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Saint John Roman Catholic Church

19 St. John Sq., Middletown, Connecticut, (860) 347-5626 .................... Rev. James Thaikoottathil, J.C.D.

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Pastor

Rev. James Thaikoottathil, J.C.D.             

             

Director of Religious Education

Sr.Ann Mack

Kathryn Connolly

                 

Parish Administrative Secretary

Mrs. Diana Blair

StJohnSecretary@comcast.net
    

Parish Bookeeper
Ms. Patty Holmes
StJohnBook@comcast.net

            
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~

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Pastoral Sharings: Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time


 

 

 

Homily from Father Alex McAllister SDS
Posted for June 25, 2017
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Today in our Gospel we are presented with a series of sayings by Jesus which it is generally regarded come from quite different sources and indeed from very different situations. Matthew has put them together and presents them as a series of instructions given by Jesus to the Twelve Apostles about how to carry out their mission. This raises the question of Matthew's authenticity as a Gospel writer.

I suppose the ordinary person who doesn't give the matter much thought probably imagines that Matthew witnessed everything that is recorded in his Gospel account of Jesus' life. They might fondly think of Matthew as following Jesus around with a notebook, making little jottings whenever he had a spare moment.

As soon as you begin to think about this you realize that such a thing could not be remotely true. First of all, we must realize the great problem it was in the ancient world to write anything at all, especially when one was on the move.

Paper or its equivalent was very expensive and fragile and the taking of notes was therefore an extremely laborious process. Writing was, in fact, the work of professional scribes and not something generally undertaken by ordinary folk.

However, the other thing that we are mostly unaware of was the extraordinary memories people had. Today, the ease of writing means that we don't have to remember very much at all and this has in turn meant that our facility for remembering things is very poorly developed.

If you are anything like me you find yourself making lists of things to do; and even then when looking at it later some of the things on the list don't make any sense at all! However, even a few generations ago our forebears had extremely good memories and could recite unaided great screeds of poetry, stories and prayers off by heart. Many years ago, I met an old lady who knew by heart most of the New Testament. She was a Methodist and had been brought up in a family who read the Bible together every evening, so that probably explains it. But what a contrast with the modern family, each watching their own TV programs in quite separate rooms and never reading the Bible at all!

In the early years of the Church there were plenty of people who had been present at one or other of Jesus discourses and who could remember more or less just what he said. They surely told stories about him to each other, taking great delight in remembering all the details and recounting from memory all the things he had taught them.

Yes, there would have been significant variations between one account and another but gradually an accepted version of the particular teaching or incident in the life of Jesus would have emerged. Those who knew the story would tell others and this became a real feature of Christian life especially in the liturgy. And, of course, this is so right down to the present day.

What we are doing in the first part of the mass when we read from the scriptures is precisely this; telling the story. Telling the story of Jesus' life with special emphasis on his teachings and miracles and how he brought about our salvation. We rely on the accounts given us by the Evangelists and we place great trust in their reliability even if we are quite well aware of the different emphases that they each give.

So, whatever their original context this particular collection of sayings has been gathered together by St Matthew and presented to us as part of Jesus' missionary discourse to his Apostles. There are two particular themes in the text set before us today: the first is that the Apostles should not be afraid and the second is that they are truly Christ's representatives.

By saying, ‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul', Christ is preparing them for a difficult ministry. As we know almost all the Apostles died a martyr's death. But they do not fear persecution because their faith is in the one who is more powerful than anyone on earth. They are not afraid because they know that they are treasured by God himself and it is he who guides and protects them on their mission.

And they are truly Christ's representatives. As Apostles, their primary task is to declare themselves for Christ in the presence of men; in fact there is no other way of being an Apostle. A secret Apostle is no Apostle at all!

An Apostle must declare who it is he represents. He must do so in words and also by his actions. He must proclaim the Gospel of Christ from the rooftops; that is his principal task. An Apostle is to continue and extend the ministry of Christ in the world. An Apostle is to do the work of Jesus and to bring as many people as he can to knowledge and love of him.

And Jesus promises that his disciples will be vindicated. They will be vindicated in the place that matters most; and that is before his Father in heaven. The judgement of this world is temporary and superficial; the real judgement occurs on the last day and it is in that court that Christ promises that he will speak up for his disciples. The Court of Heaven is the only court that really counts; and it is in that court where the real judgement will be given.

I remember on several occasions talking to people who were either facing death or the death of a loved one who asked me the simple but devastating question: ‘Is it all true?' All I could respond in such a situation is to say, ‘What else have we to rely on except the promises of God.'


And this is one of those promises: You stand up for me before men and I will stand up for you before my Father in heaven.

But the opposite is also true; should we neglect stand up for Christ in this world, then how can we possibly expect him to stand up for us on the day of judgement?

So, in conclusion let me make a suggestion, a small challenge for the coming week. Sometime during the week speak up for Christ or for the Gospel to someone who speaks against them. Ordinarily you might let a particular sort of comment or assumption pass; but this week stand up for Christ and make your views known.

Do not let your faith lie hidden. And do not be afraid of the consequences of speaking out. ‘What Christ has told us in the darkness, now tell in the daylight! What you have heard in whispers, proclaim from the housetops!'


                                                                  


 St. John Paul II Regional School


860-347-2978 or 860-347-1195

Visit our website at www.jpii.org.


St. John Paul II School grades Preschool to 8th.  For more information or to apply, visit www.jpii.org, call 860-347-2978 or send an email to office@jpii.org

 



 

AMAZING GRACE NEEDS RESTOCKING St. John Church supplies Amazing Grace Food Pantry with tuna fish. The food pantry is running low on tuna.  If you can, please donate and leave cans in the baskets in the back of the church.  Thank you for your continued generosity!


Sandwiches for St. Vincent de Paul  St. John’s Parish will again practice the Corporal Works of Mercy of feeding the poor by making ham sandwiches for the clients of St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen. We will begin on Tuesday, July 11th and continue every 2 weeks.  7/25, 8/8, 8/22, 9/12, 9/26, and end on 10/10.


St. John Church Religious Educatio
n News: Religious education has ended for the year.  Thank you to all the teachers that gave of their time and talent to make this possible.  We pray that everyone has a blessed summer.  Please remember God doesn’t take a vacation from you so we ask that you don’t take a vacation from him!
 
Worldwide Marriage Encounter “And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love Him and reveal myself to Him." Expand your married love by attending a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend. The next WWME Weekends are Jul 7-9, 2017 in Manchester, CT and Nov 3-5, 2017 in Manchester, CT. For more information, call Dennis & Jane Lamondy at 860-376-0440 or visit us at https://wwmectw.org/


Charismatic Prayer Meeting: Charismatic prayer meeting at St. John every Thursday 7:00pm in the chapel.

Garden Club:If you are interested in beautifying our surroundings by helping with the flowers around the altar and outside please consider joining the St. John Garden Club!   Contact Jan Wendry 860.346.5808 

Scripture Readings Do you wish to better understand the Sunday Mass Readings?  We all need to prepare in order to fully partake in the Liturgy of the Word.  On Thursday evenings at 6:30pm in the rectory we will gather with the RCIA team to break open the Scriptures.  Come join us.  If you have any questions please call Sister Ann 860-344-8569

Wine/Beer Tasting Fundraiser Saturday, October 28th @ St. Mary Hall, Portland.   More info to follow!

 



~ 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

 








 

 


 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

or click here to view on Youtube

 

 

       

Heinrich Hoffman

Detail from "Christ and the Rich Young Ruler"

1889

Oil on Canvas

Preparing for the Mass June 25, 2017

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. 
 

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time: The Courage to Be a Witness

This week I would like to speak with you about the call we have received to be witnesses to Christ.  It takes tremendous courage to give witness to Christ. Perhaps we don’t have to be afraid of being put to death for Christ as so many of the martyrs were, or as so many Christians still are in territories ruled by radical Islam, radical Hindi, etc.  But we certainly risk being seriously hurt by the most influential people we might know.  

 

Standing for the Lord, being His Witness, will trigger the worst in those who cannot fathom why we should be serious in allowing God to determine our lives. Sure, they will go to Church and give lip service to their faith, but when it comes to living that faith, they simply don’t. And they cannot stand a person who refuses to join their immoral lifestyle.

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Reflections for Sunday, June 25, 2017

Whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father. (Matthew 10:33)
 
Most of Jesus’ words are encouraging and inspiring. But occasionally, he says something that shakes us up. For example, Jesus told us that our righteousness had better not be like that of the Pharisees, or we will not get into heaven (Matthew 5:20). He told us that unless we eat his Body and drink his Blood, we will not have eternal life (John 6:54). He even said, “Woe to you who are rich” (Luke 6:24).
 
Of course Jesus is a God of mercy and love. But today’s Gospel is one of those seemingly harsh messages that make us worry about our eternal happiness. What are we supposed to do with statements like these?

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Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)—June 25, 2017

Today, Jesus tells His disciples that there is empty fear and worthy fear. How will they know the difference?
 
Gospel (Read Mt 10:26-33)
The tenth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel begins with Jesus calling the Twelve apostles. Then, He sends them out to preach the Good News He’s going to teach them. He gives them detailed instructions for their mission, telling them where to go, what to say, what to do, and, instead of the expected, what not to take with them. He also gives them a solemn warning, which was bound to leave them a little shaken: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves” (vs. 16). He describes the serious opposition they will face as bearers of His message, even within their own families. However, He reassures them with this promise: “… do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak but the Spirit of the Father speaking through you (vss 19-20). Would this be enough to assuage their fears? Today’s reading tells us more.
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Pope Francis’ Top 10 Secrets For Happiness

In an interview published in part in the Argentine weekly “Viva”, the pope listed his Top 10 tips for bringing greater joy to one’s life:

 

1. “Live and let live.” Everyone should be guided by this principle, he said, which has a similar expression in Rome with the saying, “Move forward and let others do the same.”

 

2. “Be giving of yourself to others.” People need to be open and generous toward others, he said, because “if you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid.”

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Don’t think holiness is for you? The saints can help, Pope Francis says

.- On Wednesday, Pope Francis said the saints show us that despite what we might think, holiness is possible for everyone, and we should call on them for help in living out our vocations.

 

Some of us may be tempted to question if it is really possible to be holy in everyday life, the Pope said, but “yes, you can,” he encouraged, and it doesn’t mean you have to pray all day long.

 

“No, no. It means you have to do your duty all day long,” he said June 21. “Pray, go to work, watch over the children. But everything must be done with a heart open to God, in a way that the work, even in illness, and in suffering, also in difficulty, is open to God. And so you can become saints.”

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Is Jesus a "Second Moses"?

Corpus Christi is a special feast each year to especially commemorate the dogma of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Since the Eucharist is Christ himself, the Eucharist is at the center of our Christian faith!
 

Which is why it’s unfortunate there are so many misconceptions about it. Here are 5 common myths:

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12 Promises from the Sacred Heart of Jesus

As a small child, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, 1647-1690, preferred prayer and contemplation over childish play, owing perhaps to the extraordinary virtue of her parents. However, she had heavy burdens from her earliest years. She lost her father to pneumonia when she was only eight years old. After her father died she was sent to the Urbanist sisters where the order and peace of soul ushered in by the convent life swept her up into her devotions. From early on she took great comfort and consolation in the Blessed Sacrament. She impressed her order of nuns by her faithfulness so much that she was invited to make her First Holy Communion when she was nine years old.
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The Secret to Protecting Yourself from the Antichrist’s Deception

Imagine that you finally get to meet your new neighbors. And at the get-to-know-each-other barbecue you discover that the husband, Joe, is a fallen-away Catholic and is now a staunch Protestant.

 

As you’re having a few cold ones near the grill, Joe begins to share his love for the Bible and how he’s learning at his church’s bible study that the Bible is the only infallible source for determining the truth of God’s revelation. “That Tradition stuff that I was taught by the nuns,” Joe says, “has no bearing on our knowledge of God’s truth.” 

 

Because you read the Catholic Answers’ tract Scripture and Tradition the night before, you say, “Well, you know, Joe, that’s an interesting belief, but have you ever considered St. Paul’s teaching in 2 Thessalonians 2:15?”

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What Do Angels Really Look Like According to Bible? (It’s Probably Not At All What You Picture.)

When you picture an angel, you probably envision a beautiful human-like figure adorned with a white robe and radiant wings. Or perhaps you think of a tiny chubby baby with wings. We’ve see this same imagery time and time again in paintings and drawings from great artists throughout history. But according to Scripture, what do angels really look like?

 

As it turns out, describing what angels look like is not so simple. We see in the Bible several different accounts of angels displaying themselves in different ways. Angels are not of the physical world, instead they are spiritual beings that don’t even have to be visible at all, as seen in Colossians 1:16. For example, Elisha, the disciple of Elijah, prayed to reveal to his servant the angels protecting the city and the Lord made them visible to him.

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The Catholic Church and Science

Many people erroneously believe that the dark ages were caused by the Catholic Church and its hatred of science/love of superstition, and its dominant control of the mind of man during what has been called the “medieval” or “dark ages.”  But nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, just the opposite is true.
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Four Simple Tools to Help Navigate Your Way From Sin to Sanctity

So, you’ve got a sin problem too?  It’s not uncommon.  In fact, it has plagued every living human since the first living humans.  It’s called Original Sin.  It is part of the human condition.  Darn it.

 

At first we just had to live with it, while God prepare us for the solution.  Even His favorite humans, the Hebrews, were not very well behaved.  That’s what this Original Sin problem looks like.  Just as two-year-olds given rules push their limits, the Hebrew people did things like make a big golden calf to worship just after the babysitter (Moses) told them God said to worship only Him.  Then when Moses came back and found them worshipping it, and asked, “What are you doing?!??!  I just left the room for 5 seconds?!?!?!  Your Dad just told you not to worship anything but HIM!!!” they shrugged, looking as surprised as Moses, and said “We just threw some gold into the fire and this calf came out!”

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Did You Know You Can Request Prayers from Nuns Online?

I recently learned that nuns take prayer requests online. I had expected that cloistered nuns who have cut themselves from the outside world would not maintain a website for purposes other than recruiting vocations. Even then, I expected their websites to have not received an update since Bill Clinton was in office, but the websites look like they are regularly maintained. In order to get the word out about these great tools for uniting the Body of Christ in prayer, I have compiled a list of websites where one can request prayers from religious communities. I have also included links where one can donate to these communities.
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Preaching and the Four Senses of Scripture

Christian biblical exegetes have traditionally distinguished four senses of Scripture: the literal, the allegorical, the anagogical, and the moral. In the Middle Ages, the differences among them was summed up with this little Latin poem:

Littera gesta docet,
Quod credas allegoria.
Moralia quod agas,
Quo tendas anagogia.

The literal sense teaches what happened,
The allegorical what you should believe,
The moral what you should do,
The anagogical where you are going.

The Catechism tells us that, “The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.” Indeed, such was the case for centuries.

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Pack Your Bags

When you’re sick and know you’re going to die you do what’s called putting your affairs in order. The phrase calls to mind matters financial. More often, however, the ordering of affairs involves repairing personal relationships and hurriedly inflating spiritual life rafts.

 

My dad—still going strong at 82—calls this “getting right with the Big Man.” I take it he means the God of the Bible, though filial piety compels me not to pry.

 

“Don’t worry about me,” he says. “My bags are packed.”

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Amoris Laetitia and the Four Last Things

Hell—St. Teresa of Avila told her nuns to mentally visit the inferno during life so they would not be imprisoned in it after death. St. John Vianney sighed because the saints, who were so pure, cultivated holy fear while “we, who so often offend the good God—we have no fears.”

 

At last month’s Rome Life Forum, Cardinal Burke recalled Fatima’s “terrifying vision of Hell, foreshadowed in the evils visited upon the world at the time.” That chilling image evokes a warning from Fr. Charles Arminjon’s The End of the Present World:

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‘A saint for our times’ – the inspiring story of Chiara Corbella Petrillo

Manchester, N.H., Jun 22, 2017 / 09:05 am (CNA).- Chiara Corbella Petrillo lived a short life.

 

She met her husband Enrico Petrillo at age 18, became the mother of three children, and died at the age 28.

 

But what happened within those 10 years has touched the hearts of thousands across the globe. Chiara’s sainthood cause was opened last week, five years after her death. Her story is told in the 2015 book, “Chiara Corbella Petrillo: A Witness to Joy,” published by Sophia Institute Press.

 

“In the story of the Petrillo couple, many people recognize a providential consolation from heaven,” said Simone Troisi and Christiana Paccini, close friends of the Petrillo’s who wrote the biography of Chiara’s life.

 

“They discover that in any situation, there is no real reason to be sad. This is because Chiara shows that if you have God as your guide, misfortunes do not exist,” they told CNA.

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The Shroud of Turin and the Facts

Some time ago a mainstream media outlet reported on the Shroud of Turin and said, “Pope Francis prayed Sunday before the Shroud of Turin, a strip of cloth that some believe was used for the burial of Jesus Christ. The shroud appears to bear the image of a man who resembles paintings of Christ.”

 

“A strip of cloth…”?

 

It’s that last line, “The shroud appears to bear the image of a man who resembles paintings of Christ.” Not only is it badly written but it reveals that the writer knows next to nothing about the shroud itself—which is one of the most extensively researched relics of Christianity.

 

I’ve written here about the shroud.

 

Here are some of the basic points shroud doubters have to answer:

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