Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, 24th January, 2016. 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


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


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…


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

(Nehemiah 8:8)


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



Ivan D Gregory RIP


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




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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