St Helen’s Lockdown Diaries

For the 3rd week running we have recorded an episode of Lockdown Diaries which is your chance to see how people in the parish have fared under lockdown. This week we have brought together some young people and teacher Jennie Gough to talk about their experiences. We are sure that you will find it as interesting as our previous conversations.

Thanks to Maeve for presenting and Melanie and Jenany, Kieran, Clare, Aoife, Emma and Jennie for taking part.

Follow us on Facebook

Our St Helen’s Facebook page is fast reaching 500 likes. Of all the digital channels we use, it is without doubt the one with the most regular activity.

👉 https://www.facebook.com/sthelenscaerphilly

We use it for the following:

👍 To let people know that Mass on a Sunday is about go live

👍 So Canon John can offer up his daily reflections

👍 Where Canon John can share photos

👍 Where we can notify you of online events: Book Club, Bible Study and Coffee Mornings

👍 Where we can let you know about news from the diocese and even further afield

👍 To let you know about our lockdown diaries

👍 To let you know that the parish newsletter has been added to this site

👍 And much more

Like our page today: https://www.facebook.com/sthelenscaerphilly

June Book of the Month

And we selected a book! On Tuesday we held our first St Helen’s Church Book Club event. After considering several books we decided that the book that we’ll read over the next 4 weeks will be The Beekeeper of Aleppo. If you click the link below and order, the church will receive a small commission from Amazon.

Buy the Beekeeper of Aleppo on amazon.

Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist.  They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens.  When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape.   But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and so they must embark on a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain.  On the way, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is Mustafa, his cousin and business partner, who has started an apiary and is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees.  

Please remember that anyone can join our Book Club which will next be held on Tuesday 7th July at 7.30. At this event we will discuss The Beekeeper of Aleppo and select our next book.

We will post the event to the Events page and closer to the date we will release the Zoom invite – click the “Events” link to the left.

If Amazon is out of stock, check Amazon “New” or “used” options from other sellers through Amazon. Kindle is another option. Waterstones and Blackwells sell it as do many suppliers on eBay.

Can anyone join the Book Club?

Of course! The club has just started and, for the moment, we ask that you head over to our Book Club Events page on Facebook and indicate that you are interested or will be going to our next event – 7th July and we will send you a Zoom invite. Alternatively, you can always email Canon John on caerphilly@rcadc.org

St Helen’s Lockdown Diaries – Episode 2

📽️ Hi folks. We are super excited to let you know that the 2nd instalment of our Lockdown Diaries is now available on YouTube. This week we have invited Simon, Rory, Maeve, Margaret, Claire, Brett and Canon John to give you some idea about what they have been up to over the past few months.
We do hope you take as much enjoyment from watching it as we did in making it.

➡️ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YE00q3rUn4

Please feel free to comment or like it either on YouTube or below. AND make sure you Subscribe to our YouTube Channel so you can find out about our latest videos.

Join the St Helen’s Book Club

Hi Everyone

How do you fancy joining us for Launch of the St Helen’s Book Club? Here’s how it will work:

📗 We will select one book a month to read.
📕 Read it (obviously!)
📙 Then meet as a book club to discuss it

Initially, everything will be done through Zoom.

If you’re interested, please let us know through this Facebook Events Page or email Canon John at caerphilly@rcadc.org.

Join us for Coffee this Sunday

This week is Pentecost and apart from Sunday Mass we will also be holding a Pentecost Vigil on Saturday. Hymn sheets will appear on the website shortly.
On Sunday we will be trying something new – a Virtual Coffee Morning!

We invite everyone who can to join us around 10 minutes after mass and we will meet up on Zoom. If we have large numbers the plan is to divide people in to smaller breakout rooms where they can more easily have a chat with smaller groups of people – as you would on a Sunday morning. Father will be popping in and out of rooms to say hello!

We will not publish the details openly online but would ask that you send us a message through Facebook, leave a comment below or email us. We will then send details on how to join and some quick Zoom tips.

See you Sunday!

Spring Comes To St Helen’s

Spring has brought an abundance of colour to St Helen’s and, as you are unable to come to us, Father John decided to take his camera out to the gardens to ensure that the glories of Spring can be brought to you. We do hope you enjoy this selection of photos and that they bring a smile to your faces. Feel free to let him know, in the comments below, what you think of his gardening skills in this difficult ‘lockdown’ period.

See more photos

Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord 12 April

 Let us receive the special grace of this moment. We pause in reverent silence before this empty tomb in order to rediscover the grandeur of our Christian vocation: we are men and women of the resurrection, not of death. From this place we learn how to live our lives, the trials of our churches and of the whole world, in the light of Easter morning. Every injury, every one of our pains and sorrows, has been borne on the shoulders of the Good Shepherd who offered himself in sacrifice and thereby opened the way to eternal life. His open wounds are like the cleft through which the torrent of his mercy is poured out upon the world. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the basis of our hope, which is this: Christos anesti! Let us not deprive the world of the joyful message of the resurrection! And let us not be deaf to the powerful summons to unity that rings out from this very place, in the words of the One who, risen from the dead, calls all of us

“My brothers” (Pope Francis, The Gospel of Matthew—a Spiritual and Pastoral Reading p 239).

Become silent, aware of the awesome presence of God who never ceases to be with us.

Continue reading “Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord 12 April”

Easter Vigil – Live Mass Tonight

 We celebrate the Paschal Mystery of the saving Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ and our own Sacramental Initiation with the marks of Baptism into his new life and Confirmation in the Communion of his Body the Church. 

Sadly this year we have a very limited, virtual celebration.  

We remember with sympathy Evie, who was due to be baptised tomorrow, and her family,  the 21 children who hoped to celebrate Communion this Easter-tide, and the 9 young adults who hoped to be Confirmed in the Communion.

Despite disappointment and distance, we are invited to be renewed individually and as a community by all these gifts and graces of our original and annually repeated  initiation into Christ’s Paschal Mystery.

🎥 Don’t forget that Mass will be broadcast live this evening at 8.30pm. You can either watch it live on this site (just turn up a little before 8.30 pm) or you can head over to our Facebook Page.

✝️ If you would like to download tonight’s liturgy, please click on the link below. You will be able to follow the services on your tablet, smartphone or computer. Alternatively, you might want to print it off and have it by your side (that’s what I’ll be doing!).

Liturgy for the Easter Vigil (Pdf)

Liturgy for the Easter Vigil (Microsoft Word).

Palm Sunday – 5th April

This ‘Mini Retreat’ is an attempt to ease the burden on those who are unable to watch streamed Masses and other liturgies. The posts we publish on this site are intended to help us journey through Holy Week by using the Gospel passages of the day taken from Holy Mass. They offer a structure for your prayer time and suggest that you choose a time during the day that suits you best. This could be the time that you would usually attend Mass or, early in the morning, midday, whatever suits you.

 It is a moving experience each year on Palm Sunday as we go up the mountain with Jesus, towards the Temple, accompanying him on his ascent. But what are we really doing when we join this procession as part of the throng which went up with Jesus to Jerusalem and hailed him as King of Israel? Does it have anything to do with the reality of our life and our world?

To answer this, we must first be clear about what Jesus himself wished to do and actually did. He was journeying towards the temple in the  Holy City, towards that place which for Israel ensured in a particular way God’s closeness to his people . The ultimate goal of his pilgrimage was the heights of God himself; to those heights he wanted to lift every human being. Our procession today is meant, then, to be an image of something deeper, to reflect the fact that, together with Jesus, we are setting out on pilgrimage along the high road that leads to the living God.

Pope Benedict XV

Become silent, aware of the awesome presence of God who never ceases to be with us.

Continue reading “Palm Sunday – 5th April”