Star of the Sea, Castlebay, The Isle of Barra. HS9 5XD.
Phone 01871 810267
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A’ Bhileag 3rd May 2020

A’ Bhileag- The Parish Newsletter: since the Churches are now closed  until the Government decide to lift restrictions- the parish newsletter can be picked up from A & C MacLean’s Shop (Bùth Bhuidsear) on the Main Street.


Recent Death: we remember in our prayers the repose of the soul of  Dolina Gillies who lived in St. Michael’s Cottages in Horve, Castlebay. Before the “lockdown” came into our country, Dolina had travelled to England to be with her family and while she was there she was diagnosed with cancer and she sadly passed away on Friday 1st May. We extend our prayers of love and sympathy to all Dolina’s family. It is planned that Dolina will be cremated in England and then at a later date her ashes will return to Barra and then a public memorial Mass for Dolina will be celebrated in Vatersay Church and then the ashes will be laid to rest in Vatersay Graveyard. Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.


The Month of May is the Month of Mary: The month of May is a special month of prayer to Our Lady and especially praying the Rosary. At times like this we should be praying our Rosary and asking our Lady to help us in these strange times. On our islands we have a great love and devotion for our Lady. On the tallest hill of our island- Heaval -a statue of Our Lady looks down upon our islands- we feel at all times our heavenly mothers love and protection.

Enclosed with the Newsletter this week there is a Letter from Pope Francis to the Faithful of the World for the month of May and he strongly encourages is to pray our Rosary and he has written two special prayers to say after the Rosary which we can all say.


To help us focus in our praying of the Rosary- always keep in mind a special intention-why not offer the 1st Decade-pray for family, friends and loved ones to be protected at this time against the Coronavirus. 2nd Decade pray for the Doctors and Nurses and carers who work hard each day against the Coronavirus. 3rd decade pray for Government leaders to make the right decisions to help us and our Country at this time. 4th Decade pray for the sick, housebound and all in hospital and especially pray for those who have died from the Coronavirus. 5th Decade pray for your own special intention.


Good Shepherd Sunday: on this Sunday special prayers are said for more vocations to the Priesthood and to the Religious life. On this 4th Sunday of Easter as we reflect on Jesus as the Good Shepherd leading and guiding his flock- we are encouraged to pray for those who are discerning whether to be a Priest, or a religious sister or a permanent deacon. The Good Shepherd is always calling on men and women to “come follow me” even in these strange and difficult times as we battle against the Coronavirus. God is still calling on us to be his Priests and religious brothers and sisters now more than ever. Please pray for more vocations especially for our own Diocese of Argyll & the Isles. Why not pray a Rosary each week in this month of May for more Vocations?


SCIAF  “Wee Boxes”: just hold onto your SCIAF “wee boxes” for the moment. The money does not need to be handed in till at lease the 20th May. We will see how the restrictions are going at the end of the month of April and at some point we will try and gather the “wee boxes” together. If anyone wants to send money directly to SCIAF by cheque – they can send it to- SCIAF, 7 West Nile Street, Glasgow, G1 2PR.


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 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 via the Diocesan Website at 10am.


Sunday Collection: These are very difficult financial times for everyone and Canon John Paul understands if you cannot give to the church just now. If anyone wishes to give something you can go to  the bank (or online banking) and use one of the 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