For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:
Bulletin for Sunday October 25, 2009

Pastor’s Corner. . . During these past months, I’d asked parishioners to pray for a special intention: that intention was that the Holy Father would grant my petition that Saint John’s be named a basilica.
The petition is nearly 400 pages, composed of a parish history, detailed presentation of the present life and work of the parish, and a sizeable album of photographs of every nook and cranny of the church, catalogued to correspond with the narrative. All of this was approved by the Bishop, in whose name the petition included Bishop Lori’s personal petition to the Holy See in favor of the parish. All this was sent to Washington, D.C., seeking the apporval by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops [USCCB]. The petition was reviewed in Washington and, after obtaining the approbation or nihil obstat from Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago, who is the president of the USCCB, it was sent on the Rome. The rest you know: the Holy Father named Saint John’s a Minor Basilica on July 16, 2009, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel: one of only 65 Minor Basilicas out of the 22, 000 Catholic churches. in the U.S.A.
The Holy Father grants the dignity and title of Minor Basilica to certain churches throughout the world. Saint John’s received this because of our historical importance in the development of Catholicism within the southwestern portion of Fairfield County; because ours is the only original “ancient” churches in the diocese still intact, in that it retains its original 19th century altar, sanctuary and artistic treasures; because the parish has developed into a center for worship within the diocese; and for our extensive educational programs and for the social and spiritual works offered here in downtown Stamford.
Saint John’s is a “Minor” basilica, as compared to the “Major” basilicas in Rome, of which there are four: the Major Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican; the Major Basilica of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls: both being built over the tombs of the respective Princes of the Apostles, Saints Peter and Paul; the Major Basilica of Saint John Lateran, which is the pope’s cathedral as the Bishop of Rome; and the Major Basilica of Saint Mary Major, the largest church dedicated to the Mother of God by the 4th century, when it was originally built.
The “Minor” basilicas are accorded some of the privileges of these four “Major” basilicas in the Eternal City. Our parish now has a direct link with the pope, the Successor of Saint Peter. Three symbols will make this known, and date back to the fourth century: they will be permanently displayed in the new basilica and used in important liturgical processions: the tintinabulum, which is a ceremonial bell mounted in a decorative housing and carried aloft on a pole; the conopaeum, which is a basilica umbrella made of red and yellow silk, the papal colors. Both were used in papal processions through the City of Rome: the bell called attention to the pope’s arrival, and the processional umbrella was a sign of dignity and protected the pope in inclement weather, identifying him to the crowd as he walked along in procession. An image of the red and yellow papal umbrella can be seen on the front cover of our bulletin: under it is another papal symbol granted to the basilica: the crossed gold and silver keys: they are the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven granted Saint Peter [Mt 16: 13-19]. The tintinabulum and conopaeum are the special, visible signs of our parish’s special link with the Holy Father, and stand as signs that the parish is ready to welcome the Holy Father if and when he chooses to visit downtown Stamford. The third of the basilica symbols will be coats-of-arms, those of the pope and those of our basilica, which will be displayed outside over the front door of the church and inside on the choir loft. Last, but not least, by the great generosity of two parishioners, we will soon have a life-sized bronze replica of the statue of Saint Peter in the Vatican basilica; and a hand painted icon of the Blessed Mother: Salus Populi Romani, the oldest and most venerated image of Our Lady in Rome, found in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. All of these are presently being made. These will be on permanent display beginning with the inaugural Mass, which will be announced soon.
Our basilica now ranks above all other parish churches in our diocese, second only to the Cathedral of Saint Augustine, as the seat of Bishop Lori, our resident successor to the Apostles. Another benefit as a basilica is that numerous plenary indulgences will now be granted to parishioners and visitors, of which there should be many more than usual, since basilicas become pilgrimage sites as well as parish churches.
Our chief duty is to pray for the Pope Benedict XVI. At the end of each weekday Mass, and following the Prayers of the Faithful during Sunday Masses, we will ask everyone to pray one Hail Mary for the Holy Father. —Mons. Stephen DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick…Joseph Lasko, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died…Joseph Logsdail, Monsignor John Horgan Kung, 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.

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

Legion of Mary ….meets in the Rectory on Wednesday Evenings at 7:30.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies . . . Each Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Rectory. On Oct. 28th we’ll begin reading the Advent and Christmas homilies of the Great Church Fathers. Join us. Ho, ho, ho!

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 Dr. Joan Kelly “On the Saints”. 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: Friday, 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.

Low Gluten Holy Communion. . . Any parishioner unable to receive Holy Communion because of an intolerance of high gluten content communion wafers, please speak with one of the priests. We now have low gluten hosts so you may receive Holy Communion without any fear of allergic reactions.

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

Job Seekers. . . Will meet in the rectory on Monday, October 26th at 7:30 pm. Looking for help in your job applications? Come join us: no charge. For more information, contact Melanzie at

Sunday October 18, 2009 $ 10,624.81 “I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Sunday October 19, 2008 $ 11,543.98

November 1st Sunday Readings: Rv 7:2-4, 9-14; 1 Jn 3:1-3; Mt 5:1-12a.

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 258 (2) 183. 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

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

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass . . . Mass Ordinary: Missa ‘O quam gloriosum’ – Tomás Luis de Victoria, 1548-1611.
The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Laetetur cor (Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice; seek the Lord and be strengthened; see his face for evermore. Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name; declare his deeds among the gentiles. [Ps. 105:3,4,1]); Alleluia Lauda, Jerusalem (Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion. [Ps. 148:1]); Offertory Domine, vivifica me (O Lord, grant me life according to your word, so that I may learn your commandments. [Ps. 119:107,125]); Communion Laetabimur (We shall rejoice in your salvation; and in the name of our God shall we place our pride. [Ps. 20:6]).
Offertory Motet: Salve Regina – Victoria (Hail, O holy Queen! O Mother all merciful, our life, our sweetness, and out hope, we hail thee! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee we send our sighs while mourning and weeping in this lowly valley of tears. Turn then thine eyes, so loving and compassionate, upon us sinners. And Jesus, the most blessed fruit of thy virgin womb, show us when this earthly exile is ended. O clement, O loving, O most sweet Virgin Mary.)
Communion Motet: Domine non sum dignus – Victoria (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]).

Take a Look Tuesday at Holy Spirit School. . .Applications are now being accepted at Holy Spirit School for the 2009/10 academic year as well as the 2010/11 school year. 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 November 10th from 9:30am-11:30am. For directions and more information, please contact Mrs. Patricia Torchen, Principal at 203-329-1623,

Thank you. . . We are grateful to Mrs. Julia Oliveira and her daughter Dionysia for their

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased

Saturday, October 24
4:00 +Osner, Ena, Ashley Lubin req. Maria C. Joseph
Sunday, October 25
7:30 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
10:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
12:00 +Robert Rohr req. Dawn Hartnett
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, October 26
8:00 +Hedwig Kobylenski req. John Catalano & Madeline DeGrace
12:10 +Elizabeth Daly req. Leon Taricani
Tuesday, October 27
8:00 Souls in Purgatory
12:10 +Frances & Antonio Pugliese req. Pugliese Family
Wednesday, October 28
8:00 +Hedwig Kobylenski req. Mary & John Murray
12:10 +John Buckheit req. Leon Taricani
Thursday, October 29
8:00 +John Maloney Anniversary req. wife Mary
12:10 Thanksgiving to God req. Fabiola & Joe
Friday, October 30
8:00 +Robert Browen req. Thomas Kolenberg
12:10 +Domenico & Caterina Sette req. Pugliese Family
Saturday, October 31
8:00 +Peter Jae Kim req. Joseph & Mary Kim
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: 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.

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 29, 1887: Stamford. “St. Augustine council, No. 41, Knights of Columbus, together with about twenty five Knights from Bridgeport council, and about forty from Greenwich council, attended high mass last Sunday in a body and presented a most creditable appearance. It was the occasion of admitting twenty-two new members of St. Augustine’s council to the third degree that brought together so many of the K of C, and the members of the Stamford council have reason to feel pleased from the great success that their efforts have accomplished here in establishing an organization which is founded on brotherly and Christian principles. District Deputy Leonard conferred the degrees at the rooms of the council. Fathers Lynch and Keena were also present.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Council 41, Knights of Columbus, was established on Sunday, May 8, 1887.)

The stamford advocate:
100 years ago, or so:
October 28, 1907: Observance of All Saints’ Day. “In St. John’s R.C. Church, yesterday, the announcement was made that next Friday will not be observed as a fast day by Catholics, as it is All Saints’ Day. This is the first time in a number of years that this distinction has been made for any holy day falling on Friday, excepting Christmas. There will be services in the church at 5, 7, 8 and 9 a.m. Saturday will be All Souls’ Day, and, aside from the usual services in the church in the morning, there will be a service at 3 p.m. in the cemetery at Springdale.”

50 years ago, or so:October 29, 1958: State’s Catholics Hail New Pontiff. “Connecticut Catholics today begin celebrating the election of Pope John XXIII with special prayers and daily masses. The Rt. Rev. Msgr. Nicholas P. Coleman, pastor of St. John’s Church and dean of the Catholic clergy in the Stamford area, commenting today on the newly-elected Pope John XXIII, described him as a “man of great spirituality, of great experience in diplomatic affairs who is also kind, affable, and easy to approach.” The monsignor said he is sure the new Pope will follow “along the same lines as his predecessor—for peace throughout the world.” This was the first thought expressed by the pontiff after his election, Msgr. Coleman noted.”

The 4 Last Things
Heaven, Hell, Death, and Judgment
– Fr. Terry Walsh

As faithful Catholics, we know that God created mankind out of love and calls us to live in His love for all eternity—in Heaven. That is His will for us. But, he leaves the choice up to us. He blessed us with the gift of freedom so that we could freely choose to follow him—so that we could love. The decision to love God necessarily means that we are choosing to keep His commandments, to pick up our Cross, to Follow Him; we are choosing to live as he did: to have compassion in our hearts for all, to show mercy toward those who offend us, to go out of our way for one another. At the same time, we are freely choosing to turn away from those things that seek to draw us away from God; namely, sin. There in lies the battle. As we read in the Scriptures, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” And yet, we have a powerful Helper—the Holy Spirit. All we need to do is ask for the help we need to become holy, to overcome sin and temptation, to “live the truth in love” and we will receive even more than we ask. But do we ask properly? St. James writes: “What causes wars, and what causes fighting among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your member?” He goes on to say, “You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions….Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God”(James 4:1ff)? Jesus reminds us in John’s Gospel, “You are in the world but you are not of the world.” In other words, always be mindful that our true home is Heaven. Do not be caught up in the fleeting things of this world but rather order your lives according to the true end for which you were created: union with God. Once we have our true end in sight, we will then order our lives accordingly: prayer, sacraments, living the Gospel, filtering our thoughts and words, and deeds through our faith. Then there is nothing to fear. Death will come to us all. Yet, at that moment when we meet God face to face, we will be in peace for we will have already met him in our prayer. We will have already walked with him through the sacraments. He will have already done the needful things in us because we asked for his help and guidance throughout our lives in that daily conversion of heart that we call an active, ‘living’ faith. Yes, we will be at peace. But for those enamored by the things of the world, there will be a rude awakening. They will not recognize Him. St. James exhorts us: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you….Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you”(James 4:7ff).
Throughout the Scriptures we hear about the beauty of heaven and the pains of Hell. Prophets such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and others offer us remarkable visions of the magnificence of the Heavenly Host. Likewise, the New Testament visions of St. Paul and St. John compel us to pray earnestly about the life we are called to share in the love of the Holy Trinity. Heaven and Hell are real, and lasting. The brief time we are afforded here on earth is our opportunity to choose. The Catechism states: “Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven—through a purification or immediately, – or immediate and everlasting damnation”(ccc1022). Again, for the faithful follower of Jesus Christ who simply strives to walk in the light of Christ (prayer, sacraments, living the Gospel) there is nothing to fear. Have a look at the Gospel of John, chapter 14. Jesus assures the Apostles that there is nothing whatsoever to fear. He has already prepared a place in the Heavenly kingdom. He will provide all that is needed to live faithfully in this life here on earth. He promised. He meets us in the Sacraments. He heals us of our sins, our faults and failings. He alone restores us and helps us grow in holiness—if we ask.
As we near the end of the Liturgical year, we will hear many readings in the Mass about the 4 last things: Heaven, Hell, Death, and Judgment. It is with great love and mercy that Jesus teaches us about these realities so that we can choose now—in this present moment—to order our lives after Him and ask Him for all that we need to stay on the “well-lit path that leads to the Father.” The 1st Sunday of Advent is approaching. It is “New Years Day” for us. We being our hopeful expectation of our Savior. We look for Him in the Manger. We look for Him in the Host. If we are faithful, we will find Him in our hearts. He is speaking to you in this moment: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled; neither let them be afraid”(John 14:27).
“At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.” – St. John of the Cross, Carmelite priest