Canon Anthony Dwyer
Our Lady of Lourdes
1 Kirkwick Avenue
01582 712245

Church Address:
Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church
Rothamsted Avenue

Office Administrator: Mrs Melanie Armitage
Office hours: 9.30am - 12.30pm, Mon to Thu
Safeguarding Representative: Mrs Brigid Brennan

Our Lady of Lourdes is a Fairtrade Parish and a LiveSimply Parish.

Friends of the Holy Land Charity Concert

In support of Christians in the Holy Land, Friends of the Holy Land (FHL) are organising a Charity Concert featuring the London Welsh Male Voice Choir and guest soloists, the ‘Three Priests’ at Westminster Cathedral at 7.30pm on Thursday 16 February.  Please see the attached flyer.

Tickets, from just £20, can be bought through Eventbrite by searching LWMVC Concert at Westminster Cathedral or using the link below, or by calling the FHL office on 01926 512980.

Catenians – The Circle Christmas Newsletter

The Luton Catenians have published their Christmas Newsletter featuring an article written by Fr. Stephen Wang.  Download a copy here.

Advent & Christmas Calendar of Services & Times

Everyone is very welcome to our Christmas celebrations, regular parishioner or not.  Even if it’s been a long time, perhaps pre-Pandemic, the welcome is all the greater.

Come and join us in Worshipping the new-born king.

Download the full calendar of Advent and Christmas events and times here.

5pm – Children’s Nativity

10pm – Mass during the night (Saturday evening)
8.30am – Mass
9.45am – Christmas Family Mass
11.30am – Mass*

Monday 26th December
10am – Altar Servers Mass

Tue 27th – Thu 29th Dec – 10am – Mass

6pm – Saturday Vigil Mass
No 8.30am Mass
9.45am – Mass
11.30am – Mass*

Mon 2nd Jan – 10am -Mass
Tue 3rd Jan – 9.15am – Mass
Wed 4th Jan – 9.15am – Mass
Thu 5th Jan – 11am – Mass

Friday 6th January
9.15am – Mass
6.00pm – Mass

*These Masses will be live-streamed

Warm Spaces Meeting

Alongside some of the other Harpenden churches, hopefully we will be able to go ahead with offering a warm and welcoming space on a Tuesday between 12noon and 3.00pm, in the Undercroft. There is still room for anyone else who might like to volunteer and, obviously, the more people who volunteer, the less onerous will be the commitment for everyone. For those who have offered to help, or are willing to do so, there is a meeting in the Undercroft on Monday 12th December at 7.30pm. There is still room for more volunteers.

Anyone else willing to assist, please contact the parish office.

Calling all potential Altar Servers – your church needs you!!

In recent weeks we have been inviting our younger parishioners, to volunteer to serve at Mass. The response to date has  been underwhelming, and that is disappointing! Altar Servers carry out an important ministry during Mass and contribute to the dignified celebration of the Liturgy. More offers, from boys and girls, who have made their First Communion, would be most welcome, as indeed would offers from any of our young people. So, parents please encourage your children to offer themselves for this important ministry.

If you would like your child to serve, please send their details to the Parish Office.

Warm Spaces – Help desperately needed!

As was mentioned last week, along with some of the other Harpenden churches, we are hoping to be able to offer warm spaces, for those who may struggle to have sufficient heat, as the weather gets colder. The hope is that there can be at least one warm space available each day. The hope had been that we could play our part, and could offer such a space, possibly on a Tuesday between 12noon and 3.00pm.

To date, however, we have just three offers to help with this project, so it’s not promising that we will be able to play our part alongside the other churches. With the weather already very cold, the project needs to start very soon. If you would like to see this happening, your help will be needed. If you can assist, please contact the Parish Office.

Children’s Nativity Service – Christmas Eve 2022

We are delighted to say that we will be having a Children’s Nativity again this year. The service will be at 5.00pm on Christmas Eve, and is a lovely reminder to the children about the reasons for celebrating this great feast. This year we are dramatising the story “Leah, the Innkeeper’s Daughter” which will be read by an adult, but we do need a cast of many – (shepherds, angels, wisemen, townsfolk etc.) So, if you would like your child to take part please come to the rehearsal in church on Thursday 23rd December at 10:00am to 12.30pm, when we will be reading the story to the children and asking for them to take various parts (there are no speaking parts!). Your child does need to be at this rehearsal to take part on Christmas Eve.

We have some costumes, but if you have anything suitable then they would be most useful.

The children need to be primary school age and if they are taking part in the nativity they will need to be in church at 4.30pm on Christmas Eve. Please let me know as soon as possible if they would like to take part, in the Nativity Service (contact Ginny St John Glew,

‘Flame 2023 – Rise Up’ Youth Event

This year’s confirmation candidates will be joining thousands of other young catholic people at the OVO Wembley Arena on Saturday 4th March 2023 for an inspiring day of prayer, adoration, catechesis, reflection, celebration and praise. Everyone else aged School Year 9 (and not already on the confirmation course) through to University age are invited to join them for the day to experience the UK’s largest catholic youth conference.

Tickets are £20 plus travel. Please contact the parish office, or Anne Pesez by 31st January if your child is interested in coming.

Young Adults Brunch

On Saturday 17th December Northampton Youth Ministry Office will be hosting an extended young adult brunch at the Church of Our Lady Help of Christians, in Luton. If you are aged 18- 35yrs you are invited to join the team for a brunch and some incredible teaching.

Festive Family Concert

A festive family concert will be held in Church next Sunday 11th December at 5.00pm by Kathryn McGuiness and her Saxaphone Quartet. Tickets are Adults £12.50, 18-25 £5 and under 18s Free.

Lea Singers Concert

Photo credit: The Lea Singers/Maria Mountford Plana

On 5th November the Lea Singers delivered a concert, Choral Discoveries, under the expert direction of their new Conductor, Benjamin Kirk. There was a large and enthusiastic audience who enjoyed the variety and quality of the programme.

The choir kindly nominated Harpenden Child Contact Centre to be the recipient of a retiring collection. Brigid Brennan, parishioner and also Chairman of HCCC, spoke at the start of the concert about the work of the Centre and the magnificent sum of £370 was given by the audience.

It was a highly successful evening with the Lea Singers continuing with their impressive record of supporting local Charities and good causes.

Their annual Christmas Concert, FestiveLea, will be on the 22nd December at 8 pm in Harpenden’s Eric Morecambe Centre when they are supporting The Harpenden Trust with the proceeds from the raffle. More details can be found on their website

To find out more about HCCC and ways to get involved with its essential work with children and families please contact Brigid at or 07881 785299

Amazon Wish Lists for NOAH and Keystage

Following the delivery of the donation bins for NOAH and Keystage, we wanted to let you all know of another way to support these amazing organisations if you are able to, via Amazon wish lists.

The link to Keystage’s is our contact there has chosen to make it more Christmas focused but has said that after Christmas she will make it more generic.

For NOAH the link is Our contact there has mentioned that it is being updated so different things may be added over time.

We do want to emphasise that we know there are many good causes out there and also how difficult things are financially, particularly at the moment, so please don’t feel under any pressure to donate to the bins and the Wish Lists – or indeed to either. If you are able to contribute in some way, this will be very much appreciated by both NOAH and Keystage.

If anyone is interested in becoming more involved with the group, please contact Monika Westgate at

Warm Spaces

Some of the Harpenden churches are responding to the Government request to offer warm spaces, for those who may struggle to have sufficient heat, as the weather gets colder. The hope is that there can be at least one warm space available each day. It would be good if we could offer such a space, possibly on a Tuesday between 12noon and 3.00pm. The Undercroft could be used for this, and light refreshments would be available. If you would like to see this happening, your help will be needed. If you would like to assist, please contact the Parish Office.

Calling all Children – Christmas Family Mass

The 9.45am Mass on Christmas Day will be the Christmas Family Mass. So, children if you like dressing up, come to this Mass dressed as a shepherd or an angel, or even as an animal! There may be something for each of you as you leave Mass.

Advent Reflection Group

A group will meet each week of Advent.

Subject: The Hope of Christmas by Amette Ley. Using the words of Pope Francis, the author shows us the different ways in which hope is manifested in these weeks leading to the birth of Christ.

Dates of meetings: Wednesdays 30th Nov/7/14/21st December

Please respond to:

Please think of joining us even if you can’t manage all four.

Altar Servers

Many of you will be aware that since the Pandemic there has been a big drop in the numbers exercising the ministry of Altar Serving. Altar Servers carry out an important ministry during Mass and contribute to the dignified celebration of the Liturgy. More offers, from boys and girls who have made their First Communion, would be most welcome, as indeed would offers from any of our young people.

If you would like your child to serve, please send their details to the Parish Office.

Catenians Christmas Dinner


Looking forward to a lockdown free Christmas this year? Then start with a party!

Join the Catenian family and friends Christmas dinner at Harpenden Golf Club at 7pm on 7th December.

Local Catenians are predominantly from our parish so you will know virtually everyone present. Good food, good company, with entertainment on top.

Tickets are priced at less than cost at £35 per head to include a three-course meal and wine.

So, come on, join in, have some fun. There will be a seating plan, so you can book a single ticket, in couples or any multiple. Groups of eight or ten will have their own table.

Don’t let the past drag you down, break out and book with John Williams now at before you forget.

Carols by Candlelight

A traditional service of carols and readings, by candlelight, followed by mulled wine and mince pies in the Undercroft.

Advent Service

A beautiful service of music and readings to start the season of Advent.


Parish Walk

We had a very enjoyable walk last month which took us halfway round the Batford Nature Reserve and I suggested we should do the second part, which includes the chalk stream, this month. It will begin from the Marquis of Granby at the end of Crabtree Lane about 10.15 am where there is parking, also in Marquis Close. I will be at Our Lady of Lourdes after Mass that day to take anyone to the walk who would like a lift. Do wear sturdy footwear as it can muddy. Coffee at my place afterwards.

Contact Janet Evers via the parish office for further information.

Parish Christmas Fair

The parish Christmas Fair will be on Saturday 10th December at the new time of 12 noon to 3pm.  We would be grateful for donations of bottles, books, gifts, toys, raffle and tombola prizes, bric-a-brac which can be left in the church porch or the parish office, and nearer the time, cakes.  Raffle tickets will be on sale after all of the Masses from this weekend.

We will be serving a Hotdog Lunch deal with crisps and a drink for all the boys and girls coming straight from activities on Saturday morning.  And don’t forget that Father Christmas will be at the Fair!

Lots of helpers are needed to set up on Friday evening, to run the stalls, and to clear up afterwards. Please contact Marva if you are willing to help, even if just for a couple of hours, all volunteers greatly welcomed.

Contact or phone 07943 837277.

Sing for … Christmas Spectacular

For those who fancy a sing to continue our fundraising for NOAH and Keystage Housing, and to add sparkle to a community event … for family and friends to take part too, no joining fees but there will be bucket collections at the event itself. 

Friday 25th November 7.00-8.30pm Rehearsal in the Undercroft 

Saturday 26th November 4.30-5.15pm Christmas Singing at the Engineer Pub, St. John’s Road as part of their Christmas Market.

Please email Katie Metcalfe so I know how many copies of the music I need!

26 Things You Can Do About the Climate Crisis

CAFOD have published 26 green ideas – from simple, practical steps to crucial goals to shoot for – to show the world you’re serious about protecting the planet.

Please view them here.

Lea Singers Concert

An hour of music to take you somewhere new.

Brahms, Clara Schumann, Tomkins, Arvo Pärt, Benjamin Kirk and Vaughan Williams

Harpenden’s leading chamber choir launch their new series of Choral Discoveries with an atmospheric autumnal programme exploring the highways and byways of choral music.

If you’re a first-timer, dip into over 500 years of singing. And even if you’re an expert, we guarantee you’ll hear something you haven’t heard before!

Retiring collection in aid of Harpenden Child Contact Centre.

Sunday 9:45 Mass – a chance to be involved

A chance to join the 9:45 music team and swell the joyous praise to our Lord and God!

We are looking to bring in any youngsters and adults who either play an instrument or just love singing along to the hymns and mass settings. Music is circulated during the week and we have a quick practice just before mass. The emphasis is always on the enjoyment of making music! Come up and speak to any of the team after mass on Sunday if you would like to get involved.

St Dominic’s School Admissions

It’s that time of year again. Reception Admissions for children starting in September 2023. Applications open on 1st November and close on 15th January 2023.

Open mornings at St Dominic’s school 9.30am -10.30am on 17th November and 22nd November.

For more information please see the website

Dates when Canon Dwyer will be available in the church, to discuss the possibility of signing the Certificate of Catholic Practice will be announced shortly so watch this space!

Sing For … 4 – January 2023

Please put the dates in the diary – something to look forward to in January! Adults and children are invited for this charity fundraising singing project – more details to follow but there is a choice of Tuesday OR Sunday rehearsals.

Tuesday 10th January 7.30-9.00pm Undercroft
Tuesday 17th January
Tuesday 24th January
Tuesday 31st January

And … to widen the opportunity for more/families to take part in this project:
Sunday 15th January 3.00-4.00pm Undercroft
Sunday 22nd January
Sunday 29th January

Performance Sunday 5th February – 2pm Rehearsal, 3pm CONCERT

Please email to book a place. £35 for the project per family (whether 1 person or 10!).  All monies, after expenses, will go to NOAH and Keystage Housing.

Pizza and Pop!

The Parish Pastoral Council are hosting a Pizza and Pop social event in the Undercroft on Tuesday November 8th at 7.30pm to discuss ideas for getting families, especially children, more involved in the life of the parish. All are welcome to come and give us your ideas in a friendly and informal atmosphere.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Secondary School Forms

Canon Dwyer will be available in the church, on Tuesday 11th October and Monday 17th October, between 5.30pm and 6.30pm, to discuss the possibility of signing Priests References in connection with transfer to secondary schools.

Choristers Concert

Do join us for our Choristers Concert on Thursday 20th October at 7.30pm in Church.  Everyone is welcome for an hour of music presented by the Choristers followed by refreshments. Free entry and a retiring collection for the choir.

Chorister Recruitment

Years 4 and above.  Weekly term time rehearsals, on THURSDAY 7-8pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. They sing at Mass every other Sunday, 11.30am, with rehearsals 11.00am. The choristers also sing a Weddings, Remembrance Sunday on Church Green, Advent Service, Candlelight Carol Service and at Concerts throughout the year. It is a very
traditional pathway of musical training, vocal training and community belonging. The choristers develop a sense of duty and commitment to the church and to their fellow singers.

Due to the pandemic we now have spaces in Years 4 and above as the pattern of normality was disrupted and accessing church and music was limited. This is no longer the case!

There is a chorister’s concert on Thursday 20th October at 7.30pm Our Lady of Lourdes. Please come and hear the choir with a view to starting after the half term holiday. We will then be preparing for Advent and Christmas and this is a
good time to join.

Please contact Katie Metcalfe, Director of Music, at

University Chaplaincy

Are you a student or about to start, at one of the universities or colleges in London, or in Hatfield?

Our Catholic Chaplaincy is for you! It’s based at Newman House, 111 Gower Street, WC1E 6AR. We have Sunday Masses for students and regular events during the week. And in many of the universities and colleges we also have campus-based Catholic societies and activities.

Click here to find out more.

You will be made very welcome at our Catholic community here, a ‘home from home.’

Confirmation 2023

Preparation to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, for young people in Year 9 or above, will commence soon.

Application forms are available for collection by the candidates after all Weekend Masses. Completed forms and copies of Baptismal Certificates must be returned to Melanie in the parish office by Sunday 23rd October.

Pakistan Appeal

Thank you very much for your contributions last weekend for the CAFOD appeal following the floods in Pakistan. £1,090.01 has now been donated. It’s not too late to make a donation, envelopes for contributions will be found in the porch, and can be returned to the presbytery. Contributions can also be made via the card machine, also in the porch.

Feast of St Francis of Assisi

The Livesimply group invite you to Mass on Tuesday 4th October for the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, the patron Saint of Ecology. Mass will be at 7pm.

Monday Mass

This Monday 19th September is a bank holiday. Normally on bank holidays, Mass is celebrated at 10.00am. However, this Monday, Mass will be celebrated at the usual time of 9.15am, to allow time for those who want to view the Queen’s funeral on television.

Mass For The Queen

The Cardinal has asked that there be a Mass celebrated, in every parish, for the repose of the soul of her late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. We will be celebrating a requiem Mass for the Queen, at 11.30am on Sunday 18th September.

Walsingham Talk

The Herts Circle of the Newman Association will be hosting a talk about Walsingham: its history and mission today, to be given by the author Edmund Matyjawzekat the parish hall, SS Alban and Stephen Church, St Albans, Beaconsfield Road AL1 3RB on Saturday, 15th October at 11am.

The talk is free but donations would be welcome.

There is some parking available at the church and in Beaconsfield Road; also at the nearby train station.

Sing For … 3

Our third project to raise money for Keystage Housing and NOAH. The past two projects have been enormous fun so please come along and enjoy some lovely music and a lighthearted few hours on a Tuesday .

The fee is £35 and payment details will be given once you sign up – email

Each of the following Tuesday evenings in the Undercroft at Our Lady of Lourdes. 7.30-9.00pm 





Informal Concert

SATURDAY 15th OCTOBER from 2pm

Europe’s Bishops call for ‘conversion’ in the Season of Creation

“May the Lord hear this cry and grant mankind a new heart, capable of showing compassion to the whole of creation…”   These were the words of the Catholic Bishops of Europe on 20 August as they promoted the Season of Creation. The “cry” they refer to is the “cry of the Earth” which was highlighted in Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’. The Season of Creation runs from 1st September, the Day of Prayer for Creation, to 4th October, the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of Ecology. You can find the full description of the Bishops’ message outlined in the Tablet (cf the Link below):

Big Noah Sleepout

Noah Enterprise are holding the BIG NOAH Sleepout on October 7th 2022.  Please do take part and don a sleeping bag to support the cause and raise funds!

They are also looking for volunteers, needed in tranches from 5.00pm-8.00am to help in roles such as running the tea and coffee stalls, the merchandise stalls, stewarding cars, sign posting people wearing a hi viz jacket etc.

For further information please click on the link below.


Visit of the Relics of St Bernadette to Westminster Cathedral

For the first time in history the relics of St Bernadette will be touring England.

This very special once in a lifetime event will provide an opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience the gifts and charisms of Lourdes, in a church or cathedral near you. The parish is invited to visit Westminster Cathedral for this special event on the weekend of 3-5 September.

The veneration of the relics will start on Saturday 3 September at 1pm and will last all through the two days and nights until Monday 5 September at 6am.  There is no need for advance booking. Visitors are invited to come at a time suitable for them and join the queue on the Piazza for entry via the West Doors. Be advised that at peak times, especially before or after liturgies, we expect long queues. Wheelchair access will be available at all times without the need for queuing.

Entry for Masses and Liturgies will be via the side door of the Cathedral on Ambrosden Avenue. Please be aware that those who, apart from the veneration of the relics would like to participate also in the Mass may, when full capacity of the Cathedral is reached, not be able to do so, as that part of the Cathedral will have to be closed.

The Service of Anointing of the Sick will take place on Saturday 3 September at 2.30pm.  This is the only liturgical event to which admission will be by ticket only. In due course tickets will be sent to the parish so that the Parish Priest can distribute them to those parishioners in need of the Sacrament.  Please note that there will be only 50 places available for wheelchairs and these will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

Visit the Westminster Cathedral website for the most up-to-date information and download the flyer for precise timings for the weekend.

We hope and pray that through the intercession of St Bernadette many graces will be given to all who come and venerate her relics, including healing, conversion and the wonderful discovery of vocation.  Come and experience the miracle of Lourdes!

Summer Holidays

With the schools now closed for the summer, it seems that holiday time, for many, is finally here.
As St Dominic’s closes it is an opportunity to thank the Headteacher and staff, for their dedication, and good work, in what has been another challenging year. We wish them all a restful and happy holiday, as well as children and parents. And for all our parishioners, it is to be hoped that the coming weeks will provide an opportunity, for you to have happy and safe holidays, or at least some time to rest.

Live-streaming Holiday

The parish is very fortunate to have two volunteers who have set up, and continue to operate, the live-streaming of some Masses, and other events. After live-streaming the 11.30am Mass this morning, there will be no more live-streaming until early September. We are very grateful to those who look after this facility, and thank them for what they have done to keep us connected. We would appreciate hearing from anyone who finds live-streaming to be of benefit.

Parish Office Holiday

Melanie is away on holiday, so if you leave a voicemail, or send an email, please be patient as the response time may not be as efficient as usual. Thank you

Parish Pastoral Council

The new PPC began meeting in February, and has been meeting monthly since then. Following on from the Parish Survey, members have been considering how to take some of the suggestions forward and, as well, have been thinking about the responses made in the Synodal process, a good number of which overlap. One repeated concern has been our responsibility for our young people.  The PPC is actively reflecting on this and intend to say more about this after the summer break. If you want to discover more of what the PPC is doing, you will find the minutes of meetings here. The PPC is, it is hoped, for the good of the parish – if you have questions, suggestions or comments to make, do speak to one of the members, or you can send an email to:

Confirmation Thank You!

Over three Masses last weekend 32 young people from our parish, as well as 8 from the parishes of Redbourn and Wheathampstead received the sacrament of Confirmation, from Bishop Paul McAleenan and Canon Dwyer. Each of the Masses was a happy and joyful celebration, thanks to all those who contributed, choir, servers, flower arrangers and church cleaners; how good it is to celebrate so well, thanks to those who give their time so generously. Thank you, also, to the Catechists who give their time to prepare the
candidates. Last, but not least, a big thank you to Anna Painter who, after 14 years leading the Confirmation Catechists, is standing down this year. We are so grateful to Anna for all that she has done during this time.

Strawberry Social Thank You!

THANK YOU very much to the wonderful Ladies Group for our enjoyable Strawberry Social last Sunday which raised the magnificent sum of £700. Thank you to all who came and also the many parishioners who bought tickets even though they were not free to attend. You really make a difference to the lives of our brother and sisters in the Barcelona settlement in South Africa. Sr. Margaret and I keep you in our prayers. Sr. Regina


This is a friendly, informal group which meets once a month to read the scripture for the coming weekend. We reflect on the readings, share our thoughts and pray together. All are very welcome whether to read, speak or just enjoy listening.
Please contact: for more details

Loreto College (St Albans) Centenary Garden Party

Next Sunday 10th July 2022 12pm to 6pm (last admission 5pm)
Admission £5.00 per person (FREE entry for children aged 5 and under)
There will be live music by the popular local band Soulfish, BBQ, afternoon tea, bar, traditional games/stalls and much more including our Centenary Raffle.


This year’s Pilgrimage to Walsingham is on 6th August led by Bishop Philip Egan. A coach will leave Harpenden at 7.30 am and St. Bartholomew’s church, Vesta Avenue, St Albans at 7.50 am. Tickets cost £20 (adult) and £10 (child) which includes Priory entrance.
To book please contact Geraldine on 07971028415
For more details call 01858 571242 or visit

Parish Walk

Do come and join us on Wednesday 13th July for our monthly walk. We start off from Our Lady of Lourdes church after Mass, about 10.00am and walk in Rothamsted Park for about an hour where we share our knowledge of all the wonders of nature around us. Then it’s off for coffee and a friendly chat at a cafe of choice. It’s a wonderful way of getting to know people in our parish so do give it a try.

Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

Wednesday 29 June is the feast of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and is a holy day of obligation, a day when we are obliged to attend Mass.  Masses will be celebrated at 9.15am and 6.00pm.