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


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


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


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.


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



Ints Cyril & Helen Bradley

John & Mary Price & John Price RIP



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


Saturday 2nd
Feast of the Epiphany 3rd 5.00pm




Rushfirth RIP

Sr Marie Clare RIP




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.

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