jigsaw in tackling your Stress. By coming to each class, the jigsaw will form, and the big picture can emerge, making you better able to handle your stress.  This is cognitive-behavioural therapy so it is crucial you practice the skills you will learn between sessions.

Life is very hard for us just now and there are no easy solutions or magic cures, but, with hard work and determination, we can boost our resilience to cope with these difficult times and come out the other end stronger. Please pass this on to anyone who you think might benefit from the class.





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