The Feast of Christ the King
I do hope you are coping with the current National Restrictions as together we try to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in our community.
Within the boundaries of our parishes there were 116 positive cases of Covid-19 recorded between 9th – 15th November. The figure for the entire Borough of Gateshead in the same period was 799 cases. All above the national average.
So we still have work to do as a community to combat this virus 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.
There has been encouraging news about coronavirus vaccines, with some successful trials reported, but why do we need a vaccine? The vast majority of people are still vulnerable to coronavirus and it is only the current restrictions that are preventing more people from dying. A vaccine would teach our bodies to fight the infection by stopping us from catching coronavirus, or at least making Covid less deadly. Having a vaccine, alongside better treatments, is “the” exit strategy.
What still needs to be done? Trials must show the vaccine is safe and regulators must approve the vaccine before it can be given. Researchers still need to find out how long any protection may last. It is thought that 60-70% of the global population must be immune to stop the virus spreading easily even if the vaccine works perfectly. Huge-scale development must happen for the billions of doses needed.
Our Bishops have issued the following statement:
The Catholic Church strongly supports vaccination and regards Catholics as having a prima facie duty to be vaccinated, not only for the sake of their own health but also out of solidarity with others, especially the most vulnerable. Avoidance of vaccination carries with it dangerous and potentially grave consequences for the most vulnerable in society, and we recognise the anxiety which this is causing to those most at risk. The Catholic Church prays for and encourages all those who are seeking to find a vaccine against this destructive virus. We encourage Catholics to commit to protecting the most vulnerable in our society, one method of which is effective vaccination.
So we need to remain patient but hopeful, continuing to pray for and look after one another and, if you can, please pray for me too.
May God bless us 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.
During the lockdown I will continue to celebrate Mass privately every day. The following Intentions will be remembered this week
- Monday – Dominic Sloan
- Tuesday – Kathleen and Bob Wallace
- Wednesday – Norah Lagan
- Thursday – Maurice Brown
- Friday – Fr. “P’s” Intentions
- Saturday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
- 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 Maurice Brown, Norah Lagan and Dominic Sloan and,
- Father Derek Peel, 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.
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’
This Sunday, the Feast of Christ the King, is also Youth Sunday, a day of special prayer for young people.
To help our young people and their families celebrate this day of prayer together and to support them with our prayers, you may find the National Youth Sunday resources helpful.
News from our School
To celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, we have celebrated Youth Friday in school. The theme was all about being ‘Together’ and so we all prayed in each of our classes even though we are all at a distance, learning that prayer can bring us closer to each other and to God. Please continue to remember us all in your prayers.
Parish News by Email
If you are aware of parishioners who would like to receive the Newsletter and other news from the parish by email, please ask them to contact Father Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be added to our contact list.
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