February 2 – The Feast of St. Blaise

01-31-2021Pastor's LetterFr. John Granato

My Dear Friends,

This weekend I usually bless the throats of anyone who wants the blessing in honor of St. Blaise. Due to the virus that has changed so many parishes’ plans, I will offer the blessing at the end of Mass, but there will not be individual blessings with the candles around your throat.

There will be a different plan for Ash Wednesday as well this year. When it gets closer I will let you know how we will proceed with ashes on Ash Wednesday, but I can say that ashes will not be placed on the forehead of anyone this year.

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Ways to Stay Close to Christ

01-24-2021Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

As we come to a close to the month of January, I cannot help but look around and see terrible evil being unleashed. For a Catholic, indeed for any follower of Jesus Christ, our true enemy is and has always been Satan. St. Paul and St. Peter both remind us of this in their letters. Jesus Himself mentions it in the Gospels. There are many ways for us to stay close to Christ and to win the battle against our enemy, the enemy of all mankind.

First, and very simply, we have the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Any prayer to our Lord is, of course, helpful, but the devotion to the Sacred Heart is a powerful weapon. Another powerful weapon is the Blessed Mother. With her, we have the rosary. Another devotion to the Blessed Mother besides the rosary is a devotion to her Immaculate Heart. She herself said at the apparition at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917 that her Immaculate Heart would triumph. A third way to fight our enemy is with a devotion to the angel that defeated him in the Book of Revelation, St. Michael. Not only do we pray the St. Michael prayer after all our Masses, but Pope Leo XIII, who gave us the St. Michael prayer, has a longer form of the St. Michael prayer as well. I believe in the past I gave you this long prayer to St. Michael. It is easy to find on the internet. You can find it here.

Pray for an End to Abortion

01-17-2021Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

This upcoming Friday is January 22nd. It is, of course, the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade. In the almost fifty year since the United States legalized abortion, we have aborted over 60 million babies in this country alone. That does not even touch upon the numbers of abortions in all countries. In 2020, there were over 45 million abortions in all countries during the last year alone. With an incoming administration with majorities in both the House and the Senate, and a party that is beholden to the special interests of Planned Parenthood, which gives millions of dollars towards candidates who will not only keep abortion legal but will also overturn the Hyde amendment as well as force the Little Sisters of the Poor, a religious order of Catholic nuns that run hospitals and nursing homes, to betray their religious conscience and pay for abortions and contraception in their health care plans for their employees. As we have seen here in Connecticut, and we will see on the national level with the new administration, our crisis pregnancy centers will also be forced to counsel abortions or be forced to shut down.

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The Baptism of the Lord

01-10-2021Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Today we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, who was baptized by John in the Jordan River. Recently in our Catholic Church, there was a question concerning validity of the sacrament of baptism when a priest found out that he was baptized as a child with the wrong formula. The deacon who baptized him thirty years ago said the formula, “We baptize you,” instead of the correct formula, “I baptize you.”

It might seem like a minor change that shouldn’t question the validity of the sacrament, but Pope Francis did say that because the deacon used the wrong words the sacrament was not valid and the priest needed to be re-baptized, re-confirmed, and re-ordained. Since then there have been other cases of Catholics finding out that the priest or deacon used the wrong words at their baptisms as well.

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The Epiphany of the Lord

01-03-2021Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!!! Let us pray that this year brings you and your families many blessings! It has been a very difficult 2020, and my heart goes out to all the people who have lost loved ones due to the coronavirus and the many people who survived it after getting it. But we also cannot forget our other loved ones who died this past year due to other causes, e.g. cancer, diabetes, heart disease, strokes, heart attacks, depression, accidents and just plain old age. Death is never easy, regardless of how someone dies. But every New Year brings us hope and an opportunity to renew our faith.

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