For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday February 21, 2010

Pastor ’s Corner. . . “Simon , son of John. . . You are Peter and on this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” [Mt 13:16-19]
When Our Lord spoke these words to Simon, son of John in the presence of the other Apostles, He did not single out a particular friend, or grant to this fisherman a mere personal concession of authority. Jesus would never have chosen Peter: He first observed wonder that Simon, of all the Twelve, was the only one who answered His question correctly: “Who do you say I am?” Not being the brightest of the Apostolic lot, his answer pointed out to Our Lord that the Heavenly Father had chosen Simon, and provided him with the answer, in order to clarify to Jesus who it was who should head up the Church. Next, Our Lord changed Simon’s name: whenever God changed the name of anyone in the Old Testament, as He did with Abram to Abraham, it meant that God was changing the very reason for that person’s existence. Abram became Abraham in order to be the Father of the Chosen People whose “descendants would be more numerous than the stars” [Gen??] He changes Simon’s name to Peter, since Peter would bring that promise to fulfillment through the Church—the New Israel. Why did Jesus choose the name “Peter”? Why not George or Reginald? Because Peter means Rock in Aramaic, the language spoken and in which the Gospel of Matthew was written: the word for rock is Kephas, or Cephas in the English transliteration, which is repeated in the Gospels and the Epistles of St. Paul [ 4 times in Galatians; 4 times in I Corinthians]. In English, this play on words doesn’t work: Peter doesn’t look anything like Rock; the closest in a modern language is the French word Pierre—both for Peter and Rock.
Our Lord next told Simon that “You are Peter [Rock], and on this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” The Church isn’t built on an idea, or a social movement or ideology: it was established by the Divine Person of Our Lord, obedient to another Divine Person, the Eternal Father, and enlivened by the Third Divine Person, the Holy Spirit, guiding the Church to teach only the truth so that “the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” And, the Church’s visible head is another person: Peter. But that dignity was not merely a personal gift to that one man. Jesus was establishing a permanent Church, which would last until the end of the world, and reach to the ends of the world, offering truth, grace and salvation to everyone. The symbol of that authority ?—the Keys of Heaven: Jesus just about quotes Isaiah 22:22, which is about the king giving authority in the form of keys of the palace to the chief steward. That chief steward was given the keys of authority only for a while, and then they were passed to his successor. So too with Peter and the Church. Jesus does not make Peter the absolute Head of the Church: that is Jesus. But the visible head of the Church is Peter, and his successors, the Bishops of Rome, where Peter taught and died a martyr, with Saint Paul.
Our Lord knew that Peter was imperfect; He would scold Peter soon after, when Peter objected that Jesus shouldn’t suffer and die. Likewise, Peter would deny Christ three times on the evening of His arrest; abandoning Him the day He died on the Cross. Yet, Our Lord did not withdraw His grant of authority from this weak and flawed Rock. After the Resurrection, Jesus asked three times, “Do you love me?” —offering Peter three opportunities to redress his triple denial of Jesus. Peter‘s triple reply, “Yes Lord, you know I love you” [Jn 21:15-19]. Peter grew into his new job: he had to understand that the only way to exercise authority in the Church was first to be so in love with Jesus that he wanted to imitate Him entirely, even to the point of martyrdom. Faith must lead to love of God, and we can all get there.—Mons. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Jerry Pellegrino, Joan Bachman, Irene Zelinsky, Nicholas Czekanski, Wilfred Baretto, Haitian Earthquake Victims, Mary Moriarty, Carmella Micik, Julie Grant, 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. . .Kay Pullen, Wilhelmina-Belia Falek-Roerhost, Keith Segovia, Frank L. Infante, Dolores A. Deluca Freccia, Haitian Earthquake Victims, Roshah E. DeJean, Paul Reda, Katherine Dziezyc, John Castellano, 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.

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

Lenten Fast and Abstinence . . . On all Fridays during Lent, all Catholics age 14 and older are obliged to abstain from eating meat, and all Catholics in good health between the ages of 18 and 60 are also obliged to fast. Abstinence means not eating meat or meat products; fasting means having one full meal and two light meals during the day, with no snacks between meals. Drinking water or taking medicine or vitamins does not break a fast. All Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence from eating meat. Good Friday is a day of both abstinence and fasting.

Confession. . . During Lent, St. John’s will offer Confession each Tuesday evening, from 7:30 -9:00 P.M. We also offer Confession daily, Monday through Friday and Sunday, 30 minutes before each Mass. Saturday Confessions are offered 3:00 –4:00 pm.

Stations of the Cross. . . Fridays during Lent: 4:00 p.m. English & 6:00 p.m. Creole

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. (Note: Audio requires “ActiveX” “which is specifically designed to work with Windows systems (i.e. Internet Explorer). “ActiveX” by Microsoft is not supported on other operating systems such as Apple “Mac OS” or “GNU/Linux.”) 

Basilica Inauguration. . . Bishop Lori will formally inaugurate the Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist on Monday February 22nd at 7pm with Solemn Evening Prayer and Benediction celebrating the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter. All are invited.

Cardinal Kung. . . A Mass will offered on Saturday, March 6th at 12:10 pm marking the 10th anniversary of the death of Cardinal Kung, and for the persecuted Church in China.

Trinity Catholic Junior Class. . . will collect old cell phones to earn phone calling cards to be distributed to our troops abroad, so they can call home. Drop your old cell phones at the Trinity Catholic on Newfield Avenue. Your help is greatly appreciated!!!

Eastern Christian Studies. . .at St. Basil’s College, March 19-21; April 23-25. For more information: stbasilcollege.com. Join us for a study of early Eastern Catholic spirituality.

Votive lamps. . . are signs of devotion: the large sanctuary lamp is required, signifying Our Lord’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament. The one above St. Joseph’s Altar is required since the Relic of the True Cross is exposed for view; also because the relics of the Saints are there. The one above Our Lady’s Altar simply designates our devotion to Her and to Her Blessed Son.

Job Seekers. . . Please join us Monday, March 1st at 7:30 pm in the rectory: help with resumes, job interviews and searches. All welcome. For more info e-mail Melanie at melanie@redinc.biz

Sunday February 14, 2010 $ 10,932.00
Sunday February 15, 2009 $ 9,873.41

“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

February 28th Sunday Readings: Gn 15:5-12, 17-18; Phil 3:17–4:1 or 3:20–4:1; Lk 9:28b-36

From Scott Turkington . . . It is with sadness that I must announce my departure from the wonderful Basilica of St. John the Evangelist. It is the grace of my life that I’m called to work in this field that unites the most beautiful things of all, liturgy and music, and toward the highest calling of divine worship. And it has been a special blessing and happy experience for me to do so at St. John’s as its Organist & Choirmaster for the last eleven years. With the guidance and support of Msgr. DiGiovanni and all the parishioners of St. John’s, we have been able to do so many wonderful things. Following Easter Sunday, I will take up my new post at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston, South Carolina, as its Director of Music. I will miss all of you terribly and I ask for your prayers in my new work. I thank you all deeply for the tremendous work so many of you have done to make the new Basilica a place of beautiful liturgy and music. Deo gratias!

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 54 (2) 50.

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass
Mass Ordinary: Kyrie XVII – Graduale Romanum; Sanctus, Benedictus & Agnus Dei from Mass for Three Voices – William Byrd, 1540-1623.
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 Invocabit me (When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will rescue him and honour him; with long life will I satisfy him. He who abides in the shelter of the Most High, shall remain under the protection of the God of Heaven. [Ps. 91:15,16,1]); Gospel Acclamation Miserere mei Deus – (Ps. 50, Graduale Romanum); Offertory Scapulis suis (The Lord will overshadow you with his pinions, and you will find refuge under his wings. His faithfulness will encompass you with a shield. [Psalm 91:4-5]); Communion Scapulis suis (The Lord will overshadow you with his pinions, and you will find refuge under his wings. His faithfulness will encompass you with a shield. [Psalm 91:4-5]).
Offertory Motet: Tu pauperum refugium – Josquin des Prez, c. 1450/55-1521 (Thou hast been the refuge of the poor, of the mourning and sorrowing, Thou comforter, giving courage to the laborer, helper of erring men, Source of truth and life. And now, Redeemer Lord, I take refuge in Thee alone, Thou very God do I adore. Thou art my hope, my Salvation, Christ Jesus. Be Thou my help, for without Thy watchful care, while sleeping, death would claim my soul.).
Communion Motet: Adoramus te, Christe – Orlandus Lassus, 1532-1594
(We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee, because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the World. Lord, have mercy upon us. [Antiphon at feasts of the Holy Cross]).

Singers are needed for the 10:00 a.m. Family Mass! . . . Our volunteer choir raises hearts and voices in praise of God for the 10:00 AM Family Mass each Sunday. The choir rehearses at 8:15 AM on Sundays only, in the Choir Room. Would you consider lending your voice to our choir? Please call Scott Turkington for more information: 324-1553, ext. 18 or email at STurkington@optonline.net.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, February 20
4:00 +Vincenzo & Michela Zabatta req. Daughter Theresa
Sunday, February 21
7:30 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
10:00 +For the deceased Members of the Paulemon & Millien Family
12:00 Special Intention Margaret Perri req. The Marchetti Family
6:00 Thanksgiving for my Family & Survived Victims of Haiti’s earthquake
Monday, February 22
8:00 +Rose Giordano req. Franco & Nancy DiDemetrio
12:10 In Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary req. Fabiola C.
Tuesday, February 23
8:00 +Don Donahue req. Lisa Fabrizo
12:10 Special Intention Kristy & Kennedy Synder req. Jeannene & Ryan McMurchy
Wednesday, February 24
8:00 +Marge Price req. Lisa Fabrizo
12:10 +Rosario D’Amico req. His Brother Frank
Thursday, February 25
8:00 +James Conard Miller req. Sandra Bolanowski
12:10 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry Galbert
Friday, February 26
8:00 +Michael A. Rubino, Sr. req. Lori & James Rubino
12:10 +Alexander Munro Family req. Louise Munro
Saturday, February 27
8:00 +Leonard Truscello, Jr. req. Sharon Gannon
12:10 Special Intention Pinedo & Ucero Families

Holy Name Society . . . meets Fridays in the Rectory, 7-7:50 a.m. for coffee, Eucharistic adoration & Benediction. 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. for coffee, conversation, Rosary, and a spiritual conference. All ladies of the parish are welcome. Just walk in.

Moms & Tots . . . Moms and their kids meets each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. Please join us.

Religious Education. . . Sundays at 8:30 a.m. Sunday Mass attendance is a duty for all students and Catholic parents.

Convert class [RCIA]. . .Tuesday Evenings 7:30 pm—8:30 pm in the rectory. Call Fr. Walsh, ext. 14.

Pray to end to legalized abortion . . . Wednesdays, 7-10:30a.m., Stamford’s Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St.

St. Dominic Savio Society. . . Will Meet on February 28 after the 12 p.m. Mass in the rectory. For the spiritual formation of young men from 8th – 12th grades. Meets monthly. Questions, contact Ferry Galbert 203-324-1553 ext. 22.

St. Maria Goretti Society. . . For the spiritual formation of young ladies from 8th – 12th grades. Meets monthly. Questions, please contact Suzanna Borthwick, 203-554-2004.

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

The Latin Reading Group. . . Meets Wednesday Evenings at 6:15 pm in the rectory.

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

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies . . . Meets Wednesday Evenings at 7:30 pm in the rectory All are welcome.

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

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

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

St. John’s in the advocate:
130 years ago, or so:
February 22, 1878: “The successor of Pope Pius IX was elected on Wednesday by the method known as “by adoration.” His name was Cardinal Gioacchnio Pecci, who has assumed the title of Leo XIII. The election of Cardinal Pecci is sure to give great satisfaction throughout the Catholic world. A requiem mass was said in St. John’s Roman Catholic church, Stamford, Monday, for the repose of the soul of Pius IX in obedience to the request of Bishop Thomas Galberry of Hartford.”

60 years ago, or so:
February 24, 1948: Clergymen Laud Brotherhood Ideal At War Dead Rites. “Stamford citizens, officials, clergymen and members of the various veterans groups marked the opening of American Brotherhood Week yesterday by honoring three of Stamford’s war dead, representing the Catholic, Jewish and Protestant faiths, at ceremonies at the Stamford Theatre. “The memorial service for these three men helps us remember that these and other heroes died for ideals of brotherhood and peace,” Mayor Charles E. Moore said. The Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman of St. John’s Catholic Church stated that there is no greater love than that of men who have died for friends or for their country.”

55 years ago, or so:
February 24, 1955: Work To Start At St. Joseph’s. “Construction of the new 85-bed wing for St. Joseph’s Hospital is scheduled to begin late in April, according to the report given Wednesday by the architect, Francis L. S. Mayers, at a special meeting of the hospital’s executive committee at the hospital. Present at the meeting was the Most Rev. Lawrence J. Shehan, Bishop of Bridgeport. The Rt. Rev. John J. Hayes, committee chairman, presided. Also in attendance at the meeting was the Rt. Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman.”

20 years ago, or so:
February 23 1989: 18 names, 18 stories, 18 lives, cut short. “”Downtowners” they are called. Passers-by might see them and think “a drifter, a bag lady, the pigeon lady.” They are part of the hopeless, hapless, nameless homeless. Yesterday at St. John’s Catholic Church on Atlantic Street, where many gather for peace of mind, spiritual strength or to escape the cold, a memorial Mass was celebrated for the homeless or former homeless who have died in the past two years. Leading the congregation in prayer, the Rev. William Nagle said that marking the end of a life is a celebration of a new beginning.”

The Fourth Station
Jesus is met by His Blessed Mother
“And a Sword shall pass through your Heart”

-Fr Terry Walsh
Many who have had near death experiences seem to speak of a similar occurrence – that there whole life passed before their eyes in an instant. Could this be what the moment of Judgment might be like? Images of the Vision of Isaiah come to mind (Is.6). We will, at some moment, find ourselves in the same position as Isaiah did. Each of us will stand before the Throne of God and we’ll be in the Presence of Perfect Holiness, perfect beauty, purity, and truth. We’ll be in the Presence of Love Himself; that is, with the One who emptied Himself of His glory in order to become Incarnate in the Spotless Womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary; the One born into the world He created in order to offer Himself to the Father in reparation for our sins. Long before He was sentenced by Pilate, Jesus knew what sort of death He would endure. He knew. And so did His Blessed Mother, who consented to His sacrifice with incomparable sorrow and with perfect love. Theirs is the most unique of relationships. Mary is so intimately woven in the life of Her Son: She shares in His Glory, She shares in His pain. De Montfort wrote, “The Most High God came down to us in a perfect way through the humble Virgin Mary, without losing anything of His divinity or holiness. It is likewise through Mary that we poor creatures must ascend to almighty God in a perfect manner without having anything to fear”(157). How well do we honor Her? How well do we pray for Her Motherly Hands of love to guide us along the path that ends in the Heart of Jesus? What heartache She endured to know the rejection Her loving Son would bear: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…(Is. 53:3)” He carried our sorrows, indeed, He fell under their weight – 3 times. “Yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with His stripes we are healed….He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth”(Is. 53:4). The Son of Mary alone is Holy. Our only entrance into Holiness – into Eternal Beatitude – is through Him. “I am the Living Bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats this Bread, he will live for ever; and the Bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh”(Jn 6:51). Through His Passion He demonstrated the depth of His love – the spilling of His Precious Blood became ‘the wellspring to all life, all holiness’ and the only means by which our sins may be taken away and our souls made pure. Sacramental Confession affords us the opportunity to “review the reel” of our life and to seek forgiveness for our transgressions before we stand before the Throne of God. We are healed through the Blood of the One who gave Himself up for us. He alone makes us worthy to enter the Perfection of Heaven.
Now is the time of mercy. Mercy is the reason for his dwelling among us, for his suffering, his death, and ultimately his Resurrection. “He poured out His soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors”(Is. 53:12). Mary shared in that suffering, spiritually, and poured out Her love as only She could, at that sorrowful meeting on the Way to Calvary. St. Josemaria Escriva reflected, “Jesus had been waiting for this meeting with His Mother. How many childhood memories! Bethlehem, the flight into Egypt, the village of Nazareth. Now again he wants her by His side, on Calvary…Our Lord and His Mother will not abandon us and whenever it is necessary, they will make their presence felt to fill the hearts of their loved ones with security and peace.” As you reflect on your relationship with Jesus and Mary, what images come to mind? What life experiences represent your ‘Bethlehem’ or your ‘flight into Egypt’? In your journey, have you called out to Jesus and Mary through thoughtful reflection on the Mysteries of our Lord’s life, especially through the Scriptures and the Rosary? Have you willingly picked up the Cross and so received the consolation of our Mother’s love and encouragement. She is there, at the 4th Station, waiting for you.