Bible Basics

A casual and informal overview of the Bible, looking at the major events and the different books of the Bible. This is for anyone who is interested in learning more about the Bible. Beginners welcome! This will be facilitated by Dori Berahya, who has 20 years of experience in Adult Religious Education. Saturday 21 March at 10.30am at St. Cuthbert’s Durham, and repeated on Thursday 26th March at 7.00pm at St. Joseph’s, Langley Park.

Finchale Partnership Prayer & Spirituality

In the first of a series of sessions on different prayers and devotions, we’ll be talking about the Stations of the Cross.  We’ll be exploring the history and practice of the Stations, so whether you are very familiar with praying the Stations, or if you’ve seen them in church and simply want to know how it works, join us on Thursday 2nd April at 7.00pm, at St. Cuthbert’s. There will be a talk, the opportunity to ask questions and we will finish with Stations of the Cross in church.

Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has now moved to Stage 2 guidance in its guidance to parishes. This means that, as from now, Holy Communion will not be administered from the chalice, and communicants will be asked to receive the host in their hand. There should be no physical contact at the Sign of Peace, and the holy water stoups will be emptied.

You can read the full guidance here.

This is my Beloved Son

Jesus knows that the Cross awaits him in Jerusalem, and he has begun to prepare his disciples for his suffering and death. He takes Peter, James and John to the mountain top, where they are granted an astounding vision of Jesus in his heavenly glory. Moses and Elijah appear, symbolising the Law and the Prophets, which are to be fulfilled and completed in Jesus. And then the disciples hear the voice of God the Father. No wonder they are overcome with fear.

The disciples had been following Jesus for some time, but they often failed to understand him, especially when he foretold his Passion. The vision on the mountain would, in a way, be encouraging for them; Jesus, the Teacher they had chosen to follow, truly was the Son of God. But it was also a stark confirmation of the road that Jesus was walking – the road that led to Calvary. This was what it meant to be a beloved Son; this was the road that they, as disciples of the Son, were also called to walk. Only after the Lord’s death and resurrection would his disciples understand. Today’s Gospel reminds us that, for disciples of Christ, the road to glory goes by way of Calvary.

A guided tour of the Parish Website

People sometimes ask where they can find out more about the parish, and you may not realise just how much information there is on our website.

On Sunday 8th March there will be a guided tour of the website, to help you find your way round, and explain how you can find the Facebook page and sign up for the e-newsletter. Please join us over coffee after the 10.00am Mass.

Parish Dinner

The Parish Dinner will be held on Wednesday 1st April at 7.30pm at Finbarrs Restaurant, Aykley Heads. Menus and details of how to book a place or places are now available in the porch. Numbers are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment. The final day to book and pay for your booking is Sunday 22nd March. Gil Bolton is the contact for the dinner. Please hand your booking forms to Gil after Mass or contact him; email gilmar.bolton@btinternet.com or by phone 07816819515.

CAFOD Lent Fast Day

This Lent, CAFOD’s Family Fast Day is an opportunity to reach out to some of the poorest, most marginalised of our sisters and brothers. Your donations go to highly-trained, highly-skilled local experts who support the health of the world’s poorest families. On Friday 6 March, will you eat a simple meal in solidarity and give what you save to help CAFOD’s work? Through CAFOD’s global Church family – one of the largest aid networks in the world – your support can reach to the ends of the earth. Please collect your Family Fast Day envelope from church this week and give whatever you can.

Alone in the Wilderness

At the heart of Christian faith is the doctrine of the Incarnation – our belief that, in Jesus, the Son of God became truly human. Jesus’ humanity is revealed in today’s Gospel reading. Having been baptised by John, he goes into the wilderness to pray and prepare himself for his public ministry. Alone and hungry, Jesus is vulnerable. The devil comes to tempt him: to use his divine powers for his own benefit; to work a spectacular miracle that would gain the attention of the crowds; or to worship the false god of worldly power. The temptations are real, but Jesus resists them, because he trusts absolutely in his Father, and is utterly committed to the mission that his Father has given him – in contrast to Adam and Eve, who were deceived by the devil and turned away from obedience to God. By Jesus’ obedience to the Father, our sin is overcome. As we begin the season of Lent, we are called to follow the Lord’s example. The Holy Spirit who, strengthened Jesus in the wilderness, will strengthen us in our own struggles with temptation.

Rite of Election

The candidates and catechumens taking part in our Journey in Faith programme will be enrolled at St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle, Sunday, 1st March. Please pray for those preparing for Baptism, Confirmation or Reception into full communion with the Church, and for their sponsors and families.

Events at Ushaw College

A Lenten Reflection at Ushaw: An opportunity to experience different ways of praying at this time of Lent and on the feast of the Annunciation, led by Sister Rosarie Spence RSM, on Wednesday March 25th, 10.30am-3.30pm. The cost is £10.00 per person, to include refreshments at the beginning and the end of the day. Lunch can be purchased in the Refectory, and you can book online at www.ushaw.org or on 0191 3345119

Ushaw Lecture: The Materiality of Christian Pilgrimage, Medieval to Modern: Reflections From a Church Historian and Sometime Pilgrim. Presented by Prof Salvador Ryan, St Patrick’s College Maynooth. Wednesday 26 February at 5.30pm.

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