1st Sunday of Lent
We are almost a full year into the Pandemic. What has it meant for you? The answer will be unique for everyone.
For one person this time will have brought the greatest personal tragedies of a lifetime as a result of sickness and loss of lives. For another it will have meant serious limitations and loss, frustrations and disappointments. For others it will appear as a time of challenge, refocus and even renewal of commitment in life.
So think again; how has it really been for you? Is there something of all of the above going on in your life? Challenge along with tragedy; refocus coming from frustration.
The most glorious and significant thing about our life as Christian people is that it is a walk with God. God is the centre of all things. To know God and to love and serve him in the bits and pieces of your life, is always a possibility no matter how your life seems to be at any moment. You might doubt God; God doesn’t doubt you. Perhaps you feel totally unworthy of God’s love and concern; it may make no sense to you but God is desperately keen to be in relationship with you.
Opening our hearts to God is the most worthwhile and important thing that human beings can do. This pandemic experience may have made that very difficult for you. On the other hand it may have opened your heart up to see it afresh.
Last Friday, Foreign Office minister James Cleverly told BBC Breakfast that “the prime minister would set out plans for easing restrictions in as much detail as he is able in his long-awaited ‘roadmap’ statement to Parliament on Monday. But we cannot give guarantees, because that is not how viruses work,” he added. “Ultimately we want to open up society and the economy, as much as we are able, but only on the condition that it is safe to do so.”
A further 12,027 Covid cases were reported across the UK on Friday, another 533 people died within 28 days of a positive test and more than 17 million people in the UK have now received at least one dose of a vaccine. But concerns are high over the rapid spread, worldwide, of new coronavirus strains.
You may be interested in the figures below as we await the “Roadmap.”
At the beginning of the November lockdown (5th November, 2020)
the 7 day rolling total of confirmed cases in Gateshead was 806;
the national rolling total was 157,860;
the 7 day rolling total of deaths in Gateshead was 8 people;
the national rolling total was 2,165 people.
At the end of the November lockdown (2nd December, 2020)
the 7 day rolling total of cases in Gateshead had decreased to 296;
the national rolling total had dropped to 103,553
the 7 day rolling total of deaths in Gateshead was 7 people;
the national rolling total of deaths had risen to 3,169 people
By the beginning of the January lockdown (5th January, 2021)
the 7 day rolling total of confirmed cases in Gateshead had risen to 893;
the national rolling total had risen to 391,615
the 7 day rolling total of deaths in Gateshead was 7 people;
the national rolling total had increased to 4,694 people
Friday’s figures (19th February, 2021) showed:
the 7 day rolling total of confirmed cases in Gateshead was 227;
the national rolling total was 81,472
the 7 day rolling total of deaths in Gateshead was 14 people;
the national rolling total was 3,633 people.
So I suspect there will be an element of caution in the Prime Minister’s statement as figures continue to fluctuate.
Please continue to look after one another and pray that the Lord will watch over us and keep us safe from harm.
May God bless you all
Mass to view on line
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 – Special Intention (ML)
- Tuesday -Brian Quigley
- Wednesday – Deceased O’Brien and Costello Families
- Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
- Friday -Brian Grace Senior and Brian Grace Junior
- 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. Paul McCourt and Fr. Kevin Daly who are currently unwell
- all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time
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 me in prayer for the 119,920 people who have died in our country from the coronavirus. (Friday’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.
To support you during Lent.
You may like to join Bishop Robert Barron in a “Reflection on the Way of the Cross”.
The Diocese offers daily reflections for your Lenten journey at home.
Parish News by Email
If you are aware of parishioners who would like to receive the Newsletter and other news from the parish by email, please ask them to email Fr. Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be added to our contact list.
Your ongoing financial support is welcomed and needed
Fr. Patterson renews his thanks to you for your offerings during these difficult times especially to those parishioners who regularly contribute to parish funds by bank transfer helping to meet the regular 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