6th Sunday of Easter
As the reality of the Resurrection sank into the minds and hearts of the first disciples of Jesus, there was a joy that he had risen, that they could see him again and talk to him. His Resurrection was victory for them and in this there was hope and a certainty that God was still on their side.
But still, they huddled together, locked away, trying to make sense of all that was happening. Had they missed something? If they went back over what Jesus said to them and the things he did, would they find the hints they missed, which would enable them piece together the future for themselves.
It happens to us. People say things to us or do things for us and it is only later that the penny drops and we suddenly realise what they meant. It is the ‘eureka’ moment which makes everything different afterwards.
The Feast of Pentecost, which we are preparing to celebrate, is the ‘eureka’ moment of the early Church, when everything Jesus said and did made sense.
When a fire was ignited in their hearts which could never be extinguished.
We are the inheritors of that same fire. It is Jesus, risen from the dead alive in us through his Spirit. May the Spirit of the Risen Lord enlighten your lives.
Mass to view on line
With the exception of Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass privately during the week for the following Intentions. You are encouraged to wear face coverings when attending Church, unless you are medically exempt.
- Monday – Fr. Joe Park
- Tuesday: 10.00 in St. Patrick’s Church – Celia Morley
- Wednesday – Fr. Michael Hickey
- Thursday: 10.00 in St. Patrick’s Church – Feast of the Ascension: For the intentions of all our parishioners
- Friday – Private Intention
- Saturday – No Mass
- Sunday: 10.00 in St. Patrick’s Church – For the intentions of all our parishioners
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.
Current Diocesan COVID Controls
In keeping with the National Guidelines for Churches issued by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales the following arrangements for St. Patrick’s Church are as follows:
- If you are displaying any symptoms of Covid-19 you should stay at home.
- Hand sanitiser will continue to be offered as you enter and leave church.
- You are encouraged to wear a face covering during the celebration of Mass.
- Indoor congregational singing can take place with a general encouragement that face coverings are worn.
- Although there is no formal social distancing by way of seating, we ask that when you take your seat, you are sensitive to the needs of other people who are already in a bench and may not be comfortable if you “snuggle up” to them. We have plenty of seating space.
- We will, for the time being, continue to invite you to come forward for Holy Communion, row by row from the front. Holy Communion will continue to be distributed under one kind only. At the end of Mass, you may leave at your leisure.
- It is still important to ventilate our buildings. This has the effect of diluting and dispersing viral particles.
- Welcomers will be on hand to greet you and care for you.
Please keep in your prayers:
- all our parishioners who are sick, housebound or in hospital and Fr. Michael Keoghan who is currently unwell.
- all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time
- and Fr. Joe Park, one of our retired priests, who has died. May he rest in peace.
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 177,890 people who have died in our country from the coronavirus. (Thursday’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 the Ukraine
Lord God, hold the people of Ukraine deep in your heart. Protect them from violence, from political gamesmanship, from being used and abused. Give the nations of the world the courage and the wisdom to stand up for justice and the courage to care generously. Take from us those traits that see us pursuing our own needs and wants before those of others. Teach us how to live in love and dignity and respect, following your ways. We ask this in your name and for your sake. Amen
A Prayer for Eastertime
Risen Christ, when darkness overwhelms us may your dawn beckon. When fear paralyses us may your touch release us. When grief torments us may your peace enfold us. When memories haunt us may your presence heal us. When justice fails us may your power ignite us. When apathy stagnates us may your challenge renew us. When courage leaves us may your spirit inspire us. When despair grips us may your hope restore us. And when death threatens us may your resurrection light lead us. Amen
Bishop Barron’s Sunday Sermons
Each week Bishop Barron offers a Sunday sermon.
The Past Two Years
There is little doubt that we have all been affected one way or another by the Covid pandemic and life will never be quite the same.
We are planning to invite anyone who would value an opportunity to pause, reflect on their experiences, thoughts, feelings and memories of the past two years to come together after Pentecost.
We will try to link our feelings to the “Road to Emmaus” where the two disciples walked and talked about their memories of the time they shared with Jesus. The joys, the challenges, their fears and then their grief, telling their story to the yet unrecognised Jesus. And then there was Thomas who, from a place of fear and vulnerability, discovered Jesus inviting him to touch his wounds.
As a community of faith we need to be open to our own vulnerability and to be able to feel safe enough, like Thomas, to share our woundedness with Jesus. We need to offer an opportunity where others can feel safe, can be heard and also be a listener for others as they share their stories from the past two years.
At the Feast of Pentecost, the disciples and early followers of Jesus hiding in the upper room, received the gifts of God’s Spirit enabling them to lay their fears aside and move out to live the new life of the Resurrection.
Maybe the Feast of Pentecost this year, calls us to move from a place of fear and uncertainty to a place of courage and confidence, so that like the disciples walking to Emmaus, we might recognise that Jesus was and is walking alongside us.
We hope to offer you this opportunity shortly after Pentecost Sunday, so please keep an eye of the Newsletter for more details.
Celebrating the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The Charismatic Diocesan Service of Communion (CHARIS) is organising a Mass to be celebrated on Saturday 28th May at St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle. Praise and Worship at 1pm followed by Mass at 1.20pm. After the Mass, members of the Charismatic Diocesan Service of Communion will offer a Pentecost blessing. All welcome.
The Tyneside Circle of the Newman Association…..
….. is restarting, after the pandemic , in St Cuthbert’s Church Hall, North Shields NE29 0JB on Wednesday 25th May, 2022 at 7.30pm for a talk by Fr Chris Hughes entitled “Can Theology Be Practical? Encouraging Reflective Discipleship”. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Refreshments after Mass
Refreshments will be served in St Patrick’s parish centre after Mass on Sunday, 5th June. As well as tea and coffee there will be the option of a “glass of fizz”.
Laudato Si Week
Pope Francis invites Catholic people around the world to participate in Laudato Si Week from 22nd -29th May to mark the seventh anniversary of his Encyclical on the Care of Creation. Bishop Robert will celebrate Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral at 7pm on Monday 23rd May. Fr Chris Hughes will give the homily on hearing the cry of the poor and the earth. All are welcome.
St. Patrick’s Church needs your support
Bishop Robert has advised Fr. Patterson that with fewer priests, their age profile and their associated health issues the responsibility for securing adequate help and support and the organisation of that support in parishes should lie with the parishioners themselves.
In the light of the Bishop’s advice, Fr. Patterson requires the support of parishioners for the next phase of the re-opening of St. Patrick’s Church.
Rotas have now been prepared and sent out for the following:-
- Reading at Mass on Sundays
- Preparing light refreshments in the parish centre after Sunday Mass
- Helping with counting the collection
- Supporting our “welcomers” by offering to help with the opening of the Church for Mass and tidying up afterwards on weekdays and/or Sundays and, of course welcoming fellow parishioners and visitors to our church.
There is still a need for more volunteers to join the rotas in the above roles. If you are interested please email the parish office at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Maureen for completing this task. Every effort has been made to include all those who have volunteered for the above roles on the rotas. If you offered to assist with any of the above roles and have not received a rota please get in touch at email@example.com.
Volunteers are still required for:-
- Reading at Mass on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays
- assisting with the children’s liturgy if/when we are in a position to restart it
- to join in the music ministry whether as an instrumentalist or singer
The more support you give will make it less demanding on any individual or group/team. It is important that we should all play our part in helping to rebuild our shared parish family.
Please indicate your offer of support by emailing the parish office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parishioners who have, in recent months, made offers of help will automatically be included in the rotas.
St. Alban’s Church
The church was deep cleaned during the week at a cost of £840.00. Some additional preparatory work needs to be completed. Due to the failure of the amplifier on the sound system, we await the arrival of a replacement at a cost of £500.00. Rotas are being prepared in the hope that we can soon set a date for the reopening of the Church.
As you are aware, when meeting with Fr. Patterson, Bishop Robert expressed his concern that the current level of support offered by parishioners is not what was hoped for, but agreed with Fr. Patterson, that we could proceed with the reopening of the church, initially for a Saturday Vigil Mass only, to assess the level of need and support. The church will remain closed during the week.
The Bishop asked that the situation should be reviewed at the end of the summer.
We still need much more support in every aspect of parish life, so if you feel able to help in any way at all, please contact Terry and Christine by telephoning 0191 469 8697. Please avoid calling at weekends and after 6pm.
Fr. Patterson hopes that you will respond positively to this opportunity to play your part in rebuilding our parish family.
Keys to St. Alban’s Church
There are still some keys to St. Alban’s Church which have not as yet been returned. Please do so this week. This is to comply with the terms and conditions of the parish insurance. Simply place your key in an envelope with a note of your name, to enable us to identify the keyholder, and post it through the letterbox at St. Patrick’s. For security reasons keys should not be posted through St. Alban’s presbytery door.
An Invitation from the Bishops of England and Wales
The Bishops of England and Wales invite all Catholic people to consider returning to Mass on the Feast of Pentecost.
At the same time, they understand that there will still be some people who do not feel safe enough to return to Mass. It has always been the understanding of the Church that when the freedom of any Catholic to attend Mass in person is impeded, because of situations such as age, ill health, care for the sick, a legitimate fear, or any other serious reason, there is no requirement for them to attend Mass.
The Bishops acknowledge that many Catholic people have benefitted during these difficult times from the online streaming of Mass and other services which may continue to be a source of spiritual comfort to those who cannot attend Mass in person, for example those who are elderly and sick.
World Communications Day
Next Sunday, 29th May, there is an opportunity for those of you who wish, to make an offering to support the work of the Bishops’ Conference Media Office which helps journalists to better understand the Church’s activities, teaching and witness. Should you wish to support this cause, place you offering in an envelope marked World Communications and place it in the box as you enter the church. Those of you with sets of envelopes should find an envelope in your box.
Your Offertory contributions
To reduce the demands on parish administration, we invite those of you who feel able, to consider making your weekly offering by Standing Order. The bank details you require for this are:
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
If you are a tax payer and are not a member of the parish gift aid scheme please consider joining the scheme, it costs you nothing and the parish benefits by being able to reclaim the tax you have already paid on your offering. The parish receives 25p of every £1.00 you give from HMRC. All that is required, is for you to complete a simple form which does not involve you disclosing any personal financial information and is held securely by the Diocesan Finance Office. To obtain a form, or for more information, please email St. Patrick’s Gift Aid organiser at email@example.com
For the time being, enquiries concerning the Gift Aid scheme for St. Albans Church should be directed to Fr. Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Covid has not gone away
“As much as we’d all like to think this pandemic is over and Covid has gone away, it hasn’t gone. It is something we are going to have to live with for many years to come. We just have to try and be careful and protect one another.”
A timely reminder from Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam who, despite being fully vaccinated, was unable to receive his knighthood this week as he was self isolating having tested positive for Covid.
You may remember him appearing with Professor Sir Chris Whitty in the regular Downing Street briefings of old.
Please get vaccinated
The Catholic Church continues to promote the participation of everyone in the Covid vaccination programme as part of its mitigation of virus transmission in church and ancillary buildings.
ZOE Covid update
The update now occurs once every two weeks.
In a separate blog, the updated symptoms of Omicron are discussed.
Data from the Office of National statistics may also be of interest to you with 1 in 55 people having Covid in England.
The Parish Newsletter by email
Could you help to offset our carbon footprint and reduce the cost of printing a paper copy of the Newsletter by having it sent to you by email? Many of you have been receiving it electronically throughout the pandemic and continue to do so. If you do not already receive it in this way and would like to receive the Newsletter and other news from the parish by email, please email your request to email@example.com and you will be added to our contact list.
A few printed copies will still be available from St. Patrick’s Church, on the days it is open for Mass, for those of you who do not have access to email.