All the latest news from around the parish
news and information
The Department of Health is holding a public consultation on whether to continue the practice of allowing abortion providers to send abortion pills to women so that they can perform their own abortion at home. This is an urgent matter for us as Catholics, so you are urged to complete the questionnaire online. It may take some time, but it is worth it. You can find the questionnaire at: Consultation on home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation (dhsc.gov.uk) Please note that the consultation ends on 26 February 2021.
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.
SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMMES 2021 – Given the current lockdown the format and dates of the preparation sessions for First Reconciliation [Confession], First Communion, or Confirmation are yet to be decided, and will dependant on the latest government guidelines at the time to ensure the safety of all. But we are now asking families to register for these sacraments so that we know the numbers involved and can plan accordingly.
To register for the parish Reconciliation and First Holy Communion program please click here and register before 28th February
To register for the parish Confirmation program please click here and register before 28th February
For baptism as an adult or for your child please see Deacon Jim. The usual marriage preparation course for the town will not take place in 2021. Any couples asking to be married in 2021 should see Fr Andy immediately.
APPLICATIONS to CATHOLIC SCHOOLS within and without LUTON for September 2021. In the CoVid crisis we cannot arrange the usual Sign Up Sundays this year. If you need Fr Andy to support your application for your child to go to a Catholic primary or secondary school n September 2021 in Luton or elsewhere you must contact him with the details he will need to provide you with that support. Name of child – date of birth – school[s] to which you will applying. You must do this by email or in writing at least two weeks before the closing date for applications. Primary applications must be submitted by 15 January 2021. Fr Andy will not be able to take down details after a Sunday mass. This applies to all schools including those requiring the Catholic Education Service Certificate of Practice.
St Thomas Catholic Academies Trust has updated their Admission Policies (for admission in September 2022) for Cardinal Newman Catholic School, St Margaret of Scotland Catholic Primary School, St Martin de Porres Catholic Primary School, St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School. The consultation period is now open until 31 December 2020. Details of the policies can be found on the Trust website ( https://www.stcat.co.uk/trust-governance/consultation- documents/ ). If you require a hard copy or have comments to make in regard to the proposed policy, please contact Maxine Gilmartin (email@example.com, or by post to Maxine Gilmartin, St Thomas Catholic Academies Trust, c/o St Martin de Porres Catholic Primary School, Pastures Way, Luton, LU4 0PF).
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.
Mary’s Meals. So much can be asked of us at this time of year. It may be hard to always say yes. Mary said yes to being the Mother of Jesus and as a young, unmarried girl this must have been a terrifying moment for her. Yet her “yes” brought Jesus into the world and changed lives forever. Throughout this year of many challenges, thanks to our generous supporters, Mary’s Meals has continued to say yes to feeding desperately hungry children with a daily meal in a place of education. Now we are delighted to share with you a new opportunity to say yes and provide 43,000 hungry children in Bong County, Liberia, with a life-changing meal at school. From 2nd November until 31st January 2021, donations made to our Double The Love campaign will be matched by the UK government, up to £2 million. Please consider setting a place at our Big Family Christmas dinner table or buying a Christmas gift card on our website. More information on how to support us can be found at www.marysmeals.org.uk/doublethelove
Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), of which CAFOD is an active member, launched a nationwide Coronavirus appeal on Tuesday 14 July. Thanks to generous support from the Catholic community, CAFOD are already working across 26 countries, to prevent the virus’ spread, and limit the food shortages it has caused in the poorest communities. But there is so much more to be done. The needs are immense, long term, complex, and evolving, and so the response needs to be large scale, and multifaceted. So this month, as the DEC raises awareness of the global situation, we are asking you to keep those worst affected in your thoughts, prayers and where possible, your alms giving. More details are available here: www.cafod.org.uk/coronavirus Whatever is possible at this time, please continue to pray for the communities throughout the world who are worst hit by this pandemic and its many effects.
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 Sunday evenings at 7pm there is a 30 minute talk, and on 3rd Wednesdays at 8pm there is a healing service. 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
Goodnews Books is still operating from the rooms at the rear of St. John’s Church hall. Their new opening times for callers is 12.00pm to 3.00pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. For all other times please call 01582 571011 to make sure the book shop is manned and open.
Fr. Chris Thomas, is a popular author and speaker he has a new book which is available in our book shop. The title is: ‘WHO DO YOU SAY I AM?’ Fr.Chris asks, ‘Who is Jesus for Me?’ He looks at the person of Jesus through each of the four gospels and highlights touching faith stories of people he has known. Fr. Chris is a story teller who delights in relating real life situations where the presence of Jesus can be seen. 179 pages, Price £8.99 plus £1.50 p.& p. or free delivery in the parish area, order by phone or on the website: www.goodnewsbooks.co.uk
To our Catholic Universe and Catholic Times readers in the parish:- at the moment you are unable to collect your paper at Mass, but you can get it delivered direct to your home every week, POST FREE. Please go to www.thecatholicuniverse.com or call them on 0161 820 5722 and they will arrange delivery for you.
The 200 club will be suspended until further notice
Confessions are available on request. The Bishops have announced that, during this time, all of us can make a Perfect Act of Contrition, which means true sorrow for our sins and a resolution not to sin again when we realise how we offend God by our sinful words, deeds and omissions in contrast to the immeasurable love and mercy that He continually shows us. We also resolve to confess the more serious sins to a priest at confession. Below is a video of Pope Francis’ message in this regard.
The following is one example of such an Act of Contrition: “My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Saviour Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.”
Mass Intentions will be offered by Fr Andy daily If you would like to book a particular intention then please contact the parish office.
Holy Communion to the sick or housebound, whether at home or in hospital, will cease until further notice. They will, however, be kept in touch with by phone where possible.
Anointing of the Sick will take place only in emergencies.
Funerals can now be celebrated in church but with no more than 30 attendees and following all the current guidelines to allow us to gather together safely.
Weddings can not be celebrated at the moment.