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Newsletter for weekend 9th/10th October 2021

Readings at Mass

First Reading:  Wisdom 7:7-11; Compared with wisdom, I held riches as nothing.

Responsorial Psalm 89; Fill us with your love that we may rejoice.

Second Reading: Hebrews 4:12-13; The one who sanctifies and the ones who are sanctified are of the same stock.

Gospel: Mark 10:17-30; Go and sell everything you own and follow me.

From Father Stephen

On Thursday (7th) we celebrated Our Lady of the Rosary. Why do we pray the rosary? Many saints have recommended the rosary (e.g., Pope St John Paul II, Mother Teresa and St Francis de Sales who said: The greatest method of praying is to pray the Rosary. Our Lady herself on numerous apparitions has commended the rosary. Great things happen when the rosary is prayed.

In April 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 young girls from a school in Nigeria, Africa. Boko Haram is the notorious radical Muslim group that kills non-Muslims.

In December 2014, Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of the diocese of Maiduguri, Nigeria, claims that one evening, while he was praying his rosary, Jesus appeared to him holding a sword. During the vision, Jesus extended the sword toward the bishop.

When the bishop went to take the sword from Jesus, it miraculously transformed into a rosary! Once the bishop had the rosary-sword in his hands, Jesus looked at him and said three times, “Boko Haram  is gone!
After the bishop of Maiduguri had his vision, he began to promote the rosary in his diocese in Nigeria. In many of his interviews, he repeats his vision and informs his listeners of his interpretation of the vision in the following words: “As soon as I received the sword, it turned into a rosary. I didn’t need any prophet to give me the explanation. It was clear that with the rosary we would be able to expel Boko Haram.” On October 13, 2016, dozens of kidnapped girls were suddenly released by Boko Haram from captivity. In May 2017, another 83 girls were released. Then, on July 3, 2017, 700 members of Boko Haram surrendered their weapons and turned themselves in to Nigerian authorities. The power of the rosary. The interview with Bishop Oliver is on You-Tube. This October, the month of the Holy Rosary, pick up yours, even one decade a day is a start. Pray also with others: The Family that prays together stays together Fr Patrick Peyton. There are many books and online guides to help you. Fr Stephen  


Assisted Dying Bill is “unprecedented attack on sanctity of life” says Bishop John Sherrington

The Assisted Dying Bill is being presented to the House of Lords in OCtober. Bishop John Sherrington is urging all catholics to write to peers at the House of Lords stating the reasons for opposition to this legislation. He urges discussion and communication about this incredibly important matter.

In the next weeks, we face an unprecedented attack on the sanctity of life with Baroness Meacher’s ‘Assisted Dying Bill 2021’ is due its 2nd Reading in the House of Lords with full debate on Friday, 22nd October.

The term ‘Assisted Dying’ is euphemistic, the truth is that this bill seeks to introduce Assisted Suicide. If legalised, this bill would allow a terminally ill adult with less than six months to live to be assisted in committing suicide. Catholic teaching opposes assisting suicide, since life is a gift to be cared for and preserved until its natural death. The Church is clear that we cannot directly choose to take the life of another, even if they request it. The solidarity of praying and caring for the most vulnerable at this fragile time of their lives is a profoundly Christian act which imitates Our Lady’s prayer at the cross and Christ’s service to the weakest.

Full text of his letter is available here on the Diocesan website, or alternatively explore the resources available on the CBCEW “Opposing the Assisted Dying Bill 2021”.

The Passage

The Passage a Catholic Charity working with homeless people has its annual opportunity to take up a public collection on the streets of the City of Westminster on Tuesday 19 October (from 7.00 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.). In order to make the most of this opportunity to raise funds to support homeless people they need more volunteers on the day. Could anyone interested please contact Andrew Hollingsworth  Tel 020 7592 1886  (07928 703131) or email 

Praying with the Pope in September

The former tradition of the Apostleship of Prayer, now known as the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, is being revived by Pope Francis with the help of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits. Each month the Pope’s monthly prayer intention is offered to the whole People of God. In September, Pope Francis asks; We pray we all will make courageous choices for a simple and environmentally sustainable lifestyle, rejoicing in our young people who are resolutely committed to this. Apostles of Prayer round the world remember Pope Francis saying; “the heart of the church’s mission is prayer”. When Pope Francis invites us to pray with him for a specific intention, he asks us to take on this mission which must have prayer at its heart. This is how to approach September’s timely Intention. Clearly, our prayer leads to action and can never be an excuse for avoiding it!

Relaxation of restrictions when attending weekend Mass   

Thank you very much for following the necessary restrictions for so long. As the numbers attending Church are rising and to make attendance at Mass easier, it will no longer be necessary to book your place for Mass or sign-in when you attend Church. You are encouraged to continue wearing a mask in Church and to sanitise your hands on entry and exit. Thank you to our stewards and cleaners who have been doing an excellent job in keeping us all safe.

Parish Finances

See below for monthly totals for 2021/2022. These include standing orders, envelopes and the loose collection. Thank you for your continued generosity.

  • April 2021 £6,320.91
  • May 2021 £6824.33
  • June 2021 £7819.23
  • July 2021 £6751.20
  • Aug 2021 £6556.16
  • Sept 2021 £6701.31

Parishioners part of our Planned Giving Scheme are invited to collect their new box of envelopes from the back of the Church. Thank you for your offerings.

A contactless card machine is available in the Church porch, or you might wish to donate online at

For information about or to set up a Standing Order, please contact the parish office at


It is tradition that during the month of November cakes are provided so that the patients and visitors have a piece with their afternoon tea.

Unfortunately, last year, due to Covid, we were not able to provide any. If anyone would like to provide a cake, homemade or bought, we would be most grateful.

Cakes must be suitable for freezing and homemade bakes must include a list of ingredients. Please contact Trish—07709029220 to arrange cake drop off to her by 8th November.

Compassionate Neighbours / Garden House Hospice

Can you spare an hour a week to make a real difference to another person’s life? The effects of social isolation and loneliness in people of all ages can be as detrimental to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. With around 200,000 older people in the UK not having had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month, Garden House Hospice Care wants to raise awareness and help people connect with their community. Compassionate Neighbours are trained volunteers who are matched with a member of the community, based on their interests and hobbies. Offering regular visits, companionship, emotional support and a listening ear, they help people do the things they like doing and stay connected to their community, family and friends. If you can spare an hour a week to make a real difference in the community, Compassionate Neighbours would love to hear from you. Please phone: 01462 679540 option 8. Email:

Read more here.


Parishioners part of the Planned Giving Scheme can collect their box of envelopes from the Church.

The Saint John Henry Newman School – Invigilators required.

We were immediately struck by the many smiling faces of pupils, who enjoy coming to school… Pupils display a real pride in their school. They talk enthusiastically about their strong relationships with staff”   Ofsted, 2018

Invigilators required ASAP

£8.91 per hour

An opportunity has arisen for invigilators to join our existing team.  The ideal candidate will have strong communication and organisational skills and possibly the ability to act as a scribe and reader.  No experience is necessary, as training will be given. Applicants will need to be available for work in the main examination period during May and June, but we also have work available for mock and module exams starting in November.

Please contact Heidi Foyle ( for further information and an application pack. 

The Saint John Henry Newman School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.  Applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening including checks with past employers, the DBS and a ‘prohibition from teaching’ check.

2021 Season of Creation

2021 Season of Creation—”A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God” running from 1st Sept—4th Oct. Pope Francis encourages all to participate. Find out more at Alongside this, the Laudato Si’ Movement invites all to sign the “Health Planet, Healthy People” petition—available at

Year of St Joseph

Pope Francis declared a year dedicated to St Joseph, from 8th December 2020 to 8th December 2021. Read more here

A Journey with St Joseph Novena Prayer

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  To you God entrusted his only Son; in you Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became man.  Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life. Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage, and defend us from every evil. 


Quick links

Parish Newsletters: the most recent parish newsletters for download. Please note: it may not be possible to view download documents when accessing via a mobile phone or tablet.

Mass Intentions

Diary Dates

Ways to donate to the parish

Our Catholic Schools

St Thomas More RC Primary School, Highfield, Letchworth, Herts. SG63QB Tel: 01462 620670

The John Henry Newman RC Secondary School, Hitchin Road, Stevenage. SG14AE Tel: 01438 314643

Parish Safeguarding

Rebecca Clarke Tel: 01462 646636  


RC Chaplaincy at Lister Hospital

Lister Hospital RC Team: Tel: 01438285138 (24/7)  For urgent need: 01438 314333  

Via text message: 07884 187463 


Please note: Catholic patients can only be visited by the Catholic Chaplain, or a priest, if they, or a relative, contact the Chaplaincy or nursing staff.

Church Service Times available here

Sunday 9.30am Mass and Children’s Liturgy links available here

Mass Intentions for the forthcoming week

Available here

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Caritas News – Social Action

Looking for Accommodation

Homeless projects are always looking for suitable move-on accommodation.  If you are aware of any HMO (House of Multiple Occupation) property anywhere in the Diocese, please let Caritas know. 

In particular, Lazarus, one of our network projects is looking for an 8+ bed accommodation in the Diocese outside of Central London.  They would be interested to work with local homeless partners on a new move-on solution.

Ending Homelessness

The full recording of the second Diocese of Westminster Homeless Network Event is here.  It is titled ‘Living and responding to those with lived experience of Homelessness’.  Hear from Kerri Douglas, an author and blogger and survivor of homelessness and Jon Kuhrt who is the Specialist Rough Sleeping Advisor to MHCLG.  Watch and share to inspire others how to respond to those experiencing homelessness in your parish.   The link to Kerri Douglas’ book Gutter to Glory is here   If you want to order in bulk, please let me know. 

The next homeless networking meeting is 26th August 3:30-5pm.  Please avoid disappointment.  Save the date/ pre-register HERE.

Ongoing Caritas Support

Caritas Development Workers can help Parish Priests, Parish Office Staff, SVP Groups, Parish Social Action Groups, Caritas Representatives in the following ways and more:-

  • Apply for Caritas Crisis or Funeral Grants on behalf of someone who is struggling.
  • Issue Supermarket Vouchers, or help to source food via the Caritas Food Collective.
  • Link to other social action groups/ local charities known to us for referrals, advice or best practice sharing.  Networking of Food, Homeless & Migrant and Refugee Projects.
  • Discern how to respond to the needs of the community through Catholic Social Teaching (Love in Action programme and The Why)
  • The set-up or development of any social outreach, including our new Road to Resilience set of resources – helping people after the pandemic with listening exercises, community organising or a social justice response.
 To access this support, please contact your local Caritas Development Worker directly or email

Reflection, prayer and discernment  

  ‘The Why’ is a simple resource for parishes to use to reflect on social outreach activities undertaken during the pandemic, and to use Catholic Social Teaching to discern the next steps.   Download here.


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Climate Displaced People


Displacement in our Christian history is not new.  In the Preface to the Pastoral Guidance on Climate Displaced Persons (reproduced below), Pope Francis summarised the issues, concerns and guidance associated with displacement and migration associated with Climate Change.   The complete guidance document is available through the link at the top of the page.



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The parish website is the newsletter of the Parish. Updates, changes, news and resources are posted here.

Please sign up for e-alerts (at the bottom of the page) to ensure you do receive the latest news.

Please ask other parishioners to do the same.

You can unsubscribe at any time.

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The God Who Speaks

Scripture is at the centre of everything the Church does. The word of God shapes our prayer and worship. The Bible shows us how to understand the world, how we are called to live and relate to each other. ‘Today Jesus speaks those same words to you: “Take heart, I am here with you, allow me to enter and your life will change”. That is why the Lord gives you his word, so that you can receive it like a love letter…’ Pope Francis (

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Mary’s Meals

Mary’s Meals provides one good meal to some of the world’s poorest children every school day.  Our work is named after Mary, the mother of Jesus, who brought up her own child in poverty. Mary’s Meals consists of, respects, and reaches out to people of all faiths and of none.

“All around the world, schools are closed and homes have become places of learning. This means we have had to find new ways to feed the children who eat Mary’s Meals – sometimes the only food they receive in a day.  The UN recently published a report calling for urgent attention to be given to the plight of children globally. It highlights the catastrophic effect that loss of school meals during the coronavirus pandemic could have in the world’s poorest countries.”

To find out how you can help, go to Mary’s Meals – a simple solution to world hunger


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