Parish newsletter

19th Sunday of the Year

Dear Parishioners

Across the world and here at home we witness the number of cases of Covid-19 on the rise leading to the introduction of restrictions, quarantines and lockdowns having to be imposed.

Many commentators put the rise in Europe down to a growing number of people choosing to ignore the call to keep social distancing, wear face coverings and to observe basic hygiene requirements.

I share with you today the following comments of Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer in the UK and Doctor David Nabarro, the World Health Organisation’s special envoy for coronavirus, which I feel are worthy of consideration.

“We have all known that what we have to try and do is get to the absolute edge of what we can do in terms of opening up society and the economy without getting to the point where the virus starts to take off again. I think what we are seeing from the data…. is that we have probably reached near the limit or limits of what we can do in terms of opening up society. So what that means potentially, is if we wish to do more things in the future we may have to do less of some other things and these will be difficult trade-offs, some of which will be decisions of government, some of which are for all of us as citizens to do. So we have to be realistic about this. The idea that we can open up everything and keep the virus under control is clearly wrong and what we are seeing (now) is that we are at the outer edge of what we can do and therefore choices will need to be made.” (Chris Whitty, 31st July, Downing Street Briefing.)

“I hear about people in many parts of other European countries saying we have had enough of (restrictions and lockdowns) and I so understand it. I think all of us are just thinking when is this going to end and I have to be this person who comes out with (the fact that) this virus is not going away, this virus is really dangerous, this virus doesn’t get bored, it really relishes when we get bored because then it can cause more trouble. This virus only has one purpose and that is to multiply and multiply and it is doing so all over the world. So… we have absolutely no choice but to take it seriously and we mustn’t compete with each other about it. We’ve got to have everybody working together on this agenda because we are all experiencing the same problem all over the world.”

(David Nabarro, The Today Programme, 4th August). The full interview can be heard at 2 hours 14.45 minutes into the programme

Please continue to look after and pray for one another and please pray for me.

May God bless you all.

Fr. Patterson

Mass to view on line

Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral on Sunday at 11.30 and on weekdays at 12.05. These services may be viewed live or anytime later.

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.

 Mass Intentions

I continue to celebrate Mass privately every day. The following Intentions will be remembered this week.

  • Monday – Knock, Hughes and Kelly Families
  • Tuesday – Allan Neil
  • Wednesday – Lawrie Hindes
  • Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
  • Friday – Jim McErlane
  • 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 and,
  • Allan Neil 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.”

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.

The People of Beirut

Amidst their own country’s struggle with the coronavirus, I feel sure we can do no other than to pray earnestly for the people of Beirut following the explosion in their city last Tuesday and the ensuing deaths, injuries and devastation.

Reopening our Churches – Update

We have now been given leave by Bishop Robert to be risk assessed with a view to a phased reopening of St. Patrick’s Church.

As Fr. Patterson is in the clinically vulnerable category and on the advice of the bishops, St. Alban’s Church will remain closed for the time being.

Once St. Patrick’s has been risk assessed it will have to be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to ensure it is a Covid safe environment.

It will then depend on the number of volunteers we have who are willing to act as stewards and to clean the church after every celebration before we can determine when we can reopen and the number and times of services we will be able to offer.

As you are aware the Government Guidelines are very demanding to ensure our churches are Covid-19 secure.

A minimum of two stewards must be in attendance at every celebration to ensure the guidelines are met and the church must be thoroughly sanitized after each service.

The more volunteers we have, the easier it will be to fulfil these requirements and the less burdensome it will be on those who have volunteered.

If you can volunteer as a steward and/or help with cleaning the church, please send Fr. Patterson an email stating your availability weekday/weekend and in what way you would be able to help.  Volunteers should really not be in the vulnerable categories.

What to expect when we can return to Church

As we patiently await the reopening of our churches, this video from the Archdiocese of Liverpool gives an idea of what to expect when you can come back to Church:

Your generous Offerings are greatly appreciated

In these financially challenging times, Fr. Patterson continues to be grateful to those parishioners who contribute their weekly offering by bank transfer directly into the parish accounts and to those who have sent cheques.

He is also appreciative of those parishioners who have dropped their weekly offering envelopes through the presbytery letterbox  This all helps to meet our day to day financial commitments.

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.

If you Gift Aid your offertory contributions, the parish can reclaim the tax on your offering should you wish to make a bank transfer. It would be helpful to enter your name and Gift Aid envelope number as the reference when making the transfer.

If you choose to send a cheque please make it 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 and cheques are as follows:

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

Mass Offerings

If you would like to have Mass offered for any particular intention, Fr. Patterson would be happy to celebrate it for you privately.

You may drop your intention and offering through the letterbox of St. Patrick’s Presbytery, so long as you follow Government guidelines about leaving your home or place it in the post with a cheque, or you may email your intention to Fr. Patterson and send your offering by bank transfer.

For security reasons, please do not put any intentions or offerings through the letterbox of St. Alban’s Presbytery.

Help Control the Virus

To protect yourself and others, when you leave home you must:

  • Wash hands – keep washing your hands regularly
  • Cover face – wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in enclosed spaces
  • Make space – stay at least a metre away from people not in your household

If you are feeling unwell, get a test and do not leave home for at least ten days.

You can read more about what you can and can’t do on the government website.

Diocesan Website

More information and support may be found on our Diocesan website

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