All posts by Parish Secretary

Women like this…

It takes two to commit the sin of adultery. But only the woman is brought to Jesus. She is publicly humiliated by the scribes and Pharisees – made to stand in full view of the crowd. The Law of Moses prescribed stoning to death as the punishment for adultery, but by Jesus’ time, that penalty had fallen into disuse. Jesus’ opponents are setting a trap for him. Will he contradict the Law, or will he encourage the crowd to lynch the woman there and then? The accusers are full of righteous indignation. Jesus’ response shows up their hypocrisy. Not one among them is confident enough of his own sinlessness to throw the first stone.

We live in an unequal society. It is still, often, women, the poor or the powerless who are judged and condemned. As disciples of Christ, we must not be self-righteous accusers. Knowing our own need for God’s mercy, we should follow the example of the Lord, who does not condemn.

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. On Wednesday 10th April, 10am-5pm. Suggested donation: £10.

Holy Week Retreat: Join the community on their journey towards Easter, with time for reflection and the opportunity to take part in the ceremonies of Holy Week. Led by the Minsteracres team. This retreat will run from Thursday 18 April at 6.30pm until Sunday 21 April at 2pm. Suggested donation: £190.

Partnership Mass

Bishop Robert will be visiting the Finchale Partnership on Wednesday 10th April. The day will end with Mass in Ushaw College Chapel at 7.00pm, followed by refreshments.

Please sign up today if you are planning to come, so that we can give Ushaw an estimate of numbers. Also, please indicate if you need a lift to Ushaw, or can offer a lift, so that we can coordinate car-sharing.

A message from Deacon Matthew

As we enter the final month before my Ordination to the priesthood, I would like to thank you for the prayers and support you have been giving me. God willing, Ordination is on Saturday 27th April in Malta’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta. I understand that it’s probably too far to travel, but I would ask you for your kind support through prayer, so that I may truly become a witness to the Suffering Servant.

Welcomers, Readers & Ministers of Holy Communion

The current rota will end on Sunday 31 March. Please could you let the parish office know on 0191 3843442 or email of any Sundays you will not be available for the new rota by noon on Thursday 4 April. The new rota will run from Sunday 7 April until Sunday 23 June. If you would like to be included in the rota more or would like to be on a little less, please do get in touch, thank you.

The Parable of the Forgiving Father

We know today’s Gospel as ‘The Parable of the Prodigal Son.’ But perhaps we should focus instead on the father in the story. He is hurt by both of his sons. The younger son asks for his share of the family property without waiting for his father’s death, then leaves home as soon as he can and burns through his inheritance. When he comes back to his father’s house, no doubt expecting a frosty reception, he finds instead that his father is waiting anxiously for him, wanting to welcome him home and celebrate his return. The elder son reacts angrily to his father’s forgiveness of this wayward brother. It seems that, although he has worked dutifully on the farm, he is full of resentment. Once again, the father comes out to seek his son and to bring about a reconciliation.

In this parable, Jesus reveals to us the limitless compassion and mercy of God, our Father. When we fall into sin, God seeks us out, brings us home, and celebrates when we are reconciled to him. The season of Lent is the time to turn back to God for mercy, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.