For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday September 13, 2009

Pastor’s Corner. . . Let’s turn our attention to the sanctuary and side altars, beginning with the windows. Those above the high altar present the three central historical events of our salvation: the Incarnation, Crucifixion and Resurrection, which define who we are as men and women touched by the grace of God in human history, which will lead us to the very presence of God for all eternity.
The far left window is the Incarnation, the Christmas window. In the top rose window can be seen a beautiful Star of Bethlehem in the center of an imaginary celestial flower, surrounded by five smaller stars against a light blue heaven, shedding light upon the scene below. Our Lady sits in the center with the infant Jesus on her lap. They sit on a sumptuous throne of whimsical Gothic and Victorian design, with arches, columns and exuberant floral carvings, backed by a rich tapestry of geometric designs and textured glass. The Blessed Virgin supports her child gently while, at the same time presenting Him to the Three Kings who have just arrived on the scene. The Infant Jesus holds his right hand in blessing to the Kings, all the while eyeing one of their impressive gifts. Two of the Kings kneel, one directly in front of the Mother and Child, holding a large golden vessel, with a small elegantly appareled page boy behind him, holding the king’s heavy ermine trimmed blood red cape. The second king kneels to the right, with his box-shaped gift on the ground. He is, likewise, richly appareled in darker earth tones, with a full ermine shoulder cape and heavy golden chain of office around his neck. The third king stands at the center right, eye-level with Our Lady. Vested in a deep green toga, with golden breastplate and blood red cape, he wears a golden crown and offers another elegant gift to the Child. He appears to have just alighted from an impressive camel, which stands behind the king, imperiously sneering down at all of us, as his attendant tries to bring him to heal with a bright red tether.
All around are symbols of the future for the Holy Family: behind the camel can be seen a stormy sky along with a pyramid, pointing to the Flight to Egypt soon to be made, in response to the plots of Herod to kill the Child, in fulfillment of prophet Hosea: “Out of Egypt have I called my son” [Hosea 11.1; Matt 2]. Behind Saint Joseph, on the left, is another attendant, bearing a banner—of the Resurrection, the ultimate triumph of God over the power of Satan by the Incarnation, Crucifixion and Resurrection, offering us eternity in the flesh. At the base of the window are flowers, identifying who is pictured above and what will happen: Daisies: signs of the innocence of the Christ Child; a small patch of Dandelions: a bitter herb, suggestive of the bitter suffering of Mother and Child; a Poppy: the red color of which alludes to the future Passion; Violets: symbols of the humility of God who became a creature for us, and a symbol of the humility of Mary, who gave her private life and hopes as an offering in obedience to the Father, so that both God and mankind contributed to our salvation; red Anemones: referring to the blood shed by Our Lord, and the sorrow of both Mary and Jesus. Ancient legend stated that anemones sprouted at the foot of the Cross at the Crucifixion; white Jasmine,:whose sweet fragrance symbolized the Virgin Mary for earlier Christians.
The three sanctuary windows were donated to honor the three pastors of St. John’s whose efforts had raised the present church in 1886: Father John Fagan [1868-1873], who had purchased the property and died very young; Father Michael Tierney [1874-76] who had completed the basement church, and went on to be the Bishop of Hartford; and Father William Rogers [1876-1900], who completed the upper church. —Mons. Stephen DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick… Elizabeth Coughlin, Billy Therriault, Wendy Woodin, David Lloyd, John Castellano, Janet Rodgers, Yvonne Saint Preuve, Kevin Sutton, Anne Marie Brutus, Rose Lauture, Rene Villard, Corrie Evans, Jesus Cala, William Morris, Margaret Romaine, Annette Mellace, Charla Nash, Ruth Alexander

Please pray for those who have recently died… Hector Jance, Paul Rittman, 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

Special Annual Collection . . . The second collection today will be the Special Annual Collection for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

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; double click the picture at the top of the page, and watch Mass, enjoy the homilies, and beautiful organ and choral music.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … Each Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Rectory. We’re 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 a 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.

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, 8:30AM. 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.

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.

Sunday September 6, 2009 $ 10,691.12
Sunday September 7, 2008 $ 14,466.36 “I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

September 20th Sunday Readings: Wis 2:12, 17-20; Jas 3:16-4:3; Mk 9:30-37

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 142 (Tune: St. George’s Windsor) (2) 72. 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!

St. John’s Children’s Choir . . . Please consider enrolling your child in the Children’s Choir which sings for the 10:00 Family Mass on Sundays, alongside the Adult Choir (see below). Rehearsals, at which children learn about singing and reading music, are held each Saturday from 1:00-1:45 pm. The choir is open to boys and girls, ages seven and above, who can match a pitch and who are willing to make a weekly commitment. Please call Scott Turkington for more information, 324-1553, ext. 18 or STurkington@optonline.net.

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 attend 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.

Christian Foundation for Children & Aging. . . Next weekend, the parish will welcome Father Gerald Flater, O.M.I., who will tell us about the work of the Christian Foundation, which is a lay Catholic ministry helping children and elderly in 24 developing countries. For more information, visit online at www.cfcausa.org

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. 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. For more information, please contact Frank Carpanzano: 203-975-0074.

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).

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.

Mass Intentions+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, September 12
4:00 +Members of DeRosa, Kronk, Capobianco Families & Edwin Clark req. John & Joan Kronk
Sunday, September 13
7:30 Thanksgiving to God req. Fabiola C.
10:00 +Betsy Woolf req. Fabiola C.
12:00 Catherine Olnek’s Birthday req. Sharon Gannon
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, September 14
8:00 +Jack Walsh req. Fr. Terrence P. Walsh
12:10 +Kent Costikyan req. Luz Contreras
Tuesday, September 15
8:00 +Peggy Walsh req. Fr. Terrence P. Walsh
12:10 +Mary Ellen & Joseph Santoro req. Marie Carr
Wednesday, September 16
8:00 +Reddy & Alice Mac Donald & Family req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Randolph Samedi req. Anne Marie Samedi
Thursday, September 17
8:00 Sister Daria req. Lancaster Family
12:10 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Friday, September 18
8:00 Special Intention Richard Paul Kim req. Joseph & Mary Kim
12:10 +Amy Reed req. Fabiola C.
Saturday, September 19
8:00 +Theodore Kim req. Joseph & Mary Kim
12:10 +Vickie Manes req. Angela Giannitti

Eucharistic Adoration: Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

Holy Name Society … For all men of the parish: In the rectory every Friday morning
for coffee, Eucharistic adoration benediction & prayer,: 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.

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!

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. At our next meeting on September 27, we will have an Altar Boy picnic in conjunction with Dominic Savio Society. for 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 . .
115 YEARS AGO, or so:
September 14, 1893: Blessing Two New Altars. “Sunday evening at St. John’s R.C. Church, an impressive and beautiful ceremony was witnessed and participated in by a congregation which completely filled the large edifice. It was the blessing of two new altars recently presented to the church. The young lady members of the League of the Sacred Heart, and the Children of Mary, dressed in white, with white veils and wreathes, and carrying bouquets of gold and blue, marched in procession from the basement of the church, through Bell Street, and entered the church singing the Litany of the Blessed Virgin. Vespers were then sung, after which the two new altars were blessed while the societies sang appropriate hymns. An eloquent and appropriate sermon, by the pastor, Rev. W. H. Rogers, was preached, after which Benediction was given. The altar of the Sacred Heart is the gift of members of the League of that name. The statue was presented by Miss Mary Coffey. The statue of the Blessed Virgin—Our lady of Lourdes—is a votive offering by the wife of Judge Morgan J. O’Brien, in thanksgiving for the recovery of her daughter from a serious accident she met with while the family were summering at Shippan two years ago.”

100 years ago, or so:
September 16, 1909: “The bazaar of St. John’s R.C. Church opened auspiciously in the school hall, last night. Notwithstanding the threatening weather, there was a large attendance. St. Anne’s Ladies’ Aid Society, the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the A.O.H., the Third Order of St. Francis, the Children of Mary and the Alumni Association of the school each has a table. The hall was attractively decorated, and there is the usual quantity of fancy articles. There will be entertainment and dancing evenings.”

“Seek the things that are above” Gifts and Fruits -Fr Terry Walsh

As ‘children of the Light’ we are constantly receiving the graces of the Holy Spirit throughout our daily lives. We received this Light at Baptism and provided we are faithful to the Light, it will be kept burning brightly and attract others to the Light. Staying near the Light who is Christ is a deliberate act of our will. Our Lord tells us to ask for whatever you want and He will provide it – provided it is for the good of your soul. If we ask with humility and an ardent desire for union with our Lord, the fountain of grace, the “Living Water” (Grace of the Holy Spirit flowing from the Heart of Jesus), will gush up from within us. These are the waters where our ‘soul is restored and nourished’ and ‘our cup, our soul, overflows.’ In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us: “The Water I shall give will become in him (in everyone who receives the Living Water) a spring of water welling up to eternal life”(4:14). We receive these graces primarily and ordinarily through the Sacraments – those magnificent ‘encounters with Christ’ who nourishes and sustains us. Through our faithful cooperation, He forms us into ‘children of the Light.’ We receive the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit so that we may grow in virtue and become holy, or as St. Gregory of Nyssa put it, “The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God.” What exactly are the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit?
There are 7 Gifts and 12 Fruits. It would be helpful to review the Catechism of the Catholic Church for a more complete understanding (available Online at www.vatican.va or at your local bookstore). The Church teaches us that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are “permanent dispositions” which make us docile in following divine inspirations. They are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and Fear of the Lord. We learn in Sacred Scripture that the beginning of Wisdom is ‘Fear of the Lord,’ also called ‘Awe and Wonder’. More specifically, it means to love the things that God loves – namely purity, goodness, truth, and holiness and to hate the things that God hates – namely sin, which harms us and separates us from God. Jesus says, ‘Ask for whatever you want in My Name, I will give it to you.’ Of course, we must sanctify ourselves first – that is, we must seek to live a faithful life and to be in the state of grace. Then, Ask for the gift of Wisdom, just as Solomon did. Ask for the gift of Fortitude – courage – to do what is right even in difficult circumstances. Ask for the gift of Counsel – to know what to say – and sometimes what not to say – to those who come to you for guidance or who might be seeking a word of encouragement. Ask for whatever you want and then apply the gift of that grace to become a bright light to attract others to what is good and true and pure and holy through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In other words, receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit, cooperate with the Gift, and so bear Fruit.
“The Fruits of the Holy Spirit are perfections formed in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists 12: charity, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity”(ccc). St. Paul speaks about these fruits of the Holy Spirit in his letter to the Galatians (5:22). When we ‘seek the things that are above’ we ‘bare fruit that will last’ – we ‘build heavenly treasure.’ And just as the exchange of love between the three persons of the Holy Trinity overflows into all creation, so too will the effects of the graces we receive overflow into acts of kindness, generosity, and love, and all the fruits of the Holy Spirit, Who dwells within us.