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:

Websites: /*

Third Sunday in Lent, 28th February, 2016. Cycle C.

FAITH IN FOCUS: WHAT’S GOD’S NAME?

There’s an old joke about the little girl who thought that God was called Peter. When her mother asked her why she thought this, she said it was because at the end of Mass the priest said, “Go in peace” and we all replied, “Thanks, Peter God”.

God has lots of names, but we usually refer to him as “the Lord”. This is a translation of the Hebrew word “Yahweh”, (or Jehovah), a word so solemn that Jews only use it in prayer.

When we know what a thing does we give it a name. The thing that keeps us warm is called the central heating. The thing that lets us see pictures from all around the world we call the television, and so on…But when it comes to naming God what do we say? When Moses asked God what his name was, God replied “Yahweh”. And as you might guess, “Yahweh” simply means “I am”, “I am the one who is” or “I am who I am”. Maybe that’s because we can’t tie God down. God simply is.

The trap we can easily fall into is to think that we know God. But God is eminently greater than anything we can ever understand. The great scholars had a rule of thumb for describing God. They said, think your most noble thought, conjure up your idea of the greatest power and try to come up with the supreme example of truth, goodness or beauty. And when you’ve done that, you’re not even close because God is greater than anything the human mind can conceive of.

Today’s gospel reading presents us with an example of this. It’s fashionable these days to speak about a God who is so loving that no matter what we do we will never be punished. Yet God does not seem to think so. Jesus reminds his listeners of a recent disaster where a tower collapsed in Siloam and 18 people were killed. They were not expecting to die that day but it turned out to be their last. And then he goes on to explain the need for repentance. You cannot wait until tomorrow to set your lives right, he says, because tomorrow may be too late. God does not impose good behaviour. Nor does he ignore our choices whether good or bad.

Sometimes we think we know God. Yet most of the time we struggle even to know what his name means. All the more reason to repent today.

WORD OF GOD

Moses said,”If they ask me what your name is,what am I to tell them?”And God said to Moses,”I am who I am.”

(Exodus 3:13-14)

WORD FOR TODAY

The only life worth living is the high-octane life that is God’s. That’s because God is life itself and if we want to enjoy this life then we have to make sure that we are going for the right choices. Lent urges us to look at our lifestyle and to make any necessary adjustments. It’s called repentance!

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.

Churches Together Lenten Lunches will continue this Wednesday

2nd March, the theme “PILGRIMAGE” Coffee 10.30am, Study 11.00am, Soup Lumch at 12 Noon.

List of venues :

Wed 2nd March Life Church, Bebington
Wed 9th March Christ Church, Port Sunlight
Wed 16th March St John’s

Cafod Lenten Prayer

Merciful God, source of all that is good, wash us clean of all that prevents us from seeing you in each of our sisters and brothers around the world.

Transform our hearts this Lent, through our prayer, fasting and almsgiving, to be open to the needs of all those who thirst.

Spirit of compassion, move us to share with all people the water of life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

3rd Sunday in Lent 28th 5.00pm

9.30am

3.00pm

7.30pm

Parishioners

Maureen McIntosh RIP

Stations of the Cross

Prayer Meeting

Monday 29th 12 Noon Funeral Mass – Teresa Connolly
Tuesday 1st 9.15am Neil Patten Intentions
Wednesday 2nd 9.15am Funeral Mass – Patrick Fitzgerald
Thursday 3rd 9.15am Sean McKendry RIP
Friday 4th 11.15am Poor and Hungry
Saturday 5th
4th Sunday in Lent 6th 5.00pm

9.30am

3.00pm

7.30pm

Bob Purfield Intentions

Parishioners

Stations of the Cross

Prayer Meeting

Children’s Liturgy at Sunday at 9.30am Mass. Please encourage your children and grandchildren to participate in this. We could do with some additional help with Children’s Liturgy. Please contact Jackie Mitchell or Fr Bernard to find out more.
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.

Lately Dead: Please pray for the soul of

Teresa Connolly and Patrick Fitzgerald. Their Funeral Masses will be held at St John’s this week. Please keep their families in your prayers at this sad time.

Money Matters: £614.44p Thank you for your generosity to the Parish.

Attention to all Gift Aid Donors: The Parish will soon begin the process of claiming back the Gift Aid Tax Refunds on donations made in the Tax Year 2015-2016. If your circumstances have changed and you no longer pay Income Tax (or for any reason do not wish to remain in the Gift Aid Scheme) please contact Steve Bell, Tel No 0151 644 7512 or let Fr Bernard know. If you are a Tax Payer and are not in the Gift Aid Scheme, why not join and help the Parish benefit from some of your Income Tax. If you do not pay tax but your wife or your husband is a Tax Payer, why not get them to join?

Lent 2016

Stations of the Cross: in Church each Sunday in Lent at 3pm. This week led by Deacon Mike and the Altar Servers.

Friday Lenten Lunch: 12 noon, preceded by Mass at 11.15am will be held here at St John’s each Friday during Lent.

Church Parade this Sunday,

28th February at 9.30am led by the female uniformed groups followed by Tea and Coffee and Cake Sale in the Parish Centre

Family Fast Day. A CAFOD Fast Day envelope was attached to last week’s bulletin. Please return it in the offertory basket any time up to and including

Palm Sunday weekend, 19/20th March.

CAFOD/Third World Group. After an initial meeting last month we are keen to form a St John’s CAFOD/Third World Group. If you are interested to know more after Bridget’s outstanding talk, please come to a meeting in the Day Chapel this Monday, 29th February at 7.30pm or register your interest with Cecily Sabino or Fr Bernard.

The planned Parish Quiz Night for CAFOD will now be held on Friday,

18th March, at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre. (It seems that Friday 11th was not a good night for some parishioners and also it clashes with Frank Field’s Lenten talk at SJP).

Readers: Please advise

Dot Humphrey, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, if you are UNAVAILABLE for the Easter Period 20-27th March.

Deanery Service of Reconciliation: Thursday 10th March at 7.30pm here at St John’s with an opportunity for individual confession

The Second Faith Talk at Christ the King Bromboroughgiven by Fr David Roberts on the theme of “Mercy” will be held on the Monday of Holy Week, 21st March 7.30-9.15pm in Church. Please do your best to attend. Fr David is an outstanding speaker.

Lent Talks at St John Plessington Catholic College

Fri 4th

March 7.15pm

Deacon John Boggan “Wirral Foodbank”
Fri 11th March 7.15pm Frank Field MP “Feeding the Hungry in Birkenhead & in the UK”

St John’s Catholic PreSchool is part of St John’s Infant School and we are now taking applications for childen who will be 3 years of age by 31st August, 2016. All children age 3 and 4 are entitled to 15 hours free funding a week. We offer sessional care along with all day and wraparound care. For further information please contact Pre School – Tel No

0151 645 5291

Hymn Book Amnesty.We are declaring a HYMN BOOK AMNESTY during Lent and if you have borrowed or accidently taken home a hymn book, please return and just place them on the stand at the back of church.

Church Flowers. As I am sure you will agree the flowers which adorn the altar and church enhance the liturgical seasons with their varied colours and arrangements. To support this ministry, there will be a retiring collection at both Masses over the weekend of 12th/13th March. Thank you for your continued support.

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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:

Websites:

Second Sunday in Lent, 21st February, 2016. Cycle C.

FAITH IN FOCUS: THE QUICK FIX

You can’t help feeling sorry for Peter in today’s gospel. He goes with James and John up the mountain to pray with Jesus. But the three disciples don’t appear to have the same sticking power as Jesus, and they begin to nod off. Then an incredible event takes place: the aspect of Jesus’s face becomes changed and his clothing turns a brilliant white as he is transfigured before their very eyes. Heavy with sleep, Peter makes out that Jesus is talking with Moses and Elijah and decides this is so wonderful that he’ll set up three tents for them. In this way he’ll be able to enjoy the scene any time he wants! It was only God’s voice speaking from the cloud (telling them that Jesus was his Son) that made him see sense. There was much more at stake than met the eye.

We can’t laugh at Peter because there’s something of him in all of us. We’d all love to have a deep religious experience on tap. We’d be happy with a God-in-the-box to call on whenever we needed reassurance. We too are quite capable of setting up three tents to contain our God. But, of course, life’s not like that and neither is God.

The call of Abraham in today’s reading is much closer to the mark. God made him a tremendous promise: he would be the father of countless generations who would inherit the land and enjoy God’s favour. But that was when the trouble began, as he was led into uncharted waters and called upon by God to be tested in so many ways. It took courage and perseverance for him to follow God’s call. Hence his title, “Our Father in Faith”.

There is no quick and easy way to faith. It has to be nourished and tended daily. The voice from the cloud tells us that if we want to reach perfection, to enjoy life to the full, then we must listen to the words of God’s Son. And in Lent we are reminded each week of our need to turn away from those things which are not of God, those things which seem good at the time but which do us only harm in the long term. Lent is a time for being even more attentive to the word of God in scripture and for putting it into practice in the way we treat others. There is no quick fix, only faith and perseverance.

WORD OF GOD

Look up to heavenand count the stars if you can.Such will be your descendents. (Genesis 15:5)

WORD FOR TODAY

The glimpse that the three disciples got of Jesus in glory, on the top of the mountain, is what we too yearn for here on earth. We long to know what we must do for our lives to be fruitful. And the voice from the clouds gives us a clue: “This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him.”

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.

Churches Together Lenten Lunches will continue this Wednesday

24th February, the theme “PILGRIMAGE” Coffee 10.30am,

Study 11.00am, Soup Lumch at 12 Noon.

List of venues :

Wed 24th Feb Jireh
Wed 2nd March Life Church, Bebington
Wed 9th March Christ Church, Port Sunlight
Wed 16th March St John’s

Cafod Lenten Prayer

Merciful God, source of all that is good, wash us clean of all that prevents us from seeing you in each of our sisters and brothers around the world.

Transform our hearts this Lent, through our prayer, fasting and almsgiving, to be open to the needs of all those who thirst.

Spirit of compassion, move us to share with all people the water of life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

2nd Sunday in Lent 21st 5.00pm

9.30am

3.00pm

7.30pm

Parishioners

Valerie Malam RIP

Stations of the Cross

Prayer Meeting

Monday 22nd 9.15am Bishop

Mark Annv. of his Ordination to the Episcopate

Tuesday 23rd 9.15am Ints of Kathleen Parr
Wednesday 24th 9.15am Basil Cullen RIP
Thursday 25th 9.15am Andrea King RIP
Friday 26th 11.15am Poor and Hungry
Saturday 27th
3rd Sunday in Lent 5.00pm

9.30am

3.00pm

7.30pm

Parishioners

Maureen McIntosh RIP

Stations of the Cross

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.

Lately Dead: Please pray for the soul of

Teresa Connolly and Patrick Fitzgerald who have died recently. Their Funeral Masses will be held here at St John’s. Teresa’s Mass 12 noon on Monday, 29th February and Mass 9.15am on Wednesday, 2nd March. Please keep their families in your prayers at this sad time.

Money Matters: £624.53p Thank you for your generosity to the Parish.

Attention to all Gift Aid Donors: The Parish will soon begin the process of claiming back the Gift Aid Tax Refunds on donations made in the Tax Year 2015-2016. If your circumstances have changed and you no longer pay Income Tax (or for any reason do not wish to remain in the Gift Aid Scheme) please contact Steve Bell, Tel No 0151 644 7512 or let Fr Bernard know. If you are a Tax Payer and are not in the Gift Aid Scheme why not join and help the Parish benefit

from some of your Income Tax. If you do not pay tax but your wife or your husband is a Tax Payer, why not get them to join?

Lent 2016

Stations of the Cross: in Church each Sunday in Lent at 3pm. This week led by Chris Dougherty.

Friday Lenten Lunch: 12 noon, preceded by Mass at 11.15am will be held here at St John’s each Friday during Lent.

Church Parade next Sunday,

28th February at 9.30am led by the female uniformed groups followed by Tea and Coffee and Cake Sale in the Parish Centre

Family Fast Day. A CAFOD Fast Day envelope was attached to last week’s bulletin. Please return it in the offertory basket any time up to and including

Palm Sunday weekend, 19/20th March.

CAFOD/Third World Group. After an initial meeting last month we are keen to form a St John’s CAFOD/ Third World Group. If you are interested to know more after Bridget’s outstanding talk at both Masses last weekend, please come to a meeting in the Day Chapel on Monday, 29th February at 7.30pm or register your interest with Cecily Sabino or

Fr Bernard.

The planned Parish Quiz Night for CAFOD will now be held on Friday,

18th March, at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre. (It seems that Friday 11th was not a good night for some parishioners and also it clashes with Frank Field’s Lenten talk at SJP).

Readers: Please advise

Dot Humphrey, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, if you are UNAVAILABLE for the Easter Period 20-27th March.

Deanery Service of Reconciliation: Thursday 10th March at 7.30pm here at St John’s with an opportunity for individual confession

Two Faith Talks at Christ the King Bromboroughgiven by Fr David Roberts on the theme of “Mercy” this Monday, 22nd February and on the Monday of Holy Week, 21st March 7.30-9.15pm in Church. Please do your best to attend. Fr David is an outstanding speaker.

Lent Talks at St John Plessington Catholic College

Thurs 25th Feb 7.15pm John Battle “Church Action for Poverty & CAFOD
Fri 4th Mar 7.15pm Deacon John Boggan “Wirral Foodbank”
Fri 11th March 7.15pm Frank Field MP “Feeding the Hungry in Birkenhead & in the UK”

St John’s Catholic PreSchool is part of St John’s Infant School and we are now taking applications for childen who will be 3 years of age by 31st August, 2016. All children age 3 and 4 are entitled to 15 hours free funding a week. We offer sessional care along with all day and wraparound care. For further information please contact Pre School – Tel No

0151 645 5291

The next singing practice will be thisThursday 25th February at 7.30pm 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.

Hymn Book Amnesty.We are declaring a HYMN BOOK AMNESTY during Lent and if you have borrowed or accidently taken home a hymn book, please return and just place them on the stand at the back of church.

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:

Websites:

First Sunday in Lent, 14th February, 2016. Cycle C.

FAITH IN FOCUS: THE USUAL SUSPECTS

Do we really believe that Jesus was tempted? Surely the Son of God was above such things? Not if we are to trust the gospel writers. According to them there is no temptation that we experience that Jesus did not undergo. And because of his position it was much worse for him. Yet if he did not give in to temptation, he did no wrong. And so our temptations cannot be sins either. Only if we give in to them.

The tempting of Jesus by the devil in the desert draws us to some home truths. For Jesus was tempted at his very roots. The three temptations that today’s gospel reports are catch-all temptations; they are samples or specimen charges. They encompass all that human beings can have dangled before them and they have different names. Perhaps we could call them: money, power and success. More old-fashioned language gives them different titles: sensual appetites, excessive worldly desire and proud self-sufficiency. Whatever name we give to them, they are the temptations that all of us undergo throughout our lives. They are the usual suspects.

What was really happening to Jesus is that he was being offered the chance by the devil to change his identity. Why go through all the suffering that awaited him, when simply to pay homage to the devil would get him an easy life? The devil was offering him a chance to have things easy, but at a price. The cost of giving up who he really was: the Son of God and Saviour.

When the devil failed to overcome Jesus he went off to look for another chance. It’s strangely comforting for us to know that Jesus’ temptations continued long after the 40 days in the desert. There would be other occasions when he maybe had to think twice about taking the easy way out. And this rings bells with any honest Christian, for temptation is something we have to struggle against constantly. It’s a battle that never ends.

In the 40 days of Lent that stretch before us we are given the chance to look at our own identity. Who am I really? What sort of person am I called to be and how can I ensure I don’t duck the challenge? There’s no need to make a list of the ways in which we are tempted to take the soft option. The usual suspects will show up sooner or later.

WORD OF GOD

You must lay your gifts before the Lord your God,

and bow down in the sight of the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 26:10)

THE TRUTH ABOUT VALENTINE (February 14th)

Like many of the saints in the early centuries Valentine is a mixture of fact and fiction, of reality wedded to myth.

Tradition places Valentine in the 4th century and acknowledges him as a bishop. He incurred the anger of the emperor by opposing the military ban on soldiers getting married. It is said that he secretly arranged for the soldiers to marry and when he was discovered he was put to death.

You can see from this story how he was the favourite of sweethearts everywhere for his courageous action in smoothing out the path of true love. Apparently, while he was in prison he used to write letters to people that he knew and he encouraged them to persevere in faith, telling them how much they were loved by God. Could this, then, be the origin of Valentine’s Day cards? Maybe, but it is more likely that our modern-day Valentines go back to an ancient pagan custom from Rome where single men and women put their names into an urn for the Spring Festival of Lupercalia. The name that was then drawn out of the urn became your partner for the festivities of the season… your Valentine!

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.

Cafod Lenten Prayer

Merciful God, source of all that is good, wash us clean of all that prevents us from seeing you in each of our sisters and brothers around the world.

Transform our hearts this Lent, through our prayer, fasting and almsgiving, to be open to the needs of all those who thirst.

Spirit of compassion, move us to share with all people the water of life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

fast

1st Sunday in Lent 14tg 5.00pm

9.30am

3.00pm

7.30pm

Sr Marie Clare RIP

Parishioners

Stations of the Cross

Prayer Meeting

Monday 15th 9.15am Moulton Family Intentions
Tuesday 16th 9.15am Tony & Ann Keegan Ints.
Wednesday 17th 9.15am Michael Clarke RIP
Thursday 18th 9.15am Mona Heaney Intentions
Friday 19th 11.15am Poor & Hungry
Saturday 20th
2nd Sunday in Lent 21st 5.00pm

9.30am

3.00pm

7.30pm

Parishioners

Valerie Malam RIP

Stations of the Cross

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: £709.62p. Thank you for your generosity to the Parish.

Lent 2016:

Please find enclosed with this newsletter a copy of Bishop Mark’s Lenten Pastoral Letter “On Building Missionary Parishes for the Future”.

Stations of the Cross in Church each Sunday in Lent at 3pm. This week led by Deacon Mike.

We welcome this weekend

Bridget Fenwick the Diocesan representative from CAFOD who will be speaking at both Masses this weekend.

Family Fast Day CAFOD Lenten Lunch 12 noon, preceded by Mass at 11.15am will be held here at

St John’s this coming Friday, 19th February.

Next Friday is Family Fast Day. A CAFOD Fast Day envelope is attached to this bulletin. Please return it in the offertory basket any time up to and including Palm Sunday weekend,

19/20th March.

CAFOD/Third World Group. After an initial meeting last month we are keen to form a St John’s CAFOD/ Third World Group. If you are interested to know more, especially after Bridget’s talk today, please come to a meeting in the Day Chapel on Monday, 29th February at 7.30pm.

The planned Parish Quiz Night for CAFOD will now be held on Friday, 18th March, at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre. (It seems that Friday 11th was not a good night for some parishioners and also it clashes with Frank Field’s Lenten talk at SJP).

Readers: Please advise

Dot Humphrey AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you are UNAVAILABLE for the Easter Period 20-27th March.

Churches Together Lenten Lunches will commence this Wednesday 17th February-16th March. the theme “PILGRIMAGE” Coffee 10.30am, Study 11.00am, Soup Lumch at

12 Noon. List of venues :

Wed 17th Feb (Half term) Hr Beb URC
Wed 24th Feb Jireh
Wed 2nd March Life Church, Bebington
Wed 9th March Christ Church, Port Sunlight
Wed 16th March St John’s

.

LPA Lenten Day of Reflection open to everyone…. will be held next 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.

Church Parade next Sunday at 9.30am Mass led by the female uniformed groups followed by Tea and Coffee and Cake Sale in the Parish Centre

Deanery Service of Reconciliation: Thursday 10th March at 7.30pm here at St John’s with an opportunity for individual confession.

Lent Talks at St John Plessington Catholic College

Thurs 25th Feb 7.15pm John Battle “Church Action for Poverty & CAFOD
Fri 4th Mar 7.15pm Deacon John Boggan “Wirral Foodbank”
Fri 11th March 7.15pm Frank Field MP “Feeding the Hungry in Birkenhead and in the UK”

The next singing practice will beonThursday 25th February at 7.30pm 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.

First Forgiveness. Congratulations to 66 children from Year 3 St Johns Junior School who received the Sacrament of First Forgiveness here at St Johns last Thursday evening. A big thank you to our teachers, catechists and parents who helped to prepare the children. Please keep them all in your prayers as they now prepare for First Communion.

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:

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, 7th February, 2016. Cycle C

FAITH IN FOCUS: A HOLY PEOPLE?

Some early Christians thought that only blameless people could belong to the Church. They said that the personal holiness of the priest was necessary for the sacraments to be valid. And some of them went round re-baptising those who had been baptised by “unworthy” priests. Fortunately, this false teaching, known as Donatism, was stamped out largely due to the efforts of people like St Augustine.

Underpinning this misconception is the idea that we ourselves are responsible for God’s action in the world. We preach and people are converted, we baptise and a person becomes a Christian, we counsel and people become consoled.

Another problem with this is that it fails to grasp what holiness really is. It is God who acts and works in the world, through us. No one is worthy of themselves to share in God’s saving work. No priest ministers from a personal reservoir of holiness. It is by God’s grace that they share in the action of Christ. No congregation is worthy enough to “conjure up” the Eucharist. It is only through the grace of the Holy Spirit that we are “qualified” to do so.

Today we hear how Isaiah was acutely aware of his unworthiness. And we see Peter so ashamed of himself when he met Jesus that he asked to be left alone. People faced with sheer holiness realise the shallowness of much of their existence.

And so too with us. In spite of our own unworthiness God chooses to have us as living members of his Church. That’s because we share the holiness of God in Jesus. We’re called to be prophet-disciples in a Church that is one, holy, catholic and apostolic. And holiness means loving like God loves, in a wholesome way.

The Church, then, is holy not because of us. It’s holy because it belongs to God. We don’t possess our own brand of holiness. We share in God’s. So, unworthy as we are God calls each one of us to holiness. And if God doesn’t put us down, we should be careful about doing so ourselves.

WORD OF GOD

“Your sin is taken away,

your iniquity is purged.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,

“Whom shall I send? Who will be my messenger?”

I answered, “Here I am, send me.”

(Isaiah 6: 7-8)

WORD FOR TODAY

There’s an old saying that God can write straight even on crooked lines. When Isaiah had his vision of God he felt so unworthy. Yet God is able to wipe away our sinfulness and equip us for service. Recognising this unworthiness is not only a sign of God’s grace working in us; it’s the way to God’s kingdom.

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.

CAFOD Lenten Prayer

Merciful God, source of all that is good, wash us clean of all that prevents us from seeing you in each of our sisters and brothers around the world.

Transform our hearts this Lent, through our prayer, fasting and almsgiving, to be open to the needs of all those who thirst.

Spirit of compassion, move us to share with all people the water of life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C 7th 5.00pm

9.30am

3.00pm

7.30pm

Parishioners

Terry McCarron RIP

Stations of the Cross

Prayer Meeting

Monday 8th 9.15am Forshaw Family Ints
Tuesday 9th 9.15am Service of the Word & Communion
Ash Wednesday 10th 9.15am Parishioners
Thursday 11th 9.15am Eleanor McGuigan RIP
Friday 12th 9.15am Peggy McAllister RIP
Saturday 13th
1st Sunday in Lent 14th 5.00pm

9.30am

3.00pm

7.30pm

Sr Marie Clare RIP

Parishioners

Stations of the Cross

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: £ Thank you for your generosity to the Parish.

Lent 2016

Ash Wednesday: Distribution of Ashes at 9.15am Mass. Ashes Service for St John’s School in Church at 11.00am (Mass at St Anne’s at 7.30pm)

This is a Day of Fasting and Abstinence i.e. abstaining from meat and having less to eat. Everyone over 16 is bound by the requirement of abstinence fasting for 16-60 year olds.

Stations of the Cross: Each of the Sunday’s of Lent in Church at 3.00pm

Churches Together Lenten Lunches will commence each Wednesday from 17th February-16th March. the theme “PILGRIMAGE”

Coffee 10.30am, Study 11.00am, Soup Lumch at

12 Noon.

List of venues :

Wed 17th Feb (Half term week) Hr Beb URC
Wed 24th Feb Jireh
Wed 2nd March Life Church, Bebington
Wed 9th March Christ Church, Port Sunlight
Wed 16th March St John’s

Family Fast Day CAFOD Lenten Lunch, preceded by Mass at 11.30am will be held here at St John’s on Friday, 19th February .

A Diocesan representative from CAFOD will be speaking at both Masses next weekend.

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.

Deanery Service of Reconciliation: Thursday

10th March at 7.30pm here at

St John’s with an opportunity for individual confession.

Lent Talks at St John Plessington Catholic College

Thurs 25th Feb 7.15pm John Battle “Church Action for Poverty & CAFOD
Fri 4th Mar 7.15pm Deacon John Boggan “Wirral Foodbank”
Fri 11th March 7.15pm Frank Field MP “Feeding the Hungry in Birkenhead and in the UK”

First Forgiveness…. please keep the children from Year 3 of St John’s Junior School in your thoughts and prayers as they prepare for their First Forgiveness Service to be held in Church this Thursday, 11th February at 6.00pm.

There will betwo singing practices in February on Thursday, 11th and

Thursday 25th at 7.30pm 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.

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.

Parish Centre Meeting This Thursday in the Centre at 7.45pm. All Parish Centre Users please attend. Other parishioners are also most welcome.

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 in Ordinary Time, 31st January, 2016. Cycle C

FAITH IN FOCUS: STRONG CONVICTIONS

It’s not really fair to speak of Jeremiah as the “prophet of doom”. True, he did have some pretty devastating messages for the Jewish people and he warned that if they did not live up to their side of the bargain with God then things would only get worse.

He was a man of strong convictions who lived through some of the most harassing periods of Old Testament history. So perhaps he could be forgiven for coming down in a heavy way. Not that he was the sort of person you’d invite to your party. He refused to go to festivities because he thought things were too disastrous to be partying. He never married because he thought his children wouldn’t survive. His townspeople plotted against his life. He was put in the Temple stocks for prophesying that the city would be destroyed. And he was put on trial for blasphemy. He didn’t want to be a prophet but took his calling seriously, realising he had a duty to tell the world what he thought God wanted it to hear.

When we baptise people we make them prophets. I’m one and so are you. This means that in our daily lives we have to tell others what we think God wants them to know. This task isn’t just for bishops, priests, deacons and other worthies. It’s what we agree to every time we answer “Amen” at Communion, what we proclaim every time we say the Creed. It’s what being a Christian means.

Of course, it’s easier to keep a low profile, to pretend that we’re not quite sure about some aspects of our faith, to leave it to others. Yet God has given us a role in the never-ending drama of revealing his love to the world. Prophets don’t exist to bring bad news but to be living proof of God’s love for those he has created. You and I are surrounded by God’s care and as prophets we’re here to let others see that this love makes a difference in our lives. A relationship with God is not a private affair, so I mustn’t be fooled into keeping quiet about (politics and) religion out of a misplaced sense of decency. If we never talk about God, people will never come to know him. And today Jeremiah gives us some very comforting words from God if we’re feeling a bit inadequate. He says, “They will fight against you but shall not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you.” So what are we waiting for?

WORD OF GOD

Before I formed you in the womb

I knew you;

before you came to birth

I consecrated you;

I have appointed you

as prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:4-5)

WORD FOR TODAY

God does not create audience members. Everyone is an actor in God’s plan for the world. Before we even come to birth God knows what we are capable of, and he is waiting patiently for us to play our part in the drama of making him known and loved in our world. Do we know our lines?

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.

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C 31st 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Eileen Spencer Intentions

Parishioners

Prayer Meeting

Monday 1st 9.15am Homeless
Tuesday 2nd 9.15am Ivan D Gregory RIP
Wednesday 3rd 9.15am Service of the Word & Communion
Thursday 4th 9.15am Service of the Word & Communion
Friday 5th 9.15am Andrea King RIP
Saturday 6th
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C 7th 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Parishioners

Terry McCarron RIP

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: £ 618.18p Thank you for your generosity to the Parish.

Priests Retirement Fund: A cheque for £523.64 has been sent to the Diocese.

Tuesday is Candlemas Day: Candles will be blessed and distributed before the 9.15am Mass which will be held in the main church. At this Mass we will be joined by the children, staff and parents of Year 5 & 6 from St John’s Junior School. Please do join us if you can. Tea/Coffee/Biscuits at the back of Church after Mass.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday 10th February (i.e. a week on Wednesday). There will be a full list of Lenten Activities in next week’s newsletter.

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.

There will betwo singing practices in February on Thursday, 11th and Thursday 25th at 7.30pm 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.

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.

Mass for Marriage and Family Life The Annual Diocesan Mass for Marriage and Family Life will be celebrated at St Columba’s Church, Newhall Road, Plas Newton, Chester CH2 1SA next Saturday at 12 noon. All married couples and families are welcome.

First Forgiveness…. please keep the children from Year 3 of St John’s Junior School in your thoughts and prayers as they prepare for their First Forgiveness Service to be held in Church on Thursday 11th February at 6.00pm.

Many thanks to the organisers and all who supported the Quiz night on Friday.

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.