Bhileag (Newsletter) 31st December 2023


Mon 1st January…….11.00am CASTLEBAY

                                       12.30pm NORTHBAY

Tue 2nd January…….10.00am EOLIGARRY

Wed 3rd January…..12 Noon  CRAIGSTON

Thu 4th January…….10.00am  NORTHBAY

Fri 5th January………10.00am VATERSAY

Sat 6th January……..11.00am NORTHBAY

(Requiem Mass of Flora Henderson)



6th & 7th January 2024

The Feast of the Epiphany

Vigil (Saturday)….4.00pm  CRAIGSTON

Sunday Masses…9.30am  NORTHBAY & 11.30am  CASTLEBAY



New Year’s Day: Tomorrow is the 1st January 2024 and a new year lies ahead of us all. The best way to enter a New Year is put our hands into Gods hands and pray for God’s blessings to come down upon us and our families for the New Year. Please note there are two Masses on New Year’s Day- 11.00am in Castlebay and 12.30pm in Northbay. The first day of the year is also “The Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God”. We pray to our Lady to help us all embrace this New Year in our lives and to use this New Year to deepen our faith and walk humbly with our Lord. It is also World Day of Prayer of Peace and we keep our prayers going especially for peace in the Middle East at this time.


Funeral: On Saturday 6th January the Requiem Mass of the late Flora Henderson (MacPhee) will take place in St. Barr’s Northbay at 11.00am. Thereafter Flora will be laid to rest in Eoligarry Cemetery. Flora died a couple of weeks ago in her home in England at the age of 64 after a short illness. A Funeral service has already taken place in her own parish in Cambridge. Flora will be received into St. Barr’s Church on Friday 5th January when the boat arrives. Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord and let perpetual lights shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.


Crib Collection: this weekend we will take up a second collection which we call the “Crib collection”. Each of our Churches has a lovely Crib scene and we are reminded when we gaze upon the baby Jesus lying in the crib that there are many children in our world needing help, love, care and support. Normally we leave a basket at the Crib but it is better to take up a collection. So the 2nd collection today is for the Holy Childhood-the Crib Collection.


Justice & Peace: Next Weekend during the Masses a letter will be read out on behalf of Justice and Peace in Scotland. The Bishop in charge is Archbishop William Nolan and he has written the short letter. There will also be a special collection taken for the work of Justice & Peace.


Northbay Community Carol Service: Last Thursday there was the Community Carol service in Northbay Hall. It was a lovely afternoon singing favourite carols and eating mince pies and drinking some nice mulled wine. During the Carol service there was a donation box at the door and the lovely amount of £500 was raised and will be given to the charity SCIAF. Thank you to all who helped and supported the carol service. Moran Taing uile!


New Scottish Bishop: Pope Francis on Friday 22nd December announced in Rome that he has appointed a new Bishop for the Diocese of Galloway in Scotland. It is Fr Frank Dougan who is a Priest of Motherwell Diocese and he has accepted this important appointment. Our thoughts and prayers are with Fr. Frank as he begins to prepare for his Episcopal Ordination and to become the new Bishop for the Diocese of Galloway.


Church cleaning & Christmas Decorations: Canon John Paul wishes to thank everyone who has helped decorate our Churches for Christmas. Moran Taing! They all look very beautiful. Why not take the time to go round all five churches and say a prayer before the crib in each church.


Christmas Trees: Canon John Paul wishes to thank Padula and the Barra Island Store for the delivering of fresh Christmas Trees to all of the five Churches. It was lovely to have the Christmas trees decorated and in all our churches for Christmas.


Canon John Paul wishes everyone a very happy and holy New Year of 2024.

Bliadhna mhath ùr dhuibh uile airson 2024!