Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The feast of the Visitation recalls to us the following great truths and events: The visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth shortly after the Annunciation; the cleansing of John the Baptist from original sin in the womb of his mother at the words of Our Lady's greeting; Elizabeth's proclaiming of Mary—under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost—as Mother of God and "blessed among women"; Mary's singing of the sublime hymn, Magnificat ("My soul doth magnify the Lord") which has become a part of the daily official prayer of the Church. The Visitation is frequently depicted in art, and was the central mystery of St. Francis de Sales' devotions.
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: Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
How dark the world had become for those two women, the widow of Zeraphath in the first reading and the widow of Nain in the Gospel. Because they were widows, they had no way to support themselves other than what living they could scratch out, perhaps doing some sewing, or working in the fields during the harvest time. But they each had a great joy. They had sons. Not only were these the lights of the their lives, but their sons would be the ones who would care for them when they could no longer care for themselves.
And then their sons died. There is no greater grief than to lose a child. Nothing that the world throws at us can be worse than the death of a child, other, obviously, than the death of several children. The widows’ grief had to be unfathomable. But God was aware of their grief. In the first reading God heard the prayers of Elijah for the widow of Zeraphath and restored her son’s life. In the Gospel Jesus brought the widow of Nain’s son back to life. God transformed their grief into complete joy.
We are all tempted to be bound by the negatives of life. We certainly hear enough, too much really, about the horrible things that happen throughout the world. We should be aware of the suffering of other people so we can reach out to them, but life is not negative. It is wonderful. It is full of joy and laughter.
Our world is beautiful. Look at our West Coast of Florida sunsets. Consider the magnificence of our country, the canyon lands, the mountains, the lakes and oceans. Look at our children. How can we not help but recognize how wonderful the world is when we see our high school people excel not just in their academics, but take their first steps to becoming productive members of our faith and our country? How can we not be positive when we see our college people giving a summer or a year to serve the Lord in his poorest people, and then taking leadership positions in the faith? How can we not be positive when we see so many of our families taking their Catholicism so seriously? How can we not be full of joy when we look at the faces of our little children?
There are so many positives in the world. We have been given a tremendous gift, Jesus Christ. The Victor has conquered the negatives of life. Jesus Christ has conquered death. The waters of our baptism have immersed us into beauty.
“The Word of the Lord truly comes from your mouth,” the widow of the first reading exclaimed. “A great prophet has risen from our midst,” the people of the Gospel added. You can feel the excitement and joy in the people who proclaimed these statements. Prophecy and life are linked together. The way of the Lord is the way of life.
Yes, bad things have happened and will continue to happen. But with Jesus Christ, even the unthinkable, the death of a child will result in the total union of the child with God, forever young in the Lord. We certainly can understand how parents feel overwhelmed with grief, but through it all they have the joy of knowing that they have their own special intercessor, an angel if you will, with the Lord.
We Christians cannot help but be optimists. We are people of faith and people of hope. We believe that Jesus Christ has conquered death and have faith that he gives us a share of eternal life. We are people of hope. Our hope is that our own deaths will lead to a transition into full union with God.
Like those widows who experienced the raising of their sons from the dead, we rejoice because the Lord has shared His victory over death with each of us. During the Easter season we often proclaimed “Alleluia, Christ has risen.” This joy, though, is not limited to Easter. It is the joy we have throughout the year: Alleluia, Christ has conquered death. We have received the gift of eternal life.
The contemporary Christian composer Steve Fee wrote a song that was popularized by Casting Crowns:
Giver of every breath I breathe
Author of all eternity
Giver of every perfect thing
To You be the glory
Maker of Heaven and of Earth
No one can comprehend Your worth
King over all the universe
To You be the glory
And I am alive because I'm alive in You
It's all because of Jesus I'm alive
It's all because the blood of Jesus Christ
That covers me and raised this dead man's life
It's all because of Jesus I'm alive
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.
8th Grade Graduation: Sunday, June 5th, 2:00 PM at St. Sebastian’s Church.
Pre-Kindergarten Graduation: Tuesday, June 7th at 10 AM.
PILGRIMAGE WALK TO ST. JOHN’S HOLY DOOR: Join parishioners from St. Francis of Assisi Church and St. Peter Church, Higganum, for a pilgrimage Walk for Mercy, Saturday, June 11, 2016. The walk will be approximately 1.5 miles long, concluding with a walk through the Holy Door of Mercy at St. John Church, Middletown. Anyone interested in participating should plan to attend the talk with Deacon Peter Gill scheduled for Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 7:00pm at St. Peter Church in Higganum. Deacon Gill will discuss what a pilgrimage is, how to prepare yourself to walk through the Holy Door, and what special benefits may be gained by doing so. He will also talk about other options for those who can’t walk that far. For more info contact Kristin McQueeney at 860-558-3466 or one of your parish Disciples of Mercy.
|Banns of Marriage|
intend to marry
St. John Church on
Saturday June 4, 2016 at 1:30p
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
Juan De Flande
Jesus heals the widow's son
1500 - 1510
Preparing for the Mass June 5, 2016
The month of May is dedicated to The Blessed Virgin Mary. The first 15 days fall within the liturgical season of Easter, which is represented by the liturgical color white — the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored). The remainder of the month (beginning the Monday after Pentecost) is in 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.
Tenth Sunday of Ordinary TimeReading I: 1 Kings 17:17-24
Responsorial Psalm 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13
Reading II: Galatians 1:11-14a, 15ac, 16a, 17, 19
Gospel: Luke 7:11-17
Sunday Bible Reflections from Scott Hahn and the liturgy can be found here and a children's liturgy can be found here.
Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
As Jesus was about to enter a city called Nain, a man who had died was being carried out through a city gate. He was the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. Jesus, moved with compassion, touched the coffin, and said, “Young man, I tell you arise.” When the young man came back to life, Jesus gave him to his mother. All who witnessed the event glorified God, and exclaimed, “A great prophet has arisen in our midst,” and “God has visited his people.”
Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C—June 5, 2016
|A weeping widow tells us a profound story.|
Gospel (Read Lk 7:11-17)
The message left on the phone was terse and professionally uninformative: “This is Chandler Regional Hospital. Your son is here. You will need to come over.” Another message right after it, from my son’s roommate, gave me a few more details. “Gary spent all night vomiting, and this morning he was deaf. I had to take him to the ER.” I couldn’t drum up any more information with the frantic calls I made before dashing out of the house. On the ride to the hospital, I reviewed all the possible causes of such a strange situation—food poisoning, a mysterious bacterial assault, a tumor somewhere. It stuns me now to think that the most obvious reason for Gary’s condition never crossed my mind at the time. For the last five years, my son had struggled with drug addiction.
|In the Summa Theologiae, II-II, q. 30, a. 4, St. Thomas Aquinas writes: “It is proper to God to exercise mercy, and he manifests his omnipotence particularly in this way.” At first glance, it seems odd to equate God’s mercy with power. When we think of God’s power, we are drawn more to images of God’s creation of the universe, or of how He parted the Red Sea when He led the Israelite out of Egypt, or of how Christ calmed the stormy sea. Yet there is an intimate connection between God’s mercy and his power: only because God truly is omnipotent can God be truly merciful. Mercy shows us the power and presence of God.|
Astonishing Facts about the Sacred Heart You Never Knew
|1. A devotion to the Sacred Heart includes twelve promises.|
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus comes with twelve promises. These include everything from a quick ascent to perfection all the way to a blessing upon every place where an image of Christ’s Sacred Heart is exposed.
intellectually robust case for Christianity
|God is No Thing|
by Rupert Shortt
Hurst & Co, £10
To write a slim, serious book that provides thought-provoking reasons for believing in God is a difficult task today. Many books are written from a Christian perspective and there are some notorious ones that ridicule religious belief. Shortt, journalist, biographer and religious editor of The Times Literary Supplement, brings thoughtfulness and intellectual rigour to his defence of the opening statement: “Christianity – at its centre, the story of love’s mending of wounded hearts – forms a potent resource for making sense of our existence.”
Shortt makes it clear that atheism and agnosticism are “reasonable” world views which Christians must respect, yet he also argues that the Christian faith is dismissed too quickly in the West (but not, he notes, in almost all other countries in the world.)
Our Lady of
the Rosary Apparitions in Argentina Approved
|On Sunday, May 22, 2016, the local bishop of San Nicolas, Argentina, Most. Reverend Hector Cardelli, announced that the apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary are “supernatural in character” and “worthy of belief.”|
A devout Catholic housewife with no formal education, claimed the Blessed Mother had visited her daily for 6 ½ years and that she also received 68 messages from Jesus Christ. There were numerous documented miraculous healings and beginning in November 1984, she received the stigmata during Advent and Lent.
Immaculate Heart of Mary
|There are many devotions in the Holy Catholic Church, all of which lead us to Christ. None of them exist for any purpose other than to help us to know Jesus, to love Jesus, and to serve Jesus in this world, so that we get to spend a blissful eternity with Him in Heaven, forever. The purpose of this article is to highlight one of my favorite ones: the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.|
Jesus appeared in the sky of Mexico
Lima, Peru, May 19, 2016 / 03:15 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- It's a major miracle that you've probably never heard of....more
On Sunday, Oct. 3, 1847, more than 2,000 people in Ocotlán, Mexico saw a perfect image of Jesus Christ crucified that appeared in the sky for more than 30 minutes.
Approved by the Archdiocese of Guadalajara in 1911, the phenomenon is known as the “Miracle of Ocotlán” and took place one day before an earthquake that killed 40 and left the town in Jalisco State in ruins.
into Hell and Today you will be with me in Paradise: How does this fit?
|Renee, a student member of the New Saint Thomas Institute recently asked this question:|
Ok, I am confused about something in regard to this subject.
As Jesus hung on the cross, one of the crucified thieves acknowledged Him as the Son of God, acknowledged Christ’s innocence, confessed his own sins, and asked to be remembered. The Bible says: (Luke 23:43) ‘Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” ‘
Since Jesus truly died, then descended into hell to preach, and then rose again on the third day, how is the construction of the sentence in Luke 23:43 possible? It makes sense to me if you move the comma like so: “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise”.
What is going on with this passage? How can the thief be with Jesus in paradise on THAT day when Jesus has descended (or will descend) into hell? Does the original Greek have a different context? Any help would be appreciated.
And here is my answer:
The Top Five
Ways Catholics Evangelize Today
|Many Catholics—both those in religious life and the laity—have a desire to evangelize.|
They take it to heart the words of Pope Paul VI, that the Church exists to evangelize.
The problem is that most Catholics—myself included—are quite fearful of stepping outside our comfort zones, ruffling feathers, and making proclamations about the dangers of hell and the joys of discipleship. It’s even trickier as a Catholic, because while many religious denominations have a discipleship by way of “Just pray this prayer”, a Catholic approach involves readying for the Sacraments—especially those of reconciliation and Eucharist—in addition to openness to a lifelong vocation that God may have for the penitent.
How one small
community lived the works of mercy
|One of the biggest challenges of the Year of Mercy, in my opinion, is that it is much easier to talk, write and educate about the corporal and spiritual works of mercy than it is to actually carry them out. Easier and, of course, less messy.|
Perhaps that’s why a story about a community in the town of Balsam Lake, Wisconsin, caught my eye — and why once I started reading, I simply couldn’t stop.
Catholics, Where Are You?
|I believe one of the greatest obstacles to evangelization and sharing our faith with others today is that many of us have forgotten how to be joyful. I know when the stresses of the world weigh me down, I struggle to maintain a joyful attitude in the presence of others. We are often so busy with our hectic schedules and materialistic lifestyles that we lose touch with our love of Christ and neglect our faith. What would consistently reflecting sincere joy do for our growth as Catholics? The people around us? For the rest of the world?|
Saints Had to Say About the True Presence in the Body and Blood of Christ is
|Sunday May 29 is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, or Corpus Christi Sunday. This gives us an opportunity to meditate on the mystery of the Eucharist -at least more so than every other time we receive. Here’s what 17 and 1 blessed -plus one more totally awesome Catholic- thought about this mystery.|
Hunger for God: The Feast of Corpus Christi
Satisfying Hunger for God: The Feast of Corpus Christi
I love the early summer liturgical “trifecta” of Pentecost, Trinity, and Corpus Christi, forming a kind of “encore” to the joyful Easter Season focusing in succession on three fundamental realities of the Christian life: the Holy Spirit in the Church, the Triune Godhead, and the Eucharist. This “trifecta” comes to an end this week with the celebration of the Body and Blood of Christ.
Peter Kreeft Offers Advice on Holiness, Saintliness
|In How to Be Holy: First Steps in Becoming a Saint, popular author and philosopher Peter Kreeft offers information, encouragement and advice to all who desire to become saints. He effectively explains what holiness is and how we can cultivate it, drawing upon the wisdom contained in the great spiritual classic Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jesuit Father Jean-Pierre Caussade.|
The central theme of Father Caussade’s timeless treasure is that God reveals himself through the daily events of ordinary life and that we can experience spiritual growth only by fully acknowledging and embracing his merciful will in every circumstance of our lives.
Another Name for Evil
|A fanatic is obsessed with one idea, a person often called a monomaniac like Captain Ahab in Melville’s Moby Dick fixated on killing the white whale that attacked his whaling vessel and severed his leg. While ostensibly commanding a whaling ship in a business venture to hunt whales for oil, Ahab gradually reveals his real agenda—revenge against Moby Dick. Soon diverted from the commerce of the whaling expedition, Ahab risks the lives of all his crew members and deliberately hunts, attacks, and provokes the white whale to gratify his idea of revenge, oblivious of the safety of the crew or the great dangers to the ship. G.K. Chesterton identified the fanatic as a madman, one whose mind has lost its playfulness, imaginative power, and flexibility. His rigid logic and one-dimensional mentality twist reason to concentrate on a single part while ignoring the greater whole: “Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom,” Chesterton writes in a chapter entitled “The Maniac” from Orthodoxy. He continues, “The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens.|
A New and
|It is difficult, indeed almost impossible, to know how many Americans believe in God. Why? Because the word “God” means different things to different people. Mr. A may have one idea of God while Mr. B has quite another, even though they both tell us that they believe in God. It’s like “democracy.” Communists and anti-Communists both called themselves democrats, but they had radically different ideas of democracy.|
A couple of centuries ago, almost everybody in the western world (which used to be called Christendom) had pretty much the same idea of God. You might be Catholic or Protestant, but your idea of God was a Supreme Being who had created the universe; omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent; the foundation of moral law; a Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; the judge of human beings, who would send unrepentant sinners to Hell; incarnate in the man, Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and rose from the dead.
How can you
tell if someone is demon-possessed?
Rome, Italy, May 21, 2016 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Recognizing the difference between a person who's possessed and a person struggling with a mental illness or other infirmity is a vital part of the ministry of exorcism, according to a long-time exorcist and priest....more
Father Cipriano de Meo, who has been an exorcist since 1952, told CNA's Italian agency ACI Stampa that typically, a person is not possessed but is struggling with some other illness.
The key to telling the difference, he said, is through discernment in prayer on the part of the exorcist and the possessed – and in the potentially possessed person's reaction to the exorcist himself and the prayers being said.