Do you know how the Readings are Chosen?

09-30-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Emmanuel I. Ihemedu

Sunday readings have been arranged in such a way that if you come to church regularly over a three year period, you will have read almost all of the New Testament and a varied selection of texts from the Old Testament. The Church’s Calendar year starts in Advent. The gospel reading in Year A is generally from Matthew, Year B from Mark, and Year C from Luke.

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Do You Know Your Faith?

09-23-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Emmanuel I. Ihemedu

Do you know the meaning of the Liturgy of the Word? Do you know why we have three readings on a Sunday Mass? Well, the Liturgy of the Word is God speaking to us. If you have been paying attention to the readings, you would have noticed that the first reading is always taken from the Old Testament except during the Easter season (check out the readings during this Easter period).In general, the first reading tells us what God did in the past for the chosen race (the people of Israel). This reading usually has a connection with the gospel reading.

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Why is the Mass so Important to Catholics?

09-16-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Emmanuel I. Ihemedu

After the Sign of the Cross, the priest says the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ… be with you all,” and the congregation says: “And with your spirit.” This means that Christ is present in our midst. Scripture says “for where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).

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Do You Know Your Faith?

09-09-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Emmanuel I. Ihemedu

Why is the Mass so Important to Catholics?

Every Sunday when we gather for Mass as Catholics, we remember what Jesus did at the Last Supper. Do you know that the words of Jesus, “Do this in remembrance of me,” have been obeyed without interruption for nearly two thousand years? Whenever we come together as Catholics to celebrate the Mass, we are there to do what Jesus commanded. It is our faith that in that action, Jesus is made present for us.

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How Clean is your Heart?

09-02-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Emmanuel I. Ihemedu

In Matthew Commentary chapter 15, J. C. Ryle wrote “The heart must be the principal point to which we attend in all the relations between God and our souls. A new heart. What is the sacrifice God asks us to bring to him? A broken and a contrite heart. What is the true circumcision? The circumcision of the heart.

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Goodbye and God Bless You

08-19-2018Pastor's LetterFr. John Granato

My Dear Friends,

I have been a priest in Torrington for seven years, five as your pastor. My predecessor, Father Tiano, was your pastor for seven years. For twelve years, there has been a sense of some stability. Father Tiano, of course, arrived in the midst of a storm. Beginning in 2006, after the three priests left Torrington, Father Tiano, Father Romans and Father Lavorgna took over, with Father Gustavo Lopez remaining behind to help with the Spanish speaking community. Eventually, Father Romans left and Father Carlson came in. Then Father Carlson and Father Lavorgna went from four priests to three.

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Following God's Plan

08-12-2018Pastor's LetterFr. John Granato

My Dear Friends,

As most of you heard last week, I have been reassigned. Next Monday, August 20th, I begin my new assignment as pastor at St. Katherine Drexel Parish in New Britain. It consists of the two former parishes, St. Maurice and St. Jerome. I arrived in Torrington on August 1st, 2011, as an assistant to Father Tiano. Two years later, in July 2013, I was named administrator, soon to be followed by pastor in 2014. In those five years, the cluster went through many changes, the most destabilizing change being the closing of two parishes, and the merging of the four Torrington Catholic churches into St. John Paul the Great Parish.

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Come to the Bread of Life

08-05-2018Pastor's LetterRev. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

In today’s Gospel, Jesus says that He is the Bread of Life. It is a continuation from last week’s Gospel when Jesus fed the five thousand with the loaves and fish. It is also in preparation for the continuation of the important chapter six of the Gospel of John where Jesus will flesh out His comment on being the Bread of Life. The importance of chapter six cannot be minimized or disregarded. Jesus speaks plainly to His disciples and those who are following Him. “What can you do?” they ask Him. Moses gave them manna, but Jesus responds that is was not Moses, but rather His Father who gives them true bread from heaven.

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Ad majorem Dei gloriam

07-29-2018Pastor's Letter

My Dear Friends,

July 31st is the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). He was a Spaniard and a soldier. It was while recuperating from an injury that St. Ignatius began reading the lives of the saints. The more he read of the saints, the more he fell in love with his Catholic faith and his desire to become a saint himself. The Jesuits were famous for missionary work and educational work throughout the centuries. Jesuit priests traveled to India, China, Japan, Africa, Mexico, South America, North America and even the Soviet Union. Many Jesuits have been declared saints.

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Humanae Vitae

07-22-2018Pastor's LetterRev. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

On July 25th, 1968, fifty years ago, Pope Paul VI promulgated an encyclical that started a revolution in the Catholic Church; a revolution that has change the face of our church ever since. On that day, he issued the encyclical Humane Vitae, which reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s teaching on the morality of regulating births. Bishops, priests, nuns and other lay theologians, as well as prominent lay Catholics, took out a full page ad in the New York Times excoriating Pope Paul VI and questioned papal authority. These priests, the most famous being Fr. Charles Curran, a moral theology professor at Catholic University of America, argued that artificial means of birth control were licit and fell under the role of conscience for Catholics, Pope Paul VI did not get the full support of bishops and priests to uphold the teaching that artificial birth control was sinful.

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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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