Bulletin: 7th January 2024






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:  Wednesday ~ 10 am; Monday 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.


Sperrin Foodbank:  075 4342 0639                         SVP Helpline:  077 1083 8050




Please remember in your prayers:


Eileen Ryan, 48 Tirgan Road; Michael Brennan, Gulladuff and Joseph Larkin, Glengormley whose funerals were held during the week.


Hugh McGuckin, Bridget McKay, Michelle Cartin, Vincent McHenry, Elizabeth O’Connor, Bridget Stokes, Conor Kerr, Evelyn Haskins, Paul Crilly and Sadie Hennighan who died recently.


Josie Murray, Mary Jane Donnelly, James McKay, Michael Mulholland, Katie Smith, Lelia Burns, Aloysius McElwee and Nell Grant whose anniversaries occur at this time.




THANK YOU for your generous contributions to the Parish.  Last Week:  Sunday/Priest’s Collection envelopes:  £700.52.  Thank you to those who contribute to the parish by direct debit.



Eucharistic Adoration in Holy Rosary Church, Ballinascreen on Monday 8th January from 12 noon until 7.25 pm.



The monthly Mass in honour of St. Pio of Pietrelcina will be celebrated on Monday 8th January at 7.30 pm in the Holy Rosary, Ballinascreen.  Novena prayers and rosary commences at 7.10 pm.





First Day of Christmas (25th December) Draw Winners:

Caroline Kelly, 28 Cordarragh, Draperstown  (No. 1052)

Seamus McElwee, 1 Gortahurk Road  (No. 1142)

Bridget Hegarty, 36 Roshure Road,  (No. 0085)

Extra prizes:

Patrick Hegarty, 36 Roshure Road  (No. 0084)

Aisling Conway, 55 Cavanreagh Road, Draperstown  (No. 1524)


Second Day of Christmas (26th December) Draw Winners:

Fred McEldowney, Bracka  (No. 0992)

Ronán Cassidy, Roscommon (No. 1281)

Mary O’Hagan, 86 Iniscarn Road  (No. 1358)


Third Day of Christmas (27th December) Draw Winners:

Paul McCloskey, Benedy, Dungiven (No. 0479)

Brendan & Geraldine McCullagh  (No. 1563)

Helen Ryan, 157 Ardboe Road, Coagh, Cookstown  (No. 0016)

Extra prize:

Florence Hegarty, Moneymore Road (No. 1589)


Fourth Day of Christmas (28th December) Draw Winners:

Lisa & Barry Doherty, Rannakeeran Drive  (No. 1197)

The Thompson Family, c/o Angela McGuigan, Knocknagin  (No. 0823)

Cormac Heron, Galway  (No. 0274)


Fifth Day of Christmas (29th December) Draw Winners:

The Devlin Family, 54 Moneymore Road  (No. 0416)

Vincent McGirr, Lifford  (No. 0156)

Phil and Colette Trainor, Bracka  (No. 0467)


Sixth Day of Christmas (30th December) Draw Winners:

Connor Shiels, 97 Tobermore Road  (No. 0785)

Seamus Murray, Ranaghan Road, Draperstown  (No. 0458)

Kathleen McWilliams, 5 Tirruadh Mews, Draperstown  (No. 0267)

Extra prize:

Chris and Geraldine Magee, Tonagh Heights, Draperstown  (No. 1261)


Seventh Day of Christmas (31st December) Draw Winners:

Shane and Seana Brunton, 18 Dromdallagan  (No. 0395)

Marion Kelly, 21 River Road, Draperstown  (No. 1227)

Brian McNamee, 9 River Road, Draperstown  (No. 0076)

Extra prize:

Kyle Andy Kelly, Draperstown (No. 1579)


Eighth Day of Christmas (1st January) Draw Winners:

Philomena Higgins, 108 Glenravel Road, Martinstown, Ballymena  (No. 0688)

Frank and Bridie O’Hagan, 5 Drumderg Road, Draperstown  (No. 0447)

McEldowney Family, 40 Mulnavoo Road  (No. 0430)


Ninth Day of Christmas (2nd January) Draw Winners:

Madge and Emmett Walls, 47 Luney Road, Desertmartin  (No. 0908)

Nicole, c/o Bernie Clerkin, 124A Sixtowns Road  (No. 1232)

Mrs. Terry Kennedy, 25 Ranaghan Road, Moneyneena  (No. 0350)


Tenth Day of Christmas (3rd January) Draw Winners:

Margaret O’Hagan, 5 Gallion Heights, Moneymore  (No. 0960)

Rosemary Kelly, Crocknamohill  (No. 1298)

Nora Higgins, 22A Drumsamney Road  (No. 0017)


Eleventh Day of Christmas (4th January) Draw Winners (£500):

Hughie and Mary McGuckin, 15 Carncose Road  (No. 1007)

Brendan and Josephine O’Connor, 77 Iniscarn Road  (No. 0107)

Extra prize (£100):

Julie Haskins, 9 Tonagh Heights (No. 1296)


Twelfth Day of Christmas (5th January) Draw Winner (£1,000):

Josie McCloskey, Benedy, Dungiven  (No. 0452)

Extra prizes (£100):

Kevin Gray, 51 Drumard Road (No. 0205)

May Leadon, 59 High Street, Draperstown (No. 1539)




We would like to THANK EVERYONE in Desertmartin, Ballinascreen and beyond for your very generous support of the Christmas Draw once again this year.  We are grateful to parishioners who entered the Draw and who sold tickets among family and friends, in the community and farther afield; to parish workers who distributed and sold tickets through the Churches and Parish Offices; and to the staff of Heron’s Gift Shop and Moneyneena Post Office who helped and sold so many tickets over the weeks in the run-up to Christmas.  A heartfelt thank you to everyone and your fabulous response to the Twelve Days of Christmas 2023 Draw especially in these times.  It is appreciated very, very much.




Yoga Classes start on Monday 8th January at 10 am.  Numbers limited.  Registration is necessary.  £36 for 6 weeks.  Contact Olive on 078 8761 4094, Kathleen on 077 6427 7809 or Anne on 028 7964 2711 to register.

SPRED Group next meeting on Monday 8th January at 7 pm.

Social Dance on Friday 12th January, 9 pm – Midnight.  Music by Kenny Paul.

Food and Medicine:  On Monday 15th January at 7.30 pm, Margaret, Complementary Practitioner and Lecturer in Holistic Health Studies, will deliver a talk on Food and Medicine to help beat the Winter Blues.

Chair Exercise recommences on Tuesday morning 9th January at 10 am, followed by a short walk.  Admission £4.

Knit and Natter recommences on Tuesday evening 9th January at 7.30 pm.  Bring your own project or you can help with knitting for local charities.

Line Dancing recommences on Wednesday 10th January at 7.30 pm.  Admission £4.

Come along to any of the above actives and enjoy a fun way to exercise, keep fit and improve your health and wellbeing.  Contact Olive on 078 8761 4094, Kathleen on 077 6427 7809 or Anne on 028 7964 2711 to register.

Sarsfield’s Accordion Band and Div. 30 Band would like to pass on our deepest sympathy and condolences to the McGuckin and McElwee families on the death of Hugh McGuckin and to the Ryan and Donnelly families on the death of Eileen Ryan.

Band Practice recommences on Thursday at 7.30 pm.  New and past members welcome.  Tickets for 2024 monthly draw now on sale, £1 a month, £12 for the year.  £50 prize drew every month.



EA Connect Portal opens on Tuesday 9th January at 12 noon.  If your child was born between 2nd July 2019 and 1st July 2020, they will be eligible for a funded preschool place from September 2024 – June 2025.

Naíscoil na Speiríní’s Pre-Pre Program has now started.  For more details, you are welcome to please email naiscoilnaspeirini@gmail.com.



Give Blood at Workspace Recreation Centre, Draperstown on Tuesday 9th January from 12.30 pm to 4 pm and 5 pm to 7.30 pm.  To book an appointment, visit www.nibts.org or tel. 080 8553 4653.



Anam Cara Donegal, the organisation that supports bereaved parents, is holding its monthly Parent Evening for bereaved parents on Thursday 11th January at 7.15 pm in the Raddison Blu Hotel, Letterkenny Co. Donegal.  This event is free and open to all bereaved parents regardless of the age your child died, the circumstances of their death, or whether their death was recent or not.  We also offer an online service.  For more information, call 00353 1 404 5378.



Open Day is on Saturday 13th January at 11.30 am.  Everyone is welcome to attend.



The Mass to launch Catholic Schools Week will be celebrated on Tuesday 16th January at 10 am in St. Eugene’s Cathedral, Derry.



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.



Are you a retired teacher or someone who has experience presenting to groups of school children?  Do you have a passion for making this world a better place, especially for the most vulnerable?  Trócaire is looking for volunteers to support its School Talks Programme for Lent 2024 in parishes of the Derry Diocese.  If you think you have the right skills and experience and will have a few free hours during Lent, then we would love to hear from you!  For more information, call Casey Schell on 028 9080 8033 or email casey.schell@trocaire.org.



Mary’s Meals is keeping the promise of a daily school meal to over 2.4 million children in 18 countries.  Our ‘Double the Love’ Campaign has launched and all donations made to Mary’s Meals until 22nd January 2024 will be doubled by a group of generous supporters, up to £1 million.  Amongst the many challenges we see in today’s world, from conflict to the cost-of-living crisis, your little acts of love can go further thanks to ‘Double the Love’, bringing hope to desperately hungry children and their families.  Please pray that we can reach even more children around the world with our life-changing school meals this Christmas.  Find out more and browse our Christmas gift cards at marysmeals.org.uk or freephone 0800 698 1212.



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.



Sharing the fruits of the faith in the Derry Diocese, the December edition of ‘The Net’ is available in print in parishes as well as on the Diocesan website.  For coverage of faith related stories just email editorthenet15@gmail.com

Coverage in this edition includes:

  • Lavey blessing on Bambinelli Sunday

  • St. Aengus’ NS stars shine at Burt Carol Service

  • Experience true meaning of Christmas – Ballinascreen Live Crib celebrates 800 years since first crib

  • Santa Sunday goes down a treat at St Eugene’s

  • St. Patrick’s P.S. Castlederg celebrates 50 years of faith, life and learning

  • Loreto girls fundraising for Lusaka Tyrone School

  • All kinds of wonderful fun for St Eugene’s primary children

  • Syro Malabar Community News by John Augustine Joseph

  • City parishes blessed through Divine Child Novena

  • St. Columba’s Greenlough camogs celebrate 80th anniversary

  • Diocesan Safeguarding Mass

 – Prayer for respectful & life-giving relationships to be hallmark of Church

  • Children’s Catechism Club – C3 by Veronica Harley

Young Writers share thoughts on…

*Preparing for Jesus – Light of the World

*Journeying through Advent

*Fire in Christianity

*Finding meaning in the talents God has given us

*Young people engaging in acts of service

*Leading not leaving the Church in time of crisis

*Connecting with God in song lyrics

*COP28 and Pope Francis

*Devotion to St. Pio

  • Limavady parishioners enjoy Advent talks and Carol Service Walk

  • Banagher folk feeling festive at S.V.P. party

  • Cathedral Carols enjoyed by all ages

  • Christmas spirit high at Afternoon Tea with Anne Marie and Friends in Cathedral Hall

  • Wonderful Golden Jubilee celebration for St. Joseph’s Church, Ballyscullion

  • Desertmartin faithful celebrate 50th anniversary of St. Patrick’s Church

  • New Eucharistic Ministers commissioned for Dungiven Parish

  • Beautiful new Grotto celebrates St. Mary’s Cloughcor 200th

  • Termonbacca Ladies Prayer Group yet another bud of faith bursting forth in Derry

  • Legion of Mary members enjoy inspiring retreat by Tom McDermott

  • Flame of faith fanned during Long Tower Men’s Prayer

  • Call to keep flame of faith burning in our hearts – Dana reflects on connections with Hill of Slane

  • The Rosary meets needs of modern family – to get together to pray – Ven Patrick Peyton

  • The Holy Rosary – the prayer we all love by Annie Mullan

  • Pilgrimage to Fatima – Reflection and Perspective by John-Martin O’Kane

  • Derry reunion for Holy Land pilgrims

  • The last priests in Ireland?  I don’t think so! – Fr. Pat O’Hagan spoke on vocations at Long Tower Novena

  • Faith not just holding but being re-ignited in Emerald Isle – Reflection by Pat Breslin on Maynooth ‘Come & See’ Weekend

  • Dromantine gathering a grace-filled time for Bishop Donal and Diocesan Priests

  •  Continue to pray the Lord will send many into the harvest – Vocations update by Fr. Pat O’Hagan

  • The Eucharist is the Source and Summit of Synodality and New Evangelization by Rev. Dr. Joseph Karukayil Varghese

  • Encounter The Lord in silent retreat by Aoife O’Neill

  • Fondly remembering the late Lawrence MooreA man of strong faith, committed to family, friends and parish

  • Lord, help us to build a society that is pleasing to You – Reflection by Shauna Clifford

  •  Eternal Echoes…Timeless Truths for today’s hearts by Regina Deighan – Enriching your Advent season

  • Waiting for God by Fr. Johnny Doherty CSsR

  • Divine Mercy Image explained:  The Gaze of Jesus by Sr Benedetta Hutnikiewicz ZSJM

  • ‘All the beauty I see He has given to me and His giving is gentle as silence’ – Fr. John McLaughlin ssc

  • Adomnán – 1400th Anniversary in 2024 by Dr. Seán Beattie, Culdaff

  • Parish Post-its

  • Diocesan Diary

  • …other Diary Dates

  • Quiz Time with Lawrence



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 8th January and will be taken down at 8 am on Thursday 11th January.  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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