The Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul
I suspect many of us will be pleased to hear of the further easing of the lockdown which the Prime Minister announced on Tuesday as it will enable us to socialise a little more with those we love and enable the hospitality industry and other business to gradually reopen. But please remember the basic advice remains: social distancing is still 2 metres unless it is impossible to maintain, in which case it is “1 metre plus” which may involve the wearing of face coverings or taking other protective measures.
We are also still encouraged to stay at home as much as possible; to limit contact with other people, to work from home if we can, to wash our hands regularly and not to leave the house if we, or a member of our household, has any symptoms and to report those symptoms to the Government’s Test and Trace System.
You may be wondering why we should still be asked to follow such advice.
Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England, explains why. He says, “Covid-19 has gone down due to the efforts of everyone but it is still in general circulation. If we do not follow social distancing guidance then cases will rise again.
If people hear a distorted version of what’s being said, that says, ‘this is all fine now, it’s gone away’ and start behaving in ways that they normally would have before this virus happened, yes, we will get an uptick for sure.
It is absolutely critical people stick to the guidance that has been given; it’s a changed guidance for there are still very significant restrictions socially and there are very significant restrictions on business of different sorts.
I would be surprised and delighted if we weren’t in this current situation through the winter and into next spring. I expect there to be a significant amount of coronavirus circulating at least into that time and I think it is going to be quite optimistic for science to come fully to the rescue over that kind of timeframe.”
So that is why we must continue to follow the Government guidelines. But we also have a responsibility to each other, particularly to those in our community who are in the shielded and clinically vulnerable categories – including myself! So please do enjoy yourselves, but please follow the guidelines that are provided to ensure that our actions are not responsible for the spread of the coronavirus.
Please take care of yourselves too. Pray for each other and please pray for me.
May God bless you all.
Mass to view on line
Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral on Sunday at 11.30 and on weekdays at 12.00. These services may be viewed live or anytime later.
Alternatively, you may like to follow daily Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond celebrated live at 10.00 or which may also be viewed any time later.
I continue to celebrate Mass privately every day. The following Intentions will be remembered this week.
- Monday – Rosemary Kane
- Tuesday – In Thanksgiving (Laurie)
- Wednesday – The sick, NHS & Care Workers
- Thursday – Anthony Costelloe
- Friday- Kathy Malley
- Saturday – For the intentions of all our parishioners
- Sunday- Doris Foster
As you are unable to celebrate Mass with me, you may wish to make this act of spiritual communion:
Lord Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen
Please keep in your prayers this week:
- all our parishioners who are sick, housebound or in hospital and,
- all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time especially Rosemary Kane and Doris Foster
Masses for the Sick and their Families, NHS Front-Line workers and those working in Social Care
Every Thursday one of our Bishops celebrates a special evening Mass for the sick, their families, NHS staff, and those working in Social Care.
Mass this coming Thursday, 2nd July, will be celebrated by Archbishop John Wilson from Southwark Cathedral at 19.00.
A Prayer for Carers, Nurses and Doctors
Lord Jesus, who healed the sick and gave them new life, be with doctors, nurses and carers, as they act as agents of your healing touch.
In desperate times, keep them strong yet loving; and when their work is done, be with them in their weariness and in their tears. Amen.
Reopening our Churches
The Prime Minister announced on Tuesday that from 4th July, Places of Worship may reopen for prayer and services.
The Archbishops have issued a letter welcoming this news. Please take time to read it carefully noting the following:-
“A significant number of churches may remain closed as they are unable to meet the requirements for opening for individual prayer. Fulfilling these requirements is a precondition for any church opening after 4th July for the celebration of Mass with a congregation.
Please be aware that there will be a limit on the number of people who can attend Mass in our churches. This will be determined locally in accordance with social distancing requirements. We therefore need to reflect carefully on how and when we might be able to attend Mass. We cannot return immediately to our customary practices. This next step is not, in any sense, a moment when we are going ‘back to normal.’
We ask every Catholic to think carefully about how and when they will return to Mass. Given there is no Sunday obligation, we ask you to consider the possibility of attending Mass on a weekday. This will ease the pressure of numbers for Sunday celebrations and allow a gradual return to the Eucharist for more people.
When we return to Mass there will be some differences. For the time being, there will be no congregational singing and Mass will be shorter than usual. We ask everyone to respect and follow the guidance that will be issued and the instructions in each church.”
Bishop Robert has announced twenty more churches may reopen for private prayer once the necessary risk assessments have been completed by the Diocesan authorities and he will announce the opening of others soon. Visit the Diocesan website for more news.
No church will be able to reopen for any communal worship until it has been risk assessed by the Diocese and can fulfil the requirements of the Government and Bishops’ guidelines. This includes being able to provide sufficient volunteers to help with stewarding and cleaning to ensure all measures, including social distancing are fulfilled.
Until such time as our own churches have been risk assessed and we are able to fulfill all the requirements for stewarding and cleaning, we will remain closed. So please be patient and understanding.
If you are able to volunteer as a steward or to help with cleaning our churches please send Fr. Patterson an email stating your availability weekday/weekend and in what way you would be able to help. Your help could make the difference between being able to open our churches or not! Volunteers should not be in the clinically vulnerable categories.
Your generous Offerings are appreciated
In what are difficult times financially for us all, Fr. Patterson wishes to express his gratitude to those parishioners who are contributing their weekly offering by bank transfer directly into the parish accounts. This helps us meet our day to day financial commitments.
If you Gift Aid your offertory contributions, the parish can still reclaim the tax on your offering should you wish to make a bank transfer at this present time. It would be helpful to enter your name and Gift Aid envelope number as the reference when making the transfer.
Alternatively, you may wish to send a cheque made payable to the appropriate Account name below or you might wish to continue to put aside your envelopes each week and bring them along to church once we can reopen our doors.
The details for bank transfers
St. Alban’s HSBC bank account name: DHN Pelaw St Alban, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 92010984
St. Patrick’s HSBC bank account name: DHN Felling St Patrick, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 52010453
Several parishioners have been in contact to ask if they can put their weekly offering envelopes, which they have been saving week by week, through the presbytery letter box. Those parishioners who wish to do so would be more than welcome so long as you follow Government guidelines about leaving your home.
However, for security reasons, please do not put any envelopes through St. Alban’s Presbytery door. Envelopes for St. Alban’s parish should be posted through St. Patrick’s Presbytery door only.