Spring stations 2020

Fr Declan would be glad to hear as soon as possible from families who would consider hosting a Station Mass in their home this spring. It’s an opportunity to have the house blessed, and to meet the neighbours over a cup of tea and a bun. The simplest catering possible is encouraged to make sure it is not a burden on anyone. Offers have been received for Middle Ballinora, Dineens Lane to Maglin Bridge, and school to Ballinora Cross. All other areas are seeking a taker! Please help to keep the tradition

Confirmation class celebration: 15 and 16 February 2020

In a beautiful reflective ceremony last Tuesday night, 11 February 2020, the candidates for Confirmation from Rang a Sé explained and illustrated the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit which they are preparing to receive in May.

Then, in the second part of the ceremony, a parent or sponsor of each candidate lit their baptismal candle from the Easter Candle, and handed it to the boy or girl who placed it on the altar. They also received a Certificate of Enrolment.

Our thanks to teachers Hazel O’Regan and Michael Carney, and to Tríona Buckley for the music.

The Parish Word: 15 and 16 February 2020

You can’t judge a book by its cover

The old saying often holds for many of us. Most people have never murdered, or never stolen anything too valuable. Most people have not done anything serious, and have avoided sin. But maybe it was fear of being caught which was the motive, or just the lack of serious temptation or opportunity to do it.

These motives are not good enough. Moral choices are around us all the time, and they demand a serious decision about what is the right and the wrong thing to do – and why! God is the only one who knows what is inside the cover of each of us, and if we really appreciate God’s love for us, this will help us to respond to it by being good people.

Being afraid of God and punishment is like a child afraid to get caught, rather than an adult making mature decisions ‘I never did anyone any harm’  is something often said by people who claim to be good. But is not there something missing?

We could spend our lives avoiding doing wrong, but actually doing very little good in the process. The Gospel today is challenging and asks us to go deeper. Beyond the external avoidance of sin. Beyond the mere observance of the laws and commandments. Is our heart with God?

We read today’s strict Gospel with our hearts, not our heads. It calls us deeper than merely keeping out of trouble!

High Standards/Mercy: Today’s Gospel is long, demanding, challenging, and could encourage anyone to be over-scrupulous, preoccupied with sin and failure. And sometimes our Church gives that impression. But the balancing act between high standards and the failure to live up to them is familiar to anyone who tries to live the Christian life. We have a God of love who is not ‘out to get us’, but compassionate, understanding and merciful. All we need is a sense of responsibility, maturity and balance. And we have the Sacrament of Reconciliation to admit to our failures and accept unconditional love.

The Parish Word: 22 and 23 February 2020

‘Going to Mass’, ‘Attending Mass’. What an inadequate way to begin to describe the weekly experience of people as they gather on Saturday evening and Sunday morning for the weekly Eucharist! Many older people grew up with the Precept of the Church: ‘to attend Mass on Sundays and Holydays’. Attending means only being physically present. Yes, you may believe that the priest consecrates the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, you may believe Jesus is present in the Consecrated Bread in the tabernacle, but it could be like having the radio on in the background as you think of cooking lunch.

Active Presence: to be actively present at the Mass is so different. To listen to God’s Word, receive the Bread of Life, join in the responses, sing the hymns,to stand respectfully, to kneel in reverence, to sit attentively, try to take in the homily and add your own intentions to the formal Prayers of the Faithful…. These are all a part of active participation. Much more than just being there, fulfilling a duty, or because family and society pushes you to. To be actively present doesn’t allow for boredom. It is to engage with and be a part of what’s happening.

Celebrating Mass Together: This is the ideal. Come as you are. Bring yourself, with joys and sorrows, ups and downs, tiredness, fears… and join with the priest in offering to God the Life Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Join with the other weak and vulnerable people around you, young and old, sinners and saints; unite yourself in communion with Jesus. Unworthy though we all are, we can offer a ceremony of thanksgiving and praise together. We don’t leave it all to the priest. He only leads us. The documents of Vatican 2 said Jesus is really present in four different ways as we celebrate the Eucharist together – in the consecrated bread and wine, – in the Word of God, – in the congregation who unite together, – and in the ministry of the priest (and of the people). The presence of Jesus in the Tabernacle is there for prayer and adoration. In the Mass itself, there is room for celebration, for joy. Very little about our lives is so secular that we cannot bring it to Church to celebrate.

Ballinora person of the year

Each year, as a parish, for the last ten years, the award of Ballinora Person of the Year has been conferred by the parish council on one of our parishioners, after the Mass on St Patrick’s Day.

The award is not limited to church-related activities. To celebrate Eucharist for the parish is to include and encourage all of our parish activities, sports, youth activities, community development and all that makes Ballinora such a warm, close, welcoming and supportive community.

Some past recipients of the award include:

  • Peggy Kelleher (sacristy, pilgrimages etc)
  • Ursula Mulvihill (Music ministry)
  • Donie Healy (G.A.A. And youth)
  • Patsy and Imelda O’Connor (community development, Red Cross etc)
  • Éamonn Lane (fundraising, community etc)

It is time to begin thinking about who to nominate for this year’s award.

Nomination forms available soon.

Ash Wednesday and Lent

Ash Wednesday is 26 February 2020. It’s a day of fast and abstinence.

There will be Mass with the distribution of ashes at 9:00am and at 7:30pm.

Throughout Lent, weekday Masses on Mondays, Tuesdays Thursdays and Fridays, will be at 7:30pm to facilitate as many as possible.

On Wednesdays, the Mass will be at 9:00am.

A search for relatives: can you help?

My great-grandmother Julia “Molly” O’Regan (nee O’Mahony ) was born in Ballinora 150 years ago on February 12th 1870.

She married Jeremiah O’Regan from Bandon and moved to live in the city where she worked as a vegetable dealer.

Her husband was a tailor. They had six children.  I believe there are still relatives in Ballinora and I would love to make contact to fill in my family tree.

If you can help please contact Arthur at 0872244807