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


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: 


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



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




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


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












Ints Bob Purfield (90)

Rels/Fnds Fullerton Fam

Crib Service



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 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


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

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.




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 (



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.

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