For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday October 18, 2009

Pastor’s Corner. . . Last week, the parish was greatly blessed by Pope Benedict XVI: Bishop Lori received notice from the Vatican that Saint John’s Parish was raised to the dignity of a Minor Basilica.
This honorary title is granted by the Holy Father to certain churches outside the City of Rome as special recognition of the unique historic and spiritual work of the people and priests of the Minor Basilica. Saint John’s is known as “The Mother Church of Stamford”, in that all Catholic parishes and institutions in southwestern Fairfield County have their roots in this first Catholic church. Having been solely responsible for the preaching of the Gospel, the offering of the Sacrifice of the Mass and the celebration of the sacraments for Catholics in lower Fairfield County during most of the 19th century, the parish has continued to develop its role as a center for Catholic culture and the spiritual life up to the present day. As a Minor Basilica, Saint John’s now enjoys a special relationship with the Successor of Saint Peter: in a real way, the Basilica of Saint John becomes the pope’s church and a center for the promotion of the teachings of the Holy Father and Church’s Magisterium, as well as a center for a deeper devotion to him as the Successor of Saint Peter. St. John’s already offers a wide array of classes in theology, Church history, catechetical formation, Biblical Greek and Ecclesiastical Latin, the St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies, symposia in liturgical music and Gregorian Chant, and so much more. These already set Saint John’s apart from the other churches of the diocese as an example of “the vibrant pastoral life”, as Bishop Lori said to me last week. Saint John’s was granted this dignity for another reason: because of the “particular importance for the liturgical and pastoral life” St. John’s holds within our diocese. The reverent offering of the Mass; the frequency that Confession offered to the faithful; the piety and deep faith of the parishioners; and the superb choir and liturgical music so essential to the worship of God here at Saint John’s. The parish staff has been working on this project for the past year, along with Dr. Joseph McAleer, one of our parish trustees, and Mr. John Glover, the diocesan photographer, to whom the parish owes a great debt of gratitude for their hard work and dedication. This papal honor is a great joy for us all at St. John’s.
The official Vatican apostolic brief [in Latin] explains our new dignity in these words:
“At the request of His Excellency, the Most Reverend William E. Lori, Bishop of Bridgeport, in his letter dated May 19, 2009, prompted by the prayers and requests of the clergy and the faithful, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament, in virtue of special faculties given by the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, gladly bestows on the parish church dedicated to God in honor of Saint John the Evangelist in the City of Stamford, the title and dignity of a Minor Basilica, with all the laws and liturgical rites faithfully observed according to the Decree De Titulo Basilicae Minoris. Given this day, July 16, 2009, on the Memorial of The Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel.”
There are only 65 Minor Basilicas out of the nearly 22,000 parish churches and missions that exist in the U.S.A. By this grant of the Holy Father, the Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist holds a certain precedence among all the parishes of our diocese, being now ranked immediately after the Cathedral of Saint Augustine in Bridgeport. This grant to the parish underscores the unique nature of the Catholic Church: personally established by Our Lord on the Apostles, whom He sent to preach the Truth and to establish the one Church wherever they went. The Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist in Stamford is a dramatic sign that, while the church building was created by local Catholics more than 150 years ago, the Faith, the Gospel, the Sacraments and the life of Grace weren’t started by some “guy” from scratch here in Connecticut. Nor can we change the Church at whim. We receive our spiritual lives from Christ through His Apostles, handed down in an unbroken chain of Catholic bishops in communion with the Successor of Saint Peter, to our own Bishop Lori, who shares that priesthood with the priests of your parish, so the lives of Catholics can be enriched by the same forgiveness of sins, the same Body and Blood of Christ, the same life of Grace that Our Lord began when He first sent the 12 Apostles out to extend His work beyond the borders of Israel, 2,000 years ago.
The Basilica symbol now adorns our bulletin: a red and yellow umbrella protecting the crossed keys of Heaven—symbols of the power to forgive sins or to hold them bound—given by Christ to St. Peter and, through Peter, to the Church.
In gratitude for this great honor and as part of our unique relationship with the Successor of Saint Peter as a Minor Basilica—the pope’s church in Fairfield County—let us daily pray for Pope Benedict XVI, that he may be strengthened and protected as St. Peter continues his apostolic ministry through His Successor, the pope, in the world today. —Mons. Stephen DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick…Peggy Pikul, 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…Theodore Pikul, Rosemary Hynes Finn, George T. Murphy, 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

World Mission Sunday Collection . . . Please drop your World Mission Sunday Collection envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory. There will only be one collection today.

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.

St. Anne Society: . . . Meets Sunday, November 1st, All Saints Day. Adoration 5 to 5:30 followed by Pizza and Pasta in the Hall and a talk offered by Fr Bob Kinnally. All are welcome!

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: PLEASE NOTE NO CLASS ON NOVEMBER 5th

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 Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. (available in the Basilica bookstore)

Coffee Hour. . . 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 November 3rd.

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.

Council of Catholic Women. . . The Diocesan Council will hold Marian devotions at St. Roch’s Church, Greenwich, on Sunday, October 18th at 3:00 pm., followed by a light reception. All Catholic women from around the diocese are welcome. More info: call Marie Walsh: 203-569-2559.

The Shippan Point Garden Club. . . presents “Off to School”, a standard flower show at the University of Connecticut, Stamford Campus on Thursday, October 22nd 1PM – 5PM and Friday, October 23rd 9AM – 2PM. Free Admission. Open to the Public.

Sign of Peace. . . Due to the Swine Flu, H1N1 virus, we will discontinue this practice at all Masses.

Sunday October 11, 2009 $ 10,989.04

Sunday October 12, 2008 $ 10,987.90 “I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

October 25th Sunday Readings: Jer 31:7-9; Heb 5:1-6; Mk 10:46-52

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 110 (2) 268. 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. 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! 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 brevis – Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, 1525-1594.
The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Ego clamavi (I have called out because you answer me, O God; incline you ear and hear my words; keep me, O Lord, like the apple of your eye; protect me under the shadow of your wings. Hear my just cause, O Lord; attend to my supplication. [Ps.17:6,8,1]); Alleluia Lauda anima mea (Praise the Lord, O my soul; I will praise the Lord throughout my life; I will sing in honour of my God as long as I have being. [Psalm 146:2]); Offertory Meditabor in mandatis tuis (I shall meditate upon your commandments which I greatly love; I will extend my hands towards your commandments which I love. [Psalm 119:47,48]); Communion Domine Dominus noster (O Lord our governor, how admirable is your name in all the earth! [Psalm 9:2ab]).
Offertory motet: Cantate Domino – Girolamo Frescobaldi, 1583-1643 (Sing unto the Lord. [Ps. 96:2 ]).
Communion motet: Domine non sum dignus – Tomás Luis de Victoria, 1548-1611 (Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed. [Text of the Mass, translated by the Congregation for Divine Worship]).

Trinity Catholic High School. . . 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.

Trinity Catholic Middle School. . . Is holding an Open House on Saturday, October 24th from 10AM to 12 Noon in their building at 948 Newfield Avenue, Stamford. The school is located on the same campus as Trinity Catholic High School. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet the Administration and Teachers, tour the facility, learn about the curriculum and have all of your questions answered. Parents and students interested in a challenging academic program in a faith based school are encouraged to attend.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased

Saturday, October 17
4:00 +Sith & Van Dereedt Families req. daughter
Sunday, October 18
7:30 +John & Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Young
10:00 +Bill Pinto req. Pinto Family
12:00 +His Excellency Bishop Walter Curtis req. Cardinal Kung Foundation
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, October 19
8:00 Special Intention Marion Morris req. Diane Strain
12:10 +Lucia & Antonio Tana req. Leon Taricani
Tuesday, October 20
8:00 +John Janik req. Lucille Lester
12:10 +James Meehan req. Leon Taricani
Wednesday, October 21
8:00 +Maria Coco Margarone req. Frank Marchetti
12:10 +Taricani Family req. Leon Taricani
Thursday, October 22
8:00 +John McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Curioni Family req. Leon Taricani
Friday, October 23
8:00 +John Cullen req. John Lauro & Friends
12:10 +Fr. Leonard Feeney M.F.I.C. & Catherine Godard req. Bosilevas Family
Saturday, October 24
8:00 +Theodora Soon Kim req. Joseph & Mary Kim
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.

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 concludes by 11:00 a.m. All ladies of the parish are welcome. Just walk in.

Religious Education: Mass attendance is of course required of all our students and it is hoped that all parents will attend Sunday Mass with their children.

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 Ferry Galbert 324-1553 ext. 22. NEXT MEETING IS THIS SUNDAY OCTOBER 18th at 1:30pm

St. Maria Goretti Society…For the spiritual formation of young ladies from 8th – 12th grades. Questions, please contact Rosa Marchetti at 348-0232. NEXT MEETING IS NOVEMBER 1st at 1:15 in the Rectory

The Legion of Mary…has begun here at St. John’s. All are welcome. Please call Fr. Walsh if interested. We will meet on Wednesday Evenings at 7:30 in the Church Hall.

St. John’s in The NEWS . . .
The Connecticut catholic:
125 years ago, or so:
October 25, 1884: Stamford. “The Children of Mary will receive Holy Communion in a body at 9 o’clock Mass Sunday. The singing of the junior choir on last Sunday at 9 o’clock Mass was excellent. This choir is improving wonderfully under the tuition of Sister Evangelista. Rev. Henry T. Walsh, our worthy assistant pastor, has been elected one of the vice presidents of the Alumni Association of the Seminary of Our Lady of Angels, Niagara, the institution in which he was educated. ”

The stamford advocate:
100 years ago, or so:
October 20, 1892: IN THE CHURCHES. How the 250th Anniversary Was Inaugurated. “The first day of the celebration of Stamford’s 250th anniversary was devoted to religious services which thoroughly entered into the spirit of the occasion, and drew from the civil and ecclesiastical history of the town, lessons which will be remembered long after the anniversary has passed by. At St. John’s R.C. Church, High Mass was celebrated by Father Keena at 10:30 a.m. The music of the mass was composed by Prof. J. F. O’Brien, choirmaster of the church. Rev. W. H. Rogers began his sermon by referring to Columbus and his discoveries, of his strong belief in Catholicity, and of the difficulties and dangers he encountered in his efforts to convert the people to the Catholic religion after planting the cross on San Salvador. The efforts of his followers through the ages since, who, by their zeal and courage and strong belief in their faith, have surmounted many difficulties and sacrificed lives and fortunes, is a lesson for the members of the Catholic Church in Stamford to recall, and to be proud that their faith is established in every civilized part of the world.”

75 years ago, or so:October 19, 1935: “The Children of Mary Sodality of St. John’s Church held a successful bingo party in the school hall, last night. Miss Ann FitzGibbon, president of the society, was in charge, assisted by Esther Hart, Marion Hogan, Agnes Ludwig, Frances Delaney, Anna Butts, Helen Carr, Mary LaSalle, Florence O’Neil, Margaret Hanks, Regina Coons, George Boyle, William Thompson, John Horch, Harrison Cash, James Mitchell, Charles Alexander and Edward Ptaszyski. Door prizes were donated by Mrs. Julia Kessler and Matthew Pocograno.”

“All Members of the Same Body”
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”
– Fr. Terry Walsh

In his Letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul writes: “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…and all were made to drink of one Spirit”(1 Corinthians 12ff).

St. Paul teaches us that as each member of the Body grows in virtue, the whole Body benefits. Likewise, when one member of the Body falls to sin, the whole Body suffers. We are truly connected. We depend on each other to be doing our best to grow in holiness. Personal commitment to prayer, faithful reception to the Sacraments, and of course, putting the graces of our Lord into action through works of mercy and kindness serve to build up each member and lead to a healthy Body. When we allow God to mould our hearts and minds; that is, when we humbly seek His grace and freely abide in His love, we become capable of extraordinary things. We are able to reach new heights in our prayer life. We are able to forgive those who have wounded us. We are able to see the Truth more clearly and have the power to turn away from the things that hinder our fidelity to He who is Truth. In short, we are able to move mountains. The key, of course, is humility. Once we realize that we can accomplish nothing apart from our Lord, we swiftly turn to Him in thanksgiving for the blessings he has already abundantly bestowed upon us and then humbly seek the graces we need to accomplish the mission he has given each one of us as participants in His Divine plan. There’s an old saying: “It’s amazing what can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit.” Our life in Christ is like that. All the credit already belongs to Him. We are blessed to share in the mission: the Mission to love. And we participate in the mission most fully when we allow Him to work through us in whatever vocation we have chosen. He takes our meager offering and turns it into a masterpiece, provided we make our offering with love. It then becomes a simple matter of becoming docile to the movement of the Holy Spirit.
Consider the spirit of cooperation at work among athletes. Have you ever wondered how a team loaded with talent could be beaten by a team of “lesser” athletes? It happens all the time. A good coach seeks to make the talent on his team “greater than the sum of its parts” – to draw talent out of his players that they didn’t even know they had. When he looks at a recruit, he asks a simple question: “Is he coachable?” In other words, “Will the player (disciple) respond to my direction (grace)? Is he willing to put aside his own agenda? Will he follow my program, even when it costs him?” God asks the same questions of each of us. ‘Are you willing to allow Me to mould you into a New Creation?’ Throughout the Scriptures, God is often depicted as a Potter. Like a good coach, the Potter draws beauty and strength from his creation. As “coachable” disciples, we allow God to shape the clay of our souls by “seeking the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). Sadly, pride, our age-old adversary, hardens the heart and closes the mind, effectively preventing the Potter from accomplishing the beauty of His work in us. The eyes of pride see only the self and seek only selfish ends. The eyes of pride prefer the image of man rather than the likeness of God.
Humility, on the other hand, breeds supple, malleable hearts and opens us to the graces that form us into New Creations; that is, into the image and likeness of the Potter. And what is the image and likeness of the Potter? It is perfect holiness. We are called to holiness. Saint Paul encourages us: “. . . you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after its Creator” (Colossians 3:10). And so, how do we realize our potential? How do we become holy? We humbly turn to our coach and simply say, “What do you ask of me Lord?” He will tell you, “Pick up your Cross and follow Me.” Through our humble fidelity, our Lord will help us carry our Cross and, through our love, He will form us into worthy sharers of Divine Life. Saint Paul teaches us, “ . . . put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” (Colossians 3:14).
“Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things…..”(1 Corinthians 13:4ff).