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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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Pastor

Rev. James Thaikoottathil, J.C.D.             

             

Director of Religious Education

Mrs. Connie Russo McCorriston

                 

Parish Administrative Secretary

Mrs. Diana Blair
StJohnSecretary@comcast.net
    

Parish Bookeeper
Ms. Mary Ann Majors
StJohnBook@comcast.net

            
Parish Sexton
Mr. Bob Maxa

Parish Organist
Mrs. Joanne Swift


Parish Committee Heads

Parish Council: Debra Liistro     

                  (860-402-3280)
 

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   
                                5:30 (St. Sebastian)

Sunday Mass:            9:00 AM  

                                11:00 AM and 5:00 PM (St. Sebastian)

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

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


Eucharistic Adoration begins in the chapel after the 7:00 AM Mass on the 1st Thursday and ends at 9:00 AM with Benediction.

 

Confessions:  Heard Saturdays, 3:15-3:45PM 

                     Heard Sundays, 8:15-8:45AM


Holy Days of Obligation:  Vigil 7:00PM & 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.

           ~ Air Conditioned and Handicapped Accessible~

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Pastoral Sharings: Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time


 

 

 

Homily from Father Alex McAllister SDS
Posted for November 19, 2017

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

We are gradually coming to the end of the Liturgical Year, it actually concludes next Sunday with the Feast of Christ the King. Over the last few weeks the Gospel texts have been increasingly stressing the importance of being ready for Christ's Second Coming. This is appropriate since on the final Sunday of the Liturgical Year we look at the Last Judgement. Today, however, we are given the Parable of the Talents for our consideration and this too puts an emphasis on the Final Judgement and how that judgement will be based on the way we have used the gifts that God has given us. This parable at first sight appears to be about money and investments. However, it would be a mistake to see this text as upholding a capitalistic view point. Of course, a talent is very valuable sum in gold or silver weighing about forty kilogrammes. According to Wikipedia, one talent would be worth about £1.25 million today.


Nevertheless, in the parable the talents are intended to represent spiritual riches and not merely material wealth. God has given us many things, not least the gift of life itself. He has placed us in loving families and in the particular circumstances of our life. It would be true to say that here in the middle of London we are, compared to the vast majority of the people in our world, living a rather privileged life. I'm not saying that our lives are always easy, but not many are living mired in poverty or experiencing severe economic need. God has bestowed many graces on us. We have access to education, to employment, to leisure opportunities and to the possibility of fulfilling relationships and for all this we are extremely grateful. But God has also bestowed on us numerous spiritual gifts, but we are often not quite as aware of these gifts as we should be. We don't always realize that the ability to pray and to worship God is a real gift and maybe one that we don't use as well as we ought. Perhaps too we don't appreciate how many other spiritual gifts we possess.

Things such as reverence and healing, faith and insight, the ability to do penance and to meditate, the talent for exercising mercy and for giving hope to others; all these are spiritual gifts and many of us possess these gifts in greater or lesser measure. An important spiritual gift is that of teaching. This is especially vital for those who are parents because they have the responsibility of handing on the faith to their children. But as with many of the spiritual gifts, if we feel we don't have much ability in a particular area we ought to realise that we can develop and extend our ability. As they say, practice makes perfect. The more we use a particular gift the better we become at exercising it. The spiritual gifts, while they help and benefit us, are principally a gift to the whole Church. We need to realize that these gifts are given to us in order that we share them.


To give an example, some people are particularly good at adoration; they can spend an hour before the Blessed Sacrament deep in prayer without any difficulty. Others of us don't have the same level of patience and cannot sit still for so long. But those with the gift for adoration are in a certain sense exercising it on behalf of us all. Their quiet hours of prayer and meditation benefit the whole parish and indeed help to change the world around us. We express our gratitude to them that they are exercising their gift and we feel enriched in the knowledge that they are spending time in adoration for the benefit of us all. At the end of the parable the master commands that the talent that was buried in the ground should be given to the one who had the five talents and had made five more. He then says, ‘To everyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away.' This seems to us to be a bit unfair, that the one who has plenty should get even more. But we have to remember that we are dealing not with money but with spiritual gifts. And actually, this seems to correspond with reality since we often come across people who seem to be overloaded with gifts.

Certain people seem to be overendowed with gifts while others seem to have very few or even none at all. Of course, what we must realize is that in the beginning those individuals may not have been given more than anyone else but maybe it is that they have simply used their talents and gifts. They have used and developed them and on the way perhaps discovered other talents that they didn't even know they had. There is a lesson for us all here and that is to use whatever it is that we have been given. The more we utilise them then the more we will develop and therefore multiply our talents.

You may not think that you have a gift for prayer or healing, a gift for teaching or communicating the Gospel. And the reason you don't think that you have these gifts is because you haven't used them. By applying ourselves and actually doing the praying, or healing, or teaching, or communicating the Gospel we might surprise ourselves and discover that we really do have a God-given gift for one or other of these things. The fact that we are here in Church each Sunday is a sign that we have a deep affinity with the things of the Spirit. Our presence here week-in-week-out is a sign that we certainly are endowed with some spiritual gifts. Perhaps by getting more involved we might be able to develop these spiritual gifts and so enrich ourselves and this community.


We rely on a lot of different talents within the parish. We need singers, readers, teachers, servers, flower arrangers, cleaners, maintenance men, collectors, counters, secretaries as well as those who are able to take on the role of catechist or animator of different groups within the parish. We need too, those who come to daily mass and who sustain us with their prayers. We also very much need the sick and incapacitated who also enrich us through their suffering and their prayers. Most vital of all are all those, especially parents, who are involved in handing on the faith to the next generation. It is not easy to answer the searching questions of the young but it is a vitally important work. Thankfully it is obvious to me that there are plenty of people within this parish who are blessed with many spiritual gifts and who put them to good use. And by reflecting on these things perhaps more of us will decide to do what we can to utilise the gifts and talents we possess and put them to the service of our parish community.

                                                                  


 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 grades Preschool to 8th.  For more information or to apply, visit www.jpii.org, call 860-347-2978 or send an email to office@jpii.org

 





The Circle of Love Prayer Community will meet on Thursday nights at St. Francis Chapel at 7:00 PM.


My Father’s House Health & Healing RETREAT: “I came to CAST FIRE upon the earth!!!”…Sat, 12/2/17… Ages young adults & up…Praise & Worship, Adoration, Chaplet, Confessions, Rosary, Mass w/ Sacred Music…My Father’s House Retreat Center, Moodus, CT…Speaker: Rocco Fortunato, Founder of Spread the Blaze…Music: Spread the Blaze, Crusaders of Mary Immaculate, & Knights of Mary Immaculate…More info & to register: https://www.myfathershousect.org/ or call 860-873-1906.


175th Anniversary In the year 2018 St. John Parish will be celebrating it’s 175th anniversary.  It will be a year of special events.  More info to follow!
 
Padre Pio Holy Hour- Queen of the Apostles Padre Pio Prayer Group at Holy Apostles College and Seminary Chapel Cromwell, CT 1st Saturday, Dec.2, 10:00am Mass followed by Rosary Consecration to Immaculate Heart of Mary.  All Are Welcome! 

 
Worldwide Marriage Encounter - “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” Listen with your spouse for God’s message of love by attending a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend. The next Weekends are Nov 3-5, 2017 in Manchester, CT and Feb 2-4, 2018 in Manchester, CT. For more information, call Dennis & Jane Lamondy at 860-481-3720 or visit them at https://wwmectw.org/.

 

New England Chamber Choir Concert St. John Church will be hosting a concert with the New England Chamber Choir featuring music from The Messiah Sunday, Nov. 26th at 4:00pm. SAVE THE DATE

Volunteers Needed!
The Building and Grounds committee is looking for volunteers on Saturday, 12/2 and Saturday, 12/16 from 9 till noon. We have many tasks lined up to help get the Church and Parish Center ready for winter and Christmas season. New faces are welcome; the more the better. Please contact Tom Furtado (860-463-1774) or Dick Wendry (860-9837707) for more info. Thank you! 

Advent Candles We will be offering advent candles for sale this weekend Nov. 25th-26th before and after all Masses.

SAVE THE DATE - COOKIE WALK Our annual Cookie Walk will be held on December 910 after the masses in the Parish Center. If you have a favorite cookie that you bake for the holiday and would like to share with everyone, please drop your donation off at the Parish Center before the 4:00 mass on 12/9. Any questions, please give Terri a call at 860-5384339.


Christmas Food Drive – The St. John Church Christmas Food Drive begins next week. We will be collecting non-perishables. (canned vegetables, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese, cereal, pasta, sauce, etc.) Other perishable items will be collected closer to Christmas. Monetary donations are also accepted. Please be generous during this time of giving. May God bless you!


“You Can’t Take it with You” The Mercy/Xavier Drama Club will be performing “You Can’t Take it with You” Wednesday, November 29 & Thursday, November 30 at 7:00pm at Mercy High School.

 



~ Middletown, Connecticut ~


Vatican Website

Pope To You

St. John

Norwich Diocese

 


St. John Church 'Nativity
Window' Ornament click here


 

 

Click here to visit our parish giftshop featuring 
gifts with images from our antique stained

glass windows

 

 

    

 Click here to visit our Holy Spirit themed 
giftshop featuring gifts Celebrating the

Holy Spirit

 








 

 


 

 

 

 



 

 

 


Bishop Barron on Reaching the iGens


 

or click here to view on Youtube

                                        





Parable of the Talents

Stained Glass Window

Our Lady Queen of Apostles, Hamtramck, Michigan

Preparing for the Mass November 19, 2017

The month of November is dedicated to the Souls in Purgatory, whose feast is celebrated on November 2. The entire month of November falls during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time and is represented by the liturgical color green.  

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time


Sunday Bible Reflections from Scott Hahn and the liturgy readings can be found here and a children's liturgy can be found here.

33rd Sunday: Now We Begin

“The baby will come when the baby decides to come,” the doctor tells every expectant mother during her eighth or ninth month.  And then, when the baby does come, there is no stopping him or her, as many would confirm, including police officers, EMT personnel, taxi drivers, and frazzled husbands.


It is the same thing with the end of time, or the end of our own personal time, our deaths.  For most of us the end comes when we least expect. Or as I often say, “Death comes at an inconvenient time, particularly to the dying.”  It is true that some people have a better grasp of when they are going to be leaving us.  When the doctor told my buddy and our parishioner Jack Witeck that he might not make a week, Jack said to his wife Rita, “Don’t buy any green bananas, I might not get to them.” But most people, even those in their nineties and up, are shocked that death has come.

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Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A—November 19, 2017

Jesus tells a parable about what His followers should be doing while they await His return.  Can we find ourselves in it?


Gospel (Read Mt 25:14-30)

From its context in St. Matthew’s Gospel, we know that today’s parable touches again on being prepared for the arrival of someone who has been gone a long time.  In the verses prior to our reading (Mt. 25:1-13) is a parable about the wise and foolish virgins who had to endure a “long delay” before the arrival of the bridegroom at a wedding.  In today’s reading, we learn of a master who went on a journey and entrusted his possessions to three servants.  The “talents” represent sums of money, and he distributed them unevenly to the servants, “each according to his ability.”  We are not completely sure what the word “ability” means, but, since it is clear that the master expected a return on the money he gave each servant, “ability” may refer more to “opportunity” than to skill.  Servants who had business that took them into the marketplace or gave them many contacts with money and goods would certainly have had more “ability” to make a good return on money than domestic servants, whose primary work was within the household  They would have much less ability to trade and make a profit.

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The Proverbs 31 Woman and the Parable of the Talents

The Proverbs 31 woman and Jesus’s parable of the talents proves that bold initiative, not timid passivity, is what true faith is all about.  If we are to bear abundant fruit, our faith must be seasoned with boldness.

 

I’ve seen it time and time again. Someone decides to seek a better paying job, or pursue and investment strategy, or launch a new business. Invariably some pious person in the parish objects that maybe this is too worldly, that it will be a distraction from Church and family priorities, that one should be satisfied with what one has.

 

You’d think from this that faith equals passivity. That the only perfect Christian is the cloistered contemplative. That mildness is the greatest of Christian virtues.

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Faithfulness in the Little Things: The 33rd Sunday in OT

St. Josemaría Escrivà, the founder of the personal prelature

Opus Dei, has often been called the “saint of the ordinary” for the emphasis he placed on achieving holiness in every-day living.

 

In fact, one of his most famous sermons was entitled “The Richness of Ordinary Life.”

 

St. Josemaría once said he could tell a great deal about a man’s interior life by looking in his closet.  Good order in one’s soul is often reflected by good order in one’s lifestyle.  A man who is sloppy or inattentive in the care of his personal effects will often likewise be careless in his life of prayer.

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Reflections for Sunday, November 19, 2017

Joining Jesus in Building his Kingdom Here on Earth

 

When people are saying, “Peace and security,” then sudden disaster comes upon them. (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

 

Today’s readings might remind us of the old Boy Scout motto: “Be prepared.” Be always ready because you never know what might come your way. Be always ready so that you aren’t just reacting to situations when they arrive. Be proactive, never idle, but always prepared to do whatever good deed you can.

 

In today’s first reading, St. Paul tells us that there will never be perfect peace or absolute security in this world. Wars will rage. Families and friends will suffer divisions. Poverty, disease, and suffering will persist until the end of time. So that means there will always be opportunities to reach out and help!

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 On the Passing of Things, as seen in a Commercial
The commercial below must have taken weeks to film. Regardless of its intent (selling homeowner’s insurance), there is something of an admonition in both the video and the accompanying music: life and the things of life slip away. Not a bad theme in November, when the Church bids us to meditate on the last things.

The Allure of the Catholic Church

As I was making my way into the Catholic Church about 5 years ago, my priest at the time said something that still echoes in my mind today-

“The Catholic Church is a treasure chest of spiritual resources. You can skim the top and experience only the basics of Christianity, but there is so much more than the Church offers to deepen your relationship with Jesus.”

And thus began my journey into discovering the draw and allure of the Catholic Church.

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How You Can Connect With Pope Francis On Facebook And Submit Prayer Requests

The Pontifical Mission Societies have made it possible to chat with Pope Francis on Facebook Messenger with MissioBot. By simply using Facebook messenger, just like you do with your friends already, you can have a “conversation” with Pope Francis and learn about the pope’s missions around the world.

Father Andrew Small, National Director of the MissioBot initiative said: “It offers a new experience. People are on their cell phones all the time. There are over a billion people who are registered on Facebook, so certainly from the Church’s perspective, getting access to those people in an easy way is powerful. They don’t have to download an app, or they don’t have to go to a website or they don’t have to log on, they can do that just from the way they’re talking to their friends.”
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The Church must help married couples more, says Pope Francis

It is important that spouses and parents are not left alone in their commitment to applying the Gospel, the Pope says.


The Church must do more to help young married couples, Pope Francis has said.

 

The Pope said that marriage and family life are “the most effective antidote against the individualism that currently runs rampant,” but that it does not do one any good to pretend that marriage and family life are free from situations requiring difficult choices.

 

Francis said the Church must strengthen its programmes “to respond to the desire for family that emerges in the soul of the young generations” and to help couples once they are married.

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Carmelite Spirituality: My Eyes and My Heart Will Remain Here Forever

“To be a child of God means to be led by the hand of God, not one’s own will, to place every care and every hope in the hand of God and not to worry about oneself or one’s future.”-St. Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein).

 

An Annual Carmelite Retreat


Two weeks ago I made a weekend retreat at the Carmelite retreat house I have gone to almost annually since I was 22 years old; I am now 60.  When I called to sign up for the retreat, it was booked solid.  But two days before the retreat, there was a cancellation, and I was in.

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Euthanasia is always wrong, Pope Francis tells doctors

Pope says 'intent to end life' is completely different from withdrawing excessive or inappropriate medical treatment.


The Pope has addressed the ethics of medical intervention, telling doctors at the Vatican that those caring for the sick “without shortening their life, but also without futilely resisting their death.”


The European members of the World Medical Association met on Thursday for a discussion with the Pontifical Academy for Life on end-of-life care. At the same time, across St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and the International Confederation of Catholic Health Care Institutions were hosting a meeting on inequalities in health care.

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Muslims Are Converting to Christianity in Record Numbers

“We are in a time of the first ever mass conversions of Muslims,” Father Mitch Pacwa SJ told me in a phone interview. “God is doing a mighty work among them.”

 

Pacwa is a host for EWTN radio and TV, a frequent pilgrim guide to the Holy Land and is fluent in 13 languages including Arabic. He is considered an expert on the Middle East and produced the DVD Christianity & Islam: Are We at War? and co-authored Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics.

 

Pacwa said he began hearing talk of conversions to Christianity around 2005 on Al Jazeera Television, the Arabic news satellite TV channel with 80 bureaus around the world. “They were reporting on the mass conversions of Muslims—as many as 6-8 million—in sub-Saharan, Africa, and they have repeated the warning every year,” he said. “I’ve confirmed it with Africans I know who have told me again and again about conversions in places like Nigeria, Uganda, Mali … that’s why Boko Haram has become so active. They are actually quite scared and trying to terrorize. But the very act of terrorizing people has ended up with people becoming more disgusted with Islam.”

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How stay-at-home mothers are saving the world

You may not attract attention like Wonder Woman, but your influence is just as powerful.

 

When it comes to stereotypes of men and women’s roles, a lot has changed in the world over the past century. People’s minds are opening more and more to the contribution women can make in all sorts of roles in society, and men are not all expected to fit into the same macho mold. More and more women are entering STEM careers; it’s okay for a man to cry, and for a woman to have a commercial driver’s license. My son pushes a toy stroller and my daughter plays with planes, and I don’t hear worried comments about it from other people. In stores, I see policewoman dolls, and robotics sets for 4-year-olds don’t have a gender designation.

The story of an underground Catholic priest in China

.- Fr. Joseph of Jesus is a Chinese priest, faithful to the Catholic Church. Life is not easy for Catholics in China. Those who adhere to Rome are persecuted by the Chinese government, which only grants freedom of worship to those belonging to the state-controlled Patriotic Church.

 

Fr. Joseph recently shared his story on the “In the Footsteps of the Nazarene” program by the EUK Mamie Foundation, run by the Home of the Mother of Youth congregation of religious sisters.

 

His back faces the camera in the interview, and the precise details of his life in China, as well as his precise location – he is currently in Europe – are withheld for security reasons.

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NASCAR Driver Requests Prayers “For All the Poor Souls in Purgatory” After Major Win

This is so cool!

 

NASCAR driver Johnny Sauter recently won the Jag Metals 350 at Texas Motor Speedway. In a post-race interview, he added a few things you don’t normally hear: “I just thank the Sacred of Jesus and the Blessed Mother. And today is First Friday so we should pray for all the poor souls in purgatory.” (full video below)

 

The Friday Friday devotion he mentioned dates back to the 17th century and is associated with devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which he also referenced.

 

This isn’t the first time Sauter has been public about his Catholic faith in post-race interviews. In 2016, he told his interviewer: “I thank the Blessed Mother and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”

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Special Forces Weapons for Spiritual Warfare!!

ANNOUNCING THE ALL NEW! …  “SPIRITUAL AMMO CAN”

 

This is the coolest thing on the PLANET!!

 

This NEW Spiritual Ammo Can has been in the works for several months. I have been chomping at the bit to let folks know about this, but I held my tongue until it was completely ready to be made available to all. And, that time has arrived! Go HERE (Remember, your purchase supports Catholic causes).

 

I have been working on this for a very long time. I wanted to put together the “best” spiritual warfare kit possible and, if anyone knows me, they know I wanted to package it in the coolest way possible.

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5 Ways to Celebrate Advent

We’ve all seen it: the red and green Christmas displays practically falling out the front doors of every Target, Wal-Mart, Toys-R-Us, and department store in town. The Black Friday advertisements are already circulating with their abundant coupons and promise of deals. The commercials with popular Christmas carols are already playing on every channel, the promise of adorable matching family pajamas and perfectly decorated homes and trees jumping off the screen.

 

And you know what? I love it. I love every single bit of the Christmas holiday cheer. I love seeing the decorations in the stores, I enjoy going through the advertisements and selecting what gifts I’ll get for my friends and family, and I happily hum along with every Christmas carol I hear (they’re proving to be excellent lullabies to get my daughter to sleep). But, and I recognize the potential contradiction in what I’m about to say: there’s a time and place for this holiday cheer, and the day after Halloween isn’t it. Nearly a month before even eating the Thanksgiving turkey just seems a bit too early to deck the halls.

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