Vicariate for Faith & Mission Update (February 2023)

February 1 2023

Update from the Vicariate

Pope Francis has invited each of us to journey together, listening for the prompts of the Holy Spirit. We are asked to seek the Holy Spirit in our daily lives, through our prayer and through encounters with those we meet. As we accompany one another, we move to a more synodal way of being. Synodality invites us as a whole community to seek and see the Holy Spirit at work in our collective journeys leading us forward. During February, the universal synod will be meeting in Prague with representatives from around the world. They are tasked with preparing the next stage of the synod process, which is to take all that has been heard and prepare for the October 2023 meeting of Bishops. It is a time in the Church that needs great prayer. As we navigate the challenges, it is good to remember that we are a faith used to adversity, challenge and adaptation, and the Holy Spirit is forever making something fresh and new. We pray for our local Church communities and the worldwide Church at this time.

The highlight from our Vicariate this month includes:

Lenten Reflections

Once again, we have a beautiful collection of daily reflections to walk us through Lent. They are a source of beauty in the Diocese, demonstrating the giftedness of the clergy and laity we have all around us. We know they are welcomed by many people, and we see they are being used by individuals as well as groups. I encourage you to take a look.

Amy Cameron, Coordinator for the Vicariate for Faith & Mission.


The Joy of the Gospel

Life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort.” [EG 10]

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.


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!


The Diocesan Liturgy team’s courses for formation and Days of Reflection is available for the beginning of 2023. There is the opportunity to register for:

  • A course for New Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
  • A course for New Sacristans.
  • Formation for New Liturgical Leaders of Celebrations of the Word and Holy Communion.

Liturgy Courses confirmed:

  • Monday 13 February 2023 – Formation for New Sacristans.
  • Tuesday 28 February 2023 – Formation for New Liturgical Leaders of Celebrations of the Word and Holy Communion (Day 2 on 7 March and Day 3 on 14 March).

Further information and booking details will be available early this month on the Liturgy and Prayer webpage.

Seasonal Reflections

As we begin to journey towards the season of Lent, the Vicariate for Faith & Mission has once again worked with members of the Diocesan family to produce a series of beautiful reflections on the daily readings used throughout Lent. The reflections from Clergy, Religious and Laity will be available to download from the Seasonal Reflections shortly.

In addition to the written reflections, this year we are providing audio versions of the reflections for key points within Lent, beginning with Ash Wednesday. The Gospels and reflections will be available to listen to on the Seasonal Reflections and on the Diocesan Facebook page.

Charismatic Diocesan Service of Communion (CDSC)

Our third newsletter is in the process of publication, sharing to our contact group and posting to the Diocesan website. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please contact us on

Find Joy in the Journey

As baptised and confirmed Catholics, we journey with our Blessed Lord through life, empowered by the Holy Spirit, gifted at our Baptism and increased in our Confirmation. In scripture we find many promises that with our Blessed Lord as our brother, and being open to the Holy Spirit, joy will happen. Plans are well underway, between the CDSC and parishioners from several parishes across the Northumberland Vicariate, to host the next CDSC event at St Aidan’s, Ashington on Saturday 11 February 2023. The event will start at 11.00am in the church hall and move to the church for Mass at 2.00pm. Our time in the hall will include opportunities to experience joy in praise and worship, be open to God’s gift of joy at times of quiet reflection and hear speakers share how our Blessed Lord has brought them life changing experiences of joy. Our time in the church will include Mass, time before the Blessed Sacrament and a final blessing of joy from members of the CDSC. Please book here.

CDSC information and resources on the Diocesan website

The Diocesan website provides details of prayer groups and other opportunities to come together in worship with communities of faith in our Diocese. This link takes you to our place on the website where you will find details of 6 prayer groups and more information on the Filipino community and African and Caribbean community.

Further dates for the diary

On Saturday 4 March 2023, Emmanuel will be hosting Michelle Moran. Michelle has played a key role in the creation of CHARIS and will share the original dream, hopes for the future and our call to bring it to fruition. Michelle plans to present on the theme of ‘Fruitfulness for the Kingdom.‘ Details on how to book will be available on the Diocesan website and shared with our mailing list.

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 a Pentecostal Mass this year at the Cathedral again on Saturday 13 May 2023 at 1.00pm. More details nearer the time.

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 available from the CNSC website.

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


Quick Link: CHARIS

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, 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.