Fr. Joe: 087 241 1594
Fr. PJ: 087 605 5783

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St. Fintan’s Parish Mountrath Ballyfin Sat. 1st – Sun. 2nd May 2021 – 5th Sunday of Easter

Fr. P.J. Fitzgerald C.C. (087) 605 5783 Fr. Joe (087) 2411 594

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Cornelius (Con) Phelan Johnsborough / Cardtown, R.I.P.
• We pray for Con who died on 29th April 2021, (peacefully) at home after a short illness,
in the loving care of his very caring family. Con’s Funeral Mass was celebrated in St.
Cronan’s Church, Roscrea on Sat. 1st May followed by Burial in St. Fergal’s Cemetery,
Camross. We extend sympathy to Con’s parents, Daniel Oliver and Mary, sisters Kathy, Sharon
(Mountmellick), Olive (UK), Roisin (Tullamore) and brother Danny (Australia),
brothers-in-law, Diarmaid, Andries, Tom and Kieran, sister-in-law Lisa, nephews,
nieces, Eve, Joe, Daniel, Ciaran, Rossa, Tilly, Donal and Muireann, aunts, uncles,
neighbours and friends.
May Con’s Gentle Soul Rest In Peace.

John Duggan, Clonboyne, Portlaoise R.I.P.
We pray for John who died tragically on Tues. 27th April. John’s Funeral Mass was
celebrarted in St. Peter and Paul Church, Portlaoise on Sat. 1st May followed by burial
in St. Peter and Paul Cemetery. We extend sympathy to his wife, Anna, parents Dan
and Margaret, brothers Liam and Cyril, sisters Ann and Noeleen, mother-in-law Nan,
brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and all of his extended family,
neighbours and a large circle of friends.
John was teacher at St. Mary’s CBS Secondary School, Portlaoise.
May John rest In the Peace of Christ.


Arrangements for return to Public Worship in Mountrath and Ballyfin Parishes

As we are allowed to return to public worship from Monday 10th May we will be returning to pre-covid Mass times while still complying with the new / current restrictions

Just to recap (In case we’ve forgotten)

Mountrath Parish
Morning Mass in Mountrath Parish Church from Mon. 10th May at 10.00 am
Sat. evening Vigil Mass – 7.00 pm
Mass in the Hollow Church at 9.00 am -
Total number allowed for Mass in the Hollow Ch. – 45 people
Mass in Mountrath at 11.30 am – Total allowed for Mass 100 (50 x 2)

Ballyfin Parish
Friday evening Mass at 7.30 pm – Max 50 people
Sat. evening – Vigil Mass 8.00 pm Max 50 people
Sunday morning 10.00 am Max 50 people.


Return to Public Worship – From Mon. 10th May

Letter from Bishop Denis Nulty And Letter from Bishop Dermot Farrell, Archbishop of Dublin

Statement from Bishop Denis regarding Celebrations of First Holy Communion and Confirmation
(Issued on Fri. 30th April – 3.00 pm) All of us warmly welcome the return to public worship on Monday May 10, announced last evening. It has been a long lockdown journey since St. Stephen’s Day last December and any return must be gentle and gradual and strictly adhere to the governments guidelines as advised by NPHET.
I know there is concern around celebrating the sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation. The government guidelines about the return to public worship specifically advises that ‘other religious ceremonies such as Communions and Confirmations should not take place at this time.’ I know that this is disappointing news. I had already asked parishes not to plan to celebrate these Sacraments in May this year.
I am, however, aware that many parishes were hoping, and indeed planning, to offer dates for Confirmation and 1st Holy Communion to parents for the month of June, as soon as the return to public worship had been allowed. Given the latest advice from the government I am now asking that Parishes do not proceed with planning for June and do not set any dates until further clarity is offered.
If you have already set dates please inform parents that these are, for now, suspended. I will keep you informed if the situation changes in the coming weeks but I believe that it is important that this information is communicated as soon as possible, while I am also aware that things can change at very short notice. With regard to the celebration of Baptisms, they are permissible, but always adhering to the guidelines – and for now celebrated only as a single family celebration (not multiple Baptisms) with a maximum of six in attendance. A reminder that there is absolutely no expiry date on Sacraments.
While our Society is opening up, the Pandemic is still with us and we must remain vigilant. Let us do all we can to continue to encourage the preparation programmes and to keep the hearts up of the children and young people as they continue to await the Sacraments. From Bishop Denis


Clarification around Easing of Restrictions.

Part of Letter from Dermot Farrell, Archbishop of Dublin to Bishop Denis Nulty (Dated Fri. 30th April 2021)

Arising from yesterday’s announcement regarding the easing of restrictions on religious services from May 10th I have received clarification this evening from the Office of An Taoiseach on a number of issues as follows:

Pods of 50
Where the size of the premises/Place of Worship allows for a capacity of greater than 50 this may be permitted only where:
1. social distancing guidelines are adhered to
2. the premises can be subdivided into distinct sections
(cordoned or marked appropriately)
3. of not more than 50 persons in each section
there is a minimum of 4 metres between sections
each section having its own entrance/exit route
4. there are separate arrangements for elements of the service involving close contact, for example the distribution of Holy Communion
strictly no movement of people between sections before, during or after the service
5. the premises is well-ventilated

There is an increased risk of transmission of the virus where families and communities come together following the death of a loved one.
Therefore numbers at funeral services (and Weddings) is capped at 50 regardless of size of premises.
Notwithstanding the increase in numbers permitted, funerals are still considered private family events and arrangements should not be advertised in newspapers or on-line. attending.
Attendance at wakes in private homes and at Funeral Homes remains unchanged i.e. immediate family only and people should be discouraged from queuing to pay respects.


The Celebration of Confirmation 2021

This item is a follow on from the Article about the celebration of Confirmation in previous week’s Newsletter. (Available online)
Alas, despite our best efforts, we still await the return of some completed Enrolment Forms from our !st Holy Communion and Confirmation candidates. Because of this we have postponed our planned Zoom (Confirmation) Meetings which we had arranged for 4th and 6th May to the following week 11th and 13th May. So our 2 Zoom Meetings for our Confirmation Candidates and their parents have changed to
Tues. 11th May 2021 Time 7.00 pm Thursday 13th May 8. 00 pm

Each candidate who has enrolled for Confirmation for this year will be required to be part of either of these Meetings. – Once again, if you have any concerns or difficulties surrounding the Zoom Meetings, please contact us. We will continue to do our best to accommodate everyone – If you have issues, ring me on 087 2411 594


St Joseph the Worker – The Feast of St. Joseph the Worker is Sat. 1st May

Joseph, by the work of your hands
And the sweat of your brow,
You supported Jesus and Mary,
And had the Son of God as your fellow worker.
Teach me to work as you did,
With patience and perseverance,
For God and for those whom God has given me to support.
Teach me to see in my fellow workers
The Christ who desires to be in them,
That I may always be charitable and forbearing
towards all. Amen.


“The Call” A Thought by Fr. P.J. Fitzgerald SPS
In a book I was reading recently, I was amazed to find that when the Penal Laws were at their height in Irealnd and priests had a price on their heads, there was a continous stream of youmg men who went abroad and studied in seminaries in France, Spain, Belgium. They came back as priests, knowing that they would be hunted and would have to live as fugitives, on the run, in constant danger of being betrayed. It was not a path of roses. Some paid with their lives. What made them do it ? Why did they put themselves in such danger ? Was it a spirit of defiance in the face of the injustice that was imposed on the Irish people at the time ? Could it have been a spirit of patrotism, where to be Irish was equated to being Cathlic, and to strika a blow for one, was to strike it for others also. Threy had the spirit of self-sacrifice for God and for countrey. I am sure they have their reward now.
I am writing this on 24th April, which was the date that the 1916 Easter Rising began. Every one of those patriots who took up the cause and fought for freedom for our country knew that they were putting their own lives on the line. They counted is as an hounour to die for Ireland’s freedom In their case too, for many of them their faith inspired them to make the sacrifice “for the cause” Do we still have that spirit of self-sacrifice today ? I suppose we will not know until we are put to the test. In the present pandemic many have been willing to give up their freedoms to keep others safe. Is there the same willingness to offer oneself for he salvation of others – to answer the call of vocation ?


See Parish Newsletters for more Items of Interest.