Bulletin: 19th 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; 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:


Marie Mullen,1 Glenshane Park, Draperstown whose funeral was held during the week.


Peter McKenna, Patsy McEldowney, Tommy McGill, Jack McCracken and Geraldine Hughes who died recently.


Nathan Doyle, Bridie McGuigan, Micky Joe McGuigan, Paddy Joe McGuigan, Bernard McGuigan, Johnny McDaid, Annie O’Neill, Andrew Kearns, Peter McGuigan, Gladys Wilson and James O’Connor whose anniversaries occur at this time.




THANK YOU for your generous contributions to the Parish.

Last Week:  Sunday/Priest’s Collection envelopes:  £807.98.

Mission Sunday Collection envelopes:  £20.00  (total so far:  £1,005.00).

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 Carncose, Quilly, Luney, Drumsamney, Tobermore and Forgetown Roads and Brackagh Lane.







The first weekend in December will be the 50th Anniversary of the Dedication and 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. 


There will be NO Saturday evening Vigil Mass in St. Patrick’s Church, Keenaught on Saturday 2nd December.  Instead, for just that weekend, the Vigil Mass will be in St. Mary’s, Coolcalm on Saturday 2nd December at 7.30 pm.


Also, there will be NO 10 am Mass in St. Mary’s Church, Coolcalm on the Sunday morning, 3rd December.





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.





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.



Bishop McKeown will lead a Holy Hour for Peace in the World from 8 pm to 9 pm on Monday 20th November in St. Eugene’s Cathedral, Derry.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  You can also join in this time prayer for peace via the St. Eugene’s Cathedral webcam.



Synthesis Report from the First Session (4th – 29th October 2023) of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is now available online.  The Participants in the General Assembly have approved a Letter to the People of God.  The text offers reflections and proposals on topics such as the role of women and the laity, the ministry of bishops, priesthood and the diaconate, the importance of the poor and migrants, digital mission, ecumenism, and abuse.  It is not a final document, but an ‘instrument at the service of ongoing discernment’.  The Synthesis Report is structured in three parts:  The first outlines ‘the face of the synodal Church’, presenting the practice and understanding of synodality and its theological underpinning.  The second part, entitled ‘All disciples, all missionaries’, deals with all those involved in the life and mission of the Church and their relationships with one another.  The third part bears the title ‘Weaving bonds, building community’.   Episcopal Conferences are now called to focus on the questions and proposals that are considered most urgent, all this sustained by a climate of mutual listening and sincere dialogue.  To read the report, click on the link:  https://www.synod.va/content/dam/synod/assembly/synthesis/english/2023.10.28-ENG-Synthesis-Report_IMP.pdf     



SPRED Group on Monday 20th and 27th November, exercise with Kathleen, supported by Public Health Agency.

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.

Flower Arranging on Sunday 17th and Monday 18th December with Mary supported by Public Health Agency.  Registration is necessary.

Yoga Classes starting on Monday 8th January 2024 at 10 am.  Numbers limited.  Registration is necessary.

Come along to any of the above actives and enjoy a fun way to exercise, keep fit and improve your health and wellbeing.

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 Band 2024 Calendar now on sale, £7 each, can be bought from any band member.  November Draw winner:  Vickey McKinley, Magherafelt, £50.

Band Practice continues every Thursday at 7.30 pm.  New and past members welcome.



Fundraising Coffee Morning today, 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.



Glór na Speiríní’s annual indoor Christmas Market will be on Sunday 26th November from 5 pm to 8 pm in Straw.  Come and lend your support to the growth of the Irish language in Ballinascreen.  All proceeds will go to Naíscoil and Gaelscoil na Speiríní.



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.



Christmas Porcelain Tree Decorations workshop on Monday 27th November, 10 am – 1 pm.  £6, all materials included.

Christmas Cookery Demonstrations and Tasting, all 10 am – 12 noon.  £7 weekly or £20 for all 3 weeks – Tuesday 5th, 12th and 19th December.

Christmas Gift Wrapping Demonstration followed by a design and print your own wrapping paper or Christmas cards workshop on Monday 4th December, 10 am – 12 noon.

Christmas Door/Grave Wreath workshop on Monday 11th December, choose either 10 am or 11.30 am.  Bring own oasis ring.  All greenery and materials supplied.

Christmas Faux Table Arrangement on Friday 15th December at 11 am.  All materials supplied.

Places per class are limited and must be booked.  Festive refreshments will be served.  Text/WhatsApp/ring 078 2196 3749.  Kilcronaghan Gift vouchers also available to any value and can be used for classes in 2024.



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



Draperstown Health Matters Project:  Áine from O’Kane’s Pharmacy will be holding an information session on Skin Care on Wednesday 22nd November at 12 noon in Workspace Community Hub.  The event is free and open to all.  No need to book, just drop-in.

Draperstown Christmas Tree Lights Switch-On on Friday 24th November, 6 pm – 9 pm.  Includes live music, amusements, face painting, street entertainment, craft fair and Santa’s Grotto.  Santa arrives at 7.15 pm and Christmas tree lights switch-on at 7.30 pm.  Please note that a section of High Street, from the roundabout to the front of McAuley’s Maxol Station, will be closed to traffic from 5.30 pm – 9.15 pm.



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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