Passion Sunday, 20th 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

Email: stjohntheevangelist


Passion Sunday, 20th March, 2016. Cycle C.


Not everyone in the crowd on Palm Sunday and Good Friday was bothered about the goings-on surrounding Jesus of Nazareth. There were plenty of people just going about their own business who got caught up or inconvenienced by the fuss. Another demonstration on a Sunday; another public execution on a Friday. So what’s new?

Those whose lives were changed by the events had to follow Jesus closely. They had to feel for him, to get involved in his journey and identify with what it was all about. Anyone could just walk by.

And nothing has changed. We too can just walk by as the events of that first Holy Week unfold now before our eyes. How? Well, we can simply come to Church for our Three Day Feast (Maundy Thursday/Good Friday/Easter) and treat it as a walk down memory lane as we recall the events of so long ago. We can sing the hymns, say the prayers, carry the palms and light the candles. Or we can choose to follow Jesus in such a way that it bites into the reality of our lives. And we can do this in two ways.

Firstly, we can examine the way we react to suffering when it comes our way. Is suffering (not just illness but the mental anguish that comes with tragedy or misfortune) something that we avoid like the plague? No one wants to invite suffering on themselves, but how do we treat it when it comes our way? Do we have a spiritual attitude to suffering? Is it something that we take just as a bugbear or is it something that we see as an opportunity to bear as Christ bore it, to join our suffering with that of Jesus on Calvary? Do we see adversity as a nuisance or can we grow as a result of the way we react to it?

Secondly, do we look at the suffering of other people just from a distance, like those who went about their business as Jesus was humiliated and executed? When we view the pictures of misery that assault us from our TV sets do we react in an active way or do we think of it as mere information or, God forbid, entertainment? Do the stories in our newspapers really affect us or have we become immune to them? And what about the suffering that we see in the faces of those who live on our streets and in our places of work?

Passion (Palm) Sunday and Good Friday give us a choice. Christ’s passion is still going on. We can stand and watch in our own day, or we can put our faith into real action.

Triduum “Triduum” is an unusual sounding word. When applied to Holy Week it means a three-day feast. Not three separate days, but three-day feast. For once we begin our memorial to the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday evening we have started something that will continue until completion at Easter.

On Maundy Thursday we will recall two important events, the institution of the Eucharist and the command to service that is symbolised by the washing of the feet.

Good Friday starkly reminds us of the reality of our faith. Christ was brutally executed so that he might conquer all that is evil and dark in our world. Far from being simply a breast-beating day, it celebrates that the cross we venerate was not a defeat but a triumph.

The Easter Vigil concludes this most important of Christian feasts. Our Easter fire and candle proclaim that darkness could not overcome the light of the world. As we listen to the story of God’s dealings with us from the beginning of time we renew our baptismal promises, maybe even receive new members into the community, and then present our gifts before the Lord that they may be transformed into the food and drink of life. It is

easy for Christian to appear as masochists when they talk about human suffering. But there is no denying that suffering can also be redemptive. History is littered with examples of people whose suffering has produced the recognition that pain can be a thread in the pattern of God’s weaving. And through the torment they achieve a fundamental joy.

Please take a copy of the Wednesday Word. It is a helpful reflection 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.

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.

If you have not recently completed a Census Form last weekend please do so in the sacristy after Mass today and complete one. It is very important that we have accurate Parish Records.



Passion Sunday 20th 5.00pm





Andrea King RIP

Stations of the Cross

Prayer Meeting

Monday 21st 9.15am Mandy Shannon RIP
Tuesday 22nd 9.15am Rachel Mulrooney RIP
Wednesday 23rd 9.15am Aileen McGuigan RIP
Holy Thursday 24th 7.30pm Mass of the Last Supper

For Vocations

Good Friday 25th 3.00pm


Celebration of the Lords Passion

Tenebrae Service

Holy Saturday 26th 8.00pm Easter Vigil Mass

Fred Diskin Annv

Easter Sunday 27th 9.30am



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 Monday & Wednesday after 9.15 Mass.

Good Friday 2.15-2.45pm

Morning Prayer of the Church 15 minutes before daily 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 £

Easter Flower Collection £421.84p Thank you for your generosity to St John’s Parish and its Schools.

All CAFOD Lenten Family Fast Day Envelopes should have been returned this weekend. Many thanks to all those who supported the Lent Lunches and Friday’s Quiz Night which raised £120. We shall post a cheque to CAFOD this week after totalling up the various amounts raised during Lent and print the total amount raised in next weekend’s bulletin.

Could all APF Red Mission Box holders please empty their boxes and bring their contents into Church by 31st March. Any problems/questions, please contact Kath Markey on

Tel No 538 8429

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?

Fr Dermot Byrne MHM is helping Fr Bernard with the Holy Week Masses and Services at St John’s and St Anne’s. Fr Dermot is the APF/Red Mission Box Appealer for the Diocese and gave a Mission Appeal at St John’s in October.



Palm Sunday 19th/20th March

Masses at the usual times 5pm and 9.30am. You are invited to assemble in the Parish Centre.

Holy Thursday 24th March: Mass of the Lord’s Supper 7.30pm followed by Waiting at the Altar of Repose until 10pm.

Good Friday 25th March … A Day of Fasting and Abstinence

Churches Together in Bebington “The Journey to Easter”. Starts at 12 Noon outside Lady Lever Art Gallery.

Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 3pm.

Tenebrae Service at 6.00pm in the Day Chapel

Holy Saturday 26th March: Easter Vigil Mass at 8pm

Easter Sunday 27th March: Mass 9.30am.

On Holy Saturday we will resume our tradition of praying Morning Prayer together at 11.30am in the day chapel followed by a shared lunch. If you have not been before why not give it a try. Please bring a small food donation for the lunch.

We welcome St John’s Infant School pupils, teachers and parents, who will be joining us for 9.15am morning Mass this Tuesday,

22nd March. St John’s Junior School will be holding their Mass in School at 2pm. All parents are warmly welcome.

The Second Faith Talk at Christ the King Bromborough given by

Fr David Roberts on the theme of “Mercy” will be held this Monday,

21st March 7.30-9.15pm in Church. Please do your best to attend. Fr David is an outstanding speaker.

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.

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