Fourth Sunday In Ordinary Time

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

It’s February 1st!  February, a very brief winter month!  We’re halfway through winter!  We continue in these weeks of Ordinary Time until Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 25th.  Hang in there, folks!  The days are getting longer and brighter! 

This weekend, we celebrate together as a parish family CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK 2009.  Our Principal, Kathleen (O’Rourke) King, the Faculty, Staff, Students, the Home and School Association, our St. John School Board and myself as your pastor have been working very hard this academic year to make St. John School better known and supported. 

Did you know that St. John School is the oldest continually-operating Catholic School in our Diocese of Norwich?  Do you know that St. John School was the first school in the history of Middletown?  That the Irish Sisters of Mercy, founded by Mother Catherine McAuley in Dublin, were invited to come here to Middletown to staff St. John School in its early days? 

What about the present?  St. John School is vibrant, growing, and continuing in its mission of excellence in Catholic education.  Under the direction of our wonderful St. John School Board, we have been bringing this message to area parishes without schools.  Over the last several weekends and into this new month of February, a Power-Point presentation is being made at local churches of the Middletown Deanery, and this weekend, at St. John’s! 

Today, I invite you to learn and listen all about the wonderful things that go on every day at St. John School.  Thousands pass by our school every week, yet never have a clue what is happening inside the classrooms!  I’d like to see that change.  Look, today, at the Power-Point presentation by computer and the words spoken today at all our weekend Masses.  See the faces of our happy students and teachers! 

Catholic Education is alive, healthy, and growing in the city of Middletown!  St. John School needs the financial support to operate this academic year and in years to come.  Therefore, as your Pastor, I have asked and received permission of Bishop Michael Cote of Norwich to conduct a special “Catholic Schools Week Collection 2009” to support St. John School.  Your generous gift today, whether large or small, will go directly to the operation of St. John School.  I challenge our alumni!  Did you attend or graduate from St. John School?  I ask that YOU be true to your school this weekend. 

What is the future of Catholic schools?  I don’t have a crystal ball to tell me that!  But I do know that Bishop Cote, myself as your Pastor, our Principal Mrs. King, and Sr. Joan O’Connor, SJC of the Diocesan School Office are working very hard today to keep Catholic Education flourishing and expanding in Middletown.  Join us in this task!  Thank you so much for your continued support of St. John School.

Father Jim 


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