Urgent Appeal: Bibles for Prison

Our English-speaking Catholic community has received a request for financial support towards providing bibles for residents in the Centre Pénitentiare (prison) at Schrassig, Luxembourg. The most accessible version of the bible, especially for those for whom English is not their first language, is the Good News version — now out of print and difficult to source. P. Vincent Klein SJ (the priest-chaplain) told me has has managed to find 200 copies of the GN version, but the chaplaincy funding is very limited. We are trying to raise €3000 to cover costs.

I am certain we can make a generous response to this appeal — by sponsoring an individual bible, or by giving a different amount.

I have accepted several invitations to lead evenings of prayer and reflection in the prison, and am convinced this is a very important part of the church’s ministry in Luxembourg — and I have been in admiration of Fr Vincent and the chaplaincy team for their dedicated, constant and challenging work in the prison.

Given the recent changes in relations between Church and State in Luxembourg, funding the prison chaplaincy ministry has become much more difficult. I know we can help!

If you wish to donate, our bank details are below, or you can communicate with Fr Vincent directly.

Thank you, and every good wish,

Fr Ed

BCE
Paroisse Européenne, Section Anglophone 
LU18 0019 3755 5648 2000

Please add in the communication section, ‘Prison Bibles’

 

John Allen RIP

At our weekend Masses, we prayed for the repose of the soul of John Allen, a longstanding member of our English-speaking Catholic community. John died in the early hours of Saturday morning after a long illness. John was a regular attender at Mass and one of our team of Readers. John’s funeral will be held at Merl tomorrow, 8th January, at 15:00. May he rest in peace.

Fr Ed

Dance Against Cancer – 2nd Feb

To mark World Cancer Day (on 4 February 2019), and to raise funds for the Luxembourg Cancer Foundation, a Scottish/Irish Cèilidh is being organised on Saturday 2 February 2018 from 19:00 at the Centre Cultural Altrimenti (5 Avenue Marie-Therese, Luxembourg-ville).

ceilidh-flyer 2019

The 2019 Dance Against Cancer Cèilidh is the third such event held in the Grand Duchy, with €2,051.60 raised in 2018 for the Luxembourg Cancer Foundation.

Following the success of previous events in 2017 and 2018, the traditional Irish band Kitchen Quartet will again provide the music, with a dance caller organising those on the dance floor who may not know the various dances. The Luxembourg Pipe Band will also perform.

A cash bar will be in operation. All money raised will be donated to the Cancer Foundation

Tickets €12 from http://urquhart.lu/relais or at the door (subject to availability)

Marriage preparation days February 2019

Our marriage preparation team is running two courses in February.  There are still places available on Saturday 9 February and there will be another course on Saturday 23 February.  To register please contact the parish office by clicking here

This course is for couples preparing for marriage: it’s not about preparing you for the ceremony itself, but for the rest of your married life together. These days have been both popular and highly rated; input is given by trained Marriage Preparation presenters, and as couples you have an opportunity also to share your own experience of life together.

The course is for Catholic and non-Catholic partners.

Exceptionally (due to scheduling issues, for example) you can take the course after your church wedding. To cover costs, we ask €75 from each couple; if this is beyond your means, no problem — again, just get in touch. Refreshments and a sandwich lunch are provided.

Help for Asylum Seekers – UPDATE

In our previous posting, we appealed for volunteers from our community to work at a reception centre for asylum-seekers in Luxembourg. We have already a good history of volunteering, and our recent appeal has received (as hoped for, and anticipated) a generous response. The Red Cross, and above all, those whom they are serving, are grateful to all those who have come forward with offers for help. For the time being, enough people have come forward, and those in great need continue to be well served. Many thanks to all concerned for your continued concern and generosity.

Fr Ed

Help for asylum-seekers

Can you spare some time over the festive period to volunteer at a reception centre for asylum-seekers in Luxembourg?

The Luxembourg Red Cross needs volunteers to help distribute meals or participate in other activities all year round – but the need is especially great at Christmas and New Year. The initial reception centre in Strassen is currently operating at full capacity.

Please contact Caren Baviera (caren.baviera@gmail.com) if you can spare some time to help.

Our Community has had a leading role in supporting the Luxembourg Red Cross in this field since 2015. To find out more, click here.

Fr Ed’s Christmas Message

Fr Ed’s Christmas message

As 2018 draws to a close, I have been reflecting on what this year has meant for our community. A number of changes have taken place behind the scenes that have made a dramatic impact on how we are and what we do as an English-speaking community. Our Pastoral Council has adopted new ‘Internal rules of procedure’ which clarify what the Council is for and to guide it going forward. Our Safeguarding policy has been provisionally adopted, pending it’s compliance with Luxembourg civil law. We now have seven active Council sub-committees, reporting regularly to the Council: Liturgy, Youth, Social life, Diakonia (serving those in need), Finance, Catechesis, and Safeguarding; in addition we have recently established a group concerned with legal, financial and data protection compliance, and Communication.

The former Secretary of our Pastoral Council has now been elected Chair of the Parish Council of Luxembourg Notre-Dame, and I am part of the small group that is helping shape the pastoral planning of the new parish.

An addition that has made a great and wholly positive difference in our community has been the engagement of Nicola Hammond as our Administrative Assistant, meaning that our  admin is now in very capable hands, as opposed to my own!

Our Marriage Preparation team have received training from Marriage Care UK, to whom we are now affiliated, and 29 couples have benefited from our courses this year; of these, I have celebrated 11 marriages. We celebrated the First Holy Communion of 50 children in May, and there are 66 children enrolled in our current class. 19 young people are preparing for Confirmation, along with 8 adults. Two members of our community are now engaged in Baptism Preparation, catechising parents for the Baptism of their child. Our new youth group has got off to a good start, with a core of 15 or so young people. Our new children’s choir is in full swing, and their own, new Mass setting is proving popular all round. Our average Mass attendance between our 3 Masses is 850. We celebrated a Mass followed by a barbecue to raise funds and show solidarity with people in need in Venezuela, and recently hosted a Sunday breakfast to benefit Religious sisters in Madagascar. The appeal for shoe-boxes filled with essential items for children in need in Romania and Moldavia broke all previous records: 456 boxes were collected and dispatched.

Our Sunday music group continues to flourish, and our Saturday evening Mass now has a superb cantor. We were blessed for six months this year with the presence of Fr Valentine d’Souza SJ who was able to help with Masses, Confessions, house blessings and sick visits; he spoke highly of our community and was grateful for his time with us.

All in all, 2018 has been a truly blessed year for our community, a year of tremendous energy and growth, for which we can all be truly grateful to the Lord. Sincere and deep thanks to everyone who has contributed in anyway to the vibrancy and outreach of our community — the challenge is that in 2019 we can maintain this dynamism. With God’s help, we will!
Every good wish and blessing to you and your loved ones,
Fr Ed.