The Feast of the Holy Family, 31st 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: 


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



Vic Gemmell RIP

Ints Poor Clares Hawarden

Mary the Mother of God 1st 10.00am


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



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 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 (


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 Your support for this event would be greatly appreciated.




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