For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday August 2, 2009

Pastor’s Corner. . . Let’s return to the center aisle and, with your back to the doors, look down the aisle, and take in the immense space of the church interior: the nave is 165 feet in length and 36 feet wide; the transept is 48 feet wide and 94 feet across, and the height at the crossing is 50 feet. The church interior is wide open, lofty,  graceful and filled with light, and it is a remarkable creation of one of our early parishioners, John Ennis.  The original architects and contractors refused to continue, fearing that the proposed dimensions of the church were too large to remain standing. From 1876-1882, work stopped, and the church enclosed by a flat roof, rising just above the height of the lower windows along the aisle. John Ennis proposed returning to the original plans in wood and plaster, and the pastor, Father William H. Rogers, agreed. The result is magnificent, if somewhat irregular in its vaulting. Nevertheless, at the dedication, the press marveled at the beauty of the then largest stone church in the state—right here in Stamford: “The [church plans] have been modified, especially as to the interior finish by Mr. John Ennis, who deserves the credit of what is really the finest architectural feature of the building, and that is the symmetrical and noble gothic finish of the interior.” [The Stamford Advocate, June 1, 1886]

The Gothic style of architecture developed first in France. It embodies the belief that beauty is at the service of God, and helps to lead us beyond ourselves toward the Divine, so that our lives might be filled with moral virtue, which is our participation in God’s perfection. The Gothic, while having its roots in earlier church architectural experiments, can first be seen in the construction of the Benedictine Abbey church of Saint-Denis in Paris, France. Its superior, Abbot Suger [1080-1151 A.D.], a brilliant churchman and adviser to popes, to two kings of France, a diplomat, and Regent of France himself, personally commissioned and directed the entire design and construction of the church, which is regarded as the first truly Gothic church.. Though of peasant stock and short of height, his energies were immense. [his epitaph reads in part, “Though a man of small stature, he was no small man.”] The story is told that his workmen judged his designs impractical: the plans were too wide, since no tree was sufficiently tall to form the roof rafters. Suger led them into the local forest, recalling that “they smiled, and would have laughed if they had dared”. He showed them twelve trees measuring the exact size required: they never dared laugh at him or his ideas again.

Suger was driven to create the beautiful by his love for God: “The dull mind rises to Divine truth through that which is material and beautiful.” It was he who invented the lofty pointed arch and painted windows, for light is the essence of the Gothic: “Bright’, he wrote, “is the noble edifice that is pervaded by new light” [Suger, Scriptum consecrationis, xxviii]. St. John, our patron,  wrote of the Divine Light of the Eternal Son: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” [John 1: 3-5]. The pointed arches lead the eye and mind heavenward, to the light of God. Suger’s inscription plaque at the front door of Saint Denis urges the visitor to take advantage of the beauty of the church building, “to illuminate the mind so that it might travel through the true lights to the True Light, where Christ is the true Door to the Heavenly Jerusalem,” of which the church building is only an image [Suger, Scriptum consecrationis, xxvii].

Our church was built according to the same inspirations. Possibly, John Ennis never heard of Suger, but I doubt that, since he, too, was a man of great culture and faith. And because his design of St. John’s shows the universality of that which inspired both men: all that is true, good and beautiful leads to God. —Mons. Stephen DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick… Yvonne Saint Preuve, Kevin Sutton, Anne Marie Brutus, Rose Lauture, Paul Rittman, Rene Villard, Corrie Evans, Joseph Kirkland, Jesus Cala, William Morris, Margaret Romaine, Annette Mellace, Charla Nash, Ruth Alexander

Please pray for those who have recently died… Jenny Danchaster, 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

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 :watch Mass and enjoy the homilies and beautiful organ and choral music. 

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … Will next meet on  Wednesday, September 2nd, at 7:30 p.m. in the Rectory to study the 4th century Ecclesiastical History by Eusebius of Caesarea. 

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 every Wednesdays 6:00 p.m. in the Rectory.   All are welcome; just come in the front door.  This is the most basic  beginner course.

Introduction to Biblical Greek . . . Meets every Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the rectory. Meeting.  Class is closed to new students.

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. 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.org or 203/857-0088. (Do not bring donations to the Parish).

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.

Sisters of Life. . . Will make their solemn profession on Thursday, August 6th, here at Saint John’s, at 11:00 a.m..: all are welcome to attend the Mass. PLEASE NOTE:  There will be NO 12:10 p.m. Mass on Thursday,  August 6th, since the Sister’s Mass begins at 11 A.M.

Sunday July 26, 2009   $ 10,280.53

 Sunday July 27, 2008   $ 11,883.38

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

                                                   —Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

August 9th Sunday Readings:   1 Kgs. 19 4-8; Eph. 4:30-5:2; Jn. 6:41-51 (116)

Bann of Marriage:  1st Edvard Fiefie & Cathie Joseph

                                    3rd Kevin Thomas Coughlin & Denise Lynne Cole

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 126  (2) 122.

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 AM, on Sundays only, in the Choir Room. Are you regularly attending the 10:00 AM Mass and would you consider lending your voice to our choir? Please call Scott Turkington for more information: 324-1553, ext. 18.

Annual Bishop’s Appeal. . . Please accept my thanks for your generosity to Bishop Lori: our goal was $85,000; you gave $92,0000.  Both the bishop and I are very grateful.  If you  have not made any donation for this year’s Appeal, please consider making it to Saint John’s instead.

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.

How do you dress for Mass?. . . It was reported that in the late 1840’s and early 1850’s, Irish immigrants from neighboring towns used to walk to Stamford every Sunday for Mass. They wore their best clothes and carried their shoes, since they didn’t want them to wear out or be dirty when they entered into God’s presence.  As we move towards midsummer, permit me to suggest that we look around at each other and ourselves, and ask whether we are appropriately dressed for Mass. Would you go to meet the President of the United States or the Pope dressed like you are now?  When we come into church for Mass, we should dress not only decently but well, since we are coming into the presence of God, present in the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the Tabernacle—someone even more important than the president or the pope. Shorts, T-shirts, flip-flops, beachwear, halters, tight revealing clothing should not be worn in church. I am no prude, but even I think we could show greater respect for God, and for each other, if we dressed more respectably and well for Mass. Also, there are some times when I have to stifle a laugh at some of the outfits; please, dress properly and respectfully for God.—Mons. DiGiovanni

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.

Religious Education: All those entering our program this September for the first time must provide Baptism records which may be obtained from the Church where the child was baptized. This is a mandatory requirement for participation in Religious Education. The First Class will be SEPTEMBER 27, 2009.

Mass Intentions

Saturday, August 1

  4:00 + Members of DeRosa, Kronk, Copobianco families and Edwin Clark

               req. John & Joan Kronk

Sunday, August 2

  7:30   Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.

10:00 +Yole Gemignani req. Nancy Brennan

12:00    In Honor of the Eternal Father for a Feast Day in Thanksgiving for His Great

   Creativity and giving us His Son Jesus req. Josephine Lanquedoc

6:00 + Albert & Emila Carriera, Parents req. Gerard J. Carriera

Monday, August 3

  8:00 + Margret M. Timon req. Thomas A. Timon

12:10    James Cody

Tuesday, August 4

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

12:10    Priests of St. John the Evangelist past & present req. Pugliese family

Wednesday, August 5

  8:00   Special Intention Anthony Alvarez req. Pugliese family

12:10    Forgotton Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.

Thursday, August 6

  8:00    Olivia Rovegno

12:10    NO MASS: Sisters of Life Solemn Profession Mass begins at 11:00 a.m.

Friday, August 7

  8:00    Maich Rovegno

12:10 + Carmen Vega req. Evelyn Flaharty – daughter

Saturday, August 8

  8:00 + Hope & Joseph McAleer req. family

12:10 + William Borkowski req. wife & son

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.

Sisters of Life. . . Will make their solemn profession on Thursday, August 6th, here at Saint John’s, at 11:00 a.m..: all are welcome to attend the Mass. PLEASE NOTE:  There will be NO 12:10 p.m. Mass on Thursday,  August 6th, since the Sister’s Mass begins at 11 A.M.

St. John’s in The news. . .

125 YEARS AGO:

The Connecticut Catholic:  August 2, 1884:  Stamford. “Our new church, which presents such an attractive appearance from the exterior, is not in the least found wanting to particularly interest the visitor. From what one beholds when within, work has been going on inside for sometime by Mr. Ennis, and something today is to be seen as the result of the labor, the scaffolding has been removed. The huge walls are covered with their coats of ermine intermingled with the splendid moldings of exquisite style. The magnificent windows with complimentary shades and designs have been put in and all seem to act in unison, as if nothing was wanting to add to its architectural appearance. One of the many moldings in the church measures 8 feet wide by 60 feet long, the largest, it is supposed, in the country.”

 

100 years ago:

The Stamford Advocate:  August 9, 1909: FATHER O’BRIEN GETS A HEARTY WELCOME. “Rev. James C. O’Brien, pastor of St. John’s Church, was the recipient of a very pleasing surprise last evening, upon his return from a European tour. Father O’Brien arrived in New York yesterday afternoon, and in this city a couple of hours later. During his absence, his parishioners arranged for a reception accompanied by a cash donation, as a way of showing their appreciation and love for their pastor. It was his first real vacation, and his parishioners were only sorry in one way, it could not have been longer, and glad to have him with them again, safe and sound.”                                                               

 

75 years ago, or so:

The Stamford Advocate:  August 8, 1933:   “The St. Ann’s Ladies’ Aid Society of St. John’s R. C. Church is sponsoring a card and bingo party at the Cleary homestead on Church Street in Glenbrook on Thursday evening, August 10, and the committee in charge is making every effort to make it an enjoyable affair, hoping for liberal patronage, as the entire proceeds are to be used in work of relief among the poor and needy. Homemade cakes and candy will be on sale at an attractive booth, also ice cream and cake.”

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 Choir 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. 22.  Baptisms are usually performed Saturdays.

 First Communion and Confirmation:  For information on Religious Education, please call Fr. Walsh at (203) 324-1553 ext. 14.   Confirmation is a two-year program.  For records, call Ferry Galbert at ext. 22.

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. 22).  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

Thursday:  11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  (Closed during Mass)

     Why must I confess my sins to a Priest?

(Revisited)                                                                                                                                              – Fr. Terry Walsh

                 Well, the short answer of course is that our Lord requires it. After all, Jesus Himself instituted each of the 7 Sacraments – those supernatural realities where we encounter our Lord in a mysterious and efficacious way. Sacramental Confession takes place through the Priest who says: “I absolve you” – yet it is Christ working and speaking through His priest. Spiritual grace flows from God through the priest – even when the priest himself is not in the state of grace because the grace comes from God who is always Holy. St. Augustine once said: “As for the proud minister, he is to be ranked with the devil. Christ’s gift is not thereby profaned: what flows through him keeps its purity, and what passes through him remains clear and reaches fertile earth…The spiritual power of the sacrament is indeed comparable to light: those to be enlightened receive it in its purity, and if it should pass through defiled beings, it is not itself defiled.”

It’s been said that we cannot climb the Spiritual Mountain except through the door of confession. It is there that our Lord Himself prepares us to receive Him in the Eucharist so that we have all we need to make the journey: Wisdom, Understanding, Strength, and all the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Impurity, that is, sin of any kind, blocks the soul from receiving the necessary graces. And St Paul warns us (1 Corinthians11: 23-33) that “….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 any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself…” I once heard an image involving our Guardian Angels that seems to give a clear perspective. When we approach the Altar to receive the Eucharist and we are properly prepared, our Guardian Angel accompanies us and just as we are about to receive the Host, the Angel turns toward us and bows down in adoration—not of us but of He who is entering into us to give us Life. On the other hand, the one who approaches in an unworthy manner (one who has not been purified and healed through the grace of Confession for sins committed) causes his Guardian Angel to flee far away rather than witness a desecration of the Sacrament of Love, the Eucharist. It is NOT enough to say a simple act of contrition before approaching the Altar to receive the Eucharist if one is aware that he has those sins that require “Sacramental Confession” for forgiveness. The Act of Contrition is of course a necessary part of that process. True sorrow is always necessary, as is a faithful effort to “sin no more”. But it is the prayer of absolution given BY CHRIST through His unworthy priest that removes sin and brings an increase of grace.

We truly meet Christ when we enter into the Sacrament of Confession. Recall that through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, Jesus configured the souls of his Apostles, that is, His priests, in such a manner that He would, in effect, “take over” in the administration of the Sacraments. Like Baptism and Confirmation, the Sacrament of Holy Orders leaves and indelible mark on the soul for the purpose of acting “in the Person of Christ.” After the Resurrection, Jesus went to the Apostles – who were His priests and said to them: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men’s sins, they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are held bound” (Gospel of John 20:22-23). “Jesus entrusted the exercise of the power of absolution to the apostolic ministry which he charged with the ‘ministry of Reconciliation’(2Cor 5:18)”(ccc1442). “The confessor (priest) is not the master of God’s forgiveness, but its servant”(CCC1466). It is Jesus who pours new and plentiful graces into our souls so that we might cooperate with Him in overcoming the temptations that confront us each day – and He accomplishes this through His priests. Speaking to Peter, Jesus says: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19). The Catechism reminds us: “The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health, has willed that his Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation, even among her own members” (ccc 1421). Citing the Scripture passages Psalm 51:17; John 6:44 and 12:32; as well as 1 John 4:10, the Catechism goes on to say: “This endeavor of conversion is not just a human work. It is the movement of a ‘contrite heart,’ drawn and moved by grace to respond to the merciful love of God who loved us first”(ccc1428). The penitent therefore must have true sorrow for sins committed, confess them to the priest, receive absolution and be willing to do penance in order for sins to be forgiven and to be reconciled with the Church. There are many resources that will help clarify understanding of this Sacrament beginning with the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Article numbers 1420-1498), along with many other Church documents such as Pope John Paul’s “Reconciliation and Penance”. John Paul wrote that it would be “foolish…to disregard the means of grace and salvation which the Lord has provided and…to claim to receive forgiveness while doing without the sacrament which was instituted by Christ precisely for forgiveness.”