Category Archives: Announcements

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

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 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.

Quiet Day at Ushaw

An opportunity to step aside, to listen to God in scripture and to enjoy the peace. Wednesday, 27th March: 10.30am to 4.00pm. Led by Sister Rosarie Spence.  £10 per person, including coffee, tea and biscuits served both on arrival and to conclude the day. Lunch, with a delicious choice of great value home-made food, is available to purchase in the refectory. Bookings can be made on-line via Ushaw’s website ( or call 0191 3345119.

New Bishop

Pope Francis has appointed Rt Rev Robert Byrne, currently Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, to serve as Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle in succession to Bishop Seamus Cunningham. We look forward to welcoming Bishop Robert to our diocese.

Retirement Mass for Bishop Seamus: To mark the retirement of Bishop Seamus, a Mass will be celebrated at St Mary’s Cathedral at 7pm on Friday 22nd February, the Feast of The Chair of St Peter, Apostle. Everybody is welcome to this Mass, which will be followed by light refreshments in the Cathedral grounds. The Cathedral will be open to everyone and tickets are NOT required.

Installation of Bishop Robert as Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle: The Installation Mass for Bishop Robert will be celebrated at St Mary’s Cathedral at 12 noon on Monday 25th March, the Feast of the Annunciation. Entry to the Cathedral for this Mass will be by invitation and ticket only.

Please pray for Bishop Seamus and Bishop Robert as they each prepare for the next phase of their ministry.

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.