Second Sunday of Advent, 7th December. Cycle B.


St John the Evangelist

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

Priests: Fr. Bernard Forshaw assisted by Fr. Emeka

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

Email: stjohntheevangelist


Second Sunday of Advent, 7th December. Cycle B.


As we look around the world today we can sometimes be forced to the conclusion that things are not as God intended them to be. We are living through a period when terrorism has grabbed the headlines with stories of daily bloodshed. And we are caught up in a seemingly intractable situation of wars in the Middle East, Africa and many other places around the world.

The Jewish people were deported to Iraq about 2,600 years ago. They were forced out of Israel to Babylon, not very far from Baghdad. Even second and third generations longed for their homeland, for their God and for their Temple in Jerusalem.

Today we hear Isaiah trying to bring comfort to these desperate people. He tells them that God will not abandon them in exile forever. A leader will come and take them back home. He quotes God promising them that their time of slavery is over. But they must take action themselves and prepare a straight road for God to travel through as he helps them. They must have a change of heart and mind.

And the same message is repeated to us during this Advent. Isaiah tells us that, whatever our troubles and woes, God will never let us wallow permanently in a cheerless condition. God is not absent even when it is hard to see his presence. And the main thing that God wants us to receive is forgiveness, that collective pardon for our sins as a nation and our faults as individuals.

Advent proclaims the power of God. For those who accept the promises of Jesus it is not a lone uphill struggle. For those who genuinely acknowledge their shortcomings, and do their best to change, God’s Spirit can make all things possible. Advent is an encouragement: our God is with us and comes each day in such a way that we can overcome whatever is thrown in our path.

So the challenge of Advent is twofold. It’s a challenge for us to examine our lives, to make God’s paths straight. And it’s also a challenge to see the presence of God in all the situations of our life and world, both good and bad. John the Baptist was able to see this presence in Jesus, the Lamb of God. Can we see God’s Advent presence? And where are we looking


Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call to her that her time of service is ended and her sin is atoned for.

(Isaiah 40: 2)


Advent invites us to rely on God’s pardon. It summons us to see God’s presence in our world. It promises us that our God is a permanent feature of our lives and it offers hope of God’s power. Amid all our hymns and prayers do we discern this pardon, presence, permanence and power? And how do we respond?

Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation of our hearts. Since it comes at winter time, fire is a fitting sign to help us celebrate Advent…If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time.

(Edward Hays)

There is a time appointed in the history of our world, when that very Jesus who appeared on earth, “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”, shall reappear with all the circumstances of majesty and power as “King of kings and Lord of lords”. We are led to expect a day when Christ shall find a home in the remotest hearts and families, and the earth in all its circumference will be covered with the knowledge and the power of the Lord. (Henry Melvill)

Advent should remind us that the “king who is to come” is more than a charming infant smiling in the straw.

(Thomas Merton)

Scout stamps re on sale at the back of the church, both this weekend and next.

This coming Tuesday 9th St Anne’s 55+ group is to hold a Christmas buffet from two to four thirty in their parish centre. There will be entertainment and of course it wouldn’t be a Catholic ‘do’ without a raffle! Entrance two pounds- those in the age group are all welcome.

Sunday of Advent

Cycle B Psalter Wk 1

7th. 5.00pm




James & Catherine Kennedy

Maud Boulton

Holy Hour

Prayer Meeting

Mon Dec. 8th. 7pm. Diamond Jubilee Mass

Fr Frank

Tues 9th. 12md. Elizabeth Sullivan

Funeral Mass

Wed 10th. 9.15am November List
Thurs 11th. 9.15am Deceased members of Moore and McLoughlin Families
Friday 12th. 9.15am


McCormick & Kennedy Families

Holy Hour

Saturday 13th.
2nd Sunday of Advent

Bible Sunday

14th. 5.00pm



7.30 pm


Simon Kershaw

Holy Hour

Prayer Meeting

Please pray for our sick and those who care for

Peter Carr, Colette Howes, Frances Heslin, Liam Halpen, Josie Cohen, Peter Williamson, Kathy Smith, Marjorie Hoey, Esther Roche, Fay Challoner, Sheila Stockley, Joan & Charles Reynolds, Kath Holland, Mary Bryden, Josie Toohey, Helen Worth, Christopher Hadfield, Christopher & Raymond McNally, Rachel Mulrooney, Winifred Sweeney.

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. Rosary commences 5 mins. after Morning Mass (when said)

Money- thank you for your generosity

Offertory: £ 634

Boiler £ 12.80p

Cards and Books £ 17.10p

NB. Christmas Mass times will be 8pm Christmas Eve and 9.30am on Christmas morning

Feast your eyes on our selection of Advent books. There is something there for everyone. The Advent Extra is a mere £1.50p.

Advent is a busy time, so we need a realistic way of keeping prayer going. Every day, Advent Extra provides a short yet meaningful reflection on the Gospel which helps you connect with God in prayer, even if only for a few minutes. This year’s issue looks at the theme of family. Contributors include Catholic newscaster and mother Julie Etchingham, ‘The Railway Man’ screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce and theologian Dr Clare Watkins

It is here at last! This Monday 8th at 7pm Fr Frank will be among us again as we celebrate his Diamond Jubilee. Those of you who have promised food donations to the buffet are requested to bring them to the parish centre which will be open between 10am and 3pm and from 5pm onwards

JOHN OF THE CROSS (December 14th)

John was born at Fontiveros in Spain about 1542. He entered the Carmelites and with the permission of his superiors began to live a stricter life. Later he was persuaded by St. Teresa to begin, together with some others, the Discalced reform within the Carmelite friars; this cost him much hard work and many trials. He died in Ubeda in 1591, outstanding in holiness and wisdom, to which his many spiritual writings give eloquent witness. After his death the reform he introduced within the friars eventually separated from the Carmelite Order to become the Order of Discalced Carmelite Friars.

Lord, you endowed St. John of the Cross with a spirit of self-denial and love of the cross .By following his example may we come to the eternal vision of your glory. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Word became flesh: St Theresa speaks:

What a marvellous thing that He, who would fill a thousand worlds with His grandeur, wanted to enclose Himself in the womb of His most Blessed Mother.

PLEASE sign the big Christmas card and give a donation to a very worthy (local) cause (Minimum £1-no maximum!!) Many of us know someone who has had addiction problems and the Olive Branch is an organisation which is providing very practical help in keeping people sober and drug free. There is information about The Olive Branch alongside the donation box.

There will be a meeting on Monday 5th of January at 7.30 in the Church House We look forward to seeing all past and present helpers and hopefully many new members. If you just want to find out what is entailed please come along and find out- it isn’t rocket science!

Fourth Bebington (St. John’s NF) Scout Group are starting up a new Scout Troop in January and require more adult helpers. If you are interested please contact James Anderson on 07824845936. Meetings will be on Mondays from 7. 30 to 9pm. Any young person aged between 10 ½ and 14 is invited to come and join in the fun and excitement of scouting.

Churches Together Carol Singing will be held on Saturday 13th December at two venues:

Lower Bebington Co-op at 11am. Higher Bebington Co-op at 12 noon. All are welcome to come and lend your voices!

Our LPA Reconciliation service will take place here at St John’s on Thurs 18th December at 7pm

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