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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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Angels  .....................



Rev. James Thaikoottathil, J.C.D.             


Director of Religious Education

Mrs. Connie Russo McCorriston


Parish Administrative Secretary

Mrs. Diana Blair

Parish Bookeeper
Ms. Mary Ann Majors

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   
                                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~





Pastoral Sharings: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time



Homily from Father Alex McAllister SDS
Posted for January 21, 2018

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

There are two very interesting words used in today's Gospel reading: ‘time' and ‘repent' I think it would be interesting if we took a bit of a look at them. In Greek these two words are kairos and metanoia. Kairos meaning time; and metanoia which means conversion or repentance. Jesus said, ‘The time has come.' For us there is only one word for time, but in Greek there are two words kairos and chronos. Chronos means the passage of time. We use it in English when we say that someone has a chronic illness. Often this is misunderstood as meaning that they have a very serious illness but actually it means a very long illness. A chronic illness is one that goes on over many years. He's got a case of chronic arthritis, for example. Kairos is something different and it's the word Mark uses. It means a propitious moment, a suitable time. By Jesus saying the time has come, he means that this is the favourable moment for him to begin his ministry. This is the time appointed by God for his salvation to be made manifest to the world. The hour has come and Jesus begins his ministry.


But each of us has his or her own kairos, our own propitious moment. There is a time in each of our lives when things come to a head and we are faced with a fundamental choice. A sacred moment when Jesus confronts us with a choice –when he invites us to make a decision. Maybe you have already experienced your particular kairos long ago. You can look back on your life and realise that at a certain age everything pointed in a particular direction and you chose the road to follow in life. Maybe over the years since then there have been many vicissitudes but I am certain that you do not regret the decision you made to deepen your life with Christ. But maybe that hour is yet to come. Look at Saint Dismas, the one we call the good thief. His hour came at the last possible moment, but come it did. How could he have predicted that it would come as he was dying on a cross and that his neighbor up there on Calvary would be the Divine Saviour himself? In the New Testament this word kairos is very connected with the other important word in today's Gospel metanoia –conversion.


Jesus says, ‘The Kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent and believe the Good News.' This is probably the shortest summary anywhere of the message of Jesus and it is a call that echoes down through the centuries to us today. Jesus says to each one of us now, ‘The Kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent and believe the Good News.' Repent –Metanoia quite literally means turning around. That is what repentance means, turning around from one's old way of life and beginning to live a new life. Ask any alcoholic or drug addict, they know exactly what this turning around means. To give up an addiction whether it be to alcohol, drugs, spending or sex, or any other addiction for that matter, absolutely requires a complete reorientation of one's life. It is the same with sin. If we are to try to give up being selfish, spiteful, jealous, envious, greedy or deceitful it means a complete turning around. It means going in a totally different direction.


It is no mistake that I compare sin with addiction. Sin is addictive. I used to be chaplain in Eastwood Park Women's Prison and ten minutes in there would tell you that crime is addictive, so is sin. It's a downward spiral. It is allowing evil into your life and letting it fester there; the only cure is to call on the help of God and to walk away, to leave it behind just like those disciples left their nets on the shore. Deep ingrained bad habits are best countered by introducing deep ingrained good habits. The addict knows this. He has to substitute going to AA for going to the pub. We have to do the same. If we don't go to Jesus we will go to the devil. As we have said metanoia means turning around. But not turning around to simply stop there. No, it means turning around to go in a different direction. Why else would we turn around? Just to have a look at Jesus? No that would be simply trivial.


As with those disciples it means turning around one's life, leaving our former way of life and following Jesus. Turning around in order to go after him. We have to leave our nets on the ground and begin to live a new life. In this new life we live with Jesus. We spend our days always conscious of his closeness to us. We enter into a state of communion with him. In many different ways he nourishes us and draws us ever closer to himself. It is a big challenge and maybe you feel that the time for you isn't just yet. But that time will surely come. The kairos will arrive. The decision will have to be made. And it will have to be made quickly, putting it off won't help at all. And once the decision is made there can be no going back. Once we start we can't stop and return to our old ways for that would mean rejection of God. The people of Nineveh heard Jonah's preaching and did what he told them to do.


They gave up their evil ways. They fasted and did penance in repentance of their sins and God relented and drew back his punishment. No one was more surprised at this than Jonah! The People of Israel regarded the Ninevites as the worst people in the world and the message of Jonah is that if even these can repent and begin to live a new life then so can anyone. As St Paul says this world is passing away. The years of our own lives hurtle by. A year ago seems like just yesterday. Of course, we don't know when God will call us to himself. But we know that our life on this earth will certainly come to an end and that indeed our time is already running out. Time is short. The hour has come for us to choose. So, let us choose goodness, truth, wisdom and love. Let us take the Lord Jesus to be our guide. Let us go where he leads us. Let his words be on our lips. Let his thoughts be in our heads. Let his joy be in our hearts. Let his love overflow in our lives. This is the kairos: now is the favourable time, this is the day of salvation.


 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. 


Join us for our annual Open House on January 28th from 12pm to 2pm located at 87 S. Main Street in Middletown, CT. We invite you to come tour the school and meet current students and families to see all the exciting things St. John Paul II has to offer.


For more information or to apply, visit, call 860-347-2978 or send an email to

175th Anniversary

In the year 2018 St. John Parish will be celebrating its 175th Anniversary.  It will be a year of special events.   SAVE THE DATE!   St. John 175th Anniversary Parish Dinner Saturday, April 28, 2018

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 Feb 2-4, 2018 in Manchester, CT and July 6-8, 2018 in Manchester, CT. For more information, call Dennis & Jane Lamondy at 860-481-3720 or visit them at

Save the Date...2018 Women’s Conference: Called to Joy! *Welcome women of all ages* Saturday, April 14, 2018 St. Bernard High School, Uncasville, CT 8:30-3:30 pm Faith,fun and more! Keynote Speaker ValLimar Jansen Workshops on parenting, prayer, music, service, scripture, marriage, caregiving *Reconciliation& Adoration offered * Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael Cote

Catholic Bereavement Support and Education Program  If you are in need of consolation after losing a loved one, this Christ Centered program is for you.  The weekly group will begin on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at Saint Andrew’s Church located at 128 Norwich Avenue in Colchester.  The group will meet at 7 pm in the church library.  The Seasons of Hope Catholic bereavement program by M. Donna MacLeod will be used to explore mourning through scripture, prayer, reflection, activities and faith sharing. Utilizing this program, and with the support of the faith community, we will journey together toward healing and spiritual growth.   Anyone who is mourning the loss of a loved one is encouraged to attend.  For more information on the group, please call the parish office at 860-537-2355.

Consecrated Life Mass On Sunday, February 4, 2018, the 21st Annual Mass of Thanksgiving for the Gift of Consecrated Life will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m., in the Cathedral of Saint Patrick, Norwich.  All are invited to join Bishop Cote in thanking God for the gift of consecrated life and for the sisters, brothers, and religious priests who enrich the Church and build up God’s Kingdom with the witness of their religious commitment.  The homilist will be Father Peter Grover, O.M.V., Rector of Saint Clement Eucharist Shrine in Boston.  All are invited to participate in the Mass. 

Celebrate Marriage Celebrate Marriage – Now that the holiday rush is through, it’s not too early to begin thinking of Valentine’s Day. Give your Valentine something special this year – the gift of your time. Come celebrate your marriage at a day-long enrichment that will renew your dreams, increase your passion and refresh and celebrate your marriage. This marriage enrichment aptly entitled, “Celebrate Marriage,” will take place on Saturday, February 10, 2018, from 9 A.M to 3 P.M. at Christ the King Parish, 1 McCurdy Rd., Old Lyme.  The cost is $35 per couple, which includes workbook and lunch.  Registration is required. To register, call the Diocesan Catholic Family Services Office at 860-8482237, Ext. 306.


~ 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 Contraception and Social Change


or click here to view on Youtube


Greg Olson
Jesus preaches in the synagogue at Nazareth

Oil on canvas

Preparing for the Mass January 21, 2017

The month of January is dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus, which is celebrated on January 3. The first eight days of January fall during the liturgical season known as Christmas which is represented by the liturgical color white. The remaining days of January are the beginning of Ordinary Time. The liturgical color changes to green — a symbol of the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. 


                         Third 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.

Third Sunday of Ordinary Time: Faith Has Consequences

A while back I came upon a book that seems to be intended for young people, but in reality contains wonderful meditations for all of us.  Actually, we are all still new to our faith, even if we are in our 80's.  Just as the Church is ever ancient ever new, so for me and for all of us, our faith is ever ancient and ever new.  The book I’m referring to is George Weigel’s Letters to a Young Catholic.  


            Jesus Christ is forever new.


 George Weigel, by the way, is the author of Witness to Hope, the extensive biography of St. Pope John Paul II.  Letters to a Young Catholic is far less extensive, easier to read, but far more challenging.


Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B—January 21, 2018

In Ordinary Time, we hear “the preaching of the kingdom of God” through all the lectionary readings.  Today, we find a dramatization of what that means for some of us.


Gospel (Read Mk 1:14-20)

In last Sunday’s Gospel, we reflected on Jesus’ first meeting with Andrew, John, and Simon Peter.  These men were very interested in the new Rabbi whom John the Baptist, their teacher, had called “the Lamb of God.”  Today’s reading describes how they, along with John’s brother, James, moved from being interested in Jesus to becoming His intimate companions and co-workers.  How did this happen?

Come Now! Readings for 3rd Sunday of OT

In my house, not everyone comes for dinner when called.  “It’s dinner time!  Come for dinner!” I’ll call up the stairs, but only a spattering of children materializes in the kitchen—maybe three or four, but where are all the others?  So I have to search the house to find them in various corners, engrossed in some activity—reading, building something, or typing something on their laptop.  They’ve ignored my summons, or didn’t “hear” it.  A wave of frustration sweeps over me, tempered by memories of having been the same way when I was their age.  Then the words pass my lips: “Drop what you’re doing and come now!”  We can’t postpone dinner indefinitely for everyone to finish their pet project before coming to eat.

...moreThe Mystery of Advent—Annunciation & Incarnation

Detachment—The Cost of Discipleship

There is a cost of discipleship — Jesus sometimes calls us to leave behind professions, friends, even family.  Does that mean that work and human relationships are at odds with growing in our relationship with God?  The concept of detachment can help us understand this problem.


Peter and Andrew were businessmen. So were their neighbors, James and John. They tried to wring a living out of the Sea of Galilee, and it probably took nearly all of the time and energy that they had.


So it would have been easy to pass on the chance to hear some new prophet proclaim that the Kingdom of God had finally arrived. And then, having heard this message, they could have rolled their eyes and chuckled about how they hoped that this Kingdom would put more fish in the lake. Or they could have made excuses that this was all very interesting, but following the wandering rabbi from Nazareth was more suitable for single men with no mouths to feed.


Reflections for Sunday, January 21, 2018

Hearing and Responding to God’s Call to Evangelize


Come. (Mark 1:17)

Scripture has a way of condensing a lot of information into a few short sentences, and today’s Gospel is a perfect example. It’s possible that all Jesus had to do was say, “Come after me” to get Peter and Andrew to drop their nets, leave their families, and become disciples. But it’s far more likely that this story is the climax of a number of other encounters Jesus had with them. This observation can teach us two things.


First, our decision to follow Jesus is never a onetime choice. Second, our decision to help other people follow Jesus is never a onetime choice.


Marching for Life and Acknowledging Those Who Have Died

Today’s March for Life focuses on the tragic issue of abortion, but of course abortion emerges from other moral choices and attitudes that are sinful.


One common “moral” standard that many apply today, especially regarding sexual matters, goes something like this: “Two consenting adults should be able do what they please as long as nobody gets hurt.” Of course the sinners who talk like this think that they get to determine whether anyone gets hurt. Generally, their notions are egocentric, mostly considering only themselves, and in addition their conception of what constitutes getting hurt are often misguided.


Today, I marched with many who tried to give a voice to the at least 50 million who didn’t just get hurt by the behavior of certain “consenting adults” — they got killed.


Where Exactly Was Jesus Baptized?

Before the beginning of Christ’s ministry, John the Baptist began preaching that the Messiah would soon come, and he baptized all who acknowledged their sins and repented. When Jesus came to John for baptism, John protested his unworthiness, and did so only on Jesus’ insistence. 

Every year following the Epiphany, all the Faithful celebrate this holy event as the Feast of Baptism of the Lord. While the Bible mentions the Jordan River, where exactly was Jesus baptized?


That Awkward Age Between Birth and Death

A good friend of mine, and Godfather to my son died a few months ago, finally succumbing to complications from Cystic Fibrosis. He was only 52 years old, but if you know about Cystic Fibrosis you may know that a person born with that genetic disorder should not expect to live much past the age 40.


He was a holy man and about as ready to go home to the Lord as anyone I’ve ever known. In recent years, as his health was obviously declining, we’d speak of death and heaven and he would often say things that were unambiguously enthusiastic like, “I can’t wait!!” At his funeral services I found myself a bit jealous. He got to go home to God and I am left here to face not only my own potential future sins, but also the sins of others.


Who or What Is the Antichrist? A Reflection on the Biblical Teaching

There is much lore about the antichrist (especially among certain Evangelicals) that is out of proportion to the attention Scripture pays to the concept, and more importantly is at possible variance from what is certainly taught. It easily becomes fodder for movies and novels: the antichrist figure steps on the scene, deceiving many, and mesmerizing the whole world with apparent miracles and a message of false peace.


But is this really what or whom the Scriptures call the antichrist?  I would argue not, for in order to create such a picture one would have to splice in images from the Book of Revelation and the Letter to the Thessalonians that do not likely apply to antichrists.


‘God’s Tramp’ Who Suffered Like Job Given Vatican Burial

A homeless man from Belgium who had lost everything he ever had — family, possessions, and health — was given a Requiem Mass in the Vatican today and buried in the cemetery of the Teutonic College within the Vatican walls.


Cesar Willy De Vroe, 65, was born in Brussels to a prostitute and called himself “God’s tramp” after experiencing many bitter years living on the streets.


He eventually found refuge, first with Father Daniele Bisato, pastor of the parish of San Agostino in Ventimiglia, a coastal town in north west Italy, and then, since last September, with the Missionaries of Charity in Rome.


In his funeral homily, Msgr. Dirk Smet, the rector of the Pontifical Belgian College, said Cesar, one of four siblings who all lost contact with one another, had a life not unlike the biblical figure of Job in losing all he ever had.


But he discovered God and at the age of 47, was received into the Church.


The 3 Prophesies of Pope Paul VI that Are Being Fulfilled In Our World Right Now

This year, 2018, is the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of Pope Bl. Paul VI’s controversial encyclical Humanae Vitae, which reaffirmed the Church’s traditional teaching against the use of contraception.


For Bishop Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, Paul VI was much more than just a great moral teacher – he was a prophet.


“That section of the encyclical,” Bp. Barron explains, referring to section 17 in which Paul VI predicts the social consequences of contraception, “I will confess to you, jumped out at me as I reread it, because I thought ‘Wow, 1968, but this man was looking very clearly into our time.'”

The Holy Spirit in the Fast Food Restaurant

Recently I accepted a new position to work more directly in evangelization, and while I am excited and grateful, there are a lot of days where there is spiritual warfare going on in my head. Today was one of those days I was not feeling great (an understatement) about my ability to sense God’s inspirations, and then respond to them, and feeling “the voice”: “Seriously, YOU’re going to do evangelization?” self-defeating thing. It’s one thing to recognize rationally this is not from God, another to live through it… it’s hard to escape your mind, you know.  It was bothering me a lot the past few days and especially this morning.


At one point in the morning, as I am mentally talking back “the voice,” I grabbed God and brought him into the conversation.  “Holy Spirit, you know, it would be easier if you just made it obvious. I’ll do what you want if you just let me know. Please just make it obvious.”


Life Everlasting

[18] And there came to him the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying: [19] Master, Moses wrote unto us, that if any man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed to his brother. [20] Now there were seven brethren; and the first took a wife, and died leaving no issue.

[21] And the second took her, and died: and neither did he leave any issue. And the third in like manner. [22] And the seven all took her in like manner; and did not leave issue. Last of all the woman also died. [23] In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise again, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife. [24] And Jesus answering, saith to them: Do ye not therefore err, because you know not the scriptures, nor the power of God? [25] For when they shall rise again from the dead, they shall neither marry, nor be married, but are as the angels in heaven.

Without Excuse: The Divine Origin of Happiness

St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans that knowledge of God for those without the Jewish faith,

“is clear to their minds; God himself has made it clear to them; from the foundations of the world men have caught sight of his invisible nature, his eternal power, and his divineness, as they are known through his creatures.” . . . Thus there is no excuse for them; although they had the knowledge of God, they did not honor him or give thanks to him as God; they became fantastic in their notions, and their senseless hearts grew benighted” (Romans 1:19-21).

Later St. Paul explains how this lack of honor for God leads to “filthy” practices and disordered relationships.


Why Are There Two Judgments?

I recently received this series of questions from a person considering becoming a Catholic:


     How can there be a particular judgment at the end of each person’s   

     life, and then another judgment at the end of time where all will be

     judged corporately? This seems absurd. Let’s take, for example, the

     damned. Are Catholics claiming these people will have been damned

     at their particular judgment, and then, at the Second Coming, yanked

     out of hell, given their bodies, judged again, and then thrown back

     into hell?


Having heard various forms of these questions hundreds of times over the years, I must say this was the most creative way I’ve heard them asked to date!


In short, the answers to these questions are all in the affirmative, but with some qualification needed. Especially concerning the part about folks being “yanked out of hell.”


A crash course in Miracles 101

Denver, Colo., Dec 15, 2017 / 03:32 am (CNA).- What do a grilled cheese sandwich and the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe have in common?


Both bore what appeared to be images of Mary. One was determined to be authentically miraculous, the other was not. Not to spoil any secrets, but it’s not Our Lady of the Grilled Cheese that converted Mexico and continues to draw millions of people on pilgrimage every year.


But have you ever wondered just how the Church determines the bogus from the divinely appointed?


In his book, “Exploring the Miraculous,” Michael O’Neill gives readers a crash course of sorts in “Miracles 101” – including common questions about the importance of miracles, an explanation of the approval process, and descriptions of the various types of miracles found within the Catholic Church.