5th Sunday of Easter
The gospel read at Mass this Sunday (John 13:31-35) recalls the moment when the Lord gave a new commandment to his followers.
Love one another,” Jesus urged them, “just as I have loved you.”
They were a diverse group, these disciples of Jesus, often at odds with one another. Jesus seems to have deliberately chosen people unlikely to form natural bonds of friendship, as though their differences somehow commended them as champions of his way of love.
So in this “New” commandment, we find Jesus asking his followers, not just to treat people as they themselves would like to be treated, but to treat people kindly at whatever cost to themselves.
To love as Jesus loved is to love the unlovable; to forgive the unforgivable; to keep on loving and forgiving, whether or not it might be reciprocated.
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, Tuesday and Thursday, 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 – Ken Wasp
- Tuesday: 10 am in St. Patrick’s Church – Lindsay Bradley
- Wednesday – Special Intention (VO)
- Thursday: 10 am in St. Patrick’s Church – Funeral Mass for John Madden
- Friday – Private Intention
- Saturday – Fr Patterson’s Intentions
- Sunday: 10 am 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,
- John Madden 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 176,708 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.
An Invitation from the Bishops of England and Wales
The Bishops of England and Wales issued a statement last week and an invitation for all Catholic people to consider returning to Mass on the Feast of Pentecost.
They feel that now that the challenges of the pandemic have lessened significantly and most people have resumed a wide range of “normal” activities, the reasons that may have prevented us attending Mass are much reduced.
At the same time, the Bishops understand that there will still be some members of our congregations who, for reasons of health, do not feel safe enough to return to Mass. It has always been the understanding of the Church that when the freedom of any Catholic to attend Mass in person is impeded, because of situations such as age, ill health, care for the sick, a legitimate fear, or any other serious reason, there is no requirement for them to attend Mass.
The Bishops acknowledge that many Catholic people have benefitted during these difficult times from the online streaming of Mass and other services which may continue to be a source of spiritual comfort to those who cannot attend Mass in person, for example those who are elderly and sick.
So looking forward to the forthcoming Feast of Pentecost, the Bishops now invite all Catholics, who have not yet done so, to consider returning to Mass in person.
Migration issues in the UK
The Bishops have also issued a statement concerning Migration issues in our country citing Pope Francis’ message in 2014 for the World Day for Migrants and Refugees when he wrote: “We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees… are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved.”
This is something we perhaps need to reflect on as Catholic people and Fr Patterson has asked the Third World Group to arrange an afternoon/evening talk and discussion on this subject. More details to come.
Refreshments after Mass
Refreshments will be served in St. Patrick’s parish centre after Mass this Sunday, 15th May.
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.
St. Patrick’s Church is in need of your support
Bishop Robert has advised Fr Patterson that with fewer priests, their age profile and their associated health issues the responsibility for securing adequate help and support and the organisation of that support in parishes should lie with the parishioners themselves.
In the light of the Bishop’s advice, Fr. Patterson requires the support of parishioners for 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. It is important that we should all play our part in helping to rebuild our shared parish family.
Please indicate your offer of support by emailing email@example.com. Thanks to Maureen for taking your calls for the past two weeks. We are now in the process of compiling the rotas.
Parishioners who have, in recent months, made offers of help will automatically be included in the rotas.
St. Alban’s Church
Fr. Patterson had a fruitful meeting with Bishop Robert two weeks ago 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 church is to be deep cleaned this week by a professional cleaning company, who have all the necessary equipment and cleaning materials, at a cost of £840.00. DBS checks may need to be 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 and have not as yet returned it please do so this week. This is to comply with the terms and conditions of the parish insurance. Simply place your key 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.
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 printed below.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
For the time being, enquiries concerning the Gift Aid scheme for St. Albans Church should be directed to Fr. Patterson at email@example.com.
The Tyneside Circle of the Newman Association…..
….. is restarting, after the pandemic , in St Cuthbert’s Church Hall, North Shields NE29 0JB on Wednesday 25th May, 2022 at 19.30 for a talk by Fr Chris Hughes entitled “Can Theology Be Practical? Encouraging Reflective Discipleship”. Everyone is welcome to attend.
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 – Different symptoms between Omicron BA1 and BA2?
In this week’s update Professor Tim Spector looks at how cases have finally stopped dropping in the UK, as well as some brand new research from the ZOE Health Study on the differences between symptom severity and frequency in cases of Omicron BA.1 compared to the now dominant BA.2.
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 45 people having Covid in England.
The Parish Newsletter by email
Could you help to offset our carbon footprint and reduce the cost of printing a paper copy of the Newsletter by having it sent to you by email? Many of you have been receiving it electronically throughout the pandemic and continue to do so. If you do not already receive it in this way and would like to receive the Newsletter and other news from the parish by email, please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be added to our contact list.
A few printed copies will still be available from St. Patrick’s Church, on the days it is open for Mass, for those of you who do not have access to email.