Christmas is almost upon us, hence this early and briefer Newsletter. I hope you are able to celebrate it with friends and family in a cautious, caring and loving way.
You would be very welcome to join us for Mass in St. Patrick’s Church either this evening, Christmas Eve at 5.30pm or on Christmas Day at 9.45am. On both occasions the Church will open 20 minutes before Mass is due to begin. Access is by the entrance off Church Street only – “the Top Door.”
As we are not operating a booking system this year, places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. It would be helpful if some of you who have in the past attended on Christmas Eve, would consider coming on Christmas morning to ensure that we can welcome everyone in a safe way at both Masses and to prevent us from having to turn people away if our Covid risk assessed capacity is reached.
We will to do all we can to ensure St. Patrick’s Church is both welcoming and as Covid-19 safe as we can make it for you. You will be welcomed by our volunteer stewards and invited to sanitise your hands. Please follow their guidance, especially when it comes to seating you in your place. They are trying to keep everyone safe.
You are asked to maintain one metre social distancing from others in your bench, unless you are from the same household or bubble. You are also asked not to move around the Church once seated. Face coverings are a legal requirement unless you are medically exempt.
As we must clean the church after each celebration, the rear of the church is closed to reduce the demands on our stewards who sanitise the benches after you leave. Limited toilet facilities are available in case of necessity. You are welcome to use the main Church car park, accessing the “Top Door” via the external stone steps at the side of the Church.
If you have Covid-19 symptoms or feel unwell, if you have a cough or are sneezing, if someone in your household has been poorly recently, please do not take any risks with your health or the health of others at Church and stay at home until you feel better.
Remember too, if you are still hesitant about attending Church, you are under no obligation to do so.
It would be a wonderful act of kindness to one another if you would consider taking a lateral flow test before attending Mass on Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning. The choice, of course, is yours; you are under no obligation to do so. As you will be aware, it is often people who have contracted Covid, but experience no symptoms, who unknowingly infect others.
We have lived through a lot since the pandemic started so let us be kind and respect one another this Christmas. Be aware of personal space and personal choice. Some people might not be ready to hug, kiss, shake hands or reduce social distancing. Don’t assume what people are comfortable with. Instead, ask them and respect their personal choices.
Please do all you can to be cautious in your everyday life choices which not only affect you, but impact on others too, including the NHS on which we all rely at times and pray for one another.
May God bless you and your families this Christmas and may his light guide us throughout the coming year.
Mass to view on line
With the exception of Sunday, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Fr. Patterson will celebrate Mass privately during the week remembering the following Intentions. Face coverings must be worn when attending Church, unless you are medically exempt.
- Monday – Brian Quigley
- Tuesday: 10am in St. Patrick’s Church – Gerry Toberty
- Wednesday – Sister Francine
- Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
- Friday -Peter Volpe
- New Year’s Day (Saturday, 1st January): 10am in St. Patrick’s Church – Allan Lavin
- Sunday: 10.30am in St. Patrick’s Church – For the intentions of all our parishioners
When you are unable to celebrate Mass with us 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 Holyday, which 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
- all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time Nellie Armstrong, Allan Lavin and Gerry Toberty and,
- Fr. Richard Harriott, parish priest of St. John’s, Annitsford 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.
A time to pray
Please join together in prayer for the 147,720 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 Christmas and beyond
We are a community of memory that looks back; we are a community of Spirit that looks forward.
It is important, though not easy, to look back with kindness and to look forward in hope.
This year is coming to a close and a new year beckons.
Let us hand over the past to God for his healing blessing.
Let us ask the Lord to face the future with us so that we do not face it alone.
Let us pray for each other and for all those we love that we might know the promise of the Lord that brings the Gospel to a close.
(Fr. Denis McBride C.Ss.R)
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/standing orders 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
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.