A Journey from Despair to Hope

03-31-2024Weekly ReflectionRev. Emmanuel I. Ihemedu

Dear beloved parishioners of St. John Paul the Great Parish,

As we celebrate the glorious season of Easter, we are invited to reflect on the profound message of hope and renewal that the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ brings to our lives. In the Gospel of John, we encounter the moving story of Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb, a powerful symbol of the victory of life over death, light over darkness.


Christ is risen! “Alleluia!”

03-30-2024Weekly ReflectionMost Reverend Leonard P. Blair, Archbishop of Hartford

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

At the Last Supper, which we commemorated on Holy Thursday, Jesus took bread and wine and instituted the Eucharist, instructing the Apostles to “Do This in Memory of Me.” (1 Cor. 11:24). When we come together for the celebration of Mass., we not only experience our unit as living members of the Body of Christ, but we also receive Him – body and blood, soul and divinity – in the Holy Eucharist. This is so precisely because He is not to be found among the dead but among the living, and that is our Easter joy.


The Bridegroom King

03-24-2024Weekly Reflection© LPi Fr. John Muir

A few months before they married, my twenty-three-year-old sister and her fiancé planned a cross-country road trip to visit his family.

My parents told them that they could only go if they slept in separate hotel rooms, offering to foot the bill. It might sound prudish, but my parents wanted the young couple to understand that their approaching unity was close, but not yet. Patience solidifies love.


Have Faith in the Glory of God

03-17-2024Weekly Reflection© LPi Fr. John Muir

A middle-aged woman sat on the couch in my parish office and recounted to me a shocking list of terrible calamities in her life: addictions, terminal illnesses, financial loss, broken relationships, and so on. She smiled as she did so. “Please forgive me,” I asked, “but you seem to be smiling as you share this.” She said, “Father John, I am totally overwhelmed. But I’m smiling because I just can’t wait to see what good things God does with this mess.” She expected God would manifest His glory when she most needed it.


"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world."

03-10-2024Weekly Reflection© LPi Fr. John Muir

Our national pastime isn’t baseball. It’s what the Bible calls “condemning the world.” We generally enjoy pronouncing curses upon those whom we see as trouble, wrong, or evil. Don’t believe me? Listen to almost any podcast, cable news network, or social media platform to hear it. It will be some version of: “We all agree that if they are eradicated, things will be great.” Condemning is almost always clothed in virtue. It basks in its good intentions. That’s why it is so attractive. Condemning seems like our best path to saving what is good.


I am the Lord your God … You shall not have other gods beside me.

03-03-2024Weekly Reflection© LPi Fr. John Muir

One of the greatest golfers of all time — if not the greatest — was Jack Nicklaus. Which is why it is baffling that at the beginning of each season he would return to his childhood coach and re-learn how to grip the golf club. It’s like Shakespeare re-learning the alphabet and grammar. Why would he do that? Because Jack knew that the fundamentals are always relevant. Perfecting and obsessing over his grip allowed him to do everything else in the game well. In sports and life, the best ones love the basics.


Consider serving in the Protect the Flock ministry

03-02-2024From the PastorRev. Emmanuel I. Ihemedu

Dear Parishioners of St. John Paul the Great Parish,

I am excited to share with you an opportunity to serve in a ministry that is close to our hearts – the Protect the Flock ministry. As the first Catholic church security program in Connecticut, Protect the Flock is dedicated to ensuring that all of us can worship in peace, free from the worry of harm. In addition to providing security, our team is also trained to assist in medical emergencies, offering comfort and support until professional help arrives.


Remain until the Final Blessing

03-01-2024From the PastorRev. Emmanuel I. Ihemedu

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As we gather together in worship and fellowship, it is important to remember the significance of our time in this sacred space. Our participation in the Mass is not only an act of personal devotion but also a communal expression of our faith and unity as the Body of Christ.

In the spirit of reverence and respect, we are reminded of the importance of remaining in the church until the conclusion of the Mass. Just as we would not leave a funeral before the body has been escorted out, or a wedding before the newlyweds have departed, so too should we honor the presence of Christ in the Eucharist and in the person of the priest by waiting until the priest has processed out of the church.