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Thought from Fr. Colm - 17th March 2024

Our International Meal was a joy. Dishes of many cultures were enjoyed but a good attendance. May I thank you all for your generosity of time, food preparation and presentation. “Food is also about pleasure, about community, about family and spirituality, about our relationship to the natural world, and about expressing our identity. As long as humans have been taking meals together, eating has been as much about culture as it has been about biology.”


There is a sense that the Pandemic has impacted worldwide more than first thought. Social and work habits have changed. We as church, as parish, are not immune from these changes. What has not changed is our deep need to gather, to meet friends. This is where parish offers something unique. An opportunity to meet friendly faces, both familiar and new. They say that familiarity can breed contempt, but it also breeds acceptance, and kindness. It is marvellous hearing and seeing our parishioners share in this familiarity, especially after being deprived of it for so long. Yes, all has changed but perhaps for the better too. Perhaps we presumed too much on habit. Now we are challenged in an exciting and different way. We need to move into new terrain. Perhaps a new type of parish community? Right across the Diocese change is happening. Some parishes have lost sizeable numbers through death, changing habits – yes, church going would seem to have been more habitual. Sadly, quite a number of parishes will not recover.


What was a slow drip before the pandemic has been a rapid gush. We, at the Durham Martyrs, have been fortunate and blessed. What does the future hold? Moving forward we need the wisdom of our senior members, but we perhaps more than ever, need the vibrancy and vision of our younger parishioners. These are the challenges, exciting challenges. Can I please ask our younger parishioners to step up. I will be asking individually. Beware!


Next Tuesday, at St. Joseph’s, there is an opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation prior to Holy Week. Please join us at 7.00pm in this parish celebration of God’s love. “You, our God, shall be arbiter between my confessions and their contradictions.” St. Augustine, The Confessions of St. Augustine by St. Augustine – Michael Pollan,

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