Here is our Parish Newsletter for the coming week.
There has been a great expression of anger around the world this week as a result of the death of George Floyd. Bishops Declan Lang and Paul McAleenan have issued the following statement on behalf of the Bishops of England and Wales:
“We stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the USA as they challenge the evil of racism and the brutal killing of George Floyd.” As the US Bishops made clear: “we cannot turn a blind eye to these atrocities and yet still try to profess to respect every human life. We serve a God of love, mercy, and justice.”
Systemic racism is embedded in our own society. The disproportionate harm suffered by BAME people throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted profound inequalities, marginalisation and injustice here in the UK. The peaceful Black Lives Matter protests taking place in our towns and cities this week reflect the understandable anger that so many people feel about this.
As Catholics we recognise that racism is an evil which must be opposed; we all have a responsibility for actively promoting racial justice. Whenever we ignore racism or dismiss BAME people’s experience of it, we are complicit in violations of human dignity. We pray for God’s help to overcome racism in all its forms and that we might protect everyone who suffers its consequences. We are all made in God’s image.”
Here at home, the wearing of face coverings will be compulsory on all public transport in England from Monday, 15th June which includes the Metro and our local buses. I do hope we will all comply with this measure which is designed to help reduce the risk of the spread of the coronavirus.
At the same time we should remember that minimising contact with others is still the best way to prevent transmission of the virus as well as washing our hands and strictly observing social distancing rules – staying two metres apart from those who we do not live with.
Please take care of yourselves too. Pray for each other and please pray for me.
May God bless you all.
Mass to view on line
Bishop Robert Barron’s daily Mass has now come to an end due to the reopening of churches in the State of California. You may like to follow daily Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond celebrated live at 10.00 or which may also be viewed any time later.
I continue to celebrate Mass privately every day. The following Intentions will be remembered this week:
- Monday – The O’Donnell Cousins
- Tuesday – Kathleen and Bill Falconer
- Wednesday – Swafaa Jackson
- Thursday – The sick, NHS & Care Workers
- Friday – Paul Hughes
- Saturday – Fr “P’s” Intentions
- Sunday – For the intentions of all our parishioners
As you are unable to celebrate Mass with me, 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
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
Masses for the Sick and their Families, NHS Front-Line workers and those working in Social Care
Every Thursday one of our Bishops will be celebrating a special evening Mass for the sick, their families, NHS staff, and those working in Social Care.
Mass this coming Thursday, 11th June, will be celebrated by Bishop Patrick McKinney from Nottingham Cathedral at 19.00.
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.
The Re-opening of our churches
At present, there is no change in the Government regulations, which means that all churches and places of worship remain closed and all public acts of worship are forbidden.
Faith Leaders are currently in discussion with the Government developing plans which will enable the COVID-19 secure reopening of our churches initially for private prayer and later for public worship.
Bishop Robert has announced that when the Government restrictions are lifted, five of our churches, one from each Vicariate, will open for private prayer as soon as is practical once all the necessary guidelines, risk assessments and health and safety requirements have been satisfied. After a trial period, some other churches would reopen.
The five churches are St. Aidan’s, Ashington; St. Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle; St. Patrick’s, Consett; St. Mary’s, Sunderland and St. Joseph’s, Hartlepool.
Bishop Robert’s utmost priority, when it comes to the reopening of our churches, will be the health and safety of the priests, deacons and all parishioners.
Each church would only be able to open if it can provide sufficient volunteers to monitor adherence to the protocols laid down.
If you would be prepared to volunteer to help with the reopening of our own churches when the time is right, please send me an email to that effect. Volunteers should not be in any of the Government’s vulnerable or at risk categories.
Things will not be the same
Social distancing will considerably reduce the seating capacity in our churches and those priests who are in the “shielded” category or are self-isolating would not be available to celebrate Mass. As a result, it may not be possible to open all churches at the same time.
We must be patient, continue with our prayers at home and not be misled by “Fake news!”
Your weekly offering is greatly valued and is our sole source of income
As our churches remain closed Fr. Patterson would ask those of you who may feel able, in what I am aware are difficult times for us all financially, to consider contributing your weekly offering by bank transfer directly into the parish account. It will help us meet our ongoing financial commitments. I am very grateful to those of you who have already chosen to do so.
Alternatively, you may wish to send a cheque made payable to the appropriate Account name below or you might put aside your envelopes each week and bring them along to church once we can reopen and celebrate Mass and socialise together.
The details for bank transfers
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
Felling Food Bank
Fr. Patterson has received a note of thanks from the Felling Food Bank for our donation of £250.00 which was recently sent to them from our Charity Box.
Please keep in your prayers this coming week our school community as our school begins its phased reopening in keeping with the conditions outlined in the Head Teacher’s letter sent to parents and to parishioners last week.
Fr. Patterson is particularly grateful to Mrs Bridon and the entire school staff who have been working tirelessly since the lockdown began and continue to do their utmost to ensure our school provides a safe and secure learning environment for everyone.
A Diocesan Day of Scripture
Will be held on Friday 19th June. All aspects of the day can be accessed via the Diocesan website nearer the time.
And finally …
More information and support may be found on our Diocesan website.