The Epistle Online:  April 12, 2017

St. Paul Catholic Parish
St. Paul Church, Kensington + Sacred Heart Church, East Berlin

In This Issue
Quick Links
Easter Blessings
May the peace of the risen Christ be with you
at Easter and always.
Holy Week and Easter Schedule 2017

(Click above for an illustrated guide to the Triduum from 'focus')

Holy Thursday, April 13
Mass of the Lord's Supper  7pm  
Confession & Eucharistic Adoration 8pm
(No 7am or 5pm Mass)
Good Friday*, April 14
The Passion of the Lord  3pm  
(No 7am or 5pm Mass)
Holy Saturday, April 15
Blessing of Food 12pm and 1pm
Confession 12-1pm
Easter Vigil Mass 8pm
Easter Sunday, April 16
Mass 7:30am, 9:00am, 10:30am, 12:00pm - St. Paul Church
Mass 9:30am - Sacred Heart Church

Easter Monday, April 17
Parish Office Closed
Mass 7am (No 5pm Mass)

*Catholics age 18-59 are required to fast (1 meal+2 snacks) and abstain from meat on Good Friday
Our Faith
He is Risen!
"On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb."  -Jn 20

Easter, the  celebration of the Resurrection, is the most important holy day on the Christian calendar. 

So how do we know he really rose?   
"He is Risen. These three words change everything."
In this video,  Chris Stefanick  explains  (in l ess than 2 min)  how our Catholic Faith hinges on the core belief of The Resurrection .

[More of Chris' videos can be found at . ]

Two recent movies attempt to tackle this same question...  in an inspiring, powerful and very entertaining way. Click on the images to watch the trailers!

The Case for Christ (in theaters now!) tells the story of an investigative journalist and self-proclaimed atheist who sets out to disprove the existence of God after his wife becomes a Christian.

Risen is a depiction of events surrounding Christ's missing body after his crucifixion through the eyes of a nonbeliever.

A Roman soldier is ordered by Pontius Pilate to investigate the disappearance of Jesus' body and to recover it. But the hunt turns out to have life-altering consequences...  -Catholic News Service
Our Faith
Easter Music?
Ever heard of Matt Maher?
Maher is an  award-winning Catholic musician who has performed to huge crowds all over the world, including at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in 2013 and in Krakow, Poland in 2016.

Christ Is Risen by Matt Maher  might just become your new favorite Easter song.

For some inspirational music with a slight edge, check out We Are Messengers, a
new Irish group started by Darren Mulligan and his wife Heidi Mulligan in 2015. Darren's life story is as interesting as his music...

Magnify by We Are Messengers

Our Youth

EDGE Knockout Madness Event  for Middle School Students was held on April 2, 2017. Two students hit half-court shots to win a gift card! Click to see all the photos.

Confirmation  On Saturday, April 1st,  Bishop Christie Macaluso confirmed  109 of our religious ed students.  Click on the image to view.

Please keep our young people in your prayers as they continue along their journey of faith.
Good Friday
Phone Fast?
In addition to  fasting  (one meal plus two small snacks) and  abstaining  from meat on Good Friday as required by our Catholic faith (for those age 18-59), t he Archdiocese of Hartford is suggesting that we fast from our  phones  on Good Friday as well.

The "I Phone Fast" campaign asks us to fast from unnecessary uses of technology in order to create an environment where we can better listen to God.

Think you can you do it?  Just one day!

Archbishop Leonard P. Blair: The technology by which we have all these communications and social media and instant communications are all very good and positive things and I think we all acknowledge that sometimes it's good to set those things aside for the sake of some interior silence and recollection, and a chance to put us back in touch with God and one another.-Hartford Courant 3/1/17
 Pastor's Inbox
...and the replies
Inbox: Fr. Robert, I just have to say that Mass at Sacred Heart last week was beautiful. The church was almost full and everyone was so happy to see each other. It was just like it used to be and I really liked it.
Response: I was also very happy to see the church almost full as well. There were 150 people at that Mass. I know the changes have been difficult for many but now we are beginning to see the fruits of our sacrifices. I'm glad you enjoyed the Mass.

Inbox: Fr. Robert, All you talk about is young people. Every time we turn around, there is some new activity going on for the kids. What about the rest of the parish? Why are you spending so much money on youth of the parish and forgetting the rest of us?
Response : The young people of our parish have always been a priority here at St. Paul. We invest a lot of resources in our school and Religious Education program. Several years ago, when a parish-wide survey was done, the young people of our parish were listed as the number one priority. Last year, I passed out orange cards and asked the parish to vote on whether we should hire a youth minister and fund a youth ministry program. The vote was overwhelmingly positive in favor of a such a program. Although we have programs focused on the youth of our parish, it doesn't mean we are neglecting the rest of the parish. For example, we visit the sick, and take communion to the home-bound. We have a Men's Group, the Knights of Columbus and the Ladies' Guild. We also have an adult faith formation program. Anyone with a family knows that kids are expensive and as long as I'm here we will continue to invest in our children.

Inbox: Fr. Robert, Why is there a shack in the parking lot by the basketball courts? It makes our property look junky.
Response : It was there to hold some snow removal equipment for our contractor during the winter. It was never intended to be permanent, and should be gone in the near future. Now that we have more parking across the street, the building committee has thrown around the idea of building an expanded garage and storage building in the back by the basketball hoops, at the moment, there is no plan to do so.  

Inbox: Fr. Robert, My friend left St. Paul Church because she said the music was too loud. I think it is beautiful. I love the music at our Church.
Response: So do I! The quality of our music is outstanding, and this is even more apparent when you visit other churches and hear their music. I don't think we thank our Music Director, Jeff Batter, and our cantors enough for sharing their gifts. It has been a long-term goal at St. Paul to re-establish a parish choir. If anyone is interested in joining, please let us know. Remember, he who sings, prays twice.

Inbox: Fr. Robert, What is going on? why are so many Catholic Schools closing? How is our school doing?
Response: Sadly, as parishes combine and the number of families wanting to send their children to Catholic schools diminishes, it becomes impossible to financially sustain all of the schools that currently exist. Our school has stable enrollment. The upper grades are fed by an excellent Preschool program that has a waiting list every year. Recently, more families have been sending their children to our school beginning in 6th Grade because they believe that attending Saint Paul School will better prepare their children for high school. Financially our school is strong and we even have a small reserve which will enable us to support our program even if our enrollment should drop for a year or two. Rest assured that our school is strong and viable for the foreseeable future.
Our Staff
This section of the newsletter aims to help you put names with faces and allow everyone in our parish family to get to know each other better.
Joan Vancour  was a member of the staff at Sacred Heart Church for the past eight years. With the merger of Sacred Heart and St. Paul churches, she now works as a secretary for the combined St. Paul Parish, along with Flora Sittnick.
Joan worked very hard t hroughout the recent transition period, helping the merger process to go as smoothly as possible.
Joan is a Eucharistic Minister as well, serving at Mass on Sundays and bringing the Eucharist to several of our parishioners who are either home-bound or living in healthcare facilities. Joan is always smiling, cheerful and ready to help. We are thankful and very blessed to have her as a member of our parish staff.
Joan and her husband Ronald live in Southington. The couple enjoys spending time with their daughter and son-in-law and their two boys, attending as many of their sporting events as possible. Joan is excited that her youngest grandson will be entering 6th grade at Saint Paul School in the fall!
April 2017 Calendar
April 12 6:00am Men's Group

6:00pm UCONN dinner with College Students

6:00pm The Rosary at Sacred Heart Church

7:00pm Social Action Committee meeting
April 13 12:00pm 13th of the Month Rosary (St Paul Church)

7:00pm Mass of the Lord's Supper
April 14 3:00pm The Passion of Our Lord

Parish Office Closed

No AA Meeting
April 15 12:00pm  Blessing of Food and Confessions

8:00pm Easter Vigil Mass
April 16 Happy Easter!  (Regular Sunday Mass Schedule)
April 17 Parish Office Closed

NO 5pm Mass
April 18 4:00-8:00pm Bill's Pizza Night for Saint Paul School

6:00pm Exultations Rehearsal

6:30pm New Day Bereavement Support Group

7:00pm Choir Rehearsal

7:00pm Scout Troop 44 Meeting
April 19 6:00pm The Rosary, held at Sacred Heart Church

7:00pm Culture of Life (Pro-Life) Meeting

7:00pm Adult Faith Formation Program
April 21 12:00pm FoodShare Truck at Sacred Heart

7:30pm AA Meeting
April 22 1:00pm Wedding
3:00pm Confession

5:00pm Polish Supper 
April 23 Divine Mercy Sunday
April 24 7:00pm Youth Core Team Meeting
April 25 6:00pm Exultations Rehearsal

6:30pm New Day Bereavement Support Group

7:00pm Choir Rehearsal

7:00pm Scout Troop 44 Meeting
April 26 6:00pm The Rosary, held at Sacred Heart Church

7:00pm Adult Faith Formation Program
April 27 6:30pm First Communion Rehearsals
April 28 6:00am Men's Group

7:30pm AA Meeting
April 29 3:00pm Confession
April 30 First Holy Communion during 9am, 10:30am and Noon Mass
May 7 First Holy Communion during 9am and 10:30am Mass

See our  web calendar for any changes and for a complete listing of all future events!
The Epistle
We hope this newsletter will be a helpful resource for you, providing information about what's  going on in our parish and sharing content on both spiritual and practical matters related to our Catholic faith.  The Epistle  is so named as a tribute to our patron, Saint Paul, whose letters to the earliest Christians still guide and inform us today.
As always, w e value you and your opinions. Feel free to share your thoughts with us.

Please forward this Newsletter to a family member or friend so they too will have an opportunity to learn something new and to see all the great things that are happening at 
Saint Paul Parish.
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-Saint Francis of Assisi

A Ministry of the Conventual Franciscan Friars,  Our Lady of the Angels Province