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Saint John Roman Catholic Church

19 St. John Sq., Middletown, Connecticut, (860) 347-5626 .................... Rev. James Thaikoottathil, J.C.D.

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Rev. James Thaikoottathil, J.C.D.             


Director of Religious Education

Sr.Ann Mack

Kathryn Connolly


Parish Administrative Secretary

Mrs. Diana Blair
Ms. Megan Furtado

Parish Bookeeper
Ms. Patty Holmes

Parish Sexton
Mr. Bob Maxa

Parish Organist
Mrs. Joanne Swift

Parish Committee Heads

Parish Council: Debra Liistro     


Building & Grounds: Richard      Bergan       (203-537-1435) Fundraising Chair: Simonne       Mularski     (860-301-0825) Finance Chair: Kimberley

Parks         (860-267-0847)  


Parish Office Hours 

- Monday through Friday
    8AM to 3PM

- Closed weekends, holidays
    & holy days

Parish Council: Meets every 2nd Thursday of the month at 7 PM in the Rectory; all parishioners are welcome to attend.


"The Mother Church of the Norwich Diocese"

Mass Schedule

Saturday Vigil Mass: 4:00 PM

Sunday Mass:            8:00 AM and 10:00 AM

Weekday Masses:      8:00 AM Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat

No 8AM Mass on Wed


Eucharistic Adoration begins in the chapel at 9AM after morning Mass on the 1st Friday of each month and ends at 6PM, in observance of the 6:30 Stations of the Cross, with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and a Benediction.


Monday Night:   Miraculous Medal Novena in the Chapel

Thursday Night: 7PM Prayer Group in the Chapel
First Fridays:     8AM Mass and Devotions to the Sacred Heart

First Saturdays: 8AM Mass and Holy Rosary

Confession:       Heard Saturdays, 3:00-3:30PM   


           ~ Air Conditioned and Handicapped Accessible~





Pastoral Sharings: Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time




Homily from Father Alex McAllister SDS
Posted for August 20, 2017

The extract from St Matthew's

Gospel presented to us this Sunday seems to present us with a somewhat different aspect of Jesus' character than we have seen until now. He seems unusually brusque and dismissive of the Canaanite woman. She wants a demon cast out from her daughter and is remarkably persistent even resorting to shouting after Jesus and his companions in an effort to embarrass him into exorcising the girl. Jesus says that he is sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel, implying that his miracles and healing are only for the Jews. Of course, we know that this is not so. We can think of many examples where Jesus worked miracles in the case of non-Jews. After all Jesus healed the Centurion's servant among lots of others. We know that Jesus was sent to save everyone; we know that he came to redeem every single human being not only the People of Israel. However, we sometimes get the impression from the Gospels that Jesus only widened his mission to include the Gentiles after the Jews rejected him.

But knowing that Jesus is the Son of God, and that he has knowledge of everything that has happened and everything that ever will happen, means we realize that from the very beginning he must have intended his work of salvation to be for the whole of humanity not just the Jewish people. This leaves us with the question of what was going on in this incident with the Canaanite woman. My suggestion is that Jesus was drawing her out. I think that by at first ignoring her, and then declaring that his mission was not directed at pagans like her but to the Jews, he was actually getting her to demonstrate the depth of her faith. She is remarkably persistent and she has a ready answer to Jesus objection that his mission is not directed at the pagans. She says that even the dogs can eat the scraps that fall from their master's table.

It is this that tips the balance and from that moment her daughter was well again. So, my understanding is that Jesus is being a bit off hand with her in order to get her to express the depth of her faith. Of course, any mother will do whatever she needs to do to make her daughter well again. But by forcing her to express her belief in him Jesus demonstrates that faith is not the exclusive preserve of the Jews. We can think of numerous other examples of this strategy scattered through the Gospels. Yes, the Jews were the Chosen People but this means that the Messiah was to come from among their number not that they had a monopoly on faith. It certainly did not mean that salvation was only for them. We know that their idea of what the Messiah would be like and how he would achieve his victory was pretty wide of the mark.

Their idea of what was to happen was framed by their own way of looking at the world and how it was organised. In fact, their thinking about the Messiah was really only another way of strengthening the power of the elite groups who were in control of the nation. The conclusion we are being invited to draw from this story of the Canaanite woman is that salvation is meant for everyone. In our society today, when secularism is in the ascendancy and the great majority of people have no use for organized religion, it is hard for us to know how to make this truth more widely known. We have been entrusted with a message of great importance for the world; it is our task to make Christ known and to help people to see that he has made salvation possible for the whole human race. The difficulty we face today is that most people do not even recognize that there is any necessity for salvation. While many people living around us live by an excellent moral code most of them do not realise that this has its origins in the Christian way of looking at the world.

Many of us find it even difficult to pass on the truths of the faith to our own children. Young people today are being constantly bombarded by all kinds of views pushed at them by the media and our ideas about God and man's place in relation to him ends up being pushed to the side-lines. What I think we have to try and convey is that our faith in God and all that comes with it is not part of a folk-tale that we have mistaken for a set of truths. We want other people to understand that our particular beliefs are part of a great stream of thought and culture that stems ultimately from God himself. We want them to appreciate that our faith has been tried and tested and not found wanting by many of the greatest thinkers in history. What we believe is no fairy story but rather a set of truths that are fundamental to any right-thinking view of man's place in the world.

Actually, according to us, it is the world-view peddled by the mass media that is fanciful. We know that there is no true fulfillment to be found in a purely materialistic view of the world. We know that much of what is presented to us as an enlightened modern way of looking at things is in fact deeply flawed and is more likely to lead to the destruction of mankind rather than his fulfillment. In the face of all this we need the persistence of the Canaanite woman. We need to continue to proclaim our faith, we ought to be constantly explaining to other people the profound understanding of the world and man's role in it that is part and parcel of our faith.

We should talk to people about sin and its destructive power and explain to them how we can overcome it. Maybe doing these things won't win us many friends, but at least no one will be able to say that we were gifted the secret of everlasting life and kept it to ourselves. Let that Canaanite woman be our example and let us be quick with our arguments and have answers ready for those who dismiss our faith and belittle our beliefs. Christ was a bit off-hand with that woman as a way of getting her to express her faith. Let us be like her and be fearless in explaining to others those things that bring true meaning and purpose to our lives.


 St. John Paul II Regional School

860-347-2978 or 860-347-1195

Visit our website at

St. John Paul II School grades Preschool to 8th.  For more information or to apply, visit, call 860-347-2978 or send an email to


                                         New Mass Times

Saturday Vigil Mass: 4:00 PM       5:30 PM (St. Sebastian)

Sunday Mass: 9:00 AM                  11:00 AM & 5:00 PM (St. Sebastian) 

Weekday Masses (Tues. & Thurs.): 7:30 AM in the Chapel  

                            (Mon. Wed. & Fri.): 7:30 AM (St. Sebastian)

Eucharistic Adoration: Begins in the Chapel after the 7:30 AM Mass on the 1st Thursday of each month, and ends at 9:00 AM with Benediction. 

Confessions: Heard Saturdays 3:15-3:45 PM                                  Sundays 8:15-8:45 AM

Holy Days of Obligation: Vigil 7:00 PM & 8:00 AM       12:10 PM & 7:00 PM (St. Sebastian)

If you attend Mass at St. Sebastian all St. John envelopes will be collected and sent to St. John rectory for counting.

SAVE THE DATE! St. John Parish Picnic: Saturday, September 9th @ 5:00pm More info to follow

AMAZING GRACE NEEDS RESTOCKING St. John Church supplies Amazing Grace Food Pantry with tuna fish. The food pantry is running low on tuna.  If you can, please donate and leave cans in the baskets in the back of the church.  Thank you for your continued generosity!

Sandwiches for St. Vincent de Paul  St. John’s Parish will again practice the Corporal Works of Mercy of feeding the poor by making ham sandwiches for the clients of St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen. We will begin on Tuesday, July 11th and continue every 2 weeks.  7/25, 8/8, 8/22, 9/12, 9/26, and end on 10/10.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter “And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love Him and reveal myself to Him." Expand your married love by attending a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend. The next WWME Weekends are Jul 7-9, 2017 in Manchester, CT and Nov 3-5, 2017 in Manchester, CT. For more information, call Dennis & Jane Lamondy at 860-376-0440 or visit us at

Wine/Beer Tasting Fundraiser Saturday, October 28th @ St. Mary Hall, Portland.   More info to follow!


~ Middletown, Connecticut ~

Vatican Website

Pope To You

St. John

Norwich Diocese


St. John Church 'Nativity
Window' Ornament click here



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gifts with images from our antique stained

glass windows




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The Sunday Mass - 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (August 20, 2017)


or click here to view on Youtube



Harold Copping

The Woman of Canaan


Oil on canvas

Preparing for the Mass August 20, 2017

The month of August is dedicated to The Immaculate Heart of Mary. The entire month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time. The last portion of the liturgical year represents the time of our pilgrimage to heaven during which we hope for reward.  

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time: I Belong Here

Have you ever had a feeling that you really don’t belong someplace?  I certainly have.  I remember when I first became involved in youth ministry.  I was twenty-one years old and a newly professed brother with the Salesians of St. John Bosco.  I was just getting used to people calling me Brother Joe. I received my first official ministry assignment. I was to teach CCD on Sundays to the sixth grade boys at Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Sparta, New Jersey.  Piece of cake.


Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A—August 20, 2017

Today, as Jesus travels away from Jerusalem toward the region of the Gentiles, He meets a Canaanite woman who desperately needs His help.  Why did He give her the cold shoulder?


Gospel (Read Mt 15:21-28)

To best understand this Gospel episode, we need to know that it follows a description of the great opposition Jesus faced from the Pharisees in Jerusalem.  Even though He was performing amazing miracles of healing (read Mt 14:36), the Pharisees could only find fault with Him (read Mt 15:2).  Jesus got frustrated with them, calling them “blind guides” (Mt 15:14).  He decided to leave the city and head north, up to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  These were cities in Phoenicia, territory that was primarily Gentile, not Jewish.  It almost seems as if He wanted to get as far away from the hard-hearted Pharisees as He could.


The Canaanite Woman — Faith to Move Mountains

Jesus heals the daughter of the Canaanite woman because her faith was so great. He rebuked the disciples because their faith was too little. Matthew’s gospel here is teaching us something very important about the nature of the faith needed to move mountains.

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) — Isaiah 56:1, 6-7; Psalms 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8; Romans 11:13-15, 29-32; Matthew 15:21-28.

The apostles thought she was a nuisance and asked Jesus to get rid of her. Jesus had gone to the region of Tyre and Sidon, modern-day Lebanon, and a local Canaanite woman approached him for a favor. This was pagan country, home turf of the infamous Jezebel. The inhabitants of these parts were fondly referred to as “dogs” by their Jewish neighbors, who viewed them as unclean


Who Let the Riffraff In? Readings for the 20th Sunday of OT

According to Wikipedia, “Riffraff is a term for the common people or hoi polloi, but with negative connotations. The term is derived from Old French ‘rif et raf’ meaning ‘one and all, every bit.’”

My ancestors are Dutch, and—like many other ethnic groups—think they're pretty special.  The typical saying is, “If yah ain’t Dutch, yah ain’t much.”

However one may assess the muchness of the Dutch in modern times, from the perspective of the people of Israel in ancient times, the Dutch were mere riffraff, nameless illiterate Germanic tribes eking out a living on the cold shoreline and humid forests of northwestern Europe.  How could such people ever enter into the fullness of God’s covenant.


Reflections for Sunday, August 20, 2017

My house shall be called a house of prayer. (Isaiah 56:7)

Around the year AD 350, a popular and powerful bishop named John Chrysostom preached a series of sermons on the Sacrament of Marriage. John had been inspired by St. Paul’s letters to describe for his congregation the beauty of marriage and family life. He called it a wonderful path to holiness. He spoke about the way each spouse is called to be like Jesus—selflessly giving all that they have to their spouse and family and to love their family with the same dedication that Jesus has for his Church (Ephesians 5:25).


The Sigh of the Heart

I was brought up in New York City by atheist parents who met in the Communist Party, became disaffected, and then became informers for Senator Joseph McCarthy. God was no more real to us than elves might have been to most of you.


My first prayer was suggested to me by my godfather-to-be, a professor at Fordham University. I was studying Catholic philosophy in a frantic attempt to find some truth that would keep me from despair.


“Why don’t you kneel and say the skeptic’s prayer?” Dr. Balduin Schwarz suggested to me one day.


“Huh? What’s that?”


Why and How Does Satan Roam the Earth?

One of the more puzzling aspects of demonology is the freedom that Satan and demons appear to have in roaming the earth, causing trouble. If the condemned are consigned to Hell for all eternity, why is Satan allowed to wander about outside of Hell? Isn’t he supposed to be suffering in Hell along with his minions and the other condemned? Further, it doesn’t seem that he is suffering one bit, but rather having a grand time wreaking havoc on the earth. How do we answer such questions?


Some texts in Scripture do speak of Satan and the fallen angels as being cast into Hell:


Exposing the Enemy’s Plan

In the ancient eastern book, The Art of War, the author Sun Tzu, makes the case that victory is predicated upon two conditions, knowing oneself, and knowing one’s enemy.  He goes so far as to assert that one should expect to lose ½ of his battles, no matter his skill, if he doesn’t know his enemy.


In the Christian tradition, spiritual battle and warfare are common themes.  The book of Revelation tells the story of a great cosmic battle that resulted in Satan being cast out of Heaven.  As Catholics, we commonly pray the St. Michael prayer, which begins, “St. Michael, defend us in battle…”.


Why Mary’s Queenship Matters

The Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary conclude with two events, the Assumption of Mary into heaven, and her Coronation as Queen of all Creation (meaning everything in the universe). The Church recently celebrated the Assumption on August 15 and her Coronation follows next week, on August 22. The imagery used in the Catechism to document these two events is beautiful:

“Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.” (CCC, 974)


My flock at the edge of the world

A six-day voyage to some of the world's most remote Catholic communities is just part of the job


When having my hair cut, I like the barber to get on with the job and let me go home as quickly as possible. So it’s always a trial when they say “What do you do for a living?” You know this is the opening to polite chit-chat.


When I was asked the question recently, I said: “I am the Apostolic Administrator of the Falkland Islands and the Superior of the Ecclesial Mission sui juris of St Helena, Tristan da Cunha and Ascension Island.” A bit cruel perhaps, but the poor man was stunned into silence. Bliss!


Our Lady brings ‘Good Help’ to Wisconsin

Only approved Marian apparition site in United States

Upon arriving at his new assignment as bishop of Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 2008, Bishop David L. Ricken was skeptical of claims that the Mother of God had once appeared in the diocese at what is now the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, Wisconsin.


“I’m very devoted to the Blessed Mother. But I had never even heard of the place,” Bishop Ricken told Our Sunday Visitor. But time, a thorough investigation and personal prayer all led Bishop Ricken not only to overcome his skepticism, but to make the Champion apparition the only formally approved Marian apparition site in the United States — and one of only 17 in the world.


Eucharistic Table: Home Away From Home

For traveling Catholics, it is comforting to experience the universal welcome of the Body of Christ. We walk into Mass celebrated in any language — anywhere — as if at home, united in the Eucharist.


And yet it is the particular churches, specific congregations and certain celebrants who have welcomed my family during summer vacations that are most memorable.


I recall the pale-yellow walls of the Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea in Key West, Florida, for example, the morning sun tinted by pastel-stained glass and an island breeze blowing through windows propped open along both sides of the nave.


What Does it Mean to Grieve Like a ‘Good Catholic?’

When we Catholics grieve, we must do it in union with Christ Crucified and Risen.

“The right to weep must not be denied. Even Jesus was deeply moved and profoundly troubled by the bereavement of a family he loved. We can, instead, draw from the simple and powerful witness of many families who have known how to grasp, in the difficult passage of death, also the safe passage offered by the Lord, crucified and risen, with his irrevocable promise of the resurrection of the dead. The work of God's love is stronger than the work of death. We must seek to be 'accomplices' to that love, with our faith. … Death was defeated by Jesus on the cross.” —Pope Francis


Is it a sin to be judgmental?

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is quoted as saying: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn and will not be condemned.” Is our Lord demanding that his followers become naive? And while he is not a “Thomist” who makes distinctions but a divine-human who expressed himself with a Semitic mind frame of reference, further distinctions have to be made in light of revelation to understand the Lord correctly.

Thriving Parishes

While parish closings and mergers dominate headlines in certain parts of the country, they don’t tell the full story of the Church in the United States. Parishes across America are attracting new generations of Catholics by opening their doors to those seeking the beauty and the fullness of truth that can only be found in the Church.


Our Sunday Visitor is proud to highlight five of these dynamic parishes that are flourishing as they answer the Gospel call to share the message of Christ. From increased Eucharistic adoration to offering the faithful a beautiful liturgy to focusing on hospitality, these parishes are empowering their flocks to participate fully in the sacramental and spiritual life of the Church.


Missing Mass and Skipping Mass

I have to hand it to the nuns.


Those sisters with rulers certainly got it into the heads of the young Catholics that missing Mass was a mortal sin.


However, one of the troublesome things about hearing confessions is how many older Catholics seem to think this is the only sin, and they do not seem able or willing to make the distinction between missing Mass and skipping Mass.


17 Saints Every Student Needs to Begin the School Year

It’s that time of year again, when teachers ready their classrooms, students groan and try to get in one more ounce of summer fun, and parents trek to stores and malls searching for every last item on those school supplies lists. It’s back to school! Here are some saints to pray to for a good, productive, smooth school year.

1. St. Thomas Aquinas


4 Arguments for the Existence of God

“The Church teaches that the one true God, our Creator and Lord, can be known with certainty from his works, by the natural light of human reason.” (CCC 47)

I make absolutely no claims on originality here: during these parlous times when our nation’s Judeo-Christian roots are being not only challenged and questioned, but attacked and debased and erased, it’s always good to have a ready argument for the existence of God—especially since this weird atheistic vogue shows no sign of slowing down. So without further delay: