Very Rev. Father Michael Phillippino
Director of Religious Education
Parish Administrative Secretary
Mrs. Diana Blair
Ms. Patty Holmes
Mr. Bob Maxa
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"
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: Second Sunday of Easter
Father Alex McAllister SDS
St Thomas the Apostle has long been regarded as the patron saint of doubters. This is fitting for someone who refused to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he had actually seen Christ himself standing in front of him showing the wounds of his Crucifixion.
We can all identify with Thomas. It is hard for any of us to believe what we cannot see, despite the fact that we know from our own experience that even so reliable a sense as sight can occasionally deceive us. One has only to think of magicians who can through trickery make us believe that the impossible has happened before our very eyes.
Our tendency is always to want to rely on what we can see and touch and experience directly. Society at large tells us that faith is something completely unreliable and not to be trusted before hard and tangible evidence.
So, Thomas is very human; he is very like us, he wants to believe but he prefers to rely on evidence. Lucky enough for him he got the evidence, Christ actually did stand before him with his hands outstretched showing his wounds.
None of us, however, get the opportunity to meet the risen Christ in the flesh. We have to rely on those who saw the Risen Lord two thousand years ago and who have handed down their words through the generations into our own day. Our belief in Christ is solely based on their testimony.
This question of belief is drawn to our attention in the scripture readings quite appropriately on this Sunday right after Easter because it is belief in the reality of the resurrection that concerns us most of all. The existence of Christ in the world is not an issue; not many people question the fact of his birth. People don't base their faith on his miracles either or even on the content of his teaching.
The key question of faith is whether Christ rose from the dead or not. It is belief in the reality of his resurrection on which our faith is based. Without the resurrection, Christ would essentially be a nobody; a first Century wonderworker who subsequent generations would rightly regard as irrelevant.
The question then arises as to why we believe. Of course, it is in large part because we were taught to by our parents. As we grew up they told us about Jesus and taught us to pray and develop a relationship with God in our hearts. This was reinforced by priests and teachers and catechists. We became accustomed to believing in God, in Jesus, in the saints and in the sacraments. Over a period of time we came to see our faith as a logical and coherent thing, something which made sense of the world and therefore a thing to be greatly cherished.
Most of us will have played our own part in this process and have ourselves been involved in handing on the faith to the next generation. We may have done this by being a parent ourselves or by our role as a Godparent or Sponsor or a member of the wider family.
But if we think about our own journey of faith we will certainly acknowledge the role that others had in handing it on to us; but we will also realise that there was a point in life when we made a decision of our own. There surely was a tipping point when we decided to wholeheartedly accept this faith that was handed on to us.
We will know of people too who when they came to this point decided to reject their faith. But since we are gathered in the Church today we know that this is because when we arrived at that point of maturity we chose to accept our faith in Christ and his Church.
It is for this reason that here in the UK the Church has decided to celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation at the age of fourteen. We reckon that this is the sort of age when we tend to make such decisions about our faith. For this reason we also stress that those who wish to get Confirmed should make the decision to do so themselves and not be under pressure from parents or others.
In our parish we give the candidates a programme of catechesis that reflects the fact that they are at this decision point and our curriculum provides them with the knowledge that they need to make a good and conscientious decision. While much that goes into making a decision about our faith is based on our upbringing and what we have been told about Jesus by others, we should not think that our decision to believe is any different from that of St Thomas. We know that he was confronted with the actual person of the Risen Lord. But if our upbringing has been a good one and if we were taught to develop our own personal relationship with the Lord when we were children, then we too will be able to profess our faith in a real person.
We will know the Lord in a personal way through our own prayer and through our reception of the sacraments. We will be in relationship with him and we will experience his presence in our lives. This will actually be what enables us to publicly pronounce our belief in him when it comes to the time to be Confirmed.
Another question that comes to mind when we are thinking about St Thomas is that of those who are afflicted by doubts. Quite a lot of people find that after many years of being firm in their faith they suddenly start to experience doubts. This is a serious affliction and can cause a lot of grief for a person.
In my experience people who suffer from this affliction really do want to believe but find that they can't any more. And the harder they try to believe the more difficult it gets. I tend to think that this is an affliction caused by the Evil One who is trying to drive them away from faith in God. It is not that they don't believe, but that so many doubts have crept in that they don't know what to think any more.
In cases like this I tend to counsel people not to try so hard. I suggest that since we belong to a community of faith in which some are stronger than others it might be good to let some of the other members of the Church take the strain as it were. Allowing yourself to be upheld by the faith of others at such a time of difficulty may in fact be the best way forward.
Saying a prayer along these lines might help: 'Lord, I am assailed by doubts, I want to believe in you but I find it difficult right now. Please accept on my behalf the faith of my brothers and sisters in the Church and continue to sustain me with your love so that I might return to true faith in you.'
At times like this the support of St Thomas the Apostle can be of great help. He is the very best patron for those who doubt and are suffering from lack of faith. So, let me suggest that if you are experiencing this sort of thing to turn to him and ask his intercession so that you can once again say together with him those immortal words: 'My Lord and my God.' Amen.
St. John Paul II Regional School
860-347-2978 or 860-347-1195
Visit our website at www.jpii.org.
ST. JOHN PAUL II MIDDLE SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE Tuesday, April 25, 7:00PM - 8:00PM. Please invite any interested friends, family, parishioners of students entering grades 5 through 8 in 2017-2018. The open house includes student-led tours, classroom visits with teachers, students, and parents, club/activity information, refreshments, application information, and more. It's a great time to bring a family you know who would like to know more about JPII
Congratulations to St. John Paul II Honor Roll Students! Laila Mularski – High Honors Camryn Fowler – Honors Lucy Zajack - Honors
Saint John Church
Francis O’Meara of East Hampton is restoring the 14 stations of the cross at St. John Church in Middletown.
Click here to read the article that was published in The Middletown Press
St. John Church Religious Education News: April 24th-Class grades 1-5 4:00-5:15 and grades 6-9 6:30-8:00 April 29th- 2nd grade parent/child meeting with Fr. Mike in the chapel 9:00am
St. John Paul II Middle School Open House Tuesday, April 25, 7:00PM - 8:00PM. Please invite any interested friends, family, parishioners of students entering grades 5 through 8 in 2017-2018. The open house includes student-led tours, classroom visits with teachers, students, and parents, club/activity information, refreshments, application information, and more. It's a great time to bring a family you know who would like to know more about JPII.
Annual White Mass for Healthcare Workers and Caregivers of all Faiths – Sunday, April 30th at 9:00am at Cathedral of Saint Patrick, Norwich Ct. Brunch to follow in auditorium (donation of $25 per person is requested)
Annual Spring Plant Sale April 29th-30th The St. John Church Social/Fundraising Committee will be holding our Annual Spring Plant Sale after all Masses the weekend of April 29th-30th. The proceeds will benefit St. John Church. We will be selling 10” hanging baskets, 10” deck pots & bedding plants. A great way to decorate your home & yard. Remember Mother’s Day is May 14th!
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
SAVE THE DATE! ST. Vincent de Paul Sunday Evening Meal Our next Sunday evening super for the soup kitchen will be on April 30th.
~ Middletown, Connecticut ~
Pope To You
St. John Church 'Nativity
Window' Ornament click here
Click here to visit our parish giftshop featuring
gifts with images from our antique stained
Click here to visit our Holy Spirit themed
giftshop featuring gifts Celebrating the
Incredulity of Saint Thomas
Picture Gallery, Potsdam Germany
Preparing for the Mass April 23, 2017
|The month of April is dedicated to The Holy Spirit. Depending on the year (see list of feasts below), either part or all of April falls during the Easter season. Once Lent ends, for which the liturgical color is purple (a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart), the season of Easter ushers in the liturgical color of white — the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored).|
Second 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.
Sunday of Easter: The Journey through Doubts to Faith
The Gospel reading for today takes all of our Easter
idealism, our delight in the Risen Savior, and applies a sobering dose of
reality. The reading as well as recent
events in our parish, country and world, lead me to write about faith, doubts
It is very, very easy to be a person of faith when
all goes well. When life is without any
really deep crises, when the hardest things to accept are the deaths of elderly
parents and hospitalization for minor ailments like appendicitis, it is easy
for each of us to be a person of faith.
But when a crisis tears at our hearts, as when a young spouse dies or,
worse still, a child dies, or a marriage is evidently on the rocks, then very
often we feel our faith ebbing. Many
times we enter into a period of anger at God and a time of doubts. This does not mean that we have lost our
faith. It simply means that we are being
called to a deeper faith.
Sunday of Easter, Year A (Divine Mercy Sunday)—April 23, 2017
Today’s Gospel records a post-Resurrection appearance of Jesus in which a flow of mercy to sinners starts that will not stop until we have all attained the goal of our faith, the salvation of our souls, as St. Peter tells us in the epistle.
Gospel (Read Jn 20:19-31)
The celebration of our Lord’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday usually focuses on the sheer ecstasy of His victory over death. All during Holy Week, we are absorbed with the details of His horrific Passion. When we reach Easter, our hearts nearly burst with joy that Jesus is alive and vindicated as God’s Son. In other words, it’s easy to dwell on the fact of the Resurrection and be so dazzled by it that we do not think much beyond that. The mercy of Divine Mercy Sunday (yes, intended pun) is that now we begin to meditate on the meaning of the Resurrection. Today’s Gospel gets us started....more
Life of Mercy: Readings for Divine Mercy Sunday
Behind the readings for this Sunday lies a Gospel text
which is never read, but whose influence is felt and whose concepts and images
serves as a link between the texts that are read. That passage is John 19:34:
John 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side
with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness — his
testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth — that you also may
The blood and water flowing from the side of Christ
is the background for the Divine Mercy image seen by St. Faustina.
This “river” that flows out from the side of Christ
is understood in the Church’s spiritual tradition as a river of mercy, but
there is also a rich biblical background to this passage of John.
for Sunday, April 23, 2017: Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday
Rejoicing in God’s Divine Mercy and Great Love
Rejoice. (1 Peter 1:8)
Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. It’s a special day for
us to reflect on and rejoice in the merciful love God has for us. It’s an
opportunity for us to celebrate the eternal inheritance Jesus has won for us,
an inheritance that is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” (1 Peter 1:4).
We all know what mercy looks like. It’s the judge
who knows you are guilty but pardons you anyway. It’s the mother who has caught
you in a lie but forgives you. It’s Jesus saying, “Your sins are forgiven. . .
. Go in peace” (Luke 7:48, 50). It’s the mercy that brings you “an
indescribable and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8)...more
Our Time: Divine Mercy and The Blessed Mother
For such a time as this, we have all we need. God has actually increased our spiritual riches during the last century through the messages of Fatima and the Divine Mercy devotion.
Fr. Chris Alar, MIC, the director of the Association of Marian Helpers, and Tony Mullen, founder of MyConsecration.org, will explain how we can tap into the gifts that God showers upon us and how to be a part of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary this Divine Mercy Sunday, at 7-8:45 PM Eastern. The live broadcast of “Divine Mercy and the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” in Stockbridge, MA, can be watched by going here. ...more
Connection Between Mary and Divine Mercy
“I don’t deny that the Immaculate receives the mercy from the Lord God, but she is the personification of this ‘divine mercy’ and that is why a soul is converted and sanctified if it turns to her.” —St. Maximilian Kolbe
For many years I’ve marveled about the “coincidence” of three highly influential saints living in Krakow at roughly the same moment in history: St. Faustina Kowalska, St. Maximilian Kolbe, and Pope St. John Paul II.
George Weigel has pointed out in the book we co-authored, City of Saints, that Poland was the place where the 20th century happened — the place where Nazism and Communism would run their violent course, one after the other. The antidote to these, Weigel added, was also found in Poland, particularly in the work, prayer, and sacrifices of these three related but marvelously different saints.
Mystical Truths Become Relevant
|I first began to understand certain mystical truths as I prayed at the place where Jesus was crucified on the first Good Friday. I have written about some of these insights when I spent a night in the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, but some were too much for me to understand at the time, and it has taken some years for me to grasp them in such a way that I can commit them to writing. I do not, therefore, promise that this will be an easy read, but I hope it will be a rewarding one.|
After arresting him they led him away and took him
into the house of the high priest; Peter was following at a distance. They lit
a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter sat down
with them. When a maid saw him seated in the light, she looked intently at him
and said, “This man too was with him.” But he denied it saying, “Woman, I do
not know him.” A short while later someone else saw him and said, “You too are
one of them”; but Peter answered, “My friend, I am not.” About an hour later,
still another insisted, “Assuredly, this man too was with him, for he also is a
Galilean.” But Peter said, “My friend, I do not know what you are talking
about.” Just as he was saying this, the cock crowed, and the Lord turned and
looked at Peter; and Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to
him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” He went out
and began to weep bitterly. (Luke 22: 54-62)
How did Jesus look at Peter? What was on his face
that made Peter remember that he had denied Christ, just as Jesus had
predicted? What did Jesus’ expression say that made Peter go out and weep
the Garden of Your Soul from the Master Vinedresser
Ever since my wife and I moved into our current home I have had an ongoing battle with the shrubbery. There are times when honestly I don’t know who’s winning the battle — the vegetation or me. But it’s all part of having a nice home, and I try to take pride in the way our yard looks to the outside world.
At the very beginning, tackling the arduous task of keeping up with the gardening became a living parable of the character of sin my life. I must confess that there was a time when I was more satisfied with the condition of my yard than the condition of my soul. I have been grateful to the Lord for teaching me an important lesson along the way....more
Astonished to Find This in the Catechism
Adults in our society are “discovering” new “rights” for themselves at an astonishing rate, but to the detriment of authentic rights—including the rights of children. When I read the following paragraph from the Catechism a few years ago, it stopped me in my tracks. I have never forgotten it, perhaps because of how thoroughly the culture has.
A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. The "supreme gift of marriage" is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged "right to a child" would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right "to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents," and "the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception" (CCC 2378).
The Church says to adults: you have no right to a child. You have a natural and God-given right to many things, but a child is not one of them.
Why? Because a child is a gift.
Nature of the Sacraments
“By coming into this world our Lord Jesus Christ wished to bring holiness within the reach of all….For this end He provided certain means to fill up all their deficiencies, and supply all their needs in the supernatural order. These wonderful means of sanctification are the Sacraments. Their outward signs harmonize admirably with the grace which they contain, and with the effects which they produce. By their means, in a truly divine order of things, [created things], which have so often captivated [us] and drawn [us] away from God, become instruments for bringing [us] back. – Abbess Cecile Bruyere O.S.B.”
One of the central paradoxes of human life is that it is the good things of this world that lead us astray, not the bad. No one gets fat because food tastes nasty, no one hoards things because they take up room, no one engages is sexual promiscuity for the STDs....more
Shrouded in Mystery
It was sometime in the late 1970s—or was it the early 1980s? The priest in charge marched us to the school’s lecture theatre where we were soon plunged into darkness as a large screen lit up.
This was no Hollywood fare, however, but a film about the Turin Shroud. To this day, I can remember sitting there, mesmerized by what looked and sounded like any well-made television documentary but which seemed to suggest that the relic was more, much more, than merely an object of piety.
The film in question was The Silent Witness (1978). It was the work of David Rolfe who went on to produce three other films on the Shroud. All four have been collected into a box set and are now released by Ignatius Press....more
Conley: Eucharistic adoration can transform our Church
.- Eucharistic adoration offers a powerful chance to encounter Christ’s love in silence and humility, and that experience can transform our hearts, both individually and as a Church, said Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Neb. in a new pastoral letter.
“Love is selfless sacrifice, and sacrifice is the language of love. Love is the gift of ourselves to our beloved. And Christ made a gift of himself – he gave us his body and blood – poured himself out for our salvation, when he conquered death by dying and rising again,” Bishop Conley said. “Christ gave us his body and blood, as an act of love, so that we could know the love of God.”
“Before he conquered death forever, in a sacrifice of love, Jesus gave himself to the Church in the gift of the Eucharist,” the bishop reflected...more
Mathematics and the Rosary: An Ex-Atheist Discusses Her Conversion
Leah Libresco Sargeant, once a prominent atheist blogger, converted in 2012 to Catholicism after engaging and challenging her readership to present an intellectually rigorous, spiritually rewarding response to her questions on life. Sargeant continues to blog, only now from a Catholic perspective, and also is a contributing editor at America magazine.
She is the author of Arriving at Amen: Seven Catholic Prayers That Even I Can Offer. Sargeant recently spoke with the Register about what motivated her conversion and the surprising changes she experienced in her life afterward, including how she learned to pray through the Rosary. The following conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity....more
God’s will for you right here, right now
At first glance it can seem Jesus left us zero wiggle room when it comes to our doing God’s will. But that’s not so.
“Teach us to pray!” Jesus’ disciples ask, noticing what a champ he is at it. And so he gives them, and us, the Our Father, the Lord’s Prayer. He gives us: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Mt 6:10).
But this is a big problem for a lot of people, at least some of the time, because it can feel like God’s will is incredibly, well, awful. When a loved one dies, when we’re facing a catastrophic event in our lives, a well-intentioned friend or family member may comment on how this is “God’s will.”...more
|Spirital Reading Arms Us for Battle|
|For the past twenty years, I’ve been doing my best to commit to daily spiritual reading. Some days have gone better than others. In fact, some years have gone better than others. But I have done my best to stay the course. In that time, I’ve learned a few things about the process. I’ve learned some basic things, such as how hard it is to make the time for spiritual reading, but how good it makes me feel when I’ve done it — kind of like jogging for the soul. I’ve also noticed that spiritual reading is better for my psyche than any motivational book. It helps me to grow in faith and to deepen my relationship with God, which in turn has strengthened every other area of my life. And although at first I thought that my spiritual growth would come mostly by studying theology, I’ve found that there is also a great intellectually and emotionally challenging component to reading other spiritual material, such as biographies of saints and books on prayer.|
Dies Who Refused Cancer Treatment to Save Her Unborn Son’s Life
(LiveActionNews) — In 2015, Danielle Janofsky learned that she had a cancerous mole. She had it removed and followed up with regular checkups. All was well until during the sixth month of her pregnancy with her second child, she began experiencing abdominal pains.
In early February, doctors found that the source of her abdominal pains was the spread of melanoma. Her skin cancer had returned but had moved to her liver, kidney, stomach, and brain. Doctors offered a treatment but it was not safe for pregnancy. Instead, Janofsky chose to forgo the treatment in order to save her preborn son.
Within three weeks, Janofsky died, but her baby boy Jake is alive....more