Fourth Sunday of Advent, 21st. 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


Fourth Sunday of Advent, 21st. December. Cycle B.


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?


I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let what you have said be done to me. (Luke 1: 38)


Every Chri
stian, 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.


On the fourth Sunday of Advent, as we ponder on the last days before the birth of Jesus, our prayers are requested for those women who themselves are expecting a child:

Father, we thank you for your marvellous gift. You have allowed us to share in your divine parenthood. During this time of waiting, we ask you to protect and nurture these first mysterious stirrings of life. May our child come safely into the light of the world and to the new birth of baptism.

Mother of God, we entrust our child to your loving heart. Amen.

(From the Pope John Paul’s Family Prayer Book)

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)

4thSunday of Advent

Cycle B

21st. 5.00pm




John Kenny


Holy Hour

Prayer Meeting

Mon 22nd. 9.15 Ambrose Walsh
Tues 23rd. 9.15 Paul Reavey

Christmas Eve

24th. 4pm


Children’s Crib Service

The poor, sick & needy


Christmas Day

25th. 9.30am. Parishioners

St. Stephen’s Day

26th. 10am. Thank you to our Altar Servers

Feast of St John the Evangelist

27th. 11am. A thank you to St John’s from Fr. Frank
Feast of The Holy Family 28th. 5.00pm


7.30 pm


Angela & Arthur Evans

Prayer Meeting

Masses on Christmas Day, The Feast of St. John and on The Feast of The Holy Family will be celebrated in the main church.

Please remember the sick and housebound Parishioners in your prayers this Christmas and if anyone is in need of a visit/Holy Communion please let Fr Bernard or Fr Emeka know…both our priests are only too happy to bring Holy Communion/visit the sick.

On Christmas Eve: Our church will be open from 9.30 until10.30am- an opportunity for some private prayer, to light a candle for a loved one who has died/for a sick person etc. and to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation… a priest will be available for confession.

Money- thank you for your generosity

Offertory: £ 557 25p

Boiler £5.50p

Cards and Books £9

The collection at Christmas Masses is for the support of your parish clergy

The offerings at the crib are for the Catholic Children’s Society

Time is running out for you to 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- alcohol or drugs- 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. Make this the most important card you sign this Christmas

The locks on the parish centre are to be changed. Will users please ensure that they have the correct keys

If you have young children in the family, why not bring them along to the crib service on Christmas Eve at 4pm? They will be the first visitors to our beautiful crib and be able to join in with the carols specially selected for them. A great reminder for them of what the feast is all about.

Many of our wonderful altar servers are enrolled in the Guild of St Stephen, so 26th December is an important day for them when they will say the Guild prayer at Mass and renew their promises. If you are the parent of an altar server please try to get them to come along on 26th -and it would be good if the rest of us could support them by attending alongside them.

We celebrate our Parish Feast next Saturday with a Thanksgiving Mass at 11am (Fr. Frank’s ‘thank you’ to you all for his recent Diamond Jubilee celebrations) this will be preceded by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 10.15am and followed by a little celebration in the presbytery… please do join us if you can.

A limited number of Christmas posters and a lot more”Keep Christ in Christmas” stickers are available on the Traidcraft stall. These are provided free by the Knights of St Columba but a donation to CAFOD would be welcome.

The knights are also grateful to everyone who supported the fundraiser for “Mary’s Meals”. The attendance at the Pig Race was poor but a grant of £250 from St Anne’s Lottery and some generous donations meant Mary’s Meals benefited by

£1230 including gift aid. God bless you all.

St. Theresa speaks: Humility

Humility drew the King from heaven to the womb of the Virgin, and with humility we will draw him to our souls.

Christmas Greetings

Fr. Bernard, Fr Emeka and Fr. Frank thank you for your cards, greetings and gifts –all of which are very much appreciated. Fr Bernrad thanks you for your warm welcome to St. John’s. You , and all your intentions will be remembered in the Masses we celebrate this Christmas… may it be a blessed time for us all and may 2015 bring good health and many blessings to you and your families

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