22nd Sunday of the Year
Bishop Robert has written to us this week with an update on the Covid restrictions in place in our churches. He writes:- “given the high transmission rates in the North East, Covid-19 restrictions in churches and parish halls remain in force in the Diocese. The Bishop’s Council will meet on 10th September and will receive advice from the Diocesan health and safety officer before deciding whether the current restrictions may be eased. I will advise you of the decision as soon as possible after that meeting. Until then no changes should be made in parishes.”
As such, the wearing of face coverings, sanitising your hands, 2 metre social distancing, cleaning the church after each celebration and the maximum capacity of 70 for any celebration remain in place within St. Patrick’s Church.
Please be understanding and accepting of the protocols you are asked to follow. It is important for us all to remember, Covid has not gone away! The Bishop’s principal concern is for the well-being of everyone who attends our churches.
Thanks to the continuing generosity of our volunteer stewards St. Patrick’s Church will be open for Mass on Tuesday at 10 am, when no booking will be needed, and on Sunday at 10.30 am when booking is advised to guarantee a place.
To reserve a place for Mass next Sunday, 5th September, please telephone:
on Friday, 3rd September between 5pm and 7pm.
This number will be unavailable outside of the above hours. Text messages cannot be accepted as a method of booking.
You will be encouraged to provide your name and telephone number for the NHS Test and Trace system and also the number in your family if you are attending as a household. You should only sit with members of your own household or bubble. On arrival at the church you will be welcomed by a steward and your name will be checked against the booking list. If you have not pre-booked please bring your contact details in an envelope and place them in the box at the front of the church or give your details to the outside stewards. Alternatively you can use the QR Code displayed at the entrance to the Church using the NHS Covid App
For Mass on Tuesday, where booking is not required, you are invited to bring your Test and Trace details in an envelope and place them in the box in church.
There are still places available for Mass this Sunday, 29th August, offered on a first come first served basis. Please bring Test and Trace details if you haven’t reserved a place. You will receive a warm and reassuring welcome.
Please keep in your prayers our parishioners who have recently contracted Covid-19 despite having had two doses of vaccine. Most have had mild symptoms, but some have been very poorly and two have had to be admitted to hospital; thankfully both have now returned home. It is a reminder that Covid-19 is still in our community and that we should do all we can to be cautious in our everyday life choices which don’t only affect ourselves, but impact on others too.
In a video message, Pope Francis says:- “Getting vaccinated is a simple yet profound way to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable. I pray to God that each one of us can make his or her small gesture of love. No matter how small, love is always grand. Small gestures for a better future. God bless you. Thank you.”
And remember, we are not people of fear: we are people of courage. We are not people who protect our own safety: we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety. We are not people of greed: we are people of generosity. We are your people Lord, giving and loving, wherever we are, wherever you call us, whatever it costs, for as long as it takes.
Please look after each other and pray for one another and may God bless you and keep you safe.
Mass to view on line
Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral on Sunday at 11.30 am. There will be no weekday Masses streamed until 1st September.
Alternatively, you may like to follow Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond celebrated live at 10 am on Sunday, Thursday and Friday this week. These Masses may also be viewed later from the same website.
Mass Intentions for the coming week
With the exception of Sunday and Tuesday, Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass privately during the week remembering the following Intentions. Bishop Robert asks that Face coverings should still be worn in our churches.
- Monday – In Thanksgiving for prayers answered
- Tuesday: 10 am in St. Patrick’s Church – Jim McErlane
- Wednesday – Special Intention (BH)
- Thursday – Funeral Service for Mac Rae – by invitation only – Covid restrictions still apply in the church
- Friday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
- Saturday – Fr “P’s” intentions
- Sunday: 10.30 am in St. Patrick’s Church – For the intentions of all our parishioners – booking advised
When you are unable to celebrate Mass with us 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.
In case you are not aware, a parish priest is obliged to celebrate Mass for the “Intentions of the Parishioners” every Sunday or Holyday, which prevents him from fulfilling personal intentions on those occasions.
Please keep in your prayers this week:
- all our parishioners who are sick, housebound or in hospital and Fr. Kevin Daly who is ill
- all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time and,
- Fr. Michael Sharratt who has died. “Receive Lord into tranquillity and peace the soul of your servant whom you have called from this life. May he 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 together in prayer for the 132,243 people who have died in our country from the coronavirus. (Friday’s figure):
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.
A prayer for those who are afraid
God of all hope we call on you today.
We pray for those who are living in fear:
Fear of Covid-19, fear for loved ones, fear of what the future holds.
May your Spirit give us a sense of calmness and peace. Amen
A prayer for the people of Afghanistan
May those who are fleeing, find sanctuary,
may those who are staying, find safety,
may those who are fighting, find peace,
may those whose hearts are breaking, find comfort,
may those who see no future, find hope.
The troubled World in which we live – a message from Cafod
As you will have seen in the news, a number of countries are facing significant crises at the moment. The people of Haiti are coping with a catastrophic earthquake and tropical storm; the people of Afghanistan are dealing with the shock of the rapid Taliban take-over of most of the country; and millions of people in Ethiopia, South Sudan and Nigeria are facing extreme hunger. At the conclusion of the Angelus on the Feast of the Assumption, Pope Francis prayed for dialogue and peace in Afghanistan and the victims in Haiti’s earthquake.
At this grave time for our sisters and brothers in these countries, we would like to reassure you that Cafod is responding to these multiple crises. You can read more about how we can all express solidarity with our sisters and brothers affected by these emergencies on the Cafod website. Your compassion, generosity and prayers will help us to stand together and enable us to continue to support communities in these difficult times. Thank you.
An Appeal from our Diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project
The project organisers are grateful for the ongoing support that they have received during the pandemic but their stocks are running low and demand is increasing. At present the project is supporting on average 300 clients each week, who all receive a bag of food. 102 of them are destitute and also receive a supermarket voucher. The project organisers have been notified that new sites in Byker, Shieldfield and Grainger Town will introduce 400/500 new asylum seekers to the area as well as some Afghan refugees so the demand on the project resources and services will increase.
If you are able to bring donations of rice, sugar, biscuits and toiletries as well as tinned fish in oil and tins of tomatoes and chick peas to St. Patrick’s Church before Mass on Tuesdays or Sundays, they may be left on the table to your right as you enter the Church. Please note: baked beans and tinned meat are not required.
Financial donations can be made by bank transfer to HSBC Sort Code 40-34-18. Account number 52854058 Account name DHN Destitute Asylum.
FIRST STEPS – Exploring the Catholic Faith Online
Are you wondering about your relationship with God and not sure where to start? Join us on a journey this Autumn and see if the Catholic Church can help your relationship grow. This may be the right path for you. It may even help you take the next steps towards becoming a member of the Catholic Church. We gather weekly via Zoom and invite you to come along to find out more. Starts Wednesday 22nd September at 7pm.
The Sacrament of Baptism
Following Bishop Robert’s decision to extend the Covid restrictions until further notice, we are still unable to open St. Patrick’s Church for anything other than Mass on a Sunday and Tuesday and for funerals at present.
His decision also prevents us from reopening the parish centre. As a result, we are not in a position to be able to offer the necessary baptismal preparation for parents who are considering presenting their child to the Church for Baptism.
Fr. Patterson regrets that it will still not be possible to offer the Sacrament of Baptism in St. Patrick’s Church until the situation improves. Please keep an eye on the Newsletter for further information.
Things you need to know about having your child baptised.
For a child to be baptised in the Catholic Church, one parent must be a baptised Catholic.
A child should be baptised in the parish in which their family lives and in the church they regularly attend. Parents who live outside our shared parish of St Patrick’s and St Alban’s and who wish to have their child baptised here, must regularly attend St Patrick’s Church.
To ensure that parents have a living awareness of the commitment having their child baptised entails, namely promising to bring their child up in the practice of the Catholic faith, they will be invited to attend a series of preparation sessions, after which they will decide, along with the priest, whether they should proceed with having their child baptized.
Please note that no date for baptism can be considered until the preparation is completed and the parents feel able to make the commitment the Church asks of them.
We are still in need of more volunteers
If we are going to be able to reopen St. Alban’s Church and fully reopen St. Patrick’s Church and parish centre once all the Covid restrictions have been removed, I need your help and support to fulfil the roles outlined in our shared parish Roadmap which was circulated at the beginning of May. If you do not have a copy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0191 495 2277 and one will be sent to you.
Currently we do not have sufficient offers of help and support to be able to reopen St. Alban’s Church and will be struggling to fully reopen St. Patrick’s Church and parish centre when the Covid restrictions are lifted.
If you can commit yourself to help in either church when all the Covid Restrictions have been removed, whenever that may be, please contact me as soon as possible
If you have helped in either church before the pandemic and no longer feel able to continue in your previous role; if you wish to continue helping as you have done in the past or if you would like to help in any of the ways outlined in our shared parish Roadmap for the first time, please get in touch as soon as possible.
Your ongoing financial support is welcomed and needed
Fr. Patterson continues to be grateful for your offerings during these difficult times and is especially grateful to those parishioners who regularly contribute to parish funds by standing order helping us meet the regular financial commitments of our churches.
You may bring your envelopes to Mass on Tuesdays or Sundays or drop them through the presbytery letterbox. 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
Much is being said about having to learn to live with Covid long into the future, but that does not mean we should “bury our heads in the sand” and pretend that Covid has gone away and that we can live life as we please. Professor Tim Spector comments this week:-
Unfortunately, we’re back in a position where cases, hospitalisations and deaths are all going up and the UK has the highest rates of COVID in Europe, despite our superior vaccination rates. The main difference between the UK and Europe is our lack of restrictions. In many parts of Europe, people are still wearing face coverings and observing some social distancing. In the UK, where we eagerly declared ‘freedom’ from COVID and did away with even the most basic social measures, COVID has found an opportunity to spread. As children head back to the classrooms, there’s a good chance cases will continue to rise from here.
According to data from the ZOE COVID Study, fully vaccinated people now make up nearly 30% of positive cases and so it’s critical to be aware of the symptoms of COVID after vaccination. Our data shows post-vaccination infections are much more like a cold than the flu, with the top symptoms being runny nose, headache, sneezing, sore throat and loss of smell. We’re again calling on the government to add these cold-like symptoms to their list to help educate the public and catch more cases.”
His full update can be viewed via the Zoe YouTube channel.
Respect for one another
We have lived through a lot since this pandemic started so let’s be kind and respect one another. Be aware of personal space and personal choice. Some people might not be ready to hug, kiss, shake hands or reduce social distance. Don’t assume what people are comfortable with. Instead, ask them and respect their personal choices.
Caring for you in our churches
Bishop Robert has written the following note to the clergy this week: “I would like to remind clergy that, given the high transmission rates in the north east, Covid-19 restrictions in churches and parish halls remain in force in the Diocese. The Bishop’s Council will meet on 10th September and will receive advice from the Diocesan health and safety officer before deciding whether the current restrictions may be eased. I will advise you of the decision as soon as possible after that meeting. Until then no changes should be made in parishes.”
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 email@example.com and they will be added to our contact list.