Bulletin: 25th February 2023

PARISH BULLETIN – 1st SUNDAY OF LENT – 26th February 2023




Holy Rosary, Ballinascreen:                6 pm [webcam]

St. Patrick’s, Keenaught:              7.30 pm



St. Columba’s, Straw:                         9 am

St. Patrick’s, Keenaught:           10 am [livestream via www.devlinmedia.tv]

St. Patrick’s, Sixtowns:                       11 am

St. Eugene’s, Moneyneena:                12 noon





St. Mary’s, Coolcalm:  Monday and Friday ~ 11 am; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday ~ 7.30 pm. [webcam]


Holy Rosary, Ballinascreen:  Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday ~ 7 am; Monday and Friday ~ 7.30 pm. [webcam]


St. Colm’s High School:  Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – 8.40 am.


St. Eugene’s, Moneyneena:  Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday ~ 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


Desertmartin Parish Office:

Tel. 028 7939 7047.  Wednesday and Thursday 10.30 am to 3 pm.

Email:  desertmartinparish@gmail.com


SVP Helpline:  077 1083 8050





Please remember in your prayers:


Mary Gilhooley, England; Sam Bell, Cullion Road; Tyrone McElhennon, Dungannon and Brian McKernan, Rock who were buried during the week.


Philomena Donnelly, Michael Burns and Mary McMullan who died recently.


Martin Walls, John Higgins, Margaret McGurk, Seamus McGurk, Nellie Walls, Winnie Kelly, Joseph Kelly, Andrew Shaw, Christopher Shaw, Margaret Ryan, Pat Ryan, John McBride, Hugh Bradley, Brigid McGirr, Ellen McGirr and Vincent Corry whose anniversaries occur at this time.




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

Daisy Mae Finn, 11 Egmont Place, Churchtown, Co. Cork.


THANK YOU for your generous contributions to the Parish.

Last Week:

Sunday/Priest’s Collection envelopes:  £911.00.

Holy Places Collection:  £354.50.





The Confirmation Mass for the Primary 7 children of St. Columb’s, Cullion and Knocknagin Primary Schools will be celebrated by Bishop Donal McKeown next Sunday 5th March at 10 am in St. Patrick’s Church, Keenaught.

The Confirmation Mass will be live streamed from Keenaught next Sunday morning on the Devlin Media website – go to www.devlinmedia.tv .

There will be NO 10 am Mass in St. Mary’s, Coolcalm next Sunday morning, but parishioners are welcome to attend to attend the 10 am Confirmation Mass.

Please keep the Confirmation children and their families in your prayers this coming week.



We would like to have St. Patrick’s, Keenaught looking well for the Confirmation children, their families and parish visitors.  We will have a Cleaning of Keenaught Church this Monday evening, 27th February, at 7 pm and we invite parishioners to give a bit of their time Monday evening to come along and help with the clean.  The more that come along, the sooner we’ll have the church tidied.  Bring along a brush and dustpan, and if some people could bring along a mop and bucket, even a hoover, that would be most helpful.  Please help have your church clean for the Confirmation children’s big day.  Thank you.



Confirmation for the P7 children of Gaelscoil na Speiríni, Straw will be next Saturday 4th March at 11 am in Holy Rosary Church, Ballinascreen.

Confirmation for the remaining P7 children in Ballinascreen Parish will be next Sunday 5th March at 2 pm in Holy Rosary Church, Ballinascreen.





11 am – St. Mary’s, Coolcalm

7.30 pm – Holy Rosary, Ballinascreen


There will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in Holy Rosary, Ballinascreen on Mondays during Lent from 12 noon until 7.25 pm.


Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays:

7 am – Holy Rosary, Ballinascreen

8.40 am – St. Colm’s High School

11 am – St. Eugene’s, Moneyneena

7.30 pm – St. Mary’s, Coolcalm


There will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Mary’s, Coolcalm on Thursdays during Lent from 12 noon until 7.15 pm (Stations of the Cross at 7 pm).



11 am – St. Mary’s, Coolcalm

7.30 pm – Holy Rosary, Ballinascreen




Stations of the Cross in Holy Rosary Church, Ballinascreen on Sundays during Lent at 5 pm.  All welcome.



There will be an opportunity to come together on the Fridays of Lent to reflect on Scripture using the Lectio Divina method at 8.15 pm in the Community Hub, Draperstown.  Light refreshments served afterwards.  All welcome.



Masses will be offered in the following churches in each of the four deaneries during the Lenten Season.  They will highlight the virtue of Temperance, focusing on the Pioneer promises of moderation in all things, particularly in the use of alcohol.

St. Mary’s Church, Creggan on Tuesday 28th February at 7.30 pm.

St. John the Baptist Church, Swatragh on Saturday 11th March at 12 noon.

Church of the Sacred Heart, Carndonagh on Tuesday 14th March at 7 pm.

Church of the Sacred Heart, Omagh on Monday 20th March at 7.30 pm.

All, especially Pioneers, are invited to attend these Masses.



Anyone wishing to become a probationary pioneer, or is due a full pin or a silver, golden or diamond pin is asked to please email Fr. Madden at ballinascreenparish@gmail.com.

Anyone wishing to take a temporary pin for Lent which begins on Wednesday 22nd February is asked to please contact Fr. Madden on 028 7962 8376.



The Knights of St. Columbanus in Drumbo and Carryduff will lead the Rosary on each Sunday evening during the holy season of Lent at 7 pm in the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Carryduff.  Everyone welcome.  The first Rosary will take place on Sunday 26th February at 7 pm.  If you are unable to attend in person you can join us online via the parish webcam https://www.drumbocarryduff.ie/webcam/



Lenten Reflection Day on Saturday 4th March 9.30 am – 5 pm.  Kindfulness… a gifted way of living my life.  An opportunity for time aside to reflect on the Season of Lent and to open our minds and hearts afresh to celebrate Holy Week and Easter.  Led by Fr. Damian Bresnahan SMA.  Cost (including lunch) £35.

Dance Of Life Retreat on Friday 17th March (5 pm) – Sunday 19th (2 pm).  In this retreat the opportunity to dance may bring a renewed awareness in your sense of self, connection with others and connection with God.  Led by Sr. Mary Taylor OLA and Fr. Damian Bresnahan SMA.  Cost £220.  Contact SMA Dromantine, Newry, BT34 1RH, tel; 028 3082 1964 or  email: admin@dromantinecomference.com



The AGM will be held on Tuesday 28th February at 7.30 pm at the Credit Union Office.   All members are very welcome to come.



Chair Exercise with Thomasina every Tuesday morning at 10 am followed by a short walk.  Admission £4.  Everyone welcome.

Knit and Natter Class on Tuesdays at 7.30 pm.

Line Dancing with Thomasina on Wednesdays at 7.30 pm.  Admission £4.

If you are interested in any of the above activities, please contact Olive 078 8761 4094, Kathleen 077 6427 7809 or Anne 028 7964 2711 to register.

Sarsfield’s Band Practice on Thursdays at 7.30 pm.  All members are asked to please make a special effort to attend in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day.

Monthly Draw Tickets still available from any Band member cost £1 per month or £12 for the year.  £50 monthly prize draw, extra free draw in December for fully paid up members.



Traditional Music Sessions – The traditional music sessions will now take place monthly on the first Saturday night of each month.  Doors open at 8 pm.  Music starts at 8.30 pm.  Admission £5 includes light supper.  Everyone welcome.  Come along and enjoy some nice music.  The bar will be open.



Accord NI Catholic Marriage Care Service is recruiting Marriage Education Facilitators to provide Sacramental Marriage Preparation for couples in your diocese.  We are seeking individuals who are good communicators and have an enthusiasm for supporting couples as they prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage and future family life.  This is an opportunity to formally train within a supportive, nurturing and inspiring community.  In 2022, our teams helped 2,140 couples to develop good communication skills, manage conflict and understand the responsibility and significance of the Sacrament of Marriage.  For further details and an application form, please contact Brenda at 028 9023 3002 or email info@accordni.com.



Be a voice for unborn babies at the Rally for Life in Belfast on Saturday 11th March gathering in Custom House Square at 2 pm.  A special Mass for Life will be offered in St. Patrick’s Church, Donegall Street at 12.30 pm.  Buses to the Rally leaving from various locations.  For further information, please contact Precious Life on 075 9228 0522 / 028 9027 8484 / email info@preciouslife.com.



Is inviting applications for the following programme beginning Autumn 2023:  Part-Time Certificate in Religious Education (Primary) with Online Delivery.  The programme is open to:  Qualified primary school teachers; 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 Monday 12th June.  This date may be extended.  For further information, contact Mary Kearns, Senior Administrator, School of Education, St. Angela’s College, Lough Gill, Sligo.  Email mkearns@stangelas.ie or visit www.stangelas.ie.



The library provides free IT Sessions for anyone needing help with their phone, iPad or other devices.  Next session will be on Friday 24th March.  This is on an individual hourly basis, but booking a slot is essential.  To book, phone 028 7962 8249 or e-mail  draperstown.library@librariesni.org.uk.



Thinking of giving up smoking for Lent?  Call into O’Kane’s Chemist, Draperstown and speak to a member of staff about joining their FREE 12 week programme.



Names are now being taken for BTEC Level 3 Dementia course.  To register, tel. 028 7774 2494.



Mid Ulster Council Chair, Córa Corry, and Tourette’s Support NI invites you to an Information Day Regarding Tourette’s Syndrome on Thursday 2nd March at 4 pm in Mid Ulster District Council Magherafelt, 50 Ballyronan Rd, Magherafelt BT45 6EN.  Tourette’s Syndrome is a neurological condition that affects every aspect of daily life for those who suffer from it.  It causes tics that are involuntary, repetitive movements and sounds, and can be both vocal and motor tics.  Other symptoms include echolalia and copropraxia.  Tourette’s Syndrome also has many co-occurring conditions such as ADHD, OCD, Sensory Processing, Anxiety and Sleep Disorders.  Tourette’s Syndrome is very much misunderstood which causes many difficulties for families undertaking simple everyday tasks that many of us take for granted.  Tourette’s Support NI wish to raise awareness and provide information and training to organisations to help suffers and their families as they go about their daily lives.  Your attendance can make such a positive difference to suffers and their families.  Light refreshments will be provided on arrival.  For catering purposes please confirm your attendance by Thursday 23rd February.  Please note if you are unable to attend in person a zoom link can be provided on request.  Tel.03000 132 132.



Warm Welcome Wednesdays in the Community Hub every Wednesday from 11 am – 1 pm during these colder months, to provide a warm space, free tea/coffee and some chat.  Arrange to meet friends, call in to read the newspapers or if you just fancy a change of scenery.  Free of charge and open to everyone.  No need to book, just drop-in.



If you require a food parcel, Sperrin Foodbank will be open on Fridays from 11 am – 1 pm for drop-ins.  No appointment required.  If you require assistance outside this time, please call 075 4342 0639 to arrange collection.  No questions asked or criteria to meet.  Other contact details are Facebook page Sperrinfoodbank or email foodbank@theworkspacegroup.org



Seven Nights Pilgrimage to Medjugorje from 24th May – 31st May.  Spiritual Director will be Fr. Séamus Kelly.  Bed/Breakfast and dinner, price is £799.  Money must be paid in full.  Contact Martina for further information. Phone 028 7774 1219 or 077 1549 0880.



Fully escorted group pilgrimage for seven nights from 25th May to 1st June.  Cost £745 p.p.s.  Single room supplement £175.  Staying in 4* Hotel Styler.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner each day.  Mass daily and spiritual activities.  Services of Marian Pilgrimages guide.  Direct flights Dublin / Lisbon.  Bus will travel from Oakleaf Restaurant, Maghera to Dublin Airport.  For more details, please contact Bridie Gallagher on 028 2564 4181.



Sunday 28th May to Friday 2nd June.  The price of £799 (with price reduction for Cancer Patients) will include return flights from Belfast International Airport, operated by Northern Star Travel Ltd, full board and accommodation at the Hotel Agena in Lourdes for five nights based on twin/double/triple rooms.  Service of JWT guides in Lourdes.  The party will consist of patients, ex-patients, relatives and friends accompanied by medical, nursing and other staff.  To enquire or to obtain a booking form, please speak to a member of the committee, tel. 078 7468 8388 or email mail@nicancerpilgrimage.org.uk.



The Derry Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2023, led by Bishop Donal McKeown, will go direct from City of Derry Airport.  3rd to 7th July, four nights full board in the Hotel Agena:  £745 sharing, £35 single supplement.  Travel insurance up to age 79 – £39.  Age 80 to 94 – £78.  (Pilgrims may wish to use their own insurance).  Further details and payment arrangements will be available in the new year via the Lourdes Pilgrimage Office, 164 Bishop Street, Derry, derrypilgrim@outlook.com, tel 028 7126 0293.


The Diocese of Derry is inviting any young person who is over 18 or will be 18 by July 2023 to join us on Pilgrimage to Lisbon for World Youth Day.  World Youth Day (WYD) is the gathering of young people from all over the world with the Pope.  It is also a pilgrimage, a celebration of youth, an expression of the universal Church and an intense moment of evangelization for the youth world.  This pilgrimage will take place in August.  For now, we are taking expression of interest until we have more information on dates, times and prices.  We have limited space so signing up is essential.  You can register your interest on the derrydiocese.org website or on the @derryyouth Facebook page.  If you have any questions regarding this pilgrimage, please email Lizzie Rea, Youth Coordinator at: lizzie.rea@derrydiocese.org



As part of St. Eugene’s Cathedral 150th Anniversary Celebrations, Bishop Donal McKeown will lead a pilgrimage to San Giovanni and Rome from 25th – 30th September.  Visiting the birthplace of Padre Pio, Shrine of St. Michael Archangel, St. Peter’s Basilica and other important sites.  Price is £879 p.p.s. (Single room supplement £150).  For more details, email info@marian.ie or call Belfast on 028 9568 0005 or Dublin on 00353 1 878 8159.



If you have any concerns with regard to Safeguarding children or adults in need of protection within the Church, contact Marie Gormley, the Diocesan Designated Liaison Person (DLP), on 075 9650 0793, or at mariegormley@derrydiocese.org.

Additional contact numbers:  PSNI Tel. 101 or Social Services Western HSC Trust on 028 7131 4090 (ask for Duty Social Worker).



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 remain available until 8 am the morning of the next session, e.g. Session One will be available from 9 am on Monday 6th March and will be taken down at 8 am on Thursday 9th March.  Session Two will then premiere at 9 am.

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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