2nd Sunday of Christmas 2022
Might I take this opportunity to wish you and those you love dearly a Happy New Year, rich in God’s blessings.
I would also like to thank those of you who felt able to come together for our celebration of the Christmas Feast and share the disappointment of those of you who were prevented from attending because of testing positive for Covid-19. I hope you are making a good recovery.
Thank you for your cards, gifts, emails, telephone calls and prayers, all of which are greatly appreciated and thanks to those parishioners who offered to decorate the sanctuary.
A special word of thanks must go to our team of volunteer stewards for their unceasing commitment since September, 2020, doing all they can to ensure St. Patrick’s Church is both welcoming and as Covid-19 safe as we can make it for you. Thanks to their generosity, Mass will continue to be celebrated on Tuesdays at 10am and on Sundays at 10.30am.
Face coverings are still a legal requirement unless you are medically exempt and you are asked to maintain two metre social distancing from others in your bench, unless you are from the same household or bubble. Sanitising your hands is also necessary.
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.
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. And if you are still hesitant about attending Church, please remember you are under no obligation to do so.
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.
I am afraid we are still not in a position to reopen St. Alban’s Church whilst Covid restrictions are in place as we do not have sufficient volunteers to comply with the protocols required to make the church Covid safe.
Once the restrictions are removed, before we are able to open the church, we will need volunteers who will be prepared to fulfil the roles outlined in our shared parish Roadmap which was circulated at the beginning of May, 2021. If you do not have a copy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0191 495 2277 and one will be sent to you.
At the earliest opportunity, I will invite those parishioners who are prepared to fulfil the necessary roles to meet together to discuss the way forward. You may remember that just before Christmas, Bishop Robert closed all parish centres, halls and meeting places until further notice because of the rapid spread of Omicron in the region. Once the situation changes I will be in a position to arrange a meeting.
May God bless you and your families, keep you safe and may his light guide us throughout the coming year.
Mass to view on line
With the exception of Sunday and Tuesday, 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 – Olwin Durham
- Tuesday: 10am in St. Patrick’s Church with the prayers of the Feast of the Epiphany – Nellie Armstrong
- Wednesday – Funeral Service for Sheila Fletcher – by invitation – Covid restrictions apply
- Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
- Friday – Brian Grace Senior and Brian Grace Junior
- Saturday – Fr. Patterson’s intentions
- 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 and,
- Sheila Fletcher who has died. “Receive Lord into tranquillity and peace the soul of your servant whom you have called from this life. May she 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 148,624 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 the New Year 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)
A New Year Appeal from our Diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project
Please spare a thought for the above project. It supports on average 300 clients each week, who all receive a bag of food. 102 of them are destitute and also receive a supermarket voucher.
If you are able to bring donations of rice, sugar, biscuits and toiletries as well as tinned fish in oil and tins of tomatoes and chick peas to St. Patrick’s Church before Mass, they may be left on the table to your right as you enter the Church. Please note: baked beans and tinned meat are not required.
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
Fr. Patterson wishes to express his gratitude for donations received recently for St. Patrick’s parish funds in the sum of £200.00 and £40.00.
Get vaccinated. Get boosted!
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has echoed the call encouraging people to take up Covid vaccinations and boosters when offered by the NHS. “The call ‘Get vaccinated! Get boosted!’ is more and more pressing.”
He goes on to say: “I add my voice to many others… To the voice of Pope Francis, who says to be vaccinated is ‘an act of love’. To the voice of my favourite football manager, Jurgen Klopp: ‘The whole vaccination process is a question of solidarity, loyalty and togetherness’. He adds: ‘There is only one answer: “You do it.” “Yes, please act quickly. Here is real protection, for yourself and for others.”
Pope Francis urges us to do so in this video message.
ZOE Covid weekly update returns with some interesting news
Tim’s colleague Dr Claire Steves steps in this week to give you the latest update on data from the ZOE COVID Study app. She discusses what the case numbers are looking like this week, and how Omicron is set to dominate cases. She also discusses the latest symptoms being reported, and has some surprising news about anosmia.
In a separate blog, the symptoms of Omicron are discussed.
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 email@example.com and they will be added to our contact list.