Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, 22nd January, 2017. Cycle A


St John the Evangelist

128 Bebington Road, New Ferry, CH62 5BJ

Diocese of Shrewsbury (reg. charity 234025)

Parish Priest: Fr Bernard Forshaw Deacon: Revd Michael Daly Phone: 0151 645 3314

Email: stjohntheevangelist Websites:

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, 22nd January, 2017. Cycle A

An Extract from Seasons of the Word by Fr Denis McBride C.Ss.R

A full-page advertisement appears in the Sunday papers. It is headed by pictures of a doctor, a lawyer, a musician and an army officer. Underneath is written “A vocation. What if you do not have one?” The text continues “It was the first time I felt envious about anything”, a young man told us recently. “I looked around the dining hall and realised with some pain that there were two sorts of people here: those who had vocations and the rest of us who did not. The first group knew exactly where they wanted to go and how to get there. Their lives, I naively imagined, would be unswerving and purposeful, rich with certainty and fulfilment. By contrast I felt muddled and irresolute. I found myself mentally trying on different jobs but, like second hand clothes, none seemed to fit”.

Only in the next sentence do we find out what the advert is for. “What, you may well ask, was this young man doing at the Army Officer Selection Board?”

The advertisement tries to kill the idea that a young man who is un certain has no place in the army. Uncertainty, it argues, is not feeble-mindedness. After all how can you commit yourself to something you know nothing about? The army, so the argument goes, will give this unsure young man time to make up his mind about this future. He will have time to discover if he really has what the recruiting officer calls “a vocation for the Army”.

When Matthew writes of the call of the first disciples, there is no suggestion of any hesitation on the part of the four fishermen. Matthew does not tell us why they follow Jesus. His story is simple. Jesus calls them and they follow him. There is no hint about where they are going; there is no detailing of what discipleship will involve. Nothing is promised, nothing is signed. Matthew is clearly not interested in these questions: he is more concerned to show the disciples were called by Jesus and how their discipleship requires the leaving of everything that occupied them until that moment.

Matthew keeps the focus on Jesus and show the authority of his word and the power of his healing. Discipleship is centred on Jesus. Because of who he is, others will change. Jesus alone is the source of discipleship. Without the person of Jesus, discipleship is meaningless.

Like Matthew, Paul is insistent in today’s second reading on Jesus as the focus of Christian discipleship. Jesus is the great light, and no one, however exalted, can take his place.

Paul resists any attempt to make Christian discipleship a matter of following this or that Christian leader. For Paul, only one person gets the incense and that person is Jesus himself. Religious leadership is about leading others to Christ: it cannot be reduced to smiles and styles. Religious authority does not lead others to itself but to the Lord. It does not exult in itself or point to itself. It points to Christ. For Paul and Matthew there is only one answer to the question “Who are you for?” The Christian must answer “I am for Christ”

For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News, and not to preach that in the terms of philosophy in which the crucifixion of Christ cannot be expressed

1 Corinthians 17

A local charity called Merseyaid is collecting clothing and household goods to send to Lebanon and for refugees coming to our area. Anything you want to donate will be put to good use. A box will be provided at the back of church and emptied weekly. As Christians we are called to look after those less fortunate than ourselves. Thank you for your generous support.


Thank you for your continued support .If anyone is free on Monday or Tuesday mornings and would like to go on the rota to take our collected goods down to the warehouse in Birkenhead, please let us know. Please see the list of urgently needed goods on the notice board at the back of Church.Urgently required goods include biscuits, sponge pudding, sugar, squash and deodorant.

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.

Day of Reflection on Pope Francis’ Exhortation ‘The Joy of Love’:10.30am – 3pm, Wed 26 April at LACE, Croxteth Drive, Sefton Park, Liverpool, L17 1AA and led by Father Chris Thomas, the well-known retreat giver. Cost £20 including lunch.

If you have a notice for the bulletin please email it to the parish email address or put it through the presbytery letterbox by 12 noon on Thursdays. This will help Louise, Ann & I greatly. Many thanks.

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time 22nd 5.00pm



Intentions of the Young Family


Prayer Meeting

Monday 23rd 9.15am Mary Haigh RIP
Tuesday 24th 9.15am Fnds/Rels Bell & Nugent Fams
Wednesday 25th 9.15am Canon Hugh McHugh Annv RIP
Thursday 26th 9.15am Service of the Word & Communion
Friday 27th 9.15am Intentions Eileen Kavanagh
Saturday 28th
4th Sunday in Ordinary Time 29th 5.00pm




Intentions Peter Neilson

Ivan Gregory RIP

United Christian Unity Service at Prenton Methodist Church

Prayer Meeting

Confessions Saturday 4.15 – 4.45pm
Morning Prayer of the Church 15 minutes before daily masses

Baptisms and Weddings in 2017…… please contact us as soon as possible.

First Forgivenessfor children at St John’s School will be celebrated in Church on Thursday

16th February at 6.30pm.

First Communion Masses: Saturday 13th May and Sunday 20th May at 11am.

Prayers for the Sick. At this time of year especially please pray for our many sick and housebound parishioners and if anyone is in need of a visit/Holy Communion or is going into hospital or a care home, please do let us know.

Marie Rooney’s family would like to thank the parishioners of our

Parish, St Anne’s, St Werburgh’s and Christ the King for your

support at the time of Mum’s death. The well wishes, prayers,

Mass cards, preparation and attendance at her Requiem Mass

gave us great support. We will remember you all in our prayers.

Money Matters

Offertory : £590.58p

Thank you for your generosity

This Weekend is the annual Diocesan Collection for the Sick and Retired Priests Fund will be taken at the end of both Masses. Bishop Mark writes “I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of the Diocese towards the Sick and Retired Priests Fund. With your help we can build up the Fund to meet the future needs of our sick and retired priests. Special envelopes are available for you to use where you can also take advantage of Gift Aid. I ask that you give as generously as you can to this worthy cause and I would also like to

express my sincere thanks for your continued support”.

CARITAS: You are invited to the official launch of the new agency “CARITAS: Diocese of Shrewsbury”. Caritas is the successor agency of the Catholic Children’s Society and will seek to develop the Church’s social mission in the years ahead. The celebration will be held at Ellesmere Port Catholic High School, Capenhurst Lane Whitby CH65 7AQ on Saturday 4th February . 10am Registration and refreshments. 10.30am Introduction by Bishop Mark and input from speakers. Concluding with Mass at 11.45am. Please contact Pauline McCulloch if you are able to come emailing pauline.mccullochor by phone 0151 652 9855

“Our Mission Together”

Thanks to your continuing generosity and prayers the preliminary work on the sanctuary re-ordering and the re-siting of the tabernacle and the baptismal font in Church began last Monday. With this part of the project scheduled for completion by Wednesday 15th February (one month). The redecorating of the Church and the Day Chapel will follow in the quieter days of mid-July to mid-August. If you have not already pledged or contributed to “Our Mission Together” and would like to do so or have any question or would like more information about this exciting Diocesan initiative which is now bearing much fruit around the Diocese please contact

Fr Bernard or Anthony Doyle

Tel 0151 652 9855/07833209713

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins on Wednesday 18th-25th January. The Theme “Crossing Barriers”As usual we will be having our trip around the Churches here in the Bebington area. The programme is as follows. Also see poster at the back of church.

Monday 23rd January Christ Church Hr Bebington
Tuesday 24th January U.R.C Hr Bebington
Wednesday 25th January Christ Church Port Sunlight

Each meeting starts at 10.30am for tea/coffee.

Service starts at

A united service will take place next Sunday 29th January, at Prenton Methodist Church at 4pm.

Diocesan Year of Mission 2017. A t the request of those who attended a series of talks last year and to help discover own part in the mission of the Church, four reflections will be offered this January/February. All are welcome to attend the Third Talk entitled “Thy Will Be Done!” given by Miss Barbara Davies this Wednesday

25th January 7pm-9pm at Our Lady’s Parish Centre in Ellesmere Port. See poster at back of church.

Diocesan Annual Mass for the Celebration of Marriage. This annual Mass has grown as a Diocesan event and is greatly appreciated by the couples and their families who take part. This year’s Mass will be celebrated at our Lady’s Church in Stockport on Saturday 11th February at

12 noon. If you are celebrating a significant anniversary in 2017 (i.e. 25th, 40th, 50th, 60th) and wish to attend please let Fr Bernard know by 22nd January.

Shrewsbury Catholic Charismatic Renewal will be holding a weekend at Pantasaph Friary on 24th-26th February. Theme: “Hungry for God”. Speaker: Fr Chris Thomas. Cost £105. See poster at back of church for details. Contact: Ann Murray 0151 645 5514 for booking information.

On Friday March 3rd at 2pm it is the Women’s World Day of Prayer. The service comes from the Philippines this year and is being held in our church. As we are praying for Filipino women, we are hoping that some of our Filipino parishioners will kindly help and be a part of this service. Please see Maria Fryer or

Claire McGree.

Healing Mass: Saturday 25 Marchat3pm, St Werburgh’s, Grosvenor Park Road, Chester, CH1 1QJ is for all

families that are affected by mental illness and those that work with them. There will be an Anointing of the Sick during Mass and an opportunity for socialising and meeting members of the Diocesan Mental Health Action Group afterwards.

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