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Saint John Roman Catholic Church

19 St. John Sq., Middletown, Connecticut, (860) 347-5626 ........... Reverend Father Michael Phillippino

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Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist

June 24

This feast, a segment of Advent in the season of Ordinary Time, makes us aware of the wonderful inner relationship between the sacred mysteries; for we are still in the midst of one Church year and already a bridge is being erected to the coming year of grace.

Ordinarily the Church observes the day of a saint's death as his feast, because that day marks his entrance into heaven.



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Pope Francis - Jubilee of Mercy

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          "LUMEN FIDEI"
Eucharistic Adoration
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Ministry Schedule - June

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Stations of The Cross
New American Bible

Angels  .....................



Very Rev. Father Michael Phillippino             


Director of Religious Education

Sr.Ann Mack

Kathryn Connolly


Parish Administrative Secretary

Ms. Megan Furtado

Parish Bookeeper
Ms. Patty Holmes

Parish Sexton
Mr. Bob Maxa

Parish Organist
Mrs. Joanne Swift




Parish Office Hours 

- Monday through Friday
    8AM to 3PM

- Closed weekends, holidays
    & holy days



Parish Council:
Meets every 2nd Thursday of the month at 7 PM in the Rectory; all parishioners are welcome to attend.



"The Mother Church of the Norwich Diocese"

Mass Schedule

Saturday Vigil Mass: 4:00 PM

Sunday Mass:            8:00 AM and 10:00 AM

Weekday Masses:      8:00 AM Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat

No 8AM Mass on Wed


Eucharistic Adoration begins in the chapel at 9AM after morning Mass on the 1st Friday of each month and ends at 6PM, in observance of the 6:30 Stations of the Cross, with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and a Benediction.


Monday Night:   Miraculous Medal Novena in the Chapel

Thursday Night: 7PM Prayer Group in the Chapel
First Fridays:     8AM Mass and Devotions to the Sacred Heart

First Saturdays: 8AM Mass and Holy Rosary

Confession:       Heard Saturdays, 3:00-3:30PM   


           ~ Air Conditioned and Handicapped Accessible~





Pastoral Sharings: Thirteeth Sunday in Ordinary Time




Homily from Father Joseph Pellegrino
Posted for June 26, 2016

Selling Out Our Lord

 During the coming week, Bart Kovacic, Ron McIlveen, Heather Kuhlman, and I will accompany 9 of our Teens to the Life Teen Leadership Conference at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, about forty minutes from Kansas City.  There will be 450 to 500 Teens there, mostly in their sophomore and junior years of high school, 15 to 17 year olds.  This is retreat is not open to anyone.  It is only for those chosen by their youth ministers and priests as being potential leaders in our Church.  In reality, they are chosen by God.

            So, here you have all these exceptional Teens, attending a large number of talks, having one prayer experience after an other; and yet, the main goal of the week will be to get them each to make a commitment to Jesus Christ and His Church.  You might think that this sounds superfluous. You might think that these Teens were already committed to the Lord or they wouldn't be there.  That would not be totally true.  The commitment of the Leadership Conference is to take a leap of faith, to sell out for Jesus Christ.  It is not a matter with being satisfied with making minor changes in life to be more Christian. It is a call to make a radical commitment to the Lord.   This retreat is a life changing event which will result in others also changing their lives.  The discussion leaders, prayer leaders, and those who present talks at our youth retreats, as well as the leaders of our campus ministries, and also many of our seminarians and religious sisters, are all young people who made the Leadership Retreat and sold out for the Lord for the remainder of their lives.

            In many ways we are all like the Teens as they arrived at the Leadership Conference.  We want The Lord in our lives, or we would not be here right now, here at Mass.  But like some of the Teens, there are those areas of our lives that we hold back from The Lord.  We do not totally sell out for Him.  We say that we are committed to our faith, but we really  don't want The Lord present when we are joining in with the world's celebration of materialism, or agreeing with the immoral aspects of our society, or simply joining in with the gossip of the neighborhood.            

            "When the days for Jesus' being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem" Some translations say, "He set his face like flint towards Jerusalem."  Nothing was going to impede his commitment to the Kingdom of God.  He knew that Jerusalem would be the place of His Passion and Death.  But He also knew that He would change the world by submitting in obedience to the Father and by dying for love of us.  Peter protested when Jesus announced his Passion.  "God forbid, Lord."  Jesus called Him Satan.  Only the devil would try to thwart God's Plan.  Thomas said, "Lets go with him and die with Him."  The future doubter had the courage within him to sell out for The Lord.  But many of the people who were captivated by Jesus’ words, who wanted to stay united with Him, could not bring themselves to sell out for Him. "Let me do this, first Lord.  Let me do that."  Perhaps, many of us do this too.  We want The Lord, but we want Him on our terms, at the times and places we determine.

            "My brothers and sisters, you are called to freedom, not slavery."  St Paul writes this to the Galatians in today's Second Reading.  He is also writing this to us.  At least I know he is writing it to me.  He is telling me, and you too, that we have the ability to be free to love with every fiber of body and with the might of our souls.  But we have to commit to Him, totally, with our entire lives.

            "Lord, the Samaritans will not welcome you.  Should we call down fire from heaven to consume them?"  Really?  Really, James and John?   Is that what you think this is about, this commission by the Father, publically proclaimed at the Lord's baptism, and detailed with Moses and Elijah at the Transfiguration.  Do you really think this is about sending fire on the ancient enemies of the Jews?  "Kill all those who refuse to join us.  Kill the Jews.  Have an inquisition. Kill the Moslems.  Call a crusade.  Kill the reputations of those who would dare mock us.  Refuse to recognize their dignity."  Really, is that why we wage a battle for the Kingdom of Heaven?  Don't you get it, James and John, and Shirley and Phil?
            James and John wanted a religion that was fierce, that would hurt all who opposed it.  Jesus didn't come to establish a Kingdom of pain.  He knew that people would try to hide hatred under the guise of religion. He didn't want a religion that would call down fire on people.  At least not physical fire.  The fire He wanted to call down was the fire of the Holy Spirit.  “I have come to set the world on fire, and how I wish it were aflame,” we read in Luke 12:49. His life was not about physical power.  His life was about  service, service through love.  His religion would be all about leading others to God.   

            We are called to lead others to God.  This includes that relative, or that neighbor who really irritates us.  This includes  that person has really hurt us, or, worse, has hurt someone whom we love.  We can't say, "Lord, I'm not going to let go of my hate, but I still want to follow you."  That is the same as saying, "Lord let me take care of this or that,  and then I'll follow you."  We have got to be committed to the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Love.  We can't hold anything back  We have got to sell out for The Lord. 

            I am not convinced that we recognize the battle that is taking place right here, and right now.  We go to Church, we say our prayers, all as though we are doing things to keep God happy.  We act like the Frozen Chosen, duty bound Catholics with our neat check lists of what we have to do to keep God happy.   

            We don’t practice our faith to keep God happy.  He is God.  He doesn't need us to be happy.  Religion is about our roles in the battle of the Kingdom of God against evil.  It is about fighting Satan.   The devil, evil, sees the determination of committed Christians and will do everything it can to destroy us.  We have got to acknowledge that we have been called to arms against a powerful spiritual foe, and we have to defeat him by realizing, making real, our own unique reflections of the Lord's love.  For only love can destroy evil.  This is the fire that will destroy the enemies of God.  

            There is a battle to be waged and a world that needs us to fight for good, fight for the Kingdom, and commit to The Lord. 

            Catholicism is a way of life.  It is who we are.  Every action of our lives must serve The Lord.  We must sell out for Him.  May we have the courage to let Jesus Christ set us on fire with His Love. 



 St. John Paul II Regional School


Pre-K through Grade 8
860-347-2978 or 860-347-1195

Visit our website at


SCHOOL NEWS: St. John Paul II Regional School is ENROLLING NOW for the 2016-2017 school year. Admissions documents, application, and financial aid information can be found on the school website ( under the Admissions drop down tab.

Welcome to St. John Church

Our Newly Baptized!

Calvin Patrick Cayer

Son of

Ryan and Meridith (Hernandez) Cayer
of Middletown

Baptized Sunday, June 12th, 2016 


Banns of Ordination
The following deacons will be called to the Order of Priesthood on Saturday, June 25, 2016:

            Rev. Mr. Juan Angel Aguirre

            Rev. Mr. Jeffrey Richard Ellis

            Rev. Mr. Thomas Patrick Griffin

            Rev. Mr. Peter Julian Langevin

Should you know of any reason why these men should not be ordained priests, please write to: The Most Reverend Bishop Michael R. Cote, Bishop of Norwich, 201 Broadway, Norwich, CT 06360.

Extra Confession Times: In honor of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Fr. Mike will be hearing confessions at extra times. Confessions will be heard at their usual Saturday 3:00 – 3:45 time slot, but Fr. Mike will also be available on Saturday mornings from 6:45 – 7:45 AM.


Bishop Michael Cote has designated St. John Church as a place of pilgrimage for the Diocese of Norwich during the Holy Year of Mercy.



The 2015-2016 Religious Education school ear has come to an end! A big thank you to all our teachers and volunteers who helped to make this year a success!


~ Middletown, Connecticut ~

Vatican Website

Pope To You

St. John

Norwich Diocese

 St. John Church 'Nativity
Window' Ornament click here



Click here to visit our parish giftshop featuring 
gifts with images from our antique stained

glass windows




 Click here to visit our Holy Spirit themed 
giftshop featuring gifts Celebrating the

Holy Spirit















Charles Bosseron Chambers

The Sacred Heart of Jesus


Oil on Canvas

Preparing for the Mass June 26, 2016

The month of June is dedicated to The Sacred Heart of Jesus. This month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time. The last portion of the liturgical year represents the time of our pilgrimage to heaven during which we hope for reward.


13th Sunday of Ordinary Time


Reading I: 1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21
Responsorial Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
Reading II: Galatians 5:1, 13-18
Gospel: Luke 9:51-62

Sunday Bible Reflections from Scott Hahn and the liturgy can be found here and a children's liturgy can be found here.

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Luke 9:51-62

Gospel Summary

The first verse of today’s gospel is a major marker in Luke’s story of salvation. Jesus is now ready to be “taken up,” i.e. to move toward the final stage of his mission which must happen in Jerusalem. For that reason, “he resolutely determined (lit. set his face) to journey to Jerusalem.” For the next ten chapters, Jesus will be on thisjourney during which he will illustrate the meaning of the journey of faith on the part of his followers of every age.

This is clearly a spiritual journey in which theology trumps all merely historical considerations. This arrangement also reveals Luke’s recognition of Jerusalem as a kind of powerful magnetic force draws Jesus to the climax of his mission. For it is in Jerusalem that he will reveal the whole purpose of his life, namely, to die out of love for others. Then, in Luke’s second book, the Acts of the Apostles, he will show how the saving power of the Risen Lord radiates out from Jerusalem to transform the whole world.

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C—June 26, 2016

Today, Jesus surprises us by being merciful to those who resist Him and harsh with those who don’t.  Why?
Gospel (Read Lk 9:51-62)

St. Luke tells us  “when the days for Jesus’ being taken up were fulfilled, He resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem.”  Other translations use the phrase, “set His face,” to describe this determination, calling to mind how God told the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel to “set your face” against Jerusalem and preach its evils (see Jer 21:10; Ezek 21:2).  Jesus was about to do the very same thing.  The words, “being taken up,” describe His Ascension into heaven after completing the work God had given Him to do.  This long journey into Jerusalem from Galilee provides the setting for the rest of St. Luke’s Gospel, in which he unfolds the “orderly account” he wants to give his readers of the life of Jesus (see Lk 1:1-4).
Why I Am Never Leaving the Catholic Church, and Neither Should You
I am Catholic because Catholicism is true.

It is not a little true.

It is not some truth mixed with error; if I wanted that, I definitely wouldn’t be here. I am Catholic because the Catholic Church is the only place you will find the fullness of Truth. It is for Truth that I became a Catholic, and it is for Truth that I will die a Catholic.


Our Supersubstantial Bread, The Eucharist

A few weeks ago, we celebrated the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, calling to mind the mystery of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. This wondrous gift allows us to experience the most intimate encounter with Christ this side of heaven. The Church has always taught the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith.

In Mysterium Fidei, Pope Paul VI writes:

The Mystery of Faith, that is, the ineffable gift of the Eucharist that the Catholic Church received from Christ, her Spouse, as a pledge of His immense love, is something that she has always devoutly guarded as her most precious treasure…For if the sacred liturgy holds first place in the life of the Church, then the Eucharistic Mystery stands at the heart and center of the liturgy, since it is the font of life that cleanses us and strengthens us to live not for ourselves but for God and to be united to each other by the closest ties of love (1-2).

A Parable to Ponder – Why Does God Permit Disability?

Allow me to begin with a simple parable. Every now and then I take a perfectly good paper clip and untwist it, reconfiguring it for some other purpose. Once, I used them to hang Christmas ornaments on my tree. Another time I fashioned a paperclip into a hook to keep my broken file drawer from rolling open. Now if paperclips could see or think, they might be horrified and saddened to see a fellow paperclip so deformed. Perhaps I could try to explain that not only were their “deformed” brethren not a disaster, they were actually quite useful and important to me in their condition. But alas, paperclips can’t understand this; they just “look on” with sadness and horror. After all, how can you expect a paperclip to understand any function other than holding together sheets of paper? They can’t understand things beyond the world that they know.

Your Heavenly Home

Commercialism is all around us. It stares us in the face as we watch TV. Buy this fancy new vehicle and you will have a big smile on your face like this family…..maybe even balloons! Rush out and buy this new leather recliner and you’ll sleep like a baby…just like this guy. What don’t you have the newest infomercial gadget? Call now and we’ll send you two! We are bombarded with buy more, more, more stuff. What does all this consuming get us in the end?

Built for Heaven

There is a story of a woman who had been used to every luxury and to all respect. She died. And when she arrived in heaven, an angel was sent to conduct her to her house there. They passed many a lovely mansion and the woman thought that each one, as they came to it, must be the one allotted her. When they passed through the main streets, they came to the outskirts where the houses were much smaller; on the very fringe, they came to one that was little more than a shack.


The Small World of the Narcissist

My Language Arts students are currently finishing up their respective research papers. One of the instructions which I give them is that they are not permitted to use “I,” “me,” or “my” in the text of the paper.

At first, this requirement seems daunting to them: “But what about ‘in my paper’?” “What if I want to say, ‘I think’?” After I explain that those words are not permitted when writing an informational paper about a person, event, or invention, and that concise sentence writing does not need them, they get to work. The bottom line, as they realize, is that the paper is not about them; it is about the subject.


“How lack of reverence for the Eucharist puts people off Catholicism

Having referred to Patrick Madrid’s Life Lessons: Fifty Things I Learnt in My First Fifty Years (US, UK) in my last blog, I have found it both so readable and so full of wise reflections based on his own experiences (which could easily be the reader’s experiences too), that I will highlight another chapter here.

Madrid relates that, as a full-time Catholic apologist, he was once giving a lecture on the Catholic faith when a Mormon in the audience asked if he could speak to him later on. During their conversation, which happened to be on the Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle, the Mormon remarked, “I really don’t get the impression that most Catholics believe what you have just said about ‘the Eucharist’.”

Does Evil Disprove God?

In an apologetics course I am taking this semester, we recently discussed the argument often propagated by atheists that God must not exist due to the existence of evil in the world. Based on the arguments for God’s existence in spite of evil, found in “The Handbook of Catholic Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, S.J., I wrote a fictitious dialogue, following below, that expresses a Christian response to this atheistic argument.

Pope on Jesus’ First Miracle: Wine Represents Joy,

and Cana Began Church’s Faith

In in-depth look at Wedding Feast in Cana, Pope Francis points to several key moments in the scene that illuminate our understanding of Christ and encourages us to do as Mary instructed, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’
VATICAN CITY — In an in-depth look at Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine at the Wedding Feast in Cana, Pope Francis pointed to several key moments in the scene that illuminate our understanding of Christ.

One of these key moments, he said, comes with Mary’s observation that the newlywed couple’s resources have depleted and that, at a certain point, “they have no wine.”


What St. Thomas Aquinas Teaches About the Incarnation

What would you say is the most fundamental moment in salvation history?
I would contend that they fall into three possibilities: the Incarnation, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection. Over the next three weeks I’m going to draw out a few of the excellent questions St. Thomas Aquinas answers and explains regarding these three events.
Each of these, actually, is just ridiculous to think about. Have you ever really considered the facts behind the Incarnation?


More Miracles, Please!

If God is a God of miracles as theists claim, then why doesn’t he perform more to stop evil?
I must admit this is one question I’ve wrestled with in solidarity with my atheist friends.
My initial response is to recall the words of the prophet Isaiah: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD” (Is. 55:8). While I acknowledge this as true, it leaves me dissatisfied.
As a Christian I believe, with St. Paul, that God “works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28), but I’m still often left wondering if there is any sense in God not performing more miracles to stop evil.
Though this is a mystery, I think we can make some sense out of it.


Scrupulosity—A Beginner’s Guide

What is Scrupulosity? A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding This “Pious Problem”
Recently, Simcha Fisher raised the issue of scrupulosity, the state of being perpetually afraid of sin, at the National Catholic Register.  As someone who battles scrupulosity, I was thrilled to see someone raising the issue. Scruples can plague a person and wreak all kinds of havoc in his relationship with God. (All you priests are probably nodding your heads right now!)
Unfortunately, we don’t talk much about scrupulosity today, and to our detriment. Fisher had to respond to a few confused readers of her article who thought we needed more scrupulosity, not less, given the state of our sinful world. That they misunderstood is completely understandable: on the surface it would seem like having more awareness of sin would always be a good thing.
So what is scrupulosity, and why is it so bad? Let’s delve deeper into the topic.


A Letter to My Children

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7–8).
Have you ever wondered if you will have the opportunity to tell the people you love all that you want them to know about what is important in life and convey important life lessons? How many of us have benefited from the influence of our fathers, grandfathers, and other important people in our lives? Out of my strong desire to raise my sons to be strong and faithful Catholic men, I have composed a letter to them which I hope inspires the readers of this post to do something similar with your children and grandchildren. This  letter was included at the end of my book, Journey to Heaven: A Road Map for Catholic Men (Emmaus Road Publishing).


The Belief in Purgatory is Much Older Than You Realize

Wasn't Purgatory unheard of in Scripture and only invented in the Dark Ages?

No. Just the term "Purgatory" arose after the time of the apostles, just as the terms "Trinity", "Christianity", "Second Coming", and "Bible" did. But the idea of Purgatory was already present in the period before Jesus was born. So, for instance, we find a Jewish hero named Judas Maccabeus, about a century and a half before Jesus, praying for the dead and specifically asking they be forgiven their sins after they have died (2 Maccabees 12: 43-45). This practice, known as the "kaddish", continues in Judaism to this day and was well-established among Jews in Jesus' own time. Likewise, we find the New Testament frequently assuming the existence of Purgatory. Jesus, during his time in the grave, is said by Peter to have "preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly did not obey" (1 Peter 3: 18-20). Similarly, Jesus teaches that certain sins (notably unforgiveness) will be liable to judgment and imprisonment in the next. But he also implies this punishment is not necessarily eternal: "Truly I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny" (Mt. 5:21-26). Such imagery fits neither heaven (where there are no prisons) nor hell (where there is neither repentance nor "getting out", and therefore no point in preaching). It does, however, fit Purgatory.


Lift Up Your Hearts: 10 Tips for Newcomers to the Latin Mass

I’ve shared before on this blog my love for the ancient Roman Rite, also known as the Latin Mass, the Tridentine Mass, or the Extraordinary Form. But whenever I write about this topic, I inevitably get emails from readers who were inspired to visit a Mass in the Extraordinary Form, only to be confused and disoriented the entire time. The messages usually go something like, “It was very beautiful, and I loved the music, but I didn’t get much out of it because I had no idea what the priest was doing.”