3rd Sunday of the Year
In the popular television program Antiques Roadshow, people from around the country bring their treasures to be appraised by various experts. It might be a cherished family heirloom displayed proudly in a prominent place in the home, or a long-forgotten trinket gathering dust in the attic. Whatever the item, the owner is usually keen to know its value. The appraiser might put a low price tag on something the owner thought had great value or what was originally purchased for a few pounds sometimes turns out to be valued at thousands of pounds.
Take a look around your home. What is your family’s most valued possession? Is it an object, a person, a relationship? How does your family express delight and pride in this treasured possession?
Pope Francis has dedicated this Sunday to “the Word of God.” He invites us to consider if the Bible is one of our treasures. Is a Bible among your home’s most valuable possessions?
Sadly, recent surveys have shown that few Catholics read the Bible, but what better place is there to encounter the person of Jesus Christ than in God’s Word?
So Pope Francis invites us to return to God’s Word. For when we read and reflect on it, our encounter with the living God is not a mere intellectual exercise but an opportunity to deepen our lives of faith and to model our own way of living on the example of Jesus.
And we need all the strength we can get to be more truly Christ like at this present time when we are asked to be concerned for the well-being of our neighbour. This will be more important when some of the Covid restrictions are lifted on Thursday of this week and become “Guidance” which we are still asked to follow for the well-being of others.
Until we receive an update from Bishop Robert, we ask that face coverings continue to be worn in St. Patrick’s Church unless you are medically exempt. This is in keeping with the Government advice after Thursday when they encourage us still “to wear face coverings in crowded, indoor spaces where we come into contact with people we do not normally meet.” Evidence suggests transmission mainly happens indoors where people are close together. Covering the nose and mouth reduces the spread of coronavirus droplets from coughs, sneezes and while speaking. The main purpose is to protect others although there is some evidence they offer protection to wearers.
You are also 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 good practice.
With the ongoing support of our volunteer stewards, we continue to do 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. 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 are still hesitant about attending Church, you are under no obligation to do so.
If you have Covid symptoms or feel unwell, please stay at home until you feel better. We probably all know of someone who has the virus or is self isolating, you may even be one of them. Please pray that everyone suffering from the virus will make a full recovery.
May God bless you all
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 – George and Evelyn May Craig
- Tuesday: 10.00 in St. Patrick’s Church – Ellen Farrell
- Wednesday – Private Intention (NF)
- Thursday – The sick, their families, NHS staff & Care Workers
- Friday – Denis Patrick Lenehan
- Saturday -Fr. Patterson’s intentions
- Sunday: 10.30 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 especially Lindsay Bradley, George Craig, Denis Patrick Lenehan and Patsy Rafferty and,
- Celia Morley who has died. May she rest in peace.
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 153,490 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 Christian Unity – in this week of prayer for Christian Unity
God of every nation, creator of every human life, the Lord Jesus Christ has been made manifest in human history by becoming one of us and one with us. The solidarity of God with created humanity calls us to a life of solidarity with the homeless, the refugee, the weakest and the rejected. Help your Church to be a light for unity within itself and a beacon of hope for all humanity. We ask this through Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit reign as God for ever and ever. Amen
An Appeal from our Diocesan Justice and Peace Refugee Project
Thank you for responding so positively to this Appeal which 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.
Thank you for your donations in recent weeks. Fr. Patterson has sent £135.00 to Cafod for The Afghanistan Appeal. Should you wish to make a donation to the this Appeal on line, please visit the Cafod website.
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 email@example.com 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.”
Pope Francis also urges us to do so in this video message.
ZOE Covid weekly update asks, “Omicron cases are falling rapidly, but will it last?”
In this week’s COVID-19 update, Professor Tim Spector looks at the latest data from the ZOE COVID Study, which shows Omicron is continuing to fall rapidly. But will it last now that cases are gain rising in children? He also discusses some interesting symptoms which have become more prevalent in Omicron cases than previous variants !
In a separate blog, the updated 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be added to our contact list.