Pastor’s Corner . . . The greatest proof of God’s love for us is the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and His bodily Resurrection from the grave. Since the early Fathers of the Church expressed it best, I’ll let them speak this week:
St. Augustine, Sermons, 3: “The Passion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is a pledge of victory and a lesson in patience. What may the hearts of believers not expect from God’s grace when His only Son did not hesitate to become a man and to die at the hands of men whom He Himself had created? Great indeed are God’s promises to us, but greater still is what He has already done for us. How can we doubt that He will give us his life [forever] when He has already given us His death?
“Who is Christ but the Word that ‘was in the beginning, was with God, and was God’? [John 1: 1 and cf. Gen 1:1] That Word ‘was made flesh and dwelt among us.’ [John 1:2] He was unable as God to die for us; to die, He had to take mortal flesh from us. Then the immortal One could die and give life to mortal men and women; He would give a share of Himself to those whose lot He first shared as a man. We had no power of ourselves to live; He had no power of Himself to die. He entered, therefore, into an exchange with us: we gave Him the means of dying for us; He gave us the means of living forever.”
St. Basil the Great, The Holy Spirit, 15: “God our Savior’s way of dealing with us is to call us back when we have fallen into sin and to restore us to familiarity with Himself, after we have been estranged by the disobedience of sin. Christ’s coming in the flesh, therefore, His work among us, His suffering and death, His burial and Resurrection, were all intended that we, saved by imitation of Christ, might enter once again into the relationship with God as His adopted sons and daughters.”
“If we are to live fully, then, we must imitate Christ not simply in His kindness, humility and patience he showed during His human life, but in his very death. How do we imitate His death? By being buried with Him in baptism. Let us note, first, that the continuity of our earlier life must be disrupted, and for this nothing will serve but to be born again, for rebirth is the beginning of a new life. But before you can begin the new, you must put a finish to the old life: a death [to sin and to an arrogant self-centered life] must intervene.”
Ancient Holy Saturday Homily: “Today there is a great silence over the earth, for the King sleeps. . . God is dead in the flesh, and has shaken Sheol to its foundations. He goes to seek our first parent like a lost sheep. He cries out, ‘I bid you: Awake, sleeper! I did not create you to lie bound in hell. Arise from the dead, for I am life to those who have died. Rise up, work of my hands, my likeness, made in my image. Rise, let us go hence.
“‘For your sake I put on your lowly shape as a man. For your sake I came to earth and to the underworld. See the spittle on my face—it was for you, that you might have the breath of life again. See my cheeks reddened by the blows—it was for you, that you might be remade in my image. See my torn back—it was for you, that I might take the burden of sin from your shoulders. See the nail-marks in my hands—it was for you, because you once put your hand to the forbidden tree.
“‘Arise, let us go hence. I have a heavenly throne prepared for you, and the cherubim shall bow down before you.’”
Happy Easter! —Mons. DiGiovanni
Introduction to Ecclesiastical Latin… Anyone interested in a summer study course of Latin, please let me know: It will be basic grammar—Dick and Jane—so, don’t be afraid. If you’re interested, please give Monsignor a call: (203) 324-1553, ext. 11. There will be no charge.
Please pray for the sick… Sheila Kilcoyne, Sal Sciazza, Ed Koplos, Rosemarie Drexel, John Castellano, Lily Rice, Marion Giordano, Ray Flaharty, Philippe Renard, John Mellace, Christine Exantus, Evelyn Flaharty
Please pray for those who have recently died… Brazilia Walker, Joseph Barrone, Evelyn Bauman, Phil DeFelice, Sr., Alice Banning, Paul Eldridge, Antoinetta Fiore, Marie Corcoran, Eugene Rizzi, Denis O’Neil, Cecila Tucker, Edith O’Hara
Easter Collection . . . The second collection today will be the Easter Collection for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.
DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY . . . April 19th: Please join us at 1:30 p.m. in church for a Eucharistic Holy Hour that will include Adoration, Benediction and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
A Parish Fundraising Event:
A SPRING GARDEN PARTY
Sunday, May 3, 2009. We hope you will join us for a great event – fabulous dinner, musical charms, exciting auctions. – Individual seats $75 per person, special tables available – Please call the Rectory for more information or for your reservation – (203) 324-1553, ext 21 or register online @ www.stjohnsstamford.com.
St. John’s Bible Study … We are using The Bible Timeline Series every Thursday in the rectory at 7:30 p.m. Join us! Next meeting: April 16th.
St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … We will next meet on Wednesday, May 6th in the rectory at 7:30 p.m. to study early Baptismal catechesis of the first centuries of the Church.
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 p.m. in the rectory: Next meeting on April 16th: Please, review Lessons XII & XIII.
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 first front door. Our next meeting will be on April 18th.
Religion Classes for Adults … We meet in the rectory at 7:30 p.m. The class is on a 7-week cycle April 15th, April 22nd and May 5th and May 12th. Please contact Providencia at (203) 324 -1553 ext. 21.
Moms & Tots … A group of moms and their 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 May 5th.
The 20’s and 30’s … has been canceled due to Easter Holiday.
Birthright needs volunteers to help with mothers. Volunteers provide pregnancy tests, listen to client concerns and connect women with needed resources. Schedules are flexible. Please call (203) 348-4355 or www.birthright.org for more info.
Coffee Hour is cancelled Easter Sunday. Coffee Hour will resume on April 19th.
April 19th Sunday Readings: Acts: 4:32-34; 1 Jn. 5:1-6; Jn. 20:19-31.
Marriage Bann: 3rd Lionel Francisco Pina & Jody Ann Fay
Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 79 (2) 83.
Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass . . . Mass Ordinary: Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo – Franz Joseph Haydn, 1732-1809. Offertory motet: Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem – Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, 1852-1924 (The text may be found in the hymnal at No. 85). Communion motets: 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]); Ave verum – Mozart (The tx may be found in the hymnal at No. 296); Most glorious Lord of life – Sir William Harris, 1883-1973 (Most glorious Lord of life, that on this day Didst make Thy triumph over death and sin, And having harrowed hell, didst bring away Captivity thence captive, us to win. This joyous day, dear Lord, with joy begin, And grant that we for whom Thou didest die, Being with Thy dear blood clean washed from sin, May live for ever in felicity : And that Thy love we weighing worthily, May likewise love Thee for the same again; And for Thy sake, that all like dear didst buy, With love may one another entertain. So let us love, dear Love, like as we ought; Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught. [Edmund Spencer 1522-99]). The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Resurrexi (I am risen, and I am always with you, alleluia; you have placed your hand upon me, alleluia; your wisdom has been shown to be most wonderful, alleluia, alleluia. O Lord, you have searched me and known me; you know when I sit down and when I rise up. [Ps. 139:18,5,6,1,2]); Alleluia Pascha nostrum (Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed. [I Corinthians 5:7]); Sequence Victimæ paschali laudes (The text may be found in the hymnal at No. 315); Offertory Terra tremuit (The earth trembled and was still, when God arose in judgment, alleluia. [Ps.75]); Communion Pascha nostrum (Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed, alleluia; therefore, let us keep the feast by sharing the unleavened bread of uprightness and truth, alleluia, alleluia. [I Corinthians 5:7,8]).
Calling all 10:00 a.m. Mass Singers for the Adult Choir . . . Rehearsals are Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. in the music room in the basement of the church. For more information, call Scott Turkington (203) 324-1553, ext. 18.
Job Seekers’ Group… Monday, April 20th, in the rectory. Topic: how to follow-up with an employer or recruiter without stalking; writing Thank You notes; developing good interview questions. Melanie Szlucha’s company, Red Inc., coaches to be confident and prepared for the job search process. Her website: http://www.redinc.biz. No charge.
Want to be a Lector at Mass? We are in need of lectors for the Saturday 4:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:00 noon Masses. If interested, please contact Mary Bridget Gaine: (203) 978-0249 or MaryBridgetGaine@aol.com
Sacred Heart Parish Card Party: April 17th, 6:30 p.m. $15.00 per person. For reservations, call Judy Perugini: (203) 322-1265, after 6:00 p.m.
St. John’s in The News . . .
. . . 50 years ago, or so:
April 15, 1949: Stamford To Hail Easter Song Services Sunday. “St. John’s R. C. Church. The choir, under the direction of Sister Ann Maureen, will sing at the 9 a.m. Mass, the following selections: “Alleluia, Let the Holy Anthems Rise,” “The Heavens Resound,” “Glad Easter Bells,” “Praise to Him,” “Christ is Risen,” “Jesus Christ is Risen Today,” and “Ye Sons and Daughters.” At the 10 a.m. Mass, Iris Lauritano will direct the choir in the Kyrie from the Mass “Rosa Mystics” by Carnevali. “Surrexit Christus” by Rev. Rossini, with Nancy Bosak, soprano and Steven Black, baritone, will be sung at the Offertory. The choir will sing the Sanctus and Agnus Dei from the “Rosa Mystica,” the “Regina Coeli Jubila,” by Casciolini, and “Glad Easter Bells.” Solemn High Mass will be celebrated at 11. Iris Lauritano will direct the boys’ choir in the processional, “Ofili et Filiae,” – 15th Century traditional and the St. John’s choir in the Mass, “Rosa Mystica” by Carnevali, and the “Regina Coeli Jubila” of Casciolini. The boys’ choir will sing the Ambresian Gloria, and the offertory will be “Surrexit Christus” by Rev. Rossini, sung by Nancy Bosak, soprano, and Steven Black, baritone. The boys’ choir will also sing the recessional, “Regina Coeli,” 16th Century traditional.”
April 13, 1957: Stamford Churches List Services For Holy Week. “Special services are planned in Stamford churches for Holy Week, commemorating events leading up to the crucifixion and death of Christ. Catholic churches have planned special Masses to be held in the mornings and evenings during the week, as well as other observances. St. John’s – Holy Saturday, confessions, 11 a.m. to Noon and 4:30 to 6 p.m. Easter Vigil, followed by the First Mass of Easter, 7:30 p.m. No confessions will be heard Saturday evening. The Rt. Rev. Msgr. Nicholas Pl Coleman, pastor, has called attention to the fact that assistance at the “First Mass of Easter” Saturday evening does not satisfy the obligation for Sunday Mass.”
April 14, 1960: Services And Music Mark Lent’s End, Joy Of Easter. “Many Stamford churches are observing Holy Week and will celebrate Easter Sunday with special services and music. The Advocate has been notified of the following: St. John’s – Easter Sunday – At the 9 a.m. Mass, the girls’ choir will sing “Christ Is Risen” by Singenberger, “Haec Dies Quam Fecit Dominus” by Haller, “Regina Coeli Jubila,” traditional, and “Adoramus Te Penem Coelitum,” traditional. Solemn Easter Mass at 10:15 a.m., Processional, “Christ Is Risen” sung by the boys’ choir; “Missa Stella Mattutina,” by Carnivali to be sung by the senior choir; Offertory, “O Felii et Filiae,” by the boys’ choir; Communion, “Regina Coeli” by Lotti and “Ave Maria” by Arcadett, to be sung by the senior choir; Recessional, “Alleluia” by the boys’ choir. Mass at 7:30 p.m. in the lower church for Spanish speaking people.”
Ladies’ Night Out…Spring into Fashion fundraiser to benefit Trinity Catholic Middle School on Thursday, May 7th. Please join us at The Italian Center for an evening of fashion, dinner, and fun! Great Basket Raffles and Exciting Silent Auction. Door Prizes!! Tickets: $60. For details, or to make a donation to support Trinity Catholic Middle School, please call Ann Waters at (203) 322-8470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Shippan Point Garden Club… May Market Fundraiser: Plant Sale and Tag Sale, Raffle & Silent Auction. There’ll be great food! On Saturday, May 9th, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Our Lady Star of the Sea, 1200 Shippan Avenue. Proceeds for environmental programs, scholarships and civic plantings.
Saturday, April 11
8:00 p.m. Easter Vigil: People of the Parish
Sunday, April 12
7:30 People of the Parish
10:00 People of the Parish
12:00 People of the Parish
6:00 People of the Parish
Monday, April 13
8:00 Diane Strain: God’s Blessing req. Marion Morris & Family
12:10 Diane Strain Birthday req. Josephine Languedoc
Tuesday, April 14
8:00 +Tin Nguyen req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 +Rose & Vito Longo req. Daughter – Millie
Wednesday, April 15
8:00 +Diane Greene req. Edith O’Hara
12:10 +Mr. & Mrs. Arthur & Anna Jean-Guillaume req. children & grandchildren
Thursday, April 16
8:00 +Louise Meyer Birthday remembrance req. Josephine Languedoc & Diane Strain
12:10 +Louis W. Meyer Birthday remembrance req. Joan B. Pizzuti
Friday, April 17
8:00 Cathleen Gannon Birthday req. Sharon Gannon
12:10 +Sue Gale req. Paul Murphy
Saturday, April 1
8:00 +Hope & Joseph McAleer req. Family
12:10 Brian & Kathleen Fennessey req. Fr. Terrence P. Walsh
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.
Pray for an end to abortion every Wed. 7:00 -10:30 a.m., Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St, Stamford.
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: www.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 (203) 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).
– Fr Terry Walsh
“Let it mingle with the lights of heaven and continue bravely burning to dispel the darkness of this night!”
The “Exsultet” – the Great Easter Proclamation – is the Church’s hymn of joy celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, represented by the Paschal Candle, whose bright light shines out in a dark and dusty world. It is a call to holiness. The Candle will remain burning during the Liturgy throughout the 50 days of the Easter Season as a great beacon of hope. The candle is “consumed” just as Jesus emptied Himself; He, too, is “consumed” by all His faithful people in Holy Communion. His Light then shines through us drawing others to Himself. He enlightens and purifies our hearts and minds, our bodies and souls, our wills and our intellects. He is the Light and through His Resurrection, we may share in His Light. Scholars claim that the Easter Proclamation has been part of the Easter Vigil Mass since the 4th century. They speculate that there had been many versions of the Hymn in the early years. Nine versions have survived the centuries. The Exsultet, perhaps the oldest of the hymns and dating back to the late 4th century, is thought to have been composed by St. Ambrose. It is the Proclamation used in the Roman Rite. The Hymn begins with a great shout of joy to Heaven with the knowledge that God has restored life and holiness to mankind, and indeed all of Creation joins in the celebration. The first line calls to mind the cry of St Paul, that “all of Creation waits with eager longing” – that restoration is made possible through the Life, Death, and Resurrection of the Unblemished Lamb, the Innocent Victim, Jesus Christ. Now, all who walk in the Light of Christ share in His life and are freed from the bondage of sin and death. He has crushed the serpent. How could our response be anything but exuberant joy!
After proclaiming the Great Conqueror of death and darkness, the Hymn invites all the flock to join the prayer of the priest in giving thanks and praise to God for the sacrifice of His only Son who “broke the chains of death and rose from the grave.” Moments later, in the Liturgy of the Word, we’ll hear seven Old Testament Readings that recount the history of salvation that lead up to the Paschal Mystery and the fulfillment of the promise of Salvation. (The first 3 from the Law; the next 4 from the Prophets) In particular, we’ll hear the Passover account from the Book of Exodus – the “Night” that God “freed the people of Israel from their slavery” – the event that prefigures the Crucifixion, when the Blood of the True Lamb, Jesus Christ, was spilled. His blood paints the doorposts of our homes – our hearts and souls – to free us from the grip of Satan who tries to capture us through sin. Those who enter into the Life of Christ receive His Power, His Wisdom, His Holiness, the very weapons that defeat the enemy. He makes us “new creations.” This is the Night, as the prayer at the blessing of the fire attests, “when our Lord Jesus Christ passed from death to life.” And once the Pascal Candle is lit, we begin our praise of Christ our Light. The Candle, representing Christ, “mingles with the light of Heaven.” Jesus promised He would remain with us and indeed live in us – if we invite Him. The Light of Heaven mingles with us, in us, and we become His Light. Then, our very lives should shout out to those in darkness – in the most gentle and humble way – “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” Come, join us – walk in the Light.