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

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St. Fintan’s Parish – Mountrath Ballyfin

Sat. 8th – 9th May 2021 – 6th Sunday of Easter

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

Visit Home Page of Parish Website for Links to Webcams

Mountrath Parish Radio transmits on FM 104.5 Email

For Full list of Mass Remembrances for this weekend and next see our Parish Newsletters – link on right of Home Page

We remember people – their families and cerers – who are ill – at home, in Hospitalor in a Nursing Home at this time.


Arrangements for Return to Public Worship

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 Church from Mon. 10th May at 10.00 am
Sat. evening Vigil Mass – 7.00 pm
Sunday 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.

We look forward to a safe return to Public Worship

Now as our churches are opening again for public worship if you feel that you have a bit of time to volunteer – to sanatize, steward, or help in any other practical way, we would love to hear from you. An additional helping hand is always much appreciated


. . . . As We Return to Public Worship
Here in Mountrath and Ballyfin Parishes we will be returning to Public Worship on Monday 10th May. As was the case last June, a lot of effort is required and indeed, has gone into our “Return to Public Worship” preparations, this time round, again. . We thank all who have assisted us – our stewards and cleaners along with the various ministries and ministries coordinators – A special thanks to you, our parishioners, for your patience and understanding. We look forward to this, our 2nd reopening, with great joy and enthusiasm. Again we ask you for your patience and understanding as we implement the necessary restrictions and regulations to ensure that our return to public worship is safe for everyone.
The maximium allowed into Mountrath Church for Mass is 100 (50 x 2) people. Ballyfin Church 50 people The Hollow Church 45 people.

Use Hand Sanitizers – Hand sanitizers are installed in the church porch
Keep a safe social distance at all times – At the moment this distance is 2 metres
Respect Ushers – Ushers are on hand at all Masses if you need help or assistance
The practice of the Handshake during the “Sign of Peace” at Mass is suspended
Please adhere to guidelines.
All open areas and seating in these areas are sanitized before and after each Mass.
The maximium allowed into Mountrath Church, for now, is 100 people.and Ballyfin Church is 50 – 2 people may be seated in the side seats – while observing social distening – 3 people may be seated in the centre seats – while observing social distencing – 3 people per (open) seat in the Hollow Church
Families may be seated together in one seat
People who enter the church for Mass may occupy the “open” seats only.
It is not correct to occupy seats which have been closed off.
There are special arrangements in place for the reception of Holy Communion –
the Celebrant will outline these arrangements at each Mass at Communion time. We ask you to please respect these arrangements.
Holy Communion may be received on the hand only.
Bishop Denis asks that face coverings be worn during Mass.


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


Reopening of our Churches for Public Worship from 10th May

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

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

Funerals and Weddings
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. Singing
As with previous reopening for religious services congregational singing and choir singing is not permitted. Solo singing with accompanist is permitted subject to compliance with detailed guidance contained in HSE Covid-19 Guidance for Religious Services. . Outdoor Worship
Outdoor worship is not permitted in line with Government restrictions on organised outdoor gatherings. (This has implications for our Cemetery Masses this year. –

(We can’t make any arrangements in this regard, just yet)


Flowers for the Altar.
Sincere thanks to Sr, Helen who has been looking after the Altar and Altar linens so capably for the past year. (Since the beginning of Lockdown)
Sincere Thanks also to Im elda from “Floral Visions” (Flower Shop on Church St.,) who has been looking after the flowers for the Altar in Mountrath Church for the past year, and more.
As Summer approaches and as our garden flowers become more plentiful you might consider providing us with some flowers for the altar. If you feel that you might be in a position to provide flowers for the Altar, please let us know.


The Celebration of Confirmation 2021

Invitation from Mountrath / Ballyfin Parish Sacramental Preparation Team

Confirmation Candidates and their Families

We invite you to Our Zoom Meetings
Arranged for
Tuesday 11th May Time 7.00 pm
Thursday 13th May Time 8. 00 pm
A link for our Zoom Meetings will be sent by email to Candidates and their families on Mon. 10th May.

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

Concerning dates for the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation see Bishop Denis Letter of Fri. 30th April (reprinted in this Newsletter)

We still do not have contact details for 3 Confirmation Candidates – so, as of now, we have no way of making contact with these people.

(Enrolment Forms were returned – but contact details were not included)


Maureen Murtagh (Nee Lee) Shannon Road, R.I.P.
We pray for Mauren who died peacefully at Abbeyleix District Hosp., Community Care Facility on Sun. last 2nd May. Maureen’s Funeral Mass was celebrated in St. Fintan’s Church, Mountrath on Thursday 6th May followed by committal Ceremony at Newlands Cross Crematorium, We extend sympathy to sons, Vincent, Brendan and Barry and their families, grandchildren Gillian, Conor, Curtis and Lewis, sisters Rita, Carmel and Joan, daughters-in-law Jean and Helen and their families, the Kirwan family, extended family, relatives, neighbours and friends.
May Maureen rest in the peace of Christ.


New Secure Built-in Wall Safe installed in Mountrath Church.
If you wish to deposit – safely – Parish Weeekly Envelopes – Parish Dues, (for the support of the Priests of the Parish) – Trócaire Collection – or any of the other contributions for the support of the Parish you are most welcome to use our new wall safe, situated just inside the left internal entrance door.

If depositing contributions towards the Trócaire Collection we ask that the contents of the Trócaire Box be placed in an envelope – simply marked – Trócaire – and the envelope placed in the new wall safe.

Sincere Thanks for your continued and generous support of the Parish


A National Synod for Ireland’s Catholic Church.
The Irish Catholic Bishops announced at their Winter 2020 meeting a new Synodal Pathway for the Catholic Church in Ireland, leading to the holding of a National Synodal Assembly within the next five years. Before embarking on an initial two-year phase of consultation, bishops are inviting submissions between Easter (5 April) and Pentecost (23 May), 2021 to reflect on what methods/models would be best to adopt in these coming two years of conversations. For example: focus groups, parish hall meetings, questionnaires, deep-listening sessions; written submissions; family-focused gatherings; summary of findings of assemblies that have already taken place across dioceses; and/or conferences. Submissions, of not more than 300 words, can be made via the Bishops Conference webpage:


The Prophet in Today’s World – A Thought by Fr. P.J. Fitzgerald SPS

God chose prophets to bring his message to the people of Israel. When we speak about prophecy we think of predicting the future. Many of the prophets are associated with predictions, usually, of catastrophe. However, those predictions were meant to serve as a warning of what would happen if the people persisted in defying the will of
God. Some prophets did predict good news, especially Isaiah and John the Baptist who both predicted good times with the coming of the Jesus, the Saviour. So, we can see that that the prophets are constantly urging people to turn away from sin and towards God.
Today the prophet’s role is to stand up boldly for what is right in the sight of God. This very often involves going against the popular opinion. The prophet is motivated by love of God and love of truth. Today’s prophet will not make prophecies about the future. Instead, he/she is a fearless witness who speaks the truth even when it is not
popular. The modern prophet needs courage and a faith rooted in the love of God. The prophet is going to face opposition and ridicule from others, particularly in the media. It is not easy to stand up for truth and it never was.
The Christian moral values have come under attack today and many people do not like what has become the ‘new normal’, but are afraid to raise their voices. There are a few who speak out but they are ridiculed as being old fashioned and out of touch. All of us need to know where we stand and not be swayed by the popular opinion. When
we stand for what is right, we become living examples of Christian living and we are being prophets.


Mountrath Parish Lotto 6th May.
Jackpot Won – €10,000
Nos. Drawn 4 11 17 26
Congratulations to “Sister Act”
24 Match 3 – Each Rec. € 42
4 Local Winners
Thomas Ryan — Anne O’Keeffe
Michael and Bernie – Bernie Tynan
Ollie Tynan – Bernie Tynan
Anne Dunne – Ann Carroll
Next Week’s Jackpot € 10,000


Ballyfin Parish Lotto 5th May
Nos. Drawn 3 8 12 29
No Jackpot Winner of € 13.000

29 Match 3 – Each Rec. € 35
1 Local Winner
John and Deirdre Fitzpatrick

Next Week’s Jackpot €14,000