The October 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.
Congratulations to St Cuthbert’s Church in Chester-le-Street, who won an award in the category ‘Religious Establishments’ in this year’s Northumberland in Bloom competition.
The online event organised by St John Boste parish for our Partnership has been rearranged, and will now take place on Thursday 14th October at 7.30pm. The event will explore the central role of St Joseph in the church’s teaching about work over the past 150 years, alongside the history of St Joseph’s Ushaw Moor and the working people of the area during the same period. Details of the Zoom link to join the event will be available in the parish Facebook group, or from email@example.com. Everyone is welcome.
‘Jesus was indignant.’ It’s not a word that we often hear in the Gospels. But today, Mark tells us that Jesus was indignant, because his disciples were turning away little children who were brought to him. Jesus never turned anyone away, and he had a special love for children. In this Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that the kingdom of God belongs to the little ones. He is teaching us that we can never earn our place in God’s kingdom. We can only receive God’s love and mercy as a gift from our Father, just as a child depends on his or her parents for everything. Whatever power or status we may have achieved in the world, it counts for nothing when we stand before God.
Today’s first reading, from the Book of Genesis, takes us back to the beginnings of the world. God created the whole world, and gave it to humanity to care for. Every person is made in God’s image, and all have equal value, male or female and regardless of colour or creed. Every person is unique and precious in God’s eyes, and no one is turned away from God’s kingdom.
Congratulations to Matthew Glasspool, who will be welcomed to our community at 10am Mass on Sunday 3 October, before receiving the Sacrament of Baptism next week, and to his family. Please pray for them.
A weekend retreat on the Word of God, at Minsteracres, Friday 8-Sunday 10 October. Details at www.minsteracres.org
Many thanks to all those who came to our meeting to share your views and experiences of parish life during the last 18 months of lockdowns and restrictions.
If you weren’t able to join us for the meeting, it’s not too late to contribute. You can find out more about why we are asking for people’s experiences in the attachments below, and there’s a questionnaire you can complete too. If you know anyone who is not on-line, there are paper copies of the questionnaire at the back of church.
With the University term beginning on Monday 4th October, the 6:30pm Mass is becoming busy again. We would now ask that you book a place at both 10am and 6:30pm Masses on Sunday’s. You can do this by emailing the parish office at firstname.lastname@example.org
In today’s Gospel, we find the apostle John annoyed. Someone is using the name of Jesus to cast out devils – but he isn’t one of the twelve apostles. John expects Jesus to put a stop to it, because this man is ‘not one of us.’ Jesus, instead, tells John to look at the fruits of the man’s ministry. If he is working miracles in Jesus’ name, then he is on the right side, and the disciples mustn’t stop him.
We can easily feel suspicious or resentful of anyone who is ‘not one of us.’ Even in the Church, we may be tempted to think in terms of ‘them and us,’ and to exclude those who are different from ourselves. But this is not what Jesus teaches us. No one is excluded from the love of God. In this Gospel, once again, Jesus reminds his disciples that the ‘little ones,’ the poor and powerless, are especially precious in God’s eyes. Anyone who is an obstacle to the faith of the little ones will answer to God. This is what should concern us, rather than asking who is ‘in’ or ‘out.’
Every one of us can be a witness to God’s love. Whoever we are, we are baptised as priests, prophets and kings, and we have our part to play in God’s plan for the world. In the Church, there should be no such thing as ‘not one of us.’
Now that the COVID restrictions are relaxing, there are also changes to the cleaning regime in church. We no longer need to clean the church after every Mass. Thank you to all those people who have worked so hard to keep the church clean and safe over the last 18 months.
However, the regular cleaning with sanitising fluid has left all the benches slightly sticky, so we will be having one last(?) major clean. We’ll be meeting on Sunday afternoon (26th September) at 2pm to attempt to remove the yellow tape and to wash down all the benches. If you can join us you’ll be very welcome. Please bring a bucket!
The Induction Loop System has a fault, and is with the engineer for repair. Apologies for the inconvenience, and we hope to have it working again soon.
Thank you to everyone who staffed the church during our opening for the Heritage Open Days. Fifty people visited St Cuthbert’s over the two weekends. This is an important outreach to our local community.
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 email@example.com .
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.
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.
For Readers on Saturday 9th October and for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion on Saturdays 16th and 30th October, all at Ushaw College. To book a place, please contact the Parish Office.
The Assisted Dying Bill will be debated in the House of Lords on 22 October. For details of the Church’s concerns about the Bill, and how to oppose it, see the website of the Catholic Bishops Conference, https://www.cbcew.org.uk/assisted-dying-bill-2021/ ]
Pope Francis has dedicated this year to St Joseph, to mark the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church.
On Tuesday 28th September at 7.30pm, St John Boste parish will be hosting an online event for the Finchale Partnership, exploring the central role of St Joseph in the church’s teaching about work over the past 150 years, alongside the history of St Joseph’s Ushaw Moor and the working people of the area during the same period. Details of the Zoom link to join the event will be available in the parish Facebook Group, or from firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘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.
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!