For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday October 4, 2009

Pastor’s Corner. . . The two remaining windows are those ornamenting each side chapel; both are about the Blessed Virgin Mary and her role in the work of our salvation. The window in the Saint Joseph Chapel reproduces the famous painting of the Immaculate Conception by Murillo.
The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is the ancient Church’s teaching that Our Lady was prepared to be the Mother of the Eternal Son by God Himself, from the moment of her conception in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne. God, in view of the important role of Mary, applied to her in anticipation the merits that would be had through Her Son’s sacrificial death, thereby freeing Mary from Adam’s original sin, which all of us are born with. Since she would be the Mother of God, she had to be absolutely free from all sin or stain. “Hail, full of Grace” is the salutation the Angel Gabriel gave to Mary when he announced to her that she had been chosen by God for the incredible honor of giving human flesh, mind, heart and body to the Eternal Son of God in her womb, which is the subject of the window in Our Lady’s Chapel.
How can one possibly represent this preparation of Mary by God? Murillo did a pretty good job, as seen in right side chapel of St. Joseph. In our version of Murillo’s painting of the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady appears in the center of the window. She walks out from a darkened lozenge shaped central niche: the darkness refers to the sin of Adam which has darkened or affected all humanity. Mary, as the “highest honor of our race”, as an ancient hymn describes her, stands as if she has just exited from that darkened humanity, and stands enveloped in a mandorla of light. She who has been preserved from Adam’s sin by the Eternal Father, is “Our tainted nature’s solitary boast” [The Virgin, William Wordsworth]. She is dressed in flowing white, pastel green and blue robes.. Her hands are poised in prayer, and her eyes look heavenward, as if in ecstasy. Her hair is natural, in that there is no “styling”, which symbolizes her purity from all stain of sin, and her perpetual virginity. She is crowned with stars and stands on a crescent moon, which refers to the Book of the Apocalypse, “A vision in the sky of a lady with a crown of twelve stars.” Above her are three cherubs, and at her feet, two angels, one carrying lilies, while the second bears Mary’s regal blue train.
The window across the church in Our Lady’s Chapel is the Annunciation, which compliments that of the Immaculate Conception window, since that was the spiritual preparation for the historical event portrayed in the Annunciation window. Our Lady is dressed in long flowing robes, kneeling at a richly carved pre-dieu, with a pot of lilies, symbolic of Mary’s purity. The Archangel Gabriel has just arrived, likewise with flowing, rich robes, holding a scepter, a sign of God’s kingship, of which Gabriel is the emissary. He announces God’s message inviting Mary “full of grace” to cooperate with Him in the salvation of all humankind. In our window, the invitation has just been uttered, and Mary kneels in contemplation and prayer, as the Holy Spirit descends, by whose power Mary will conceive the savior of the world. The room is richly decorated, and through the arched window can be seen a beautiful evening sky—red, with rolling clouds, reminder of the old New England adage, “red sky at night, sailors’ delight”—the promise of a better, more beautiful day for mankind through Mary’s cooperation in God’s work of our salvation in Jesus.
The room in which Gabriel appears is richly appointed with heavily carved wooden furniture, rich encaustic tiled floor and sumptuous green velvet drapery. It is framed in whimsical Flamboyant Gothic architectural motif, the details of which mimic the carved marble decorations, steeples, crockets and arches, of our church’s altars. Those who built our church planned everything out quite well, and it all matches.—Mons. Stephen DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick… Rosemary Finn, Billy Therriault, Wendy Woodin, David Lloyd, John Castellano, Janet Rodgers, Kevin Sutton, Anne Marie Brutus, Rene Villard, Corrie Evans, Margaret Romaine, Annette Mellace, Charla Nash, Ruth Alexander

Please pray for those who have recently died… William Morris, Jesus Cala, Liliane Joelle Tsemo, Elizabeth A. Coughlin, 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

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 live, 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 Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the rectory. Class is closed to new students.

Bible Study: Thursdays, 7:30 pm in the rectory: This year “The Gospel of Matthew.”

Religious Education: Please call Fr. Walsh, our Director of Religious education, for further information about the program. 203-324-1553, ext 14.

R.C.I.A. . . . Will meet Tuesday evenings 7:30PM—8:30PM in the rectory, October 2009 – May 2010. Classes start October 20th. Please have Sacramental Records sent to St. John’s. Texts: Bible and the Compedium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. (available in the bookstore)

Coffee Hours…After the 10:00 a.m. Mass. All are welcome.

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.

Holy Spirit School. . . We encourage you to visit our school during “Take a Look Tuesdays” where you can have the opportunity to visit the classrooms and see teachers and students interacting during regular classes. Our next “Take a Look Tuesday” is October 6th from 9:30am-11:30AM. For more information, contact Mrs. Patricia Torchen, Principal at 203-329-1623, www.holyspiritschool.info.

Trinity Catholic High School. . . Open House at Trinity Catholic High School will be held on Thursday evening, October 15th at 7:00PM. All 8th, 7th and 6th grade students and their parents are cordially invited. The entrance exam for 8th grade students will be on Saturday, October 24th at 8:00AM. For information, call the TCHS Admissions Office: 203-322-3401, ext. 32 or email: cmcgoldrick.tchs@juno.com.

Sunday September 27, 2009 $ 11,810.78
Sunday September 28, 2008 $ 11,024.88 “I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

October 11th Sunday Readings: Wis 7:7-11; Heb 4:12-13; Mk 10:17-30 or 10:17-27

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 211 (2) 221. The Creed for the Noon Mass may be found in the hymnal at No. 289.

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., begin this weekend. 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 today. 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.

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass . . . Mass Ordinary: Missa ‘Dixit Maria’ – Hans Leo Hassler, 1562-1612.
The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit In voluntate tua (All things are submitted to your will, O Lord, and no one can resist your decisions; you have made all things, heaven and earth, and all that is contained under the vault of the sky; you are the master of the universe. Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord. [Esther 13:9-11; Ps. 119:1]); Alleluia In exitu Israel (When Israel went out of Egypt; the house of Jacob from a barbarous nation … [Psalm 114:1]); Offertory Vir erat (There was a man in the land of Hus whose name was Job, a blameless, upright and God-fearing man; Satan asked to be allowed to tempt him, and the Lord gave him power over his possessions and his body; and so, he destroyed his possessions and his children, and he ravaged his flesh with horrible sores. [Job 1 and 2.7]); Communion In salutari tuo (My soul aspires after your salvation; I hope in your word; when will you judge those who persecute me? The wicked are persecuting me; come to my assistance, O Lord my God. [Psalm 119:81,84,86]).
Offertory motet: Jubilate Deo – A. Banchieri (O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness. [from Psalm 100:1,2]).
Communion motet: Ave Maria – Tomás Luis de Victoria, 1548-1611.

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.

Pies, Cakes & Missionaries. . . The Dominican Sisters from West Hartford are with us this weekend, selling homemade pies and cakes. Please help them, since your purchase will provide food, clothing, shelter and medical assistance to the lepers with whom their Order works. They will be near the church front door selling their sweets.

Malta House. . . Benefit concert: October 30th at 8:00 pm in the Norwalk Concert Hall at the Norwalk City Hall: 125 East Avenue. For more info & tickets: 203-857-0088.

Mass Intentions+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, October 3
4:00 +John Van Dereedt req. wife
Sunday, October 4
7:30 Mariana Frias req. Haggarty Family
10:00 +Ismael Vega req. Evelyn Flaharty – Daughter
12:00 In thanksgiving to the Sacred Heart of Jesus req. Fabiola C.
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, October 5
8:00 Special Intention Donna & Tom Cycon & Family
12:10 For the 911 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Tuesday, October 6
8:00 Special Intention Mary Jean DalMolin
12:10 +Abraham Cohen req. Paul A. Murphy
Wednesday, October 7
8:00 +Edward Ready req. Paul A. Murphy
12:10 For the 911 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Thursday, October 8
8:00 +Maria Vu req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 +Anezz Morris req. Paul A. Murphy
Friday, October 9
8:00 +Nancy Tannenbaum req. Thomas Banahan
12:10 +Rosetta Federici req. Marchetti Family
Saturday, October 10
8:00 +Hope & Joseph McAleer req. Family
12:10 +Michael Murray 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. All men of the parish are welcome. Just walk in!

Parish Ladies’ Group. . . The Immaculate Heart of Mary Ladies’ Society meets each Saturday 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.

Religious Education: Dear Parents, if you have any old Faith and Life Series Books from previous years of Religious Ed that are no longer being used at home for study, we could use them here at the Parish. Just bring them in on Sunday and leave them at the table in the Hall. Thanks very much.

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, 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 . . .
125 years ago, or so:October 10, 1884: “The annual fair of the ladies of St. John’s R.C. church will open the last of this month in the church. The steps in front of the Atlantic street stone church are massive and suitable, easy of ascent, and wide enough to be right. The massive columns in the Roman Catholic church are molded with Keene’s cement, and are as hard and as enduring as marble. The job is splendidly done by Mr. Ennis’ own hands. The contrivances to run the moulds were as unique as they were efficient. ”

100 years ago, or so:October 8, 1909: “The prizes for the euchre of the Alumni Association of St. John’s school, which have been on exhibition in Marron’s window, have attracted a good deal of favorable comment. The functions of the Alumni Association are always very pleasant social affairs and this evening’s promises to be no exception to the rule.”

75 years ago, or so:October 8, 1934: FATHER LALLY LAUDS WORK OF FIREMEN. “Commendation for the work of Fire Chief Victor Veit and members of the Stamford Fire Department at the fire which caused considerable damage to the third floor of St. John’s School on Thursday noon, was expressed by the Rev. Francis J. Lally, pastor of St. John’s Church at all masses on Sunday.”

50 years ago, or so:October 9, 1958: Pontiff Extolled By State Leaders. “News of the death of Pope Pius XII early today brought tributes to the pontiff and words of consolation to mourning Roman Catholics. The Rt. Rev. Monsignor Nicholas P. Coleman, pastor of St. John’s Catholic Church, the dean of Catholic clergy in the western area of the Bridgeport diocese, commented today on the death of Pope Pius as follows: ‘Throughout the entire Christian and non-Christian world there is a universal feeling of sorrow on the death of His Holiness Eugene Pacelli, Pope Pius XII. Personally I have always felt a special bond between him and me because we were the same age in years and studied in Rome at the same time’.”

Marriage
Did you invite Jesus to your wedding?
Fr. Terry Walsh

The Sacred Scriptures are imbued with marriage imagery, it seems, on every page. The Bible begins with the creation of Adam and Eve, who are told ‘be fruitful and multiply’ – and ‘the two shall become one flesh’. The Bible ends with the “Wedding Feast of the Lamb” in the Book of Revelation; that is, the marriage between Jesus Christ, the Lamb, and His bride, the Church. Consider the love of our Lord who empties Himself completely, laying down His life for His bride – purely out of love. He holds nothing back. It is a complete ‘self-emptying’ as St Paul describes in his Letter to the Philippians (chapter 2). Marriage is a Covenant relationship. Consider the Covenant between God and Man. God established a covenant with Adam, signified by the Tree of Life. But Adam broke the covenant.
Yet God still loved man. He made a covenant with Noah. He made a covenant with Abraham. Indeed, throughout the Old Covenant, God showered His people with every gift and blessing, yet so many turned away from Him, so many began to worship false and empty gods. They were carried away by any new teaching, forgetful of the Truth revealed to them. So many broke their covenant bond. Yet, through the prophets, we hear time and time again the call to repentance. “Return to me and I will heal you of you sins, your transgressions, your infidelities.” St John tells us that God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son to establish the New and Everlasting Covenant with man: the New Law of Grace. God became man. And now, through the Incarnation, Jesus Christ, who is, who always was, and who always will be a Divine Person, has taken on our humanity. He has redeemed it. He has glorified it. All who are baptized into His Body and remain faithful to Him will live forever with Him. He pours Himself out to His Bride, that is, to each and every member of the Church, so that we may become holy. There is no greater union between God and man than when He enters us in the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. Think of it. His Body, His Blood, His Soul, His Divinity, all of Him – nourishing us.
The Catechism teaches us that the Sacrament of Marriage is suppose to be an image of the Marriage between Christ and the Church. That husbands and wives are suppose to imitate the self-emptying love of Christ. St. Paul explains how in his familiar Letter to the Corinthians: “love is patient, love is kind, etc”. Of course, we can’t give what we don’t have. In other words, we have to receive love (most abundantly through the graces of the sacraments) in order to give love. If we receive little – we have very little to give (even if we might think we are loving ‘a lot’).
In the New Covenant, Jesus raised marriage to a Sacrament. And what is a sacrament? It is a real and deeply personal encounter with Christ. When we go to Confession, it is Christ we encounter there. It is Christ who forgives sins – even through an ‘unworthy priest’. It is Christ who baptizes. It is Christ who Confirms. It is Jesus Christ alone who unites bride and groom through a true spiritual bond that lasts until death. No mere man appointed by the State can create this sacramental bond. The bond Christ creates allows the graces that the bride and groom receive throughout their lives to pass freely from one to the other in a holy covenant that leads them to Heaven. When one receives the tiniest bit of grace, the other shares in that grace. It is utterly astounding! Think of it. Jesus manifested His Divinity for the very first time at a wedding. That was no accident. He changed water into wine. He raised marriage to a Sacrament, as it was intended to be lived from the beginning. I once heard an interesting observation about that wedding in Cana: that couple invited Jesus to their wedding (Read the Gospel of John, chapter 2). As faithful members of His Body, the Church, couples invite Jesus to their marriage when they exchange their consent in the Church and according to the norms of the Church – His Church. That bond simply does not take place at City Hall. If you were married at City Hall in a “Civil Marriage” and would like to be married in the Church, sacramentally, call the Pariah office and arrange an appointment to discuss the process of “Convalidation” so that you may return to the Sacraments and begin receiving the Eucharist in the State of Grace and be reconciled with your true Bridegroom.