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@gmail.com Websites:   www.stjohnevang.co.uk           www.lpa24.org

 

The Feast of the Holy Family, 31st December, 2017, Cycle B

Extract from Fr Denis McBride “Seasons of the Word”

 

The regular presence of parents is a constant assurance of safety for every young child. The family, no matter what its shortcomings, is the fundamental human connection. There are flaws in every human connection, but even the most fragile families tend to be more supportive to a young child than an institutional upbringing. No matter how much the institution cares, it can never replace the natural bond between mother and child. We know that the warm, intimate relationship the child has with his or her mother is essential for growth of the child’s inner life. This is not to underestimate the role of the father; it is simply to admit the truth that in most homes it is still the mother who feeds and cleans her young child, keeps her child warm, comforts her child in distress. Above all it is the mother who is there for the young child.

Parents are the first teachers of love; their attachment to their children shows them that they are worthy of love, shows them how to love. It is very hard for a child to grow up without the caring support of that attachment. And Luke shows us in today’s Gospel how the parents of Jesus fulfil the requirements of their religious tradition, and how the child Jesus grows in wisdom and maturity under their care. From the mutual love between Mary and Joseph and from their love of him, the child Jesus will be schooled in love and grow in the security of their attachment to him. To know the meaning of love, Jesus will only have to consult his experience.

I remembering the Holy Family, we look at our own family in gratitude for what we have received. The Feast of the Holy Family we celebrate today is not an old one – it was introduced to the whole Church in 1921. In the Christian family we can catch something of the God who accepts us and who keeps on loving us stubbornly to the end.

None of our families is all holy – each is a mixture of all sorts of conflicts, compulsions and craziness that tests our love and forgiveness. But in the midst of all that, there is God. There is no other place to find God. It is the place where God found us.

 

Let us pray for the families of our community that each member may value the others so that, in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust, all may feel esteemed and loved.

Let us pray for the family of nations throughout the world that peace may reign in places that are ravaged by civil and religious dissent, by war, violence and tyranny.

Let us pray for those, like the Holy Family, who are forced to become refugees and asylum seekers due to the harshness of conditions in their own country.

Let us pray for those who do not know the love of a family, particularly

for orphans, and for those who are separated from their families due to working away from home, serving abroad or spending time in prison.

Thank you to everyone for their kindness. Please continue to give generously to the Foodbank. The need is as great as ever. Please check the notice board at the back of Church for most needed items. Once again, thank you very much for your generous giving to the Foodbank throughout 2017

 

 

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. Many thanks.

 

 

A Prayer for Refugees

Almighty and merciful God, whose son became a refugee, and had no place to call his own;

Look with mercy on those who today are fleeing from danger, homeless and hungry.

Bless those who work to bring them relief; inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts; and guide the nations of the world towards that day when all will rejoice in your kingdom of justice and peace. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feast of the Holy Family

Cycle B

31st 5.00pm

9.30am

 

Vic Gemmell RIP

Ints Poor Clares Hawarden

Mary the Mother of God 1st 10.00am

7.00pm

World Peace

Prayer Meeting

Tuesday 2nd 9.15am Joe Moore RIP
Wednesday 3rd 9.15am Alfred & Elsie Wigley RIP
Thursday 4th 9.15am Bishop Francis Walmsley RIP
Friday 5th 9.15am Clifford Saalmans RIP
Saturday 6th    
Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord

Cycle B

7th 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Anniversary Intentions

Rels/Frnds Shore & Fryer Fams

Prayer Meeting

There is no Children’s Liturgy at 9.30am Mass today. They will

return after their Christmas break.

More helpers are urgently needed for Children’s Liturgy. If you

would be willing to offer some help with this important

ministry in 2018, please let us know.

Confessions Saturday 4.15-4.45pm
Morning Prayer 15 minutes before daily masses

Praying the New Year in. An invitation from our Parish Prayer Group. On New Year’s Day (Monday) at 7pm for an hour or so there will be an opportunity to pray together in front of the crib in Church. All most welcome.

 

Baptisms and Weddings 2018. Please contact us as soon as possible.

First Forgiveness for the Children of

St John‘s School will be celebrated on Thursday 15th February at 6.30pm.

First Communion Masses Saturday 12th May and Saturday 19th May at 10.30am

 

Sick Visits: If you know of anyone in the parish who is in need of Holy Communion /a visit, please do let us know stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com or Tel 0151 645 3314

 

Money Matters: Offertory: £424.24 p

Christmas Collection for the Clergy: £1,216.30p

The Big Card: £106.55p

Thank you for your continued generosity.

Fr Bernard thanks you for your generous Christmas offerings and for the numerous cards and gifts he has received over the past week or so, all of which are very much appreciated. Thanks too to all who worked so hard to make the Advent and Christmas Masses and Services so special at St John’s this year, to all involved in carious liturgical ministries and to those who clean, look after and decorate the Church through the year.

 

Fr Bernard invites all parish helpers to an “Epiphany Party” and “Thank You” in the Liberal Club next to the Church next Friday

5th January from 7.30pm onwards. Light refreshments provided ….. First drink free.

 

 

Your donations at the crib during the Christmas Season are for Caritas Shrewsbury (formerly known as the Catholic Children’s Society) who offer care and support to refugees (a refuges centre has opened recently in Wythenshawe) and to needy families and individuals on the Wirral and throughout the Diocese. As you always are, please be generous to the Crib Offerings this year…. the needs are great!

 

Christmas Services at St John’s

Sat/Sun 30th/31st Dec: Feast of the Holy Family

Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and Sun 9.30am

Mon 1st Jan 2018 Feast of Mary the Mother of God

Mass at 10.00am

Sat/Sun 6th/7th Jan: Feast of the Epiphany

Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and Sun 9.30am.

 

 

St John’s Schools and St John Plessington Catholic College reopen after the Christmas

break on Monday 8th January. We hope 2018 will be a blessed year for all our Catholic schools.

 

St John’s Parish Pastoral Team. First meeting of 2018 Wednesday 17th January at 7.30pm in the presbytery. Any thoughts/suggestions for the team to consider, please place in the suggestion box at the back of Church or hand to

Wilf Humphrey or Fr Bernard.

 

The next meeting for Catechists will be an opportunity for 

Sharing Best Practice. Miss Caroline Farey (Maryvale Institute & the School of the Annunciation) will listen to your exchanges, and offer practical advice for the situations you are facing.

Venue: Our Lady’s, Ellesmere Port; Saturday,

13th January 2018, (9:30) 10:00-11:50. See poster with relevant information. Enquiries: Barbara Davies (07730 526821); Registration: Helen Jones (helen.jones@dioceseofshrewsbury.org).

 

At Easter a newly formed HCPT group will be taking a small group of vulnerable and disadvantaged children on pilgrimage to Lourdes. Overall they need to raise £10,000 and as part of the fundraising effort they are arranging an Irish Dance Afternoon Tea at St Anne’s Parish Centre on Sunday 21st January from 12-4pm. Tickets at £8 are now on sale for this fun afternoon of Ceili dancing, Irish Bingo, raffle and traditional Irish dancing with afternoon tea. For tickets and further information please contact Erin McCulloch on 07473311235 or by email erinmcculloch@hotmail.co.uk. Your support for this event would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

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THE CHRISTMAS CANDLELord, I light this candle at Christmas for myself and those who are dear to me. May its flame be a reminder of the way you light up my days and warm my heart. May its fire burn away my pride, my selfishness, and all that keeps me from you. As I celebrate the birth of your Son, who came into the family of Nazareth, I pray to you for my own family and friends, both living and dead. Keep them in your loveand let them feel your powerful presence. I leave this candle now as a token of the service I want to give you. May it continue to burn in all my thoughts, words and deeds today and for ever. Amen.

 

Thank you to everyone for their kindness. Please continue to give generously to the Foodbank. The need is as great as ever. Please check the notice board at the back of Church for most needed items. Once again, thank you very much for your generous giving to the Foodbank throughout 2017

 

 

Missio (APF/Mill Hill) 2018 calendars are now available on the table 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. Many thanks.

 

 

A Prayer for Refugees

Almighty and merciful God, whose son became a refugee, and had no place to call his own;

Look with mercy on those who today are fleeing from danger, homeless and hungry.

Bless those who work to bring them relief; inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts; and guide the nations of the world towards that day when all will rejoice in your kingdom of justice and peace. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, Amen.

 

 

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@gmail.com Websites: http://www.stjohnevang.co.uk http://www.lpa24.org

 

Fourth Sunday in Advent, 24th December, 2017, Cycle B

 

FAITH IN FOCUS: THE COMFORT ZONE

Mary could have had a comfortable life. She seems to have been an ordinary girl and could have hoped for a good husband, a few children and a reasonably normal and happy existence in Nazareth.

Then the angel appeared on the scene. She was asked to be the mother of a child, given the boy’s name and told that she didn’t need a husband because the Holy Spirit would be taking care of things. Who on earth would agree to this? Yet she did. Let what you have said be done to me.

Then it all started: the difficulties of the birth in a cold stable while going to Jerusalem to register for the census, the scandal of not being married, the strange goings on with the star, the wise men and the angels, the prophecy by Simeon that she would end up heart-broken, the trouble when Jesus started preaching, his arrest and execution. She could have stayed in her comfort zone and just said no. But then she would never have become the mother of God and never experienced the challenge of the adventure of her life. It turned out that, far from being a comfort to Mary, God set out to discomfort her. Advent faith means being prepared to come out of our comfort zones. It means agreeing like Mary to give birth to Jesus. Each of us is called to take steps that will cause us discomfort and trouble. It would be easier if we treated religion as a hobby. We could attend church from time to time and just enjoy the music. Or we could throw ourselves fully into the uncomfortable business of standing up for Jesus in all the circumstances of our lives. We can be couch-Christians or Cross-Christians. But only the latter will lead us to the adventure which is God.

Advent asks us to reflect on how much we are prepared to be disturbed in our profession of faith. Do we want to watch as others do the work of bringing the Good News to our world or do we want to be on the front line? Are we comfortable in the waiting room or do we want to give birth? Do we simply want to carry the plaster statue of the baby in the crib or are we prepared to take on his flesh and bones with all that this entails?

Fourth Sunday

in Advent

Cycle B

First Mass of Christmas

24th

 

5.00pm

9.30am

3.00pm

7.30pm

Ints Bob Purfield (90)

Rels/Frnds Fullerton Fam

Crib Service

Parishioners

Nativity of the Lord

25th

 

9.30am

Poor, Sick & Needy

Feast of

St Stephen

26th

10.00am

St John’s Altar Servers

Feast of

St John the Evangelist

27th

10.00am

Parishioners

Thursday

28th

10.00am

Service of the Word & Communion

Friday

29th

10.00am

Ted Welch (ill)

Saturday

30th

 

 

Feast of the Holy Family

Cycle B

31st

5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Vic Gemmell RIP

Ints Poor Clares Hawarden

Prayer Meeting

Today (the 4th Sunday in Advent) is a Day of Special

Prayer for Expectant Mothers. There is no Children’s

Liturgy at 9.30am Mass today but this afternoon there is a

Crib Service which, please note, is at the earlier time of

3.00pm. More helpers are urgently needed for Children’s

Liturgy. If you would be willing to offer some help with this

important ministry in 2018, please let us know.

Confessions

Saturday 4.15-4.45pm

Morning Prayer

15 minutes before daily masses

 

Money Matters: Offertory: £ 623.50p

Flowers: £320.16p

APF Red Boxes: £115.81p

Thank you for your continued generosity.

The Collection on Christmas Day is for the support of our Parish Clergy

 

Your donations at the crib during the Christmas Season are for Caritas Shrewsbury (formerly known as the Catholic Children’s Society) who offer care and support to refugees (a refuges centre has opened recently in Wythenshawe) and to needy families and individuals on the Wirral and throughout the Diocese. As you always are, please be generous to the Crib Offerings this year…. the needs are great!

 

 

Christmas Services at St John’s

Christmas Eve

Crib Service for Children at 3.00pm in Church,  

Mass of the Nativity begins at 7.30pm

Christmas Day

Mass 9.30am 

Christmas Week Mass Times

26th-29th will be at 10am

Feast of St Stephen: 26th December.

Mass at 10am will be offered for our Altar Servers.

Feast of St John the Evangelist: Patron Saint of our Parish. Mass will be held at 10.am

Sat/Sun 30th/31st Dec: Feast of the Holy Family

Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and

Sun 9.30am

Mon 1st Jan 2018 Feast of Mary the Mother of God

Mass at 10.00am

Sat/Sun 6th/7th Jan: Feast of the Epiphany

Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and Sun 9.30am.

 

Our Parish Altar Servers, members of the Guild of St Stephen, renew their promises at 10.00am Mass on Tuesday morning, the Feast of St Stephen. Parishioners are invited to this Mass to pray for and to show their encouragement for our young people as they carry out this important ministry in the life of the Church.

 

On Wednesday the Church celebrates the Feast of St John the Evangelist which means that here at St John’s we celebrate our Parish Feast. Please try to come to the 10am Mass on Wednesday. There will be tea/coffee and mince pies in the presbytery after Mass.

 

 

Tea and Coffee in the Parish Centre Sunday after 9.30am Mass.

 

 

 

THE BIG CARD is at the back of church. LAST CHANCE THIS WEEKEND to write your Christmas message at a suggested minimum donation of £1. All proceeds will go towards the work of The Ark. Please support this very good cause and thank you for your support over the years.

 

Churches Together Christmas Day Lunch to be held at Christ Church Community Centre, Higher Bebington. If you know anyone locally who is alone and who would welcome extra company on Christmas Day please contact Jill 334 6077 or the office 608 4429. Transport can be arranged. See poster on notice board for full details.

 

The next meeting for Catechists will be an opportunity for 

Sharing Best Practice. Miss Caroline Farey (Maryvale Institute & the School of the Annunciation) will listen to your exchanges, and offer practical advice for the situations you are facing.

Venue: Our Lady’s, Ellesmere Port; Saturday,

13th January 2018, (9:30) 10:00-11:50. See poster with relevant information. Enquiries: Barbara Davies (07730 526821); Registration: Helen Jones (helen.jones@dioceseofshrewsbury.org).

 

 

Fr Bernard thanks you for your ongoing support to our Parish. He especially thanks all those who do so much for/in our Parish and schools in a rich variety of ways.

On a personal level he thanks you for the Christmas cards, gifts and good wishes all of which are read and much appreciated.  

Fr Bernard prays that this Christmas will be a grace-filled time for everyone and that 2018 will bring renewed life to the New Ferry Community, peace to our troubled world and good health and happiness to all

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@gmail.com Websites:   www.stjohnevang.co.uk           www.lpa24.org

 

Third Sunday in Advent, 17th December, 2017, Cycle B

 

FAITH IN FOCUS: BITTER OR BETTER?

St Paul was an optimist. That’s the only option open to Christians. He knew how to thank God and be happy in all circumstances. Yet he wasn’t some sort of Polyanna who sailed through the world unaware of its problems. It would have been easy for Paul to feel sorry for himself. The Jews sought to put him to death. The Romans hunted him like a dog and imprisoned him with chains. Even his best friends deserted him, yet he gave thanks for every situation because he knew God was in control of whatever might happen to him.

He was able to put his emotional and mental response on the level of Christ because he believed fervently that the resurrection meant that evil had been conquered by Christ. So whatever situation arose, he could see that God could turn it to the good.

Every experience of adversity can either leave us bitter or better. And if we don’t allow Christ to teach us this truth through our experiences of life then we end up sad people indeed.

Today is known as Gaudete (Rejoicing) Sunday and Paul’s letter to the people of Thessalonika gives us a glimpse into how we can rejoice even when things are going wrong.

If we are trying to live our lives for Christ then God is able to bring good out of everything. It doesn’t mean that we don’t suffer. Of course we do. Yet our faith tells us that the only thing that is important in life is to be part of Christ and the promises he makes to us on behalf of his Father. Everything else (riches, wealth, fame and power) is nothing but dross.

In Advent we not only prepare ourselves to celebrate the 2,000 year-old coming of Jesus. We also look forward actively to Christ coming again. Our faith is focussed on how we meet Christ as he comes to us each day and how at the end of time he will come to reward us for the lives we are now leading. Are we prepared to see the hand of God working in all the circumstances of life? And is our faith strong enough to be able to take the good and bad and still thank God for what we have been given?

 

Advent “Gaudete” (Rejoicing) Sunday reminds us of one of the Advent truths: Our God will not fail us. Our faith tells us that we may be confident of God’s reassuring presence even in the midst of trials. Our only response to such a promise can be that of thanksgiving. We praise God for the unfailing goodness that we experience daily.

 

 

Cafod: World Gift Catalogue is available at the back of Church. If you are looking for something a bit different as a Christmas present this year then please take a look and see the life-changing gifts on offer.

 

The Food Bank donation this week from the parish was 70.13kg of food which is higher than normal. A big thank you to everyone for their kindness. Please continue to give generously to the Foodbank during the run up to Christmas. The need is as great as ever. Please check the notice board at the back of Church for most needed items. Once again, thank you very much for your generous giving to the Foodbank throughout 2017

 

 

 

Missio (APF/Mill Hill) 2018 calendars are now available on the table 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. Many thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

Third Sunday

in Advent

Cycle B

17th 5.00pm

9.30am

3-4pm

7.30pm

Mary Haigh Annv RIP

Lynn Merity B.Day Annv

Holy Hour

Prayer Meeting

Monday 18th 9.15am Eileen Kavanagh
Tuesday 19th 9.15am Thanksgiving for Answered Prayers
Wednesday 20th 9.15am

7.00pm

Barry Woodhouse RIP

LPA Advent Reconciliation Service

Thursday 21st 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Friday 22nd 9.15am Rels/Fnds Davenport Family
Saturday 23rd    
Fourth Sunday

in Advent

Cycle B

 

Nativity of the Lord

24th

 

 

 

25th

5.00pm

9.30am

3pm

 

7.30pm

9.30am

Ints Bob Purfield (90)

Rels/Fnds Fullerton Fam

Crib Service

 

Parishioners

Poor, Sick & Needy

There is no Children’s Liturgy during Advent. Crib Service on

Christmas Eve is at 3pm. More helpers are needed for Children’s

Liturgy. If you would be willing to offer some help with this

important ministry in 2018, please have a word with Fr Bernard.

Confessions Saturday 4.15-4.45pm
Morning Prayer 15 minutes before daily masses

Sick Visits: Fr Bernard, Deacon Mike and our Eucharistic Ministers will be out visiting our sick & housebound parishioners in the run up to Christmas. If you know of anyone in the parish who is in need of Holy Communion /a visit, please do let us know stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com or Tel 0151 645 3314

 

On the Sundays of Advent, in the day chapel, between 3-4 pm, there will be an opportunity to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament to reflect and contemplate on the true meaning of Christmas.

 

Money Matters: Offertory £ 546.50p

Thank you for your continued generosity.

 

 

This weekend at both Masses there is a retiring collection for Christmas Flowers …. Please be generous

 

 

READERS  Please check the list in the Sacristy for Christmas Readings. For those reading on Christmas Eve, please collect your list

 

Tea and Coffee in the Parish Centre Sunday after 9.30am Mass.

 

 

Advent at St John’s

We are now into the Third Week of

Advent

Holy Hour today, Sunday, from 3-4pm

“Come Home for Christmas “ LPA24 Advent Reconciliation Service with individual confession is being held at St John’s on Wednesday evening at 7pm. All welcome.

Fr Bernard will be in Church next Saturday from 11am-12 noon … a further opportunity for Confession and for Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.

 

Deanery Christmas Celebration Carols, music, readings, mince pies and mulled wine at St Michael & All Angels Woodchurch on Tuesday at 7.00pm.

All most welcome

 

Christmas Services at St John’s

Christmas Eve

Crib Service for Children at 3.00pm in Church,

Mass of the Nativity begins at 7.30pm

Christmas Day

Mass 9.30am

Christmas Week Mass Times

26th-29th will be at 10am

Feast of St Stephen: 26th December.

Mass at 10am will be offered for our Altar Servers.

Feast of St John the Evangelist: Patron Saint of our Parish. Mass will be held at 10.am

Sat/Sun 30th/31st Dec: Feast of the Holy Family

Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and

Sun 9.30am

Mon 1st Jan 2018 Feast of Mary the Mother of God

Mass at 10.00am

Sat/Sun 6th/7th Jan: Feast of the Epiphany

Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and Sun 9.30am.

THE BIG CARD is now at the back of church. Please write your Christmas message at a suggested minimum donation of £1. All proceeds will go

towards the work of The Ark. Please support this very good cause and thank you for your support over the years.

 

 

CHURCHES T0GETHER

Carol Singing – 22nd December, 3.30pm outside Co-op, Higher Bebington.

 

Churches Together Christmas Day Lunch to be held at Christ Church Community Centre, Higher Bebington. If you know anyone locally who is alone and who would welcome extra company on Christmas Day please contact Jill 334 6077 or the office

608 4429. Transport can be arranged. See poster on notice board for full details.

 

 

The next meeting for Catechists will be an opportunity for 

Sharing Best Practice. Miss Caroline Farey (Maryvale Institute & the School of the Annunciation) will listen to your exchanges, and offer practical advice for the situations you are facing.

Venue: Our Lady’s, Ellesmere Port; Saturday,

13th January 2018, (9:30) 10:00-11:50. See poster with relevant information. Enquiries: Barbara Davies (07730 526821); Registration: Helen Jones (helen.jones@dioceseofshrewsbury.org).

 

 

Thank you for your ongoing support and prayer for St John’s Parish and the New Ferry Community, it is much appreciated and never taken for granted!

See you all at next weekend’s Masses.

With the promise of my prayer for you and your families this week. Fr Bernard.

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@gmail.com Websites:   www.stjohnevang.co.uk           www.lpa24.org

 

Second Sunday in Advent, 10th December, 2017, Cycle B

 

FAITH IN FOCUS: OUR GOD WHO COMES

As we look around the world today we can sometimes be forced to the conclusion that things are not as God intended them to be. We are living through a period when terrorism has grabbed the headlines with stories of daily bloodshed. And we are caught up in a seemingly intractable situation of war in Iraq.

The Jewish people were deported to Iraq about 2,600 years ago. They were forced out of Israel to Babylon, not very far from Baghdad. Even second and third generations longed for their homeland, for their God and for their Temple in Jerusalem.

Today we hear Isaiah trying to bring comfort to these desperate people. He tells them that God will not abandon them in exile forever. A leader will come and take them back home. He quotes God promising them that their time of slavery is over. But they must take action themselves and prepare a straight road for God to travel through as he helps them. They must have a change of heart and mind.

And the same message is repeated to us during this Advent. Isaiah tells us that, whatever our troubles and woes, God will never let us wallow permanently in a cheerless condition. God is not absent even when it is hard to see his presence. And the main thing that God wants us to receive is forgiveness, that collective pardon for our sins as a nation and our faults as individuals.

Advent proclaims the power of God. For those who accept the promises of Jesus it is not a lone uphill struggle. For those who genuinely acknowledge their shortcomings, and do their best to change, God’s Spirit can make all things possible. Advent is an encouragement: our God is with us and comes each day in such a way that we can overcome whatever is thrown in our path.

So the challenge of Advent is twofold. It’s a challenge for us to examine our lives, to make God’s paths straight. And it’s also a challenge to see the presence of God in all the situations of our life and world, both good and bad. John the Baptist was able to see this presence in Jesus, the Lamb of God. Can we see God’s Advent presence? And where are we looking?

 

Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope….

Cafod: World Gift Catalogue is available at the back of Church. If you are looking for something a bit different as a Christmas present this year then please take a look and see the life-changing gifts on offer.

 

Please give generously (as you usually do) to the Foodbank during the run up to Christmas. The need is as great as ever. Please check the notice board at the back of Church for most needed items. Thank you very much for your generous giving to the Foodbank throughout 2017

 

 

Missio (APF/Mill Hill) 2018 calendars are now available on the table at the back of Church.

 

Traidcraft Stall will be available at the back of church this weekend Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th December. Please take time to browse and see if you can pick up any gifts and cards for Christmas.

Christmas Flower Collection over the weekend Saturday/Sunday 16th and 17th December.

 

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. Many thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Sunday

in Advent

Cycle B

10th 5.00pm

9.30am

3-4pm

7.30pm

John Ward RIP

Parishioners

Holy Hour

Prayer Meeting

Monday 11th 9.15am Frank Brady RIP
Tuesday 12th 9.15am Ints Eamon & Margo Sarson
Wednesday 13th 9.15am Pat McCloskey RIP
Thursday 14th 9.15am Rels/Frnds Gillespie Family
Friday 15th 9.15am

1.30pm

Ints New Ferry Community

Funeral Service –

Joseph McKeown

Saturday 16th 10.00am Carmel Mass
Third Sunday

in Advent

Cycle B

17th 5.00pm

9.30am

3-4pm

7.30pm

Mary Haigh Annv RIP

Lynn Merity B.Day Annv

Holy Hour

Prayer Meeting

There is no Children’s Liturgy during Advent. Crib Service on

Christmas Eve is at 3pm. More helpers are needed for Children’s

Liturgy. If you would be willing to offer some help with this

important ministry in 2018, please have a word with Fr Bernard.

Confessions Saturday 4.15-4.45pm
Morning Prayer 15 minutes before daily masses

Lately Dead: Your prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Fr Peter Phillips’ mother, Mary, who has recently died.  There will be a Vigil Mass at Nazareth House at 5pm on Wednesday 13th December with her Funeral Mass at 12 noon at Holy Angels, Hale Barns on Thursday 14th December.    Your prayers are also asked for the repose of the soul of Joseph McKeown whose Funeral Service is at St John’s on Friday at 1.30pm.

May they rest in peace.

 

Sick Visits: Fr Bernard, Deacon Mike and our Eucharistic Ministers will be out visiting our sick & housebound parishioners in the run up to Christmas. If you know of anyone in the parish who is in need of Holy Communion /a visit, please do let us know stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com or Tel 0151 645 3314

 

On the Sundays of Advent, in the day chapel, between 3-4 pm, there will be an opportunity to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament to reflect and contemplate on the true meaning of Christmas.

 

Money Matters: Offertory £769.52p

Thank you for your continued generosity.

 

Tea and Coffee in the Parish Centre Sunday after 9.30am Mass.

 

 

READERS  Please check the list in the Sacristy for Christmas Readings. For those reading on Christmas Eve, please collect your list.

 

First Holy Communion. If there are any children attending Non Catholic schools who are in Year 3 or above and so eligible to make their First Holy Communion in this school year please contact us on

tel no 0151 645 3114 asap.

 

Advent at St John’s

Each Sunday during Advent – Holy Hour in Church 3-4pm

LPA24 Advent Reconciliation Service with individual confession will be held at

St John’s on Wednesday 20th December 7pm. All welcome.Fr Bernard will be in Church each Saturday during Advent from

11am-12 noon … opportunity for Confession, for prayer, for a chat.

 

Christmas Services at St John’s

Christmas Eve

Crib Service for Children at 3.00pm in Church,

Mass of the Nativity begins at 7.30pm

Christmas Day

Mass 9.30am

Christmas Week Mass Times

26th-29th will be at 10am

Feast of St Stephen: 26th December.

Mass at 10am will be offered for our Altar Servers.

Feast of St John the Evangelist: Patron Saint of our Parish. Mass will be held at 10.am

Sat/Sun 30th/31st Dec: Feast of the Holy Family

Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and

Sun 9.30am

Mon 1st Jan 2018 Feast of Mary the Mother of God

Mass at 10.00am

Sat/Sun 6th/7th Jan: Feast of the Epiphany

Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and Sun 9.30am.

THE BIG CARD is now at the back of church. Please write your Christmas message at a suggested minimum donation of £1. All proceeds will go

towards the work of The Ark. Please support this very good cause and thank you for your support over the years.

 

A Musical Celebration of Christmas …. fabulous evening of festive music performed by the soloists and chorus of the Birkenhead Operatic Society in St Anne’s Church on Wednesday

13th December at 7.30pm Mulled wine and mince pies from 7pm. Tickets £8 on sale after weekend Masses or from St Anne’s Parish Office

Tel 645 3996

 

The next meeting for Catechists will be an opportunity for 

Sharing Best Practice. Miss Caroline Farey (Maryvale Institute & the School of the Annunciation) will listen to your exchanges, and offer practical advice for the situations you are facing.

Venue: Our Lady’s, Ellesmere Port; Saturday,

13th January 2018, (9:30) 10:00-11:50. See poster with relevant information. Enquiries: Barbara Davies (07730 526821); Registration: Helen Jones (helen.jones@dioceseofshrewsbury.org).

 

 

CHURCHES T0GETHER

Carol Singing – 22nd December, 3.30pm outside Co-op, Higher Bebington.

 

Churches Together Christmas Day Lunch to be held at Christ Church Community Centre, Higher Bebington. If you know anyone locally who is alone and who would welcome extra company on Christmas Day please contact Jill 334 6077 or the office

608 4429. Transport can be arranged. See poster on notice board for full details.

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@gmail.com Websites:   www.stjohnevang.co.uk           www.lpa24.org

 

First Sunday in Advent, 3rd December, 2017, Cycle B

FAITH IN FOCUS: COME ON DOWN!

As we begin our Advent season today, in preparation for the coming of Christ, Isaiah makes an urgent plea to God. He uses the same catch-phrase as the TV programme “The Price is Right” by saying to God “Come on down, tear the heavens open”.

Whenever we celebrate Advent we are involved on three levels: past, present and future. And at each level we make that same plea: Come on down!

We look to the past, to history. We recall that the Jewish people were waiting for a Messiah who would lead them to political and religious freedom. In this setting we see Mary and Joseph and we witness the birth of Jesus in the stable at Bethlehem.

We look to the present, to today. Jesus has not stopped coming to us in our day to day lives. He comes and speaks to us in the word of God, in the sacraments we celebrate, in the faces of those who bear God’s impression both in need and in joy.

We also look to the future. Christ will come again in glory when the plan of God is finally fulfilled. This coming will usher in the end of the world and all will be revealed for what it truly is.

So Advent is wake-up time. It’s the four-week season when we look for the ways in which Jesus comes to visit us. It’s easy to get caught up in an Advent that is just a pale religious reflection of the world’s commercial season. It’s easy to get stuck simply on the level of the past and start getting nostalgic and gooey about the trappings of Christmas, getting no further than the crib, the angels and the star. Yet if we are to celebrate the liturgy of Advent then we have to engage on all three levels.

Yes, we do remember the past events of Bethlehem. But our Advent and Christmas celebrations are imbued with the need to be alert and awake to the Christ who challenges us daily in our interaction with others, the same Christ who will come again to judge us on the way we responded to his invitation to love.

And we know that we are really capturing the spirit of the season if, like Isaiah, we can say and mean it when we ask God to “Come on down!”

Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope….

 

WORD OF GOD

And yet, Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, you the potter, we are the work of your hand.

(Isaiah 64:8)

 

Cafod: World Gift Catalogue is available at the back of Church. If you are looking for something a bit different as a Christmas present this year then please take a look and see the life-changing gifts on offer.

 

 

Please give generously (as you usually do) to the Foodbank during the run up to Christmas. The need is as great as ever. Please check the notice board at the back of Church for most needed items. Thank you very much for your generous giving to the Foodbank throughout 2017

 

 

Missio (APF/Mill Hill) 2018 calendars are now available on the table at the back of Church. Please take one. Your APF/Red Missio Boxes should be emptied this month and their contents brought to Church/the Presbytery by 30th November please.

 

Traidcraft Stall will be available at the back of church on Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th December. Please take time to browse and see if you can pick up any gifts and cards for Christmas.

Christmas Flower Collection over the weekend Saturday/Sunday 16th and 17th December.

 

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. Many thanks.

 

 

First Sunday

in Advent

Cycle B

3rd 5.00pm

9.30am

3-4pm

7.30pm

Rels/Frnds McGree Fam

Marie Rooney Annv RIP

Holy Hour

Prayer Meeting

Monday 4th 9.15am John Blakeway RIP
Tuesday 5th 9.15am Intentions of Sr Pat Kenny
Wednesday 6th 9.15am Kate Kennedy Annv. RIP
Thursday 7th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Feast of Immaculate Conception 8th 9.15am Ints Fr Frank Rice

Annv of Ordination

Saturday 9th    
Second Sunday in Advent

Cycle B

10th 5.00pm

9.30am

3-4pm

7.30pm

John Ward RIP

Parishioners

Holy Hour

Prayer Meeting

Children’s Liturgy as usual this Sunday morning at 9.30am Mass in the Day Chapel. More helpers are urgently needed for this ministry. Please see Jacqui or Fr Bernard for details
Confessions From next Saturday 4.15-4.45pm
Morning Prayer 15 minutes before daily masses

The Rosary will be prayed after the 9.15am Mass on Friday – The Feast of the Immaculate Conception – for Parish intentions and for the intentions of the New Ferry Community. Please join us if you can.

 

Lately Dead: Your prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Fr Peter Phillips’ mother, Mary, who died very peacefully on 28th November. There will be a Vigil Mass at Nazareth House at 5pm on Wednesday 13th December with her Funeral Mass at 12 noon at Holy Angels, Hale Barns on Thursday 14th December. May she rest in peace.

 

At 9.30am Mass on this First Sunday of Advent we welcome the children from Year 3 from St John’s School who are being enrolled as Candidates for the Sacraments of First Forgiveness and First Holy Communion. Please keep them and their families in your prayers.

On the Sundays of Advent, starting today, in the day chapel, between 3-4 pm, there will be an opportunity to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament to reflect and contemplate on the true meaning of Christmas.

 

 

At 9.15am Mass on Tuesday we will welcome the children from Years 3 & 4 from St John’s School for an Advent Mass. Tea/Coffee /Biscuits after Mass. All welcome.

 

Money Matters: Offertory £626.71p

Special Collection for Clergy Education Fund £303.64p. Thank you for your continued generosity.

 

 

Tea and Coffee in the Parish Centre Sunday after 9.30am Mass.

 

 

First Holy Communion. If there are any children attending Non Catholic schools who are in Year 3 or above and so eligible to make their First Holy Communion in this school year please contact

us on tel no 0151 645 3114 asap.

 

 

An LPA Advent Day of Recollection will be held on Tuesday 5th December at Wistaston Retreat Centre, Crewe from 10am-4pm. If you would like to attend this day please contact Mary Tyrell on 645 7322 asap. Cost of the day is £17 with soup and scone lunch.

Mayor’s Traditional Christmas Tea Dance: The Mayor of Wirral’s Christmas Tea Dance will be held at Wallasey Town Hall on Wednesday 6th December 1.30pm-4pm. Music by Swingmasters. Refreshments are available. All proceeds to IncuBabies and the Merseyside Autistic Children’s Society. Tickets are £5 available and from the Mayor’s Office. Tel No 0151 691 8527.

THE BIG CARD will be at the back of church from next Saturday 1st December. Please write your Christmas message at a suggested minimum donation of £1. All proceeds will go towards the work of The Ark. Please support this very good cause and thank you for your support over the years.

 

Advent at St John’s

Beginning this Sunday – Holy Hour in Church 3-4pm

School Advent Mass in Church

On Tuesday 5th December Year 3 & 4 at 9.15am focusing on the characters of Advent.

LPA24 Advent Reconciliation Service with individual confession will be held at St John’s on Wednesday 20th December 7pm. All welcome.Fr Bernard will be in Church each Saturday during Advent from 11am-12 noon … opportunity for Confession, for prayer, for a chat.

 

A Musical Celebration of Christmas …. fabulous evening of festive music performed by the soloists and chorus of the Birkenhead Operatic Society in St Anne’s Church on Wednesday 13th December at 7.30pm Mulled wine and mince pies from 7pm. Tickets £8 on sale after weekend Masses or from St Anne’s Parish Office

Tel 645 3996

 

The next meeting for Catechists will be an opportunity for 

Sharing Best Practice. Miss Caroline Farey (Maryvale Institute & The School of the Annunciation) will listen to your exchanges, and offer practical advice for the situations you are facing. Venue: Our Lady’s, Ellesmere Port; Saturday,

13th January 2018, (9:30) 10:00-11:50. See poster with relevant information. Enquiries: Barbara Davies (07730 526821); Registration: Helen Jones (helen.jones@dioceseofshrewsbury.org).

 

Sing Me Merseyside Choir 

Carols at 2pm on 8th December at United Reformed Church, Higher Bebington Road. Free entrance, refreshments and raffle. ALL WELCOME