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 in Ordinary Time, 24th January, 2016. Cycle C

FAITH IN FOCUS: THERE SHOULD BE A LAW ABOUT IT

Politicians know that to be successful they have to convince us they would pass better laws in four main areas: education, health, transport and earnings. Everything else just comes and goes.

Even though most of us don’t like laws (we’d prefer fewer rather than more), we do recognise that they can be useful in regulating life for the common good. So we elect people to make laws that promote fairness and foster harmony in society.

The Jewish people were famous for their laws; they seemed to have one for every occasion. But when they were deported to Babylon in Iraq in exile, the new generations lost touch with their legal system. Upon their return to Jerusalem Ezra gathered them into an assembly and read the whole of the Law to them. They cried and wept, not because the laws were harsh, but because they showed the all-encompassing care that God had for them in setting up this legal system. That’s why the psalmist sang about the Law of God being perfect and gladdening the heart.

All the Old Testament laws come to fulfilment in Christ. The wisdom of God once encased in legal codes is now distilled in the person of Jesus. And when we come across him in his home-town synagogue he takes the opportunity to tell people that the law is now fulfilled in their very presence. We know later that he would sum all of this up in two laws: love God and love your neighbour.

Unlike man-made laws, the law of God is not intended to be a burden to people. It’s intended to set them free to get on with life. God’s law is ordered in such a way that the innate goodness and beauty of human life should be shared by all to the maximum. It encourages growth rather than restricts; it offers freedom rather than a straight-jacket. It looks at the whole picture rather than the interest of the moment.

So when Jesus says that the law and prophets are about to be fulfilled, what does he say will happen? The poor will get some good news, prisoners will be given their liberty, the blind will see again and oppressed people will be set free. If there’s a politician out there, your time may be running out…

WORD OF GOD

Ezra read from the Law of God, translating and giving the sense,so that the people understood what was read.

(Nehemiah 8:8)

WORD FOR TODAY

The people cried when Ezra read them God’s law, not because of its severity but because of its over-arching goodness and mercy. For Christians the wisdom of God took shape in the person of Jesus and in his summary of all laws: love God and love your neighbour as yourself.

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.

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C 24th 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Ivan D Gregory B.day RIP

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Monday 25th 9.15am Service of the Word & Communion
Tuesday 26th 9.15am Andrea King RIP
Wednesday 27th 9.15am Basil Cullen RIP
Thursday 28th 9.15am Canon Edmund Quinn RIP
Friday 29th 9.15am For Vocations
Saturday 30th
4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C 31st 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Parishioners

Eileen Spencer Ints.

Prayer Meeting

Children’s Liturgy at Sunday at 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

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 £ 532.71p

Christmas Crib Offerings £ 238.03p

Priests Retirement Fund £ 433.64p

Thank you for your generosity to the Parish.

Parish Helpers: At St John’s we are blessed with so many good helpers and Fr Bernard is very grateful for all they do publically and not so publically. However there is always room for more people to be involved in the life of the parish and for new groups to be formed and redundant groups to be resurrected. As we move into 2016 please bring this into your prayer and give it some serious thought and if you would like to be more involved (perhaps you are new to the Parish, or recently retired or have more time on your hands) please have a word with Fr Bernard.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unitywill be holding a Service this Sunday

24th January at 6.30pm at St Andrews, Bebington. “Salt of the Earth”. This Monday 25th January the final Service will be held at Methodist Church, Bebington. Refreshments 10.30am Service 11.00am.

The next singing practice is thisThursday,

28th January, 7pm in the Day Chapel. We will be looking at music for Lent and Easter. These are not CHOIR practices but for ANYONE who enjoys SINGING. All welcome.

Quiz Night will be held at

St John’s Parish Centre on Friday

29th January at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome to come along and an opportunity for the parish to get together, relax and enjoy some friendly (?) competition. There are prizes for 1st and Last and a raffle. Please give Mike Daly any offerings for the raffle. The charge is £5 per team of 4. It would be great to see lots of our regular parishioners – and their friends and families – on the night and a good opportunity for new members of St John’s to come along and join in the fun.

Vocations Weekend for Young Women (20s & 30s). “Discerning God’s Call in My Life” 29th-31st January will take place in Liverpool. The weekend is organised by the Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ). See Poster at back of church for full contact details.

Mass for Marriage and Family Life this year will be celebrated with Bishop Mark at 12 noon on Saturday

6th February at St Columba’s, Chester (Newhall Road, Plas Newton, Chester CH2 1SA). All married couples and families are welcome. If you are a couple celebrating a significant wedding anniversary (silver, ruby, golden or platinum) and you wish to attend, then please let Fr Bernard know by the 24th January and he will arrange for a special invitation to be sent to you on behalf of the Bishop. Poster on Notice Board at the back church

A Mass to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes will be celebrated at 7.30pm on Thursday 11th February at St Peter’s,

Green Lane, Hazel Grove, Stockport. Everyone will be welcome, especially all members of the Diocesan Lourdes Hospitality. Light refreshments will be available after Mass.

Local Pastoral Area: Team Meeting at St Anne’s on Tuesday 7pm.

LPA Lenten Day of Reflection open to

everyone…. Saturday 20th February from 10am-3pm at St Anne’s Rock Ferry. Bring a packed lunch, tea/coffee provided. The day will be led by Margaret Lillis and will include Mass at 12 noon and opportunities for Reconciliation.

Diocesan Pilgrimage to Rome for the Holy Year of Mercy: Bishop Mark will lead a Diocesan Pilgrimage to Rome for the Holy Year of Mercy from

17th-21st October, 2016. We will visit the major Basilicas of Rome including passing through the Holy Door at St Peter’s. In addition there will be a General Audience with the Holy Father and a visit and Holy Hour at the Venerable English College. Flights from Manchester and accommodation is on a half board basis with lunch included on the first day. The cost is £695 in a twin room or £565 in a triple room. A very limited number of single rooms are available at a supplement of £130. Numbers are restricted to 100 so early booking is recommended. Full information is available from your Parish Priest or downloaded from then Diocesan Website. Alternatively contact Fr David Long on 638 1520

The Diocese of Shrewsbury is currently recruiting for two roles to join its Education Team, based at the Curial Office in Birkenhead.

See Notice Board for details.

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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:

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, 17th January, 2016. Cycle C

FAITH IN FOCUS: AN OPEN INVITATON

When an invitation to a wedding drops through the letterbox onto the mat it never fails to perk us up. A sure sign that you need treatment is when the prospect of going to a wedding gets you down!

Because the bible is not concerned to give us a day to day account of Jesus’ life we tend to get only an occasional glimpse into his personal, social life. But the wedding at Cana is an exception. We all know the story. The wine runs out. Jesus tells the waiters to pour out from the water jars, and the new wine turns out to be better than the expensive stuff they served at the start of the meal.

Where do we go next? Well, we could talk about the compassion of Mary who wanted to spare embarrassment to the groom’s family. Or we could talk about the fact that Jesus’ wine outclassed the normal brew. Perhaps we could mention the fact that Jesus and his family had a perfectly normal social life like anyone else. Or, of course, we could talk about the miracle.

But if we do talk about the miracle, the first of Jesus’ “signs” as St John calls them, then we can’t stop in Cana. Because John tells us that Jesus worked these signs in order to provoke a reaction in people. When the water was turned into wine Jesus let his glory be seen and his disciples believed in him.

Cana hailed a new age, a new stage in which God would overturn the accepted norms of society and usher in a messianic time, the wedding of life in which God’s intervention is a daily event. God never stops issuing us with invitations to this wedding, to see the wonders that he performs in this world of ours. In fact, the Church refers to the celebrations of heaven as the “wedding feast of the Lamb”.

The wedding is a symbol of integrity, festivity and loving security. And today Isaiah tells us that God has a permanent invitation for each of us to this wedding of life. No longer will we be forsaken or abandoned but we will be on God’s guest list under the name “My Delight”. Wherever we live will be called “Marriage-Land”. And all of this is because “The Lord takes delight in you and your land will have its wedding.”

WORD OF GOD

The Lord takes delight in you and your land will have its wedding.

(Isaiah 62:4)

WORD FOR TODAY

The eucharist is God’s wedding feast at which we are invited to be the bride. God provides food and drink for our inmost needs, with such choice fare that cannot be matched elsewhere.

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.

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C 17th 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Parishioners

World

Peace

Prayer

Meeting

Monday 18th 9.15am Retired Priests of the Diocese
Tuesday 19th 9.15am Margaret Duncan RIP
Wednesday 20th 9.15am Rels & Friends of Connelly Family RIP
Thursday 21st 9.15am Celeste Ferreira B.day RIP
Friday 22nd 9.15am Sr Marie Clare RIP
Saturday 23rd 11.00am Christian

Unity Service

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C 24th 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Ivan D Gregory B.day RIP

Parishioners

Prayer

Meeting

Sunday is a Special Day of Prayer for World Peace

Children’s

Liturgy at Sunday at 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

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: £573.26p Thank you for your generosity to the Parish.

The Priests Retirement Fund collectionwill take place this weekend 16th/17th January. Envelopes and leaflets are at the back of Church.

Scripture Group Next meeting will be held this Thursday 21st January

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 bible.

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

Parish Centre Meeting…. on Thursday 21st January from 7.30pm-9.00pm in the centre. This meeting is for the representatives of all the User Groups and is also open to any parishioners and friends who wish to attend.

Third World/CAFOD Group. If you would like to be part of a

St John’s Third World/ CAFOD Group please come to a meeting in the Day Chapel on Monday

18th January at 7.45pm.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins this Monday

18th -24th Januaryas usual we will be having our trip around the Churches here in the Bebington area. Refreshments 10.30am Service 11.00am.

Weekly Programme: “Salt of the Earth”

Monday Christ Church, Port Sunlight
Tuesday St Andrew’s
Wednesday Christ Church, Higher Bebington
Thursday United Reformed Church, H/Beb Road
Friday Jireh
Saturday St John’s
Monday Methodist Bebington

Note also Sunday 24th January at 6.30pm at St Andrew’s

Parish Helpers: At St John’s we are blessed with so many good helpers and Fr Bernard is very grateful for all they do publically and not so publically. However there is always room for more people to be involved in the life of the parish and for new groups to be formed and redundant groups to be resurrected. As we move into 2016 please bring this into your prayer and give it some serious thought and if you would like to be more involved (perhaps you are new to the Parish, or recently retired or have more time on your hands) please have a word with Fr Bernard.

Vocations Weekend for Young Women (20s & 30s). “Discerning God’s Call in My Life” 29th-31st January will take place in Liverpool. The weekend is organised by the Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ). See Poster at back of church for full contact details.

Mass for Marriage and Family Life this year will be celebrated with Bishop Mark at 12 noon on Saturday

6th February at St Columba’s , Chester (Newhall Road, Plas Newton, Chester CH2 1SA). All married couples and families are welcome. If you are a couple celebrating a significant wedding anniversary (silver, ruby, golden or platinum) and you wish to attend, then please let Fr Bernard know by the 24th January and he will arrange for a special invitation to be sent to you on behalf of the Bishop. Poster on Notice Board at the back church

A Mass to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes will be celebrated at 7.30pm on Thursday 11th February at St Peter’s,

Green Lane, Hazel Grove, Stockport. Everyone will be welcome, especially all members of the Diocesan Lourdes Hospitality. Light refreshments will be available after Mass.

Diocesan Pilgrimage to Rome for the Holy Year of Mercy: Bishop Mark will lead a Diocesan Pilgrimage to Rome for the Holy Year of Mercy from 17th-21st October, 2016. We will visit the major Basilicas of Rome including passing through the Holy Door at St Peter’s. In addition there will be a General Audience with the Holy Father and a visit and Holy Hour at the Venerable English College. Flights from Manchester and accommodation is on a half board basis with lunch included on the first day. The cost is £695 in a twin room or £565 in a triple room. A very limited number of single rooms are available at a supplement of £130. Numbers are restricted to 100 so early booking is recommended. Full information is available from your Parish Priest or downloaded from then Diocesan Website. Alternatively contact Fr David Long on 638 1520

The Diocese of Shrewsbury is currently recruiting for two roles to join its Education Team, based at the Curial Office in Birkenhead. See Notice Board for details.