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

14/12/2015

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.

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