Monday, 06 April, 2020  
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Parish Bulletin



Sunday 5th April:

The Rosary will be broadcast from the parish church by two members of the Legion of Mary on Monday 6th April at 3pm

Parish church webcam:

Due to the Coronavirus situation all are dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation. Mass, without a congregation, is celebrated in the parish church daily at 10am and can be viewed on the webcam or listened to on the parish CB radio. (Webcam viewing can also be  be accessed on [by clicking on “cameras”, then “churches”, then “Co. Antrim”, and then “Ballycastle”]. Please also note a set top box is needed for those parishioners who wish to view on their televisions; however internet is still required. The webcam can be viewed on laptop, PC, smart phone, kindle etc. If you have the internet and wish to view the Church on your TV, this will involve having a set-top box installed on your TV. For further information please contact Seamus McNichol, MCN Media on 07732329066)

To read and pray with today’s Mass readings

go to the "Today's Mass Readings" link

on the left hand column of this webpage,

or else go to


All enquiries to Fr. Brian Daly, P.P., 20762223; email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Parish emergency mobile number 07809553349 


For important note about the Sacrament of Reconciliation - confessions, please scroll down.

For important note about the Sacrament of the Sick - anointing, please scroll down.

For important note the Lenten Trocaire Boxes, please scroll down.

For Important note about Sunday collections, please scroll down to the very bottom of this webpage.


For suggested prayers for the Call to Prayer for today, Palm Sunday, between 3 and 4pm, please see the diocesan website:    #acalltoprayerireland# 


 We pray for all our deceased parishioners, relatives and friends, remembering especially those who have died recently:

Maxine Walker (Stroanshesk Park),

Margaret McLernon (Bayview Road),

Fr. John Stewart

and Pat Wisener (England; originally Magherahoney)

and those whose anniversary occurs at this time:

Sean McAfee (1st),

Brian McCaughan (1st),

Sr. Olcan Watt, C.P. (1st),

Maeve Edgell (1st),

Johnny Kelly,

                    Brigid McAfee,                     

Eilish Rooney,

James McNeill,

Harry McKiernan,

Annie McLaughlin,

Eamon McAfee,

Henry & Janet Norton,

Teresa Curry (30th) and        

Sr. Melvira O'Cathain, C.P.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,

and let perpetual light shine upon them.

Requiem Mass for Margaret McLernon: Monday 6th April (without a congregation) at 10:00a.m in St. Patrick’s and St. Brigid’s Church. The funeral service can be viewed live via the parish webcam . Private burial at a later time in the parish graveyard.


Requiem Mass for Fr John Stewart will be live-streamed on Tuesday, 7th April at 12 noon from St Colmcille’s Church, Holywood, where Fr John was Parish Priest from 1985 to 2003. Fr John will be buried privately later that day in the grounds of St Colmcille’s Church. Fr. John served in many parishes across the diocese, including in Ramoan, where he was the resident curate on Rathlin in the mid-1950s. During his time on the island the iconic BBC documentary “Rathlin: The Island Betwixt and Between” was filmed. In the following clip Fr. John Stewart can be seen leading the Corpus Christi procession -




Down and Connor Lourdes Pilgrimage

Dear Friends
It is with sadness that we have to let you know that the 2020 Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes has been cancelled.

In light of the current worldwide situation and for the wellbeing of all those who would have travelled with us we felt it was not possible to proceed this year.

We will be in contact with all those who have made bookings already, though this might take a little time so we appreciate your patience.

We look forward to brighter days and July 2021 when we can gather again and sing all the louder AVE AVE AVE Maria!

Please continue to pray for everyone affected by the coronavirus pandemic and those working hard to care for others.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!
St Bernadette, pray for us!




Graveyards: In accordance with current diocesan policy, and with Section 4, Para. 8 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) Regulations (NI) 2020 (and, in the case of the Ballycastle graveyard at the minute in order to respect the health and welfare of the contractors who are working on the graveyard extension), we ask you to adhere to the following regulation relating to cemeteries and graveyards:

During the emergency period,

burial grounds are to be closed to members of the public, except for funerals or burials.

Due to the above regulations,

the church car parks on Moyle Road are closed until further notice.



Sacrament of Reconciliation - confessions

The ordinary means of receiving the Lord’s forgiveness, for the sins we commit after Baptism, is in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The Church’s faith in the Lord’s forgiveness and mercy, given in this Sacrament, is based on John 20:21-23, where the Lord told His disciples that, just as the Father sent Him, so He is now sending them. The Gospel says, “He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven. Those whose sins you retain, they are retained’. It is, therefore, not the priest who forgives sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is Jesus Himself Who reconciles us to the Father, through His Holy Spirit, sent forth and poured out among us. The priest, however, is God’s minister, acting in God’s Name. This is the normal and ordinary means of receiving God’s pardon but it is NOT THE ONLY MEANS. And we are not currently living in normal or ordinary times. God NEVER refuses His mercy and forgiveness when we sincerely ask it from Him. He ALWAYS forgives us when we turn to Him in sincere sorrow for the wrong we have done. During this current danger and crisis sacramental confession and absolution is still available when reasonably requested by a penitent, whilst observing social distancing and any other restrictions that are in place to protect lives and prevent the spread of the virus. Parishioners are reminded of the longstanding pastoral practice, when penitent’s access to the Sacrament of Reconciliation is restricted, that they can be assured that their sins are forgiven if they make an act of contrition with a firm resolve to approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation after the stay at home orders are lifted; such is in line with the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Pope Francis spoken on this in a homily on March 20th.


Sacrament of the Sick – anointing

During this emergency please note that for calls to private houses for emergencies it is requested that only one other person be in the room with the sick person, and that for calls to hospital only designated chaplains are allowed to visit, and then only in emergency as agreed with the family and the medical personnel.


St Patrick's & St Brigid's Church:

closed until further notice,

except for the broadcast of the daily 10am Mass,

and for other broadcasts as announced

Please note that all the restrictions brought into force by the diocese of Down & Connor have been for the common good,

the protection of the most vulnerable, and to ensure the health service is not swamped.    


Down and Connor Bishop Noel Treanor:

Suspending funerals 'a sacrifice made so that others may live'

30 March, 2020

LAST week, (see below) I took the decision to suspend public funeral ceremonies in the churches of the Diocese of Down and Connor and to advise strongly that wakes be confined to members of the immediate family.

For the duration of this health emergency, I am asking the people of the diocese to make a sacrifice – to simplify our funeral traditions and replace them with a shorter but dignified ceremony held at the graveside.

Let me explain the reasons that brought me to this difficult decision after great struggle and with much reluctance.

Firstly, this decision was taken in order to keep the people of the diocese and wider society safe. The best scientific and medical judgement is that the only way to prevent the disastrous spread of Covid-19 is to stay at home. This is essential for public safety.

Secondly, this decision was taken to protect the elderly and the vulnerable who are most in danger because of Covid-19. This decision is motivated by the vulnerability of children whose immune system is compromised and whose parents are sick with worry.

Thirdly, this decision was taken in recognition of all public health advice. We are all called to do what is in our power to reduce the risk to the National Health Service by reducing the risk of people going outside the home and mixing in groups.

Put simply: as a bishop, and as a citizen in a public position, decisions need to be taken to avoid exposing anyone to risk by continuing with practices which involve large numbers of people gathering and being close to each other. These practices are dangerous in passing on the Covid-19 virus.

This has been a very hard decision to make. However, the medical evidence is clear and the scientific data is overwhelming. It is a temporary decision and will come to an end when this unprecedented health emergency is over.

In making this decision, my heart has felt the weight of the sacrifice that will be required even for a short time from people at their most vulnerable moment. I am asking all of us, as citizens and people of faith to make this sacrifice for the common good of all. It is a sacrifice made so that others may live.

As a priest and bishop, I have attended and celebrated many funerals across Ireland. And I am convinced that few experiences of religion give such consolation as the rituals that accompany the death of a loved one.

On a human level, the power of gathering; the familiar phrases – “I’m sorry for your trouble”; the supporting presence of neighbours; and the acts of hospitality that often surround the wake, show the care a community extends.

The days of waking and the public funeral enfold families with love, begin healing and in doing so, tell us what we value most. They strengthen the bonds that make society.

I have felt this support indeed within my own family. We will never cease to be grateful for the power of our religious and cultural traditions when we lost our own parents.

To those who will find this decision difficult, I want to say: you are not being abandoned. Last week, I conducted a service of prayer and intercession within the Mater, the hospital chosen to be dedicated to Covid-19 care. I salute the courage and dedication of the professionals I met there. Priests in parishes and chaplains in hospitals will continue to bring consolation and the sacraments to families in grief. They will continue to provide the ongoing support of prayer and ritual at the time of loss.

When this emergency is over and the Covid-19 has been brought under control by the skill and dedication of medical and public health professionals, I, along with the priests of the diocese, undertake to do all in our power to heal the pain of the sacrifice I am asking you to make in the difficult months ahead of us all.


Pastoral Letter from Bishop Noel Treanor,

Bishop of Down & Connor,

regarding measures taken in response to COVID-19;

25th March


My dear people and dear friends, today I wish to address a word to you all -the people, priests, deacons, religious and monks who live in our Diocese of Down and Connor. As you know only too well, we and the entire human family are confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic. It has already taken the lives of some of our neighbours. With you,I extend my sympathies to the families of those who have died due to the virus. We assure them of our prayers. Sadly, it is thoughtby clinicians that this virus will end the earthly lives of others in our community in the coming days and weeks.Over the past week and more, following on the advice and guidance of government and our public authorities, and having consulted with fellow clergy and others, I have issued guidance and directives to be implemented in our parishes. These directives have, of course, limited the work and outreach of the pastoral work and services of the diocese, its offices and agencies. Regrettably, we decided to close our Churches first for the celebration of Mass with congregations. This morning we closed them completely until further notice.The sole aim of these measuresis to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, to save lives and to enable us all to protect each other. They were put in place to protect and save our lives – the lives of all of us, the elderly, youth, priests and people. These measures were issued after much thought and prayer and indeed with a very heavy heart. I realise they upset some. Some find them hard to accept. I have received some pleas to re-open Churches. I know the pain of these measures. But we must all stop and take clear stock of the threat to life of this “invisible virusthat transmits easily and kills” and of which you and I can be carriers without knowing it. Today, I wish to let you know of a further decision that I have taken after much thought and prayer.This decision concerns the funerals of our dead, of our beloved deceased. As of today, our sisters and brothers in Christ, who die will be taken directly to the cemetery for burial. In the cemetery, a short funeral prayer service will take place, respecting the determinations of the public authorities in regard to inter-personal social distancing and any other provisions deemed necessary. Requiem Mass will be celebrated in memory of the deceased person at a later date, when this pandemic has passed and when the conditions permitting gatherings of people in buildings and in Churches prevail. It is, however, necessary to recognise that if arrangements have been made at this point and time for funerals, those arrangements will be honoured and carried through. It is simply too risk-laden to gather inside buildings even in small numbers. We must proactively exercise extreme care for each other and for ourselves. To do otherwise would be unchristian. I realise the pain this will cause to many, to many families, to many individuals. I ask for your forbearance, for your charity and for your care for others. And as I do so, on behalf of all of us, I wish to salute the heroism of all who work in our hospitals, nursing homes, in health care services, in the administration of our health care systems and in the National Health Service. I thank all who support the Nursing and Medical teams in the front line, the Ambulance and Paramedical teams and the chaplains, and all who work from laundry to laboratory in and around our hospitals. We salute their heroism, their courageand their dedication.May God protect us all and may the Risen Christ sustain hope in our hearts and minds as we face together the circumstances that will test our courage and bring out the heroic best in so many already exemplified by the initiative taken by so many in our neighbourhoods to support those who are housebound and lonely, those who need help and to provide foodbanks.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

A video of this pastoral message is also available through the diocesan website at and through YouTube:    



Statement by the Catholic Bishops of Northern Ireland

on the coming in to effect of Westminster abortion legislation in Northern Ireland

31 March 2020

Today across NI, all of us, especially our medical staff, are doing all we can to save life. As the number of deaths caused by Coronavirus continues to rise, news reporters frequently remind us that behind the statistics are real people.  Their lives matter regardless of age or ability, gender or background. To limit the loss of life and heart break for many families, the UK Government is investing heavily in providing the resources necessary to treat patients and protect the lives of all staff working to deliver front-line services.

Against this background, we are saddened and dismayed at the Government’s decision to introduce extreme regulations for the delivery of abortion services in Northern Ireland. They go far beyond what is legally required by the Northern Ireland Act (2019), (‘the Act’), and utterly ignore the views of many citizens – women and men – who responded to the consultation exercise last December. Their implementation will facilitate one of the most liberal abortion regimes anywhere in the world. During the pandemic when so much is being done to protect lives, these regulations do not reflect the overwhelming will of most people in Northern Ireland to protect the life of every human being.

From this week onwards, some unborn children will be left completely defenceless. No-one will be able to do anything for them once the decision to abort has finally been made. This is a disturbing prospect for our society, where the majority of people still seek to promote the values of compassion and respect for every human being.

The life of every mother and her unborn baby matters. These new regulations are predicated on the legal assumption that the unborn child has no rights, unless the child is wanted. Every unborn baby matters regardless of age or ability, gender or background. He or she has the right to be protected in a community where everyone belongs and deserves our respect. Every woman faced with an unplanned pregnancy matters too. She has a right to be cared for within a community where she is protected from any pressure to abort her baby.

It is to be noted that members of the Northern Ireland Assembly are not left entirely devoid of influence.  Politicians and all people of good will, who recognise the extreme nature of the Regulations, should not meekly acquiesce to their promulgation.  The Regulations themselves can be debated by the Assembly and insofar as they exceed the strict requirements of the 2019 Act, new Regulations can be enacted by the Assembly.  We intend to make these points in writing to our MLAs in the coming days and encourage others to do likewise.

In a community where the culture of life is promoted and celebrated, these rights of mothers and their unborn babies would always be protected. We, the Catholic Bishops of Northern Ireland, remain committed to working with all sectors of society, so that this culture of life becomes a reality for everyone. 


Prayer for the Child in the Womb

Lord Jesus, you are the source and lover of life. Reawaken in us respect for every human life.

Help us to see in each child the marvellous work of our Creator.

Open our hearts to welcome every child as a unique and wonderful gift.

Guide the work of doctors, nurses and midwives.

May the life of a mother and her baby in the womb be equally cherished and respected.

Help those who make our laws to uphold the uniqueness and sacredness of every human life, from the first moment of conception to natural death.

Give us wisdom and generosity to build a society that cares for all.

Together with Mary, your Mother, in whose womb you took on our human nature,

Help us to choose life in every decision we take.

We ask this in the joyful hope of eternal life with you, and in the communion of the Blessed Trinity.




Acts of spiritual communion:

from St.Thomas Moore: 


"I wish, my Lord, to receive You with the purity, humility, and devotion with which your most holy mother the Virgin Mary received You, with the spirit and fervour of the saints."


 from St. Aphonsus Liguori:

“My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as being already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.”


Prayer Resources at Home:

‘Magnificat’ publications have generously provided complimentary access

to their online prayer resources at

These include texts for daily prayer, Mass texts, and texts for family and personal prayer.

Many other aids and texts for praying at home available from , as are many helps for catechesis at home.


Lead kindly light.

(written by St John Henry Cardinal Newman,

while stranded in quarantine with fever in Sicily and longing to be able to return home)

Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead thou me on;
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on;
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene: one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose, and see my path; but now
Lead thou me on.
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

So long thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on,
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost a while


As a community of faith, we pray that we might be kept safe from this virus and that all affected by it will know God’s grace and strength.

Dear God, in 1879 the Apparition at Knock gave hope and courage to the people of Ireland in difficult times. We ask that Our Lady may now protect your beloved people from Coronavirus. May its victims be strengthened by the spiritual support of the Christian community and restored soon to full health. We also pray for the medical personnel who deal with the virus. This we ask in confidence through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Our Lady of Knock pray for us. Saint Joseph pray for us. Saint John the Evangelist pray for us.

O God, who know that because of human frailty we cannot stand firm against great danger alone. Grant us health of mind and body. Send your holy angels to watch over us and protect us from disease and every other evil through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Extract from Saint Patrick’s Breastplate:

Christ with me,

Christ before me,

Christ behind me,

Christ in me,

Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,

Christ on my right,

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down,

Christ when I sit down,

Christ when I arise,

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me





Bethany Bereavement Support   

Regretfully home visits by the parish bereavement support group are being discontinued during the current outbreak of coronavirus. A member of the Bethany Group, however, may still be contacted confidentially on 07519  471481.


“No Greater Love – A biblical walk through Christ's Passion"                                                                

was filmed on location in the Holy Land, and is a five-part DVD series that reveals Christ’s amazing love for us, guiding us through the last hours of Christ's life from Gethsemane to the Mount of Calvary. The parish pastoral council had been presenting No Greater Love on Wednesday evenings and unfortunately these evenings have now been cancelled, but all can follow the complete programme on Click here

or join Down and Connor Living Church each day at 8pm from Palm Sunday on



Saint Vincent De Paul Helpline 07754722022


Ballycastle Foodbank: 20769555; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Dear Everyone, our local Ballycastle Foodbank has been working flat out for the last few weeks and as a result of the churches closing a vital source of food replenishment has been lost and certain stocks are running very low. One means of solving this is by making a donation of cash to Ballycastle Foodbank. This has the added benefit of being able to buy the required goods in bulk from Lynas`, Coleraine and because they are coming in bulk they are wrapped in the plastic from the food processor. This cuts down the chance of virus contamination significantly. If you are a regular Foodbank donor or have never done so before please prayerfully consider donating by this new means. The Foodbank helped over 50, yes 50 families last week due to unemployment and schools being closed and no free school meals being available. You can donate online using the following bank details:

Ballycastle Foodbank

Bank sort code: 95-06-79

A/C No.: 00174637

Bank: Danske Bank Ballycastle Branch.

Stay safe, the Lord bless you and keep you. And a massive THANK YOU for your generosity and support






Trocaire boxes: Please hold onto your boxes until further notice and we will be in contact about how to return them when it will be safe for people to do so. Donations can also be made online at

As an organization, our priority is, as always, our partners and the communities we work with overseas. We are facing our own challenges with Covid-19, and while this is having a significant impact on all of our lives in many ways, this truly is a global crisis. We cannot lose sight of our brothers and sisters overseas who are often living in overcrowded conditions, without consistent access to clean water and soap for hand washing and in countries with extremely weak health systems. This includes people living in overcrowded refugee and IDP camps who have already had their lives turned upside down by conflict and are now facing a new threat to their safety.

There are currently Coronavirus cases in 15 of the countries where Trócaire supports people. Trying to contain the spread of the virus in these countries is going to be a mammoth task for country teams in the weeks and months ahead. We are particularly concerned about confirmed cases in Gaza and Syria. Elsewhere, in Central America, Guatemala and Honduras are in lockdown. Of the countries where we work in Africa, cases are reported in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Rwanda, DR Congo, Sierra Leone and South Sudan.   As in Ireland, the number of cases and affected countries is certain to increase on a daily basis. Proposed health-related interventions have been coming in from all of the regions where we work. These include provision of essential equipment for responders like masks, gloves, testing kits, disinfectant and thermometers awareness-raising and health advice through the use of social and broadcast media. In Sierra Leone and South Sudan, there are no ICU facilities available.

There are regular updates about our work, including the Covid19 response, available at

We have several resources available online at






The last Church collection was on Saturday 14th / Sunday 15th

(when the Sunday Mass obligation had been lifted and just before the Mass attendance restrictions came into force)

and amounted to £1,510. Many thanks for your  continued generosity.



                 NEW OFFERTORY ENVELOPES – 2020 / 2021    


Each year we remind parishioners of the Standing Order option, but his year, in the present circumstance of no public Sunday Masses, we strongly encourage all to consider filling up a Standing Order form. Please also consider signing a Gift Aid form - if you use your envelope or contribute by Standing Order and pay TAX you can sign a GIFT AID FORM, which will enable the parish to claim (from the Government) an additional 28p roughly for every £1 contributed to the parish.

Sample wording for Standing Order and Gift Aid forms below:

WIL17A7 2 449x640Gift Aid Form 449x640

*** or consider***

paying by online banking faster payment to the Ballycastle Parish account:

sort code: 95-02-21  and account number: 21000616,

and please put your full name and envelope box number in the reference section.

Many thanks to those who have recently done so.









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