It can be difficult to witness to our Christian faith. We may feel afraid that if others – friends, work colleagues or strangers – know that we are Christians, they will jump to conclusions about who we are and what we believe. We fear being labelled as strange or eccentric.
Jesus knew that it wouldn’t be easy for his apostles to witness to him in the world. They would face persecution and martyrdom, just as the prophet Jeremiah did, for faithfully proclaiming the word of God. But Jesus reassures the Twelve. They are loved and cherished by God. Every hair on their heads has been counted.
We witness to our faith, above all, by our lives. Christians should be known as people who act justly, and who show care and compassion to their neighbours. The Lord calls us to trust in him, to let our faith be known, and to take the risk of living bravely and generously. He is with us every step of the way.
In 2018, Pope Francis will meet Bishops and others to talk about Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment. At this gathering they will discuss how the Catholic Church can accompany all young people in their faith and help them to hear God’s call. Everyone aged 17-29 in England and Wales are asked to take part in the Mega Youth Poll, to tell the Church what life is like for you, your thoughts on faith and what you would like the Church to offer for young people. Whatever your religious belief, feelings about the Catholic Church or circumstances, we want to hear your views – so please encourage your friends to take part in the poll too. It takes 15-20 minutes to fill in, and is completely anonymous. The Mega Youth Poll is open until Friday 30 June, and you can find it at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/university-youth-poll
We would also love to hear from those who care for or work with young people aged between 13-29. If this is you, please take the time to complete the separate survey at http://www.ukvocation.org/
This year’s pilgrimage to Holy Island with Churches Together in Elvet & Shincliffe takes place on Saturday 12 August. A coach will leave the student union building at Dunelm House at 9:00am arriving back at Durham at about 8pm having returned via Seahouses. Fares will again be just £10.00 for adults and £8.00 for children so please book early to avoid disappointment. More details are on the poster on the noticeboard and booking forms are available from the narthex.
Please pray for Lewis Tansley and Katie Middleton, who will be married at St Cuthbert’s on Saturday 1 July.
This year’s Miners’ Gala is on Saturday 8 July, and as usual we will be selling refreshments to raise money for charity. If you can help on the day itself, or with preparations beforehand, please sign up on the list at the back of church.
On Saturday 1 July, please join us for a Treasure Trail around Durham. This is a great opportunity to meet each other and a challenge too! We will meet at church at 2.00pm, and there will be refreshments in the parish room when you have completed the trail. There is no need to sign up in advance – please just come along on the day.
Is this Thursday, 29 June, and is a Holy Day of Obligation. Mass will be celebrated at St Cuthbert’s on Wednesday at 7.00pm (Vigil) and on Thursday at 12.15pm. Mass will also be celebrated at St Joseph’s, Gilesgate at 9:15am on Thursday.
The Reading Group will meet on Tuesday 27 June, to discuss Hans Fallada, Alone in Berlin.
The meeting will be at 8pm at Orchard House, New Elvet. If you go to the front entrance, read the notice and dial 48 to be let in.
The group is open to all and new members are welcome. For further information Contact Margaret Harvey . tel 0191 3840080 or email@example.com
Fr Gerard Kelly will be leaving us this week. Many thanks to Fr Gerard for his contribution to the life of the parish and the chaplaincy – it has been great to have him with us this term. Please pray for him as he returns to his ministry at the Catholic Institute of Sydney.
Fr Kees Thonissen is staying with us for a few days, as a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University. Please give him a warm welcome.
Today Sunday 25 June and throughout the summer, our 6:30pm Mass becomes a quieter celebration. However, we do need volunteers to welcome, read, take the collection and minister Holy Communion. If you can help, please sign up on the list on the noticeboards. Please don’t leave it to the few.