Pastor’s Corner . . .  In the Church’s calendar, two martyrs named Valentine are recorded, and their feast days used to be on February 14th. Both died around 269 A.D. According to the Roman Martyrology: “At Rome, on the Via Flaminia, the birthday [into heaven] of St. Valentine, Priest and Martyr, who, after many wondrous works of healing and teaching, was scourged with rods and beheaded under the Emperor Claudius.” And, “At Terni, St. Valentine, Bishop and Martyr, who, after lengthy ill-treatment was imprisoned; and since he could not be overcome, he was brought out of his prison in the silence of midnight and beheaded, at the command of Placidus, prefect of the city.”  Since the town of Terni is only about 60 miles outside of Rome, modern scholars believe that the two Valentines were actually one person, with two records of the same martyrdom. His tomb became a popular pilgrimage site, and a basilica was built over his grave outside Rome by the fourth century. The cult of St. Valentine proved a popular one, especially since his was the first martyr’s grave to be visited by pilgrims on their way to Rome.  

                The interesting practice of sending Valentine cards to one’s “significant other”, seems to have developed along two lines: the first comes from an ancient Roman pagan practice of the mid-February Lupercalia, when young men drew by lot the names of unmarried girls. The second, a supposed medieval belief, that on February 14th, birds chose their mates and began nesting.

                Even though the local sparrows and starlings have, in fact, begun building their nests in the rectory eaves, above my bedroom, these two ideas wouldn’t seem sufficiently impressive to justify an annual celebration of human love on St. Valentine’s day.  While obviously a modern product of Hallmark Cards, or somesuch enterprise, the Church’s one time celebration of this day on the feast of the saint’s martyrdom, can be linked to the Christian notion of romantic love: Saint John’s narrative in his first letter that “no one has greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend,” while describing Jesus’ unconditional love for us, has also been the foundation for the Church’s teaching on Catholic marriage. A man and a woman sacrifice their private lives and interests for the benefit of the other—Catholic marriage is a martyrdom of personal self-interest for love of the other, and the sacrifices necessary to remain faithful to that person, are those offered by each partner as a spiritual sacrifice, for the other’s eternal salvation.

                That is what a martyr does: offers his or her life rather than deny the Beloved, who is Jesus. Saint Thomas More, the Catholic lawyer-martyr under England’s King Henry VIII, in a letter to his daughter Margaret, explained why he could not deny Christ or His Church: “In the end, it is a matter of love.”

                So, pagan Roman fertility practices and nesting birds notwithstanding, the commemoration of human love on the February 14th  feast of the martyr, Saint Valentine, is of much greater importance: charity in two forms: giving oneself for one’s beloved with no hope of personal benefit—an offering of self because of love, which leads to eternity.

                While the Church no longer celebrates Saint Valentine’s Day on February 14th [it’s actually the Feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius, 9th century missionaries to Eastern Europe], we can still do so: husbands and wives can reaffirm their love for each other in Christ: a love, faithful until death, just like Christ’s love for us on the Cross: its result is eternity with God.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

 –Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick…  Ray Flaharty, Philip Renard, John Mellace, Christine Exantus, Suzanne DePreta, Evelyn Flaharty, Diane Ojohanna, Phil De Felice, Sr., Janet Rodgers, Aidan Moon, Mary Daniele, Lena Cocchia,

 

Please pray for those who have recently died. . .  Edith O’Hara, Vincenzo Giannitti Alverta Sahd, Frances Lorusso, Thomas Carucci, Sr. Julia McCarthy, Ella Palumba, Vito Melfi,  Arthur Capalbo, Avery Cardinal Dulles

 

Monthly Collection . . . The second collection today will be the monthly collection for the parish.  Your generosity is appreciated.

 

The 20’s and 30’s … The next meeting will be on Monday March 9th at the “Upper Room at Columbus Park” at 6:30 p.m. located at 205 Main Street here in Stamford. We will also discuss upcoming Service Opportunities such as “Christmas in April” and Ministry to the Homeless. Finally, a schedule of Social Events will be listed for all interested: Ski rip, Ice Skating Social, Movie Night, and others.

 

Moms & Tots… A group of moms and children meet with Fr. Walsh each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. in church for Eucharistic adoration, followed by snacks in the parish hall. Please join us.  Our next meeting will be on March 3rd.

 

Religion Classes for Adults. . . Catholics who have not yet received Holy Communion or Confirmation, and for non-Catholics who wish to join the Church, every Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the rectory.  The class is on a 7 week cycle:  If you miss one, we repeat it.  Interested?  Please contact Providencia at (203­) 324 -1553 ext. 21.

NOTE CHANGE: Session III of RCIA—Adult catechism– will be held on WEDNESDAY NIGHTS beginning on March 10th.  Call the office for more details.

 

Parish Women’s Society… We would like to begin a parish society for the spiritual growth of women.  Please contact Monsignor if you are interested:  Ext. 11.

 

The Latin Reading Group… Is translating St. Augustine’s Confessions…And meets every Wednesday in the rectory at 6:15 p.m.  High school Latin is all that’s needed.  Just walk in.  

 

Introduction to New Testament Greek Class … Meets every Thursday evening in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.   The class is closed to new members.

 

Year of Saint Paul… A Plenary Indulgence is offered the faithful through June 29th: by visiting the adoration chapel at Saint John Fisher Seminary Residence on Newfield Avenue: the chapel is open Monday through Thursday, 6:00 a.m.—11:00 p.m., and from Friday at 6:00 a.m. until Sunday 11:00 p.m.  The usual conditions apply: sacramental confession and communion, praying one Our Father and Hail Mary for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI apply.

 

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … We are studying Pope Saint Gregory the Great’s Four Books of Dialogues, Wednesday evenings in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.

 

St. John’s Bible StudyWe are using The Bible Timeline Series every Thursday in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.  Join us!

 

Coffee and refreshments… Following the 10:00 a.m. Mass, in the Monsignor Nagle Hall. 

 

St. Anne Society Schedule update:  We will meet in March and May. The February and April dates have been cancelled.  Stay tuned for more details.

Sunday, February 8, 2009   $ 11,241.08

 

Sunday, February 10, 2008 $ 11,740.55

I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”—

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 

Sunday Readings for Feb. 22nd:   Is. 43: 18-19, 21-22, 24b-25;  2 Cor. 1:189-22; Mk. 2:1-12

 

Banns of Marriage…3rd: Dominic Dougherty & Karen Lewis

 

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 110 (2) 183.  The Creed for the Noon Mass may be found in the hymnal at No. 289.

 

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass . . . Mass Ordinary: Missa brevis – Andrea Gabrieli, 1532-1585. Offertory motet: Cantate Domino – Hans Leo Hassler, 1562-1612 (O sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord, all the whole earth.Sing unto the Lord, and praise his Name; be telling of his salvation from day to day. Declare his honour unto the heathen, and his wonders unto all people. [Ps. 96:1-3, trans. M. Coverdale]). Communion motet: If Ye Love Me – Thomas Tallis, ca.. 1505 – 1585 (If ye love me, keep my commandments, and I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that He may ‘bide with you for ever: e’en the Spir’t of truth.). The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Esto mihi (Be unto me a protecting God and a house of refuge, to save me; for you are my support and my refuge; and for the sake of your name you will lead me and nourish me. In you, O Lord, do I trust; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. []Ps. 31:3,4,2]); Alleluia Cantate Domino (Sing to the Lord a new song; for he has accomplished wondrous deeds. [Psalm 98:1]); Offertory Benedictus es Domine (Blessed are you, O Lord, teach me your commandments. O Lord, you are blessed, teach me your commandments. With my lips have I declared all the judgments spoken by your mouth. [Psalm 119:12,13]); Communion Manducaverunt (They ate and were fully satisfied; the Lord gave them all that they desired; they were not deprived of their wants. [Psalm 78:29.30]).

 

Calling all 10:00 AM Singers for the Adult Choir . . . Do you usually attend the 10:00 a.m. Mass? Come join us in the choir loft – we really need you! Rehearsals are Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. in the music room in the basement of the church.  For those who want to learn or refresh their knowledge of the basics of music, there is a short optional Music Theory Class at 7:15. p.m.. For more information, call Scott Turkington 324-1553, ext. 18.

 

Confirmation Candidates in the Religious Education Program: Note DATE CORRECTION for the Retreat at the Villa Maria Convent of the Sisters of Life will be MARCH 29th (not the 26th).

 

Bookstore…Check out titles by Scott Hahn, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R.,  Pope John Paul II and more.

St. John’s in The  ADVOCATE . . .

       . . . 100 years ago, or so:

 

February 20, 1899:  Father Mulville to Preach. “At the mass for children in St. John’s R. C. Church, which is held in the basement at nine o’clock, there was congregational singing yesterday for the first time. The children sang very well indeed. At the services Wednesday evening, Rev. Frank Mulville of Hartford is announced to preach. Father Mulville is a Stamford man, and, as he is said to be a preacher of considerable ability, much interest will be taken in the sermon.”

 

February 17, 1906: CHURCH SELLS REAL ESTATE.  “The property of St. John’s R. C. Church in Hawthorn Street and State Street was sold, this week, for an aggregate sum of $8,800, and after July 1 next, to which time the church has the use of the property, it will be transformed for commercial purposes, after a church career of 57 years. In 1849, this property, which consists of a couple of acres, was bought by the parish, which then consisted of a sparse 200 communicants. The pastor was Rev. John Brady. July 4, 1849, ground was broken for a small frame church. In 1854, under the pastorate of Rev. E. J. Cooney, the church was considerably enlarged and remained as the place of worship for Stamford Catholics until Thanksgiving Day, 1875, when the present church in Atlantic Street was completed to a point where it was possible to hold services in it. Then the old church was made over into a school, and with some additions that have been made to it, has been used for school purposes ever since. As a school, however, the building has been unsatisfactory for several years, both as to its condition and to location. For the past few years only a few grades have been taught there, the principal grades meeting in the schoolhouse in Bell Street. The convent, which is included in the sale, is a well-built house and has had many improvements made in it during the past few years. Its location was such, however, as to make it unsatisfactory for the convent in recent years.”

 

February 16, 1934: TWO BOYS ATTAIN EAGLE RANKING AT SCOUT CEREMONY.  “At the February court of honor of Stamford Council, Boy Scouts of America, two Scouts attained Eagle Scout rank, the highest Scout rating. They are James O’Brien, jr., and Robert Thayer, both of Troop 22, sponsored by St. John’s R. C. Church.”

 

February 21, 1955: Girl Scout Sunday To Be Marked By St. John’s Troops.  “The Girl Scouts of St. John’s School will observe Girl Scout Sunday, March 6, by receiving Holy Communion at the 8 o’clock Mass. Breakfast will be served in the school after Mass. On March 11, Friday of Girl Scout Week, the three troops will have a joint birthday party in the school gymnasium. Penny Raymond will lead the flag ceremony with Ann Gasperino, Ann Kilcoyne, Mary Daisey, Beverly Burke and Gloria Schultz as color bearers. Songs will be led by Jo Ann Mancinelli, Shery Raymond and Barbara Plomitallo.”

 

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Ash Wednesday… Just a head’s up:  February 25th –Lent begins. During Lent, all Catholic churches in the Diocese of Bridgeport will remain open every Tuesday evening for Confessions:  7:30-8:30 p.m.

 

Easter. . . April 12th.

Mass Intentions

 

Saturday, February 14

4:00          +Robert Hill & Ann Maliza req. Family

Sunday, February 15

  7:30        +John & Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Young

10:00        +Mary Louise DeLuca req. Linda Palmer

12:00        +Louis Meyer req. Josephine Languedoc and Diane Strain

  6:00        +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family

Monday, February 16

  8:00        +John the Baptist Do req. Thang Nguyen

12:10        Souls in Purgatory req. Anthony D’Ariano

Tuesday, February 17

  8:00        +Nick Romaniello, III req. Lisa Fabrizio

12:10        +Helen Iadanza req. Maryanne Koller

Wednesday, February 18

  8:00        +JoAnne Fiori req. Parents

12:10       James & Adele Henson req. John & Laura Pascale

Thursday, February 19

  8:00       +Margaret G. Mine req. Cycon Family

12:10       +Eileen McNamara Hayes req. Larry Hayes

Friday, February 20

  8:00        +Guglielmo Labrociano req. Sharon Gannon

12:10        +Daniella Frasier req. Marie Frasier

Saturday, February 21

  8:00       +Jane Hlavaty req. Anna Ferri & Dolores P. Biscaglio

12:10       +Jennie Carlucci req. Sam & Nicole Marciano

 

Pray for an end to abortion every Wednesday, 7:00 – 10:30 a.m., at Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St, Stamford. 

 

Eucharistic Adoration:  Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

 

Holy Name Society For all men of the parish: The rectory every Friday morning for coffee, Eucharistic adoration benediction & prayer, from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.

 

Are you a registered parishioner? If not, please visit the parish office Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or call the office for more information [ext 21 or 17] or Register On-Line at our Website: stjohnsstamford.com.

 

Credit Card Offertory…Make weekly or monthly donations by credit card. You can set up recurring credit card donations with the church secretary.  She can take your information over the telephone.  Call (203) 324-1553 x21.

St. Maria Goretti Society…For the spiritual formation of young ladies from 8th – 12th grades. Questions, please contact Rosa Marchetti at 348-0232.

 

Sponsor Certificates for Baptism or ConfirmationAre happily given to parishioners of St. John’s, i.e. Those who are registered members; those whose regular Mass attendance is known to the priests, or whose parish membership can be verified by the records of the weekly offertory (envelopes).        

The Call to Discipleship

– Fr Terry Walsh

 

In these early weeks of Ordinary Time in the Liturgical Year we have been hearing about the beginning of our Lord’s Ministry from the Gospel of Mark. Jesus has invited the Apostles to share in the work of Redemption; indeed, it is the duty and the privilege of all the baptized to share in ‘Building up the Kingdom.” I wonder what would be going through Jesus’ mind as He approached the busting activity of the diligent fishermen – Peter and Andrew, James and John – who were seeking to haul in a great catch (Mk 1:16). Might he have had a particular eagerness, a purposefulness to His step? John the Baptist, martyred out of love for Him, fulfilled his mission and now Jesus’ burning desire to proclaim the Good News would at long last finally begin – His love was on fire – he was pumped up and eager to announce the Good News of Salvation– it was the whole purpose for his becoming man and the moment had arrived – ‘that moment toward which all time and history, all human and divine longing have been directed’ – it’s here – finally. You can see it in His step. What’s more – he’s about to invite those he loves to share in His Mission. As He gets closer to the chatter of the men giving orders to each other in their boats, perhaps his smile unveils His excitement – He can’t contain it. He’s eager to get started….

Meanwhile, the typical busyness of the day occupies the attention of the fishermen as the sun rises higher in the sky and the gulls begin to gather in greater number to feast – the fish are cleaned as they are gathered. These hardworking fishermen hope for a slightly bigger catch in the next wave. Their thoughts quite naturally are focused on meeting their quota in order to support their families and pay their taxes – along with the other general cares and concerns of the day. Perhaps, their thoughts drift off to the future – maybe next year they’ll be able to add a boat, or at least hire another worker or two. Their restless concerns occupy their minds. Looking up from their nets, they see Him. As He approaches, they’re curious. He meets them. He invites them: Follow Me! Jesus is inviting each one of us – today- right now- to follow Him        – to be aware of the purpose of our existence – to come to know Him and grow in a deeply personal relationship with Him – and through that intimate relationship, to draw others to Him – to “Cast into the Deep.” Consider the response of the first Apostles. There was no hesitation. Peter, Andrew, James, and John left everything immediately and followed Him. For them, it wasn’t simply a matter of “coming after” Jesus; rather, it was much more profound. It was a matter of imitating him, casting aside anything that hindered their fidelity and their growth in virtue.

            Just as they had gutted and cleaned the fish, digging out and tearing away all the useless parts for the sea gulls, leaving only the lean, nutritious piece ready to be consumed – so too they scraped away whatever hindered them from preaching the Word of God and being active participants in the mission entrusted to them. Likewise, the leaner we are, spiritually speaking, the more faithfully we can focus on growing in virtue and responding to the Grace Jesus seeks to pour into our hearts in order to accomplish His work. Just as Jesus revealed His Kingdom to the Apostles and gave them a share in his mission and his suffering, so too, does he offer it to us. We’re called to an intimate communion with God. Trust Him – he will nourish you – through his grace – especially in the Eucharist – received in the State of Grace.

“I am the living bread which came down from Heaven; if anyone eats of this Bread, he will live forever…….”

 

 

Pastor’s Corner . . . Well, we’ve made it to February, and, to cheer you up even more, in just three weeks, Lent begins!!! Oh, boy. How fun is it to be Catholic??

By this point, everyone should have had their fill of ice and snow. Stuck inside because it’s too cold and gruesome outside, one can turn too far inside oneself, and seethe about nonsensical, humdrum and aggravating things which are of little import in the greater scheme of things. In the Inferno, the first section of his Divine Comedy, Dante proposes that the lowest circle of Hell is a frozen wasteland—it’s perpetual February—with Satan at the very lowest point of Hell, frozen solid, stuck in ice, forever. He’s entirely paralyzed by ice; isolated from everything and everyone, his mind seethes with frustration over his defeat by God and his eternal punishment. Having refused to serve God in Heaven, Satan rules in a Hell which is its own punishment—his perpetual hatred and frustration producing only a repulsive bloody froth, seeping from his tear ducts and mouth for all eternity.

My suggestion to avoid this fate—turning in on yourself, seething in frustration, isolated from everyone because of the ice and frigid temperatures, even for the short 28 days of February–is to do a few things:

–Practice charity: get out of your house and help someone: a relative or neighbor who needs a little assistance. Or, you might even volunteer at the Stamford Senior Center on Summer Street: I’m on the board of directors, and the Center has been helping seniors in a variety of ways for over 100 years. Give a call to Marie Johnson at 324-6584. You don’t need any training or specialized skills. Please identify yourself as a parishioner of St. John’s and that I asked you to call her;

–Volunteer at the New Covenant House of Hospitality, 90 Fairfield Avenue, behind the Yerwood Center at 964-8228. This “soup kitchen”, run by the Diocese of Bridgeport, is always looking for those who want to help.

–Volunteer at the Senior Nutrition Center, 30 Myano Lane, also run by the Diocese: 324-6175.

–Read a little Scripture: try the Gospel of Luke and Saint Paul’s Letters to the Thessalonians. Both great reads that should inspire gratitude to God for His generosity.

These are a few ideas to get you out of yourself during these last bleak weeks of winter. Forget the groundhog, and concentrate on doing what you were designed to do: act more like God in charity and be grateful to Our Lord. So, buck up your spirits: despite the weather, God has done a lot of hard work to make sure you don’t end up in that perpetual February freeze of Hell. Bring some warmth into someone else’s life by volunteering, and some warmth into your own by reading about God’s love for you. Msgr. DiGiovanni

10th Annual Catholic Awareness Day…State Capitol in Hartford on Monday, February 9th. In light of the pressing issues facing Catholics today during this session of the General Assembly, please be encourage to attend.

The 20’s and 30’s … The next meeting will be on Monday February 9th at the “Upper Room at Columbus Park” at 6:30 p.m. located at 205 Main Street here in Stamford. Our Topic this month will be “Stump the Priest” – come with your questions….bring your friends! We will also discuss upcoming Service Opportunities such as “Christmas in April” and Ministry to the Homeless. Finally, a schedule of Social Events will be listed for all interested: Ski rip, Ice Skating Social, Movie Night, and others.

Please pray for the sick Philip Renard, John Mellace, Christine Exantus, Suzanne DePreta, Evelyn Flaharty, Diane Ojohanna, Phil De Felice, Sr., Janet Rodgers, Aidan Moon, Mary Daniele, Lena Cocchia,

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Vincenzo Giannitti Alverta Sahd, Frances Lorusso, Thomas Carucci, Sr. Julia McCarthy, Ella Palumba, Vito Melfi, Arthur Capalbo, Avery Cardinal Dulles

 

Special Energy Collection . . . The second collection today will be the Special Energy Collection to help pay the Higher Energy and Fuel Costs for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

Moms & Tots… A group of moms and children meet with Fr. Walsh each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. in church for Eucharistic adoration, followed by snacks in the parish hall. Please join us. Our next meeting will be on March 3rd.

 

Religion Classes for Adults. . . Catholics who have not yet received Holy Communion or Confirmation, and for non-Catholics who wish to join the Church, every Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the rectory. The class is on a 7 week cycle: If you miss one, we repeat it. Interested? Please contact Providencia at (203­) 324 -1553 ext. 21.

NOTE CHANGE: Session III of RCIA—Adult catechism– will be held on WEDNESDAY NIGHTS beginning on March 10th. Call the office for more details.

Congratulations to MARISA CARPANZANO and CHRISTOPHER MEYER. . . Who are this year’s recipients of the Saint Thomas Aquinas Award for academic excellence! The award is given by Bishop Lori to exceptional students. Marissa is an eighth grade student at Trinity Catholic Middle School, and Christopher is an eighth grade student at Saint Aloysius School. Marisa and Chris are our parish academic champions, and we applaud them both!!

 

Parish Women’s Society We would like to begin a parish society for the spiritual growth of women. Please contact Monsignor if you are interested: Ext. 11.

 

The Latin Reading Group… Is translating St. Augustine’s Confessions…And meets every Wednesday in the rectory at 6:15 p.m. High school Latin is all that’s needed. Just walk in.

 

Introduction to New Testament Greek Class … Meets every Thursday evening in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.

Year of Saint Paul… A Plenary Indulgence is offered the faithful through June 29th: by visiting the adoration chapel at Saint John Fisher Seminary Residence on Newfield Avenue: the chapel is open Monday through Thursday, 6:00 a.m.—11:00 p.m., and from Friday at 6:00 a.m. until Sunday 11:00 p.m. The usual conditions apply: sacramental confession and communion, praying one Our Father and Hail Mary for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI apply.

 

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … We are studying Pope Saint Gregory the Great’s Four Books of Dialogues, Wednesday evenings in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.

St. John’s Bible StudyWe are using The Bible Timeline Series every Thursday in the rectory at 7:30 p.m. Join us!

Coffee and refreshments Following the 10:00 a.m. Mass, in the Monsignor Nagle Hall.

 

St. Anne Society Schedule update: We will meet in March and May. The February and April dates have been cancelled. Stay tuned for more details.

Sunday, February 1, 2009 $ 12,587.17

Sunday, February 3, 2008 $12,072.82

I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”—

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Sunday Readings for Feb. 15th: Lv.13 1-2, 44-46; 1 Cor. 10:311-1:1; Mk. 1:40-45

Banns of Marriage…2ndt: Dominic Dougherty & Karen Lewis

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 142 (Tune: St. George’s Windsor) (2) 234. (Second tune) The Creed for the Noon Mass may be found in the hymnal at No. 289.

 

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass . . . Mass Ordinary: Missa Dominicalis – Tomás Luis de Victoria, 1548-1611; Gloria More Ambrosiano (12th Cent.). Offertory motet: Ad te levavi – Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, 1525-1594 (To thee have I lifted up my eyes, who dwellest in heaven. Behold, as the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters, as the eyes of the handmaid are on the hands of her mistress; so are our eyes upon the Lord our God, until he have mercy on us. [Psalm 122:1-2]). Communion motet: Laudate Dominum – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756-1791 (O praise the Lord, all ye heathen. Praise him all ye nations. For his merciful kindness is ever more and more towards us, and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise the Lord. [Psalm 117]). The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Venite adoremus Deum (Come, let us worship God and bow down before the Lord; let us shed tears before the Lord who made us, for he is the Lord our God. Come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise unto God our Saviour. [Ps. 95: 6,7,1]); Alleluia Laudate Dominum (Praise the Lord all nations; praise him in unison, all peoples. [Psalm 117:1]); Offertory Perfice gressus meos (Render secure my footsteps in your paths so that my feet do not slip; incline your ear and hear my words; display your wonderful mercies, O Lord, Saviour of those who place their hope in you. [Psalm 17:5,6,7]); Communion Multitudo languentium (A multitude with diseases, and those who were troubled by unclean spirits, came unto him, because a power emanated from him which healed them all. [Luke 6:17,18,19]).

 

Calling all 10:00 a.m. Singers! . . . Do you have some singing experience? Do you usually attend the 10:00 a.m. Mass? Come join us in the choir loft – we really need you! Rehearsals are Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. in the music room in the basement of the church. For those who want to learn or refresh their knowledge of the basics of music, there is a short optional Music Theory Class at 7:15 p.m.. For more information, call Scott Turkington 324-1553, ext. 18.

Sponsor Certificates for Baptism or ConfirmationAre happily given to parishioners of St. John’s, i.e. Those who are registered members; those whose regular Mass attendance is known to the priests, or whose parish membership can be verified by the records of the weekly offertory (envelopes).

Confirmation Candidates in the Religious Education Program: Note DATE CORRECTION for the Retreat at the Villa Maria Convent of the Sisters of Life will be MARCH 29th (not the 26th).

St. John’s in The ADVOCATE . . .

. . . 100 years ago, or so:

The Connecticut Catholic:

February 11, 1888: STAMFORD. “Mr. John White, who has been engaged in the coal and wood business many years with Mr. Theodore Davenport, has started business for himself with Mr. Patrick Hanrahan, having bought out the interest of Mr. Davenport. The new firm of John White & Co. starts out with a practical knowledge of the business and has before it a bright field for success. Their many friends wish for them every success in their new enterprise.” (Editor’s note: Both Mr. White and Mr. Hanrahan are donors of stained glass windows in the church.)

The Stamford Advocate:

February 14, 1899: St. Valentine’s Day Weddings. “At 9:30 this morning, Michael Ryan and Miss Annie Ryan were married at St. John’s R. C. Church, by Rev. Father Sullivan. Another wedding took place at St. John’s a few hours later, the contracting parties being William Thomas and Miss Nellie Ward. This ceremony was performed by Rev. Father Rogers. Mr. Thomas is a popular young man, and is well known as a ball player, being a member of the old Stamford nine. At half-past five this evening, Clarence Weed and Miss Nellie McCarthy and William Francis Marron and Miss Sadie McCarthy will be married at the residence of the brides on Cottage Street, by Rev. Father Rogers.”

The Hartford Courant:

February 10, 1928: Stamford Priest Leaves Most of Estate to Churches. “Stamford: Preliminary inventory of the estate of the late Rev. James C. O’Brien, pastor of St. John’s Roman Catholic Church here for 25 years and a priest in the Hartford diocese for 50 years, was made and the will was admitted to probate today by Judge Floyd B. Bartram, who named Catherine A Rutledge, grand niece of Father O’Brien , as executrix. To St. Johns’, the will leaves $7,000. Other requests were: St. Anne’s Ladies Aid Society, at St. John’s $2,000. Catherine Rogos and Rose Mulvey, workers at the rectory and Edward Gorman, sexton at St. Johns, $2,000 each.”

The Stamford Advocate:

February 9, 1929: ANNIVERSARY WEEK OF BOY SCOUTS OPENS. “Observance of Scout anniversary week, marking the 19th year of Scouting in this country, began in Stamford last night when upwards of 360 Boy Scouts of the Stamford Council joined in a roundup and jubilee program in the new High School building, featured by the annual Scout dinner served in the cafeteria. Scout Troop 22 of St. John’s Catholic Church was awarded a handsome plaque , emblematic of the winning by that troop of the trophy for troop attendance and achievement during the year 1928. One of the newest to be organized under Stamford Council, Troop 22 carried off the honor in competition with all the other troops after setting up a notable record. President Alfred W. Dater , of the Stamford Council, made the presentation to Scout Ernest Tate because he had contributed the larges number of points toward winning the prize for his troop.”

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Ash Wednesday… Just a head’s up: February 25th –Lent begins. During Lent, all Catholic churches in the Diocese of Bridgeport will remain open every Tuesday evening for Confessions: 7:30-8:30 p.m.

 

Easter. . . April 12th.

Mass Intentions

Saturday, February 7

4:00 Brian & Kathleen Fennessey req. Fr. Terrence P. Walsh

Sunday, February 8

7:30 Baby Jesus; Our Lady, Virgin Mary & All Saints req. Constanza Ziom

10:00 +William & Eleanor Hayes req. Joan & John Hagan

12:00 Special Intention John Kung req. Joseph & Agnes Kung

6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family

Monday, February 9

8:00 +Vincenzo Rosano req. Teresa Canneto

12:10 +William J. Mason req. Patricia Sheridan

Tuesday, February 10

8:00 +Wallace Stewart req. Our Lady of Loreto Altar Guild

12:10 +Alice Caputo Vaccaro req. Catherine Longo

Wednesday, February 11

8:00 +Jerry Saljanir req. Julie Gjelaj

12:10 Special Intention Margarita, Roberto, Ana Ucero req. Sharon Gannon

Thursday, February 12

8:00 Special Intention, Guidance Ali Mauro

12:10 +Vito Longo Birthday Remembrance req. daughter Millie

Friday, February 13

8:00 +Members of the Morris Family req. Bill & Marion Morris & Family

12:10 +Mary C. Sykora req. Maryanne Koller

Saturday, February 14

8:00 +Hope & Joseph McAleer req. Family

12:10 +Marie Woolf req. Fabiola C.

Pray for an end to abortion every Wednesday, 7:00 – 10:30 a.m., at Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St, Stamford.

Eucharistic Adoration: Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

Holy Name Society For all men of the parish: The rectory every Friday morning for coffee, Eucharistic adoration benediction & prayer, from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.

Are you a registered parishioner? If not, please visit the parish office Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or call the office for more information [ext 21 or 17].

Credit Card Offertory…Make weekly or monthly donations by credit card. You can set up recurring credit card donations with the church secretary. She can take your information over the telephone. Call (203) 324-1553 x21.

St. Maria Goretti Society…For the spiritual formation of young ladies from 8th – 12th grades. Questions, please contact Rosa Marchetti at 348-0232.

 

 

The Sacrament of (Reconciliation) Confession

– Fr. Terry Walsh

 

“I FIRMLY resolve, with the help of Thy Grace, to sin no more, and to avoid the near occasion of sin.”

 

Perhaps one of the most comforting chapters in all of Sacred Scripture is found in St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, Chapter 8: “If God is for us, who can be against us?…Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?….. [Nothing/No one] in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Only sin can rupture our relationship with God – only by our own free choice can we be separated from Him. Yet, even in those occasions when we have rejected Him by sinning, He yearns for our conversion of heart. He calls us by name and invites us back to Himself. He calls and He waits.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation instituted by our Lord makes it possible for us to be restored to the grace of our Baptism – to the Body of Christ, the Church, when we have fallen off the Vine. Yet, it is essential that we hold to our promise to avoid sin – to employ practical ways to overcome those hurdles in our lives that may lead to sin. In addition to the obvious ways, such as avoiding situations that assail our desire for purity in thought, word, or deed, we may also ask for the grace, through prayer, to remain faithful to our Baptismal Promises. We may also make some small sacrifices to demonstrate ‘good faith’ in our effort to overcome a particular hurdle – perhaps giving up something we like to do – or maybe offering up a particular food or drink for a period of time. Our Lord will certainly help us in our effort to grow in holiness – in purity of heart and mind – if we make this effort.

Each time we approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we prepare by undergoing a good examination of conscience, ‘made in the Light of the Word of God.’ (What has God asked of me? How have I done in light of the 10 Commandments, the Gospel precepts, the Beatitudes, the Apostolic Exhortations?) After confessing our sins to God through His representative, the Priest, we offer to God our Act of Contrition, that is, our expression of sorrow along with our statement of intention NOT to sin again. Recall the words of our Lord to St. Peter when the Apostle asked Him how many times he should forgive the same sin. Our Merciful Lord told him to forgive it every time – that is, every time the person is truly sorry – every time the person is resolved to live a holy life. Every single time. But we would only be adding to our sins if we were to approach this Magnificent Sacrament of Love with presumption in our heart – ‘O, I’ll just go to confession…’ And how firm would our resolution to sin no more really be if we didn’t take some practical steps to overcome those things that lead us into sin? Are we truly giving our best effort? Our Lord became man in order to redeem us – to heal us – and to restore us to the Divine Life of Grace. What will our response be?

“Indeed you love truth in the heart; then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom. O purify me, then I shall be made clean; O wash me, I shall be whiter than snow…..A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, nor deprive me of your holy spirit.”

-Psalm 51