parish news

All the latest news from around the parish

news and information

Vinny’s Pantry– Open every Tuesday from 6.00-8.00pm at Our Lady Help of Christian’s Hall, 52 Castle Street. If you are in need of food or other essential supplies or need help or advice, pop along for a cuppa and chat with the friendly St Vincent de Paul (SVP) Members.

CAFOD School Volunteers needed: Do you enjoy working with children and young people? Could you help to inspire and empower children and young people in your local Catholic schools by delivering an assembly or a workshop? You will be supported by CAFOD with training and all resources will be provided and expenses paid. Please do consider the role of CAFOD school volunteer. For more information contact Debbie Purfield dpurfield@cafod.org.uk or call 07786 114 390.

 

Cardinal Newman School are looking to recruit a Chaplaincy Apprentice. Please visit www.cardinalnewmanschool.net/vacancies or email jmckinlay@cardinalnewmanschool.net for an application form. Closing dates for applications is Friday 8th March.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Volunteers are needed please to start up and run the refreshments to be held after 10.30am Mass at St John’s. Please contact Ted on 503533 for further details.
                                                                                        

First Holy Communion Session on Saturday 2nd March from 10.00am-4.00pm at St John’s Hall.  Children must complete sessions 1-6 before they attend.

Mission Northampton- The Secrets of St Paul is a 10-week online course continuing on Wednesdays until Wednesday 20th March. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on the life of St Paul as a model missionary disciple. For more information visit www.northamptondiocese.org/courses or call 01604 434362. 

Sean O’Riada Mass on Friday 15th March from 9.30-10.30am at Our Lady Help of Christians with traditional Irish music, Luton Irish Forum, Nigerian & Zimbabwean Choirs, with Mac Monaghan. Readers will represent the culturally diversity of Luton Catholic Churches.

Pilgrims of Hope Tour
Bishop David has announced a list of dates he will visit parishes across our diocese for ‘an evening with…’.
During the evening Bishop David will pray with those present, offer some words and take questions before spending time socially with the community. The evenings will be open to all, Catholic’s and non-Catholic’s. You are invited to come along and bring a friend or family member who is interested in our Catholic faith. We hope that people will feel able to cross parish boundaries and attend an evening in the local area.
For more information and full list of venues and dates visit
Pilgrims of hope tour | Northampton Diocese
and in our parish on Friday 26th April at from 7.00pm at St John’s Church.

Thursday 29th February–Thursday 7th March. Light up Lent our Diocesan Week of Accompanied Prayer, a retreat in everyday life. Begin or deepen your prayer life, get to know the Scriptures better, and above all, grow in faith and in love for the Lord who loves you. With one-to-one support, via Zoom, from an experienced prayer guide. Find out more at https://pastoralministryoffice.org/event/lightuplent/

                             

Parking at Holy Family
Please be considerate of our neighbours; please do not park in or across their driveways, in their gardens or in the reserved residents parking areas, especially those in Freshwater Close and Penda Close. Please fill up the Church car park first and do not park on pavements, grassed areas or in bus stops. Additional parking bays are available a short walk away from the Church outside Woodlands School, Northwell Drive, if at all possible please car share. The Community Policing Team will regularly check to ensure that vehicles are parked legally, please be aware that they will issue tickets and this may cause our parish to face parking restrictions.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
               
                          

First Saturday of the Month Devotion in Reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary will be held at Our Lady Help of Christians Church Luton. 8.30am Rosary, 9am Confession and Silent Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (during this time 15 mins silent reflection on the mysteries of the Rosary). 9:30am Mass

All are welcome to attend. Please encourage relatives and friends to attend. Website for further information

https://worldfatima-englandwales.org.uk/the-five-first-saturdays-devotion-explained/                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                  
                                                              

Starting January 2024– Third Sunday of the month from 3.00pm– The Bethany Group (Formerly Catholic Disability Fellowship) Mass followed by refreshments Sacred Heart of Jesus, 148 Ashcroft Road, Luton, LU2 9AY. For people with disabilities (young or old) and their families & friends.  New families always welcome, just turn up.

 

Claddagh Gaels Ladies Gaelic Football Club are looking to recruit new players. Winter training at Stockwood Park athletics track on Wednesdays from 7.00-8.00pm, girls aged 10 and over & up to seniors welcome. 1 month free trial then £5 a month for youths and £10 a month for seniors. No previous skills or experience required. Come and give it a try! Contact Phil on 07722 225546 for more details.

Friday 1st March 2024, 12.45pm– St David’s Feast Day Mass followed by refreshments. All welcome. Our Lady Help of Christians, 52 Castle Street, Luton, LU1 3AG.

Friday 15th March 2024, 9.30am – St Patrick’s Day – Sean O’Riada Mass- Gaelic sung mass with Luton Irish Forum Choir and solo by Mac McMahon at Our Lady Help of Christians, 52 Castle Street, Luton, LU1 3AG.

Sunday 7th April 2024 – Holy Hour 3.00-4.00pm – Divine Mercy Sunday at Our Lady Help of Christians, 52 Castle Street, Luton, LU1 3AG.

Saturday 20th April 2024 – 10.30am-4.00pm – Mission Conference 2024 “Soft Heart, Hard Feet” at Woburn Sands, Milton Keynes Organised by Mission Northampton.

Tuesday 23rd April 2024, 7.00pm – St George’s Feast Day Mass followed by refreshments.  All welcome at Our Lady Help of Christians, 52 Castle Street, Luton, LU1 3AG.

Friday 24th May 2024, 5.30pm – Our Lady Help of Christians Feast Day Rosary Procession around our church – a wonderful opportunity to witness to our Faith. First Holy Communion children are encouraged to wear their first Holy Communion Clothes. All welcome at Our Lady Help of Christians, 52 Castle Street, Luton, LU1 3AG.

Friday 24th May 2024, 7.00pm – Our Lady Help of Christians Feast Day Mass followed by refreshments reflecting our international parish. All welcome. Feel free to attend in your national dress at Our Lady Help of Christians, 52 Castle Street, Luton, LU1 3AG. Including commissioning of Readers and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and a guest preacher.

Saturday 8th June 2024 – Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham from 12.00–5.00pm. Led by Rt Rev. David Oakley, Bishop of Northampton. https://northamptondiocese.org/pilgrimages/ 

Saturday 15th June 2024, 10.00am – St Alban’s Festival. Mass at 12.30pm at Holy Ghost Parish Centre, 33 Westbourne Road, Luton, LU4 8JD. Coffee from 10.00am for a 10.15am start. An opportunity for Catholics to network with their peers, and hear about inspirational initiatives and activity happening locally.
All welcome.  Goodnews Books are providing a stall www.goodnewsbooks.co.uk 
Market Place – Parishes and Catholic ministries are invited to take a table to display leaflets to showcase themselves. To reserve a table please email: paulacloonan@gmail.com.  Organised by Luton and Dunstable Pastoral Area Council www.lutonpastoralarea.org 

Wednesday 3rd July 2024, 7.00pm – St Thomas the Apostle (Patron Saint of India) Feast Day Mass followed by refreshments reflecting our international parish and in particular Indian. All welcome at Our Lady Help of Christians, 52 Castle Street, Luton, LU1 3AG.

Saturday 27th July 2024, 2.00pm – Mass for Grandparents followed by refreshments. All welcome at Our Lady Help of Christians, 52 Castle Street, Luton, LU1 3AG.

Saturday 3rd August 2024 – Pilgrimage to Walsingham for the Sanctity of Life Led by Rt Rev. David Oakley, Bishop of Northampton. Coach leaves Dunstable/ Luton at 7.20am For more information go to www.prolifepilgrimage.org or to book ring 07802 525581 or via kevin.drew@btinternet.com 

Saturday 30th November 2024, 9.30am – St Andrew’s Feast Day Mass followed by refreshments.  All welcome at Our Lady Help of Christians, 52 Castle Street, Luton, LU1 3AG.

 

CATHOLIC YOUTH MINISTRY INTERNSHIPS
Castlerigg Manor (The Lancaster Diocese Retreat Centre) is looking for young Catholics aged 18-25 to join their internship programme. The scheme lasts for one or two years and gives participants wide ranging experience, skills, training, and qualifications as well as the opportunity to work with a fantastic team based in the English Lake District. For more information contact director@castleriggmanor.co.uk

Irish Traditional Music Sessions on Wednesdays from 7.00-8.00pm. Led by a professional musician, improve your trad playing, £5.00 per session at Luton Irish Forum.

Registration for Sacraments 2023/2024– Registration for First Reconciliation (Confession) and First Communion (Year 3 and above in September) and for Confirmation (Year 8 and above in September) closed on Saturday 30th September 2023.

Luton Irish Forum Bingo on Tuesdays from 11.00am-1.00pm and Wednesdays from 11.00am-12.45pm.

 

St Colman’s Hurling Club, Luton is new and recruiting players, please come along and give it a go. Any age, any ability for both girls & boys from Yr3 upwards. Training is at Leagrave Park, Sundon Park Road, LU3 2SR, on Tuesday evenings from 6.15pm. Come along for a free trial.

Befrienders Needed– have you got a couple of hours to spare a week? Luton Irish Forum need help with visiting housebound people. For more information please visit www.lutonirishforum.org or call 01582 720447.

A Time to Listen Towards Healing & Reconciliation– Bishop David Oakley is available to meet anyone affected by abuse, as a victim, survivor, their families or supporters, where private discussions can take place in a safe and non judgemental environment. These sessions can be accessed through the safeguarding office on 01604 723514 or safeguarding@northamptondiocese.com

 

 

Young@Heart Dementia Singing Café continues on Wednesdays from 2.00–4.00pm at St John’s Parish Centre.
If you are considering attending the Café for the first time or have a loved one who may benefit, and require further information, please do not hesitate to call Maria at Home Instead Senior Care on 01582 742275 or Christine on 01582 650826.

Strengthening Mission across the Diocese of Northampton– please visit www.northamptondiocese.org/appeal for full details about the four key mission areas– Youth Ministry, Social Action, Catholic Education & Evangelisation and Outreach.

Come to The Well Gathering on the first Tuesday of the month and make new friends at St John’s Parish Centre, beginning with tea & cake from 7.00pm and finishing at 9.30pm with more tea & cake! With a guest speaker every month. All welcome, donation only event.

Please take time to visit our repository for a range of gifts & cards, Missals, rosary beads, prayer cards, and First Holy Communion cards & gifts.

 

Parish bereavement self help group ‘Stronger Together’. The aim of the group is to provide an opportunity for those, who have suffered the loss of a loved one, to meet together to support each other in their shared experience through friendship & understanding. The group meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7.00pm in the parish room at St John’s, the next date is Tuesday 12th March. If you would like further information please call Kim on 07488 275949 or contact Deacon Jim. 

Prayer & Life Workshops– every Saturday from 10.30am-12.30pm at Our Lady Help of Christians. Learn and practise a variety of ways of praying. An effective Evangelisation program where one learns to pray by praying, 15 week programme followed by a full day retreat. Bring a Bible. All welcome.

Mind BLMK have been working with CAMHS (NHS ELFT) to introduce the Young Person’s Sanctuary to Luton, where they will be on hand Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 4.00–10.00pm to support young people aged 14–17 who are struggling with their mental health or experiencing a mental health crisis. It is located at the ResoLUTiONs Hub, 89 Castle Street, LU1 3AJ. The Young Person’s Crisis Service offers a safe, welcoming, and non-judgmental environment. It is entirely free to access and young people does not need to be known to mental health services. More information can be found on their website https://www.mind-blmk.org.uk/  or see posters at the back of the Church.

 

BIBLE STUDY–On 2nd & 4th Thursdays of the month– A Biblical Understanding of Mary by Dr Scott Hahn in Our Lady Help of Christians Parish Hall from 7.30-9.00pm. All welcome.

Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service are looking for volunteers– Volunteering is good not only for people being helped but for volunteers and the community as a whole – and here at the Fire Service, we have a choice of volunteering opportunities. Roles include enabling vulnerable people who are struggling with paying energy bills, especially those not online, to access support that’s available from energy companies and grant making bodies; assisting the Home Fire Safety Visits team; helping at events and sharing information within the local community.

Please contact Janet, Volunteer Manager at Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Direct line: 07543 301604
BFRS main enquiry line: 01234 845000 or visit https://www.bedsfire.gov.uk/Careers/Volunteering.aspx

N.B. Home Fire Safety Visits (formerly ‘Safe and Well’) encompassing staying safe at home and guidance on health, wellbeing and crime prevention can be requested via www.bedsfire.gov.uk or email homefiresafetyvisit@bedsfire.gov.uk or by leaving a message on Freephone 0800 043 5042.

Parish Social– Come along, bring a friend and play bingo and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, a slice of cake and a chat on Thursday 29th February from 10.30am at St John’s Parish Centre. All are very welcome.  

Alpha Course– Coming to Our Lady Help of Christians Church from 7.30pm-9.30pm continues on Tuesdays. Every Catholic is called to Mission to share the good news of Jesus to others. Alpha is a course that creates a space, where people are excited to bring their friends for a conversation about faith, life and God. Can you help? 1) Pray for this initiative to be fruitful. 2) Invite your non-Catholic family and friends to join the course.  If you can help please call Eva on 07886 346047.

 
Homes for Ukraine- If anyone who would like to learn more about how they can help the people of Ukraine please get in touch with Deacon Jim at the Diocese Caritas office on 01604 434362, or email caritas@northamptondiocese.org or visit northamptondiocese.org/ukraine and he will be able to answer any questions you may have.
Join Fr Mike Schmitz’s podcast in a great New Year’s Resolution that will change your life. By listening to this podcast, you will:
Read the entire Catechism in 365 days
Understand the essentials of the Catholic Faith and why they matter
Transform your relationship with the Church that Christ founded
To learn more and to get the free reading plan visit https://ascensionpress.com/pages/catechisminayear
Resources for this course and all Ascension Press Products & Courses are available at the Goodnews Bookshop to the rear of St John’s Church.

More details about what is on offer to support catechists can be found in the Catechists Brochure available at www.northamptondiocese.org/catechesis
A monthly Catechist Newsletter is also available to subscribe to on request from the Mission Northampton Office at: admin.mission@northamptondiocese.org which carries news of opportunities for catechists. 

Luton Irish Forum Baby & Toddler Group runs Fridays in term time 9.30-11.30 at LIF, Hitchin Road. Lots of fun for preschoolers! No need to book.

Fed up and stuck in the house?
Are you or someone you know living in or around Luton stuck at home and fed up, feeling isolated? If so, contact Luton Irish Forum (LIF). The charity runs a befriending project where volunteers (all DBS checked) visit locals in their own homes for a cuppa and a chat. They won’t give personal care or do your housework but they will provide a bit of company and someone to talk to, and it’s free! Get in touch with LIF – phone 01582 720447 or email info@lutonirishforum.org for details.
 

Devotion in Reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the first Saturday of the Month at Our Lady’s Parish there will be 9.00am Silent Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (during this time 15 minutes silent reflection on the mysteries of the Rosary) and Confessions, 9.30am Mass followed by Rosary. Visit https://worldfatima-englandwales.org.uk/the-five-first-saturdays-devotion-explained/ for full details.

Please take time to visit our repository for a range of gifts & cards, Missals, rosary beads, prayer cards, First Holy Communion cards & gifts, and much more. 

Would you like to learn more about your faith? Consider joining online to follow the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies or Diocesan Certificate in Religious Studies? Both courses offer the same eight modules in Scripture and Catholic Theology with the CCRS leading to a nationally recognised qualification. Those who follow the CCRS/DCRS say they gain a great deal from the course, deepening their knowledge and understanding of their faith. To find out more about the course, contact Ann Collon at educationserviceadmin@northamptondiocese.org or visit www.northamptondioceseschools.org  

 

 

Discover the online world – safely
If you have a smart phone, tablet or laptop but don’t know how to use it or even if you don’t have a device, Luton Irish Forum (LIF) can help you get online and discover ‘the internet’. The local charity’s IT Help initiative provides one-to-one support (or one-to-two if you and a friend want to learn together) from a very patient volunteer in the Forum who will show you how to access the internet safely with good advice on avoiding scams. You can bring your own phone/tablet/laptop or LIF will provide a tablet/laptop so you can have a go before deciding whether you want to buy one. Get in touch with LIF – phone 01582 720447 or email info@lutonirishforum.org for details.       

BIBLE STUDY  on the second and fourth Thursday of the month in the parish hall of Our Lady Help of Christians from 7.30-9.00pm. Everyone welcome. Studying ‘The Book of Revelation’ by Dr Scott Hahn. Listening to a CD talk, followed by an informal discussion.

Mass at Luton & Dunstable Hospital– Fr Liam Castle is  offering  Mass in the Hospital Chapel every Friday at 12.00pm for hospital staff. Anyone who works at the hospital is very welcome to attend.

Good News Books at St John’s 12.00pm-3.00pm Tuesday-Thursday, 01582 571011. Access to the shop can be gained from the road leading up to the bungalow on the left hand side.

St John’s Parish Centre, LU3 3AL: Telephone Lisa on 07878 246811, 01582 504893 or email: lisa-stjohns@hotmail.co.uk for membership and hall bookings.

St Joseph’s Scouts are calling all Tea Makers, Tidy-uppers, Activity Planners, Leaders & Helpers for as little or as much time as you can spare. Please visit www.bricksite.com/stjosephsscoutgroupluton  Thank you.

Sycamore is an informal course about the Christian faith and its relevance for life today. It gives you space to meet other people, share ideas, explore your beliefs, and think about questions that really matter. Each session involves a short film and time for discussion. Everyone is welcome. Please visit https://www.sycamore.fm/

CAFOD – Thank you so much for your support of CAFOD’s the Walk Against Hunger and the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. Your support means we can respond in crises such as Ukraine where our Caritas aid workers and volunteers could quickly help families fleeing conflict. It also means we’re there in the long-term and can continue to respond to crises around the world, including in Afghanistan, Syria, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. We work alongside communities as they rebuild their lives once the conflict is over, as in Sierra Leone. For lots more detail on how your donations are being used, please go to the CAFOD website cafod.org.uk

Supported by the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation, Luton Irish Forum will be making small grants to people who are having difficulty with their heating costs or need other small essential items. Anyone who is interested should call 01582 720447 or email info@lutonirishforum.org.

Volunteers Needed Please! St John’s & Holy Family Churches really need more Cleaners so please see Fr Jobin if you can help and for more details. Thank you. 

An invitation to all Mothers, Grandmothers & Women who want to pray together for the children they love. A weekly prayer group will be held at Holy Family Church after 9.30am Mass on Fridays. For more details please call Helen on 07917 532768.

Planned Giving Envelopes – are no longer in use, the Parish would be very grateful if those that used envelopes could move to Standing Order, forms are available from the Parish Office or at the back of the Church. Please return the completed form, and if you pay UK income tax to also complete the Gift Aid part as this is worth 25p for every £1.00 you donate, to the Parish Office for processing. Thank you for your understanding.

ESOL Teachers Needed– NOAH Academy delivers ESOL training throughout Bedfordshire as part of their work to help those who are disadvantaged and marginalised. The ESOL training work touches the lives of those who may be looking for work, struggling with mental health or emotional problems, refugees, or who have a history of homelessness.  NOAH would be interested in hearing from those who share their core values of Care, Compassion and Commitment, and can demonstrate these values in the classroom.  For more information, please contact NOAH via their website at www.noahenterprise.org or email Academy@noahenterprise.org  or phone 01582 726152.

Catholic Bible Chronicles:  This well produced illustrated hardback book printed on quality paper with easy to read text, tells the story of God’s family in seventy stories for primary age children.  It follows the narrative books of the bible making the big picture of the history of God’s people to be easily learned and remembered using twelve colour codes, with a presentation page, this gift will be treasured for many years costs £19.99 with a free gift of ‘This is My Body’ Experiencing the Power of the Mass (usual price £5.99).  Available from Good News Books at St John’s 10.00am-4.00pm Monday-Friday, 01582 571011.  Access to the shop can be gained from the road leading up to the bungalow on the left hand side.

 

Bishop David has recorded a series of teaching videos focused on ‘The Church’ on YouTube.  The videos can be viewed at any time.  The link for the series is here.

Volunteers needed for Level Trust, a local Luton charity, who support children in school with everything they need to help them learn. They provide free uniform, coats, shoes, learning resources and holiday provision with food.  For more information please contact Sam on 07480 753905 or admin@leveltrust.org or visit www.leveltrust.org.

Online Marriage Support – Is your marriage under stress? SmartLoving BreakThrough can help! Identify your conflict triggers, learn strategies to de-escalate an argument and find constructive ways to re-establish connection. Available anywhere, anytime through our online platform, the course is completely private and doesn’t require your spouse to participate. And it’s subsidised by a generous UK donor. Restore hope for your relationship now. Visit: www.smartloving.org/bto-uk

CAFFE (Computers Are Free For Everyone) is a small charity, run by some of our parishioners, that teaches computing skills to young people in Sylhet, Bangladesh. With schools closed and many people in Bangladesh facing difficulties in seeing doctors for even mild illnesses, they are now also offering access to online doctors and basic medical tools to poor families. They have an online shop for which TESCO donates brand new clothing to raise much needed funds for the charity. Take a look at https://caffebd.shop/ and tell your friends. Last year, like all schools in Bangladesh, the CAFFE computer school was forced to close. At the same time, they also lost our income from the charity shop in Bedford. This meant that they had to give up our rented school building. Now they are looking forward to reopening in 2021 but instead of spending on renting a new place, they and building their own school so that they will have a home forever. At the moment, there is only have enough money to build three classrooms and they need another £10,000 to build a second level on the school to provide more space as well as a kitchen to train students in catering. Their goal is to open a restaurant to help the students learn but also to provide free food for the local community. The area around the new school is very rural and a lot of children do not get enough food each day. 2021 marks ten years since CAFFE first opened. In that time, they have trained over 2000 young people and seen many find work in local companies and schools as well as earning an income as online freelancers. Now, with their very own school, they hope to achieve even more in the next ten years. If you would like to donate you can visit www.caffebd.org or send a cheque made payable to CAFFE to Iris Doyle, 4 The Pyghtle, Westoning, Bedfordshire, MK45 5LJ.

A new website https://www.vitaeopus.co.uk has been set up by a parishioner of Sacred Heart Parish, Luton providing a wealth of information, tools, practical advice and activities to support parishioners with job hunting or becoming self-employed.

Cor et Lumen Christi (Heart & Light of Christ), a Catholic Charismatic Community of which Fr Andy Richardson is a member, invite you to events on their YouTube channel Click here.  On most Sunday evenings at 8pm there is a talk followed by a time of ministry.  There are also talks and videos that can be accessed at any time.  The community are recognised internationally as having a charism of healing, and already testimonies have been received of people receiving physical healing while watching from home,  Fr Andy Richardson from Oscott College hopes that this may help to build your faith.

At Young@Heart – we’ve been providing support, signposting & song for people with memory difficulties and their carers in the Luton and Dunstable. More information here

To our Catholic Universe and Catholic Times readers in the parish,  you can now get it delivered direct to your home every week.   Please go to www.universecatholicweekly.co.uk or call 0743 661 7650.

Confessions are available on request and available from 5.15-5.45pm before every Saturday Vigil Mass at Holy Family.

Baptism for your first child please see Deacon Jim and subsequent children please see Fr Ebin.

Mass Intentions will be offered by Fr Ebin and Fr Jobin daily.  If you would like to book a particular date for an intention then please contact the parish office on 01582 502400.

Weddings- Please contact Fr Ebin to discuss.