Fourth Sunday in Lent, 6th March, 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



Fourth Sunday in Lent, 6th March, 2016. Cycle C.


We’re fond of passing off our troubles with the phrase, “There’s always someone worse off than us”. Secretly, we’re rather glad there is, because we’d hate to think that we were at the bottom of the pile!

But by the same token we also end up thinking, “There’s always someone worse”. (Not worse off, just worse.) We know that we can be bad but we comfort ourselves with the thought that there are a lot of nasty people out there, and I’m certainly not as bad as they are. Newspapers and TV encourage us to think like this by dubbing people as monsters and beasts, or even just plain asylum seekers. And today Jesus is faced in the gospel with some righteous leaders who complain about the company he keeps and the sort of characters he eats with. It seems we always need someone to scapegoat because that makes us feel more worthy.

Yet the parable of the prodigal son is about all of us. No honest person can ignore the message of the story. Each one of us can recognise how capable we are of taking a perfectly lovely situation and reducing it to rubble. Spending the money on wine, women and song is merely a symbol of our tendency to mess things up in our own particular way.

Now the way God deals with sinners is the way the father dealt with his son. He welcomes them unconditionally and offers them food. That’s the hard part for some people. If the sinner were made to go through some public humiliation or dressing down, then they’d be happy. But in fact it’s an embrace and a dressing up that awaits the young man. And it’s the older brother who finds all this forgiveness too much to take. After all, he’s better than his prodigal relation.

The story of the prodigal son is an antidote to modern society. For it speaks of things that are given, not earned. It overflows with “concessions” that ring badly in the ears of many. It says that we should rehabilitate not punish, that we should be profoundly moved by someone who sees the error of their ways, and that we should welcome back rather than shut out. To a world thirsty for “justice” it offers only grace.


All-loving God, we give thanks and praise for mothers young and old. We pray for young mothers, who give life and count toes and tend to our every need; May they be blessed with patience and tenderness to care for their families and themselves with joy.

We pray for our own mothers who have nurtured and cared for us; May they continue to guide us in strong and gentle ways.

We remember mothers who are separated from their children because of war, poverty or conflict; May they feel the loving embrace of our God who wipes every tear away.

We pray for women who are not mothers but still love and shape us with motherly care and compassion.

We remember mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers who are no longer with us but who live forever in our memory and nourish us with their love. Amen.

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.

Bailey Murray Academy of Irish Dance presents St Patrick Day Dance to be held on Saturday 19th March at St Anne’s, Rock Ferry, 7.30pm-12.30pm Tickets £7, Senior £5 Child £3. Tickets available from St Anne’s Church Hall or pay on the door. Contact 07802687526/077919185047. See poster at back of church for full details

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.

Please take this bulletin home with you and when you have finished reading it please pass it on to a member of the family/friend/someone you work with/neighbour particularly if they have not been to St John’s recently.

4th Sunday in Lent 6th 5.00pm




Bob Purfield Intentions


Stations of the Cross

Prayer Meeting

Monday 7th 9.15am Mona

Heaney Intentions

Tuesday 8th 9.15am Rona Lamb RIP
Wednesday 9th 9.15am Eileen Kavanagh Intentions
Thursday 10th 9.15am


Teresa Connolly RIP

Deanery Service of Reconciliation

Friday 11th 11.15am Poor and Hungry
Saturday 12th
5th Sunday in Lent 13th 5.00pm




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. 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

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.

The Holy Week and Easter Schedule of Masses will appear in next week’s bulletin.

Readers: Please check if you are reading during the Easter Season and those reading the Gospels of Luke and John pick up a copy from the sacristy.

Money Matters: £643.82p Thank you

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 our wife or your husband is a Tax Payer, why not get them to join?

Lent 2016

Stations of the Cross/Lenten Reflection in Church each Sunday in Lent at 3pm.

Deanery Service of Reconciliation: Will be held next Thursday

10th March at 7.30pm here at

St John’s with an opportunity for individual confession.

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

Lent Talks at St John Plessington Catholic College

Fri 11th March 7.15pm Frank Field MP “Feeding the Hungry in Birkenhead & in the UK”

Parish Quiz Night for CAFOD will be held on Friday, 18th March, at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre. £4 for a Team of 4. Come along and join in the fun for this very worthy course.

CAFOD Family Fast Day. Thank you for your generosity so far. Any remaining envelopes should be returned in the offertory basket at Sunday Masses up to and including 19th/20th March.

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.

PARISH PASTORAL TEAM MEETINGwill be held on Tuesday, 8th March in the Presbytery. PLEASE NOTE EARLIER TIME OF 6.30PM.

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 need weekend, 12th/13th March. Thank you for your continued support.

Last Year Wirral Foodbank fed 10,676 individuals thanks to the unwavering donations given by people throughout Wirral in collections at their churches, at food drop-off points and supermarket collections. We currently have no tinned tomatoes or vegetables (NO BAKED BEANS PLEASE) and we need tea bags, 40 bag packets, and 500g bags of sugar, 500g bags of rice – not the larger bags please. Nappies are still required but no baby food or milk needed. A list of goods needed will be on the notice board. Thank you all for your wonderful and continuous support

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.

Please come to the Uniformed Group’s Spectacular Carwash next Sunday 13th March. We will wash your car during Mass and all we ask is that you donate whatever you consider appropriate for the quality of the job. Thank you. The Carwash will be in the Church Car Park.

Churches Together Lenten Lunches will continue this Wednesday 9th March, the theme “PILGRIMAGE”. Coffee 10.30am,

Study 11.00am, Soup Lumch at 12 Noon.

List of venues :

Wed 9th March Christ Church,

Port Sunlight

Wed 16th March St John’s

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