Category Archives: Faith Formation

Encounter 2015

Encounter 2015: Saturday 6 June, 7pm. Come and encounter the living presence of our Lord and God Jesus Christ at St Cuthbert’s. Guest speaker Lynsey Neilson from Mary’s Meals will be sharing their great story of how a simple idea has allowed them to keep feeding almost one million of the world’s poorest children. Praise & Worship will be led by The Protomartyr. The Sacrament of Penance (confession) will also be available and this will be followed by adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. All are invited and all are welcome at the Lord’s table! We hope you will be able to join us for this very special evening!

Apocalypse Study Day and Visiting Preacher


fr. David Sanders OP
will lead a study day at St Cuthbert’s on Saturday 30 May on the theme of The Apocalypse. fr. David is Master of Students for the English Dominican Friars and teaches Scripture at Blackfriars, Oxford.

The day begins with refreshments from 10:00am for a 10:30am, and includes Mass (at 12:15pm, which will be the Parish Mass that day) and will finish by 4:00pm. All are welcome to attend. Lunch will be on a “bring and share” basis.

Please note that because of this Study Day there will be no Mass at 9:15am on Saturday 30 May.

fr. David Sanders will also preach at the Masses at St Cuthbert’s on Sunday 31 May, Trinity Sunday.

Diocesan Festival 2015

The third Diocesan Festival will take place over the weekend of Saturday 20 – Sunday 21 June at Emmaus Youth Village, Consett. There is guaranteed to be something for everybody! For more information please see the poster on the noticeboard; booking forms (to be returned by 31 May) can be found in the narthex or on-line at the diocesan website www.rcdhn.org.uk.

Retreat Day: The Risen Lord and the Community of Disciples

fr. John Farrell OP, Prior Provincial, will be giving a day retreat at St Cuthbert’s on Saturday 25 April on the theme of The Risen Lord and the Community of Disciples. Refreshments will be available from 10:00am, with the day beginning at 10:30am, and finishing by 4:00pm. The programme will include Mass at 12:15pm (which will be the Parish Mass that day), a “bring and share” Lunch and will conclude with Vespers. All are welcome to attend.

This day is particularly recommended to all undertake particular ministries at St Cuthbert’s: music, reading, catechesis etc. It will count as the annual day of recollection which all Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion undertake to participate in.

NB As a result of this retreat day, Mass will be celebrated at the later time of 12:15pm instead of 9:15am; the Mass is for everyone, not just those participating in the retreat day.

Eight Days Later

Caravaggio, The Incredulity of St Thomas (c. 1601-1602)

It is no mere co-incidence that the gospel passage we read on the Second Sunday of Easter – the eighth day of the Easter season – is always that of St Thomas, who did not encounter the Lord when first he rose, but only eight days later (John 20:19-31).

For Christians there is always a link between the first day of the week and the eighth. It’s not really correct to talk of Sunday as a “Christian Sabbath”. Saturday is the Sabbath day, the seventh day; Sunday is the first day of the week. But as Sunday is also the day which saw the Lord rose from the dead, we speak of it as being the first day of the new creation: the day after the Lord rested. The first day of the new creation is then, in a sense, the eighth day of the old creation.

The most intense part of the Easter celebration is also an eight-day festival, an “octave”. Every day in this Octave is Easter Day, and the liturgical celebrations of the octave – with Gloria, sequence and extra alleluias – recognise this. One single 24-hour period is insufficient for the joy of Easter Day.

So Thomas is not late when he meets the Lord on the eighth day: for the eighth day is Easter Day. The slight delay has the benefit of enabling Jesus to demonstrate how real the resurrection is: Thomas can touch him, and recognised him not just as his friend and teacher risen from the dead, but as his Lord and God.

On this Octave Day may we too recognise Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, and believing have life through his name, eternally singing, “Alleluia!”

In the Garden of Gethsemane – a Lenten meditation

Dr Angela Kim Harkins will give a Lenten talk at St Cuthbert’s Church on Saturday 28 March at 10:30am entitled, In the Garden of Gethsemane: The Bodily Experience of Prayer.

Angela is an Honorary Fellow at the Department of Theology and Religion here at Durham, and has been a member of our Parish and Chaplaincy community since coming to Durham eighteen months ago. She also holds a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship at the University of Birmingham, where she is undertaking research on emotion, prayer and religious experience at Qumran. Her talk will reflect her research and consists of a Lenten reflection on the Garden of Gethsemane prayer in Matthew 26:36-46. All are welcome.

Visit of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle

Prominent during Pope Francis’ tour of the Philippines, where he gathered a record crowd of over 6 million people for the celebration of Mass, was the Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle and we are fortunate that he will be visiting St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle on Monday 9 March. He will celebrate the 12.05pm Mass (which will be sung), and will speak at an Evening Celebration at 7.00pm. Cardinal Tagle is an inspiring communicator and is well respected for his involvement in many social issues and his work among the poor. Everyone is welcome.