Second Sunday of Easter, 8th April, 2018. 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: 


Second Sunday of Easter, 8th April, 2018. Cycle B



Sounds like the flu, doesn’t it: a bout of doubt? Yet we all suffer from it from time to time. It’s as natural as catching a cold and is one of the trials we have to put up with once we take our first steps of faith.

We can doubt whether our Christian faith is worthwhile when we see the way that others behave, inside and outside the Church. Yet we know that if we shoot the messenger then we are not going to hear the message. The Church has always been full of sinners; that’s what it’s for. And although we sometimes wish it were otherwise, we realise that a Church of sinners means a ragbag of individuals who, no matter how weak they might be, are committed to making Christ known. And of course we are part of that ragbag.

At other times we can experience confusion about the basis of our faith. Does God really exist? How do we reconcile the fact that God is creator with all the new discoveries of science and the many theories that seek to show the origins and development of the world and human life?

And then there are the tragedies of our existence. Perhaps we wonder about the role of a loving God when we read about natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis or famines. And has there ever been anyone who has not had their faith tested as they witnessed the slow death of a loved one, the sudden shock of losing a friend or the heartache of marital break-up?

Doubt does not attack faith. It’s actually part of faith. It’s a sign that we have not left our brains at the church doorstep and are mature enough to want to reconcile what we believe with what is happening around us. A faith that has not experienced doubt is a faith that has not learnt to walk, to be bold and to think for itself. Yet, like Thomas in today’s gospel, we have to learn that at the heart of faith is belief in the unconditional and unbreakable promises of God. We are all called to our Calvaries but we ascend the mount trusting in the knowledge that God will never leave us in the grave. Christ has died. Christ is risen. And Christ will come again.


Celebrate North West 2018 will be held at All Hallows College, Brooklands Avenue, Macclesfield SK11 on 28-29th April. Costs vary. Theme “See, I am doing a new thing” (Isaiah 43-19)

Contact Chris & Martina for booking details: email   Tel 01706 640359



This year marks the 160th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady to Bernadette in Lourdes. The Diocesan Pilgrimage will take place from 26th July-3rd August overland and

27th July-2nd August by air.  Brochures and booking forms can be downloaded from the Pilgrimage Website or from the Pilgrimage Office: St Alban’s, 30 Mill Lane, Wallasey, CH44 5UD.  This year flight seats are limited so early booking is recommended.



Job Vacancies: The Diocese currently has a number of job opportunities based locally here on the Wirral. To find out more please take a look at the Diocesan website




It’s unlikely that Jesus will appear in our front room and invite us to take a look at his wounds. So where do we look today for the presence of God? Where are the signs of his wounds and where do we look to see his triumph over death and evil? Have you seen any resurrections recently?


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 for the ITEMS URGENTLY NEEDED: Tinned custard, sugar (small if possible), washing up liquid, tea, tinned spaghetti, small cereal, sponge puddings



Please take a copy of the Wednesday Word. It is a helpful reflection on next Sunday’s readings.



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 of Easter

Cycle B

8th 5.00pm




Chris Sarson RIP

St John’s Parishioners

Divine Mercy Devotions

Prayer Meeting

Monday 9th 9.15am Service of the Word & Communion  
Tuesday 10th 9.15am Service of the Word & Communion  
Wednesday 11th 9.15am Service of the Word & Communion  
Thursday 12th 9.15am Service of the Word & Communion  
Saturday 14th      
Third Sunday of Easter

Cycle B

15th 5.00pm



St John’s Parishioners

John McIntosh RIP

Prayer Meeting

Children’s liturgy will take a break over the Easter holidays

and will recommence at the 9.30am Mass on Sunday


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

Prayers for the Sick: Please keep our Sick and Housebound parishioners in your prayers and if anyone is in need of Holy Communion or a visit, please do let us know.


Lately Dead: Please pray for the repose of the soul of John McIntosh (Teresa Young’s son) who died recently. His Funeral Mass will be held at

St Francis Xavier’s Church, Liverpool next Friday 13th April at 10.30am. Also please pray for the repose of the soul of Chris Sarson. His Funeral Mass will be held at Christ the King, Bromborough on Monday 23rd April at 10.00am. May they and all the faithful departed rest in peace.



Money Matters: Offertory: £882.74p.

Holy Places Good Friday Collection: £180.35p.

Thank you for your continued generosity.


Divine Mercy Devotions will be held here at St John’s this Sunday

8th April at 2.30pm. Prayer leaflets are available on the table at the back of Church.


Readers: The new rota is now available in the Sacristy. Would those who have not returned their copies of the

Passion according to Mark (Palm Sunday), John (Good Friday) please do so. Many thanks. Dot Humphreys.


Tea & Coffee after Sunday 9.30am Mass every week in the Parish Centre. Why not stay a while and meet up with friends old and new.


Charity Fashion Show for SCOPE this Wednesday

11th April at 8.00pm at

St Anne’s Parish Centre, Highfield Road, Rock Ferry. All sizes catered for. Everybody welcome. Please come along for a fun evening.


The Drama Salvation…. an opportunity to discover the continuing relevance of all God’s Covenants for the Church and our individual lives…. a short 6 week scripture course begins in the Day Chapel on Wednesday 18th April from after 9.15am Mass until 11.30am. No prior knowledge required. The course will be based on a prayerful reading of scripture with openness to the Holy Spirit who can make the Word of God come alive! Course facilitator

David Williams of Christ the King Parish. Email Mobile 07711581893

You are invited to a Syrian Evening celebrating Syrian culture, food and music…. listen to the stories of the journey Saturday 28th April

6.30pm-8.30pm at St Agnes Parish Centre,

West Kirby


Denis McBride and Damien Wells will be speakers at a Day of Discipleship at

St Anselm’s College from 11.00am to 2.30pm on Saturday 5th May. Tea and Coffee provided but please bring your own sandwiches. The event is free but registration is essential. To register please email Chris Malone


Eucharistic Congress: “Adoremus” The First National Eucharistic Congress in England and Wales for 110 years is being held in Liverpool

7th-9th September 2018. You are warmly invited to attend part of the 3 day event comprising of a Symposium Day (7th Sept) specifically aimed at teachers, catechists, musicians and clergy. A six hour stage led event (8th Sept) with key note speakers: Bishop Robert Barron and Cardinal Vincent Nichols as well as music and drama, presentations, prayer and adoration; and concluding Mass on Sunday (9th Sept) celebrated at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral followed by an outdoor procession. Further details can be accessed from the home page link on the diocesan website


Work and Love – the big things in our lives” is the theme for the next Day of Reflection for ‘ACTS’ (‘Adult Catholics Together Spiritually’) being held on Sat 21 April 2018. If you are aged between

18 – 35 please join us when we will be led by

Canon Brendan Hoban.  The day will start at 9.30pm at Wistaston Hall, Crewe CW2 8JS and finish around 5pm. Payment by anonymous donation (suggested cost £15 & £10 for unemployed/students). Please contact Siobhan Cartwright for further details / tel: 0161 477 2783 / 07761138947). Wistaston Hall is accessible by public transport but please contact Siobhan to discuss the possibility of getting a lift if required.


The Person of Jesus Module for the Catholic Certificate of Religious Studies: CCRS: The next module,  

The Person of Jesus, led by Fr Tony McGrath for the Catholic Certificate of Religious Studies begins on Saturday 21 April (9:30am for) 10:00– 3:30pm with the second on Saturday 19 May.  Registration forms and details are on the website at .

A non-certificate option is also available (no essays!) Particularly aimed at teachers, catechists and those who wish to learn more about our Catholic Faith.



To be read in all churches and chapels of the Diocese on
the Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, 8th April 2018


My dear brothers and sisters,

On this Second Sunday of Easter, the Gospel tells of the encounter of the Apostle Thomas with the Risen Jesus which leads to his supreme profession of faith, “My Lord and my God!”1 I want to recall today how we who have not seen and yet believe2 come to this encounter of faith with Jesus Christ now in His Risen Body. It is an encounter which leads us in the Holy Eucharist to constantly renew Thomas’ profession of faith: “My Lord and my God!” In this Year of the Eucharist, I have reflected with you on how Christ loved us to the end3 by entrusting to the Church the Sacrifice and Sacrament of the Eucharist. Today, I want to recall how He invites us to the most intimate communion with Himself which we rightly call ‘Holy Communion’. The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us: “To receive Holy Communion is to receive Christ himself”.4

On this Sunday of Divine Mercy, we glimpse the mercy which led Our Lord to so entrust Himself to us and are moved to reflect on how we must be ready to receive Him and prepared in our own hearts “for so great and so holy a moment”.5 We may face the danger today of seeing the reception of Holy Communion in terms of secular inclusiveness. It would then become a token of our hospitality, rather than as the gift of the Holy Body and Blood of Christ which constitutes the most radical call to holiness and the means to becoming the saint we are each called to be.

At the end of his life, Saint John Vianney reflected, if only all his parishioners had accepted his call to frequent Holy Communion “they would all now be saints”. Holy Communion offers such an immediate path to holiness, to complete union with Christ Himself that He Himself told us: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood

  1. 1  Jn 20: 28
  2. 2  cfJn20:29
  3. 3  Cf Jn 13: 1
  4. 4  CCC 1382
  5. 5  CCC 1385


Pastoral Letter on Holy Communion – 2nd Sunday of Easter, 2018

abides in me, and I in him”.6 The Catechism reminds us that we will always find in Holy Communion our true nourishment which restores our strength; separates us from daily sin; breaks disordered attachment to creatures; and roots the whole of our lives in Christ;7 and makes us so completely one with His Mystical Body the Church that we are truly “united heart and soul”.8

We see why we can never approach Holy Communion casually, still less if we have not confessed and repented of any mortal sin or of a lifestyle in contradiction with our Christian calling. The Apostle Paul urged the first Christians to examine themselves carefully before receiving Holy Communion because anyone who did so in an unworthy state would, he said, be “guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord”.9 The Church calls us to frequent Holy Communion, prepared by the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation so that we might become holy, might become saints. The Second Vatican Council urged us to “frequent” both these two Sacraments eagerly and devoutly as the path to holiness.10

This Eastertide, I want to invite you to consider how we each prepare for this moment of Holy Communion in the days, hours and minutes before we approach the Altar. Let us ask ourselves how we seek to receive Him with the deepest reverence and love, and how we spend the precious moments after receiving Holy Communion. Saint Teresa of Avila wrote beautifully of this time when she reflected “we are as close to Him, as we can be … He will do miracles within us, and will give us what we ask, since having come to visit us, He is as it were in our very house.” With the Apostle Thomas, may we not allow these moments to pass without many renewed acts of love, of adoration, of reparation, of thanksgiving, and of that Easter faith which cries out: “My Lord and my God!”

United with you in this Eucharistic faith and love,

+ Mark

Bishop of Shrewsbury

6 Jn 6: 56
7 CCC 1393-1395
8 Acts 4: 32
9 ICor11:27
10 Sacrosanctum Concilium 59, Christus Dominus 30

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