Parish newsletter

Pentecost Sunday

Dear Parishioners

The first Pentecost was, for the Apostles and those in that locked upper room, an intensely spiritual experience. It was a ‘moment of God’ which was sudden, unexpected and tore away the curtain of fear, doubt and despair they had been living with, allowing them to experience, something they knew was from God and was completely life changing.  They realised that their own mission was to take Jesus’ message of love, peace and forgiveness to the whole world.

That very same living, active Holy Spirit lives within us. It is not the memory of a person who is gone, or a message tarnished by time, or a way of living which is too old or tired to survive in today’s world. Pentecost makes what the Apostles experienced on that wonderful day just as new, and vibrant, and urgent, and immediate, and burning for each one of us as it was for each one of them.

Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit so that the Gospel, the ‘Good News’ that God lives among us and within us, would always be ‘Good’ and new, and vibrant, and urgent, and immediate, and burning.  If we can allow ourselves to embrace this gift, then we will experience the joy, energy, hope and deep peace that God wishes for each of us.

May the Spirit of the Risen Lord enlighten your lives.

Fr Patterson

Refreshments after Mass

Refreshments will be served in St. Patrick’s parish centre after Mass this Sunday, 5th June. As well as tea and coffee there will be the option of a “glass of fizz” to mark a special occasion!

Mass sheets

For a trial period, we shall offer you a Mass sheet when you enter church which provides the text of the prayers and readings for Mass. This sheet will replace the Parish Mass Books which we have used in the past.

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.

Mass Intentions

Fr. Patterson will celebrate the following Intentions during the coming week. You may wish to wear a face covering when attending Church.

  • Monday: (Private Mass) – James and Imelda Dempsey
  • Tuesday: 10am in St. Patrick’s Church – Brian Quigley
  • Wednesday: (Private Mass) – Fr Ronnie Richmond
  • Thursday10am in St. Patrick’s Church – In Thanksgiving (AM)   
  • Friday: 10.15am in St. Patrick’s Church – Funeral Service for Margaret Graham
  • Saturday: 6pm in St. Alban’s Church: For the intentions of all our parishioners
  • Sunday: 10am in St. Patrick’s Church: Paul Hughes (NC)

Mass to view on line

Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral on a Sunday. Visit the Cathedral website.

Alternatively, you may like to follow Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond. Visit the website for Mass times this week.

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.

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,
  • Margaret Graham 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. (Figures of 20th May)

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 Pentecost

Come, Holy Spirit and fill us with your love. Open our eyes to see the presence of God around us; in the stillness of a moment, in the busyness and noise of our streets, in the joys and celebrations of our lives, in the tragedies and struggles that break our hearts. Inspire our warring world to seek peace and to cast aside all weapons. Ignite within us a passion for justice until no one is marginalized or oppressed and the world is transformed and renewed. Transform our hearts and minds and fill us with love that overflows so that we may discover your kingdom emerging around us, drawing us into the new things you are doing in the world. Amen.     

Bishop Barron’s Sunday Sermons

Each week Bishop Barron offers a Sunday sermon.

It was announced last Thursday, 2nd June, that Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Barron as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester (Minnesota).

St. Patrick’s Church needs more support from you

Fr Patterson wishes to thank those parishioners who have offered their support in various aspects of parish life, but it is insufficient to be able to rebuild our future.

A limited amount of help now enables us to offer two public weekday Masses on a Tuesday and Thursday, but we need more volunteers for the following:-

  • preparing light refreshments in the parish centre after Sunday Mass
  • joining the music ministry, whether as an instrumentalist or singer
  • assisting with the children’s liturgy when we are in a position to restart it
  • offering to help with the opening of the church for Mass and tidying up afterwards on weekdays
  • reading at Mass on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays

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

Vigil Mass on Saturdays in St. Alban’s Church.

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.

We are now in a position to reopen St. Alban’s Church for a Vigil Mass at 6pm on Saturday, 11th June.

Please note the following:

  • Parishioners are asked to enter and leave the church by the main doors only.
  • The side door should only be used as an emergency exit.
  • You are invited to sanitise your hands as you enter the church
  • You may wear a face covering during Mass
  • Due to the low ceilings over the congregation, Bishop Robert advises that the church is adequately ventilated to help dilute and disperse viral particles. As such, both inner doors at the rear of the church will remain open throughout Mass (the outer doors will be closed) and the side windows will be open. Please dress accordingly as there may be a draught in some areas of the church.
  • No collection will be taken during Mass, by way of passing baskets along the benches, but we do hope you will support our parish financially by placing your offering in the basket as you enter the church.  Alternatively you may consider contributing by standing order, the details for which are:

    Account name: DHN Pelaw St Alban, Sort code: 40-34-18, Account No: 92010984

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 . 

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.

St. Patrick’s Church Cleaning

Volunteers are needed to clean the church on Friday evening, 17th June from 6pm. Entry by the Church Street door.

Parish Safeguarding Representatives

Every parish must have a Safeguarding Representative to ensure that we provide the best possible care of all our parishioners within the Church and parish environment.

Fr. Patterson is grateful to Stephen Brown for offering to continue in his role as the Safeguarding Representative for St. Patrick’s and to James McDermott who has accepted the role for St. Alban’s Church, subsequent to completing his training with the Diocese.

Platinum Jubilee

Pope Francis sent the following telegram to Her Majesty the Queen: 

“On the joyful occasions of your majesty’s birthday, and as you celebrate your Platinum Jubilee Year,
I send cordial greetings and good wishes together with the renewed assurance of
my prayers that Almighty God will bestow upon you the members of the Royal Family and
all the people of the nation blessings of unity, prosperity and peace.”

The Bishops of England and Wales ask that the following prayer be said at the end of Mass this weekend:

Almighty God, we pray, that your servant Elizabeth, our Queen, who,
by your providence has received the governance of this realm,
may continue to grow in every virtue, that, imbued with your heavenly grace,
she may be preserved from all that is harmful and evil and, being blessed with your favour may,
with the royal family, come at last into your presence, through Christ, who is the way,
the truth and the life and who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen

Eucharistic Festival at Ushaw.

This event will take place at Ushaw on Sunday 19th June from 3pm – 6.30pm. 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. 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.

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.

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.

Certificate in Pastoral Ministry

Are you currently involved in Church ministry but wish you knew more about your faith? Do you sometimes lack confidence and feel you could benefit from further training and formation? Do you want to grow in your faith and ministry and perhaps find new ways to share your gifts with others? We have a course designed just for you.  The Certificate in Pastoral Ministry is an online, two-year learning experience created with the busy person in mind. It will take you on a journey of discovery about key aspects of the Catholic faith while helping you to reflect upon your own ministry and the ministry of others.  To find out more, join us online for one of our information evenings: Tuesday 14th June, 2022 or Wednesday 22nd June, 2022 from 7.30pm – 9pm. To register your interest for one of the information evenings, or for further information please email  

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 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.

Thank you

Fr Patterson wishes to express his gratitude to the family of the late Jimmy and Imelda Dempsey for a donation of £2,000.00 for St. Patrick’s parish funds in their memory. He is also grateful to the family of the late Kathleen Harkness for a donation of £100.00.

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

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

For the time being, enquiries concerning the Gift Aid scheme for St. Albans Church should be directed to Fr. Patterson at

The Universal Synod

The Diocesan Submission to the Universal Synod has been completed and published.

Thanksgiving Mass

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.

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.

Pope Francis also urges us to do so.

ZOE Covid update.

The update now occurs once every two weeks.

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 70 people having Covid in England.

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