Pastor’s Corner . . . For most of us, Easter is over. More important things have moved our way recently,—like Income Tax! While we might skip lightly past Easter, the Church does not, and celebrates Easter for 50 days, the amount of time Our Lord appeared in his resurrected body to His apostles and disciples. Why drag out Easter for 50 days? Here are a few reasons, expressed by some of the Church’s greatest early writers:
“Beloved, the paschal mystery is new and old, eternal and temporal, mortal and immortal. To the old belongs the Law of Moses, prefigurations, the sacrifice of sheep; to the new belongs the Word, grace, and the Lord’s life. ‘He [Jesus] was led like a sheep to the slaughter,’ [as scripture says] but he was not a sheep; he was slain ‘like the lamb that waits in silence,’ but he was not a lamb…God replaces the lamb, a man the sheep, and the man is Christ, who sums up all things in himself. The sacrifice of the sheep, the celebration of Passover, and the writing of the Law [of Moses] looked therefore to a fulfillment in Christ Jesus, for whose sake everything in the old covenant, and much more took place. For the Law gave place to the Word, as the old Law became the new; precept yielded to grace, image to reality, lamb to Son, sheep to man, and man to God. Though the Lord was God, he clad himself I manhood, having suffered for suffering man, having been bound for the captive, condemned for the guilty, and buried for man, who was buried beneath the weight of sin, He rose from the dead and addressed his fellows: ‘I have released those who were condemned, given life to the dead, and brought the buried from their graves. Come, then, all you nations of men, who are joined in a brotherhood of sin, and receive forgiveness. For I am your forgiveness, the saving Passover Victim, the Lamb slain for you. I am your cleansing and life, your resurrection, light, and salvation, your King. I bring you with me to the heavenly realm. I shall raise you up and present you to my heavenly Father. I am mighty, and I shall exalt you.” [Melito of Sardis, Homily on the Paschal Mystery.]
“In recalling the salvation given to us, St. Paul says:‘As death entered the world through Adam, so salvation was restored through Christ’; and again, ‘The first man [Adam] was of the earth and earthly, the second [Jesus] from heaven and heavenly.’ He added:‘We carried in us the image of the earthly man,’ that is, of man grown old in sin; ‘let us carry in us the image of the heavenly man as well.’ That is, let us receive from Christ the saving grace of being redeemed and cleansed in him. As St. Paul says: Christ is the beginning, that is, the source, of resurrection and of life. Those who belong to Christ, that is, who live in sinlessness as he does, will be sure of sharing his resurrection and the heavenly glory he promises, for the Lord himself says: ‘He who follows me will not perish but will pass through death to life.’The Savior’s suffering is thus mankind’s salvation. He willed to die for us that we who trust in him might live forever. He willed to become for a time what we are so that we might share his promised eternity and live forever with him. All this, then, is the grace proper to the heavenly mysteries which we are celebrating; it is the paschal gift given on this feast which we yearn for all year through, and it is the beginning of a new existence. Those reborn from the Church’s sacred baptismal font are clad in the simplicity of little children and give voice by their conduct to a sinless conscience. What day is Easter? The day that gave us the source of light and life, the Lord Jesus Christ, who said of himself: ‘I am the light of day; he who walks in that light shall not stumble,’ that is, he who wholly follows Christ shall pass in his footsteps into the land of eternal light.” [2nd century Easter homily] —Mons. DiGiovanni
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
Monthly Collection . . . The second collection today will be the monthly collection for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.
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 23rd.
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… Will not be meeting this Wednesday.
Introduction to Biblical Greek . . . meets each Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the rectory: Next meeting on April 23rd: 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 25th.
Religion Classes for Adults … We meet in the rectory at 7:30 p.m. The class is on a 7-week cycle 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 … Will meet on May 11th.
Coffee & Refreshments . . . following the 10:00 a.m. Family Mass: Please join us in the Monsignor Nagle Hall.
April 19th Sunday Readings: Acts: 3:13-15, 17-19; 1 Jn. 2:1-5a; Lk. 24-35 (47)
Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 79 (2) 83.
Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass . . . Mass Ordinary: Missa brevis – Christóbal de Morales, c. 1500-1553. The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Quasi modo (As newborn babes, alleluia, long for pure spiritual milk, alleluia, alleluia. Rejoice in honour of God our helper; shout for joy to the God of Jacob. [I Peter 2:2]); Alleluia Post dies octo (Eight days later, while all the doors were shut, Jesus came out and stood in the midst of his disciples and said: “Peace be with you.” [John 20:26]); Sequence Victimæ paschali laudes (To the Paschal Victim, Christians, offer a sacrifice of praise. The Lamb has ransomed his sheep; the innocent Christ has reconciled sinners with the Father. Death and life confronted each other in a prodigious battle; the Prince of life who died, now lives and reigns. “Tell us, Mary, what did you see upon the way? ” “I saw sepulchre of the living Christ; I saw the glory of the Risen One. I saw the angels, his witnesses, the shroud and the garments. Christ, my Hope, is risen. He will go before his own into Galilee.” We know that Christ is truly risen from the dead; O Victorious King, have mercy upon us.); Offertory Angelus Domini (The angel of the Lord came down from heaven and said to the women: “The One whom you seek has risen, as he said he would”, alleluia. [Matthew 28:2,5,6]); Communion Mitte manum (Stretch forth your hand, and feel the place where the nails were, alleluia; and be not doubtful but believing, 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
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.
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.
St. John’s in The News . . .
. . . 100 years ago, or so:
The Stamford Advocate:
April 21, 1876: “We learn that the Rev. Father Tierney has secured the services of five Sisters of Charity as teachers for the parish day school, which opens on Monday for the Summer term.”
The Connecticut Catholic:
April 25, 1885: Stamford. “The Children of Mary will receive Holy Communion in a body on Sunday. There will be devotions in the church every evening except Saturdays and Sundays, during the month of May. According to reports, over $800 was cleared by St. Joseph’s society and the orchestra by their late fair. Mr. John Ennis has charge of the work of putting in the pews of our new church, which he expects to complete about next fall.”
The Stamford Advocate:
April 20, 1908: CROWDS IN CHURCHES. How Easter Was Observed. “It was not as warm an Easter Day as many would desire, but it was pleasant enough for people to be out doors, and the April shower came at the least objectionable time. Rain fell during the hour of the principal church service, and it was over before the congregations were dismissed. All the services in St. John’s R. C. Church were attended by large congregations yesterday. The principal service was at 10:30, and consisted of a solemn high mass. The sermon was preached by the rector, Rev. James C. O’Brien, who dwelt upon the historical facts relating to the resurrection and the spiritual lessons to be taken there from. The sanctuary was beautifully decorated. Easter lilies predominated, and were effectively set forth from a background of palms. When the altar lights were burning, the sanctuary made a brilliant spectacle. The singing was quite in keeping with the general high character of the services. The soloists, Miss Kennedy, Miss Hogan, Mr. Reilly, and Mr. Smith, doing especially good work. In the evening, vespers were solemnized.”
The Stamford Advocate:
April 22, 1909: “The bazaar in St. John’s parochial school will close this evening. It has been a very satisfactory undertaking, and has provided a great deal of entertainment for those who have attended. There was a larger attendance last night than on any previous evening. The entertainment was very good, including contributions by a number of young folks, some of whom have appeared on other evenings. An innovation was occasioned by the Kerrytown Drum Corps, which has generally been associated with political rallies rather than with chamber music. But those Kerrytown boys are nothing if not resourceful and their performance last night fitted in very well indeed with the general program. Among the more serious numbers which attracted very favorable attention were the piano playing of Miss Aileen Walsh and the cello playing of Miss Harrison. Miss Walsh is a talented pianist and gave a very creditable performance.”
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.
Saturday, April 18
4:00 +Louis DeLavalle req. wife & daughters
Sunday, April 19
7:30 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry Galbert
10:00 +Millien Family req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:00 Our Lady of Loreto Altar Guild
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & family
Monday, April 20
8:00 Special Intention Jane Gannon req. Sharon Gannon
12:10 +Jorge Luis Perez req. Fernando Perez, father
Tuesday, April 21
8:00 +John O’Brien req. Paul Murphy
12:10 Special Intention Millie, Matthew & Liz Terenzio
Wednesday, April 22
8:00 +Antonio Pugliese req. Pugliese family
12:10 +Josephine Henson req. John & Laura Pascale
Thursday, April 23
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
12:10 Giordano Family req. Haggarty family
Friday, April 24
8:00 +Carmen Perez req. Pugliese family
12:10 In honor of St. John Patron & St. John the Baptist req. Bosilevas family
Saturday, April 25
8:00 +Reddy & Alice MacDonald & Family req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Helen Pagnotti req. Jean Bendick
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).
Come, O Most Holy Spirit, Come
(Part I) – Revisited
– Fr. Terry Walsh
“I Believe in the Holy Spirit”
God has revealed Himself to all the world as a personal God of love. He is not simply some unknowable distant force. He has revealed Himself as the essence of love, of purity, of holiness, and He is knowable to all who seek Him. He has revealed Himself as One God, but Three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Holy Trinity is of course the greatest Mystery of our faith and through our assent of faith, that is, through our ‘yes’ to God, we are given bountiful graces to grow in our understanding. This gift of faith is sustained and nourished most especially through our encounters with Jesus in the 7 Sacraments.
Each Sunday, just after hearing the Word of God, we proclaim our ‘yes’ when we stand and assert our Catholic Faith. During the course of our prayer, we say the words: “I believe in the Holy Spirit” – a distinct and equal Person of the Trinity. “The One whom the Father has sent into our hearts, the Spirit of his Son, is truly God”(Gal. 4:6). “When the Father sends his Word, he always sends his Breath. In their joint mission, it is Christ who is seen, the visible image of the invisible God, but it is the Spirit who reveals Him”(ccc689).
The Holy Spirit unites the faithful into the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ as He gives and sustains supernatural Divine life. St. Gregory of Nyssa describes this holy “anointing” in this way: “The notion of anointing suggests…that there is no distance between the Son and the Spirit. Indeed, just as between the surface of the body and the anointing with oil neither reason nor sensation recognizes any intermediary, so the contact of the Son with the Spirit is immediate, so that anyone who would make contact with the Son by faith must first encounter the oil by contact. In fact there is no part that is not covered by the Holy Spirit. That is why the confession of the Son’s Lordship is made in the Holy Spirit by those who receive him, the Spirit coming from all sides to those who approach the Son in faith.” At Baptism, we are anointed with the Sacred Chrism (Oil) on the crown of our heads and we hear the words: “God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has freed you from sin, given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and welcomed you into His holy people. He now anoints you with the chrism of salvation. As Christ was anointed Priest, Prophet, and King, so may you live always as a member of His Body, sharing everlasting life.” In the Sacrament of Confirmation, which completes Christian Initiation, we are anointed by the Holy Spirit when the Bishop traces the sign of the Cross on our foreheads, once again with the Sacred Chrism, and says: “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” Recall the words of St. Paul, “…those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit…to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace…But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God really dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him. But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through His Spirit who dwells in you”(Romans 8:5ff).