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The Epistle Online
St. Paul Catholic Parish
A Franciscan Family of Faith

February 25, 2020
We hope this newsletter will be a helpful resource, providing information about our parish and sharing content on spiritual and practical matters related to our Catholic faith. The Epistle is so named as a tribute to St. Paul, our patron, whose letters to the earliest Christians still guide and inform us today.

Lent 2020


Ash Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Mass Times at St. Paul Church:

7:00am,  8:45am*,  12 noon,  5:00pm and  7:00pm
*School Mass - All are welcome!
Ashes will be distributed at all Masses.

Click here for a printable schedule of Lenten devotions including a NEW Lenten Reflection series offered by Fr. Michael and Fr. Joe!

* * * * * * * * *

Join us for

Come for Confession, Adoration, Prayer,
Conversation with one of our Friars,
or simply spend some time in quiet reflection.

Mondays 7:00-8:00pm in St. Paul Church
March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and April 6

Fridays at Sacred Heart Church at 7pm
February 28, March 6, 13, 20, 27, April 3

* * * * * * * * *

Reminder: Catholics age 14 & older are obliged to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday, on all Fridays in Lent and Good Friday.  Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 are obliged to fast on Ash Wednesday & Good Friday. Fasting means only one full meal is to be  eaten. Two smaller meals may be eaten, but should not equal a full meal and there should be no eating in between meals.

Meat, Pretzels and Rice Bowls

We know that Catholics are supposed to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and on Fridays during LentBUT  are we still required to abstain on Fridays during the rest of the year too, like they did in the old days?   In other words,  Are Meatless Fridays Still A Thing?

Some say it's the official food of Lent!
Tradition holds that the pretzel shape was designed to remind us that Lent is a time of prayer...  more

Pretzels and prayers.

One last bite on the food thing...

includes a meaningful opportunity that is perfect for Lent 2020.

See #13. " Rice Bowl Done Right" -  CRS Operation Rice Bowl is the real deal in terms of effective well run charities. Consider checking out their resources and make Lent a season of real substantial almsgiving that can make a difference to our brothers and sisters in need.

Hello, World! | CRS Rice Bowl 2020
CRS Rice Bowl 2020

Join CRS Rice Bowl on a  Lenten journey as we meet three girls and their families... Your generosity puts food on their tables and helps them lead healthier lives.

A Word About Worry

For anyone in our community who experiences fear or anxiety, we'd like to share a few resources that can help provide comfort and peace.  

The message of  The Divine Mercy   is simple.

"It is  that God loves us - all of us.  He wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will  call upon Him with trust .... "  

Click to learn more about Divine Mercy and the story of Saint Faustina!
Jesus I Trust In You

 I Believe In Love  by  Fr. Jean C. J. d ElbĂ©e  can help you to  "rest in Him amid your troubles" and  to  understand "what it means truly to abandon yourself to Divine Providence".

This is a great read for everyone during Lent!

Do you know which saint said, "Pray, hope and don't worry"

This humble Italian priest is a powerful intercessor... more

Change happened. Anxious thoughts began to diminish.
Worry let go of its constant grip....    more

Faith Formation and Fun

Some recent happenings and upcoming events for our youth...

A special  Retreat for our 1st Year Confirmation students was held on our parish/school campus on Sunday, February 23rd. The retreat was organized by our Youth Minister, Dan Tome, and involved guest speakers, live music, small group discussions and Eucharistic Adoration (which was reported to be, by far, the most impactful element of the event).

Confirmation students at Eucharistic Adoration

Retreat guests included musical artist Katie Keogler.

Take My Heart
Take My Heart

We are so thankful for the opportunity to help guide our students in their faith journey! Thank you to everyone who responded to the request on the Parish Facebook page to pray for the students during the retreat.

Mass Booklets are available for children to use during Mass.
The booklets are located on the table between the two wings of St. Paul Church. Feel free to use them to help your children better understand  what is happening during Mass.  We ask that you please return the booklets  at the end of Mass so that other children may be blessed by them as well.

Please note these dates for upcoming sacraments and please keep our Religious Education students in your prayers:

First Communion
Sunday, May 3, 2020
Mass at St. Paul Church
9:00am,  10:30am and  12:00pm

Saturday, April 25, 2020
St. Joseph Cathedral,  Hartford


Members of our Youth Ministry groups enjoyed spending time at the Escape Room in Berlin on February 22nd. We are happy to report that everyone "escaped" and returned home safely! It was a lot of fun, and we hope even more of our students can join us next time!

Planning for Steubenville East is underway!
The weekend retreat for young people will be held during the weekend of July 10-12, 2020 at the University of Rhode Island. All high school students (including incoming freshmen) who are interested in attending, please contact Dan Tome by March 1st if possible.

Our EDGE and IGNITE youth groups will resume regular meetings in March.
After a few interruptions in the schedule due to February break, the SuperBowl, and the Confirmation Retreat,  we will be back on schedule as of Sunday, March 1st!

 EDGE Middle School students meet from 4:00-5:30pm on Sundays.

IGNITE High School students meet from 7:00-8:30pm on Sundays.

High school students are discussing "Identity"... come join the discussions!

New members welcome. Bring a friend!

If you have questions about our Youth Ministry program,
please contact Dan Tome at
Upcoming Events:
Viewing of the movie, Unplanned
March for Life in CT on Wednesday, April 15th (during school break)

Saint Paul School will host an Open House on
Thursday, Februray 27th from 6:00pm-7:30pm

If you would like to learn more about our school, please stop by on Thursday or contact Admissions Director, Kelly Esposito, at 860-828-4343 ext. 136 or

Our annual
will be held on
Saturday, March 28th
Online bidding is now open to all!
Please click here to view our catalog and bid on auction items!
Click here to purchase tickets.
Thank you for your support of our parish school!

Our Ministries

Consider "giving up" a bit of your time this Lent  to help with the important work of our parish ministries.  Contact the parish office or a ministry leader to find out more  about how you can get involved.

All are welcome!

Adult Choir  - Sing at Weekly Mass and/or Holiday Concerts
Contact Jeff Batter

Altar Servers  - Students in grade 4 and up serve every other weekend
Contact Dan Tome

Blessed Is She -  Meets  twice a month (1st Sunday & 3rd Friday). All women age 18+ are welcome!  Contact Jackie for more information at

Bereavement Support  - Fall & Spring Sessions for those grieving a loss
Contact Jim McDermott

Culture of Life  - Events throughout the year to promote LIFE
Contact Mark & MaryJane Duplin
For information about the first official
CT March for Life on April 15th, click here!
There will be a bus to this event for the first 26 people who commit!
(We are sharing this bus with St. Dominic Church in Southington.)
The bus will leave St. Paul at 9am and will depart from the Bushnell for the return trip at approximately 1:30pm.  Contact

"Exultations" Children's Choir  - Special Holiday Choral Concerts
Contact Cheryl Kramer 
If your child would like to join Exultations,
click on the image or contact Cheryl today.
Practices for Easter begin next week!

Foodshare/St. Clare Food Pantry  - Volunteers needed on regular basis
Contact Nancy Timbrell

Helping Hands  - Supporting seniors who may be home-bound or alone
Contact Paula Alkas

Knights of Columbus  - Charitable works, faith, family and fraternity
Contact Tom Drzata

Visit our website for scholarship information!

Ladies' Guild - Charitable works, plus fun events and gatherings
Contact Pam

Meeting on March 4th 
6:30pm in the St. Paul Church Hall
will feature
Christine Thorn
Connecticut's  Sole Certified Practitioner of
Marie Kondo's Decluttering System!

Liturgy  - Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Lectors, Ushers
Gloria (EMHC)

Men's ACTS Retreat  - Weekend retreat for spiritual renewal
Contact Bob Fischer 860-841-4210 or Zach Maura 860-573-6011

Men's Group  - Early morning gatherings at Uncle D's and more
Contact Rick

New Britain Council of Catholic Women  - Prayer, Service, Advocacy

Visit our website for scholarship information!

Parish Boy Scouts  - Meets weekly at Sacred Heart, Gr 5 & up
Contact Tony deRito

Scout Sunday was held on February 23, 2020
Keep up the good work!

Prayer Shawl  - Knit comforting shawls for the sick and those in need
Contact Mary Mezzio

Quilters/Crafters  - Create beautiful items to be raffled at parish events
Contact for information

Religious Education - One of the most important things we do!
Contact Robin or Christina 

Rosary Makers - Monthly meetings to make rosary beads. Very rewarding!
Contact Phyllis  860-828-4934

Scripture Study  - New session will begin on March 16th!
Join us for the spring session on
The Eucharist in Scripture.
First meeting is March 16th
7pm in the Parish Center.
Contact Mark Chasse

Social Action  - Food drives, HomeFront, Angel Tree, lots more!
Contact Joan Baker 

HomeFront 2020
will be
Saturday, May 2nd.
Save the Date!

The Social Action Ministry w ould like to thank all of you for your generosity to our annual Hot Stuff Collection  for the Friendship Center of New Britain. They were truly astonished at the amount of  food we were able to deliver them! Once again, our parish has come through to help those in need!  Every time you bring a can or box of food to church, you are truly doing God's work. Thank you all again!

That Man Is You! - TMIY is an interactive men's program that combines the best research from science with the teachings of the Catholic faith and the wisdom of the saints to develop the vision of man fully alive.
Meetings are on Saturday mornings at 6:30am in the St. Paul Church Hall.
The Spring Session is underway. New members welcome!
Contact Rick

Women's Retreats - A weekend, day or evening to care for your soul... many peace-filled events offered at  Our Lady of Calvary Retreat Center
Contact Nancy Driska 860-989-2516 or Linda Guzzardi 860-828-0275

Youth Ministry  - Weekly meetings for Middle & High School students
Special events and college ministry too!
Contact Dan Tome

Ongoing Conversion  

Our Lenten Reflection - The Lord's Call to Ongoing Conversion
will begin on
Sunday, March 1st (1:30pm)
Thursday, March 5th (6:45pm)
Remember to RSVP if you would like to join us for a light lunch/supper!
Email at least 3 days before the event.

Don't forget that St. Paul Parishioners have FREE access to  FORMED!

The Catholic Faith On Demand
Videos, podcasts, articles and more from Ascension!

Synod Update

The Archdiocesan Synod process
will come to a conclusion  with an 
Archdiocesan-wide Mass
on the Feast of Pentecost, 
Sunday, May 31, 2020
at 3:00pm. 

The Mass will be celebrated at the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford with Archbishop Blair presiding and priests of the Archdiocese con-celebrating. The Archbishop will issue a document that will be the fruit of the Synod and will set a path for the Archdiocese going forward.

Each parish is asked to send a delegation of about 40 people to the Mass. We have arranged for a bus to take parishioners to the Oakdale Theatre. Exact times are not yet worked out, but the bus will leave from St. Paul around 1:30pm and return shortly after the end of Mass. There is no cost to you to attend. 

Save the date, and if you would like to reserve space on the bus, please contact Nancy Timbrell, Pastoral Council President, at 860-601-7866 or  

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The Epistle Online

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"For it is in giving that we receive."
-Saint Francis of Assisi

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