Ascension 12th May 2013


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



Ascension reminds us that we do not have a synthetic God. God sent us Jesus to be one of us, to know what life is like as a human being, and yet still to triumph. The ascension of Jesus is a cause for hope. In our relationship with God, the final frontier has happily been crossed.


It is not as though Christ had entered a man-made sanctuary which was only modelled on the real one; but it was heaven itself, so that he could appear in the actual presence of God on our behalf. (Hebrews 9:24-25)

The friends of Jesus are called, in other words, to offer themselves as signs of God in the world – to live in such a way that the underlying all-pervading energy of God begins to come through them and make a difference. If we are challenged as to where God is in the world, our answer must be to ask ourselves how we can live, pray and act so as to bring to light the energy at the heart of all things – to bring the face of Jesus to life in our faces, and to do this by turning again and again to the deep well of trust and prayer that the Spirit opens for us.

Ascension Day is a perfect day to draw attention to the fact that literalism is not only problematic, but impossible. Even if someone insists on maintaining the literal truth of the claim in Acts that Jesus literally went up into heaven, they cannot maintain the worldview of the first century Christians which provided the context for the affirmation. They knew nothing of light-years, distant galaxies or interstellar space without oxygen. And it is not possible, through some act of either will or faith, to forget absolutely everything that has been learned since then and believe as they did. Even those who willingly choose to disbelieve modern science are making a choice that the first Christians did not have, and thus accept dogmatically what early Christians naively assumed because they knew no better.

There are plenty who continue to claim they are biblical literalists. But there are no actual biblical literalists. Because even the precise words of the Bible, taken literally, mean something different today than they did almost 2,000 years ago. (James F McGrath)

Please remember in your prayers those children who will receive First Communion on 3 consecutive Saturdays in May. If you or anyone you know is planning to be present at any of the Masses then it is our hope that both the solemnity of the occasion and the sanctity of the building will be respected.

Ascension 12th May 2013


For many years, on the Thursday of Ascension, one of the BBC radio stations has been accustomed to beginning its broadcasts by playing a (formerly) well know hymn to celebrate the feast: “Hail the day that sees him rise.” This is quite surprising, since in an increasingly secularised society most people are unaware of the significance of the Ascension. The rather old-fashioned hymn does little to make the feast vibrant.

People often wonder why Jesus waited around on earth 40 days after his resurrection, but that period is no accident. Jesus had endured the Devil’s temptation for 40 days in the wilderness at the beginning of his public ministry, but now the tables were turned. In the post-resurrection period Jesus triumphantly paraded his victory over the Devil and all his works. During this time, the conqueror of death displayed his supremacy before his faithful followers so that they might share in the joy of his victory. But there was another reason. Those 40 days of his appearing after the resurrection were of immense value to the believers for they established the reality of his lordship. A single sighting of the risen Christ may have been open to question, but his many encounters with them would remove the doubts of the most sceptical among them and assure them that he was risen indeed.

The Ascension is not about Christ leaving us, but about his going before us. Those of us who gather to celebrate this feast are far from being orphans abandoned to our own religious devices. Our Ascension Day liturgical assembly gathers to celebrate the virtue of hope, conscious that our prayers are to the God whose Son has now passed from our sight, but our songs vibrate with the faith-filled conviction that where Christ has gone we will surely follow.

So Ascension is very much an Easter feast even though we are tempted to think of it as a separate event. In fact, we speak about the “Easter Mysteries” which include the passion of Christ, his resurrection, his ascension and the sending of the Holy Spirit. Every time we take part in worship we are recalling some aspect or other of these four elements in the Easter story. That’s why Easter is not a one-day but a fifty-day feast of music and prayer.

Like the other three Easter events, Ascension is about hope. Christ who has risen above death and evil ascends on high, not to leave us desolate and alone, but to send us the ever-present help of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit. Christ has finished his mission on earth as he ascends to the Father. He returns to claim a share in God’s life for each one of us. Where he has gone we hope to follow. Maybe that’s why Ascension deserves a new son

Ascension 12th 5.30pm



Joe Moore


Prayer Meeting

Mon 13th 9.15 Rev Albert Knight
Tues 14th 9.15 Rev John Warnock
Wed 15th. 9.15 John Toner
Thursday 16th. 8am.


Private Int.

Vigil service

Fred Archbold

Friday 17th. 11am. Funeral Mass

Fred Archbold



19th 5.30pm



Mgr. Sweeney


Prayer Meeting

Please pray for our sick and those who care for them

Colette Howes, Barbara Gillespie, Doreen Wrigg, John Price, Frances Heslin, Liam Halpen, Margaret Randles, Teresa McLean, Josie Cohen, Peter Williamson, Kathy Smith, Marjorie Hoey, Esther Roche, Fay Challoner, Sheila Stockley, Joan & Charles Reynolds, Kath Holland, Mary Bryden, Josie Toohey, Betty Kennedy, Helen Worth, Christopher Hadfield, Christopher & Raymond McNally & Colette Reevey. Remember also those in the parish who do not wish their illness to be made public but who also need our prayers.

Please note that Morning Prayer is celebrated 15 minutes before the start of each weekday mass

Money- thank you for your generosity

Offertory: £802 36p

Boiler: £14p

Book Sales £p

Peter’s dance money £128

120 Club winners: No. 55 M Ross

Vera has several numbers available- 50p per week-please contact her on 645 6140

4th Bebington (St Johns, New Ferry) Beaver Scouts have vacancies for boys & girls aged 6-8 years old in their colony. They meet on a Monday 6.15-7.15pm. in the Parish Centre. Please contact Sue Meadows 645 5245. The Cub Pack is looking for Adult helpers to start a Scout Troop. If interested please contact Sheena Schofield 334 8194. Full support & training available.

Christ is already in that place of peace, which is all in all. He is on the right hand of God. He is hidden in the brightness of the radiance which issues from the everlasting throne. He is in the very abyss of peace, where there is no voice of tumult or distress, but a deep stillness… stillness, that greatest and most awful of all goods which we can fancy; that most perfect of joys, the utter profound, ineffable tranquillity of the Divine Essence. He has entered into His rest. That is our home; here we are on a pilgrimage, and Christ calls us to His many mansions which He has prepared. (Blessed John Henry Newman)

Does your son or daughter (or anyone you know) wish to receive the sacrament of Confirmation? Please deliver names, addresses and other details through letter box of parish house ASAP and we will contact them. Thanks.

On Monday, members of the bereavement group will host their monthly coffee morning in the parish centre from 10am until 11am. Details are on the notice boards at the back of the church.

The Lion King is coming… to Liverpool Empire NEXT May 16th until July 5th. We are proposing organising a parish group. Are you interested? In order to gauge interest there is a form at the back of church. If you could just put your surname and the number of people you think you would like to go with you then we will carry it forward. A figure of around 40 has been mooted. This is a hugely successful musical and tickets will be in great demand and have already been on sale for a month. Names/numbers this weekend please!

Another reminder that the altar servers will be out in force next Sunday 19th May making their annual attempt at walking Wirral’s coast. Sponsorship forms are available at the back of church and they seek your support in their effort to raise funds for both their Guild of St Stephen as well as Claire House.

NB. There is a now small charge of £5 for the re issue of Baptismal certificates. Please keep certificates in a safe place as they may be required at several junctures in a child’s life (e.g. change of school, marriage etc.)

At 3pm on Saturday 8th June at St Michael’s Woodchurch, the annual APF/Mill Hill mission mass will be celebrated. All are invited. See poster for details. You are requested to add your name to the list to give an idea of numbers for catering.

Year of Faith

To celebrate the Year of Faith Shrewsbury Diocese Commission for the Promotion of Justice, Peace and Social Responsibility is holding a study afternoon and discussion on Saturday 18 May from 2.15 -5.30 at St Columba’s, Chester. Entitled ‘Drawing Inspiration from Vatican II’, the afternoon will be led by Brian Davies, former head of education at CAFOD. Hall opens from 1pm to socialize. Please bring a packed lunch, tea and coffee will be provided. All welcome – please invite others.

Director of Schools

The Diocese is seeking to appoint a practising Catholic with extensive educational experience at a senior leadership level to lead the Diocesan Education Service into its next stage of development.

Applications for the post are invited from suitably qualified and experienced candidates with qualities of vision and commitment and proven leadership and management skills. The successful candidate will have an informed understanding of the contemporary Church and the education challenges it faces.

The salary is £75,000 – £85,000 per annum commensurate with the successful candidate’s qualifications, experience and skills. See notice board for further details of closing date etc.

Monday is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. The feast celebrates Our Lady’s appearance to three Portuguese children, Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco six times from May 13th to October 13th in 1917. The message of Fatima is repentance so that the world may be transformed into a place of peace.

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