Bhileag (Newsletter) 21st May 2023


Mon 22nd May……No Mass

Tue 23rd  May……10.00am  EOLIGARRY

Wed 24th May…….10.00am CRAIGSTON**

Thur 25th May……10.00am  NORTHBAY

Fri 26th May……….10.00am VATERSAY

Sat 27th May………10.00am CASTLEBAY



27th & 28th May  2023

Pentecost Sunday

Vigil (Saturday)…6.00pm   CRAIGSTON

Sunday Masses…..9.30am NORTHBAY & 11.30am CASTLEBAY




“Homecoming”  Sunday Mass: as we all know there are various celebrations going on just now throughout the Western Isles to mark the homecoming of 1923. In 1923 there was a large scale emigration from the Western Isles and even from our own islands of Barra & Vatersay in April 1923. Around 90 people from Barra & Vatersay boarded the boat called the SS Marloch and headed for a new life in Alberta in Canada. The Canadian Pacific Railway Company ran an extensive recruitment drive in the Outer Hebrides in the early 1920’s with the prospect of jobs, land and houses. The emigration was a mixed success. Some stayed and some returned back to the islands. 100 years later there are now various commemorations taking place. Here on our islands of Barra & Vatersay we will have our own commemorations from Sunday 4th June till Friday 9th June. Our island celebrations will begin on Sunday 4th June and it will begin with a Gaelic Mass in Our Lady Star of the Sea at 11.30am. After the Mass there will be refreshments in Castlebay Hall. All Welcome!


Communications Sunday Collection: today the church asks us to pray in a special way for those who work in communications, in media, to help spread the Gospel message and the teachings of the Catholic Church. To truly spread the Good News! There will be a 2nd Collection today which will go towards Communications, especially helping our own Scottish Catholic Media office.


Craigston Mass: please note that the Wednesday Mass in Craigston will once again be at 10.00am this week.


Lourdes Parish Pilgrimage 2024: there is a meeting planned for Tuesday 30th May at 7.00pm in Cobhair Bharraigh to discuss the possible dates for the Lourdes pilgrimage in 2024. If you are interested in going on the pilgrimage then please come along to the meeting or please get in contact with Canon John Paul so that he can pass on the relevant information to you.


Fr Daniel Chowning:  wishes to thank everyone who came along to his daily Masses in Vatersay over the last 2 weeks. He enjoyed his retreat on Vatersay and he was blessed with some good weather. He wishes to thank everyone who made him so welcome. We hope that Fr. Daniel will be able to come back and visit us again.


Tour of the Statue of St. Michael the Archangel: The Statue of St. Michael the Archangel is now over in St. Michaels Church on Eriskay. It will be there till Monday 29th May and then it will return back to Glasgow. It has been a great blessing to have had the statue upon our islands. There is a website you can visit which with details of the statue and the reason for the tour–


May Devotion: Now that we have safe access to Northbay Grotto we will have the Rosary outside at the Grotto today at 3.00pm.


Castlebay Church Clock: as we know the clock in Castlebay Church sadly stopped a good six months ago. It’s amazing how we get used to the bell going off every hour. Canon John Paul is so grateful to Donald MacNeil (Domhnall Mhicheil Bhan) who carefully looks after the clock but whatever the problem is with the clock just now, we will have to ask for a professional firm to come and service the clock and hopefully get it going again. Canon John Paul has been in touch with “Smiths of Derby” who are the famous clock specialists and they will send one of their engineers. The cost for such work is about £3000 which is a lot of money but it has been a long time since a good service was done. If anyone wishes to make any donations to the cost of the maintenance work of the clock please see canon John Paul.


First Holy Communion Sunday: will be Sunday 11th June. Let us keep in your prayers the 11 children preparing for their First Communion.


Tea in Northbay Hall: on the first Sunday of each month there will be tea in Northbay Hall after the 9.30am Northbay Mass. All welcome!