St John the Evangelist

New Ferry, in the Diocese of Shrewsbury, Reg. Charity 234025

Fr Frank Rice;

Revd Philip White; Revd Michael Daly (also in residence: Fr Dennis Xulu)

phone: 0151 645 3314

email: stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com


31 July 2011

18th Sunday Ordinary Time Year A


We’re always being asked for things (this weekend for example) Maybe it’s a disaster appeal. Perhaps it’s the letter through the door asking for money for cancer research. Or it may just be someone at Church asking for volunteers to give up their time for this and that. What matters is whether or not we can recognise the need when it presents itself and know how to respond. The gospel speaks about Jesus feeling pity for the hungry crowd in his very guts. His awareness was wall-to-wall because he cared about people. He knew what their deepest needs were, not just their rumbling stomachs.

How do we react when we become aware of a need around us? Do we automatically think that it’s someone else’s problem? Do we offload it onto relief agencies, the local authorities or national government? Do we make the excuse that we are not really in a position to do anything about it? Do we say that our resources are really quite limited in the face of such a huge problem? If Jesus had answered in this way, protesting that there were only a few loaves and fishes available, there would have been no miracle. But he didn’t. We cannot measure the effectiveness of our response by our resources for that would be to take God out of the equation. And God is able to take our humble attempts and make them great. To take a basket of food and feed 5000 people. That’s because whenever we make any attempt to do good it’s not really us who are doing the good but God who is working through us. And God is goodness itself, the source of all our goodness and effectiveness, understanding the size of our need and acting through our faith and obedience to his will. If we allow God to work through us there will always be more than enough since no need can ever be too great for God. That’s why there were twelve baskets of scraps left over when everyone had had their fill. Who knows how Jesus worked the miracle? Maybe the real miracle was that by listening to his message the people were encouraged to share. And of course this couldn’t have happened if they thought they had nothing to offer.


Listen, listen to me and you will have good things to eat and rich food to enjoy. (Isaiah 55: 2)


No food or drink can satisfy us for long. Today Jesus tells us that if we accept his message of eternal life our deepest needs will be met. By eating and drinking his body and blood we become heirs to his immeasurable riches.

The happiness that is genuinely satisfying is accompanied by the fullest exercise of our faculties and the fullest realisation of the world in which we live. (Bertrand Russell)

Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best. (Henry Van Dyke)

I have found in life that if you want a miracle you first need to do whatever it is you can do. If that’s to plant, then plant; if it is to read, then read; if it is to change, then change; if it is to study, then study; if it is to work, then work; whatever you have to do. And then you will be well on your way of doing the labour that works miracles. (Jim Rohn)

Parish Centre: Great Sutton Male Voice Choir will be performing in the Parish Centre on Wed 21 Sep at 7.30 pm (all proceeds in aid of Wirral Prostate Cancer Support Group). Tickets include an interval glass of wine – £6 each from Bernard McGuigan (tel: 645 7929) or put your name on the list at the back of church. We hope this is the first of a number of social events in the Centre, some of them to raise much-needed funds for its upkeep. “Use it or lose it.”

18th Sun yr A 31st 5.30

10 am

8 pmPaul Standish


Prayer MeetingMon1st12.00Funeral: Tom Elliot RIPTues2nd9.15Marie McDonoughWed3rd12.00Funeral: John Friery RIPThu4th9.15Bob KellyFri5th9.15Donor’s intention19th Sun yr A


10 am

8 pmDonal O’Brien


Prayer Meeting

Please pray for our sick and those who care for them

Stacey Usher, Sr. Marie Clare, Frances Heslin, Liam Halpen, 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, 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. Remember also those in the parish who do not wish their illness to be made public but who also need our prayers.

CAFOD Collection The estimate of those affected by drought and famine in the Horn of Africa is 3.2 million in Ethiopia and 3.1 million in Kenya with an overall estimate of up to 10 million people in the whole region.
Given the gravity of the situation and the urgent need to respond quickly, the UK’s Disasters Emergency Committee, of which
CAFOD is a member, has decided to launch an appeal and emergency response immediately. As part of this, CAFOD is launching its own £5m appeal so that Catholics can choose to give directly to CAFOD. This weekend we are holding our collection. Please use the gift aid envelopes provided (including your name and address). Any cheques (payable to “St John’s Parish Account”) should be handed in separately with the gift aid declaration.


Offertory last week: £677 (many thanks); Boiler: £20

120 Club Winners:

£20 (no.31 – T Doyle); £10 (no.115 – C. McGree)

Pope’s Intentions for August 2011

  • General Intention: That World Youth Day in Madrid may encourage young people throughout the world to have their lives rooted and built up in Christ.
  • Missionary Intention: That Western Christians may be open to the action of the Holy Spirit and rediscover the freshness and enthusiasm of their faith.

Music for the new translation of the Missal: Spend a morning looking at new and revised settings….. Holy Name, Oxton, on Sat 3 Sep 2011 (10 am to 1 pm). Cost £3. Phone 01616 832359 or email pad.st.mary’s@btinternet.com

On Sunday 14th August at 3pm we will have a mass of anointing. If you know people who are housebound and unable to come to mass anymore, PLEASE let them know and also that if they do not have transport to church, we will provide it for them. Names of sick to Philip please and also names of those able to offer lifts to church for that occasion.

Traidcraft goods are available this weekend. Please patronise the stall if you can. Beautiful gifts are available as well as the usual handmade cards and foodstuffs.

1st August is the feast of St Alphonsus who founded the Redemptorist order. He is remembered as a popular preacher and a devotional writer as well as an influential master of moral theology.


Our Lady of the Snows sounds a much nicer feast than the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Basilica of Mary Major, but in reality they are one and the same celebration.

The legend says that during the pontificate of Liberius (350-366), a Roman patrician named John and his wife, who had no children, made a vow to donate their possessions to Our Lady. They prayed that she might make known to them how they were to dispose of their property in her honour. There are seven hills in Rome and on August 5th, during the night, snow fell on the summit of the Esquiline Hill despite the fact that it was the middle of summer. In obedience to a vision that they had the same night, the couple built a basilica in honour of Our Lady on the spot which was covered with snow.

Today this church is one of the four major basilicas in Rome along with St John at the Lateran Gate (Rome’s cathedral), St Paul’s Outside the Walls and St Peter’s in the Vatican.

TRANSFIGURATION (6 August) The Transfiguration is one of the “theophany” feasts; in other words it is a privileged occasion when ordinary human mortals were given a glimpse of God’s glory while still here on earth.

O God, on the holy mountain you revealed to chosen witnesses your well-beloved Son, wonderfully transfigured, in garments that were white and glistening. In your mercy grant that we, being delivered from the troubles and disquietude of this world, may by faith behold the King in his beauty; who with you, O Father, and you, O Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.