After a break of a couple of weeks I am now safely arrived in Rome, where I am missing the milder climes of Durham! I write to thank all at St Cuthbert’s for their kind words at the time of my departure, for your generous gifts, and once again for your welcome and support over the last four years. Please keep me in your prayers as I will you: may God bless you all.
Next Sunday 9 October is Prisoners Sunday. Please pray for those in prison, for their families and dependants, and for the work of the Prisoners Advice and Care Trust (PACT), which works to help prisoners to turn their lives around.
This Friday 7 October is Harvest Fast Day. We are invited to join 32-year-old Nicanora, from Bolivia, on her journey from poverty to abundance.
We can stand alongside Nicanora as she learns new skills and receives materials and seeds that will enable her to grow enough food to feed her family. Please pick up a Fast Day envelope today and give what you can.
The Justice and Peace group are holding a collection of unwanted / broken jewellery / watches to be recycled in support of Traidcraft. More than £16,000 has already been raised through this scheme which helps families in Bangladesh to grow tea and so provide themselves with an income that will feed their malnourished children for years to come.
Please have a clear-out of old costume jewellery, gold, silver or watches that you don’t wear or need and bring them to church next Sunday 9 October.
“To live wisely, think deeply and love generously” with Karen Kilby. All sessions will run from 7:00pm – 8:00pm at the following venues;
- Wednesday 5 October St Aloysius’ Parish, Hebburn
- Thursday 6 October St Anne’s Parish, Darlington
- Monday 10 October St Michael’s Parish, Houghton Le Spring
- Wednesday 12 October St Cuthbert’s House, Newcastle
To book, please contact the Diocesan Department for Adult Formation and Evangelisation at: firstname.lastname@example.org | 0191 2433313
Our parish collects biscuits and toilet rolls to help provide basic supplies to asylum seekers in the diocese. These are collected regularly, on the first Sunday of the month. If you would like to donate items and haven’t brought anything in yet then please remember to bring them to Church next Sunday 1 October and place them under the bench in the narthex ready to be collected.
The Justice and Peace group are also holding a collection of unwanted / broken jewellery / watches to be recycled in support of Traidcraft. More than £16,000 has already been raised through this scheme which helps families in Bangladesh to grow tea and so provide themselves with an income that will feed their malnourished children for years to come. Please have a clear-out of old costume jewellery, gold, silver or watches that you don’t wear or need and bring them to church on Sunday 9 October.
CAFOD Harvest Fast Day will take place on Friday 7 October. Envelopes will be distributed next weekend.
In the Northumbria in Bloom Awards held in July, Durham City won the Regional Champion of Champions category. Our own garden here at St Cuthbert’s won a well deserved Silver Gilt! Martin Donbavand and John Urquhart work so hard come rain or shine to keep the garden as wonderful as it is. So well done to them their hard work has paid off!
Please could you let Ciara in the parish office know on 0191 3843442 or email email@example.com of any Sundays you will not be available for the new rota by noon on Tuesday 26 September. The new rota will run from Sunday 9 October until Sunday 15 January.
Their annual Ceilidh will take place on Saturday 15 October, 7:00pm–10:30pm at Bowburn Community Centre. Tickets cost £5 each and are available from Mandy Hampshire after 10:00am Mass. Everyone is welcome.
Thank you for supporting the Shared Harvest on Sunday 11 September.
We raised £175.61 which will be put towards the purchase of Winter Survival Kits from CAFOD, to support Syrian refugees arriving in Europe with nothing.
Image courtesy of freefoto.com
The Simon Bates Foundation is organising a Charity Concert to be held at St Mary’s Cathedral on Saturday 22nd October at 7.00pm. The concert features the Felling Male Voice choir, Glynwood Primary Choir, the Swing Bridge Singers and Flotsom and will be hosted by Paul Mooney. For concert tickets please contact Mick McCabe on 07969107791 – tickets £10 (under 16’s £5). Please see poster on the noticeboard.
Does love have a limit? The younger son in the parable believes he has reached the limit of his father’s love for him. He has abandoned his home, gone off to a foreign country and squandered the family’s wealth in the worst possible way. Surely there’s no way that his father will now have him back as a son? But perhaps there will be a place for him in the house as a servant.
The younger son has underestimated his father’s generous love for him. Not only has the father not rejected his wayward son – he’s watching out for him, anxiously waiting to welcome him back, and ready to throw a party to celebrate his return.
The elder son, sadly, has no grasp of his father’s generosity. He sees his work on the family farm as “slavery,” and his brother’s return prompts resentment rather than rejoicing. If the younger son represents the sinners who are seeking the company of Jesus, the elder stands for the “righteous” Pharisees and scribes.
This parable shows us the extravagance of God’s love for us. When we turn away from God’s love by choosing to sin, God seeks us out, ready to forgive us, and to celebrate our return home. God’s love and mercy has no limit.
We warmly welcome to Durham any students who have arrived early, whether as post-graduate or pre-sessional students, in advance of the start of the University academic year! We encourage all Catholic students to register on-line with the Chaplaincy – that way we know who you are and can keep you up-to-date with what is going on. See www.durhamcatholic.org/freshers for details of the programme for the induction weeks and to sign up.
Not going to Durham? Most of our Universities and Higher Education Institutions have a dedicated Catholic Chaplain based in the university or the local parish. The Catholic Chaplaincy is a place for you to explore your faith as a young adult, to meet other young people with similar interests from a great range of backgrounds, and to get involved in activities and social outreach. If you already have a strong faith, this is a chance to deepen it. If you are full of questions and doubts, this is a chance to share them and search for some honest answers about life and faith. Everyone is welcome.
To find your local Chaplaincy, and for contact details of all the University Chaplains and Catholic Student Societies, visit the “CathChaps” website at: www.cathchaps.co.uk
It is a request from the Holy Father that a Day of Prayer for Peace be promoted in our parishes on 20 September 2016. On this day there will be an Inter-Religious gathering in Assisi presided over by Pope Francis.
The next parish film night will be on Saturday 17th September at 7.00pm. The film will be ‘High Noon’ starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly and there will be pizza and refreshments.
Many will remember that earlier in the year we helped raise funds to enable Patrick Laing to go as part of a group from St Leonard’s School to build three classrooms in a deprived area of Peru known as Iquitos, following on from a 2011 project in which a clinic, classroom and toilet block were build.
Patrick has now returned from Iquitos and will make an illustrated presentation to the Parish over tea and coffee after the 10:00am Mass on Sunday 18 September. Do come and see and hear what Patrick and his group, with our help, has been able to achieve.
Fr Andrew Downie moved in on 5 September 2016 to take up his new roles as Parish Priest of St Cuthbert’s and Catholic Chaplain to Durham University.
Fr Andrew is a native of Sunderland; he studied Natural Sciences at the Cambridge and later qualified as a solicitor. He trained for the priesthood at the Venerable English College, Rome, where he gained a Licence in Fundamental Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. Ordained priest in 2002, Fr Andrew came to St Cuthbert’s in September 2016 from being parish priest of St Patrick’s and St Pius X, Consett. In the past he has served as Vocations Director for the diocese and Chaplain at the Universities of Newcastle and Northumberland.
Fr Andrew has a special interest in the teaching of Vatican II, and in the encounter of faith with contemporary culture, and is studying for a PhD part-time in Durham University’s Department of Theology and Religion.
We warmly welcome Fr Andrew to Durham and St Cuthbert’s!
Find out more about Open Gate, a local charity that assists women released from Low Newton Prison by joining the Durham Martyrs and St Cuthbert’s Justice and Peace Groups at St Joseph’s Church, Gilesgate on Tuesday 20 September at 7:30pm after the 7:00pm Mass. Representatives from Open Gate will talk about their work. Everyone welcome.
The Justice and Peace group are holding a collection of unwanted / broken jewellery / watches to be recycled in support of Traidcraft. More than £16,000 has already been raised through this scheme which helps families in Bangladesh to grow tea and so provide themselves with an income that will feed their malnourished children for years to come. Please have a clear-out of old costume jewellery, gold, silver or watches that you don’t wear or need and bring them to church on Sunday 9 October.
The day I was installed as Parish Priest of St Cuthbert’s, the gospel recounted Christ’s injunction to James and John: “Anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all.” (Mark 10:43-44); in this way, one who is called to Christian leadership must imitate Christ the servant.
It is not for me to judge my service here in Durham; that I must leave to you and to the Lord. But I must thank all in Durham – in the parish, the diocese, the University and the city – for the warm welcome given to me and to my Dominican confrères over the past four years, and for the support you have given us as we have sought to serve you and Christ in this place. I hope that together we have been able to advance the mission of the Church in making the Kingdom present; and for our failures and shortcomings I ask your forgiveness.
Ultimately, however, we are called to be servants not merely of one community, but to be “slaves to all“. The Church calls us elsewhere, and we follow Christ’s call: “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also” (Luke 4:43).
In this Sunday’s second reading, St Paul reminds Philemon, on sending back his slave Onesimus, that the bond of Christian fraternity is much greater than that of slavery. The Dominican friars may no longer be serving you here in Durham, but we remain your brothers in the Lord. Please keep us in your prayers, as we will you, and may God continue to bless this community.
Your brother in Christ,
fr. Benjamin Earl OP