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: Fourth Sunday of Lent
Father Alex McAllister SDS
The account of the Man Born Blind that we are presented with in John's Gospel today is a very remarkable and at the same time a very human story. We can see it at several different levels. First of all, there are the straightforward facts of the story which seem to involve a lot of toing and froing with one group quizzing another. It starts when the man born blind is pointed out by the disciples to Jesus so they can ask the question about who had sinned, the man or his parents. As a group of disciples, they want to know what Jesus thinks on a whole number of topics and so they must often have asked him many similar questions over the years. This encounter with blind man becomes simply the occasion for them to ask Jesus about a further belief commonly held by the people at that time. Jesus says that neither of them have sinned and that this man's blindness was to give glory to God. He then uses the blind man to provide an example of the healing power of God. He smears paste on his eyes and the man is healed when he washes it off. It becomes a matter of controversy when the people bring the man to the Pharisees.
They, of course, immediately see the healing which took place on the Sabbath as something they could use against Jesus. The blind man is unusually plain speaking and when the Pharisees don't get the answers they want they bring in the man's parents who turn out to be much more reticent than their son. They are clearly happy for their son but do not want to get involved in disputation with anyone in case it results in their livelihood being put in jeopardy. Jesus hears about the interaction between the blind man and the Pharisees and goes to find him. When they meet up, on hearing Jesus' true identity, the blind man believes and worships him. The whole account of the miracle comes to a conclusion when Jesus makes a pronouncement about the fact that he has come so that the blind might see and those with sight turn blind. It is at this point we realise that there is another whole layer of meaning that can be uncovered from the story.
Jesus is pointing out that there are two kinds of sight. First there is the sight that comes from using our eyes to see that which is around us and then there is the sight, which we might call insight, to see with the eyes of faith. According to Jesus it is this insight which is much more important, because it is this which enables us to see with the eyes of faith and so to attain eternal life. The Pharisees are exposed as people who are completely blind to matters of faith. What they seem to be interested in is conformity and outward observance of the law far more than anything else.
Their desire is to preserve the status quo and to come down hard on anything or anyone who threatens the current equilibrium. The man born blind is extraordinarily forthright. He has suffered from a major handicap all his life and he is well aware precisely who has performed acts of kindness for him; and he is just as aware of those who would rather sit in judgement on him. You will note from the question that the disciples put to Jesus that his blindness was generally regarded in those days as a divine punishment for sin so there were plenty of people who despised him. The religious authorities clearly then must have shown him very little compassion when he was blind and this might explain his rather robust responses to them. He doesn't regard their interest in his case as being very friendly and so he gives them no respect at all. Last Sunday we heard about the Woman at the Well to whom Jesus revealed that he was the Messiah.
This Sunday in the account of the Man Born Blind we see how Jesus once again reveals himself as the one who is to come. This time he refers to himself as the Son of Man which although ambiguous is often seen as a Messianic title. The fact that the man who was formerly blind then worships Jesus inclines us to believe that he at least understands that by using this title Jesus has disclosed his divinity. During Lent new members of the Church, the catechumens, are being more intensively prepared for reception into full membership at the Easter Vigil. These two Gospels have been put in the Lectionary at precisely this time because they have a particular relevance for catechumens since they show two important examples of people who have come to faith in Christ. In both cases, they are outsiders, one being a Samaritan and the other being a blind man and therefore regarded also as a sinner. What is being highlighted is the importance of faith. Unlike many others these two seem to be able to recognise Jesus' true identity. They both acknowledge that he is the one sent from God and they place their hope and trust in him. These are things that the catechumens can identify very strongly with since they have come to the same conclusion themselves.
There are differences between the two incidents. In the case of the Woman at the Well it is primarily because of the Word that she is converted. In the case of the Man Born Blind it is because of his healing. But in both cases, they give testimony before others to Jesus' true nature. This tells us something important; that it is in evangelising others that we become evangelised ourselves. As we transmit the Gospel to others so it takes much deeper root in our own lives. Even someone with only the sketchiest understanding of the faith and who yet communicates this to others ends up with their own faith being deepened. This is a lesson for us all. We might feel timid about talking to other people on matters of faith because we lack the vocabulary or because we feel inadequate in some way. But we should not allow this to hold us back because, as these lessons from scripture tell us, the more we talk about the faith then the more we come to understand it. This is especially so in our families. Explaining the faith to our children helps us to see the logic in it. Talking about the faith with our spouses helps us to deepen our own grasp of our beliefs. Let us see in these two examples of the Woman at the Well and the Man Born Blind people like ourselves, people who don't know very much but who are willing to share whatever it is that we do have. The result is that our faith becomes deeper and broader and stronger.
St. John Paul II Regional School
860-347-2978 or 860-347-1195
Visit our website at www.jpii.org.
St. John Paul II School is taking applications for the 2016-2017 School Year, grades Preschool to 8th. Preschool children MUST turn 4 by December 31st, 2016. For more information or to apply, visit www.jpii.org, call 860-347-2978 or send an email to email@example.com.
~ 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
Christ Healing the Blind
Oil on Canvas
Saint Louis Art Museum
Preparing for the Mass March 26, 2017
|The month of March is dedicated to St. Joseph. The entire month falls during the liturgical season of Lent which is represented by the liturgical color purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart.|
The 4th Sunday of Lent
Sunday Bible Reflections from Scott Hahn and the liturgy can be found here and a children's liturgy can be found here.
Sunday of Lent: Searching for Sight
|I grew up in Totowa Borough, a suburb of Paterson, New Jersey, which itself is really a suburb of New York City. Like all New Yorkers or wanna be New Yorkers from New Jersey, I grew up with the distinct attitude that people from the Northeast were “in the know”, or, simply put, the smartest people in the world. Actually, there are plenty of New Yorkers who think that intelligent life ceases west of the Hudson River, including New Jersey. There are also plenty of people in the rest of the country that are convinced that intelligent life never came into existence east of the Hudson River. That second group just might be correct.|
Sunday in Lent, Year A- March 26, 2017
Today’s Gospel tells an engaging, sometimes humorous, story of a blind man who can see and men with vision who are blind.
Gospel (Read Jn 9:1-41)
In the Gospel we are immediately introduced to a contrast that appears in all four lectionary readings: sight and blindness, darkness and light. There are layers of meaning for us as we follow the action of this story; it is no surprise that we are given this passage as a meal from the Table of the Word during Lent. There is much nourishment here....more
with Light: Readings for Laetare Sunday
The drama increases as we progress toward
Easter. This Sunday’s readings are
united by the themes of anointing and light.
The First Reading (1 Sam 16:1-13) recounts Samuel’s
anointing of David as King over Israel.
Samuel journeys to Jesse of Bethlehem, and scrutinizes each of his sons
in search of God’s chosen king, but to no avail. Finally, the youngest of the eight, David, is
called in from shepherding the sheep.
This at last is the future king:
for Sunday, March 26, 2017: 4th Sunday of Lent
Like last Sunday’s Gospel reading about the woman at the well, this story about the blind man contains four distinct elements: a person is touched by Jesus; the person accepts Jesus; the person witnesses about Jesus; and other people react to the person’s witness.
The experiences of the blind man and the woman are especially similar when we look at the first three points. Both the woman and the blind man encounter Jesus and are healed by him. She was healed from her past sins, and he from physical blindness. Both came to believe that Jesus is the Messiah. And both began to witness about him.
The main difference in these two stories lies in the way that the other people responded. The people of Samaria were moved by the woman’s witness and came to believe in Jesus. But many of the people surrounding the blind man closed their hearts and rejected him...more
The Man Born
Blind Sees the Lion of Judah
The Lion of Judah is no tame lion. Neither is he predictable.
While walking along the streets of Jerusalem one day, Jesus sees a common enough sight in the Holy City. There is a disabled person by the side of the road begging (John 9). What else is the poor man to do? He has been blind from birth, so employment opportunities are limited. He has no ability to see, but he can speak. So he cries out for assistance.
The disciples want to pinpoint the cause of the problem theologically. Whose sin brought down this judgment upon the poor man? Jesus is much more interested in solving the problem than analyzing it. But the action he takes is strange to say the least. He could have simply gathered a crowd, given a speech, the uttered dramatic command: “Be healed.” He did it this way with others. It would have been dignified enough.
But no, his action is to spit in the dirt, make a paste of mud, and smear it on the eyes of the poor man, commanding his disciples to wash off the paste in the Pool of Siloam. ...more
Jesus Die in His Thirties?
Why did Christ die in his early thirties rather than as an older man? This would have permitted Him more time to teach and to set forth His Church. St. Thomas Aquinas answered the question in the following way:
Christ willed to suffer while yet young, for three reasons. First of all, to commend the more His love by giving up His life for us when He was in His most perfect state of life. Secondly, because it was not becoming for Him to show any decay of nature nor to be subject to disease …. Thirdly, that by dying and rising at an early age Christ might exhibit beforehand in His own person the future condition of those who rise again. Hence it is written (Ephesians 4:13), “Until we all meet into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ” (Summa Theologica III, 46, 9 ad 4)....more
Solidarity Binds Us To Souls In Purgatory
Just like gravity affects us whether we understand it or not, the Communion of Saints, the fellowship between the living and the dead, affects us whether we believe in it or not. There is a spiritual solidarity which literally binds us together. Even though most of us are oblivious to these invisible relationships, we are connected to those who have died in the Mystical Body of Christ and we can communicate with each other.
When most Catholics recite the Apostles’ Creed, we often rush through the final list of dogmas as we say, “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen”. We rarely consider how this fellowship affects us personally. Yet, the unity between the members of the Church on earth, in Purgatory and in Heaven is not some esoteric doctrine which has nothing to do with our day to day lives. These dynamic relationships can influence our thoughts and emotions. ...more
The Humor of
|When reading about the time Jesus awoke from His nap, calmed the stormy sea, and chastened His disciples for being afraid (Matthew 8:23-27), one just has to suppress a grin. Picture the scene: the disciples mortally alarmed in their storm-tossed craft; God in human form slumbering peacefully astern (maybe snoring, even), and then the Creator of the universe wakes up from His forty winks and casually sorts everything out, grumbling at His creatures for their understandable yet ultimately groundless fear.|
in Cassock is a Living Sermon
For the past three years the good people of St. Joseph, Missouri have been treated to an unusual sight in this day and age: a priest in cassock walking their city streets. As recently reported by Our Sunday Visitor:
Walk the streets of St. Joseph, Missouri, and you may have a memorable encounter with a tall young priest wearing a black cassock and Saturno clergy hat, a rosary in one hand and large crucifix in the other. The priest is Father Lawrence Carney, ordained for the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, who for the past three years has devoted much of his time to street evangelism: strolling down inner city streets, praying the Rosary and sharing the Gospel with those who approach him.
It’s Time to
Stop Fleeing from the Cross
|One of the most striking aspects of the Passion accounts is how largely alone Our Lord is in His final hours. Most of His beloved disciples, followers, and friends flee from Him and abandon Him in His hour of need. St. Peter goes so far as to deny Jesus three times in order to avoid any connection to this man whom he had referred to as the Son of God (Matthew 16:16). It is the few dedicated followers, including Our Heavenly Mother and St. John, who stay with Him to the foot of the Cross and watch Jesus be crucified and placed in a tomb.|
of Humor and the Divine Laugh
|While it is common to learn that God invented marriage and God invented pleasure, it is not as frequent to hear that God invented laughter. While the attributes of God throughout the Bible acknowledge His power, wisdom, justice, mercy, love, and beauty, the notion of the Lord as the God of laughter at first sounds incongruent. Yet man, the image of man, who smiles, laughs, and plays, reflects a sense of humor as part of his endowment as a reflection of God. Of the many definitions of man from “rational animal” to a being “a little less than the angels” to an “embodied spirit,” none touches on this aspect of human nature as man’s essence. The view of man as “homo ludens” (the smiling man) or as “a risible being” often appears as an accidental characteristic rather than as intrinsic aspect of human nature. In the closing lines of Orthodoxy, however, G. K. Chesterton writes, that joy “is the gigantic secret of the Christian,” and he speculates that Christ also hid a great secret:|
Unfold and Understand Sacred Scripture
"We may be very different from the ancient people who wrote the Bible," says theologian and author Dr. Michael Cameron, "but we share some vital similarities with them."
It is truly a marvel that the Bible can be so utterly indispensable for Judeo-Christian faith, and at the same time be so mysterious, overwhelming, and even incomprehensible. The riches and depths of the biblical texts surely goes beyond our understanding; after thousands of years, there are still new insights to be gleaned, surprising facets of historical context to be uncovered, and unexpected inspirations from its pages. ...more
If Dad Takes
Faith in God Seriously, So Will His Children
“And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before Me for the land …” Ezekiel 22:30
MEN … these are the times in which you and I live … this is the hand we have been dealt. What are we going to do about it?
In a powerfully worded apostolic exhortation, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona, has urged men to “not hesitate to engage in the battle that is raging around you.”
In a 23-page exhortation, entitled “Into the Breach,” Bishop Olmsted challenges men to join in a “primarily spiritual” battle against forces that are “progressively killing the remaining Christian ethos in our society and culture, and even in our homes.”...more
Guide to Raising Kids Who Love Jesus and Culture of Life
As Father Kevin Peek, prison and Army chaplain for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, remembers, supper time growing up was quite the supernatural experience.
“My parents, Joseph and Mary, took the Catholic faith very seriously and integrated it deeply into their lives,” the priest said. “The Angelus was our blessing for meals. Even when we had friends over, we would still pray it as a witness to them, whether they were Catholic or not. During dinner, my dad would read articles from the National Catholic Register or the Homilitic Pastoral Review and discuss them with us in a purposeful and engaging way.”...more
What is the
Reserved for those on their deathbed, the Apostolic Pardon is a true gift of grace for the dying.
As a person draws closer to the doors of death, there is one blessing in particular that the Church reserves for this most sacred moment: the Apostolic Pardon. It is a pardon that can be given by any priest and has the special power of removing all temporal punishment due to sin.
Today at Aleteia, you can read the account of one husband’s experience of seeing his wife receive this special grace.
The Catholic Encyclopedia explains exactly what the Apostolic Pardon is and the requirements to perform it.
to sleep peacefully? Pray this prayer of the night
The best way for a good night's sleep is to reclaim your inner peace and rest with a heart united to God
My dear God in heaven,
O One who loved me into being…
Now that the voices are silenced
and the crowded world of projects
and overwhelming noise is hushed,
here, at my bed, I seek your consolation.
My spirit roots for you, as an infant...more
seeks out the breast,
seeks you as a child seeks
the succor and embrace of a father —
the parent who will whisper,
“Shh, I am with you,”
and bring solace to the soul
with an unconditional love.