‘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.’
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 (email@example.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.
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.
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!
On each of the 4 Mondays of the month of October, we will pray the Rosary at 6pm on Zoom. For dial-in details, look out for an announcement in the Parish FaceBook group or contact Andy Doyle ( firstname.lastname@example.org or 0798 543 4185)
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 email@example.com 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
The next meeting of St Cuthbert’s PPC will be held on Thursday 30th September. If there are any matters that you would like the PPC to discuss, please contact Fr Andrew or the PPC Secretary, Susan Penswick.
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.
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.
The Assisted Dying Bill will be debated by the House of Lords in October. See the Catholic Bishops Conference website, for information about the Church’s concerns, and how to write to peers about the bill.
The last 18 months have been a difficult time for all of us, because of the COVID pandemic. Even those of us who have not been ill have been subject to lockdown and restrictions in many aspects of our lives. Our church and parish have also been affected – who would have guessed 2 years ago that people would need to book in advance to come to Sunday Mass?
We would like to hear your views and experiences of how the life of the parish has been affected during the pandemic. There will be a meeting on 28 September at 7.00pm for us to share our experiences. The meeting will be on Zoom and the joining details will be in the parish Facebook Group or contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
If you’d rather tell us about your experiences in writing, there’s questionnaire you can fill in, and if you’d like to talk about your experiences but won’t be attending the meeting, please contact Margaret on 07719 906711.
Please follow the links below for more information about why we are doing this, data protection, etc., and for the questionnaire.
Bishop Robert has issued new Covid-guidance to the Diocese and the main points affecting St. Cuthbert’s and the Catholic Chaplaincy are:
- Please continue to use the hand sanitiser available in the narthex and porch.
- Please continue to wear a face covering in Church.
- Our seating capacity can now be increased, but you still need to book for the Sunday 10am Mass. As University term begins soon and attendance is likely to rise, then we may need to re-introduce bookings for the 6:30pm Mass as well.
- Cleaning routines in church are to be simplified.
- Congregational singing can commence again, whilst continuing to wear a face covering.
- The offertory collection will be re-introduced.
- Please note, however, that the physical Sign of Peace, reception of Holy Communion from the chalice and the availability of Holy Water remain suspended for the moment.
- At Holy Communion, especially on Sundays, we will continue to use our one-way system.
All these points will be reviewed again at the beginning of November.
From this week our on-line Gospel Reflection moves to Saturday morning.
Join us at 10.30am for the Gospel Reflection, which we expect will last about 50 mins. We’ll then take a 10 minute break (to get a drink!), and our social coffee morning will start at about 11.30am.
You are very welcome to join for the whole 2 hours, but you’re also welcome to leave after the Gospel Reflection, or to join at 11.30am for our social time.
We will be meeting on Zoom, and the joining details are available in St. Cuthbert’s Parish Community Facebook Group, or from email@example.com
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.
The diocesan Emmaus Team are trained in listening skills and in supporting those who are suffering loss. If you feel that it would help you to talk with a member of the team, you can contact them on 07732 908 740, or speak to Fr Andrew.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
For visits to patients in St Cuthbert’s Hospice, in care homes or in their own homes, please contact Fr Andrew.
Bishop Robert has announced the Year of the Eucharist will be celebrated in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and will be launched during Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral on Sunday 17 October, simultaneously with the launch of the Synod.
The aims of the Year of the Eucharist are:
To celebrate the Eucharist at the heart of the life and mission of the Church and to gather people back.
To grow as a Diocese in our love and appreciation of the Eucharist.
To deepen our appreciation of the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist through the rites.
To revitalise and renew our faith through a deepening prayer and devotion of the Eucharist.
To go out and serve the world through the nourishment of the Eucharist.
The Year of the Eucharist will be celebrated in Episcopal Areas, Partnerships, Parishes and Schools and will provide a framework of prayer for the Diocese’s participation in the first stage of the Synod.
On Fridays 10th and 17th, Saturdays 11th and 18th and Sundays 12th and 19th of September, St Cuthbert’s will be taking part in the national Heritage Open Days event (https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/st-cuthberts-catholic-church-durham) The church will be open to visitors, a small exhibition will be in place and light refreshments will be available. If you can help staff the church for 60 minutes or more during the day, welcoming visitors and offering refreshments, then please sign up on the list on the noticeboard or contact Andy Doyle (0798 543 4185 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sycamore is an informal course about the Christian faith and its relevance for life today. The Vicariate for Faith and Mission is running a series of online Sycamore courses throughout the year. A Zoom taster session will be offered on Sunday 19 September at 4.00pm. To register and receive the Zoom link, email Mike Weetman at email@example.com
The September edition of our diocesan newspaper is now available online at https://www.northerncross.org.uk/ Please consider supporting the Northern Cross by taking out a print or online subscription.