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

19/12/2015

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:

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.

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