Star of the Sea, Castlebay, The Isle of Barra. HS9 5XD.
Phone 01871 810267
Email Addres

Bhileag 28th June 2020-St. Peter & St. Paul

Recent Deaths: We pray for the repose of the soul of Sandy Henderson who peacefully passed away on Thursday 25th June in his own home in Eoligarry surrounded by his Family. Sandy passed away at the age of 69 after he had battled three years of illness. Sandy was laid to rest in Eoligarry graveyard on Friday 26th June. We extend our prayers of love and sympathy to Catriona, Andrew & Eilidh and all the relatives and friends.

We pray for the repose of the soul of Donalda MacLeod  (Dolag Neill a’ Phosta) of Ullapool and Bogach who passed away on Tuesday 23rd June in Ullapool. It was Dolag’s wish to return back to Barra to be laid to rest. Her remains will come on Wednesday evening’s boat and she will be received into St. Barr’s in Northbay and then on Thursday 2nd July a Requiem Mass will take place with the immediate family before Dolag is laid to rest in Cuithir Cemetery. We extend our prayers and sympathy to all Dolag’s family especially  Domhnall Eosa in Bogach.

On Friday 26th June we also heard the sad news that Carol MacNeil (Canadian Carol of Horve) peacefully passed at the age of 76  while staying with family outside Edinburgh. Carol had been unwell for a while but she was looked after by her family on the mainland. Carol’s remains will come back to Barra to be laid to rest.

We also pray for  the repose of the soul of  Maurice Hatcher who had been resident in St. Brendan’s Home for a number of years passed away on Thursday 25th June.

Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.


Church re-opening for private prayer: our churches have now slowly opened for private prayer. Instead of all the Churches being open at same time; Canon John Paul wishes the churches to be open alternatively on a timetable from 10am-6pm: On Sunday Castlebay & Northbay churches will be open  and then on Monday there will be no access to any church. Basically it follows a timetable we would normally have.

Sunday-      Our Lady Star of the Sea in Castlebay   &   St. Barr’s in Northbay

Monday-     Churches closed

Tuesday-      St. Vincent’s in Eoligarry

Wednesday-St. Brendan’s in Craigston

Thursday-   St. Barr’s in Northbay

Friday-       Our Lady of the Waves & St. John in Vatersay

Saturday-  St. Brendan’s in Craigston

One of the reasons to leave the Churches clear for a couple of days  is because of the advice that the virus can remain on wooden surfaces for up to 2 days so it is good to keep the churches empty for a couple of days.

After 6pm cleaners can then enter the church.

When you enter the church your priority is always to clean your hands first with the hand sanitiser gel. It might be useful to always have your own hand gel in your pocket along with your own face covering. However there will be Hand Sanitiser  and face coverings in the church porch of each of the churches. As always keep a social distance of 2m from anybody else in the church. You will see that there are only certain pews available to sit/kneel in the church. If you are lighting a votive candle to wipe down the lighter with the antibacterial wipes.


Requiem Masses: during phase 2 of “lockdown” if there is a death on the island -the immediate family of the deceased  will be able to attend the Requiem Mass with Canon John Paul.  At the Requiem Mass the guidelines of using hand sanitiser, keeping social distance (unless you are from the same household) are to be followed. Also the family will have to write down the names of those who attend the Requiem Mass and gives the names to Canon John Paul.


Welcomers & Church Pass-keepers: when the Churches eventually open for restricted Sunday Masses (which is still a few weeks away) there will be a need for parishioners to be Welcomers and pass-keepers. Welcomers are parishioners who can meet people at the door of the church, make sure they have used sanitiser gel on their hand, making sure they have a face covering. And then inform them of their seat in the Church. Pass-keepers will help to direct to seats, to holy Communion and how to exit the church. If you can help be a Welcomer or Pass-keeper please get in contact with Canon John Paul.


Church Cleaners: If you are willing to help clean then please get in contact with Canon John Paul.


Sea Sunday: next Sunday (5th July)  is Sea Sunday when we usually pray for all our seafarers and for their safety. Let us always offer a special prayer for the safety of all our Fishermen and all seafarers. Normally we would celebrate the Fishermen’s  Mass and Blessing of Boats that Sunday- sadly of course this year it is all cancelled.


Public Masses: When we move into phase 3 of the “route Map of coming out of lockdown” there will be the opportunity to go to a Sunday Public Mass but it will be with restricted numbers. So if you begin to think just now what you would plan to do- whether you or your family are going to go to Sunday Mass -could you let Fr. John Paul know so that he can work out numbers and see if extra Sunday Masses need to be organised.Fr. John Paul will leave a sheet at the back of Castlebay, Northbay & Craigston Church and you can put your name down or you can phone/email/text Canon John Paul to let him know. When the Public Masses begin you will then be allocated a seat in the church.  Please note there is no obligation to go to Sunday Mass just now until the Bishops lift the suspension. Also if you are being shielded or being advised by the doctor or Government to stay at home- please pay attention to that advice.


Sacrament of Confession: Canon John Paul will be available to hear Confessions; in Castlebay Church Confessional: Saturday 10am-10.30am Northbay Church confessional  on Saturday 12 noon-12.30pm. Please note that there will be no “face to face” confession.  Please contact Canon John Paul if another day or time suits.