Very Rev. Father Michael Phillippino
Director of Religious Education
Parish Administrative Secretary
Ms. Megan Furtado
Ms. Patty Holmes
Mr. Bob Maxa
Mrs. Joanne Swift
Parish Office Hours
- Monday through Friday
8AM to 3PM
- Closed weekends, holidays
& holy days
Parish Council: Meets every 2nd Thursday of the month at 7 PM in the Rectory; all parishioners are welcome to attend.
"The Mother Church of the Norwich Diocese"
Saturday Vigil Mass: 4:00 PM
Sunday Mass: 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM
Weekday Masses: 8:00 AM Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat
No 8AM Mass on Wed
Eucharistic Adoration begins in the chapel at 9AM after morning Mass on the 1st Friday of each month and ends at 6PM, in observance of the 6:30 Stations of the Cross, with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and a Benediction.
Monday Night: Miraculous Medal Novena in the Chapel
Thursday Night: 7PM Prayer Group in the Chapel
First Fridays: 8AM Mass and Devotions to the Sacred Heart
First Saturdays: 8AM Mass and Holy Rosary
Confession: Heard Saturdays, 3:00-3:30PM
~ Air Conditioned and Handicapped Accessible~
Pastoral Sharings: Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Posted for October 23, 2016
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
I suppose we were all taught in childhood not to look down our nose at anyone. It is one of the important lessons of life and any good parent would be keen that their child understood this lesson very well.
Unfortunately not everything we learn in childhood stays with us into adulthood. As we grow up and increasingly acquire our own personal autonomy we can forget what we were taught by our parents unless it was deeply ingrained into us.
The Pharisee in today's reading seems to have completely forgotten what his mother taught him, if indeed she did teach him anything. Jesus describes him in the Temple apparently praying but actually not praying at all but instead looking down his nose at his neighbour. He talks not to God but to himself.
This Pharisee sees himself as a superior being. Of course, it is important to have a sufficient degree of self-worth otherwise a person would end up as a doormat. But this Pharisee is taking things too far; he looks down on his neighbours with a great deal of distain.
He thinks that the tax collector is some kind of lower life form; indeed he sees himself as far above most of the rest of humanity. He is so caught up in his own self-regard that he has forgotten the purpose of his visit to the Temple which is to pray.
Jesus gets it just right when he tells us that this man is exalting himself when he really ought to be preparing himself for his downfall which is surely not far away.
On the other hand the tax collector is extremely well aware of the purpose of his visit to the Temple. He has come there to pray and to talk openly and frankly to God. He knows that he is unworthy and that he is badly in need of God's mercy and he is there in the Temple to ask for it.
The prayer of the tax collector is one of humility, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.' It is a prayer that anyone could say; perhaps even a prayer that most people actually need to say. It is a frank admittance that he has fallen short of the ideals proposed to us by God. But also in these words he expresses the wish to change and asks God's help to enable him to become a better person.
Every teacher or professor has their favourite expressions which they use very frequently. Perhaps because of this their students remember them well. My rector of students was always coming out with the phrase, ‘Humility is truth.'
In this short phrase he was telling us something very important. He was telling us that true humility was looking at one's situation as it actually was. It meant not putting yourself higher or lower than you really were. Anything other than an actual honest appraisal of one's situation was therefore an example of false humility.
Often people when they present themselves to others as being very humble pretend that they are lower than other people. The character from literature that they most resemble is Uriah Heep in Dicken's novel David Copperfield. He was an obsequious and insincere character who was always rubbing his hands together and saying that he was, ‘Ever so humble.'
What the Uriah Heeps of this world are guilty of is false humility. They are not to be believed and actually their insincerity is simply a mechanism to gain advantage over others which is as far from true humility as one could get.
The tax collector in our parable, however, shows true humility because he tells God his story with complete honesty and truthfulness. He knows he is a sinner and simply begs God for the forgiveness he knows he needs more than anything.
One of the important things that Jesus is telling us in this parable is for the need of real honesty in prayer. Anything less than complete openness is counter-productive when it comes to prayer. After all, you may be able to fool other people, you may even be able to fool yourself, but the one person you cannot fool is God. He knows our situation better than anyone and certainly far better than ourselves.
Hypocrisy and false-humility have absolutely no place in our prayer life. When we pray we have to be completely open. Actually it is often through prayer that we come to realise our own worse mistakes. Often in the hurly-burly of life we can overlook our own character faults; it is easy to excuse or to make light of the negative aspects of our personality that are extremely obvious to everyone else.
By being completely honest and open with God we come to a deeper awareness of our own mistakes and errors. But it is also in those moments of truth that we are sometimes able to come to an appreciation of the many gifts that we also possess.
What happens is that we come to a realisation of where we actually are in relation to God. We see our faults but also our abilities.
What we end up doing is resolving to overcome our faults but, just as importantly, we also become determined to develop the gifts and talents that God has given us. In this way we progressively become more rounded and well balanced citizens of the world.
And this is what God wants. He wants people who are balanced and strong and who can make a real contribution to the world. He wants disciples who are self-aware and who use the gifts they have been given in the service of the Gospel. He does not appreciate those who are out of balance or who either exaggerate or under-value their abilities.
What the world needs is people who are honest with themselves and who are in harmony with God and therefore with other people.
The important thing to realise about this parable is that both of these men were in the Temple to pray. Of course, one did pray and the other didn't. I'm sure that your motive in coming to Church was the very same; you came here to pray. Well, please do so. Please pray and ask God to help you to come to a true and honest appreciation of your place in the world and what you need to do to gain eternal life.
This is what the world needs more than anything: people who pray. It needs a sufficient number of people in society who are at peace with and in close touch with God. Those who pray have a big task because there are many others who won't or can't pray and they need people around them who know how to do it and who can carry them along as they pray.
So let us pray often and let us pray well, let us pray in a truthful and honest way, and by doing so let us build up the world and bring a real sense of hope to the people who live in it.
St. John Paul II Regional School
Pre-K through Grade 8
860-347-2978 or 860-347-1195
Visit our website at www.jpii.org
SCHOOL NEWS: St. John Paul II School is taking applications for the 2016-2017 School Year, grades Preschool to 8th. Preschool children MUST turn 4 by December 31st, 2016. For more information or to apply, visit www.jpii.org, call 860347-2978 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
JPII School will be holding its Lyman’s Pie Fundraiser the next two weekends 10/8-10/9 & 10/15-10/16 after all Masses
“Therese: The Story of a Soul” – October 14th Saint Luke Productions Presents, “Therese: The Story of a Soul” on Friday, October 14, at 7:00 PM, at St. Mary Church, 45 Freestone Ave., Portland. Admission: $10 Adults, $5 Children 12 and under (suitable for ALL ages). Tickets can be purchased at www.stmaryportlandct.org. Encounter the “Little Flower,” the most popular saint of modern times. A powerful live drama performed by Audrey Ahern, directed by Patti Defillippis.
Extra Confession Times: In honor of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Fr. Mike will be hearing confessions at extra times. Confessions will be heard at their usual Saturday 3:00 – 3:45 time slot, but Fr. Mike will also be available on Saturday mornings from 6:45 – 7:45 AM.
Bishop Michael Cote has designated St. John Church as a place of pilgrimage for the Diocese of Norwich during the Holy Year of Mercy.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION CLASSES
Oct 17-Classes in community center for grades 1-5, 4:00pm5:15pm and grades 6-8 6:30pm-8:00pm Oct. 23- 1st & 2nd year Confirmation students meet to attend mandatory program at Apostles of the Sacred Heart Center, Higganum, 1pm-5pm. Please return permission slips ASAP. !
~ Middletown, Connecticut ~
Pope To You
St. John Church 'Nativity
Window' Ornament click here
Click here to visit our parish giftshop featuring
gifts with images from our antique stained
Click here to visit our Holy Spirit themed
giftshop featuring gifts Celebrating the
Johann Heinrich Stöver
Jesus healing blind Bartimaeus
St John's Church, Erbach, Rheingau, Hesse, Germany
Preparing for the Mass October 23, 2016
The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. The Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated on October 7. October falls during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green.
30th 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.
Under His Mercy
|The parable in today’s Gospel strikes home with each of us. There are certain feelings that we have every time we walk into a Church. Few of us are like the Pharisee, self-assured in what he we are convinced is our innate goodness, sort of just checking in with God to remind Him how wonderful we are. No, most of us, perhaps all of us, are like the tax collector, aware of our own unworthiness to be before God. Sometimes we have an overwhelming feeling that we really are not good enough to be in Church, but we are afraid that if we don’t approach God, we might get even worse. We live, we must live, as Sheldon Vanauken would write, “Under His Mercy.”|
Sunday in Ordinary Time—October 23, 2016
Today, Jesus tells a story about two men praying in the Temple; one is seriously religious, the other a serious sinner. What can they teach us?
Gospel (Read Lk 18:9-14)
St. Luke, in reporting one of Jesus’ parables, explains its meaning before we actually read it: “Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.” So, we know this will be a story about human pride and how it can lead to contempt for others. This sounds like a terribly ugly affliction. We may already start to think of people we know to whom it might apply. Yet, there are some surprises in this parable, and we would do well to give it our close attention....more
Description of Our Times from the
Book of Wisdom
|As part of our recent examinations of the current culture, today’s post considers the culture of death that we have increasingly become. We use as our interpretive key a text from the Book of Wisdom that prophetically interprets the overall times in which we are living. Over the thirty years that I have been reading this text in the Breviary, I have found that the pieces of its prophecy are continually falling into place. In my earlier years, I though the threats of persecution were overstated for the times; that is changing now and slowly I am seeing each element become more clear.|
is the Alpha and the Omega?
In Revelation 22:13 we are given one of the most memorable titles of Christ:
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
This notion that Christ encompasses all things is a familiar one to us. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that ‘all things’ have been made new in Christ. Colossians 1:17 says that Christ holds all things together. And Ephesians 1:10 declares that all things will be ‘summed up’ or ‘recapitulated’ in Christ. What we seem to have in Revelation 22:13 is the same idea applied to history itself. (The titles are also introduced at the beginning of the book, though not in one verse as here.)
In fact, much, much more is happening in this verse, as a closer look at the original Greek text and its biblical history reveals....more
Best-Selling Book of All Time
Sure, the best-selling book of all-time is, of course, the Bible.
It is also the most widely (and given some of the liberties taken, wildly) translated book of all time, too.
But who takes the silver medal in terms of sales? And also in terms of translations?
Not the Quran. Not Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book. Not Euclid’s Geometry. Not L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics.
Second-place goes to another Catholic classic, The Imitation of Christ by Thomas á Kempis.
Great Saints Revealed About the End Times
|Heaven does not leave us without hope and help in the latter times. Scriptures, saints, and and heavenly apparitions give clear direction.|
Last time we saw a small bit of the ominous warning about the arrival of the Antichrist and end of times. The Catechism tells us the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, must go through the passion as Our Lord did.
We saw how in 1976 in America while still Cardinal Wojtyla, St. John Paul II warned: “It is, therefore, in God's Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously..."
In the midst of this, St. Pius X observed in his encyclical E Supremi that “the victory will ever be with God…Of this we are assured in the holy books by God Himself...”...more
Angels and the War for Our Souls
|Every week in Mass we pray the Nicene Creed and say the words, “I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.” This is a profession of our belief that God has created all things from nothing, both the material things we experience in our daily lives and the immense spiritual world beyond our senses. God has revealed through Scripture the existence of these invisible creatures we call “angels,” and the Church has always honored those spiritual beings who remained faithful to God, celebrating the Feast of the Archangels (September 29) and the Feast of the Guardian Angels (October 2). These recent feast days invited me to reflect on the transcendent reality of these angelic beings.|
of St. Padre Pio’s Final Mystical Vision on His Deathbed
St. Padre Pio was one of the greatest saints of the 20th century. A devoted priest, miracle-worker, and demon-fighter, he touched so many people that 100k attended his funeral.
But did you know he had a mystical vision in the final moments before his death?
After barely making it through Mass on September 22nd, 1968, the 81-year-old saint almost collapsed leaving the church. A group of his Franciscan brothers helped him and laid him in his bed.
Who We Are and the Story We Belong To
Editor’s Note: Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput gave the following address Oct. 19 at the 2016 Bishops’ Symposium at the University of Notre Dame. It is reprinted with permission from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. It has been slightly edited to conform with Register style, including added links.
Much of what I say today you probably already know. But that doesn’t prevent a good discussion, so I hope you’ll bear with me.
As I sat down to write my talk last week, a friend emailed me a copy of a manuscript illustration from the 13th century. It’s a picture of Mary punching the devil in the nose. She doesn’t rebuke him. She doesn’t enter into a dialogue with him. She punches the devil in the nose. So I think that’s the perfect place to start our discussion.
parish priest is a soldier in the war against sin, death and the devil
|The “Renaissance man,” epitomized by Leonardo da Vinci (who was a painter, scientist, engineer, and mathematician), refers to someone who does many difficult things well. The Hollywood version is called a “Triple Threat,” an entertainer who can sing, dance and act—and commands the corresponding fame and fortune.|
But what clever phrase exists to describe the diverse talents and traits which, when found in one person, are that humble servant of God: the parish priest?
How Can I
Free Myself from Guilt?
His name was Tom. He was traveling on business and was staying at a motel in Arizona one night when he turned on the television and happened across our live show. He had never phoned in to a “call-in” show before. And for the first minute or so of his call, we thought he had just telephoned to say hi. He talked a little baseball and spoke about a few other odds and ends until finally the cameraman started encouraging me to help him get to the point.
Now I’ve been accused of many things, but patience is not one of them. Ordinarily, I would have been pretty blunt, but the Lord was telling me to go easy on this young man, so I did. “Tom, would you like to ask us a question tonight?” I asked, as gently as I could....more
‘If Only We
Knew’ - Through a crippling disease at a young age, a young woman discovers
God's incredible plan for her life
More than a year ago, I found myself lying on the hardwood floor of my tiny studio apartment in Chicago. I had collapsed in fear and exhaustion.
In my daily life, I was a good Catholic girl, working in the inner city to provide a home and spiritual guidance for homeless single mothers and their children. But my polished exterior and public displays of good work blanketed the reality that I was fragmented, empty, thirsting for God — and seriously ill. After I hit the floor, I said: “God, tell me everything is going to be OK.”...more
about the Devil isn’t lunacy – it’s the purest realism
In its understated way, Fr Amorth's final book reminds us that Satanism is no joke.
How do you write about the Devil without sounding like a lunatic? The answer is to be straightforward about one’s faith and the great truths that flow from it. It so happens that two articles in the Catholic Herald of September 30 did just this. In Omnium Gatherum, Fr John Zuhlsdorf says straight out, “The Devil and fallen angels are real, personal beings. There’s nothing cute about them. And they hate God, themselves and you.”
In the same edition Pastor Iuventus, whose regular columns always inspire reflection, refers to Fr Gabriele Amorth, the late famous Roman exorcist, pointing out to readers that he “did the Church and the world a great service in reminding them that evil is real and it is personal. It is not merely some kind of projection of my own “dark side”… When one experiences the reality of such presences stripped of the glamour with which popular culture surrounds it, it is horrible and frightening.”...more
Explains How to Protect Yourself Against Demonic Harassment
|“People think they have to do something extraordinary, but it is actually the very ordinary things that build up graces and offer protection. If a Catholic is praying, going to Mass, and receiving the sacraments, then the devil is already on the run.”|
The battle rages on against “the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12). The devil’s main activity is tempting us to sin but that rarely rankles us. It’s when things go bump in the night that people are shaken up.
If the devil is making his presence felt, an exorcist is often called in. Cases of suspected possession first go through the bishop for a referral and an investigation, but they are rare. Demonic harassment, however, happens more frequently....more
Notes: Symbolism in Noah's Story
|THE ARK AS THE CHURCH |
The Fathers of the Early Church saw the ark as a figure of the Church. "God ordered Noah to build an ark in which he and his family would escape from the devastation of the flood. Undoubtedly the ark is a symbol of the City of God on pilgrimage in this world; that is, a symbol of the Church which was saved by the wood on which there hung the Mediator between God and men-Christ Jesus, Himself a man. Even the measurements of length, height, and breadth of the ark are a symbol of the human body in which He came ... The door open in the side of the ark surely symbolizes the open wound made by the lance in the side of the Crucified-the door by which those who come to him enter in the sense that believers enter the Church by means of the sacraments which issued from that wound." (St. Augustine, De civitate Dei, 15, 26; quoted in The Navarre Bible: Pentateuch, Princeton, NJ: Scepter Publishers, 1999; pg. 70)
Top 10 Tips
for Marrying the Right Person
One of the first sermons I heard at the Catholic parish where I would eventually be received into the Church was on the subject of marriage. The priest spoke about the relationship between a husband and wife as being indissoluble. Like siblings or parents and children, he told us, spouses formed a different, but equally permanent, bond with each other. It was as though a light bulb went on for me. “Of course,” I thought. “That makes perfect sense!” It was, simply put, the Catholic definition of marriage.
So while I firmly believe that commitment is the most critical ingredient for a marriage as it’s meant to be, choosing the right partner is pretty important, too.
Why Many Men
Think Church Is for Women
It was conventional wisdom, in the Middle Ages, that women were more pious than men and that women went to Confession and took Communion during great church feasts "while few men do," as a Dominican priest observed.
Austrian theologian Johann B. Hafen saw this trend in 1843: "During the year who surrounds most frequently and willingly the confessional? The wives and maidens! Who kneels most devoutly before our altars? Again, the female sex!"
Early YMCA leaders found that one out of 20 young men claimed church membership and that 75 percent of men "never attend church" at all. A Church News study in 1902 found that, in Manhattan, the ratio of Catholic women to men was 3 to 1.
What about today? To see what is happening in Catholic sanctuaries worshippers just have look around....more
of the Cross
|All of us are fully aware of the suffering in our lives—suffering, as a consequence of Adam and Eve’s fall, affects everyone, to various degrees and in different ways. While we know this to be true, we often find it hard t to explain why certain kinds of tragedies happen at all. Why do young people lose their lives? Why do babies die in their mothers’ wombs? Why do our friends and family have to leave this life when we least expect it? These questions will always remain a mystery, until we experience the Beatific Vision in Heaven and can see God’s magnificent plan for the world. For now, these questions remain constant for us, and resurface every time another tragedy occurs. Nevertheless, when we experience a tragedy or know someone else who does, this is not a cause for despair. Rather, these tragedies are filled with hope for the love promised to us by God, in which we are privileged to participate in here on earth but also, more importantly, in Heaven.|
Rosary Every Day
The Rosary, a quintessentially Catholic prayer, appeals to many of the faithful. Its simple repetition of words instills in the individual a certain clarity of mind and soul that is not easily replicable. It was praying the Rosary which led Christian troops to victory over the Moslem Turks at Lepanto on October 7, 1571 thus saving Christendom from utter destruction. In thankfulness, Pope St. Pius V established the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary in 1573. Pope Clement XI extended the feast to the universal Church in 1716.
Pope Benedict pointed out that ''the Rosary is a spiritual weapon in the struggle against evil, against all violence, for peace in hearts, in families, in society and in the world.''