Day of Special Prayer for Racial Justice

The theme this year is “Dignity for all workers”, recognising the problems faced by people due to racism and ethnic discrimination in the workplace. The Church teaches that “all people have a right to work… to lead a worthy life on the material, social, cultural and spiritual level”. We are therefore called to ensure people are not exploited while they work, and to open our hearts to those who face this hatred. “As you did this to the one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me…” A retiring collection will be taken at Sunday’s Mass to support the work of the Catholic Association for Racial Justice.

Gift Aid

Please read the following important items if your are part of our Gift Aid Scheme. If you are not part of the Scheme and would like to be, then contact Andy Doyle, our Gift Aid Co-Ordinator:

Audit and Review: If you donate via Planned Giving Envelopes, could you please, within the next few weeks, insert a slip of paper with your name into the envelope along with your contribution. This will help us to show auditors that the Gift Aid claim records are being compiled accurately.

Eligibility: If you are part of the Gift Aid scheme, whether through planned giving envelopes or by giving directly through the bank then, for the parish to claim Gift Aid legitimately on your donations, you need to be paying at least £13 per year in Income Tax for each £1 per week you donate. If you are not paying sufficient income tax to cover the amount to be reclaimed from HMRC then please let Andy Doyle know as soon as possible. Andy can be contacted on 0798 543 4185 or andydoyle1066@sky.com.

Living in God’s Kingdom

In today’s Gospel, Jesus addresses an audience made up of two groups: ‘a large gathering of his disciples’ – those who have made a commitment to him and his teaching – and ‘a great crowd of people from all parts’ – those who are drawn to him, but hesitate to commit themselves. Jesus ‘fixes his eyes on his disciples,’ but his teaching seems to be directed to everyone. And it is a starting message. The poor, the hungry and the sad, Jesus says, are happy or blessed, while those who are wealthy and comfortable should be grieving.
Jesus is describing the values of the kingdom of God. God has a special love for the poor, while the wealthy and privileged have a heavy responsibility. Recognising their good fortune, they are called to act with justice and love towards their brothers and sisters. The kingdom of God, in our Lord’s teaching, is not just a place where we hope to go when we die. The kingdom of God begins here and now, in our hearts and in our Christian communities. Jesus is calling us to action, here and now.

Bishop Dunn Memorial Lecture 2019

Prof Myriam Wijlens (University of Erfurt and Durham University): Communio Fidelium, Communio Ecclesiarum, Communio Episcoporum: Representation in Synodal Structures. At Ushaw College. Tuesday 26th February: 6pm; Lecture in the Exhibition Hall, 7.15pm; Drinks reception in the Refectory (optional.)

Everyone is welcome. This is a ticketed event and tickets must be booked online by 10am Tuesday 19th February. Lecture only tickets: £5 per person (concessions £2.50; Durham University staff and students free of charge with assistance from Durham University Catholic Chaplaincy). Drinks reception: £5 per person (no concessions). For more information (including details of transport from Durham city centre) contact ccs.admin@durham.ac.uk or 0191 334 1656.

Events at Minsteracres

Walking Retreat: Enjoy a walk of 7-10 miles through the beautiful countryside around Minsteracres, with time for prayer, reflection and sharing of the beauty of creation. You will need suitable walking boots and warm, weatherproof clothing. Please bring a packed lunch. Saturday 9th March, 10am-5pm. Led by the Minsteracres team. Suggested donation £10.

Leave me Lord, I am a Sinner!

Today’s Gospel recounts the day when Simon’s life changed forever. He spent the morning listening to Jesus preaching the Word of God to the crowds. Then, at Jesus’ word, Simon and his friends put out their fishing nets, though these experienced fishermen wouldn’t expect to catch anything in the middle of the day. When they did net a tremendous catch of fish, Simon, understandably, felt overwhelmed. His reaction – ‘Leave me Lord, I am a sinful man,’ would probably be ours, too. But Jesus chose this sinful and imperfect man for the leading role among his disciples. Simon would preach the Gospel and draw men and women to Christ, and he would become Peter, the rock on which the Church is built. He responded immediately and generously to the Lord’s call, leaving everything to follow him.

Like Peter, Christ calls us to be his disciples and witnesses. Like Peter (and like the prophet Isaiah), we may feel unworthy, and yet the Lord calls us. He will provide the catch. All he asks of us is a generous response.

Cheese and wine quiz night

Martin Donbavand is raising money to support a family who’s child has downs syndrome and are currently facing some extra challenges. There will be a Cheese & Wine quiz night on Saturday 9th March, 7:00pm at St Oswald’s Institute to raise funds. Tickets are £5 and will be available after 10am Mass today. For more information please contact Martin or Liz Donbavand on 07903888399.

If anybody has any raffle prizes they would like to donate they would be greatly appreciated, these can be dropped off at the parish office. We are looking for donations of wines, spirits and chocolates, thank you.

Diocesan Refugee Project -next collection Sunday 3rd February -toilet rolls and biscuits

Thank you to all who have brought in toilets rolls and biscuits for this months collection. These can still be left in the narthex today.
There are now over 50 new clients a month so the need continues to be very great and our generosity still asked for. There is also an appeal for more financial support. Please consider starting a standing order or increasing your current one or sending a cheque. Please see the Refugee Project Spring 2019 newsletter on the notice board for details.

Jesus the Prophet

Jesus is speaking in the synagogue in his home town of Nazareth. At first, his words meet with approval. But as he begins to challenge the worshippers, their mood changes. Jesus sees that the people of Nazareth are looking for miracles and wonders, like the ones they have heard about elsewhere, before they will put their faith in him. He reminds them that their ancestors rejected all of the prophets sent by God, and that God’s love and mercy are not restricted to one nation, but are for the whole of humanity. No wonder the members of the synagogue congregation become angry, and try to drive Jesus out of town!
The rejection that Jesus suffers in Nazareth recalls the rejection suffered by the prophets before him, and points forward to his ultimate rejection and crucifixion. Jesus will stand firm in the face of all the attacks on him. His response to opposition is not anger, but perfect love.

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