St. Paul Church

485 Alling Street

Kensington CT 06037

  

The Epistle Online:  December 29, 2015

In This Issue

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Have a Happy and Blessed 2016
  
A Blessing of Saint Francis
  
May the Lord bless you  and keep you;
May He show His face to you  and be merciful to you.
May He turn His Countenance to you and give you peace.
 
From Fr. Robert, Fr. Raymond, Fr. Tim, Fr. Charles
 and Deacon Carmen

New Year Mass Schedule:
5pm on New Year's Eve
9am & 11am on New Year's Day
The Epistle Online
We hope this newsletter will be a helpful resource, 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.  Click here to send us an email.
Our Faith
The New Year and the ' Year of Mercy'
  
As we open the door to 2016, many of us will stop to think about where we are headed in the New Year. If YOU hope to make a few changes, consider these 10 New Year's Resolutions for Catholics
The start of the New Year and the Year of Mercy is a great time to put these ideas into action...
   
  1. Download Catholic Apps (like The Pope App or FOCUS Equip)
  2. Find a Patron Saint
  3. Attend Daily Mass
  4. Go to Confession Every Month
  5. Read the Bible
  6. Get Involved In Your Parish 
  7. Pray the Rosary
  8. Check Out Catholic Radio
  9. Read About Your Faith
  10. Spend Some Time in Front of the Blessed Sacrament
  
An Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy with Fr. Mike Schmitz
  
Wondering what the Jubilee Year of Mercy is all about?
  
Fr. Mike Schmitz offers some insight, explaining the significance of a Jubilee Year and showing how we can be merciful toward others in our everyday lives through the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Click on the image...

  
On December 13th a  special event took place in Hartford to celebrate the beginning of the Year of Mercy. Many of the faithful from our local area accepted the invitation to " Walk through the Doors " at the Cathedral of St. Joseph. ..  more
  
  
January first is a solemn holy day, the Feast of Mary the Mother of God . Perhaps we can make this feast more relevant to the New Year by seeing in Mary a model for renewed Christian life: in her openness to the Holy Spirit, her radical assent to God's will for her life, her patience through suffering, and her willingness to bring the Savior into the world. Those are all qualities that would make any of us better people in the New Year.   -from  The New Year  by  Fr. Larry Rice, CSP. 
Youth and Families
Legos, the Domestic Church, and Our Middle School Kids!

If your children (or you) are into LEGO, check this out!  A Pennsylvania priest has merged his faith and love of LEGO to build a unique ministry worthy of a major metropolitan museum.





Is your family a " domestic Church "?  The idea is that family itself is a mini-Church, and it can c arry  out the mission of the Church in ordinary ways and in daily routines.  This short article, Christian family is a domestic church,  explains it further. " Have you ever thought of your mini-van as a chapel..."

Here are some ways that you can build a domestic Church with your family :
  • Pray as a family & read from Scripture daily
  • Pray a Family Rosary 
  • Have a crucifix in a prominent place in your home
  • For vacations, visit shrines and other religious sites
  • Teach stewardship and charity to your children, through word and example
  • Demonstrate love for your spouse, your children, your neighbors...
  • Talk freely about the presence of God in the joys and sorrows of your life
  • Participate in the ministries and activities of your parish 
  • Allow your children to witness you in private prayer
  • click here  for more ideas...
Mrs. Hilbie's and Mrs. Tighe's  religious ed classes recently prepared 30 bags for the homeless. The bags included personal care items, winter-warmth essentials, and hand-written  notes from the kids.  The students' corporal works of mercy (stuffing the bags) and spiritual works of mercy (praying over the bags), got the Holy Year of Mercy off to a great start. Th e teachers distributed the bags to those in need. "I handed out the first bag to a woman who was visibly moved by our act of kindness," said Mrs. Hilbie. Thank you to all of you for your good works!
For Your Marriage
Praying and God's Plan for Marriage
  
"I haven't been praying nearly enough for my marriage
I think about things. I discuss things. I complain about things. I attempt to fix things. I work on things. I apologize for things. I want to change things. And then I discuss things some more. But talking about things and thinking about things and working on things... these are not at all the same as praying for them..." 

Click to read the full article,  5 Scriptures to Pray Over Your Marriage , by a ward-winning author Lysa TerKeurst.
  
  
Finding Help When Your Marriage is in Trouble  may be worth a read as well. 
" Modern stresses on marriage can take their toll. Nevertheless, God's plan for marriage persists....   more
Ministry of the Month: 
Pro-Life Ministry
The mission of this ministry is to promote the Church teaching that  all human life, from the moment of conception, is sacred and must be protected.  The ministry aims to educate and inform parishioners about  pro-life issues and events.
 
T wo of the more well-known events in the pro-life movement are 40 Days for Life  and the March for Life. Click on the links to learn more and to get involved in these important activities.  With the  2016 March for Life  fast approaching on Friday, Jan. 22nd , now is the perfect time to tune-in to all that's being done to save lives of the unborn.

How I became Pro-Life  by author Jennifer Fulwiler provides an interesting perspective from someone who described herself as being 'vehemently pro-choice'.  " It just occurred to me that being pro-life is being pro-other people's-life,' he quipped. 'Everyone is pro-their own-life'...."

For more information or to get involved, email  defendlife@stpaulkensington.org.
Our Church Community
Get to Know the Office Staff
We hope this section of our newsletter will help you put faces with the names of our staff members and volunteers and  help all members of our parish family get to know each other better.
 
The Christmas season, filled with such wonderful music, seemed like the perfect time to put the spotlight on our incredibly talented 
Director of Music and Liturgy, Jeff Batter. Jeff was a musical prodigy in his youth, playing with the New Haven Symphony as a ten year old. Years later, he started a rock band that became very popular in the 1970's. Jeff continues to enjoy a successful music career, releasing international recordings and performing live at weddings and special events. Jeff's wife Cheryl is also a musician and the Co-director of Music at Sacred Heart Church in East Berlin. Jeff joined our staff in 2011, and we are very blessed to have  such a talented musician as member of our staff!
 
If you're interested in joining the church choir, contact Jeff at the parish office, 860-828-0331, Ext.114 or by email, jeffbatter@stpaulkensington.org.  
A Word from  Fr. Robert
After consulting with the other priests of the New Britain Deanery, we decided to begin  Mercy Mondays here at St. Paul Church . Every Monday from 7pm-8pm beginning on Jan 18th and continuing throughout the Holy Year of Mercy, your friar priests will be sitting in church before the Blessed Sacrament praying for you, your families, our parish and the whole Church. We hope that you will join us. During the hour, we will also be available to listen to your story, hear your confession, and/or offer any advice you may seek. You can cry on our shoulder, tell us what you think about whatever, or just ask for a prayer.  No appointment needed. Just come and have a seat next to us.  

Every year we gather for a College Dinner with our college students over the Christmas Break to enjoy a good meal and each other's company. If you are home on break, please join us. Simply go to the website stpaulkensington.org and sign up or email ourchurch@stpaulkensington.org   Hope to see you there.

This is beautiful....


Pastor's Inbox

Dear Fr. Robert My nephew wants me to be the Godmother for his baby, but the Secretary said I didn't qualify. I want to be a Godmother for my nephew. Why won't you let me do it? 

Response: After talking with the Secretary, I found out that you were not married in the Church. Sadly, according to Church law, not being married in the Church is an impediment to serving as a Godparent. I am sorry that you are hurt, but there is nothing I can do to remedy the situation. I would be happy to talk to you more in person. Please call the office if you want to talk it over. I strongly encourage you  to be a positive influence in the baby's life. I am sure you will have many gifts to offer the child as he or she grows up. 

Dear Fr. Robert, I am very upset that the priest forgot to read the names of the Mass intentions at the 5:00 PM Mass. I think it is terrible. 

Response: Please take a deep breath. It is the custom here at St. Paul to read the names of the Mass intentions at sometime during the Mass. If the names were not read, the priest simply forgot or the intention sheet was misplaced. I am sure you know all too well that your priests are human and sometimes make mistakes. I'm sorry you are so upset. To my knowledge there is nothing in our tradition which would cause anyone any harm if the names are not said at Mass.  Rest assured that our Lord knows who the intention was for and will bless them accordingly.  

Dear Fr. Robert, I was happy to see our Church's name on the the Billboard on Farmington Ave. 

Response: Thanks for your kind words. The Pastoral Council wanted some way to remind people in town that we are here and that everyone is always welcome at St. Paul Church.
End of the Year Appeal Update
Our goal is $65,000. As of today, we have reached over 76% of our goal, with donations totaling $49,535.  
  
Thank you to all who made a difference by contributing to the End of the Year Appeal!   Click here   to make a quick donation. Thanks in advance.
 January 2016 Calendar
  
Dec 31st 7:00 am Mass and 5:00 pm Vigil
Jan 1st
New Year's Day Mass at 9 am & 11 am
Jan 3rd
Knights of Columbus Free Throw Contest, Noon
Jan 7th College Break Holiday Dinner at 6pm , Church Hall
Jan 9th
First Reconciliation, 9:00 & 10:30 AM
Jan 10th New England Friars Epiphany Celebration, 6:00 PM
Jan  11th
Registration for New Parishioners, 7:00 PM, Church Hall
Jan 15th-18th Martin Luther King, Jr Basketball Tournament at Saint Paul School
Jan  18th
Martin Luther King Day, No School
Jan 21st
"What To Expect in Middle School" (Open House at SPS), 6:30 PM
Jan 24th Catholic Schools' Week Begins, 9:00 AM Mass 
Jan 24th Pancake Breakfast at 10:00 AM
Jan 24th Preschool - Saint Paul School Open House, 2:00 PM
Jan 26th Preschool - Grade 8, Saint Paul School Open House, 6:30 PM


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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 Church.
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-Saint Francis of Assisi

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