Our Ignatian retreat in daily life is this week. The opening meeting is Sunday 21st January, after evening Mass. If you have signed up to meet with a prayer guide, please come to the opening meeting, so that you can be allocated to your guide and arrange a time to meet. The evening workshops are open to everyone: these are (all at 7.30pm): Tuesday – Ways of Praying; Wednesday – Discernment and Decision making; Thursday – Humanity in God. The church will be open each day for private prayer, and there will be extra slots for the Sacrament of Reconciliation – see the retreat leaflet. The cost of the retreat is £10 for students and retired people, £20 for those in paid work – but please speak to Fr Andrew if the cost is a problem – we don’t want anyone to miss out on the retreat.
Our Journey in Faith programme re-commences on Tuesday 23 January in the Parish Room. Although designed primarily for those looking to be baptised, received into the Catholic Church and/or confirmed, all parishioners and students are very welcome to come along and to explore the Catholic faith.
For our first session this term we join with the team from St Beuno’s Jesuit Spirituality Centre and others from the parish and chaplaincy to explore “Ways of Prayer.” As a result, the start time for this session only will be 7:30pm.
Runs from 18-25 January. This year’s theme is “That all may be free.” As we pray for the unity of all Christians, we are called upon to recognise the injustices that exist in our world, and how these injustices disrupt communities and distort our relationships to one another.
During the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, St Cuthbert’s will be hosting the Durham Churches Together Prayer Breakfast on Wednesday 24 January at 8.00am. Everyone is welcome for bacon sandwiches and a simple morning prayer. Bring your friends from other Christian churches.
Is next week, Sunday 28 January. On this day Catholics are called to pray for those who experience unjust discrimination or are marginalised because of their race and ethnicity. We think in particular of those who feel they do not belong within our society or our communities because of this discrimination.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) will be making an appeal on Sunday 28 January. Please pray for the work of SPUC in upholding the value of every human life.
In today’s Gospel Jesus calls his first disciples – two pairs of brothers, Simon and Andrew, James and John. What did they see in Jesus, that prompted them to follow him? Mark’s Gospel tells us nothing of what the disciples thought or felt. Jesus’ message was a stark and simple one: “Repent, and believe the Good News.” Somehow, this was enough for the four to decide that they would follow him. They left behind their homes and families, and their occupation as fishermen, to become disciples of a wandering rabbi. Jesus was calling them to witness: “I will make you fishers of men.” The disciples would spend the rest of their lives witnessing to the Good News that they had heard from Jesus. They gave their lives to him. Jesus calls each one of us by name, to follow him and to witness to the Good News. What is he asking of us today?
We have permission from the prison to use the court car park on Sunday mornings during 10am Mass. Please see Ciara in the parish office if you would like one.
However this does not mean you will always be guaranteed a parking place as spaces are limited and will go on first come, first served basis.
Ash Wednesday this year is on 14 February. After the 10am Mass on Sunday 11 February we shall burn your palm leaves and crosses from last year in order to provide the ashes – so please bring your palms to church before 11 and place them in the box provided in the porch. Thank you.
On Sunday 4 February, at the 10.00am Mass, there will be a special blessing for all the children who have been baptised at St Cuthbert’s in the past year. Godparents and any family members are most welcome to join in. Afterwards there will be a small celebration with light refreshments in the Parish Room.
Dr. Nicole Reinhardt (Durham University); ‘Sin, Confession and Politics: Royal Confessions in Seventeenth-Century Catholic Europe.’ Wednesday 24 January; Drinks reception in the Refectory at 5.30pm, lecture in the Exhibition Hall at 6.00pm. Transport is available from Durham city centre: for more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
‘The Power of Music.’ Mr Simon Wallfisch will tell the story of his grandmother, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, a survivor of Auschwitz and Belsen. Tuesday 23 January at 7.00pm, at St Mary’s Catholic School, Benton Park Road, Longbenton, Newcastle. Further information available from Mr Graham Wilkins, 07929 115712 or email@example.com
A talk by Sr. Gemma Simmonds: ‘The Hope That is Within You.’ Saturday 27 January, 11.00am-12.30pm approx. Light refreshments are available from 10:30am. St. Mary’s Centre at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Hencotes, Hexham, NE46 2EB.
Is Sunday, 14 January. The Bishops of England and Wales invite us to make it a day of prayer for peace, using the theme proposed by Pope Francis: Migrants and Refugees – Seekers of Peace. More information at www.paxchristi.org.uk.
Bishop Séamus describes our Partnerships as: ‘A group of parishes agreeing to work together, to share resources, both human and material, to become stronger and better equipped for furthering the Kingdom of God’. To support partnerships a document called ‘Why Partnerships? – Some Key Messages’ is now available, providing further background and the key reasons why the decision was made to establish partnerships around the Diocese. You can read this document online at www.rcdhn.org.uk
The readings for today’s Mass present us with two stories of a call from God. Samuel was a young boy dedicated to God by his mother, from the day of his birth. While Samuel was living with Eli the priest, and serving him, God called him to become a prophet who would speak God’s words to the people. Andrew, Simon Peter and another unnamed follower of John the Baptist became disciples of Jesus after meeting him. In each case, the call from God is unique and personal. In each case, a guide has a part to play in helping the disciple to respond to God’s call. Eli prepares Samuel to listen to the Lord’s words; John the Baptist points out Jesus to his disciples as the Lamb of God. The guide does his part, and then steps aside to allow God to work. In each case, the disciple has to have a listening ear and an open heart, to recognise God’s call and respond generously. Jesus asks us to come to him without our own agenda – to come to him, listening and receptive, ready to give our whole lives in answer to his call. And he promises us that, if we ‘come and see,’ we will hear the truth, and encounter a love and a joy we would never have known.
A new fortnightly prayer group will start at St Godric’s on January 18. Held in the John Boste room, it will last from 6:45-8:00pm. All are very welcome.
Monthly gathering for young people in school Years 6, 7 and 8. Live bands, praise and worship, invited speakers, refreshments and social time. On Wednesday, 17 January, 6.00-7.30pm at St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Mill Lane, Hebburn NE31 2ET.
Registration opens for the Centre for Catholic Studies 10th Anniversary Celebratory Conference: Catholic Theology in the Public Academy: Searching the Questions, Sounding the Depths. Programme includes:
Academic Colloquium featuring panels of leading scholars
Celebratory Dinners in Durham Castle’s Great Hall and St. Chad’s College
Anniversary Mass of Thanksgiving in Durham Cathedral
Anniversary Public Lecture by Baroness Nuala O’Loan on Catholicism and Public Life.
More information available at www.centreforcatholicstudies.co.uk or by calling 0191 334 1656. Early booking strongly recommended to avoid disappointment.