Pastor’s Corner . . . In last Sunday’s Gospel, Our Lord promised His apostles that he’d remain with the Church until the end of time (Matt 28: 17). One might suggest that Jesus was only speaking in a symbolic or poetic manner. But Our Lord didn’t do that, unless the whole Gospel is simply symbolic. If so, then it matters little. Our Lord meant what He said. In this week’s Gospel, Jesus repeats over and over again, “This is my Body; my flesh is real food; my blood, real drink.” More symbol? Then why did He repeat that eleven times in one chapter of John’s Gospel? (John 6). He meant what He said: He remains with His Church in the Eucharist, waiting for us daily every tabernacle in every Catholic church around the world.
The liturgical season known as “Ordinary Time”, is the largest portion of weeks during the year, following Easter until Advent, during which time the Church reflects upon the reality of who Our Lord is, what He did and taught, and what that means today, to us. But this period is not simply one of reflection or remembrance. It is a time that underscores the reality that Jesus remains with His Church, with us, in his greatest Easter gifts: the seven sacraments. These are the fruits of His Resurrection, and the means by which He shares His divine life with us. Instituted by Christ Himself—last Sunday’s Gospel relayed Our Lord’s instruction to the Apostles, “Go, baptize the nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”—these outward signs are simple created things, like water used in baptism, or bread and wine at Mass, which Christ the Creator and Redeemer transforms into vehicles by which He shares Hs life with us, now, which leads to sharing His life in eternity.
The Easter reality is that the Eternal Son of God, who created the universe, became a creature, suffered, died and rose from the dead, to reconcile us with the Father. That Easter reality continues, for this same Creator-Savior, is made present at every Mass offered, and draws us into that reality through the sacraments, by which He daily transforms us, applying the merits of His Cross to each believer. The reason for the whole of salvation history is this: God speaking through the prophets; God becoming a man; the incarnate God’s passion and resurrection; His creation of the Church; His ascension to Heaven; His sending of the Holy Spirit, is simply that God wanted to reconcile creation with Himself, and to give us the means by which we might gain Heaven by becoming more like Him on earth. Alone we can do nothing; with the Risen Christ whom we receive in the sacraments, we can gain eternity.
The church’s lower stained glass windows along the aisle are all symbolic of God’s transforming and abiding presence in His Church by means of His sacraments . Two sacraments in particular: Baptism and the Eucharist, are seen and suggested by a baptismal font, near the real baptismal font; the Eucharistic vessels, a chalice for Mass and a monstrance for Benediction; a thurible to offer incense at Mass; grape vines and wheat, symbolic of the Eucharist, and the Holy Spirit, who transforms those created elements into the Body and Blood of Christ, and the water of Baptism into vehicles by which Christ’s resurrected life are shared with us.
God remains with His Church until the end of time: He promised. He does this through His sacraments, especially through the Holy Eucharist. This weekend’s celebration of Corpus Christi is all about His abiding presence in the Eucharist: He awaits us in the tabernacle; He offers Himself daily in the sacrifice of the Mass; transforming us to be more like Himself now and in eternity.
Use the summer months of Ordinary Time to reflect upon the mystery of God’s work to save you. Read Scripture, especially the Gospels; read the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a companion text to Scripture; visit Our Lord who is in each tabernacle in every Catholic church around the world; respond to Christ’s charity by being more charitable to those around you. Allow the mystery of God’s love to transform you during these summer months as your summer project. Jesus isn’t an idea: He is a divine person who loves you. During these summer weeks, learn more about Him and what He’s done for you , and allow His Risen self to recreate you, through His Sacraments, so you can be more perfectly like Him in your life, leading to eternity.—Mons. DiGiovanni
Please pray for the sick… Annette Mellace, Charla Nash, Kevin Sutton, Ruth Alexander, Anthony P. D’Ariano, Matthew Kenealy, Millie Demillo, Anthony & Mary Ellen Sansone, Mons. John Horgan-Kung, Mike McNamee, Paul Rittman, Sal Sciazza, Ed Koplos, John Castellano, Lily Rice, Marion Giordano
Please pray for those who have recently died… Monika LoBaidi, Sheila Kilcoyne, Mary Daly, Brazilia Walker, Joseph Barrone, Evelyn Bauman, Phil DeFelice Sr., Alice Banning, Paul Eldridge, Antoinetta Fiore, Marie Corcoran, Eugene Rizzi, Denis O’Neil.
St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … Meets on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. in the Rectory to study the acts of the ancient Church martyrs.
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 Ecclesiastical Latin . . . Meets on Wednesdays 6:00 p.m. in the Rectory. All are welcome; just come in the front door.
Introduction to Biblical Greek . . . Will next meet on July 16th at 7:30 p.m. in the rectory. Class is closed to new student
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.
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 Tuesday July 7th.
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.
Sponsor Certificates for Baptism or Confirmation…Are happily given to parishioners of St. John’s, i.e. those who are registered members; who regularly attend Sunday Mass; who lead a virtuous life worthy of imitation by those whom they will sponsor in Baptism or Confirmation.
HELP FEED THE HUNGRY IN OUR COMMUNITY – Fairfield County Eats! – a tasting event to benefit The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County will take place on Thursday, June 18th at The Hilton Stamford Hotel & Executive Meeting Center from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Over 48 Restaurants, Caterers, and Beverage Providers will be offering their best selections. The Food Bank is the area’s primary hunger-relief organization and provides food to about 100 agencies and programs. Tickets are $50.00. For more information or to buy tickets on line at www.foodbanklfe.org (203) 921-1879.
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.
Senior Services. . . One of the truly helpful agencies in town that actually assists people. If you would be interested in making a donation—no matter how small—to help truly needy seniors meet daily living expenses in Stamford, then this is the place to make your donation: call Marie Johnson at (203) 324-6584. If you’d rather donate a shopping card for groceries, just purchase one and drop it off at the rectory or at the Senior Services office on Summer Street—next doo to Dairy Queen. Give them a call. Mons. DiGiovanni
Sunday June 7, 2009 $ 9,883.45
Sunday June 8, 2008 $ 11,022.03
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
June 21st Sunday Readings: Jb. 38: 1, 8-11; 2 Cor. 5:14-17; Mk. 4:35-41
Banns of Marriage:
2nd: Gabriel Joseph Natarelli & Silvia Rebollar
2nd: Matthew Leonard Patrick Gallo & Jaclyn Brook Salvatore
2nd: Ryan Thomas Heide & Leah Ellen DiSpagna
3rd: Darrell Thomas Ingram & Elissa Fabrizio
3rd: Michel Cayo & Evelyn Alabre
Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 112 (2) 118. 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: Mass for Five Voices – William Byrd, 1540-1623. Offertory Motet: Lauda Sion – Francisco Correa de Arauxo, ca. 1576-1654 (O Zion, praise thy Saviour, thy Prince and thy Shepherd; praise him with hymns and canticles. A special theme of praise, the living and life-giving bread, is on this day proposed. Let our praise ring out full and resonant, a song of the heart, joyful and radiant. For today is a most solemn festival, recalling how this sacred banquet first was instituted. At this banquet of our newly crowned King, the Paschal mystery of the New Law bringeth to its end the ancient Passover rite. Taught by his divine precepts, we consecrate the bread and wine, a sacrificial victim for salvation. And when the Bread is fragmented, be thou not troubled, but remember: he is present in each fragment just as much as in the whole. O Good Shepherd and most true Bread of life, Lord Jesus, have mercy upon us; feed us and protect us, bring us to the vision of eternal riches in the land of the living.) [From the sequence for Corpus Christi]. Communion Motet: Ave verum Corpus – W. Byrd (Hail true Body, born of Mary the virgin; suffering, sacrificed truly on the cross for men; from whose pierced side water flowed and blood. Be merciful to us at the judgement of death, O sweet Jesus, O merciful Jesus, O Jesus Son of Mary. [From a 14th cent. Gradual at Limoges, trans. Rev. A. Fortescue]). At the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament: O salutaris Hostia – Pierre de La Rue, 1452-1518; Tantum ergo – Tomás Luis de Victoria, 1548-1611. The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Cibavit eos (He fed them with the finest of wheat, alleluia; and with honey from the rock he satisfied them, alleluia, alleluia. Rejoice in honour of God our helper; shout for joy to the God of Jacob. [Ps.81:17,2,3,11]); Alleluia Caro mea (My Flesh is the True Food, my Blood is the True Drink; he who eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood abides in me, and I in him. [John 6:56,57]); Sequence Ecce panis (from Lauda Sion) (Behold this Bread of Angels which hath become food for us on our pilgrimage; it is truly the Bread of God’s children, let it ne’er be thrown to dos. Scripture announced it figuratively by Isaac’s sacrifice, by the Paschal Lamb and by the manna given to our forefathers. O Good Shepherd and most true Bread of life, Lord Jesus, have mercy upon us; feed us and protect us, bring us to the vision of eternal riches in the land of the living. Thou who knowest and canst accomplish all things, who dost feed us in this mortal life, make us thy chosen guests, the co-heirs and companions of thy saints in the heavenly city.); Offertory Portas cæli (The Lord opened the doors of heaven and rained down manna upon them to eat; he gave them bread from heaven; man ate the bread of angels, alleluia. [Ps. 77:23-25]); Communion Qui manducat (He who eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood, abides in me, and I in him. [John 6:57]).
Calling all Singers! . . . The 10:00 a.m. Family Mass Adult choir is in need of singers! We rehearse at 8:15 a.m. on Sundays only, in the Choir Room. Are you regularly attending the 10:00 a.m. Mass and would you consider lending your voice to our choir? Please call Scott Turkington for more information: (203) 324-1553, ext. 18.
Saturday, June 13
4:00 +Sr. M. Rosalina, CHF req. Therese Troilio, niece
Sunday, June 14
7:30 +Mary Louise DeLuca req. The Caraher Family
10:00 Francis M. DeLuca & Family req. The Caraher Family
12:00 +Rose Magorane req. Bill, Marion Morris & Family
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, June 15
8:00 +Daniel Murphy req. Tricia Boyle
12:10 +Charles Gallaer req. John & Laura Pascale
Tuesday, June 16
8:00 Special Intention Father Albert D. Audette req. Millie Terenzio
12:10 +Deceased Residents of Courtland Gardens Nursing Home
Wednesday, June 17
8:00 +Richard De Haven req. Therese & Nicholas Troilio
12:10 +Raffaela Annetta req. Josephine Ioefino
Thursday, June 18
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
12:10 +Jennifer Piacenza Tomasello req. Terry Rizzo & Mary Ann
Friday, June 19
8:00 +Beatrice Buccino req. Ralph Haczynski
12:10 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory
Saturday, June 20
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
12:10 +Catherine Mathews req. Bill & Marion Morris & Family
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 Wednesday 7:00 -10:30 a.m., Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St, Stamford.
St. John’s in The CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC . . . 100 years ago, or so:
June 11, 1881: Stamford. “In spite of the blinding northeastern rain storm that raged last Friday evening, all the sodalities and a large number of St. John’s congregation came together in the unfinished portion of the church to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Rev. Father Rogers elevation to the priesthood. For a few days before, Father Rogers had been surmising that something of an unusual and interesting character was transpiring among the sodalities, but it was not until 7:30 o’clock on the evening in question, that he got in possession of the pleasing fact that they were about to manifest their appreciation of his eight years of zealous and self sacrificing labors among them by presenting him with an address, a beautiful chalice and a gold water vessel. At the hour named, a messenger informed him that his presence was desired in the church, and he proceeded there at once, entirely unconscious of the real purpose for which he was wanted. On entering, a scene presented itself for him that at once astonished and bewildered him. Before him, in neat attire, and wearing the regalia of their orders, five sodalities were arrayed, viz. Children of Mary, Holy Angels, St. Aloysius, and Sacred Heart. On a platform improvised for the occasion, the glittering testimonials were arranged, on the right of which stood an immense basket of rare flowers, and on the left an illuminated address encased in a superb frame. Father Rogers having taken his seat, to which he had been conducted by the Rev. Father Walsh, and having recovered from his surprise, the sodalities, under the leadership of Sister Gabriel, who presided at the organ, broke into a song of “Welcome to Our Pastor,” filling the church with harmony.”
June 9, 1894: Stamford. “On Tuesday evening the Catholics of Stamford gathered at the parochial residence on Atlantic Street to manifest, by their presence and enthusiasm their love and respect for their former pastor, Rt. Rev. Bishop Tierney. It was his first visit to Stamford since being elected Bishop and he received a right royal welcome. All the societies connected with the parish headed by St. John’s band, marched to the residence of Father Rogers, which was decorated in a very beautiful and artistic manner with American flags, bunting and Chinese lanterns. The moment the Bishop and visiting clergymen appeared, cheer after cheer broke forth. Father Rogers introduced the Bishop in his usual cheerful way. Music and fireworks closed an evening which will long be remembered by all who were present.”
Saturday: 8:00 a.m., 12:10 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. (Vigil)
Sunday: 7:30 a.m.
10:00 a.m. (Family Mass)
12 Noon (Sung Mass)
6:00 p.m. Haitian Mass
(French and Creole)
Monday through Friday: 8:00 a.m. & 12:10 p.m.
Holy Days of Obligation:
– Vigil Masses (evening before): 5:15 p.m.
– Holy Days: 8:00 a.m., 12:10 p.m. & 5:15 p.m.
Confessions: (English, Francais, Espanol, Italiano)
Monday – Friday, Sunday 30 minutes prior to each Mass
Saturday: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Anytime by appointment
Parents must make arrangements for the date of Baptism, preferably before the birth of their child, by calling the office at (203) 324-1553 ext 21. Baptisms are usually performed Saturdays.
First Communion and Confirmation
For information on Religious Education , please call the office at (203) 324-1553 ext. 21. Confirmation is a two-year program.
Engaged couples who hoped to be married at St. John’s must contact one of the parish priests at least 6 months prior to their wedding. Engaged couples who plan to have their wedding elsewhere, but would like to receive marriage preparation at St. John’s are likewise asked to contact one of the parish priests 6 months in advance. Marriages are not performed on Sunday’s at St. John’s.. At least one member of the engaged couple will have been a regular and registered parishioner at St. John’s for at least six months, prior to requesting marriage preparation.
Sick Calls, First Friday Communion Calls, and the Anointing of the Sick
If you know someone who is seriously ill at home or in the hospital, or cannot come to Mass, please call the rectory (ext. 21). One of the priests will be happy to bring Communion and administer the Sacrament of the Sick.
– Miraculous Medal Novena: Monday at 8:20 a.m.
– Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament: Friday, following the 8:00 a.m. Mass until 12:00 p.m.
St John’s Bookstore Hours
Sunday: 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 noon (Closed during Mass)
Thursday: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Closed during Mass)
The Eucharist: The Bread of Life
-Fr. Terry Walsh
What love God has for His children. Through our faith in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Host we behold the Lamb of God each day right before our very eyes when we stand before Him at Mass and hear the words “The Body of Christ.” Our “Amen” attests to our belief that God Himself – His very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity is actually about to enter into our being and change us forever, transforming us into more perfectly into His Divine likeness. And He invites us to receive this gift every day. Imagine if we could only receive Him once a year – or – once in a lifetime. Would we approach Him differently? Would we prepare for that intimate moment of God showering His Presence over us, in us, and through us any differently than we do today? Our preparation is integral to receiving Him worthily. After all, we prepare well for special guests that come into our homes. How much more deliberate should our preparation be to receive the author of all life, indeed, of all that is, into our individual souls? Our Lord gives us the wonderful gift of the Sacrament of Confession so that we may be purified of anything hindering us from approaching Him with a pure heart and soul. Moreover, as we anticipate His arrival into our souls, we can prepare wonderful gifts to present to Him – the gifts of our good deeds, our cheerful sacrifices, our heartfelt prayers offered throughout the week.
In the Gospel of John, chapter 6, we hear the “Bread of Life Discourse” where Jesus reveals Himself to be the “true food from heaven” as He tells His disciples: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life…I am the Living Bread which came down from Heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; for the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” Unfortunately, many refused to believe. They knew He was speaking quite literally. But they hardened their hearts to the Truth and simply walked away. Oh the pain this must have caused Him – He came to give life, and give it abundantly – and was rejected by many. Our love for Jesus in the Eucharist should be one of constant growth and desire. We believe that the Eucharist is not just a symbolic representation of our Lord but rather that it is really and truly Him, under the appearance of Bread and Wine. We must be ever-mindful of the Sacredness of the moment of consecration: Jesus, the Bread of Life, is made present on the Altar. All the angels and saints are among us in those sacred moments adoring Jesus with us.
The gift of the Eucharist has come to us at a great price. Sacrosanctum concilium, the Vatican II document on the Sacred Liturgy, put it this way: “At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and Blood. This He did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a Sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us’ (SC 47).” In his letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul cautions us to prepare well: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself”(1 Cor. 11:27-29). Our Lord makes it easy for us to receive Him in the State of Grace. He offers healing through the Sacrament of Reconciliation so that we may approach Him with a clean heart and a pure soul as sons and daughters of the Light.
The Eucharist is our Life, and so the Mass, likewise, is our Life. It is through His One Perfect Sacrifice at Calvary, which we enter into at every Holy Mass, that our Lord nourishes us in the life of grace. It is the same Body and Blood that hung upon the Cross, the same Christ that was given to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, the same Jesus that has been received by countless souls in the Mystical Body who seek completeness, and, as St. Justin cautions, “…no one may take part in it unless he believes that what we teach is true, has received baptism for the forgiveness of sins and new birth, and lives in keeping with what Christ taught.” And the Church adds: “In the Eucharist the sacrifice of Christ becomes also the sacrifice of the members of His Body. The lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer, and work, are united with those of Christ and with his total offering, and so acquire a new value. Christ’s sacrifice present on the altar makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be united with the offering”(ccc1368). Finally, St. Ambrose explains the effect of the words of Consecration: “Be convinced that this (Eucharist) is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed…Could not Christ’s word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature.”