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:

Epiphany of the Lord, 3rd January, 2016. Cycle C

FAITH IN FOCUS: BEARING GIFTS

It’s not too late to bring our gifts to honour the baby of Bethlehem. The wise men came bearing gold, frankincense and myrrh. And if we want to celebrate Epiphany then it must be with more than prayers and songs. We must bring our gifts too.

Today we ask God to accept our gold. This is more than money. It is all that we hold dear and precious in life. We bring our health and thank God for it, however frail it may sometimes be. We bring our family and loved ones, those who mean more than gold to us. And as we do so, we ask God to accept our gift of rededication. For today we recognise that all our gold was actually God’s first.

We bring the frankincense of our lives. Frankincense is one of life’s sweeteners, the perfume or aromatic odour that makes our atmosphere more pleasant. What gifts has God given to us that allow us to make life fresher and brighter for others? Are there talents and gifts that we can use to better effect than we have been doing? Do I have a good voice, a creative vision, a skill with my hands? Epiphany is an invitation to use the frankincense of our talents to the fullest.

And then, of course, we bring our myrrh. Myrrh is the gum resin or ointment that is used for the knocks of life, and none of us can escape these. As we offer our ups and downs to God by the patience with which we endure them, we also remember our own healing role in the lives of others. On Epiphany we pledge ourselves once more to use our listening ear, to extend the hand of comfort, to speak those words of encouragement rather than just think them. Today it becomes clear that the gifts we bring to God are the same ones that he has first given to us. We return them along with the bread and wine that come from his hand, so that he may transform them all into something that brings new life.

NEW YEAR’S BLESSING God be with you at the turning of the year, that you may know the Lord is ever near.

In days of struggle may his Spirit be your strength,

and as the times and seasons run their length,

may Jesus Christ your rock and fortress be,

renewed in faith, in hope and charity.

So praise our God whose great and mighty hand

supports all humankind in every land.

The opening year his faithfulness he shows;

his mercy be among us till its close. Amen

WORD OF GOD

Above you the Lord now rises and above you his glory appears. The nations come to your light and kings to your dawning brightness. (Isaiah 60:2-3)

Please take a copy of the Wednesday Word. It is a helpfulreflection 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 and to look at the Book Stall and to buy your Catholic Paper.

As you do your weekly shop and if you are able to afford to add just one item to your basket for the Foodbank collection you may be confident that you are helping those people who are struggling at this time. There is a list on the notice board of the items which are particularly needed at the moment. Thank you for your continued generosity.

A Prayer for Refugees

Almighty and merciful God, whose son became a refugee, and had no place to call his own;

Look with mercy on those who today are fleeing from danger, homeless and hungry.

Bless those who work to bring them relief; inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts; and guide the nations of the world towards that day when all will rejoice in your kingdom of justice and peace. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Feast of the Epiphany 3rd 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Pauline Rushfirth RIP

Sr Marie Clare RIP

Prayer Meeting

Monday 4th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Tuesday 5th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Wednesday 6th 2.00pm Mass in St Johns Junior School

Ints. Birkenhead Carmel

Thursday 7th 9.15am Friends & Relatives Fullerton Family RIP
Friday 8th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Saturday 9th
The Baptism of the Lord 10th 5.00pm

9.30am

3.00pm

7.30pm

Ints. Margaret Dunne

Margaret Duncan RIP

Thanksgiving Service

Prayer Meeting

Children’s Liturgy have taken their Christmas break and will restart next Sunday, 10th January, 2016
Confessions Saturday 4.00 – 4.45 pm
Morning

Prayer of the Church

15 minutes before weekday masses

At this time of year especially please pray for our sick and housebound parishioners and if anyone is in need of a visit/Holy Communion or is going into hospital please let Fr Bernard know.

Money Matters: £581.99p Thank you for your generosity to the Parish.

The Priests Retirement Fund collectionwill be taken not next weekend but on the weekend of 16/17th January. Envelopes and leaflets are at the back of Church

Fr Bernard thanks you for your very generous Christmas Offerings and for the numerous cards and gifts he has received all of which are much appreciated.

Thank you to all who worked so hard to make each of the Advent and Christmas Services special at St John’s this year. Thank you too to the ladies who cleaned and decorated the Church with flowers, posters/drapes and of course the crib which willremain in situ for a further week until next Sunday’s Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Your donations at the crib during the Christmas Season are for the work of the Catholic Children’s Society,who offer much care and support to needy families around the Diocese.

The Children’s Society is also our Diocesan focus for the present Refugee Crisis. Please be especially generous to the Crib Offerings this year as the needs of our refugee brothers and sisters are great.

A Thanksgiving Service for those children baptised at St John’s in 2015 will be held in church next Sunday 10th January at 3.00pm. Parents, Godparents, families especially welcome. Tea/Coffee and Biscuits will be available at the back of church after the service. We hope this will become an annual event.

Scripture Group will recommence with the fourth session this Thursday,

7th January, 2016 in the Day Chapel. This is an opportunity to rediscover the joy of the personal encounter with Jesus and to consider afresh the good news of our saving from all that would harm us. Please bring your bibles.

Newsletter Team There is a need to expand the number of people who compile the parish weekly newsletter. If you would like to join a rota please have a word with

Fr. Bernard. The newsletter is an important vehicle of communication within the parish. The more people who join any rota the less of a burden it becomes.

Holy Year of Mercy.A series of reflections is being offered at Our Lady’s Parish Centre, Ellesmere Port beginning on Wednesday 13th January at 7.30pm-9.00pm on the theme “Jesus Christ is the Face of the Father’s Mercy”. They run over four Wednesdays. Each evening consists of input, discussion and prayer. Please see leaflets at the back of church.

Pilgrimage to Walsingham During the forthcoming Year of Mercy the Chester and Ellesmere Port District SVP have invited me to lead their annual pilgrimage to Our Lady’s National Shrine at Walsingham from 4th-7th April, 2016. There are some places available at a cost of £185 per person so if you would like to be part of this pilgrimage please let me know as soon as possible… a non-returnable deposit will be required by Christmas. Arrangements will be made with Carvers Coaches for a local pick up point.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins on Monday 18th January as usual we will be having our trip around the Churches here in the Bebington area. Full details in next week’s bulletin. Prayers for Christian Unity here at

St John’s will be held on 7.Saturday morning

23rd January 10.30am.

Parish Centre Committee please meet in the Presbytery next Monday

11th January at 7.30pm.

St John’s Parish Pastoral Team next meeting Tuesday 19th January at 7.30pm in the Presbytery

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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:

Feast of the Holy Family, 27th December, 2015, Cycle C

FAITH IN FOCUS: GROWING UP

Most parents can sympathise with Joseph and Mary’s frustration when they found Jesus in the Temple. He couldn’t see what all the fuss was about and his answer to them was infuriating. Mind you, they had let their son get lost in a major capital city for three days!

On this feast of the Holy Family we are told that Jesus went back to live with them in Nazareth. St Luke packs years into one concise sentence: Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature and in favour with God and men. And it’s the role of any family to promote this sort of growth for their children.

He grew in wisdom. Sounds a bit pompous, don’t you think? But it points to the fact that Jesus grew mentally. When he was found in the Temple he was listening to the doctors (teachers of the law). He was putting himself in a position where he could learn; he was having his mind stretched and was asking questions. How much do we encourage our own children to grow mentally, or are we content for them to be seen and not heard?

He grew in stature. This seems absolutely obvious, doesn’t it? But maybe it points to something that our society has lost sight of in a culture of couch potatoes and obesity. Do our family lifestyles encourage physical growth or are we content to be ruled by those who make their money out of fast food and computer games?

He grew in favour with God. Jesus still needed to grow spiritually. It seems clear that he had to take responsibility for his mission and his decisions at various crucial points in his life, and he had to keep his relationship with the Father alive. How would we gauge the e spiritual climate of our family?

He grew in favour with men. Social skills are among the most important things we learn. Jesus appears to have been at ease in anyone’s company and proved himself accessible to people of all sorts. Is conversation and sociability a hallmark of our family life?

It’s not easy being part of a family. It wasn’t for Jesus, Mary and Joseph. But their child grew in wisdom, stature and favour with God and men. What about yours?

PRAYER TO THE HOLY FAMILY. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, in you we contemplate the splendour of true love. To you we turn with trust.

Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that our families, too, may be places of communion, prayer and authentic schools of the Gospel and small domestic churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth may families never again experience violence , rejection and division; may all who have been hurt or scandalised find ready comfort and healing. Amen.

WORD OF GOD

My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been,looking for you. (Luke 2:48)

Please take a copy of the Wednesday Word. It is a helpfulreflection 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 and to look at the Book Stall and to buy your Catholic Paper.

As you do your weekly shop and if you are able to afford to add just one item to your basket for the Foodbank collection you may be confident that you are helping those people who are struggling at this time. There is a list on the notice board of the items which are particularly needed at the moment. Thank you for your continued generosity.

A Prayer for Refugees

Almighty and merciful God, whose son became a refugee, and had no place to call his own;

Look with mercy on those who today are fleeing from danger, homeless and hungry.

Bless those who work to bring them relief; inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts; and guide the nations of the world towards that day when all will rejoice in your kingdom of justice and peace. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Feast of the Holy Family 27th 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Ints Cyril & Helen Bradley

John & Mary Price & John Price RIP

Prayer

Meeting

Monday 28th 10.00am In Thanksgiving
Tuesday 29th 10.00am Parry

Family Intentions

Wednesday 30th 10.00am Funeral Mass –

John Fitzgerald

Thursday 31st 10.00am All Who Died in 2015
Friday 1st 10.00am World

Peace

Saturday 2nd
Feast of the Epiphany 3rd 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Pauline

Rushfirth RIP

Sr Marie Clare RIP

Prayer

Meeting

PLEASE NOTE WEEK DAY MASS TIMES THIS WEEK WILL BE AT 10.00AM

Children’s Liturgy have taken their Christmas break and will restart on Sunday, 10th January, 2016

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

At this time of year especially please pray for our sick and housebound parishioners and if anyone is in need of a visit/Holy Communion or is going into hospital please let Fr Bernard know.

Money Matters: Offertory £1065.30p

Thank you for your generosity to the Parish.

Your donations at the crib during the Christmas Season are for the work of the Catholic Children’s Society,who offer much care and support to needy families around the Diocese.

The Children’s Society is also our Diocesan focus for the present Refugee Crisis. Please be especially generous to the Crib Offerings this year as the needs of our refugee brothers and sisters are great.

Christmas Services at St John’s

Sat/Sun 26th/27th Dec: Feast of the Holy Family

Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and

Sun 9.30am

Fri 1st Jan 2016 Feast of Mary the Mother of God

Mass at 10.00am

Sat/Sun2nd/3rd Jan: Feasat of the Epiphany

Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and

Sun 9.30am

Lately Dead: Please pray for the repose of the soul of John Fitzgerald (known as Jake) who died recently. May he rest in peace. Funeral Mass here at St John’s on Wednesday at 10.00am.

Altar Servers…members of the

Guild of St Stephen…. renew their promises at Masses this weekend. We do appreciate the dignified way in which you serve at the altar. Thank you servers.

Friday January 1st 2016… New Year’s Day is the Feast of Mary Mother of God. Mass will be celebrated in the Main Church at 10.00am and will be followed by a Rosary for World Peace. Please begin the New Year well by coming to Mass.

A Thanksgiving Service for those children baptised at St John’s in 2015 will be held in church on Sunday 10th January at 3.00pm. Parents, Godparents, families especially welcome. Tea/Coffee and Biscuits will be available at the back of church after the service. We hope this will become an annual event.

Scripture Group will recommence with the fourth session on Thursday,

7th January, 2016 in the Day Chapel.

Holy Year of Mercy

A series of reflections is being offered at Our Lady’s Parish Centre, Ellesmere Port beginning on Wednesday 13th January at 7.30pm-9.00pm on the theme “Jesus Christ is the Face of the Father’s Mercy”. They run over four Wednesdays. Each evening consists of input, discussion and prayer. Please see leaflets at the back of church.

Pilgrimage to Walsingham During the forthcoming Year of Mercy the Chester and Ellesmere Port District SVP have invited me to lead their annual pilgrimage to Our Lady’s National Shrine at Walsingham from

4th-7th April, 2016. There are some places available at a cost of £185 per person so if you would like to be part of this pilgrimage please let me know as soon as possible… a non-returnable deposit will be required by Christmas. Arrangements will be made with Carvers Coaches for a local pick up point.

Fr Bernard thanks you for your ongoing support of our Parish. He especially thanks all those who do so much for our parish in a rich variety of ways some more public than others. On a personal level he thanks you too for your Christmas cards, gifts and good wishes all of which are much appreciated.

Fr Bernard prays that this Christmas will be a blessed time for everyone and that 2016 will bring peace, good health and happiness to all.

The Advent and Christmas Masses were well attended…. a big thank you to all those who prepared and decorated the Church and were involved in the various liturgies this week.

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:

Fourth Sunday of Advent, 20th December, 2015, Cycle C

FAITH IN FOCUS: LEAPING FOR JOY

As soon as Mary found out that her cousin Elizabeth was expecting a baby she set out to go and visit her in the hill country. And we know that as Mary greeted Elizabeth the child in Elizabeth’s womb, the future John the Baptist, leapt for joy.

Bringing a child into the world at any time is beset with challenges, but for the two pregnant women in Judah there was much more at stake. Mary had already had to come to terms with the fact that her child was not Joseph’s son, and Elizabeth’s husband Zachary had been struck dumb for not believing that his child would be special. Yet the words Elizabeth chooses to use of Mary are not words of sympathy but of joy and praise: “Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

Mary and Elizabeth were open to the future and were able to trust in God’s providence for them both, come what may. They saw the birth of their children not as a burden but as an opportunity to praise God for what he promised for their future.

Christmas is an invitation to us to allow God to be born in us once more, to become open to the endless possibilities that God can provide in our lives. Our ability to celebrate the heart of Christmas is linked with our ability to invite God fully into our lives, to ask God to be reborn in us and to work his wonders in whatever way he sees fit.

When we think of Christmas we don’t remain in the past; we call God here and now into our lives and ask him to lead us in all the future adventures of life, for Christmas celebrates life itself. The manger scene is nice and comforting, but our liturgy today challenges us to go much further: to let the Christ-child be born in each of us and to bring good news to our waiting world.

Are we ready to go beyond the mistletoe and tinsel, to become pregnant with God’s word, to bear Christ to others? Do we approach Christmas with fear and trembling or do we leap for joy?

WORD OF GOD

Of all women you are the most blessed,and blessed is the fruit of your womb. (Luke 1:42)

Please take a copy of the Wednesday Word. It is a helpfulreflection 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 and to look at the Book Stall and to buy your Catholic Paper.

As you do your weekly shop and if you are able to afford to add just one item to your basket for the Foodbank collection you may be confident that you are helping those people who are struggling at this time. There is a list on the notice board of the items which are particularly needed at the moment. Thank you for your continued generosity.

A Prayer for Refugees

Almighty and merciful God, whose son became a refugee, and had no place to call his own;

Look with mercy on those who today are fleeing from danger, homeless and hungry.

Bless those who work to bring them relief; inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts; and guide the nations of the world towards that day when all will rejoice in your kingdom of justice and peace.

We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Fourth Sunday

of Advent

Cycle C

20th 5.00pm

9.30am

3-4pm

7.30pm

Rels & Friends McGree Family RIP

Margaret

Duncan RIP Holy Hour

Prayer

Meeting

Monday 21st 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Tuesday 22nd 9.15am Ernie

Glover RIP

Wednesday 23rd 9.15am Bell & Nugent Families RIP
Christmas Eve

Mass

of the Nativity

24th 4pm

7.30pm

Children’s

Crib Service

St John’s Parishioners

Christmas Day 25th 9.30am Poor, Sick & Needy
Saturday 26th
Feast

of the Holy Family

27th 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Ints Cyril & Helen Bradley

John & Mary Price & John Price RIP

Prayer

Meeting

SUNDAY IS A SPECIAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR EXPECTANT MOTHERS

Children’s Liturgy will be taking their Christmas break after Mass this Sunday and will restart on Sunday,

10th January, 2016

Confessions Fr Bernard will be available for Confessions after Holy Hour this Sunday for as long as is necessary and both on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings after 9.15am Mass.
Morning Prayer of the Church 15 minutes before weekday masses

At this time of year especially please pray for our sick and housebound parishioners and if anyone is in need of a visit/Holy Communion or is going into hospital please let Fr Bernard know.

Money Matters: Offertory £607.63p

Books & Cards £ 30.00p

Thank you for your generosity to the Parish.

The Collection on Christmas Day is for the support of our Parish Clergy

Your donations at the crib during the Christmas Season are for the work of the Catholic Children’s Society, who offer much care and support to needy families around the Diocese.

The Children’s Society is also our Diocesan focus for the present Refugee Crisis. Please be especially generous to the Crib Offerings this year as the needs of our refugee brothers and sisters are great.

Lately Dead: Please pray for the repose of the soul of

John Fitzgerald, (known as Jake), who died recently. His Funeral Mass will be held here at St John’s on Wednesday, 30th December at 10.00am. May he rest in peace.

Crib Service for Children will take place at 4pm this Thursday, Christmas Eve, here at St John’s in the main church and all children and their parents/grandparents are invited to come along.

Christmas Services at St John’s

Christmas Eve

Crib Service for Children at 4.00pm in Church,

Mass of the Nativity begins at 7.30pm

Christmas Day

Mass 9.30am

Sat/Sun 26th/27th Dec: Feast of the Holy Family

Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and

Sun 9.30am

Fri 1st Jan 2016 Feast of Mary the Mother of God

Mass at 10.00am

Sat/Sun2nd/3rd Jan: Feasat of the Epiphany

Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and

Sun 9.30am

Altar Servers…members of the Guild of St Stephen…. renew their promises at Masses next weekend

A Thanksgiving Service for those children baptised at St John’s in 2015 will be held in church on Sunday 10th January at 3.00pm. Parents, Godparents, families especially welcome. Tea/Coffee and Biscuits will be available at the back of church after the service. We hope this will become an annual event.

Scripture Group will recommence with the fourth session on Thursday, 7th January, 2016 in the Day Chapel..

The Big Christmas card is at the back of the church for you to sign and all donations will go to

The Ark.

Advent Booklets and Leaflets plus Christmas Cards are available at the back of church.

Pilgrimage to Walsingham During the forthcoming Year of Mercy the Chester and Ellesmere Port District SVP have invited me to lead their annual pilgrimage to Our Lady’s National Shrine at Walsingham from 4th-7th April, 2016. There are some places available at a cost of £185 per person so if you would like to be part of this pilgrimage please let me know as soon as possible… a non-returnable deposit will be required by Christmas. Arrangements will be made with Carvers Coaches for a local pick up point.

Fr Bernard thanks you for your ongoing support to our Parish. He especially thanks all those who do so much for/in our parish in a rich variety of ways.

On a personal level he thanks you too for your Christmas cards, gifts and good wishes all of which are read and much appreciated.

You and your families will be especially remembered in the Masses celebrated at St John’s during the Christmas Season.

Fr Bernard prays that this Christmas will be a blessed time for everyone and that the New Year will bring peace, good health and happiness to all.

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:

Third Sunday of Advent, 13th December, 2015, Cycle C

FAITH IN FOCUS: HAPPILY EVER AFTER?

Today is known as Gaudete or Rejoicing Sunday, and St Paul is quite insistent that we should know what we are doing: I want you to be happy, always happy in the Lord!

Happy is a strange word. Some people think they are happy but they’re really only content. To be content means that we put up with something without complaining too much because we know things could be a lot worse. So we’re content with our lot.

Some people think they are happy but they’re really only pleased. Something has happened that has given them a bit of a fillip. Perhaps their football team has won an unexpected victory. But it’s hardly ecstasy!

Some people think they are happy but they’re really only in a good mood. Maybe they’ve been out to celebrate passing an exam or celebrating someone’s birthday and they’ve had a lovely evening. But tomorrow this will only be a memory.

Content, pleased, glad, cheerful, jovial, merry…all of this is good but it’s not actually the same as happiness.

To be happy means to be blessed. And to know that you are blessed makes you happy. Really happy. So at the root of happiness for a Christian is the knowledge that we are made in God’s image, loved by him and held in that love every moment of our being. Although we stray from this image of God we are constantly called back to the joy of our relationship with God and are redeemed through Christ’s death and resurrection. This is the greatest blessing we could wish for: to belong to God.

Pleasure is a fleeting thing. We can feel it today but it can desert us tomorrow. But Christian happiness is full of more than pleasure; it’s coated with joy. And such happiness and joy can never be taken away from us, even though at times our vision of them may seem clouded.

As we continue our Advent journey Paul advises us to be happy, for our God is very near and is coming to set us free. This deep-down happiness at the approach of our God is something that doesn’t waver with every gust of the wind because it is at the heart of our loving relationship with God. In fact it’s a real blessing.

St John of the Cross (December, 14th)

Born in 1542 at Fontiveros (Spain), John died on this day in Ubeda. A Carmelite presbyter, he joined St Teresa of Jesus (15th October) in the work of Carmelite reform and, despite opposition and imprisonment, organised the discalced Carmelites. He is remembered for his mystical writings, which combine theology and poetry to describe the spiritual journey through darkness to union with God

WORD OF GOD

I want you to be happy always, happy in the Lord. (Philippians 4:4)

Please take a copy of the Wednesday Word. It is a helpfulreflection 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 and to look at the Book Stall and to buy your Catholic Paper.

As you do your weekly shop and if you are able to afford to add just one item to your basket for the Foodbank collection you may be confident that you are helping those people who are struggling at this time. There is a list on the notice board of the items which are particularly needed at the moment. Thank you for your continued generosity. WIRRAL FOODBANK IS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS TO ASSIST WITH SUPERMARKET COLLECTIONS. CONTACT 638 7090

OR 07790205481 wirral.foodbank SEE LETTER AT BACK OF CHURCH

Shrewsbury Diocesan Refugee Response

Catholic Children’s Society has been named as the Diocesan point of contact. To enable information sharing, links to useful websites and opportunities for parishes and groups to inform/involve others in fundraising activities, collection points, offers of accommodation, volunteering time and skills, a Facebook page has been opened. In order to gain access please do the following connect to the websitecathchildsoc.org.uk, click on the Facebook icon (top right hand corner of home page) and scroll down the page to click onto the Shrewsbury Diocese Logo and you are in, or please enter the following UTL. Donations of men’s clothing can be left with Rev. Mike at Christ Church Bebington.

Third Sunday

of Advent

Cycle C

13th 5.00pm

9.30am

3-4pm

7.30pm

Anthony W & Anthony S Haigh RIP

Parishioners

Holy Hour

Prayer

Meeting

Monday 14th 9.15am Private

Intention IMc

Tuesday 15th 9.15am In

Thanksgiving

Wednesday 16th 9.15am Rels & Friends Corrigan Family RIP
Thursday 17th 9.15am Don Oakley RIP
Friday 18th 9.15am Fr Frank Rice Intentions
Saturday 19th 10.00am Carmel

Mass

Fourth Sunday

of Advent

Cycle C

20th 5.00pm

9.30am

3-4pm

7.30pm

Rels & Friends McGree Family RIP

Margaret

Duncan RIP Holy Hour

Prayer Meeting

PLEASE NOTE MASS ON TUESDAY WILL BE IN

ST JOHN’S JUNIOR SCHOOL

Children’s

Liturgy at Sunday 9.30am 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

At this time of year especially please pray for our sick and housebound parishioners and if anyone is in need of a visit/Holy Communion or is going into hospital please let Fr Bernard know.

Money Matters: Offertory £740.44p

Books & Cards £ 23.00p

Thank you for your generosity to the Parish.

Christmas Services at St John’s

Christmas Eve

Crib Service for Children at 4.00pm in Church,

Mass of the Nativity begins at 7.30pm

Christmas Day

Mass 9.30am

Sat/Sun 26th/27th Dec: Feast of the Holy Family

Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and

Sun 9.30am

Fri 1st Jan 2016 Feast of Mary the Mother of God

Mass at 10.00am

Sat/Sun2nd/3rd Jan: Feast of the Epiphany

Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and Sun 9.30pm

Scripture Group will recommence with the fourth session on Thursday, 7th January, 2016 in the Day Chapel. This is an opportunity to rediscover the joy of the personal encounter with Jesus and to consider afresh the good news of our saving from all that would harm us. Please bring your bibles.

READERS: Could all readers please let

Dot Humphrey know if you are NOT available at any time over the Christmas period:

24th-28th December.

Newsletter Team There is a need to expand the number of people who compile the parish weekly newsletter. If you would like to join a rota please have a word with Fr. Bernard. The newsletter is an important vehicle of communication within the parish. The more people who join any rota the less of a burden it becomes.

MANY THANKS to all who bought raffle tickets. £125 was raised and will be added to the Cake-Bake Sale money for Claire House, giving a grand total of £275.

The lucky winners are as follows:

1st Prize. A two course meal for 2 & a bottle of wine at the Bridge Inn – Eileen Spencer

2nd Prize: A box of toiletries & a bottle of wine – Norah & Billy Martin

3rd Prize: A tub of Haribo sweets – Sheila Gianelli

The next singing practice is thisThursday,

17th December at 7pmin the Day Chapel. We will again be looking at music for Advent and Christmas. These are not CHOIR practices but for ANYONE who church enjoys SINGING. All welcome.

Advent Penitential Servicewith the opportunity for Individual Confession for this local Deanery (ie Birkenhead, Bebington, Bromborough) on Tuesday at 7pm at St Joseph’s Church, North Road

Christmas Praise – Carols by Candlelight. A chance to sing some favourite carols on Monday 21st December at 7pm at St Josephs, North Road. This is for all the local parishes and various musical groups will contribute. A great way to prepare for Christmas. The service will be followed by mince pies and mulled wine.

All welcome.

Scouts Stamps. Last opportunity this weekend to buy your stamps which are 30p each. Last posting is at 12 noon on Wednesday 16th December.

Pilgrimage to Walsingham During the forthcoming Year of Mercy the Chester and Ellesmere Port District SVP have invited me to lead their annual pilgrimage to Our Lady’s National Shrine at Walsingham from 4th-7th April, 2016. There are some places available at a cost of £185 per person so if you would like to be part of this pilgrimage please let me know as soon as possible… a non-returnable deposit will be required by Christmas. Arrangements will be made with Carvers Coaches for a local pick up point.

CHURCHES T0GETHER

Carol Singing – 19th December, 4pm outside Co-op, Higher Bebington.

Advent Booklets and Leaflets plus Christmas Cards and Tradecraft catalogue are available at the back of church.

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:

Second Sunday of Advent, 6th December, 2015, Cycle C

FAITH IN FOCUS: TWO REASONS TO HOPE

When God first agreed to be our ancestors’ God, by signing the covenant, he said it would be based on two things: “hesed and emeth”. These two Hebrew words mean “steadfast love and faithfulness”.

Even a fool can see that our ancestors didn’t take long to break their side of the agreement. They soon forgot that their “special relationship” with God depended on how they behaved, how they responded to God’s favour by the way they treated him and other people.

So you might think that God would have torn up the covenant and declared it null and void. But God remembered his part of the bargain, those two things: steadfast love and faithfulness. God never stopped being loving and faithful, whatever his people got up to. No matter how far people strayed, God remained steadfast and faithful.

This dual characteristic of God, steadfastness and faithfulness, is the reason why Christians trust God. It is the basis of Christian hope.

Our Advent liturgy today invites us to deepen this sense of hope. Don’t be miserable, says the prophet Baruch, don’t go around sad and distressed because your God is coming to set things right. Advent looks forward to the fulfilment of the promises that God has made to us. And God is steadfast and faithful.

But Christian hope is not merely about the future. It’s not like the vague hope that one day we might win the lottery. It affects how we live our lives today, because the seeds of the future are based on my relationships here and now. Hope shines a new light on this reality. It’s a dynamic gift that stops us from closing in on ourselves and instead spurs us on to new beginnings, to new challenges and to new life. We live by faith; we continue through charity; we flourish in hope.

The hope we entertain is not simply an optimism that Jesus will return at the end of time, but is a conviction that here and now he can come into our lives as Messiah and can set us free from whatever weighs us down. And come he will if we invite him. For he is steadfast and faithful.

BIBLE SUNDAY (December 6th)

Do you think of the bible as an old book that contains episodes that happened long ago? Or maybe you see it as full of laws and regulations that applied to the ancient people in the desert? Perhaps you think of it as something that’s so difficult to read that it’s best left to academics in their ivory towers? In fact the bible is one way in which God can speak to us today. God still speaks and his word in scripture is as relevant to us now as it was to our ancestors in the past. Bible Sunday encourages us not to let our bible gather dust but to open it and be amazed. This year’s theme is entitled “Count on It”. It is taken from the Book of Isaiah, chapter 55, verses 1-11. It helps us to rediscover the living certainties of God’s word in times of trouble. Go and read it!

Please take a copy of the Wednesday Word. It is a helpfulreflection 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 and to look at the Book Stall and to buy your Catholic Paper.

As you do your weekly shop and if you are able to afford to add just one item to your basket for the Foodbank collection you may be confident that you are helping those people who are struggling at this time. There is a list on the notice board of the items which are particularly needed at the moment. Thank you for your continued generosity. WIRRAL FOODBANK IS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS TO ASSIST WITH SUPERMARKET COLLECTIONS. CONTACT 638 7090

OR 07790205481 wirral.foodbank SEE LETTER AT BACK OF CHURCH

Shrewsbury Diocesan Refugee Response

Catholic Children’s Society has been named as the Diocesan point of contact. To enable information sharing, links to useful websites and opportunities for parishes and groups to inform/involve others in fundraising activities, collection points, offers of accommodation, volunteering time and skills, a Facebook page has been opened. In order to gain access please do the following connect to the websitecathchildsoc.org.uk, click on the Facebook icon (top right hand corner of home page) and scroll down the page to click onto the Shrewsbury Diocese Logo and you are in, or please enter the following UTL: . Donations of men’s clothing can be left with Rev. Mike at Christ Church Bebington.

Second Sunday

of Advent

Cycle C

6th 5.00pm

9.30am

3-4pm

7.30pm

Vic

Gemmell RIP

Parishioners

Holy Hour

Prayer

Meeting

Monday 7th 9.15am Fr John Woods RIP
Feast of the Immaculate Conception 8th 7.30pm LPA Mass at Christ the King Bromborough
Wednesday 9th 11.00am Memorial Mass for

Sr Marie Clare RSC

Thursday 10th 9.15am Mrs Chris McGreevy RIP
Friday 11th 9.15am Service of the Word & Communion
Saturday 12th
Third Sunday

of Advent

Cycle C

13th 5.00pm

9.30am

3-4pm

7.30pm

Anthony W & Anthony S Haigh RIP

Parishioners

Holy Hour

Prayer Meeting

Children’s

Liturgy at Sunday 9.30am 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

At this time of year especially please pray for our sick and housebound parishioners and if anyone is in need of a visit/Holy Communion or is going into hospital please let Fr Bernard know.

Lately Dead: Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Fr John Woods retired priest of the Diocese who died peacefully last Monday in Macclesfield. May he rest in peace.

Money Matters: Offertory £668.08p Thank you for your generosity to the Parish.

Many thanks for your Family Fast Day contributions this Autumn which amounted to £619.20p. A cheque has been sent to CAFOD

Please say a prayer for Fr Frank Rice as he celebrates his 61st Anniversary on Tuesday.

Please note Wednesday’s Mass is at 11.00am and will be in the Main Church. It is a Memorial Mass for the late Sister Marie Clare, Sister of Charity and former parish sister here at St John’s. Many of the Sisters of Charity living and working in this area will be joining us for this Mass.

Scripture Group An opportunity to rediscover the joy of the personal encounter with Jesus and to consider afresh the good news of our saving from all that would harm us. Please join us for the third session on Thursday at 10am in the Day Chapel. Please bring your bibles.

READERS: Could all readers please let

Dot Humphrey know if you are NOT available at any time over the Christmas period:

24th-28th December.

Newsletter Team There is a need to expand the number of people who compile the parish weekly newsletter. If you would like to join a rota please have a word with Fr. Bernard. The newsletter is an important vehicle of communication within the parish. The more people who join any rota the less of a burden it becomes.

A BIG THANKYOU to all our Altar Servers and Confirmation Candidates who took part in the Cake-Bake Sale and made some fantastic cakes and for all the parishioners who supported them and helped raise £150. This was a fantastic achievement and deserves the highest praise.

The next singing practice is this Thursday, 10th December at 7pmin the day chapel. We will again be looking at music for Advent and Christmas. These are not CHOIR practices but for ANYONE who enjoys SINGING. All welcome.

LPA Mass at Christ the King Bromborough this Tuesday at 7.30pm on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the beginning of the Holy Year of Mercy. All four parishes from the LPA will be taking an active part in the celebration. Everyone is encouraged to participate in this Mass which will be followed by light refreshments in the Parish Centre.

Scouts Stamps will be on sale at both weekend Masses up to and including Sunday 13th December. Stamps 30p each. Last posting is Wednesday 16th December at 12 Noon.

Pilgrimage to Walsingham During the forthcoming Year of Mercy the Chester and Ellesmere Port District SVP have invited me to lead their annual pilgrimage to Our Lady’s National Shrine at Walsingham from 4th-7th April, 2016. There are some places available at a cost of £185 per person so if you would like to be part of this pilgrimage please let me know as soon as possible… a non-returnable deposit will be required by Christmas. Arrangements will be made with Carvers Coaches for a local pick up point.

CHURCHES T0GETHER will be holding the forthcoming events:

Carol Singing – 12th December, 11am outside Co-op, Lower Bebington Carol Singing – 19th December, 4pm outside

Co-op, Higher Bebington.

Advent Booklets and Leaflets plus Christmas Cards are available at the back of church

Full details of Christmas Masses and Services will be in next week’s Bulletin