parish news

All the latest news from around the parish

news and information

New Bereavement Support Group – Stronger Together
The parish is supporting the launch of a new bereavement self help group called 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 and understanding. We will be holding an initial informal meet and greet event in the parish room at St John’s on Saturday 21st August for anyone who would like more information, or who may like to get involved. Just drop in any time between 11am and 1pm for coffee and a chat. If you would like further information at any time please email Kim Gaughan kim.gaughan@hotmail.com or call 07488 275949 or contact Deacon Jim.

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 10.00am4.00pm 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 is recording a series of teaching videos focussed on ‘The Church’.  This weekly series is available on YouTube.  The videos premiere weekly at 6.30pm on Wednesdays, however they 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.

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

10th Anniversary of the Syrian conflict– CAFOD has been helping people in Syria. Over 12 million people have left their homes, 5.6 million are refugees in neighbouring countries and within Syria, 13 million people need help. At the beginning, the focus was on delivering food and blankets, then they started providing education, health and legal services, and helping people earn a living. Their latest projects are supporting children, lonely elderly people, helping women learn to read, and helping people restart their small businesses. None of this work would have been possible without your support, thank you.

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:- 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 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.