Fr Paul’s Holidays

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Father Paul will be taking a few days off this week so there will be NO midweek masses at St Anne’s or St Augustine’s.

Next Weekend’s Masses at St Anne’s and St Augustine’s WILL be at the usual times.

St Oswalds Wrekenton

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In September Fr Cummings the Parish Priest at St Oswald’s Wrekenton will be retiring with Fr Zielinski taking over the duties at the parish.

Mass times at St Augustine’s and St Oswald’s  will change to allow Fr Paul to cover masses at all three Churches.

Revised times will be as follows

Saturday 5.30 – St Anne’s Vigil Mass

Sunday 9.15 – St Augustine’s Mass

Sunday 11.00 – St Oswald’s Mass

To enable parishioners to get used to the new time at St Augustine’s the 9.15 mass will start from the beginning of July

Reflections for Corpus Christi

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Reflection for Corpus Christi

 

“This is what I received from the Lord, and in turn passed on to you.” (Cor 11:23).  These words from St Paul’s account of the last supper give us two significant phrases which illuminate our baptismal vocation; ‘Receive’ and ‘passed on.’  Here St Paul is specifically speaking of the Eucharist, but this is true also of our faith.  The gift of faith, received in baptism, is the faith of the Church which we receive individually, but is something which we are called to pass on to others.  What we celebrate in the sacramental life of the Church we are commissioned by our baptism to pass on to others by the witness to our living faith.

 

What is it that we receive and in turn pass on?  The Book of Proverbs gives us an insight in the reading for the our Holy Hour.  Wisdom offers a generous hospitality to those who respond to the call of the maid servants to come.  Her house is a symbol of the Church, built on the seven sacraments and those who come need not be the “learned and the wise” (Matt 11:25) but the “ignorant,” the ones with open hearts to receive in love what is offered; not just bread and wine, but that which brings insight, the meeting with the Lord.  When we gather as a Church, we are offered these precious gifts which lead to deeper understanding of our faith and our lives.

 

Therefore, when we share in the Eucharist, we receive nourishment for the journey which helps us to perceive, or put another way, to discern more clearly the pathways of the Lord.  We become like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, who not really understanding what had just happened at the events of the first Easter are drawn into the Lord’s presence through listening to the Word of God and sharing in the Breaking of Bread.  Hopefully, when we are at Mass, we can enter ourselves into their experience and be able to say that our hearts too are burning because we have realised all that the Lord has done for us, and like them, be spurred into action to tell of this to others (Luke 24:33)  We, then, pass on to others what we ourselves have received from the Lord’s generosity, like the two from Emmaus.

 

When the Catholic community gathers to celebrate the Sunday Mass it does this so as to ‘relive with particular intensity the experience of the Apostles on the evening of Easter when the Risen Lord appeared to them as they were gathered together.  This close connection between the appearance of the Risen Lord and the Eucharist is suggested in the Gospel of Luke in the story of the two disciples of Emmaus, whom Christ approached and led to understand the Scriptures and then sat with them at table.  The gestures of Jesus in this account are his gestures at the Last Supper with the clear allusions to the “Breaking of Bread”, as the Eucharist was called by the first generations of Christians.’ (Dies Domini 33).

 

This gathering of the community Sunday by Sunday, according to Pope St John Paul II is so that in each place where the Eucharist is celebrated, the Church is truly present and, in this way, Sunday becomes the day of the Church where the People of God are nourished by the Lord in his Word and in his Eucharist. Through the gathering of the people, their experience of being fed in Word and Sacrament, they in their turn, become disciples and witnessed to him. Sunday is the day where each parish community is united in this great sacrament of love and draw deeply from this fountain of the Lord’s goodness. The weekly gathering for Mass, its celebration and the sending forth of all present, becomes the very heartbeat of the Church.  “Renewed and nourished by this intense weekly rhythm Christian hope becomes leaven and the light of human hope.” (Dies Domini 38)

 

Pope St John Paul expresses how we are to be the light of hope and leaven for the world when he says that; “With the offering of the Sunday Eucharist, the Church crowns the witness which her children strive to offer every day of the week by proclaiming the Gospel and practising charity in the world of world of work and in all the many tasks of life; thus she shows forth more plainly her identity ‘as a sacrament, or sign and instrument of intimate union with God and of the unity of the entire human race’” (Dies Domini 38).  When we see it in this way, we know how dependent we are on this spiritual food for the work of Christian witness, bringing the message of hope and mercy to the world.

 

This sense of hope is extended when we come before the Lord for a prolonged moment of adoration.  Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament gives us the opportunity to come into the Lord’s Eucharistic presence and quietly speak to him, to listen to what he says to us in silent contemplation, to be enfolded in his abundant love and to offer him the joys and sorrows of our daily life.  Jesus speaks to our hearts, and we become conformed to him united in prayer to his passion, cross and resurrection.

 

How can we not fail to be in awe of the one before whom we kneel?  How can we not be humbled by his generous love and mercy for us?  Can anything stop us from bringing his love to others?  “To contemplate Christ involves being able to recognise him wherever he manifests himself, in the many forms of presence, but above all in the living sacrament of his body and blood.  The Church draws her life from Christ in the Eucharist; by him she is fed and by him she is enlightened.  The Eucharist is both a mystery of faith and a mystery of light.  Wherever the Church celebrates the Eucharist, the faithful can in some way relive the experience of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus: their eyes were opened, and they recognised him.” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia 6).

 

Present to the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, we can pray that our eyes will be opened to know truly all that the Lord has done for us and pray for the courage to pass on to others the goodness that we have received.

 

Come, then, good Shepherd, bread divine,

Still show to us thy mercy sign;

Oh, feed us, still keep us thine;

So we may see thy glories shine in fields of immortality.

O thou, the wisest, mightiest, best,

Our present food, our future rest,

Come, make us each they chosen guest, Co-heirs of thine, and comrades blest

With saints whose dwelling is with thee.

(The prayer of St Thomas Aquinas, used by Pope St. John Paul II to conclude Ecclesia  de Eucharistia.)

The Day of the Lord

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Find attached here a paper prepared by the Bishop’s Conference reflecting on the way ahead for a return to a normal pattern of worship in our Churches.

The Bishop’s are eager to point out the challenges we face of bringing our communities and the practice of the faith to a still greater expression and strength. They offer special thanks to those who have worked so hard in keeping alive the constant missionary outreach of the Church during the pandemic.

Re-Opening of St Anne’s and St Augustine’s

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Father Paul has announced that both Churches will re-open on the weekend of March 6th/7th.

St Anne’s – Saturday 6th March Evening Vigil Mass at 5.30

St Augustine’s – Sunday 7th March Morning at 10,30

There will be NO NEED to reserve places at each Mass. Social distancing will still be in place and Masks MUST be worn.

At the moment there will be no midweek masses. An announcement about the resumption of these will made as soon as possible.

Public Masses Suspended

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Before the Saturday Evening Mass on 10th January Father Paul announced that masses at St Anne’s and St Augustine’s would be suspended due to the current Coronavirus situation.
Below is a copy of his announcement. We will update everyone as things change.
Dear Parishioners,
Considering the increased risks related to the new and more infectious variant of Covid 19 and observing the high infection rates nationwide and in our own region, I announced at Weekend Masses that public Masses in St Anne’s and St Augustine’s would be suspended until further notice.
If the situation changes, I will let you know when we decide to re-open our churches for Mass.
I would like to thank our teams of stewards and sanitizers who have done a great job, and hope that they may be available again in the future.
With best wishes,
Fr Paul

Re-Opening of St Anne’s

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Great News. After 8 months St Anne’s is to open again for Mass on Saturday 24th October.

Attendance will have to be pre-booked with social distancing restrictions in place and the wearing of masks essential. Please see full details of mass times and pre-booking details on the Mass Times section of the website.

Update on the Opening of Churches from Fr Zielinski

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Dear Parishioners,
I hope you are keeping well. St Augustine’s is now open for Mass twice a week, on Sundays and Wednesdays, both at 10.00 am.
The Church is safe for you to return ands we look forward to welcoming you back to Mass.
Please book your place(s) on the dedicated mobile number given on the parish bulletin (07734 190574) . Bruce Turnbull will be pleased to take your call and advise you. When you come to church you must wear a face mask.
If you wish to go to Confession, please make an appointment with me by email or phone. I will try to be available most Friday mornings around 11 am, but can be flexible for those who are working.
The task of going around the whole of the diocese to risk-assess churches is a huge one, and it is taking time to get around all the churches.
I am hopeful that in the next few weeks we may be given a date for St Anne’s church to be inspected, and then an official risk assessment report can be issued to me by the diocese.
No church can open until there are sufficient volunteers to clean the church after every service, including funeral services, and to have at least two, preferably three or four stewards at every service, including funeral services, in order to direct people to their places in church, and ensure that the 2 metre spacing is maintained, and that hand sanitizing and face masks are observed by all present.
This arrangement (protocol) may well extend far into next year, and so it requires a high degree of commitment from the volunteers, because they will have to be available, as and when required. With sufficient numbers of volunteers, the load can be spread through a Rota System, which one of the volunteers needs to take responsibility for.
Someone will be needed to take phone calls, so that people can book places for Mass, using a dedicated mobile phone number. The list of those who attend must be kept by the parish priest for 21 days, and then it is destroyed. The list will show each person’s full name and contact telephone number, so that they can be quickly contacted to self-isolate, should there be an outbreak of infection.
This is the new normal for these challenging times. But all the trouble is worth it, in order to be able to celebrate the Eucharist once again after a long absence, and to receive holy Communion.
I would like to thank once again everybody who has volunteered or is offering to volunteer.
If you wish to volunteer, please contact me by email or phone, and I will send you a form to fill out, as a first step, to register your Interest in wanting to Volunteer for this. This will be processed according to the Safe Recruiting Guidelines of the Diocese.
With best wishes and blessings,
Father Paul.