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

Pastor’s Corner. . .On December 8th, Pope Benedict XVI will visit the Piazza della Propaganda Fide, near the Spanish Steps in Rome, to lay a wreath at the foot of the statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, which soars atop a 75-foot pillar. The monument was raised in 1858 by Pope Blessed Pius IX to commemorate his official recognition of the miracle that Mary, at the moment of her conception in her mother’s womb [which was a normal, human conception], in view of her important role in Christ’s work of salvation, was prepared by God and freed from the Original Sin of Adam that all of us are born with, so that she would be a worthy and totally stainless Mother of God. All of us are born with Adam’s Original Sin and its effects; and freed from that sin by Baptism: the power of Christ’s Cross is applied to us in that Sacrament. Mary was freed from even being conceived with Adam’s sin from the moment of her conception in St. Anne’s womb, by God—who sees how all will end: the merits of Christ were applied to Mary in advance, as it were, by the omniscient Father, so that Mary was freed from Adam’s sin by Her Son, just as we are. Mary had to be totally free of all sin, in order to give the best of human nature to be joined to the Eternal Son of God. December 8th is so important a day that all Catholics are required to attend Mass. While a belief held from the early centuries of the Church’s life, the Immaculate Conception of Mary was only defined solemnly in 1854 by Pope Blessed Pius IX.—the same year that Saint John’s became an independent parish. It was defined because of a popular, worldwide groundswell, requesting such a formal pronouncement.
Devotion to Our Lady and to her Immaculate Conception had been gaining in popularity for centuries, and received a strong stimulus in a working-class district of Paris, on the Rue de Bac, in 1830. Saint Catherine Laboure received a number of apparitions of Our Lady, which is the beginning of the devotion to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, one that includes the prayer, “Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.” Today, that shrine on the Rue de Bac is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the world, even though to the untrained visitor, it is hidden away in a bustling neighborhood of shops, cafes and humble apartments.
In June, 1846, the Catholic bishops of the United States petitioned the pope to solemnly define the Immaculate Conception, and to place the Church in the United States under Her patronage. On February 2, 1848, the pope wrote asking the bishops around the world to give their opinion about formally defining the doctrine. The universally positive response, reflecting the grass roots devotion to Our Lady, impressed the pope to solemnly define the Immaculate Conception as doctrine on December 8, 1854. The doctrine became even more popular following the 1858 apparitions of Our Lady to a near-illiterate peasant girl, Saint Bernadette Soubirous, in the backwater town of Lourdes, France, in which the apparition told Bernadette, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Bernadette knew nothing of the doctrine, since the anti-clerical French government prohibited publication of the pope’s encyclical defining the Immaculate Conception for years.
The Immaculate Conception is God’s preparatory work for the most important event in human history: the eternal Son of God became a man in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so that mankind could share in His divine life. Since our country is dedicated to Mary Immaculate, let us take advantage of the spiritual treasures of Christ’s Catholic Church, and turn our minds and hearts to Our Lady in a particular way, especially during these weeks of Advent, as we prepare to celebrate God’s incarnate appearance at Christmas. -Mons. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick…Courtney Harry, Joseph Lasko, Billy Therriault, Wendy Woodin, John Castellano, Janet Rodgers, Kevin Sutton, Anne Marie Brutus, Rene Villard, Corrie Evans, Margaret Romaine.

Please pray for those who have recently died…Alfred Gautrau,, David Lloyd, Evelyn Mahan, Joseph Logsdail, Peggy Pikul, 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.

December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, IS a holy day of obligation; Mass will be offered on Monday, Dec. 7th, at 5:15p.m. and on Tuesday Dec. 8th at 8:00a.m., 12:10p.m. and 5:15p.m.

Parish Advent Retreat. . . December 11, 12 & 13th: PATRICK MADRID, world renowned author and speaker will deliver a variety of lectures on aspects of our Catholic faith and life. Check the parish website www.stjohnsstamford.com for full details and times. These lectures are without charge and open to everyone who would like to attend—parishioners and non-parishioners; Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Even if you can only attend one or two lectures, come, join us.

Basilica Inauguration. . . Mark your calendar: Bishop Lori will formally inaugurate the Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist on Monday February 22nd at
7 pm with Solemn Evening Prayer and Benediction celebrating the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, followed by a light reception. All are invited.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Ladies’ Group. . . All ladies of the parish are welcome to join us each Saturday in the rectory beginning at 9:30 a.m. for coffee, conversation and prayer.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies . . . Will NOT meet until January: date to be announced.

The Latin Reading Group. . . Meets each Wednesday at 6:30 pm in the rectory. We’re translating Egeria’s fourth century Diary of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Join us.

Introduction to Ecclesiastical Latin . . . Meets each Wednesday at 6:00 pm in the rectory.

Introduction to Biblical Greek . . . Meets each Thursday at 6:30 pm in the rectory.

Bible Study:. . .Meets each Thursday at 7:30 pm in the rectory.

Religious Education: Classes will resume Sunday, Dec. 13th.

Convert class. . .Tuesday evenings 7:30PM—8:30PM in the rectory. Call Fr. Walsh, ext. 14.

Legion of Mary . . . Meets each Wednesday at 7:30 pm in the rectory.

Coffee Hour. . . PLEASE NOTE: NO Coffee Hour Sunday, Dec. 6th due to the Christmas Fair .

Sunday November 29, 2009 $ 11,928.20

Sunday November 30, 2008 $ 10,551.12“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

December 13th Sunday Readings: Zep 3:14-18a; Phil 4:4-7; Lk 3:10-18.

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 9 (2) 1.
Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass Mass Ordinary: Kyrie XVII A – Graduale Romanum; Sanctus & Agnus Dei from Mass for Four Voices – William Byrd, 1540-1623.
The Creed for the Noon Mass may be found in the hymnal at No. 289.
The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Populus Sion (O People of Sion, behold, the Lord is nigh at hand to redeem the nations: and in the gladness of your heart. The Lord shall cause his glorious voice to be heard. Hear, O thou Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep. [Ps. 80]); Alleluia Lætatus sum (I rejoiced when they said unto me: “Let us go up to the house of the Lord!” [Ps. 122:1]); Offertory Deus tu convertens (You will turn toward us, O God, and restore our life again, and your people will rejoice in you. Show us, Lord, your mercy and grant us your salvation [Ps. 85:7-8]); Communion Ierusalem surge (Arise, O Jerusalem, and stand on high; and behold the joy that shall come to you from your God. [Baruch 5:5;4:36]).
Offertory Motet: Call to Remembrance – Richard Farrant, c. 1530-1580 (Call to remembrance, O Lord, thy tender mercy and thy loving kindness which hath been ever of old. O remember not the sins and offences of my youth: but according to thy mercy think thou on me, O Lord, for thy goodness. [Psalm 25:5,6]).
Communion Motet: Conditor alme siderum – Guillaume Dufay, 1397-1474 (O generous creator of the stars, everlasting light of believers, O Christ, redeemer of us all, hear now our prayers. Though you suffer the decay of death, the perishing of all, you have saved the suffering world, bringing us your healing balm. As the world turned to evening, like a bridegroom from his chamber you came forth from the most pure cloister of the Virgin mother. Before your mighty power all creatures kneel down – in heaven and on earth, all accept your command. So we pray, O holy judge of all the world to come, that you will keep us safe when we face the armed enemy. Praise, honour, might and glory be to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Comforter, for all eternity. Amen.).
Postlude: Rorate cœli (The Advent Prose – Traditional Roman Chant [The text may be found in the hymnal at No. 305.]).

Singers, men and women, for the 10:00 a.m. Family Mass are needed. This volunteer choir rehearses 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.

Saint John’s Christmas Fair. . .THIS WEEKEND: December 5th and 6th: Wreaths, gifts, food, ornaments and more: Mark your calendar and come join us. Start your Christmas shopping with us: help your parish by purchasing beautiful Christmas gifts and decorative items in our own Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall after the Masses.

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

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 January 5th.

Mural work. . . Please excuse the mess in the sanctuary. The scaffolding covers everything, as you can see. But it’s only until Christmas. The Blessed Sacrament has been moved from the center tabernacle to the tabernacle on the Blessed Mother altar. This, too, is only until the work is completed by Christmas. Thanks for your patience.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased

Saturday, December 5
4:00 +Members of DeRosa, Kronk, Capobianco & Edwin Clark req. John & Joan Kronk
Sunday, December 6 7:30 In Honor to Virgin Mary req. Fabiola C.
10:00 In Honor to Virgin Mary req. Fabiola C.
12:00 Thanksgiving to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, req. Fabiola C.
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, December 7 8:00 +Gerald & Cecilia Olivo req. Tom Kolenberg
12:10 +Fr. Rufin Kuveikis 1st Anniversary req. McAleer Family
5:15 People of the Parish: Vigil Mass for the Immaculate Conception
Tuesday, December 8: IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: Holy Day of Obligation
8:00 +Virginia & Eileen Carr req. Marie Carr
12:10 Special Intentions Anna Thannical req. Fr. Walsh
5:15 Special Intentions Rev. Mathew Wamada req. Scholastica & Andrew
Wednesday, December 9
8:00 +Marion Clark req. Sharon Gannon
12:10 +Betsy Woolf req. Fabiola C.
Thursday, December 10
8:00 +Frances Lorusso req. Canio & Angela Lorusso
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Friday, December 11 8:00 Special Intention of Eleanore Theresa Kim req. Joseph & Mary Kim
12:10 Thanksgiving to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, req. Fabiola C.
Saturday, December 12 8:00 +Hope & Joseph McAleer req. Family
12:10 +In Loving Memory of The Unborn req. Jimmy & Michelle Sagdati & Morris Families

Eucharistic Adoration. . . Will be postponed until completion of the church mural restoration.

Holy Name Society . . . For all men of the parish: In the rectory every Friday morning for coffee, Eucharistic adoration, benediction & prayer: 7:00 – 8:00a.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, it moves 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. Classes meet each Sunday morning at 8:30.

Pray for an end to abortion every Wednesday. . . 7:00 -10:30a.m., Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St, Stamford.

St. Dominic Savio Society. . . For the spiritual formation of young men from 8th – 12th grades. Will meet at the rectory this Sunday the 6th after the 12 pm. Mass. Questions, contact Ferry Galbert 324-1553 ext. 22.

St. Maria Goretti Society. . . For the spiritual formation of young ladies from 8th – 12th grades. The next meeting will be at the rectory on Sunday December 20th after the 12 pm. Mass. Questions, please contact Rosa Marchetti at 348-0232.

The Legion of Mary. . . has begun here at St. John’s. All are welcome. Please call Fr. Walsh, ext.14, if interested. We meet on Wednesday Evenings at 7:30pm in the rectory.

St. John’s in The NEWS . . .
The CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
120 years ago, or so:
December 8, 1888: STAMFORD. “Right Rev. Bishop McMahon administered the sacrament of confirmation on Thanksgiving morning to about two hundred persons of this parish. Rev. Father Lynch of Hartford, formerly assistant pastor here, celebrated the mass. The Right Rev. Bishop, before administering confirmation, spoke in reference to the sacrament which they were about to receive, how in a special manner they had great reasons to thank God that day for the many blessings and gifts derived from that sacrament.”

80 years ago, or so:
The stamford advocate:
December 9, 1931: MERCY ORDER TO HAVE ANNIVERSARY OBSERVANCE HERE. “The local community of the Order of the Sisters of Mercy will celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of the order on Saturday, Dec. 12, in conjunction with a similar celebration by all of the convents throughout the country. The order was founded in Dublin, Ireland, on Dec. 12, 1831, by Mother Catherine McAuley. On Friday, the day before the actual founding date, there will be a special anniversary mass in St. John’s R. C. Church at 9. To this, the children of the parochial school, their parents and friends are bidden. The Rev. Francis J. Lally, pastor of the church, will celebrate the Mass and preach the sermon. The Sisters of Mercy have labored for the last 55 years in Stamford, having come here in 1876 at the request of the Rev. Michael Tierney then pastor of St. John’s Parish, and later Bishop of Hartford.”

50 years ago, or so:
The stamford advocate:
December 10, 1959: Papal Honors Announced For Area Priests. “Papal Honors for 17 priests were announced today by the Most Rev. Lawrence J. Shehan, Bishop of Bridgeport. The bishop said Pope John XXIII had named 11 new monsignors, advanced six monsignors in rank, and conferred Knighthood in the Order of St. Gregory the Great on 13 Fairfield County men. The appointments were made by the Vatican, Bishop Shehan said, in recognition of outstanding service to the church on the part of priests and laymen. Advanced to the rank of Protontary Apostolic, highest order of prelates in the Roman Curia, the official Roman ecclesiastical court, were: Rt. Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman, VF, Stamford, Pastor of St. John’s Church.” (Editor’s note: Monsignor Coleman was Pastor of St. John’s from 1936 to 1963.)

Advent Mission: We welcome Patrick MadridFriday, December 11
7:00 to 9:30 p.m.
“Search and Rescue: How You can help people come home to the Church”
Saturday, December 12
9:00 to 10:30 a.m.
“Answer me this: How to Respond to Common Questions About Catholicism.”
11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
“Is Everything up for grabs? A Catholic Critique of Moral Relativism”
2:15 to 4:00 p.m.
“Where is that in the Bible?”
7:30 to 9:00 p.m.
“Any Friend of God’s Is a Friend of Mine: Mary and the Communion of Saints”
Sunday, December 13
8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
“The Case for Christ”
2:00 to 3:30 p.m.
“Pope Fiction: Answers to Myths and Misconceptions About the Papacy”
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
“Answers to Lies Society Tells You,” such as, “If it feels good, do it.”

-AND-

St Anne Society
Sunday, December 13th
5 pm – Adoration
5:30 pm – Dinner
Pizza & Pasta
6 pm – Patrick Madrid
We will provide the pizza and pasta. We would appreciate it if families could bring salads, drinks and desserts.

Last names beginning with:
A – G: please bring dessert
H – 0: please bring a salad
P – Z: please bring drinks in individual containers
Thank you for your support. We look forward to seeing you on Sunday, the 13th.