St John the Evangelist

Email stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com



0151 645 3314

Reg. Charity 234025

Fr. Frank Rice

Rev Philip White

Passion Sunday 17th April 2011


Strangely enough, the events of that first Holy Week, when Jesus was led through suffering to a brutal execution on the cross, are a cause for rejoicing. For we glory in Christ’s death and resurrection since they have set us free and saved us from ultimate oblivion and meaningless.

What God accepted willingly, he accepted for me. But the passion and death of Jesus are not magic. We don’t simply look back at history, recall the awful events and then say all’s well with the world. The Calvary event is not some sort of magic moment with golden dust that has floated down to today. It’s an invitation to join in with the daily passion we see on our streets. It’s all about now and how we react to our own and other people’s distress.

As our TV screens show horrific images of people who are famished, war-torn or denied human rights, what do we do? Do we join the crowd with their “hosannas” or do we offer to lift the burden of the cross? When given the chance to sell out on our principles do we take the hard road or go for the 30 pieces of silver? Are we good at proffering a kiss in public but a knife in the back? Who’s being crucified on our streets this week and how are we responding?

The passion is not magic. It does not offer instant salvation. It has to be shared to have its effect. We can sing all the hymns in Christendom, carry all the palms we can get our hands on, even ride in procession on a donkey. But it’s pure idolatry if we don’t pledge to unite ourselves to the passion of Christ in a real way. We need to make up in our own bodies what is lacking in the suffering of Christ. Christ’s suffering was not imperfect, but it calls out to us to be imitated, to find completion in our own embrace.

The way we accept suffering and the way we react to the suffering of others is the key to the passion. We can embrace the cross as something which can enrich us, or we can run in fear from pain. We can rush to the aid of our neighbour, or show a crucifying indifference to the suffering of others. Our choice will either diminish or ennoble us.


The Lord comes to my help, so that I am untouched by the insults.So, too, I set my face like flint: I know I shall not be shamed.

(Isaiah 50:7)


None of us gets through life without suffering. In some way or other we undergo things that we would rather avoid. Today we join Jesus at the start of his week of public agony, strengthened by the fact that no suffering can ever be stronger than God’s love for us.

Frs. Dennis and Frank contemplate the struggle ahead!

Unfortunately, you will have to make do with this photograph of our South African friend until the summer when he will be here in person. In his attempt to join us for Easter he came up against a lot of rules and regulations which prevented him from being with us. Believe me, I am just as disappointed as you are but when he does come, he will be able to stay with us for a longer period of time. Looking forward…..

Passion Sunday 17th 5.30



Colin Finch


Prayer Meeting

Mon 18th. 12md


Barbara Jones


Tues. 19th. 12md Brian Taylor
Wed 20th 12md Kath O’Brien
Thurs 21st 7.30 Mass of the Lord’s Supper

People of Parish





Ecumenical Procession PS

Celebration of the Lord’s Passion

Holy Saturday 23rd 11.30


Morning Prayer & shared lunch

Easter Vigil


Easter Sunday 24th 10am


Rice Intentions

Prayer Meeting

Please pray for our sick and those who care for them

Frances Heslin, LiamHalpen, Philomena Moore, Margaret Randles, Michael Collins, Teresa McLean, 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, Mary Bryden, Owen & Josie Toohey, Betty Kennedy, Helen Worth, Christopher Hadfield, Ivan Gregory, Kath Bassett , Christopher & Raymond McNally , Mark Harrison, Genevieve Foster& Aileen McGuigan.Vic Gemmell. 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 £719.34p

Boiler £9

120 Club Winner No 78 C.Dougherty£20

Becoming a more compassionate caring community-please see notices for details of this event with Bishop Brian on May 14th.

Catholic Children’s Society seeks sponsored walkers for Wirral Coastal walk on 22nd May. 0161 998 8802

How quickly decent, nice people degenerate the moment their circumstances change. Their virtue suddenly vanishes, and there’s nothing left of their former selves. (Dostoyevsky)

A city revolted against its ruler. The king set forth to subdue and punish it and the city hastened to request a pardon. At a distance from the city the elders and great came and begged forgiveness. “For your sake,” the king said, “I forgive one half of the guilt.” At the gates of the city the masses turned out and pleaded for mercy. “For your sake,” the king said, “I forgive half the guilt that is left.” When he entered the city and found all the little children gathered with song and dance and joy to appear before him, he exclaimed, “For your sake I forgive everything!” And the king joined their celebration.

(Jewish Midrash)

Napoleon, travelling through Switzerland with his army, was greeted with thunderous applause and enthusiasm. He remarked to one nearby supporter, “This same unthinking crowd, under a slight change of circumstances, would follow me just as eagerly to the scaffold!”

Novena Date for the diary: 5-13 May 2011 (12 noon daily) when, as part of our Shrewsbury diocesan year of prayer with Mary, we will be praying a Parish Novena with Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Fr. Michael Hartley of St Werburgh’s Birkenhead is trying to organise a pilgrimage to Rome in October (poster with details is on notice board). He is unable to find enough numbers from his parish and so is opening it up to other local parishes in the hope of finding enough people to make the trip viable. You may contact him for enquiries by phone or by email werlau@btinternet.comThe hotel is known to me and is very central and extremely comfortable.

Reconciliation in Holy Week

This Monday 18th at 7.30pm we will hold our reconciliation service. Therewill be no further opportunity for confessions during the remainder of Holy Week so please avail yourself of this opportunity to receive the forgiveness of the Lord.

Holy Week: The Easter Triduum

Our long Lenten journey culminates in the Easter Triduum.  These three days draw us into the mystery of our salvation.  Whatever we are doing these days, prayer can help us be open to the graces the day offers.   Each morning, we can pause to acknowledge the meaning of the day ahead.  Each night, we can give thanks. We can reflect upon the symbols and rituals, and let the prayers of the liturgies draw us in.  All, that we might know the depth of the love being offered us, and power of the gift of life won for us.

I sincerely hope that as many of you as possible will be attending all the services of the Triduum. Not for my sake but for your own sakes.


Let us pray for those parts of the Church which suffer persecution, derision or scandal, that by joining their sufferings to those of Christ they may triumph over evil.

Lord, in your mercy:

Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for societies that are torn apart by violence and oppression, that the voice of peace may ultimately prevail.

Lord, in your mercy:

Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for those who are wracked by constant pain, those facing surgical operations and lengthy treatment, that God will use the skills of doctors and nurses to bring them healing.

Lord, in your mercy:

Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for ourselves, that we may take heart from the passion of Jesus when faced with the trials and tribulations of our daily lives.

Lord, in your mercy:

Hear our prayer.

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