Gospel Reflection

‘Wherever you find jealousy and ambition, you find disharmony,’ writes St James in today’s Second Reading. And his words are borne out by the behaviour of the twelve apostles. Even as Jesus is warning them that suffering and death lie ahead for him, they are arguing about which of them is ‘the greatest.’ The apostles have failed to understand the Lord’s teaching.

Jesus illustrates the point in a dramatic way. He gathers the Twelve around him, and shows them a little child – a person with no power or status. Jesus tells the disciples that they should welcome the powerless in his name. For the disciples of Christ, leadership means service, and the poor and powerless have a special place in God’s kingdom. We should not be ambitious for worldly ‘greatness.’

Please Pray For ….

The repose of the soul of

Yvonne Plummer who died this week, sister of Margaret Davis.

Those who are sick:

Jonathan Yates, Liz Carr, Francis Mangion, Malcolm Walker, Andrew S., Christopher Browne, Rosemary Cramp, Hugh McElhennon, Mary Skelton, Clare Carver and David Moore.

Those whose anniversaries occur at this time:

Alan Penrose, Celia Leighton, James Lumley, Kathleen Erin Mary Need, Frances Elizabeth McGlone, Jozef Bukowski, Christopher Hills, Beatrice Helen Cafferty. May they rest in peace.

Lay Dominican Group

Our local group of Lay Dominicans meets on the third Sunday of each month at 2:30pm – currently on Zoom – for about 60-75 minutes. Our next meeting is on September 19th and if you would like to join our Zoom meeting or to learn more about the Lay Dominicans then contact Andy Doyle (andydoyle1066@sky.com or 0798 543 4185). Please note also that, to mark the joint 800th anniversary of the death of St Dominic and the coming of his friars to England, our meeting in October will be on Saturday 16th October when we shall have a day of prayer, study and reflection to which all will be invited to “Come and See” what we are about. 

Road Closure

Please note that, in addition to New Elvet Bridge being closed, road surfacing work has begun on New Elvet. This may cause diversion, delay and reduced parking availability near church between the 11th and 19th September (i.e. including 2 Sundays). Please set out early for Mass and look out for diversion signs!

Journey in Faith

If you are thinking about becoming a Christian; if you’re a baptised Christian and wish to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church; if you’re a Catholic who hasn’t received First Communion or Confirmation; or if you just want to learn more about the Catholic faith, the Journey in Faith programme (also known as Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, or RCIA) is for you. Our programme will start in mid-October and will continue on Tuesday evenings until Easter. It’s open to everyone, including parishioners and students. If you’re interested, please contact Fr Andrew at parish.priest@stcuthberts-durham.org.uk or 0191 384 3442.

The Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle is also offering an online programme, ‘First Steps,’ for those who wish to explore the Catholic faith. Details on the diocesan website, www.rcdhn.org.uk

For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission

Synod of Bishops 2023; For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission. Pope Francis has asked the whole Church to begin a process of listening and discernment, in preparation for the Synod of Bishops to be held in 2023. Every member of the Church is asked to contribute to this synodal process, which will begin in each diocese in October 2021. Details of the  process in our diocese will be announced shortly.

Climate Demonstration

The Season of Creation continues until 4th October, and we are encouraged to pray and engage in community events, to deepen our awareness of environmental issues. Climate Coordination Durham are organising a public demonstration on Friday 24th September, from 11am in Durham Market Place, as part of the Global Climate Strike. Everyone is welcome.

An Evening with St Joseph the Worker

Pope Francis has dedicated this year to St Joseph, to mark the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. 

On Tuesday 28th September at 7.30pm, St John Boste parish will be hosting an online event for the Finchale Partnership, exploring the central role of St Joseph in the church’s teaching about work over the past 150 years, alongside the history of St Joseph’s Ushaw Moor and the working people of the area during the same period.  Details of the Zoom link to join the event will be available in the parish Facebook Group, or from christine.brennan61@gmail.com.

Celebration of Creation

St. John Boste parish’s Green Team are holding a ‘Celebration of Creation’ event on Saturday 25th September, 11am at St Michael’s Church, Esh Laude.

The Green Team say:

  • We will be presenting outline plans for developing our church grounds (formulated with the help of Durham Wildlife Trust). We hope to increase biodiversity with regards to both flora and fauna, enhance current habitats, provide sanctuary for local wildlife and create spaces for contemplation and private prayer.
  • There will be prayer, quiet time and an open invitation to share ideas, thoughts and hopes on nature and our future. If anyone feels willing and able we also hope to ‘get going’ on our plan by making brash piles.
  • As well as yourselves, we are inviting parishioners, those in our DH7 Churches Together group and the diocesan ‘Laudato Si: God’s Garden’ group (Clare Myers will speak about the group; likewise her husband Chris regarding the Diocesan Environmental Group, and Lya Vollering her work and life at Minsteracres walled garden).
  • Our postcode is DH7 9QN. There is a ‘St Michael and All Angels’ church in the village centre, but we are to the west of the village & a little more remote. Unfortunately (due to Covid) we will not have access to the church building, which in turn means we are unable to offer refreshments or a toilet. Nearest facilities are at The Cross Keys Inn, Esh (half a mile away and open from 12 noon). You may also wish to bring your own seating (though for those able we will be walking around the grounds too)…. and could you also fetch some decent weather, please?

Who do you say I am?

In today’s Gospel, Peter first gets it right, and then gets it terribly wrong. Jesus has gradually revealed himself to his disciples; by his teaching, by his miracles, and by their life together. Now, he wants to see if the disciples have understood his teaching. Peter, prompted by the Holy Spirit, gives the right answer to Jesus’ question: ‘You are the Christ’ – God’s chosen and anointed one.

But when Jesus spells out to his disciples what is to come – that he will be betrayed, arrested and put to death – Peter is horrified. This mustn’t happen to his friend. Jesus rebukes Peter. He is absolutely obedient to his Father’s will, and he will face all that lies ahead, without resisting. Jesus goes on to teach the disciples that anyone who wants to follow him must give up their own desires and take up their own cross. To be a disciple of Jesus is to be like him.

It is a hard and challenging teaching. Our own cross might be one of sickness, discrimination, loneliness or many other things. We may have to make hard choices, to be true to our faith in Christ. If we suffer injustice, our instinct is to fight back; but Jesus asks us to follow his example. He calls us to walk a hard road. But it is the same road that he has already walked himself.

Support and Keeping in Touch

As lockdown restrictions are eased, members of our community could still be feeling isolated. If you are in need of practical help, or if you just want to chat, please contact Fr Andrew on parish.priest@stcuthberts-durham.org.uk  or 0191 384 3442. If you know of someone who needs support, please contact them, or let Fr Andrew know.

Parish bulletins and Catholic newspapers will be available for collection in a box outside the church door. Please pick up a copy of the bulletin and put it through the letterbox of a friend or neighbour who might not be able to get out.

Mass by Telephone: The Diocese of Middlesbrough has set up a system to allow people who do not have internet access to listen to Mass over the telephone. This service can be accessed by calling 01642 130120.

Hospital Visits: Due to the high community rates of Covid-19 in County Durham, visiting restrictions have been reintroduced at the University Hospital of North Durham. See the hospital website for the latest information. However, the Catholic Chaplain is still able to visit patients, and can bring them Holy Communion and the Sacrament of the Sick. If you know of a patient who wishes for a visit from the Catholic Hospital Chaplain, please inform Fr Paul Tully on 01388 818544 or frpaultully@outlook.com 

For visits to patients in St Cuthbert’s Hospice, in care homes or in their own homes, please contact Fr Andrew.

Season of Creation

The ecumenical celebration of the 2021 Season of Creation, themed ‘A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God,’ runs from 1 September, the World Day of Prayer for Creation, to 4 October, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. During this annual celebration of prayer and action for our common home, Christians across the globe will come together for a time of restoration and hope, and to discover radically new ways of living with creation. Pope Francis has posted a message for the season at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnQxcFLH7Y8

Afghanistan and Haiti

CAFOD is responding to significant crises across the world.

In the tragic situation in Afghanistan, CAFOD are working to ensure the safety of our local partners and their communities.

In Haiti, CAFOD are working with local Church organisations to deliver emergency aid to people affected by the catastrophic earthquake and tropical storm.

You can read more about CAFOD’s work with our sisters and brothers affected by these emergencies on the CAFOD website: https://cafod.org.uk/News/Emergencies-news Your compassion, generosity and prayers help us stand together and enable us to continue to support communities in these difficult times, Thank you.

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