• What’s the BEST Christmas Present You Can Give, This Year?

    This evening, Wednesday 19th December 2018, the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be held in St. Mary’s Sandyford at 7.30pm. Priests from both Balally and Sandyford will be in attendance.

    Fr. John Riccardo tells us about one of the best gifts we can give our family and ourselves for Christmas;

  • Christmas 2018: Sacrament Of The Eucharist Times
  • A Gift For You: The Immaculate Conception, 8th December 2018

    CELEBRATE with us; this evening (Friday) @ 7.30pm, tomorrow (Saturday) @
    10am and 1.10pm

    The Virgin Mary is given more graces than any creature in history, because
    she has the most special and unique role, as the hinge of the Incarnation,
    the woman from whom Jesus Christ takes flesh, the woman who conceives,
    bears, births, and raises Jesus Christ, mothering him, serving him, and
    following him even to the cross. For nine months, she was his sanctuary and
    his earthly Temple.

    God preserves her from sin, so that the Ark of the New Covenant will be a
    spotless and pure abode for our Lord. In exchange for the much that she has
    been given, much is expected. This is fulfilled in her ready responsiveness
    to Christ, but it doesn’t stop with the end of her earthly life. After all,
    the Virgin Mary is given to the world for all of us, because she’s given to
    the world for the sake of Jesus’ mission. And that mission is ongoing. So
    it is *because* God chose Mary from all eternity, purified her, and brought
    about the Incarnation (and our subsequent salvation) through her free
    cooperation that we can count on her to continue to give freely and
    generously from the wealth of graces which she has received. *Santa Maria,
    Immaculata, ora pro nobis!*

    *By courtesy: Joe Heschmeyer, Word On Fire

  • Advent Lectures 2018: Preparing the way through Scripture

    The ‘Preparing the way through Scripture’ lecture series, by Séan Goan,
    continues in Sandyford Pastoral Centre this evening;
    Wednesday 5th December, 7.30pm, in the Sandyford Pastoral Centre.

    The aim is to help all Parishioners to understand that the Scriptures are a
    place of encounter with the Living God where our spiritual selves can be
    nourished, challenged and healed by the compassion of God. You are welcome
    to attend this free lecture

    .Working for the last twenty-five years in Blackrock College, Seán has been
    a class teacher (Religion and Spanish), head of the Religion Department,
    co-ordinator of the Transition Year programme and, more recently, chaplain.
    On secondment from 2009 to 2014, he was Faith-Development Director with Le
    Chéile (

    A graduate of UCD and the Milltown Institute, Seán, who is a native of
    Belfast, has also studied in the Biblical Institute in Rome and in the
    Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has given courses in Biblical topics in
    a number of venues including the Marino Institute of Education. Co-author
    (with Tom Ryan of the Blackrock College staff) of the Exploring Faith
    Junior Certificate Religion textbook, he has also been a contributor on RTÉ
    Radio 1’s A Living Word.

  • Prepare The Way: 4th December, 2018

    This evening, Fr. Aaron Vinduska will deliver a dynamic talk in St. Mary’s
    Sandyford @ 8pm, during Holy Hour…This will be an opportunity for us to
    enter into the meaning of Advent and Christmas.

    All Are Most Welcome!


    Dermot Lane, 2 December 2018

    As you know St.Paul loved to write letters to the churches he left behind him in his journeys.

    Without pretending to be a St. Paul, I wanted to send you warm greetings from Berkeley,
    California as we approach Christmas I’m enjoying my sabbatical time here and learning each day what I do not know! Berkeley is a University city with some 40,000 students. I am registered as a student
    in the Jesuit School of Theology which is part of Santa Clara University and the University of
    California at Brackley.

    There are 12 of us on sabbatical: two diocesan priests from Ireland, two
    religious order priests from the US, four Jesuit African priests, one African religious
    sister, and three religious sisters from Asia. So as you can see we are culturally a very
    diverse group and we learn a lot from each other Our liturgies seek to take account of these different cultures. We in the West, (ie, the US and Europe), tend to be rather rational, cold and vertical in the way we celebrate liturgy. For the Africans, the mood is different : one of movement with singing and
    celebration, and the orientation is horizontal. For the Asians, liturgies are reflective,
    peaceful, and focused on the interior life, having a strong sense of the immanence of God. I am now more convinced than ever that our liturgies should be a mix of all three cultures.

    There is a strong emphasis on spirituality, liturgy and pastoral ministry within our program.
    We started the sabbatical experience by going away on retreat for several days. The retreat
    opened with a reflection from Thomas Merton which is worth sharing with you:

    “There is within us an instinct for newness, for renewal, for the liberation of a creative
    power. We seek to awaken in ourselves a force which really changes our lives from
    within. And yet the same instinct tells us that this change is a recovery of that
    which is deepest, most original, most personal in ourselves. To be born again is not to become somebody else, but to become ourselves”
    (Thomas Merton, Love and Living, 1979: 196)

    These verses have stayed with me for the last few months. There is food for
    thought for all of us within these lines from Merton, whether we are in Balally or Berkeley.
    I have registered for two courses: one on the relationship between religion
    and science and the other is a Readings course.

    I have noticed in our classes and liturgies that there is a strong emphasis
    on deepening the different levels of consciousness that exist within our experiences of
    life, of each other, and the mystery of God. There is also a focus on getting in touch with our own
    interiority and identity, of going beyond the surface of life to look at the world from the
    inside out. I recently took a” gentle Yoga class” to help me do this. I found it
    challenging. I am not sure, however, that I will continue with it. Indeed, I must confess that it is
    hard to teach an old dog new tricks. The body may not be agile enough !

    As a sabbatical group we visited the well-known “Muir Woods” in San
    Francisco (called after John Muir, a conservationist). Some of the trees in the woods, especially
    the redwoods, are over 1000 years old. These trees reach for the sky with extra-ordinary
    elegance, dignity and beauty. I was very struck by the description given to different locations
    of the wood:

    “The Cathedral Grove”, “Nature’s Temple”, “the spirit of the forest”. I watched and listened to a
    young family walking in the woods: a mother and father and three children. The youngest
    child turned to the rest of them, with his finger up to his lips saying

    ‘Shee… You’re not allowed to talk here’.

    That child had sensed what I had experienced: a sacred space and place.

    This experience of the Muir Woods reminded me immediately of Isaiah 55:12

    “For you shall go out in joy and be led back in peace;
    Mountains and hills before you shall burst into song,
    and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands ”

    Some of the Psalms are written in a similar idiom and issue a call to
    Nature to praise God:

    “Sing to the Lord all the earth”


    Perhaps more striking are the verses that follow:

    “Let the heavens rejoice and let earth be glad
    Let the see roar and all that fills it,
    Let the fields rejoice, and everything in them,
    then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy before the Lord”


    Some weeks later, we had the tragic Californian wildfires, bringing death to over a hundred
    people, the destruction of some 140,000 acres of trees in Northern California, and the
    dislocation of around 200,000 individuals . Some lost their lives while trying to drive away
    from the raging fires. What happened is indescribable: the loss of life, the destruction of
    wildlife, and the annihilation of beautiful trees.

    In the Berkeley area where I am living, smoke and ash descended from Northern California.
    All classes, meetings and services were cancelled for a week because the air quality was
    categorised as “unhealthy” and we were instructed “to stay indoors”, all of which of course
    was a minor inconvenience in comparison to what so many thousands had experienced and

    In the midst of this destruction of life, limb and land, we had the publication of climate
    Reports containing dire warnings about the damage we humans are inflicting on mother

    There was the Inter-Governmental UN report on climate change in October 2018. This
    pointed to the changes needed in all aspects of society to prevent global warming, to reduce
    extreme weather events, to curb rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice and the
    wiping out of island peoples. Secondly, we had the US Report on Climate Change in
    November 2018, issued by 13 federal agencies, indicating that failure to act now will cost
    the US economy hundreds of billions of dollars. And thirdly, we had the EU Report from the
    European Environment Agency, 2018, deeply concerned about the lack of progress in
    addressing climate change.

    In spite of all these negative reports, I am still hopeful that global warming can be reduced
    and that climate change can be controlled by the collective efforts of scientists,
    governments, economists and financiers, the religious leaders of the world, and the
    inspiring vision of Pope Francis in Laudato si. And why am I hopeful?

    Two reasons come to mind immediately. There is the upcoming 2018 United Nations
    Climate Change conference (COP24) currently taking place in Katowice, Poland, from 3
    December- 14 December 2018. This meeting will review the implementation, or lack of
    implementation, of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change. It is also expected that this
    important gathering will call for immediate action to keep the global temperature below

    Secondly, Pope Francis has convened a Synod of Bishops for the Pan Amazon region, to take
    place in Rome for October 2019. This synod will gather people from Bolivia, Brazil,
    Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana Peru, Suriname and Venezuela to discuss
    “Amazonia: New paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology”.

    Let me conclude by saying that I think of you often, especially at liturgies, and the many
    wonderful activities going on in the parish. I continue to thank God for the privilege of
    serving in Balally Parish for 25 years and for the many kindnesses of so many in the parish
    over those memorable years.

    I wish all of you Advent Hope, Christmas Blessings, and interior Peace throughout 2019.

    I look forward to being back among you in early February 2019.

    Best wishes for now,


    It’s that time of year again, when the Christmas commercial wave is in full
    swell! If you are asking yourself ‘what’s it all about anyway?’, you might
    be drawn to the Advent gatherings in Balally church which take place at
    7.00 am in the morning on each weekday of Advent. Starting on Monday 3rd
    December, these gatherings offer a quiet space for preparation for the
    celebration of the coming of Christ at Christmas. The sessions take about
    20-25 minutes and use Scripture, silence and music to focus the mind, heart
    and spirit on the coming event. Those who have at- tended in other years
    will testify that it provides a peaceful and wholesome opportunity to
    prepare in an empowering way far from the madness of shops, spending and
    pressure that has become the norm. It’s a drop in event, so you can come
    any morning that suits you. There is also something about the timing that
    is wholesome, as one enters the church in darkness and the birds are
    beginning to twitter and the dawn has broken by the time one emerges, re-
    freshed, some 25 minutes later. The service is lay led by a group of
    parishioners. Have a think about it! P.S. If anyone out there would like to
    help any morning they would be most welcome. Please contact Kay at 086
    8410917 or the Parish office.

  • Radio Maria Visits Balally Parish, November 2018

    Balally Parish was graced with a little visit from a Radio Maria volunteer
    this week. Here she is with our Fiona.

    Radio Maria can be heard, live, through your phone by calling 01 4373277

    Or if you have a Smartphone, download the “Radio Maria Ireland” app.

  • Let Us Not Forget

    *This November we have prayed for those who died uselessly in useless wars.
    This Photo, taken by a Parishioner on Monday, was sent to the Parish with
    just 4 words. “Let us not forget”. It is accompanied by a little known
    poem by a Canadian woman : *Marjorie Pickthall (1883-1922).

    *The sad and tired face of a soldier of the Great War (The Artist, Martin
    Galvaby, made the statue from scrap metal. On exposition in St. Stephens
    Green until this week end.)*

    Marching Men

    Under the level winter sky
    I saw a thousand Christs go by.
    They sang an idle song and free
    As they went up to Calvary.

    Careless of eye and coarse of lip,
    They marched in holiest fellowship.
    That heaven might heal the world, they gave
    Their earth-born dreams to deck the grave.

    With souls unpurged and steadfast breath
    They supped the sacrament of death.
    And for each one, far off, apart,
    Seven swords have rent a woman’s heart.

  • Dublin Diocesan Activities November 2018

    Miscarriage Association of Ireland will hold its Annual Service of Remembrance on Sunday the 11 November at 3pm in St Teresa’s Church, Donore Avenue, off South Circular Road, Dublin 8. All parents, siblings, grandparents & anyone else affected by the loss of a baby are very welcome to attend, regardless of whether the loss was recent or long ago.

    The Board, Master and Staff of the Rotunda Hospital invite you to a Service of Remembrance for people whose baby has died. People who have been recently bereaved or long since bereaved are welcome to attend. The Service takes place in the Pro-Cathedral on Sunday, 18 November at 3pm. Afterwards – light refreshments served in the Pillar Room (entrance just beside the Gate Theatre). If you have any queries please contact Ann Charlton, Hospital Chaplain – Tel: 01 8171700.


    Phibsborough Parish Talk: Fr Joseph Loftus CM, recently returned from working in China after 20 years, he will present an impression of the Chinese Church and situate the recent development in Sino Vatican relations within the wider context of the Church in Chinese Society on Wednesday, 14 November, 7pm in St. Peter’s Church Phibsborough – All welcome.


    The Encounter: Join other young adults for a night of live acoustic music, reflective prayer in adoration, with guest speaker on life, faith and purpose. Followed by social, pizza and refreshments. Our next Encounter will be Friday 23 November at 8pm. We are delighted to announce that Sarah Buckam will be our guest speaker for the night. Eoghan Keogh will also join us as our Musician for the night. Email and

    Diocesan Priesthood – Vocation Exploration Retreat: The National Vocations Office is running an overnight “Come & See” retreat for Young men aged between 18 – 40 in Mount St. Anne’s in Killenard, near Portarlington. Starting at 6pm on Friday 23 and concluding at 4pm on Saturday 24 of November. Maybe you know some man in your parish that may be interested in exploring what is involved in becoming a priest and would like to find out more, without commitment or obligation. Perhaps if you do, you could bring this to his attention? For further information, email Deacon Eric Cooney in the National Vocations Office on:


    Concert: Join Firhouse parish to hear the wonderful voices of the Three Tenors who will perform in concert in Firhouse parish Church on Friday 23 November at 8.00pm. The night promises to deliver popular classics from artists such as Sinatra, The Dubliners, and Pavarotti. Tickets cost €25 – to book Tel: 01 4524702 or email: – all welcome.

    Alter Server Day After the wonderful joined experience of Altar Servers coming together for the World Meeting of Families and serving together at the masses in the RDS and Phoenix Park. We are inviting Altar Servers from the Archdiocese of Dublin to gather on Saturday 24 November in St. Paul’s Arran Quay for a Diocesan Altar Server day. From 9.30am – 2.30pm the Altar Servers are getting to know others in the same ministry, singing, praying and sharing together.

    For further information please contact:

    Christina Malone, PPW for the combined Catholic Parishes of Clondalkin 085 7162152

    Fr. Paul Thornton, VF and Co PP for Swords/River Valley/Brackenstown 087 7404729

    Walk of Light 2018, “Encounter- Engage – Empower” An ecumenical inter-church journey from St. Ann’s Church, Dawson St., on to St. Teresa’s , Clarendon Street and ending at Adelaide Rd. Presbyterian Church. Come and join us in pilgrimage on Sunday, 25 November from 4:00pm until 6:30pm, if even for part of the journey, welcoming Christ who enlightens our darkness.

    Annual Mass in Thanksgiving for the Gift of the Priesthood – Invitation to Parish Clergy: Join St. Joseph’s Young Priests Society to give Thanks for Gift of the Priesthood in the Church of St. Andrew Westland Row on Sunday 25 November at 3.30pm. Fr. Seamus McEntee, Chaplain to the Society will be the Chief Celebrant and Fr. Bill O’Shaughnessy will give the Homily. Alb and Stole required.

    B.E. is a support group for those coping with the pain of loss of their life partner, through death, separation or divorce. Do you find that you need more support than family and friends can provide? Seeking help is a sign of strength and self-knowledge – not weakness. This is a healing ministry which helps to resolve the grief that goes with the end of a marriage or relationship. Coping effectively with bereavement is a skill we can all learn. Next residential weekend will be held 16 – 18 November in Dominican Retreat House, Tallaght, Dublin 24. For further information please contact 086 0877379 or email

    Art and Photographic Exhibition: An Art and Photographic exhibition in aid of the Church Renovation Fund, will take place in the St Brigid’s Parish Pastoral Centre Cabinteely on Friday 30 November at 7.30 PM. If you would like to exhibit, please contact the Parish Office on 01-2858835 for more information. Closing date for entries/ details of paintings or photos is 20 November, a catalogue will be published.

    Indian Cultural Night: Our Lady Help of Christian’s Parish, Navan Road, invites you to an ‘Indian Cultural Night’ on Friday 30 November, in the Parish Hall from 7-9pm. All are welcome to come and enjoy – Music, Dance and Indian Food. Free Entry – all donations in aid of Kerala Flood Relief.