Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

My dear parishioners and friends of our parish community:  Praised be Jesus Christ!  Now and forever! 

Sunday, October 5th, 2008 will mark my second year as Pastor of St. John Parish, Middletown.  It was on October 5th, 2006 that Most Reverend Bishop Michael R. Cote, D.D., Bishop of Norwich, appointed me as the 14th Pastor in the long and varied history of St. John’s.  Up until this date in time, all of the Pastors of St. John’s were either born in Ireland or of immigrant Irish parents, or Irish-Americans born here in the United States. 

On October 5th, 2006, I became the first Pastor NOT of Irish heritage or Irish roots!  I am of strong Polish heritage.  I just visited Poland for the seventh time in August of 2008.  I guess by this pastoral assignment two years ago this Sunday, I have taken my place in the very rich and wonderful history of St. John Parish, Middletown. 

Already, together, in this brief span of just two years as your Pastor, we have accomplished a great deal.  On the occasion of the Mass of installation as Pastor which we offered on Sunday, November 12th, 2006 with the Very Reverend Father Edward M. Konopka, Dean of Middletown (now retired), I pledged to help keep this parish moving forward.  To do this, though, I would need your help and support. 

Today on this “second anniversary” of my appointment, I ask your continued prayers and support.  Our work continues this Autumn time to concentrate on completing the restoration of the interior of our gorgeous brownstone church, to build our new Parish Center and keep St. John School the outstanding center of Catholic Education for our youth. 

One of the important precepts of our Catholic faith  we all learned is “The Faithful Have the Obligation of Supporting the Church.”  All have the duty to support the work of the church.  We should support our Parish Church in all its educational, sacramental, and charitable works through our prayers and financial donations.  We must also support our local Church, the Diocese of Norwich, our Bishop and our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI through prayer and financial donations. 

To be Catholic is to be baptized and “put on Christ.”  We each carry on the work of Christ by spreading our faith far and wide.  I remind you of the requirements to be met to qualify as a parishioner at St. John Church: be registered members of the Parish, participate regularly  and consistently with the parish community at weekly Sunday Mass and support the parish by regular use of offertory envelopes.  The faithful of St. John’s have always done this through the years, let’s continue today. 

Finally, October 5th is the feastday of St. Faustina Kowalska, Apostle of Divine Mercy since her canonization in the Jubilee Year 2000.  Pope Benedict XVI spoke last weekend to pilgrims, particularly those gathered in the city of Bialystock, Poland, for the beatification for the Servant of God, Father Michael Sopocko, who served as the confessor and spiritual father of St. Faustina.  Father Sopocko was a “zealous pastor, educator and propagator of the devotion of Divine Mercy,” said the Pope, “in the house of my Father my beloved predecessor Pope John Paul II will rejoice at his beatification.”  Saint Faustina Kowalska, pray for us!

                                                                                          Pleasant Autumn Sunday to all!
Father Jim 

                                                                     " I Have Chosen You" – Gregorian Reflection        


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