Bulletin: 12th November 2023






Holy Rosary, Ballinascreen:                6 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

St. Eugene’s, Moneyneena:                12 noon





St. Mary’s, Coolcalm:  Tuesday, Thursday and Friday ~ 10 am. [webcam]


Holy Rosary, Ballinascreen:  Monday and Wednesday ~ 10 am; Wednesday and Friday ~ 7.30 pm. [webcam]


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


Desertmartin Parish Office:

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

Email:  desertmartinparish@gmail.com


Christenings:  To book a baptism, contact Fr. McGirr on 028 7963 2196


Parish Anniversary and Month’s Mind Masses:  If parishioners wish to have their loved one prayed for at any Anniversary Friday Mass, please email their name to the Parish Office by noon on Thursday of the relevant week.  Email:  desertmartinparish@gmail.com.

Notices for First Anniversary and Month’s Mind Masses should be received before the Thursday of the previous week so they may be printed in the Bulletin the weekend before the Anniversary Mass.


SVP Helpline:  077 1083 8050




Please remember in your prayers:


Peter McKenna, Bellaghy, formerly Coolsara; Patsy McEldowney, Cloane; Tommy McGill, Randalstown and Jack McCracken, Newtownards whose funerals were held during the week.


Geraldine Hughes, Norah O’Hagan, Mickey McGillian, Josephine McDonald, Teresa McKeever and Clifford Barr who died recently.


Christopher Bradley, Moorside Villas, whose Month’s Mind occurs at this time.


Josie Trainor, Moneyneena Road and Anna Sweeney, Birmingham whose First Anniversaries occur at this time.


Peter McGuigan, Mary Fullen, Vera McKenna and Margaret McGovern whose anniversaries occur at this time.



The Month’s Mind Mass for Michael McGillian, Sixtowns Road, Draperstown will be celebrated on Friday 17th November at 7.30 pm in Holy Rosary Church, Ballinascreen.




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

Fíonn Conor O’Kane, 12A Moybeg Road, Tobermore.


THANK YOU for your generous contributions to the Parish.

Last Week:  Sunday/Priest’s Collection envelopes:  £833.80.

Restoration Fund envelopes:  £720.00.

Mission Sunday Collection envelopes:  £35.00  (total so far:  £985.00).

Thank you to those who contribute to the parish by direct debit.



This coming week on Tuesday and Wednesday Fr. McGirr will visit the sick on Iniscarn, Brackagh, Gortahurk, Brackalislea and Nutgrove Roads.




The Parish is having its CHRISTMAS DRAW again this year.  There will be draws every day of the 12 days between Christmas Day and Friday 5th January 2024.  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 Wednesday and Thursday between 10.30 am and 3 pm

  • from McGirr at the Parochial House, 50 Tobermore Road

  • 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 anywhere 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 very generous support of the Draw last Christmas.  This year’s Draw will be essential to helping with the basic running of the parish into 2024 and with maintenance work being done at both our parish churches.  Good luck to everyone who enters the Twelve Days of Christmas Draw.






The first weekend in December will be the 50th Anniversary of the Opening of St. Patrick’s Church, Keenaught.  To mark the occasion there will be Mass celebrated in the Church on Sunday 3rd December at 12 noon. 


Does anyone in the parish or across the community have any photographs of the construction of the church building itself or of the official opening of the church in December 1973 or have any taken during the first weeks or months of St. Patrick’s being open to parishioners?  Fr. McGirr would like to put together a display of the images to put up in the church for people to view.  If you would like to help, could you contact Fr. McGirr on 028 7963 2196 and then bring any photographs to the Parochial House, 50 Tobermore Road and he will then scan them and give them back to you.  I appreciate your help with this little project.  Thank you.



The Annual Parish Mass for Deceased Parishioners in the Ballinascreen Parish will take place on Wednesday evening, 15th November, at 7.30 pm in the Holy Rosary Church, Ballinascreen.  The names of all who died or were buried or waked in our parish since All Soul’s Day last year will be read out at this Mass.  After all these names have been read out an adult member from each of these bereaved families will be invited to carry a lit candle to the altar.



A Book of Remembrance is in place in both St. Mary’s, Coolcalm and St. Patrick’s, Keenaught for parishioners to enrol the names of their deceased loved ones.  These books will remain in place for the month of November.


IN MEMORY CANDLES are available at the back of Coolcalm and Keenaught churches throughout November.  Cost £1.  Please put money in the candelabra slot.



A short-term pledge gives spiritual support and encouragement to people and their families who are living under a shadow of addiction.  Further information from the Pioneers on 00353 1 805 4226 or via www.pioneers.ie/pray.



This annual Mass will be celebrated in St. Eugene’s Cathedral today, Sunday 12th November, at 7 pm.  There will be an opportunity to write the name of your deceased loved one before Mass.  All are welcome to attend.  If you are unable to attend the Mass but would like your loved one’s name included in our prayers, please email lizzie.rea@derrydiocese.org.



Annual Christmas Craft Fair today, Sunday 12th November, 10.30 am – 4 pm.  Crafters from all over Mid-Ulster with a wide selection of handcrafted and homemade items, from baking, crochet, wooden plaques, personalised gifts and much more.  Perfect gifts for Christmas, suitable for all the family.  Always a few bargains to be had!

Chair Exercises with Thomasina on Tuesdays at 10 am followed by a short walk.  Come along to help improve your fitness, health and wellbeing.  Admission £4.  All welcome.

Knit and Natter on Tuesdays at 7.30 pm.  Bring your own project or you can help with knitting for local charities.

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

Bowling Club on Tuesdays, 8 pm to 10 pm.  New and past members welcome.

Annual Christmas Craft Fair on Sunday 12th November.  Only 1 table left, £20.

Read Yourself Well.  Books by wellness experts and doctors are available to borrow for free at the Parish Hall during any of the above activities.

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

Sarsfield’s Accordion Practice on Thursdays at 7.30 pm. New and past members welcome.



Fundraising Coffee Morning next Sunday 19th November in An Rath Dubh Centre, Moneyneena from 10 am to 2 pm.  Raffle and prizes on the day.  All money in aid of Year 13 St. Colm’s High School students attending the Camino Walk in Spain June 2024.



Men’s Health Awareness Evening has been rescheduled to Tuesday 28th November at 7 pm.  There will be a talk delivered by Stephen McKay, Pharmacist, followed by food.  A good turnout would be much appreciated.



Totus Tuus Scripture Conference 2023 is Live on Radio Maria Ireland on Saturday 18th November from 2 pm.  Speakers include Fr. John Ryan (Cloyne Diocese), Fr. Luke Demasi (Home of the Mother), Fr. John McEneaney (Waterford and Lismore Diocese) and Frances Hogan (Scripture Scholar).  Radio Maria Ireland can be listened to by downloading the Radio Maria Ireland App, on Saorview Channel 210 or listen live at 00353 1 437 3277.



The next Rosary on the Coast will be next Sunday 19th November at 3 pm on Benone Strand, Magilligan.  Everyone welcome.  Details on 077 3033 0028.



Omagh Charismatic Prayer Group – Day of Prayer, Praise and Healing:  Mellon Country Hotel, Omagh next Sunday 19th November.  Registration from 9.30 am.  Celebration of the Eucharist in the afternoon.  Speaker Fr. Brendan Walsh SAC.  Lunch, tea and coffee available.  Booking by 10th November essential.  Tel.  078 7641 1435 or 075 9660 9041.



Weekly Chair Exercises and Well Being Talk continues every Friday at 10 am with Elaine.  Everyone welcome.  Only £4 per week.

Planting Spring Window Boxes/Pots on Monday 6th November.  Choose from 10 am or 11.30 am class.  All materials will be provided including pot/bulbs and spring flowers.  £8.  Must be booked, text 078 2196 3749 or ring 028 7962 7826.

Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing on Monday 13th November, 10 am – 12 noon.  Interactive and fun workshop.  Refreshments and goodie bag for all who attend.  Free event, but places must be booked.  Text 078 2196 3749 or call 028 7962 7826

Dates of our exciting Christmas classes and workshops will be available soon.

If you want to be among the first to know about classes and events at Kilcronaghan, please text/WhatsApp your name to 078 2196 3749.



The Workspace Community Fund is now accepting applications.  Open to community and voluntary groups in the Ballinascreen, Kilcronaghan and Desertmartin areas, the Fund welcomes applications for grants between £500-£2,000.  Closing date for applications is 4 pm on Monday 13th November.  To receive an application pack, please contact Workspace on 028 7962 8113.

November’s Warm Welcome Wednesday Monthly Luncheon Club, offering Free hot lunch for over 60s and the chance to meet and chat to others, takes place on Wednesday 15th November in the Workspace Community Hub, 11 am – 2 pm, food served about 12.30 pm.  Only 30 places available so booking is essential.  To confirm your place, please contact Workspace on 028 7962 8113 by 12 noon on Tuesday 14th November.



Nuala’s Keep Fit Classes on Mondays and Thursdays at 6.45 pm.  Classes only cost £21 for 6 weeks (one night per week), works out at only £3.50 per class.  For more details, please call Workspace on 028 7962 8113.

Baby Massage – New 4-week block of baby massage and reflexology in the Workspace Community Hub from 10th November.  Contact Rosie on 077 4912 1208 for more details.

New ‘Diamond Painting’ Beginners Group now meeting every Tuesday in Workspace Community Hub from 11 am – 1 pm.  Diamond Painting is a new art hobby which involves applying multi-colored rhinestones on a canvas to produce a shimmering picture.  If interested in learning more, just call in to one of the sessions.  Booking not required.



Foodbank operates Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm.  If you or someone you know requires assistance, please call 075 4342 0639.  No questions asked or criteria to meet.  Follow them on facebook at Sperrinfoodbank or email foodbank@theworkspacegroup.org.



‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ at the Millennium Forum, 30th November – 31st December.  Accessible Performances.  Signed Performance – Wednesday 6th December at 7 pm.  Relaxed and Dementia Friendly Performance – Saturday 9th December at 2 pm.  Audio Described Performance – Sunday 17th December at 2 pm.  All performances will include a song using Makaton.  Tickets for these performances are on sale through our box office (028 7126 4455 choose option 1) or on our website www.millenniumforum.co.uk.



‘Preparing for Christmas’Weekend Retreat at Ards Friary, Co. Donegal, 8th – 10th December.  Led by Philip McParland.  In the weeks leading up to Christmas there is usually a lot going on in our lives.  This weekend will offer you an opportunity to focus on your spiritual preparation.  It will be both reflective and practical, suggesting ways to keep in touch with Jesus.  To book, contact Ards. Tel: 00353 74 91 38909.  Email: info@ardsfriary.ie.



The Derry Diocesan Catechetical Centre, working in Partnership with Saint Mary’s University, Twickenham, offers the Masters in Catholic School Leadership.  This is a post graduate degree dedicated to the professional development and spiritual formation of Catholic school leaders.  It is a great opportunity for those currently in leadership roles and those who aspire to, or have an interest in, leadership roles within the Catholic School system.  There is still time to sign up for the Academic Year 2023/2024.  If you require any further information, please contact the Derry Diocesan Catechetical Centre on 028 7126 4087 or email tferry@derrydiocese.org.



Help Accord help you support your marriage and relationship.  If you feel your relationship is in crisis or you need a little guidance and help, either face to face or online, contact your local Accord centre.  Accord NI counsellors are professionally trained in the specialism of couples and relationships counselling.  Every year Accord helps thousands of couples rebuild and sustain healthy relationships.  For support, tel. 028 9023 3002 or visit accordni.com.



An Evening of Songs of Faith, Hope and Love in Knock Basilica on Friday 1st December at 8 pm, featuring Dana, John McNicholl, Margo, Philomena Begley and Marc Roberts with Úna Nolan and Schola Cantorum Basilicae choir.  A fundraising concert for Victim Assistance Charity.  Tickets from Ticketmaster.ie.  Tickets also available from head office.  For details, contact Mary McNicholas, Victim Assistance Head Office, Aiden St., Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo 00353 94 9000 251/ 00353 86 3938 871.  Email: support@victimassistance.ie



The Catholic Chaplaincy at Queen’s University Belfast will lead a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land for alumni and friends.  Departing 9th February 2024 for 8 nights with half-board accommodation in 4 star hotels in Jerusalem and Nazareth, this promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip.  The Pilgrimage’s Spiritual Director will be Queen’s Chaplain, Fr. Dominic McGrattan, with music and song provided by the Chaplaincy’s Director of Sacred Music, celebrated soprano, Marcella Walsh.  In addition to a rich itinerary which includes visits to the principal sacred sites, we will also visit the Holy Family Maternity Hospital in Bethlehem and the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem.  If you would like to know more information including price, itinerary and how to book, please email Chaplaincy Director, Shannon Campbell, at catholicchaplaincy@qub.ac.uk



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 November and will be taken down at 8 am on Thursday 9th November.  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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