7th Sunday of Easter
Jesus’ prayer in the gospel (John 17:20-26) “that they may all be one” read in our churches this weekend, is frequently understood as Jesus praying for the unity of all religions. But is it what Jesus had in mind when he made this prayer?
Was he not praying for his Apostles and “for those who would believe through their words.” In other words, he was praying for each one of us. In this the challenge of Jesus is renewed.
He forgave, reached out to all, was tolerant, did not judge or condemn, was gentle and compassionate. These are the values and qualities that bring unity to us, our families, our country, the world.
At Pentecost Jesus answered his own prayer by sending the Holy Spirit to be with us always. In the power of that Spirit the apostles burst into an unsuspecting world with the message of Jesus. It was a message based on a person, Jesus Christ; on his life, death and resurrection and on the God he revealed to us; a loving, gentle, compassionate and forgiving God. Is it the God you know?
May the Spirit of the Risen Lord enlighten your lives.
Mass to view on line
With the exception of Sunday, Monday 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: 10.00 Funeral Mass for Kathleen (Catherine) Harkness
- Tuesday: 10.00 in St. Patrick’s Church – Pat Donald and LDM Family
- Wednesday – Brian Quigley
- Thursday – Fr. Tom Cunningham
- Friday – Private Intention
- Saturday -No Mass
- 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 may 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 and Fr. Michael Keoghan who is currently unwell.
- all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time and,
- Kathleen Harkness who has died. May she 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 177,977 people who have died in our country from the coronavirus. (Thursday’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.
The Past Two Years
There is little doubt that we have all been affected one way or another by the Covid pandemic and life will never be quite the same.
We are planning to invite anyone who would value an opportunity to pause, reflect on their experiences, thoughts, feelings and memories of the past two years to come together after Pentecost.
We will try to link our feelings to the “Road to Emmaus” where the two disciples walked and talked about their memories of the time they shared with Jesus. The joys, the challenges, their fears and then their grief, telling their story to the yet unrecognised Jesus. And then there was Thomas who, from a place of fear and vulnerability, discovered Jesus inviting him to touch his wounds.
As a community of faith we need to be open to our own vulnerability and to be able to feel safe enough, like Thomas, to share our woundedness with Jesus. We need to offer an opportunity where others can feel safe, can be heard and also be a listener for others as they share their stories from the past two years.
At the Feast of Pentecost, the disciples and early followers of Jesus hiding in the upper room, received the gifts of God’s Spirit enabling them to lay their fears aside and move out to live the new life of the Resurrection.
Maybe the Feast of Pentecost this year, calls us to move from a place of fear and uncertainty to a place of courage and confidence, so that like the disciples walking to Emmaus, we might recognise that Jesus was and is walking alongside us.
We hope to offer you this opportunity shortly after Pentecost Sunday, so please keep an eye of the Newsletter for more details.
Fr Paddy Kennedy
Fr Kennedy, who served as an assistant priest at St. Patrick’s from August, 1962 to May, 1966, will be celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of his Ordination to the Priesthood this year and the parishioners of St. Gregory’s, South Shields, where he is living in retirement, invite you to join him for a Mass of Thanksgiving on Thursday, 16th June at 10am in St Gregory’s Church, South Shields followed by refreshments in the Church Hall after Mass.
Refreshments after Mass
Refreshments will be served in St. Patrick’s parish centre after Mass next Sunday, 5th June. As well as tea and coffee there will be the option of a “glass of fizz” to mark a special occasion!
St. Patrick’s Church needs 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.
Rotas have now been prepared and sent out for the following:-
- Reading at Mass on Sundays
- Preparing light refreshments in the parish centre after Sunday Mass
- Helping with counting the collection
- 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.
There is still a need for more volunteers to join the rotas in the above roles. If you are interested please email the parish office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to Maureen for completing this task. Every effort has been made to include all those who have volunteered for the above roles on the rotas. If you offered to assist with any of the above roles and have not received a rota please get in touch at email@example.com.
Volunteers are still required for:-
- Reading at Mass on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays
- assisting with the children’s liturgy if/when we are in a position to restart it
- to join in the music ministry whether as an instrumentalist or singer
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 the parish office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parishioners who have, in recent months, made offers of help will automatically be included in the rotas.
St. Alban’s Church is to reopen for a Saturday Vigil Mass.
Most of the preparatory work needed to reopen St. Alban’s Church has been completed and Fr. Patterson is pleased to be able to announce that the church will reopen for a Vigil Mass on Saturday, 11th June at 6pm. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to be able to open the church for services during the week.
In his meeting with Fr Patterson, Bishop Robert 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 church will remain closed during the week for all services. Bishop Robert has asked Fr Patterson to review the situation after the summer.
Fr Patterson is most grateful to Terry and Christine Harbron who have worked closely with him during the past months enabling us to reach this stage, but we still need much more support in every aspect of parish life if we are to secure our future. So if you are 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.
Rotas are being finalised and Christine will contact those of you who have offered to join a rota.
Fr Patterson hopes that it will be the start of rebuilding St. Alban’s parish family in our shared role with St Patrick’s and hopes that you will respond positively to this opportunity and play your part.
Keys to St. Alban’s Church
There are still some keys to St. Alban’s Church which have not as yet been returned. If you are in possession of a key please return it immediately. 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.
All are welcome
Everyone is welcome to join us for the celebration of Mass in St Patrick’s church. In recent times, it is has been a joy to welcome those people of other faiths or none who have come to join us in worship.
Currently, only baptised Catholic people are able to receive Holy Communion and we ask that when you approach the altar you extend your hands towards the minister who will place the sacred host in your hand which you should then immediately consume before returning to your place.
If you are not a Catholic or are indisposed to receive Holy Communion, you are invited to come forward at the appropriate time and receive a blessing, indicating your desire by folding an arm across your chest.
An Invitation from the Bishops of England and Wales
The Bishops of England and Wales invite all Catholic people to consider returning to Mass on the Feast of Pentecost.
At the same time, they understand that there will still be some people who 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.
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Party
St. Wilfrid’s, Gateshead are holding a special shared table to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on Friday, 3rd June from 12.00 in the presbytery garden. There will be music, raffles, hopefully sunshine and lots of amazing food. You would be most welcome to attend.
Pilgrimage to Holy Island
“Stella Maris” (The Apostleship of the Sea), invites you to a Day of Prayer and Pilgrimage for seafarers and for everyone involved in their ministry and charity on Holy Island on Saturday 4th June, 2022. It will be led by Bishop Paul Mason. The day begins with Celtic Prayers on the Green at 12.00 followed by a concelebrated Mass in St. Mary the Virgin Church at 3pm. Safe crossing times on the day are between 9.10am – 4.20pm. Parish groups, families & individuals will be most welcome. For further information contact Regional Port Chaplains Paul Atkinson (07906 212 426) or Peter Barrigan (07713 924 504).
Eucharistic Festival at Ushaw.
This event will take place at Ushaw on Sunday 19th June from 3pm – 4.30pm. Free entry into Ushaw from 2.30pm.
There is no charge for this event. As there are limited places available , booking is required and can be made via the online booking form. A confirmation email will be sent when your booking is confirmed.
The Festival programme includes the blessing of the newly restored Pugin Altar by Bishop Robert, a Eucharistic procession around the grounds of Ushaw (weather permitting) and benediction.
Ushaw has limited parking available. Refreshments will be available in the refectory after the event. Guests are welcome to bring a picnic and use the grounds. Please expect a short delay while people are being served in the refectory.
Photographs will be taken at this event for use in Diocesan promotional materials.
Anyone showing Covid symptoms within 10 days of the festival is advised not to attend the event.
A Mass of Thanksgiving for NHS Staff, chaplains and Carers will be celebrated by Bishop Robert on Thursday, 14th July, 2022 at 7pm in St. Mary’s Cathedral. This Celebration will be the opportunity to express the gratitude of the Diocese to medical, nursing and healthcare staff and chaplains as we continue to emerge from the COVID Pandemic.
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.
The Parish Newsletter
Fr. Patterson would like to share the following comment received in an email this week from someone living elsewhere in the Diocese who reads our Newsletter online.
“May I say how inspiring and informative your parish Bulletin is. I wish many more could be like yours.”
Throughout the pandemic, the Newsletter and other news has been sent out to all parishioners who have provided the parish office with their email address and is also published on the parish website. This has been a valuable means of keeping in touch with our parishioners, but Fr. Patterson is very conscious that there are a considerable number of our parishioners who cannot access the internet. He is grateful to those parishioners who have been printing off copies and delivering them to fellow parishioners without wifi and to our school for sending the Newsletter to all our parents.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Newsletter has had a dedicated section on Covid which was introduced at the request of a local medical practitioner who asked if we could do all that we could to promote official public health information and reduce the spread of “fake news” concerning Covid. We have done our best to ensure that published material is from reliable sources and we will continue to publish this information for the time being, although it is becoming more difficult to access reliable and up to date statistics.
We will continue to send out the Newsletter by email and publish it on the parish website in an attempt to reduce our carbon footprint and the cost of printing hard copies. If you would like to receive the newsletter by email please forward your email address to the parish office email@example.com and it will be included on our distribution 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.
World Communications Day
This Sunday, 29th May, there is an opportunity for those of you who wish, to make an offering to support the work of the Bishops’ Conference Media Office which helps journalists to better understand the Church’s activities, teaching and witness. Should you wish to support this cause, put you offering in an envelope marked World Communications and place it in the box as you enter the church. Those of you with sets of envelopes should find an envelope in your box.
Your Offertory contributions
To reduce the demands on parish administration, we invite those of you who feel able, to consider making your weekly offering by Standing Order. The bank details you require for this 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.
Please get vaccinated
The Catholic Church continues to promote the participation of everyone in the Covid vaccination programme as part of its mitigation of virus transmission in church and ancillary buildings.
ZOE Covid fortnightly update – Reinfections rising, runny nose a dominant symptom and monkeypox.
This week Professor Tim Spector looks at the latest global outbreak of monkeypox and discusses if we should be concerned about it, and if we’re seeing signs of the symptoms in the ZOE Health Study app. He also discusses the current rates and recaps the differences between Omicron BA.1 and 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 60 people having Covid in England.