Skip to main content

Saint John Roman Catholic Church

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

Home  Ministry Schedule  Parish Council  7 Gifts of Holy Spirit  Area Church Bulletins  7 Sacraments  Stations of the Cross  Eucharistic Adoration  The Passion  Angels  Donations  Saint John  About Us  Contact Us  Site Map   


Optional Memorial of St. Pius V, pope; Optional Memorial Blessed Marie de l'Incarnacion, religious (Can)


April 30

St. Pius V, who was born in 1504, joined the Dominicans at the age of fourteen; he was sixty-two when he was elected Pope. His reign, though short, was one of the most fruitful of the sixteenth century. To Protestantism, which had proclaimed the Reformation, St. Pius replied by applying the decrees of the Council of Trent for the reform of the Church.


   Church News

Gifts To The Church

St. John Blog

St John Church Ornament

Parish Calendar
Area Church Bulletins
Bishop Cote's Monthly

The Passion
Cemetery Regulations


     Parish News & Service

Pope Francis - Jubilee of Mercy

Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions 
for the Month


The Pope's Encyclical

          "LUMEN FIDEI"
Eucharistic Adoration
Genealogy Requests
St John Church History
Cemetery Regulations
Ministry Schedule - April

Parish Council Meeting Minutes 


  Our Daily Bread

Spiritual & Corporal

Works of Mercy

Daily Scripture Reading
The Annunciation
Divine Mercy
The Apostle's Creed
The 7 Sacraments
The Rosary
Hail Mary
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:  Sixth Sunday of Easter




Homily from Father Alex McAllister SDS

Posted for May1, 2016
Sixth Sunday of Easter

This is a most comforting Gospel text. In it Jesus assures us that although he will himself leave us to return to the Father this is only so that the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, can come to us and keep us true to the teaching of Jesus.


As Jesus says, ‘the Holy Spirit will teach you everything and remind you of everything I have said to you.’ Catholics have traditionally taken this and other similar Gospel texts as a guarantee that the Church, and in particular the Papacy, will be kept free from doctrinal error down through the ages.


In fact it is something we rather pride ourselves on. And we have for long believed that if you remain in full communion with the Pope in matters of doctrine then you can be sure that you will be believing what is essential for salvation.


The Pope’s clearly defined task (and heavy responsibility) is, of course, to keep the deposit of faith intact and to ensure that the Church maintains the faith of the first Apostles. Catholics down the centuries have always taken immense reassurance from this marvellous guarantee. Indeed it is from this teaching that the doctrine of infallibility was elaborated.


There are, however, a few problems that we tend to overlook. Where, for example, does that leave the members of the other Christian Churches? And even to take that doctrine of papal infallibility I’ve just mentioned—how come that was only worked out as late as 1870?


And then there are inconvenient facts like the Church’s tacit approval of slavery for many centuries before realising that it was a very serious evil, and its long time opposition to taking interest on a loan, something we take for granted today—indeed something that is essential for the smooth running of modern society. This is not to mention the declaration of Pope Pius IX that freedom of conscience and religion was sheer madness!

I think that we Catholics need to be very careful not to be too arrogant, or even what you might call imperialistic, in matters of faith. We cannot simply dismiss the other Christian Churches, especially the Orthodox and various mainstream Protestant groups, and imply that the Holy Spirit is only with us and not with them—that we are guaranteed doctrinal purity while they are not.


The fact is that we have a lot to learn from the other Churches, as indeed they also have a lot to learn from us. The Protestant reformers were rather quick to sweep away the pious practices of mediaeval Catholicism. But in addition to extreme intransigence in the face of legitimate criticism we were far too quick and overzealous in condemning the reformers. The unfortunate reality is that intolerance, and indeed violence, is part and parcel of the history of all the Christian Churches.


We must thankfully acknowledge that today all the mainstream Christian denominations seek the truth and earnestly try to discern the movement of the Holy Spirit. We Catholics certainly have no monopoly in this regard.


When we say in the words of the creed that we believe in ‘the one holy, catholic and apostolic Church’ we must not exclude these attributes from the other mainstream Christian denominations. God surely blesses all those who acknowledge him and who embrace the teaching of Christ in whole or in part.


The Church of Christ certainly subsists in the Roman Catholic Church and in all the various Churches in communion with it. But this is not to say that the other Christian Churches do not share in this.


Our brothers and sisters in these other Churches may not believe in precisely every single doctrine that we do but they are not bereft of the Holy Spirit. We have much more in common with them than we have in difference.

All of us Christians, of whatever complexion, love God and seek to do his will. And the Holy Spirit is alive and active in all of our Churches.


And the Churches are moving, slowly perhaps, but they are moving. Despite certain setbacks there is a detectable movement towards unity. We cannot tell the other Churches how the Spirit is moving within their community. Our task is to discern in which direction he is prodding us.


Some of us might feel that certain other Churches have moved too far and too fast in the direction of women’s ordination. But we must ask ourselves whether we are not locked into a patriarchal way of looking at things. We must ask ourselves if our lack of movement in this regard is in accordance with the wishes of God.


I’m definitely not saying we need to revise this particular doctrine but in the present day climate we need to be very clear about its origins, what it has to say to us today, and how it can be something that is truly prophetic. In short we need to understand it better.


It certainly should not be a doctrine which leads us towards mysoginism but rather something that helps us to better understand the complementarity of the different sexes.


There are many other areas also in which we need to examine ourselves to see where the Spirit might be leading the Church today.


The point is that we ought to be serious in our search for Christian Unity and also serious in our search for ever-greater fidelity to the Gospel. These are, of course, two halves of the same coin.


The Holy Spirit is bequeathed to the Church in order to guide it in the way of holiness and to keep it faithful to the teaching of Christ. But we must ask ourselves how this mechanism works? And perhaps one answer is that it works through prophetic individuals and movements. The Church does on occasion veer away from the true path in particular areas and so from time to time it needs a corrective.


This can come in a variety of forms. We see an example in the first reading today which begins to describe the argument in the early Church about whether Gentile converts needed to follow the Law of Moses.

From time to time the Church needs to radically re-examine its practice and discipline in order to get back on track. One such radical re-examination took place at the Second Vatican Council and we are still working out its ramifications.


One of the identifying characteristics of the Church is the paradox that it is always changing, yet always the same. If we are open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit we will always be wanting to trim the sails of the Church in order to keep it sailing in the right direction. It is when we do not trim the sails that we go off course.


The Spirit is with us, but the Spirit moves where he wills and is not contained by the Church. He is alive and active wherever there is goodness, truth and justice. He leads and guides us in the Church, but he is also busy leading and guiding all sorts of different groups and individuals and for this we praise and thank God. And we ask only for the grace to recognise his hand in the signs of the times and in the various movements of history.




 St. John Paul IIRegional 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.
Volunteers Needed for the Walk-a-Thon, May 6! Great way to
earn volunteer hours before the end of the year. Visit the website for more details.


Knights of Columbus Benefit Pasta Supper, Saturday, April 30th at St. Mary Parish Hall, Portland, 4-7 PM. Proceeds to benefit St. John Paul II School. $12 per person, children under 6 free. +++ Graduation is June 5th! Mark your calendars!

Save the Date: St. Vincent de Paul Sponsored Meal St. John Church will sponsor a meal at St. Vincent de Paul Place on Sunday, May 1st, 2016. If you are interested in volunteering by way of cooking, baking, serving, set up, or cleanup, please call the Parish Office at860-347-5626 or Sue Whitmore at 860-632-7145.

St. Francis of Assisi Tag Sale, Saturday, April 30th at 8:00. Also featuring a bake sale. Come join us!

Pancake Breakfast –  Sunday, May 22nd! St. John Church will hold a Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, May 22nd after the 8:00 and 10:00 AM Masses. At this time, we will also be celebrating the official opening of the St. John Parish Center building (formerly St. John School). All parishioners are invited to attend this special celebration

Spring Flower Sale – April 30/May 1 The St. John Church Social/Fundraising Committee will hold its annual Spring Flower Sale after all Masses the weekend of April 30th and May 1st. Proceeds from the flowers sold will benefit St. John Church.  Information of varieties and pricing of flowers forthcoming.


May Monthly Pro-Life Mass: Saturday, May 7, Cathedral of St. Patrick, Norwich, at 8:30 AM. Please join celebrant Rev. Robert Washabaugh at Mass in praying to end abortion and for healing for those who have had an abortion. The Rosary will be prayed both at the Cathedral and Planned Parenthood. Brunch will follow in the Cathedral Hall.

Wine Tasting at Arrigoni Winery -The St. John Church Social/Fundraising Committee will host a wine tasting at the Arrigoni Winery in Portland on Saturday, August 20th, 2016. More information will be available in upcoming bulletins. Save the date and remember to tell your friends!

St. John Church will hold a Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, May 22nd after the 8:00 and 10:00 AM Masses. At this time, we will also be celebrating the official opening of the St. John Parish Center building (formerly St. John School). All parishioners are invited to attend this special celebration


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.


Religious Education classes will be held on Monday, April 25, for grades 1-8 and the Confirmation Class. 

Confirmation will be held on Friday, April 29th at 7:00 PM at St. Mary Church, Portland. Please pray for our 9th grade Confirmation Class.  

Parents of the 2nd grade students: There is a MANDATORY meeting on Saturday, April 30th, at 9 AM in the Chapel. We will be finalizing plans for First Holy Communion on May 7th. At least one parent must be present.


~ 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















El Greco

The Pentecost


Oil on canvas

Museo del Prado, Madrid

Preparing for the Mass May 1, 2016

The month of April is dedicated to The Holy Spirit. The entire month falls during the Easter season. The liturgical color is white — the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored).


Sixth Sunday of Easter

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

Sixth Sunday of Easter: The Indwelling

"Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come and make our dwelling in him."

This instruction from today’s Gospel builds on the statement of faith found in the Prologue of that same Gospel, the Gospel of John. The central message of the Prologue is the Incarnation of the Lord: "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." The exact translation is that "He pitched his tent among us." In our modern terms this would be, "He moved into the house down the street." Today’s Gospel takes the dwelling of God on earth to a deeper level. He is not just among us. He is within us. He is within us as a worshiping Body, the Church. He is within us in the union of all believers into the Mystical Body of Christ. He is all this and much more. He is within each of us.

Sixth Sunday of Easter—May 1, 2016

During His conversation with the apostles on the night of His arrest, Jesus looks into the future.  What does He see?
Gospel (Read Jn 14:23-29)

In a long section of St. John’s Gospel that we call “the Last Supper Discourse” (see Jn 13-17), Jesus begins to anticipate His departure from this world and what that will mean for His friends, the apostles.  He emphasizes that to love Him means to live as He taught them.  Those who love Jesus in word and action will live in communion with the Trinity here on earth, even before they reach heaven.

Pope: Jesus is the only door to eternal life

Vatican City, Apr 18, 2016 / 10:57 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Speaking at morning Mass at the Santa Marta residence, Pope Francis on Monday urged the faithful not to seek salvation through anyone but Jesus alone, because he is the only way into heaven. 

“The Lord thus clearly says: you cannot enter eternal life by any entryway that is not the door – that is not Jesus,” the Pope said during his April 18 homily, according to Vatican Radio's translation. “He is the door of our life – and not only of eternal life, but also of our daily lives.”

If we do not make decisions “in the name of Jesus” – who is the door – we attempt to do so through a “smuggler's hatch,” he said.


Have Confidence in the Mercy of God

You ask me if a soul sensible of its own misery can go with great confidence to God. I reply that not only can the soul that knows its misery have great confidence in God, but that unless it has such knowledge, the soul cannot have true confidence in Him; for it is this true knowledge and confession of our misery that brings us to God.

All of the great saints — Job, David, and the rest — began every prayer with the confession of their own misery and unworthiness. And so it is a very good thing to acknowledge ourselves to be poor, vile, abject, and unworthy to appear in the presence of God.

“Know thyself” — that saying so celebrated among the ancients — may be understood as applying to the knowledge of the greatness and excellence of the soul (so that it may not be debased or profaned by things unworthy of its nobility); but it also may be taken to refer to the knowledge of our unworthiness, imperfection, and misery.


Polish Eucharistic Miracle Approved Amid Nation’s 1,050th Anniversary of Christianity

Testing by various research institutes shows that Host ‘has the hallmarks of a Eucharistic miracle.’
LEGNICA, Poland — A bleeding Host that “has the hallmarks of a Eucharistic miracle” was approved for veneration in Poland over the weekend.

The announcement was made by Bishop Zbigniew Kiernikowski of Legnica on April 17.

On Christmas Day 2013, a consecrated Host fell to the floor, the bishop said. It was picked up and placed in a container with water. Soon after, red stains appeared on the Host.


How God's Mercy Can Heal Your Wounds

Catholic author Dawn Eden is a former rock journalist and editor for the New York Post, and a convert from Judaism. Since her conversion, she has written and spoken on the topics of chastity and the healing of sexual wounds. Just this month she successfully defended her dissertation for a doctorate in dogmatic theology from Mundelein. In her latest book, Remembering God’s Mercy, she writes about how God can set us free from any emotional wound of our past. Recently, Dawn Eden spoke with me about this wonderful new book that is a particular joy to have around during the Year of Mercy.


Five Remedies for Sorrow from St. Thomas Aquinas

Some of you who follow me on Facebook know that I just lost a beloved pet, Daniel, our rectory cat. Losing a pet is not to be equated with losing a spouse, sibling, or friend, but it remains a painful loss. Part of the reason for this, I am convinced, is that we cannot communicate with animals as we do with one another. We cannot know what they are experiencing “inside” and so cannot reassure them or be reassured by them that they are still well despite the suffering that dying brings. We have to make decisions for them without really knowing much about what they are experiencing. At any rate, Daniel’s journey and sufferings are over. Mine will linger a little longer, but I am well and content that we did what we could for him.

Permit me, then, to republish a prior article in today’s post. It is about St. Thomas Aquinas’ remedy for sin.


The Journey to Emmaus: A Model for Educators

One of my favourite readings during the Easter Season is the Gospel reading on the journey of Jesus  together with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. It is a personal favourite since it speaks directly to me as an educator. I have always seen this story as a good model for teachers.

The Journey Begins with Downcast Faces

The journey  begins with the two disciples of Jesus in deep conversation on the Sunday after the events of Good Friday. We do not know the exact reason for their trip to Emmaus. Some would argue that they wanted to go to Emmaus because they  wanted to forget all the things that have happened in Jerusalem. Others say that these two disciples were really from Emmaus, and they wanted to return to their normal lives after the tragedy that they had experienced.


Someday, You and Everyone Who Ever Lived Will Be Bodily Resurrected

Every Sunday at Mass we say we believe in “the resurrection of the Body.” Not just Jesus’ resurrection, but the resurrection of my body. How do I do that? I thought it was “ashes to ashes, dust to dust, if the Lord don’t get you the devil must.”

We know that our bodies will decay and fall to dust and ashes, but then what do we mean by the “resurrection of the body”?

What does this mean and how can this be? Is God going to gather up every last particle of me and put me back together again? What about the people who were blown to bits by bombs? What about those who drowned and were eaten by fish? What about those whose bodies were eaten by lions and tigers and bears? Oh. My.

The Virtue of Joy

“Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God within.” -- Cardinal Tmothy Dolan

“Here is the difference between the joys of the world and the cross of Jesus Christ: after having tasted the first, one is disgusted with them; and on the contrary, the more one partakes of the cross, the greater the thirst for it.”  -- St. Ignatius of Loyola

 "Spiritual joy arises from purity of the heart and perseverance in prayer." -- St. Francis of Assisi

Praying the Hail Mary for Spiritual Warfare

One of my favorite Catholic images is that of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the child Jesus, standing on the globe crowned with twelve stars, trampling a serpent under her feet and offering the rosary to the world.

This image from the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation captures the majesty and power of the Virgin and her Son. It captures the role they play in the battle against the ancient foe, the dragon.

Mary is a great warrior in the ongoing battle, and the Hail Mary prayer, when broken down into separate phrases can be a g great meditation and identification with the battles that Mary fights with us and for us.

How Children Keep Us Humble

One summer evening, my young children and I were walking around the track when I noticed that, a few yards ahead, a woman was watching us from the sidelines. As we came closer to her, I could tell she wanted to say something, and I was sure I knew what it was going to be: She would exclaim same phrase I hear from well-meaning strangers nearly every time I take our four children out in public—“You have your hands full!”—and I would respond with my usual polite smile and nod.
But I was wrong. She was about to say something else.
“I would give anything,” she sighed, looking at the children, “to have those years back again.”


What Constitutes a Miracle?

After reading some exchanges on Facebook that were inspired by my recent blog post concerning miracles, it became clear I need to explain exactly what a miracle is.

A miracle is defined as an extraordinary sensible effect wrought by God that surpasses the power and order of created nature.

That’s a mouthful, so let’s unpack it. There are five aspects to the definition.

Aspect #1: Exclusively attributable to divine power

How Envy is Different from Jealously and Is a Diabolical Sin

A short while back, we read from First Samuel at daily Mass and encountered an envious Saul. Upon David’s return from slaying Goliath, the women sing a song praising him. Saul should rejoice with all Israel but instead he is resentful and envies David: Saul was very angry and resentful of the song, for he thought, “They give David ten thousands, but only thousands to me. All that remains for him is the kingship.” And from that day on, Saul looked upon David with a glaring eye. Saul discussed his intention of killing David with his son Jonathan and with all his servants (1 Sam 18:6-9). Saul’s reaction is way over the top; this is what envy does.

What is envy? Most people use the word today as a synonym for jealousy, but traditionally speaking, they are not the same.


America’s Addiction to Pleasure Harms Marriage and Family

Every once in a while a little ditty from an old Robert Palmer song begins rumbling though my head: "...might as well face it you’re addicted to love".

 As an attorney who has dabbled in family law, and a former prosecutor, it often strikes me that this ditty doesn’t apply to a substantial chunk of people in the U.S. In fact, America as a nation doesn’t seem all that enamored with the idea of love anymore -- at least not the highest form of love, that which sustains marriage and families.


The Immutability of God

God is perfect. If we want to join him in heaven one day then we are the ones who must change, we must become like him. And who is he? He is Love Eternal. And what is love, we often have to ask ourselves, when our daily experience that love is not simply an emotion. Paul tells us in First Corinthians:

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (Love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth, it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Meet the Only Nun Sentenced to Death by a Nazi
Sister Maria Restituta began Lent of 1942 under arrest. She was taken on Ash Wednesday. Her crime: “hanging crucifixes.” She was sentenced to death. The following year, on Tuesday of Holy Week, she was executed.

May 1, 1894, was a happy day for Anton and Marie Kafka.  Marie had just given birth to her sixth child and mom and daughter were both doing fine. The proud parents named their new baby girl Helena.  Devout Catholics, Anton and Marie had Helena baptized into the faith only 13 days after her birth.


To read past homilies and articles please click here to read the

St. John Blog...