Update from the Vicariate

September was a very full month for the Vicariate with the launch of online courses in the Autumn including ‘First Steps’ for those considering becoming Catholic and the Pastoral Ministry Certificate for those wanting much deeper faith formation. As part of the Year of the Eucharist provision we have released our ‘Unpacking the Mass’ publication which explores each part of the Liturgy to form people with a deeper understanding of our gift of the Mass. We had a very successful ‘Faith and Food’ event facilitated by our Inter-religious team and a refreshing formation day on ‘Music for Communion’ delivered by our Diocesan Church Music Association. We have also been ‘walking with Blessed Carlo Acutis’ for 28 days through our Diocesan social media channels, we hope this has reached you and that you have had the opportunity to follow these.

As we move into October, we continue with our Year of the Eucharist with the release of materials prepared by our seminarians on ‘Saints and the Eucharist’. Information on closing the Diocesan Year of the Eucharist will follow next month. Also, this month we have the Autumn programme for liturgical formation days. We have a think tank group meeting about Catechesis in the Diocese and we have the ongoing development of Synod.

Synod has moved into phase two in the Diocese with a core team put together by Bishop Robert to explore how we continue to create opportunities for listening and how we orientate ourselves to grow in synodality. This group are committed to supporting Bishop Robert in this endeavour by being rooted in listening to the Holy Spirit and by coming together for a discerned way forward. While this is taking place, the Universal Synod has moved to its Continental/Regional phase. I ask that you continue to pray for us all as the people of God as we prayerfully wait on the release of this next continental report.


The Joy of the Gospel

“I dream of a ‘missionary option’, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.” (#27).

For Pope Francis, evangelization begins by sharing the basic message of the Gospel.

“In catechesis too, we have rediscovered the fundamental role of the first announcement or kerygma, which needs to be the centre of all evangelising activity and all efforts at Church renewal… On the lips of the catechist the first proclamation must ring out over and over: “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you” (#164).

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

Year of the Eucharist

This Diocesan Year aims to celebrate the Eucharist at the heart of the life and mission of the Church and to gather people back to the Mass and the Sacraments. The Diocesan vision for this time is that we grow in our love and appreciation of the Eucharist, that we deepen our appreciation of its celebration through the liturgy. We hope to revitalise and renew our faith through a deepening of prayer and Eucharistic devotion inspiring us to go out and to serve the world through the nourishment we receive.

Visit our website for more information about the Year of the Eucharist.

Unpacking the Mass Reflections

As part of the Year of the Eucharist, the Vicariate for Faith & Mission has brought together a series of faith-filled reflections written by people from across the Diocesan family that unpack what a certain part of the Mass means to them. ‘Unpacking the Mass‘ is now available to read or download here.

Bishop Robert’s Reflections are available on the Year of the Eucharist page.


Liturgical Formation and Days of Reflection

The Diocesan Liturgy team’s Autumn Calendar of Liturgy courses for formation and Days of Reflection is well under way. There is still opportunity to register for:

  • Formation for New Liturgical Leaders of Celebrations of the Word and Holy Communion.
  • A course for new Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
  • A study day for leaders of Children’s Liturgy of the Word.
  • Days of Reflection for Readers and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
  • A Refresher evening for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.

Liturgy Courses / Days of Reflection confirmed:

Monday 3 October 2022 – Formation for New Liturgical Leaders of Celebrations of the Word and Holy Communion. View here. (NB. Day 2 on Monday 10 October and Day 3 on Monday 17 October)

Tuesday 4 October 2022 – Refresher evening for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. View here.

Saturday 8 October 2022 – Day of Reflection for Readers of the Liturgy of the Word. View here.

Saturday 15 October 2022 – Day of Reflection for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. View here.

Wednesday 26 October 2022 – Formation for new Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. View here. (NB. Day 2 on Wednesday 2 November and Day 3 on Saturday 5 November)

Saturday 12 November 2022 – Study Day for Children’s Liturgy of the Word. View here.

Saturday 26 November 2022 – Day of Reflection for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. View here.

Further information about each of the courses/events, along with booking information, is available on Liturgy and Prayer webpage.

The Diocesan Church Music Association (DCMA)

The DCMA will be launching their new page on the Diocesan website later this month. Look out for news of its launch on our social media platforms and visit the web page to find out about the team behind our Diocesan Church Music Association and the services and resources available to support many aspects of church music across the Diocese.

Charismatic Diocesan Service of Communion (CDSC)

CDSC Event: ‘You are my beloved child

We look forward to as many as possible joining us for our next event ‘You are my beloved child‘ on Saturday 22 October 2022 starting at 11.00am at St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Larchfield Drive, Darlington DL3 7TG and concluding with Mass in St Augustine’s Church from 2.00pm. The day will include Praise & Worship, Testimonies, an opportunity to reflect on God’s unconditional love for each of us, Mass, Exposition and a blessing.

We hope to experience a powerful movement of the Holy Spirit as we come together in song and prayer. We hope for hearts and minds to be moved by the testimonies. We hope for many graces and healings as we bring ourselves to the Lord and receive Him in communion. We hope for our blessed Lord to touch people in deep and special ways through the final blessing.

All are welcome, from the Cleveland & South Durham Vicariate, from across the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and beyond. Click here for further details or ring the Vicariate for Faith & Mission on 07375 934713. To book your place at this event, please click here.

Shalom World: 40 Martyrs of England and Wales

Shalom World’s latest program, 40 Martyrs of England and Wales, hosted by Monica Nash, explores the lives of men and women who defended the faith during the English reformation. The docu-series displays the essential role of their martyrdom in building up the Catholic Church in England. Through this series, you can experience their lives, learn their history, and be inspired to choose the faith. Watch the episodes every Thursday at 9.30pm on shalomworld.org.

John Wheeler
Charismatic Diocesan Service of Communion for the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle

A Compass for Renewal in the Church

The Emmanuel Catholic Charismatic Community invite you for a time of sharing and prayer on Saturday 5 November 2022 with the Right Reverend Bishop David Oakley, Bishop of Northampton. The event is taking place at St Mary’s Catholic School, Benton Park Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7PE. To book, please contact Pat Kennedy by email:  pat.kennedy42@icloud.com or tel: 0191 284 1690.

Full event details are available here.

Dialogue & Unity

The Interreligious Relations team wish to thank everyone who recently attended our ‘Faith and Food‘ evening, which we recently held in English Martyrs Parish Hall.

Holocaust Commemorations

Sunderland Interfaith Forum will also be holding their annual Commemoration on Monday 23 January 2023 in Sunderland Minster. More information will be available in the coming months regarding the times of the events.

The theme for 2023 is ‘Ordinary People’, highlighting: The ordinary people who let genocide happen, how easy it is to become bystanders; The ordinary people who became rescuers, and those who stood up for the persecuted; A reminder of the consequences that occur if we do not make a conscious decision to stand up against prejudice and persecution.

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.


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: adminfaith.mission@diocesehn.org.uk or by telephone 0191 243 3316 / 07375 934713 during office hours.

Visit the Vicariate homepage here.