St John the Evangelist

New Ferry, in the Diocese of Shrewsbury (reg. charity 234025)

Parish priest: Fr Bernard Forshaw (also parish priest of the parish of St Anne, Rock Ferry)

Deacons: Revd Philip White; Revd Michael Daly

phone: 0151 645 3314

email: stjohntheevangelist

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

24/25 May 2015

Pentecost Day (Yr B)

FAITH IN FOCUS: FRIENDS REUNITED

One of the more amusing stories of the Old Testament is where the Hebrew people decide to build a tower so high that it will pierce the clouds and reach heaven. While they are still building this Tower of Babel, God comes down, scatters the people and disunites them so that they all end up speaking different languages and not understanding each other. This is the origin of our word to “babble”.

We hear this story each year on the eve of Pentecost. But on Whit Sunday itself the story comes full circle with the sending of the Holy Spirit. What we see in the Acts of the Apostles is that when the Holy Spirit descended on the Church, the disunity of Babel was reversed and people were once more united. Although they were from many different nations they could all understand the language of the apostles’ preaching.

So Pentecost is the Church’s birthday. No longer afraid and huddled together for safety, the apostles come out preaching from the hip. And armed with the Holy Spirit they make converts by the thousand. Yet they could not have done this without the Spirit, without the fire in their bellies.

Nor can we do it today. Without the Spirit we are simply a human organisation, at worst Quango and at best a plausible charity. Yet the Church claims to be much more than this: it professes to be the visible presence of Christ on earth today. So we need the Spirit to breathe life into the Body of Christ. It is the Spirit who constantly purifies us from our tendency to put ourselves first and to seek to control rather than to serve. It is the Spirit who unites us in one body of witness and praise. It is the Spirit who leads us ever deeper into the mysteries of God and reveals his purpose. And it is also the Spirit who inspires us to strive for the best and who empowers us to speak the words that God wants the world to hear.

The joyful feast of Pentecost proclaims that the Spirit is at the very heart of everything we do as Church. As St Paul puts it: “Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit” (Gal 5:25)

WORD OF GOD

When the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you to the complete truth.

(John 16:13)

WORD FOR TODAY

We cannot make ourselves good or holy, only God can. Pentecost celebrates God’s gift of the Spirit. We can choose to go it alone or we can invite the Spirit into our lives to purify us, to unite us, to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom and empower us to witness to the wonders that God is doing for us. The choice is ours.

BEDE (May 25th)

St Bede was born about 672 and was a monk in the northeast of England at Sunderland and Jarrow. He is feted as a beacon in the Dark Ages, a scholar and saint who stands in between the Roman period and the medieval monastic years. He is most renowned for writing his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, although he also wrote other works including studies on how to measure time. He was venerated throughout Europe as a scholar and a saint, but it was not until 1899 that the Church promoted his feast universally and gave him the title of Doctor of the Church. In 735, the Venerable Bede died on Ascension Day at Vespers having sung the antiphon addressed to Christ “O Lord, King of glory, Lord of hosts, who today did ascend in triumph above the heavens, leave us not orphans, but send upon us the promise of the Father, the same Spirit of Truth.” Today his remains are to be found in Durham Cathedral where a famous Latin rhyme tells us that the Venerable Bede’s bones are housed within the casket on view: “Hac sunt in fossa, Bedae venerabilis ossa”.

What you dream alone remains a dream; what you dream with others can become a reality. (Edward Schillebeeckx)

I believe in the surprises of the Holy Spirit. (Cardinal Joseph Suenens)

Sat (mass of Pentecost B) 23 5.00 pm Parishioners
Sun 24 9.30 am

7.30pm

Celeste Ferriera RIP

Ivy & Steve Price (Ruby Wedding)

Prayer Meeting

Mon 25 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Tues 26 9.15 am Service of Word & Communion
Wed 27 9.15 am Service of Word & Communion
Thu 28 7.30pm Mary & John Price
Fri 29 9.15 am John McKenzie
Saturday 30 5.00 pm Colette Sarson

Birthday

Sun

(The Most Holy Trinity)

31 9.30 am

7.30 pm

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Children’s Liturgy at Sunday 9.30 am mass. [Please encourage your
children and grandchildren to participate in this.]

Confessions Saturday 4.00 – 4.45 pm
Morning Prayer of the Church 15 minutes before weekday masses

Please pray for our sick and those who care for them Pray also for those in the parish who do not wish their illness known publicly. If anyone who is sick would like a home visit, please let Fr. Bernard or one of the deacons know.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. Fred Robinson, a retired priest of our Diocese who died last weekend. His funeral Mass will take place at St Paul’s Hyde next Wednesday at 11.15am

Money- thank you Offertory: £743 56

When you embark on your Spring cleaning, please remember the upcoming Summer Fair and put aside any items which you think might be suitable for inclusion.

Fr Frank is most grateful for all your prayers, masses, good wishes and get well cards . He is now definitely on the mend.

Don’t forget there will be an evening with Stuart Townend at 7.30 on Friday 29th May at Christ the King, Bromborough. Stuart will sing, play, talk, invite audience singing and worship and teach some of his new songs. Advance booking essential. Contact GordonGlover (Churches Together in Bromborough and Eastham) (327 2182) or gordonglover

The Spirit comes to help us pray: St Teresa speaks

No matter how unruly one’s mind may be, the truth is that the Holy Spirit will enkindle your will and bind it with a very great love.

Many thanks to those who have supported the Thursday CAFE evenings during Eastertide. We will conclude with a Mass this Thursday at 7.30pm in the Day Chapel. Whether you have been part of these evenings or not, you are most welcome to share in this Mass after which we will begin to answer the question- where do we go from here re future CAFÉ evenings; adult/youth development etc.

Wirral Coastal walkCAFOD is extremely grateful to all those who have in the past, and continue to support this annual fundraising event. They are seeking new walkers for this year’s event on Sunday June 28th which offers you an opportunity to raise vital funds for CAFOD’s Syria appeal. You can walk 5,10 or 15 miles depending on your energy reserves. If you can help contact Finbarr on 632 5504 or Sue or Liz on 01244677594 or email shrewsbury

Mass for those suffering with mental health problems (and their families and health workers) will be celebrated at St Patrick’s Wellington Shropshire on 13th June at 12noon. All are welcome.

A service for families and friends who have been affected by cancer will be held at 3pm at St Columba’s Chester on Sunday 21st. June at 3pm. All are welcome to attend.

Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes

Arrangements for the 2015 pilgrimage are progressing well. The overland section leaves on Tuesday afternoon July 28th and travels by coach to Calais where the pilgrims board the chartered TGV train direct to Lourdes arriving early afternoon on Wednesday July 29th. This section arrives back home on the morning of August 5th. The air section departs from Manchester Airport on July 29th and arrives back on August 4th. Two flights will take our pilgrims direct to and from Lourdes. There are a few seats left on both the plane and the overland section. We also have a few places in the hospital for the less able. This year the theme running through the pilgrimage will be about responding to God’s call to service with joy. Full details and prices are available on the pilgrimage website www.shrewsburypilgrimage.co.uk and brochures and booking forms are also available from St Albans, 30 Mill Lane, Liscard, Wallasey CH 44 5UD or St Peters, 16, Green Lane, Hazel Grove, Stockport SK7 4EA.

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St John the Evangelist

New Ferry, in the Diocese of Shrewsbury (reg. charity 234025)

Parish priest: Fr Bernard Forshaw (also parish priest of the parish of St Anne, Rock Ferry)

Deacons: Revd Philip White; Revd Michael Daly

phone: 0151 645 3314

email: stjohntheevangelist

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

16-17May 2015

Ascension Day (Yr B)

FAITH IN FOCUS: PARTING GIFTS

When Jesus left this earth by ascending into heaven he did not leave his disciples empty-handed. He left them some parting gifts.

The first parting gift was unfinished business. Ascension is not the end but the beginning for the Church. Jesus did not tell his disciples to sit and reminisce but to go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all peoples. And so it is with the Church today: we do not exist for ourselves but for others. Christians are not simply called to become holy; they are called to tell others about the holiness of God so that they too may come to wholeness and holiness. In a recession the first thing that goes is the advertising budget and the next thing is the business itself. We need to remind ourselves that we exist to make Jesus Christ known and loved. And this proclaiming business is always unfinished.

The second gift that Jesus left at the ascension was an unfathomable love. Many religions and philosophies are a catalogue of thoughts and ideas. They exist by rules and codes of practice. But Jesus never left us any long lists of dogmas or regulations. What he did leave us was an example. At the heart of Jesus’ every word and action is love. He tells us that our God is a lover, that he loves us infinitely more than we can ever imagine or comprehend. And ascension is not God’s departure from our world but his continued presence in an even deeper way. For we are not left like orphans; we have the gift of God’s daily love in the person of the Holy Spirit. In this way God is with us till the end of the world and certainly till the end of our days.

Jesus’ final ascension gift to us was an unfailing promise. For this feast is a feast of hope. Jesus promises us that where he has gone we too can follow, and this is both our glory and our hope. Although he has passed beyond our sight we know that one day we will see him in glory and this promise supports and sustains all our Christian activity and faith.

Unfinished business, unfathomable love and an unfailing promise: all of these await us if we dare to celebrate the Ascension of the Lord.

WORD OF GOD

Go out to the whole world;

proclaim the Good News to all creation.

(Mark 16:16)

WORD FOR TODAY

As surely as Christ ascended to heaven, he will return again. So keeping our heads in the clouds is no response to the ascension. Today’s feast invites us to hope that where Jesus has gone we may follow; but in the meantime we are challenged to continue his kingdom here on earth.

The ascension of Christ is the end of the gospel and the beginning of the mission.

(William Baird)

The last act of the Saviour upon the earth was a blessing.

(B W Johnson) The last act of the Saviour upon the earth was a blessing.

The Lord is movement towards above, and only in moving ourselves, in looking up and ascending, do we recognise him. When we read the Church Fathers something important is added. The correct ascent of man occurs precisely where he learns, in humbly turning toward his neighbour, to bow very deeply, down to his feet, down to the gesture of the washing of feet.

It is precisely humility, which can bow low, that carries man upward. This is the dynamic of ascent that the feast of the Ascension wants to teach us.

(Pope Benedict XVI)

Foodbank

While still welcoming all the usual commodities, the Foodbank is very short of basic toiletries such as soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes. When you are next shopping perhaps you could pick up one or two of these items. Thank you for your ongoing support for those less fortunate than ourselves.

Ascension to ‘Abba’: St Teresa speaks

In coming to know our true country, and realising that we are pilgrims here below, it is wonderful to know where we will live.