21st Sunday Year C
Saturday 20th August 2016
How do you imagine the gates of Heaven? Perhaps you imagine a fine set of pearly gates and a welcome committee flanked by all of the relatives who have gone before.
Perhaps Saint Peter will be there, and a couple of harp playing cherubs. Imagine instead a narrow door heavily locked and bolted! Imagine knocking on the door only to be told, “I do not know where you come from,” and to be turned away. It wouldn’t matter how much we insisted that we were baptised and regular churchgoers, our pleas would be ignored.
So where are we coming from? We are baptised as Christians and we know what we’re supposed to be doing, but is that enough? God of course isn’t making it difficult on purpose for us to be with him in Heaven. God loves us and wants us to be with him, but he doesn’t want us to become complacent.
The last thing that God wants is for us to feel that because we are baptised Christians we have some sort of meal ticket into Heaven. The last thing we should do is opt for comfort over commitment or self-indulgence over self-sacrifice. Life is a testing ground in which we should be continually striving to be better. We should never think that we have achieved all that is expected of us just because we go to church and give to charity now and then.
However well we think we are doing, we could be unpleasantly surprised to find ourselves at the back of Heaven’s queue when we fondly imagined we might be somewhere near the front!
Mass and Service Times and Intentions
Saturday      20th August           6.30pm         Vigil Mass: John & Catherine McGinn
Monday        22nd August         10.00am         James Chadwick
Friday            26th August            9.20am        Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
                                                       10.00am        No Intention
Saturday      20th August            6.30pm        Vigil Mass: Michael Goonan
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
Friday 9.20am to 9.50am
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday 5.50pm - 6.15pm
Please pray for:
· all who are sick; all who have died recently including, and all whose anniversaries occur at this time.
· A Deeper Understanding between Christians and Jews; those who suffer Persecution, Oppression, and Denial of Human Rights; Europe: Human Life; Seafarers
Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for August
Universal: Sports: That sports may be an opportunity for friendly encounters between peoples and may contribute to peace in the world.
Evangelization: Living the Gospel: That Christians may live the Gospel, giving witness to faith, honesty, and love of neighbour.
Tea and Coffee … is served after Mass every Saturday evening in the Church Hall. Everyone is welcome.  There is usually some wonderful cake as well!!
New Vigil Mass Time
On the first weekend of September, Saturday 3rd September, the Vigil Mass time will change to 5.30pm.  The Parish Website already informs visitors of this and this newsletter will remind people.  We will also have the noticeboard altered to display the new Vigil Mass time.  Confession will also change to 5.00pm—5.15pm, and on request.
Parish Gift Aid
Letters from the Diocese thanking all members of the Parish Gift Aid scheme for the amount they contributed during the 2015-16 tax year have been received and are now available on the tables in the Narthex.  Please read the letter carefully and if there are any changes to your address or tax status or other reason why you are no longer eligible for Gift Aid please advise the Parish Office as soon as possible.
Forward Together in Hope
Several weeks ago we distributed the latest Forward Together in Hope leaflet, and you were invited to complete and return the tear off section on the leaflet.  So far we have received no more than five returns.  Please think about completing this questionnaire as we must hold a Parish Meeting sometime to discuss “the future” and how our parishes work together and celebrate Mass and the Sacraments with fewer priests!  The Deanery priests have suggested that St Bede’s should work in partnership with Morpeth and Longhorsley; recent correspondence from St John’s Annitsford has also suggested a partnership with St Bede’s, New Hartley, Cramlington, Annitsford and North Gosforth / Wideopen.  We need to know your thoughts or suggestions so please complete your questionnaire.
Getting Involved in Parish Life
What can you offer to your parish?  Is there something not happening in the parish that you would like to see, or indeed like to lead?  Are there ways you might be actively involved in the life of our parish?  You might have skills yet unseen in our parish!!  Whatever way you think you can be involved, whether in one of the parish ministries or if you think you are able to do something that would benefit the parish, please speak to Fr Peter.
Open House 6th Anniversary
On Tuesday 13th September, Ashington Male Voice Choir will lead a Musical Concert in St Bede’s Church.  That date marks six years since Open House first began.  The Choir will begin at 6.30pm in the Church and refreshments will be served in the Hall.  Admission to this event is FREE but donations towards the refreshments would be appreciated.  All local Churches have been informed and everyone is welcome to come along.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
We have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament every Friday morning before the 10am Mass, from 9.20am.  It is a wonderful opportunity for half an hour of quiet prayer.  Why not come along and experience the quietness of God’s presence.
Service of Word and Communion
Services of Word and Holy Communion will resume in the first week of September on Tuesday and Thursday at 10am.
Morpeth Prayer Walk
The Catholic Women's League Branch at St Robert’s are holding their annual Prayer Walk on Saturday 3rd September in Morpeth. The short walk will begin at 2:00pm from the Church Hall, to the Elliott Bridge and then back along the riverside to the Oldgate Bridges.   Finishing with light refreshments in the Church Hall.  Members of the CWL, parishioners and friends are very welcome to take part, there will be a collection for “The Medaille Trust”, an organisation supporting victims of human trafficking in the UK.  Everyone welcome.
Course for Catechists
The Diocesan Course for Catechists, ‘Catechesis in the Mission of the Church’ begins in September.   Its purpose is to support those already involved in catechesis to further develop their own faith and understanding and also to offer a structured programme for those interested in becoming a catechist.  Each of the modules offers a time of prayer, teaching, reflection and also a time for questions.  As well as the 18 modules spread over three terms, there will also be offered sessions of preparation for the specific areas of catechesis i.e. Baptism, Reconciliation and Eucharist and a Day of Recollection. A booklet with full information and Booking Forms are available from the Parish Office and is also on the diocesan website
Sacrament of Confirmation
Bishop Seamus will be visiting St Robert’s on Monday 5th December to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation and we invite those in Year 9 from this parish to be part of this preparation.  We will begin preparation on Sunday 11th September at 7pm in the Parish Hall at St Robert’s.  The preparation will be led by our Life Teen co-ordinator, Cody, and we invite other Catechists to be involved.   Young People in Year 9 and above in September who wish to be confirmed should collect a form from Fr. Peter.
Praying for Vocations
It is important for us to pray for vocations and also to encourage our young men to consider life as a priest.  Priests are not just plucked from the sky or even from another country!!  They need to be prayed for and nurtured from our own families and parish communities.  Is there anyone in your family you could encourage to become a priest?   We all want Priests but are we willing to encourage our own sons or grandsons to consider their vocation as a priest?
Vocation Discernment
For those thinking about Priesthood (aged 16 and over), the diocese has arranged some Evenings of Prayer and Reflection with an opportunity to listen to speakers talk about their own discernment, faith journeys and vocations.  These will be held on Wednesday 21 September, 19 October 2016, 23 November, 21 December 2016, 25 January, 22 February, 22 March, 3 May, 24 May and 21 June 2017 at St Mary’s Cathedral from 6.30pm - 8.30pm.  A meal will follow these evenings of prayer and reflection.  Further details are available from the Diocesan Vocations Promoter: Fr David Smith 0191 2676063 | stjohnvianneywestdenton@gmail.com
Day of Recollection for Eucharistic Ministers
A Day of Recollection for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion will  be held at Minsteracres Retreat House on Saturday 8th October 2016, and will be led by Deacon Rob Wareing. This Day is for the Parishes in the Northumberland Deaneries and is an ideal opportunity for our two deaneries to start working together more closely.  Coffee and tea will be served from 10:00am, with the day itself starting at 10.30am.   Those  who wish to go are asked to contact the Parish Secretary, Judith Chaffey at St Mary’s Hexham  01434 603119 or  e-mail email@stmaryshexham.plus.com
Preparing for Baptism
For Baptism, one parent of the child to be baptised must be a baptised Catholic. Mass on a Saturday Evening or a Sunday is expected. One of the godparents is also expected to be a practising Catholic. We ask parents also to attend the Baptism Preparation meeting. Any parents wishing to attend should speak to Fr Peter. After the Baptism Preparation, the parents should speak once again to Fr Peter and make arrangements for an appointment to fix a date for a Baptism.   The next Preparation Meeting will be held at St Robert’s Church on 22nd September at 7.30pm
“Day of the Disappeared”
A special Service to commemorate the “Day of the Disappeared”, will be held on Tuesday 30th August at 4pm in the Peace Garden at St Robert’s Church, organised by the Red Cross and supported by Morpeth Town Council. This is an international gesture to recognise the numbers of people throughout the world still missing through conflict, disaster and migration, and to remember their families. There will be readings by representatives of different faiths, and some of our children will plant a rosemary bush for remembrance. Everyone is welcome, and there will be light refreshments afterwards in the parish hall.  For offers of help – and biscuits – contact Alice Butler 516257 or Maura Illingworth 516452.
Going into Hospital?
Please remember that if you are going into Hospital, and you want the Chaplain for Confession, Holy Communion or the Sacrament of the Sick, it is your responsibility to ask for the Chaplain to visit.  You must ask the staff for the Chaplain as he does not have access to names of the Catholic patients.