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

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

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 1st February. Cycle B.

FAITH IN FOCUS: TELLING IT AS IT IS

Lay 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 is 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 leaders 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 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 the 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 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.

WORD OF GOD

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 morfe faithful we will be to our calling as prophets

Pope Francis’ Intentions for February

Universal: Prisoners: That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild live s with dignity.

Evangelization: Separated Spouses: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.

EACH SUNDAY from 1st February, at 9.00pm, Flame Radio is broadcasting ‘JUST 10’ – an opportunity to explore the Ten Commandments with J. John and see how they can radically refresh our own walk with God. The series will finish, appropriately, on 3rd April, 2014 – Resurrection Day – when we’ll actually look at the first commandment, Each talk is just over 30 minutes long and J John has a style that just grips the listener, even on radio.
FLAME CHRISTIAN and Community Radio broadcasts on 1521 medium-wave (AM) – serving Liverpool, Wirral, Chester, Runcorn, Warrington and North Wales …and on-line at www.flameradio.org or TuneIn or internet radios … wherever you are.

Way of the Spirit Teaching Day to be held in the Parish Centre on Saturday, 7th February, 10-1pm. Theme: The Normal Christian Life. All Welcome

If you would like to receive the newsletter via email, please hand in your details marked for Joan or Ann’s attention and you will be added to the distribution list.

Please take a copy of the Wednesday Word. It is a helpful reflection on next Sunday’s readings.

Parish Pastoral Team Meeting will be held on Thursday at 7.30 pm in the presbytery.

4th Sunday of the Year 1st

Feb

5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Parishioners

Ivan Gregory

Prayer Meeting

Monday

Presentation of the Lord

2nd 9.15 am Tom Fletcher

Candles will be blessed before Mass

Tuesday 3rd 9.15am November List
Wed 4th 9.15am Mabel Evans
Thurs 5th 9.15am Eileen

Bevan

Friday 6th 9.15am November List
Saturday 7th
5th Sunday

of the Year

8th 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30 pm

John J Kelly

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Mass times will be back to normal this week Monday-Friday at 9.15 am

Children’s Liturgy at Sunday 9.30a.m Mass …….. Please encourage your children and grandchildren to participate in this

Please note that Monday is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas Day). Candles will be blessed at the beginning of

9.15am Mass

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.

Money Matters

Offertory: £ 876

Priests Retirement Fund £ 7.52 Total £597.52

Cards and Books £ 6.10

Many thanks for your generosity

Prayer Vigil for Religious Freedom (Saturday 21 February)

Please join Bishop Mark, the clergy of Shrewsbury Cathedral and the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) in a Prayer Vigil for Religious Freedom at the Cathedral on Saturday 21 February at 3:00pm. The vigil will last no more than ninety minutes and will give us all the chance to learn about, reflect on and pray for all of those Christians around the world who are currently suffering terrible hardships because of their Faith.

Will those readers who will NOT be available for Palm Sunday and/or the Easter Triduum please contact Dot Humphrey. Thank you

The Diocesan Liturgy Commission invites all Readers and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to a TRAINING DAY on Saturday, 28th February at Ellesmere Port Catholic High School, Capenhurst Lane, Ellesmere Port. Please inform Fr Bernard that you are willing to attend. The Day will start at 10am and conclude at 3pm with the commissioning of all the attendees at 3pm. Please see poster at the back of church for more details.

The Annual Celebration of Married Life will take place at St Columba’s, Chester on Saturday, 14th February at 12 noon. All welcome. If you are celebrating a significant wedding anniversary (i.e. Silver, Ruby, Golden, Diamond) in 2015 and would like to attend this Mass, please hand in your details to Fr Bernard this weekend so that Bishop Mark can send you a personal letter of invitation.

St Joseph’s, North Road, next charismatic prayer meeting will be on Friday, 6th February. The group meets every

fortnight. There is a list on the notice board of future dates.

Mgr Peter O’Neill is celebrating the Masses at

St John’s this weekend as Fr Bernard is celebrating an Enrolment Mass at St Anne’s and a Mass for the Holy Family Sisters on the eve of the Day of Prayer for those in Consecrated Life.

Fr Emeka returns from his holiday in Nigeria this week in time to celebrate the 9.15 am Mass on Friday.

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas Day) comes as a sort of epilogue to Christmas. It’s no coincidence that it occurs exactly 40 days after the event since it is intended to set a seal on the Christmas season.

With the benefit of hindsight we see Jesus being presented in the temple and we recognise him as not simply the baby of Bethlehem but as the light for all nations.

In celebrating today’s feast we light our candles so that we may be reminded of our baptismal commitment to spreading the light of Christ by the way that we live, and we rejoice that like Anna and Simeon we too have been privileged to see God’s salvation.

Today, your Son, who shares your eternal splendour, was presented in the temple and revealed by the Spirit as the glory of Israel and the light of all peoples.

(Roman Preface for Presentation)

Ordinary Time: St Teresa Speaks

Don’t think that, if you had more time, your prayer would go better…. time well spent, like looking after your children, does not hurt prayer

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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

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

2nd. Sunday in Ordinary Time 18th January 2015 December. Cycle B.

FAITH IN FOCUS: THE POWER TO CHANGE

Can a leopard change its spots? Not if it’s a leopard; but it can if it’s a person. This is the fundamental message of grace. We see it time and time again when people’s lives are touched by God. It is not so much that they themselves do the changing as that God is able to transform them by grace.

Jesus indicates this in the case of Peter in today’s gospel. Your name is Simon, he tells him. But you will become Cephas (Peter) which means Rock. Peter’s friends would have found this nickname quite amusing for they knew Simon Peter well. They knew that if there was one thing that he wasn’t, it was steady as a rock. In fact, he was really quite the opposite: he was volatile, unpredictable and unreliable. So Rock was hardly the best way to describe him.

But what Jesus was doing in changing Peter’s name was pointing to the fact that grace is able to transform, to modify what we are and do. It doesn’t damage our personalities; it builds on our nature and allows the best to be brought out of us while leaving us basically the same person that we were to begin with.

So, from being the up-and-down fisherman that he was, Peter would gradually be transformed into a leader, into a fervent teacher and preacher, into the Bishop of Rome and into such a sturdy advocate of faith that he gave his life for Christ.

In a certain sense we can say that each one of us spends our whole lives changing our names. Every day is a call from God to respond to grace and to hone those qualities within us that God has planted for the good of the Church and the world. At birth we were each given a name. At baptism we began a journey whose destination bears a completely different title: our name in Christ. God does not intend you to have the same name as me; the graces given to you are for a different purpose than mine, since you are unique to God’s plan. We can change and we do change our spots. Jesus called Simon to become Peter. What name is he calling you to become?

WORD OF GOD

You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas, meaning Rock.

(John 1:42)

WORD FOR TODAY

It’s easy to get so caught up in the business of daily life that we end up taking our religion for granted, or at least treating it on the same level as many other activities that we spend our time with. Today we are reminded that it is not we who have chosen to serve God; it is God who has called us. And like Samuel we need to be awake to what exactly it is that God is asking of each of us.

The true physician does not preach repentance; he offers absolution.

(H. L. Mencken)

We must aim above all at an inner renewal, a liberation from the mere following of conventions, a new departure in our way of thinking. More than anything else, we must lament our shortcomings before God, and the community of our brothers and sisters. We must renew the self-understanding each of us must have of ourselves as children of God, as members of the Church.

(Pope Paul VI)

I have nothing to give others; but I have a duty to open them to their own life, to allow them to be themselves – infinitely richer than they could ever be if I tried to enrich and shape them only from the outside.

(Michel Quoist)

RETIRED PRIESTS’ FUND – SPECIAL COLLECTION

Today the annual Special Collection for the Retired Priests’ Fund is being held. With your help, we can build up the Fund to meet the future needs of our sick and retired priests.

Special Envelopes are available for you to use. If you use weekly Offertory Envelopes, please can I ask that you write in your envelope number. If you do not have your Offertory Envelope with you, or you give to your Parish by means of a Standing Order, write in your name and home address. In this way, it will be possible to reclaim the tax on your donation if you have joined the Gift Aid scheme.

A Leaflet about the Fund is also available which explains how to make a regular donation to the Fund by Standing Order, or how you can make your donation by cheque. It also explains how to take advantage of Gift Aid to boost your donation to the Fund. I ask that you give as generously as you can to this very worthy cause and would also like to express my sincere gratitude for your continued support.

With every blessing, +Mark Bishop of Shrewsbury

2nd Sunday of the Year 18th. 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Parishioners

Theresa McLean

Prayer Meeting

Mon 19th. 9.15am Intentions of Pope Francis
Tues 20th. 9.15am Gerry Wade RIP
Wed 21st 9.15am Birthday remembrance

Celeste Ferreira

Thurs. 22nd. 9.15am. Our Schools
Friday 23rd. 9.15am. John O’Shea

Holy Hour

Saturday 24th.
3rd. Sunday of the Year 25th. 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30 pm

Ivan Gregory

Parishioners

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.

Morning prayers is said each weekday at 9am before Mass and Holy Hour each Friday after Mass

Money Matters- thank you

Offertory: £488 71p

Books £8.59p

Crib Offerings (Children’s Society) £19.15p- total £103 64p

There are Joint Pastoral Team meetings twice yearly. The next one is at St Anne’s on Tuesday. Will members please be meet at 7.15 for 7.30pm. Please make every effort to attend.

Children’s Liturgy recommences at the 9.30am Mass this Sunday. The team are looking forward to seeing all the children again.

PEACE SUNDAY (January 18th)

What if all the wars in the world stopped? What if dictators handed power back to the people in their land? What if the threat of violence and oppression was taken away from nations and states? What if fundamentalists of all kinds called a halt to their campaigns? Would we then have peace?

No, we would not have peace. All we would have is a truce at best. For peace does not mean the absence of war, violence and oppression. Peace is not the absence of anything. It is a presence.

Peace only exists when men and women recognise the dignity under God of their fellow human beings, and actively work towards creating a world in which each person can flourish in an atmosphere where their personal and national skills and talents can develop and grow without threat and with justice. Peace is more than stopping fighting. It’s creating shalom, that deep-down sense of wellbeing in mutual dependence and trust. And that’s what we pray for on this Peace Sunday.

Christian Unity: St Teresa Speaks

All must be friends, all must be loved, all must be held dear, all must be helped

Please pray for Keith Ferguson who has died recently and whose funeral Mass will be here on January 26th at 2.15pm. Also for Eileen O’Malley whose funeral Mass will be on Thursday 29th.

We ask consolation for their grieving families and friends.

Please see the notice board for details of an FCJ weekend in Liverpool next weekend. An opportunity for young women

CHRISTIAN UNITY OCTAVE (January 18th-25th)

When the bishops gathered at the Second Vatican Council and spoke about Church Unity they reminded us that ecumenism is not something that comes about by the signing of a document from on high. Not does it happen just by making a covenant from below. It’s a grass roots movement. Church unity is only as strong as our relations with our local churches, and, perhaps more importantly, as our desire to serve our fellow Christians. But it’s more than the occasional joint service in one church or another. They go on to remind us that we need to yearn for our fellow Christians’ well-being if we are to bring about unity:

“There can be no ecumenism worthy of the name without a change of heart. For it is from newness of attitudes, from self-denial and unstinting love, that yearnings for unity take their rise and grow towards maturity. We should therefore pray to the divine Spirit for the grace to be genuinely self-denying, humble, gentle in the service of others, and to have an attitude of brotherly and sisterly generosity towards them.”

This weekend we have a local pulpit exchange. The Rev Richard Hambly will speak to us here at St John’s and Deacon Mike will be speaking at the United Reformed Church in Bebington.

Each weekday service starts at 10.30am and the venues are as follows:

Methodist Church on Monday,

St Andrews Tuesday,

Christ Church Hr. Beb Wednesday,

Jireh Thursday,

St Luke’s Friday

St John’s on Saturday.

Antonia Prescott, one of the directors of The Olive Branch Recovery Communities, has sent a thank you letter to the parish. It is displayed on the notice board and in it she explains how our donation from the signing of the Big Christmas Card helped them in several ways- please take time to read about how your money helped.

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

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

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord 11th January 2015 December. Cycle B.

FAITH IN FOCUS: DEEP WATER!

Fr Tom finds himself in deep water at St Michael’s. A row has broken out over baptism.

Sharon Watson called to arrange for her two year-old, Tracy, to be baptised and Fr Tom put her in touch with Sr. Margaret who along with a small group of parents runs the baptism preparation sessions. These take place about once a month for parents of children who are to be baptised. Sharon told Sr. Margaret she was too busy to attend the session, and anyway, she’d been to enough baptisms to know what went on and she didn’t need any sessions talking about religion, thank you!

Sr. Margaret and her group decided that since Sharon never attended church, didn’t seem keen on being connected with the parish in any way and showed little or no understanding of the true meaning of commitment that baptism entails, including the promise to bring up her child to understand and to practise her faith, they would recommend to Fr Tom that Tracy should not be baptised, at least not yet.

When Elsie Simpson, Sharon’s neighbour, found out about this she was furious. How dare they refuse baptism to the woman’s child? Wasn’t she just doing what’s best for the youngster and wasn’t she better than all those parents who never even bothered to turn up at the church and ask for baptism? Didn’t this show that there was some faith at least, and why should the child be punished when it’s done nothing wrong? And so off she went to see Fr Tom.

And so there he stood, caught in the blast between Sr. Margaret and Elsie Simpson. On the one hand he had to consider that baptism is the fundamental sacrament that commits a person to following Christ, the passport to everything that Christ has to offer to his Church. So it’s not simply a dousing with water and an entry in the book. It should be a radical request. On the other hand there’s a parent who, although she does not practise her faith, does nevertheless want her daughter to have some connection with the Church and has taken the step of approaching the parish.

What would you do? And does it make you wonder about your own commitment on this feast of the Baptism of the Lord?

WORD OF GOD

Pay attention, come to me; listen and your soul will live.

(Isaiah 3)

WORD FOR TODAY

Like a marriage, a baptism has to be worked on day in day out otherwise it can grow cold. Today’s feast summons us to take seriously the promises we undertook at our baptisms to be followers of Christ who proclaim to the world the power of his salvation by the way we live.

RETIRED PRIESTS’ FUND – SPECIAL COLLECTION

Next weekend 17/18th the annual Collection for the Retired Priests’ Fund will be held. In the time I have been with you, I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of the Diocese towards the Retired Priests’ Fund. With your help, we can build up the Fund to meet the future needs of our sick and retired priests.

Special Envelopes are available for you to use. A Leaflet about the Fund is also available which explains how to make a regular donation to the Fund by Standing Order, or how you can make your donation by cheque. It also explains how to take advantage of Gift Aid for your donations to the Fund. I ask that you give as generously as you can to this very worthy cause and would also like to express my sincere gratitude for your continued support.

With every blessing,

+ Mark Bishop of Shrewsbury

18 January Liverpool J&P Annual Memorial Lecture

Together for the Common Good at LACE Croxteth Drive, Sefton Park, Liverpool. L17 1AA. 2pm – 4pm (doors open 1.30pm).

Speaker: Jenny Sinclair from T4CG on Catholic social thought and a shared understanding among Christians.

Jenny Sinclair is the daughter of David and Grace Sheppard and the Together for the Common Good initiative is one of the best hopes of an ecumenical presence in the longed for reform of our political discourse.

Her work is especially relevant and useful in this election year. Details 0151 522 1080 s.atherton

Weekday Masses at St Anne’s this week are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 12noon and on Wednesday’s at 7.30pm

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Cycle B

11th. 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Parishioners

Baby Francis Fryer

Prayer Meeting

Mon 12th. 9.15am Anthony Kennedy RIP
Tues 13th. 9.15am Anastasia Sweatman (birthday remembrance)
Wed 14th. 9.15am Our retired priests
Thurs. 15th. 9.15am. John O’Shea
Friday 16th. 9.15am. Vera Brockway- thanks
Saturday 17th. 12md Carmel Mass
2nd Sunday of the Year 18th. 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30 pm

Christian Unity

Theresa McLean

Prayer Meeting

Morning prayer is prayed each weekday at 9am before Mass and on Friday there is Holy Hour from 9.40 until 10.40.

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.

Money- thank you for your generosity

Offertory Collection: £754 96p

Crib Offerings (Children’s Society) £84-49p

This weekend brings the last opportunity to pay a visit to our beautiful crib and be reminded again that Christ came to earth in the humblest of ways for all our sakes. Please remember the Children’s Society and say a prayer for the children of our diocese and perhaps make a donation- however small- to the Children’s Society. Thank you.

After 30 years of wielding the mop and broom at St John’s, Vera Brockway has decided the time has come to hang up her duster and relax. It is fitting to thank her for all those years of commitment to this aspect of parish life. There is so much we take for granted:- that the church will be clean, that the flowers will be arranged, that the altar linen will be beautiful etc. etc. Perhaps one or two of you might be encouraged to join the cleaning team which meets after Mass on Tuesday mornings. It isn’t all scrub and shine- they enjoy a natter and a cuppa after the cleaning and are a happy bunch of folk. Of course the flower arrangers would welcome new blood too- you don’t have to be an expert- just willing to learn and perhaps start on some of the less skilled areas depending on how you feel.

.You are invited to the restart of our MARANATHA meetings here in the Parish Centre on the 3rd. Saturday of each month 10-30 to 1-00.
We gather to share a time of praise/worship, teaching, intercession and fellowship with Christians from all denominations
During next Saturday’s meeting we will be discussing and praying for our representations to Parliament of “A Matter of Life or Death-The Struggle for the Soul of our Nation-What are British Values?” Hope to see you there.

We rely on food donations to feed local people in crisis. From packets of pasta to tins of tomatoes please give what you can. Could you donate in-date non-perishable food? Big or small, every gift you give helps transform lives. We couldn’t do what we do without your support. Please join us in building brighter futures, thank you!

Children’s Liturgy resumes next Sunday at the 9.30am Mass.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity starts from next Sunday and the theme this year is ‘The well is deep’ based on the Samaritan woman. Please take careful note of the timetable-we hope that the services will be well supported by those of you who are free.

Next weekend there will be a local pulpit exchange. The Rev Richard Hambly will speak here at both Masses and Deacon Mike will be speaking at the United Reformed Church in Bebington next Sunday..

Each weekday service starts at 10.30am and the venues are as follows:

Methodist Church on Monday,

St Andrews Tuesday,

Christ Church Hr. Beb Wednesday,

Jireh Thursday,

St Luke’s Friday

St John’s on Saturday.

Holy Communion and Sacrament of Reconciliation at Home:

For those who struggle to come to church because of illness or infirmity please let Fr Bernard know and a visit can be arranged.

The Sacrament of the Sick is available for those suffering from a significant illness or for those facing hospital treatment- again please inform the priest or leave a message which can be passed on.

The Father’s Delight: St Teresa Speaks

O my Father! That voice that was heard at the Baptism says you delight in your Son. Consider the great delight the Son has in knowing His Father. Be joyful, my soul, for there is someone who loves your God as He deserves.

Tea and coffee are served each Sunday after the 9.30am Mass- come and meet your fellow parishioners once in a while.

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

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

Feast of the Epiphany 4th January 2015 December. Cycle B.

The wise strangers of Matthews’s gospel are the vanguard of all Gentiles who make their own journey to God in Christ. They may have taken a route that seemed curious to the religious establishment that had so many antique maps in their possession; but God draws all sorts of different people to him by all sorts of different routes. The wandering magi were led to God more by natural wonder than dogmatic instructions and this has made them symbols of hope for all who struggle to God by strange routes. A prayer to the magi which Evelyn Waugh wrote for one of his fictional characters catches something of this hope:

You are my especial patrons, and patrons of all latecomers,

of all who have a tedious journey to make to the truth,

of all who are confused with knowledge and speculation,

of all who through politeness make themselves partners in guilt,

of all who stand in danger by reason of their talents….

For his sake who did not reject your curious gifts, pray always for all the learned, the oblique, the delicate. Let them not be quite forgotten at the throne of God when the simple come into their kingdom.

In the spirit of that prayer, the magi are the patrons of all those who see signposts to God that others neither see nor follow. Most of us travel to God by the routes that have been mapped out by generations of faithful Christians, but we should be hesitant to condemn those who take other roads in their search for the same God. If we are all exploring God, if we are journeying in faith and love, then we can teach each other something new about the almighty. We may seem strange to each other, but what if the stranger is the one who has the address of God?

From Seasons of the Word ( Denis McBride)

EPIPHANY

Where is the star that leads us to God in 2015? To whom do we look for guidance when things around us crumble? Where do we turn to share our joys and triumphs? Who can tell us where the stable is, where God is born daily in our midst?

And what gifts do we have to bring before our God? Where is the gold of our lives, refined in the furnace of our finest efforts, the best we have to offer? Where is our frankincense, our music and art, and all that beautifies our world and uplifts those around us? And where is our myrrh, our arms outstretched to comfort those in need, our solace for the sick and our solidarity with all those who suffer?

Epiphany invites us to see God made manifest among all the nations of the world, and to offer our gifts.

Catholic Singles- worth considering?

Our Mission:

Catholic Singles is an organisation which helps single, widowed, separated and divorced Catholics of all ages (over 18yrs.) meet other single Catholics, either one to one or through social events. All members receive a monthly bulletin, called Catholic Networking, which includes details of social events and anonymous descriptions of individual members. The confidential box number in each bulletin is optional and members may join for social events only if they wish.

Details of events open to all ages and in different regions are in the bulletins and in the last year have included days in Chester, York and Southport and visits to the Imperial War Museum and Lowry art gallery in Salford Quays; Manchester Art Gallery; The Royal Botanical Gardens; The Grassmarket and Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh; The National Museum of Ireland in Dublin; The Ulster Museum as well as events in Leeds, The Midlands and throughout London.

Feast of the Epiphany

Cycle B

4th. 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Baby Francis Fryer

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Mon 5th. 9.15am Myra McNamara
Tues 6th. 9.15am Refugees
Wed 7th. 9.15am Holy Souls
Thurs. 8th. 9.15am. Deceased rels & Friends of Sweeney Family
Friday 9th. 9.15am. Theresa McLean
Saturday 10th.
Baptism of the Lord 11th. 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30 pm

Parishioners

Baby Francis Fryer

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.

Money- thank you for your generosity

Offertory: £376 p

Boiler £p

Cards and Books £

The crib will remain insitu until the Baptism of the Lord. Please pay a visit and be reminded again that Christ came to earth in the humblest of ways for all our sakes. Please remember the Children’s Society and say a prayer for the children of our diocese and perhaps make a donation- however small- to the Children’s Society. Thank you.

RETIRED PRIESTS’ FUND – SPECIAL COLLECTION

On the weekend of 17/18th the annual Collection for the Retired Priests’ Fund will be held. In the time I have been with you, I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of the Diocese towards the Retired Priests’ Fund. With your help, we can build up the Fund to meet the future needs of our sick and retired priests.

Special Envelopes are available for you to use. A Leaflet about the Fund is also available which explains how to make a regular donation to the Fund by Standing Order, or how you can make your donation by cheque. It also explains how to take advantage of Gift Aid for your donations to the Fund. I ask that you give as generously as you can to this very worthy cause and would also like to express my sincere gratitude for your continued support.

With every blessing,

+ Mark Bishop of Shrewsbury

Bon Voyage: Fr Emeka will be returning to Nigeria during the coming week for a few weeks holiday. We wish him a safe journey and a well-deserved rest with his family and friends, many of whom he has not seen since this time last year.

Fr Emeka will return to St John’s in early February for a week or so after which he is due to take up another appointment in the Diocese.

Schools return this week after the Christmas break…..we hope that everyone has had a good break and are refreshed and ready for the challenges that 2015 will bring.

Shortly the children in Year 3 at St John’s Juniors will begin their preparation for their First Forgiveness and First Holy Communion. First Forgiveness will be celebrated in Church at 6.00 pm on Tuesday 3rd March. First Communion Masses will be held in Church on Saturday 16th May at 9.30 am and 12 noon. There is a meeting for parents of Year 3 children in St John’s Junior School Hall on Tuesday 13th January at 4pm.

Parish Pastoral Team meets next Thursday 8th Jan at 7.30 pm in the presbytery. Members should make every effort to be present please.

Weddings

If you intend to get married at St John’s in 2015 and haven’t booked the date/spoken to Fr Bernard please do so as soon as possible.

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.

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.

Pope Francis@Pontifex How many innocent people and children suffer in the world! Lord, grant us your peace!

Come, let us adore Him: St Teresa Speaks

We need no wingsto go in search of Him, but have only to find a place where we can be alone and look upon Him present within us.