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

4th. Sunday of Year B January 29th. 2012

FAITH IN FOCUS: TELLING IT AS IT IS

Lazy preachers use religious words. It’s easier than getting down to the nitty-gritty but it doesn’t help people to connect their faith with their lives. So whenever you hear a sermon that is peppered with words like salvation, ecclesial, redemption, Christological, justification, metanoia, eschatology, sanctifying grace or beatific vision, then you know that the preacher is using shorthand. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with any of these words; they are theological ways of expressing our faith and the work of God in our lives. But they remain on a cerebral level. They engage the mind but more often than not don’t reach the heart. They are not geared to connecting faith with life in a way that most people readily understand.

When the Jewish religious teachers preached they appear to have fallen into the same trap. What they said was right, but it was stale. People found it hard to become enthusiastic when they heard them preach.

Then Jesus came along. People related to what he said because they could see that it had meaning for the way they were trying to live. It connected with their struggles, their fears and their hopes. When they described his teaching, people said that he taught “with authority”. By this they did not mean that he took an official stance or that he talked down to people as if they were ignorant. It meant that they could see that his teaching was going to have a beneficial effect on their lives. It made sense and they could grasp its significance.

Authority meant that his words had clout. The word authority comes from a Latin word that at its root means to increase or grow. To speak with authority meant that what Jesus was saying to them would make them grow, cause them to develop, to fulfil their potential. Unlike the scribes who simply told people all the rules that they had to obey, Jesus’ teaching was a liberating experience that spoke about the value and worth of the human person before God. It encouraged people, offered them hope, gave them confidence and made them want to be part of the message and to tell others about it. It was more than just words. And it still is today

His teaching made a deep impression on them, because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority. (Mark 1: 22)

WORD FOR TODAY

Scripture is what nourishes our faith. If we are to be prophets of God, as we agreed to be at our baptism, then we need to know what God is saying to our world. The more united we become with God’s word, the more familiar we are with the words of the gospels, the more faithful we will be to our calling as prophets.

Sincere words are not grand. (Lao Tze)

The preacher in the small Irish town began to berate the congregation for being liars, drunkards and adulterers. It made me wonder what the people were like who hadn’t even bothered to come to church that Sunday. But more than that, it made my heart weep to think that the man saw his job as an enforcer rather than as an enticer. (Joy Navarra)

Shrewsbury Catholic Charismatic Renewal Weekend at Pantasaph Friary, 2nd-4th March. Cost £90. Speaker Fr. Brendan Rice. Details Ann Murray 645 5514

The dates for the Annual Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2012 areTuesday 24thJuly to Wednesday 1st August 2012 overland &Wednesday 25th July to Tuesday 31st July 2012 by air.

Preparations for the pilgrimage are well underway but, given the continuing fluctuation of the value of the euro against the pound sterling, we shall delay publishing our prices until the end of February so that we may hopefully be able to offer the best possible prices.

We anticipate that despite a slight rise in hotel costs and increased costs of the train and coaches, prices for the overland section will be broadly the same as last year. There may be an increase for the air section as only two dioceses will be using the plane in sequence this year instead of three as last year.

In the meantime, anyone wishing to reserve a seat on the plane may send their £100 deposit to the Pilgrimage Office, St Peters, 16 Green Lane, Hazel Grove, STOCKPORT SK74EA. A brochure and booking form will be sent as soon as they become available. If those who have paid deposits decide not to proceed after our prices are finalised their deposit will be fully refunded.

4th. Sun Yr. B 29th. 5.30pm10am

6.30

Parishioners

Nell & John Ryan

Prayer Meeting

Mon 30th. 9.15 Eddie Fryer
Tues 31st. 9.00 Funeral Mass

Edward Foley

Wed 1st. 9.15 Pat McNeil
Thurs.

Presentation

(Candlemas Day)

2nd. 6pm. Enrolment Mass for First Sacraments
Fri 3rd. 9.15 Fergus O’Brien
5th. Sun Yr. B 5th. 5.30pm

10am

8pm

John Sawell

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Please pray for our sick and those who care for them

John Price, James Sweatman, 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 & JosieToohey, Betty Kennedy, Helen Worth, Christopher Hadfield, Ivan Gregory, Christopher & Raymond McNally, Mark Harrison, Genevieve Foster, Aileen McGuigan. & Chris Foster, Norah & John McManus. Remember also those in theparish who do not wish their illness to be made public but who also need our prayers.

Money- thank you

Offertory £801 p.

Boiler £46

120 Club Winners No 60 Sara White £20

The Barn Dance raised a total of

£732 94p- this was an occasion much enjoyed by all who attended and the sum raised will go towards further improvements in the parish centre. Keep your eyes peeled for the next event.

This weekend, there will be a second collection for the retired priests’ fund (there are envelopes available for those who pay tax and would like to gift aid their donations).

Lots of lovely new books on order- should be here by next weekend!

Retreat weekend for young adults (20s and 30s)

Theme: Lord, let my prayer rise before you…

Dates: 10th – 12th February 2012

Location: Salford Cost: any donation is welcome. The weekend will provide opportunity for prayer, reflection and discussion with other young catholic adults. For more informationcontact Sr MaryAnne fcJ at maryannefcj or visit our facebook event

https://www.facebook.com/events/255697284501022/

What is it?

Faith is the oxygen of religion. It’s what we breathe in all our dealings with God. Faith tells us that we are creatures of an intelligent personal godhead revealed to people over the centuries and more specifically in latter times in the person of Jesus Christ. If we could see God in a material way, face to face, then we might not need faith because we would be living with a mathematical or scientific certainty. But the fact is that we are confronted with something so enormous and infinite when we come to talk about God that we cannot “prove” in the conventional way that God exists. We know that God exists from our experience of life and from our shared response as the Church to what Jesus taught and promised.

So does this mean that we have to park our brains at the front door of the church and become spoon-fed and possibly deluded once we become Christians? Of course not. In a certain sense having faith gives us a greater responsibility to try and come closer to the mystery that is God made visible in Christ. And our growth in faith is a womb to tomb experience. We never graduate in faith. We take the test every day. It’s continual assessment. Faith makes demands on us to try and discern a pattern of the way God works in our lives. And if we never question our faith then we will remain childish, not childlike. For our faith has to be adult.

St Werburgh (3rd February) was the daughter of a king of Mercia, a nun in the joint monastery of men and women at Ely. She founded several monasteries in Mercia and was buried in Staffs. However due to Viking incursions her remains were moved to Chester where they were a focus of pilgrimage until the Reformation.

Presentation of the Lord
The feast was first observed in the Eastern Church as “The Encounter.” In the sixth century, it began to be observed in the West: in Rome with a more penitential character and in Gaul (France) with solemn blessings and processions of candles, popularly known as “Candlemas.” The Presentation of the Lord concludes the celebration of the Nativity and with the offerings of the Virgin Mother and the prophecy of Simeon, the events now point toward Easter.

“In obedience to the Old Law, the Lord Jesus, the first-born, was presented in the Temple by his Blessed Mother and his foster father. This is another ‘epiphany’ celebration insofar as the Christ Child is revealed as the Messiah through the canticle and words of Simeon and the testimony of Anna the prophetess. Christ is the light of the nations, hence the blessing and procession of candles on this day. In the Middle Ages this feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or ‘Candlemas,’ was of great importance. This is why we have chosen this feast for the enrolment Mass for our children who are to receive 1st Sacraments this year.I

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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

2nd Sunday of Year B January 15th 2012

FAITH IN FOCUS: JUST A QUICK NOTE

Dear Mother

You’re probably wondering where I’ve got to over the past month or so. A few weeks ago when I was out listening to John the Baptist a rabbi passed by and John pointed him out as something really special. When I heard what he had to say I was amazed. I asked him where he lived and he invited me to come and see. I stayed with him and now I just want to be around him and hear him speak.

He’s not like the other religious leaders. You really get the impression he’s sent by God. He’s not full of himself and his teaching is so straightforward that you wonder why you never thought of it first. He cuts through all the red tape by saying that we should make sure we love God and look after our neighbours in the same way as we would like to be treated by them.

When you see him in action you soon realise that it’s the ordinary people he warms to quickly. Poor people, children, widows, sick people and those whom others look down on. He has time for everyone although he’s not slow to condemn hypocrisy.

His fame as a preacher is spreading because he has the knack of making you feel that there’s more to life than just getting and having, more important things than what others think of you. It’s as if he has the secret to living life to the full and he really makes you think.

Each time he works a miracle he doesn’t wait for applause but says it’s his Father in heaven that gives him this power, and he says that these miracles will seem like nothing compared with what life will be like for those who follow him. Apparently this new type of life will even last after death.

Simon has joined me along with one or two of the other fishermen, and people from every walk of life are turning up each day to listen to him. Everyone wants to be part of it. They say that if it carries on like this there’ll be thousands of supporters before long. Next month he’ll be back in Capernaum and I can’t wait for you to meet him. What he’s got to offer is too good to be missed, so make sure you don’t lose out!

Your loving son

Andrew

WORD OF GOD

Jesus passed, and John stared hard at him and said, ‘Look, there is the Lamb of God’. (John 1:35-36)

WORD FOR TODAY

God never stops calling people; it’s just that sometimes we’re not listening. As the apostles were chosen by Jesus individually, so each of us has been given a personal calling by God to share in the task of building the kingdom. The psalmist reminds us that we need to keep ‘an open ear’ to this call.

The Barn Dance will take place next Friday, 20th January, in Parish Centre, 7.30pm. This is a real family event- and all in aid of the parish centre improvements.

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

Family Ticket are £15 (2 adults and 2 children up to age 14), everyone else £5, toddlers free. There will be refreshments on sale (Hot dogs, batches and tea/coffee.) but if you want beer or wine etc. please bring your own. There will be a raffle with really fab prizes. Ticket sales are going very well, please sign up to avoid disappointment. There are forms at the back of the church to enter your ticket requirements and a poster at back of church which contains all the details. Please indicate if you want a Family Ticket. ADD YOUR TELEPHONE NO.!!!

Shrewsbury Catholic Charismatic Renewal Weekend at Pantasaph Friary, 2nd-4th March. Cost £90. Speaker Fr. Brendan Rice. Details Ann Murray 645 5514

A Mass will be celebrate at St Catherine’s Hoylake on Wednesday 18th January at 7.30 for those who suffer with mental ill health, their carers’ and anyone who support or work with people with mental health needs. We look forward to welcoming you to St Catherine’s. Tea and coffee will be served in the Parish Centre after Mass. Contact Ann Crisp 0151 632 6617

2nd Sun Yr. B 15th. 5.30pm 10am

8pm.

Parishioners

Louise Abedin

Prayer Meeting

Mon 14th. 9.15 November List
Tues 17th. 9.15 November List
Wed 18th. 9.30 Funeral Mass

John A Williams

Thurs. 19th. 9.15 Vic Gemmell
Fri 20th. 10.30. Funeral Mass

Henrietta Mason

3rd. Sun Yr. B 22nd. 5.30pm

10am

8pm

Christine Gregory

Parishioners

Prayer meeting

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, Norah & 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

Offertory £905 77p.

Crib Offerings £30 51p- a total of £115 for the Children’s Society

Peter’s dance money £125- a total of £1269 for past year- thank you.

120 Club Winners No. 63 J Reynolds £20

Please note above changes in Mass times on Wednesday & Friday and please remember in your prayers those people who have died and also the people who mourn for them. May they rest in peace.

The parish centre café has been further enhanced by the arrival of bistro tables and chairs. We now have a very pleasant area for you to enjoy your post Sunday Mass cuppa where you can linger for a chat with fellow parishioners. Give it a try if you haven’t done so before. There may even be French music playing- who knows?

CATHOLIC PARLIAMENTARY AND PUBLIC POLICY INTERNSHIPS

For the last nine years the Catholics Bishops Conference has organised Parliamentary and Public Policy Internships for recently graduated Catholics. This year we are looking to offer 8 internships: Five interns will be placed with Christian MPs at Westminster; two in Public Policy with CAFOD and CARITAS Social Action Network; and one in a media internship at Archbishop’s House Westminster.

All internships will run from September 2012 – July 2013 and include accommodation and subsistence allowances.

Full details and an application form can be found on our website: interns or posted to: Michaela Kelly, Head of HR, 39 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1BX. The closing date is 5pm on 29th February 2012 and Assessment days will be 28th and 29th March 2012.

Successful Habits coaching is focused on happiness and wellbeing. Nutrition education with coaching to support wellbeing and weight loss. Join us for fun, motivational, inspiring and friendly sessions. Weight Loss Challenge, Tuesday evenings 6.30-7.30pm in Parish Centre. £39 for 12 week programme. See Poster at back of church for details & Tel contact nos.

From next Sunday, I will be going away for most of the week. Three priests have kindly agreed to provide cover for the Masses during the week and for the following weekend so that you will not be deprived! They will be aided and abetted by Philip and Michael and I hope they will be welcomed and helped by all of you.

Retreat weekend for young adults (20s and 30s)

Theme: Lord, let my prayer rise before you…

Dates: 10th – 12th February 2012

Location: Salford Cost: any donation is welcome

The weekend will provide opportunity for prayer, reflection and discussion with other young catholic adults. For more information contact Sr MaryAnne fcJ at maryannefcj or visit our facebook event

https://www.facebook.com/events/255697284501022/

Philip writes: You will recollect I put down a marker for this last year.
Thursday 19 Jan 2012 (7.00 to 9.00 pm) in the side chapel ….

A Reflection on the Gospel of Mark.
(also welcome are Special Ministers of the Eucharist and anyone else interested) This reflection is part of the on-going formation for readers and other ministers at St. John’s. During Sunday masses this year, we will mainly hear extracts from the Gospel of Mark. This Gospel is the earliest and shortest account imparting the good news of God’s reign in Jesus, the Christ
In most translations, Mark’s gospel is little more than 20 pages long. Please prepare in advance for this reflection by reading this gospel through from beginning to end without stopping. All you need to give yourself is 1 to 1½ hours of peace and quiet, a comfortable chair and a bible.
Looking forward to seeing you there!

The week of prayer for Christian Unity starts next week on 18th and continues until 25th. We will host the meeting on Saturday 21st. at 10am.

Thursday and Saturday are the only ones I will be present at this year but I do hope that out parish will be well represented at the various venues which are listed on the posters.