On Sunday 5th January we were advised that our email account had been 'hacked' by persons unknown & this situation lasted until Wednesday 8th January. Within that period emails were sent to many of our contacts purporting to come from us advising that we were stranded in Ukraine having lost money, passports & tickets & requesting that funds be sent to enable us to get home. Hopefully anyone contacted would realise that this was a scam & ignored the request. Should anyone have been unfortunate enough to respond, please contact your local police as soon as possible. Additionally we were unable to receive emails & would ask that anyone having sent messages in the period 5th-8th January re-send them when they will be dealt with. We thank those of our friends who did contact us for their thoughtfulness.
There will be no Thursday Masses from 16th January 2014 until 13th February 2014.
Ash Wednesday 5th March 2014. Low Mass with Imposition of Ashes 12noon. No Mass on Thursday 6th March.
Feast of St Joseph Wednesday 19th March 2014. Low Mass at 12noon. No Mass on Thursday 20th March.
Can it be suggested that, like St Joseph's in Gateshead, congregations at EF Masses be encouraged to Gift Aid their contributions (by collection or otherwise). There is no extra cost to the donor, simply put your donation in a specially numbered envelope and the Government returns an extra 25% (or the current rate of income tax) of your donation to the church. The only stipulation is that you must be a UK taxpayer. The only person knowing who you are is the Gift Aid organiser of the parish and, hopefully, they will be so busy logging the envelopes they won't have the time (or inclination) to check which number refers to which member of the congregation. LMS subscriptions can also be treated in this way.
Following (unaccompanied) carols from 11.30pm Fr Michael Brown placed the Christ Child in the Crib prior to celebrating Missa Cantata. The Mass was celebrated in St Wilfred's Church on Sunderland Rd in Gateshead rather than the mother church of St Joseph's which is situated in the heart of the town and could, possibly, have suffered from loud street noise. St Wilfred's Church was the first venue for the EF Mass in Gateshead before Fr Brown took over St Joseph's Church too & transferred the celebrations there as being more easily reached. Fr Brown is still PP of the 2 churches although the African Sisters of Divine Love now reside in the presbytery. All 4 sisters attended the Mass & commented on the beauty of the EF Rite. The music was provided by the Schola Sancti Baedae who sang the Ordinary to Missa de Amgelis & the Proper in Plainchant. James Mawdesly, a seminarian with the FSSP, was on the sanctuary in choir & the serving team was David O'Neill (MC), Aidan McGregor (thurifer) & acolytes Andrew Armstrong & Martin McGregor. The McGregor family were there in force with Helen & her husband from USA & Martin visiting from his home in Oxford as on Saturday they celebrated the marriage of Maria to Dr Robert Devlin now working in Newcastle.
As we prepare to leave for Midnight Mass our thoughts go out to all of friends. We pray for those who have happiness in their hearts but especially we pray for those who have suffered loss and sadness this year past. Our prayers are for all of these people. Additionally we pray that all may have a Peaceful & Happy 2014 but, knowing that there will be sorrow for some, we pray that they will always remember the Love & Mercy of God Almighty. Additionally we ask your prayers for our wellbeing throughout the year. David & Theresa
We ask your prayers for the repose of the soul of Olive Middleton, wife of Terry, who died last week fortified by the rites of Holy Mother Church. Olive was diagnosed with cancer some 3 years ago and was cared for by Terry assisted by the McMillan nurses. Many prayers were offered for Olive and these seemed to help her face up to her condition. She died in the presence of Terry who commented on her serenity at the end. May God grant her a merciful judgement in the place reserved for His special friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with Terry, their daughter Emily and Olive's brothers and sisters.
A record number of candidates received the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Traditional Rite last Saturday, at a ceremony in central London organised by the Latin Mass Society.
Nearly fifty children and adults received Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form from Bishop John Arnold, auxiliary in Westminster, at St James's Church, Spanish Place on Saturday 14th December. He was assisted by Fr Christopher Colven, the rector of St James's, Fr Tim Finigan of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen, and Fr Rupert McHardy of the London Oratory. Following the Confirmations, the bishop celebrated Pontifical Benediction.
After the ceremonies, Bishop Arnold joined the candidates, their sponsors and families in the parish social centre for a celebration buffet lunch.
The Latin Mass Society has been organising annual Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form for several years now. This past year there were also Traditional Confirmations at Reading and New Brighton, organised respectively by the Fraternity of St Peter and the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest.
LMS General Manager, Mike Lord, said: "We are very grateful to Bishop Arnold for agreeing to confer the Sacrament on what has been a very successful and happy day. We always attract a good number of candidates to receive Confirmation in the traditional Rite, but this year's turnout has been exceptional. It demonstrates that the attraction of the Extraordinary Form as part of Catholic life for many families is continuing to grow.