Return to church services in Ballinora parish

Dear parishioner


We’re delighted to inform you that church services will resume in St. James Church, Ballinora from Wednesday, 1 July 2020.


We invite and encourage your return.


We’d like to reassure you that we’ve put in place all the best practice requirements of HSE, our diocese and parish to make sure our church is a safe space.

Mass times 

Monday (evening) – 7:00pm
Tuesday (morning) – 9:00am
Wednesday (morning) -9:00am
Thursday no mass
Friday (evening) – 7:00pm
Saturday (evening) – 7:00pm
Sunday (morning) – 10:00am

Information about  mass attendance

    • Maximum capacity of Ballinora Church – with 2m social distancing – will be 45 to 50
    • Available seats will be marked to make sure there is social distancing.  Stewards will direct you to a seat. Families from the same household should sit together
    • Come a few minutes early to allow time to manage safe entry
    • We hope that as many people as possible will follow the government recommendation to wear a face-covering in an enclosed space – this will help protect you and your fellow worshippers
    • Enter through the back door only, and exit by the choir side door
    • Sanitise your hands when you enter and when you leave the church
    • We’d appreciate if you could please leave your weekly contribution in the collection baskets at the entrance and exits. If attending instead on a weekday, please bring the relevant weekend offering
    • If you’re feeling unwell or vulnerable, please do not attend
    • Initially, only Fr Declan will distribute Holy Communion. He’ll do so wearing a mask and after sanitising his hands
Please note: There is no Sunday Obligation at this time.


We’d suggest parishioners who are older or vulnerable should consider attending a weekday Mass instead of the busier weekend Masses – some places are needed for those who cannot attend during the week.


The evening Mass on Monday or Friday may be more convenient for this. We hope that provision can be made through outside amplification and /or direct streaming in the event that not all can be accommodated in the church at any Mass.


We all look forward to the day when these necessary restrictions are eased and we can return to celebrating our Mass together again more fully as a community.


Thank you all for your continued support.


Ballinora Parish Council

A message from Fr. Declan

Greetings to all. Firstly in this time of isolation, I’m so glad to be able to use the Ballinora Community website to communicate with the people of our parish; I’m grateful to the people who set it up to those who maintain it, and to those who are posting useful information on it. I’ll be as brief as I can. In the absence of public Masses, and of a parish newsletter, there are a number of things that I need to say.

Please take every step to stay safe, and to keep each other safe.

Limit direct social contact, Keep social distancing of 2 metres, keep washing hands, and obey the guidelines of government and HSE.

The elderly, as well as many other categories, are especially vulnerable. But nobody has immunity. A letter from a GP on today’s Irish Times stresses that each of us is a frontline healthcare worker, responsible for the health of those around us, and not the doctors and nurses etc who treat the symptoms after we have been infected. But please do not socially isolate completely. Use the phone and the internet for shopping and for contact with others.

I’ve been so encouraged by the number of people who have contacted me offering help and support. This is where the God of Love is active in this crisis.

In the absence of Mass, make use of the internet for faith support.

The Mass is broadcast live from many churches on, from, St Mary’s as well as on RTE each morning. The Diocesan website has a number of prayer supports.

Contact me

Even though I cannot easily meet people, I wish to remain in contact as much as possible. Please feel free to ring me or contact me with worries, fears, to ask for prayers. I’m contactable by:


Even though I’m not celebrating Mass publicly, I’m celebrating Mass in private, and I’ll be praying for the people of the parish, especially the vulnerable, during those Masses. I hope you will also keep me in your prayers.

I’ll offer Mass myself privately for the intentions which have been booked into the sacristy, anniversaries.

You may still book others with me which will be celebrated privately.

To connect you to the weekend Masses, we’ll record and published them as videos.  See the first, recorded and uploaded for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, 21 March 2020

I hope this will help to keep us together as a praying community.

It’s not possible to stream it live as there is very little internet connectivity at the Church.

Sincere thanks to Pat Tuite, Grace Tyrell and Pat O’Connor for making this broadcast possible.


A number of weddings have been booked by parishioners in the next months. Some have already been postponed. The current guidelines – between HSE and bishops – are that a Catholic wedding can still take place on the day planned, with a short private ceremony of vows and blessing with the couple, priest and two witnesses.

This is all that is required in order that the relationship between the couple is officially recognised, become sacred and sacramental and a source of God’s supportive presence. A more public celebration can take place at a future date.


Again the guidelines are that the only ceremony that can safely take place is a private funeral Mass, with only the most immediate family present.

There can be no gathering for Rosary or Removal. You’ll have seen the wording and restrictions on

This is a very difficult situation for those bereaved, to be allowed so little comforting social contact. A commemoration of the person’s life and public religious ceremony can be had at a future date.


Congratulations to anyone in the parish who has given birth to a new child recently. It’s still possible to carry out baptisms in churches, but with the least number of people present. It’s up to each couple to make a responsible decision around timing, postponing until safe. But remember the spiritual benefit to the child. Again, a celebration with family and friends could be held later.

Communion to the sick and housebound

Obviously, it would be irresponsible for a priest to continue to visit the sick regularly, increasing the risk of spreading infection. But if any person who is ill or housebound needs to make contact with me for the sacrament of the blessing of the sick or Holy Communion, please contact me.

Arrangements can be made on an occasional basis for a family member to be delegated to bring Communion if needed. But only under the strictest aseptic conditions.

Spring Station Dues

It’s not possible for the Dues envelopes to be distributed safely and no further Station Masses will take place. A box of Dues envelopes will be left at the back of the Church. If you’re out walking or passing the church, please take one and put them in my letterbox or post them to me.


Fr. Declan

Ballinora Person of the Year 2020

The 2020 Ballinora Person of the Year has been awarded to Tim and Marie Twomey.

This dynamic couple has been involved in many aspects of Ballinora life for several years, including the GAA, Community Association and most notably the TidyTowns Association.

They’re warm, welcoming and full of enthusiasm for anything that will improve our parish and provide people with a greater sense of community.

They’re very worthy winners and we wish them well for the coming year.  A proper presentation and celebration will be organised to mark their award as soon as possible.