IMPORTANT NOTE - Email scam
Please note that emails are being sent to Fr James' email contacts (under a separate email address) but using the name 'Father John James'. The sender is requesting a purchase be made on his behalf. These emails are a scam - please do not open them. Fr James would never ask for monies himself or ask anyone else do so on his behalf.
THE SEASON OF LENT
Click HERE for the diocesan Lenten resources page.
SERVICES AND CHURCH OPENING TIMES
Vigil (Saturday) Mass:
- 5:30pm at St Barnabas', Rowlands Gill
Due to limited capacity, places must be booked in advanced: please ring Tricia Charlton on 075631 68883, Mondays 3-5pm or Wednesdays 6-8pm.
LIVE STREAMING: This Mass will be live-streamed via St Joseph’s and St Anne’s Facebook Group. Click the link below to join the group: access won’t be immediate as one of the admin team will have to approve the request. You need to have a Facebook account. https://www.facebook.com/groups/274795607301564/
- 9:15am at St Agnes', Crawcrook
To book a place, please phone Julie on 07891162205 on Tuesday or Friday 2pm – 6pm.
- 11:00am at Our Lady of Lourdes, Chopwell
To book in advance please phone Deacon Derek 01207 561445 or 07910825113 Wednesday or Thursday 2pm – 6pm.
- Celebrated at 10am privately by Fr James.
Church opening for private prayer:
- OLL, Chopwell: Sunday 10am – 11am; Tuesday 10am-10:30am followed by Stations of the Cross.
- St Agnes', Crawcrook: Tuesday 11am-12 Noon; Saturday 11am-Noon.
Face coverings are mandatory in church, apart from for those who are exempt from wearing them.
Fr James writes... 2nd Sunday of Lent - 28 February 2021.
After experiencing a heady glimpse of the Glory of God, Peter, James and John come crashing down to earth. "Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them anymore but only Jesus." [i.e.: the mere man they knew]. Our Gospel today, Mark 9:2-10.
How often have we known moments of the dizzy heights of happiness, joyful fulfilment, sense of achievement, purpose and meaning in our lives only to be disappointed in sadness, sense of failure or inadequacy?
In such times of desolation and disillusionment the former glorious, delirious happiness and well being we have known can feel like a phantasmagorical dream turned to dust. Such events can test us and our faith in life to the limit. Abraham was put to just such a test. He was promised by God to be the father of many generations. Yet here he was [First Reading: Genesis 22:1-2, 9-13, 15 -18] being asked to sacrifice his very son. A son, whom we are purposefully told, "Isaac, whom you love..." (verse1), thereby apparently making God's promise impossible to come true.
How many of us would knowingly, willingly sacrifice our daughter/son whom we love without limit for a dream or promise we realised would then thereby become impossible to be accomplished? I suspect the honest answer would be very few of us. Yet this is exactly what God has done for us, and he did for Abraham. For the story continues: in response to Isaac who was carrying the wood of his own sacrifice and his question "where will we find the animal the animal to be sacrificed?" , Abraham answers "God will provide.." (the lamb of sacrifice). This he has done.
On the mountain of glory, God told Peter, James and John "This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him." This beloved Son of God himself, Jesus Our Lord, shouldered the wood of his own cross of sacrifice on the hill of Calvary to transfigure it from death to resurrection.
We express this in every Mass when the priest holds up the host and says: "Behold the Lamb of God..." thereby assuring us that in all feelings of abandonment in which we may think that no one is with us any more, God is with us forever.
St. Paul assured us of this truth in the resounding words of our second reading [Romans 8:31-34]: "With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give.... He not only died for us - he rose from the dead, and there at God's right hand he stands and pleads for us ."
LINKS TO LIVE STREAMING OF MASS AND SERVICES ONLINE
- Each Sunday at 4pm during Lent for Stations of the Cross. To join virtually by Zoom, please use the following link: https://diocesehn-org-uk.zoom.us/j/89493828386?pwd=ZGYwQk1nY0JndENRMUIrampFZFhaQT09
- St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle will live stream Holy Mass, celebrated by the Cathedral clergy, each day Monday to Saturday at 12 noon and on Sundays at 11.30am.
- Blaydon, St. Joseph's and Winlaton, St. Anne's: Facebook page. Sign up here to access live-streamed Saturday 5:30pm Vigil Mass from St Barnabas'.
- National Shrine of Our Lady, Walsingham: 24/7 live stream
- Church Services TV: Masses and Rosary streamed from churches around the UK, Ireland and USA throughout the day on Church Services TV.
Join us in prayer
Please also pray for all who are sick or housebound, including:
Please pray for the following who have died recently, especially:
Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace, Amen.
Cycle of Prayer:
In this season of Lent, we are asked to pray for these intentions: