But I say this to you…

Jesus’ disciples would be shocked to hear him say that they had to be more virtuous than the scribes and the Pharisees. These were the people who were admired by other Jews, for their scrupulous observance of the demands of the Law. But Jesus challenges his followers to go further. External compliance with the Law is not enough; he wants their whole hearts to be given to him. The Law prohibits murder, but Jesus warns his disciples against destructive anger and hatred. Adultery is forbidden, but the Lord teaches us that adultery begins with the lustful look that objectifies another person. Moses allowed a man to divorce his wife (though a woman could not divorce her husband); Jesus upholds marriage as a sacred bond for both spouses. If we are people of truth and integrity, we will not need to swear oaths, but only to speak with simple honesty. These are the laws of the kingdom of heaven.


A Lenten Retreat for Young Adults (18-35): At Stanbrook Abbey, Friday 6th-Sunday 8th March. An opportunity to pray, worship, listen to God’s Word and reflect in the tranquil atmosphere of the Benedictine monastery of Stanbrook, Wass, North Yorkshire. Places are limited, so please call Sophie Taylor on 0191 410 0776 if you wish to take part.

St Vincent de Paul Holy Island Children’s Camp

Needs volunteers for Summer 2020. A Christian camping experience for young people. Volunteers are needed for dormitory, kitchen and caretaking duties. Details at https://www.svp.org.uk/microsite/holy-island

The SVP is also seeking volunteers to help at a summer camp in the south of England for one week starting on August 22nd. The camp is for children aged 8-12 who spend their time caring for a sick relative. These children are in need of a holiday, fun, friendship and respite support. Could that person be you? For details, contact Teresa Kehoe on 07891 017615.

Explore, Listen, discover God’s call

A weekend for single Catholic women open to a possible call to religious life. A weekend retreat of prayer, discussion, reflection and community. An opportunity to be accompanied in your discernment, and to find out more about the spirituality and mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart. Friday 28th Feb – Sunday 1st March at 216A Wingrove Road Fenham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE4 9DD. For more information, contact Sr Barbara Sweeney on 07752 300056 or 0191 272 3000 or societyofthesacredheart@gmail.com

Youth 2000 retreat

This retreat is centred around the Eucharist and is a great event for young Catholics to meet new people, hear some inspirational talks and enjoy some amazing praise and worship. Friday 21st-Sunday 23rd Feb at Leeds Trinity University. The current cost is £45/£55 (Student/adult) this includes accommodation and all meals (Transport will be by train and we are hoping to fundraise for this cost – any suggestions are welcome.) Accommodation will be in the sports hall, so you will need a camping mat and sleeping bag (these can be provided if you do not have them.) For more information, contact Katie Flood on youth.durhammartyrs@rcdhn.org.uk

Your Light Must Shine

Jesus tells his disciples that they are ‘the salt of the earth.’ Before the invention of refrigeration, salt was commonly used to preserve food, as well as to season it. Just as a small amount of salt makes a big difference to the flavour of food, Jesus calls his disciples to be people who make a difference to the world. The same idea is expressed by the image of being ‘the light of the world.’ The good works of the disciples of Christ should shine out, in our families and our communities. The prophet Isaiah tells us what are the good works that the Lord desires: feeding, clothing and sheltering the poor; renouncing violence and siding with the oppressed. Such works are the marks of the disciples of Christ. Without them, the Lord says, we are good for nothing.

The Source

Our regular diocesan event for young people in school Year 9 upwards. This month: an evening with Lily Jo, a Christian praise and worship singer who will be sharing about good mental health and looking after ourselves. We will be travelling from Durham on the train and will eat in Newcastle before the event. Wednesday 12th February – 4pm – 9:30pm. The cost of the trip is £10 – if you have a railcard please bring this with you. For more information, contact Katie Flood on youth.durhammartyrs@rcdhn.org.uk

Finchale Partnership Property & Community Review

In October 2019, we started a Property & Community Review, part of a Diocesan programme. Many people volunteered their time, efforts and ideas to carry out the Property Audit, a Community Audit and a 10-year financial forecast. The Diocese has now decided to pause the review and we are not preparing a report for the Diocese. However the Partnership Development Group agreed that we don’t want to lose the excellent work done so far, particularly on the Community Audit. It’s not too late to contribute ideas about the needs of the community and how we may be able to help. Parish Pastoral Councils will discuss the work done so far and the Partnership will consider anything we can work together on. Thank you to all those who volunteered – your work is very much appreciated.

Parish Pastoral Plan- Building our Community

If you weren’t able to complete the events leaflets issued last week and you would still like to have your say, there are some spare copies in the porch next to the box in which to place your completed form. Thankyou.

The first event of 2020 is a Parish Dinner, the date and time to put in your diary is the 5th of March at 7.30pm. Further details to follow soon.

Contact for this project is Gil Bolton 0191 384 7217, gilmar.bolton@btinternet.com.

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