Pastor’s Corner . . There have been a few minor changes during the past few weeks in the sanctuary and side altars, as you may have notice. Permit me to explain what and why we made those changes.
Since my arrival at Saint John’s nearly 11 years ago, one of the little things that caught and kept my attention was the placing of the statues: Saint Therese of Liseux and Saint John the Evangelist on either side of Saint Joseph; the Sacred Heart and Saint Anthony of Padua on either side of Our Lady. All are magnificent carved marble statues, purchased from the Daprato Statuary Company of Chicago, and delivered to the church on October 28, 1926 by the then pastor Fr. James C. O’Brien, who also installed the two side altars, completed the church bell tower, electrified the church and rectory, commissioned the murals behind the main altar, installed the two large transept windows, and built the school. The two side marble altars cost $6540, and each of the six marble statues cost $500.—except St. Therese, which was a bargain at $400!
Since my arrival, I couldn’t help wondering why such beautiful statues were clumped together—each side altar reminded me of a bus stop, with people waiting for the next bus to arrive. So, after sitting and looking at our glorious church for nearly 11 years, I decided to spread the statues out: the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Saint John now stand in the center of the sanctuary beneath the central arch: the Sacred Heart on the left, behind the pulpit, and Saint John on the right, next to where the priests sit. Saint Anthony of Padua, holding the Christ child on the Book of the Gospels, stands in front of the Blessed Mother Altar, closer to the altar rail; and Saint Therese of Liseux stands in front of Saint Joseph’s altar, closer to that altar rail. I think they are much more prominent and visible now, and more accessible to anyone who would like to offer a prayer, even while seated in the pews.
Wednesday, two pieces of furniture arrived: two choir stalls, one on either side of the sanctuary. The choir stalls are carved chestnut: simple, classical lines, with four hand carved Ionic capitals atop each of the four pilasters. I found the stalls on EBay [where else??], and they were in Baltimore. The day after Thanksgiving, with the assistance of Mr. Ferry Galbert, I took the train to Baltimore, rented a UHaul truck, packed up the choir stalls, and came home. A very generous mother and daughter of the parish came forward to finance the purchase and restoration work, for which I am very grateful. We will use them for Tenebrae on Wednesday evening of Holy Week, for solemn Vespers on the May 30th anniversary of the dedication of our church, and, hopefully, in the near future, each Sunday evening with sung Vespers and Benediction. I think the changes enhance the beauty of our church.
Likewise, we’ve been replacing the electrical systems in the rectory and in the church. You will have noticed, I hope, the improved lighting in the sanctuary for the high marble altar. These projects were paid for by the small income we received from the parking lot ground lease. The next part of that project is to improve the chandeliers in the church, installing prettier globes and better, more efficient light bulbs.
Many parishioners have asked about painting the church interior. I would be delighted to do that, but the cost is enormous. I have two church painting companies coming in during the next few months to place bids for the job, just to get a realistic idea of the cost. Please be calm: I’m just getting prices; in this miserable economy I won’t be asking parishioners to pay for such a huge job. You might all do me the favor of offering a few prayers that some generous donors might step up to help, however.
I’ll keep everyone informed about new developments concerning these big projects. —Msgr. DiGiovanni
Please pray for the sick… Ray Flaharty, Philip Renard, John Mellace, Christine Exantus, Evelyn Flaharty, Diane Ojohanna, Phil De Felice, Sr., Janet Rodgers, Aidan Moon, Mary Daniele
Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Eugene Rizzi, Denis O’Neil, Cecila Tucker, Edith O’Hara, Vincenzo Giannitti Alverta Sahd, Frances Lorusso, Thomas Carucci, Sr. Julia McCarthy, Ella Palumba, Vito Melfi, Arthur Capalbo, Avery Cardinal Dulles
CONFESSION. . . During Lent, every Catholic Church throughout Fairfield County will remain open each Tuesday evening, from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. for confessions, including. St. John’s. Please drop by and avail yourself of this sacrament.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS . . . each Friday during Lent:
4:00 p.m. English Stations; 6:00 p.m. Creole Stations
The 20’s and 30’s … The next meeting will be this Monday MARCH 9th at 6:30 and we will be meeting in the RECTORY here at St. John’s. The Sisters of Life will be giving a talk – bring a friend.
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 rectory. Please join us. Our next meeting will be on April 7th.
St. Anne Society will meet on SUNDAY “March 22nd for Pizza and Pasta Night” in the Monsignor Nagle Hall. Dr. Joan Kelly will speak about Baptism and “The Family.”
St. John’s Bible Study … We are using The Bible Timeline Series every Thursday in the rectory at 7:30 p.m. Join us!
St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … We will next meet on Wednesday, March 11th in the rectory at 7:30 p.m. and will study Celtic Saints.
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 Biblical Greek . . . meets each Thursday evening at 7:30 pm in the rectory. Review earlier chapters, and study Lesson IX.
Parish Women’s Society … Meets every Saturday at 9:30 a.m. in the Rectory for prayer, refreshments and conversation. All are welcome; please, join us: just walk in the front door.
Maria Goretti and Dominic Savio Societies…Bus Trip to the Natural Museum of History in New York City will depart from the rectory at 9:00 a.m. on March 14th. Please turn in your permission slips as soon as possible.
A RING HAS BEEN FOUND IN THE CONFESSIONAL. Please call Providencia at the Rectory: 324-1553, ext. 21.
Religion Classes for Adults … Final Session for the year begins March 11th. It is open to all Catholics who have not yet received Holy Communion or Confirmation, and for non-Catholics who wish to join the Church. We meet in the rectory at 7:30 p.m. The class is on a 7-week cycle: Wednesdays: March 11th, March 18th, March 25th, April 1st, April 15th, and April 22nd. Please contact Providencia at (203) 324 -1553 ext. 21.
Sign of Peace . . . will NOT be given during Masses for the next few months because of the high risk of contracting the flu.
Natural Family Planning Session (NFP) will be held on March 23, 2009 at 7:45 p.m. in the home of Lisa & Alex Frawley. To reserve a place please call Lisa Frawley at 203 254 6615.
Sunday Readings for March 15tht: Ex. 20: 1-17 or 20: 1-3, 7-8, 12-17; 1 Cor. 1:22-25/Jn. 2:13-25 (29), or, for Year A, Ex. 17:3-7/Rom. 5: 1-2, 5-8; Jn. 4:5-42 or 4: 5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42 (28)
Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 249 (2) 62. 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 de feria – Orlando di Lasso, 1532-1594. Offertory motet: Nolo mortem peccatoris – Thomas Morley, c. 1557 – 1602 (Nolo mortem peccatoris; Haec sunt verba Salvatoris. Father, I am thine only Son, sent down from heav’n mankind to save. Father, all things fullfilled and done according to thy will I have. Father, my will now all is this: Nolo mortem peccatoris. Father, behold my painful smart, taken for man on ev’ry side; ev’n from my birth to death most tart, no kind of pain I have denied, but suffered all, and all for this: Nolo mortem peccatoris.). Communion motet: Adoramus te, Christe – Orlandus Lassus, 1532-1594 (We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee, because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the World. Lord, have mercy upon us. [Antiphon at feasts of the Holy Cross]). The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Tibi dixit cor meum (My heart declared to you: “Your countenance have I sought; I shall ever seek your countenance, O Lord; do not turn your face from me.” The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? [Ps. 27:8,9,1]); Tract Commovisti (You have caused the earth to quake, O Lord, you have rent it open. Repair its breaches, for it totters. May your chosen ones escape the menacing bow and be delivered. [Psalm 60:4,6]); Offertory Meditabor (I will meditate on your commandments which I love exceedingly; I will lift up my hands towards your commandments which I love. [Psalm 119:47,48]); Communion Visionem quam vidistis (Tell no one about the vision you have seen until the Son of Man has risen from the dead. [Matthew 17:9]). Postlude: Psalm 50 – Tonus peregrinus.
Calling all 10:00 a.m. 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.
Co-Worker of Life Training with the Sisters of Life…Saturday March 14th at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Manhattan from 8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. The Sisters of Life are seeking a group of faithful laity to be Co-Workers of Life in the Brooklyn area. The Sisters of Life is a contemplative/active religious community of women founded in 1991 by John Cardinal O’Connor for the protection and enhancement of the sacredness of every human life. Co-Workers of Life share their talents, time and their very self in service to pregnant women in need. These needs can be as simple as lending a listening ear over a cup of tea, giving a ride to an appointment, or as involved as hosting a woman in your home. All gifts help to build a culture of life, one heart at a time. For more information about coworkers or how you can use your gifts in service of life, call (212) 737-0221 www.sistersoflife.org/pdfs/CoworkersBrochure.pdf
St. John’s in The ADVOCATE . . .
. . . 50 years ago, or so:
March 10, 1948: Ship Fire Hero To Address AOH. “The Rev. Peter B. Duffee, O.F.M., of New York, who was severely injured in the S. S. Normandie fire six years ago, will be the speaker at the annual Communion breakfast of Gen. Philip Sheridan Branch, AOH, on Sunday at Hugo’s restaurant. Members will receive Holy Communion at the 8 a.m. Mass at St. John’s Catholic Church, meeting in the lower church. Father Duffee saved lives and valuable documents in the fire. He was permanently disabled. He was cited for heroism by the American Legion and received the Silver Medal of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Commander’s Medal of the Catholic War Veterans. Widely known for his lectures and writings on world Communism and international affairs, he is stationed at St. Francis Assisi Church, West 31st. St., New York.”
March 9, 1949: St. John’s Students Merit Award Winners. “Ann Forbes and Patricia Quinn, students in St. John’s Junior High School, were named Merit Award winners in the Hartford Courant Parade of Youth Scholastic Art Contest. Their work is among 500 examples of pictorial, graphic and commercial art, selected by a panel of judges as the best of 2,000 entries submitted by Junior and Senior high schools and technical schools of the same level throughout Connecticut. All 500 entries, now on exhibition in Hartford, will be sent on to Pittsburgh, where a national contest, sponsored by the Scholastic Magazines will be held at Carnegie Institute from May 7 through May 31.”
March 8, 1957: Services Listed For Girl Scouts. “Girl Scout Week in the Stamford area will get underway Sunday morning with special services in area churches. Stamford. St. John’s Episcopal, Mrs. Karl Illigen, 9:30; First Presbyterian, Mrs. Olive Novak, 11; St. John’s Catholic, Mrs. Herman Beaudoin, 9; First Congregational, Mrs. Alexander Bills, 11; Zion Lutheran, Mrs. Roy Pickens, First Service; St. Maurice’s, Mrs. Emmerich Piebel and Mrs. Wilber Watt, 8:30; Union Memorial, Mrs. Ernest Franck, 11; Mrs. Charles Campbell and Mrs. H. Laube, 9:30.”
March 12, 1958: K of C To Honor Former Chaplain. “Members of St. Augustine Council, Knights of Columbus, will honor their former chaplain and spiritual advisor, the Rev. John P. McNerney, at a testimonial dinner on April 8 at Hugo’s. Reginald E. Connolly, Grand Knight, announces that the Rev. Joseph D. Potter, chaplain, will be honorary chairman and John R. Boyd, general chairman, with the following to serve as committee chairmen: tickets, Michael J. Nagurney; guests, Redmond Tonner; entertainment, Thomas Kelly and Dominick Conti; program, James E. Davis; arrangements, William Thomson; publicity, Thomas A. Ryan; secretary, Joseph N. Broderick.” (Editor’s note: Father Joseph Potter was an assistant Pastor at St. John’s; William Thomson was a Lay Trustee at St. John’s.)
Saint Patrick Parade. . . Will be on Saturday, March 14th at 12 noon starting in lower Summer Street. Please join in.
Saint Patrick’s Day Mass . . . The Ancient Order of Hibernians will host their annual St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, here at St. John’s at 9:00 am. All are welcome.
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.
Saturday, March 7
4:00 +Walter Dziuba req. Terry Mead & Roy Kertelits
Sunday, March 8
7:30 +Peter Medwed 8th Anniversary req. De Vivo & Munro Families
10:00 Donald Samedi Birthday req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:00 +His Eminence Ignatius Cardinal Kung req. Cardinal Kung Foundation
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, March 9
8:00 +Kenneth McKallen req. Mr. & Mrs. Donald Gorman
12:10 +Patricia Guarino req. Bryan McKeon
Tuesday, March 10
8:00 Veronica Kucera req. Anthony & Alma Falletta
12:10 +Mrs. Assunta Gelonesi req. Shelley Ward & Family
Wednesday, March 11
8:00 Angelina Pagnozzi req. The Marchetti Family
12:10 +Charles Pascale req. John & Laura Pascale
Thursday, March 12
8:00 +Henry Saraniero req. Sharon Gannon
12:10 +Edith O’Hara req. Maude & Paul Hughes
Friday, March 13
8:00 +Celeste Malitsis req. Gerald Gerardi
12:10 +Jeannette DeCamillo req. Catherine Longo
8:00 +Hope & Joseph McAleer req. Family
12:10 The Boiteau Family req. Maude & Paul Hughes
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 Confirmation…Are 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).
Looking Toward Holy Saturday
– Fr. Terry Walsh
The following text is taken from an ancient homily on Holy Saturday, the author is unknown. It is a magnificent meditation on the “40 Hours” our Lord lay in the Tomb and a wonderful source of contemplation as we approach the Passion and Death of our Lord, and await His Resurrection……
“Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the Cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ Christ answered him: ‘And with your spirit.’ He took him by the hand and raised him up saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’
I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, o sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.
For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.
See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.
I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.
Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.”