Fr. Maciek Pawlowski and Barley

07-15-2018Pastor's LetterRev. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Many of you will be seeing my friend, Father Maciek Pawlowski, at Masses and hearing confessions for the next three weeks. He is visiting from Poland, where is a Diocesan priest. He and I were ordained deacons together in 2005, and the following year, since we both wanted to be ordained in our home parishes, we were ordained two weeks apart in 2006. I was ordained on April 28th, and Father Maciek was ordained on May 13th. We were both members of the Society of Mary (Marist Fathers) entering around the same year and attending seminary together in Washington DC. He has been here on two other occasions, last year and also in 2015.

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Faith is the Only Answer

07-08-2018Pastor's LetterRev. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

On July 8th, 1984, I was visiting my grandmother in Petersham, Massachusetts, when I received word that my older brother, Michael, had passed away due to complications from Lupus. He was 23 years old. I was a little over two weeks away from my 15th birthday. I was home in Watertown the week before when he was rushed to the hospital because of pain in his shoulders. I remember that final week of his life vividly, and I still remember when my brother Frank came to pick us up from Petersham and bring us home. Needless to say, it was a long ride home. Death is a reality that no one can escape. Most of us have lost a loved one, and if we haven't yet, we surely will sometime. Despite this reality, and the evil of death, we know by our faith in Jesus Christ that death is not the end.

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Happy 1st Anniversary St. John Paul the Great Parish

07-01-2018Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

This weekend we have completed our first year as St. John Paul the Great Parish. It has been one year since our new name. I can honestly say, as your pastor, that I am very proud of you.  The resilience and the patience and the hard work that so many of you have exhibited as we became one parish was amazing. We have taken a very sad situation and, through much prayer and sacrifices, we have been able to come together as one church community. This is a testament to you and your love for the Catholic faith and for the Blessed Sacrament, the source and summit of our faith.  You are to be commended for your willingness to make this work. Our Catholic Church in Torrington will only become strong and full of life when we can come together in a spirit of love and fellowship, putting aside our differences and focusing on what unites us. What does unite us? First and foremost, unity is found in the Blessed Sacrament. We come together as brothers and sisters in the Lord to worship Him at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We have eight Masses every weekend, as well as a daily Mass Monday through Friday.

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My Current Reading List

06-24-2018Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

I get asked frequently by some people to either give suggestions for book titles or even to let people know what I am currently reading. I usually read five books at a time. Currently, I have Padre Pio’s Letters Volume II by my bedside, along with the current novel that I am reading, Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations. I am also reading a collection of Pope Benedict’s homilies, Teaching and Learning the Love of God: Being a Priest Today, and Pope Francis’s most recent Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exultate. The fifth book I am currently reading is a collection of essays compiled by Father Robert Araujo, SJ, Slaying the “Spirit” of Vatican II with the Light of Truth. I am also re-reading Cardinal Alfons Stickler’s little treatise, The Case of Clerical Celibacy: Its Historical Development and Theological Foundations.

As you can see, I love to read, and I have an extensive library of theological works as well as fiction and non-fiction (historical and/or biographical) works. The most recent books that I did finish in the last two months are; Edward Sri’s book, Who am I to Judge? Responding to Relativism with Logic and Love; Daniel Mattson’s, Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay: How I Reclaimed My Sexuality and Found Peace; a compendium on marriage called, Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church; Katherine Galgano’s, The Devil Hates Latin; a compendium put together by John Rao, Luther and His Progeny: 500 Years of Protestantism and Its Consequences for Church, State, and Society; and Pope Benedict’s, Last Testament; In His Own Words.

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Happy Father's Day

06-17-2018Pastor's LetterRev. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Today is Father’s Day, and like Mother’s Day, it seems that one day a year to honor fathers just does not cut it.

Fathers, as well as mothers, are so important for the life of a child. Yes, there are many families that a father or a mother are missing, for a variety of reasons, but a father and a mother together, which image Jesus Christ and His Bride, the Church (Ephesians 5), stand as an image for the love that God has for each and every one of His children. In the Book of Genesis, it is stated that God created man in His image, male and female He created them. In the image of God is the coming together of a man and a woman, a complimentarity that is fruitful when new life comes forth from this union.

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The Ever-Virgin Mary

06-10-2018Pastor's LetterRev. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Today's Gospel talks about Jesus' mother and brothers. Until only recently (the 18th Century), most of the faithful, (the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, as well as many of the early Protestant communions), have understood that the "brothers" mentioned in this passage are really cousins or kinsmen of the Lord. There is no word in Aramaic or Hebrew for the relationship of cousin (or nephew or step brother as well). When the New Testament was written in Greek, the Gospel writers use the term "adelphoi" to describe the relationship between Jesus and His "brothers", who are more likely cousins or other relatives to the Lord. In the early Church, there was a belief that they might be half-brothers of the Lord, children of St. Joseph from a previous marriage, which is why in some pictures St. Joseph is portrayed as an old man.

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The Body of Christ

06-03-2018Pastor's LetterRev. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Today is the Feast of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, commonly known in its Latin words, Corpus Christi. We make up the Body of Christ, as members of the Catholic Church, for we are the Body and He, Jesus Christ, is our Head. As the Body of Christ, we become the eyes, ears, mouths, hands and feet of Jesus Himself on this earth. We all have a role to play in the Church, as parents, as priests and deacons, as parishioners, and, indeed, as those seeking God with a sincere heart. For the Body of Christ is open to all.

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