4th Sunday of Easter
The image of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, carrying a sheep across his shoulders is a tender and gentle image of the richness and depth of God’s relationship with his people, and the verses of Psalm 23 below say everything that needs to be said about that relationship:
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; he makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil;
for he is with me; his rod and his staff, comfort me.”
This image is also reflected in the words of the prophet Ezekiel (34:12,16):
“As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered,
so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered…
I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and
I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak.”
If we truly ponder these words and accept the relationship God wishes to have with us, we will find a peace, contentment, hope and confidence which can never be shaken.
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 encouraged to wear face coverings when attending Church, unless you are medically exempt.
- Monday – Mary Laurie
- Tuesday: 10am in St. Patrick’s Church – Knock, Hughes and Kelly Families
- Wednesday – Olwin Durham
- Thursday – Bett Roberts
- Friday – Brian Quigley
- 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:
- all our parishioners who are sick, housebound or in hospital
- all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time and,
- Kamil and Sophie Zurek who were married in St. Patrick’s during the week
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 176,212 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
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.
Might God be calling you to be a priest?
Today, Good Shepherd Sunday, is a special day of prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood. You may like to include the following in your life of prayer:
“Heavenly Father, in baptism you called us by name
and made us members of your family, the Church.
For your greater glory, and for the service of your people,
raise up dedicated and generous men who will serve as priests for the Church of our Diocese.
Send your Spirit to guide and strengthen our communities,
our seminarians and all who are discerning their vocation. Amen.”
If you would like more information, please contact the Diocesan Vocations Team: Fr. John Bagnall 01207 502 196 firstname.lastname@example.org or Fr Shaun Purdy 01670 812 200 email@example.com.
The Little Sisters of the Poor Appeal
The Sisters at St Joseph’s Home in Newcastle are finding the current economic climate increasingly more difficult. The measures they have had to implement to keep their residents safe during the pandemic have had a huge impact on the daily running costs of the Home. If you would like to support their annual appeal place your donation in an envelope marked “Little Sisters” and place it in the boxes as you enter the Church this Sunday, 8th May. Those of you with boxes of envelopes should have an envelope included in your box. Alternatively, secure, online donations can be made.
Joe’s Place – Easter hamper raffle
Thanks for two further donations for Joe’s Place amounting to £10.00 making the total raised to £110.00.
Refreshments after Mass
Refreshments will be served in St Patrick’s parish centre after Mass next Sunday, 15th May.
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.
St. Patrick’s Church is in need of 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.
We wish to re-establish rota’s for the following roles and ministries in St. Patrick’s Church:-
- Reading at Mass on weekdays and/or Sundays
- assisting as a Eucharistic Minister for the distribution of the sacred host on weekdays and/or Sundays
- preparing light refreshments in the parish centre after Sunday Mass
- 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
- assisting with the childrens’ liturgy if/when we are in a position to restart it
- to join in the music ministry whether as an instrumentalist or singer
- to help with counting the collection
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning Maureen on 07526 232124 on Friday, 13th May between 18.00 – 19.00. This number will not be available at any other time.
Parishioners who have, in recent months, made offers of help will automatically be included in the rotas.
St. Alban’s Church
Fr. Patterson had a fruitful meeting with Bishop Robert two weeks ago to discuss the possible reopening of St Alban’s Church. The Bishop is very supportive of the care and attention Fr Patterson has taken to accomplish a reopening.
The Bishop 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 Bishop asked that the situation should be reviewed at the end of the summer.
Bishop Robert also advised that the responsibility for securing adequate help and support and the organisation of that support in St Alban’s should lie with the parishioners themselves. This is becoming increasingly more important in parishes throughout the diocese due to fewer priests, their age profile and their associated health issues. In the light of the Bishop’s advice, Fr Patterson has invited Terry and Christine Harbron to coordinate this work.
In the days ahead, they will be contacting those of you who have offered to help inviting you to join rotas and establish work patterns and I am grateful to them for accepting this role.
The first step will be for the Church to be deep cleaned and we are awaiting an estimate from a company who visited the church last week. DBS checks may need to be carried out on volunteers whose role demands safeguarding checks. When these are complete, and the rotas have been prepared, we can set a date for the reopening of the Church.
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
If you currently hold a key to St. Alban’s Church would you please return it to St. Patrick’s Presbytery during the course of the coming week. Simply place it 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.
Taking the collection during Mass
Although no collection is taken during Mass, by way of passing baskets along the benches, we do hope you will support our church financially by placing your offering in the boxes at the entrances to the church. Alternatively you may consider contributing by standing order the details for which are found below.
Your Offertory contributions
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. To reduce the demands on parish administration, 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.
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.
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 19.30 for a talk by Fr Chris Hughes entitled “Can Theology Be Practical? Encouraging Reflective Discipleship”. Everyone is welcome to attend.
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 – COVID numbers tumble, as new variants fail to take hold
COVID cases are in rapid decline in the UK. In this week’s video Professor Tim Spector shares a quick update about the Study, which is now known as the ZOE Health Study! He then focuses on COVID variants, with a first look at the difference between BA.1 and BA symptoms, an update on BA.4 and BA.5 and looks at what’s happening in South Africa.
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 35 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.