3rd Sunday of Lent
Churches Together in England, who represent 52 national Member Churches, numerous Christian organisations and ecumenical bodies from across England, met in Swanwick this week where they discussed the Ukrainian crisis. They issued the following statement calling for the immediate cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of invading forces and the observance of the Geneva Conventions.
‘In this holy season of Lent, we call upon churches everywhere to campaign for an immediate end to the war in Ukraine, and to proclaim the dignity of every human life, whatever its nationality. ‘We welcome and commend the extraordinary efforts of countries neighbouring Ukraine in receiving refugees from the war and call on the UK and the whole of Europe to follow their example. We support every measure to protect the most vulnerable. ‘We commit ourselves to pray for the nations of Russia and Ukraine, our own Government and people, and for all who find themselves refugees, or bereaved, wounded or destitute. May Christ have mercy upon the world.’
In St Peter’s Basilica in Rome on Friday, 25 March 2022, Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In unity with the Holy Father, Bishop Mark O’Toole, on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said, “We know that there is a great need for the gift of peace and reconciliation, and we will be commending all those who are suffering at this time to Our Lady, knowing that she will present all her suffering children to Our Lord.”
On Friday, 25th March, St. Patrick’s Church will be open from 10am – 10.30am for private prayer before the Blessed Sacrament for the above intention. (Please use the Church Street entrance – the doors will open at 9.55)
If you wish to support Cafod’s Humanitarian Appeal and their sister organization “Caritas Ukraine” who are helping people afflicted by this conflict, donations may be left in the boxes at both entrances to St. Patrick’s Church or put through the letterbox of St. Patrick’s presbytery – please mark your envelope Ukrainian Appeal. Alternatively you may donate directly via the Cafod website. For security reasons, envelopes should not be put through the letterbox of St. Alban’s Presbytery
Closer to home, the Diocesan Refugee Project, which we have been supporting for many months, renew their thanks and seek our continuing help to enable them to support over 400 asylum seekers. They try to provide them all with a bag of food and those who are destitute also receive a supermarket voucher.
If you are able to bring donations of sugar, biscuits, tinned fish in oil, 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 front of Church or on any table if you enter by the rear door. They are particularly in need of toiletries and shampoo. Please note: baked beans and tinned meat are not required.
Covid-19 is still very much on our doorstep too, sadly cases are on the rise in our region and the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics cite 1 in 20 people currently have Covid in England. I suspect many of us will be aware 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. This is particularly important, as more cases of “long Covid” are beginning to emerge. The Public Health message is still to act cautiously and to consider wearing a face covering especially in an indoor environment when we are in the company of people we do not usually mix with. Please respond in a positive way for the sake of each other’s well-being, remembering that not everyone is “ready to be hugged!
May God bless us and continue to watch over us, keeping us safe from harm.
Mass to view on line
With the exception of Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass privately during the week for the following Intentions. Face coverings should be worn when attending Church, unless you are medically exempt.
- Monday – Fr. Owen Grant
- Tuesday: 10am in St. Patrick’s Church – In Thanksgiving (BH)
- Wednesday: 10am in St. Patrick’s Church – Funeral Service for Jim Ward – Diocesan Covid Protocols apply
- Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
- Friday – Brian Gilmore
- Saturday – Fr. Patterson’s intentions
- Sunday: 10.00 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
- all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time Brida Clay, Brian Gilmore and Elizabeth Lenehan
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 163,511 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
The Lenten Journey
Father Denis McBride C.Ss.R. is leading a free online retreat during Lent.
A video will be added to the Redemptorist website every Sunday, and they will be available throughout the Lenten season, so you can re-watch them at your leisure.
The Diocesan Vicariate for Faith and Mission has produced the first part of a booklet of Lenten reflections which you may find of value during Lent. Unfortunately the booklet is too large to make printed copies available, but it is accessible online.
Bishop Robert Barron asks, “Do you want to grow in your faith this Lent?”
It is two years since we were faced with the first total lockdown in our country due to the Coronavirus. You may remember for several months we were able to offer those of you who have access to the internet the opportunity to engage in a variety of talks and video presentations given by Bishop Robert Barron and the Word on Fire team.
During Lent this year, Word on Fire offer the opportunity to engage in more talks and videos with the ability to access those videos you have watched in the past and it is free of charge.
Bishop Barron’s Sunday Sermon
Each week Bishop Barron offers a Sunday sermon.
Cafod’s Humanitarian Appeal for the Ukraine.
Fr. Patterson is grateful for donations received for this appeal during the course of the week totalling £85.00 and for a further £240.00 received from the Third World Group. Donations may be left in the boxes at both entrances to St. Patrick’s Church – please mark your envelope Ukrainian Appeal. Alternatively you may choose to donate directly to Cafod.
Your Offertory contributions from 1st April, 2022
For the past two years, as a result of the pandemic, we have been left with a large number of unclaimed sets of weekly offering envelopes which came at a considerable cost to our parishes.
With the uncertainties of the year ahead, we will only be issuing envelopes for the coming financial year to those of you who are in the parish gift aid scheme and are not already contributing by standing order or bankers order.
As non gift aid envelopes no longer need to be individually recorded, we ask that those of you who are not in the gift aid scheme, might bring your offering in an envelope of your own or simply place your offering in the box provided in the church as “loose plate.” We will review the situation during the course of the year.
Many of you during the past two years have chosen to make your offering by standing order or by bank transfer and we are most grateful to you for doing so. It is hoped that you will continue to make your offering in this way, which saves on administration costs. For those of you who gift aid your offering, tax can still be reclaimed from the standing order method of contributing.
We invite more of you to consider making your offering in this way whether you are in the gift aid scheme or not. The bank details you require are printed below.
If you are a tax payer and are not a member of the parish gift aid scheme please consider joining the scheme, it costs you nothing and the parish benefits by being able to reclaim the tax you have already paid on your offering. All that is required, is for you to complete a simple form which does not involve you disclosing any personal financial information and is held securely by the Diocesan Finance Office.
To obtain a form, or for more information, please email St. Patrick’s Gift Aid organiser at email@example.com.
For the time being, enquiries concerning the Gift Aid scheme for St. Albans Church should be directed to Fr. Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Diocesan Covid Protocols are still in place in our churches.
We still await an update from Bishop Robert relating to our Diocesan protocols, so we request that you maintain the “status quo” when it comes to attending St Patrick’s Church. Please continue to wear a face covering in the 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.
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 a Sunday at 10am.
There is no longer a need to provide Test and Trace details, nor to “log in” using a QR code.
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.
St. Alban’s Church – feedback.
Fr. Patterson would like to thank those parishioners who were able to attend the Gathering in the parish room during which he spoke of the level of help and support that would be needed if we are to be able to reopen St Alban’s Church. He explained the nature of the various roles which must be filled and the commitment that would be necessary to fulfil them. Those present were invited to go away and reflect on whether or not they could make the necessary commitment involved and to discuss our needs with others in the hope of being able to establish a sufficient bank of volunteers to enable the reopening of the Church.
Fr. Patterson looks forward to receiving your offers of help and support by 31st March. Please contact him at email@example.com or telephone 0191 495 2277. Alternatively you may contact Terry and Christine Harbron by telephoning 0191 469 8697
Please avoid telephoning either number after 18.00 or at weekends. Emails are welcome anytime.
Please get vaccinated
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 – 1 in 20 people in England have Covid
This week, Professor Tim Spector talks about the continued rocketing of COVID cases, worrying data among the more vulnerable groups and symptoms of COVID in older people compared to those in younger age groups, as well as what it means now if you test positive for the virus.
In a separate blog, the updated symptoms of Omicron are discussed.
Data from the Office of National statistics may also be of interest to you.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be added to our contact list.