14th Sunday of the Year
As the hospitality industry gradually reopens this weekend, I feel it is important to repeat what I wrote last week and urge everyone to remember that the basic Government advice, which is for the long term well-being of us all, remains the same. Social distancing is still 2 metres unless it is impossible to maintain, in which case it is “1 metre plus” which may involve the wearing of face coverings or taking other protective measures.
We are also still encouraged to stay at home as much as possible; to limit contact with other people, to work from home if we can, to wash our hands regularly and not to leave the house if we, or a member of our household, has any symptoms and to report those symptoms to the Government’s Test and Trace System.
You may be wondering why we should still be asked to follow such advice especially when some media coverage continues to remind us of those in public office or public life who seem to choose to ignore it. Whatever the rights or wrongs or the actions of others, as Christian people, we have a duty of care for each other, particularly to those in our community who are in the shielded and clinically vulnerable categories.
I invite you to reflect once again on these words of Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England. He says, “Covid-19 is still in general circulation. If we do not follow social distancing guidance then cases will rise again.
If people hear a distorted version of what’s being said, that says ‘this is all fine now, it’s gone away’ and start behaving in ways that they normally would have before this virus happened we will get an uptick for sure.
It is absolutely critical people stick to the guidance that has been given.”
His words are proving to be sound advice as we have witnessed a local lockdown in Leicester this week and the emergence of other local outbreaks of Covid-19 around the country. Worldwide too there have been some severe cases of the re-emergence of the coronavirus.
So that is why we must continue to follow the Government guidelines. By all means make the most of the easing of the lockdown, but please ensure that your actions are not responsible for the spread of Covid-19.
Please take care of yourselves too. Pray for each other and please pray for me.
May God bless you all.
Mass to view on line
Alternatively, you may like to follow daily Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond celebrated live at 10.00 or which may also be viewed any time later.
I continue to celebrate Mass privately every day. The following Intentions will be remembered this week.
- Monday – Janice Connolly
- Tuesday – Fr. Michael Hickey
- Wednesday – The sick, NHS & Care Workers
- Thursday – Paul Hughes
- Friday – Anthony Bunting
- Saturday – Fr. “P’s” Intentions
- Sunday – For the intentions of all our parishioners
As you are unable to celebrate Mass with me, 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 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 especially Doris Foster and,
- Fr. Michael Hickey who has died. “Receive Lord into tranquillity and peace the soul of your servant whom you have called from this life. May he be taken up into glory with your Son in whose great mystery of love we are all united. Amen.”
Masses for the Sick and their Families, NHS Front-Line workers and those working in Social Care
Every Thursday one of our Bishops celebrates a special evening Mass for the sick, their families, NHS staff, and those working in Social Care.
Bishop Tom Williams from Liverpool Cathedral will say Mass on Thursday, 9th July at 19.00 for the above intention.
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.
Reopening our Churches
The Prime Minister has announced that from 4th July, Places of Worship may reopen for prayer and services.
However, a significant number of churches may remain closed as they are unable to meet the requirements for opening for the celebration of Mass with a congregation.
Bishop Robert has announced that no church will be able to reopen for any communal worship until it has been risk assessed by the Diocesan Authorities and can fulfil the requirements of the Government, the guidelines of the Bishops’ Conference and the local Diocesan guidelines. This includes being able to provide sufficient volunteers to help with stewarding and cleaning to ensure all measures, including social distancing are fulfilled.
We need at least another ten volunteers if we are to be able to consider reopening our churches.
As Fr. Patterson is in the clinically vulnerable category and following the advice of the Bishops, initially we may only be able to open St. Patrick’s Church.
Until such time as our own churches have been risk assessed and we are able to fulfill all the requirements for stewarding and cleaning, we will remain closed. So please be patient, prayerful and understanding.
We need another 10 Volunteers please
If you are able to volunteer as a steward or to help with cleaning our churches please send Fr. Patterson an email stating your availability weekday/weekend and in what way you would be able to help. Your help could make the difference between being able to open our churches or not! Volunteers should not be in the clinically vulnerable categories.
Coping with Social Distancing
What you can and can’t do from 4th July
The Government Guidelines on what you can and can’t do from 4 July can be found on the government website.
Your generous Offerings are appreciated
In what are difficult times financially for us all, Fr. Patterson wishes to express his gratitude to those parishioners who are contributing their weekly offering by bank transfer directly into the parish accounts. This helps us meet our day to day financial commitments.
If you Gift Aid your offertory contributions, the parish can still reclaim the tax on your offering should you wish to make a bank transfer at this present time. It would be helpful to enter your name and Gift Aid envelope number as the reference when making the transfer.
Alternatively, you may wish to send a cheque made payable to the appropriate Account name below or you might wish to continue to put aside your envelopes each week and bring them along to church once we can reopen our doors.
The details for bank transfers
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
Several parishioners have been in contact to ask if they can put their weekly offering envelopes, which they have been saving week by week, through the presbytery letter box. Those parishioners who wish to do so would be more than welcome so long as you follow Government guidelines about leaving your home.
However, for security reasons, please do not put any envelopes through St. Alban’s Presbytery door. Envelopes for St. Alban’s parish should be posted through St. Patrick’s Presbytery door only.