St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church

30 Jones Hollow Road, Marlborough, CT 06447

An individual's last words usually represent the deepest feelings, hopes and dreams for those being left behind. The prayer of Jesus we heard today is part of his farewell at the Last Supper and represents an emotional appeal for unity among his disciples. Perhaps he envisioned that there would arise conflicts and differences of opinion as his followers brought his message to the world, and he wouldn’t there physically to offer advice. In fact, soon after, the Church in Jerusalem did have some concerns and questions when Paul began his missionary journeys among the Gentiles, those outside the Jewish faith and culture. For instance, how much of the Hebrew religious practice would they have to embrace as members of the "new way" in order to be accepted by those who had previously found comfort and hope in the tradition given them through Moses? What was important, and what was not? Where could the two sides meet, one without giving up too much of what they treasured; the other, without being discouraged by demands foreign to their culture?  How would the message of Jesus overcome such differences and make unity possible?

These are issues with which the Church still struggles.

For example, the talks among various branches of Christianity revolve about what issues are fundamental to faith and which differences developed because of misunderstandings, concerns for authority and power, or were influenced by political realities.
        
While there is a longing for unity, it must not be confused with uniformity. Nor can differences always be associated with better or worse, right or wrong. For example, apples are different from oranges, yet both are fruits. Is one a better fruit than the other? Personal preference may make that judgment, but in and of themselves they are only different.
        
As we ponder Jesus' prayer today, may we make these words of Pope St. John XXIII, and then borrowed by the Second Vatican Council in its document on The Church in the Modern World our own motto:

            “For the bonds which unite the faithful
              are mightier than anything which divides them.
              Hence, let there be Unity in what is necessary,
                Freedom in what is unsettled,
               And charity in any case." (# 92)

It must be in our DNA.  We like our heroes and superheroes to be loners or almost loners: for example, the Lone Ranger, Superman and his ice castle, Batman and his bat cave, almost all Clint Eastwood movies whether the westerns with the man with no name or the “Dirty Harry” movies (“Are you feeling lucky, punk”). Maybe it’s because of their independence or having no ties which frees them to do anything and anywhere with no one to whom they have to answer.

But that is a make believe world of fantasy. In the real world in which we live, we are responsible to and for one another.

In terms of faith, this is especially true. The saga of the Jewish nation in the Hebrew Scriptures is based on community, living as God’s people in a Covenant with God and each other. And it continues in the Christian Scriptures as we just heard Jesus’ command to love one another as the sign of being his disciple.

Further, it is evident in the Acts of the Apostles. Paul and Barnabas did not make converts as individuals but to live in a community of fellow believers, appointing elders who would oversee in each church. They were sent forth as missionaries from a community; and, they returned to that community to report to them “what God had done with them”.

We are gathered here in this faith community called St. John Fisher Church in Marlborough, CT. As a parish family, our purpose is to love, support, encourage, and challenge each other as we together grow in faith and discipleship.  You challenge and support me to be the best so-called “elder” of this community. I love, encourage and challenge you to be the best disciples of Jesus that you can be.

Community is in our DNA of faith.

Imagine you’re outside at night. Further imagine you see a bright light moving at a speed faster than anything you’ve ever seen. It zigzags across the sky, coming closer and then farther away. Suddenly it stops still right in front of you. And then in a flash, it’s gone. You run to tell the people in the house. What is their reaction?

Now imagine you are one of those huddled in the upper room. Suddenly Jesus appears. Thomas isn’t there to behold this marvelous sight and the peace and forgiveness He brought. But when Thomas returns, you excitedly tell him. What is his reaction?

The Easter season is a time when we are reminded, more than ever, how much God has done for us. In this spirit of gratitude, I thank all those parishioners who helped make the Easter and Triduum celebrations shining examples of God’s Glory: the Worship and Genesis choirs, Altar Servers, Eucharistic Ministers, Lectors, Greeters, and the Decorating Committee. Thank you, also, to our office volunteers who worked behind the scenes to ensure that our Holy Week liturgies ran smoothly. A final note of thanks to all those who contributed gifts for our Easter flowers.

Our parish truly benefitted from the time, talent, and treasure of our generous volunteers. I am grateful and humbled that you answered God’s call to serve your parish family in such a special way.

I would also like to commend the parishioners for their hospitality on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday.

Many thanks,

Father Sas

It has been a kidney stone of a year.

The media have certainly featured enough bad news to last a lifetime. It’s not really their fault. There has been a great deal of bad news.

Internationally, there has been the rise of terrorism around the world but especially in Paris and Brussels.

Nationally, unemployment is a reality for many and a fear for many more as companies and corporations downsize, though management calls it “right sizing”. The 1% are getting richer at the expense of the poor and the shrinking middle class. The news more often resembles a police blotter report than anything else. Not to mention the insults, attacks, innuendo, and sometimes outright lies (misspoken of course) that now characterize our politics.

5th Sunday of Lent, Year C, 16

Things are not always as simple as they at first appear to be. Today’s Gospel is a perfect example of a passage that has layers of meaning and application.

On the surface, this is apparently just another confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees and scribes with an adulterous woman caught in the crossfire. But, she is only a pawn. The Pharisees and scribes are not really concerned about her or her sin but about Jesus’ answer to their challenge. If he agrees with the Mosaic Law, he is in conflict with the Romans who forbade the Jews to pass or carry out a death sentence, and revealing that his mercy and compassion are limited. If he lets her go unpunished for this capital offense against the Mosaic Law, he will be seen as “soft on crime” and in conflict with his Jewish heritage. It seems to be a “no win” situation. But Jesus turned the tables by making the interpreters and keepers of the Law face their own sinfulness before passing judgment on someone else.

 

Faith Formation Registration ~ 2018-2019

Faith Formation Classes, Grades 1-9 ~ Please register before May 31 (to avoid a late fee)

Registration forms are available HERE or at both of the church entrances.

Please place your completed forms in an envelope marked Faith Formation. Envelopes may be placed in the offertory basket, brought to the church office, or mailed.

Please email Theresa Brysgel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.

WildWestCampVACATION BIBLE CAMP

Your child will go back in time to the Wild, Wild West for a Wild Western Adventure Romp! They will enter a world of outlaws, cowboys, frontier games and even some wild animals. I hope many of the children join us on this spectacular adventure right here at St John Fisher Church! This will be an opportunity for kids to explore not only the thrilling Wild West, but also a way to discover a living spiritual relationship with Jesus and learn more about some Bible “outlaws” who chose to follow God and do what’s right. There will be Western themed games, crafts, activities, music and snacks It will be a week of ROOTIN’ TOOTIN” FUN !!!!

Date: August 6-9 Time: 9:00-noon  Where: St. John Fisher Church Hall

This camp is open to children entering grades 1-6  Cost is $25 per child

Click:  SIGN-UP SHEET

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