Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, 1st October, 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: Websites: 


Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, 1st October, 2017. Cycle A



There are three ways of reading today’s parable about the two sons who were asked to go and work in the vineyard.

One way is to view it as a simple story about two men. The first told his father that he would go and work, but he broke his promise and never bothered to do what he had agreed to do. The second son ignored his father’s request but later thought better of it and went to the vineyard to work. Jesus asks his audience which of the two sons they think did the father’s will. It’s obvious that it’s the second son.

Another way of looking at this parable is to realise that Jesus was addressing it to the religious leaders rather than the ordinary people. They were represented by the first son. They had learnt all the laws and customs of their religion, they went tot the synagogue and the Temple, but they were lukewarm in their love of God and neighbour, knowing how to do the minimum and still stay on the side of right. The second son symbolised the ordinary people who perhaps were not as involved as the religious leaders but nevertheless delivered the goods when it mattered. (Jesus told this parable in the last week of his life when the religious leaders stepped up their attack on him. It’s not surprising that they were annoyed!)) Or perhaps the best way of reading this parable, in order to make sense of it here and now, is to recognise that each of us has a bit of both sons in us. There’s a part of us that has said yes to God but when it’s crunch time we know that we largely go through the motions when it comes to our faith. We are seen at Church but we’re not prepared really to get involved in our community and we leave that up to those who usually can be relied on to step forward when help is needed. And yet there’s another part of us, the second son, which realises our need to respond in a deeper fashion to God’s call. We don’t want to be thought of as religious maniacs but in our heart of hearts we know that God is calling out to us and we put in just enough effort to stay on the books. Maybe this parable is inviting us to be clear about those areas where we’re slow to act on our faith, and to do something about it?


I tell you solemnly,tax collectors and prostitutesare making their way into the kingdom of God before you. (Matthew21: 31)




A Step along the way.

“This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities. It is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest. We may never see the end results, but we are workers, not master builders, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.”


Day of Renewal

At St. Joseph’s Parish Centre, Greenbank Rd, Birkenhead CH42 7JY next Saturday October 7th from 10am-4pm.

“Mission at the heart of the Christian faith”

Speaker Fr. Chris Thomas.

Bring packed lunch. Tea / coffee provided.

More information contact Maggie McMahon- 07895869209



Come and See Conference 2017, 14th-15th October is being held at Christ the King High School, Stamford Road, Southport PR8 4EX,     Timothy Radcliffe OP will be the keynote speaker with workshops by leaders including Fiona Castle, Dermott Donnelly, David and Mary Matthews and Pat Kennedy.  For booking forms and further information, contact Jenny on 0151 949 1199 or email     See Poster on Notice Board at the back of church.



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 locally and further afield.


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



Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ord Time Cycle A 1st 5.00pm



Patricia Blundell RIP

Patrick Fitzgerald RIP

Prayer Meeting

Monday 2nd 9.15am Rose Quigg RIP
Tuesday 3rd 9.15am Jim McNally RIP(in School)
Wednesday 4th 9.15am Service of Word and Communion
Thursday 5th 9.15am Service of Word and Communion
Friday 6th 9.15am Julie Bradley Anniv RIP
Saturday 7th    
Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ord Time Cycle A 8th 5.00pm




Elizabeth Dunne RIP

Prayer Meeting

Children’s Liturgy as usual this Sunday morning at 9.30am Mass in the Parish Centre.
Confessions For the time being please see Father Bernard.
Morning Prayer 15 minutes before daily masses


Money Matters: Offertory £525.15p.   Many thanks.


Tea & Coffee in the Parish Centre Sunday after 9.30 Mass.



Last Friday’s Family Night and Bingo……..Many thanks to all who came and enjoyed the evening and thank you to those who organised it.


Next Friday is Cafod Family Fast Day. Cafod envelopes are on the tables in the Parish Centre. Please take one and return in the offertory bag anytime in October.


Forthcoming Meetings

On Tuesday LPA Meeting for Clergy and Parish Reps at St Anne’s Presbytery at 7pm.


On Wednesday Birkenhead & East Wirral Deanery Clergy Meeting at St Joseph’s North Rd Birkenhead 4.30pm.


St John’s Parish Pastoral Team next meeting Thursday 12th October at 7.30pm in the Presbytery. As the suggestion box is not available at the moment owing to redecoration work, if you have any suggestions for the Team to consider please email to the Presbytery or put them through the Presbytery letter box.


Carmelite Monastery Grosvenor Place Birkenhead Annual Benediction in honour of Saint Therese of Lisieux with the veneration of her relic. This Sunday at 3pm. Father Sean Riley is this years presider and preacher. All are most welcome .

News from our Schools

This Tuesday’s 9.15am Mass is being celebrated in St John’s Infant School with Year 1 children & their parents. Parishioners are most welcome too. The theme of the Mass will be God’s Wonderful World.

The Diocese is looking to recruit a full time and permanent Deputy Director of Schools see poster on the noticeboard and the Shrewsbury Diocesan website for further details.

October= Month of the Rosary .As usual a statue of Our Lady will circulate the parish. If you would like to join in this Rosary Chain of prayer and have the statue for a day please contact Maria Fryer asap Tel 201 5837 Fr Bernard hopes that the Re Decoration will be complete by Sunday 29th October so that he can lead a Rosary Holy Hour sometime that afternoon.

Public Rosary for World Peace…….Saturday 14th October at 2pm in St. Werburgh’s Square, Birkenhead. Please join us to pray for this important intention on the 100th Anniversary of the appearance of Our Lady at Fatima.

Confirmation 2017: Confirmation meetings for Candidates  with Catechists continue in the Parish Centre on Fridays from 6.30 – 8.00pm. The candidates have now been enrolled in the preparation programme. The Mass of Confirmation this year for our East Wirral Parishes will be celebrated by Bishop Brian Noble at Christ the King Bromborough on Friday 24th November at 7pm . Please keep them all in your prayers.


November Lists
Please ensure that all names for the November List are handed into the Presbytery as soon as possible.  Please mark the envelopes FAO Ann Murray and please print all names clearly. The date for this year’s Annual  Remembrance Mass will be announced shortly.


Grandparents.You and your family are warmly invited to the Annual Diocesan Mass celebrating the important vocation of Grandparents in the life of the family, and of the Church. The Mass will be celebrated at St Columba’s, Plas Newton Lane, Plas Newton, Chester CH2 1SA  on Saturday 14 October at 11am followed by light refreshments. Please keep the vocation of grandparents in your prayers, they are often essential in assisting parents with childcare and passing on the beauty of the Catholic Faith to their grandchildren.Our local Grandparents Group meets here in the Presbytery on Tuesday 10th October at 1.30pm. Further details from Rose Larkin.


Church Interior  Re Decoration The work on the Re Decoration of the Church has begun. The work will last approximately 4 weeks during which time both weekend Masses are being celebrated in the Parish Centre. Funeral Masses and any larger services will be transferred to St Anne’s. Weekday Masses & Services will take place in the Day Chapel as usual. Please note that for the duration of these works no one must enter the Church under any circumstances whatsoever. Apologies for any inconvenience.


What is Pope Francis asking of us? Laudato Si’ On the care of our Common Home: A Reflection Day here in St Anne’s Parish Centre next Saturday October 7th 9.30am-4.00pm- Mass at 12 noon in church. Tea & coffee provided- bring a packed lunch. Facilitated by Shrewsbury UCM. Material provided by CAFOD.




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