Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, 7th February, 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


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


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.


“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)


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





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




Sr Marie Clare 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: £ 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.

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