Very Rev. Father Michael Phillippino
Director of Religious Education
Parish Administrative Secretary
Ms. Megan Furtado
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: Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Father Campion P. Gavaler, O.S.B
Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Classic Sunday, September 25,
2016 Luke 16:19-31
Today's gospel passage contains Jesus' story about a rich man who dined sumptuously each day and Lazarus, a poor man, who would gladly have eaten the scraps from the rich man's table. When the poor man died, angels carried him to the bosom of Abraham. When the rich man died, he found himself in the netherworld of torment. He was, however, able to see Abraham with Lazarus in a place of honor at his side. The rich man asked Abraham to send Lazarus so that he might give him a drop of water to relieve his suffering. Abraham replied that this was no longer a possibility. The rich man then asked Abraham to send Lazarus to his five brothers so that he might warn them, lest they suffer the same torment that had befallen him. Abraham replied "They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them." The rich man said that his brothers would repent if someone from the dead warned them. Abraham responded that if they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they would not be persuaded even if someone should rise from the dead. Life Implications One of the striking things about parables is that they often overturn conventional ways of thinking. If we are able to hear them with grace, they can shock us out of the illusions that we are accustomed to live by, and enable us to see things with God's eyes. In regard to the scene of today's gospel, our way of looking at things is not much different from the way people of Jesus' culture looked at things. If we see a rich man and a poor man, our envy would be in the direction of the rich man.
Further, we would have the feeling, perhaps unspoken, that the poor man's miserable condition was probably a consequence of his own laziness or irresponsible action. Yet, in this story the rich man is surely not the one to be envied. What's going on here? At the end of the story, we feel bad that Lazarus is not able to warn the rich man's five brothers. But the parable tricks us. We, all of us, are the five brothers or the five sisters. And it is the rich man, himself, who is able to warn us. It isn't difficult to imagine the sort of things he wants to say. This will be the rich man speaking. There is finality to life and to life's choices. Don't be in the illusion of imagining the end of your life to be something like the end of the cosmos—far in the distant future.
God may say to you: "You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you." The choices you are making now have everlasting consequences. You, as I once did, have the power to establish a chasm between yourself and the Lazarus lying at your door. After you die, that chasm is forever fixed; and you will no longer be able to cross it. I want to warn you especially about riches, riches of all kinds—of money, intelligence, health, power, social or religious status. Though all good in themselves, these riches can lead you to forget about God and everyone else except yourself. That's what happened to me. And most people, including myself, thought I was a big success in life. Remember that God identifies with every Lazarus of the world—the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the unborn, even criminals in prison. One of them is lying at your door. If you establish a chasm between Lazarus and yourself, you are establishing a chasm between yourself and God.
That ends the rich man's warning to us. But after all, the rich man is only a fictional character in a story Jesus made up for simple folk of a pre-scientific age. Does it any longer have meaning for us? To decide that question will be the most important decision we will ever make. Do I trust that Jesus is alive and present among us to tell me how God sees things, or do I listen to other, much louder voices that promise me more money, more knowledge, more health, more power, higher social or religious status? This homily, like most others, must end with a prayer: Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. You have the words of everlasting life. Campion P. Gavaler, O.S.B.
St. John Paul II Regional School
Pre-K through Grade 8
860-347-2978 or 860-347-1195
Visit our website at www.jpii.org
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 (www.jpii.org) under the Admissions drop down tab.
We are pleased to announce that Darryl E. Bullock, Ph. D., has been appointed Principal of St. John Paul II School, effective August 15, 2016. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Bullock to the St. John Paul II School community
Padre Pio Holy Hour Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell 1st Saturday October 1st. 10am Mass followed by Rosary, Benediction, Consecration to Immaculate Heart of Mary. Celebrant Rev. Skip Thompson M.S.A
“Therese: The Story of a Soul” – October 14th Saint Luke Productions Presents, “Therese: The Story of a Soul” on Friday, October 14, at 7:00 PM, at St. Mary Church, 45 Freestone Ave., Portland. Admission: $10 Adults, $5 Children 12 and under (suitable for ALL ages). Tickets can be purchased at www.stmaryportlandct.org. Encounter the “Little Flower,” the most popular saint of modern times. A powerful live drama performed by Audrey Ahern, directed by Patti Defillippis.
Pancake Breakfast Save the Date! Pancake breakfast starting up October 2nd in the Parish Center from 9am-12pm. $3 per person at the door
Pro-Life Mass The monthly Diocesan Pro-Life Mass will take place at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich on Saturday, October 1, at 8:30am. Join Rev. Ray Introvigne as we pray to end abortion and for the healing for those who have had an abortion. Following the Mass, the Rosary will be prayed at the Cathedral and Planned Parenthood.
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
The 2015-2016 Religious Education school ear has come to an end! A big thank you to all our teachers and volunteers who helped to make this year a success!
~ 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
from the Codex Aureus of Echternach
Lazarus at the rich man's door
panel: Lazarus' soul is carried to Paradise by two angels; Lazarus in Abraham's
panel: Dives' soul is carried off by two devils to Hell; Dives is tortured in
Preparing for the Mass September 25, 2016
The month of September is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, whose memorial the Church celebrates on September 15. September falls during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green.
26th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Sunday Bible Reflections from Scott Hahn and the liturgy can be found here and a children's liturgy can be found here.
Sunday: The Church’s Mission to the Poor
The Gospel of Luke, the Gospel of God’s compassion, the Gospel of the lowly being raised up, challenges us today with the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man. The parable is not meant to defame those who have worked long and hard for their financial position in life. It is not meant to dump on the rich. The parable is meant to help us all recognize the responsibilities our positions in life demand.
The parable presents three areas of concern: blindness, isolation, and faithlessness.
Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C—September 25, 2016
Last Sunday’s Gospel ended with a warning from Jesus: “You cannot serve both God and mammon.” Today we read about a man who thought he could.
Gospel (Read Lk 16:19-31)
St. Luke told us in last Sunday’s reading that Jesus had some bracing words to say about money to the Pharisees who gathered to hear Him. However, St. Luke tells us “The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, … scoffed at Him” (16:14). Perhaps because of this hardness of heart, Jesus tells them yet another story. He gives them another opportunity to hear the truth.
Jesus begins His story with, “There was a rich man.” ...more
The happiest day of Mother Teresa's life
.- It’s been said that saints often come in pairs.
Sts. Peter and Paul, Mary and Joseph, Francis and Clare, and Louis and Zelie Martin are just a handful of such saints, coupled together through marriage or friendship.
Perhaps the best-known modern saintly pair of friends would be Mother Teresa and John Paul II, whose lives intersected many times during her time as Mother Superior of the Missionaries of Charity, and his pontificate. ..more
Did you know Mother Teresa experienced visions of Jesus?
.- Even her friend of more than 30 years, Father Sebastian Vazhakala, did not know Mother Teresa had conversations with and visions of Jesus before forming the Missionaries of Charity.
It wasn't until after her death, for the vast majority of people, that this part of Mother Teresa's spiritual life was uncovered. “It was a big discovery,” Missionary of Charity priest, Fr. Vazhakala told CNA.
When Mother Teresa's cause for canonization was opened, just two years after her death in 1997, documents were found in the archives of the Jesuits in Calcutta, with the spiritual director and another of Mother Teresa's close priest friends, and in the office of the bishop, containing her accounts of the communications....more
Open your hearts to those 'defeated by life,'
Pope Francis says
.- In the wake of the Norcia earthquake, Pope Francis again offered prayers and said he hopes to visit the victims. He also reflected on the gospel call to help the poor.
“Today, Jesus gives a voice to those without a voice and asks each of us an urgent appeal to open our hearts and make our own the sufferings and anxieties of the poor, the hungry, the marginalized, refugees, those defeated by life, those who are rejected by society and the arrogance of the strongest,” the Pope said during his Angelus message on Sunday. ...more
What Is Your Biggest Distraction? No Need to Look Very Far!
We usually think of distractions as coming from the world around us, but is that really the most common source? Consider the following parable, drawn from the stories of the early Desert Fathers and from monastic experience:
Sometimes there would be a rush of noisy visitors and the silence of the monastery would be shattered.This would upset the disciples; not the Master, who seemed just as content with the noise as with the silence.To his protesting disciples he said one day, “Silence is not the absence of sound, but the absence of self.”
The fact is, our greatest distraction is usually our very self.
Guiding Your Friends into the Catholic Church
I would have loved to have had Jimmy Akin as my wingman in discussions with Protestants about Catholicism more times than I can count, but he is usually busy and, last I checked, hadn’t mastered the art of bilocation.
I was sitting at lunch one day with friends: one Catholic, two Protestants, and we were having a series of in-depth discussions about whether Catholicism was true or Protestantism was better. The debate ranged all over: justification, the canon of Scripture, sola scriptura, Bible interpretation, authority, perspicuity, Church Fathers, sacraments, and more.
How to engage a loved one who’s walked away from the faith
|Following the example of Saint John Paul II in terms of talking with one who has left the fold might prove the most effective route. He listened to people desiring to understand them and their hearts, he discerned to find similarities and shared convictions he held with the other person, and then he used what was shared between himself and the other person as a bridge for dialogue.|
Why I'm Catholic: The Foundational Error of Sola Scriptura
When I met Moira (not her real name) she was completely broken-hearted. As the old song says, “I can tell by your eyes, you’ve probably been crying forever.” That was Moira.
This forty-two year old mother had developed severe chronic progressive multiple sclerosis which put her into a wheelchair within a year of her diagnosis. Moira’s husband left her and their only daughter went with him. She had nothing left she cared about and she wanted to die. The curtains in her darkened apartment were drawn to shut out the daylight – like a sad metaphor of what her life had become. What could I say to comfort her? Moira was inconsolable. Her dreams had come true for a brief period of time then were snatched away. The loss in her body paled in comparison to the loss in her heart....more
Join the Angels and Children in The Cosmic Dance
Is joy at the heart of your life in Christ? Many Catholics feel beleaguered as they struggle to stand up for the truth in an increasingly hostile environment. Of course, it is easy to become so busy addressing serious moral and religious issues that our spirituality is relegated to Sunday Mass and a few Hail Marys rattled off on the run. However, if we are determined to be effective agents of change in society, we must make time to learn how to live in, with, and through Christ. Only when we are filled with the power of Holy Spirit, we will witness effectively with joy, with a dance in our step.
Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire. Catherine of Siena
Mel Gibson says 'Passion of Christ' sequel will be about the Resurrection and it would be a 'huge undertaking'
It has been 12 years since "The Passion of the Christ" inspired Christians around the world and renewed their faith in Jesus Christ. The film's director, Mel Gibson, recently dropped some good news for the Christian faithful hoping for a follow-up to the movie: A sequel is currently under discussion.
Speaking to Greg Laurie, the senior pastor of the California-based Harvest Christian Fellowship, Gibson revealed that he and other people behind "The Passion of the Christ," are "talking about" the possibility of a sequel.
The next "Passion" film, he added, will likely be entitled "The Resurrection."...more
Is There Such a Thing as Pure Evil? Here’s What St. Thomas Says.
We human beings are inclined to thinking categorically and absolutely. But not all (or even most) categories are absolute. Is there such a thing as absolute goodness, with no error admixed? Yes, most assuredly. God is so, as are the saints He has perfected in Heaven. But is there such a thing as absolute evil, in which there is no admixture of goodness? St. Thomas Aquinas and others say that there is not.
On one level, this is because evil is a privation, the absence of something that should be there. Hence if someone (or something) were wholly evil, he (it) would not exist at all. There would be no “there” there.
St. Thomas says,...more
Why the Prince of Peace Divides Us
Christ is known as the Prince of Peace; as God the Son, through Whom “all things were made” (Nicene Creed), it is He alone who mediates true peace. And yet in this world we succumb to the wily tactics of the Great Deceiver, known as the “prince of this world.” The Bent One and his minions promise us “Peace! Peace!” when there is no peace; and the price tag if we capitulate is eternal. Satan could do no better than to confuse us into trading the Peace of Christ for the peace of this world. All he has to do is to convince us to conflate these two diametrically opposed notions of peace and encourage us to fight it out for a compromise. This diabolical plan has been working out very nicely for Lucifer in the modern age.
10 Biblical Names of Jesus and their Pivotal Meanings
1. The Word
John 1 gives us this profound name of Jesus. John explains that from the beginning of creation the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Jesus is the Word made flesh, the promised Son given to us to take away our sin and reconciling us with God. He became flesh so that we might know God’s love and to be a model of holiness for us. Finally, to make us partakers of the divine nature. (ccc 457-460)....more
A Newborn Child is God's Gift to the Entire Family
My sweet little baby girl was born seven weeks ago, and I’m just now beginning to dig out from underneath the diapers, itty-bitty onesies, and groggy nighttime feedings to say, Hey! Over here! I’m still alive. I’m still a Catholic blogger. Even though I haven’t written anything in, you know, forever.
But really, who has time to write? This has been, in spite of a few raccoon and snake sightings, a pretty lovely summer around these here parts. Spending time with my dear kids who are out of school, watching them compete and improve in yet another summer of early-morning swim meets, anticipating the birth of a baby, having aforementioned baby (one hour after arriving at the hospital, no less), and hanging out with the husband during the time he took off when baby was born. We even got a bunch of stuff thrown out and organized during his vacation, which may or may not be my love language. So darn much good, amidst the inevitably challenging transition to life with a precious newborn.,,,more
108 Years Ago, This Priest's Murder at Mass Shocked the U.S.
When you read a headline about priests being murdered at Mass, who comes to mind? Almost certainly, you think of Fr. Jacques Hamel, who died last month at the hands of Muslim terrorists during Mass in the small French town of Saint Etienne-du-Rouvray, in Normandy.
If your mind stretches beyond the horror of Fr. Hamel's death, his throat slashed by ISIS sympathizers, then you probably think next of Blessed Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador. Archbishop Romero was assassinated while celebrating Mass in the chapel of the Hospital of Divine Providence on March 24, 1980. Just one day before his death, Romero had called on Salvadoran soldiers, as Christians, to stop aiding the government's repression and violation of basic human rights, and to instead obey the laws of God. For that, he was shot while praying at the altar.
The priest I have in mind, though, is not Father Hamel, not Archbishop Romero, but a humble Franciscan priest who served as pastor of St. Elizabeth's in Denver, Colorado in 1907-1908.
Olympic Gold Medalist Ryan Murphy: 'I Hope Always to Live Life Based on God's Will'
|The swimming star has anchored his competitive career, along with the rest of life, firmly to his Catholic faith.|
Twenty-one-year-old swimming star Ryan Murphy was born in the Chicago area, grew up in Florida, matriculated in California and competed in Rio de Janeiro this summer — winning three gold medals.
Along with his athletic prowess, one constant of Murphy’s life has been his family’s unswerving commitment to their Catholic faith. He was born on the South Side of Chicago, into a family strongly devoted to Catholic education....more