Category Archives: Announcements

A happy and blessed Easter to you all

This year, we celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection in strange and difficult circumstances. We cannot gather in church for the liturgy as we usually do. But we are united in prayer with one another, and with the Church all over the world. I have been struck by how well our community has pulled together, and how many offers of help I have received. Please keep in touch; pray for those who are suffering because of the pandemic, and those who are working to combat it; look out for family, friends and neighbours; and look forward to the time when we can gather again as a community to celebrate the Resurrection. Fr Andrew.

Catholic Papers

Catholic newspapers can be found in a box outside the church door. You will also find paper copies of the parish bulletin, and copies of ‘Walk with Me,’ a booklet of Eastertide prayers and reflections. If you pass St Cuthbert’s during your daily exercise, or while doing essential shopping, please pick up a copy. And if you have a friend or neighbour who is quarantined, please pick one up  and put it through their letterbox.

Keeping in touch

Please check the parish website, www.stcuthberts-durham.org.uk for regular updates. If you’re not already subscribed to our weekly e-newsletter, you can subscribe here. Also check the ‘St Cuthbert’s Church, Durham’ page on Facebook – from there, you can join our new Facebook group, ‘St Cuthbert’s Parish Community,’ which already has more than 60 members.

We have a network of parishioners who are keeping in touch via telephone, while social distancing is in force. If you would like to be contacted regularly (especially if you don’t have internet access), or if you know someone who would welcome such contact, please contact Fr Andrew on 0191 3843442 or parish.priest@stcuthberts-durham.org.uk.

Charities

If you can, please support charities which are continuing to care for those in most need during the Covid-19 pandemic.

CAFOD: www.cafod.org.uk

Aid to the Church in Need: www.acn.uk.org

Depaul (working with the homeless and vulnerable): uk.depaulcharity.org

Little Sisters of the Poor: www.littlesistersofthepoor.co.uk

St Cuthbert’s Care: www.stcuthbertscare.org.uk

Hospital Visits

Hospital visits: The University Hospital of North Durham has suspended visiting of patients, with limited exceptions for children’s wards, maternity wards and end-of-life patients. However, the Catholic Chaplain is still able to visit patients, and to 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

St Cuthbert’s Hospice is closed to all visitors, with limited exceptions for end-of-life patients. If you know of a patient in the hospice who wishes to contact a priest, please get in touch with Fr Andrew.

Holy Week and the Easter Triduum

St Cuthbert’s Church will remain closed until further notice. All Masses and liturgies will continue to be celebrated without a congregation.

Palm Sunday: Bishop Robert has directed that palms should be blessed at Mass, so that they can be distributed to the faithful when it is possible to do so.

Diocesan Chrism Mass: This will be postponed until it can be celebrated with a gathering of clergy and people.

Holy Thursday: The Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be celebrated, without the Washing of Feet or the procession to the Altar of Repose.

Good Friday: The Liturgy of the Passion will be celebrated, with special intentions included in the Universal Prayer.

Easter Vigil: The new Paschal Candle will be blessed and lit, without the lighting of the Easter fire.

You are invited to join in prayer with all of these celebrations, and with the praying of the Office of Readings on Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Remember that Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence.

Mass Intentions can be requested by email, telephone or letter. No offering is needed for a Mass intention.

Who is this?

Who is this?

‘Who is this?’ the people ask, as the Lord enters Jerusalem. And the reply comes back: ‘This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth.’ Jesus is given many different titles in the course of Matthew’s account of the Passion. Some are proclaimed in joy and faith, others in cruel mockery. When he enters the city, the crowd acclaim him as a prophet and as ‘Son of David,’ recognising a king who comes to his people humbly, riding on a donkey. Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is in stark contrast to the power of Rome, or the pomp of Herod’s court. He is modelling a different kind of leadership and authority.

When Judas greets Jesus as ‘Rabbi’ – Teacher – it is a traitor’s signal. When the High Priest asks Jesus if he is the Christ and the Son of God, he describes himself instead as Son of Man – the Messiah who has come to fulfil the Scriptures, and who will be seated at God’s right hand. The claim is blasphemous to the Jews; it is enough to seal Jesus’ fate.

Jesus’ last title – King of the Jews – is nailed above the Cross, as a dire warning to any other king who might be tempted to rebel against Roman rule. And yet, the Roman centurion and his squad recognise Jesus as a ‘Son of God.’

The Passion story prompts us to ask, ‘Who is Jesus for me?’ In normal times, the liturgy invites us to enter into the story. We sing ‘Hosanna’ with the crowds as Jesus enters Jerusalem; we walk with him to Calvary; we wait quietly on Holy Saturday for the Lord to burst from the tomb on Easter Sunday. This year, we cannot celebrate the liturgies of Holy Week together. Instead, we are called to enter individually into the Lord’s Passion; to walk prayerfully with him in our own homes; to share his suffering in our own hearts, knowing ourselves to be in communion with one another and with the Church around the world. We witness to our faith in Christ by our care and compassion for one another, and we wait in hope for new life.

Resources for Prayer

Readings for daily Mass, and the texts for the Prayer of the Church, can be found at www.universalis.com  Texts for the next seven days are available free, or you can subscribe to the Universalis app for unlimited access.

Magnificat includes Morning, Evening and Night Prayer, the daily Mass Readings, a daily mediation and Saint of the Day. It is currently available free at: https://us.magnificat.net/free 

Other resources, including links to live streamed Masses, can be found on the diocesan website, www.rcdhn.org.uk  and the website of the Catholic Bishops Conference for England and Wales: www.cbcew.org.uk 

Church Is no longer Open

Following the latest announcement from the Prime Minister on the measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, we are no longer able to open the church for people to call in and pray. This is a necessary measure to protect us all.

Please keep in touch as we find other ways to support each other and to pray together over the next weeks and months.

St. Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle are live streaming Mass, and this can be found on the Cathedral’s YouTube Channel and The Tablet has put together a useful summary of resources you can use.

Supporting one another during the coronavirus outbreak

Many of our parishioners are elderly, or at risk of infection because of an existing condition. Some are self-isolating, in accordance with NHS advice. If you would be able to help with shopping for food and medicine for a housebound person, or if you are in need of such help, please contact Fr Andrew on parish.priest@stcuthberts-durham.org,uk or 0191 384 3442.

We already have a number of volunteers, both parishioners and students (some of whom have been unable to travel home and are staying in Durham), who are ready and willing to help, so please do get in touch.