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.

We have a holy hour every Monday from 12:00-1:00pm at Sacred Heart Church to pray specifically for our priests and for vocations. Thursdays are also commonly set aside in parishes to pray for vocations since the priesthood was instituted on Holy Thursday.

Since we have Eucharistic Adoration every night of the week from Monday to Friday, we have many opportunities 5-8 pm at St. Francis Church, those I attendance can offer their adoration time for vocations to the priesthood. Some particular saints that you can turn to for their intercession are our patronal saint, St. John Paul the Great, St. Padre Pio, and St. John Vianney. St. Therese of Liseaux can also be called upon for the holiness of priests, for she spent her time in the convent praying for priests and their holiness. Tuesdays are also a day that I am proposing a specific prayer intention during the hours from 5-8 pm. to stand up for, or to actual kneel down for in prayer, is pro-life. We as a parish community can do our part by setting aside Tuesday as a time to pray for pro-life causes, especially our Two Hearts Crisis Pregnancy Center here in Torrington. We will be having the Rachel Rosary once a month on Tuesdays as well. Some saints to turn to for their intercession on pro-life issues are once again St. John Paul the Great, St. Gianna Molla, and even though she is not a saint yet, Mother Angelica.

Priests are to be shepherds and to lay down their lives for their sheep. Priesthood is a beautiful vocation whereby a man sacrifices his life and sacrifices a family of his own in order to be another Christ in our midst. How many potential priests have been aborted since 1973? Please pray for your priests and pray for vocations to the priesthood, especially from your own families and the families here in Torrington. And please pray for an increase in respect for life at all stages, from conception to natural death.