23/01/2011

22/01/2011

St John the Evangelist

Email stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com

www.stjohnevang.co.uk

www.lpa24.org

0151 645 3314

Reg. Charity 234025

Fr. Frank Rice

Rev Philip White

3rd. Sunday of year 23rd.January 2011

FAITH IN FOCUS: QUITE A SURPRISE

We all have our own prejudices. Some of us wouldn’t touch a German white wine if it were on prescription. Others would always go for a week’s bed and breakfast at Mrs Higginbottom’s boarding house in Eastbourne rather than a luxury holiday abroad in the sun. A new fashion design business would have an uphill struggle if it opened in Scunthorpe and a gourmet restaurant would have to prove itself to survive in West Bromwich. (Apologies to anyone who lives in these towns!)

The same was true in Jesus’s day. Of all the chic places to be found, the land of Zebulun and Naphtali, in northern Palestine, was not exactly at the top of the list. It had been attacked by the Assyrians and many people had been deported. So it’s with a sense of irony that Matthew remembers Isaiah’s prophecy about how God would make these places great. And now the eyes of the world look to Zebulun and Naphtali as the place from which God’s promised Messiah has come.

We have to fight against letting our prejudices get the better of us. For our God is a God of surprises. Just when we think we have got it all sewn up and we know what to expect, God pops up in the most unusual of circumstances and makes a nonsense of our best predictions. The pages of religious history are littered with the underdog proving victorious.

That’s because God doesn’t march to the same beat as we do. God is bigger than we can ever imagine and he chooses to work things out in his own way and not in ours. It’s only our puny expectations that prevent us from doing great things. We have learned not to expect much, even of God. And although God tells us to pray for the Holy Spirit in our lives so that we will accomplish wonders and marvels, we sometimes need some convincing.

As this year of Matthew’s gospel unfolds we will be invited to set no limits on what God can do in our lives, to expect the unhoped for, to await more than we could ever dream of. Alternatively we could put our faith on hold and try another week at Mrs Higginbottom’s. There are no surprises there.

WORD OF GOD

The Lord Humbledthe land of Zebulon and Naphtali, but in days to come

He will confer glory on them. (Isaiah 8:23)

 

WORD FOR TODAY

As Jesus begins his preaching mission the scriptures point to him as the Light of the world. To follow Jesus in our daily lives means to be called from despair to hope, from sadness to joy, and from darkness into light.

Ever since we crawled out of that primordial slime, that’s been our unifying cry, “More light”: sunlight, torchlight, candlelight. Neon, incandescent lights that banish the darkness from our caves to illuminate our roads and the insides of refrigerators.Big floods for the night games at Soldier’s Field. Little tiny flashlights for those books we read under the covers when we’re supposed to be asleep. Light is more than watts and foot-candles. Light is metaphor. Light is knowledge. Light is life. Light is light.(Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider)

While we are being strengthened in Christ Jesus and beginning to move forward in steadfast watchfulness, he at first appears in our intellect like a torch which, carried in the hand of the intellect, guides us along the tracks of the mind. Then he appears like a full moon, circling the heart’s firmament. Finally, he appears to us like the sun, radiating justice, clearly revealing himself in the full light of spiritual vision.(St Hesychios)

 

I think there needs to be a change of consciousness with the news…to try to seek a higher ground. Why can’t it be more representative of the way the world really is? Or is news designed just to bring bad news? I think we don’t know what the bombardment of crime and violence does to our minds. I think we’re in denial about it. (Oprah Winfrey)

 

A Vatican press release informs us that the new translation of the Missal is expected to be in use by September of this year. Each diocese will be sent resources to help us deal with the changes and to approach them in a positive and sensitive manner. If you wish for further details, log on to www.catholicchurch.org.uk/Catholic-Church/Media-Centre

 

 

 

3rd. Sunday

of year

23rd. 5.30

10am.

8pm.

Rev Bill Burtoft

Parishioners

United Service Lwr. Beb. Methodist

Monday 24th. 9.15

1pm

Andrew Moore

Requiem Phyllis Campbell

Tuesday

 

25th. 9.15 November List
Wednesday 26th. 9.15 Vincent Sarson
Thursday 26th. 7.15. Deceased Parishioners
Friday 27th. 9.15 Deceased Parishioners
4th.Sunday of year 28th. 5.30

10am

8pm.

Bill Mitchell

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Please pray for our sick and those who care for them

Fred Archbold, Jane Jackson, William Halpen, Philomena Moore, Margaret Randles, Michael Collins, Teresa McLean, Joan Lee, Ann Ferguson, Denis Welch, Josie Cohen, Peter Williamson, Kathy Smith, Marjorie Hoey, Mrs H McCormack, Esther Roche, Fay Challoner, Sheila Stockley, Joan & Charles Reynolds, Mollie Dowling, Kath Holland, Sheila Clayson, Mary Bryden, Owen & Josie Toohey, Betty Kennedy, Helen Worth, Christopher Hadfield, Ivan Gregory, Kath Bassett , Christopher & Raymond McNally , Mark Harrison, Genevieve Foster& Aileen McGuigan.Those in the parish who do not wish their illness to be made public but who also need our prayers

Money Matters-Thank you

Sunday Offering £728 57p

120 Club Winner No 86 K Markey £20

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Anthony Kennedy who died suddenly on Sunday 9th January after arriving for morning Mass in his parish church. He is Rosemary Sanderson’s brother and the family are in deep shock at the unexpected death. Please pray for them too as they try to come to terms with such great sadness. Please remember all the friends and relatives of those who have recently died.

 

READERS: A NEW BEGINNING

There is to be a meeting for ALL readers (and anyone who would like to be considered for the ministry of reader in our parish) on Monday 31st January from 7.30 until 9.30. It is most important that every reader attends.

John Bell from the Iona community will be in the region at the end of February and will hold a workshop at the URC in Heswall at 2pm on Sunday 27th. Entitled: ‘At odds with the culture of consumerism’. If you are a radio 4 devotee you will have heard John many times giving his thought for the day. Cost is £5 including refreshments (soup, bread and cake). Please see one of the posters for further details.

The Port sunlight Players are presenting a new musical based on the life and music of Glen miller. Performance dates at the Gladstone Theatre are 14th to 19th March with all performances starting at 7.30pm. Tickets £10 and they are on sale now. See poster for details.

News from Irenaeus (www.irenaeus.co.uk) Come and See 2011 will feature Sr. Helen Prejean as the keynote speaker- her story was told in the film ‘Dead man Walking’ and the music and prayer will be led by Boyce and Stanley. Many other well known contributors will be taking part. The conference is not until September 17th/18th and is held in Southport. Please see poster for details.

Scripture weekends 2011 led by Fr Chris Thomas will be held in Formby at St Joseph’s Prayer Centre. There are 2 dates in July, one in September and one in November. See poster for details.

Pax Christi Icon: The Pax Christi Icon will be in our diocese until the start of Lent.  The icon was written by the Orthodox monks of the Monastery of St John in the Desert, near Jerusalem and was a gift to Pax Christi, the international peace movement, at the start of the new millennium.  It represents Christ, the source of reconciliation, the source of liberation and peace.  Depicting stories from the Bible, and saints of both Eastern and Western traditions, linked by the theme of reconciliation, it symbolises the vital connections between the Eastern and Western traditions in the Peace of Christ. We hope to have the icon here over the weekend of 5th/6th February and we will plan a assembly around it.

Church opening….  A big thank-you goes to all our volunteers who have opened up the Church to the community.  We will certainly continue this service later in the year (probably after Easter in the warmer weather and lighter days).  However for the time being it has been decided to suspend Church opening in view of the cost of heating and the relatively low numbers taking advantage of the facility.

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9/01/2011

09/01/2011

St John the Evangelist
Email stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com
http://www.stjohnevang.co.uk
http://www.lpa24.org
0151 645 3314
Reg. Charity 234025
Fr. Frank Rice
Rev Philip White
Baptism of the Lord 9th. January 2011
FAITH IN FOCUS: WATER LEVEL
Jesus was baptised in the River Jordan by his cousin, and a voice from heaven pointed him out as the Son of God. Listen to him, it said.
There’s a River Jordan that runs past each of our doors. We know it’s there and we can choose whether to step into it whenever we go out, or else side-step around it. For to step into the river means to immerse ourselves in the business of baptism. That’s not babies and christening shawls, but the nuts and bolts of what makes us tick, how we relate to each other. Baptism commits us to a way of living and breathing.
We say that Jesus’s baptism marked him out in three ways. He was shown to be a priest, a prophet and a king. And each time we baptise a new Christian we tell them that they too are to live as priests, prophets and kings.
To be baptised as priests, as we all are, means to offer God a life that is pleasing. It means to present God with a sacrifice of praise. We are called to make the most of all we do, to use our skills, to bring our needs and those of others to God in prayer, to make our lives acceptable to God. Some deep water here.
Perhaps we would not normally think of ourselves as prophets, but that’s what the baptism rite tells us we are. It’s easy to see how Jesus was a prophet, for prophets tell people what God wishes them to know and act on. By baptism we have become prophets of the Good News whose job it is to proclaim our faith to the world, to say what God has told us whether it’s welcome or not. The temptation, of course, is to stay out of the wet and leave it to those who seem keener than us.
To be thought of as kings (or queens) sounds strange these days. In the days of Christ a king had a kingdom and was responsible for the citizens of that kingdom. As members of the kingdom of God we are called to rule by protecting the weak and vulnerable, serving the cause of right and creating an environment where all can prosper and grow. It means getting involved at the deep end.
To be a priest, prophet and king means to get into that River Jordan each day. Next time you go out, ask yourself how wet your feet are.

MUNGO (January 14th)
Glasgow’s coat of arms contains the four symbols of Mungo (or Kentigern), the sixth century saint. They are a bird, a fish, a bell and a tree:
The bird commemorates the pet robin owned by Saint Servanus, which was accidentally killed by monks who blamed it on Mungo. He took the bird in his hands and prayed over it, restoring it to life.
The fish was one caught by him in the Clyde. When it was slit open, a ring belonging to the Queen of Cadzow was miraculously found inside it. She was suspected of disloyalty by her husband, and thought to have left with his ring. She has asked Mungo for help, and he found and restored the ring in this way to clear her name.
The bell may have been given to Mungo by the pope. The original, which was tolled at funerals, no longer exists and was replaced by the justices of Glasgow in 1641. This one is preserved in the People’s Palace.
The tree is a symbol of an incident from Mungo’s childhood. Left in charge of the holy fire in Saint Servanus’s monastery, he fell asleep and the fire went out. However he broke off some frozen branches from a hazel tree and miraculously re-kindled the fire.
WORD OF GOD
Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom my soul delights. I have endowed him with my spirit that he may bring true justice to the nations.
(Isaiah 42:1)
WORD FOR TODAY
Our baptism isn’t something that’s over and done with. It’s like a tree that’s planted and which keeps growing every day of its life. At baptism we were set apart to share in building God’s kingdom on earth and this is something we have to renew constantly.
Although we speak of the necessity of baptism for salvation, the Church has traditionally recognised that it cannot be the case that all non-baptised people are excluded from heaven. It would be unthinkable that God should create people only then to refuse them eternal happiness. Theology distinguishes three types of baptism: by water, by blood and by desire.The first is the sacrament celebrated by the church. The second refers to martyrdom for the faith before formal baptism. And the third concerns the death of someone who would have accepted baptism had the opportunity been presented. (Oliver Todd)

 

Baptism of the Lord
9th
5.30
10am.
8pm.
Joe Moore
Parishioners
Prayer Meeting
Mon
10th.
9.15
Roisin Connelly
Tues.

11th.
9.15
Harry Spencer
Wed
12th.
9.15
Joyce Dalziel
Thurs
13th.
7.15.
November List
Fri
14th.
9.15
John McCarney
2nd Sunday of the year.
16th.
5.30pm
10am
George & Christina Gaynor
Parishioners
Prayer meeting
Please pray for our sick and those who care for them
Fred Archbold, Jane Jackson, William Halpen, Philomena Moore, Margaret Randles, Michael Collins, Teresa McLean, Joan Lee, Ann Ferguson, Denis Welch, Josie Cohen, Peter Williamson, Kathy Smith, Marjorie Hoey, Mrs H McCormack, Esther Roche, Fay Challoner, Sheila Stockley, Joan & Charles Reynolds, Mollie Dowling, Kath Holland, Sheila Clayson, Mary Bryden, Owen & Josie Toohey, Betty Kennedy, Helen Worth, Christopher Hadfield, Ivan Gregory, Kath Bassett , Christopher & Raymond McNally , Mark Harrison, Genevieve Foster& Aileen McGuigan.Those in the parish who do not wish their illness to be made public but who also need our prayers
Money Matters-many thanks.
Sunday Offering £873 53 p
120 Club Winner No 100 Mrs McCormack £20
Crib (Children’s Society) £143 45p
This weekend provides the last opportunity to spend some time at the crib. If you haven’t already done so then I hope you will take a few minutes just to ponder awhile.
Catholic SinglesCatholicSingles is an organisation which helps single, widowed, separated and divorced Catholics of all ages (over 18 years) meet, either one to one or through social events. All members receive a monthly bulletin, called Catholic Networking. For more information please tel. 0161 941 3498, visit the website http://www.catholicsingles.org.uk or email info@catholicsingles.org.uk
Eileen and Steve Bell wish to thank parishioners who invested in a ticket or two for the TRAIDCRAFT hamper. The profit of £50 has allowed them to purchase a gift for life -for training textile artisans and ensure safer, cleaner environments in which they work and live, making for a healthier life. Our thanks go to the Bells for providing their piece of a jigsaw which builds up the picture of this community. Which piece are you going to provide in 2011?
This weekend the annual special collection for the Retired Priests’ Fund will be held. In my short time here, I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of the Diocese towards the annual collection for the Retired Priests’ Fund. I am sure that with your continued support we can build up the fund to meet the future needs of our sick and retired priests.
Special envelopes are available for you to use. A leaflet is also available if you would like to make your donation by cheque, or if you wish to make a regular donation to the fund by standing order and wish to take advantage of Gift Aid for your donations. I ask that you give as generously as you can to this very worthy cause and would also like to express my deep gratitude for your continued support.
With every blessing +Mark Bishop of Shrewsbury
Mr and Mrs Smith had a baby boy, Edward, whom they had baptised in St John’s Catholic Church. They never went to church except at Christmas and Easter. He went to a Catholic school, made his first Holy Communion and was confirmed. Like most other students he considered his religious involvement now complete and like his parents never went to church. At university he had some minimal contact with the New Age movement where he met a girl and was married in the Catholic Church. When their first child was born they had her baptised. The Church now had a new member and the cycle was completed. Or was it just about to begin all over again? (Adapted from William J Bausch)
On Tuesday 18th, the week of prayer for Christian Unity will begin at St Andrews Lwr. Bebington. Each meeting starts at 10am and will be followed by coffee. We will host the meeting on Saturday 22nd. Please see the notices for the full list. I hope that we will be well represented.

Children’s Liturgy recommences this Sunday. I hope those with youngsters will encourage them to join the group where they will gain a better understanding of their faith. If your child is nervous then you may accompany them until they gain confidence.

Tuesday
11th
Teresa Young
Colette Corkill
Thursday 13th.
Noelene Evans
Rosemary Larkin
Saturday
15th
D Humphrey
W Humphrey

I have taken a few copies of a new publication which can be found at the back of the church. The cost is £1. 95p and the title is‘Faith Today’ and with all the proposed changes some of you may find it useful. I will order more in the event of a sell out!
JANUARY 2011
General Intention: That the riches of creation be preserved, valued and made available to all, as precious gifts from God to mankind.
Missionary Intention: That Christians may achieve full unity, bearing witness of the universal fatherhood of God to the entire human race.

02/01/2011

02/01/2011

St John the Evangelist

Email stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com

www.stjohnevang.co.uk

www.lpa24.org

0151 645 3314

Reg. Charity 234025

Fr. Frank Rice

Rev Philip White

Feast of Epiphany 2nd January 2011

FAITH IN FOCUS: MODERN-DAY MAGI

The Epiphany is the feast of the catholicity of the Church. This means that the Church is for everyone, in all places and at all times. The opposite of catholic is exclusive. But the Church is not exclusive; it’s all embracing and catholic. We don’t stand like nightclub bouncers at our church entrances, deciding on who should be let in and who should be excluded. We stand there to welcome in anyone of any race, colour or creed who wants to know more about Jesus Christ, the God who became one of us. And so the wise men entered the stable at Bethlehem at the end of their star-led journey to find this new king and to pay him homage. The Magi from the East show that Christ’s message was not just for the neighbours, but for the ends of the earth. Epiphany is Christ’s manifestation to the whole world, far and wide.

You and I are called on today to be both stars and wise men. It was a star that led the Magi to know where to find Jesus. In a world that seems so often to flounder in a sea of darkness we are called to shine, to shed our light on the difficult task of making sense of life. We are to offer the wisdom of God to a world that seeks true meaning.

We must presume that, when the Magi left, they returned home to tell other people about what they had seen and heard. It would be pointless to keep it to themselves. So too with us. We cannot leave it to those with theology degrees to let the world know what a difference believing in Jesus makes. We must be Magi, wise men and women.

A simple test of how we are doing as Magi in the 21st century is to ask ourselves how many people we brought to Christ last year. What sort of advert are we for Christianity? Are we ashamed of the Good News or proud to let others know how much it means to us? And at the end of this New Year how many people will we have led to Jesus by the light of the way we live?

WORD FOR TODAY

Today marks the last event in the Christmas story. The arrival of the wise men represents the flowering of God’s plan as people from East and West come to know of the wonders God works in the birth of Jesus. As we finally pack away the Christmas decorations our challenge is to keep the hope of new life alive in our hearts and minds.

WORD OF GOD

Above you the Lord now rises and above you his glory appears. The nations come to your light and kings to your dawning brightness. (Isaiah 60:2-3)

RESOLUTIONS

Pope St Sylvester’s feast (December 31st) is the traditional date for making New Year’s resolutions. We all know that most of our resolutions go by the board after a few days or weeks, mainly because we forget about them. Here are two simple resolutions that can improve your life and are easy to remember.

The first is to pick a date, the same in every month, and make it a “Complaint Fast”. So, pick a day, for example, the 1st day of each month, and make a positive effort to go through the whole day without moaning. Fast from being negative. In addition, try to find three opportunities during the day to be as complimentary as you can about people or circumstances rather than saying things that are simply demoralising.

The second resolution is to “listen for sirens”. Whenever you hear an ambulance passing by say a little prayer for the person involved. The same goes for police cars and fire engines. Everyone is our neighbour and when others are in trouble then it is our chance to bring them before God. Have a happy New Year!

JANUARY 2011
General Intention: That the riches of creation be preserved, valued and made available to all, as precious gifts from God to mankind.

Missionary Intention: That Christians may achieve full unity, bearing witness of the universal fatherhood of God to the entire human race.