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

01/02/2016

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.

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