All posts by Parish Secretary

Day of Study, Prayer and Reflection

Lay Dominicans North East invite you to A DAY OF STUDY, PRAYER and REFLECTION on Saturday 25th June, 10:45am to 3:30pm, here at St Cuthbert’s.

The day keys in to our Diocesan Year of the Eucharist and is on the theme of THOMAS AQUINAS, THE EUCHARIST and SALVATION. Our main speaker will be Dr Rik van Nieuwenhove of Durham University and the day will include talks, Mass at 12:15pm, prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and a buffet lunch.

There is no charge for the day but, to monitor numbers for catering purposes, please book by contacting Andy Doyle at andydoyle1066@sky.com or 0798 543 4185.

The mystery of the Trinity

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Trinity. We believe that God is three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and yet one God. What does this mean?

In the Old Testament, God revealed himself to the people of Israel as the one true God. Jesus’ disciples were faithful Jews: they believed firmly in one God, in contrast to the many gods of other ancient peoples. But Jesus spoke of being sent by God, his Father, and, shockingly, taught the people that he was one with the Father. In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples, ‘Everything the Father has is mine,’ expressing this relationship of love and unity. Slowly, the disciples came to recognise Jesus as the Son of God, equal to the Father. 

Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, the ‘Spirit of truth.’ His disciples experienced the Holy Spirit giving life to the early Church, driving them on to spread the Good News of Christ throughout the world. By reflecting on the Lord’s teaching, and on their own experience, Jesus’ disciples came to see that God is three Persons. 

Father, Son and Holy Spirit each share in the one divine nature and are perfectly united. Each one knows and loves the other perfectly, and their knowledge and love bring about a unity so deep that they live and act as one God. At the heart of the life of God is loving relationship, and Jesus invites us to share in this divine love.

Fr Michael McKenna

Fr. Michael McKenna who served at St Cuthbert’s as curate and Prison Chaplain is celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of priesthood on June 16th. He is currently a resident in St. Joseph’s Home, Newcastle. The Home has allowed his family to hold a Mass and a small celebration on June 18th. Regrettably, size limitation means that others will not be able to attend, for which the family apologise.  Please remember Fr. Michael in your prayers.

Diocesan Eucharistic Festival

On the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (Sunday 19th June) we will have the opportunity to celebrate our Eucharistic faith publicly in a Blessed Sacrament procession. Bishop Robert hopes this will be the highlight of the Eucharistic Year with many clergy and faithful taking part. The Festival programme includes a blessing of the newly restored Pugin Altar by Bishop Robert, a Eucharistic procession around the grounds of Ushaw (weather permitting) and Benediction. Bus transport will be provided from St Cuthbert’s – to book a place, contact Fr Andrew on parish.priest@stcuthberts-durham.org.uk or call 0191 3843442.

Durham University research worker

Durham University Researcher working on Irish Identity: My dissertation is looking at how storytelling shapes identity of Irish communities in the U.K. I hope to interview anyone who identifies in some way with the Isle of Ireland (NI and IRL). The interview will involve a few questions about storytelling, drawing a family tree (anonymised of course), drawing a picture of what your identity means to you and telling me a story which can be about anything at all! It shouldn’t take more than 40 minutes and can be arranged in a public setting/ via Zoom at your convenience. Contacts: emily.m.jeffries@durham.ac.uk or 07701 329143.

They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak 

Today, fifty days after our celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection, the Easter season ends with the feast of Pentecost. While he was with his disciples, Jesus promised not to leave them alone. When he returned to his Father, the Father would send the Holy Spirit, the Advocate or Counsellor who would guide and strengthen the disciples. In today’s First Reading, the Spirit comes in dramatic fashion, sounding like a strong wind and appearing like fire. 

The feast of Pentecost is the beginning of the Church. The apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit, began to witness to ‘the marvels of God.’ The division of the human race into different languages was overcome by the Spirit’s gift of tongues – people from all over the known world could understand the witness of the apostles. From Jerusalem, the Church would begin to spread throughout the Roman Empire, as the Holy Spirit gave the disciples courage to proclaim fearlessly the Good News.

Today’s feast reminds us that we are a missionary Church. We have received the Holy Spirit in our Baptism and Confirmation, and like the first disciples, we are sent out into the world to witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Father, may they all be one

In today’s Gospel Jesus, at the Last Supper, prays to God the Father for his disciples, and for the whole human race. His prayer is, ‘May they all be one.’ As we look around the world today, it seems that far from being one, we are more divided than ever. Nations are at war, in Ukraine and elsewhere. The rich are divided from the poor, the young from the old. There are politicians and others who cynically whip up division and hatred, for their own ends. Even the Christian churches are divided among themselves.

Can we overcome these divisions? Not on our own. The world’s divisions are caused by human sin. Anger, hatred, greed and violence divide people from one another, and unity can only come about by God’s grace. Jesus is absolutely united with his Father, and he prays that we will be united with one another by sharing in their love. Jesus loves us so much that he went to the Cross to save us from our sins. If we experience God’s love, we can learn to forgive those we regard as our enemies, and to seek forgiveness from those we have wronged. We can be united in the love of Christ.

World Communications Day

World Communications Day is this Sunday, 29th May. We are asked to pray for those who work in the media. A retiring collection will be taken to support the work of the Bishops’ Conference Media Office, which promotes the Church’s and the Bishops’ message in the local, regional, national and international mass media, and helps journalists to a better understanding of the Church’s activities and witness.