For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday, July 5, 2009

Pastor’s Corner. . . July is traditionally dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. The reason why the Son of God became a man, the Creator humbling Himself to become a creature, was that He could offer a sacrifice that would free mankind from sin and death. In the Old Testament, the primary sacrifices were blood sacrifices: blood being the bearer of life in his contemporary thought, so blood needed to be offered in order to appease an angry God.

The first important blood sacrifice of the Old Testament is recorded in the Book of Exodus: each Jewish family was to procure a lamb or goat without blemish—only an unblemished offering could be offered to God—and on the night of the Passover, the lambs or goats were sacrificed and the blood of the lamb smeared over the door lintels of each house. When the angel of death saw the blood of the lamb, he passed over the home. It was the blood of the lamb that saved those inside from death. 

The law of Moses proscribed a variety of animal sacrifices offered at the Temple in Jerusalem. But none of these could forgive sins. As Saint Paul wrote, “For it is impossible that sins should be taken away with blood of bulls and of goats. Therefore in coming into the world, Jesus says, ‘Sacrifice and oblation you desired not, but a body you have given to me; Then I said, ‘Behold, I come to do your will, Oh God. . .’  “He annuls the first covenant [of Moses] in order to establish the second. It is in this ‘will’ that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” [Heb 10: 4-7] The strength of human sin and the power of death was so strong that only the death of the Son of God in the flesh could destroy them.

Those who built and decorated our church understood well the importance of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord, shed that we might be saved from death. It’s in the decoration: in the central window above the altar is the crucifixion:, and angels hold chalices to catch the Most Precious Blood as it pours from Christ’s wounds. Along the woodwork in the sanctuary, you’ll notice carved woven thorns, reminding us of the Crown of Thorns that made Jesus suffer and bleed so profusely. These carved thorns are all around the church: on the sanctuary walls around the altar; on the sanctuary doors to the sacristy; in all the door windows, above the doors of the three confessionals; along the interior stained glass wall near the front entrance, and along the choir loft. Likewise, golden grapevines, a symbol of the Blood of Christ in the Eucharist that we receive in Holy Communion, and the mercy in confession, can be seen above the sanctuary walls, confessionals, stations of the Cross and on the choir loft.

The common phrase “life blood”, which describes the power of blood in sustaining life, is true also when concerning the life blood of God, shed to wash us clean of the power of sin. The image is there in the Book of Revelation: the martyrs are those who imitated Christ even to the point of death; “and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” [Rev. 7: 14] For us, the power of Christ’s blood poured out for us is made present in the sacraments, and in particular, both the Eucharist, the Sacrament par excellence in which we receive His resurrected Body and Blood; and in Confession, when the power of that Blood relieves the penitent of the wait and guilt of sins.  Charles Dickens once wrote in Nicholas Nicolby: “There are  some who define a family as those with whom one shares blood. Others define family as those for whom we would shed blood.” We are God’s family, for whom He thought fit to shed His own blood.—Mons. Stephen DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick… William Morris, 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…  Leynor P. Iballa, Claire Gormley Collier, Michael William Greaney, Solange Exumer, Rose Leonowitz, Monika LoBaidi, Sheila Kilcoyne, Mary Daly, Brazilia Walker, Joseph Barrone, Evelyn Bauman, Phil DeFelice Sr., Alice Banning

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.   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 22nd due to the public concerts downtown.

 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 meeting.  Class is closed to new students.

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 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.

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

Sunday June 28, 2009   $  12,512.00

                                                                     Sunday June 29, 2008   $ 11,836.46

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

                                                                  —Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

July 12 Sunday Readings:   Am. 7:12-15; Eph. 1:3-14 or 1:3-10; Mk. 6:7-13 (104)

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 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, July 4

 4:00 + Robert Hill & Travis req. family

Sunday, July 5

  7:30  +Anthony Ramos req. Lilian & Alvina Ramos.

10:00 Gavin Samedi Birthday req. Anne Marie Samedi

12:00 Special Intention Terese Kung req. Joseph & Agnes Kung

6:00 +Patrick Kane & family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & family

Monday, July 6

  8:00 Special Intention

12:10 Special Intention

Tuesday, July 7

  8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.

12:10 +Rev. William J. Hilliard req. Joseph McAleer

Wednesday, July 8

  8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.

12:10 +Varkey Apraim req. Baby Apraim

Thursday, July 9

  8:00 Special Intention

12:10 +Jayson Jarrett req. Norma Jarrett

Friday, July 10

  8:00 Special Intention

12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Antony D’Ariano

Saturday, July 11

  8:00 +Hope & Joseph McAleer req. family

12:10 +Louis Bonny & Emmanuel Ethart req. 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. Dominic Savio Society…For the spiritual formation of young men from 8th – 12th

grades.  Questions, please contact Frank Marchetti at (203) 434-4734 or Ferry Galbert at

(203) 324-1553 X22.

St. Maria Goretti Society…For the spiritual formation of young ladies from 8th – 12th

grades. Questions, please contact Rosa Marchetti at (203) 348-0232.

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

 July 6, 1961: St. John’s Seniors Win City Laurels. “The St. John’s Senior CYO team out-hit and out-scored the Sacred Heart nine Wednesday at Stamford High School Field by the score of 6-2 to win the city championship. Carl Lehane pitched the victory for the St. John’s club, aiding his own cause with a tremendous triple to center-field and a single in three trips to the plate. Pete McConologue also had a triple for the winners, knocking in two runs. St. John’s will compete in the New England Regional Tournament against a team and time to be announced at a later date.”

July 9, 1962: Msgr. Coleman On 86th Birthday On Duty As Usual.  “The Rt. Rev. Msgr. Nicholas P. Coleman, P.A., V.F., pastor of St. John’s Church, today marks his 86th birthday. Msgr Coleman, who observed the 60th anniversary of his ordination June 15, told the Advocate he plans no special observance. “I celebrated Mass as usual this morning at 7:30, and I am going about my ordinary duties as usual,” he said, sounding vigorous and chipper. Msgr. Coleman planned to participate at Cheshire today in a reception for four priests marking their Golden Jubilee in the priesthood. He said they are special friends of his. Born in New Haven, Msgr. Coleman was ordained in Rome, June 15, 1902. He was assigned to St. John’s as an assistant in 1910 and three years later was appointed first pastor of the newly established parish of St. Catherine of Siena, in Riverside. Msgr. Coleman remained there until Oct. 9, 1936, when he became pastor of St. John’s.”

July 9, 1962: St. John’s Wins CYO Title As Esposito, Longo, Shine.  “The St. John’s CYO baseball team gave up five runs in the top half of the 14th inning and then rallied to score six of its own to down the Holy Name CYO from Providence, 9-8, and capture the New England Catholic Youth Organization Grammar School Championship at Dillon Field, Hartford Sunday.  Tony Esposito worked the first 13 1/3 innings for Stamford before Bill Longo took over as Holy Name made its drive in the top of the 14th. The pair bested Bill Blifford who went the route and took the loss as the Saints made the amazing comeback after falling behind.”      

Mass Schedule

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)

                           12:00 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

 Baptism

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.

 Marriage

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.

Devotions

– 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 Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

One Perfect Sacrifice

                                                                                  Part 2—Revisited                                                               -Fr. Terry Walsh

In 1st Kings, chapters 18 and 19, Elijah calls the people to come near him. And when they approached him, he repaired the altar of the Lord which had been destroyed. He took the 12 stones and built an altar in honor of the Lord with these stones. Notice how this Old Testament sacrificial event actually prefigures the sacrificial Holy Mass and the Sacrament of Confession. Elijah calls the people near him in order to offer the Sacrifice. Likewise, all who come to Mass must draw near the Priest and cry out with Him. The priest is in the very heart of Jesus during the Holy Mass – JESUS TAKES OVER – Jesus is the only One Who can make the sinless offering – there is no sin in Him. Jesus alone offers the perfect and acceptable sacrifice to God the Father. He is both the priest and the victim; the One offering and the One being offered. And he accomplishes this through the priest who stands at the Altar of Sacrifice.

The Altar upon which Elijah offers the sacrifice is built on 12 stones. I’ve heard it suggested that these stones may  represent the commandments – the 10 commandments given to Moses in the Old Testament as well as the 2 Commandments Jesus gives us in the New Testament. It’s a beautiful image, really, and calls attention to the importance of knowing and reflecting upon the Commandments in light of our daily lives. It also points to the Beatitudes, the perfection of the Christian Life. Now, when we purify our sacrifice through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we are offering our confession in Light of these commandments – and the altar of our heart is rebuilt. It is restored, healed, perfected. We rebuild the Altar in our hearts which has been destroyed by sin with the “stones” our Lord has provided in order to honor our Heavenly Father. The sin is rooted out. The Altar is rebuilt.

Three times Elijah drenches the sacrifice with water which fills the Trench and flows around the altar. The Water of course represents our tears – the tears of heartfelt sorrow for having offended our Heavenly Father, Who loves us beyond measure. As we begin to understand more deeply the love God has for us—He knows every hair on our head—we begin to feel the weight our sin has on the altar of our heart. We see how our sin effects the whole Mystical Body and we seek healing. That healing is made possible through the Sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross at Calvary and we enter into that supreme act of love at each and every Holy Mass.

As we continue reading the story in the Book of Kings, we see that Elijah cries out on behalf of the People who have fallen away, those that have strayed from the Truth and have wandered down the path of poor teaching and false prophets. He cries out in faith to God: ‘Let it be known this day that you are God…Answer me Lord! Answer me, that this people may know that you, Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to their senses.” Elijah reveals a compassionate, forgiving God – One Who is constantly calling us to return to Him – to purify our hearts and minds and be sanctified by His Grace.

And, just as the fire consumes the Sacrifice of Elijah, so too, does the fire of God’s love receive our cries for forgiveness. He purifies us and makes us holy: Prayer, Sacraments, and a heart oriented to Him in thought, word, and deed.

After dispatching the false prophets, Elijah fears for his life and flees into the desert where he experiences the “dark night’ – deep suffering of the soul. But God teaches Elijah, and us, that we are not suppose to fear – fear does not come from God. Indeed, throughout the Gospels, Jesus tells us: ‘Be Not Afraid!’ In John 14, Jesus comforts us: ‘Let not your hearts be troubled!’ And Paul reminds us in his letter to the Romans (8): ‘Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus!’

Elijah flees to the Mountain and hides in a cave. There, in the cave, Elijah’s soul experiences much turmoil. He is going through so much interior suffering. And his suffering is represented in nature – the Heavy Wind, the Earthquake, and the Fire. In all these events he doesn’t see God anywhere. Likewise, we don’t always recognize God in the midst of the storms of our lives – but He is near, He is in our midst. After the storms passed, Elijah heard a tiny, whispering sound and when he heard it, “Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.” He was fully aware that HE was in the Presence of God.

Part 3 Next Week