25th. Sunday 20th September 2015. Cycle B


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


Websites: www.lpa24.org

25th. Sunday 20th September 2015. Cycle B


Billy, aged four, and his brother Tommy, aged six, were arguing about who was going to get the first pancake that their grandmother was making at the stove. She took the opportunity to teach them a lesson, telling them that Jesus would let his brother have the first pancake. Tommy turned to Billy and said, “Ok, Billy. Go on then, you be Jesus.”

Self-preservation seems to lead to selfishness, just as the instinct for survival tends to make us want to be the “alpha male”. Even in the Garden of Eden it had already started when Adam and Eve were convinced that eating the fruit of the forbidden tree would make them just as good as God. No longer would they be in second place.

Yet Jesus tells us that being first in the kingdom of heaven means being last on this earth. It’s the paradox at the heart of Christianity that says to get the most out of life you must give up your life, to rule people you must be their servant, and to be first you must make yourself last.

There’s no doubt that such an attitude goes against the grain. We seem to be programmed to want to be at the front of the queue. Adverts in magazines and on television pamper to the fact that we “deserve” this or that, that we should adopt a me-first approach to getting what we want in our no-win no-fee society. Knowing your rights and getting everything you’re entitled to has become the norm. It’s a dog-eat-dog world and you’re worth it.

Nothing could point more clearly to the fact that Christianity is not a socially comfortable religious position to adopt. To follow Jesus means to stand out as a sign of contradiction to the views that our society takes as normal and normative. That’s why Christianity is not merely a question of “being nice”. It’s a choice to forego many of the values and attitudes that are prized by most of our fellow citizens. It’s an option to set aside a self-serving approach to what we can get out of life, and instead to live life in a way that puts others first. Is this madness? Billy and Tommy clearly think so. Most people would think so. But Christians wouldn’t.


If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself the last of all and the servant of all. (Mark 9:35)


In a world that encourages us to put ourselves first, to be assertive and to get every last ounce of what we deserve, the message of Christ rings a lonely bell: put yourself last and become the servant of everyone else.

MATTHEW (September 21st)

“Matthew” means gift of God. Jesus called the tax-collector Matthew to be one of the apostles and he left his job to follow Jesus who promised gifts that tax money could not buy. St Bede put it very well when he preached a homily about St Matthew:

“There is no reason for surprise that the tax collector abandoned earthly wealth as soon as the Lord commanded him. Nor should one be amazed that neglecting his wealth, he joined a band of men whose leader had, on Matthew’s assessment, no riches at all. Our Lord summoned Matthew by speaking to him in words. By an invisible, interior impulse flooding his mind with the light of grace, he instructed him to walk in his footsteps. In this way Matthew could understand that Christ, who was summoning him away from earthly possessions, had incorruptible treasures of heaven in his gift.”

Give us this day our daily bread: St. Teresa speaks

He never fails to give! He will care for you always. In having this (daily bread) you will have everything

When we put others first and ourselves last, all we are really doing is following in the footsteps of our God who in every age allows himself to be pushed out of this world and onto the cross. (Oliver Todd)

Only to the extent that someone is living out this self-transcendence of human existence is he truly human or does he become his true self. He becomes so, not by concerning himself with his self’s actualisation, but by forgetting himself and giving himself, overlooking himself and focussing outward. (Victor Frankl)

25th.Sunday 20th 5pm



Jack McGree


Prayer Meeting

Mon. 21st 9.15 Fr. Lawrence Jones RIP
Tues. 22nd 9.15 Theresa McLean RIP

(In Junior School)

Wed. 23rd 9.15 Ann Mulheirn RIP
Thurs. 24th 9.15 Violet McGrath RIP
Fri. 25th 9.15 Service of Word & Communion
Sat. 26th
26th.Sunday 27th 5pm.




Gerald Kavanagh RIP

Prayer Meeting

Confessions Saturday 4-4.45pm

Morning Prayer of the church each weekday 15 minutes before Mass

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.

Money Matters Offertory £623-52p–Many thanks for your generosity to the parish.

Mr Mike Russell is making a Gift Aid appeal at both Masses this weekend 19th/20th September.

Why not pick up a copy of Wednesday Word this weekend? You will be well prepared for next weekend’s scriptures

Your voices will be well rested after the summer break so please come and join us for our next music practice this coming Thursday 24th at 7pm in the day chapel. All welcome.

The annual Macmillan Coffee morning will take place at St Anne’s from 9.30 until 12.30 on Friday 25th September. Raffle, cakes, books etc. Please support this very worthy cause. all welcome.

Please note the various High School open evenings over the next few weeks- these are advertised on the church notice board and in the local press. Bishop Mark will officially open the new 6th form building at St. John Plessington this coming Wednesday 23rd. September.

Legion of Mary will lead a public Rosary in St. Werburgh’s Square on Saturday 10th October. Please join them in showing witness to our faith.

The annual Benediction in honour of St. Therese of Lisieux will take place at the Carmelite Monastery on Sunday 27th September at 3pm. All are welcome.

“The bishops of England and Wales invite every parish on 20 September 2015 to celebrate Home Mission Sunday to support the Catholic community to respond generously to the call to evangelise.”Many Mass-going Catholics feel the pain and sorrow caused by a large number of family members and friends not practising their faith. In response, there is an urgency for us all to consider afresh how we might respectfully and joyfully reach out to our absent brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you for all that you are already doing in this regard.

Shrewsbury Diocesan History Day. This will take place at St Mary of the Angels. Hooton on Saturday 26th September. 10.30 for 11am. Coffee and registration from 10.30. Cost £5. Please bring packed lunch (tea and coffee provided).

Refugee Crisis.St John’s knitters did a great job last year and their garments will have kept quite a few Syrians a little warmer! Many people have been wondering how we can help further. The Secretariat of the Bishop’s Conference will provide a web page where practical support initiatives are listed as well as how each diocese is coordinating the local response. The contact person for this diocese is Mary Kilcoyne from the Catholic Children’s Society. Email mary, telephone 0151 652 1281 or via the group page on Facebook/Shrewsbury Diocesan Catholic Children’s Society.

Embrace 2015. Build My Kingdom! This is a big event for young people (year 10 at school and upwards) at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral on Saturday 21st. November from 9.30am until 6pm. For more information go to

Shrewsbury Caritas Roadshow, ‘Being a Church for the Poor’ Saturday, 26th September Ellesmere Port catholic High School 10.30am start.

Just an update on our diocesan roadshow! Speakers include Bishop Mark Davies and Helen O’Brien. There will be workshops on foodbanks; women in poverty; the SVP and the Olive Branch –an organisation supporting those affected by drug addiction. There will be an opportunity to attend the ‘Marketplace’ where local groups, parishes and organisations will showcase what they do to promote social action in the Diocese. We will be accompanied by John Battle and invited MPs. Tea and coffee will be provided, please bring your own packed lunch. For further information and to register a place please contact Pauline McCulloch 0151 652 9855 or email . See notice board for further information.

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