Parish newsletter

Dear Parishioner

I suspect many of us may have been struggling this week with the prospect of the Lockdown having to be in place for quite some time, a fact confirmed by the Prime Minister at the Downing Street Briefing on Friday evening.

Staying at Home is the underlying message which we must try to observe, not only for our own well-being but for that of the community and, of course, for the sake of the staff of our local hospitals.

For those of us living on our own, and I include myself in this, I know how difficult it can be at times. However when we hear of the ever growing number of new cases of the virus, along with the increasing number of people dying in our region and throughout the country – the sense of isolation and loneliness we may sometimes feel, fades into the background.

Last Friday, 15th January, 55,761 people tested positive in our country, 108 of those were in Gateshead. In the last 7 days to 10th January, there were 116 people who tested positive living within the boundary of our shared parish.

Throughout the UK, 1,280 people were reported as having died of Covid on 15th January, with 10 people dying in the last seven days in Gateshead. There are 37,282 Covid patients in our hospitals, 74 in the Gateshead NHS Trust.

The Prime Minister also spoke of the importance of Washing our hands regularly as the virus “can be passed on, not just by standing too near someone in a supermarket queue, but also by handling something touched by an infected person.”

On a more positive note he also spoke of the progress of the vaccination programme, encouraging us, “when the call comes, to get a jab but, in the meantime, Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

So we must continue to remain vigilant and do what we can to help to reduce the number of cases and deaths in our community.

Please continue to look after each other and pray that the Lord will watch over us and keep us safe from harm

Fr. Patterson

Mass to view on line

Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral on Sunday at 11.30am and on weekdays at 12.05pm. These Masses 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. Mass may also be viewed any time later.

Mass Intentions for the coming week

In keeping with the public health message that the movement and gathering of people should be minimised and that as many people as possible stay at home for the sake of health, life and the Common Good, St. Patrick’s Church will remain closed until the situation improves.

Fr. Patterson will continue to celebrate Mass privately each day. The following Intentions will be remembered this week.

  • Monday – Annie and John Donald
  • Tuesday -Margaret and Brian Pankhurst
  • Wednesday – LDM Makepeace and Shanks Families
  • Thursday -The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
  • Friday -Patsy Rafferty
  • Saturday – Fr. “P’s” Intentions
  • Sunday – For the intentions of all our parishioners

As you are unable to celebrate Mass with him 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 this week

  • all our parishioners who are sick, housebound or in hospital
  • Fr. Kevin Daly and Fr. Jim Dunne, both of whom are active priests in parishes, but are currently quite poorly
  • all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time especially Annie Donald and Patsy Rafferty and,
  • Frank McCarron 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.”

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.

Your ongoing financial support is welcomed and needed

Fr. Patterson wishes to thank you for your offerings during these difficult times. He is particularly grateful to those parishioners who regularly contribute to parish funds by bank transfer which helps to meet the day to day financial  commitments of our churches.

Whilst we are being urged to “Stay at Home,” it may not be wise to drop your envelopes through the presbytery letterbox, unless your daily exercise route happens to take you past the presbytery. Please be sensible. For security reason, envelopes should not be put through the letterbox of St. Alban’s Presbytery.

The parish is still able to reclaim the tax from Gift Aided offertory contributions made by bank transfer. It would be helpful to enter your name and Gift Aid envelope number as the reference when making the transfer.

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

The Year of St. Joseph

Pope Francis has proclaimed a special “Year of St Joseph.” It began on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception 2020 and extends to the same Feast this year.  The Pope shares with us these, his thoughts:-

Saint Joseph, expressed his fatherhood by placing himself at the service of the Messiah who was growing to maturity in his home. In St. Joseph, “Jesus saw the tender love of God,” the love that helps us accept our weakness, because “it is through” and despite “our fears, our frailties, and our weakness” that God’s will for us is realised.

Joseph is also a father in obedience to God: with his ‘fiat’ he protects Mary and Jesus and teaches his Son to “do the will of the Father.” Called by God to serve the mission of Jesus, he “cooperated… in the great mystery of Redemption.”

Joseph is a father who teaches the value, dignity and joy of work. “A carpenter who earned an honest living to provide for his family.” This aspect of Joseph’s character enables Pope Francis to encourage everyone “to rediscover the value, the importance and the necessity of work for bringing about a new ‘normal’ from which no one is excluded.” Especially in light of rising unemployment due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Pope calls everyone to “review our priorities” and to express our firm conviction that no young person, no person at all, no family should be without work!”

“Fathers are not born, but made,” says Pope Francis. “A man does not become a father simply by bringing a child into the world, but by taking up the responsibility to care for that child.” Unfortunately, in today’s society, children “often seem orphans, lacking fathers” who are able to introduce them “to life and reality.” Children, the Pope says, need fathers who will not try to dominate them, but instead raise them to be “capable of deciding for themselves, enjoying freedom and exploring new possibilities.”

Joseph, says Pope Francis, “knew how to love with extraordinary freedom.  He never made himself the centre of things.  He did not think of himself, but focused instead on the lives of Mary and Jesus.” Joseph stands out, therefore, as an exemplary figure for our time.

Pope Francis offers us the following prayer to St. Joseph:

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage,
and defend us from every evil.  Amen

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