In November 2014, Archbishop Martin formally requested the parishes of Balally and Sandyford to become a newly constituted grouping of parishes to service the needs of the people in this geographical area.

To that end, Archbishop Martin appointed Fr. Peter Byrne, formerly of Sandyford, to reside and minister in Balally.  Fr. Peter will also, at the same time, help out in Sandyford.

From now on, the Balally-Sandyford cluster will be serviced by the Parish Team of Sandyford, made up of Fr. Andrew O’Sullivan, Fr. Gerry Moore and Ms. Grainne Prior and the Parish Team of Balally, namely Fr. Dermot Lane, Fr. Peter Byrne, and Mrs. Brid Fitzgerald.

Fr. Andrew O’Sullivan will be the Moderator of this new cluster.

This new arrangement will require a change of mind-set for the priests and people of both parishes.  Furthermore, this new relationship between Sandyford and Balally will necessitate a co-ordination of the pastoral services provided by the two Parish Teams.

The co-ordination of services will be based on the following principles:

1.       It will seek to service the sacramental and pastoral needs of the people of the Balally-Sandyford areas as a unified grouping?

2.       It will aim to overcome unnecessary duplication of services, especially at weekends.

3.       It will provide the basic pastoral services (Masses, Sacraments, 8 primary schools, 2 second-level schools, and 3 hospitals) in a way that takes account of the declining number of priests available in the Dublin Diocese, and more particularly the reduced number of priests in Balally and Sandyford parishes.

Each parish for now will retain its own identity and continue to have its own Parish Pastoral Council

Finance Committee, and resident priests. This local identity, however, from now on will take account of the new relationship between Sandyford and Balally as a grouping

Over the years, both Balally and Sandyford parishes have discussed this prospect, and we are now invited in the light of Archbishop Martin’s communication to Fr. Andrew O’Sullivan, Fr. Dermot Lane, Fr. Gerry Moore, Fr. Peter Byrne, and the Chairpersons of the Parish Pastoral Councils to implement this historical coming-together of Sandyford and Balally parishes.

The two Parish Teams within this new cluster see this development as a challenge and a unique opportunity.  It is a challenge because it will require a change in the way we organise ourselves.  It is a unique opportunity to move towards a spirit of closer collaboration between the two Parish Teams so that together they can sow seeds for a new future and plan to bring about a greater involvement of lay people in the mission and ministry of the Church in the Sandyford-Balally areas.

A very big word of thanks to all who donated food to the Crosscare Collection that was gathered in St. Mary’s Church.  There was a great outpouring of generosity and these food items were collected and brought to the food banks where they will be distributed to the families in need around the city.

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Thanks to all who came to celebrate Mass with Archbishop Martin at Our Lady of the Wayside on Sunday.  It was a wonderful occasion and an opportunity to come together in our beloved ‘blue church’ on the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Gaudate Sunday, ‘the Sunday of Joy’ to pray and give thanks for all we have received in the past year.
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