Bulletin: 24th March 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:  Monday ~ 10 am; Wednesday ~ 7.30 pm.  [webcam]


St. Eugene’s, Moneyneena:  Tuesday and Wednesday ~ 10 am.


Holy Rosary, Ballinascreen:  Monday ~ 10 am; Tuesday and Wednesday ~ 7 am.  [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:


Sinéad McErlean, 28 Broagh Road, Knockloughrim and Frances McGinley, Lifford, Co. Donegal whose funerals were held during the week.


Phyllis Kelly, Charlie Higgins, Charlie O’Neill, Rose Lagan, Clare McDermott, Gerard Lagan, Bernadette Kelly and Anne Prunty who died recently.


Mary Murray Longfield, Johnny Hughes, Agnes Breen, Patrick Breen, Fr. Joseph Houghton, Fr. Emmet Fullen, Aloysius O’Kane, Mary McGuigan and Mary O’Hagan whose anniversaries occur at this time.





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

Fionn Henry McGinn, 25 Cranny Oaks, Omagh.


THANK YOU for your generous contributions to the Parish.

Last Week:  Sunday/Priest’s Collection envelopes:  £1,348.00. 

Clerical Education Collection envelopes:  £390.00.

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



The Irish language collection is taking place this weekend, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th March as a church gate collection after the Vigil and Sunday morning Masses.  All contributions are greatly appreciated.



The priests of the Parishes extend a warm invitation to parishioners to join with them in the most important week of prayer in the Church’s Year.


There will be NO morning Mass in St Colm’s High School this week.



Monday 25th March:

10 am Mass ~ St. Mary’s, Coolcalm

10 am Mass ~ Holy Rosary, Ballinascreen

7.30 pm Penitential Service ~ Holy Rosary, Ballinascreen

Several priests will be present to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.


Tuesday 26th March:

7 am Mass ~ Holy Rosary, Ballinascreen

10 am Mass ~ St. Eugene’s, Moneyneena

7.30 pm Penitential Service ~ St. Patrick’s, Keenaught

Several priests will be present to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.


Wednesday 27th March:

7 am Mass ~ Holy Rosary, Ballinascreen

10 am Mass ~ St. Eugene’s, Moneyneena

7.30 pm Mass ~ St. Mary’s, Coolcalm



HOLY THURSDAY ~ 28th March:

10 am Mass of Chrism in St. Eugene’s Cathedral, Derry.  All welcome.  During this Mass the Oils used in the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation and the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick will be consecrated and blessed.  Priests also will renew the vows taken when they were ordained.  The Mass of Chrism may be viewed via the Cathedral webcam: www.steugenescathedral.com/webcam.html.

Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

6 pm ~ St. Eugene’s, Moneyneena

7.30 pm ~ Holy Rosary, Ballinascreen

7.30 pm ~ St. Mary’s, Coolcalm.

Prayers before the Altar of Repose until 9.30 pm.


GOOD FRIDAY ~ 29th March:

This is a day of Fast and Abstinence.

Solemn Liturgy of the Passion of Jesus

3 pm ~ Holy Rosary, Ballinascreen

3 pm ~ St. Mary’s, Coolcalm

7.30 pm ~ St. Patrick’s, Keenaught

Stations of the Cross

7.30 pm ~ St. Columba’s, Straw


HOLY SATURDAY ~ 30th March:

Easter Vigils

7.30 pm ~ Holy Rosary, Ballinascreen

7.30 pm ~ St. Patrick’s, Sixtowns

7.30 pm ~ St. Patrick’s, Keenaught


EASTER SUNDAY ~ 31st March:

6 am ~ Morning Dawn Mass at Eagle’s Valley, Moneyneena

9 am ~ St. Columba’s, Straw

10 am ~ St. Mary’s, Coolcalm

11 am ~ St. Patrick’s, Sixtowns

12 noon ~ St. Eugene’s, Moneyneena



Confessions after ALL the Ceremonies on Holy Thursday and Good Friday.  Confessions also on Holy Saturday in Holy Rosary at 11 am and St. Mary’s, Coolcalm at 11 am.



‘On the first day of the week, at the first sign of dawn, they went to the tomb … They found that the stone had been rolled away …two men in brilliant clothes suddenly appeared at their side … the two said to them, ‘Why look among the dead for someone who is alive?  He is not here; he has risen.’ (Luke 24:1-6)

We too will go this Easter Sunday Morning to greet the Risen Christ at this Dawn Mass, which will be celebrated in the open air, in Eagle’s Valley, outside Moneyneena on the Feeny Road.  Please follow the signs and the stewards who will guide you to designated parking areas.  The celebration of Mass will commence at 6 am.  All welcome.



Please return your Trócaire boxes at any of the Masses and Services during Holy Week.  If you don’t have a Trócaire box but would still like to make a donation, please put the donation in an envelope marked ‘Trócaire’ and bring it along to any of the Holy Week Masses or Services, or you can put the envelope through the letterbox at the Parochial House.  Thank you for your generosity.



The essential repointing of the exterior of St. Eugene’s Church is well underway.  As mentioned a few weeks ago, the cost of the work is over £250,000 and at present there is in the parish renovation Fund £135,000.  The shortfall has to be made up and the various fund raising events being organised are greatly appreciated.  If you would like to contribute to Ballinascreen Church Renovation Fund account, you may do so by using the bank account details below.  You may also use the Donate button on the Ballinascreen Parish website.  If using this button, please select the ‘Restoration Fund’ option.  Ballinascreen Credit Union will also receive and deposit any contribution you may wish to make.  Donations may also be given directly to Fr. Madden.  Thank you for your support.  Renovation Account Details:  Ballinascreen Parish Premium Business Reserve account number: 10585922.  Sort code: 98-05-50.



First Holy Communion will be celebrated on the following dates:

Saturday 27th April at 11 am in Holy Rosary, Ballinascreen for children attending Gaelscoil na Speiríní, Straw.

Saturday 11th May at 11 am in St. Mary’s, Coolcalm for the children attending Knocknagin P.S.

Saturday 25th May at 11 am in St. Mary’s, Coolcalm for the children attending St. Columb’s P.S., Cullion.



Double Award Biology (CCEA) Small Group Tuition in The Hub, Draperstown.  Year 11 started Thursday 14th March, 8 pm – 9 pm and Year 12 started Wednesday 20th March, 8 pm – 9 pm for 8 weeks.  Contact Brenda for details on 079 1745 3290.



Gala Country Charity Concert on 12th March was a great success.  Over £4,000 was raised with monies distributed to Macmillan Cancer Care, specifically Laurel House, Action Deaf Youth and Knocknagin P.S.  Thanks to everyone for all your support and generosity.

Jiving Classes:  Jive NI began a 5-week jiving class last Wednesday 20th March at 8 pm.  £20 for 5 weeks.  Contact Angela on 077 4689 5949 or Olive on 078 8761 4094.

Yoga Classes continue on Monday mornings at 10 am.  Numbers limited, so registration necessary.  To register, contact Olive on 078 8761 4094, Angela on 077 4689 5949 or Anne on 028 7964 2711.

Chair Exercise on Tuesday mornings at 10 am, followed by a short walk.  Admission £4.

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

Read Yourself Well:  Selection of books from wellness experts, doctors and bestselling authors.  There are a number of books out on loan but no details were recorded.  If you are borrowing a book, it is necessary to record your name and a contact number.  Please return any overdue books or if you require it for a longer period then contact any committee member below.

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:  A Big Thank You to parents and all who supported or helped turn out band members on St. Patrick’s Day.  It was a credit to all.  No Band practice until after Easter, which will recommence on Thursday 11th April in preparation for the Feast of the Assumption celebrations in Donegal Town on Sunday 18th August.



Slieve Gallion Active Retirement Association is running a series of six health and wellbeing sessions with complimentary breakfast included.  These will take place on Sunday mornings beginning on Sunday 24th March, 11.15 am – 1 pm.  Additional dates will follow.  Numbers will be strictly limited, so if you are interested please contact Chris on 075 4601 0560 to reserve your spot.



Aware NI will be running a 6-week Free mental health programme in Tirgan Hall.  The dates will be announced in due course.  This programme is open to men and women.  If anyone is interested, please contact Eileen on 079 5519 1890.


Complete a painting in only 4 weeks!  George Gourley Water Colours Painting, suitable for all abilities.  Dates:  Monday 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th April, from 10 am – 12 noon.  Cost £40, paid in advance when booking.  All materials supplied, just bring your brushes.  Message/call 078 2196 3749 to book.

Pilates and Yoga Style Exercise Class, adaptable for all abilities and ages.  Ideal also for those who are less mobile.  Continues every Friday, 10 am – 11 am, £4.  Includes advice on nutrition, sleep, stress and mindfulness to help you look and feel your best self.

Watercolours Painting Class with George Gourley, Monday 8th April x4 weeks, 10 am – 12 noon.  Ring/text 078 2196 3749 to book your place/more details.



Monthly Dance in Sixtowns Cross Community Centre on Saturday 30th March at 9.30 pm.  Music by Kieran McAree.  Everyone welcome.

Bowls Club on Mondays at 8.30 pm.  New members welcome.

Dance Class every Tuesday at 8.30 pm.  Old time, waltz and line dancing.  No booking.

Pilates continues every Monday in April with AMG Pilates.  Suitable for age 16+, men and women welcome, exercises modified to suit all abilities.  To book for this new block of classes, contact Emma on 077 6928 9385.



Draperstown Health Matters Project next session will be held on Wednesday 27th March in Workspace Community Hub and will focus on mental health and loneliness.  The session will include a workshop facilitated by STEPS, commencing at 12 noon.  The event is free and open to all.  No need to book, just drop-in.

Baby Massage Classes starting on Friday 12th April in Workspace Community Hub.  Contact Rosie on 077 4912 1208.



Easter Bake Sale:  10 am – 1 pm on Saturday 30th March in Ballinascreen Credit Union.

Easter Trail in Derrynoid Forest on Saturday 30th March from 11 am – 3 pm.  Bookings at Eventbrite, select Easter train – Derrynoid.  1 slot per group booking.  Cost £6.50 per child.  For details, phone 077 4953 8199 or email ballinascreen.scouts@gmail.com.

30th Anniversary Gala in The Shepherds Rest on 1st June at 7.30 pm, dinner will be served at 8 pm.  Tickets now on sale £40 each.  Search Ballinascreen Scouts Gala on Eventbrite or contact ballinascreen.scouts@gmail.com.  Over 18s only, smart dress code.



Vintage Vehicle Show at An Rath Dubh, Moneyneena on Sunday 7th April from 1 pm.  All vintage vehicles welcome.  Will include a children’s vehicle parade, bouncy castles and stalls.  Optional convoy at 3.30 pm.  Vintage motorbikes also welcome.  All proceeds in aid of essential repair work being carried out on St. Eugene’s Church.



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.



Divine Mercy Conference on Saturday 6th April at Knock Shrine, 11 am – 4 pm, with Fr. Pat Collins CM and Fr. Isaac John MSFS at St. John’s Centre, Knock Shrine.



Weekend Workshop at Ards Friary, 12th – 14th April.  This workshop offers a way to transform our wounds.  It will include input, time for personal reflection, opportunities for sharing and some social time.  Cost €220, includes retreat, accommodation and all meals.  Limited to 12 people.  To book, phone Ards on 00353 74 9138909 or email info@ardsfriary.ie.



National Eucharistic Adoration Pilgrimage to Knock on Sunday 14th April (weekend after Divine Mercy Sunday).  To enquire or book a seat, call 077 3887 3492.  Details of buses, nationwide, on www.eucharisticadoration.ie.



ACCORD NI Catholic Marriage Care Service is currently recruiting people to train as marriage preparation programme facilitators.  If you have a positive attitude towards marriage in the Catholic Church, if you have the enthusiasm to be part of the Accord team in supporting couples who are preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage, then Accord wants to hear from you.  Successful applicants will receive professional training and will be part of a team delivering marriage preparation programmes locally.  Contact Brenda on 028 9023 3002 or by email to info@accordni.comwww.accordni.com.



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.  If you are interested in registering for the Masters in September 2024 or require any further information,  please contact the Derry Diocesan Catechetical Centre on 028 7126 4087 or email tferry@derrydiocese.org.



Marriage Encounter Ireland invites married couples to their next Marriage Enrichment Weekend in the Focolare Centre, Prosperous, Co Kildare, Friday 26th – Sunday 28th April.  Register online.www.marriageencounter.ie.



The Knights of Columbanus, Omagh, is organising a Retreat in Lough Derg for young adults, to take place on Saturday 27th April from 10 am – 4 pm.  Guest Speakers, inspirational talks, reflective time and concluding with Mass.  This event is Free.  For further information, email info@knightsofstcolumbansomagh.co.uk



Fully escorted group pilgrimage accompanied by Spiritual Director for seven nights from 28th May – 3rd June.  Accommodation in 4* Hotel Style, with breakfast, lunch and dinner each day.  Cost £825 p.p.s.  Single room supplement £280.  Mass daily and spiritual activities.  Services of JWT tour guide.  Direct flights from Dublin.  Coach from Oakleaf Restaurant, Maghera to Dublin Airport.  For further details, please contact Christina Lagan on 078 0319 2621.



Monday 1st to Friday 5th July, ex City of Derry Airport.  Led by Bishop Donal McKeown.  Full board £799, single room supplement £150.  The pilgrimage office at 164 Bishop Street, Derry, will open to the public 11 am to 1 pm on Thursdays and Saturdays, starting Saturday 10th February.  Tel. 028 7126 0293 or email derrypilgrim@outlook.com.



We are inviting young people aged 16+ to join us on pilgrimage to Medjugorje for 9 nights from 30th July to 8th August.  This will be a unique experience for young people and an opportunity to engage with peers from around the world, in a faith context.  Up to 50,000 young people attend the Medjugorje Youth Festival each year.  Cost is £800 and there will be a budget plan to help with this.  Names and deposit of £100 are required as soon as possible to secure a place.  For more information or to book in, please contact lizzie.rea@derrydiocese.org or tel. 028 7126 4087.



Fatima Pilgrimage, 9th – 14th August.  Ex Dublin.  Mass in Santarem where the bleeding host took place, visit visionaries homes, Hungarian stations of the cross, Lisbon with church of Saint Anthony where he was born and baptised, seaside excursion.  Payments can be made by instalments.  Contact James Treacy on 00353 61 921 470 or email jamestreacyphotography@gmail.com.



4th – 10th November, led by James Molloy.  Spiritual Director, Fr. John McKeever.  To book please phone Kieran and Laura Troyon on 00353 57 9355050.  To book by debit card, see www.myriam.ie.  Passport details needed when booking.  Coach pickup at Oakleaf Restaurant, Maghera.  Cost 895 Euro p.p.s.



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 4th March and will be taken down at 8 am on Monday 11th 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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