Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes
Today marks the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1858 to fourteen-year-old Marie Bernade (St. Bernadette) Soubirous. Between February 11 and July 16, 1858, the Blessed Virgin appeared eighteen times, and showed herself to St. Bernadette in the hollow of the rock at Lourdes. On March 25 she said to the little shepherdess who was only fourteen years of age: "I am the Immaculate Conception." Since then Lourdes has become a place of pilgrimage and many cures and conversions have taken place. The message of Lourdes is a call to personal conversion, prayer, and charity.
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: First Sunday of Lent
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.
Nar’s Army wristbands on sale now! St. JPII School is selling wristbands to benefit preschooler Nar Scaia as he journeys for a cure for hyper IgM. The wristbands are $2 each and 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Scaia family. They are available in the office of the school.
Ash Wednesday and Lenten Friday Schedule: Ash Wednesday is this upcoming week on February 10th. Masses will be held at 8 AM, 12:10 PM, and 7 PM, all on Wednesday, with distribution of ashes.
St. John’s will be doing Stations of the Cross every Friday with St. Mary’s Church, Portland, during this Lent. St. Mary’s will host Stations February 12, 19, and 26. Each session will be preceded by a soup supper in the St. Mary Parish Hall from 6:00 – 6:45, with Stations at 7:00 PM. St. John’s will continue the Stations March 4, 11, and 18, beginning with a soup supper in the Parish Center from 6:00 – 6:45 and Stations at 7:00 PM. Please consider non-perishable items as a free will offering for the St. John’s supper. All items will benefit Amazing Grace Food
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy In Song: During Lent, come pray the beautiful Chaplet of Divine Mercy as revealed to St. Faustina Kowalska. Each Saturday during Lent, beginning at 3:00PM in the main Church, we will pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Please join us.
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.
Marriage Plan Classes for Engaged Couples, “God’s Plan for Joy-Filled Marriage” – Fridays, February 5, 12, and 19 from 6:30 – 9 PM, Our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall, Gales Ferry. Cost is $60 per couple. For more information call the Office of Family Life, 860-848-2237 x. 306.
Xavier Open House: February 11: Young men grades 6-8 and high school students seeking to transfer are invited to attend the Xavier High School Open House February 11, 6-7:30 PM.
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
Religious Education classes will be held for grades 1-9 on Monday, February 8th.
The Second Grade class will receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time after the 10 AM Mass on Sunday, February 21st.
“Give Me Your Hearts”: Preparing for Eternal Life
A Series of Five Free Talks with Sharing and Prayer
St. John Church will sponsor a five-week seminar on Sunday afternoons, February 7-March 6, from 2:30-4:00 PM in the Chapel. You may come to all sessions or just the ones that interest you most. Leaders are Dr. Ronda Chervin, Professor of Philosophy and Spirituality, Holy Apostles College and Seminary; Bob Olson, Lay Evangelist; Marti Armstrong, Gary McCabe, and Dr. Lorraine Harnett.
Week 1 (Feb. 7): Introduction by Dr. Ronda; perspectives on problems of aging, deciding on retirement, taking care of elderly, conflicts with adult children on finances and religion, where to reside as we age, bereavement.
Week 2 (Feb. 14): Healing and forgiveness (Bob Olson), guidelines for the Sacrament of Reconciliation including making a general confession (Fr. Michael Phillippino).
Week 3 (Feb. 21): Problems of physical sufferings and disabilities, the perils of living wills and other health care decisions (Dr. Lorraine Harnett).
Week 4 (Feb. 28): The immortality of the Soul and what the saints said about heaven (Dr. Ronda Chevrin).
Week 5 (Mar. 6): Spiritual growth in preparation for eternal life
Follow-Up Optional Session (Mar. 16): From 3-4 PM, choose between “The Way of Love” with Dr. Ronda or “The Ignatian Retreat” as developed by Dr. John Hardon with Gary McCabe.
~ 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
The Temptation of Christ
Oil on Cavas
Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, England
Preparing for the Mass February 14, 2016
The month of February is dedicated to the Holy Family. The first ten days of February fall within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time which is represented by the liturgical color green. Green, the 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. The remaining days of February are the beginning of Lent. The liturgical color changes to purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart.
First 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.
First Sunday of Lent: Integrity
He was alone in the desert. No one would see Him. No one would witness His giving in to the devil. He had plenty of excuses available. He was hungry. He had been fasting for forty days. Why shouldn’t He do it? He needed to eat.
He felt within Himself the call to lead His people from oppression. With one meaningless action He could become powerful. Wouldn’t it be worth it if He could establish Israel as the greatest empire in the world? He knew that He was special, chosen. What would be so wrong with His grasping at power when it was offered to Him? Maybe this is what He was chosen to do.
First Sunday of Lent, Year C—February 14, 2016
On the first Sunday in Lent, we find ourselves in the desert with Jesus and the devil. Why must our Lenten journey begin here?
Gospel (Read Lk 4:1-13)
St. Luke tells us that after His baptism in the Jordan River, Jesus “was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil.” We immediately sense that Jesus is on a mission. The first action of His public ministry is to retreat from the public and, in a solitary place, face God’s primordial enemy. Why?
God’s Mercy Sets Our Hearts Free
“I absolve you of your sins; go in peace!” These are among the most consoling words that the human ear can hear and that the heart can experience. Yes, these are the words expressed by the priest, who represents Jesus the Physician and Healer at the conclusion of the Sacrament of Mercy, that we commonly title the Sacrament of Confession.
To know in the depths of your heart that you have been forgiven of all of your sins and that your guilt evaporates into thin air can be one of the most ennobling and uplifting experiences that a human person can relish!
Truth and the Eucharist
One thought belongs here: revelation and the pious recognition of divine truth. What does community with another person mean? Above all, it demands genuine mutual exchange, respect for his person, trust, loyalty, that simultaneous unity and reverence known as friendship or comradeship or love. Such an alliance surpasses the merely physical or merely spiritual. Because it rests on the will, it is capable of surviving the adversities to which all living things are exposed. But community has yet another element: the sharing of one another’s power, radiance, vital depths; the ability to experience with the immediacy of sympathy and love the life of the other.
Pope Francis: It’s God, Not Us, Who Takes the First Step
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis said in his Sunday Angelus address that it’s the weak and vulnerable who are most valuable in God’s eyes, and he stressed that God takes the initiative in meeting us where we are.
“God meets the men and women of every time and place in the concrete situation in which they find themselves. He also comes to encounter us,” the Pope said Jan. 31, adding, “It’s always he who makes the first step.”
Why Do We Put Ashes on Our Heads?
COMMENTARY: The roots and meaning of Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday sends us into the desert of Lent marked with the sign of humility, penitence and mortality. It’s a public sign, and its popularity in America — where Catholics historically attempted to flatten the difference between themselves and the dominant Protestant culture — is a distinct public assertion of belief, or at least identity, embraced even by those with an irregular practice of the faith.
People may not attend Mass every Sunday, but something draws them back to this curious ritual. As with all the days traditionally observed by PACE (Palm Sunday, Ash Wednesday, Christmas and Easter) Catholics, it remains embedded deeply in their sense of the faith, even when regular practice fades.
The Almighty Has His Own Purposes
The problem of God allowing terrible things to happen to innocent people used to be of merely philosophical interest to me until my 21 year old son died in his sleep during the early morning hours of Pentecost in 2013. Endless words have been written on this subject, but I have always found moving the thought process of Abraham Lincoln as he addressed this complex subject.
Lincoln and the Will of God in Tragedy
The American Civil War has become such a part of American folk-lore, and so romanticized by reenactments, films, movies, etc, that we sometimes risk losing sight of just how dreadful it was. The death toll in the war would be the equivalent of us losing some six million killed in a war today and some ten million wounded, many of those maimed for life.