For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday February 28, 2010

Pastor ’s Corner. . . The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, this past February 22nd, was one of the most memorable among the many Monday evenings since our parish was established in 1847: even the weather cooperated! The ceremonies celebrating Pope Benedict XVI’s naming our parish church a Minor Basilica were beautiful and solemn, while also very touching: the 1,000-plus people of our parish, along with visiting guests, Bishops Lori, Losten and Chomnycky, priests and deacons from around the diocese, Lieutenant Governor Fedele, Mayor Pavia, Mary Savage who represented the Board of Representatives, and the members of the elected city boards of Stamford, the K of C, the AOH, Knights and Dames of Malta and Sepulcher, all bore witness to the beauty that our Basilica Parish.
Many, many parishioners worked very long hours devoting their talents and energy to make sure the evening was memorable: Dr. Joseph McAleer, one of our parish trustees, efficiently edited my lengthy manuscript last year, and designed the final form of the 367-page basilica petition; John Glover’s magnificent photographs enlivened the narrative and underscored the beauty of our church; Fathers Walsh and Audette graciously assisted by their suggestions and patience, as well as by their priestly fraternity and friendship; Scott Turkington, the parish choirmaster and organist had been preparing for the evening for months, and his scores of hours were reflected in the superbly beautiful polyphony and Gregorian Chant of the ceremonies; David Hughes offered splendid organ preludes, and the parish choir outdid themselves: I have never received so many phone calls and emails from city officials and non-parishioner visitors extolling and raving about the choir that evening!—the choir and Scott receive our heartfelt thanks for the absolutely magnificent music that evening; Phil DeFelice, whose craftsmanship created the graceful Papal Bell, the Tintinnabulum, used carved oaken pieces from the old confessional; Greg Duffey at Minuteman Press in Norwalk, designed the invitation, commemorative bookmark and ceremony program; Marion Morris, Betty Colarco and Diane Strain prepared the church and spent scores of hours arranging the 20-dozen roses on the altars; Tracy Banahan organized an elegant post-ceremony reception, the likes of which has not been seen before at Saint John’s: more than 500 people descended to the Monsignor Nagle Hall to enjoy the nearly 2,000 gourmet cookies these ladies of the parish baked for the evening of the inauguration; and I must mention them by name: Maureen Carpiniello, Judy DeFelice, Noreen Desoye, Carmela Faugno, Rosa Federici, Ann Federici, Angela Giannitti, Dorothy Keyes, Janet Lancaster, Landa Leute, Jennifer Marchetti, Lyn McIntyre, Janemarie Raiteri, Elizabth Spehar, Susan Spehar, Katie Sweet, Kathy Tafuro, Jennifer Whipple Marciano, along with the help of Angela, Jean Paul and Maria Marchetti. Alex Marchetti flew in from Rome to serve as Master of Ceremonies, along with Andrew Mbabaali and Leonard Logsdail, Jr., leading the parish altar servers through their intricate ceremonial paces—the best trained and disciplined crew in the diocese; our lector, Juanita Evans read beautifully, and the parish Holy Name men served as ushers; Jeff Russo gracefully bore the 20 foot tall, unwieldy-75 pound papal pavilion [Conopoeum] down the aisle without flinching or resting, and Phil DeFelice, Tom Banahan, Will Suarez and Tom Kolenberg bore the papal bell down the aisle with grace and pride: all assisted well. As usual, the parish support staff performed the essential behind-the-scenes preparatory duties during these past months, and so I thank Cindy Hulbert, Ferry Galbert, Millie Terenzio, Jeff Spetland, Anthony D’Ariano, Tony Colon, Gary Belmonte and Larry Bolanowski.
To all who attended the inauguration ceremonies, and to all who worked that evening, please accept my thanks, and my encouragement to return often to your Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist—with a friend! God bless you.—Mons. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Marjorie O’Kane, Connie Ward, Cheryl Carucci, 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. . .Lawrence Schmidt Jr., Catherine B. 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.

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:, 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.”) 

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: Join us for a study of early Eastern Catholic spirituality.

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

GRAND MARSHALL DINNER & PARADE: The Annual Parade Dinner will be held at the Ancient Order of Hibernians Hall on Greyrock Place, on Friday, March 6th at 7 pm. Monsignor DiGiovanni has been named the Grand Marshall of this year’s parade. If you’d like to attend the dinner, please contact: Tim McGuinness [203-327-1866; 646-728-3466;] The evening is great fun: a cocktail hour, superb food with wine and beer, a cash bar and Irish dancing and music. Please join us for Stamford’s Annual Saint Patrick’s Parade on Saturday, March 13th. The parade steps off at 12 noon from lower Summer Street, and proceeds around the center of town. Great marching bands, Irish dancers and bagpipers show off their talents in honor of Saint Patrick. Join us and be proud to be Irish—even if only for the day.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies resumes studies this Wednesday, March 3rd: We will read Lenten and Easter homilies of the Great Fathers. We meet in the rectory.

Sunday February 21, 2010 $ 11,993.00
Sunday February 22, 2009 $ 12,389.79

Ash Wednesday February 17, 2010 $ 2,661.00
Ash Wednesday February 25, 2009 $ 3,260.00

“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: Ex 3:1-8a, 13-15; 1 Cor 10:1-6, 10-12; Lk 13:1-9.

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 50 (2) 113.

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass Mass Ordinary: Missa de feria – Orlando di Lasso, 1532-1594.
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 Tibi dixit cor meum (My heart declared to you: “Your countenance have I sought; I shall ever seek your countenance, O Lord; do not turn your face from me.” The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? [Ps. 27:8,9,1]) Tract Commovisti (You have caused the earth to quake, O Lord, you have rent it open. Repair its breaches, for it totters. May your chosen ones escape the menacing bow and be delivered. [Psalm 60:4,6]); Gospel Acclamation Miserere mei Deus – (Ps. 50, Graduale Romanum); Offertory Meditabor (I will meditate on your commandments which I love exceedingly; I will lift up my hands towards your commandments which I love. [Psalm 119:47,48]); Communion Visionem quam vidistis (Tell no one about the vision you have seen until the Son of Man has risen from the dead. [Matthew 17:9]).
Offertory Motet: Nolo mortem peccatoris – Thomas Morley, c. 1557 – 1602 [Nolo mortem peccatoris; Haec sunt verba Salvatoris. Father, I am thine only Son, sent down from heav’n mankind to save. Father, all things fullfilled and done according to thy will I have. Father, my will now all is this: Nolo mortem peccatoris. Father, behold my painful smart, taken for man on ev’ry side; ev’n from my birth to death most tart, no kind of pain I have denied, but suffered all, and all for this: Nolo mortem peccatoris. (Text anonymous)].
Communion Motet: Miserere mei – Tomás Luis de Victoria, 1548-1611 (Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me. [Ps. 6:2]).

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

A NIGHT AT THE OPERA. . . Please join us Saturday May 1st at 7:00 pm in the church for a Live in Performance featuring the Stars of the Metropolitan Opera. Proceeds will benefit the ongoing restoration of our historic church. For ticket and sponsorship information please call 203-324-1553, ext.21. All are welcome.

THE SHROUD of TURIN Mr. Donald H Nohs will return to St. John’s on Saturday, March 27th, the Vigil of Palm Sunday, at 7 pm to offer once again a special presentation on the Shroud of Turin. Full-sized photographic replicas of the Shroud will be displayed, as well as authentic full-sized replicas of the Crown of Thorns, the Nails, and the Spear that pierced Our Lord’s side. The Presentation will take place in the Church. All are welcome: no charge.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, February 27
4:00 +John & Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Young
Sunday, February 28
7:30 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C
10:00 +Mary Daly req. LAOH
12:00 +Anna Young req. Joseph & Agnes Kung
6:00 Sam & Family req. Francis Baranowski
Monday, March 1
8:00 Souls in Purgatory
12:10 Special Intentions Kim, Camryn & Maddie O’Han req. Maude & Paul Hughes
Tuesday, March 2
8:00 Special Intentions Timothy Boiteau req. Maude & Paul Hughes
12:10 Elissa & Joe Metz req. Jeannene & Ryan McMurchy
Wednesday, March 3
8:00 +Margaret M. Timon req. Thomas A. Timon
12:10 +Maxine Dombrowski 1st Anniversary req. Joe McAleer
Thursday, March 4
8:00 Special Intentions Sister Ellen Mary CSJ, Birthday req. Marie Carr
12:10 +Vincent Marrane req. Larry Bolanowski
Friday, March 5
8:00 +Sister Jeanette Fanfan & Sister Mariette Boulle req. Montanise Paulemon
12:10 Special Intentions Vera Viola
Saturday, March 6
8:00 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
12:10 +His Eminence Ignatius Cardinal Kung, 10th Anniversary req. Cardinal Kung Foundation

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 today in the rectory after the 12 p.m. Mass. 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:
100 years ago, or so:
March 1, 1894: “The fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Hartford diocese of the Roman Catholic Church occurs March 17 of this year. It was on that date in 1844—50 years age—that Bishop William Tyler was consecrated. He was bishop until his death, which occurred June 18, 1849.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Stamford was part of the Diocese of Hartford until the Bridgeport Diocese was created in 1953.)

March 1, 1899: Father McClean’s Able Sermon. “Rev. Peter H. McClean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Hartford, preached in St. John’s R.C. Church last night. He took for his text a portion of the Apostles’ Creed, and from it drew a wholesome lesson of the life a good Christian should live. In a clear, concise way, he told of the passion and death of Christ, and then of his resurrection. There was a very large congregation present, and all gave Father McClean the closest attention.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: The Reverend Peter McClean was a vocation from St. John’s Parish.)

55 years ago, or so:
March 3, 1955: Church Services To Open Girl Scout Week In Area. “Sunday, March 6, is Girl Scout Sunday and marks the beginning of Girl Scout Week throughout the United States. Each Brownie, Tweenie and Girl Scout will attend her own church on that day, and where arrangements have been made the girls will sit together. Here is a list of churches where arrangements have been made: St. John’s Catholic Church: 8:00—Mass and Holy Communion for girls. Mrs. Vincent Plomitello will lead the Girl Scouts. Mrs. Norman Raymond will lead the Brownies.”

March 4, 1957: Bob Gross Stars As Johnnies Win CYO Championship. “The St. John’s basketball five fought steadily to overcome an early deficit and defeat the St. Mary’s team to win the 16-year old title in the CYO playoffs to determine an entry in the Diocesan championships. Bob Gross’ basket with 30 seconds remaining in the game clinched the title for the Johnnies. St. Mary’s, with Casey and Mazza excelling under the boards, gained a 15-12 halftime lead. Both rebounders fouled out late in the game and the Johnnies surged into the driver’s seat with a minute remaining. Gross, who had sunk eight consecutive points in the third quarter to pull the St. John’s out front by a 24-23 score at the end of the period, connected with the decisive two-pointer. He had 18 points in the game.”

Looking Toward Holy Saturday
– Fr. Terry Walsh

The following text is taken from an ancient homily on Holy Saturday , the author is unknown. It is a magnificent meditation on the “40 Hours” our Lord lay in the Tomb and a wonderful source of contemplation as we approach the Passion and Death of our Lord, and await His Resurrection……
“Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the Cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ Christ answered him: ‘And with your spirit.’ He took him by the hand and raised him up saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’
I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, o sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.
For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.
See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.
I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.
Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.”

Jesus took Peter, James, and John up the Mountain so that they would witness the Transfiguration and be edified by His Glory and His Sacrifice in the wake of the Crucifixion. After His 40 hours in the Tomb , the whole world was transfigured: the Gates of Heaven were opened and the hearts of mankind were able to receive the Gift of Divine life and so be “transfigured” – molded into the likeness of Christ Himself – if we seek Him and follow.