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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Trinity Sunday and the Corpus Christi Procession

05-27-2018Pastor's LetterRev. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Today we celebrate Trinity Sunday. The Trinity is a central dogma of our Christian faith; one God and three Persons. When we say the words, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we are calling upon the very name of God. He has revealed Himself to mankind as a Trinity of persons, but that revelation as Father, Son and Holy Spirit demands the faith that what we know of God is He is one. That is why when we baptize someone we baptize in the very name of God, by calling upon Him as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is a relational term as opposed to functional terms such as Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. These functional terms were popular in the 1980's and in some Christian denominations still are popular because they do away with "sexist" masculine terms for God.

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Pentecost Sunday

05-20-2018Pastor's LetterRev. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Today we commemorate the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Pentecost Sunday, fifty days after Easter and our Lord's Resurrection, the Holy Spirit, promised by our Lord to His Apostles, is commonly called the birthday of the Catholic Church. It is the culmination of the nine day novena of the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary, beginning when Jesus ascended into Heaven. At the end of this novena, and with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles were given the courage and the strength to begin their ministry. Indeed, they were given the gifts of the Holy Spirit beginning with the ability to speak in tongues.

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Mother's Day

05-13-2018Pastor's LetterRev. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Today in the secular world we celebrate Mother's Day. Setting aside one day a year for mothers does not seem like enough. Thankfully, in our church, we honor and celebrate mothers every day as we honor our Blessed Mother by praying the daily rosary. The months of May and October also serve to recognize our Blessed Mother. And we also have three holy days of obligation set aside for our Blessed Mother as well as countless feasts and memorials throughout the liturgical year. Honoring our Blessed Mother is important for she is the one who said "yes" to God in order to bring forth the Savior of the world. Mary is both virgin and mother. Mary's life of virtue is exemplary, and it is due to her life of virtue and the fact that she is co-redemptrix and mediatrix that we receive many graces through her intercession.

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The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord

05-06-2018Pastor's LetterRev. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

This Thursday is the Solemnity of the Ascension, a Holy Day of Obligation. A Catholic must go to Mass either on the vigil on Wednesday night or on the Holy Day itself on Thursday. The Church gives us Holy Days as a gift. In the Catholic Church, the Holy Days of Obligation are the following; Christmas; Epiphany; Ascension; Corpus Christi; Mary, Mother of God; Immaculate Conception; Assumption; St. Joseph; Sts. Peter and Paul; and All Saints. These Holy Days are not meant to be burdensome. The truth that these Holy Days point to or enlighten is offered to us so that we may grow in our spiritual life and our love for Jesus Christ.

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Good Shepherd Sunday

04-22-2018Pastor's LetterRev. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends, Today is called Good Shepherd Sunday. The Gospel reading, from St. John, recalls our Lord's words where he acknowledges himself as the Good Shepherd and how he protects his sheep from the wolves. Pastors, in fact all priests, are called to be good shepherds as well, protecting God's people from attacks from the wolves. Our society has many wolves; some in sheep's clothing no less. It is so important for us as a church, the universal Catholic Church as well as our local Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Hartford and our Parish of St. John Paul the Great that we pray for vocations to the priesthood.

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Parish Council Nominations

04-15-2018Pastor's LetterRev. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

On April 29th, we will be asking for nominations for our parish council. We are looking for four new members. It is a three year term, and we meet on the second Monday from 7-8 from September to June. Once we receive the names for nominations, we will contact the persons to see if they are willing to serve, and on May 20th, we will hold the final vote.

The parish council is an advisory committee that comes together to discuss parish issues and concerns, as well as fundraisers and events. A parish council member first and foremost must be someone who loves our Church and our faith. He or she must be positive in outlook, looking to be part of a solution. Parish council members must also embrace that we are one parish. Any issue or concern or discussion that happens is placed under the umbrella of St. John Paul the Great. Parish council members cannot be attached only to one church building and not have concern for the parish as a whole. My responsibility as the pastor is to make sure that both church buildings are maintained and each campus also maintained. It is the concern of every parishioner, let alone every parish council member, to have stewardship over every building in our parish, which currently has 12 buildings.

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Divine Mercy Sunday

04-08-2018Pastor's LetterRev. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Today, the Second Sunday of Easter, is also called by many, thanks to Pope St. John Paul II, Divine Mercy Sunday, many Catholics find spiritually uplifting. The Gospel reading at this Mass is the appearance of Jesus to the Apostles St. Thomas was missing. He doubted the other ten Apostles, claiming that he would not believe unless he touched his side. St. Thomas responds with the words, "My Lord and My God." Between this Gospel passage of the Doubting Thomas and the prayers of the Mass itself, it is only fitting that the Octave of Easter ends with a Mass emphasizing Mass of Divine Mercy on the Second Sunday of Easter.

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Happy Easter!

04-01-2018Pastor's LetterRev. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Today is Easter Sunday! Christus resurrexit! Resurrrexit vere! Khristos anesti! Alithos anesti! Christos voskrese! Voistinu voskrese! Chrystus zmartwychwstaƂ! Prawdziwie zmartwychwstaƂ! Cristo è risorto! È veramente risorto! ¡En verdad resucitó! Le Christ est ressuscité! En verité il est ressuscité! Christ is risen! Truly, He is risen!!

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The St. Joseph Medal

03-11-2018Pastor's LetterRev. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

It is that time of year again when the Archdiocese honors those volunteers recommended by the pastor forthe annual St. Joseph medal. St. Joseph is the patron saint of our Archdiocese. He is also an important figurein the Gospels, even though he does not have a spoken word attributed to him. He is traditionally a quiet andunassuming man who went about his business and was a support for his wife, our Blessed Mother, and for herSon, Jesus Christ. He took no credit for the good works that he quietly performed.

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About Our Parish Council

03-04-2018Pastor's LetterRev. John C. Granato

It seems that some parishioners would like to know about our parish council. A parish council is an advisory board of parishioners to help the pastor concerning parish concerns, events and situations. Parish council members should have a pulse on what the concerns of the parish are and be active in helping with possible fundraisers. The pastor may also bring questions to the parish council for advice for something specific.

When we became one parish, St. John Paul the Great, I decided to combine the four parish council of the four previous parishes. But I also wanted a manageable parish council, so I decided upon three members from each church. Some willingly stepped aside before we took a vote. At the end of the process, I had my twelve members from the four previous parishes. They are listed in the parish bulletin. I also added a thirteenth member, from the Spanish community, and the parish council also has ex-officio members that are a part of the parish council because of their role in the church.

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