4th Sunday of the Year
This Saturday marks the first anniversary of the World Health Organization’s declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and this Sunday will be one year on from the first case of COVID-19 detected in the UK. It has been a terrible year as the virus has spread across the world causing misery, hardship, death and severely disrupting all of our lives.
During the course of this week our country reached the milestone of having to acknowledge the death of over 100,000 people from the coronavirus.
How is the death rate in our country so high? There is no quick and easy answer, although I am sure we are aware, from what we see on the television, from what we hear and read that there are a variety of opinions.
There are those who point a finger at the government; others highlight the health of our nation as a factor. The UK has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world, and obesity increases the risk of hospitalisation and death from Covid-19, according to Public Health England. Conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease and respiratory problems also increase the risk to health.
The UK is among the 10 most densely populated nations among those countries with populations of more than 20 million. Its ethnically diverse and densely packed urban populations exposed its vulnerability to a virus that spreads effortlessly in the close proximity between people. What is more, our cities are more inter-connected than they are in many countries. The ageing population must also be taken into account.
Some commentators point to the fact that what is one of our greatest strengths, namely that our country is a vibrant hub for international travel, has also posed problems. Genetic analysis has shown that by the end of March, 2020, the virus was brought into the UK on at least 1,300 separate occasions, mainly from France, Spain and Italy.
And then there is our own response to following the guidelines and rules of staying at home, social distancing, washing our hands, wearing face coverings and not mixing households, because remember the virus spreads through human contact. So there will inevitably be people in our country who will have had some part to play in the spread of the virus if they haven’t been following the rules.
With the benefit of hindsight, it is so easy to be critical of the well intentioned efforts of so many when in the early days, as Professor Chris Whitty admits, the data was “really quite poor and very limited.”
What is important for the future is that we all resolve to work harder than ever to look after each other especially by following all the current rules. And of course there is the rollout of the vaccine which will hopefully help to ease the situation given time. But remember it is only one of many tools, so we must not drop our guard.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols issued the following statement on hearing of the death of so many people from coronavirus: It is…
“A day of great sadness all over the land. So many people, families, communities, remembering those who have died in these terrible months of the pandemic. Each one is mourned. Each one is to be prayed for. This is our instinct, our faith, our practice. Our prayer is rooted in the faith that, in death, life is changed, not ended, for the promise of eternal life opens the door of hope even in our darkest moments. I pray for each and everyone, those who have died, those who mourn, those who serve. Please, please, join me in prayer.”
Please continue to look after one another and pray that the Lord will watch over us and keep us safe from harm.
May God bless you all
Mass to view on line
Alternatively, you may like to follow Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond celebrated live at 10.00 am on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Mass Intentions for the coming week
In keeping with the public health message that the movement and gathering of people should be minimised and that as many people as possible stay at home for the sake of health, life and the Common Good, St. Patrick’s Church will remain closed until the situation improves.
Fr. Patterson will continue to celebrate Mass privately each day. The following Intentions will be remembered this week.
- Monday – Lindsay Bradley
- Tuesday – For all who have died due to the coronavirus
- Wednesday – Margaret Hewitt (Private Funeral : by invitation only)
- Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
- Friday – Veronica and James Houghton
- Saturday – Fr. “P’s” Intentions
- Sunday – For the intentions of all our parishioners
As you are unable to celebrate Mass with him in Church, 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
- Fr. Paul McCourt and Fr. Kevin Daly who are currently unwell
- all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time especially Lindsay Bradley and Veronica Houghton and,
- George Perry, Margaret Hewitt and Larry Cullen who have died. “Receive Lord into tranquillity and peace the souls of your servants whom you have called from this life. May they be taken up into glory with your Son in whose great mystery of love we are all united.”
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.
A time to pray
Please join me in prayer on Tuesday when I will offer Mass privately for all those who have died from the Coronavirus. May they rest in peace. Although you can’t be with me, I hope you may feel able to say this prayer sometime during the day.
Gracious God, as we remember before you the thousands who have died from the coronavirus, surround us and all who mourn with your compassion. Be gentle with us in our grief, protect us from despair and give us grace to persevere and face the future with hope. We make this prayer in Jesus Christ our risen Lord. Amen.
Parish News by Email
If you are aware of parishioners who would like to receive the Newsletter and other news from the parish by email, please ask them to email Fr. Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be added to our contact list.
Your ongoing financial support is welcomed and needed
Fr. Patterson wishes to thank you for your offerings during these difficult times. He is particularly grateful to those parishioners who regularly contribute to parish funds by bank transfer which helps to meet the day to day financial commitments of our churches.
Whilst we are being urged to “Stay at Home,” it may not be wise to drop your envelopes through the presbytery letterbox, unless your daily exercise route happens to take you past the presbytery. Please be sensible. For security reason, envelopes should not be put through the letterbox of St. Alban’s Presbytery.
The parish is still able to reclaim the tax from Gift Aided offertory contributions made by bank transfer. It would be helpful to enter your name and Gift Aid envelope number as the reference when making the transfer.
The details for bank transfers and cheques are as follows:
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