Parish newsletter

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Dear Parishioners

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus in the river Jordan by John the Baptist.

Traditionally it marks the end of the Christmas season, but it does not mean that the message of Christmas is put away with the rest of the Christmas decorations until next year.

We have celebrated so much in the world of faith over the past few weeks.

Mary’s acceptance of God’s will for her to be the mother of his Son. Her difficult journey with Joseph to Bethlehem to fulfil the governor’s edict to register in the town of their birth. No place to stay when they arrived, so Mary gave birth in a cattle shed surrounded by shepherds. The arrival of the Magi who followed a star which led them to the long awaited Messiah and the celebration of family life on the Feast of the Holy Family. So we have a great deal to be thankful for and hopefully we would want to share what we have celebrated and received.

Sharing lies at the heart of today’s Feast of the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan which  marks the beginning of his “public ministry” when he travelled around the countryside talking to people who came to listen to what he had to say and gently inviting them to follow his example and teaching. Many came to listen, but only a few remained with him and became his disciples.

We are reminded today of our baptism which made us members of God’s family. The day on which we were entrusted with the gift of faith and encouraged, as we mature in years and in faith, to share what we have been given for the well-being of others.

We need to draw on that at this present time when we must continue to take personal responsibility for our life choices, not only for our own good but for the well-being of others; family, friends, the local community and further afield.

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 and pray for one another.

With the ongoing support of our volunteer stewards, we are doing what we can to ensure St. Patrick’s Church is both welcoming and as Covid-19 safe as we can make it for you. At this present time, 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 metres 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.  If you are still hesitant about attending Church, you are under no obligation to do so.

With the growing spread of Covid in our region, we probably all know of someone who has the virus or is self isolating. Please pray that they will make a full recovery and pray for each other that the Lord will continue to watch over us and keep us safe. 

Fr. Patterson

Mass to view on line

Mass is live streamed from our Cathedral. Visit the Cathedral website for times this week.

Alternatively, you may like to follow Mass from the Holy Name, JesmondVisit the website for Mass times this week.

Mass Intentions

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 – Peter Sloan                                                                     
  • Tuesday: 10am in St. Patrick’s Church – Bet Roberts
  • Wednesday – LDM Makepeace and Shanks Families
  • Thursday – Funeral Mass for Patrick Joseph Reilly – by invitation – Covid restrictions apply                           
  • Friday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
  • 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 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
  • all those near and dear to us whose memories we cherish at this time especially Peter Sloan and,
  • Patrick Reilly  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 149,744 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.

St. Alban’s Church

Sadly, 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 or telephone 0191 495 2277 and one will be sent to you.

At the earliest opportunity, Fr. Patterson will invite those parishioners who are prepared to fulfil the necessary roles to meet together to discuss the way forward. 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 Fr. Patterson will be in a position to arrange a meeting.

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

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 his video message.

ZOE Covid weekly update  returns with some interesting news

Tim’s colleague Dr Claire Steves steps in again this week to give us the latest update on data from the ZOE COVID Study app. She discusses what the case numbers are looking like this week, how cases are now starting to rise in the over 75’s and what we can do to help reduce the transmission of the virus. She also discusses the latest symptoms being reported.

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 and they will be added to our contact list.

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