Parish newsletter

11th Sunday of the Year

Dear Parishioners

I am grateful to our volunteer stewards who have once again offered to open St. Patrick’s Church for Mass on Tuesday at 10am, when no booking will be needed, and on Sunday at 10.30am when booking is advised to guarantee a place.

There are places remaining for this Sunday, 13th June, offered on a first come first served basis. Please bring Test and Trace details if you haven’t reserved a place. You will receive a warm and reassuring welcome.

To reserve a place for Mass next Sunday, 20th June, please telephone 07526 232124 on:

 on Friday, 18th June between 5 pm – 7pm

Please note the booking facility will no longer be available on Wednesdays.

This number will be unavailable outside of the above times. Bookings cannot be made via the presbytery telephone number nor by email and can only be made for the approaching Sunday and not for any other dates. Text messages cannot be accepted as a method of booking.

You will be encouraged to provide your name and telephone number to comply with the NHS Test and Trace system and also the number in your family if you are attending as a household. You should only sit with members of your own household or bubble. On arrival at the church you will be welcomed by a steward and your name will be checked against the booking list.

For Mass on Tuesday, where booking is not required, you are invited to bring your Test and Trace details in an envelope and place them in the box in church.

You may still be feeling a little hesitant about coming to Mass and that is perfectly understandable. The Sunday obligation is still suspended so you are under no obligation to attend Mass. You must not come to Church if you are experiencing any signs of Covid-19 or feeling unwell in any way.

The mandatory wearing of face coverings, sanitising your hands, 2 metre social distancing and cleaning the church after each celebration remain in place within our church and the maximum capacity for a parish Mass remains at 70. So the church is as safe as we can possibly make it for you and our volunteer stewards will continue to look after you.

Looking ahead

To be able to reopen St. Alban’s Church and fully reopen St. Patrick’s Church and parish centre once all the Covid restrictions have been removed, Fr. Patterson needs your help and support as outlined in our shared parish Roadmap which was circulated at the beginning of May. If you haven’t received a copy, please contact Fr. Patterson on or telephone 0191 495 2277.

Fr. Patterson also asks you to contact him as soon as possible.

  1. If you have helped in either church before the pandemic and no longer feel able to continue in your previous role.
  2. If you would like to help in any of the ways outlined in our shared parish Roadmap.
  3. If you wish to continue helping as you have done in the past

Please remember that you are not being asked to take up the role of volunteering until all the Covid Restrictions have been removed for churches (whenever that may be). However it is important for us to have a bank of volunteers in place to enable us to determine whether we can reopen St. Alban’s Church and fully reopen St. Patrick’s Church and parish centre when the time comes.

In the meantime, please do all that you can to prevent the transmission of the virus by adhering to the current restrictions and accepting the invitation to be vaccinated if you have not already done so. 

May God bless you all.

Fr. Patterson

Mass to view on line

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

Alternatively, you may like to follow Mass from the Holy Name, Jesmond celebrated live at 10.00 am on Sunday or anytime later. There are no weekday Masses at the Holy Name this week.

Mass Intentions for the coming week

With the exception of Sunday and Tuesday, Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass privately during the week remembering the following Intentions:

  • Monday – Fr. Owen Grant
  • Tuesday:  10am in St. Patrick’s Church – Ellen Farrell
  • Wednesday – Emma Hindes
  • Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
  • Friday – In thanksgiving for help during the pandemic
  • Saturday – Fr “P’s” intentions
  • Sunday: 10.30am in St. Patrick’s Church – For the intentions of all our parishioners – booking required

 When you are unable to celebrate Mass with 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.

In case you are not aware, a parish priest is obliged to celebrate Mass for the “Intentions of the Parishioners” every Sunday or Holydaywhich prevents him from fulfilling personal intentions on those occasions.

  Please keep in your prayers this week:

  • all our parishioners who are sick, housebound or in hospital and,
  • all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time especially Carol Belton

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 127,884 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.

A prayer for those who are afraid

God of all hope we call on you today.
We pray for those who are living in fear:
Fear of Covid-19, fear for loved ones, fear of what the future holds.
May your Spirit give us a sense of calmness and peace. Amen

The Bible

We continue the series of short videos by Fr. Stephen Wang.

This week Fr. Wang explores “the Bible.”

My Mask

Holy God, you see me and you hear me.
Through my mask, you see if I smile or if I scowl.
Through my mask, you hear me if I whisper a brief prayer or mutter a muffled curse.
My friends don’t see or hear or know; nor do my family; nor my colleagues. But you do.

This mask takes away power – the power of clear communication, but also the power to infect.
It also grants a freedom to be with others.
My smiles, my thoughts, my mumbles, these I know, but they are a greater mystery to others now.
But not to you, Lord. You see past my mask, you hear through it, you know.

But your mask, Lord, what about your mask? Who can see through your mask? Hear through it?
I cannot. I cannot see if you smile or if you scowl.
I cannot hear if you whisper an answer to my prayer or brush off my curse.
I cannot sense if you are pleased with me or if you are waiting for me to do much better.
Can we all take off our masks, Lord? Put them away?

When the disease that moves us to mask our faces for safety fades away, will our eyes and our ears be stronger, better able to see and to hear the smiles and the frowns, the cries and the whispers of those who fill our lives, who make our lives worth living?

Will we see, Lord, that what we think of as your mask is really also our own, our inability to find you in the rush of our lives, our failure to see you in all the wonders you show us, our incapacity to hear your gentle voice in the tumult that surrounds us.

Can we know, Lord, that we put on many masks so we can cope, avoid, pretend, be acceptable?
Help us, Lord, to move beyond our masks. You are here for us to see and to hear. Help us. Let us take off our masks.

Fr. Edward Schmidt S.J.

The Sacrament of Baptism

Covid restrictions and limited human resources to enable us to comply with these restrictions, prevent us being able to open St. Patrick’s Church for anything other than Mass on a Sunday and Tuesday and for funerals at present.

We are still unable to reopen the parish centre which prevents us offering the necessary baptismal preparation for parents who are considering presenting their child to the Church for Baptism.

As such, we are still unable to offer the Sacrament of Baptism in St. Patrick’s Church.

The Little Sisters of the Poor

The Little Sisters of the Poor at St. Joseph’s Home in Newcastle are finding the current economic climate increasingly more demanding. The lockdown measures have had a massive impact on their fundraising activities and the charitable donations they rely on to meet the daily running costs of the Home. They are appealing for donations to help them continue with their work of caring for the elderly and to enable them to carry out essential fire prevention upgrades to the Home. In these uncertain times, small acts of kindness can make a huge difference. If you feel able to make a donation, cheques made payable to ‘Little Sisters of the Poor’ can be sent to: St. Joseph’s Home, Westmorland Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7QA. Alternatively, secure, online donations can be made via the Little Sisters of the Poor website.

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 and they will be added to our contact list.

Thank you

Fr. Patterson is very grateful for a donation received in memory of Paul Hughes for St. Patrick’s parish funds.

Your ongoing financial support is welcomed and needed

Fr. Patterson continues to be grateful for your offerings during these difficult times and is especially grateful to those parishioners who regularly contribute to parish funds by standing order helping us meet the regular financial  commitments of our churches.

You may bring your envelopes to Mass on Tuesdays or Sundays or drop them through the presbytery letterbox. 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

Roadmap Step 3  (from 17 May)

These are the changes  that came into effect on 17th May.

This information accompanies the changes. Whilst social distancing with close family and friends is now a matter of personal judgement, we are asked to remain cautious around close contact, like hugging. Remember too that you should always make space for other people to keep their distance if they want to.

In some settings, there will be specific guidance that we will need to follow even when we are with friends and family. This is important to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 to other people such as staff and other members of the public. You should always follow guidance associated with the setting you are in (for example in a place of worship).

Covid-secure rules, including social distancing requirements, continue to apply in the workplace, and in businesses and public venues including places of worship. This guidance does not affect a site owner’s responsibility to calculate the number of people that can be accommodated with social distancing in place.

Where do we go from here?

Monday is the day when the Government will announce whether or not it can proceed with Step 4 of the Roadmap on 21st June. Commentators predict that the prospect of that happening is looking increasingly unlikely following the rapid rise in Covid cases due to the Delta variant.

It was always expected that infection rates would rise having allowed indoor mixing from 17th May which provides more opportunity for the virus to spread.

But what has become clear in the past few days is that the trajectory is steeper than many had hoped, because of the more infectious Delta variant, thought to be 40% to 80% more transmissible than the Alpha variant, first identified in Kent.

At the current rate of growth, it is predicted that the UK will hit 15,000 cases a day by 21st June without any further relaxation of restrictions, which could drive up cases even more.

Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Study and Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, comments on the latest data:

“The COVID-19 situation in the UK has rapidly changed from one of the best performing nations to a nation again struggling with rising cases. Official confirmed cases are now around 7,500, (10th June) which is the highest daily figure since late February.

However, when you dig into the data, it’s clear that this is an epidemic among the unvaccinated and partially vaccinated populations in the UK and, due to the way vaccines have been rolled out, is largely affecting younger generations.

The good news is that fully vaccinated people have much greater protection. Vaccines are working and we want to encourage people to exercise caution, especially if they feel at all unwell, until they’ve been fully vaccinated. The race is on to fully vaccinate the whole population to save lives and return to normal life”

For more information visit the  Zoe Study data video or read Why we may have to wait .

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