Happy Easter!

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Josephine Bakhita Parish,

This may sound a bit freaky to you. I have always felt that God has been with me: when I was a child, when I was an adolescent, when I was a young adult and especially now. I am acutely aware that this awareness is not something that I accomplished because I am holier than anyone else, but that it is simply a gift from God for which I am grateful. Of course, I have my days, especially in the past few months, when I wonder. In the last few weeks, many folks have spoken of their sincere sorrow for the absence of Eucharist and can’t wait to return.

As Catholics, we still believe that Jesus is indeed present in the Eucharistic Bread, as the source and the summit of our religious and spiritual lives. But awareness of other ways that Jesus is present became very popular after Vatican II…not to diminish the intensity of our belief of the presence of Jesus in the reserved sacrament.

In fact, Vatican Council II says that Christ is present with us in the people of the church, gathering, praying and singing, in the person of the priest in the celebration of the sacraments, in the proclamation of the Holy Scriptures, and especially in the Eucharist: the consecrated bread and wine at Mass.

In the past two months, I have been taken by how poignant it is to see the presence of Christ in the people I encounter. As if they were walking tabernacles, holding the presence of Jesus. Of course, and sad to say, I have met a few folks who speak of just the opposite….the absence of Christ. But, I won’t dwell on that right now.

Yes, these days, so many of us acutely miss the opportunity to gather together in prayer and hear the word of God and receive the Body and Blood of Christ. But, maybe there is a very unusual opportunity, under the stresses of our days and our social isolation, which can open us up to those other ways of knowing the abiding presence of Christ. For example, some folks experience the abiding presence of Christ in the beauty and majesty of nature, in the service of the poor and suffering, in their spouses, children and friends, in still quiet moments when we are alone, even in times of great loss and sorrow.

I can’t help but think of the great poets who waxed eloquently on such profound theological truth: As Elizabeth Barret Browning put it, “Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God.” The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins puts it this way: “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.”

Then of course the truth revealed in scripture. The Psalmist asks, “Where can I go from your spirit, from your presence where can I flee? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I sink to the nether world, you are present there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall guide me, your right hand hold me fast.”

And, yes, the very final words of Jesus to his disciples in this week-ends Gospel: “I am with you always, until the end of time.” Peace!

Fr. George Couturier  

Do you find yourself in need of a compassionate ear for your grief due to a loss of a loved one from the coronavirus? Send your name, email address and phone number to me via email and I will connect you to a local bereavement minister from the parish: frgeorge@sjbrh.org
Ascension of the Lord Mass
Thursday, May 21, 2020 at Noon
We will livestream Mass for the Ascension of the Lord at Noon on Thursday, May 21, 2020 using Facebook Live. The recording will also be available afterward on the Parish Facebook page at the link below. You do not have to have a Facebook account to watch. You can click 'not now' when invited to join Facebook. Click on "Videos" on the left hand side of the Facebook page. On the "Videos" Page, click on the red "live" button to watch the livestream. If you visit the "Videos" Page after the mass is over, you can click on the image of the mass to watch the recording.


To join in the singing of the mass hymns view or print the music, Click Here .

Sunday Mass, May 24, 2020
We will livestream the 9:00 AM Sunday Mass using Facebook Live. The recording will also be available afterward on the Parish Facebook page at the link below. You do not have to have a Facebook account to watch. You can click 'not now' when invited to join Facebook. Click on "Videos" on the left hand side of the Facebook page. On the "Videos" Page, click on the red "live" button to watch the livestream starting at 9:00 AM Sunday. If you visit the "Videos" Page after the mass is over, you can click on the image of the mass to watch the recording.


For a helpful guide to participating in Mass at home and partaking in Spiritual Communion , Click Here .

To join in the singing of the mass hymns view or print the music, Click Here .
Join Father George for Daily Prayer
Fr. George will livestream Evening Prayer on Monday-Friday at 5:00 PM using Facebook Live. The recording will also be available afterward on the Parish Facebook page at the link below. You do not have to have a Facebook account to watch. You can click 'not now' when invited to join Facebook. Click on "Videos" on the left hand side of the Facebook page. On the "Videos" Page, click on the red "live" button to watch the livestream starting at 5:00 PM. If you visit the "Videos" Page after short prayer time is over, you can click on the most recent image of Fr. George to watch the recording.


To follow the Evening Prayer along with Fr. George, Click Here .
MAY 2020
Free digital access to daily and Sunday readings for May, click the images below.
Giving Garden
Plant Sale
The Giving Garden Committee (our parish community garden) is
sponsoring a Plant Sale of Vegetable Plants beginning Friday May 29th at 3:00 p.m. until Saturday May 30th until plants have sold out at St. Elizabeth Seton Campus. The proceeds will assist the team in upkeep of the garden. The vegetables of the garden support local soup kitchens and shelters. Each plant is $1. You can place your donation in a an envelope provided and then leave the envelope at the St. Elizabeth
Seton Office door mailbox.
“Letting Go of Stress and Worry”
Starting Wednesday evening June 10th at 7:00 PM Deacon Michael will be convening a three week online scripture reflection series on finding peace in the midst of the realities swirling all around us - looking to the Word for inspiration on dealing with stress and worry. No prior experience with bible study is necessary. All are welcome..(even friends and family that aren’t parishioners!!’)
To learn more, Click Here .
Donate to Our Shelters
& Pantries
Now more than ever, the shelters and food pantries that our parish supports need our help. Food or gift certificates can be ordered online (Amazon, Target, Walmart, etc.) and shipped directly to the organizations. Please contact
Sandy Ambrose amb321@cox.net or
Carl Bach abcb1922@yahoo.com  
with any questions. As always, thank you for kindness and generosity! To learn what items are most needed and the mailing addresses, Click Here .
Masks for Food
The Sew Good Works Ministry has produced over a 1000 masks for the Vets Home and area hospitals, and now has begun to make masks for parishioners of St. Josephine Bakhita. Masks will be available at St. James Mon - Fri between 9 AM-noon. Please give Joy a call at 860-529-8655 x17 when you arrive at the church (or give a shout if no-one else is in the building). The sewers would like to give you the mask in exchange for a cash or grocery store gift card donation to the Rocky Hill Food Pantry. Thank you to the sewers for their great generosity. 
Celebrate the Fifth Anniversary of Laudato Si'
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St. Josephine Bakhita Parish
767 Elm Street
Rocky Hill, CT 06067