People sometimes ask where they can find out more about the parish, and you may not realise just how much information there is on our website.
On Sunday 8th March there will be a guided tour of the website, to help you find your way round, and explain how you can find the Facebook page and sign up for the e-newsletter. Please join us over coffee after the 10.00am Mass.
The first day of the season of Lent, is this week. It is a day of fasting and abstinence. Mass with imposition of ashes will be celebrated at St Cuthbert’s at 12.15pm and 7.00pm.
The Bishops of England and Wales have issued guidance to parishes about the Coronavirus outbreak. At present, the risk to the public in this country is low, and there is no need for special measures around the Sign of Peace or reception of Holy Communion from the chalice. We are advised to maintain good hygiene; ministers of the Eucharist should sanitise their hands before and after distributing Communion. We should all combat prejudice and discrimination against people of Chinese origin.
Soup lunch in aid of CAFOD, every Friday in Lent, after 12.15pm Mass. Volunteers are needed to make soup – please sign up!
The candidates and catechumens taking part in our Journey in Faith programme will be enrolled at St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle, next Sunday, 1st March. Please pray for those preparing for Baptism, Confirmation or Reception into full communion with the Church, and for their sponsors and families.
Nepacs is a north east charity which has been
supporting people affected by imprisonment for over 135 years. This
Lent we would like to collect items for nepacs to make up Toiletry Packs for
prisoners being released who are in particular need. Our previous support to Low Newton has
been greatly appreciated.
Useful items to contribute to the Toiletry
Packs are toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, shower gel, soap, deodorant
(roll-on or spray), flannels, combs and wet wipes. Packs for anyone who is
homeless on their release also include socks, plasters, waterbottle/flask,
bacterial gel, and a dry food pack (coffee, tea bags, hot chocolate powder,
cup-a-soup, cereal bars, sugar, stirrer, Mars Bars). In addition, the
packs for HMP Low Newton need lip balm and Sanitary Pack (STs, tampons, panty
liners), and those for HMP Durham need disposable razors and shaving foam.
Please put donations in the boxes in the
narthex throughout Lent.
The ancient law of ‘An eye for an
eye’ seems brutal to us. It was a harsh law for a harsh time; a law
that put a limit on vengeance, so that violence did not escalate out
of control. Jesus calls his disciples to a higher standard: to resist
violence and injustice without resorting to violence themselves.
Modern movements for civil rights and justice show us the power of
non-violent resistance, but it can be a difficult and costly road to
The Law required the
people of Israel to love their neighbours, but was often interpreted
as imposing no obligation to love sinners or enemies. Jesus, again,
calls his disciples to do more; to love the enemy and pray for the
persecutor, following the example of God our Father, who loves all
those he has created. Such a radical vision may seem impossible, even
foolish. This is not the wisdom of the world, but a wisdom that
changes the world.
The Parish Dinner was to take place on the 5th of March but will now be held on Wednesday 1 April at 7.30 pm at “Finbarrs Restaurant” Aykley Heads. The meal will be three courses with three choices for each course and will cost £27.50 per person. Menus will be available next week. If you wish to register your interest please contact Gil Bolton directly or email email@example.com or by phone 07816819515.
Ash Wednesday this year is on 26th February. After the 10am Mass this Sunday we shall, as is traditional, burn your palm leaves and crosses from last year in order to provide the ashes – so please bring your palms to church and place them in the box provided in the porch.
Canon Bob Spence will celebrate the 10.00am Mass this Sunday. Please give him a warm welcome.
Pride and Providence: Reflecting With St Augustine on Our Political Malaise. Presented by Sr Margaret Atkins OSA, Augustinian Sisters, Boarbank Hall, Cumbria. Wednesday 10th March at 5.30pm, at Ushaw College. Entry is free, and transport will be provided from Durham city centre, but you need to register at https://centreforcatholicstudies.eventbrite.com/
The Centre for Catholic Studies has a vacancy for a Postdoctoral Research Associate. Details at https://www.dur.ac.uk/theology.religion/ccs/new/
A Lenten Reflection at Ushaw: An opportunity to experience different ways of praying at this time of Lent and on the feast of the Annunciation, led by Sister Rosarie Spence RSM, on Wednesday March 25th, 10.30am-3.30pm. The cost is £10.00 per person, to include refreshments at the beginning and the end of the day. Lunch can be purchased in the Refectory, and you can book online at www.ushaw.org or on 0191 3345119
Ushaw Lecture: The Materiality of Christian Pilgrimage, Medieval to Modern: Reflections From a Church Historian and Sometime Pilgrim. Presented by Prof Salvador Ryan, St Patrick’s College Maynooth. Wednesday 26 February at 5.30pm.
Last week’s picture was from the stained glass window in the confessional
on Wednesday at 7.00pm will be an Eastern Rite Liturgy
celebrated by Rev Dr James Siemens.
in the Extraordinary Form will be celebrated at St Cuthbert’s
on Thursday at 7.00pm, by Fr Michael Brown.
If you have a child in school Year 4 or above, and would like them to be prepared to make their First Holy Communion this year, please speak to Fr Andrew or Stephanie Brown firstname.lastname@example.org
Sessions will start after February half term.
Jesus’ disciples would be shocked to hear him say that they had to be more virtuous than the scribes and the Pharisees. These were the people who were admired by other Jews, for their scrupulous observance of the demands of the Law. But Jesus challenges his followers to go further. External compliance with the Law is not enough; he wants their whole hearts to be given to him. The Law prohibits murder, but Jesus warns his disciples against destructive anger and hatred. Adultery is forbidden, but the Lord teaches us that adultery begins with the lustful look that objectifies another person. Moses allowed a man to divorce his wife (though a woman could not divorce her husband); Jesus upholds marriage as a sacred bond for both spouses. If we are people of truth and integrity, we will not need to swear oaths, but only to speak with simple honesty. These are the laws of the kingdom of heaven.
Our servers will be inducted into the Guild of St Stephen during Mass today. Please pray for them and, if you would like to join this ministry at the altar, have a word with Fr Andrew or with Andy Doyle.
A Lenten Retreat for Young Adults (18-35): At Stanbrook Abbey, Friday 6th-Sunday 8th March. An opportunity to pray, worship, listen to God’s Word and reflect in the tranquil atmosphere of the Benedictine monastery of Stanbrook, Wass, North Yorkshire. Places are limited, so please call Sophie Taylor on 0191 410 0776 if you wish to take part.
An opportunity to experience different ways of praying at this time of Lent and on the feast of the Annunciation, led by Sister Rosarie Spence RSM, on Wednesday March 25th, 10.30am-3.30pm. The cost is £10.00 per person, to include refreshments at the beginning and the end of the day. Lunch can be purchased in the Refectory, and you can book online at www.ushaw.org or on 0191 3345119