For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click on the following link.   Bulletin for Sunday June 28, 2009

 Pastor’s Corner . . .A very old tradition, which goes back to apostolic times, recounts that on the road to Ostia, outside Rome, Saints Peter & Paul had their last encounter before martyrdom: Paul to be beheaded near the present Basilica of Saint Paul, and Peter crucified head downward nearby the present Basilica of Saint Peter. They were said to have embraced each other, and to have blessed each other reciprocally. From the very beginning then, Christian tradition has considered Peter and Paul inseparable, even if they each had a different mission to fulfill.  Peter first confessed his faith in Christ; Paul received the gift of being able to plumb the profundity of its richness. Peter founded the first Christian community coming from the chosen people; Paul became the apostle of the gentiles. With different charisms, they worked for a single cause: building the Church of Christ.  In the Readings, the liturgy offers for our meditation a well-known text of St. Augustine: “Only one day is consecrated to the feast of the two apostles. But they were also a single unit. Even if they were martyred on different days, they were one. Peter went ahead, Paul followed…Thus we celebrate this feast day, consecrated for us by the blood of these apostles” (Disc. 295, 7-8).

June 29th is the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, celebrated at least since the year 258 A.D. during the Roman persecution of the Church by the Emperor Valerian. For the Church founded by Our Lord on the Apostles, with Saint Peter as her visible head, this solemnity is one of the  most important, since it focuses on God’s generous desire to remain with us until the end of time through His Catholic Church; and upon man’s response, sometimes faltering, yet ultimately manifesting God’s power through human weakness.

And St. Leo the Great commented about Peter and Paul: “Of their merits and their virtues – which were superior from all accounts – we cannot think of anything contradictory or divisive, because election had made them equal, their efforts similar and their end alike” He continued, addressing the City of Rome: “These are your holy fathers, your true shepherds, who, as much as they were humanly very different from each other, and even if their relationship was not without tensions, Peter and Paul therefore appear as the initiators of a new city, as a concretization of a new and authentic way of being brothers, made possible by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” (In natali apostolorum., 69, 6-7)

And so we can say that today the Church of Rome celebrates its birthday, inasmuch as the two Apostles had laid down its foundations. Moreover, Rome now realizes with greater awareness that is its mission and its grandeur. In Rome, the link that gave Peter and Paul a common mission has assumed from the first centuries a very specific significance. Like the mythical brothers Romulus and Remus, attributed with the founding of Rome, Peter and Paul likewise are considered as founders of the Church of Rome. The capital of the Roman Empire, which was described in the Book of Revelation as the Whore of Babylon, the destroyer of saints and martyrs, is now replaced by two political and social nobodies, victims of the Imperial persecutions, who shed their blood for the true God they loved, and not for an earthly kingdom. “O, Felix Roma. . . Oh, Happy Rome, whose stones are consecrated by the blood of the Princes of the Apostles”, as an ancient hymn for this feast day proclaims.  St. John Chrysostom writes that “the sky is not as bright when the sun sheds its rays as the city of Rome which radiates the splendor of those burning torches (Peter and Paul) through all the world…This the reason why we love this city…for these two pillars of the Church” (Comm. a Rom 32).

Both were martyred in 67 A.D., and Jerusalem fell in 70 A.D., with the destruction of the Temple. The New Covenant forged on the Cross between God and humanity, fulfilling all other covenants since Abraham, moves out of the world of the Old Covenant and becomes centered in the heart of the Gentile world, with a universal mission to offer salvation to the entire world. 

Let us say a special prayer for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, the Successor of Saint Peter, this weekend, and on Monday, the Solemnity itself, that the Lord will continue to bless and protect him as he continues the work of Saint Peter in the world.  Pray, likewise, for the whole church, that she, like Saint Paul, may continue to preach fearlessly the truth of Christ. Mons. Stephen DiGiovanni

 Please pray for the sick… Margaret Romaine, Kevin Sutton, Annette Mellace, Charla Nash, 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

Please pray for those who have recently died  Michael William Greaney, Solange Exumer, Rose Leonowitz, 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

Peter’s Pence Collection . . . Please drop your Peter’s Pence Collection envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.   There will only be one collection today.

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. Due to the Live at Five Concerts, which makes parking impossible, Saint Monica will NOT meet on July 8th, and will not resume until September 2nd.

The Latin Reading Group… Is translating St. Augustine’s Confessions…And meets every Wednesday in the rectory at 6:15 p.m.   We will NOT meet on July 1st. 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. The next meeting will be July 15th.

Introduction to Biblical Greek . . . Will  change the meeting days because of the Alive at Five Concerts on Thursday evenings. Please stay tuned for the next meeing.  Class is closed to new student

Parish Women’s Society Will NOT meet during the summer. We’ll resume Saturday morning meetings in September.  Stay tuned for the date. 

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 ConfirmationAre 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.

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 door to Dairy Queen.  Give them a call. 

Mons. DiGiovanni

 Trinity Catholic Graduates. . . Congratulations to our parishioners who recently graduated from Trinity Catholic High School:  Anne Marie Carpanzano, Raphael Bonhomme, Elpidia Casseus. Great job!! 

 Sunday June 21, 2009   $  9,996.00

 Sunday June 22, 2008   $ 11259.98

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

                                                                —Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

July 5 Sunday Readings:   Ez. 2:2-5, 2 Cor. 12:7-10, Mk. 6:1-6a (101)

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.

Home Schooling Families:  A new group for home schooling families will begin meeting at Saint John’s in the Fall.  This group will include supervised group activities and support, and will meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month from 10:00 a.m. until noon, in the Monsignor Nagle Hall, beginning in September.  All ages are welcome.  Anyone who is interested, or who would like more information, please contact Julianne DeMarco at (203) 966-3641, juliannedemarco@yahoo.com OR contact Janet Lancaster at (203) 637-3301,  jmlancaster@optonline.net.  This group is NOT a parish school, nor is it sponsored by Saint John’s Parish, but is a private initiative by home schooling parents.

Parish Picnic. . . Please mark your calendars:  Will be at Cove Island on Sunday, September 20th:  Food, beverages, games for kids of all ages: please plan to attend this great fun parish event.

Parish Special Intention. . . I ask your prayers for a special intention concerning Saint John’s: besides the hoped-for commencement of construction on our Tresser Square project in the parking lot, there is one more major project that is in the works, and that will be a great boost to our parish and to the downtown.  I’ll let you know what it is in a few weeks:  so, please keep this special intention in your daily prayers. Thanks.  Mons. DiGiovanni.

Parking Tickets. . . To avoid parking tickets for those using the parish parking lot, please be sure that you have some type of sign on your dashboard informing the parking attendants that you are at Saint John’s for Mass, devotions, a lecture, a class or other parish events.  You may pick up a parking sheet at the rectory.  However, if you park in the lot for activities other than those of the parish, you must pay the parking fee:  we have free use of the lot ONLY for parish activities.  The parish will not take responsibility for anyone’s parking ticket, especially for those received simply because you decided to park in the lot and go to the movies. ALSO:  the parish is NOT responsible for anyone who decides to park on Atlantic Street or Bell Street for Mass or for any parish activity:  if you park on the street, you are responsible to pay the parking fee or pay for your ticket yourself.  While the parking lot is the parish’s, the streets belong to the City of Stamford.

Year of the Priest. . . This year [June 19, 2009-June 19, 2010] has been named the Year of the Priest by Pope Benedict XVI  in order to foster vocations to the priesthood and to fortify the devotion of priests to the Church. Plenary Indulgences are offered throughout the year: An Indulgence is the remission of temporal punishment due to sins. The usual conditions apply: sacramental Confession, reception of the Eucharist, prayers for the Pope’s intentions, and total detachment from all sin, including venial sin.  The faithful may obtain an Indulgence and on August 4th, the feast of Saint John Vianney, patron of parish priests, and on the first Thursday of each month, by fulfilling the above conditions and by devoutly attending Holy Mass and offering prayers to Jesus, the Eternal High Priest, for the priests of the Church, or by performing any good work to sanctify and mold them to His Sacred Heart.

Mass Intentions

Saturday, June 27

  4:00   +Mary Lou DeLuca req. Pat Rybnick & Patty Krupnik

Sunday, June 28

  7:30   Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.

10:00 +Frances Delaney Birthday Remembrance req. Family

12:00 +Patrick Forlenzo req. Christopher, Michelle & Maryanne

6:00 +Joanne Carrier – Author – daughter req. Gerard J. Carrier

Monday, June 29

  8:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family

12:10 +Camille Mascia req. her brother Frank D’Amico

Tuesday, June 30

  8:00 +Kent Costikyan req. Luz Contreras

12:10 +Patrick Kissane req. Paul Murphy

Wednesday, July 1

  8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.

12:10 +Charles Pascale req. John & Laura Pascale

Thursday, July 2

  8:00 In Honor to the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ req. Marion Morris

 12:10 +Sadie Gerardi req. Longo family

Friday, July 3

  8:00 Thanksgiving to God for the Protection of Frito Ambroise req. Odile Ambroise

12:10 +Ida Birnbaum req. John Catalano & Madeline DeGrace

Saturday, July 4

  8:00 +Margaret Timon req. Thomas A. Timon

12:10  Veterans of the Parish

 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.

The Dominic Savio and Maria Goretti Picnic will be held this Sunday, June 28th after the 12:00 Noon Mass. W e will have the BBQ in the Rectory Backyard. 

St. John’s in  The  Advocate. . . 50 years ago, or so:

June 29, 1953: Johnnies Win State CYO Title; Rip Meriden, 20-6. “The St. John’s CYO baseball nine qualified for the New England CYO championships by capturing the Connecticut title in a game played at the Stamford High School Field Sunday. The Johnnies romped over St. Rose’s of Meriden, 20-6. Tori Fauci led the St. John’s attack with four singles and a home run for a perfect day. Greg Clark and Bill Darling each had four hits in five trips. Home runs were hit by Clark and Larry Fayette. The Johnnies exploded for five runs in the fourth to break open a close battle. A triple by Like Molloy, single by Fauci, along with a walk and error together with Clark’s four-play wallop accounted for the runs. While St. John’s pounded 19 hits, Clark, who relieved Darling in the second, held Meriden to two singles. The losers garnered but three hits in the game. Stamford will play the winner of the Rhode Island-New Hampshire playoff at a date to be announced later this week.”

 

July 2, 1962: St. John’s CYO Cops State Title In Hartford Test.  “St. John’s CYO defeated St. Margaret’s CYO of Waterbury Sunday at Colt Park in Hartford, 5-4, to win the State Catholic Youth Organization baseball championship. St. John’s will take on the Holy Name CYO of Providence next Sunday at Colt Park for the New England title. Tony Exposito gave up five hits to win his eighth game of the season. He struck out four. Rich O’Connor came through with a key double in the sixth inning to score three runs and give St. John’s its winning margin. Esposito and Chet Wisniewski  also came through with hits in the rally.”

 

St. John’s

                                      Ab R H Po A Gerardi, 2b …………………………….1   1  0  0    4 O’Connor, 1b………………………….4   0  1   7   0 Esposito, p…………………………….3   0   1   0   6 Longo, ss………………………………4   0   1   1   1  Wisniewski,  c…………………………3   0   1   4   2 Murray,  lf…………………………….3   0   0   1   0 Pastore,  cf…………………………….2   1   0   0   0 Smith,  3b………………………………0   2   0   2   0 Esposito,  rf……………………………2   1   1   0   0 Totals…………………………………22  5  5  15 13

 

One Perfect Sacrifice

                                                                                Part 1—Revisited                                                             Fr. Terry Walsh 

St Paul teaches us in his letter to the Romans: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a Spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a Spirit of Adoption, through which we cry, ABBA, Father! The Spirit Himself bears witness with our Spirit that we are Children of God, and if Children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him”(Rm 8). This great gift is made possible by the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Through His Life, Death, and Resurrection, we are able to enter into His Divine Life and so be redeemed. We enter into His One Perfect Sacrifice and receive the fruits of His Offering at every Holy Mass. How important it is for us to reflect on the cost. How necessary it is to be ever mindful of the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Gift made possible through the Perfect Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We see a prefigurement of the Perfect Sacrifice in the Old Testament Book of Kings and the story of Elijah. You may want to have a look at it at home. You’ll find in in the 1st Book of KINGS, Chapters 18, 19. It’s the story of the great Prophet Elijah battling the false prophets in Israel, whose teachings had corrupted God’s people and contributed to their infidelity to the Holy Covenant that God established with His people. Their vision became clouded and they were led astray. As you read the story in your Bible, be mindful of the Altar of the Lord that Elijah seeks to repair, as well as his preparation of the Sacrifice, made in Faith.

We should also bear in mind that we’re called to an Active Participation in our Life in Christ. But, just what does that mean? Well, it’s turning our spiritual gaze toward Heaven and asking our Father to teach us about Himself. It’s seeking a faithful relationship with Him by coming to know Him through our faithful prayer life, our fidelity to the Sacraments, and seeking to align our hearts and minds with Him. In short, it’s a deliberate act of our will to cry out to our Heavenly Father as faithful children with complete confidence in His Love. Active Participation is not ‘Busyiness’ – but rather, it’s a conscious decision to place ourselves in the Presence of God throughout each day and to order our lives according to His precepts, His Commandments, His teachings. When we seek Him with sincere hearts He will fill our Hearts with the ‘Fire of His Love’ and wash us clean with His infinite Mercy. He will sanctify us with His 7 Fold gift of Grace and speak directly to our Hearts through His Word – and the Word will set us free – free from sin and darkness – free to love, in the Light.

This is accomplished through the fruits of sacrifice. Keep in mind the Sacrifice of the Mass. Now, looking back for a moment to the Old Testament story of Elijah and the false prophets, we se a demonstration of the Power and Majesty of God and that all are called to worship Him alone.  We are called to offer Him an acceptable sacrifice upon the Altar of our Hearts. We prepare our sacrifice through the great Sacrament of Confession. We purify our sacrifice through the Waters of our tears – notice the use of water in Elijah’s preparation of the sacrifice. Our water, our tears, comes from our genuine sorrow for having offended God through sin. Likewise, we offer God our sufferings and willingly embrace our trials – our Cross, with love – all for the one Who took upon Himself our lowly human nature, died in the flesh, rose in the flesh, and nourishes us each day with His Flesh – because of His love for us. Indeed, when we have been sanctified through the Grace of Confession and offer our sufferings to God the Father in the Holy Mass – through His Only Begotten Son – we actually participate in the Redemption of the world – we help to save souls.

Elijah asks the people gathered around to witness the sacrifice: “How long will you straddle the issue? (In the RSV, “How long will you go limping with 2 different opinions?) They have been wavering of late. They have not been actively participating in the Mosaic Law handed down to them—they have been a bit misguided and it seems are partly to blame—they have not done their homework. They should have known the law; they should have sought Him more faithfully. There seems to be a bit of spiritual laziness and Elijah is challenging them to return to the One True God with all their hearts. We likewise are challenged in the New Covenant, aren’t we? After all, we can fall into the same trap. That is, if we do not seek to grow in our understanding of the Mass, how will we know  – really know and understand what is taking place? How will be actively participate in the Mass, spiritually, if we don’t pray throughout the week and offer sacrifices of kindness, generosity, and love each day—in Marriage, at work, at school, in the community, and so on. What do we actually bring to give to the Father through our Lord, Jesus Christ, each Sunday? What is the Mass? ( The Catechism of the Catholic Church offers us wonderful insights for our worthy meditation and contemplation—and it is available in any bookstore) Elijah challenges the Israelites: “If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, follow Him.” Elijah is questioning the integrity of the people – they’re playing both sides of the fence and Elijah has exposed their duplicity. Yet, he offers them a chance to be reconciled with God by following Him, unreservedly – by placing both feet firmly in the Lord’s camp. We likewise are called to seek Him with an undivided heart. Jesus cautions us—we live in the world but we are not of the world. If we come to appreciate the Mystery; that is, if we come to understand that true and everlasting life comes to us through the Mass, we will quite naturally turn away from the “tangible” attractions of the world and seek instead the unseen, yet real, fruits of Christ. We are in Him.

PART II NEXT WEEK…….