parish news

All the latest news from around the parish

news and information

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.
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.

Young@Heart Café is closed for the summer break and reopens on Wednesday 14th September. Any enquiries please email maria.collins@homeinstead.co.uk or call 01582 742275 or 01582 650826. 

In September and October of this year, the relics of St Bernadette will journey on pilgrimage through England, Scotland and Wales for the first time. It is hoped that this event will enable people of all ages and backgrounds to experience the special gifts and charisms of Lourdes in a church or cathedral near them. The relics will be arriving in our own diocese on Monday 10th October 2022 at 3pm. The reliquary will be placed in front of the sanctuary in the cathedral for people to venerate, before leaving Northampton on Thursday 13th October at 9am. During this time, the cathedral will be open from 7am until 10pm, with Mass being celebrated at various points during the day, as well as led rosaries. There will also be a number of priests hearing confessions in the cathedral during this time. Please do check the diocesan website closer to the time for a more detailed schedule of events https://northamptondiocese.org/

Registration for Sacraments online at www.lutonpastoralarea.org/registration/ Dates for registration- First Reconciliation & First Eucharist: 1st August- 25th September and Confirmation registration from 1st September.

Northampton Diocese is recruiting for a Director of Mission to develop and manage the vision, strategic direction and day to day operations of Mission Northampton. The role will be for 32 hours per week and working pattern is to be negotiated. Full information for the position and an application form can be found by visiting https://northamptondiocese.org/jobs/ or via email hradmin@northamptondiocese.com.  Closing date for applications is Wednesday 24th August. Interviews will be held w/c 29th August.

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. 

Pilgrimage to Walsingham for the Sanctity of Life on Saturday 6th August led by Bishop Philip Egan & Fr David Donoghue. Adults £23.00, children, teenagers and students £8.00. Seats reserved only with payment. Bring a packed lunch and drinks. For full details visit www.prolifepilgrimage.org and to book kevin.drew@btinternet.com or 07802 525581. Please see poster and booking forms at the back of the Church.

Parish Family Food & Fun Day on Sunday 4th September from 2.00pm in St John’s Parish Centre. A chance for parishioners and families to get together for food and fun! Tickets on sale from next weekend after all Masses, costs £5.00 per adult, children go free! Please put the date in your diary!

Mothers Prayers Day of Renewal- The Mothers Prayers Group of Dunstable and Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire, cordially invite you to join them on Saturday 10th September from 11.00am-5.30pm for a day of prayer, spiritual refreshment and fellowship at St Mary’s Church, 82 West Street, Dunstable, LU6 1NY.  Maureen Goldsmith the National Coordinator for England and Wales will lead the Day.  Registration for the gathering will begin from 11.00am.  The talk at 12.00pm includes the history and beginnings of Mothers Prayers; the call given over 25 years ago to two grandmothers to pray for children, including the vision of how this would be delivered.  A lunch break at 1.00pm rounds off the morning session with a guided Mothers Prayers meeting in the afternoon. They hope this will be a good opportunity to reset, reflect and be refreshed after an inability to meet and pray together, during the pandemic.  The day ends at 5.30pm in time for the 6.00pm Vigil Mass, should you wish to attend. If you have any queries or need more information, please contact Brenda on 01582 607966,  Carole on 01582 661360 or Christine on 01582 529441 

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.

Friday 19th August from 11.00am-12.00pm- Act of Prayer and Witness in support of life and against abortion, outside the Abortion Centre in Cardiff Road, Luton.  Organised by Helpers of God’s Precious Infants.

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.

Blessing of Graves Service– Saturday 6th August at 12.00pm at St Mary’s, Sundon

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 Lent Family Fast Day, 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

The next Bereavement Self Help Group meeting on Tuesday 9th August will be celebrating their first year, and will be meeting at Luton Hoo. New members are always very welcome. Please call Kim on 07488 275949 or Deacon Jim on 07756 685220 for more details.

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 18th August 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.