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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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Friday of the Thirtieth Week of Ordinary Time; All Hallows' Eve

October 31

Today we celebrate the eve of All Saints. Pope Sixtus IV in 1484 established November 1, the feast of All Saints, as a holy day of obligation and gave it both a vigil (known today as "All Hallows' Eve" or "Hallowe'en") and an eight-day period or octave to celebrate the feast. By 1955, the octave of All Saints was removed.


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the obstacles that still divide us


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Angels - New




Rev. Father Michael Phillippino             


Director of Religious Education

Kathryn Connolly


Parish Administrative Secretary

Ms. Megan Furtado

Parish Bookeeper
Ms. Patty Holmes

Parish Custodian
Mr. Timothy Cavanagh

Choir Director
Bryan Cosham 



Parish Office Hours 

- Monday through Friday
    8AM to 3PM

- Closed weekends, holidays
    & holy days



Parish Council:
Meets every 3rd 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:  "31th Sunday in Ordinary Time"




Homily from Father Edward Mazich, O.S.B.

Commemoration of All Souls 
November 2, 2014 


Lectionary: 668; John 6: 37-40

The Sunday celebration of the Eucharist is the ultimate commemoration of the Lord’s resurrection, and of our participation in it. For this reason the Church rarely cedes this occasion to focus on other saints, should their feast days happen to fall on a Sunday.

There are a few exceptions: the feast of Saint Peter and Paul on June 29th comes to mind, yet even there it is due to those great saints’ particularly close association with Christ and the proclamation of his death and resurrection that the Church “sets aside” the regular Sunday mass to honor them. Next week, too, we celebrate the Dedication of the Church of St. John Lateran on a Sunday, though this is owing to the original dedication of that great Roman basilica in the time of Constantine as the church of the Holy Savior—Christ himself.
 Today therefore is unusual in that the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist focuses on the mystery of Christ’s resurrection through a very special lens indeed: on this All Souls’ Day we remember the dead. Not the saints—that was yesterday—but the dead.

The Church’s commemoration of All Souls’ Day has been shaped over the centuries by words and symbols which help us to face the pain and difficulty of an encounter with death with great hope. The readings today play a beautiful role in this process, presenting to us some inspiring words to strengthen us when we are troubled by the thought of death, and to give us a sense of peace and even joy.

The Old Testament passage from the book of Wisdom reminds us that ultimately the souls of all the departed “are in the hands of God”, and that there is nowhere we should rather they be. These words can be hard to accept at first, because we naturally like to think that our loved one is “in heaven”. If we are honest, however, we realize that these words allow God the freedom to do what only God can do: to heal, to teach, and to judge in a manner that is characterized by perfect justice and perfect mercy at the same time. Heaven on God’s terms, not ours.

Next, St. Paul reminds us in the letter to the Romans that upon the death of a loved one we ought to call to mind and take comfort in their baptism, remembering that as surely as that loved one has now shared with Jesus in death (symbolized by immersion into the water of the baptismal font), he or she now abides in the hope of sharing with Jesus in his new and eternal life.

John’s gospel has the final word on All Souls’ Day, speaking to us as it does about God’s will to bring all his children to salvation through Christ. Jesus himself confirms not only the Father’s will but announces his own desire to see the will of the Father brought to completion: “I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me” (John 6:37-38).

This Sunday as we commemorate the departed faithful let us see it as an opportunity to grow in trust in the Lord, recalling that our hope for the resurrection from the dead of a loved one comes not through their own merit or through our desires for them but through the mystery of Christ who experienced death himself in order that we all might have new and eternal life in him who said: “This is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day” (John 6:40).




Defending Religious Liberty


If you haven’t done so already, please voice your opposition to the HHS mandate by calling President Obama at the White House at 202-456-1111 or U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell at 202-205-5445. Let them know that the mandate is in violation of our First Amendment right to religious freedom.



Wedding Banns  

Joanna Szczepanski


Matthew Berardesca

Announce their intention to enter


the Sacrament of Marriage on


Saturday, November 8th at


St. John Church 




Alexander James Smith

Child of Douglas Smith and Michelle O’Brien of Stamford, CT

Baptized Sunday, October 19, 2014


Spirituality For All Times


Beginning Wednesday, November 12, Dr. Ronda Chervin, Ph.D., will be presenting “Spirituality For All Times” here at St. John Church. Dr. Chervin is a professor of Philosophy and Spirituality at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell. She is the author of some 50 books about lay spirituality. Dates for this presentation are November 12 and 19 and December 3 and 10 at 6:30 PM, Wednesdays. Spirituality For All Times is an introduction to praying with the writings of great Catholic spiritual masters. Ask yourself: Am I as close to God as I can be? Do I have a personal spirituality strong enough to bring me through the frustrations, sorrows, and agonies I may experience in the rest of my life? Is the joy I have in my faith in God as much as He may want for me? Not sure? Come and try Spirituality For All Times.

Women’s Retreat at Holy Apostles: Universal Call to Holiness “Deep Prayer is For Everyone” Women’s Retreat, Sunday Nov. 8, 8:30-1:30, Queen of the Holy Apostles Chapel, 33 Prospect Hill Rd., Cromwell. Retreat Master is Fr. Dennis Kolinski, SJC. For registration and further info please contact or call 860-632-3812. 


Middlesex Hospice and Palliative Care 30th Anniversary Service of Remembrance, Sunday, November 16, 2 PM at the Mercy High School Auditorium, 1740 Randolph Rd., Middletown. All family, friends, staff, and volunteers are invited to attend. This is a nondenominational Service of Remembrance to honor the memory of those who have died in the Middlesex Hospice and Palliative Care Program between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014. Reception to follow.


Notre Dame Church Annual Christmas Bazaar, Saturday Nov. 1 from 9-2 and Sunday Nov. 2 from 9-1. Located at 272 Main St., Durham.


Mercy High School Open House and Entrance Exam. Open House Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 1:00 PM. Entrance Exam Saturday, November 15, 2014, 8:00 – 11:15 AM. Testing fee is $25. Pre-register online at
Twenty-Third Annual Red, White, and Blue Mass: Sunday, November 16, 2014 at 10:15 AM, Bishop Cote will celebrate Mass at the Cathedral of St. Patrick for all military personnel, those who are active and in the reserves as well as veterans. The purpose of this celebration is to honor our servicemen and –women as we recognize the many sacrifices made by the families and loved ones of our military. The theme for the 2014 Red, White, and Blue Mass is the U.S. Air Force. The Homilist will be Fr. Ray Introvigne. For more information call Monsignor Brown or Mrs. Rebecca McDougal at 860-887-9294.  
Calling all Vendors and Crafters! The Portland High School Project Graduation Committee is coordinating a Vendor Fair just in time for the Holidays! Our Fair will be held on Saturday November 22 from 10-2pm at the Portland High School. If you are interested in participating in this event please email Janne Marconi at for an application. General application deadline is October 26, 2014.

Is your marriage tearing you apart, little or no communication, considering separation or divorce? For serious marriage building and repair: Retrouvaille is a lifeline. At a Retrouvaille weekend couples are given tools to re-establish communication, work on their issues, gain new insights and heal. A series of 6 post sessions follows the weekend phase. For information or to sign up for the next weekend on Sept. 19-21 in Hartford area call 413-525-1634. Website


Religious Educations classes will be held on Monday, October 27th for Grades 1, 3, 4, and 5 from 4-5:15 and for Grades 6-8 from 6:30-8. There will be NO CLASS for the 2nd or 9th grades. All classes will meet in the school.


RCIA/RCIC 2014-2015
If you, a family member, or a friend are considering becoming Catholic, completing your sacrament journey, or are interested in learning more about the Catholic faith, the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) will begin meeting in September. All are welcome to join others in learning more and journeying deeper into the Catholic faith. For more information or answers, please call Fr. Mike at 860-347-5626 or Sr. Ann Mack at 860-344-8569.


“PROJECT RACHEL” is our Diocesan ministry for anyone seeking healing and forgiveness. Priests in Project Rachel ministry are there for you with God’s Grace and Mercy. Call 860-889-8346 ext.283. All
inquiries are confidential. 





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~ Middletown, Connecticut ~

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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

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Duccio di Buoninsegna

Maestà with Twenty Angels and Nineteen Saints (detail)

1308 - 1311

Tempera and gold on wood

Museo dell'Opera Metropolitana del Duomo, Siena, Italy

Preparing for the Mass November 2, 2014

The month of November is dedicated to the Souls in Purgatory, whose feast is celebrated on November 2. With the exception of the last Sunday, November falls during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time and is represented by the liturgical color green. The last Sunday, which marks the beginning of the Advent season, the liturgical color changes to purple, representing a time of penance.


All Souls (Commemoration of the Faithful Departed)

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

Feast of All Souls—November 2, 2014

On this day, we remember all those who have died in God’s friendship. What does it mean to be a friend of God?


Gospel (Read Jn 6:37-40)


Today, Jesus gives us a glimpse into God the Father’s master plan for His creation. We know from the first chapter of Genesis that God wanted man’s friendship—why else would He create him in His own image and likeness (see Gn 1:26)? The first part of man’s story reveals what happens when men reject the friendship God offers them, both inside Eden and outside (in the nation He created for Himself, Israel). Then Jesus appears within our story and teaches us that God never intended to lose us, even though our own foolishness gave Him every justification for that.

The Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day): Expressing His Love

It is only a few months since your husband or wife died, or perhaps your parents who lived with you, or maybe it was your child.  You get up from the sofa in the living room to go to the kitchen, and for a split second you think you see him or her.  Then you remember, “No, Mom passed away two months ago.”  Or you go to Grandpa and Grandma’s house.  Only Grandma is not there; she passed away recently.  But in an unguarded moment, in the blink of an eye, with a quick glance, you think you see her there.


The Real Presence

One of the pillars of Catholic doctrine is the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. According to this doctrine, at the consecration of the bread and wine during the Mass, although the appearances remain unchanged, the bread becomes the true Body, and the wine, the true Blood of Christ, who died on the cross for the salvation of all humanity. This is the common teaching of all the apostolic Churches, that is to say, those Churches which trace their origin back to the Church founded by Jesus Christ on the rock of Peter and the Apostles, promising to be with it all days until the end of time.


Eight Days a Week

Saint Paul’s letters addressed to the Thessalonians are the oldest New Testament writings.  He wrote them during his second missionary journey, less than 20 years after the Resurrection.   On that journey he entered Europe for the first time and the Macedonian city of Thessalonica was his second stop.  In 1 Thessalonians he praises the members of the church because they spurned idols and set an example for other Christian communities throughout the world.  “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, receiving the word in great affliction, with joy from the Holy Spirit, so that you became a model for all believers” ( 1:6).


Front Row With Francis: Ezekiel’s Bones and The Church

Pope Francis continued his teaching series on the Church, explaining how the Body of Christ is a visible expression of the very life of God. Referring to a passage in Ezekiel, he warned that the mission of this vital, mystical entity is often derailed by the sins of its members.

 The pope reminded the faithful that “the image of the body is used when one wants to show how the elements that make up a reality are closely united with one another and form together one thing.”  He emphasized that it is not just “a body built in the Spirit , the Church is the Body of Christ. This is not just a figure of speech. It is what we truly are! It is the great gift that we received on the day of our Baptism!”


Pray Like Jesus to Transcend Suffering

“God loves you,” we tell our children. “And your guardian angel watches over you.”


Then they go and skin their knees.


“Go to God with your needs,” we say. But how do we respond to: “I prayed and prayed, so how come things still aren’t better?” It’s hard to know what to say if we are wondering that very same thing.


Pope Francis: The Devil Is No Myth —and We Must Fight Him

VATICAN CITY — In his homily on Thursday, Pope Francis said that the devil is more than an idea, and in order to fight him, we must follow St. Paul’s instructions and put on the armor of God which protects us.


“In this generation, like so many others, people have been led to believe that the devil is a myth, a figure, an idea, the idea of evil. But the devil exists and we must fight against him,” the Pope told those present in the Vatican’s St. Martha house for his daily Mass.


Hundreds Flock to U.S. Shrine to Celebrate First Memorial of St. John Paul II 

A relic of St. John Paul II's blood, as well as a bloodstained piece of his cassock from the 1981 attempt on his life, are present for veneration at the shrine.


WASHINGTON — Hundreds of pilgrims and faithful from all states of life flocked to Washington, D.C.'s St. John Paul II Shrine on Wednesday to celebrate the late Pope and recently canonized saint’s first universal feast day.


“To be able to celebrate in the presence of a saint on their first feast day, I think is just a point of great grace for the local Church and all the pilgrims that come here,” said Dominican Father. Jonathan Kalisch, chaplain of the St John Paul II National Shrine, to CNA Oct. 22.


The Greatest Historical Miracle You’ve Never Heard Of

After Constantine the Great, there were emperors who were heretics and emperors who adhered to Christian orthodoxy.


Then there was Julian the Apostate.


From the time of Constantine to the French Revolution, he is the only Christian monarch ever to openly reject the faith, according to Catholic historian Warren Carroll. For reasons both personal and intellectual, Julian launched the last great attempt to revive ancient Roman paganism. Animal sacrifices resumed in the reopened pagan temples while the Church was stripped of the imperial funds and lands that had been granted under past emperors.


Children and the Call to Generosity

When we were engaged, people would often tell us to “enjoy this time of singlehood” or “enjoy these last months of singlehood.” Because, apparently, when you are married, “everything changes.”


After we were married, some people told us to wait a year (or years) to have kids, again citing this so-called “time to enjoy life” — because, again, “everything changes.”


Reclaiming the Spirit … Wholly and Unsurpassed

“The Holy Spirit is fire; whoever does not want to be burned should not  come near him.”  ∼ Pope Benedict XVI


From the earliest moments of Christian existence, organized and sustained by a Church born from the side of Christ as he hung upon the Cross, there appeared a body of catechesis containing everything we need to know about faith and life, belief and behavior. Think of it as a kind of owner’s manual, about which the Church was not prepared to compromise. Does one throw up walls about a castle of straw? Not these structures—they were meant to endure. Most especially the two bookends, between which everything else fell into place; these two overarching realities, as it were, on which our lives depend. First is the truth of God the Father, who fashioned the world out of nothing. Second is the truth of God the Son, whom he sent into the world to suffer and to die.


The Darkness of Sin and the Light of Love

Without love, life would be miserable. Thankfully, we always have the love of God — every minute that we are alive, and whether it is tangible to us or not.


The paths of life can sometimes be so dark that no light seems to permeate the blackness of sorrow, sickness, or despair.  Yet, the light of faith can illuminate where all else fails, leading us ever onward and upward.


The Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies

The disorder introduced into our human nature by Adam’s fall from grace reveals itself especially through seven dominant vices known in the Catholic tradition as the capital sins. These are: pride, avarice, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth. We call them “capital” sins (from the Latin caput, “head”) because they are the sources or fountainheads of all the sins people commit, whether sins of commission or sins of omission. We call them “deadly” because they cause spiritual death; Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen liked to call them the “seven pallbearers of the soul.”


Spiritual growth is impossible unless we try to dig up the roots of our sins with the help of God’s illuminating and sanctifying grace.

Our Lady’s Three Rosaries

In her apparitions to the shepherd children at Fatima, Mary revealed herself as the Queen of the Holy Rosary and encouraged the daily recitation of the rosary. This devotion to the Mother of God has been recommended to the faithful for centuries.


In fact, when one is attached to habitual sin, oftentimes in the confessional the sinner will be encouraged to develop a devotion to Mary. It was St. Bernard who once in his homily In Praise of the Virgin Mother said that in the midst of trial or temptation, one should look up to Mary. Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, in his latest book, Under the Mantle, states when a person undergoes temptation, it typically lasts 15 minutes. The same amount of time it takes to pray the rosary..

About The Holy Spirit's Protection

 "A man was trapped in his house during a flood. He began praying to God to rescue him. He had a vision in his head of God’s hand reaching down from heaven and lifting him to safety. The water started to rise in his house. His neighbour urged him to leave and offered him a ride to safety. The man yelled back, “I am waiting for God to save me.” The neighbour drove off in his pick-up truck.


The Evil Dictator: A True Story?

Long time ago, in a far away country lived a boy, John, with his parents and one younger sister. One day his parents told him that long ago, in their country, lived a people that a war wiped out. The boy wanted to know more about these people who lived there and walked these same cobblestone streets. His parents told him as much as he would understand.


One day his mother wanted a bouquet of flowers for the dinner table and asked John to go in the meadow, behind the house and find her favorite colors. When he was barely out of sight, his mother called him back and asked him to go a little further past the meadow where there grew a very special flower, a color rarely seen anywhere else.

Death with Dignity? According to Whom?

Over time, terms often seem to enter our conversation without explanation. When this happens we tend to think we understand what the term means and when and how we might use it when talking with others.
Case in point: Death with dignity. What does that mean when used by those who are politically motivated to drive conversation a certain way? Let’s examine it a bit.


Death, and then What?

At funerals all too often you hear:  “Well, he is no longer suffering!” And, “Now he is in a much better place.”  And another common saying:  “Now he is in heaven with the Lord in glory!” Although the persons who have expressed these common niceties were most probably moved with good will and the best of intentions, they could be far off the target! Why this straight-forward and possibly startling remark? It is for this reason: the reality of Purgatory.

The Power of Tears

At funerals all too often you hear:  “Well, he is no longer suffering!” And, “Now he is in a much better place.”  And another common saying:  “Now he is in heaven with the Lord in glory!” Although the persons who have expressed these common niceties were most probably moved with good will and the best of intentions, they could be far off the target! Why this straight-forward and possibly startling remark? It is for this reason: the reality of Purgatory.


Stop Rushing and Be in God’s Presence

Each day is a rush from beginning to end for many people. Scarf down breakfast, run to catch a bus, work all day, pick up the children from school, clean the house, mow the lawn, edit homework late into the night – most of us can barely fit everything that needs to be done into a 24-hour span.

We might believe that we can accomplish all of this and more in our lives. After all, sloth is regarded by the Catholic Church as one of the seven deadly sins. Proverbs 6:6 says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” One could take this to mean that God wants us to be busy constantly, striving to do His will and bring about His glory on earth.


Other People's Blessings

The suffering one-upper! You know who I'm talking about. You say you're scrambling to pay for a new transmission? He says he just wishes he even had a car. You sigh because it's hard to find safe foods for your severely allergic child?  She swats you down with a tale of her triplets who stop breathing in the presence of the color yellow. You tweeted from the hospital, where you are slowly and painfully recovering from your eleventh foot surgery? Behold, the man born without legs is doing just fine, and even plays the mandolin! Now aren't you ashamed?


Men, Women, and Tenderness

Holding hands, sharing an embrace or a kiss—these can be innocent expressions of love. But without great vigilance and virtue, these outward expressions can easily become a form of utilitarianism that actually ends up driving two people farther apart from each other and preventing love from fully developing.

John Paul II—then Karol Wojtyla—makes this point when he addresses the topic of “tenderness” in his book Love and Responsibility.


When Being Right is Wrong: The Deadly Sin of Pride

There is a little poem by e.e.cummings which contains a line, “even on a sunday may I be wrong, for whenever men are right they are not young.” The poet is being paradoxically playful to make a point. When we are always right about everything we have not only lost the innocence of youth, but we are also guilty of the most basic sin of all, the deadly sin of pride. Pride is best understood as being right at all costs.


Connecticut Targets Homeschoolers

Connecticut's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission just released a series of recommendations including one shocking (but hardly surprising) one which could radically increase government oversight over homeschooled children.


The commission, created to make recommendation to prevent future Sandy Hook elementary massacres, is suggesting that the state should allow local officials the power to decide if parents should be allowed to homeschool children with behavioral or emotional challenges. How those challenges would be defined would be anybody's guess. The idea of potential homeschooling parents being forced to bring children to be "evaluated" should make everyone wary.


 13 Common Phrases You Didn’t Know Came From the Bible

Right up there with the works of Shakespeare, the King James Version of the Bible is one of the most influential texts on the modern English language.


According to the website The Phrase Finder, here 13 examples of everyday expressions that came from the King James Version of the Bible, or at least were popularized by it:


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

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