For the entire bulletin with pictures please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday, July 12, 2009
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Pastor’s Corner. . .During these [hopefully] warmer months, I thought I’d offer some lighter, summer fare for your weekly consideration, rather than the more heady stuff of past articles. Let’s do a type of walking tour of the church. We have the largest and oldest church building in the area. But I think few parishioners or visitors really notice the quality of construction or detail of artwork that makes Saint John’s so unique a treasure in the Diocese of Bridgeport. Here we go.
Let’s start from the outside and work our way in for the next weeks. The property had been excavated by Michael Coghlan, whose firm also laid the footings for the new church, free of charge. The church is built of granite, quarried from a nearby quarry and from Leetes Island, off the New Haven coast, the quarry which supplied the granite used in the contemporary construction of the plinth for the Statue of Liberty. The exterior was the design of James Murphy, one of the leading church architects in New England. When the church was completed in 1886, the press trumpeted the building as the largest stone church and “undoubtedly one of the very finest ecclesiastical edifices in the state” [The Stamford Advocate, June 1, 1886], and “In general style the new edifice is said to resemble the cathedral at Milan” [The New York Times, May 31, 1886]. Obviously, the reporter had never been to Milan! Nevertheless, the church exterior is imposing and impressive; and, set in our magnificent gardens, provides a true oasis in a downtown of high rises.
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The church is in a Latin Cross design: the central aisle and sanctuary run on an east-west axis [the front door faces east, just like Saint Peter’s in Rome!], and the transept crosses in a north-south axis. The design allows the altars to be illuminated by the rising sun through the choir loft window. When Mass was offered with the priest facing the altar, the rising sun would give him the light sufficient to read the Missal. Likewise, it shines through the choir window with the image of Christ, the light of the world, literally.
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The front of the church is entered by three doorways, before which are granite stairs and pink granite stoops, rising on either side of each stairway. Each is formed by a single 8-ton block of pink granite, which the press judged “not only beautiful, but durable” [The Connecticut Catholic, September 27, 1884]
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When first completed, the bell tower was planned to be the tallest in the state, rising 250 feet to form a pointed wooden steeple. Never completed because of a lack of funds, the tower was merely capped in 1886, slightly above the height of the first window. Then, the most imposing element of the façade was the choir window, rising above the central door. To its left [south] are two smaller turrets: that nearest the door is decorative; the larger, closer to the rectory, houses the original circular brick staircase, leading to the choir loft. At the base of this southern-most turret is a granite block caved with a Greek Cross. The lower course of the façade is pierced by three small lancet windows, and, above, between the turrets, a quatrefoil window: the gift of Fanny Meredith: a parishioner who was a washer woman, who saved her pennies to give the best she had to God in the form of a beautiful window. Each early morning, this window lights up the Blessed Mother altar.
The bell tower was finally completed by Fr. James O’Brien in the 1920’s, in English Perpendicular Gothic. You can see eight carved angels: two on each side of the tower. The smaller angels, each hold an open Bible with the Chi Rho, Greek letters for Christ; four larger angels, nearer the top, pray with folded hands. More next week. —Mons. Stephen DiGiovanni
Please pray for the sick… Corrie Evans, Joseph Kirkland, Jesus Cala, Kevin Sutton, Rosie Dsouza,, William Morris, Margaret Romaine, Annette Mellace, Charla Nash, Ruth Alexander, Anthony P. D’Ariano, Matthew Kenealy, Millie Demillo, Anthony & Mary Ellen Sansone, Mons. John Horgan-Kung, Mike McNamee
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
Monthly Collection . . . The second collection today will be the monthly collection for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.
St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … Will next meet on Wednesday, September 2nd. 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. 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 August 4th.
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
Malta House in Norwalk…Provides a nurturing home to homeless pregnant women and their babies, with a commitment to return our young mothers to the community with skills for self sufficient parenting. In these difficult economic times, we are especially in need of the following items: Good Start formula (orange can 0-12 months), diapers sizes 4 and 5, baby wipes, paper plates, paper napkins, toilet paper, paper towels, plastic spoons, forks and knives, and gift cards for any grocery stores, Wal-Mart or Home Depot. Any and all donations are gratefully accepted. If you have questions please contact Ginny Casey at GCasey@maltahouse.or or 203/857-0088. (Do not bring donations to the Parish).
Sunday July 5, 2009 $ 10,800.81
Sunday July 6, 2008 $ 11,726.46
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
July 19 Sunday Readings: Jer. 23:1-6/Eph. 2:13-18; Mk. 6:30-34 (107)
Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 260 (2) 262. The Creed for the Noon Mass may be found in the hymnal at No. 289.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org OR contact Janet Lancaster at (203) 637-3301, email@example.com. 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.
The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, 2009 Collegiate Summer Program for High School Students…Invites High School Students to participate in the second session of the 34th Collegiate Summer Program. Students will study Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, and Apologetics as well as make day trips to Mt. Monadnock, York Beach, and Boston. There will also be Mass and daily rosary. Sessions run from July 12th – 25th and July 26th — August 8th. Call (800) 880-8308, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at www,thomasmorecollege.edu for more information.
Saturday, July 11
4:00 +Irene Medwed 5th Anniversary req. De Vivo & Munro families
Sunday, July 12
7:30 +John & Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Young
10:00 +Marcello Santagata req. Giannitti family
12:00 +Gloria Bartolomeo req. Ms. Susan Scheinhaus
6:00 +Patrick Kane & family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & family
Monday, July 13
8:00 +Betsy Woolf req. Fabiola C.
12:10 +Henry Saraniero req. John & Eileen Tarleton
Tuesday, July 14
8:00 Special Intention
12:10 Thanksgiving to God req. Anthony D’ Ariano
Wednesday, July 15
8:00 +Margaret Curtis req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Stephen, Irene & Nicholas Churley & Anne C. Yaworski req. Mary Churley
Thursday, July 16
8:00 +Patricia Keough req. Mr. & Mrs. William Dee
12:10 +Theron & Lena Carr req. Marie Carr
Friday, July 17
8:00 Birgitta O’Brian-Costantino
12:10 In Honor to the Sacred Heart of Jesus req. Fabiola C.
Saturday, July 18
8:00 Special Intention Richard Paul Kim req. Joseph & Mary Kim
12:10 +James Toughy req. Toughy 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 15, 1954: Elevated To Rank Of Monsignor. “The Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman, pastor of St. John’s Catholic Church, a priest of the archdiocese of Hartford for 52 years, today was raised to the status of a domestic prelate with the title of Right Reverend Monsignor. He will have the office also of diocesan consultor. Father Coleman observed the golden jubilee of his ordination of June 15, 1952. Father Coleman said today that he has been notified of the Vatican appointment, but that he has no plans or information as yet as to any investiture or formal ceremony in connection with assuming his new priestly rank.”
July 19, 1960: Scouts Attending Colorado Jubilee. “Stamford and Darien Boy Scouts who are attending the Golden Jubilee Jamboree in Colorado Springs, Colorado are: John Y. Connolly from St. John’s Catholic Church Troop 22; Thomas Goscienski and John Schnorr from Holy Name of Jesus Church Troop 27; and Thomas Lento from St. Cecilia’s Church Troop 47. The local planning committee for the Jamboree consisted of Carleton E. Hammond of Darien, chairman; Robert Abbott and Arnold Wehmann, both of Darien; and Harry McKeon, James A. Weir, and Robert E. Critchell, all of Stamford.”
July 12, 1962: Vicar, Chaplain Duties Assigned Two Area Priests. “The Rev. Francis X. McGuire, pastor of St. Aloysius Church, New Canaan, has been appointed Vicar for Religious in the Diocese of Bridgeport and the Rev. Robert C. Franklin, assistant pastor of St. John’s Church, Stamford, has been granted a leave of absence to return to active duty as a Navy Chaplain. Father Franklin, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., who was ordained three years ago by Bishop Shehan in Bridgeport, served at St. Edward the Confessor Parish, New Fairfield, and at St. Charles Parish, Bridgeport, before his assignment as an assistant at St. John’s in Stamford. Before entering Christ the King Seminary, St. Bonaventure, N.Y., for his theological studies, Father Franklin served four years in the Navy, achieving the rank of lieutenant. He graduated from the Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I., and was assigned to communications work.”
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
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 Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
One Perfect Sacrifice
Part 3—Revisited -Fr. Terry Walsh
Elijah recognized the Presence of God in the peaceful, gentle, whispering sound. We, likewise, meet our Lord in the quiet of our daily prayer, even when we’re in the midst of some particular “storm.” When we seek God, He reveals Himself to us, very often in the “tiny whispering sound.” Commenting on this Old Testament scene, St. Irenaeus wrote:“…the sweet rest and peace of the reign of Christ is foreshadowed [in the cave scene] as well. After the wind that moves mountains, after earthquake and fire, the calm and peaceful age of his reign will come, in which the Spirit of God will revitalize and gently encourage the growth of all mankind.” The One Perfect Sacrifice of Jesus Christ opens the door to the life of grace – the coming of the Holy Spirit – Pentecost. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit draw us into holiness through our faithful cooperation with Him and are manifested in all that we think and say and do. St. Augustine drew several interesting parallels between Elijah and our Lord. He wrote, “Elijah prayed and offered sacrifice, and Christ offered himself as a perfect sacrifice for the whole world. Elijah prayed that rain might fall on the earth; Christ (prayed) that divine grace might flow into human hearts. Elijah’s command to his servant: ‘Go up and look out 7 times’, is a foreshadowing of the seven-fold grace of the Holy Spirit to be given to the Church. And the small cloud rising up out of the sea that the servant saw is a symbol of the Incarnate Christ born in the sea of this world” Sermons). Through their prayerful discernment, the Early Church Fathers peered into the Scriptures in a spiritual way and so offer us many wonderful insights. In the Book of Kings, for example, they suggest that the “Little Cloud” that Elijah’s servant points out is actually a figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The abundant rains pouring out of the Cloud that serve to nourish the dry earth are like the abundant graces that flow through our Lady – through Her humble “yes” to the Incarnation, the Source of all grace. The Early Fathers also suggest that the food that the angel gives to Elijah actually points to the spiritual food that will come to us through the One Perfect Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: “by the grace of (the Eucharist) we enjoy the greatest peace and tranquility of conscience during the present life; and, when the hour of departing from this world shall arrive, like Elijah, who in the strength of the bread baked on the hearth, walked to HOREB, the mountain of God, we, too, invigorated by the strengthening influence of this heavenly food, will ascend to unfading glory and bliss.” The Catechism is filled with beautiful insights such as this and is a wonderful source for prayer. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the highest form of prayer. Therefore, it is important that we prepare well. All week long we are preparing, as it were, for the Sunday Liturgy. Every prayer we utter, every kind deed, every suffering borne for love of Christ, works to till the soil of our soul and so allow the graces we receive through the sacraments to penetrate more deeply into our souls, transforming us into ever truer likenesses of our Lord. In the same manner, it is important to arrive a little early for Mass so that we can prepare our offering and be recollected and so “assist” well throughout the Mass.
St. Basil teaches, “The Power of the Spirit fills the whole universe, but he gives himself only to those who are worthy, acting in each according to the measure of his faith.” In other words, our relationship with God must be nurtured; it must be kept pure; it must be the true treasure of our hearts. St. Basil adds, “To all creatures that share in Him he gives a delight limited only by their own nature, not by his ability to give.” Perhaps, in our prayer, when we hear the Holy Spirit whisper in our ear, we might hear Him ask us the same question that He asked Elijah: “Why are you here?” We’re here because we love Him. We’re here to praise Him for His Sacrifice – the One Perfect Sacrifice that enabled us to eat from the Tree of Life and dwell forever in the Heavenly Jerusalem. We’ve come to encounter Him in the Confessional – where He whispers to us – “I ABSOLVE you from your sins.” He alone transforms our sufferings into Redemptive Grace, allowing us to participate in saving souls, beginning with our own. He enters our hearts and souls to nourish and strengthen us in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Let us ask Him to repair the Altar of our Heart, to increase our faith, and to fill our souls with an ardent desire to imitate Him in Word and Deed.