parish news

All the latest news from around the parish

news and information

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
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 accepted, to book, call Mary on 07866 989254 or 01582 754850. Volunteers also needed to help out please.
Temporary 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.
Luton Deanery Marriage Course on Saturday 26th February 2022 from 10.00am-4.00pm at St Joseph’s Parish Centre. If you are planning to marry next year, please book your place by downloading a booking form at www.stjosephschurchluton.org.uk by Friday 18th February 2022.
St Thomas Catholic Academies Trust has updated the Cardinal Newman Catholic School Admission Policy (for admission in September 2023). The consultation period is now open until 31 December 2021. Details of the policy can be found on the Trust website (https://www.stcat.co.uk/trust-governance/consultation/). If you require a hard copy or have comments to make in regard to the proposed policy, please contact Maxine Gilmartin (consultation@stcat.co.uk, 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).

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.

The next Mass for those with Special Needs is on Sunday 12th December at St Joseph’s Church at 3.00pm. For further enquiries please contact Sean on 07930 305362. Everybody welcome.

Parish Secretary Vacancy at Our Lady, Help of Christians– 20 hours per week, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday. This is a great opportunity to work in a parish environment for someone with proven administration, financial and secretarial experience. Full information can be found at https://northamptondiocese.org/jobs/ or via email hradmin@northamptondiocese.com, closing date is Friday 17th December.

Cardinal Newman Catholic School is looking to recruit a Food Technician and a Part-time Science Technician– 29 hours per week. The closing date for applications is Thursday 9th December. Full details about these roles can be found on at www.cardinalnewmanschool.net or via MyNewTerm www.mynewterm.com

Lea, altar server for 30 years at St John’s, who struggles to walk 1000 steps a day has completed an amazing extra 36 steps on top of his challenge to walk 2021 steps to raise awareness and funds for Pulmonary Hypertension. So far £950.00 has been raised. To sponsor Lea, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lea-atkinson Lea thanks you all very much for your generosity and support.

Some information from WWW.PHAUK.ORG:  Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) is rare, serious and misunderstood. It has a huge impact on people’s lives, and the PHA UK is dedicated to reducing that burden through support, advice, information and advocacy. They raise awareness and fund research to provide better treatments, with the hope of one day finding a cure for this devastating disease. The PHA UK receives no government funding, so every penny donated plays a vital role in helping them support people to live better lives with PH.

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.
St John’s Repository needs a volunteer to sell goods after Mass on Sunday, please see Fr Andy 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 16th December from 10.30am at St John’s Parish Centre. All are very welcome.

SYNOD – “For a synodal Church: communion, participation, mission”
Pope Francis has called a Synod from this Sunday until October 2023. He sees it as “a dynamism of mutual listening, conducted at all levels of the Church, involving the whole people of God”. The first stage of the process (October 2021 – April 2022) is the one concerning the individual diocesan Churches.  The Pope explains that “synodality expresses the nature of the Church, its form, its style, its mission. It is walking together and listening to the totality of the baptised. We must overcome the image of a Church rigidly divided between leaders and subordinates, between those who teach and those who have to learn, forgetting that God likes to overturn positions. It is necessary to feel part of one great people who are the recipients of the divine promises open to a future that awaits everyone to participate in the banquet prepared by God for all peoples. Listen to the Holy Spirit by listening to yourselves and do not leave anyone out or behind”. The Church needs to rediscover that it is a people that desires to walk together, among itself and with humanity. “ LOOK OUT FOR MORE NEWS! PLEASE USE THE SYNOD PRAYER EVERY DAY! 

Diocese of Northampton 2021- The Church of God is convoked in Synod. With this convocation, Pope Francis invites the whole Church to question itself on synodality: a decisive theme for the life and mission of the Church.

Pray this prayer daily at Mass or in school assembly:
The Prayer to the Holy Spirit for the Synod: Adsumus Sancte Spiritus
We stand before You, Holy Spirit,
as we gather together in Your name.
With You alone to guide us,
make Yourself at home in our hearts;
Teach us the way we must go
and how we are to pursue it.
We are weak and sinful;
do not let us promote disorder.
Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path
nor partiality influence our actions.
Let us find in You our unity
so that we may journey together to eternal life
and not stray from the way of truth and what is right.
All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time,
in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever. Amen.

Every session of the Second Vatican Council began with the prayer Adsumus Sancte Spiritus, the first word of the Latin original meaning, “We stand before You, Holy Spirit,” which has been historically used at Councils, Synods and other Church gatherings for hundreds of years, being attributed to Saint Isidore of Seville (c. 560 – 4 April 636). As we are called to embrace this synodal path of the Synod 2021-2023, this prayer invites the Holy Spirit to operate within us so that we may be a community and a people of grace. For the Synod 2021-2023, we propose to use this simplified version, so that any group or liturgical assembly can pray more easily.

For further resources see synod.va

The Prayer to the Holy Spirit for the Synod: Adsumus Sancte Spiritus – adapted for younger people
Holy Spirit of God be with us as we pray.
Come into our hearts to guide us.
Show us what to do
because we need your help to always do what is good.
Keep us away from anything that is wrong.
Bring us together as God’s people
to always know what us true and right.
We ask you this because you are with us always and everywhere
in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever. Amen

On Monday 22nd November, NYMO will be hosting an online discussion via Zoom on Theology of the Body, and how best to approach this subject, when used in group settings with young people. This event is part of the Spotlight Meet (https://nymo.org/spotlight-meet/) series of online sessions. The session runs from 7-8.30pm, and is open to all who work with young people in the Church, including youth ministers, catechists, and volunteers. If you would like to attend this session, please email info@nymo.org so the Zoom codes can be sent to 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 from 10.15am-12.00pm on Fridays. For more details please call Helen on 07917 532768.

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 on 14th December. If you would like further information please call Kim on 07488 275949 or contact Deacon Jim. 

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 NeededNOAH 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.

Level Trust are recruiting for a Fundraising Lead and a Youth Project Worker.  Please visit https://www.leveltrust.org/get-involved/careers/ for more information about the roles and how to apply.

The Sisters of St Clare would like you to know that while the Chapel at St Clare’s Convent, 3 Abigail Close, LU3 1ND, is still closed, the Prayer Garden is open for private prayer every day from 10.00 am until 6.00pm. There is ample outdoor seating that allows for privacy, silence and social distancing. Masks are required at all times please. The Lenten Garden has been transformed into an Easter Garden. Everyone is welcome to pray in this inspirational setting.

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

CAFOD Prayer- 
Loving Lord,
For those who have died, give them eternal rest. For those who are bereaved, comfort and console them. For those who are hurt, heal and strengthen them.
Lord God, enable us to help our suffering brothers and sisters in whatever way we can.
Heavenly Father, be with us now and always.
Amen.

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.

SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMMES 2021 – Given the current lockdown the format and dates of the preparation sessions for Confirmation are yet to be decided, and will dependant on the latest government guidelines at the time to ensure the safety of all.

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.

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.

Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), of which CAFOD is an active member have launched a nationwide Coronavirus. 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. 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 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

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,  you can now get it delivered direct to your home every week.   Please go to www.universecatholicweekly.co.uk or call 0743 661 7650.

The 200 club has been 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 on 01582 502400.

Holy Communion to the sick or housebound, whether at home or in hospital, has ceased 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 be celebrated in church with as many attendees as can be accommodated while observing current social distancing guidelines.

Weddings Please contact Fr Andy to discuss.