7th Sunday of the Year
A life of faith stands in contrast to the values of this world
Everyone gets annoyed from time to time. Anger is part of our fallen human nature, but it need not be a source of insulting or violent behaviour. After the flaring up of temper we have a choice to make. We can refuse to retaliate and instead meet negativity with goodness and in doing so, choose to imitate the way God is with us.
Sometimes the loving choice may be to stand up to unacceptable behaviour and gently help other people to understand the consequences of their actions, which is not revenge, it simply reaffirms Jesus’ teaching that love restores, teaches and most of all heals. (Luke 6: 27 – 38)
Following discussions with our stewards and in keeping with Bishop Robert’s Diocesan Covid protocols, it was agreed that it will now be possible for you to enter St. Patrick’s Church either through the Church Street entrance or through the parish centre doors ascending either by the inner staircase or the lift. Both doors will open 20 minutes before Mass is due to begin.
On arrival in the church you will be invited to sanitise your hands and will be guided to your seat by one of our volunteers. A box will be available for your offerings, Test and trace details and Mass Intentions. Face coverings should still be worn.
The arrangements for Holy Communion will remain the same – you will be invited to come forward row by row from the front. For the time being, at the end of Mass, please remain in your seats until you are invited to leave and exit via the centre aisle through either the front or rear doors.
Change in Sunday Mass time
It was also agreed that from Sunday 6th March, 2022, the First Sunday of Lent, Mass on Sundays will be at 10am.
These are a few more small steps to building a new, safe and secure future.
We received an update from Bishop Robert on 28th January concerning the Covid protocols to be followed in churches in our Diocese. Given the transmission rate of Covid-19 in the region, no changes are to be made to our current protocols.
So we ask that face coverings continue to be worn in St. Patrick’s Church unless you are medically exempt. You are also asked to maintain social distancing from others in your bench, unless you are from the same household or bubble. Sanitising your hands is also good practice.
The Government is still encouraging places of worship, to keep a record of those attending to support the NHS Test and Trace programme. If you have a smartphone you may use the QR Code displayed at the entrance to the Church or you can bring your details (name and contact telephone number) in an envelope and place it in the box at the front of the Church.
With the ongoing support of our volunteer stewards, we continue to do what we can to ensure St. Patrick’s Church is both welcoming and as Covid-19 safe as we can make it for you. At this present time, Mass will continue to be celebrated on Tuesdays at 10am and on Sundays at 10.30am. If you are still hesitant about attending Church, you are under no obligation to do so.
If you have Covid symptoms or feel unwell, please stay at home until you feel better. We probably all know of someone who has the virus or is self isolating, you may even be one of them. Please pray that everyone suffering from the virus will make a full recovery.
May God bless you all
Mass to view on line
With the exception of Sunday and Tuesday, Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass privately during the week remembering the following Intentions. Face coverings must be worn when attending Church, unless you are medically exempt.
- Monday – William and Elizabeth Pearson
- Tuesday: 10.00 in St. Patrick’s Church – Manus McDermott
- Wednesday – Brian Quigley
- Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
- Friday – Carol Belton
- Saturday – Fr. Patterson’s intentions
- Sunday: 10.30 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.
Please keep in your prayers this week:
- all our parishioners who are sick, housebound or in hospital
- all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time es[ecially Manus McDermott and Elizabeth Pearson and,
- Fr. Malcolm Cairns (parish priest of Amble) 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 160,379 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 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
The Season of Lent
Wednesday, 2nd March, 2022 is Ash Wednesday which marks that time in our Christian lives when we perhaps go out of our way to prepare spiritually for the celebration of Easter.
Thanks to our volunteer stewards, we will be able to offer Mass in St. Patrick’s Church on Ash Wednesday at 10am when it is hoped children from Years 5 and 6 from our school will join us.
The Diocesan Vicariate for Faith and Mission has produced the first part of a booklet of Lenten reflections which you may find of value during Lent. Unfortunately the booklet is too large to make printed copies available, but it is accessible online via the Diocesan website.
St. Alban’s Church – our future is in your hands!
With a possible further relaxation of our Diocesan Covid protocols in sight, we can now turn our attention to considering whether we will be able to reopen St. Alban’s Church.
As you are aware from our Parish Roadmap which was circulated in June, 2021, many of our parishioners who served the parish in different ways over the years have asked to step down from their roles and Fr. Patterson has thanked them for their years of service and renews his thanks to them. Others have moved away and sadly, some have died – may they rest in peace.
Before we can open the church, we need committed volunteers to fulfil the roles outlined in our parish Roadmap which was circulated again last weekend. Further copies may be requested from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fr. Patterson would like to invite all those who feel able to commit themselves to any one of these roles to gather together, socially distanced, to discuss how we can rebuild St. Alban’s parish with the resources available to us. In doing so, it is important that we look to the future rather than harken back to the past.
The gathering will take place on Saturday, 5th March from 11am-12pm. It is the intention to hold it in the Parish Room at St Alban’s presbytery, but this will be confirmed closer to the date. Fr. Patterson appreciates that this date and time may not suit everyone, but as it is of importance for our future, he hopes those of you who feel able to volunteer, will make a special effort to attend.
If you are unable to come along, but are willing to help in any one of the roles mentioned in the Roadmap, or would like to know more about what the roles entail, please contact Terry or Christine Harbron (0191 469 8697) or email Fr. Patterson on email@example.com or telephone him on 0191 495 2277.
If you have helped in the past and would like to continue in your former role, it is important to contact Fr. Patterson in advance of our gathering.
Fr. Patterson has also submitted a request to the Diocesan Health and Safety Advisor to arrange to carry out a risk assessment of the Church which every parish must have in place before a church can be reopened.
The Synod update
Our Diocesan synod process has been moving ahead over the last couple of months, and the Diocesan team are now starting to collate the responses from diocesan groups and parishes.
Last weekend, Partnerships across the Diocese sent people to join Bishop Robert for a morning of prayer, talking and listening, and to feedback on what they have heard during the last few months of our Diocesan Synod process.
Bishop Robert said, “We have had a very fruitful morning… we go forward trusting each other, and with a confidence in the joy and power of the Gospel”.
The partnerships are asked to finalise their responses by 22nd February and to pass these to their respective Episcopal Area meetings. The Lay Pastoral Forum, which includes representatives of all the Partnership and lay groups in the Diocese will compile the responses received into a submission to the Bishop in early March. The Bishop will then consider this, plus the responses from the Clergy, Caritas, and other Diocesan groups and produce his final submission by 8th April, 2022.
Sr. Nathalie Becquart, the under secretary to the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican, is currently organising the synod process and empowering the Church across the world to journey towards the international Synod. She will be the guest speaker at a webinar on the 5th March 11am-12pm for people across the diocese. A time to listen, discuss and question her on the church and the way forward. To register please email firstname.lastname@example.org requesting ‘webinar registration’.
An Appeal from our Diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project
Thank you for continuing to respond so positively to this Appeal which supports on average 300 clients each week, who all receive a bag of food. 102 of them are destitute and also receive a supermarket voucher.
If you are able to bring donations of 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, they may be left on the table to your right as you enter the front of Church or on a table if you enter by the rear door. Please note: baked beans and tinned meat are not required.
The grounds of both of our churches are looking somewhat worse for wear at present due to the contractor who looked after them having ceased trading. Fr. Patterson has now engaged the services of a replacement contractor who will be commencing work on the grounds in the near future.
The Catholic Universe
This newspaper, which went into administration last Summer after 160 years, has been replaced by an online subscription digital publication under a new name, “The Universe Catholic Weekly.” It will be topical, controversial, stimulating and packed with news, opinion and features. You can receive a weekly edition on line for £20.00 a quarter paid simply and directly to the publisher. For more information as to how to subscribe, visit the Universe Catholic Weekly website.
Returning your call
If you telephone the presbytery and there is no-one available to take your call, you may choose to leave a message on the answer machine. We will do all we can to return your call. However we are only able to do so if you leave your telephone number!! For safeguarding reasons, we are unable to return anonymous calls. So please leave both your name and number for your call to be returned.
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/standing orders 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
Get vaccinated. Get boosted!
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has echoed the call encouraging people to take up Covid vaccinations and boosters when offered by the NHS. “The call ‘Get vaccinated! Get boosted!’ is more and more pressing.”
ZOE Covid weekly update – Professor Spector recovers from Omicron
Tim discusses the latest data which shows cases continuing to decline, and the spread of Omicron BA.2 around the country. He also discusses the rumours about the ONS COVID surveillance not being renewed and free LFTs being stopped, and what we can do to live with the virus in the future.
In a separate blog, the updated symptoms of Omicron are discussed.
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.