For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday January 10, 2010

Pastor ’s Corner. . .As this Christmas season progresses, the Church celebrates three events of great importance: the veneration of the Christ Child by the Three Kings; the baptism of Our Lord by John the Baptist; and the miracle of the Wedding Feast at Cana. Each of these events is important, because each explains precisely who this child is and why He was born.
The Three Kings came, having followed a star rising in the east. In reality, they saw a rare eclipse of Jupiter by the moon. The movement of Jupiter, the “king” of planets, was interpreted in the ancient world as a portent of a royal birth. The Three Kings, or Magi, observed this, and understood that the baby they found in Bethlehem was no mere child, but a king; but they did not know the child was greater than any other earthly monarch. Following the then common understanding of the stars and planets, the Three Kings believed that such a birth had been the result of the movements of heavenly bodies. How many today follow astrology in the same way? St. Augustine made this observation to clarify why the Kings followed the star to the birth of Christ:
“. . . that star which the Magi saw did not have power over Christ, the New-Born according to the flesh, but rather obeyed Him as witnesses to His birth. If we must speak of fate, then rather let us say, not that the star was Christ’s destiny, but that Christ was the destiny of the star, since He caused it to exist and rise in the east for the Three Kings.” [Contra Faustinum, II, 5]
Their gifts bore witness to the reality of Jesus’ identity: gold for a king; frankincense for a god; and myrrh, both a medicine and a burial herb in the ancient world, for one who was to cure humanity of sin and death by his own saving death on the Cross.
St. John Chrysostom described it this way: “The Son of God, Who is the God of all things, is born a Man in a human body. He permits Himself to be placed in a crib, Who holds the heavens in His Hand. He is confined in a Manger whom the world cannot contain; He is heard in the voice of a wailing Infant, at Whose voice in the hour of His passion on the cross the whole earth trembled. The Magi, beholding a Child, profess that this is the Lord of Glory, the Lord of Majesty” [Sermon for the Epiphany].
The Baptism of Our Lord, which feast we celebrate this weekend, signifies who the man Jesus is: the voice from Heaven tells us “This is my beloved Son, on whom my favor rests; listen to him.” The baptism Jesus received at the hands of Saint John the Baptist was a preparatory penitential rite: it could not forgive sins; as John would say, his work only prepared for the greater work of the greater one who would follow him: only that Baptism Jesus would institute as a sacrament could forgive sins. Jesus submits to John’s ritual as a sign to all sinful mankind that we must submit to the will of the Father to receive forgiveness through Christ.
And, finally, the Wedding Feast at Cana: the first of Jesus’ public miracles as he began his ministry. At the prompting of His Mother, Jesus came to the aid of a newly-married couple. Sparing them the embarrassment of having no wine for their guests, He changed hundreds of gallons of water into the best wine anyone had ever tasted. An act of miraculous charity.
Who is this? These three events tell us: Jesus is the Creator of the universe, whose word created everything from nothing, and is obeyed even by the basic elements of nature. The child born in the manger is no mere child: He is the only God, eternally existing, through whom everything was created in the universe; who, for love of mankind ,created in His image and likeness, humbled Himself to be born in the image and likeness of sinful man,. Taking on human flesh of the Virgin Mary; He entered His creation to recreate everything by His presence and sacrifice on the cross. He especially comes to recreate every human being, wounded by the sin of Adam and subject to death, whom He frees by His life-giving death on the Cross. This is He, born in Bethlehem, revealed at the Jordan at His baptism, manifested in his power at Cana: God who became a man so that mankind can share His divine life. -Mons. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick… Julie Grant, Kay Pullen, Louise Munro, Juanita Evans, Lois Porter, Joseph Lasko, Billy Therriault, Wendy Woodin, Janet Rodgers, Kevin Sutton, Anne Marie Brutus, Rene Villard, Corrie Evans, Margaret Romaine.

Please pray for those who have recently died…Mary Halbert, John Castellano, Mr. Eugene Lops, Msgr. Lawrence McMahon, Rev. Al Russo, George “Bud” Ayers, William Wolf, 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, Sheila Kilcoyne.

Special Energy Collection . . . The second collection today will be the Special Energy Collection to help pay the Higher Energy and Fuel Costs for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

Mass On Line. . . Visit the parish website: www.stjohnsstamford.com, click the photo of the church up top, and you’ll see live all that’s going on in church, daily. ALSO, a light now burns all night, illuminating the tabernacle, so you can make a home visit to the Blessed Sacrament.

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

Introduction to Ecclesiastical Latin . . . Meets Wednesdays at 6pm in the rectory.

The Latin Reading Group. . . Meets Wednesdays at 6:15 pm in the rectory. We’re translating Egeria’s Diary of a Pilgrimage. High school Latin is sufficient. Please join us.

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

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

The Legion of Mary. . . Meets Wednesdays at 7:30 pm in the rectory. All are welcome.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Ladies’ Group. . . Meets Saturdays at 9:30 am in the rectory.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies . . . Will meet on February 3rd at 7:30 pm in the rectory.

Thomas More College. . . Is hosting its annual Winter Open House on Monday, February 15th. High school seniors, juniors, their friends and family are encouraged to visit, attend classes, have lunch and speak with students and faculty. Located in Merrimack, New Hampshire, Thomas More offers a Great books education, firmly rooted in the Catholic tradition. For more information: visit their website: www.ThomasMoreCollege.edu , or call
1-800-880-8308; or email: admissions@ThomasMoreCollege.edu.

Moms & Tots . . . A group of moms and their children meets with Fr. Walsh each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. Please join us.

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

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. All are invited.

Sunday January 3, 2010 $ 11,201.00
Sunday January 4, 2009 $ 12,178.12
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

January 17th Sunday Readings: Is 62:1-5; 1 Cor 12:4-11; Jn 2:1-11.
Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 47 (2) 187.

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass Mass Ordinary: Missa ‘O quam gloriosum’ – Tomás Luis de Victoria, 1548-1611.
All are encouraged to sing the Creed at the Noon Mass, which may be found in the hymnal at No. 289.
The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Dilexisti justitiam (You have loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your companions. My heart overflows with a goodly theme; I address my works to the King. [Ps. 45:8, 2]); Alleluia Inveni David (I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him. [Ps. 89:21]); Offertory Benedictus qui venit (Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord; the Lord God is our light, alleluia, alleluia. [Ps. 118:26,27]); Communion Omnes qui in Christo (As for all of you who have been baptised in Christ, you have put on Christ, alleluia. [Galatians 3:27]).
Offertory Motet: Inveni David – Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, 1525-1594 (I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him. My hand shall hold him fast and my arms shall strengthen him. [Ps. 89:21-22]).
Communion Motet: O esca viatorum – Heinrich Isaac, c. 1445 – 1517 (O Food of men wayfaring, The bread of Angels sharing, O Manna from on high! We hunger; Lord, supply us, Nor thy delights deny us, Whose hearts to thee draw nigh. O Jesu, by thee bidden, We here adore thee, hidden ‘Neath froms of bread and wine. Grant when the veil is riven, We may behold, in heaven, Thy countenance divine. [Anon. 17th Cent., trans. Athelstan Riley]).

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.

The Love of Christ compels us to be charitable to others. The parish’s newest good work, under the guidance of Emilio Funicella, will be to lend a hand on a regular basis to clean up Stamford neighborhoods, plant trees and shrubs, plant and maintain various flower beds throughout the city, including those in parks, on various traffic islands and crossroads throughout Stamford. Why do this? When I was a kid, there were great public programs to teach people not to litter: “Don’t be a Litterbug” was the slogan. Behind that effort, and ours, is the goal to instill greater civic pride in people to respect themselves and their neighbors by not dumping garbage, throwing out trash on public streets, sidewalks and parks. At the heart of this is a real spiritual problem: a lack of charity for others, which permits people to think only of themselves. If you have respect to keep your city clean, you’ll develop greater respect for your neighbor. So, join us. Our first meeting will be announced in next week’s bulletin. Mons. DiGiovanni, Father Walsh, and Father Audette.

Mass Intentions+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, January 9
4:00 +James, Jennie, Joe & Vinnie Freccia, Jr. req. Delores Freccia
Sunday, January 10
7:30 +Frances Delaney 2nd Anniversary req. Family
10:00 Thanksgiving to God req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
6:00 +Carlos Maldonado
Monday, January 11
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 +Mary Ellen Nemchek req. Ed Nemchek
Tuesday, January 12
8:00 +John Maloney req. wife-Mary
12:10 +Cecilia Maguire req. Maude & Paul Hughes
Wednesday, January 13
8:00 +Phil DeFelice, Sr. req. Thomas A. Timon
12:10 +Frank Aiello req. Frank Carpanzano
Thursday, January 14
8:00 +Margaret M. Timon req. Thomas Timon
12:10 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry Galbert
Friday, January 15
8:00 +Phil DeFelice, Sr. req. Beth & Frank Carpanzano
12:10 +Benito & Alberto Mayola, Maria L. Gupio, Rosita Dingding req. Rosario M. Gales
Saturday, January 16
8:00 In Thanksgiving
12:10 John J. Gannon & John J. Gannon, Jr. req. Sharon Gannon

Pray the Rosary. . . Pray the Rosary with us after the 12:10PM Mass, Monday through Saturday.

Eucharistic Adoration. . . Each Friday morning, from 8:30 am until noon.

Holy Name Society . . . For all men of the parish: In the rectory every Friday morning for coffee, Eucharistic adoration, benediction & prayer: 7:00 – 8:00a.m. All men of the parish are welcome. Just walk in!

The Immaculate Heart of Mary Ladies’ Society . . .meets Saturdays in the Rectory, at 9:30 a.m. :Coffee, conversation, Rosary, and a spiritual conference. All ladies of the parish are welcome. Just walk in.

Religious Education. . . Sunday classes at 8:30 a.m. 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 legalized 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. The next meeting will be Sunday the 17th after the 12 Noon Mass, in the rectory. Questions, please 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 this Sunday after the 12 Noon Mass, in the rectory . Questions, please contact Rosa Marchetti at 348-0232.

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

St. John’s in the NEWS:. . .
115 years ago, or so:
The Connecticut catholic:
January 13, 1894: STAMFORD. “Seldom has there been such a large crowd in the town hall as was present Wednesday night on the occasion of the sociable and dance of the St. Ann’s Ladies Aid Society for the benefit of the poor of Stamford. It was the first affair of the kind given in Stamford for the relief of the needy this winter, and the way the appeal was responded to was both significant and gratifying. The hall was tastefully trimmed with flags and bunting, and on either side were stretched two long tables loaded down with sandwiches, cakes, and fruit and decorated with flowers. One of the most interesting programmes was rendered by local talent began at 8 o’clock with an overture by St. John’s orchestra, and the following persons went to make up the programme: Recitation, Misses Nellie and Jennie Murphy and Mamie Tierney; vocal solo Kathleen Mavournean, Miss May Foley; duet, the Upper Ten and the Lower Five by Messrs. C. Niel and Smith; baritone solo, T. F. Collins; recitation, The Inquisitive Dog, Phillip Curran; quartette, “We Have All Got a Very Bad Cold,” Messrs. O’Brien, O’Neil, Smith and Hogan; sand jig, James Devine; vocal duet, Misses McCoy and McCallion. The Stamford favorite, John F. Matthews, gave a stump speech in which he showed he knew something about the workings of our local politicians. The entertainment closed with a laughable farce called “The Statue.” St. John’s orchestra furnished the music for dancing. Much praise is due to the ladies of St. Ann’s Aid Society for the grand success of the affair and also for settling the ball rolling in the line of public entertainments as a means for furnishing the necessaries of life to the poor of the town during the present winter. This society has a membership of 250 and has done much good. Started under the leadership of Mrs. James Plunkett who is an energetic worker which was shown by the management of the affair on Wednesday evening.”

50 years ago, or so:
The Stamford Advocate:
January 13 1960: St. John’s Church Holy Name Society Names New Officers. “James E. Lynch has been elected president of St. John’s Church Holy Name Society. Others elected for 1960 are: James C. Elsken and Jesse J. Seabrooks, vice presidents; Charles A. Gilbert, secretary; Edward Kerrigan, assistant secretary; the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Nicholas P. Coleman, treasurer and spiritual advisor; and William E. Thomson, assistant treasurer.”

The Baptism of the Lord
-Fr. Terry Walsh
St. Hippolytus was a Martyr (+ c.235) who had written some very important works in an effort to refute heresies and to teach and defend the faith. Among his writings, he wrote a beautiful Sermon filled with beautiful images concerning the Baptism of our Lord and the outpouring of love and mercy that allow us to become children of God. I have reprinted it for your meditation on this Feast of the Baptism of our Lord.

From a sermon on the Epiphany attributed to Saint Hippolytus, priest:

“That Jesus should come and be baptized by John is surely cause for amazement. To think of the infinite river that gladdens the city of God being bathed in a poor little stream of the eternal; the unfathomable fountainhead that gives life to all men being immersed in the shallow waters of this transient world! He who fills all creation, leaving no place devoid of his presence, he who is incomprehensible to the angels and hidden from the sight of man, came to be baptized because it was his will. And behold, the heavens opened and a voice said: ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.’
The beloved Father begets love, and spiritual light generates light inaccessible. In his divine nature he is my only Son, though he was known as the son of Joseph. This is my beloved Son. Though hungry himself, he feeds thousands; though weary, he refreshes those who labor. He has no place to lay his head yet holds all creation in his hand. By his passion [inflicted on him by others], he frees us from the passions [unleashed by our disobedience]; by receiving a blow on the cheek he gives the world its liberty; by being pierced in the side he heals the wound of Adam.
I ask you now to pay close attention, for I want to return to that fountain of life and contemplate its healing waters at their source.
The Father of immortality sent his immortal Son and Word into the world; he came to us men to cleanse us with water and the Spirit. To give us a new birth that would make our bodies and souls immortal, he breathed into us the spirit of life and armed us with incorruptibility. Now if we become immortal, we shall also be divine; and if we become divine after rebirth in baptism through water and the Holy Spirit, we shall also be coheirs with Christ after the resurrection of the dead.
Therefore, in a herald’s voice I cry: Let peoples of every nation come and receive the immortality that flows from baptism. This is the water that is linked to the Spirit, the water that irrigates Paradise, makes the earth fertile, gives growth to plants, and brings forth living creatures. In short, this is the water by which a man receives new birth and life, the water in which even Christ was baptized, the water into which the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove.
Whoever goes down into these waters of rebirth with faith renounces the devil and pledges himself to Christ. He repudiates the enemy and confesses that Christ is God, throws off servitude, and is raised to filial status. He comes up from baptism resplendent as the sun, radiant in his purity, but above all, he comes as a son of God and a coheir with Christ. To him and to his most holy and life-giving Spirit be glory and power now and for ever. Amen.”