Might I take this opportunity to wish you and your families all the blessings of the Easter Feast. I hope you will feel able to join me for Mass on Sunday at 10am in St. Patrick’s Church.
Easter is a Feast which brings the promise of a new and eternal life lived out in God’s presence. A new life that can also be experienced in our own time and place through the witness of those who believe.
Whilst it doesn’t take away all that is going on around us in the world, it does give us hope and through the lives of believers that hope can become a reality for everyone.
It takes us back to the words of the prophet Isaiah which we heard read on Palm Sunday:-
“The Lord has given me a disciple’s tongue.
So that I may know how to reply to the wearied he provides me with speech.
Each morning he wakes me to hear, to listen to his word.
The Lord has opened my ears.
For my part, I made no resistance, neither did I turn away.
The Lord comes to my help.”
May God bless us and keep us safe from harm.
Mass to view on line
With the exception of Sunday and Tuesday Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass privately during the week for the following Intentions. You are strongly recommended to wear a face when attending Church, unless you are medically exempt.
- Monday – Baptism of Amelia Lockerbie
- Tuesday: 10am in St. Patrick’s Church – Paul Hughes
- Wednesday – Molly Bell Thursday
- Brian Grace Jnr
- Friday: 10am in St. Patrick’s Church – Funeral Service for Joan Elliott
- Saturday – Fr. Patterson’s Intentions
- Sunday: 10am 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 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 Molly Bell and Brian Grace Jnr.
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 171,396 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
St. Alban’s Church
Fr. Patterson is grateful for the offers of support he has received in the hope that we will be able to reopen St. Alban’s Church. He is meeting with Bishop Robert in ten days time to discuss the way forward and will, of course, share with you the outcome of his discussions.
Sick and Retired Priests Collection
The Collection for the Sick and Retired Priests of our Diocese will be taken next Sunday, 24th April.
This Collection is administered by the Northern Brethren Fund, a group of diocesan priests who aim to raise funds every year to help give grants to our sick and retired priests. Each month, the NBF offers £450 to our sick and retired priests which amounts to £15,750.00 per year.
Like most charities, our Sick and Retired Priests Fund has suffered during the pandemic. In 2019, the Collection raised £21,465; in 2020 it raised £7,908; and in 2019, it was £5,928.
Please do what you can to support our sick and retired priests, some of whom you will know. They have dedicated their lives to the work of the Church in our Diocese and are now living with the frailty of the ageing process. Offerings may be placed in the boxes at the entrance to St. Patrick’s Church in an envelope marked Retired Priests. Those of you with boxes of envelopes should have an envelope in your box for this collection.
The Diocesan Refugee Project
Your ongoing support of this project would be welcomed. It supports over 400 asylum seekers. The project tries to provide them all with a bag of food and those who are destitute also receive a supermarket voucher. Donations of sugar, biscuits, tinned fish in oil, tins of tomatoes and chick peas may be left on the table to your right as you enter the front of St. Patrick’s Church or on any table if you enter by the rear door. They are particularly in need of toiletries and shampoo. Please note: baked beans and tinned meat are not required.
Cafod’s Humanitarian Appeal for the Ukraine.
If you wish to support the Appeal, donations may be left in the boxes at both entrances to St. Patrick’s Church or put through the letterbox of St. Patrick’s presbytery. Please mark your envelope Ukrainian Appeal. For security reasons, envelopes should not be put through the letterbox of St. Alban’s Presbytery. Alternatively you may donate directly to Cafod. Fr. Patterson is grateful for further donations amounting to £15.00 for this appeal and a donation of £5.00 for Cafod’s Afghan Appeal.
Your Offertory contributions from 1st April, 2022
For the past two years, as a result of the pandemic, we have been left with a large number of unclaimed sets of weekly offering envelopes which came at a considerable cost to our parishes. With the uncertainties of the year ahead, we will only be issuing envelopes for the coming financial year to those of you who are in the parish gift aid scheme and are not already contributing by standing order or bankers order.
As non gift aid envelopes no longer need to be individually recorded, we ask that those of you who are not in the gift aid scheme, might bring your offering in an envelope of your own or simply place your offering in the box provided in the church as “loose plate.” Alternatively you may take a set of envelopes from St. Patrick’s Church dating back to 2020/21 which may be used. You do not have to use the number that was allocated to you in the past—any box will do.
Many of you during the past two years have chosen to make your offering by standing order or by bank transfer and we are most grateful to you for doing so. It is hoped that you will continue to make your offering in this way, which saves on administration costs. For those of you who gift aid your offering, tax can still be reclaimed from the standing order method of contributing. We invite more of you to consider making your offering in this way whether you are in the gift aid scheme or not. The bank details you require are printed below.
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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
For the time being, enquiries concerning the Gift Aid scheme for St. Albans Church should be directed to Fr. Patterson at email@example.com.
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
In the coming months many of us face steep rises in the cost of living and the hardship that will involve. Perhaps this is something we need to address in our shared parish after Easter and discover ways in which we may be able to offer support and reassurance to others. If you would be interested in coming together to reflect on this issue some time after Easter please contact Fr. Patterson on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caritas, the social action agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, has released a free booklet to increase our awareness of Catholic Social Teaching on poverty which may be of help to us in our local situation. A few printed copies will be available at Mass on Sunday in St. Patrick’s Church.
The wearing of Face Coverings
Several parishioners have expressed their concerns that fewer people are wearing face coverings in shops and on public transport and of course there is no longer an obligation for them to do so. Sometimes they find themselves the only one on a bus or on the Metro wearing their face covering and feel self conscious.
But Covid has not gone away. So here is something for you to think about. If you enter a place where another person is wearing a face covering and you are not – why not put a face covering on for the benefit of the person who is already wearing one. Like Covid , a person’s vulnerability to the virus is not visible! A face covering might provide a clue!
Please get vaccinated
The Bishops have issued a statement declaring that the principal means of protecting people who attend Catholic Churches in England and Wales is through participation in the Government vaccination programme. Those who are fully vaccinated will have significant personal resilience against major illness from the Covid-19 virus and its variants. The Catholic Church has promoted the participation of all in the vaccination programme as part of its mitigation of virus transmission in church and ancillary buildings.
ZOE Covid weekly update – Official symptoms finally updated as COVID rates set to stay high
Professor Tim Spector in the update this week, looks at the latest rates which finally appear to be coming down, as well as which UK regions are dropping the fastest. He also highlights the importance of paying attention to unusual skin symptoms with COVID, and looks at some insights from the health profiles and diet survey on heartburn and snacking .
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 14 people with Covid.
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.