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

The Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time 16th February, 2020. Cycle A

Heavenly Father, you gather us together in our faith journey Trusting in you, we join one another as a community
A community of faith on a journey
A journey to grow ever deeper in our faith
In our Love
In our Desire to long for you
Along the way, remind us of your Love
Of your sacrifice for us
Of your ever mindful presence
Let us never lose hope along the way
Help us to be strong
Strong in Faith
Strong in Love
Strong in our Desire to be ever mindful of your presence
For it is in your strength and Love and the Graces you bestow upon us, that we can go out and share in your Love and Faith with all those in our community.
It is in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reins with you and the Holy Spirit one God For ever and ever AMEN
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, toiletries. 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.
Medjugorje Pilgrimage: A five day pilgrimage to Medjugorje costing £399 is being organised within our local pastoral area from 23rd to 27th June 2020. For more information please see the poster at the back of church or contact Maria Fryer. Tel 07576 243343.
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.
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.

Extract taken from “Seasons of the Word” by Denis McBride C.Ss.R Matthew himself is a Jewish convert living in Syria and writing his Gospel in the 80s for a mixed community of Jewish and Gentile converts. He has to hold these two groups together in the community – both the convert Jews who respect the tradition of the Law of Moses, and the convert Gentiles who have their own traditions. Matthew is writing in the 80s when the Christian community is facing heavy criticism from the official Jewish leadership; they claim that the teaching of Jesus is destructive of all that is cherished in Judaism. So when Matthew writes his Gospel he is anxious to show that Jesus does not come to abolish the Law of the Prophets, rather he is their completion. Matthew shows the continuity with the ancient tradition. But he also shows the discontinuity when Jesus says “You have heard how it was said…. but I say this to you…” Jesus completes the Law but he also goes beyond it. Because Jesus is who he is, he has the authority to put before people a new vision. Matthew asserts that Jesus’ authority is greater than the authority of Moses. Jesus’ demands are more radical; his vision is sharper; his expectations greater. Moses made concessions because of the hardness of people’s hearts; Jesus has hope that all people’s heart condition has improved since then. When we see our record of doing good against the demands of Jesus in the Gospel, we can all come away feeling helpless. Our own efforts look so shabby against the clear unambiguous demands of the larger vision. But Matthew is not writing his gospel to grind his readers into the dirt or make them feel helpless. He is calling the community of believers to face the vision of Jesus with a willing heart and a ready spirit. None of us can do this alone. That is why we are here, gathered in community, to pray that God will fund our efforts to bring that vision down to earth.

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time 16th 5.00pm
9.30am
7.30pm Edward+John J Kelly RIP
George Harvey RIP
Prayer Meeting
Monday 17th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Tuesday 18th 9.15am Ints John+Kath Connolly
Wednesday 19th 9.15am John Blakeway RIP
Thursday 20th 7.30am Nora+Jack McCormick RIP
Friday 21st 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Saturday 22nd
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time 23rd 5.00pm
9.30am
7.30pm Simon Mercer RIP
Fr Jack McLeish RIP
Prayer Meeting
Confessions Each Saturday 10.30am-11.15am
Morning Prayer 15 min before daily Masses

Tea & Coffee in the Parish Centre after 9.30am Mass each Sunday. Please drop in and have a chat with friends old and new.

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

Lately Dead; Please pray for the repose of the soul of Gerry Topping who died last Sunday night. Funeral Mass here at St John’s on Friday 6th April at 1pm. Also William McGowan who died on the 11th February. Funeral Mass here at St John’s Friday 13th March at 12 noon. May they rest in peace.
Money Matters: Last Weekend’s Collection was £503.55p. Thank you for your continued generosity.
First Forgiveness
What a special evening last Thursday was, when our Year 3 children received the Sacrament of First Forgiveness. It was an important evening and the children were well behaved. Thank you to their families and to the parishioners who came to offer their support. We will continue to pray for them as they now move on to prepare to receive their First Holy Communion.
This week- February Half Term Holiday Club for young people aged 7-12 years in St Anne’s Parish Centre, Highfield Road Rock Ferry from 10am-1.45pm each day led by the Diocesan Youth Team. Five days of activity, filled with fun, faith and fellowship. Craft, sport, challenges, drama and song. There is something for everyone. Lunch will be provided. All young people must be registered. Registration forms are on the table at the back of Church and should be returned to the presbytery this weekend. Many thanks to those adults and parishioners who have volunteered to help.

GRACE Group- are meeting this Tuesday , when we will be looking at 1 John. If any of the women in the parish would like to join us, please give Claire Griffiths a call on 07985312708, we’d love you to join us!

The next monthly hospital Mass, will be celebrated in the Chapel(situated on the First Floor) at Arrowe Park Hospital this Thursday at 12.30pm by Father Chris Matthews. All most welcome.

Lent 2020
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday 26th February… a day of fasting and abstinence…Mass at 12 noon in Church. Ashes Services will be held in our schools. Ashes will be blessed and distributed at Mass and at the services too. Once the Lent Program is finalised a full Lenten schedule will be published in next week’s newsletter.

Traidcraft stall will be open after both Masses next weekend the 22nd/23rd February.

Year of the Word- Diocesan Spring Talks
Everyone most welcome.
Talk 1- Fr Nick Kern on Dei Verbum/Word of God (Vatican 11) this Wednesday beginning at 7pm at St Columba’s Parish Centre, Plas Newton Lane, Chester CH2 1PL
Talk 2- Miss Barbara Davies on Verbum Domini/ The Word of the Lord, the Encyclical of Pope Benedict XV1 Wednesday 27th February beginning at 7pm at St Columba’s, Chester.
Talk 3- Doctor Caroline Farey on the language we use to Speak of God in the Bible, Wednesday 4th March beginning at 7pm, Our Lady’s Parish Centre, Enfield Rd, Ellesmere Port CH65 8BY
Talk 4- Fr Michael Coughlan on Why Four Versions of the Gospel, Wednesday 1st April beginning at 7pm at Our Lady’s Parish Centre, Enfield Rd, Ellesmere Port CH65 8BY.

St John’s SVP Meet this Thursday in the presbytery at 6.30pm.

An AUCTION in aid of Wirral SVP homeless project and SVP family support projects is to be held on Friday 28th February 7.30 pm in the Parish Centre at Sacred Heart Church. Moreton Cross. We require donations of bottles, gifts, unwanted Christmas presents etc. More important we need people to come along and enjoy the fun while supporting these two very worthy causes. Further information or for collection of items please ring. 07905952798. Many thanks.
St John’s Parish Pastoral Team- Meet this Thursday at 7.30pm in the presbytery. Any thoughts, observations, suggestions for the team to consider please place in the suggestion box at the back of the Church or through the presbytery letterbox or email them to us at stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com
Readers: A meeting will be held on Saturday 28th March at 10.30am. Please make every effort to attend. Thank you.

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 Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time 9th February, 2020. Cycle A

 

WORD FOR TODAY                                                                                                                                               We can never underestimate the power of example. It’s not just people with high profiles who have the ability to affect how people think and behave. Who looks at me for some sort of lead, and what do they see in return?

 

 

WORDS FOR WORSHIP                                                                                                                                            Let us pray for the Church that it may be a light for those who are seeking meaning and may be the salt of flavour for those whose life has lost its taste.                                                                                  Lord, let us see your light: That we may enlighten the world.                                                                            Let us pray for ourselves that we may be conscious of the hidden effect we can have on those who listen to our words and observe our actions. Lord…                                                                                                Let us pray for those who bring the light of learning to our world, particularly for the staff of our local schools and colleges, that they may enjoy the reflection of God’s wisdom in those whom they teach. Lord…                                                                                                                                                              Let us pray for those who work to relieve the debt of developing nations, for those who struggle to bring reconciliation and peace to countries at war, and for those who provide food to peoples who are starving. Lord…

 

                                             

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, toiletries.  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.

We have a number of vacancies for Foundation Governors within our Catholic schools across the Wirral.  For more information and/or an application pack please contact Sue Blackwell, Governance Support Officer, either by email: sue.blackwell@dioceseofshrewsbury.org   or telephone on 0151 652 9855.

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

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.

 

 

 

FAITH IN FOCUS: PASS THE SALT!                                                                                                                         In Jesus’ day salt was very precious. Some people were even paid in it. (Our word “salary” is from the word for salt-payment.) Since there were no fridges or freezers people used it to preserve food as well as to flavour it. In fact, there is even today an Arabic expression of friendship that says, “There’s salt between us”. The obvious thing about salt is that it pervades everything it comes into contact with. You can’t just have part of your soup that is salty. The whole lot gets transformed. And today Jesus tells his disciples that they are the salt of the earth. They are to bring flavour and taste to the earth, to all the people and situations they find themselves in. So often Christians appear as killjoys whose message is one of a life of deprivation and self-denial that would appeal to no normal person. Yet Jesus is saying that our job is to bring good news to a society that is becoming increasingly fearful and feeling under threat. The message of the gospel is one that is intended to add the flavour to life, to give life some seasoning, to leave a nice taste in the mouth. And we are called to be that salt. He also calls us the light of the world. The Jews he was speaking to had no electricity. They used oil wicks. Without matches it took an age to light these lamps and so, for safety reasons, when people went out of their homes for a while, they put the lamp under a container where it could burn without danger of catching fire. As soon as they came back in they took it from under the pot and put it on a stand. As our world comes under the grip of real or imagined terrorist threats, as conflicts break out here and there, and as once more we hear of countries suffering famine and disaster, where can we look to shed some light on the situation? The only true source of light is God since there is no darkness in God. Jesus today tells us that we are to be the light of the world. By living his life, by witnessing to him, to the power his gospel has to transform, we reflect not our own light but God’s. You are the salt of the earth, but what happens if the salt loses its flavour? You are the light of the world, but what happens if the light grows dim? Pass the salt!

 

 

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time 9th 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Ints Tony Hyland

Kevin Dowd RIP

Prayer Meeting

 
Monday 10th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion  
Tuesday 11th 9.15am For Sick Parishioners  
Wednesday 12th 9.15am Mary O’Neill  
Thursday 13th 7.30am Ints Mona Heaney  
Friday 14th 10.00am Funeral Mass

Michael Hilliard

 
Saturday 15th 10.00am Carmel Mass  
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time 16th 5.00pm

9.30am

7.30pm

Edward+John J Kelly RIP

George Harvey RIP

Prayer Meeting

 
Confessions Each Saturday 10.30am-11.15am  
Morning Prayer 15 min before daily  Masses  

 

Tea & Coffee in the Parish Centre after 9.30am Mass each Sunday. Please drop in and have a chat with friends old and new.

 

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 that includes those who may be in hospital at this time.

This weekend at both Masses there will be an opportunity to receive the Sacrament of the Sick as we approach the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes on Tuesday, when our 9.15am Mass will be offered for all our sick parishioners/ friends.

 

 

Lately Dead; Please pray for the repose of the soul of Michael Hilliard, Funeral Mass on Friday at 10am. May he rest in peace.

Money Matters:   Last Weekend’s Collection was £553.69p.  Thank you for your continued generosity.                                                                           

First Forgiveness

First Forgiveness Celebration this Thursday  at 6.30pm in Church. Parishioner’s are most welcome to attend this First Forgiveness Service to pray for our children and offer them and their families our support.

First Sacraments Café/Gathering: A very enjoyable afternoon was held at St John’s Junior school last Monday afternoon. The parishioners who were able to attend were entertained by the children in Year 3. There was singing, dancing, prayers and time for the children to share their Sacramental preparation work . Each class received a candle as did a representative from the parish. These candles will be lit in school and the church during this time of preparing  to receive the Sacraments of Forgiveness and Holy Communion so we can all pray for God’s blessing on our children.

The Diocesan Lourdes Hospitality- are holding their Annual Feast Day Mass at St Joseph’s Birkenhead, this Tuesday  at 7pm.

 

Local Pastoral Area Reps Meeting- at St Luke’s Presbytery 76 Church Road Bebington on Tuesday at 7pm.

Birkenhead and East Wirral Deanery Clergy Meeting at Christ the King Bromborough on Wednesday from 2.30pm-5.30pm.

 

February Half Term (17th-21st February) Holiday Club for young people aged 7-12 years at St Anne’s Parish Centre from 10am -1.45pm each day led by the Diocesan Youth Mission Team. 5 days of activity, filled with fun, faith and fellowship. Craft, sport, challenges, drama and song. There is something for everyone. Lunch will be provided. All young people must be registered. Registration forms are on the table at the back of Church and should be returned to St Anne’s Parish Office by this Friday – Tel 0151 645 3996. If any adults would like to help with this Holiday Club, please have a word with Father Bernard . At the moment we are in need of a few additional helpers/ volunteers.  

 

 

 

GRACE Group– are meeting on Tuesday 18th February, when we will be looking at 1 John. If any of the women in the parish would like to join us, please give Claire Griffiths a call on 07985312708, we’d love you to join us!

 

The next monthly hospital Mass, will be celebrated in the Chapel(situated on the First Floor) at Arrowe Park Hospital on Thursday 20th February at 12.30pm by Father Chris Matthews. All most welcome.

 

Year of the Word- Diocesan Spring Talks

Everyone most welcome.

Talk 1- Fr Nick Kern on Dei Verbum/Word of God (Vatican 11)Wednesday 19th February beginning at 7pm at St Columba’s Parish Centre, Plas Newton Lane, Chester CH2 1PL

Talk 2- Miss Barbara Davies on Verbum Domini/ The Word of the Lord, the Encyclical of Pope Benedict XV1 Wednesday 27th February beginning at 7pm at St Columba’s, Chester.

Talk 3- Doctor Caroline Farey on the language we use to Speak of God in the Bible, Wednesday 4th March beginning at 7pm, Our Lady’s Parish Centre, Enfield Rd, Ellesmere Port CH65 8BY

Talk 4- Fr Michael Coughlan on Why Four Versions of the Gospel, Wednesday 1st April beginning at 7pm at Our Lady’s Parish Centre, Enfield Rd, Ellesmere Port CH65 8BY.

 

Medjugorje Pilgrimage: A five day pilgrimage to Medjugorje costing £399 is being organised within our local pastoral area from 23rd to 27th June 2020.  For more information please see the poster at the back of church or contact Maria Fryer.                                       Tel 07576 243343.

Readers:  A meeting will be held on Saturday 28th March at 10.30am.  Please make every effort to attend. Thank you.

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

The Presentation of the Lord , Sunday 2nd February, 2020. Cycle A

PRAYER OF SELF-OFFERING
Lord Jesus, I give you my hands to do your work.I give you my feet to go your way.I give you my eyes to see as you do.I give you my tongue to speak your words.I give you my mind that you may think in me.I give you my spirit that you may pray in me.Above all, I give you my heart that you may love in me your Father and all humanity.I give you my whole self that you may grow in me, so that it is you, Lord Jesus, who live and work and pray in me. Amen.

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, toiletries. 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.
We have a number of vacancies for Foundation Governors within our Catholic schools across the Wirral. For more information and/or an application pack please contact Sue Blackwell, Governance Support Officer, either by email: sue.blackwell@dioceseofshrewsbury.org or telephone on 0151 652 9855.
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

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.

CHRISTMAS EPILOGUE (February 2nd)
The feast of the Presentation of the Lord comes as a sort of epilogue to Christmas. It’s no coincidence that it occurs exactly 40 days after the event since it is intended to set a seal on the Christmas season.
With the benefit of hindsight we see Jesus being presented in the temple and we recognise him as not simply the baby of Bethlehem but as the light for all nations. In celebrating today’s feast we light our candles so that we may be reminded of our baptismal commitment to spreading the light of Christ by the way that we live, and we rejoice that like Anna and Simeon we too have been privileged to see God’s salvation.
Today, your Son ,who shares your eternal splendour, was presented in the temple and revealed by the Spiritas the glory of Israel and the light of all peoples.
(Roman Preface for Presentation)

The Presentation of the Lord 2nd 5.00pm
9.30am
7.30pm St John’s Parish
Ints Larkin Family
Prayer Meeting
Monday 3rd 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Tuesday 4th 9.15am
7pm Rel/Fnds Bell+Nugent Fam
Novena
Wednesday 5th No Mass/Service
Thursday 6th 7.30am Peter Rooney RIP
Friday 7th 9.15am Rels/Fnds McLoughlin Fam RIP
Saturday 8th
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time 9th 5.00pm
9.30am
7.30pm Ints Tony Hyland
Kevin Dowd RIP
Prayer Meeting
Confessions Each Saturday 10.30am-11.15am
Morning Prayer
15 min before daily Masses

Tea & Coffee in the Parish Centre after 9.30am Mass each Sunday. Please drop in and have a chat with friends old and new.

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 that includes those who may be in hospital at this time. Next weekend at both Masses there will be an opportunity to receive the Sacrament of the Sick as we approach the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes (11th Feb).
Money Matters: Last Weekend’s Collection was £580.80p. Thank you for your continued generosity. Retired Priest’s Fund Collection was also held last weekend. If you still have your envelope for this special collection please return it as soon as possible, thank you.
Many thanks to everyone from St John’s who supported the United Service at Christ Church, Higher Bebington last Sunday evening, and to those who came to the morning services during Christian Unity Week. We will meet again in the Season of Lent for Prayer, Reflection and Lent lunches.
First Sacraments Café/Gathering: As you are already aware the children at St John’s School have begun their preparation for the Sacraments of First Forgiveness & First Holy Communion and now we are asking for your prayer support for these children. With this in mind Mrs Mullins, our Head Teacher, Fr Bernard and all the staff would like to invite you to our school First Sacraments Café this
Monday 3rd February from 2.00- 3.00pm in the Junior School Hall. On this afternoon there will be a short liturgy on the theme of light led by Fr Bernard and the children and then there will be an opportunity for you to meet the children over tea and cakes. All parishioners are warmly invited to come along to school on Monday for what promises to be a very enjoyable afternoon.

Monthly Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour this Tuesday at 7pm in church… a quiet time of prayer and reflection in these uncertain times. All most welcome…. please join us if you can.

First Forgiveness
Parents Meeting with Father Bernard and school staff at St John’s Junior School this Thursday at 4pm.
First Forgiveness Celebration on Thursday 13th February at 6.30pm in Church. Parishioner’s are most welcome to attend this First Forgiveness Service.

On Wednesday at 12 noon, you are warmly invited to St Anne’s Rock Ferry were there will be a Thanksgiving Mass for Sister Teresa Harmon. Sister Teresa one of the Sisters of Charity, is moving from Birkenhead to Hackney in London at the end of February. Over the last 20 years, Sister has been involved in many ways, in the life of the local church. Refreshments after Mass in the Parish Centre.
The Saint John’s Men’s Group will be meeting at the presbytery this Wednesday, 4 February, at 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start. All men are most welcome as we continue discussing our faith.
St John’s SVP Group meet in the Presbytery at 6.30pm on Thursday.
The Annual Diocesan Mass to Celebrate Marriage will be celebrated by Bishop Mark at 12 noon at St Joseph’s Birkenhead next Saturday. All married couples and their families are welcome. There will be refreshments afterwards in the Parish Centre. If you are celebrating a significant Anniversary and wish to attend the Mass, please let Father Bernard know this weekend.
The Diocesan Lourdes Hospitality- are holding their Annual Feast Day Mass at St Joseph’s Birkenhead, on Tuesday 11th February at 7pm.

February Half Term (17th-21st February) Holiday Club for young people aged 7-12 years at St Anne’s Parish Centre from 10am -1.45pm each day led by the Diocesan Youth Mission Team. 5 days of activity, filled with fun, faith and fellowship. Craft, sport, challenges, drama and song. There is something for everyone. Lunch will be provided. All young people must be registered. Registration forms are on the table at the back of Church and should be returned to St Anne’s Parish Office by Friday 14th February- Tel 0151 645 3996. If any adults would like to help with this Holiday Club, please have a word with Father Bernard today. At the moment we are in need of an additional 6 helpers/ volunteers.

Medjugorje Pilgrimage: A five day pilgrimage to Medjugorje costing £399 is being organised within our local pastoral area from 23rd to 27th June 2020. For more information please see the poster at the back of church or contact Maria Fryer. Tel 07576 243343.

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

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 26th January, 2020. Cycle A


WORD FOR TODAY
The disciples followed Jesus “at once”. They left what they were doing. What keeps us from more closely following Jesus in our lives? What important things do we think we need to do before we can get round to giving him our whole attention?

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, toiletries. 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.
We have a number of vacancies for Foundation Governors within our Catholic schools across the Wirral. In looking to such appointments, key requirements of Foundation Governors are: That they should be practicing Roman Catholics and that they genuinely believe in the value and importance of Catholic Schools. Is this you? Are you able to offer your services? For more information and/or an application pack please contact Sue Blackwell, Governance Support Officer, either by email: sue.blackwell@dioceseofshrewsbury.org or telephone on 0151 652 9855.

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

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.

FAITH IN FOCUS: FISHING
If you follow me, it’s people you’ll catch, says Jesus in today’s gospel. We all agree that we want to follow Jesus and come closer to God. But why are we so shy about fishing for others? Why do we find it hard to try and bring others to Christ?
Is it a cultural thing? Have we bought into the great deception that it’s not the done thing to parade our faith on our sleeve? Yet if our faith is the single most important thing about our whole lives, how can we think of wearing it in our pocket? If our Christian belief is the one thing that makes sense of our existence, that provides us with the wherewithal to cope with what life throws at us, then how can we think of keeping it to ourselves and not trying to get others to experience it?
Don’t talk about religion or politics, the saying goes. But if religion is about the ultimate meaning of life and politics is about how we organise it, then not to talk about either of them condemns us to the pleasantries of surface-living. Yet life’s issues are deeper than talking about the weather, and faith’s issues touch the core of reality.
Could it be that we’re afraid of talking to others about our faith because we think we will be shown to be lacking? Is it because we feel ashamed and embarrassed because religious people are often caricatured as cranks in the media? Is it because we don’t want to disturb people? Would we not disturb someone whose coat was on fire? Would we never tell a crying child that the toy needs to be switched on before it will work properly?
If we’re not prepared to lead people towards God, then who is? And yet leading people to God is part of our “contract”. To be a follower of Christ implies that we too proclaim the good news to the ends of the earth. Or at the very least to the ends of our street. If we talk to others and they begin to ask us questions that we can’t answer, then it’s a simple task to put them in touch with those who can. We’re not expected to be geniuses or oracles. We’re not expected to become full-time missionaries in some far-flung country. We’re not expected to become experts on all matters of faith and religion. But we are expected to do a bit of fishing.

Third Sunday in Ord Time 26th 5.00pm
9.30am
7.30pm Maura Farley Ann. RIP
Genofefa Tenska RIP
NO Prayer Meeting
Monday 27th 9.15am Rels/Fnds Connelly & Coulthard Fams RIP
Tuesday 28th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Wednesday 29th 10.30am Funeral Service –
Helen Crowther
Thursday 30th 7.30am Ints Pat Davies
Friday 31st 9.15am Rels/Fnds Davenport Fam RIP
Saturday 1st
The Presentation of the Lord 2nd 5.00pm
9.30am
7.30pm St John’s Parish
Ints Larkin Family
Prayer Meeting
Confessions Each Saturday 10.30am-11.15am
Morning Prayer
Exposition 15 min before daily Masses
Saturdays 4.00-4.50pm
Lately Dead: Please pray for the repose of the soul of Helen Crowther who died in Arrowe Park Hospital recently. Funeral Service here at St John’s on Wednesday 29th January at 10.30am. Please note that the Funeral Mass for Peter Rooney is at St Anne’s on Monday 27th January at 12 noon and the Funeral Mass for Gerda McArdle is at St Anne’s on Tuesday 28th January at 11.30am. May they rest in peace.
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 that includes those who may be in hospital at this time.
“Sunday of the Word of God”: Pope Francis has recently asked that we celebrate THIS SUNDAY, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. You are invited to bring your Bibles to church. Bibles will be blessed after the Bidding Prayers at both Masses that weekend. Good quality Bibles can be obtained at St Paul’s Bookshop, Bold Street, Liverpool or via the internet at Redemptorist Publications or the Catholic Truth Society. In Catholic Churches we use the Jerusalem Bible for the readings at Mass and other liturgical services.
Tea & Coffee in the Parish Centre after 9.30am Mass. Please drop in out of the cold and have a chat.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
United Service will be held at Christ Church Higher Bebington on Sunday 26th January at 6.30pm.

Money Matters: Last Sunday Collection £535.12p. Thank you for your continued generosity
Annual Collection for the Retired Priests Fund. Today the annual Special Collection for the Retired Priests’ Fund is being held. With your help, we can build up the Fund to help meet the future needs of our sick and retired priests. Special Envelopes are available for you to use. If you wish Gift Aid to be claimed on your donation, please write in your name and address (including Postcode) on the front of the Special Envelope provided. A Leaflet about the Fund is also available which explains how to make a regular donation to the Fund (by Standing Order or Cheque), and how you can donate Online to the Fund at http://www.dioceseofshrewsbury.org/retired-priests-fund. It also explains how to take advantage of Gift Aid to boost your donation to the Fund. I ask that you give as generously as you can to this very worthy cause and would also like to express my sincere gratitude for your continued support.
With every blessing,
+Mark Bishop of Shrewsbury

First Sacraments Café/Gathering: As you are already aware the children at St John’s School have begun their preparation for the Sacraments of First Forgiveness & First Holy Communion and now we are asking for your prayer support for these children. With this in mind Mrs Mullins, our Head Teacher, Fr Bernard and all the staff would like to invite you to our school First Sacraments Café on

Monday 3rd February from 2.00- 3.00pm in the Junior School Hall. On this afternoon there will be a short liturgy on the theme of light led by Fr Bernard and the children and then there will be an opportunity for you to meet the children over tea and cakes. All parishioners are warmly invited to come along to school on 3rd February for what promises to be a very enjoyable afternoon. For catering purposes please let Fr Bernard or the school office Tel 645 9615 know if you can definitely make it.
The Saint John’s Men’s Group will be meeting at the presbytery on Wednesday, 4 February, at 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start. All men are most welcome as we continue discussing our faith.
The Annual Diocesan Mass to Celebrate Marriage will be celebrated by Bishop Mark at St Joseph’s Church, North Road, Birkenhead on Saturday 8th February at 12 noon. All married couples and their families are welcome. If you are celebrating a significant anniversary (25th 40th 50th 60th) and wish to attend the Mass please let Fr Bernard know by T0HIS WEEKEND and you will receive a special letter of invitation. If you are not celebrating a significant anniversary and wish to attend the Mass please know that you are very welcome.
February Half Term (17th-21st February) Holiday Club for young people aged 7-12 years in St Anne’s Parish Centre 10am -1.45pm each day led by the Diocesan Youth Mission Team.

Medjugorje Pilgrimage: A five day pilgrimage to Medjugorje costing £399 is being organised within our local pastoral area from 23rd to 27th June 2020. For more information please see the poster at the back of church or contact Maria Fryer. Tel 07576 243343.

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

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday 19th January, 2020. Cycle A


WORD FOR TODAY
John the Baptist not only saw Jesus but recognised him as the Lamb of God. Christ promises to be with us all our days in the faces of those we come into contact with. We see all these people, but how do we recognise the Lamb of God?

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, toiletries. 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.
We have a number of vacancies for Foundation Governors within our Catholic schools across the Wirral. In looking to such appointments, key requirements of Foundation Governors are: That they should be practicing Roman Catholics and that they genuinely believe in the value and importance of Catholic Schools. Is this you? Are you able to offer your services? For more information and/or an application pack please contact Sue Blackwell, Governance Support Officer, either by email: sue.blackwell@dioceseofshrewsbury.org or telephone on 0151 652 9855.
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

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.

FAITH IN FOCUS: THE LAMB OF GOD

When John the Baptist called Jesus the “Lamb of God” what did his hearers think he was talking about? To us it seems such a strange thing to say. Was it any less strange for the people on the banks of the River Jordan?
Those who knew about the scriptures would think of two things. They would remember some mysterious passages in the prophecies of Isaiah, and their minds would also go back to the Exodus and its annual celebration at Passover.
At one stage in their history the Jews were deported to Iraq, to Babylon, close to Baghdad. Their hopes seemed dashed as for about fifty years they were separated from Jerusalem and the proper practice of their religion. At that time Isaiah (or one of his disciples) begins to talk about a mysterious “suffering servant” who would take on the troubles of the people and ultimately save them by giving his own life.
The Jews in today’s gospel might have been back home in Jerusalem but once more they were under army occupation, this time by the Romans. When John points Jesus out as the “Lamb of God” his hearers would have made the connection with the “suffering servant” of Isaiah. Some would have hoped for a revolutionary leader to overthrow the Romans, but others would remember the perfect disciple of God who proclaims the true faith in the midst of errors, who suffers to atone for the sins of the people and who is ultimately glorified by God.
Of course, not everyone would have immediately taken all this in. But every Jew would have made the connection with the Exodus and the Passover. For the lamb was the animal by which the people were saved from Egyptian slavery and brought into the Promised Land. It was with the blood of the lamb that sacrifices were made daily in the Temple and at the annual celebration of Passover it was a lamb that was eaten. The lamb was a central spiritual symbol.
So when John the Baptist called Jesus the “Lamb of God” it started to ring bells for his hearers. Who was this man? What did he want? What would he do?
Little did they suspect. And little did they know.

Second Sunday in Ord Time 19th 5.00pm
9.30am
7.30pm Douglas Watkins RIP
World Peace & Justice
NO Prayer Meeting
Monday 20th 9.15am Ints Phil & Gerry Topping
Tuesday 21st 9.15am Birthday Ints Peggy McAllister
Wednesday 22nd 9.15am Rels/Fnds McGree Family
Thursday 23rd 7.30am Ted Corrigan RIP
Friday 24th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Saturday 25th 10.30am Christian Unity Service
Third Sunday in Ord Time 26th 5.00pm
9.30am
7.30pm Maura Farley Ann. RIP
Genofefa Tenska RIP
NO Prayer Meeting
Confessions Each Saturday 10.30am-11.15am
Morning Prayer
Exposition 15 min before daily Masses
Saturdays 4.00-4.50pm
Welcome to Rev Mike Loach, the Vicar of Christ Church, Higher Bebington who will be preaching at both our Weekend Masses in this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Lately Dead: Please pray for the repose of the soul of Helen Crowther who died in Arrowe Park Hospital recently. Funeral Service here at St John’s on Wednesday 29th January at 10.30am. Please note that the Funeral Mass for Peter Rooney is at St Anne’s on Monday 27th January at 12 noon and the Funeral Mass for Gerda McArdle is at St Anne’s on Tuesday 28th January at 11.30am. May they rest in peace.
First Sacraments Café/Gathering : As you are already aware the children at St John’s School have begun their preparation for the Sacraments of First Forgiveness & First Holy Communion and now we are asking for your prayer support for these children. With this in mind Mrs Mullins, our Head Teacher, Fr Bernard and all the staff would like to invite you to our school First Sacraments Café on Monday 3rd February from 2.00- 3.00pm in the Junior School Hall. On this afternoon there will be a short liturgy on the theme of light led by Fr Bernard and the children and then there will be an opportunity for you to meet the children over tea and cakes. All parishioners are warmly invited to come along to school on 3rd February for what promises to be a very enjoyable afternoon. For catering purposes please let Fr Bernard or the school office Tel 645 9615 know if you can definitely make it.

February Half Term (17th-21st February) Holiday Club for young people aged 7-12 years in St Anne’s Parish Centre 10am -1.45pm each day led by the Diocesan Youth Mission Team. There is a meeting of parishioners from the local parishes who would like to help with this new & exciting venture with the Director of the Youth Mission Team and his staff in St Anne’s Presbytery this Wednesday at 7pm. Those who have already volunteered should have received an email about this. Additional volunteers from our local parishes are all most welcome. The more volunteers we have the better

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 that includes those who may be in
hospital at this time.

Tea & Coffee in the Parish Centre after 9.30am Mass. Please drop in out of the cold and have a chat.
Money Matters: Last Sunday Collection £522.86p. White Flower Appeal £375.20p. Thank you for your continued generosity
Next weekend the annual Collection for the Retired Priests Fund will be held. With your help we can build up the Fund to help meet the future needs of our sick and retired priests. Special envelopes are available for you to use. A leaflet about the Fund is also available which explains how to make a regular donation to the Fund by Standing Order or how you can make a donation by cheque. It also explains how to Gift Aid these donations to the Fund. I ask that you give as generously as you can to this very worthy cause and would also like to express my sincere gratitude for your continued support.
“Sunday of the Word of God”: Pope Francis has recently asked that we celebrate NEXT SUNDAY, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time which this year falls on 25th/26th January. On that weekend you are invited to bring your Bibles to church. Bibles will be blessed after the Bidding Prayers at both Masses that weekend. Good quality Bibles can be obtained at St Paul’s Bookshop, Bold Street, Liverpool or via the internet at Redemptorist Publications or the Catholic Truth Society. In Catholic Churches we use the Jerusalem Bible for the readings at Mass and other liturgical services.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Saturday 18th-25th January. The Theme “Unusual Kindness”
As usual we will be having our trip around the Churches here in the Bebington area.
Prayers for Christian Unity here at
St John’s will be held on Saturday morning 25th January.

The programme is as follows. Also see poster at the back of church.
Monday 20th Jan St Andrew’s
Tuesday 21st Jan Life Church
Wednesday 22nd Jan Christ Church, Hr Beb
Thursday 23rd Jan St Luke’s
Friday 24th Jan Christ Church, P. Sunlight
Saturday 25th Jan St John’s
Each meeting starts at 10.30am for tea/coffee.
Service starts at 11.am
The Churches Together in Cheshire Christian Unity Week Service will be held at Chester Cathedral next Sunday 19th January at 3.30pm. Everyone is most welcome. Lord David Alton is the speaker. Bishop Mark will be there to represent the Diocese and Fr Bernard is attending in his capacity as a local Catholic Dean.
United Service will be held at Christ Church Higher Bebington on Sunday 26th January at 6.30pm.
The Annual Diocesan Mass to Celebrate Marriage will be celebrated by Bishop Mark at St Joseph’s Church, North Road, Birkenhead on Saturday 8th February at 12 noon. All married couples and their families are welcome. If you are celebrating a significant anniversary (25th 40th 50th 60th) and wish to attend the Mass please let Fr Bernard know by 26th January and you will receive a special letter of invitation. If you are not celebrating a significant anniversary and wish to attend the Mass please know that you are very welcome.
Medjugorje Pilgrimage: A five day pilgrimage to Medjugorje costing £399 is being organised within our local pastoral area from 23rd to 7th June 2020. For more information please see the poster at the back of church or contact Maria Fryer. Tel 07576 243343.

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

The Baptism of the Lord, Sunday 12th January, 2020. 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

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.

FAITH IN FOCUS: PERSONAL STEREO RELIGION

Life seems to become more and more privatised as the days go by. For whatever reason, we don’t see many children playing games together in our streets or our parks. Buses and trains are full of people who don’t talk to each other because they sit listening to music on their own personal stereos. Teenagers are said to spend many hours a week by themselves in their bedrooms on the computer. And families claim that life is so frenetic that they have to make a special effort to eat a brand of gravy together once a week.
Of course, there are some people whose religion is exactly the same. It’s about them and God, about them getting holy and going to heaven. If others can do the same, all well and good; but they don’t actually affect them in any way. These are the sort of people who prefer a “private” wedding or a “private” funeral. After all, it’s about them, not the rest of the parish. Or is it?
The feast of the Baptism of the Lord turns all of this on its head. For it reminds us that at our own baptism we were anointed by the priest or deacon. We were anointed with oil so that we could become “priests…prophets…and kings (or queens).” To be a priest means that we offer every moment of our lives to God that they may become sanctified and profitable. To be a prophet means that by our words and actions we are to speak out to our world as spokesmen and women. We are to say what God wants the world to hear. To be a king or queen means to accept responsibility for our world as well as for the kingdom of God. The world we have been given is on loan to us; we are to watch over it, to protect it and hand it on to the next generation in even better condition.
Our religion is the expression of our baptism. We are baptised into a living, believing community that worships collectively, that publicly makes its stand for the power of God’s word in our world and is ready to come to the aid of those whose human dignity is under threat. That’s because our baptism calls us to be other Christs in our world. Far from being a private hobby it is a reminder that our vocation is to be part of the ever-advancing People of God. And if we’re to be part of a people, then we need others.

The Baptism of the Lord 12th 5.00pm
9.30am
7.30pm Joyce Dalziel (10th Annv) RIP
Daniel Farley Annv RIP
Prayer Meeting
Monday 13th 9.15am Helena Czapinska RIP
Tuesday 14th 9.15am Ints Joan Anton
Wednesday 15th 9.15am Cath Wright RIP
Thursday 16th 7.30am Rels/Fnds Fitzpatrick & Gilligan Families
Friday 17th 9.15am Ints Tyburn Sisters
Saturday 18th 10.00am Carmel Mass
Second Sunday in Ord Time 19th 5.00pm
9.30am
7.30pm Douglas Watkins RIP
World Peace & Justice
Prayer Meeting
Confessions Each Saturday 10.30am-11.15am
Morning Prayer
Exposition 15 min before daily Masses
Saturdays 4.00-4.50pm
Baptisms & Weddings in 2020: Please contact us as soon as possible as available dates are going fast.
First Forgiveness for the children at St John’s School will be celebrated in Church on Thursday 13th February at 6.30pm.

First Communion Masses: Saturday 25th April and Saturday 2nd May both 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 that includes those who may be in hospital at this time.

Tea & Coffee in the Parish Centre after 9.30am Mass. Please drop in out of the cold and have a chat.
Money Matters: Last Sunday Collection £661.87p. Crib Collection £236.37. Thank you for your continued generosity.

White Flower Appeal: The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC) will be holding its annual appeal at both Masses THIS weekend.

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
St John’s Parish Pastoral Team: First meeting of 2020 Thursday 16th January at 7.30pm in the presbytery. Any thoughts, observations, suggestions for the team to consider please place in the suggestion box at the back of the Church or through the presbytery letterbox or email them to us at stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com
MEDJUGORIE PILGRIMAGE 2020.
A five day pilgrimage to Medjugorie costing £399 is being organised for 23rd to 27th June. This is a wonderful opportunity to be in Medjugorie on the 39th anniversary of the apparitions and on the feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. Anyone interested should please attend a meeting in the day chapel at 6.30pm on Thursday 16th January for more information. Please also see the poster displayed at the back of church.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins NEXT Saturday 18th-25th January. The Theme “Unusual Kindness” As usual we will be having our trip around the Churches here in the Bebington area.
Prayers for Christian Unity here at
St John’s will be held on Saturday morning 25th January.

The programme is as follows. Also see poster at the back of church.
Saturday 18th Jan Lower Beb Methodist
Monday 20th Jan St Andrew’s
Tuesday 21st Jan Life Church
Wednesday 22nd Jan Christ Church, Hr Beb
Thursday 23rd Jan St Luke’s
Friday 24th Jan Christ Church, P. Sunlight
Saturday 25th Jan St John’s
Each meeting starts at 10.30am for tea/coffee.
Service starts at 11.am
The Churches Together in Cheshire Christian Unity Week Service will be held at Chester Cathedral next Sunday 19th January at 3.30pm. Everyone is most welcome. Lord David Alton is the speaker. Bishop Mark will be there to represent the Diocese and
Fr Bernard is attending in his capacity as a local Catholic Dean.
United Service will be held at Christ Church Higher Bebington on Sunday 26th January at 6.30pm.
“Sunday of the Word of God”: Pope Francis has recently asked that we celebrate this on the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time which this year falls on 25th/26th January. On that weekend you are invited to bring your Bibles to church. Bibles will be blessed after the Bidding Prayers at both Masses that weekend. Good quality Bibles can be obtained at St Paul’s Bookshop, Bold Street, Liverpool or via the internet at Redemptorist Publications or the Catholic Truth Society. In Catholic Churches we use the Jerusalem Bible for the readings at Mass and other liturgical services.
The Annual Diocesan Mass to Celebrate Marriage will be celebrated by Bishop Mark at St Joseph’s Church, North Road, Birkenhead on Saturday 8th February at 12 noon. All married couples and their families are welcome. If you are celebrating a significant anniversary (25th 40th 50th 60th) and wish to attend the Mass please let Fr Bernard know by 26th January and you will receive a special letter of invitation. If you are not celebrating a significant anniversary and wish to attend the Mass please know that you are very welcome.

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

Epiphany of the Lord Sunday 5th January, 2020. Cycle A

NEW YEAR’S BLESSING God be with you at the turning of the year, that you may know the Lord is ever near.
In days of struggle may his Spirit be your strength,
and as the times and seasons run their length,
may Jesus Christ your rock and fortress be,
renewed in faith, in hope and charity.
So praise our God whose great and mighty hand
supports all humankind in every land.
The opening year his faithfulness he shows;
his mercy be among us till its close. Amen

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

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.

FAITH IN FOCUS: THREE WISE WOMEN?

If the wise men had been women, things might have been different. They would have stopped to ask directions outside Jerusalem and so avoided Herod; they would have arrived on time and helped deliver the baby; instead of gold, frankincense and myrrh they would have brought a casserole, some nappies and a box of baby wipes; and there would have been peace on earth!
Although the Christmas season finds it last echo officially on February 2nd with the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, in reality it is today that marks Twelfth Night, or the closure of the Christmas period. And it’s significant that the cosy little birth scene in the stable is suddenly broadened and opened out to the whole world as representatives from the ends of the globe turn up to acknowledge this baby as something very special.
Epiphany is about searching. The wise men travelled from afar, guided by a star. They knew that someone important was about to be born, but they didn’t know who or where. And their quest was to keep moving forward in search of what was to be fully revealed to them.
Matthew deliberately shrouds the wise men in mystery. We are the ones who have invented the fact that there were three of them, that they were kings, that they had crowns, that their names were Gaspar, Balthazar and Melchior. The bible has none of this. Surely, what Matthew wanted us to realise is not some simple historical event but the fact that the wise men represent each one of us. They are a symbol of the whole of humanity that is called to search. Every human being is called to “see” Christ. For everything was made by him and must find its completion in him. And our life is a journey in search of what makes us tick, what will give ultimate meaning to our existence.
The meaning of our existence radiates from the little baby in the stable. We are made in God’s image and are called to worship God with whatever gifts we have to bring. Epiphany invites us to continue the journey and the search, for if we find Christ then we find ourselves!

Epiphany of the Lord 5th 5.00pm
9.30am
7.30pm Ints Elaine Summersgill
Baby Francis Fryer RIP
Prayer Meeting
Monday 6th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Tuesday 7th 9.15am
7.00pm Service of Word & Communion
Novena
Wednesday 8th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Thursday 9th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Friday 10th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Saturday 11th
The Baptism of the Lord 12th 5.00pm
9.30am
7.30pm Joyce Dalziel (10th Annv) RIP
Daniel Farley Annv RIP
Prayer Meeting
Confessions Each Saturday 10.30am-11.15am
Morning Prayer
Exposition 15 min before daily Masses
Saturdays 4.00-4.50pm

Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour will be held here at St John’s on Tuesday 7th January a 7pm.
Baptisms & Weddings in 2020: Please contact us as soon as possible as available dates are going fast.
First Forgiveness for the children at St John’s School will be celebrated in Church on Thursday 13th February at 6.30pm.

First Communion Masses: Saturday 25th April and Saturday 2nd May both 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 that includes those who may be in hospital at this time.

Tea & Coffee in the Parish Centre after 9.30am Mass. Please drop in out of the cold and have a chat.

Money Matters: Last Sunday Collection £602.06p. Thank you for your continued generosity.
Crib Offerings: This weekend is your last opportunity this Christmas to make donations at the Crib for the work of Caritas Diocese of Shrewsbury who offer much care and support to needy families & individuals on the Wirral and throughout the Diocese.

White Flower Appeal: The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC) will be holding its annual appeal at both Masses next weekend

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
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.
St John’s Parish Pastoral Team: First meeting of 2020 Thursday 16th January at 7.30pm in the presbytery. Any thoughts, observations, suggestions for the team to consider please place in the suggestion box at the back of the Church or through the presbytery letterbox or email them to us at stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com
MEDJUGORIE PILGRIMAGE 2020.
A five day pilgrimage to Medjugorie costing £399 is being organised for 23rd to 27th June. This is a wonderful opportunity to be in Medjugorie on the 39th anniversary of the apparitions and on the feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. Anyone interested should please attend a meeting in the day chapel at 6.30pm on Thursday 16th January for more information. Please also see the poster displayed at the back of church.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins on Saturday 18th-25th January. The Theme “Unusual Kindness” As usual we will be having our trip around the Churches here in the Bebington area.
Prayers for Christian Unity here at
St John’s will be held on Saturday morning 25th January. The programme is as follows. Also see poster at the back of church.
Saturday 18th Jan Jireh
Monday 20th Jan St Andrew’s
Tuesday 21st Jan St Luke’s
Wednesday 22nd Jan Christ Church, Hr Beb
Thursday 23rd Jan Life Church
Friday 24th Jan Christ Church, P. Sunlight
Saturday 25th Jan St John’s
Each meeting starts at 10.30am for tea/coffee.
Service starts at 11.am
United Service will be held at Christ Church Higher Bebington on Sunday 26th January at 6.30pm
“Sunday of the Word of God”: Pope Francis has recently asked that we celebrate this on the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time which this year falls on 25th/26th January. On that weekend you are invited to bring your Bibles to church. Bibles will be blessed after the Bidding Prayers at both Masses that weekend. Good quality Bibles can be obtained at St Paul’s Bookshop, Bold Street, Liverpool or via the internet at Redemptorist Publications or the Catholic Truth Society. In Catholic Churches we use the Jerusalem Bible for the readings at Mass and other liturgical services.

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

Feast of the Holy Family, Sunday 29th December, 2019. Cycle A

PRAYER TO THE HOLY FAMILY Jesus, Mary and Joseph, in you we contemplate the splendour of true love. To you we turn with trust.
Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that our families, too, may be places of communion, prayer and authentic schools of the Gospel and small domestic churches.
Holy Family of Nazareth may families never again experience violence , rejection and division; may all who have been hurt or scandalised find ready comfort and healing. Amen.

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

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.

FAITH IN FOCUS: FAMILIES

No two families are the same and each of us has to work out how best to function in our own family. The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph are put before us as models for us to emulate. But how do we do that in the twenty-first century? Perhaps with three simple ingredients, the three Cs:
Commitment: Joseph’s trust was stretched when it came to committing himself to Mary and her unborn child. It goes without saying that families need commitment. Casual groupings of adults and children find it harder to provide the necessary stability. Families only exist because people have a “no matter what” attitude to their wives, husbands, children and parents. We don’t give up when things get tough. But commitment has other natural consequences. If you’re committed to someone then you have to convince them of the fact. When did you last tell your child, wife etc that they really mattered in your eyes? How quick were you to forgive them when they did something that displeased you? What do you bring to your family to show your commitment?
Communication: The greatest danger to married life is not infidelity but lack of communication. Many people survive long years of marriage but never get to know the mind of their partner because they simply don’t talk about things that matter to them both. Many parents find their children’s behaviour puzzling but don’t know how to sit down with them and talk things through. And so the children never expect their parents to understand, especially when they really need them to. It’s just easier to talk to the computer for hours on end.
Common Activity: When a survey asked children what single thing they would most like to change in their family, the answer came back that they would like to do more things together with their parents. Being part of a family means sharing time, experiences, hopes, joys, tears and dreams. Building a family means planning common activity, going out together, doing things together.
Just as human beings need to grow and develop, so do families. We really know very little about how the Holy Family functioned, but you can bet that the three Cs were there somewhere.

Feast of
the Holy Family 29th 5.00pm
9.30am
7.30pm Mary Jackson RIP
Ints Colette Jones
Prayer Meeting
Monday 30th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Tuesday 31st 9.15am William Kealey
Mary Mother of God 1st 10.00am All Mothers
Thursday 2nd 9.15am Ints Eva Armstead
Friday 3rd 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Saturday 4th
Epiphany of the Lord 5th 5.00pm
9.30am
7.30pm Ints Elaine Summersgill
Baby Francis Fryer RIP
Prayer Meeting
Confessions Each Saturday 10.30am-11.15am
Morning Prayer
Exposition 15 min before daily Masses
Saturdays 4.00-4.50pm
Christmas Services at St John’s
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.
Baptisms & Weddings in 2020: Please contact us as soon as possible as available dates are going fast.
First Forgiveness for the children at St John’s School will be celebrated in Church on Thursday 13th February at 6.30pm.

First Communion Masses: Saturday 25th April and Saturday 2nd May both 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 that includes those who may be in hospital at this time.

Tea & Coffee in the Parish Centre after 9.30am Mass. Please drop in out of the cold and have a chat.

Money Matters: Christmas Collection for the Clergy £1,200.00p. The Big Card Collection for the Ark amounted to £85. Thank you for your continued generosity.
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.

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.
St John’s Schools and St John Plessington Catholic College are currently on their Christmas break. We hope that pupils and staff are enjoying a good and peaceful and that the New Year will be a blessed one for all our Catholic Schools.
St John’s Parish Pastoral Team: First meeting of 2020 Thursday 16th January at 7.30pm in the presbytery. Any thoughts, observations, suggestions for the team to consider please place in the suggestion box at the back of the Church or through the presbytery letterbox or email them to us at stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com
Christian Unity Week 2020: begins on Saturday 18th January and runs until Saturday 25th January. The United Service at St John’s will be on Saturday 25th Jan.10.30am Coffee. United Service at 11.00am.

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.

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

Third Sunday of Advent, Sunday 15th 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: THE RIGHT ONE?

John the Baptist has some second thoughts about Jesus in today’s gospel. After preaching about the coming of the Messiah for so long, John now finds himself in prison and things don’t seem to be working out as he had expected. So he asks, “Are you the one who is to come, or have we got to wait for someone else?”
It seems that John thought the Messiah would be much more militant and political than Jesus. It’s quite comforting that John can have his ideas on the Messiah turned upside down; if he needs to take a second look then so do we. His ideas of what Jesus was about proved to be out of synch with reality. And ours often are equally wide of the mark.
In fact, John even wondered whether his cousin Jesus was the right one. Yet Jesus replies that John should open his eyes and look around: those who are blind, deaf, lame and lepers are being cured and the Good News is being preached to the poor. All of these things were known to be signs that the Messiah had arrived.
What about us? Are we sure we’ve got the right idea about Jesus? When he comes again ought we to be worried or should we be joyfully expecting him? Is he coming to bring vengeance or is he “on our side”. Will he condemn or save?
Having second thoughts about Jesus allows us to get things in perspective. It allows us to see Advent as a joyful season of expectation. It lets us realise that fear is out of place for those who await Christ’s coming. It encourages us to actively look forward to the promises that God has made to us through his Son. It permits us to sing “Come, Lord Jesus” and really mean it. And so Advent invites us to yearn for the coming of that joyful day when our salvation will be fully revealed.
John the Baptist had to have a rethink about Jesus. Advent summons us to do the same. Is Christ’s coming something we look forward to or something we secretly dread?

Third
Sunday of Advent 15th 5.00pm
9.30am
3-4pm
7.30pm Sick Parishioners
Ints Norah & Bill Martin
Holy Hour
Prayer Meeting
Monday 16th 9.15am Service of Word & Communion
Tuesday 17th 9.15 am Barbara Forshaw (1st Annv)
Wednesday 18th 9.15am
7.00pm Service of Word & Communion Reconciliation Service
Thursday 19th 9.30am Ints Peggy McAllister
(in School)
Friday 20th 12 Noon Funeral Service –
Susan Heathcote
Saturday 21st 10.00am Bob Purfield
Fourth
Sunday of Advent 22nd 5.00pm
9.30am
3-4pm
7.30pm Maria Haigh Annv RIP
Nora & Dinny Mahony
Holy Hour
Prayer Meeting
Confessions before Christmas at St John’s
Wednesday Advent Reconciliation Service at 7.00pm Next Saturday from after 10am Mass until 11.30am Next Sunday from 2.00pm -2.50pm
Morning Prayer
Exposition 15 min before daily Masses
Saturdays 4.00-4.50pm
Exposition: Next Saturday from after 10am Mass until 11.30am

Prayers for the Sick: Fr Bernard is offering this Saturday’s (14th Dec) 5pm Mass for all our Sick and Housebound Parishioners. Please keep these people in your Advent prayers and if anyone is in need of a visit /Holy Communion please do let Fr Bernard know either after Mass this weekend or by phone or email

Lately Dead: Please pray for the repose of the soul of Susan Heathcote whose funeral service will be held here at St John’s this Friday 20th December at 12 Noon. Please keep Susan and her family in your prayers. May she rest in peace.

Tea & Coffee in the Parish Centre after 9.30am Mass. Please drop in out of the cold and have a chat.

Money Matters: Last weekend’s Offertory collection amounted to £555.88p
Church Flower Collection £277.53p. Thank you for your continued generosity.

Parish Christmas Raffle : Tickets are on sale after Masses this weekend, next weekend and during the week for the St John’s Christmas Raffle …….some great prizes on offer all donated by parishioners. The draw will be made by our Altar Servers at the end of 9.30am Mass on Sunday 15th December.
LPA Advent Reconciliation Service (with individual confession) will be held at St John’s this Wednesday 18th December at 7pm. All 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-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.

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.
Scout Stamps will be on sale after Mass on Saturday 14th December. Price is 35 pence. The newsagent on the corner of Windsor Close is also selling stamps on our behalf. Last date for posting your cards is Wednesday 18th December at 12 noon.
SJP Christmas Carol Service “Follow the Star”. St John Plessington Catholic College will be holding two Carol Services in College Hall, the first will take place on Monday 16th December 2019 at 6.30pm and the second on Thursday 19th December 2019 at 6.30pm. We do hope that you will be able to join us. Tickets are available from the School Office or telephone 0151 645 5049. A collection will be taken on the evening in aid of our college charity and the Wirral Foodbank.
Hospital Advent Mass: Mass will be celebrated by Canon Philip Moor, Vicar General of the Diocese and Parish Priest of Holy Apostles & Martyrs Parish in Wallasey in the chapel at Arrowe Park Hospital (1st Floor of main building) on Thursday at 12.30pm. Patients, Staff, Visitors, members of our local Wirral Parishes are all most welcome. Why not go along and pray God’s blessing’s upon our local hospitals and hospice this Christmas and into 2020,