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Saint John Roman Catholic Church

19 St. John Sq., Middletown, Connecticut, (860) 347-5626 ........... Reverend Father Michael Phillippino

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Angels  .....................



Very Rev. Father Michael Phillippino             


Director of Religious Education

Sr.Ann Mack

Kathryn Connolly


Parish Administrative Secretary

Ms. Megan Furtado

Parish Bookeeper
Ms. Patty Holmes

Parish Sexton
Mr. Bob Maxa

Parish Organist
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"

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: Twenty-second  Sunday in Ordinary Time




Homily from Father Campion P. Gavaler, O.S.B.

Posted for August 28, 2016

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Classic Sunday,
August 28, 2016

Luke 14:1,7-14

Gospel Summary
Jesus is having dinner at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and people are observing him carefully. Noticing that the guests were choosing the places of honor at table, he tells a parable about the embarrassment suffered by a person who had chosen a place of honor and then was made to take the lowest place. Jesus then turns to the host and says to him: When you hold a dinner, don’t invite those who can repay you; rather, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind because of their inability to repay you. If you do that, Jesus adds, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. Life Implications Jesus addresses both the guests invited to a banquet, and the host who does the inviting. At first glance, his suggestion to take the lowest place of honor when invited seems like a bit of human wisdom that might save someone a little embarrassment—hardly worth Luke’s including it in his gospel. We are alerted, however, to a deeper meaning when we notice that Luke mentions that Jesus is telling us this as a parable. A parable surprises us with a meaning that is beyond the obvious, and upsets our usual way of thinking. The deeper dimension in this case is whether we have been exalting ourselves before God.

Jesus is not particularly concerned about the little embarrassment of having to take a lower place at a banquet. He is concerned about the possibility of a Big Embarrassment before the judgment of God—the host who has invited us to the banquet of life. Luke provides an illustration of what Jesus is talking about in the parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14). The tax collector, who would not even raise his eyes to heaven, went home justified rather than the Pharisee who had exalted himself before God. What Jesus tells us about the way we extend hospitality is most radical in its life implications. The natural human tendency is to treat those people well who have or who will treat us well. There is nothing wrong with this sort of business deal—the world would not function very well unless we made business arrangements every day. Jesus, however, is talking about a divine kind of hospitality, and asks us to imitate him in that. Our generosity ought to be a characteristic of our personal freedom, not dependent on how people treat us. And besides, to attempt to determine who deserves our love implies a judgment of another person’s soul that only God can make. Again, Luke provides a good illustration of what Jesus is talking about in his parable about the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). A theologian asks Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?”

Jesus responds by telling a parable about the Samaritan who showed mercy to a man in need: instead of trying to figure out who a deserving neighbor might be, one should become a neighbor by choosing to help those in need. Graham Greene in his novel The Power and the Glory had a clear sense that the kind of love Jesus was talking about is the essence of divine love, and by grace a possibility of human love. The fugitive "whiskey priest” (realizing that the mestizo whom he had met would one day betray him) came to this awareness: "It was for this world Christ had died; the more evil you saw and heard about you, the greater glory lay around the death. It was too easy to die for what was good and beautiful…it needed God to die for the half-hearted and the corrupt.”

When I taught Greene’s novel in a first-year college religion class, I asked students if there is anyone for whom they would give their life—their mom, their dad, their brother, sister, friend? To do so certainly would be heroic, and would reflect the glory of divine love. Then I can see the incredulous negative look in their faces when I ask, "Would you give your life for Osama bin Laden?” Yet, it was for Osama bin Laden as well as for the rest of us—the undeserving world—that Christ gave his life. "But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Campion P. Gavaler, O.S.B. 



 St. John Paul II Regional School


Pre-K through Grade 8
860-347-2978 or 860-347-1195

Visit our website at


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 ( under the Admissions drop down tab.

We are pleased to announce that Darryl E. Bullock, Ph. D., has been appointed Principal of St. John Paul II School, effective August 15, 2016. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Bullock to the St. John Paul II School community

Compassion: The Church prays for all who have had abortions, and welcomes them back in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. At, you can read, in their own words, the experiences of women and men who have lost children to abortion. One woman writes, “My abortion was very painful, physically and mentally. It affected me in the worst way. I felt guilty; I couldn’t look at any kids. I know I won’t ever do it again. I tell other people how it felt and what I felt like after I did it and I hope that they won’t do the same thing I did. It gave me a totally different view on life.

Save the Date:  Parish Picnic, September 10th! Please save the date for our Annual Parish Picnic, which will be held at 5 PM on Saturday, September 10th on the Rectory Grounds. More information forthcoming!

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.



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 ~

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















Ford Madox Brown

Jesus Washing Peter's Feet


retouched several times up to 1892

Oil on canvas

Tate Gallery, London

Preparing for the Mass August 28, 2016

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.


22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time 

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

22nd Sunday: The City of the Living God

The ancient Hebrews were well versed in the prophets. They knew their Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the shorter books of prophecy very well.  And they read with fear and trembling as each of the prophets proclaimed the gloom and doom of the Last Judgement Day.  Gabriel would blow his trumpet.  Words of punishment would be shouted; words so terrible that those who heard them would beg the angels to be silent.  There would be fire, and gloomy darkness, and storms.  It was all scary stuff.

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C—August 28, 2016

At a dinner party, Jesus turns the rules for banqueting and table etiquette on their heads.  Why?

Gospel (Read Lk 14:1, 7-14)


“On a Sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing Him carefully.”  In just one sentence, St. Luke communicates so much of the tone of this dinner party, doesn’t he?  Immediately we sense that it was not an invitation inspired by cordial friendship.  The “leading Pharisee” and his friends seem to be looking for Jesus to make a misstep.  In verses not included in our reading (see vss 2-6), a man with dropsy appears before Him.  Normally, a person with this condition would not be on the guest list of a party like this.  Why had he been invited?  Was he part of a trap for Jesus?


The Most Holy Rosary as a Divine Path

We all know the beauty and power of the Holy Rosary, and yet sometimes, even often, we do not think about how truly transcendent this gift from Heaven truly is. There is so much beyond the basic regarding this prayer that one would need years to even begin to scratch the surface.


Perhaps we can do our part by stepping back, away from the profound scholarly and theological writings of infinitely more qualified observers, and simply looking at the Rosary at a distance.


How Mother Teresa embodied what Pope Francis teaches

If there was one who showed courage and creativity in bringing God’s mercy to the world, like Pope Francis urges, it was Mother Teresa, the diminutive founder of the Missionaries of Charity, who will be declared a saint by Francis in a Sept. 4 canonization ceremony in Rome.

VATICAN CITY - If there is one person who immersed herself in the “peripheries” Pope Francis is drawn to, it was Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.


If there was one who showed courage and creativity in bringing God’s mercy to the world, like Pope Francis urges, it was the diminutive founder of the Missionaries of Charity.


For many people, the Catholic Church’s Year of Mercy will reach its culmination when Pope Francis canonizes Mother Teresa Sept. 4, recognizing the holiness of charity, mercy and courage found in a package just 5-feet tall.


Why I Remain Catholic

Being a Catholic has always been a central part of my life. Though leaving the Catholic Church has never crossed my mind, explaining why I remain Catholic is a question I have never felt the need to answer. Living as a Catholic does present its unique challenges. Certain values we consider important are constantly being questioned in today’s society. The Catholic Church provides me with the guidance and strength I need to face everyday difficulties and to always trust in Jesus’ consoling presence.

Do Not Be Afraid

How many times in the Bible does God or one of His messengers say, “Be Not Afraid!”


Urban legend suggests that it is there 365 times although that is apparently not the case. I have never counted it myself. For me it suffices that the saying is there, many times. Perhaps someday I will find the time to do a more in-depth search of it, correlating admonitions to “fear not” with admonitions to “Fear the Lord.” That will be fascinating.


Why Catholics Must Know the Bible: Bible Basics for Catholics by Dr. John Bergsma

Catholics sometimes have the ignoble distinction of not being sufficiently familiar with the Bible, or as familiar as we ought to be. That is unfortunate, in either appearance or actuality, particularly considering that the Catholic Church provided all twenty-seven books of the canon of the New Testament, not to mention going on two-thousand years of scriptural commentary reflecting on the connectedness of the New Testament to all forty-six books of the canon of the Old Testament. However, “knowing” the Bible does not necessarily mean knowing the Bible, which forms the foundation for any comprehension of the sequence of salvation history in light of the Paschal Mystery.


Does Being Catholic Matter?

Catholics claim Christ constituted his church as a visible society with a hierarchical structure. And as Dominus Iesus teaches, this society “subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him” (16). Catholics also claim membership in this visible and hierarchical society is necessary.


In Christ, Our Suffering Will One Day Make Sense

When I met Moira (not her real name) she was completely broken-hearted. As the old song says, “I can tell by your eyes, you’ve probably been crying forever.” That was Moira.


This forty-two year old mother had developed severe chronic progressive multiple sclerosis which put her into a wheelchair within a year of her diagnosis. Moira’s husband left her and their only daughter went with him. She had nothing left she cared about and she wanted to die. The curtains in her darkened apartment were drawn to shut out the daylight – like a sad metaphor of what her life had become. What could I say to comfort her? Moira was inconsolable. Her dreams had come true for a brief period of time then were snatched away. The loss in her body paled in comparison to the loss in her heart.


Essential Catholic Teachings on the End Times

We are currently reading from St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Thessalonians in daily Mass, and given the focus of on the “end times,” it might be good to review certain basic Catholic teachings on this matter, the theology of which is called eschatology.

The Catholic approach to the end times is different from that in certain (but not all) Protestant circles, especially the Evangelicals, who have a strong and often vivid preoccupation with signs of the Second Coming of Christ. Many of the notions that are expressed there are either erroneous or extreme. Some of these notions are rooted in a misunderstanding of the various genres of Scripture; others are caused by reading certain Scriptures in isolation from the wider context of the whole of Scripture; and some are rooted in reading one text while disregarding others that balance it.

From Surviving to Thriving with 13 Kids: Inspiration from a Faithful Catholic Family

In August of 2016, both The Washington Post and Business Insider chronicled the financial success of Rob and Sam Fatzinger, a dynamic husband and wife team, and how they have managed to raise their thirteen children debt-free in one of the most expensive regions in the United States.

These two articles are very worthwhile, both from the perspective of making good decisions regarding personal finances and the perspective of good old-fashioned common sense.


Shield of Faith

The Middle Ages molded men to serve their lords and their ladies as soldiers sheathed in armor. Knighthood wasn’t just a title or a symbolic honor as it is today. It was a position of trust forged within the complex relationships of medieval kingdoms and culture, requiring equal parts of metal and mettle. When placed in the crucible of combat, a knight covered his flesh in armor and picked up deadly weapons to keep himself safe. But the true strength of a knight was found deep within, in the chivalric code of conduct that defined his very being by developing virtues designed to keep others safe.

Six Practical Steps to Catholic Joy

I recently had coffee with a fellow Catholic who gloomily shared his ongoing struggles with overtly living out his faith in the real world and reluctance to discuss his faith with others. He made it clear that going to Mass on Sunday was all he could or should be doing. Unfortunately, this is a very common tale. The conversation became really interesting and a little uncomfortable when we discussed why people become apathetic about their faith, hesitate about converting or leave the Church altogether.

It became obvious to me after a few minutes that how my coffee companion presented his faith to the world and how others view the Catholic Church may be connected.


The Good News About Suffering

We are surrounded by human suffering. Many people are hurting in today’s world. Some suffering is horrific and some minor, but every kind can be soothed, and even removed, by trusting in God’s infinite Love and Mercy. Furthermore, God desires for us to become images of His Love and Mercy and to play a role in the alleviation of the suffering of others.

“We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28


Lord, will those who are saved be few?

I once heard a comment from a friend who was preparing a homily for today’s passage from Luke’s Gospel (see Luke 13:22-30). He was finding it difficult to preach on the “fact” that there will be so few in heaven. He has no problem on preaching about death, judgment, Heaven and Hell; but, he is disturbed and sad that, in his understanding, there will be so few saved.


He is not alone in his belief. Some of the great theologians and saints of the Church have written the same opinion regarding the population of Heaven. But is it a fact? And whether it is a fact or speculation, how can we benefit from reflecting on the question?


How many of us have been asked our opinion on this question, posed it to others, or simply speculated in our own reflections? The answer to this question has been argued in the Christian era for 2,000 years. Why is that? Did not Jesus answer that question? Do not the Gospels of St. Luke and St. Matthew record his answer? Well, let us see.


“Books blog: The perfect guide to Church teaching for young Catholics

Ignatius Press has brought out a readable adaptation of the social doctrine of the Church. It is titled Docat, sub-titled “What to Do?”, and is a sequel to YouCat – the Catechism of the Catholic Church adapted for young people. It was introduced at World Youth Day last month and its format is similar to the earlier book: many photos, excerpts from papal encyclicals and other teachings, and quotations in the margins from saints and (generally) Christian thinkers (although Churchill was more a deist than a Christian and Elie Wiesel was a Jew, famous for his writings on the Holocaust.)


Olympic Gold Medalist Ryan Murphy: 'I Hope Always to Live Life Based on God's Will'

The swimming star has anchored his competitive career, along with the rest of life, firmly to his Catholic faith.

Twenty-one-year-old swimming star Ryan Murphy was born in the Chicago area, grew up in Florida, matriculated in California and competed in Rio de Janeiro this summer — winning three gold medals.


Along with his athletic prowess, one constant of Murphy’s life has been his family’s unswerving commitment to their Catholic faith. He was born on the South Side of Chicago, into a family strongly devoted to Catholic education.