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The presentation for Church Readers due to take place this week, and the child safeguarding training due next week are now postponed until further notice, due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation. Stations of the Cross will not take place in St Joseph’s Church on the Fridays of Lent.

Livestream of Sunday Mass

Mass for Ballinderreen and Kinvara Parishes will be livestreamed on Facebook Live this Sunday (15th March 2020) at 10.30am and available on the Ballinderreen and Kinvara Facebook page as a recording after. Those not on Facebook should still be able to see the Facebook page from the internet at the address:

Kinvara FM will also probably make an audio recording.

Also, Bishop Brendan Kelly will celebrate Mass live on Galway Bay FM radio at 11.30am.

This will be a help in people making spiritual communion with the Lord during this period when we cannot hold public Mass due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation.

Here is a reflection on spiritual communion from the Parish of Lisdoonvarna and Kilshanny Facebook page:


In the normal course of events we might not be able to receive Holy Communion for one reason or another. Maybe we’re too sick to go to Mass, or we’re in a foreign country with no opportunities for Mass. Maybe we’re in a state of serious sin and need to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation first, or maybe we haven’t made the one-hour fast beforehand. These circumstances can crop up fairly often.

Now, over the coming weeks – due to the new national health rules – many people who are daily participants in the Holy Eucharist, and who have deep devotion to Our Lord really and truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, will not be able to have the privilege of attending Holy Mass on weekdays, nor even on Sundays.

In all of these situations it is good to keep alive the ancient tradition of frequently making a ‘spiritual communion’. It is a beautiful part of our Catholic spiritual heritage and tradition, and it is something we can all do anytime and anywhere.

Saint Thomas Aquinas described acts of spiritual communion as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament and a loving embrace as though we had already received Him.”

Saint Teresa of Avila wrote: “When you do not receive communion and you do not attend Mass, you can make a spiritual communion, which is a most beneficial practice; by it the love of God will be greatly impressed on you.”

Saint Padre Pio experienced spiritual communion so intense that he described them in terms of his heart fusing with the heart of Jesus: “They were no longer two hearts beating but only one. My heart disappeared as if it were a drop in the ocean.”

Saint John Paul II encouraged the practice of making acts of spiritual communion whenever we cannot attend Mass, and also in circumstances where we might be present at Mass but our lives and souls are not properly prepared to receive the Holy Eucharist. Spiritual communion links us to the Eucharist, which in turns links us to our core vocation – which is to share in the Holy Communion of the Blessed Trinity.

The following is a prayer used by many saints and sinners over the centuries as a loving worshipful act of spiritual communion:

My Jesus,
I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love you above all things,
and I desire to receive you in my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally,
please come spiritually into my heart.
I embrace you now as if you were already there,
and I unite myself wholly to you.
Never permit me to be separated from you.

Announcement regarding COVID-19 situation

Regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation, Bishop Brendan Kelly has issued an instruction that all public Masses in this Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh, and Kilfenora, Sundays and weekdays, are suspended until 29 March 2020 or until further notice.
Baptisms, weddings and funerals may take place so long as the congregation is limited to 100 or fewer.
Anniversary Masses may be rescheduled, or Fr Hugh can offer the intention in a private Mass. (Families who had booked anniversary Masses for during this period can make their preferences known to the Parish Office.)

Bishop Kelly has also asked that the following norms for this period be circulated, issued for the Irish Bishops Conference by Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly, and Archbishop Michael Neary:

– All non-essential pastoral gatherings and meetings, such as formation gatherings, retreats and seminars are cancelled.

– All Confirmations are postponed until further notice.

– Every Catholic is entitled to a dignified Christian burial. Attendance at Funeral services and Masses should be limited to close relatives and must not exceed 100 attendees within the church building.

– Similarly, Church weddings and baptisms may be celebrated on condition that the attendance in Church does not exceed 100 people.

– In these difficult and uncertain times, people find strength, consolation and hope in prayer. Churches should remain open for prayer each day.

– In the current emergency situation, all are dispensed from the obligation to physically attend Sunday Mass. Parishes should inform parishioners of the local possibilities to participate in Mass via local radio and online. It may be possible for some parishes to facilitate attendance at Mass while still observing the health authority’s limit of 100 people.

– This is an occasion for all of us – especially in families – to pray more intensely for each other and especially for those who have succumbed to the illness. We should pray also for those at the frontlines – especially doctors, nurses and medical staff and other carers, including clergy – that the Lord will protect them as they place their own wellbeing at risk in the service of all.

Extract from Saint Patrick’s Breastplate
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence,
I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer. Amen.

Cancellation of Public Masses

As per the Taoiseach’s statement this morning, 12th March 2020, due to the COVID-19 situation, indoor gatherings of more than 100 people should not now take place until 29th March 2020. Therefore, the weekend Masses in Ballinderreen and Kinvara Parishes will not be celebrated. There will be a statement from the Diocese later. More details here later as the situation becomes clearer. Up until now, the parishes have been following the official HSE ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for religious services’, and will continue to follow all HSE guidance.

Parish precautions regarding COVID-19 Coronavirus

Some parish precautions regarding COVID-19 Coronavirus, in response to diocesan recommendations:

– The obligation to attend Mass does not apply to anyone who is sick. Parishioners who are ill (even if symptoms are mild) are asked not to attend.
– The sign of peace will be suspended until this risk is over.
– The Holy Water fonts will be empty during this time of risk. There are canisters with Holy Water in St Joseph’s Church, Kinvara, and Ballinderreen Church, so if you wish, you are welcome to bring home your own Holy Water.
– The Chalice will not be shared with the Ministers of the Eucharist during this period.
– Please wash or sanitise your hands frequently.
– When you cough or sneeze, please cover your mouth and nose with a clean tissue and dispose of it in a bin and wash your hands.
– Depending on how the situation develops, further recommendations may need to be implemented if necessary in the days and weeks ahead.

Funeral of John Martyn, Mulrook, Ballinderreen

Reposing at Corless Funeral Home, Kinvara on Wednesday, 4th March 2020 from 4.30pm until 7.30pm. Arriving at Ballinderreen Church on Thursday for Funeral Mass at 12 noon. Burial after in Drumacoo Cemetery.

Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him.