Here is our parish Newsletter for the coming week – somewhat different to what we are accustomed to. I am very much aware that many of our parishioners do not have access to the internet so please share this information with others. Perhaps you could give them a ring.
If you know of people who haven’t passed on to me their email address and would like to receive future information from us in this way, please ask them to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Newsletter, along with any major changes in our current practice, will appear on this website. A downloadable version is available.
Our Churches must close
As many of you will be aware, last Thursday, Cardinal Vincent Nichols announced that our churches must be closed for all acts of public worship until further notice but urged us to pray continually at home. You might like to listen to his words of encouragement at the following link:
I know that many of you will miss the opportunity to celebrate Mass with one another. I miss it too. However, I hope you will be reassured to know that every priest in the diocese is celebrating Mass privately each day and constantly remembering you and your families in prayer.
Mass to view on line
Bishop Robert Barron, or one of the other priests from Word on Fire, is celebrating daily Mass from the his private chapel which you can view using this link:
Please remember though that he lives in the USA so the time difference means the Mass doesn’t become available to us here until 12.30 each day. It may be accessed any time after that.
This coming Sunday, 22nd March, Mass from St. Mary’s Church, Hexham is being live streamed at 10.00 and can be viewed via their parish website at:
You may find this prayer of help:
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
Keeping churches open for private prayer
Our bishops hope that some of our churches may be able to remain open for people to come to pray privately.
At this stage, I am not sure if we can arrange this for St. Alban’s and St. Patrick’s. Leaving our churches open and unattended raises a number of issues and in the light of the further restrictions placed on social mixing and self-isolation announced by the Government last Friday evening (20th March), I suspect it would be unwise to do so.
I will seek further guidance in this regard and will keep you informed of the outcome, but for this coming week I am afraid our churches will not be open.
Other Liturgical Restrictions
Not only is the celebration of Mass in Church suspended at this me, but the celebration of all other Sacraments and sacramentals is suspended until such time as we are allowed to reopen our churches.
Following Government advice, the Bishops have announced the following instruction:
All baptisms, conﬁrmations, ﬁrst Holy Communions and weddings are to be deferred until congregations are allowed to gather again.
Funeral Masses and Funeral Services are not permitted in our churches. A simple funeral service may be celebrated at the graveside or at the crematorium where numbers attending will be limited following the Government guidelines on social distancing. The funeral director will guide you in this regard.
Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes
Following current advice from the Tour Operator, and the information given by the statutory authorities in France and the United Kingdom, this year’s pilgrimage has been cancelled.
If you have already booked, Tangney Tours will be in touch with you in the coming weeks. You are asked to be patient with them at this present time.
Please keep the staﬀ of our school in your prayers. They are having to implement diﬃcult decisions relating to our children’s education which inevitably will aﬀect your family life and commitments.
They are working incredibly hard and I ask that you give them your unreserved support, co-operation and understanding in what are challenging times for everyone.
St. Alban – pray for us.
St. Patrick – pray for us.
Your weekly offerings
Thank you for your offerings last weekend
St. Alban’s: Offertory Collection £323.90
St. Patrick’s: Offertory Collection £461.84
Several parishioners have been in touch with me about continuing to make their weekly oﬀering contribution to our parishes. I can honestly say it was something I hadn’t thought of!
If you feel able, bearing in mind the additional ﬁnancial commitments you may be currently facing, might I suggest you retain your envelopes each week and bring them along once we can reopen our churches and celebrate Mass together.
Those of you who have not collected your new envelopes will be aware that your present envelopes will run out on 29th March, but I hope you will feel able to save your contribution nonetheless.
Alternately you might consider contributing directly into the parish account by bank transfer. The details for bank transfers are as follows: –
For St. Alban’s: HSBC Bank Account name: DHN Pelaw St Alban Sort code: 40-34-18 Account No: 92010984
For St. Patrick’s: HSBC Bank Account name: DHN Felling St Patrick Sort code: 40-34-18 Account No: 52010453
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 especially Margaret Cullen, Brian Gilmore and Terry McDonough
• and Thomas Toole who has died.
“Receive Lord into tranquility 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.”
The Rededication of England to Mary
Next Sunday, 29th March, every Catholic parish in England is being asked to celebrate the Rededication of England to Our Blessed Lady. The first dedication was made by King Richard II in 1831 in Westminster Abbey, in thanksgiving for his kingdom being saved at the time of the peasants’ revolt. At this point, England received the title ‘Mary’s Dowry;’ meaning that our country was ‘set aside’ as a gift, a dowry, for Our Lady under her guidance and protection.
This can no longer be celebrated in our churches, but prayers for the Rededication, which you may say at home, will be published in next week’s Newsletter.
Please take care of yourselves and try to pray each day. Read your bible, where you will find comfort and solace in God’s Word. Pray for each other and please pray for me.
Keep an eye out for one another in keeping with Government advice remembering that some parishioners are self-isolating.
God bless you all