Is the Book better than the Movie? Or vice versa?

03-29-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

As we are still in a period of suspension with much uncertainty, we will not be able to gather together again for the Eucharist, but hopefully our live feed this Sunday will sound better for those who are trying to stream through computers.

I would like to try and keep this bulletin letter on a more whimsical side; Lord knows we have probably had enough of the bad news. But today in the miracle story of Jesus' raising Lazarus form the dead, we are also assured of a resurrection. Our whole lives as a human person are examples of a daily dying and rising, so we trust in the Lord and await the resurrection from this deadly epidemic that has affected all of us. With much time on our hands, I am thinking of books and movies. Having read many books that have been made into movies, I am always interested to see if the movie is better than the book or vice versa. Now, these are only movies from books that I have seen, so if I miss one that you like I am sorry.

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All Masses Cancelled

03-22-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that I write this bulletin letter today. All weekday and weekend Masses in the Archdiocese of Hartford have been cancelled. As a priest, and a pastor that has been entrusted the care of your souls, I am at a loss. The Mass is the reason for a priest's existence. St. Padre Pio said, "Every holy Mass, heard with devotion, produces in our souls marvelous effects, abundant spiritual and material graces which we, ourselves, do not know. It is easier for the earth to exist without the sun than without the holy Sacrifice of the Mass."

I will still be celebrating a daily Mass, in private, for our parish and for all Catholics and all people who are suffering from this virus. But to not be with my flock and not be able to feed my flock with the Living Bread from Heaven will be a great sacrifice. As of right now, we will be allowed to celebrate a public Mass on weekend of Palm Sunday, unless the suspension of Masses is extended.

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St. Patrick's Day

03-15-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

This week we celebrate St. Patrick on March 17th. St. Patrick is the pride and joy of the Irish people and responsible for converting Ireland from paganism to Christianity. He is also responsible for the more private way of confessing sins in the confessional; the way we still practice confession today. Before St. Patrick, the penitent would confess his or her sins not only in front of the priest but before the congregation as well. Penances were also proscribed so that depending on the penance one would know what the sin was that was committed.

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The Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary

03-08-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

The Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a most venerable and powerful prayer for Catholics. It consists of fifty-nine beads and a crucifix on a string. Prayer beads go back to the early 3rd century with the desert monks, who would use a rope of beads to meditate. Over the course of the centuries, prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary were becoming more popular, and by the 9th century, Mary was invoked more often. It seems like originally by the 12th century, when the monks were reciting all 150 psalms every week, the lay people, most of whom were illiterate and couldn’t join in the monks, would recite 150 Our Fathers every day to unite their devotion of the psalms with the monks. Eventually, Irish monks would change that practice to the angelic salutation, which we know as the first part of the Hail Mary. In order to keep the number 150 intact with the psalms, it was arranged over time to have five sets of ten beads for fifty Hail Mary's, corresponding to a mystery of our Lord, commonly called, Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious. To pray all three sets of mysteries every day would give the person the number 150 for each psalm of the Psalter.

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Archbishops Annual Appeal Kick Off and Our Patronal Feast Day

03-01-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

This weekend begins the annual kick-off to the Archbishop's Annual Appeal. The homily this weekend at all the Masses will be by Archbishop Blair on video. This is an important fundraiser every year for the Archbishop in order to raise money for the costs of running the archdiocese as well as helping in works of mercy for a large number of ministries that rely on the goodness and charity of the archdiocese to help fund their ministries.

This Tuesday, March 3rd, is our patronal feast day for the parish, St. Katharine Drexel. We will be celebrating her feast day with an added evening Mass at St. Maurice Church at 6 pm. Patron saints are very important in the devotional life of Catholics in particular, as well as the life of the Catholic Church in general. Some of my patron saints are St. John the Evangelist, the saint name of my first name; St. Christopher, my middle name; St. Paul, my confirmation name; St. John Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests; St. Philomena, the patron saint for chastity, especially for priests; and St. Michael the Archangel, a patron saint for priests.

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