6th December 2015

VOL. 24 NO. 02 6TH DECEMBER 2015

Father Ciaran Feeney Adm.  191 Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 3JB.

Phone – 9065 4157. Website: www.st-colmcilles.net

E-mail: stcolmcilles@downandconnor.org

St.  Joseph’s Primary School – www.stjosephsps.co.uk   Phone – 9065 0039

St Colmcille’s Pre School – www.stcolmcilles-preschool.co.uk.  Phone – 9047 2724


SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT – (Page 37, 490 & 452)

1ST Week of Advent

Readings : Sunday Cycle C, Weekday Cycle 2, Psalter Week 2

Entrance Antiphon O people of Sion, behold, the Lord will come to save the nations, and the Lord will make the glory of his voice heard in the joy of your heart.
1st Reading (Baruch 5:1-9)  God means to show your splendour to every nation.
Psalm What marvels the Lord worked for us!  Indeed we are glad.
2nd Reading (Philippians 1:3-6, 8-11) Be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.
Acclamation Alleluia, alleluia!  Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight, and all mankind shall see the salvation of the God.  Alleluia!
Gospel (Luke 3:1-6)  All mankind shall see the salvation of God.
Children John the Baptist heard the word of God and started to tell people to turn back to God.  He spoke the words which had been written by the prophet Isaiah: “Prepare the way for the Lord, make his paths straight.”
Communion Antiphon Jerusalem, arise and stand upon the heights, and behold the joy which comes to you from God.




Saturday Sunday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Jim Gibson, John & Annie Coulter & Desmond Kneeland


Geraldine Woollams


Lily Rice






Claire Heverin

Anointing of the Sick

Confession at 6.00pm 11.30am

James McConnell


Mary Tully


TUESDAY IS THE FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION  – and is a Holy Day of Obligation.  Masses in the Parish are on Tuesday morning at 9.30am and Tuesday evening at 7.00pm.

Would those who are last to leave the Parish grounds in the evening please close the car park gates.



PASTORAL LETTER  –  launching the Year of Mercy is available at the back of the Church this weekend.

  1. JOSEPH’S PRIMARY SCHOOL – the 9.30am Mass this Wednesday morning will be attended by the staff and children from our Parish Primary School, to mark the opening of the Year of Mercy.
  2. COLMCILLE’S DOOR OF MERCY – will be opened during a Special Liturgy at the beginning of the 11.30am Mass next Sunday.

THE DOOR OF MERCY  –  this Tuesday Pope Francis will open the Holy Door: the Door of Mercy in St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, inaugurating a Year of Mercy. He hopes this will be “a special time for the Church”: a time to “gaze more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives.”  Next Sunday Bishop Noel Treanor will open the Door of Mercy for the Diocese in St Patrick’s Church, Donegall Street. This will take place during 7.00pm Evening Mass and parishioners from across the Diocese are invited to attend.

CTS BOOKLETS  – for the Year of Mercy, are now available to purchase from the stand in the Church porch.


The Sacrament of Baptism is one of the most joyful occasions both for the family and the Parish and everyone is welcome.  The next Baptismal Course takes place on Tuesday 15th December in the Iona Room from 8.00pm to 9.30pm, where parents will receive their Baptismal pack and can arrange the date for their child’s Baptism. Baptisms in the Parish take place on the first and last Sunday of each month and attendance at the course is arranged through Philomena in the Parish Office.


MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION – who take the Blessed Sacrament to the housebound, should sign their name on the list in the Sacristy on each occasion.

Lourdes 2016  –  we are currently seeking doctors (post foundation training) and nurses (on the NMC live register) to join the volunteer staff of the Diocesan Pilgrimage (11-16thJuly 2016). For more information please email us at lourdes@downandconnor.org

THE WEDNESDAY WORDis a national prayer mission which links parishes throughout the country through regular weekly prayer. The Wednesday Word contains the following Sunday’s scripture readings and reflections and is an excellent way of preparing to come to Mass. It is available each week at the back of the Church to take home. Please do consider starting to use this Christ centred, scripture based, method of praying, in spiritual solidarity with many parishioners throughout the country

MONEY MATTERS                 

Many thanks to all who contributed so generously to the collections.

The Monthly Stipend Collection will be taken up at all Masses this weekend.


We pray for the repose of the souls of Ted Brennan, a parishioner, who died on Monday and Rita O’Neill, the relative of a parishioner, who died recently and for James McConnell, whose month’s mind occurs this weekend.  We also remember all those whose anniversaries occur at this time of year especially:

Jim Gibson,  John Coulter,  Annie Coulter,  Desmond Kneeland,  Edward Trainor,

Mary McBrinn,  Mary Tully,  Tommy Tully,  Bernadette Kane,

Pauline Trainor,  Geraldine Woollams,  Lily Rice and Claire Heverin

BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT  –  we can be contacted on 074 5698 9458.  Our members are Regiena Babu, Eithne Daly, Brenda McMeekin, David McMeekin, Celine Molloy, Joan Rogan and Lucy Traynor.


WALK WITH ME  –  A journey of Prayer for Advent and Christmas.  Copies are available at the back of the church.  Price £1.  Please put money in any of the Candelabra boxes.

ADVENT SERVICE  –  come celebrate the true meaning of Christmas next Sunday at 6.00pm in St. Colmcille’s Church.  Join the Choir and St. Joseph’s Primary School Choir in singing the joyful story of the coming of the Lord.  Refreshments served afterwards in the Hall.

TAP Christmas Gift Cards – Shop Early for Christmas! The Annual Tanzanian Africa Project (TAP) Christmas Gift Cards, in support of our twinned parish in Moita Bwawani Tanzania, will be available from this weekend and all the weekends of Advent. Attractive Christmas Gift Cards for School Uniforms (£10), Sponsor a Catechist (£10) and Mother and Baby Care (£20) will be available in the Porch after each of the Masses during the season of Advent. We look forward to your usual generous support for this fundraising event.

TROCAIRE GIFTS –  buy a Trocaire gift and make a lot more people happy. Booklets regarding this year’s Trocaire gifts are available at the back of the Church.  For more information log on to www.trocaire.org/gifts or call 080 0912 1200.

St Vincent de Paul

Christmas cards –  have all been sold but are still available from the local SVP shops at the Ormeau Road and Antrim Road if anyone still requires them.

Christmas Appeal 2015  – continues to Sunday 20th December.  Once again this year we are asking for donations of cash or shopping vouchers.  Cash is required to buy essentials such as vegetables, meat and other fresh food and is also practical as it may be used towards a top up card for the electric or gas meters or to buy heating oil stamps.  Your donations can be popped into our normal collection boxes with our members at the church exits any time up to Sunday 20th December.  SVP Envelopes marked as Gift Aid can be found at the Chapel porch. If you are a UK tax payer then using the Gift Aid envelope will enable us to claim the money back from government, increasing your donation.  As most of our families live near a Tesco store this would be the best supermarket voucher to donate. Heating oil stamps can be purchased from many oil suppliers or you can specify on the envelope if you wish us to spend your donation on fuel.  The annual appeal in 2014 was a great success and as a result we were able to help many families in the East Belfast area, of which our Church plays an important part. No matter how small (every £1 counts) all donations help to relieve the dreadful pressure our families suffer. Many have the simple choice of heat or eat.

THE LARDER  –  is a food bank in Mersey Street which has been most helpful in supporting many of the clients of our St. Vincent de Paul.  The St. Vincent de Paul propose collecting food to deliver to the Larders throughout Advent and would particularly appreciate any donations of food.  Boxes will be availabe in the porch for this collection, commencing at all Masses next weekend and concluding on the weekend of the 19th/20th December.

ANNUAL LOCAL COLLECTIONS  –  many volunteers from the Parish will be getting involved by standing at our local  Spar and Tesco stores in Ballyhackamore and Supervalu at King’s Square on nominated days as organised by Paddy Donnelly.  Those of you who have not already been approached to volunteer by Paddy, can still come forward if you wish.  We would like to thank those volunteers for donating their time at this very busy time of the year.

We will let you know after Christmas, how your donations have been used, but for now thank you so much for your invaluable kindness and support.

For further information on what SVP contributes to our society, check the web site at SVP.IE


Christmas Party  –  Calling all you who are just over 60 as it’s time to get ready for the Christmas party! It is this Sunday in the Parochial Hall at the slightly earlier start time of 4.00pm, dining at 4.30pm and finishing at 7.00pm. Bring your friends and enjoy this lovely event, delicious food and of course Santa will be there! We are delighted to say that Alan will be back by popular demand to provide the music and entertainment. It is important for the catering that we get numbers so please let us know as soon as possible how many places you wish to book. Also if anyone needs transport to attend let us know as this can be easily arranged. The social and fundraising committee will be in the porch after all Masses this weekend for your queries or to take your booking, or you may call Roisin McMullan 078 5414 0019, Mary Walsh 078 1549 3463 or Lucy Traynor on 079 0080 7589. It really is a great event, help us make it even better.

ST COLMCILLE’S PRE-SCHOOL PLAYGROUP  –  are holding Open Days this Tuesday and Wednesday between 3.30pm and 4.30pm for parents to view the premises and meet the staff.   Application forms to apply for a pre-school place are available at www.eani.org.uk/admissions for those who wish to apply online.  Paper copies of the application form will be available to collect from the Pre-school at our open days and until the closing date.  The deadline for submission of forms is noon on Wednesday 13th January 2016.  All children in their pre-school year are entitled to apply for a place in St Colmcille’s Pre-school.  We offer free places to 96 children and have a long-standing tradition of providing pre-school education in the area. The places are allocated according to criteria drawn up by the Management Committee of the pre-school.  We aim to provide a stimulating, happy and friendly environment where children, staff and parents can learn from and support each other.

MARY –  A Biblical Walk Through the Bible will continue this Friday morning at 10.00am, starting with refreshments, in the Iona Room. The focus this Friday is The Nativity.


Ballyhackamore Business Association  –  has always taken Christmas seriously, and this year is no exception.  Engaging the irrepressible talents of Young at Art, Northern Ireland’s leading arts organisation for children and young people, this year Christmas is turning into a hunt for Santa. That’s right Santa has been kidnapped!  The ‘Nearly True’ Christmas Tour is an exciting walking tour around the village of Ballyhackamore, where no stone will be left unturned in the search for Santa.  The hour-long tour with the elves will be running every Saturday to 19th December and further tours will be held on Monday 21st, Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd  December to ensure that Santa is found before December 25th ! There are three tours each day beginning at 11.00am, 1.00pm and 3.00pm. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and are available to buy from Greens Pizza in Ballyhackamore.  Tickets are priced at £12 per child and £8 per adult and this will include a gift and a photo with Santa.

Reunion Dinner  –  to mark the 50th anniversary since the re start of the Scouts in the parish, a 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner Dance has been arranged for the 6th February 2016 in the Stormont Hotel. All ex members of the Group, leaders and committee people are invited to attend, as are all parents and supporters. The Scout Group has been an integral part of the youth provision in St. Colmcilles Parish during good and bad times and it’s fitting that we celebrate the continued success of the Group. Please let family members no longer living in the parish know of this event. A dedicated Facebook page will be developed and further details about the reunion will be given as they become available.

LIVING YOUTH – Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia Team 2016: Following our successful Habitat for Humanity projects over the past three years Living Youth is excited to announce recruitment for another youth team due to travel to Ethiopia next summer. Provisional dates: 8th to 22nd August 2016.  Applicants should be 18 years or over and all team members will be expected to contribute to the cost of the trip as well as engage in an extensive fundraising campaign. The budget for this trip is £2,000 p/p. This includes a non-refundable deposit, travel, in-country expenses and a £600 minimum donation to Habitat’s work. To register or get more information visit: www.habitatni.co.uk, call 9263 5635 or email gv@habitatni.co.uk


APOSTOLIC WORK  –  thanks to the support we had from so many people last weekend £3,000.00 was raised for the missions. Thank you all very much.  Grateful thanks to those volunteers who set up and cleared up in the hall. Happy Christmas everyone.

11th Belfast Scout Group, St. Colmcilles  –  On Friday the third of  December 1965, the 11th Belfast Scout Troop was restarted in the parish, under the leadership of Seamus O’Flaherty and Mike Loder with an intake of 12 boys. On Friday the fourth of December 2015, 50 years later, the troop celebrated its’ fiftieth birthday with 40 young people, boys and girls, in membership. And what a 50 years this has been…in that time approximately 1700 troop meetings have been held, 48 summer camps have been completed, the Columbanus Shield has been won 18 times, the troop has been represented on 37 occasions at the Melvin / Phoenix all Ireland Scoutcraft competition, often achieving a top ten position and many hundreds of young people have enjoyed the friendship and scout programme provided by a dedicated band of leaders. And in addition to the troop, we now have a Group structure with Beaver Scouts, Cubs and Venture Scouts meeting weekly in the Scout Hall, 120 young persons from all types of background mixing freely and enjoying their friendships. At present, plans have been laid for the Scouts to camp in Nottinghamshire and the Venture Scouts travelling to Kandersteg, the International Scout Chalet in the Alps. We have Scouts completing an 8 week canoe course and our Beaver Scouts completing cross community activities with their Gilnahirk counterparts. Our Beaver Colony is vibrant and active and provides a welcome entry point for membership of the Group. As part of our celebrations, a Dinner Dance has been organised for the 6th February 2016 in the Stormont Hotel. All ex members, fundraisers, committee people, parents and friends of the Group are invited to attend.  Spread the word! We will have a blast!


Interested in fostering? –  Do you think you have the skills, patience and desire to support vulnerable young people- then we would like to talk to you. We are currently looking to recruit 8 foster carers in your local area. We offer a good financial package to support young people in placement. Please contact Action for Children duty social worker on 02890460500 or email:  nioffice@actionforchildren.org.uk

The Falls Road Library – is celebrating local female authors this December and have invited three to hold Author Talks on the first three Tuesday evenings of the month.  The talks will be held at 6.30pm, and finish around 8.00pm.

the official launch of Jim Deeds’ book – ‘Surfing Life’s Waves’ this Sunday, in St Teresa’s Parish Hall, Glen Road, following 12.00 noon Mass.  There will be refreshments served and there’ll be music too.

KNOCK ALL NIGHT VIGIL  – buses will depart from King Street and Kennedy Way this Monday at 3.00pm returning to Belfast this Tuesday at 12.00 noon.  Price £40.  This includes dinner and breakfast.  To book please call the Pilgrim Shop, on 9031 1652.  £10 deposit required.  Vigil starts at 11.00pm and consists of the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Benedicition and finishes with Mass at 4.00am

Advent Day of Reflection  –  at Tobar Mhuire Retreat Centre, Crossgar next Saturday 12th December from 10.00am to 5.00pm.  The theme will be ‘Looking At The Biblical Themes Of Mercy Through The Lens Of Luke’s Gospel’.  Pope Francis has declared this coming year as the Year of Mercy. Sean Goan links this Year of Mercy to the Year of Luke in the lectionary, in his own reflective and scholarly way. A wonderful preparation for Christmas and for celebrating the Year of Mercy.  For more information contact Tobar Mhuire on 4483 0242 or email secretary@tobarmhuirecrossgar.com

CANDLE-LIGHT ROSARY FOR LIFE – Please join Precious Life in a beautiful candlelight service for the protection of Ireland’s unborn babies, outside Marie Stopes Belfast at 4.00pm next Saturday, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadeloupe. For more information contact 9027 8484 or info@preciouslife.com

2016 CENTENARY OF THE ANGEL OF FATIMA.  –  Pilgrimage to Fatima & Santiago de Compostela,   from 9th to 18th August 2016.  3 Nights H/B Los Abetos Hotel Santiago, 6 Nights F/B Hotel Avenida Fatima.  Visiting Pontevedra, Tuy & Balasar.  Spiritual Directors are Fr Gerry McCloskey & Fr Sean Gilmore.  Special Group Price £709 inclusive of tax & insurance. Full Religious Programme. For further details contact Joe Catney on 9071 4001 or 077 7642 5631. Early booking is advisable. Deposit secures.