Category Archives: Announcements

Do this in memory of me

Today’s Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ celebrates the greatest gift that Jesus has given us – the gift of himself. Our faith tells us that, in the Eucharist, we receive his Body and Blood, under the appearance of bread and wine. In the Gospel reading for the feast, Luke tells the story of Jesus feeding a crowd of five thousand people. First, though, Jesus makes them welcome; he teaches them and cures the sick. Everything that Jesus does is done out of love for the people. When it grows late in the day, and the crowd are hungry, Jesus does not send them away, but instead works a miracle to provide enough food for everyone. More than enough, in fact – twelve baskets of scraps left over.

Jesus tells his disciples, ‘Give them something to eat yourselves.’ He wants his disciples to continue his loving care for the people, feeding them and providing what they need. In the Second Reading, St Paul describes how the first Christians passed on what they had received from Jesus, and how they continued to gather at the table to receive his body and blood. Today, when we celebrate Mass together, we celebrate in communion with Christians all over the world. Whoever comes to the table, the love of Christ is generous enough to make sure that there is plenty for everyone.

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.

Returning to Mass at Pentecost

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales has issued a statement about attendance at Sunday Mass, as we emerge from the Covid pandemic. The Bishops judge that the reasons which have prevented Catholics from attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation no longer apply. However, the Bishops recognise that there will still be some members of our congregations who are unable to return to Mass for reasons such as ill health, responsibility for the care of others or genuine concern about their safety. In these circumstances, there is no breach of the Sunday obligation.

Read the Bishops’ full statement here.