Star of the Sea, Castlebay, The Isle of Barra. HS9 5XD.
Phone 01871 810267
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Bhileag 31st May 2020 PENTECOST

Pentecost Sunday: today is the Solemnity of Pentecost and is an important day to pray to the Holy Spirit. So let us all pray to the Holy Spirit and pray for us and our families and islands to be kept safe in these times. We pray……

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.

Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created and you shall renew the face of the earth.

O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same

Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.


Pentecost Sunday National Rosary: Today is the last day of May and so we are invited in a special way to pray the Rosary today with the universal church. Today  there will be a National Rosary Rally, from 9am to 9pm all over the UK and beyond.  Our Diocese of Argyll &  the Isles has been asked to pray the Rosary at 5pm. Bishop Brian will lead an online Rosary at 5pm (on the diocesan website /facebook) so let us unite from our own homes in praying our own Rosary with the Universal Church this Pentecost Sunday.


Bishop Brian praying for our Parishes: He will celebrate a live-streamed Mass for Northbay Parish on Friday 5th June through the diocesan Facebook / website at 10am.


When do we open our Churches???: we continue to hear small things of how our Churches could slowly begin to open. The Church Covid-19 working Group is working alongside the Scottish Government -trying to find the right ways of how best to open our Churches. As we know the Scottish Government is working in phases just now – we have now entered phase 1 and it will be in phase 2 that church doors could open again for private prayer  and then in phase 3 or  4 that small public Masses could then begin to take place. Each phase seems to take 3 weeks.

Of course when Public Masses start- they will be with restricted numbers and also there will have to be a plan of seats allocated. Some pews will have to be blocked off. There has to be 2 metre space between each individual unless you are from the same household. Hand sanitiser stations will have to be available. Probably people will have to wear face masks in the church. As we know those over 70 are being shielded just now- will they have to stay at home when public Masses begin or can they go to Public Mass? There are still lots of questions still to be answered! Keeping the Churches clean and sanitised will become more of a priority and so we will need help to keep our Churches clean more often.

Canon John Paul was trying to work out roughly how many  could  each church hold with the new restrictions-  Castlebay Church 36 ;   Craigston Church 26 ;      Northbay Church  26;    Vatersay church 18;   Eoligarry church 16.   These are the very basic estimate numbers- families could sit  together and therefore numbers would go up. It just makes us think that changes are lying ahead for us all. Over the weeks that lie ahead we will slowly begin to hear of how best to move forward.


The Month of  June is the Month of the Sacred Heart: we are now about to enter the month of June which is the month of the great devotion to the Sacred Heart. The devotion to the Sacred Heart is one of the most popular devotions in the church. In most homes there will be a picture of the Sacred Heart or a statue to the Sacred Heart. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a symbol of both His divinity and humanity. This year the Feast of the Sacred Heart is in Friday 19th June and then on the following day is the feast of the Immaculate heart of Mary. Let us use this month to offer special prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to bless each of our hearts and homes in these strange and unsettling times.


Watching Holy Mass on the TV or Internet: we cannot physically go to Church for Holy Mass just now and so we must now use the Digital World. The Catholic channel EWTN on SKY channel 588 is very good. You can also go online and go toChurch services TV” or go to MCN media and we are spoilt for choice for the number of Masses being celebrated live on the internet. As always Bishop Brian is also live-streaming his daily Mass at 10am.


Sunday Collection: Canon John Paul wishes to thank those who have gone online or gone to the bank to help support the parish in their donations. It is very much appreciated especially in these difficult times. Remember Castlebay parish looks after Craigston Church and Vatersay Church . Northbay Parish looks after Eoligarry Church. Therefore if you would like to support your church then please use one of the following account details;

RCD Argyll & the Isles Castlebay Mission    Account no. 65627538    Sort Code 839125    Coop Bank

RCD Argyll & the Isles Northbay Mission    Account no. 65628061     Sort Code 839125   Coop Bank