Parish Newsletter 13th December 2020 Print this page Print this page

Sun, 2020

Parish of Achonry/Mullinabreena

Church of St Nathy & St Brigid, Achonry F91 X998

Church of the Sacred Heart Mullinabreena F56 C864

Fr Peter Gallagher 071 9184002 / 087 2221244,   F56 CY23


2020 Sunday Cycle B Weekday Cycle I  

Third Sunday of Advent
 (Gaudete Sunday)

Sat 12th                  6:00 pm Mary Henry & her niece Mairead (M)

Sun 13th                 10:00 am              People of the Community (M)

Mon 14th               St John of the Cross (priest & doctor of the Church)

10:00 am        Mary McCarthy nee Gurley (M)

Tues 15th               10:00 am              Christy & Agnes O’Loughlin

& their daughter Bridie (M)

Wed 16th               10:00 am              Mary Henry, Carrowmore (M)

Thurs 17th             10:00 am              Special Intention (M)

Fri          18th         St Flannan (bishop)

10:00 am        Private Intention (M)

Sat 19th                  10:00 am              Private Intention (M)

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Sat 19th                  6:00 pm Eugene Henry (M)

Sun 20th                 10:00 am              Eleanor & Patrick O’Brien (M)

Readers of the Word

Saturday 19th Dec 6pm …. (M)

Sunday 20th Dec 10am: …… (M)

1st Reading 2 Sam 12:1-14. Psalm Ps 88.

2nd Reading 2 Rm 16:25-27. Gospel Lk 1:26-38.

3rd Sunday of Advent 13th Dec: Focus: Advent is a season of waiting in joyful hope for the coming of the Lord. – Gaudete Sunday affirms the value of rejoicing & gives reasons for our rejoicing. God has given hope to his people waiting for redemption. We wait with rejoicing for what God has already accomplished & will yet accomplish through Christ.

3rd Sunday of Advent – Dec 13 “The One who calls you is faithful.” Will you be faithful to His call? Listen; God may be inviting you to be a priest or consecrated religious. If you feel God is inviting you, speak to the Diocesan Vocation’s Director, or email the National Vocations Office on

Priesthood in Achonry Diocese – It is worth saying “yes” to God

6 residential weekends in Mullaghmore over the coming months for men who are exploring a call to priesthood. For more info contact Vocations Director, Fr Paul Kivlehan, Ballaghaderreen. 094-9860011, or 087- 3683535, E-mail  

SYMPATHY: We remember in our prayers at this time: Eddie Mosen, England, (son of the late Anna Mosen nee Hosey, Tubberdur).

May the Souls of the faithful departed rest in peace

A series of Sunday Advent Reflections continues for the next three weeks on Website

Religious Services Guidance

Special concession for Places of Worship to reopen for religious services at Level 3, from 1 December, in light of the upcoming Christmas period, to be reviewed in January. This will allow for up to 50 worshippers to attend Services with the Covid 19 protocol being followed. Wearing of face coverings. Separate entrance & exit points clearly marked. No congregation by people outside the premises before & after any service. Stewards on site to assist in this regard. Additional measures to be put in place to address overcrowding, to include scheduling additional Services, increased stewarding where necessary. Our churches are not large enough to have sub-divisions. We will abide by the same rules that were in place during the August/September opening.

Achonry Farmers Market - Christmas Markets: The Market continue on Sunday 13th & Saturday Dec 19th from 10am – 1pm. There are lots of offerings with a host of great food stalls along with many craft stalls for Christmas present ideas. Christmas wreaths, trees, mulled wine, hot chocolate, live music & lots more with something for all the family in a safe outdoor shopping environment. The Northwest Hospice will also have a stand at the market for December. Let's bring a bit of cheers to the community this Christmas. Great way to support local businesses in 2020. Sanitisers are in place & masks are recommended. Your support is greatly appreciated for this community led initiative which also serves as an important safe social outlet.

Trócaire Christmas Gifts: We want you to know that now more than ever your support is invaluable to us at Trócaire & the work we do with the world’s most vulnerable people. We could not do the life changing work we do without the hard work & dedication of our parish supporters. For that we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  As you know Christmas is a busy time for Trócaire & we have recently launched our Christmas Gifts of Love which allows people to buy vital gifts for the people we support.  We have 17 gifts in total this year ranging from a 6 months supply of Soap for a family to our new Quarantine Care Kit which gives a family everything they will need for 16 days of quarantine. This year we are asking for your help to promote our Gifts of Love by donating for one of these gifts & asking others to do likewise. Thank you.

COVID-19 Support Line for Older People: ALONE manage a national support line & additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to COVID-19. Professional staff are available to answer queries & give advice & reassurance where necessary. The support line is open seven days a week, 8am - 8pm, by calling 0818 222 024.

Christ at the Centre      --       Letter from Bishop Paul

One can sense the “buzz” in our towns & villages during these days of preparation for Christmas. Many of our parishes are preparing for Christmas which will be quite different this year. Priests working with Parish Pastoral Councils are making decisions at a local level on how best to celebrate Christmas in a safe manner. I extend my sincere gratitude to parish teams throughout the diocese – including stewards & sanitisers – who generously ensure that our churches are safe environments where people can confidently assemble for worship. Their task at Christmas will not be easy, & I appeal to parishioners for understanding & to cooperate with whatever system your local parish has in place. 

It will be impossible for our usual large congregations to assemble for Mass on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I remind Catholics that the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays & Holy Days remains suspended during the pandemic. But Christmas is about more than just one day.  Families are welcome to attend Mass at some point during the days from Christmas Eve to the Epiphany (6th January). Christmas Masses will be widely available over webcam. I strongly encourage parishioners to light a candle at home & “tune in” to Mass in your local church or cathedral. This special time together could help us to keep Christ at the centre of our celebration. 

It is possible to experience the spiritual richness of this special season in many ways. The age-old tradition of having a Christmas crib in the home & gathering there as a family to pray or to sing a carol will be especially meaningful this year. I also invite families & individuals to pay a visit to their local church at some time during the Christmas Season to offer a prayer at the crib.  The Western Dioceses have produced a prayer card that will be available at church cribs for people to pray & then take home with them. 

The hope of Advent & the joy of Christmas inspire us to reach out to those in greatest need at this time.  A simple act of kindness can make such a difference.  Charities such as the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, Trócaire & World Missions Ireland will welcome much needed contributions as they have been unable to raise funds in the normal way during the pandemic.

I am particularly conscious of those whose livelihoods have been seriously threatened by the pandemic. We remember those for whom Christmas time may bring feelings of sadness – people coping with bereavement, those suffering with sickness, families that cannot be together, those in care homes who can only have limited visits from their loved ones. Christmas can be difficult for Irish emigrants & migrants living in Ireland, who are unable to travel home. We pray that the time will come very soon when sorrow will ease & loving connections can be fully restored.

Traditionally many people turn at this time of the year to seek God’s forgiveness. Local arrangements for the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be put in place, keeping in mind social distancing.

As we continue our journey through the season of Advent, waiting in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour, I am acutely aware of the yearning in our country & in our world for hope & consolation. In some ways the Covid-19 restrictions open up new possibilities for prayer & reflection, for family time & the opportunity to put Christ at the centre.

Every good wish & blessing for Christmas & the New Year.

    Bishop Paul Dempsey.            

Comfort My People: The First Readings of Advent. With Fr Noel Rooney at   

In Advent the Church selects readings to draw us more deeply into the mystery of the season. In these four short videos Fr Noel introduces each of the first readings, its context & characters, & helps us to connect it with our own Advent journey. The Work of your Hands. Comfort my People. Good News to the Poor. Promises to Keep.

Fr Noel Rooney is a priest of the Diocese of Elphin, currently serving in St Joseph's parish in Sligo town. Fr Noel studied Scripture in the Biblical Institute in Rome and graduated with a licence in Sacred Scripture (LSS).

Advent Invitations for COVID Times. Online Advent Retreat with Sr Finola Cunnane. Amid the challenges of COVID & 2020 can we hear the words of Isaiah, "See, I am doing a new thing?" Can we hear God's invitation to listen, hope, uncover & discover the hidden treasures within our being?  In this two-part retreat we will pay attention to how we are & open our hearts to Christ's life-giving invitations for Christmas & beyond.

Part 1 recording available  from Nov 30th.  Part 2 – Sat, 5th Dec 10.30am-1pm 'live' via Zoom. 

Cost €25 Details and booking: . 

Dr. Finola Cunnane, SSL is a St. Louis Sister with wide experience in retreats and education. She has lectured in scripture, theology and spirituality in Ireland and internationally. 

Covid 19: The number of deaths worldwide is now over 1,610,000 & Republic of Ireland deaths at 2,120. That’s 89,000 deaths this week.

Youth 2000: Christmas Retreat online. Christmas E-Retreat takes place from 18th - 20th Dec. Registration free on

Free Living Well Programme - : Thurs 7th, Tues 12th, Mon 18th January. If you are living with a long term heath condition you may be interested in doing the “Living Well” formally known as the ‘Self Care to Wellness Programme’.  This is a six week programme delivered in 2.5 hour weekly sessions online where you will learn new skills to manage your health condition on a day to day basis. You must register in advance as places are limited to 10/12 participants. Please note you do not have to disclose your health condition on the programme. Please contact Olga on 086 6078950 or email:

If you are an older person and would like someone to talk to, particularly since Covid-19, consider phoning SeniorLine.​ We are Ireland's national confidential service for older people. We are open every day 10am-10pm.​ We are older people too, trained to listen & support.​ We would love to hear from you.​ Freefone 1800 80 45 91


RADIO MARIA IRELAND is an Irish-run Catholic Talk-Radio Station. Established since 2015 with the aid of the World Family of Radio Maria – with 83 Stations Worldwide. Our modern studio is situated in Ballymount, Dublin. We have recently surpassed 20,000 monthly online streaming listeners in Ireland & around the world & a further estimated 20,000 listeners via Saorview TV. Our mission is to help spread the Gospel message of Joy & Hope with a mixture of Prayer, Catechesis, Uplifting music, Talks, Interviews & Testimonies – all commercial free. We broadcast 24/7. You might particularly like to join us Monday – Friday from 9.15am with live Morning Prayer followed by daily 10am Holy Mass. 11am Catechesis - with Fr. Eamonn McCarthy (Cloyne Diocese) our full-time Priest Director - Angelus & Midday Prayer. Live Evening Prayer at 5pm is followed by News & the Rosary. You can listen in via Saorview TV Channel 210, RADIO MARIA IRELAND is available to download FREE by App "RADIO MARIA IRELAND" on mobile devices, FREE streaming on & our Facebook Page – Radio Maria – Ireland by clicking on the "LISTEN" link or on the telephone via a live radio feed by calling +353 (0) 1 437 3277 (no extra charges apply). If you would like information locally. Please contact: Eamonn Hennessy, 085-8174799 or by E-mail

Caring for our Common Home:  Coming together with Laudato Sí (Pope Francis' letter to the world on the environment). With presenter Ms Jane Mellett, Laudato Sí Officer, Trócaire.

Connection: The Big Picture of the Web of Life. February 16th

Action: Getting down to Working for our Future. February 23rd

RHS are a Not for Profit Home Care Provider that’s been operating in the West of Ireland for the past 21yrs and are looking for Carers and occasional cleaners in your area if you feel you have the correct qualifications and would like work please: 09066 25988 or

Level 5 Restrictions: now until 1st December – Bishop Paul

Religious Services Generally (Excl. Funerals & Weddings); Public attendance at mass is not permitted & all masses must be online only. Please be assured that I am very much aware of the huge efforts that are in place in parishes around stewarding, sanitising etc. This is very much appreciated. I know our churches are safe places for people to worship & the suspension of weekday/Sunday Mass is particularly difficult.

Baptisms; The Sacrament of Baptism may proceed with, in addition to the child & the priest, four people present, preferably from the child's household only. All necessary travel restrictions & health & safety precautions should be strictly adhered to. It may be necessary for godparents to be represented by proxy.

Funerals; Funeral services may proceed but with a maximum of 25 mourners. The burial service should be considered part of the funeral service, thus the lower limit of 15 people for “outdoor gatherings” should not apply to the burial service. The Funeral Undertaker should outline these restrictions to the family.

Marriage; Wedding ceremonies may proceed, but with a limit of 25 guests (irrespective of church size). Due to the restriction on travel outside the county (apart from essential purposes), it will not be possible for a guest to attend a wedding in another county. However, the guidance states that couples, resident in a particular county, but with existing plans to get married, can travel to get married outside that county.

Private Prayer in Places of Worship; Churches & places of worship should remain open for private prayer. It is important to continue an appropriate cleaning regime in your church.

Parish Meetings, etc; As organised indoor gatherings are not permitted under Level 5, all in-person parish meetings, board of management meetings, etc. should be suspended. Meetings may continue online.