For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pastor’s Corner. . . This is the second installment in our walking tour of the church. As you pass through the church front door you enter into the vestibule or narthex. The two stained glass windows date from the 1886 opening of the church and are some of the most elegant in the building. Tall and thin, these lancet windows are members of a trio, the third near the present bookstore. Like the Three Graces of ancient classical literature, they welcome the visitor into the dark vestibule, offering colorful geometric patterns of light. All three bear the legend of the donors at the bottom: The Holy Infant Sodality, which was the parish grammar school children’s society.  The dark wood paneling dates from the 1932 restoration of the church by the pastor, Father Francis Lally. It is dark English oak, in keeping with the English Gothic design of the church itself. It’s elegant tracery reveals a decorative element introduced throughout the church: a crown of thorns motif, which can be seen on each of the doors, on the tops of the confessionals, in the arches of the vestibule wall, and on the top of the paneling in the sanctuary around the high altar. This theme, along with gilded grapes and vines, reinforces the reality that the Church and Her sacraments receive their power to forgive sins and to transform us to be more like Our Lord because of the power of Christ’s Precious Blood, offered on the Cross for humanity’s salvation.

As we move to enter the  main body of the church, we pass through doors of a large interior wall: a type of screen, separating the vestibule from the nave and aisles. The walls are formed of heavy carved oak tracery, with four doorways, and eight windows between them, with thirty-two leaded windows above of frosted glass. Today, we’re interested in the eight stained glass roundels in the bottom windows between the doors. While they can be seen while entering the church from the vestibule, they are designed to be seen as one leaves the church, since they, too, remind us that Christ saves us by His Cross, which is extended through all time by means of His Catholic Church.. Each window is framed in tracery with that Crown of Thorns motif.

Standing inside the church, with your back to the altar, let’s read the windows in the screen wall, from left to right: 

The first four are signs of Christ’s gifts in His Church: The dove of the Holy Spirit, sent after Jesus’ Death, Resurrection, and Ascension to begin His Church; an Easter lily, sign of the virtue of chastity and purity, fruits of that Holy Spirit, as exemplified in the life of Mary, the Mother of the Church; a Crown, Saint Paul’s symbol of the Resurrection, an image of the eternal reward awaiting all those faithful to Christ; a Chalice with a Host marked IHS, the first three Greek letters of Jesus, which is a sign of the Eucharist, Our Lord’s greatest Sacrament of His Body and Blood, given His Church that we might be transformed and more like Him daily;

These last four are signs of Christ’s Passion and Death, by which salvation is offered to the world: the Crown of Thorns, with the inscription placed above His Cross: INRI, a Latin abbreviation for Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews;  Pliers, a hammer and three nails, used to crucify Jesus; the Column at which Jesus was beaten, and the Roman scourges used; the Ladder used to take Jesus’ body from the Cross, along with the Spear that pierced His side, and the Sponge on the end of a reed, dipped in vinegar offered Him to drink.

Take a few minutes to study each window, since the craftsmanship, design, color and quality are exceptional. Each time you leave church, take a moment to glance at these windows, and thank God for His generosity, having sent His Son to redeem us by His Cross and through His Church.  More next week. —Mons. Stephen DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick… Paul Rittman, Rene Villard, Corrie Evans, Kevin Sutton, Joseph Kirkland, Jesus Cala, 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

 Mission Co-operative Plan Collection . . . Please drop your Mission Co-operative Plan Collection envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.  There will only be one collection today.

Pope Benedict. . . Sent Saint John’s a little gift: one of the small white “beanies” [zucchetto] which he himself wore during recent papal Masses at Saint Peter’s. This practice dates back centuries, whereby the popes send these small tokens to parishes expressing their special blessings to the parishioners and priests of the parish, and the parish’s close link with the Successor of Saint Peter.  I am grateful to His Holiness for this simple yet beautiful gesture.  His zucchetto is on display in the rectory.

Web Mass. . . You can now watch Saint John’s daily and Sunday Masses on-line:  hook up to the parish website, which is www.stjohnsstamford.com; at the end of the first paragraph on the homepage is a line that says click here. Click, and you’ll have a view of the church interior.  We’ve installed a camera in the choir loft to provide that view, along with sound, so you can hear  the Mass, homily and beautiful organ and choral music for all Masses.  Mons. DiGiovanni

 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 on Wednesday, July 22nd.

Introduction to Biblical Greek . . . Will  change the meeting days because of the Alive at Five Concerts on Thursday evenings.  We will begin meeting on Tuesdays, starting July 21st, at 7:30 pm in the rectory.  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.  

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.

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).

Bring Your Job Search Challenge Night!… Monday, July 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Rectory.  Need some advice on a problem you keep running into in your job search, or just some new ideas?   This open-ended forum will give you the opportunity to ask questions from a career coach and tap into the collective experience of the group.  Melanie Szlucha’s company, Red Inc. has helped jobseekers better prepare for job interviews and write clear and concise resumes that get jobs.  Find out more about her at http://www.redinc.biz.

Sunday July 12, 2009   $ 10,711.50

                                                                  Sunday July 13, 2008   $ 11,793.09

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

                                                   —Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

July 26 Sunday Readings:   Jer. 23:1-6/Eph. 2:13-18; Mk. 6:30-34 (107)

 Bann of Marriage:  1st Kevin Thomas Coughlin & Denise Lynne Cole

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 110  (2) 265.

Calling all Singers! . . . Are you planning your Fall? Here’s an idea: 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: 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.

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 admission@thomasmorecollege.edu, or visit our website at www,thomasmorecollege.edu for more information.

Mass Intentions

Saturday, July 18

  4:00 +Members of DeRosa, Kronk, Capobianco families & Edwin Clark req. John & Joan Kronk

Sunday, July 19

  7:30 +Margretta De Vivo req. De Vivo & Munro families

10:00 +Jayson Jarrett req. Norma Jarrett

12:00 +Jerome Allen req. Marchetti family

  6:00 +Louis Carriera req. Gerard J. Carriera

Monday, July 20

  8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.

12:10 +Anna Fedorika req. Mary Churley

Tuesday, July 21

  8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.

12:10 Special Intention Krinka Underhill req. Kristen Cassidy

Wednesday, July 22

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

12:10 Anthony Renella req. Joan & Jim Renella

Thursday, July 23

  8:00 Christopher Flynn

12:10 All Souls req. Bosilevas family

Friday, July 24

  8:00 Molly Festo

12:10 +Archbishop Thomas Dolinsy req. Mary Churley

Saturday, July 25

  8:00 William Bow

12:10 +Members of the Atlantic Senior Housing req. Diane Strain

 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 ext. 22.

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. 100 years ago, . . or so:

             July 21, 1908:  New Statuary in Catholic Church. “J. H. Scofield & Son have presented to St. John’s R. C. Church a beautiful baptismal statue, which has been placed on the baptismal font. The principal figure is that of St. John the Baptist, who is shown in the act of baptizing Christ, the whole thus being symbolic of the sacrament of baptism. The statue comes from Carrara, Italy, and is made from a splendid specimen of the marble of that place. It adds greatly to the statuary of the church, and gives a finish to the font, which is probably not equaled by that in any church in the diocese.”

75 years ago, or so:

July 20, 1935: Two Churches, House Hit By Lightning. “A terrific thunderstorm, breaking here last night shortly after 8, brought temporary relief from the heat but did property damage estimated at upwards of $10,000. There was no loss of life and no personal injuries reported as due to the storm. A spire on the top of St. John’s Catholic Church was shattered and a great hunk of stone from the spire hurtled through the skylight atop of the Frankel shop across the street. The Bethel A.M.E. Church was hit, a house in Myrtle Ave. was set on fire by a bolt: the Gas and Electric Co., Southern New England Co. and Hew Haven Railroad reported considerable property damage.”                                                               

50 years ago, or so:

July 23, 1963:   “The Rt. Rev. Msgr. Nicholas P. Coleman, P.A., V.F., pastor of St. John’s Catholic Church and, at 87, the oldest priest in the Bridgeport Diocese, died Monday in the rectory of St. Raphael’s Church, Bridgeport. He was attending a luncheon celebrating the 60th anniversary of the ordination of the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Emilio Iasiello, pastor of St. Raphael’s, when he was stricken. Just a little over a year ago, Msgr. Coleman had celebrated the 60th anniversary of his own ordination and, on Saturday, completed his 53rd year as a priest in the Stamford area. Pastor of St. John’s Church since 1936, he had been, since 1958, dean of the Stamford area and carried limited supervisory responsibilities for the parishes in Greenwich and Stamford.”

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

Our faithful preparation: Confession

                                                                                 Revisited                                                    -Fr. Terry Walsh

 “I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy Grace, to sin no more, and to avoid the near occasion of sin.”

Perhaps one of the most comforting chapters in all of Sacred Scripture is found in St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, Chapter 8: “If God is for us, who can be against us?…Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?….. [Nothing/No one] in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Only sin can rupture our relationship with God – only by our own free choice can we be separated from Him. Yet, even in those occasions when we have rejected Him by sinning, He yearns for our conversion of heart. He calls us by name and invites us back to Himself. He calls and He waits.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation instituted by our Lord makes it possible for us to be restored to the grace of our Baptism – to the Body of Christ, the Church, when we have fallen off the Vine.

Yet, it is essential that we hold to our promise to avoid sin – to employ practical ways to overcome those hurdles in our lives that may lead to sin. In addition to the obvious ways, such as avoiding situations that assail our desire for purity in thought, word, or deed, we may also ask for the grace, through prayer, to remain faithful to our Baptismal Promises. We may also make some small sacrifices to demonstrate ‘good faith’ in our effort to overcome a particular hurdle – perhaps giving up something we like to do – or maybe offering up a particular food or drink for a period of time.  Our Lord will certainly help us in our effort to grow in holiness – in purity of heart and mind – if we make this effort.

Each time we approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we prepare by undergoing a good examination of conscience, ‘made in the Light of the Word of God.’ (What has God asked of me? How have I done in light of the 10 Commandments, the Gospel precepts, the Beatitudes, the Apostolic Exhortations?) After confessing our sins to God through His representative, the Priest, we offer to God our Act of Contrition, that is, our expression of sorrow along with our statement of intention NOT to sin again. Recall the words of our Lord to St. Peter when the Apostle asked Him how many times he should forgive the same sin. Our Merciful Lord told him to forgive it every time – that is, every time the person is truly sorry – every time the person is resolved to live a holy life. Every single time. But we would only be adding to our sins if we were to approach this Magnificent Sacrament of Love with presumption in our heart – ‘O, I’ll just go to confession…’ And how firm would our resolution to sin no more really be if we didn’t take some practical steps to overcome those things that lead us into sin? Are we truly giving our best effort?

Our Lord became man in order to redeem us – to heal us – and to restore us to the Divine Life of Grace. What will our response be?

 Indeed you love truth in the heart; then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom. O purify me, then I shall be made clean; O wash me, I shall be whiter than snow…..A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, nor deprive me of your holy spirit.” (Psalm 51)