Fourth Sunday of Advent, Sunday22nd December, 2019. Cycle A

21/12/2019

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 of Advent, Sunday22nd December, 2019. Cycle A

Wirral Foodbank: Thank you to all those who contribute to the Foodbank, helping to support people in crisis in our Local Community. The total raised this week is on the Notice Board at the back of Church along with details of the Foodbank and the services it offers. Please keep your donations coming- Items urgently needed- sugar, custard, tinned potatoes, deodorant, and washing up liquid. Once again if you have any spare plastic bags or even an idea on how they are able to distribute food/goods without the need for plastic bags, it will be gratefully received.
Use your free time to inspire young people to build a fairer world: CAFOD is looking for volunteers who have a passion for, and experience of, working with young people. We need people who have a commitment to CAFOD’s aims and values and an interest in sharing our work in secondary schools through delivering assemblies or workshops. CAFOD will provide training and support and expenses will be paid. Volunteering assignments will be in local Catholic schools and you can either work on your own or as part of a team. None of our work is possible without you, so join us and put your faith into action. If you are interested please email Ciara Hogan, chogan@cafod.org.uk
Please take a look at the Notice Boards at the back of Church for details of other Local Events over the next few weeks, and don’t forget to buy a Catholic paper and to take a look at the Card Rack

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.

FAITH IN FOCUS: A PERFECT CHRISTMAS?

By now you’re probably fed up with all the adverts to get you to spend your money in order to have “the Christmas you and your family deserve”. But is there such a thing as a perfect Christmas?
It might not have seemed so for Mary. She had every reason to dread that first Christmas. A young teenage girl, she now finds herself having a baby and is unmarried. What will her family say? How’s she going to explain things to Joseph? And what about the neighbours? There’ll be tongues wagging all over the place and she’ll probably being living under a cloud for years to come. Only she and God would ever really understand. And she didn’t understand much.
Joseph’s probably wasn’t looking forward to that first Christmas either. For him it didn’t look too promising. People would point him out as the husband who’d been the last to know. They’d wonder why he didn’t simply ditch Mary. And he probably had a nagging feeling that all these strange dreams were storing up trouble for the future.
Joseph and Mary are good examples of the untidiness of human existence, of how things rarely go according to plan. It’s strange, isn’t it, that God couldn’t find some perfect parents for his only Son? He ends up with these two.
Maybe that’s what Christmas is about. Perhaps one of its jobs is to remind us that into our “screwed up” planet, into the bleak complexity of our private lives, into a world where achievements never seem to match up to yearnings, into the higgledy-piggledy days of our existence…the infant God is born.
God could have chosen some ideal scenario into which to be born. But he chose one that was profoundly human instead. It was all so fragile: Mary had to trust the angel; Joseph had to trust Mary; God had to trust them both.
Christmas is almost upon us and we’re surely not on top of things; in fact, we’re probably dreading some. But if this week we were able to realise that the child Jesus offers to keep being born into the jumble of our human lives, no matter how untidy they are, then we would have experienced a great truth. And despite all the stress and strain we would have had a perfect Christmas into the bargain.

Fourth
Sunday of Advent 22nd 5.00pm
9.30am
3-4pm
7.30pm Maria Haigh Annv RIP
Nora & Dinny Mahony
Holy Hour
Prayer Meeting
Monday 23rd 9.15am No Mass or Service
Tuesday
Christmas Eve
Vigil Mass of Christmas 24th 9.15am
3.00pm
7.30pm No Mass or Service
Crib Service
St John’s Parishioners
Wednesday
The Nativity of the Lord 25th 9.30am For the Poor and Needy
Thursday
Feast of
St Stephen 26th 10.00am The Guild of St Stephen
Friday
Feast of
St John the Evangelist 27th 10.00am Ints of St John’s SVP

Saturday 28th
Feast of the Holy Family 29th 5.00pm
9.30am
7.30pm Mary Jackson RIP
Ints Colette Jones
Prayer Meeting
Confessions before Christmas at St John’s Sunday from 2.00pm -2.50pm
Morning Prayer
Exposition 15 min before daily Masses
Saturdays 4.00-4.50pm

Sunday is a Special Day of Prayer for Expectant Mothers

Money Matters: Last weekend’s Offertory Collection amounted to £564.58p
The Collection at Christmas Masses is for the support of the Parish Clergy
Your offerings at the Crib during the Christmas Season support the work of Caritas Diocese of Shrewsbury who offer much care and support to refugees and needy families and individuals on the Wirral and across the Diocese…. See Caritas recent newsletter on the table at the back of Church

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-27th 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: 27th December Patron Saint of our Parish. Mass will be held at 10am. Sat/Sun 28th/29th Dec: Feast of the Holy Family Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and Sun 9.30am. Wed 1st Jan 2020 Feast of Mary the Mother of God Mass at 10.00am. (St Anne’s 12 Noon) Sat/Sun 4th/5th Jan: Feast of the Epiphany Masses at the usual times Sat 5.00pm and Sun 9.30am.
Tea & Coffee in the Parish Centre after 9.30am Mass. Please drop in out of the cold and have a chat.

Parish Christmas Raffle: Many thanks to all who bought tickets. £239 was raised. All prizes have been collected and the winning numbers are:
1st Prize 753, 2nd Prize 212
3rd Prize 325, 4th Prize 124
5th Prize 525
Thank you for your continued generosity.

THE BIG CHRISTMAS CARD is 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.

Our Schools: are on holiday now until 6th January. After a successful but busy term we wish all the children and staff a safe and restful holiday. The Diocese has recently appointed two additional Foundation Governors to St John’s infant school: Richard Blundell and Joanne Corrigan

Are you a Catholic Teacher but not working in a Catholic School? Your Diocese needs you. The Department of Education offers support to those teachers who are considering returning to or joining the Catholic sector. An informal session will be held on Tuesday 14th Jan at Ellesmere Port Catholic High School from 6.00pm-7.30pm. If you would like to attend or want further information please email Sue Jenkinson PA to Damian Cunningham the Diocesan Director of Schools; sue.jenkinson@dioceseofshrewsbury.org

Mass Intentions: If you would like to have a Mass said for your intentions or someone else’s intentions of for your deceased relatives and friends etc during the early part of 2020 please fill in one of the Mass offering envelopes at the back of Church, place a donation in it and hand it to Fr Bernard or put it through the presbytery letterbox.
Thank you: Fr Bernard thanks you for your prayers and on- going support. He particularly thanks all those who do so much for St John’s Parish and Schools in so many different ways throughout the year. Fr Bernard thanks you for your Christmas cards, gifts and good wishes and prays that this Christmas will be a special and grace-filled time and that the New Year will bring good health and happiness to all.

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