Masses over Christmas

Due to severe restrictions on number attending Christmas Masses this year Ascension Parish will put on an extra Mass on Christmas Eve and an extra Mass on Christmas morning.

Christmas Eve (Thursday)
Masses at 4.30pm, 6.30pm and 8.30pm. (Ticket only)

Christmas Day (Friday)
Masses at 8am, 10am and 12noon.

St Stephen’s Day (Saturday)
Masses at 10am & 6pm (Vigil)

Sunday, 27th
Masses at 9am and 11.30am.

You will notice that admittance to all three Masses on Christmas Eve will be by ticket only. (All over the age of five years will have to have a ticket to gain entry to the Church). These tickets will be available after December 13th.

We ask our regular parishioners if they would graciously allow the 4.30pm and the 6.30pm Masses on Christmas Eve be for children – with older parishioners coming to the 8.30pm Mass or any of the Masses on Christmas morning.

With many smaller Churches not able to cater for their parishioners the bigger churches expect much larger congregations this year. This Christmas will ask a lot from Parishioners – Yet, our people have responded magnificently with all of the demands made on them throughout this pandemic.


First Holy Communion on Saturday, October 3rd, 2020

Children from 2nd Class at Scoil Padre Pio will receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion on Saturday, 3rd October, 2020.

Like the Sacrament of Confirmation administered, on 15th August, to the 6th Class First Holy Communion will be celebrated with serious restriction on numbers present in the Church.
In consultation with Scoil Padre Pio, there will be two ceremonies – the first at 10am and the second at 12 noon. Only parents of the children will be able to be present at these ceremonies. First Holy Communion Day is a huge event is a child’s life – it is a day for family celebrations and meeting relatives and friends. We know that the restriction on numbers this year will be a huge disappointment for both children and their families. Unfortunately, in the times we are in, public health is a major concern.

We ask our parishioners to please pray for these children – they grow up in a most confusing and dangerous world. Without Jesus figuring in their lives they will have no moral compass to know right from wrong, the good from the bad – the truth from the lie. May parents who made a solemn promise to God at Baptism that they would bring their children up in the practise of the Catholic faith become aware of what God expects of them – and realise that one day they will be held to account for how they performed that sacred task.


Work on Gurranabraher Church Windows Completed

Repaired and coated windows frames

This week, M/s Beton Construction Services Ltd. completed the rehabilitation of the windows at Ascension Church, Gurranabraher. The concrete window frames had become porous over the years and began to deteriorate badly thereby endangering the beautiful stained glass windows. The work involved both the repair of the concrete and a special coating to help the building withstand the elements for the next fifty years.

We are greatful to M/s Beton for the high quality of the work and their professionalism. Overall the work cost in the region of €30,000.00. Thankfully, we received a grant from the Albert Gubay Foundation for the sum of €25,000.00. The Diocese of Cork and Ross, aware of the great efforts of the people of Gurranabraher/Churchfield over the past few years, kindly agreed to cover the remaining amount.

We are truly grateful to the Albert Gubay Foundation and to our Bishop, Fintan Gavin, for coming to our aid. This was a project that needed urgent attention but work we could not initiate ourselves due to huge financial commitments arising from work on the roof in 2019.

We have accomplished a huge amount of work over the past few years – thanks to the amazing generosity of parishioners. Not only have the people of Gurranabraher been generous financially but a good deal of work around the compound, including the painting of the interior of the Church, has been done voluntarily led by Mr Ed Connolly. There are few parishes anywhere where you will find such enthusiasm and determination.

Deteriorating concrete frames

The Albert Gubay Foundation

Albert Gubay was the son of an Iraqi father and an Irish Catholic mother. In desperate times in post-war Britain he turned his hand to many things just to survive. He ended up a Billionaire owning the Kwik Save Supermarket Chain across Britian. He recalled that he made a pact with God early in life, saying in a prayer: “Make me a millionaire and I’ll give you half of my money”. Albert Gubay never forgot that agreement he had made. Through the ‘Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation’ he has contributed millions to worthy projects initiated by the Catholic Church.

In 2010 he donated £470m of his own personal fortune to this Foundation. The Foundation, which receives around £20m annually from Gubay’s businesses, reinvests half that income into the Roman Catholic Church to fulfil Gubay’s pact with God. May Albert Gubay, who died in 2016, at the age of 85, be rewarded for his huge generosity to so many worthwhile projects.

We are greatful to M/s Beton for the high quality of the work and their professionalism. Overall the work cost in the region of €30,000.00. Thankfully, we received a grant from the Albert Gubay Foundation for the sum of €25,000.00. The Diocese of Cork and Ross, aware of the great efforts of the people of Gurranabraher/Churchfield over the past few years, kindly agreed to cover the remaining amount.

Mick and Eoin, Beton employees, smile at work well done.


‘Ageism’ evident throughout this covid-19 Pandemic

Evident throughout this Pandemic is the discriminatory way the ‘elderly’ have been treated by both Church and State. Arguably, the most socially responsible group in society have been robbed of their freedom to exercise choice and told that they must ‘cocoon’ – a word itself which suggests that they must be sheltered, cosseted, protected. Other equally high-risk groups such as the ‘obese’ and ‘diabetics’ etc, were given no such direct orders because it would be politically incorrect to do so. But, because over 70s are generally regarded as docile to the dictates of authority, they are singled out and discriminated against. Also, Priests over 70 have been ‘stood-down’ and deprived of exercising their priestly ministry during this pandemic. No dialogue here, no opportunity given for them to make moral choices – and no opportunity given for men to become heroes. For long the Church has accused both the media and politicians of being influenced too often by ‘group-think’ yet this ‘dictat’ is a fine example of it. As in most other things in society today there is a huge absence of common-sense.


Churches to Open for Private Worship

As and from tomorrow Monday, 18th May, Churches across Ireland are permitted to open its door for private worship only – subject to strict conditions. (Liturgical worship and the celebration of the Sacraments will be permitted to resume at a later date). Some of the conditions are:

  • Signs on display indicating what is expected of all worshippers entering the church;
  • Regular and rigid cleaning of the space used by worshippers;
  • Physical distance (2m) be maintained at all times among worshippers;
  • The sanitization of hands by worshippers arriving and leaving the church building;
  • Worshippers will enter via one door and leave via another maintaining a one-way system;
  • A roster of Stewards be established to ensure that there is compliance with required regulations.

Here at Gurranabraher, our church will be open each weekday from 10am to 3pm. We appeal to parishioners to once again find refuge and strength in this church building where generations before us have sought refuge at crisis moments in their lives.

While Covid-19 infections and death rates have fallen – (thanks to the punitive measures already taken) – a resurgence still presents a real and ever present danger. The expense incurred so far in curtailing the virus is threatening to bankrupt many, many states. Any major re-occurrence now will be a cataclysmic event for Ireland and many other nations. Hence, each of us must do all in our power to make sure that Covid-19 is kept at bay. We, Catholics, illuminated by the gospel, know that prayer is a central element in ridding the world of this pestilence. For the sake of our future – and the future of our children – we need to intercede fervently before God to show us the way out of this morass. Let our churches be places once again where people plead before the Lord – and may these prayers be answered for all our sakes.


Imaginative Solutions must be found to accommodate the ‘New-Normal’

It now seems that Covid-19 will be with us for a long time to come – and finding a vaccination may prove a more difficult task than is presumed. A complete ‘lock-down’ cannot be the answer long-term vis-à-vis mental health and social cohesion. Surely some imaginative ways must be discovered to allow life return to some kind of ‘new-normal’ – and particularly to allow religious people – whose first instinct is to intercede before God for solutions to this pestilence – find refuge where they have always found refuge in God’s house.

The Christian community is the most socially aware in Ireland today. It is not a co-incidence that ‘Church-gate’ collections are still very profitable despite falling congregations. Prior to the shut-down the small weekday congregation in most churches was aware of the threat of Covid-19 – and took the recommended precautions seriously; i.e. social distancing, sanitizing hands, even wearing face-masks. In present day Ireland almost any church building has the space for social distancing – and the good intent is there to make sure that it is not contributing to the problem. Visiting churches for private adoration poses no greater risk than shopping in Lidl or Supervalu or the local Off-License’. For sure, the sick, the elderly, those with health conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to the Covid-19, and people who are just fearful of catching it should be strongly encouraged to stay at home. Masses could be shortened so as to reduce the amount of time people are in any kind of proximity to each other. One thing that is becoming clearer is that the risk of infection from contact with surfaces has been greatly exaggerated, as the recently published study from Germany has concluded. There is no need to fear touching doors, benches, etc. It is high time to be reasonable about this and get over the inordinate fear that is paralyzing.



As the world is going through the Covid-19 crisis and the resulting home confinements, Shalom World, by the Grace of God, has prepared a spiritual banquet for the Holy week in an effort to help people to combat distress, agony, hopelessness and depression with the Peace found in Jesus Christ.

Click here to go to Shalom World


Easter Ceremonies from North Cathedral, Cork

Easter Ceremonies from North Cathedral, Cork

Holy Week will be very different this year. – unable to attend the ceremonies in person, we will be able to follow the Easter ceremonies from the North Cathedral, led by Fintan Gavin, bishop of Cork and Ross via Vimeo at

Holy Thursday – 7.30pm
Good Friday – 3.00pm
Holy Saturday – 9.00pm

Bishop Fintan Gavin invites faithful to streamed Holy Week Ceremonies from Cork and Ross on Vimeo.


Gurranabraher parishioners called to Display Religious Objects

As the rate of infection from Covid-19 spreads rapidly across Ireland, now resulting in numerous deaths, an air of helplessness and despondency is evident among our people. Therefore, we call on Gurranabraher parishioners to display a religious object from the windows of their houses. A picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus or one of the Blessed Virgin Mary, (or any other saint), can give a powerful message that God and his Elect are with his people in these moments of danger.

Such a display will let others know that you are praying for an end to this scourge that threatens to unleash devastating results both short term and long term on the Irish Nation. We ask that you would encourage other believers to do the same.

The last great Polio epidemic that struck Ireland particularly in the 1950s witnessed a great mobilisation of believers to offer Masses and Rosaries both in churches and at ‘roadside Marian shrines’ to be spared from this affliction. Be in no doubt that ‘divine intervention’ is as necessary for ending this plague as is the work of great scientific and medical minds and the front-line staff who so heroically tend to victims. Please spread this news.


Priests stand with their people

We remind parishioners that we continue to hold them in our prayers and in our Masses that we celebrate privately each day. For everyone there is much adjusting to do in these unprecedented times. For us it is very difficult to say Mass alone each morning when our lives have been centered around meeting people and celebrating the sacraments with them.

We feel for the many who cherished the Eucharist each day and who now feel abandoned by everyone – even the Church. We ask them to have faith – to put their trust in God. We encourage all to say the Rosary daily for the salvation of the world. If only families would begin to say the Rosary what a difference it would make to the world.