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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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Rev. James Thaikoottathil, J.C.D.             


Director of Religious Education

Mrs. Connie Russo McCorriston


Parish Administrative Secretary

Mrs. Diana Blair

Parish Bookeeper
Ms. Mary Ann Majors

Parish Sexton
Mr. Bob Maxa

Parish Organist
Mrs. Joanne Swift

Parish Committee Heads

Parish Council: Debra Liistro     


Building & Grounds: Richard      Bergan       (203-537-1435)

Fundraising Chair: Simonne       Mularski     (860-301-0825)

Finance Chair: Kimberley

Parks         (860-267-0847)  

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   
                                5:30 (St. Sebastian)

Sunday Mass:            9:00 AM  

                                11:00 AM and 5:00 PM (St. Sebastian)

Weekday Masses:      7:30 AM  in the Chapel Tues & Thurs

                                 7:30 AM  Mon. Wed. &Fri. (St. Sebastian)

Eucharistic Adoration begins in the chapel after the 7:00 AM Mass on the 1st Thursday and ends at 9:00 AM with Benediction.


Confessions:  Heard Saturdays, 3:15-3:45PM 

                     Heard Sundays, 8:15-8:45AM

Holy Days of Obligation:  Vigil 7:00PM & 8:00 AM

                                           12:10 PM & 7:00 PM (St. Sebastian)

If you attend Mass at St. Sebastian all St. John envelopes will be collected and sent to St. John rectory for counting.

           ~ Air Conditioned and Handicapped Accessible~





Pastoral Sharings: Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time




Homily from Father Alex McAllister SDS
Posted for October 15, 2017

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The parable set before us today is a harsh one. I think that this is quite intentional. Jesus' ministry is coming to its conclusion, he has already made his solemn entrance into the Holy City and he has told the people a number of important parables which we have heard during these last few Sundays. Each one of these parables ramps up the importance of the choice everyone has to make. Each one of them also directly implies that the religious authorities have neglected their duty to accept the Messiah. Here with this parable of the Wedding Feast Jesus is making a final stab at trying to win over the hard-hearted Chief Priests and elders of the people. He wants them to make the decision whether to accept him or not and to do this he places before them an increasingly stark set of choices. It also becomes more and more obvious as to who each of the various characters in the parables represent. In this latest parable the wedding banquet clearly represents the Church and the guests are obviously the Chosen People who unfortunately decide not to come to the banquet. A second invitation is issued but they still do not come but instead some of them even kill the servants who come bearing the invitation. We understand these servants to represent the prophets. The King in his fury destroys them and their town.

Here we have a sort of prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD and the subsequent dispersal of the Jewish people among the nations. Then the King issues his invitation to anyone and everyone; here we clearly understand that the invitation is extended by God to the Gentiles and that all people are invited to share in salvation. According to me, the word order here is rather important. The text says that bad and good alike were invited. Normally we would say 'good and bad' rather than 'bad and good.' This choice of words is to emphasise that every single person is invited to God's feast. A little more perplexing is the reference at the end of the parable to the man without a wedding garment. When he is questioned by the King he remains silent and so the King has him bound and then thrown out of the feast. Some writers point out that when a great man such as a King invites you to a wedding banquet he would provide at the door the correct garment for the poorer guests to wear. This man had obviously been given such a garment but must have taken it off and laid it aside at some point. Others don't agree with this but say that anyone going to a wedding feast would wear their very best clothes. They say the fact that he was wearing a set of what were presumably his ordinary clothes is insulting to the King.

Either way the point is the same, the wedding banquet is a symbol of the Church and we realise that when we assume membership of the Church we leave off our old clothes which represent sin and put on the new garment of sinlessness. This guest has either never accepted the Gospel or returned to his sinful ways. Whichever it is he does not deserve to remain at the banquet. So, while this parable is addressed to the Chief Priests and elders and demands that they must make a choice as to whether to embrace Christ or not, it also has a message to present day Christians warning us not to revert to our old sinful ways. What then we must understand is that while all are welcome into God's Kingdom, just turning up is not sufficient. No, actual, real change is also required in our lives. When we accept the invitation to become part of God's family we are expected to leave off old sinful ways and to live a new kind of life according to the laws of God. Of course, this is not easy and while we might be full of good intentions and earnestly desire to follow Christ's Gospel of love we may on occasion lapse and fall back into sinful ways.

This does not mean that we are complete failures, as long as we pick ourselves up again and repent of our sins and once again attempt to follow the Christian way of life. It has been said often enough that the Church is not a club for saints but a hospital for sinners. None of us are perfect, we are all sinners. But we are sinners who repent again and again. We are sinners who really do want to follow Christ's way of perfection. Because we recognise our own failures we should be even more patient with others and realise that everyone finds the Christian life difficult. The important thing though, is to sustain ourselves with regular prayer and worship. It is maintaining our commitment to Sunday mass and to daily prayer that will help us to repent when we fail to keep God's laws. The worse thing to do is to give up. Just because we commit one sin we should not think that we are failures and completely written off in God's eyes.

As we have already noted God calls sinners first to his banquet of love. What we should realise when we sin is that God still loves us deeply, perhaps even more deeply. And maybe coming to this recognition will give us the courage we need to repent and to turn once again to him. All these things give us cause for rejoicing. The fact is that God has extended his invitation to ever closer union with him to everyone in the world; that this invitation is extended to sinners first of all; and that even if we return to our old sinful ways we can after repentance return to our full role as members of his Church. This is Good News for the whole world, news that we certainly shouldn't keep to ourselves but share with others. Christ told this parable in the days running up to his death on the Cross. There is a sense of urgency in his words. He wants his listeners to choose life, he wants his listeners to recognise him for who he is, and he wants them to repent of sin and to commit their lives to following God's laws. These words of his echo down through the centuries to us now. Although much time has passed Christ's words are as urgent as ever. He wants us to change but not for its own sake; he wants us to be ever more conformed to the way of life he proposes in the Gospels. And he tells us that by embracing his teaching we will be enabled to enter God's Kingdom of Love and experience everlasting joy.

 St. John Paul II Regional School

860-347-2978 or 860-347-1195

Visit our website at

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


My Father’s House Health & Healing Retreat Presented by Fr. Bill McCarthy & Jim Tibbetts at My Father’s House in Moodus CT Saturday, October 28, 2017 9:45 a.m. -4p.m. Mass at 3p.m. Healing the whole person and our relationship with others. We will explore the healing power of faith, hope, love, forgiveness, proper diet, fasting and exercise.  $45 per person, includes continental breakfast and lunch.  Register online at or call 860.873.1906

The Circle of Love Prayer Community will meet on Thursday nights at St. Francis Chapel at 7:00 PM.

Juice Box Collection for Children in Need From now through the month of October, St. John Church will be collecting juice boxes and boxes of Capri Sun to benefit needy children in our area. The supplies collected will be shared between the Amazing Grace Food Pantry and Oasis. Juice boxes may be left in bins at the front of the Church. Thank you for your generosity.

Xavier HS Open House: Xavier High School will be hosting its fall open houses on Sunday, October 22 from 1:00-3:30 pm and Thursday, November 2 from 6:00-7:30 pm. We invite all middle school boys (grades 6-8) and those in high school looking to transfer to visit Xavier at these times to see all that Xavier has to offer.
Mercy HS Open House: Mercy High School Open House will be on Sunday, November 5, 2017 from 1:00pm-4:00pm.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter - “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” Listen with your spouse for God’s message of love by attending a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend. The next Weekends are Nov 3-5, 2017 in Manchester, CT and Feb 2-4, 2018 in Manchester, CT. For more information, call Dennis & Jane Lamondy at 860-481-3720 or visit them at


My Father’s House Health & Healing Retreat Presented by Fr. Bill McCarthy & Jim Tibbetts at My Father’s House in Moodus CT Saturday, October 28, 2017 9:45 a.m. -4p.m. Mass at 3p.m. Healing the whole person and our relationship with others. We will explore the healing power of faith, hope, love, forgiveness, proper diet, fasting and exercise.  $45 per person, includes continental breakfast and lunch.  Register online at or call 860.873.1906 The

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

Thank You!! A big thank you to our Angels of Mercy, all those who donated funds and those who assembled sandwiches for Saint Vincent de Paul.  We were able to provide Saint Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen with over 1,000 sandwiches since July!  Thank you and God bless!


~ 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











Bishop Barron on Catholic Relics


or click here to view on Youtube



Jacopo Tintoretto

Marriage at Cana


Oil on canvas

Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, Italy

Preparing for the Mass October 15, 2017

The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. The Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated on October 7. October falls during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green.  

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

28th Sunday of Ordinary Time:  ....In Him Who Strengthens Us

The young man and young woman brought their treasure home, their first, a girl.  A few days later, her Mom and sister went home.  And there she was, alone with her baby.  She never thought she would be so busy.  And so tired.  But she loved it.  After all, this was her baby.  Two weeks went by. Between the feeding, changing, holding, napping and crying, the baby’s mostly, she has this horrible feeling.  She can’t tell her husband.  She won’t tell her mother.  But the feeling is more than a thought.  It is a reality.  She whispers it to herself, “I can’t do this.”


Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

October 15, 2017

In a parable, Jesus describes a great wedding feast.  Those who get invitations would be wise to ask:  “What should I wear?”

Gospel (Read Mt 22:1-14)

In the last of three parables in this portion of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus continues to describe the kingdom of God for “the chief priests and elders.”  Today, He compares it to “a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.”  We should be able to recognize this as an allegory of salvation history right away.  It begins with what we usually think of as the end of the story of God and man.  The “wedding feast” is a reference to the ultimate union of God’s people with Christ in heaven.  There we will know an eternal communion of joy that is anticipated even now in every happy earthly wedding celebration (remember, Jesus’ first miracle was at a wedding).  Beyond that, it is actually experienced, as a foretaste, in the Eucharist, a pledge of that future joy.  However, as good as this sounds, Jesus describes a problem:  the invited guests “refused to come.”  This refers to the Jews who, although they were God’s covenant people and the first to be invited to the Messianic banquet, became indifferent to Him.  The king sent his servants again to the invited guests, but that stirred up hostility among them, and they murdered the servants.  Here’s where the story takes a surprising twist.


The King’s Wedding Feast – Invitation Declined

Why would people decline a royal invitation to a wedding feast fit for a king?  This parable of Jesus describes a situation we see around us everyday – pervasive apathy in the face of the offer of salvation and eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven.  The cause?  A sneaky but deadly sin called sloth.


At age 16, life was about rock ‘n roll. If my own band was not performing on Saturday night, I was out in the audience, watching another band.


It would have never occurred to me to spend my Saturday nights at a Catholic conference or retreat. True, no matter how late I was out, I’d never miss Sunday Mass. But that’s not because it was the source and summit of my life. It was because I didn’t want to go to hell. Being roasted over an open fire for all eternity definitely did not appeal to me. But neither did wasting my Saturday night in a Church event that was not strictly required by divine law.


All Dressed Up: The 28th Sunday in OT

The standard of dress at Mass has declined in recent years.  People show up looking like their ready for the beach or a football game.  Some pastors are calling attention to this problem.  I agree—I’m all for encouraging modesty and taste in the way we physically dress for worship.


But our external dress is not the main point of this Sunday’s Readings.


What kind of “clothing” does the King see us dressed in at Mass this weekend?


Our readings for this week begin with Isaiah’s famous prophecy of a feast on Mount Zion:


Party or Perish

The past three Sundays have featured shocking parables about our readiness, fruitfulness, and decision as to whether to accept and enter the Kingdom of God. The Lord has used the image of a vineyard extensively: a vineyard into which workers are dispatched at different times of the day but who have different attitudes about what is due to them at the end of the day; a vineyard into which two sons are sent, one of whom goes and one who does not; a vineyard in which are wicked tenants who refuse to render rightful fruits to the landowner and who abuse and even kill those sent to call for the harvest, including the landowner’s son.


We Can No Longer Afford to Ignore Our Lady of Fatima’s Requests

Let us heed Our Lady’s message, let us grant her requests, in order to hasten the triumph of her Immaculate Heart.
At this significant moment in world history, as we mark the 100th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima, understandably, much attention has been given to this supernatural phenomenon. I believe, though, that it is easy for us to get distracted by the sensational elements of this apparition: predictions of wars and disasters, a dancing sun, a vision of hell. We are easily intrigued with that part of the story, perhaps so much so that we miss the whole point of it, which, of course, is the message itself.

Our Lady’s Wisdom: The Rosary and Liturgical Life

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and and I love You! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You.


After repeating this prayer three times the angel rose and said to us: Pray in this way. The hearts of Jesus and Mary are ready to listen to you. (First Apparition of The Angel of Peace, Spring 1916)

At the first apparition of the Angel of Peace of Fatima, the children Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia described a “strong wind that began to shake the trees;” then, the Angel of Peace appeared.  The visual splendor left them in holy awe.


How the Miracle of the Sun dazzled the sceptics

100 years ago unbelievers flocked to Fatima, hoping to see the Church humiliated. They were in for disappointment


The Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, which took place exactly a century ago, on October 13, 1917, was one of the most stupendous, if not the most stupendous event of the 20th century. And yet it is hardly known outside the Church, and not well enough known within it.


The people who braved the terrible rainstorm which struck Fatima that day had gone there because of the promise of a miracle. Exactly what sort of miracle they didn’t know, but they knew that something exceptional was going to happen. Many sceptics and unbelievers were also drawn there in the expectation of a fiasco in which the Church would be turned into a laughing stock.


When You Give, God Gives More

Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.
Luke 6:30


If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.
Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Matthew 5:41

During the journey which led me from atheism through “exploratory Christianity” into the Catholic Church, I was homeless for awhile, and living on welfare payments. But one week, I decided to take these words of scripture to heart, and put them into practice.


The Day I Met Jesus While Riding My Bike

A little over a year and a half ago, I was riding my bike when I saw what appeared to be a homeless woman walking hers. She was quite disheveled and had various grocery bags hanging from the handlebars, filled with what clearly were not groceries. She was small and frail and appeared much older, with sun-drenched skin. It was a hot day in Phoenix, over 100 degrees as I recall.


As I rode home, I kept thinking about how thirsty she must be. I had not had a lot of direct contact with homeless people in recent years, but for some reason felt called to help her, so I grabbed two water bottles and rode back to her. As I rode closer to her, I carefully called out so as to not frighten her. I weigh a bit over 200 pounds and am 6’1″, and she might be about 85 pounds, and not quite 5′. She appeared as though she could be in her 70s, but as we know, homeless people often appear much older than they are. I really had no idea of her age, and it really did not matter.


The Church: A Solid Rock To Stand On

Last month I had the honor of witnessing my mother and stepdad’s marriage in the Catholic Church. They were both raised Catholic but were never confirmed, and have been married civilly for fourteen years. They began their journey back to the Church shortly after I began my own conversion process, and it was an absolute joy to be there as they entered into the Sacrament of Marriage. God’s grace was evident that day in a very special way.


My stepdad’s brother is a Monseigneur at St. Peter’s Cathedral in picturesque Marquette, Michigan, where the sanctification ceremony took place. He is the priest who married my husband and I, long before I ever thought I would become Catholic and has been a warm, peaceful and comforting presence for many significant moments in the life of our family over the years.


What 25 Years of Marriage Have Taught Me

Last week, Lisa and I celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.  Like many couples who achieve this silver milestone, we took some time to reflect back on a quarter-century together: on the prayers, works, joys, and sufferings that we have experienced both as a married couple and as a family.  Recollecting our earliest days together, I kept thinking of the advice that the priest who administered our Pre-Cana instruction gave me: “If you want to be a good father, love your wife.” 


True as those words are, in two and a half decades of marriage, I have discovered that there is a prior truth: If you want to be a good husband, love God. 

Polish Heroes for a Troubled World

The news that a million Poles encircled their country with prayer in a public witness was a powerful reminder of the struggles that face Western countries with a Christian heritage.


They were commemorating the Battle of Lepanto–a great victory of minority Christian forces against an invading Islamic army. In doing so they were also standing up against the invasion by stealth of millions of Islamic immigrants.


However, while remembering the victory won through the power of prayer at Lepanto, we should also remember the role the Poles played in the victory over the forces of darkness twice before–at the Battle of Vienna and in the fight against communism.


The Effects of Holy Water

The question naturally presents itself: whence come the effects of holy water? For the effects of holy water we are indebted principally to our divine Savior. He merited for us the graces we obtain through its usage by His bitter Passion and death. Holy Church, however, who is the custodian of these precious and infinite treasures of grace merited by our Lord, has, in view of these merits, attached these effects to holy water. The power for doing this she has from Christ Himself; hence we owe the effects of holy water primarily to Christ, and secondarily to the will and the prayers of the Church.


Concerning the effects, it is to be noted that, by holy water, sanctifying grace is not conferred, but actual grace is obtained, such grace, for instance, through which the intellect is enlightened and the will is moved to avoid evil and to do good. Corporal benefits also are obtained by holy water.


Cora Evans: A Californian housewife and mystic on the way to sainthood

She was known to bi-locate and her children witnessed many of her spiritual gifts.


Born in 1904 in Utah, Cora Evans began life in a Mormon household. However, from the outset it was clear God had a special plan for her.


At the age of 3, Evans experienced a mystical vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary, though at the time she didn’t fully understand it. For the remainder of her childhood she lived according to the Mormon religion and eventually married her husband at the Utah Temple.


Imaging God Through the Gift of Intercession

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, this is our Triune God.  He is One and inseparable.  Where the Father is, so also is the Son and the Holy Spirit.  This dynamic holds true for each person of the Trinity. Jesus tells Philip, “He who sees me sees the Father.” (John 14: 9). “The Father and I are one,” Jesus also tells a questioning crowd in the temple area. (John 10: 30). Then, too, when Jesus first appears to the Apostles in their locked room after the Resurrection, He breathes on them and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20: 22). So much are Jesus and the Holy Spirit one, that in Jesus’ Sacred Humanity, a mere thought breathes forth the Holy Spirit.


Brandon Vogt's ‘Why I Am Catholic’: A Simple, Profound Work of Art

In the third chapter of his first Epistle, St. Peter writes to his fellow Christians:

Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. (1 Pt. 3:15-16)

Brandon Vogt’s new book, Why I Am Catholic (And You Should Be, Too) from Ave Maria Press, provides readers with that very thing -- a hope-rich account of his own conversion, a sound defense that hardly comes off as such, and an exhortation for why readers, too, ought to allow themselves to get caught up in the great whirling adventure that is the Catholic Church.