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Dominican Friar; Parish Priest, St Cuthbert's Durham

YCW Durham Informal Evening

YCW (Young Christian Workers) Durham invite you to an informal evening on Monday 10th August 2015, starting at approximately 6.30pm @ Ushaw College. 

As well as meeting YCW Durham members, the evening will include:

  • A small tour of Ushaw College
  • Food (we all bring some along for all to enjoy)
  • Guest Speaker – Sophia Stovall, Young Patrons Programme, Durham Cathedral
We are a group of people who meet up & use the gospels to reflect on the challenges in work & life and discuss topics of interest. We are under the national ‘YCW’ programme and whilst the word ‘Young’ is in our title, we don’t have an age limit!

We also hold regular socials. ‘Like’ our Facebook page – facebook.com/YCWDurhamUK – for updates on meetings, events & socials. You can also contact us on email: YCWDurham@gmail.com

A 16th-Century Rule of Life

Above all things love God with thy heart.

Desire his honour more than the health of thine own soul.

Take heed with all diligence to purge
and cleanse thy mind with oft confession,
and raise thy desire or lust from earthly things.
Be you houseled with entire devotion.

Repute not thyself better than any other persons,
be they never so great sinners,
but rather judge and esteem yourself most simplest.
Judge the best.

Use much silence,
but when thou hast necessary cause to speak…

Banish from thee all grudging and distraction,
and especially from thy tongue. And pray often…

Resort to God every hour…

Show thyself a sore enemy to vice,
and sharply reprove all vile and reprobrious words
and deeds that be not honest.

Be not partial for favour, lucre, not malice,
but according to troth, equity, justice and reason.

Be pitiful unto poor folk and help them to thy power,
for there you shall greatly please God.

Give fair language to all persons
and especially to the poor and needy.
Also be easy and diligent in giving of alms.
In prosperity be meek of heart and in adversity patient.

And pray continually to God
that you may do that which is his pleasure.

Also apply diligently the inspirations of the Holy Ghost,
whatsoever thou have therein to do.
Pray for perseverance.
Continue in dread and ever have God afore thine eye.

Renew every day thy good purpose.
What thou hast to do, do it diligently.
Stablish thyself alway in well-doing.

If by chance you fall into sin, despair not,
and if you keep these precepts
the Holy Ghost will strengthen thee
in all other things necessary,
and this doing you shall be with Christ in heaven,
to whom be given laud, praise and honour everlasting.

from the Rule of Life collected by Bl Adrian Fortescue. Bl Adrian, a member of the Lay Fraternity of St Dominic at Oxford, died a martyr at the Tower of London on 8 or 9 July 1539.

Parish Garden Party

Don’t forget that, to celebrate the completion of the fundraising for the £300,000 project of restoration of the church stonework and Harry Clarke window, there will be a Garden Party after the 10:00am Mass on Sunday 28 June. There will be a barbeque available to cook your own food with salads, bread etc. provided on a shared table basis.

Belpahar Donations

For a number of years, St Cuthbert’s Parish has engaged in fundraising to support development in a parish in Belpahar, India. Due to circumstances beyond our control, it has become impossible to verify that funds transferred to India are being received by the intended recipient. This has been a matter of great concern to the Parish Priest, Justice and Peace Group and Finance Committee. Having taken appropriate advice, it has been agreed that without assurance of proper receipt and use of funds it is no longer appropriate or responsible to continue to send money to India.

Since September 2012, when funds were last transferred to India, just over £4000 has been raised which we had intended to send to Belpahar. It is now proposed that these funds be applied instead to other similar overseas development projects identified by the Parish Justice and Peace Group. The Group has in mind in particular the project at Tierra Firme, a barrio in Ibagué, Colombia supported by our friends at the Durham Martyrs’ Parish.

In accordance with Charity Commission guidance for such situations, individuals who have made identifiable donations for Belpahar since September 2012 are entitled to reclaim their donation. Any claims should reach the Parish Office by Monday 29 June 2015. After that date the funds given for Belpahar will be applied as described above.

Please keep all those affected in your prayers. If you have any queries, please speak to fr. Ben or a member of the Parish Justice and Peace Group.

CAFOD Vacancy

CAFOD has a vacancy for a Community Participation Co-ordinator in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. This is a two year fixed term post (part time 17.5 hours per week) working with volunteers in parish and school communities helping to inspire and resource Catholics to participate in the Church’s mission to overcome poverty and injustice overseas in partnership with CAFOD. Closing date 10th July 2015. For more information see www.cafod.org.uk/Work-with-us/UK-Jobs/CPC.

Laudato si’

St Francis of Assisi

Just as happens when we fall in love with someone, whenever he would gaze at the sun, the moon or the smallest of animals, [Saint Francis] burst into song, drawing all other creatures into his praise. He communed with all creation, even preaching to the flowers, inviting them “to praise the Lord, just as if they were endowed with reason”. His response to the world around him was so much more than intellectual appreciation or economic calculus, for to him each and every creature was a sister united to him by bonds of affection. That is why he felt called to care for all that exists. His disciple Saint Bonaventure tells us that, “from a reflection on the primary source of all things, filled with even more abundant piety, he would call creatures, no matter how small, by the name of ‘brother’ or ‘sister’”. Such a conviction cannot be written off as naive romanticism, for it affects the choices which determine our behaviour. If we approach nature and the environment without this openness to awe and wonder, if we no longer speak the language of fraternity and beauty in our relationship with the world, our attitude will be that of masters, consumers, ruthless exploiters, unable to set limits on their immediate needs. By contrast, if we feel intimately united with all that exists, then sobriety and care will well up spontaneously. The poverty and austerity of Saint Francis were no mere veneer of asceticism, but something much more radical: a refusal to turn reality into an object simply to be used and controlled.

What is more, Saint Francis, faithful to Scripture, invites us to see nature as a magnificent book in which God speaks to us and grants us a glimpse of his infinite beauty and goodness. “Through the greatness and the beauty of creatures one comes to know by analogy their maker” (Wis 13:5); indeed, “his eternal power and divinity have been made known through his works since the creation of the world” (Rom 1:20). For this reason, Francis asked that part of the friary garden always be left untouched, so that wild flowers and herbs could grow there, and those who saw them could raise their minds to God, the Creator of such beauty. Rather than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise.

from Pope Francis, Encyclical Letter Laudato si’, 24 May 2015

Fr Peter Leighton

Bishop Séamus has announced that Fr Peter Leighton – sometime Parish Priest and University Chaplain here at St Cuthbert’s – is to be Parish Priest of St Paul’s, Alnwick and St Aidan’s, Seahouses. Congratulations to him, and prayers for his future ministry.

Centre for Catholic Studies

The next Catholic Theology Research
Seminar will be held on Tuesday 16 June: Dr Jonathan
Miles-Watson (Durham): ‘Inculturation, Identity and Belonging in a
Himalayan Church’.

The seminar will be
held in Dun Cow Cottage Seminar Room. Drinks will be available from
5.15pm with the seminar beginning at 5.30pm. There is no charge to
attend; all are welcome.

A group will go to a
local restaurant to share in a meal after the seminar, again all are
welcome to attend. Individuals will pay for their own meal with a
fixed cost of £11. If you would like to join the group for dinner
please let Eddie Jarvis know in advance – e.t.jarvis@durham.ac.uk
or call 0191 334 1656.

Collingwood College Mass

The last college Mass of the academic year will take place at 7:00pm on Wednesday 17 June in the Dales Suite of Collingwood College (an exec member will be at reception to direct you). All are welcome and warmly invited to the Mass.

Sacraments of Initiation

By happy coincidence we are celebrating this week all three sacraments of initiation. Both on Sunday 14 and 21 June we will celebrate the sacrament of baptism, by which a new member enters into the Church.

On Friday 19 June at St Joseph’s Church, Mill Lane, Gilesgate, Bishop Séamus will celebrate a Mass for Confirmation of teenagers from the Durham Parishes, including two members of our own congregations. The candidates will receive the Holy Spirit anew and be strengthened for their role and mission as adult Christians.

And at the 10:00am Mass here at St Cuthbert’s on Sunday 14 June we celebrate the first participation in Holy Communion of two of our children.

This Sunday we finally return to the green of Ordinary Time after the long cycle of Lent and Easter, followed by the great feasts of the Most Holy Trinity and the Body and Blood of Christ. We use green as a sign of the vitality and fruitfulness that there is in the Church throughout the year, and these infants, children and teenagers are signs to us of the growth of God’s kingdom.

In the Gospel, Jesus tells us that the kingdom of God is like a man who throws seed on the land. “Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know” (Mark 4:27). The seed of faith is sown in baptism, strengthened in confirmation and nourished in the eucharist. We give thanks for the gifts of these sacraments and pray especially this week for those who receive them: that their faith may continue to grow and that they may be an example to us all, all year round.

Open House Weekend

Judy McLean will be hosting an Open House Exhibition of her paintings, drawings and etchings over the weekend of Friday 12 June – Sunday 14 June and proceeds will go to charity. All are welcome; Please see the poster on the notice board for more details.

Ushaw Lecture

The Centre for Catholic Studies and the Institute of Mediaeval and Early Modern Studies are jointly hosting an Ushaw Lecture on Monday 8 June:

Dr James Kelly (Durham): “Inevitable Rebels: Catholics, Conformity and Degrees of Rebellion in England, c. 1530-1745”

The lecture is linked to the Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt exhibition. Drinks reception: 5:30pm; lecture: 6:00pm-7:30pm. Venue: Main Lecture Hall, Ushaw College.

There is no charge to attend; all are welcome, but you must register with Dr Hannah Thomas on hannah.thomas2@durham.ac.uk / tel. 0191 334 1656.

Stonework Project fundraising complete!

Following a recent legacy to the parish, we are now able formally to declare that the fundraising for the recent project to restore the church stonework and Harry Clarke window is complete. Many congratulations to those who worked hard to raise nearly £300,000 for this work. We will have the opportunity to give thanks and celebrate this achievement at a Garden Party and Barbecue after the 10:00am Mass on Sunday 28 June – more details to follow.

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!