3rd Sunday of Easter
What does the new life of the Resurrection mean for you?
The gospel read at Mass this Sunday, (John 21: 1-15), helps us to realise that we will get nowhere in life by ourselves. We need the presence of Christ and his love to touch our hearts and enrich us through our faith and prayer, through the sacraments and through the love we receive from our fellow Christians.
Our response to our love for Christ is often seen in our love for others, especially those in need. To do this, we have to overcome our own selfishness and fears that can prevent us from being open to the world beyond us.
It is this sense of welcoming the challenge of the world that lies beyond us that will not only give us a share in the calling of our Risen Lord, but will also help us deal with whatever life may demand of us in carrying out our response to the challenge.
So what would your answer be to the question Jesus asked of Peter: “Do you love me?”
May the glory and the promise of this joyous time of year bring peace and happiness to you and those you hold most dear. And may Christ, Our Risen Saviour, always be there by your side to bless you most abundantly and be your loving guide
Mass to view on line
With the exception of Sunday and Tuesday, Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass privately during the week for the following Intentions. You are encouraged to wear face coverings when attending Church, unless you are medically exempt.
- Monday – No Mass today
- Tuesday: 10.00 in St. Patrick’s Church – Teresa Smith
- Wednesday – Celia Morley
- Thursday – 11.00 Wedding Service for Kamil Zurek and Sophie Moffatt
- Friday – Eileen Buck
- 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.
Current Diocesan COVID Controls
In keeping with the National Guidelines for Churches issued by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales the following arrangements for St. Patrick’s Church are as follows:
- If you are displaying any symptoms of Covid-19 you should stay at home.
- Hand sanitiser will continue to be offered as you enter and leave church.
- You are encouraged to wear a face covering during the celebration of Mass.
- Indoor congregational singing can take place with a general encouragement that face coverings are worn.
- Although there is no formal social distancing by way of seating, we ask that when you take your seat, you are sensitive to the needs of other people who are already in a bench and may not be comfortable if you “snuggle up” to them. We have plenty of seating space.
- We will, for the time being, continue to invite you to come forward for Holy Communion, row by row from the front. Holy Communion will continue to be distributed under one kind only. At the end of Mass, you may leave at your leisure.
- It is still important to ventilate our buildings. This has the effect of diluting and dispersing viral particles.
- Welcomers will be on hand to greet you and care for you.
Please keep in your prayers:
- all our parishioners who are sick, housebound or in hospital.
- all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time and,
- Ambrose Mulroy who has died. May he rest in peace.
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 174,912 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
A Prayer for Eastertime
Risen Christ, when darkness overwhelms us may your dawn beckon. When fear paralyses us may your touch release us. When grief torments us may your peace enfold us. When memories haunt us may your presence heal us. When justice fails us may your power ignite us. When apathy stagnates us may your challenge renew us. When courage leaves us may your spirit inspire us. When despair grips us may your hope restore us. And when death threatens us may your resurrection light lead us. Amen
Bishop Barron’s Sunday Sermons
Each week Bishop Barron offers a Sunday sermon.
St. Alban’s Church
Fr. Patterson had a fruitful meeting with Bishop Robert last week to discuss the possible reopening of St. Alban’s Church. The Bishop is very supportive of the care and attention Fr. Patterson has taken to accomplish a reopening.
The Bishop expressed his concern that the current level of support offered by parishioners is not what was hoped for, but agreed with Fr. Patterson, that we could proceed with the reopening of the church, initially for a Saturday Vigil Mass only, to assess the level of need and support.
The Bishop asked that the situation should be reviewed at the end of the summer.
Bishop Robert also advised that the responsibility for securing adequate help and support and the organisation of that support in St. Alban’s should lie with the parishioners themselves. This is becoming increasingly more important in parishes throughout the diocese due to fewer priests, their age profile and their associated health issues. In the light of the Bishop’s advice, Fr. Patterson has invited Terry and Christine Harbron to coordinate this work.
In the days ahead, they will be contacting those of you who have offered to help inviting you to join rotas and establish work patterns and I am grateful to them for accepting this role.
The first step will be for the Church to be deep cleaned and DBS checks carried out on volunteers whose role demands safeguarding checks. When these are complete, and the rotas have been prepared, we can set a date for the reopening of the Church.
We still need much more support in every aspect of parish life, so if you feel able to help in any way at all, please contact Terry and Christine by telephoning 0191 469 8697. Please avoid calling at weekends and after 6pm.
Fr. Patterson hopes that you will respond positively to this opportunity to play your part in rebuilding our parish family.
Keys to St. Alban’s Church
If you currently hold a key to St. Alban’s Church would you please return it to St. Patrick’s Presbytery ideally during the course of the coming week. Simply place it in an envelope with a note of your name, to enable us to identify the keyholder, and post it through the letterbox at St. Patrick’s. For security reasons keys should not be posted through St. Alban’s presbytery door.
St. Patrick’s Church is in need of your support
We would like to invite parishioners to come forward and support the next phase of the re-opening of St. Patrick’s Church.
We wish to re-establish rota’s for the following roles and ministries in St. Patrick’s Church:
- Reading at Mass on weekdays and/or Sundays
- assisting as a Eucharistic Minister for the distribution of the sacred host on weekdays and/or Sundays
- preparing light refreshments in the parish centre after Sunday Mass
- supporting our “welcomers” by offering to help with the opening of the Church for Mass and tidying up afterwards on weekdays and/or Sundays and, of course welcoming fellow parishioners and visitors to our church.
- assisting with the childrens’ liturgy if/when we are in a position to restart it
- to join in the music ministry whether as an instrumentalist or singer
- to help with counting the collection
The more support you give will make it less demanding on any individual or group/team.
Please indicate your offer of support by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning Maureen on 07526 232124 on Friday, 6th May between 6pm – 7pm. This number will not be available at any other time.
Parishioners who have, in recent months, made offers of help will automatically be included in the rotas.
Refreshments after Mass
Refreshments will next be served in St. Patrick’s parish centre after Mass on Sunday, 15th May.
St. Patrick’s Health and Safety Representative
Every parish must have a nominated Health and Safety representative to look after your well-being whilst on Church property. Fr. Patterson is grateful to Joanne McShane for offering to act in this capacity. Should you have any health and safety issues, please speak with Joanne.
Fr. Patterson would like to thank George Hodgson for having served as our Health and Safety Representative for many years and is now enjoying his retirement!
Taking the collection during Mass
Although no collection is taken during Mass, by way of passing baskets along the benches, we do hope you will support our church financially by placing your offering in the boxes at the entrances to the church. Alternatively you may consider contributing by standing order the details for which are found below.
Your Offertory contributions
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. To reduce the demands on parish administration, 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:
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
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. The parish receives 25p of every £1.00 you give from HMRC. 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.
The Little Sisters of the Poor Appeal
The Sisters at St Joseph’s Home in Newcastle are finding the current economic climate increasingly more difficult. The measures they have had to implement to keep their residents safe during the pandemic have had a huge impact on the daily running costs of the Home. If you would like to support their annual appeal place your donation in an envelope marked “Little Sisters” and place it in the boxes as you enter the Church next Sunday, 8th May. Those of you with boxes of envelopes should have an envelope included in your box. Alternatively, secure, online donations can be made by visiting: www.littlesistersofthepoor.co.uk/donate-here/
Joe’s Place – Easter hamper raffle.
Thanks to those who bought tickets for the Easter Hamper raffle which raised £100.00 for Joe’s Place. The prize has been claimed. Thanks to the parishioner who donated the hamper.
The Diocesan Refugee Project
Your ongoing support of this project would be welcomed. It supports over 400 asylum seekers. The project tries to provide them all with a bag of food and those who are destitute also receive a supermarket voucher. Donations of sugar, biscuits, tinned fish in oil, tins of tomatoes and chick peas may be left on the table to your right as you enter the front of St. Patrick’s 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.
Minsteracres Retreat Centre Open Day
On Bank Holiday Monday, from 11am – 3pm, there will be an opportunity to visit the Grade II Listed House and beautiful grounds situated just off the A68 south of Riding Mill. With exhibitions, tours, spaces for reflection, guided walks through the grounds and plenty of tea, coffee and cakes in the refectory, it’s the perfect opportunity to discover more about this Passionist retreat centre in the picturesque Northumberland countryside. The magnificent avenue of giant Californian redwoods (Sequoia) is an inspiring sight with an immediate calming presence.
The wearing of Face Coverings
Several parishioners have expressed their concerns that fewer people are wearing face coverings in shops and on public transport and of course there is no longer an obligation for them to do so. Sometimes they find themselves the only one on a bus or on the Metro wearing their face covering and feel self conscious.
But Covid has not gone away. So here is something for you to think about. If you enter a place where another person is wearing a face covering and you are not – why not put a face covering on for the benefit of the person who is already wearing one. Like Covid , a person’s vulnerability to the virus is not visible! A face covering might provide a clue!
Please get vaccinated
The Bishops have issued a statement declaring that the principal means of protecting people who attend Catholic Churches in England and Wales is through participation in the Government vaccination programme. Those who are fully vaccinated will have significant personal resilience against major illness from the Covid-19 virus and its variants. The Catholic Church has promoted the participation of all in the vaccination programme as part of its mitigation of virus transmission in church and ancillary buildings.
ZOE Covid weekly update – COVID cases in free fall but for how long?
Professor Tim Spector this week says it’s a relief to see that cases in the UK are continuing to drop. Tim shares the results of the Zoe ear ringing survey to find out just how bad it is for some of you after catching COVID, as well as symptoms common in cancer sufferers.
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 with 1 in 25 people having Covid in England.
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.