Vicariate for Faith & Mission Update (April 2023)

April 1 2023

Update from the Vicariate

As we journey through Lent and Holy Week waiting for the resurrection, we may notice the scriptures taking us through the twists and turns of life’s difficulties, trials and tribulations. Perhaps you have also seen that within these accounts are faith, trust and hope. Three virtues are needed and celebrated as we approach the Easter season. I hope both Lent and Easter are a time of Spiritual renewal for you.

Part of my work this month has included taking part in a national ‘School for Synodality‘ looking at resources and models for growing as a synodal Church. How we walk side by side with one another as Church is a crucial question for our time, and how we discern our next steps together is the call for us all from Pope Francis to be synodal. While the Universal synod continues into its next phase, it is essential to remember that we are invited to take a synodal approach within our own parish communities. Listening to the Holy Spirit at work in our prayer lives and at work through one another. The ‘School for synodality‘ fruits will be shared in our Diocese over the coming year.

I would like to draw your attention to a large gathering that is taking place this July. One of the key groups in our Diocese are our Catechists, those who echo the faith of others. We hope to gather all Catechists for a day of training and reflection. We are exploring this vital role, creating networks and offering formation. We do hope you can save this date and join us.

Amy Cameron, Co-ordinator for the Vicariate for Faith & Mission.

A Day for Catechists

Are you involved with Baptismal Preparation, First Holy Communions, Confirmations, Marriage Preparation, RCIA, Children’s Liturgy or other faith sharing initiatives?

To be a catechist is to echo the love God has for each one of us to those in our parishes, our communities, our society. It is to pass this love on in sharing our faith to others. This can be daunting. We are not alone. Through our baptism, we are united in our calling to support one another, to come together and nurture the calling of being able to better witness to the joy of the Gospel.

  • Has the global pandemic accelerated the need for a new approach in your parish?
  • Are you passionate about your Catholic faith and committed to sharing it with others?
  • Would you like to be involved in sharing the faith but lack confidence or don’t think you have the skills?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, then come and join us for our upcoming Day for Catechists, where you can deepen your knowledge and connect with other Catechists in our Diocese.

Date: Saturday 15 July 2023 10.00am – 3.00pm.
Venue: St Robert of Newminster Catholic school, Washington NE38 8AF.
Cost: Free

Refreshments provided, but please bring your own packed lunch.

Individuals and parish groups welcome.

Register your place using the link opposite.


The Joy of the Gospel

Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors.” [EG 44]

Evangelii Gaudium, the Joy of the Gospel, looks at the new evangelisation for the transmission of the faith and has chapters on the following subjects:

  • The Church’s Missionary Transformation
  • The Crisis of Communal Commitment
  • The Proclamation of the Gospel
  • The Social Dimension of Evangelization
  • Spirit-Filled Evangelizers

The full text of Evangelii Gaudium can be downloaded here.

Quick Link: Sharing the Faith.


Seasonal Reflections

As we enter the final days of our walk with Jesus this Holy Week, we invite you to take some time to read the Lenten reflections written by members of the Diocesan family, which can be downloaded from the Seasonal Reflections webpage.

In addition to the written reflections, this year we are providing audio versions of the reflections for key dates within Holy Week. The Gospels and reflections will be available to listen to on the Seasonal Reflections and on the Diocesan Facebook page.

Weekend Liturgy Resources

Suggested Prayers of the Faithful (bidding prayers) and Reflections will be updated each week.

Other resources include suggested music, Children’s Liturgy of the Word and Cycle of prayer.

Resources and signposts to the coming weekend’s liturgy resources, kindly provided by people within our Diocese, will be available to view and access on the Diocesan website from Thursday 13 April for the following weekend’s liturgy.

Click here to enlarge image.

Are you interested in joining our Diocesan Reflection Writing Team?

We are blessed in the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle to have many gifted writers who regularly contribute to the Advent and Lenten Reflection booklets as well as other themed publications.

Contact for further information about how to join our team, providing the name of your parish and parish priest/deacon to provide a reference.

Click here to enlarge image.

Dialogue & Unity

Christian & Muslim Prayer Event

Our annual Christian & Muslim Prayer event for women and young children will take place again in June at the historic Lady Chapel, situated in Jesmond Dene. The event unites women and young children from mainly the Christian and Muslim faiths who unite in prayer to Our Blessed Lady, but women of all faiths and none are most welcome to join us for this event. Refreshments will be served afterwards in the Holy Name parish hall. Please check the Diocesan website next month for the confirmation of the date and timings, along with further information.

Charismatic Diocesan Service of Communion (CDSC)

Mailing List

We continue to add to our mailing list. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please contact us on

Further dates for the diary

Following last year’s experience of hosting a Mass for Pentecost at St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle, we are pleased to announce that we will be hosting Mass at the Cathedral again on Saturday 13 May 2023 at 1.00pm. The theme this year is ‘Come Holy Spirit: hope for the present and the future‘. We will start with praise and worship at 1.00pm with Mass starting at 1.20pm. Before the end of Mass there will be a short period of Exposition and a blessing from members of the CDSC on the theme.

Minsteracres are hosting Michelle and Peter Moran from the Sion Community for ‘Life in the Spirit – Discovering How to Live Life to the Full‘ from 16 to 18 June 2023. Details available from the Minsteracres website.

Overflow: On Saturday 1 July 2023, the National CHARIS team are hosting a Catholic Charismatic Renewal event at the Bethel Centre, West Bromwich. This promises to be the biggest CCR gathering in England for some time. Details of the event are available here.

On Saturday 4 November 2023, the Emmanuel community will be hosting Fr Chris Thomas from Liverpool at St Mary’s School, Newcastle. More details available nearer the time.

Prayer groups

We now know of 7 charismatic prayer groups in our Diocese. Details can be found here. If you are in a prayer group which is not listed please let us know.

We are pleased to shared that, following our event at St Aidan’s in Ashington, plans are well underway for a new prayer group in the Northumberland Vicariate. We look forward to sharing details soon. There is also interest in forming new prayer groups in Hartlepool and Hexham. If you are interested in being in a prayer group in either of these places just let us know.

Please continue to pray for the work of our team.

John Wheeler, Co-ordinator Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Service of Communion.


Quick Link: CHARIS

Marriage & Family Life

Marriage Preparation

The following face-to-face Marriage Preparation Sessions to be held in our Diocesan parishes are available to book:

  • Saturday 29 April 2023: St Hilda, Sunderland, SR5 2JD.
  • Saturday 27 May 2023: St Robert of Newminster, Morpeth, NE61 1QF.
  • Saturday 3 June 2023: St Thomas Aquinas, Darlington, DL1 2PU.
  • Saturday 23 September 2023: St Robert of Newminster, Morpeth, NE61 1QF.

Bookings can be made on the MarriageCare website where venues, course content and costs are detailed: Please contact Deacon Rob Wareing for further information:

Deacon Rob Wareing, Diocesan Lead for Marriage and Family Life

Mobile: 07841 530991

Quick Links: Family & Sacraments Marriage Care


The Catechism in a Year

Sign up for Ascension’s Catechism In A Year podcast with Fr Mike Schmitz, and you can:

  • Read the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church in 365 days
  • Understand the essentials of the Catholic Faith and why they matter
  • See how Church teaching is rooted in Sacred Scripture
  • Absorb over 2,000 years of Sacred Tradition
  • Encounter God’s plan of sheer goodness
  • Transform their relationship with the Church that Christ founded.

The Bible in a Year

Ascension’s Bible in a Year Podcast, hosted by Fr. Mike Schmitz and featuring Jeff Cavins, guides Catholics through the Bible in 365 daily episodes. Each 20-25 minute episode includes:

  • Two to three scripture readings
  • A reflection from Fr. Mike Schmitz
  • A guided prayer to help you hear God’s voice in his Word

Ascension’s Bible in a Year Podcast for Catholics follows a reading plan inspired by the Great Adventure Bible Timeline® learning system, a ground-breaking approach to understanding Salvation History developed by renowned Catholic Bible teacher Jeff Cavins. Tune in and live your daily life through the lens of God’s word!

Bereavement Support

Whilst bereavement is extremely hard at any time, the time spent in lockdown when funerals had to take place in very restricted circumstances have taken their toll on so many. Whilst family and friends can be immensely supportive, sometimes a bereaved person wants to talk to someone outside of their immediate circle. The Emmaus Bereavement Support Team, trained in the Ministry of Consolation, is available to support those who wish to talk about their loss. Due to current restrictions, such conversations will most likely take place on the phone, but we hope as restrictions ease, it may be possible for people to meet face-to-face again.

Since the launch of this service in 2022, there have been a number of requests for support, and several of our listeners have been able to accompany others on their journey of loss and bereavement.

The Emmaus Bereavement Support Service number is 07732 980740 a member of the team will contact you promptly.

Quick Link: Accompaniment in Difficult Times.


Father Sean Hall continues to offer his weekly reflections on the Sunday Readings and Pat Kennedy her monthly reflections, both available to read online or download in the Prayer Resources section.

Contact Us

Contact the Vicariate of Faith & Mission by email: or by telephone 0191 243 3316 / 07375 934713 during office hours.

Visit our Vicariate for Faith & Mission News page here.