Parish newsletter

15th Sunday of the Year

Dear Parishioners

The parable of the Good Samaritan is read in our churches this weekend (Luke 10:25-37).

In it, Jesus asks that we must care about our neighbours with the same intensity that we care about ourselves and our families. We are to love as he loves us.

This involves more than simply smiling at strangers and trying to develop positive attitudes to people we don’t particularly like. It demands a positive effort to elevate the needs of our neighbours to the same level as our own.

Moreover we are asked not just to serve those who serve us, or return favours because we have received them, we are called to love beyond the usual human expectations of making special efforts only for family and friends.

In this parable Jesus teaches us that it is possible to go beyond the boundaries society has constructed and to do things in a different way.

So let us turn our thoughts to the ways of the Lord.

Fr Patterson


Cases of Covid-19 rising

Covid cases in our country continue to rise with an 18% increase in the past 7 days and an estimated 1 in 25 people in England with Covid.  We still have a number of our parishioners who are poorly and self isolating. As a result, wearing a face covering in church at the moment would be greatly appreciated out of consideration for our more vulnerable parishioners.

We do still ask everyone to use the hand gel on entering the church and to be sensitive to sitting too close to someone who is already in the bench you enter. They may not be comfortable if you “snuggle up to them.”


All are welcome

Everyone is welcome to join us for the celebration of Mass in St. Patrick’s and St. Alban’s churches. In recent times, it has been a joy to welcome those people of other faiths or none who have come to join us in worship.

Currently, only baptised Catholic people are able to receive Holy Communion and we ask that when you approach the altar you extend your hands towards the minister who will place the sacred host in your hand which you should then consume immediately before returning to your place.

If you are not a Catholic or are indisposed to receive Holy Communion, you are invited to come forward at the appropriate time and receive a blessing, indicating your desire by folding an arm across your chest.


Mass Intentions

Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass for the following Intentions during the coming week. You may wish to wear a face covering when attending Church.

  • Monday:  No Mass
  • Tuesday: 10.00 in St. Patrick’s Church – George Owens
  • Wednesday – (Private Mass) Jim Ward
  • Thursday10.00 in St. Patrick’s Church – Funeral Mass for Kevin O’Sullivan        
  • Friday: (Private Mass) – Fr. Stephen Johnson
  • Saturday: 18.00 in St. Alban’s Church – For the intentions of all our parishioners
  • Sunday: 10.00 in St. Patrick’s Church – Paul Hughes

Mass to view on line

Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral on a Sunday. Visit the Cathedral website.

Alternatively, you may like to follow Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond. Visit the website for Mass times this week.


When you are unable to celebrate Mass 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.


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,
  • Fr. Dermott Donnelly, (parish priest of Stanley, Dipton and Byermoor), Kevin O’Sullivan and Ronnie Brown who have died. May they rest in peace.

A Prayer for those who have died from Covid

Gracious God, as we remember before you all those people 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 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 Prayer for Ukraine

Father, hold the people of Ukraine deep in your heart. Protect them from violence, political gamesmanship and from being used and abused. Give the nations of the world the courage and 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 to live in love, dignity and respect, following your ways. We ask this in your name and for your sake. Amen


A Prayer for Sea Sunday

O Mary, Star of the Sea, guide always and everywhere all people of the sea, comfort those who feel lonely and are far from their loved ones and enrich the lives of those who care for and minister to them. Our Lady, Star of the Sea, pray for us.


Bishop Barron’s Sunday Sermons

Each week Bishop Barron offers a Sunday sermon.


Thanksgiving Mass

A Mass of Thanksgiving for NHS Staff, chaplains and Carers will be celebrated by Bishop Robert on Thursday, 14th July, 2022 at 7pm in St. Mary’s Cathedral. This Celebration will be the opportunity to express the gratitude of the Diocese to medical, nursing and healthcare staff and chaplains as we continue to emerge from the COVID Pandemic.


Are you on a rota?  –  please read on……..

If you have joined one of our rotas in either St. Alban’s or St. Patrick’s churches and find you are unable to fulfil your role on a particular occasion, would you please arrange a substitute. Telephone numbers of other volunteers are printed on each rota.

This is particularly important to ensure that our liturgy and parish activities flow smoothly. With reduced numbers attending our churches, it cannot be presumed that someone can just be “plucked out of the congregation” to take your place. Many thanks.


Renewed thanks

Fr. Patterson renews his gratitude to Joan Owens for further donations amounting to £210.00 received this week for St. Patrick’s parish funds made in memory of her late husband George. May he rest in peace.


Sea Sunday

This Sunday is Sea Sunday when the Church prays for all those who live and work at sea. Seafarers and fishers play a vital role in all of our lives, but they often work in difficult, hazardous conditions. In the last year, more crews have been abandoned by their employers than ever before. Many are still being denied the right to leave their ships for even a short break away from the relentless noise and pressure onboard. Many are reporting more stress and poorer mental health.

Stella Maris is the official maritime charity of the Catholic Church whose chaplains provide practical help and pastoral care to seafarers and fishers. If you would like to support their work  you may place a donation in an envelope and put it in one of the collection boxes at the entrance to our churches. Please mark your envelope “Sea Sunday.” Those of you with boxes of envelopes should have an envelope in your box.


Are you able to support the Diocesan Refugee Project?

 The organisers of this project express their renewed thanks for your ongoing support of their work.  The project supports over 400 asylum seekers and tries to provide them all with a bag of food. 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. A basket is also available in the porch at St. Alban’s. They are particularly in need of toiletries and shampoo. Please note: baked beans and tinned meat are not required.


An important message for those parishioners who are in the Gift Aid Scheme

If you are a tax payer and are already in the parish gift aid scheme for either St. Alban’s or St. Patrick’s, please ensure that you are making your offering either by standing order, bank transfer or using your offertory envelopes which you would have collected in March this year.

Please do not simply place a loose cash offering in the boxes at the church doors. This prevents us being able to record your offering for the Gift Aid scheme with the result that we will be unable to reclaim the tax on your offering. If you did not collect your envelopes for the current year and do not contribute by standing order please contact John the parish Gift Aid Organiser for both St. Alban’s and St. Patrick’s by emailing him at stpatrick.giftaid@outlook.com

Please note this information only applies to those parishioners who are tax payers and already members of the parish gift aid schemes.


Please consider making your weekly offering by Standing Order or Bank Transfer

With fewer volunteers prepared to join a “Counting Team” which has had the knock on effect of us having fewer counting teams in both St. Alban’s and St. Patrick’s, it would be greatly appreciated if parishioners who have bank accounts would consider making their offering to either St. Alban’s or St. Patrick’s by Standing Order or Bank Transfer. The details you require to set up a standing order or bank transfer for both parishes can be found 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 stpatrick.giftaid@outlook.com

For the time being, enquiries concerning the Gift Aid scheme for St. Albans Church should be directed to Fr. Patterson at felling.stpatrick@rcdhn.org.uk.


What do Catholics believe?

If you would like to know more about what Catholics believe, perhaps with a view to considering becoming a member of the Catholic Church, you may be interested in a series of talks which will take place in St. Patrick’s parish centre. An information evening will take place on Tuesday, 6th September at 19.00 in St. Patrick’s parish centre. Please keep an eye on the Newsletter for more information.

These gatherings are open to everyone living in our Partnership of Parishes which includes, Corpus Christi, Bensham, Immacuate Heart, Lobley Hill, St. Alban’s, Pelaw, St. Anne’s, Harlow Green, St. Augustine’s, Leam Lane, St. Joseph’s, Gateshead, St. Mary’s, Whickham, St. Oswald’s, Wrekenton, St. Patrick’s, Felling, St. Peter’s, Low Fell, St. Philip Neri’s, Dunston,  St. Wilfrid’s, Gateshead, The Holy Rosary, Teams and beyond. Wherever you live you will be most welcome.


The Universal Synod

The National Synthesis  – reflects on the Synod reports received by the national synthesis team, discerning the main themes that have emerged from the listening conversations, and collating them together to give a picture of the synodal process in England and Wales.

Our Diocesan Submission to the National Synthesis can be viewed from the website


Refreshments after Mass

Refreshments will next be served in St. Patrick’s parish centre after Mass on Sunday, 17th July.

Could you join the rota to help make tea and coffee?


John Ingram Walk

The Annual Blessed John Ingram Walk will take place on Sunday 24th July,  starting at 2pm from St Andrew’s Anglican Church, Newgate Street in Newcastle. The route drops down to the river, crossing the Swing Bridge, then  up “Bottle Bank” to Gateshead High Street, to St Edmund’s Anglican church, where a prayer service will be held, followed by refreshments.


An opportunity to celebrate what makes us one

As we gradually begin to “Learn to live with Covid,” and can continue to ease restrictions, Fr. Patterson, after discussion with Mrs. Bridon and Mrs Robinson, has offered to celebrate a Mass to mark the end of the current school year with an eye to the future for our shared parish family.

As such, Fr. Patterson wishes to extend an invitation to all the parishioners from St. Alban’s and St. Patrick’s to this Mass marking not only the end of another school year but the beginning of what we hope will be a brighter future drawing our shared parishes closer together in what are going to be challenging times ahead.

As many of our parishioners will be aware, when St. John’s School in Felling closed eleven years ago, St. Alban’s was designated by the Diocese to be our “new” shared parish school for the children of both St. Alban’s parish and St. Patrick’s parish. Part of the agreement made at the time of the closure of St. John’s was that the children would be given the opportunity to celebrate school liturgies and Masses in both of our churches  (St. Alban’s and St. Patrick’s) and our end of year Mass is one of those opportunities.

In order to accommodate all the pupils (YR-Y6) safely, which is an important consideration at present with the rapid rise in the transmission of Omicron in our area, and to be able to offer an open invitation to all parents/carers and parishioners, the Mass will be celebrated in St. Patrick’s Church, which has the larger capacity of our two churches and is well ventilated, which is still a requirement of our Diocesan Covid controls. Father Patterson asks that adults attending the Mass might consider wearing a face covering for the well-being of everyone present, especially those who are vulnerable – but this is a decision for each individual to make.

The children will travel to St. Patrick’s by metro and coach. Father Patterson has offered to cover the cost of the transport from the “Friends of St. Patrick’s Fund.”

This celebration provides an opportunity to show our unity and solidarity as a shared parish and school community, resolving to work ever more closely together in the months and years ahead.

So please do make a special effort to come and celebrate this Mass together on Thursday, 21st July, 2022 at 10am. You do not need to have family members in the school to attend, as we are all part of a much larger family which our shared churches and school represents – the Catholic Church, the Family of God!


Vigil Mass on Saturdays in St. Alban’s Church.

St. Alban’s Church is now open for a Vigil Mass on Saturdays at 6pm.

Following Bishop Robert’s advice with the current level of help we have available to us, we are only able to open the church on a Saturday evening. For the time being, it will remain closed during the week for all services. Bishop Robert has asked Fr. Patterson to review the situation after the summer to assess the level of need and support.

If you are attending Mass in St. Alban’s Church, please note the following:-

  • Parishioners are asked to enter and leave the church by the main doors only.
  • Following advice from the Diocesan Health and Safety Officer, the side door should only be used as an emergency exit.
  • You are invited to sanitise your hands as you enter the church
  • You may wear a face covering during Mass
  • Due to the low ceilings over the congregation, we must ensure adequate ventilation to help dilute and disperse viral particles.  Both inner doors at the rear of the church will remain open throughout Mass (the outer doors will normally be closed) and the side windows will be open. Please dress accordingly as there may be a draught in some areas of the church.
  • No collection will be taken during Mass, by way of passing baskets along the benches, but we do hope you will support our parish financially by placing your offering in the offering box as you enter the church.  Alternatively you may consider contributing by standing order, the details for which are:  Account name: DHN Pelaw St Alban, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 92010984

St. Patrick’s Church needs more support from you

Fr. Patterson wishes to thank those parishioners who have already offered their support in various aspects of parish life, but it is insufficient to be able to rebuild our future.

We need more volunteers for the following:-

  • preparing light refreshments in the parish centre after Sunday Mass
  • joining the music ministry, whether as an instrumentalist or singer
  • assisting with the children’s liturgy when we are in a position to restart it
  • offering to help with the opening of the church for Mass and tidying up afterwards on weekdays
  • reading at Mass on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays

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 felling.stpatrick@rcdhn.org.uk.


Current Diocesan COVID Controls

Both St. Alban’s and St. Patrick’s churches continue to follow the National Guidelines for Churches issued by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales which 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 may 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

Our “welcomers” will be on hand to greet you and care for you.


Visit of Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski

Bishop Kenneth is the Bishop of the Ukrainian Eparchy of Great Britain. He will be visiting the Diocese on the weekend of 23rd -24th July and will speak at all the Masses at St. Mary’s Cathedral. Everyone will be very welcome to attend as a sign of our solidarity with the people of Ukraine.


Thanks

Fr. Patterson is grateful for donations recently received for Cafod’s Ukrainian Appeal and for Cafod’s Aghan Appeal, both totalling £15.00.


 St Joseph’s Home of the Little Sisters of the Poor, Newcastle

The Little Sisters are looking for volunteers to help throughout the Home with residents’ activities, administration duties, fundraising and other various duties. If you are interested and would like to know more, please contact Sister Evelyn or Mother Deirdre at St Joseph’s Home on  0191 273 1279 for further details.

The Sisters would also like to thank everyone for supporting the recent Diocesan Church Collection in aid of St Joseph’s Home (Newcastle). They are extremely grateful for the kindness shown to them.

“We ask God to bless and reward you and your families for all you have done to help us continue the work of Jeanne Jugan in caring for our elderly residents. Assuring you of our grateful prayers.” Mother Deirdre and The LSP Community.


Farewell to Fr Keith

We will soon be saying farewell to Fr. Keith Walker who will be leaving St. Peter’s, Low Fell and our Partnership in September.

He will be taking up a new appointment as parish priest of St. Gregory’s and St. Oswald’s, South Shields along with the Sacred Heart, Boldon. We thank him for his contributions to the Partnership over the years and wish him God’s blessing in his new ministry.

He will be replaced at St. Peter’s by Fr. Paul Spellman, a native of Newton Aycliffe, who is currently a priest in the Diocese of East Anglia but wishes to return to the North East to be closer to his family.


 A Special Report from the ZOE Health Study  – Cases reach record high!

Last week, Professor Tim Spector talked about the soaring increase in the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, the growing number of reinfections, a 26% increase in hospitalisations in the last week, and the fact that the Omicron variant is finding a way round our natural immunity and the vaccine with the possibility of people catching Covid every three months! If you missed his talk last week, you can watch it here.

Data from the Office of National statistics may also be of interest to you with 1 in 25 people having Covid in England. An increase of 18% from last week.


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.

Pope Francis also urges us to do so.