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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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Very Rev. Father Michael Phillippino             


Director of Religious Education

Sr.Ann Mack

Kathryn Connolly


Parish Administrative Secretary

Mrs. Diana Blair

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: Corpus Christi




Homily from Father Alex McAllister SDS
Posted for June 18, 2017
Corpus Christi

Today we mark the feast of Corpus Christi, or to give it its full title the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. It is an important feast in the Liturgical Calendar and it gives us the opportunity to reflect in more detail on the marvellous mystery of the Eucharist that is celebrated each day in Catholic Churches throughout the world.

Of course, you would be right to think that the most appropriate day to celebrate the Blessed Eucharist is Maundy Thursday. And on that day earlier in the year we thought quite a lot about the theology of the Eucharist. However, the Church gives us this additional feast in the course of the year to reflect once again on the Eucharist so as to give us the opportunity to deepen our thinking on this most vital sacrament.

And perhaps that is exactly where we should start by realising that Eucharist is a sacrament and considering briefly just what a sacrament actually is. When we were children in our catechism classes we were taught that a sacrament is 'an outward sign of inward grace’ and this indeed remains an excellent definition of just what a sacrament is.

The Catholic Church and our brothers and sisters in the Orthodox Church believe that the sacraments are one of the most important ways that God communicates his divine grace to us, the people of his flock. We believe that each of the sacraments was instituted by Jesus Christ and while God certainly transmits his grace to us by many different and various means we can be absolutely certain that whenever a proper sacrament is celebrated it becomes a real and effective channel of divine grace.

We are bodily creatures, we exist within our human bodies and we perceive the world through our five senses. That definition, that a sacrament is an outward sign of inward grace, is important because it tells us that the sacraments are signs which are perceivable by our senses.

Each sacrament has a particular sign such as flowing water for baptism, the outstretched hand of the priest for reconciliation, anointing for confirmation, ordination and the sacrament of the sick, the exchange of vows for marriage and the bread and wine for the Eucharist.

We can recognise these signs and know that when they are accompanied by the correct words spoken by the proper minister they each constitute a sacrament.

Some Churches do not believe over much in sacraments. It was a point of great debate at the Reformation and commonly Protestant Churches recognise only two, namely Baptism and Eucharist. But in the Catholic Church we definitely recognise the importance of the sacraments and indeed we could be called a sacramental Church. We understand in a profound way the value of these concrete signs as ways of connecting ourselves to the sacred.

Lesser signs are also important and we call them sacramentals; these include actions such as blessing oneself with Holy Water, receiving other blessings, the conferral of ministries, the making of sacred vows and indeed also exorcisms. Religious customs such as saying the Grace Before Meals as a family can also be regarded as sacramentals.

There are many other pious actions that help us to connect with the sacred such as the wearing of medals or scapulars or the occasions when we bless ourselves as we pass a Church. These sacramentals and other signs do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the same way as full-blown sacraments do, but nevertheless they are always able to bring us into closer relationship with God.

The Eucharist is perhaps the sacrament that we come into contact with most often and through it we become the recipients of divine grace. Our attendance at the Eucharist is the principal means by which we stay close to God in our lives, it is the best way we know to give him true worship. By reverently receiving our Lord in the Eucharist we feed the life of the Spirit that is within us.

At mass we are once again connected to the Last Supper and we share in that wonderful meal in which Christ made present in a unique way what he was to achieve by his death and resurrection. When we go to mass it is as if we were sitting around the table of the Last Supper with Christ and his Apostles. This is why it is such a holy and important occasion.

While we are talking about the Eucharist, it might be good for us to stress the proper etiquette for attending mass and receiving Holy Communion. When we go to mass it is important to participate by singing the hymns and saying the responses, listening attentively to the sermon as well as using the time for private prayer as well as we can.

We should also show great respect when it comes to the Eucharistic Prayer. This is not the time to suddenly realise that you need to go to the toilet or decide to root around in your handbag for something. No, the Eucharistic Prayer is the time to show deep and prayerful reverence and to acknowledge the miracle that is taking place on the altar.

It might be good to say a word here about receiving Holy Communion. There are two ways of doing so. The first is by joining our hands and reverently putting out our tongue so that the priest can place the host on it.

The second is by resting the left hand on top of the right hand and holding it out so that the priest can place the host reverently on your hand. Please do not grab the host or stand with one hand in your pocket while casually holding the other out to receive the host. This is the Lord Jesus who is coming into your life at that moment and so it is appropriate to show deep respect.

When the priest or minister says, 'The body of Christ' the proper response is 'Amen'. Also before stepping up to receive Holy Communion it is appropriate to make a sign of reverence. A few people genuflect but most simply bow reverently and then step forward to receive the Eucharist.

These things might seem very simple and unimportant but, if you remember, I started out by saying that we are bodily creatures and this means that the things we do affect the way we think and similarly the way we think is often betrayed by our physical actions.

If a person, for example, waltzes up to receive Holy Communion with their hands in their pockets and chewing gum then it will be obvious to everyone that this person does not recognise the fact that they are receiving the Lord Jesus into their lives. This would not be appropriate.

Receiving the Eucharist is the most important thing that we do all week. Going to mass is coming to an encounter with the Living Lord. Our attendance at mass therefore ought to be a profound spiritual experience and we shouldn't jeopardise this marvellous opportunity by being inattentive or irreverent.

It is obvious to me that the parishioners here at St Joseph do have a good understanding of the proper way to worship God and indeed it is true that the level of reverence and respect for the Eucharist is high in this Church. But it doesn’t do any harm to remind ourselves of the proper etiquette so that we get the most that we can from the liturgy, which is after all one of God’s most wonderful gifts to us.


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



PANCAKE BREAKFAST/MEET AND GREET Sunday, June 18th  Pancake breakfast and meet Fr. James in the parish center 9am-12pm

Spiritual Renewal Center co-directors Fr. Ray Introvigne and Judith Hughes 11 Bath Street, Norwich, CT 06360 Healing Mass, Mondays June 26, 2017 at 2PM.

St. John Church Religious Educatio
n News: Religious education has ended for the year.  Thank you to all the teachers that gave of their time and talent to make this possible.  We pray that everyone has a blessed summer.  Please remember God doesn’t take a vacation from you so we ask that you don’t take a vacation from him!
Worldwide Marriage Encounter “And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love Him and reveal myself to Him." Expand your married love by attending a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend. The next WWME Weekends are Jul 7-9, 2017 in Manchester, CT and Nov 3-5, 2017 in Manchester, CT. For more information, call Dennis & Jane Lamondy at 860-376-0440 or visit us at

Charismatic Prayer Meeting: Charismatic prayer meeting at St. John every Thursday 7:00pm in the chapel.

Garden Club: If you are interested in beautifying our surroundings by helping with the flowers around the altar and outside please consider joining the St. John Garden Club!   Contact Jan Wendry 860.346.5808 

Scripture Readings Do you wish to better understand the Sunday Mass Readings?  We all need to prepare in order to fully partake in the Liturgy of the Word.  On Thursday evenings at 6:30pm in the rectory we will gather with the RCIA team to break open the Scriptures.  Come join us.  If you have any questions please call Sister Ann 860-344-8569

Wine/Beer Tasting Fundraiser Saturday, October 28th @ St. Mary Hall, Portland.   More info to follow!


~ 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















Carl Emil Doepler

Corpus Christi Procession

Late 19th Century
Oil on Canvas

Preparing for the Mass June 18, 2017

The month of June is dedicated to The Sacred Heart of Jesus. This 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. 

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

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

The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ:

The Holy Presence

Next week some of our high school Teens will attend the first of many deep spiritual experiences available for them during the summer.  Eleven will be going to Benedictine College in  Atchison, Kansas for the Life Teen Leadership Conference.  A few weeks after that forty or fifty Teens will attend the Steubenville-Atlanta Youth Conference.  After that about twenty of our Middle Schoolers will attend the EDGE summer camp and about the same number of high school people will attend the Life Teen summer camp.  Every December our parish holds a youth retreat for about 100 Teens.  Every Spring there are additional retreats available.  Now all these events take a tremendous amount of preparation. We have to transport, feed and house the Teens.  We have to provide speakers the Teens can relate to.  We have to devise interesting activities, etc. etc.  But if after the Teens return you were to ask them what their favorite part of the experience was, the vast majority of them will say the same thing: Eucharistic Adoration. They are moved by the Holy Presence.


Reflections for Sunday, June 18, 2017: The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

I am the living bread. (John 6:51)

Every time Mass is celebrated, a miracle is performed right before our eyes. The host is transformed into real flesh and the wine into real blood. While faith in what we do not see is essential, sometimes we need a little help. So here are some stories that might do just that.

One Sunday in 1263, a German priest, Peter of Prague, was celebrating Mass above the tomb of St. Christina in the town of Bolsena, Italy. When he raised the host, blood started to trickle over his hands and onto the altar. A year later, after investigation and authentication, the miracle was confirmed, and it moved Pope Urban IV to institute the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. The white, blood-stained linen corporal cloth can still be seen in the Orvieto Cathedral north of Rome.


The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ,

Year A—June 18, 2017

When Jesus ascended to Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to His followers to give them the divine life of the Trinity.  Why, then, did He also give them a meal of Bread and Wine to attain eternal life?


Gospel (Read Jn 6:51-58)

Our Easter lectionary readings moved us through Christ’s Resurrection, Ascension, and the Descent of the Holy Spirit.  Last Sunday, we celebrated the Most Holy Trinity, because we understood, from all that history, that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; from the beginning, all Three Persons have lovingly worked to restore us to the life for which we were designed.  We might, therefore, conclude that the history is now liturgically complete.  Yet today, the Church calls us to another solemnity.  In our readings, we are pondering the mystery of the Most Holy Body and Blood of our Lord in the Eucharist.  This meal raises a question:  If we now have the Holy Spirit to put God’s life in us, why do we need to “eat the Body” and “drink the Blood” of Christ?  What does that accomplish that the gift of the Holy Spirit doesn’t?


The Complete Guide for Celebrating the Feast of

Corpus Christi

The Eucharist is the source and summit of the whole Christian life. The feast of Corpus Christi is a celebration of Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist. It parallels the celebration on Holy Thursday in commemoration of the institution of this sacrament. When the Eucharist is carried through the streets in solemn procession, the Christian people give public witness of their faith and devotion toward the sacrament of the Eucharist.


The Sacrament of the Eucharist is a sign and cause of the unity of Christ’s Mystical Body, because it stirs up an active “ecclesial” spirit in those who are more fervent in their Eucharistic devotion. Eucharistic adoration cannot be detached from the liturgical and communal celebration of the sacrament or from the commitment to the poor and to justice. One draws strength and justification from the other.


4 Incredible Eucharistic miracles that defy scientific explanation

The Catholic Church teaches a dogma called “transubstantiation,” which the Catechism explains thus: “By the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood” (CCC 1376).

This means that while the appearances of bread and wine remain, the substance is changed (through the power of God) completely to the body and blood of Christ. It is a teaching based on scripture and tradition and has remained unchanged in its essence since Apostolic times.

However, the Church has recognized that on occasion, God intervenes in a more visible way and can change even the appearances of the bread and wine into his body and blood. Or God may miraculously preserve a consecrated host for an extended amount of time, past what is natural for bread.


5 Myths About the Eucharist that Too Many People Still Believe (Maybe Even You!)

Corpus Christi is a special feast each year to especially commemorate the dogma of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Since the Eucharist is Christ himself, the Eucharist is at the center of our Christian faith!

Which is why it’s unfortunate there are so many misconceptions about it. Here are 5 common myths:


Is the Eucharist the Body and Blood of Christ?

The Catholic Church teaches that in the Eucharist, the communion wafer and the altar wine are transformed and really become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  Have you ever met anyone who has found this Catholic doctrine to be a bit hard to take?


If so, you shouldn’t be surprised.  When Jesus spoke about eating his flesh and drinking his blood in John 6, his words met with less than an enthusiastic reception.  “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (v52)  “This is a hard saying who can listen to it?” (v60).  In fact, so many of his disciples abandoned him over this that Jesus had to ask the twelve if they also planned to quit.  It is interesting that Jesus did not run after his disciples saying, “Don’t go, I was just speaking metaphorically!”


Fortitude, Patience, and Meekness: Three Virtues We Often Separate, but That Belong Together

There is an important interplay and balance between the virtues that many modern minds set in opposition to one another. False dichotomies often prevail when the subtlety of virtues are lost or their meanings are grasped in simplistic or inaccurate ways.


Consider three virtues that are related and which enable and moderate one other: fortitude, patience, and meekness. To most people, these virtues seem more opposed than related. Today, fortitude conjures up an image of a fearless warrior in battle or an intense prophet fearing nothing of the opinion of men. Meekness seems to be thought synonymous with weakness and conciliation. Finally, patience in modern parlance often means either not acting at all or acting indecisively and without courage.


The Analogy of an Infallible Bible to an Infallible Church

It is easy to conceive how God could give us an infallible Church, because He gave us an infallible Bible.

One who denies the infallibility of the Christian Church must contend for either of these two things:

(1) God is unable to preserve Christian doctrine without error throughout history by means of (in and of themselves, without His aid) fallen, imperfect, fallible men and an imperfect Church run by such men (i.e., sinners).


(2) God was, of course, able to do this if He chose to (being omnipotent), but He chose not to do so.

Basically my argument is a subtle variation of a reductio ad absurdum: an exercise in consistency of logic combined with data from revelation that Protestants and Catholics hold in common.


A Devotional : Light of Life

We all know the pleasure of being outdoors on a beautiful day under a big blue sky with the warmth and light of the sun on our faces. A feeling of peace and serenity comes over us and we want to hold onto that feeling for as long as possible. We can hold onto that feeling when we do the work of our Lord. As His disciples, we can brighten and give warmth to our world with rays of faith, hope, and charity. Our work is not easy, especially when the news events of the day seem to be all bad. However, that is when the need is greatest.


Without the sunshine, our world would be a very cold and dark place. When a seed is buried in the ground, it requires the sun and the rain to bring it to life for everyone to see. And so it is with us — we need the Lord to shine upon us and replenish us with His living waters so we can live as God wants us to live, otherwise, we remain buried in the cold darkness of sin.


The saint who risked his life rescuing prostitutes

St. John Francis Regis loved nothing more than to reconcile a sinner to God

In 1806, a struggling seminarian made a pilgrimage to a remote village in the French Alps. He longed to be a priest, but all the desire in the world couldn’t make him a good enough student. Kneeling at the tomb of St. John Francis Regis, the young man put his vocation into the hands of this great priest. More than half a century later, as he lay dying, St. John Vianney testified to the witness and the intercession of St. John Francis Regis: “Everything good that I have done, I owe to him.”


Be Kind, But Don't Kill People With Kindness

Jesus told us not to judge. But he also obligated us to address harmful behaviors and told us that “The Truth will set you free”.

As I was driving around town the other day, I saw an interesting bumper sticker. It read, “My Religion is Simple. My Religion is Kindness.” At first glance, this would seem to be a benignly beautiful sentiment. But, as a teacher, my first instinct would be to say (as I would reply to one of my students), “Define ‘kindness’”.


“With God’s Grace”

Before my ordination in 1990, when I was asked when I would be ordained, I would respond (like other candidates for Holy Orders), “Next May, God willing.” At the time, I thought it was a perfectly humble pious phrase, commending my future to the providence of God.


But a closer inspection of the phrase reveals potential hubris. Until ordination, using the same logic, I could conclude the fact of my ordination to the priesthood was certainly God’s sacred will. But maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was my self-will; maybe the oversight of the bishop.


The danger of presuming God’s will is illustrated in the extreme by the chilling transcript of the intercepted cell phone conversation between Islamic terrorists.  The phone call was recorded during 2008 attacks in Bombay. At least 173 people were killed and at least 308 were wounded:


9 Ways You Might Be Sharing in the Sins of Others

“Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them...” (CCC 1868)

Did you know that you can be held responsible for the sins committed by others when you cooperate in them?

Upset? Frightened? Perhaps you should be.

Apparently, there are nine, count-them-nine, ways to sin without actually putting pedal-to-the-metal, as it were. So, before you rev up your engines and do wheelies in the church parking lot thinking you're in the clear, sacramentally-speaking, check out this ancient list of meta-sins that are just as bad as the sins themselves:


10 Underrated Quotes from Pope Francis on the Importance of Fathers

On Fathers’ Day, we celebrate the fathers and father figures in our lives who have made us who we are. Would that we celebrated fatherhood throughout the entire month of June, just as we need to celebrate motherhood throughout the month of May. It is important for Catholics and everyone of good will to recognize the vital role that fathers play in our lives, recalling of course that – of all of the settings within which he could have come into the world – God chose to incarnate himself within the familial setting of a mother and a [foster-]father, Mary and Joseph.

God is Good and “Everything Happens For A Reason”

Does “Everything happen for a reason”?


Things do happen for a reason, but what is the reason and who is the author of everything that happens?


About 8 years ago, my wife four children, a friend and I were hanging out in our house when a massive storm rolled in and a bolt of lightning exploded outside our window. The loud thundering boom and bolt of fire terrified us all as it hit and damaged portions of our home. It was costly, but fortunately, we were all safe.


“It happened for a reason”, one might conclude. Yes, I am sure it did, but what reason and who initiated this life-threatening lighting strike?


Why is confession sometimes a torture chamber?

When Pope Francis said in a footnote of Amoris laetitia (351), “The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord’s mercy motivates us to do better,” what did he mean?


From the point of view of the faithful, he was trying to say to priests that we need to be kind and benevolent to sinners who come to Confession lest overly severe priests make the sacrament odious, and thereby keep people away from this sacrament. It is obvious that the Christian faithful prefer to confess to a priest who is either hard of hearing or does not know the language and its cultural signs. Penitents do not like to be brow beaten by cranky, fiercely curmudgeonly priests. Unfortunately, it may happen now and again.