Happy 1st Anniversary St. John Paul the Great Parish

07-01-2018Gospel ReflectionFr. 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.

We also find unity in Adoration, which we offer every evening (Mondays from 5:00-7:00 and Tuesday-Friday from 5:00-8:00). We are united in prayer, which is the basic foundation that is essential to a thriving parish.  Division comes from the devil. Sadly, the things that divide many parishes are liturgical practices and ways of worshiping, as well as dissenting from the teachings of the Catholic faith, including the difficult teachings on sexuality. Yet, despite these differences, each person is to be offered dignity and respect. It is always easier for a person to ridicule or criticize or lack forgiveness towards another who may think differently, pray differently, or even have a personality that might rub you the wrong way. But, as I mentioned, the central uniting act is our coming together at the celebration of Mass as a living and breathing community, the Body of Christ, His Bride, uniting with Him, our Head, at the nuptial banquet every Sunday. As a way to celebrate our first year as St. John Paul the Great, we remember our former patron saints, the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, Our Lady of Czestochowa, St. Peter and St. Francis. A good way to honor them is to pray the rosary today and offer each decade of the rosary for each former parish and the fifth decade for our current parish, that our Lord will bless us and help us to grow. We will also have a cake for those who wish to celebrate at the end of the 8:30 Mass and the 10:00 Mass and the 12:30 Mass, with a blessing of our new sign. May St. John Paul the Great intercede for us.

God bless.

Fr. John