St John the Evangelist

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

Priest: Fr. Bernard Forshaw

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

Email: stjohntheevangelist

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

2nd Sunday in Lent, 1st March. 2015. Cycle B.

FAITH IN FOCUS: A KNITTING MONKEY?

In the midst of all the economic doom and gloom about the global recession our news programmes try to find the occasional thing to cheer us up. So after yet another High Street name has gone bankrupt we are treated to a story about a monkey that can knit or an octogenarian who has just gone over Niagara Falls in a barrel. It helps us to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. But of course it doesn’t take the recession away.

The disciples had their moments of gloom too. Just before today’s gospel account of the Transfiguration Jesus had been talking to them about taking up their cross and suffering, about losing their lives for the sake of the gospel. That can’t have cheered them up much. But the Transfiguration had the opposite effect on them. They were privileged to see Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah, to see his appearance changed before their very eyes and to hear the voice of God coming from the cloud.

It was a boost to their faith, to put it mildly. Such an experience would keep them going strong through all sorts of setbacks that lay in store for them. That’s why Peter wanted to set up three tents, so that he could keep going back and savouring the moment again. If the temptations of Jesus last week represent him as human, then this week’s Transfiguration show his divine side. The three disciples caught a glimpse of his glory, a glory that is normally hidden from view in this life.

What keeps you going in your life of faith? In the ups and downs of daily life there are times when we wonder if it is all worthwhile and yet there are other moments when the presence of God breaks through loud and clear and we feel that we could almost reach out and touch God’s presence.

Lent is a time for taking stock. Perhaps one thing we could take stock of is how we come across God in our daily lives. If you had three tents and could put something in each of them that would speak to you about the close presence of God, about those moments when you can almost smell God, what would you put in each one of them? You can have anything you want, except a monkey that knits!

WORD OF GOD

Abraham, because you have not refused me your son, your only son, I will shower blessings on you. (Genesis 22:16-17)

WORD FOR TODAY

Abraham underwent so many tests of his trust in God that he is known as “Father in Faith”. Lent invites us to trust God in the dark areas of our lives and to have faith so that we may achieve union with God. During these forty days what is the guiding light that leads us towards Easter? What inspires our faith?

Your continued donations to the Wirral Foodbank are very much appreciated. The need to help and support those in our community is ongoing. The Foodbank relies upon non-perishable, in date, donations to feed people in crisis. There is a comprehensive list of items on the notice board. Please place food in the boxes provided at the back of church.

Befriending for Lent: This is a Churches Together initiative based at a local Care Home and it is a positive alternative to giving something up for Lent. If you are interested in being involved, and visiting an elderly person who may not have any relatives to visit them, please see poster on the notice board at the back of church.

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.

Appeal for Missing CD. Has anyone borrowed the CD ‘Blest are They’ because it has gone AWOL

Please take a copy of the Wednesday Word. It is a helpful reflection on next Sunday’s readings and do not forget to take a look at the Church Notice Boards giving details of other events and happenings in New Ferry and Bebington and beyond.

2nd Sunday

In Lent

1st 5.00pm

9.30am

3pm

7.30pm

Jack Humphreys RIP

Parishioners

Stations of the Cross

Prayer Meeting

Monday 2nd 9.15 am Int, of Forshaw Family
Tuesday 3rd 9.15am

6.00pm

Sheila Nugent RIP

First Forgiveness

Wednesday 4th 9.30am Funeral Mass –

Carol Feightman

Thurs 5th 9.15am Paddy Foley RIP
Friday 6th 10-45am

11.30am

12 Noon

12 Noon

Exposition

The Needy & Hungry

Parish Lenten Lunch

Funeral Service at Landican Crematorium – Sophia Mooney

Saturday 7th
Third Sunday in Lent 8th 5.00pm

9.30am

3pm

7.30 pm

Jim Burke

Parishioners

Stations of the Cross

Prayer Meeting

Confessions Saturday 4-4.40pm

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

Morning Prayer 15 minutes before daily 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, Anthony McLean.

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: £ 746.00p

Books: £ 34.41p

Many thanks for your generosity

Weekday Masses at St Anne’s this week –

Monday midday, Tuesday midday, Wednesday, 7.30pm Thursday, Friday, Saturday midday

Family Fast Day envelopes are still available at the back of church.

If you are a tax payer, please complete the reverse of the envelope. They can be returned, in the offertory collection, any time up to and including Palm Sunday, 28th/29th March. The UK Government has promised to match every pound and penny you give this Lent up to the value of £3.5m.

St John’s Parish Lent Lunches continue each Friday during Lent. There will be Exposition in the Day Chapel from 10.45-11.30am. Mass will be at 11.30am followed, at 12 Noon, by soup lunch in the Parish Centre.

Children in Year 3 of St John’s School will be receiving the Sacrament of First Forgiveness in church this Tuesday, at 6pm. Please keep them all in your prayers.

LPA Confirmation Catechists Meeting will be held here this Thursday,

5th March,at 7.30pm.

There is to be a Readers Practice for Holy Week in church on Thursday, 26th March 6.30-8.30pm. Please make every effort to attend.

Christ the King, Bromborough, will hold the second of a series of Lenten talks on Tuesday evening, 10th March, in the church, commencing at

7.30-9pm. See notice board for complete programme and dates. Overall Theme: “Vocation” (in its widest sense!)

March 10th – Canon David Roberts – Role of Lay in

the Church (Ref Vatican 2)

CHURCHES TOGETHER LENTEN MEETINGS. The next meeting will be on Wednesday morning,

4th March – Christ Church Higher Bebington

Programme: Coffee: 10.30am; Discussion 11am;

Soup Lunch 12 Noon.

There is a complete list of dates and venues on the notice book at the back of church.

Womens World Day of Prayer this Friday at 2pm. This year it will be held at Lower Bebington Methodist Church.

Formation Day for New & Experienced Catechists, Saturday, 14th March, organised by the Department for New Evangelisation is being held at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish Centre, Enfield Road, Ellesmere Port CH65 8BY from 10.30am-3.30pm. Cost £5. The day, entitled “Part One of the Catechism – The Profession of Faith” will be led by Mrs Carol Ann Harnett. Please let Fr Bernard know if you would like to attend. See Poster on Notice Board for details.

Jesus speaks to St Teresa: Listen to Him!

Look at My whole life with suffering…only on Mount Tabor do you hear about My joy. When you see My Mother holding me in her arms, don’t hink she enjoyed comfort without heavy torment. At Simeon’s words, My Father gave her clear light to see what I was to suffer.

A Lenten Morning of Reflection and Prayer, organised by the Carmelite Group, here at

St John’s on Saturday, 14th March, 9.45am-1.pm. Led by Fr Liam Finnerty OCD. Mass 12 midday. All most welcome.

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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

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 15th February. Cycle B.

FAITH IN FOCUS: MAKING LEPERS

Forget about the disease, the leprosy. It’s no longer the medical problem that it was in the times of Jesus, and it can be reasonably controlled by drugs. So it’s not so much what the disease does to people as what people do to those with the leprosy. For lepers are not allowed to take their full place in society.

We’re very good at making lepers. We somehow feel the need to have people that are outcasts, and if there aren’t too many of them around then we make our own lepers to satisfy the deep-down need to have people who are “worse” than us.

Criminals make very good lepers, particularly those convicted of crimes that are considered repulsive. Our nation needs at least two national criminal lepers before it can feel safe, preferably a man and a woman. So we have learnt to demonise child murderers, for example. If one of our national anti-heroes or heroines dies in prison then we replace them with another and we cry that they should rot in gaol. For we’re not like them; but we do need our lepers.

The press is very helpful when it comes to creating lepers and it has found a whole new class of people, immigrants and asylum seekers, who fit the bill perfectly. We do of course admit that there are some genuine people among these, but we have learned to draw comfort from the fact that most of them are at best marginalised when they are allowed onto the edges of our society and are given jobs and a status that we wouldn’t care to have. We’re not allowed to call them lepers; but in reality we are allowed to treat them like lepers.

So we’ve no shortage of lepers: people of a different religion that we suspect are trying to change our culture, people we regard as being more likely to support acts of terrorism in our land, people whose sexual practices are different from ours, people whose way of life means that they travel around and live in caravans, people who are homeless, people who are on drugs…The list is endless.

Jesus can cure all the lepers in the world, but if we go on making more, just to satisfy our craving to be better than others, then it will all be quite counter-productive. Not to mention contrary to the gospel.

WORD OF GOD

A leper came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees: If you want to you can cure me. (Mark 1:40)

WORD FOR TODAY

“If you want to you can cure me.” Of course God wants to cure us of all that makes us hold back from life to the full. God always makes the first move, but we have to really want God to act in our lives, since he does not force himself on anyone. When did we last ask for a cure?

THE TRUTH ABOUT VALENTINE(February 14th)

Like many of the saints in the early centuries Valentine is a mixture of fact and fiction, of reality wedded to myth.

Tradition places Valentine in the 4th century and acknowledges him as a bishop. He incurred the anger of the emperor by opposing the military ban on soldiers getting married. It is said that he secretly arranged for the soldiers to marry and when he was discovered he was put to death.

You can see from this story how he was the favourite of sweethearts everywhere for his courageous action in smoothing out the path of true love. Apparently, while he was in prison he used to write letters to people that he knew and he encouraged them to persevere in faith, telling them how much they were loved by God. Could this, then, be the origin of Valentine’s Day cards? Maybe, but it is more likely that our modern-day Valentines go back to an ancient pagan custom from Rome where single men and women put their names into an urn for the Spring Festival of Lupercalia. The name that was then drawn out of the urn became your partner for the festivities of the season… your Valentine!

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.

A thousand thanks for the wonderful response to the “Knitting for Syria” appeal. We have accumulated some of the most wonderful garments to keep refugees warm this winter. If you have a garment in hand then please complete it and it will be collected but, for the moment, don’t start a anything new. Thanks again and watch this space for any new appeals.

Have you noticed our temporary Paschal Candle?!!! Our regular candle holder is away being repaired and will be in its usual home for Easter

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

6th Sunday of the Year 15th 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Parishioners

John J Kelly

Prayer Meeting

Monday 16th 9.15 am For the Unemployed
Tuesday 17th 9.15am Service of the Word & Communion
Ash Wednesday 18th 10.00am Parishioners

Fasting & Abstinence

Thurs 19th 9.15am

10,00am

Sheila Nugent RIP

Funeral Service –

Peter John Bell

Friday 20th 9.15am November List
Saturday 21st 10.00am Carmel Mass

All Welcome

First Sunday in Lent 22nd 5.00pm

9.30am

3pm

7.30 pm

Parishioners

Gerry Forshaw

Stations of the Cross

Prayer Meeting

Children’s Liturgy There will be no children’s liturgy this Sunday as it is the beginning of half term. We will return next Sunday, the First Sunday in Lent.

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: £ 600

Retired Clergy Fund £15 + £597.52 = £612.52

Books £14.10

Many thanks for your generosity

Today, Sunday, 15th February, is a Day of Prayer for the unemployed. Please keep all those seeking employment in your prayers.

Weekday masses at St Anne’s this week –

Monday 12 noon, Tuesday 9,15am,

Ash Wednesday 7.30pm, Thursday, Friday,

Saturday 12 noon

LENTERN DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

On each Friday during Lent (excluding 3rd April which is Good Friday) we will be holding our Parish Lenten Lunches at 12 noon in the

Parish Centre

Christ the King, Bromborough, is holding a series of Lentern talks and cordially invites the parishioners of St Johns. They will take place on Tuesday evenings, in the church, commencing at 7.30-9pm with a short refreshment break in the middle.

Overall Theme: “Vocation” (in its widest sense!)

Feb 24th – Fr Nick Kern – History of Vocations

March 10th – Canon David Roberts – Role of Lay in

the Church (Ref Vatican 2)

March 24th – Canon David Roberts – Vocations of

Discipleship (Ref Mark)

March 31st – Margaret Lillis – Lay missionary

vocations (Ref in particular to

El Salvador)

CHURCH TOGETHER LENTEN MEETINGS

25th February – Jireh

4th March – Christ Church Higher Bebington

11th March – URC Higher Bebington

18th March – St John’s Parish Centre

25th March – Christ Church, Port Sunlight

Programme: Coffee: 10.30am; Discussion 11am;

Soup Lunch 12 Noon.

Befriending for Lent: This is a Churches Together initiative based at a local Care Home and it is a positive alternative to giving something up for Lent. If you are interested in being involved, and visiting an elderly person who may not have any relatives to visit them, please see poster on the notice board at the back of church.

Ordinary Tasks: St Teresa Speaks

Know that when you are in the kitchen, the Lord walks among the pots and pans, helping you both interiorly and exteriorly

A Day of Reflection led by Barbara Davies has been organised by ‘A.C.T.S.’ (‘ADULT CATHOLICS TOGETHER SPIRITUALLY’). If you are aged 18-35 you are more than welcome to join us. The theme of the day is ‘The Tale in the Sting’ – a look at the parables. This will take place at Whistaston Hall, Crewe CW2 8JS. The way will start approx. 9.30am until 5pm. Cost £20 (£15 for unemploiyed/students. Contact Siobhan at siobhanbc or tel

0161 477 2783/07761138947.

Safe Families for Children is an initiative by the Archbishop of Canterbury which embraces families in crisis. Merseyside is one of four regions chosen to set up this initiative. Townfield Church, Townfield Lane, Bebington will be holding an informative lunch on Sunday 22nd February 1-2.30pm. To book your place please contactmerseyby 18th February to book your place. Also look up the websitewww.safefamiliesforchildren.com.

See Poster at back of church for further details.

Maranatha will be hosting a day in the Parish Centre on Saturday, 21st February 10-1pm. The day will be led by inernationally known speaker

Dr Howard Morgan. All Welcome. See poster at back of church.

Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes

28/29th July – August 4/5th 2015

The annual Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes takes place this year from July 28th – August 15th

overland and July 29th – August 4th by air. Booking forms are available from St Alban’s Wallasey

and St Peter’s Hazel Grove as well

www.shrewsburypilgrimage.co.uk

JUSTICE & PEACE – Election Planning Meeting – Saturday, 28 February 10.30am–12.30pm

at St Columba’s, Plas Newton Lane, Chester CH2 1SA. Speaker Amanda Bickerton (National Community Link Worker for Church Action on Poverty). For anyone who is interested or involved in Justice & Peace work/issues. The workshop will focus on planning a hustings event for local election candidates in your area. See Posteron notice board

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

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 8th February. Cycle B.

FAITH IN FOCUS: ALL A BIT TOO MUCH?

You can’t help feeling sorry for Job. He’s having more than a bad hair day. Everyone admits that he has always been an upright man and that he has never wavered in trying to serve God, even though he is not one of God’s chosen people. And then suddenly everything has gone wrong. He’s had his family and his livelihood wiped out at a stroke. So much for that God of yours, his friends goad him? . How will he respond

Hopefully we will never experience the depths that Job sank to. But we cannot expect to go through life unscathed, and there are times when we too wonder why God allows us to undergo some troubles and to have to carry certain crosses. If God does not exist then surely the whole thing is a waste of time?

The lessons from the book of Job are many, but one of them rings out loud and clear: the things of this world can never satisfy us by themselves. We always yearn for something more; we long for a deeper experience of life than the mere day-to-day existence of getting and having. It’s as if we’re programmed to realise that deep down there is something missing from our lives that could make us really happy.

Some people try to fill this hole with wealth. They work themselves to the bone in order to have possessions. And so they get a better car, a bigger house in a posher area, a more exotic holiday each year. Others rush about doing things in order to fill their time. Their diaries become cluttered with a round of meetings, of parties, of going here and there. The activity stops them from having to think about what they are really doing with their lives and although they may be in demand they never experience peace. Then there are those who just opt out. They do the minimum to survive but they contribute nothing to the common good because they think life is just a chore and they probably feel cheated with their share of it.

All of these people are right. There is a hole in life. And it’s that sense of emptiness that God longs to fill. God offers us the chance to make sense of all that is happening to us. It is the Lord alone who can heal the broken-hearted. And God alone can raise us up, like Job, to share the hope of a future without blemish.

WORD OF GOD

Lying in bed I wonder, “When will it be day?”Risen I think, “How slowly evening comes!”Restlessly I fret till twilight falls. (Job 7: 4)

WORD FOR TODAY

We can all feel for Job when he is at his lowest. Nothing seems txo satisfy and nothing seems to make sense deep down. What’s the purpose of life? Why do bad things happen to good people? There is no answer to these questions if we exclude God from the equation.

Life is rather like a tin of sardines – we are all looking for the key. (Alan Bennett)

Some great spiritual teachers thought life was rather like a waiting-room. It’s certainly not your eternal home, but there is no reason why you shouldn’t make yourself as comfortable as you can before you get there.

(Lionel Blue)

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.

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.

5th Sunday of the Year 8th 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

John J Kelly RIP

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Monday 9th 9.15 am November List
Tuesday 10th 9.15am Mabel Evans
Wed 11th 9.15am Eleanor McGuigan Annv
Thurs 12th 12 Noon Funeral Mass

Mary Devine

Friday 13th 9.15am November List
Saturday 14th
6th Sunday

of the Year

15th 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30 pm

Sheila Nugent RIP

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Please note the change in mass time to 12 noon on Thursday for the Funeral Mass of Mary Devine. Please pray for all those who mourn

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

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: £ 670

Many thanks for your generosity

Today, Sunday, 8th February, is a Day of Prayer for Victims of Human Trafficking. Please keep all victims in your prayers.

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 if 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.

Prayer Vigil for Religious Freedom Saturday, 21 February at Shrewsbury Cathedral.

Bishop Mark, the Cathedral Parish and the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need have come together to host this event to which all are cordially invited. The vigil will include scriptural readings, guided and silent prayer, as well as a statement of personal witness from an Iraqi Christian. Please join us to offer your prayers for those suffering and persecuted Christians who greatly need our love and support in these extremely difficult times

DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES 28/29th July – August 4/5th 2015

The annual Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes takes place this year from July 28th – August 5th overland and July 29th – August 4th by air. Booking forms are available from St Alban’s Wallasey and St Peter’s Hazel Grove as well as from the pilgrimage website www.shrewsburypilgrimage.co.uk. The pilgrimage is led by Bishop Davies and in recent years some 900 people from the diocese and of all ages have joined in making the pilgrimage to this special place. All are welcome to join the pilgrimage and we look forward to receiving applications from those who have never been to Lourdes. We particularly look forward to welcoming nurses and healthcare professionals to assist in the care of the sick and less able. Full details are available on the website. Fr Peter Sharrocks, Pilgrimage Director.

LENTERN DATES FOR YOUR DIARY Christ the King, Bromborough, are holding a series of Lentern talks and have cordially invited the parishioners of St Johns. They will take place on Tuesday evenings, in the church, commencing at 7.30-9pm with a short refreshment break in the middle.

Overall Theme: “Vocation” (in its widest sense!)

Feb 24th – Fr Nick Kern – History of Vocations

March 10th – Canon David Roberts – Role of Lay in

the Church (Ref Vatican 2)

March 24th – Canon David Roberts – Vocations of

Discipleship (Ref Mark)

March 31st – Margaret Lillis – Lay missionary

vocations (Ref in particular to

El Salvador)

Youth Events in Lent – On Sunday, 1st March, Holy Apostles and Martyrs, Wallasey Village, will be holding an afternoon of prayer, reflection and celebration for the season of Lent, commencing at 3pm with Mass at 5pm followed by a social time.

The event is aimed at young people from post-confirmation through to young adults. For catering purposes, please let Fr Bernard know if you would like to attend.

Also commencing the First Sunday of Lent, 22nd February at 6.30pm, and every fourth Sunday of each month, St Joseph’s, Seacombe will be having a “youth Mass” . These events are great opportunities for the young people of our parishes to come together in prayer and fellowship.

Ordinary Need: St Teresa Speaks

I know through experience that a good means to having God is to speak with His friends, for one always gains very much from this.