parish news

All the latest news from around the parish

news and information

Rorate Mass by candlelight in honour of Our Lady on Friday 16th December at 6.30am at Holy Ghost Church. All very welcome.
 
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.
Penitential Service for Advent on Monday 19th December at 7.00pm at Holy Ghost Church. A time to reflect on our need for God’s forgiveness as we prepare for Christmas. There will be ten or more priests available for individual confession as we celebrate the Sacrament together.
Carol Service at Cardinal Newman Catholic School will take place on Monday 12th December at 7.00pm. All are very welcome. Please use the link to book a free ticket:- www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cns-carol-service-tickets-479137933457
Christmas Dinner at St John’s Parish Centre on Christmas Day from 1.30-5.00pm for those who would be on their own or unable to prepare a full Christmas Dinner are invited to come along. Donations gratefully received. Transport provided if there are enough volunteers who can provide transport. Volunteers for the hall also needed. To book, call Tracey on 07741 381790.
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, meeting on Tuesday 13th December at 7.00pm in the parish room at St John’s. For further details please call Kim on 07488 275949 or Deacon Jim.
Saturday 17th December from 10.00am- NYMO are hosting an extended Young Adults Brunch for ages 18-35 years, with Adoration, Faith Formation, Food, Fellowship, Mass, and two amazing guest speakers, Joanna Bogle, and from the US, Meg Hunter-Kilmer. (be sure to bring a Bible with you!) You are invited to this free event at Our Lady Help of Christians. Full details at nymo.org/brunch.
Catholic Disability Fellowship Mass on Sunday 11th December at 3.00pm at St Joseph’s. For people with disabilities (young or old) and their families and friends. Refreshments afterwards. Any questions, please contact Sean on 07930 305362.
 
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. 

LUX.Flawless– A residential weekend for young Catholics from year 7-13. A weekend packed with activities, faith exploration and fun. Join over 100 young people from around the Diocese from 3rd–5th February 2023 at The Kings Park Conference Centre, Northampton. Please contact Fiona email:
fiona@nymo.org or visit www.nymo.org/lux for more information and to book a place.

A selection of Christmas cards will be available to buy on Sunday 4th December at 9.00am Mass in support of Brain Tumour Research. Thankyou everyone for your continued support.

Devotion in Reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the first Saturday of the Month at St Margaret’s Parish there will be Confessions available from 10.30-11.30am with Adoration at 11.00am, Rosary at 11.30am and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at 12.00pm. Please visit https://worldfatima-englandwales.org.uk/the-five-first-saturdays-devotion-explained/ for full details, all very welcome.

Luton Irish Forum in partnership with Luton Council are holding a Gypsy Roma Traveller (GRT) Christmas Party at St Mary’s Catholic Church Dunstable on 18th December 12.00-3.00pm. This event will be fun for GRT children (with Santa) and parents will be able to avail of health advice and support from a Doctor and other medical professionals.

Saturday 3rd December from 2.00-4.00pm– Young@ Heart Carol Service followed by refreshments at Holy Family Church. All very welcome!

Please take time to visit our repository for a range of gifts & cards, Missals, rosary beads, prayer cards, cribs, statues, Advent calendars, candles and much more.

Love Christmas campaign – Many thanks to everyone who is supporting our initiative to help those, young & old, who are in real need this Christmas. If you can please bring in any donations of gifts or money as soon as possible, we can then start to get everything sorted. If you have kindly offered to shop, deliver, pack etc Deacon Jim will contact you this week. Any questions do call 07756 685220.

Come to The Well Gathering on Tuesday 6th December at St John’s Parish Centre, from 7.00pm with guest speaker Deacon Jim Hannigan. All welcome, donation only event.

NYMO Events

Event : FLAME 2023

Venue : OVO Arena, Wembley

Date : Saturday 4th March 2023

Cost : £49.00 (includes entrance ticket, t-shirt and transportation from designated pick up
points as below)

Age : 13+ years

Transport : There will be 2 separate coaches with several pick up points around the Diocese as
follows :-

Coach 1
Corby Our Lady of Walsingham
Northampton Northampton Cathedral
Luton St.Martin de Porres

Coach 2
Aylesbury St. Michael’s Catholic High School
High Wycombe St. John Henry Newman Catholic Church
Slough St. Joseph’s Catholic High School

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

Houghton Regis outreach project – From 15th to 29th October the diocese, working with local parishes, is seeking to share the message of God’s love with those living on one of the new housing projects in Houghton Regis. There are a number of possible ways to be part of the project:
• providing accommodation for volunteers from outside the area
• handing out door to door invitations, information on churches and resources in the area and sharing your faith (you’d be partnered with an experienced person)
• helping with a children’s club during half term (church DBS certificates will be needed)
• helping with a parent and toddler group for two days
• helping with an after school event at St Vincent’s Primary School (church DBS certificates will be needed)
• praying in pairs for those we meet on the streets (you’d be partnered with an experienced person)
• delivering information flyers to homes beforehand
• helping with a prayer celebration on the final day, providing hospitalityRenew
• helping with a pop up commuter breakfast cafe providing bacon butties, etc.
We will be holding a great training day, on sharing our faith with others, before the event at St Martin’s hall on Saturday 15th October. We’d love to have as many people as possible supporting this event so please do have a think about how you might like to get involved. If you would like to share in the project in any way please email maria.mission@northamptondiocese.org

Thinking of becoming a Catholic? Our Roman Catholic Initiation of Adults (RCIA) Course will continue on Thursday 15th December from 7.30pm-9.00pm in the side room of St John’s Church. The course will run every other Thursday evening until Easter, with a break over Christmas. Also suitable for Catholic adults who have not yet been Confirmed. If you or anyone you know is interested, please contact Fr Andy for more information.

Saturday 5th August 2023 – Pilgrimage to Walsingham for the Sanctity of Life- Led by Bishop John Keenan of Paisley Diocese. Coach leaves Dunstable/ Luton at 7.30am. For more information go to www.prolifepilgrimage.org  or to book ring 07802 525581 or via kevin.drew@btinternet.com 

Online Advent Retreat Walking by Starlight continuing on Thursday 8th December at 7.30pm, or catch up with the recordings later at https://walking_by_starlight.eventbrite.co.uk . Advent can be the busiest time of the year, and one when we most long for time with God. Join Fr John Udris and Avril Baigent as they journey with the Magi for their retreat.

Saturday 2nd September 2023 – March for Life, London https://www.marchforlife.co.uk

10.30am Morning events to 1.30pm The Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street, London SW1P 3DW
11.00am Mass: St George’s Cathedral, Southwark, Lambeth Road, SE1 6HR.
2.00pm The March: From the Emmanuel Centre.
4.30pm Ends at Parliament Square. Parishioners from Luton and Dunstable are attending, if you would like to meet up contact Kevin 07802 525581.

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.       

 

Bishop David is currently looking for people to represent him in our local Catholic Schools as Foundation Governors. There are vacancies in the following local schools: St Margaret of Scotland, St Mary’s and St Vincent’s and Sacred Heart Primary. If you have 10-12 hours to spare per month and are able to attend meetings in school, it may be right for you. For more information and an application form please contact Debbie Main on 01604 953369 or debbie.main@northamptondiocese.org.

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

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.

Saturday 10th December – Carol Service followed by refreshments at Our Lady Help of Christians, 52 Castle Street, LU1 3AG from 4.30pm.
An opportunity for you to spread the good news of Jesus to your non-Catholic family and friends by inviting them to join you.

Roe v Wade decision: As you have probably seen in the media, on Friday 24th June, the US Supreme Court struck down the Roe v Wade decision, returning the matter of abortion legislation to individual states.  There has been much misinformation spread online about the implications of this decision.  Lord Alton has published an excellent piece that sets out the key facts on the decision: https://thecritic.co.uk/reversing-a-tragic-half-century-of-lost-lives/  If you are interested in learning more about this decision, Right To Life UK has published an article that covers details on the decision, polling on the abortion issue and a number of other points that may be helpful when having conversations around this development:
https://righttolife.org.uk/news/us-supreme-court-overturns-roe-v-wade

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

Good News Books at St John’s 10.30am-3.00pm Monday-Friday, 01582 571011. Access to the shop can be gained from the road leading up to the bungalow on the left hand side.

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

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, meeting on Tuesday 13th December at 7.00pm in the parish room at St John’s. For further details please call Kim on 07488 275949 or Deacon Jim.

Life Issues:  We are being invited to urgently contact our MP asking them to support proposed law changes to ban sex-selective abortion, reduce the abortion time limit and stop the abortion of babies with disabilities right up to birth.  It only takes 30 seconds to contact them using this easy-to-use tool: https://righttolife.org.uk/takeactionabortion
 
Parish Mass Schedule Changes – At Holy Family Church, Mass will be on Saturday at 6.00pm, Sunday at 9.00am & 12.00pm, and Tuesday & Friday at 9.30am. At St John’s Church, Mass will be on Sunday at 10.30am, and Monday & Thursday at 9.30am.  Please note that the weekday Mass schedule may change due to Funerals, please check the Parish website or the weekly newsletter for up to date information.
 
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 Andy if you can help and for more details. Thank you.

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 1st December from 10.30am at St John’s Parish Centre. All are very welcome.

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 subsidized 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 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 hopes that this may help to build your faith during this challenging time.

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. 

For Baptism for your child please see Deacon Jim.

Mass Intentions will be offered by Fr Andy daily.  If you would like to book a particular intention then please contact the parish office on 01582 502400.

Weddings Please contact Fr Andy to discuss.