Catholic Theology Research Seminar

Dr Eduardo Echeverria (Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit) will speak on “Predestination, Election and Reprobation in Balthasar’s Theology of Hope” at the Catholic Theology Research Seminar on Tuesday 10 November.

5.15pm for drinks; seminar 5.30pm-7.00pm
Venue: Dun Cow Cottage Seminar Room.

A group will share a meal afterwards at a local restaurant.

All are welcome to attend. Please email or call 0191 334 3952 if you wish to attend, noting whether or not you wish to dine afterwards.

Café Lumière

During the Lumière festival Thursday 12th – Saturday 14th November the church will be open and we hope to serve soup and refreshments from 6:30pm until 9:30pm. We are seeking volunteers who would be able to welcome festival visitors and prepare refreshments during this period. If you are able to help please contact Andy Doyle on 0191 378 3660 or

Update: Bishop Dunn Memorial Lecture

Prof Eamon Duffy, FBADue to ill health, Cardinal Walter Kasper is unable to come to Durham to deliver the Centre for Catholic Studies’ Bishop Dunn Memorial Lecture. We wish him a speedy recovery.

In his place, Prof. Eamon Duffy, FBA, Emeritus Professor of the History of Christianity at Cambridge, will deliver the lecture prepared by Cardinal Kasper entitled Church, Mercy and the Signs of the Times. The lecture is part of The Tablet‘s 175th Anniversary Conference.

The lecture takes place at 8:00pm on Tuesday 3 November at the Arnold Wolfendale Lecture Theatre in the Calman Learning Centre. 

Tickets are £12 with concessions (free for students) available: contact Theresa Phillips ( or 0191 334 1656).

Following the lecture (c. 10:00pm), Compline will be celebrated at St Cuthbert’s Church – all are welcome.

Chair: fr. Timothy Radcliffe OP (Blackfriars, Oxford)
Respondent: Prof. Janet Soskice (Cambridge)

Saints in the Creed

Most of what the Creed says is about God: we say, “I believe in one God”, and then say lots of things about that God in whom we believe.

But the Creed also relates these truths about God to humanity. It emphasises that what Jesus does is “for us men and for our salvation” and “for our sake”. And it ends by recognising our “baptism for the forgiveness of sins”, our “resurrection from the dead” and our “life of the world to come”.

The Creed may be mostly about God, but it is for humanity. We are sinners who need the forgiveness of baptism. Conscious of the mortality of our bodies, we look forward to resurrection. Recognising that this world is finite and imperfect, we hope for the next.

That hope is expressed in a special way this week. On All Saints’ Day, 1 November, we joyfully celebrate those whom Christ has made holy: those countless people, most of whose names have been forgotten by us, who nevertheless show us the way to God through their prayer and example. They show us hope. Then, on All Souls’ Day, 2 November, we show hope by praying for those others who have died in Christ still needing to be purified in order to come to the fullness of holiness.

The Creed expresses the faith of the whole Church, those who have passed beyond this life as well as those still walking this earth. As we remember them all in coming days, may the whole of the Church be bound ever closer together in expression of the unchanging faith.

Soup lunch

A simple soup lunch will be available after the 12:15 Mass on Friday, 6 November. Donations requested for the Parish’s international development work.

If there is sufficient support it is hoped this can become a monthly “First Friday” event once again.

Jubilee of the Order of Preachers

The Dominican Friars will be celebrating 800 years from their approval by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 2016, preceded by a year (and a bit) of jubilee celebrations. At St Cuthbert’s we open the Jubilee with Mass at 2:00pm on Saturday 7 November for the Feast of All Saints of the Order of Preachers. All are welcome and warmly invited to this celebration, which also forms part of study day organised by the Dominican Youth Movement.

Please note that because of this jubilee celebration there will be no 9:15am Mass on 7 November.

The Tablet – Public Lectures

As part of The Tablet‘s 175th Anniversary Conference, there are two public lectures taking place shortly:

On Monday 2 November, Prof. Stanley Hauerwas of Duke University (named “America’s Best Theologian” by Time magazine in 2001) will deliver a lecture on The Spirit and the Church. Prof. Karen Kilby (Bede Professor of Catholic Theology) will chair, and Prof. Paul Murray (Director of the Centre for Catholic Studies) will respond.

On Tuesday 3 November, Cardinal Walter Kasper (former President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity) will deliver the Bishop Dunn Memorial Lecture on Church, Mercy and the Signs of the Times. fr. Timothy Radcliffe OP (Blackfriars, Oxford) will chair, and Prof. Janet Soskice (Cambridge) will respond.

Each lecture takes place at 8:00pm at the Arnold Wolfendale Lecture Theatre in the Calman Learning Centre. Tickets are normally £12, but concessions are available, including a limited number of free concessionary tickets for students: contact Theresa Phillips ( or 0191 334 1656).

Following Cardinal Kasper’s lecture on Tuesday 3 November there will be a celebration of Compline (Night Prayer) at St Cuthbert’s – about 10:00pm – all welcome.

Why do we need Creeds?

Council of NicaeaWhen we say the creed each Sunday, we proclaim the faith into which we were baptized. Although we are not entirely certain where creeds come from, we know that catechumens in the early Church had to learn answers to a series of questions about the core beliefs of the Church. They repeated these publicly as part of their baptismal ceremony to attest to their belief. Creeds may have originated in part as a condensed version of these answers, and would have varied locally (one of the most famous surviving examples is known to us as The Apostles’ Creed – it was actually the local creed used in Rome). The Council of Nicaea produced a Creed in 325 and later in the same century the Council of Constantinople (381) produced another which it said expressed the faith of Nicaea, and it is this we use today. Bishops had to sign up to this creed when they were ordained, and gradually, over many decades it came to be used in the liturgy and in catechesis.

Catechumens professing the faith at their baptism did need to have a basic grasp of the creed, but not perhaps for the reason you might think. Gregory of Nyssa, a bishop who was present at the council of Constantinople, worried that a false conception of the Trinity would undermine the Christian at the very beginning of his or her new life in Christ. Why? Not because we have to understand in order to for God to save us, but because we do develop ideas about God in our imaginations. The ideas in the creed help us to develop our faith, hope, and love. Doctrine is not a barrier to keep out those who have difficulty comprehending it (such as children, for example, whom Jesus said we ought to be like), but a gift to keep our imaginations faithful.

Part of a series on the Creed by Medi Ann Volpe

Forward Together in Hope – Individual Questionnaire

Please give us your views about the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle – and ask as many other people as you can to do the same.

As part of Forward Together in Hope – the Diocese’s three-year programme for renewal – a short on-line questionnaire has been developed that provides the opportunity for anyone to offer comments about the present and the future of the Catholic Church in the Diocese.

We are inviting as many people as possible, people of all faiths and none, to offer their views. We want to look at our Church through your eyes, to see ourselves as others see us. We want to learn from you, and we appreciate any help you are able to give us.

Please publicise the link – as widely as you can – for example through forwarding it to friends, through newsletters, websites, schools, social media etc.

Visiting Preacher

fr. Nicholas Crowe OP will be preaching at Masses on Sunday 25 October. fr. Nick is based at St Dominic’s Priory, London; he is the Vocations Director for the Dominican Friars and Director of the Dominican Youth Movement.

Want to become a Catholic, get confirmed, or find out more?

Are you interested in being baptised or becoming a Catholic? Or perhaps you’ve missed out on Confirmation, or just want to find out more about the Catholic faith? If so – or if this applies to somebody you know – then you need to know that this year’s Journey in Faith (“Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults” or RCIA) programme begins on Thursday 29 October at 7:00pm, with meetings each Thursday evening during Michaelmas and Epiphany terms in which we will explore the riches of the Catholic faith. To find out more, please contact fr. Ben or Andy Doyle (

The Creed

Have you ever wondered why we say the creed each Sunday? The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that ‘Communion in faith needs a common language of faith, normative for all and uniting all in the same confession of faith’ (CCC 185). The creed is a gift, and an essential part of what constitutes us as a community. When we say the creed, we accept the gift of faith that is the Church’s faith, and we put our trust in the One she names as Lord and Saviour. 

Do we need to understand every word of it in order to proclaim it? No. A child learns to say ‘I love you’ long before she really grasps what love is, and yet she speaks truly. So also we say ‘I believe’ as we grow in understanding of the commitment we make together. Nor do we come to understand it in the order in which we speak it. We may feel we grasp more clearly the statements of the second article of the creed, those which remind us of the narrative of Jesus’ incarnation, life, passion, death and resurrection—and so we should. The tender love and compassion of ‘God the Father Almighty’ who might seem rather distant as ‘maker of heaven and earth’ shows forth in all its gentleness and forbearance in the life of Christ. 

The creed offers us a chance, week by week, to meditate upon the faith we have received, and to make it our own.

This is the first in a series of thoughts on the Creed by Medi Ann Volpe.

Introducing Laudato si’

Durham Churches Together is organising an evening to introduce Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si’ on the care for our common home on Monday 19th October at 7.30 pm at Elvet Methodist Church. Speakers: Canon Simon Oliver (Van Mildert Professor of Divinity) and Jonathan Elmer (Ecological Consultant).

This will be a café style evening enabling discussion on issues raised by the speakers with further feed-back. Refreshments will be served. The evening will be free and all are welcome.

New Students

We warmly welcome to Durham newly-arrived students. The First Sung Student Mass takes place at 6:30pm on Sunday 11 October, followed by a welcome reception and buffet supper for all student (including those who might have gone to an earlier Mass!).

More details about activities for students now and throughout the term can be found in the yellow Chaplaincy bulletins and on the Chaplaincy website

Young people’s pizza and film night

For Year 7 and upwards a pizza and film night will take place on Saturday 10 October at 5:30pm. We will have our usual shared meal and watch a film together or possibly the new episode of Dr Who. Please bring something for a shared table. Please feel free to bring a friend or two! Everybody is welcome.

Pope John Paul II Award

The launch of the Pope John Paul II Award in our Diocese will take place over September and October this year. This is an award for young people in the age range of 16 to 18 and is intended to empower them to take an active part in the life of the Church. If you are a pupil in a Catholic secondary school, you should already be aware of the Awards but if you are being educated elsewhere, or have left school you may not be aware but are encouraged to participate in the award. To find out more visit, or talk to our parish coordinator, Mandy Hampshire (384 4805).

Called to the Supper of the Lamb

“Called to the Supper of the Lamb” is a day of reflection for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. It is led by Sister Sheila McNamara and takes place at Saint Joseph’s Parish Hall, Gateshead on Saturday 17 October 2015, 10.30am – 3.30pm. Cost: £7.50.

This day fulfils the undertaking made by Extraordinary Ministers to attend an annual day of recollection. To book a place contact Ciara in the Parish Office on

Start of Term

With the start of the University Term, “Holy Half Hour” (Exposition with confession available) will resume 6:30pm-6:55pm on Wednesday 7 October (and will be a regular feature most Wednesday evenings between now and Christmas). The Sunday evening sung Student Mass begins again on Sunday 11 October at 6:30pm.

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