33rd Sunday of the Year
I do hope you are all coping with the restrictions of the current lockdown in an attempt to play our part in helping to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in our community. We should know in another couple of weeks if the current restrictions are being adhered to and thereby working.
Within the boundaries of St. Alban’s and St. Patrick’s parishes there have been 155 positive cases of Covid-19 recorded during the period 7th – 13th November. The figure for the entire Borough of Gateshead in the same period is 922 cases. All above the national average.
So we still have work to do as a community by staying at home, washing our hands regularly, wearing face coverings in enclosed spaces and reducing our contact with other people keeping 2 metres social distancing.
The development of vaccines has been headline news this week so maybe there is a glimmer of light in the tunnel, although Professor Jonathan Van-Tam’s comments should be heeded, so that we have a realistic approach to the months ahead.
When asked if the vaccines would provide a “get out clause” to the current wave of the virus he replied “absolutely not.” He went on to say, “We are going to have to push the second wave down by non-pharmaceutical interventions, social distancing, staying-at-home – all the things that we’re doing right now. There’s no short cut to the future that you and I both aspire to.”
He refused to estimate how soon a successful vaccine could result in a return to normal life, saying: “I’m very hopeful that over time, vaccines will make a very important difference to how we have to live with Covid-19 in the long run.”
So we need to remain patient but hopeful, continuing to look after one another by staying at home, protecting the NHS and in doing so, helping to save lives.
Pray for one another and please pray for me.
May God bless you and keep you safe
Mass to view on line
Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral on Sunday at 11.30 and on weekdays at 12.05. These services may be viewed live or anytime later.
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.
During the lockdown I will continue to celebrate Mass privately every day. The following Intentions will be remembered this week
- Monday – Rose Brady
- Tuesday – John and Annie Donald
- Wednesday – David and Paul Clay
- Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
- Friday – John Clark
- Saturday – Fr. “P’s” Intentions
- Sunday – For the intentions of all our parishioners
When 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
- Fr. Kevin Daly and Fr. Jim Dunne, both of whom are active priests in parishes, but are currently quite poorly
- all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time especially David and Paul Clay and,
- Father Stephen Johnson, one of our retired priests, who has died. “Receive Lord into tranquillity and peace the soul of your servant whom you have called from this life. May he be taken up into glory with your Son in whose great mystery of love we are all united. 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.
Mass for those who have died from Coronavirus
Bishop Robert will celebrate Mass in the Cathedral on Friday, 20th November at 12.05 for all who have died as a result of Covid-19. As we are in national lockdown, no one is able to attend in person, but Mass will be live-streamed.
Message from the Bishops
The Regulations passed into law by Parliament during the week prohibit the gathering of people for communal worship in churches and other religious buildings.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference, urge us, as responsible citizens, to observe these Regulations, which have the force of law.
The Bishops go on to say: “We do this in solidarity with so many others on whom are being imposed restrictions which impact severely on their lives and livelihoods. It is also important to recognise that these Regulations are not an attack on religious belief.
At this difficult moment, we must sustain each other in our patterns of prayer……… observing the Vigil of Christ the King (21st November) as a day of prayer for the ending of this pandemic. And we encourage you all in your practical service and support of each other and those around you in need.”
In the words of St. Paul to Titus 3:1: ‘Remind them to be obedient to the officials in authority; to be ready to do good at every opportunity’.
Remember our Hindu brothers and Sisters
I suspect some of us may have half an eye on Christmas and be wondering how it may be celebrated. I think it is fairly safe to say it will not be what we are used to.
The Vatican sends heartfelt greetings to Hindu communities throughout the world for whom today, Saturday 14th November, marks the annual celebration of Dwali, the Hindu Festival of light, when families and friends would normally gather together for great festivities.
This year, due to Covid-19, it will be celebrated more intimately amongst households in an attempt to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus.
This may be a pointer to us as we ponder our own celebration of Christmas.
Third World Group
Thanks to those who continue to support our Third World Group who have sent £150.00 to Cafod this week for the Covid-19 Appeal.
Parish finances and offerings
Fr. Patterson continues to be grateful to those parishioners who, in these financially challenging times, regularly contribute to parish funds, which helps to meet the day to day financial commitments of our churches.
During the lockdown, parishioners may choose to make their offering by bank transfer directly into the parish accounts or by cheque; the details of the accounts are below.
If you are taking your daily exercise, in keeping with the National Restrictions, you may choose to drop your envelope through St. Patrick’s Presbytery letterbox. 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.
Alternatively, you might wish to put aside your envelopes each week and bring them along to church when we are able to reopen.
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
Protect your loved ones
The NHS COVID-19 app is now available to download for free in England and Wales. It is the fastest way to see if you are at risk from coronavirus. The faster you know, the quicker you can alert and protect your loved ones and community.