For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:
Bulletin for Sunday September 6, 2009

Pastor’s Corner. . . The southern transept, to the left of the altars, is a duplicate of the northern, in design, size and decoration. The only difference is the theme of the large stained glass window that dominates this side of the church.
This window was created and installed at the same time as that in the northern transept and choir loft: 1926. And, likewise, was restored with a new window frame, during the 2000 restoration of all the church’s windows.
The story of the window is based on the Gospel account of Our Lord blessing children, as indicated by the Latin legend at the bottom of the window, which translates: “Let the little children come to Me” (Mt: 19:14). This is a very charming window, because of the subject and because the artists have treated the subject in such a tender and gentle manner. At the center is Our Lord, clothed as in the window across the aisle: in bright red tunic over his white toga-like robe. His luminous halo identifies Him as the Son of God and Son of Mary, the Savior. He is seated with a small child on His lap. According to tradition, this child was Saint Ignatius of Antioch: a disciple of St. Peter, whom Peter named as the first bishop in Antioch, after Peter had himself established the Church in that third largest city of the Roman Empire. It was Ignatius who called the Church Jesus personally established on the Apostles the Catholic Church—the Universal Church—the only one found in every large city, as opposed to the numerous local Christian cults started by other people. In the window, two of Jesus’ Apostles are not happy with Jesus’ decision to disregard their counsel to move on, and you can see them gathered in the shadows at the top left, chatting with one another, and visibly displeased. In contrast are the children: all over the place, skipping, walking and crawling to Jesus, being carried by their mothers, the smiling embodiment of innocence and trust, which should be the hallmark of all Jesus’ followers.
Above the main window are three angels, replicating the northern window: the lower two have censers, offering incense to Jesus who is God and Man. Between them is the image of the Pelican, which, according to legend, would pierce her breast and feed her young with her lifeblood; a perfect symbol of the sacrifice Christ made on the Cross that we might live forever. Above, the larger angel bears the logo: Ora et Labora: pray and work. Prayer is good, but must be accompanied by a life of action: one must show one’s faith in the way one lives, —preferably in virtue—as well as by performing religious actions, in order to be a true believer. On either side of the upper angels are more Greek letters we’ve seen before: the Alpha on the left and the Omega on the right: Jesus is the beginning and the end of all things. And there’s one mistake: the angel on the right has three hands!! Oops! No one’s perfect, not even artists. —Mons. Stephen DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick… John Castellano, Janet Rodgers, Yvonne Saint Preuve, Kevin Sutton, Anne Marie Brutus, Rose Lauture, Paul Rittman, Rene Villard, Corrie Evans, Jesus Cala, William Morris, Margaret Romaine, Annette Mellace, Charla Nash, Ruth Alexander
Please pray for those who have recently died…Gerard P. Albert, Louis Michael Ceretta, John DiNero, Paul Lorusso, Martinez Boursiquot, Karl Gandt, Tesse Kerelits, 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

Catholic University of America Collection . . . Please drop your special envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.

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 … Meets each Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Rectory. We’re now studying the 4th century Ecclesiastical History by Eusebius of Caesarea. Join us.

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 at 6:00 p.m. in the Rectory. All are welcome; just come in the front door. This is the most basic beginner course. Come join us.

Introduction to Biblical Greek . . . Meets every Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the rectory. 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 October 6th.

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. Registration and payment can be done on the parish website, stjohnsstamford.com., or visit the parish office.

Parish Picnic. . . Please mark your calendars: The Parish Picnic will be at Cove Island on Sunday, September 20th: 1 pm-5 pm. Food, beverages, games for kids of all ages: please plan to attend this great fun parish event. SIDE DISHES: If you would like to bring a side dish to the picnic please call Judy De Felice at 322-5331 for details. Thank you very much!

Coffee Hour…Volunteers are needed to help after the 10:00 a.m. Mass.  For more information, please contact Janet Lancaster at 203-637-3301 or email her at jmlancaster@optonline.net.

September is the month of the Holy Cross, the solemnity of which is celebrated on September 14th. The month is a reminder of God’s mercy: He sent His Son to pay for our sins by dying on the Cross. Please visit the Shrine of the Holy Cross at the altar of St. Joseph, where the Relic of the True Cross is permanently exposed for veneration.

Sunday August 30, 2009 $ 11,578.32
Sunday August 31, 2008 $ 9,349.07 “I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

September 13th Sunday Readings: Is 50:5-9a; Jas 2:14-18; Mk 8:27-35

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 249 (2) 239. The Creed for the Noon Mass may be found in the hymnal at No. 289.

Noon Mass . . . As all popes since Pius X (1903-14) have exhorted the faithful to “sing the Mass”, please pick up a sheet containing the Kyrie, Gloria, etc., in order to participate more fully in the Noon High Mass. Thank you!

Calling all Singers! . . . The 10:00 AM Family Mass Adult choir is in need of singers, starting in September. We rehearse at 8:15 AM, on Sundays only, in the Choir Room. If you regularly attending the 10:00 AM Mass, would you consider lending your voice to our choir? Please call Scott Turkington for more information: 324-1553, ext. 18 or STurkington@optonline.net.

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 who are parishioners. The first meeting will be Tuesday, September 22nd.

Life Chain. . . The Gospel of Life Society invites you and your family to participate in Stamford’s Life Chain on Sunday, October 4th, 2009, beginning at 1:30 P.M. here in front of St. John’s Church. Last year over 1,200 Life Chains were linked across America and Canada, which included scores of parishioners here at St. John’s. This is a non-confrontational witness: we simply stand along Atlantic Street in front of the church with signs encouraging greater respect for human life, and we pray. Please join us: free parking behind St. John’s. For more information, please contact Frank Carpanzano: 203-975-0074.

St. Maurice Church 358 Glenbrook Rd….Is holding a CASH BINGO on Friday, Sept. 18th. Doors open at 6PM. First game is at 7PM. There will also be a MULTI-VENDOR CRAFT FAIR & TAG SALE at the open air market on Saturday Sept. 19th from 9AM—5PM, rain or shine. (Refreshments available at both events) For more information call: 324-3434.

Parish Ladies’ Group. . . The Immaculate Heart of Mary Ladies’ Society will resume weekly Saturday meetings on October 3rd. . We meet in the Rectory, beginning at 9:30 a.m. with coffee and conversation, move into prayer, adoration and a spiritual conference, and conclude by 11:00a.m. All ladies of the parish are welcome. Just walk in!

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).

Mass Intentions+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, September 5
4:00 +Members of DeRosa, Kronk, Capobianco Families & Edwin Clark req. John & Joan Kronk
Sunday, September 6
7:30 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
10:00 Special Intention Winnie
12:00 +Jocelyn, Oswald & Kilda Machado req. Lilian & Alvina Ramos
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, September 7
8:00 Special Intention Fr. Albert D. Audette
12:10 Special Intention Sister Maria req. Lancaster Family
Tuesday, September 8
8:00 In honor of the Virgin Mary req. Fabiola C.
12:10 +Charles & Eva Kronk req. Mary Churley
Wednesday, September 9
8:00 +Leonard Piacenza req. Family
12:10 +Helel Carr Birthday Remembrance req. Marie Carr
Thursday, September 10
8:00 +Frank Janesch req. Cycon Family
12:10 +Ismael Vega req. Evelyn Flaharty, daughter
Friday, September 11
8:00 +Louise Wilk req. David L. Lancaster
12:10 For the 911 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Saturday, September 12
8:00 +Hope & Joseph McAleer req. Family
12:10 +James Caputo req. The Pugliese 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.

20’s and 30’s will meet in the Rectory on September 10th to hear about the new direction of our program and the Service Opportunities. Come join us and bring a friend!

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.

Stamford Catholic Schools … Volunteers are needed to support our Stamford Catholic Schools—Holy Spirit, Our Lady Star of the Sea, St. Cecilia, and Trinity Catholic Middle School. If you are interested in serving on our School Board and lending your time and talent, please speak to your pastor about more details.

St. John’s in The NEWS . .
125 YEARS AGO, or so:The Connecticut catholic:
September 12, 1885: Stamford. “A large number of boxes packed with the marble to build the altar of our church have arrived, which is only a portion of what is yet to come. St. Joseph’s society appointed Rev. Father Rogers and B. Lockwood as delegates to the State convention, to be held in Bridgeport on the 15th. Sunday school opens on Sunday, and there ought to be a full attendance from the beginning. The parochial school, under the charge of the Sisters of Mercy, will commence on Monday, and boys and girls should try to start well this term by being present at the opening.”

100 years ago, or so:The Stamford advocate:
September 7, 1909: Plans for a Bazaar. “There was a meeting Sunday of the societies connected with St. John’s R. C. Church, at which the plans for a bazaar to be opened next week were carried forward. Most of the societies will have tables and a good share of the management of the undertaking will devolve upon their officers.”

75 years ago, or so:The Stamford advocate:
September 11, 1934: ST. JOHN’S PAROCHIAL HAS LARGE REGISTRATION. “St. John’s Parochial School opened yesterday with an even larger registration than last year. A number of children had to be turned away to await vacancies. The Rev. James J. Wilson, assistant pastor at St. John’s R.C. Church, and principal of the school, is still recuperating from his recent serious illness. The Rev. Francis J. Lally, pastor of the church, is temporarily supervising the work of getting the school year under way.”

50 years ago, or so:The Stamford advocate:
September 8, 1959: Catholic Churches Prepare Plans For Census of Diocese. “Final plans for the house-to-house census of the Diocese of Bridgeport have been readied, according to the Rev. Bartholomew J. Skelly, diocesan director of the Holy Name Society.”

Leaving so soon? -Fr Terry Walsh

I once heard a story about a man who had received Holy Communion and then, without missing a beat, simply walked straight out the back door. The Priest saw him leave the Church and immediately stopped distributing Holy Communion in order to call over an altar server. He instructed the altar server to tell the two candle bearers to go out to the man who had left the Church and accompany him, one candle on either side of him, wherever the man went for the next 15 minutes. Evidentially, the man had been unaware – or didn’t care – that he was actually leading his very own Eucharistic Procession, as he had moments earlier received the Host which had not yet been digested. Perhaps the man simply did not know that his lack of respect for our Lord was a terrible desecration. The poor man was focused on himself and not on God or his relationship with our Lord. He had places to go, things to do. He was already on to the “next thing” in his very important schedule, completely oblivious, it would seem, of his utter selfishness. The candle bearers were sent in order to proclaim that Christ was truly walking by. The man was “carrying Him” (even though he was carrying Him with complete disregard). Furthermore, in leaving before the end of Mass, the poor man missed God’s blessing! Oh, the graces that enter the hearts of those who eagerly receive that final blessing. It comes from God Himself and it is meant for our sure help.
The moments immediately following the reception of God, the Holy Eucharist, are the most profound moments any human person could ever experience. How blessed we are that we can receive Him each week – and for many -each day. The thought of such a grace-filled meeting ought to send shivers down our spines and open our hearts to our deepest devotion; thanks and praise ought to well up from within our souls, even to the point of tears. What wondrous love! That God would give Himself so completely and so personally to each one of His children. Moreover, He makes it easy for us. We receive His Flesh and Blood, His very Soul, His Divine Life, in the simple Host.
In the spiritual classic, The Imitation of Christ, our Lord helps us understand the proper disposition we ought to have toward Him. Our Lord says these words to Thomas a’ Kempis: “When I grant you the grace of devotion, give thanks to God, not because you deserve to enjoy it, but because I have had mercy on you. And if you feel no devotion, but suffer dryness of soul, persevere in prayer, sigh, and knock (Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:9); persist until you merit to receive some crumb or drop of saving grace. You have need of Me; I have no need of you (2 Maccabees 14:35). You do not come to sanctify Me, but I come to sanctify and raise you. You come in order to be hallowed and united to Me; that you may receive fresh grace, and be inspired anew to amendment of life. Do not neglect this grace (1Timothy 4:14), but prepare yourself with all care, and invite your Beloved into your heart….Not only must you make a devout preparation before Holy Communion, but also carefully foster your devotion after receiving the Sacrament. No less vigilance is required after Communion than devout preparation beforehand. For a constant vigilance after Communion is the best preparation for receiving richer graces; and a man will be entirely undisposed to do this if he straightway turns to outward pleasures. Beware of much talk (Proverbs 10:19): remain in some quiet place, and savour the presence of God; for you possess Him whom the whole world cannot take away from you. I am He to whom you should offer your whole self, that set free from care, you may no longer live in yourself, but in Me (John 15:4, Galatians 2:20).”
One can’t help but wonder about the poor soul who didn’t return to his pew to say thanks and to contemplate the truth that the Creator of all that exists called him into being out of nothingness and actually invites him to share in His Divine Life. He left early, but, one wonders, ‘Did he ever really arrive?’

September 3, 2009

Annual Appeal:
Dear Parishioner:

Saint John’s has been the downtown parish for over 150 years.
Our Annual Collection is designed to help us maintain our buildings so we can continue to be the center of Catholic culture and life in the heart of The City that Works. We are not a museum and our efforts to restore and renovate the church and rectory are not inspired by any type of architectural or religious nostalgia. Both rectory and church are used every day: the church for Mass, the regular celebration of the Sacraments of Baptism, Confession and Marriage, for funerals, parish retreats and devotions, as well as for private prayer. The parish hall is used most weekends for religious education classes, choir practices, and lectures, annual musical workshops, and coffee each Sunday after the 10 A.M. Mass. And the rectory is used for the parish offices; rooms for counseling, confession, and sacramental instructions for baptism, marriage and converts; weekly religious education classes, adult education classes, classes in classical languages, weekly Saint Monica lectures, Bible Study and the meetings of the Holy Name, Maria Goretti and Domenic Savio Societies; parish receptions, meetings, working dinners and special fundraising groups for diocesan institutions. They all take place in the rectory—oh, yes, and the priests live there, too!
Some of the essential repairs on church and rectory completed during 2009 are:
–replacement of the ancient rectory electrical system: cost: $69,535;
–the completion of new rectory hot water system and plumbing repairs: cost: $31,650;
–church marble repair work; the moving marble statues; rectory and church concrete replacement, waterproofing, sump replacements : cost: $23,000;
–upgrading church electrical system: cost: $13,000.
These are tough financial times for everyone, and I’m sorry to ask you even to consider helping us now. However, if you can spare something, please make a contribution to Saint John’s today by using the enclosed envelope, and mail it to the rectory, or simply drop it into the collection basket during Sunday Mass. OR, consider making a long-term pledge, payable over one or two years, if that would be more convenient for you. This is solely for the parish. Your help is essential; please give us a hand. Your priests are making their own contributions, so please join us in this charity so that the Mother Church may continue to serve the Catholics of the Stamford area for decades to come. God bless you for your help!
With prayerful best wishes, and renewed gratitude, I remain,

Sincerely,

Reverend Monsignor
Stephen M. DiGiovanni
Pastor