Star of the Sea, Castlebay, The Isle of Barra. HS9 5XD.
Phone 01871 810267
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Bhileag (Newsletter) 1st January 2023

Death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: we remember in our prayers the repose of the soul of Pope Benedict XVI who peacefully passed away on Saturday 31st December in Rome. He died aged 95. As we know Pope Francis has been asking for prayers for the retired Pope who has been getting weaker and weaker over the last week. Pope Benedict was elected Pope in 2005 and served as Pope until 2013 when he made the difficult decision to retire. He said that his age and his health helped him make the important decision to retire. For the last 9 years he has quietly lived a life in prayer but also many people going to visit him. Pope Benedict came to Scotland in 2010 which was a wonderful occasion and blessing for our Country and many of us were lucky to attend the Papal Mass in Glasgow. Pope Benedict XVI was a very good and faithful servant of the Church. The Requiem Mass of Pope Benedict will take place on Thursday 5th January at 9.30am. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.


Thanks: Canon John Paul wishes to thank everyone who helped clean and decorate all of our Churches for the Christmas Masses. The Churches all look wonderful! Over the Christmas time we should take the opportunity to visit each of the five churches and pray before each Nativity scene and pray for God’s blessings upon us and our families especially as we enter a new year. Canon John Paul wishes to thank all who gave him Christmas cards and gifts. Moran Taing! Canon John Paul also wishes everyone a happy & holy New Year. May God bless you and your families in this New Year.


Justice & Peace Scotland: at the start of every year the Bishops of Scotland encourage us to pray for the gifts of justice & peace in our World. Next Sunday on the Feast of the Epiphany there will be a letter read out on behalf of Archbishop William Nolan, of the Archdiocese of Glasgow. Archbishop Nolan is the Bishop President for Justice & Peace in Scotland. As always there will be a special collection uplifted for the good work of justice & peace in Scotland. For more information please visit the website


Sacrament of Confession: Every Saturday from 9.30am-10am in Castlebay Church  & 12noon -12.30pm Northbay Church


Recent Baptism: we warmly welcome into the family of the Church Eachann Francis MacDonald who was baptised on Friday 30th December in Our Lady of the Waves & St. John on Vatersay. We wish Eachann every health, joy, peace and happiness.


Parish 200 Club: Sadly for the last 2 years we suspended the Parish 200 club because of the various Covid restrictions but all that is done now so we will start again the 200 club for the  New Year of 2023. More information will follow!


Pastoral Letter regarding the Diocese: please take home the Pastoral Letter from Bishop Brian which is entitled “Discerning together God’s path for our Diocese”. Bishop Brian will visit every parish in the Diocese during the month of January 2023. He will come to Barra on Tuesday 17th January 2023. There will be a meeting for Castlebay parish at 6pm and then a meeting at 8pm for Northbay parish.


Craigston Church Windows: If anyone wishes to help by giving any donations towards the cost of £8500 for the three  new large Church windows then the Parish account details are –RCD Argyll & the Isles Castlebay Mission    Sort Code 839125    Account Number 65627538 Please make out any cheques to – RCD Argyll & the Isles Castlebay Mission. Any donations will be a great support. Thank you!


Visit of Architect to Castlebay Church: when Canon John Paul was recently in Glasgow he met up with an Architect who has been advising him over the last 4 years on how to move forward with work that needs to be done in Castlebay Church. The Architect plans to come over to Barra during January or early February along with a Stone mason form Ardnamurchan and also an expert on lime mortar. They will visit Castlebay Church and will hopefully outline a plan of how to move forward.



Mon 2nd January………No Mass

Tue 3rd January……….10.00am  EOLIGARRY

Wed 4th January ……..12 Noon CRAIGSTON

Thur 5th January……..10.00am  NORTHBAY

Fri 6th January……….10.00am  VATERSAY

Sat 7th January………10.00am  CASTLEBAY



7th & 8th January 2023

The Feast of the Epiphany

Vigil Mass ……. 6.00pm   CRAIGSTON

Sunday Masses..9.30am NORTHBAY & 11.30amCASTLEBAY