A People who Hope in Christ

A Message from the Metropolitan Archbishops of the Catholic Church in England and Wales

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

The radiance of the risen Lord shines upon us. At a time when so many shadows are cast into our lives, and upon our world, the light of the resurrection shines forever to renew and restore our hope. In the words of our Holy Father, Pope Francis: ‘In the midst of isolation when we are suffering from a lack of tenderness and chances to meet up, and we experience the loss of so many things, let us once again listen to the proclamation that saves us: he is risen and is living by our side.’ (27 March 2020)

[please click the link below to read the full message]

A People who Hope in Christ

Coping with illness: personal reflections from Fr Isidore

Fr Isidore, of the Holy Cross community, had to be moved to a nursing home just over a year ago and has been writing reflections on coping with illness, the loss of independence, and the problem of suffering. Previously he had written a book with his fellow Dominican priest and twin brother Peter on the Works of Mercy, and this new project is the other side of that coin: learning how to receive care, rather than give it.

Most of these reflections have been shared already through Facebook, and now Fr Isidore has collected them in this 36-page pamphlet called ‘Coping with illness: a personal approach’. Towards the end he talks about using his bed as his pulpit!

You can download the PDF below to read these reflections. Please consider sharing them with anyone coping with illness, who you think might benefit from his words. Especially at this time, as we go through this Coronavirus crisis, we hope Isidore’s preaching will bring some comfort and meaning to many who are suffering and isolated.


Click the link below for the electronic copy (PDF), which may be printed in A4 or A5 paper size:

You can also order a copy of the Works of Mercy book through the online store here for just £3.

Christmas Mass Times 2019

Sunday 22 December

Service of Nine Lessons & Carols – 4pm

Tuesday 24 December

Masses 8am, 12.30pm

Solemn First Vespers of Christmas and Benediction – 4.30pm

Family Vigil Mass of Christmas with Nativity Play – 6.15pm (followed by carols by the crib)

Office of Readings and Te Deum – 11.00pm (followed by carols and procession to the crib)

Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

Wednesday 25 December

Midnight: Angelus and Midnight Mass with Lauds

Masses: 8am, 9am (Woodhouse), 10.30am, 12.00 noon (Dominican Rite)

Solemn Vespers and Benediction – 4.30pm

There is no evening Mass on Christmas Day.

Please also note:

From Thursday 26 December to Saturday 28 December, and from Monday 30 December to Friday 3 January, daily Mass is at 12.30pm only.

Advent Retreat 2019

20th–22nd December 2019

We hope to see you at our Advent Retreat this weekend, in addition to the regular Mass times:

Friday 7pm Holy Hour

Saturday 8am Rorate Mass (candlelit Sung Mass of Our Lady in the Dominican Rite) followed by free breakfast and Advent reflection

Saturday 12.30pm Advent Retreat Mass, followed by free lunch and Advent reflection

Saturday 2-3pm Advent Holy Hour

Sunday 4pm Carol Service

Icon of St. Dominic

UPDATE: Advent Carols Social cancelled tonight, but see you for the Advent Retreat

Unfortunately, the Advent Carols Social tonight has to be cancelled, because the event organiser and music leader is sick and we couldn’t get anyone to stand in at short notice. We apologise for the inconvenience.

Hopefully we’ll see you at our Advent Retreat events in addition to the regular Mass times:

Friday (tomorrow) 7pm Holy Hour

Saturday 8am Rorate Mass (candlelit Sung Mass of Our Lady in the Dominican Rite)

Saturday 12.30pm Advent Retreat Mass, followed by free lunch and Advent reflection

Saturday 2-3pm Advent Retreat Holy Hour

Sunday 4pm Carol Service


Icon of St. Dominic

Reduced Masses this week

This week there will be a reduced Mass schedule, owing to the Provincial Assembly in Oxford, as follows:

Monday — 12.30 Mass only

Tuesday – 12.30 Mass only

Wednesday 12.30 Mass only

The normal timetable of services will be resumed from Thursday morning.

Thank you for your understanding, and please pray for the Dominican friars in the UK as they meet to discuss their mission for the next four years.

Huge success at Blackfriars Advent Market – thank you!

Blackfriars Market – an astounding success!!

Celebrating our 200th year, Blackfriars Market has been an opportunity to make a solid effort to develop our ministry and outreach for the future. And we have all excelled ourselves! Working hard over the weekend, we have now raised a total of £12,399.22 from our efforts over the last number of weeks. We will also be able to claim significant gift aid on some of the donations.

The Market is your success, your future

Blackfriars Market does not happen by itself and so in advance we would like to thank all those who have made it happen. It really is a cast of thousands! From those who get things moving months before in the planning stages, to those who arrange the timelines of what needs to happen when, and those who co-ordinate the bringing of goods for the market and overseeing the various things that happen. We are grateful to every single person. Your contribution is vitally important to securing the future of Holy Cross and realising our ambition to make the place ready for the next 200 years of ministry. Many thanks!

The Market is making things happen

The many steps forward that we have been able to make in our buildings over the last number of years have been amazing. From relighting the church to upgrading the living and working facilities in the priory, to tackling the deficit, these things have only been possible because of your efforts and generosity. As we go forward, our dreams and ambitions are within reach because of our achievement as a community. We have managed to raise over £40.5K since we launched the appeal in June. Many thanks to everyone!


Some more photos of the Blackfriars Advent Market:


Blackfriars Advent Market – Sunday 1 December

The Holy Cross Blackfriars’ Advent Market takes place from 8.30am-2.00pm on Sunday 1st December. This is one of our major community and fund-raising efforts so we hope very much you will join us.
Please see the flyers and posters for details of what you can enjoy at the market.
Here are some of the important preparations with which we would appreciate your help:
  • Sunday November 10 – hand in your bottle bag with any soft or alcoholic bottled drink and collect your raffle tickets to buy or sell.
  • Sunday November 17 – please collect a ‘sponsorship’ envelope by which you can pledge financial support for the market; bring back your raffle ticket stubs and money.
  • Sunday November 24 – please bring in your sponsorship envelope and hand to any member of the community.
  • Saturday November 30 – from 3-6pm, setting up in Blackfriars’ Hall (the large hall in the centre, next door)
Donations of goods can be brought in at any time: good books/dvds; chocolate and sweets; toys and games (especially welcome); bric-a-brac; unwanted gifts; raffle prizes; cakes etc.
Donations for the cake stall can be be brought in at any time – fresh cakes from 3-6pm on Sat Nov 30 or by 8.30am on December 1st.
Thank you in advance for your support 🙂

Rossini Stabat Mater – a Holy Cross celebration to remember

“Were you at Holy Cross Priory on Saturday for Rossini’s Stabat Mater? If you were, lucky you, lucky all of us. If you weren’t, I cannot begin to tell you what you missed. And we had Monteverdi’s Beatus Vir as well.” – Roger Cairns, Swannington (Leicester Mercury, Letters page, 16 October 2019)

A historic occasion

The Dominican priory church in Leicester was filled last Saturday (12th October) for a concert celebrating 200 years since the first Holy Cross church was founded on this site in 2019. Over 330 people attended the performance by the Knighton Chamber Orchestra and Coro Nostro Chamber Choir, two local ensembles, also drawing on other local talent for the soloists. The highlight of the programme was the Rossini ‘Stabat Mater’, which in a sense was coming home: in the nineteenth century Holy Cross had given the work its first complete church performance in the UK.  So it was a fitting way to celebrate the 200th anniversary.

A thoughtful programme of sacred music

The Rossini was anticipated by a first half of various sacred choral works by Monteverdi (Beatus Vir), Mozart (Ave Verum Corpus) and Bruckner (Locus Iste) among others, selected to highlight the dedication of the church and its consecration for Catholic worship. One Eucharistic motet, the Tantum Ergo text by St Thomas Aquinas, was set by Charles Guynemer, the first director of music at Holy Cross in 1819. As an exile from France, he had been helped to settle in Leicester by William Gardiner, the prolific writer and publisher of hymns. So it was appropriate that the audience all stood to sing one of Gardiner’s tunes (‘Germany’) for the hymn to the Holy Cross, Vexilla Regis. Backed up by the organ and full orchestra, the combined voices of the choir and congregation really swelled the air in the resonant acoustic of Leicester’s largest church.

The historical origins

Professor Patrick Boylan provided historical notes in the programme and expanded these in a pre-concert talk. He explained how Leicester’s Catholics in 1819 were still suffering under penal laws, yet their growing congregation developed a strong musical tradition under Guynemer’s impulse, drawing on the English Catholic style of Samuel Webbe as well as the Dominican chant repertoire. After Guynemer, a succession of outstanding music directors ensured the Holy Cross choral tradition continued through the nineteenth century. Besides the Rossini Stabat Mater, other UK church premieres at Holy Cross included Mozart’s Coronation Mass in C Major and Gounod’s Messe Solennelle St Cecilia.

‘At the Cross her station keeping’

Fr Matthew Jarvis introduced the Rossini with a word about the meaning of the Stabat Mater. This Catholic hymn to the Virgin Mary as ‘Mother of Sorrows’ (feast day 15 September), standing at the foot of her Son’s cross, is well known to those who pray the Stations of the Cross. Fr Matthew invited the audience to contemplate the great crucifix hanging above the sanctuary, showing the Mother of Christ and the Beloved Disciple standing by, so that whatever meaning the music may convey in itself, or by the words of the hymn, might be framed and focused by that vivid scene of love and sorrow.

A word of gratitude

The event would not have been possible without the often hidden work of many faithful members of Holy Cross, including the Frassati Young Adults group, who turned out in large numbers to clean the church, arrange furniture, prepare and serve refreshments, and manage the welcome desks. Their efficient organisation, thanks in large part to the coordination by Jeff Henry, drew several compliments from the musicians and ensured that the large crowd that gathered on the night could relax and enjoy this musical celebration of Holy Cross in its 200th year. While the music received a well deserved standing ovation, perhaps many of those present also went home touched in some deeper way by the mystery of the Cross, the sign of God’s saving love for us.

A selection of photos of the event by Br Joseph Bailham OP:

A full house
Pre-concert talk by Professor Patrick Boylan

The grand finale
Conductors Paul Jenkins and Lydia Hind with the soloists, choir and orchestra for the final bow
Programme cover
The great crucifix over the sanctuary of Holy Cross Church, showing the Mother of Christ and the Beloved Disciple standing by

Freshers Mass & Social (welcome to the student chaplaincy!)

We’ve got a Freshers Mass this Saturday (28th September) at 6.10pm – it’s the Vigil Mass for Sunday.

Then we hope you can stay for some free food and drink.

New students are particularly welcome!

It’s the perfect opportunity to meet other Catholic students from both DMU and UoL…

And to find out what’s on offer at the chaplaincy this term.

Just come along to Holy Cross church, between New Walk and Wellington Street (LE1 6HW) in the city centre.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Also, you can like our pages on Facebook to stay informed: