18th Sunday of the Year
Last weekend it was face coverings. This week, the major topics of conversation have been the reintroduction of the need to quarantine for fourteen days if you are returning from Spain and Luxembourg due to a rapid increase of reported new cases in those countries; the extension of the self-isolating period if you test positive or show symptoms of Covid-19 from seven to ten days; and local restrictions.
It is not for me to enter into the politics of the Government having made these decisions, but I do remember the Prime Minister saying on the day he announced the introduction of the travel corridors, that he would be prepared “to slam the door shut at a moments notice” should the situation change from the time the decision to relax the travel restrictions took place and that is what has happened.
Indeed this policy has been at the heart of all the easements that have been made in recent weeks. They are all made based on the science at the time and are subject to review should there be a change in circumstances. We are witnessing this currently in areas of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire and in the suspension on further easements due to take place on 1st August.
The responsibility has been placed on the shoulders of us all to make our own risk assessments in the way we choose to live from day to day in the light of the Government guidelines active at the time, aware that they may change at a moment’s notice. Hopefully in making our decisions, we take into account not only our own needs, hopes and desires, but the effect our actions and behaviour may have on others—for the sake of the common good.
It appears that a lack of respect for the social distancing rule has been a major cause of recent outbreaks. Here at home, our Government advice is still 2 metres unless it is impossible in which case it is 1 metre plus with other measures being put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19. In the more relaxed social settings that we may now enjoy, this appears not always to be happening, as some people seem to think the virus has gone away or, worse still, that they are invulnerable.
Which is why I urge you once again to keep in mind the advice of Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England who has said “Covid-19 is still in general circulation. If we do not follow social distancing guidance then cases will rise again. It is absolutely critical people stick to the guidance that has been given.”
Please look after one another, pray for each other and please pray for me.
May God bless you all.
Mass to view on line
Alternatively, 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 – Hilda McDonald and LDM McDonald and Coffell Families
- Tuesday – In Thanksgiving for 60 years of Marriage (R&V)
- Wednesday – Fr. Owen Grant
- Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
- Friday – Fr. “P’s” Intentions
- Saturday – Susan Harland
- 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
- all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time
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.
Reopening our Churches
We continue to patiently await Bishop Robert approaching us to enquire if we are prepared to be risk assessed with a view to reopening our churches.
As Fr. Patterson is in the clinically vulnerable category and on the advice of the Bishops, initially we may only be able to open St. Patrick’s Church.
Until such time as our own churches have been risk assessed and we are able to fulfill all the requirements for stewarding and cleaning, we will remain closed. So please be patient, prayerful and understanding.
We require a further 5 Volunteers please
If you are able to volunteer as a steward or to help with cleaning our churches please send Fr. Patterson an email stating your availability weekday/weekend and in what way you would be able to help. Your help could make the difference between being able to open our churches or not! Volunteers should really not be in the vulnerable categories.
What to expect when we can return to Church
As we patiently await being approached by Bishop Robert to consider the reopening of our churches, this video from the Archdiocese of Liverpool gives an idea of what to expect when you can come back to Church.
Your generous Offerings are greatly appreciated
In these financially challenging times, Fr. Patterson continues to be grateful to those parishioners who contribute their weekly offering by bank transfer directly into the parish accounts and to those who have sent cheques.
He is also appreciative of those parishioners who have dropped their weekly offering envelopes through the presbytery letterbox This all helps to meet our day to day financial commitments.
However, for security reasons, please do not put any envelopes through St. Alban’s Presbytery door. Envelopes for St. Alban’s parish should be posted through St. Patrick’s Presbytery door only.
If you Gift Aid your offertory contributions, the parish can reclaim the tax on your offering should you wish to make a bank transfer. It would be helpful to enter your name and Gift Aid envelope number as the reference when making the transfer.
If you choose to send a cheque please make it payable to the appropriate Account name below or you might wish to continue to put aside your envelopes each week and bring them along to church once we can reopen our doors.
The details for bank transfers 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
Fr. Patterson is most grateful for a donation of £100.00 received during the week for St. Patrick’s parish funds.
If you would like to have Mass offered for any particular intention, Fr. Patterson would be happy to celebrate it for you privately.
You may drop your intention and offering through the letterbox of St. Patrick’s Presbytery, so long as you follow Government guidelines about leaving your home or place it in the post with a cheque, or you may email your intention to Fr. Patterson and send your offering by bank transfer.
For security reasons, please do not put any intentions or offerings through the letterbox of St. Alban’s Presbytery.
To protect yourself and others, when you leave home you must:
Wash hands – keep washing your hands regularly
Cover face – wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in enclosed spaces
Make space – stay at least a metre away from people not in your household
If you are feeling unwell, get a test and do not leave home for at least ten days.
You can read more about what you can and can’t do on the government website.