St John the Evangelist

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

Fr. Frank Rice;

Revd. Philip White; Revd. Michael Daly phone: 0151 645 3314

email: stjohntheevangelist

websites: www.stjohnevang.co.uk www.lpa24.org

Solemnity of Mary Mother of God 1st January 2012 Year B

FAITH IN FOCUS:MOTHERHOOD, MEDITATION AND MODELLING

It seems such an obvious thing to say, but Mary is the Mother of God. It’s obvious because we hear it said so many times in our lives, yet astounding when we pause to think what it really means. “Bearer of God” was the very first title officially given to Mary by the Church several centuries after her death. A God who is so powerful that he could have chosen to come down to earth as some sort of spectacular phantasm, to arrive here with armies and cohorts, or at least to come here already grown as an adult, this God chose to become a baby that was carried by a young girl and nurtured in a primitive village of the Middle East. We honour Mary for being chosen, one of our own human race, to co-operate with God in this mysterious and mystifying reality. For she is the Mother of Jesus, and Jesus is God.

Yet she can’t have been just any kind of girl. It must have taken a special personality to be attentive to what God was asking of her. Religious art traditionally depicts Mary in prayer when the angel announced she was to be the mother of Jesus. Just carrying Jesus for nine months wasn’t enough. Mary had to enter in faith into God’s plan, even though she didn’t understand its full implications. And this meant that she had to be the sort of reflective person that is open and attentive to God’s presence and voice. St Luke tells us that she pondered all these things in her heart. Her life of meditation must have thrown up so many strange and frightening questions. But in prayer she talked with God.

Mary is a model of our response in faith to God. She is the pattern of trust and surrender that is demanded of all those who are baptised into Christ’s Church. One of the more recent titles given to the Virgin Mary was by Pope Paul VI who called her “Mother of the Church”. For what she did to serve God in her life is what is demanded of each of us: to be attentive to what God is asking of us personally, to place our trust in God’s powerful presence and grace, and then to find God in all the circumstances of our lives as we respond in Christ to the challenges that meet us daily.

WORD OF GOD

As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19)

WORD FOR TODAY

As our New Year begins we are only too aware that the song of peace on earth that the angels sang on the first Christmas night finds echoes only in bloodshed in many parts of our world. As Mary brought Christ into the world, we pledge ourselves to be instruments of peace wherever we encounter discord, bringing that peace of Christ to our families, our workplace and our world.

MOST HOLY NAME (January 3rd)

What’s in a name? For most of us these days, there’s not very much. Yet in former days names were often descriptive. So we’re used to surnames like Butcher, Cooper, Carpenter, Fletcher, Tucker, Taylor which all originally described the occupation of the person. And first names too meant something. Philip, Lucy, Gareth, Julia, Ernest, Sarah, Peter and Michelle all originally told us something about the character of the individual. Human beings seem to feel the need for this when they create nicknames that encapsulate something of the person’s character.

If Jesus were born into our society today he would probably be called Joshua, perhaps the closest name that we have to his. For his name means “saviour” or “God who saves”. He is called Jesus because that’s what he does: he saves. And the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus recalls that by his coming among us here on earth Jesus has set us free, has saved us from all that otherwise would drag us down and stop us from enjoying life to the full on both sides of the grave. Jesus has claimed us for God. Can there be a holier name than that?

Mary Mother of God 1st 5.30pm 10am

8pm.

Donor’s Int.

Parishioners

Prayer

Meeting

Mon 2nd. 9.15 Alice Hewson
Tues 3rd. 9.15 Martin Ashall
Wed 4th.. 9.15 McCormick & Dunnion families
Thu

Fri

5th.

6th.

9.15

9.15

Nov. List

Kennedy & McDyne Families

Sun

Epiphany

8th. 5.30pm

10am

Donor’s Int.

Parishioners

Please pray for our sick and those who care for them Frances Heslin, James Sweatman, 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, Christopher & Raymond McNally, Mark Harrison, Genevieve Foster, Aileen McGuigan. & Chris Foster, NoraHh& John McManus. Remember also those in the parish who do not wish their illness to be made public but who also need our prayers.

Money- thank you

Christmas offertory £1692. 39p.

120 Club Winners No. 72 Scout Group. £20

No 112 T Halewood £10

Reconciliation Collection (Ark) £263 09p

Very many thanks for the all the cards and gifts I have received. I feel very fortunate to lead such a fantastic group of caring & generous people.

God’s only Son doth hug humanity into his very person. (Edward Taylor)

The new supply of Sunday Missals has arrived and I know that at least 2 of them have been ordered. 3 more remain if anyone else would like one at £19 95p

Pope’s Prayer Intentions for January 2012
General Intention: Victims of Natural Disasters.
That the victims of natural disasters may receive the spiritual and material comfort they need to rebuild their lives.
Missionary Intention:Dedication to Peace.
That the dedication of Christians to peace may bear witness to the name of Christ before all men and women of good will.

Don’t forget the Barn Dance which will take place on Friday, 20th January, in Parish Centre, 7.30pm. Tickets £5. Bring your own drink. This is a real family event- and all in aid of the parish centre improvements.

Tickets available from Ann Murray 645 5514 and Bernard McGuigan.645 7929

Upon these two titles, Mary Mother of God, and Mary Mother of mankind, the whole practice of the Catholic’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is built. (Archbishop Goodier)

By the divine artisan man and woman were shaped and fashioned. By a carpenter’s wife they were equipped to enter more deeply into the mystery of God. And by a carpenter’s son on the wood of the cross their brokenness was repaired. (Mercedes de Vega)

THE YEAR OF MARK

On most of the ordinary Sundays during 2006 (except Lent and Eastertide) we will be listening to the gospel as told through the eyes of St Mark.

Many scholars believe that Mark’s gospel was the first to be written down. His credentials for writing a gospel are impeccable. He was a disciple from Jerusalem who experienced Jesus at first hand. He was Barnabas’s cousin and, after the death of Jesus, he worked as an assistant to St Paul. But much of what Mark has to tell us comes probably from the preaching of St Peter.

Like the other three gospel writers he does not try to write a biography of Jesus, but rather to give us an idea of what Jesus did and said. Like St John he tells us nothing of Jesus’ birth but begins his gospel when Jesus is already an adult. So he is not writing a strict historical account; he’s selecting material to make his point. And strangely, Mark does not report Jesus’ teaching at length. Instead he attempts to make his principal point: that Jesus is the Messiah whom the Jews had been waiting for. But not any glorious, military figure ready to lead a political revolt. Jesus is the Messiah, Son of God, who would be misunderstood, humiliated and executed. Mark constantly points out that some of the things Jesus said and did only make sense in the light of the resurrection.

This is the Jesus we will meet each week in Mark’s gospel. Because it is shorter than the others, there is a period in the summer when we will turn to St John and have five weeks looking at the Bread of Life sermon. But for most Sundays our guide this year will be St Mark.

The Childrens Liturgy restarts next Sunday, 8th January at 10.00 Mass. We hope you all had an enjoyable break, and look forward to seeing you all again, together with any new members and helpers.
May we take this opportunity to remind you that to gain the full benefit, children need to be 4 years old and above. Any younger children are welcome to join us, but they must be supervised by an adult, both in the Side Chapel and on the Sanctuary.
With our very best wishes to everyone for the New Year,
The Children’s Liturgy Team

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St John the Evangelist

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

Fr. Frank Rice;

Revd. Philip White; Revd. Michael Daly phone: 0151 645 3314

email: stjohntheevangelist

websites: www.stjohnevang.co.uk www.lpa24.org

Christmas Day 25th December 2011 Year B

FAITH IN FOCUS: STABLE BLUEPRINT

We are so familiar with the Christmas story: the journey to Jerusalem, stopping off at Bethlehem, the stable, the angelic choir, the shepherds, the star and the wise men. And there’s something comforting about the scene of Mary, Joseph and the child in the manger. Glory to God in the highest and peace to God’s people on earth.

Parents often look at the smallest features of their new-born child, like fingernails, and marvel at how everything needed for growing into adulthood is already there at such an early stage. When we look at Jesus in the crib we could do the same but this would be to miss the point.

What we see when we look at the infant Jesus is God’s blueprint for being human. Jesus is God’s way to be man, God’s way to be woman, God’s way to be human. We are not talking about physical features but about the values that direct human life and action.

The life of Jesus is a pattern for us to follow. It’s about serving others and thereby serving God. The baby in the straw will go on to show that we reach maturity in God’s eyes by the way we treat others. We grow into full humanity by giving without reserve so that our fellow human beings may see something of the face of God in the way we treat them.

And so each Christmas summons us to go beyond the nostalgia for past events and to celebrate our commitment to being born again ourselves like the Christ-child. Christmas renews our pledge to making Christ born in our own lives so that we may give glory to God and peace to those who share our lives.

Christmas, therefore, is not only Christ’s birthday. It’s ours too. For on this day we are caught up into the mystery of God’s love for the world, a mystery that is born not only each time a baby comes into the world but every time we allow ourselves to bear God to the world. For from this day forward God has entered our lives in the most intimate way. Jesus is God’s way to be man, God’s way to be woman, God’s way to be human. And so are we.

WORD OF GOD

The Virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him Emmanuel.

(Matthew 1: 23)

WORD FOR TODAY

God has such confidence in us that he became one of us: the perfect pattern of how to be human and divine. Our celebration of Christmas expresses our joy at this mystery and it pledges us to reveal the God within us. Christmas invites us to give birth.

THE CHRISTMAS CANDLE

Lord, I light this candle at Christmas for myself and those who are dear to me.

May its flame be a reminder of the way you light up my days and warm my heart. May its fire burn away my pride, my selfishness, and all that keeps me from you.

As I celebrate the birth of your Son, who came into the family of Nazareth, I pray to you for my own family and friends, both living and dead. Keep them in your love and let them feel your powerful presence. I leave this candle now as a token of the service I want to give you. May it continue to burn in all my thoughts, words and deeds today and for ever. Amen.

HOLY INNOCENTS (December 28th)

God of all life and goodness, we remember today the slaughter of the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem by King Herod. Receive into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims, those who are abused or oppressed in any way. We pray for those who have caused children to be killed in the womb before birth. We pray for those children who have been trafficked for money, used for sex and mistreated for selfish exploitation. In your great power come to the aid of those who work to frustrate the designs of evil rulers, bring your light to those who trade on the weakness of the young and establish your reign of justice, love and peace. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Christmas Day 25th. 8pm

10 am

Parishioners

Rice Family

Mon 26th. 9.15 Private Int.
Tues

Patronal Feast.

27th. 12md. Vin Roper’s Ints.
Wed 28th.. 9.15 Kath Bassett
Thu

Fri

29th.

30th

9.15

9.15

Nov. List

Nov List

Sun 1st 5.30pm

10am

Donor’s Int.

Parishioners

Please pray for our sick and those who care for them Frances Heslin, James Sweatman, Liam Halpen, Philomena Moore, Margaret Randles, Michael Collins, Teresa McLean, Denis Welch, Josie Cohen, Peter Williamson, Kathy Smith, MarjorieHoey, Mrs H McCormack, Esther Roche, Fay Challoner, Sheila Stockley, Joan & Charles Reynolds, Kath Holland, MaryBryden, Owen & Josie Toohey, Betty Kennedy, Helen Worth, Christopher Hadfield, Ivan Gregory, Christopher & Raymond McNally, Mark Harrison, Genevieve Foster, Aileen McGuigan. & Chris Foster. Remember also those in theparish who do not wish their illness to be made public but who also need our prayers.

Money

Offertory last week: £697 54p.

120 Club Winners No. 114 L Davies £20

Flower Fund

Very many thanks for your very generous donations to the flower fund which realised £505- a tremendous sum. Unfortunately the Christmas flowers may not be quite as extensive as usual because of the absence through illness of Liz de Seine and Joan Sutton who are largely responsible for most of the fantastic arrangements we see week after week. Hopefully Liz will be back to her flower arranging best before too long. Rest assured that they will use your money wisely & keep them both in your prayers.

Christmas is a wonderful time. It’s not true that it’s just about children. It’s about us all. We may consider ourselves very ordinary. But nobody is ordinary any longer, not since Christ came on earth. Yet he did not come to bring us anything. He came to awaken us to what we already are. We are all children of God.(Flor McCarthy)

Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world – stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death – and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love? Then you can keep Christmas. (Henry Van Dyke)

I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses. (Taylor Caldwell)

Don’t forget the Barn Dance which will take place on Friday, 10th January, in Parish Centre, 7.30pm. Tickets £5. Bring your own drink. This is a real family event- and all in aid of the parish centre improvements.

Tickets available from Ann Murray 645 5514 and Bernard McGuigan.645 7929

A Card from Fr. Dennis contains the following message:

Fr Frank & Family of St John’s.

The love of Christ moves me to say: I love you!

You have been a source of spiritual nourishment and comfort; my second home.

May you have a peaceful and blessed Christmastime and a happy 2012

BECKET FOR CHILDREN

December 29th is the feast of Thomas Becket of Canterbury. This is his story:

Thomas Becket was the best friend of Henry II who was king of England. Thomas and Henry did everything together; they went hunting, riding and feasting.

Henry had a problem. He wanted to change the law. At the time any ordinary person who committed a crime such as murder would go on trial and could be sentenced to death. But priests did not have to go on trial in the king’s courts because they had their own Church courts. Henry wanted the priests to go on trial in his courts but the pope would not let this happen.

Henry made his friend Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, hoping that Thomas would change the law, but Thomas wouldn’t do so. Henry and Thomas had a big argument and Becket ran away to France. Henry went to France to make peace because he still wanted to be friends with Thomas.

So Becket came back to England but he still would not allow the priests to be put on trial by the king. He also threw out some of the priests who supported the king. This made Henry very angry and he shouted, “Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?”

Four knights had been listening at the door and they thought the king wanted Thomas Becket killed so they went to Canterbury Cathedral where Thomas was praying. There in the Cathedral on 29th December 1170 they murdered him.

St John the Evangelist

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

Fr. Frank Rice;

Revd. Philip White; Revd. Michael Daly phone: 0151 645 3314

email: stjohntheevangelist

websites: www.stjohnevang.co.uk www.lpa24.org

Fourth Sunday of Advent 18th December 2011 Year B

WORD OF GOD

I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let what you have said be done to me.

(Luke 1: 38)

WORD FOR TODAY

Every Christian, like Mary, is called to give birth to Jesus. Ours is the responsibility of bearing Christ to a world that God wants to bring to a life that is eternal. Each day is an Annunciation to us: we are to show our faith in Christ by the way that we respond to God’s message and deliver it to those with whom we live and work.

It was while I was in the Holy Land for the purpose of making three BBC Television programmes on the New Testament that a curious, almost magical, certainty seized me about Jesus’ birth, ministry and crucifixion. I became aware that there really had been a man, Jesus, who was also God. I was conscious of his presence. He really had spoken those sublime words. I heard them. He really had died on a cross and risen from the dead. Otherwise, how was it possible for me to meet him, as I did? The words Jesus spoke are living words, as relevant today as when they were first spoken. The light he shone continues to shine as brightly as ever. Thus he is alive while, for instance, Socrates who also chose to lay down his life for truth’s sake isn’t. The Cross is where history and life, legend and reality, time and eternity, intersect. There, Jesus is nailed for ever to show us how God could become a man and a man could become God.

(Malcolm Muggeridge)

I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that he didn’t trust me so much. (Mother Teresa)

Have you had a look at the brand new Diocesan Website? Log on to www.dioceseofshrewsbury.org.

FAITH IN FOCUS: THE COMFORT ZONE

Mary could have had a comfortable life. She seems to have been an ordinary girl and could have hoped for a good husband, a few children and a reasonably normal and happy existence in Nazareth.

Then the angel appeared on the scene. She was asked to be the mother of a child, given the boy’s name and told that she didn’t need a husband because the Holy Spirit would be taking care of things. Who on earth would agree to this? Yet she did. Let what you have said be done to me.

Then it all started: the difficulties of the birth in a cold stable while going to Jerusalem to register for the census, the scandal of not being married, the strange goings on with the star, the wise men and the angels, the prophecy by Simeon that she would end up heart-broken, the trouble when Jesus started preaching, his arrest and execution.

She could have stayed in her comfort zone and just said no. But then she would never have become the mother of God and never experienced the challenge of the adventure of her life. It turned out that, far from being a comfort to Mary, God set out to discomfort her.

Advent faith means being prepared to come out of our comfort zones. It means agreeing like Mary to give birth to Jesus. Each of us is called to take steps that will cause us discomfort and trouble. It would be easier if we treated religion as a hobby. We could attend church from time to time and just enjoy the music. Or we could throw ourselves fully into the uncomfortable business of standing up for Jesus in all the circumstances of our lives. We can be couch-Christians or Cross-Christians. But only the latter will lead us to the adventure which is God.

Advent asks us to reflect on how much we are prepared to be disturbed in our profession of faith. Do we want to watch as others do the work of bringing the Good News to our world or do we want to be on the front line? Are we comfortable in the waiting room or do we want to give birth? Do we simply want to carry the plaster statue of the baby in the crib or are we prepared to take on his flesh and bones with all that this entails?

4th Sunday of Advent 18th. 5.30

10 am

8pm

Parishioners

Malcolm Hughes

Prayer Meeting

Mon 19th. 9.15 Marie Pickering
Tues 20th. 9.15

7.30pm.

Laurence Rogers

Reconciliation.

Wed 21st. 9.15 Nov list
Thu 22nd. 9.15 Nov List
Fri

Sat.

23rd.

24th.

9.15

4pm.

James Sweatman

Children’s crib service

‘Midnight’ Mass 8pm Parishioners
Christmas Day 25th. 10am Malcolm Hughes

Please pray for our sick and those who care for them Frances Heslin, James Sweatman, Liam Halpen, Philomena Moore, Margaret Randles, Michael Collins, Teresa McLean, Denis Welch, Josie Cohen, Peter Williamson, Kathy Smith, MarjorieHoey, Mrs H McCormack, Esther Roche, Fay Challoner, Sheila Stockley, Joan & Charles Reynolds, Kath Holland, MaryBryden, Owen & Josie Toohey, Betty Kennedy, Helen Worth, Christopher Hadfield, Ivan Gregory, Christopher & Raymond McNally, Mark Harrison, Genevieve Foster, Aileen McGuigan. & Chris Foster. Remember also those in theparish who do not wish their illness to be made public but who also need our prayers.

Money

Offertory last week: £797 9 p

120 Club Winners No. 108 D Humphrey £20

Christmas Fair revenue £2130 56p- fantastic result!

Our final collection for flowers will be taken this weekend. As you know, we collect just twice yearly, Advent and Lent in readiness to adorn our church for the two great feasts that the seasons herald. Please give as generously as you can so that our flower ladies can continue to provide such wonderful displays for us week after week. The lady who does many of the arrangements, Liz de Seine, is indisposed at present and in a lot of pain and may be unable to add her touch of genius. Are there any secret flower arrangers out there who may be able to lend a hand if necessary? Please give your name and number to Mike if you are able to help on Friday 23rd December.
PS We don’t expect you to give twice so if you contributed last week thank you very much!

Our Christmas Crib Service will take place on Christmas Eve, Saturday 24th December at 4.00pm here in church. The children are welcome to bring a card to give to Jesus, and their favourite toy to show him and wish him “Happy Birthday” A lovely occasion for the little ones!

The Carmelite Monastery are having an afternoon of readings, prayers and carols for the closing days of Advent centred round the ‘O’ Antiphons from 3pm this Sunday 18th December. Mulled wine and refreshments to follow. All welcome!

He was man as we are. His condition was no different from ours. He took our flesh, the nature of man as he comes from the fall. His sinlessness was not therefore his condition. It was the act of his being in which he defeated temptation, in his condition which is ours: in the flesh. He emptied himself, placing himself in the series of men who rebelled against God in their delusion. In so doing, in his own person, he reversed the fall in their place and for their sake. (Karl Barth)

Missals on order should arrive in the next day or two. There are some other lovely books there to help you and your family breathe in the scent of Advent, even at this late stage. Make the most of this last beautiful week. I can personally recommend Denis McBride’s journeying with Jesus in Advent and the children’s books are very attractive and not too expensive.

This coming Tuesday evening, we will be holding our service of Reconciliation and judging by the number of enquiries we have had, we have established a tradition ofproviding an opportunity for people to prepare themselves fully for the Feast ahead and possibly a return to the church fold for others. The theme of this Advent’s service will be living in the present moment. Please pass on news of the event to your friends. The Lord’s forgiveness is withheld from no-one who is sorry for their mistakes. There will be a collection for charity prior to the service.

Notice for grandparents at Mass this Saturday (too late for those of you at Sunday Mass I’m afraid!)

Mass for CGA (Catholic Grandparents Assoc.) at Liverpool Met. this Sunday 18th at 11am. More details on poster. You are welcome to attend this Mass to be jointly celebrated by Bishop Brian and Archbishop Kelly.

There is a wonderful story of a four year old child. On reaching her fourth birthday, her parents decided that it was time for her to sleep in a room of her own. As the mother put her to bed that night, she said – “you are now a big girl with your own room: there is no need for you to be afraid. We will always be near you”. Sometime later the mother quietly came to the room and heard the little girl crying – who then said to her mother. “I am frightened here; I do not want to be alone”. “You are not alone”, the mother said, “God is here with you”. “I know God is here, but right now I need someone with skin”. …..Today in the gospel we hear of a God who wants to come to us with skin. His love for us is so great that he decided to come amongst us as one like us in all things except sin. But he decided he needed help from a human being to bring this about. In his great humility he decided to ask a young Jewish woman Mary. This reminds us that God never forces his way into our lives. He shows us great respect and courtesy by asking our permission as he did in the case of Mary.

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

Fr. Frank Rice;
Revd. Philip White; Revd. Michael Daly phone: 0151 645 3314
email: stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com
websites: http://www.stjohnevang.co.uk http://www.lpa24.org

Second Sunday of Advent 4th December 2011 Year B

FAITH IN FOCUS: RAISED VOICES
It’s so hard to hear yourself think in December. The TV screams at us through adverts that are desperate to get us to buy their products. Cosy Christmas fireside scenes, talking reindeers, food and drink, comfortable sofas, the must-have gifts: this is dangled before us as the epitome of what Christmas is all about. And when we think that we’ll have a nice quiet read, the papers are packed with full-page adverts reminding us of what we’ve already seen for sale on TV!
There are other voices trying to get through to us in the lead-up to Christmas. One of them is Isaiah’s. Today he tells us that our time of being enslaved is over. We have been set free and have been offered the greatest Christmas present of all: sharing the life of God’s Son.
But Isaiah’s voice clashes with the other sounds of Christmas because he tells us that if we want to go beyond the tinsel and baubles then we have to do some personal spadework. If we really want to experience the true meaning of Christmas, then we have to make sure we’re not just drifting along with the Christmas crowd but instead are keeping ourselves focussed on the reason for our feast. And this means fine-tuning the way we live, resetting our spiritual compasses and going out to meet our God who is coming.
Advent is not a mini-Lent but it is a time to remember that repentance, turning back to God, is a Christian constant. “Here is your God” says Isaiah. And our God still comes to us today and everyday. Advent challenges us to find God’s face in the ordinary events of our daily existence. And if there are aspects of our lives that prevent us from seeing this face, then Advent asks us to make changes.
When God comes it is not to point a finger but to lend a hand. The God we ask into our Advent lives is not the vengeful judge but the loving saviour. God always comes to set us free not to condemn us. But, of course, if we are genuinely to welcome Jesus into our lives this Advent and Christmas, then we have to know what we need to be set free from. Otherwise we might as well join just join the shopping queue.

WORD OF GOD
Tell Jerusalem… that her time of service is ended, that her sin is atoned for. (Isaiah 40: 1-4)

WORD FOR TODAY
Advent demands preparation. As we come closer to the events of Christmas we are challenged to smooth out the wrinkles of our daily life, to actively look for the ways in which God comes to us in the ordinariness of our existence, and to do all we can to come closer to him.

The immense step from the babe at Bethlehem to the living, reigning triumphant Lord Jesus, returning to earth for his own people – that is the glorious truth proclaimed throughout Scripture. As the bells ring out the joys of Christmas, may we also be alert for the final trumpet that will announce his return, when we shall always be with him. (Alan Redpath)

Millions of perfectly healthy and worthy men and women still keep Christmas; and do in all sincerity keep it holy as well as happy. But there are some, profiting by such natural schemes of play and pleasure-seeking, who have used it for things far baser than either pleasure-seeking or play. They have betrayed Christmas. For them the substance of Christmas, like the substance of Christmas pudding, has become stale stuff in which their own treasure is buried; and they have only multiplied the sixpences into thirty pieces of silver. (G.K. Chesterton)

Jesus’ coming is the final and unanswerable proof that God cares. (William Barclay)

We have now entered Liturgical year B which is dominated by the Gospel of Mark. It is our intention to take some time to study the text together and we hope to give you details of the arrangements for this very soon. Watch this space.

2nd Sunday of Advent
4th.
5.30
10 am
8pm
Parishioners
Anastasia Sweatman
Prayer Meeting
Mon
5th.
9.15
Peter Kilmartin
Tues
6th.
9.15
November List
Wed
7th.
9.15
November List
Thu
8th.
12md
Private Int.
Fri
9th.
9.15
Joyce Dalziel
Sat
10th.
11.45am.
Carmelite Mass
3rd Sunday of Advent
4th.
5.30
10am
8 pm
Doreen Tiernan
Parishioners
Prayer Meeting

Please pray for our sick and those who care for them 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, Christopher & Raymond McNally, Mark Harrison, Genevieve Foster, Aileen McGuigan. & Chris Foster. Remember also those in the parish who do not wish their illness to be made public but who also need our prayers. Money
Offertory last week: £745 73 p
120 Club Winners No. 2 M Glover £20
No 35 S Higgins

Just one week to go until the Christmas Fair but still enough opportunity to bring in your bottles, tins, toiletries etc if you haven’t already done so. Don’t forget we also welcome clothes, towels and bedding. I hope you will all find an hour or so to attend the Fair thereby supporting the effort to swell the coffers for repairs to the parish centre. It is your centre, don’t forget!

A brand new Diocesan Website has been launched today at http://www.dioceseofshrewsbury.org. There is still some development to come over the next couple of weeks to iron out any glitches!

Next Thursday, the feast of the Immaculate Conception is the 57th anniversary of my ordination and I would be delighted if you are able to join with me to celebrate at the 12md mass. There will be a piece of cake and a glass of wine to follow the Mass.

Scout stamps are available to you for the next 2 Sundays. Get a good deal and make someone happy by greeting them with a card this Christmas. You might consider purchasing your cards from Eileen who has a good selection of Traidcraft cards to offer.

There are several Morning & Evening Prayer books missing from the side chapel. I know that people walk away with these in an absent minded fashion and I would be grateful if you would check if you are one of those responsible. Thanks

We had quite a number of book sales last weekend. Three of the New Sunday Missals were sold, but there are still a few remaining at £19 95p. We can get more if the demand is there. It is beautifully produced and would make a good Christmas present. The stall contains something for all age groups- please have a browse and try to make this season of waiting a special one. There are some colourful books and puzzles for children as well as those Advent journey sheets. The pamphlet editions of Mark’s Gospel are now available at a mere 90p- easy to slip into your handbag or pocket. A couple of people have kindly agreed to man (and woman) the stall after each weekend Mass during Advent. Take advantage!

There will NOT be a coffee morning this coming Monday. The Bereavement group will announce the next one in the New Year.
There will be a Carol Service held at St Catherine’s, Hoylake on December 18th 2011 at 3pm, led by members of the clubs for the disabled in the Diocese. The service is for everyone, and families with a disabled son or daughter will be particularly welcome. Everyone will receive their own Christmas candle to take home and the Service will be followed with light refreshments to include warm mince pies! Jane Christley 0151 632 4891
Confirmation of 57 young people from our LPA took place last Wednesday. The youngsters from St John’s will be presented with a copy of the Good News Bible this weekend. Congratulations to them and many thanks to the catechists and all the other people who have brought them to this important event in their lives. It was a very well organised event made successful by many people. Thank you ALL.

SANTA CLAUS OR ST NICHOLAS? (December 6th)
December 6th is the feast of St Nicholas. Among the many legends surrounding him is the one that he gave bags of gold to three poor sisters for their dowries, throwing them down the chimney where they landed in some stockings which had been hung up by the fire to dry. This gave rise to the custom of giving gifts on his feast day, a practice which is still followed in the Netherlands and Germany where children leave their shoes and stockings out on St Nicholas’ Eve and hope that they will be filled with sweets and gifts the next morning. Elsewhere this has been incorporated into the celebration of Christmas where the character of “Santa Claus” is now almost universally known – a corruption of Nicholas’ Dutch name: “Sinter Klaas”

I am very sad to have to break the news that Fr. Dennis will not after all be able to join us this Christmas. His Bishop has set him the task of learning German and he will be taking advantage of a study group in Leuven. Dennis will be a real polyglot by the times he returns to S.A.