All of us know that when something of any significance happens in the world or even in our lives, many different accounts of the event will quickly circulate, each of them giving a slightly different perspective, possibly adding or exaggerating some details to enhance its meaning.
For life changing events, like the story of a man who died and rose from the dead and was then seen and talked to by those who knew him, the credibility of the storyteller becomes absolutely crucial to the telling of the story.
All kinds of stories were in circulation about the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. There were stories of earthquakes and volcanoes, of armies of angels seen in the skies over Jerusalem, of Jesus coming from the tomb dressed in white, wearing a crown, with an archangel on either side, striking dead the Roman soldiers sent to guard the tomb.
What to believe? Who to believe? What actually happened? Who was this man? These became hugely important questions for the first Christian communities who relied on the men and women who actually knew Jesus, who walked with him, heard him and saw him.
The Apostles held the highest places in the ranks of eye-witnesses. Not only were they with Jesus when he taught the crowds, healed the sick, told the parables, but they were also privileged to be with him in his private moments.
That is why it was so important in the early Church that those called to be Apostles by Jesus were clearly identified and the stories of their call recorded. That is why their stories are important for us today if we are to be effective witnesses of the Good News of the Gospel.
As we hear in the gospel read at Mass this Sunday, (Luke 5: 1-11) remember that just as Jesus called the first apostles on the lakeside by name, he called every baptised person by name to follow him and be his witness in the world.
(Fr. Brian Maher OMI adapted)
We received an update from Bishop Robert on 28th January concerning the Covid protocols to be followed in churches in our Diocese. Given the transmission rate of Covid-19 in the region, no changes are to be made to our current protocols.
So we ask that face coverings continue to be worn in St. Patrick’s Church unless you are medically exempt. You are also asked to maintain social distancing from others in your bench, unless you are from the same household or bubble. Sanitising your hands is also good practice.
The Government is still encouraging places of worship, to keep a record of those attending to support the NHS Test and Trace programme. If you have a smartphone you may use the QR Code displayed at the entrance to the Church or you can bring your details (name and contact telephone number) in an envelope and place it in the box at the front of the Church.
With the ongoing support of our volunteer stewards, we continue to do what we can to ensure St. Patrick’s Church is both welcoming and as Covid-19 safe as we can make it for you. At this present time, Mass will continue to be celebrated on Tuesdays at 10am and on Sundays at 10.30am. As we clean the church after each celebration, the rear of the church is closed to reduce the demands on our stewards in this regard. Limited toilet facilities are available in case of necessity. If you are still hesitant about attending Church, you are under no obligation to do so.
If you have Covid symptoms or feel unwell, please stay at home until you feel better. We probably all know of someone who has the virus or is self isolating, you may even be one of them. Please pray that everyone suffering from the virus will make a full recovery.
May God bless you all
Mass to view on line
With the exception of Sunday and Tuesday, Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass privately during the week remembering the following Intentions. Face coverings must be worn when attending Church, unless you are medically exempt.
- Monday – Kathleen and Bill Harland
- Tuesday: 10am in St. Patrick’s Church – Special Intention
- Wednesday: Isabella Taylor
- Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
- Friday – Veronica and James Houghton
- Saturday – Fr. Patterson’s intentions
- Sunday: 10.30 in St. Patrick’s Church – For the intentions of all our parishioners
When you are unable to celebrate Mass with us 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.
In case you are not aware, a parish priest is obliged to celebrate Mass for the “Intentions of the Parishioners” every Sunday or Holyday, which prevents him from fulfilling personal intentions on those occasions.
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 especially Veronica Houghton and Isabella Taylor
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 time to pray
Please join together in prayer for the 157,984 people who have died in our country from the coronavirus. (Friday’s figure)
Gracious God, as we remember before you the thousands 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 the Ukraine
Lord God, hold the people of Ukraine deep in your heart. Protect them from violence, from political gamesmanship, from being used and abused. Give the nations of the world the courage and the 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 how to live in love and dignity and respect, following your ways. We ask this in your name and for your sake. Amen
St. Alban’s Church
Currently, we are still unable to reopen St. Alban’s Church whilst Diocesan Covid restrictions are in place as we do not have sufficient volunteers to comply with the protocols required to make the church Covid safe.
Even when the restrictions are removed, before we can open the church, we will need volunteers who will be prepared to fulfil the roles outlined in our shared parish Roadmap which was circulated at the beginning of May, 2021. If you do not have a copy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0191 495 2277 and one will be sent to you.
It is Fr. Patterson’s intention to invite those parishioners who are prepared to take on the necessary roles required to open the church to meet together to discuss the way forward. More news, next week.
An Appeal from our Diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project
Thank you for continuing to respond so positively to this Appeal which supports on average 300 clients each week, who all receive a bag of food. 102 of them are destitute and also receive a supermarket voucher.
If you are able to bring donations of rice, sugar, biscuits and toiletries as well as tinned fish in oil and tins of tomatoes and chick peas to St. Patrick’s Church before Mass, they may be left on the table to your right as you enter the Church. Please note: baked beans and tinned meat are not required.
Gas and electricity bills to rise in April
I feel sure all of us will be anxious about the increased cost of gas and electricity in the coming months and having to meet higher utility bills will be a genuine struggle for so many – our parishes included.
Last week we received the gas bill for the heating of St. Patrick’s Church for the three month period 1/11/21 to 31/1/22 which totalled £2,289.00; the parish income for the same period totalled £6,092. The same period before lockdown (1/11/19 to 31/1/20) saw a heating bill of £3,387.00 with an income for the period of £9,080. The smaller heating costs in the current year are due to the church being open only two days in any week. With St. Alban’s Church being closed there are no comparable costings.
Your ongoing financial support is welcomed and needed
Fr. Patterson continues to be grateful for your offerings during these difficult times and is especially grateful to those parishioners who regularly contribute to parish funds by standing order helping us meet the regular financial commitments of our churches.
You may bring your envelopes to Mass on Tuesdays or Sundays or drop them through the presbytery letterbox. For security reason, envelopes should not be put through the letterbox of St. Alban’s Presbytery.
The parish is still able to reclaim the tax from Gift Aided offertory contributions made by bank transfer. It would be helpful to enter your name and Gift Aid envelope number as the reference when making the transfer.
The details for bank transfers/standing orders 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
Get vaccinated. Get boosted!
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has echoed the call encouraging people to take up Covid vaccinations and boosters when offered by the NHS. “The call ‘Get vaccinated! Get boosted!’ is more and more pressing.”
ZOE Covid weekly update looks at how to use a Lateral Flow Test
In this week’s COVID-19 update, Professor Tim Spector takes a look at the second peak we’re seeing in cases and discusses when might be the best time to take an LFT test, and what we’ve discovered on symptoms of back pain.
In a separate blog, the updated symptoms of Omicron are discussed.
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 email Fr. Patterson at email@example.com and they will be added to our contact list.