For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday March 7, 2010

Pastor ’s Corner. . . During the remaining Lenten weekends, I thought it might be of interest to provide you with some Lenten homilies by the Great Church Fathers. We’ll begin with a homily for the Third Sunday of Lent by Pope Saint Leo the Great, who was pope during the years 440-461: “It is the teaching of nature itself to all who believe, that God is to be adored, since heaven and earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, proclaim the goodness and might of their Creator, . . .and call for a giving of thanks from that [one] creature who is endowed with reason. Now [during Lent] a more earnest purification of our hearts is asked of us, as once again we draw near to those solemn days of the Easter Festival of our redemption.
For this is the special nature of the Easter Festival, that the whole Church rejoice in the forgiveness of sin, which has place not alone in those who are reborn in holy baptism, but also in those long since numbered among the adopted children of God. For though baptism causes us to be reborn, there is in all of us a need for daily renewal against the rusting of our nature by sin, and since in every state of soul there is no one who ought not to be better, all should strive that on the day of Redemption no one shall be found in his former sins.
That which becomes every Christian to do at all times, let it be done now more earnestly and more devoutly, so that the apostolic institution of Lent may be fulfilled by your abstinence: not alone in refraining from food, but especially in refraining from wickedness. For since this self denial is practiced to this end, that we may be drawn away from that which kindles the desires of the flesh, no form of self denial should be more practiced than to keep ourselves at all times from unworthy desires, and to abstain from unworthy actions.
Nothing is more profitably joined to worthy and holy fasting than almsgiving, which includes many works of piety under the single name of mercy, so that in this the good will of all the faithful may be equal, though their means may not be. For nothing ever can so stand in the way of the love we owe both to God and to man, that is not free at all times to be of good will.
For the works of compassion are most profitable, and in their very variety they bring this gain to all true Christians, that in the giving of alms not alone have the rich their part, but those also of the middle class, and even the poor; and they who are not alike in their power to give, may yet be alike in the good dispositions of their hearts. For when many gave of their surplus to the Temple treasury, during the time of Jesus, a certain widow put in only two pennies—all she had—and merited to be crowned by this special testimony of Our Lord: that in her humble fulfillment of her duty, her offering was worthy of being praised above all that others had given because they gave from what they did not need.
Should anyone then be so poor as to be unable to give even two pennies to one in need, in the precepts of the Lord he still has that by which he can fulfill the demands of good will: for he who gives in Jesus’ name a cup of cool water to a poor man who thirsts shall receive a reward for his deed [Mt. x: 42]. Such are the simple means the Lord provides, in order that his servants shall be able to win the kingdom of heaven: and so that no poverty shall stand in the way, an example of mercy is given us from a gift of simple cool water. And not for nothing does the Lord also warn us that this cup be given in His Name. For things which of themselves are without monetary value become precious through faith: and that which is given without faith in Christ, however precious it may be, is still empty of all virtue unto justice before God.
Preparing for Easter, exercise these abstinences: Let the spirit of pride, from which all sins come, be driven out by the spirit of humility; and let those who are puffed up with arrogance become mild through forbearance. Let those whom some insult has provoked, become reconciled and seek earnestly to return to the peace of friendship.” —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.

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.

Confession. . . During Lent, St. John’s will offer Confession each Tuesday evening, from 7:30 – 9:00 P.M. We also continue the usual daily Confessions, 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.”) 

Trinity Catholic Junior Class. . . will collect old cell phones to earn phone calling cards for our troops abroad. Drop your old cell phones at the Trinity Catholic on Newfield Avenue. Thanks.

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.

Ecclesiastical Latin Class. . .will be discontinued due to the hectic parish schedule.

St. Monica Institute. . . Will NOT meet on Wednesday, March 10th. Resume, March 17th.

Annual Saint Patrick’s Parade. . . Saturday, March 13th: kicks off at 12 noon on lower Summer Street, and makes its way past the Ferguson Library and through the downtown: great marching bands and Irish dancers. Come and bring the kids.

A NIGHT AT THE OPERA. . . Please join us Saturday May 1st at 7:00 pm in the church for a Live Performance featuring 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 or register on the parish website www.stjohnsstamford.com.

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 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.

Daylight-Savings Time. . . Begins next Sunday March 14th. Turn clocks forward 1 hour.

Sunday February 28, 2010 $ 13,324.00
Sunday March 1, 2009 $ 12,816.43

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

March 14th Sunday Readings: Jos 5 : 9a, 10-12; 2 Cor 5: 17-21; Lk 15: 1-3, 11-32.

Grand Concert to Benefit Haiti . . . The Stamford Symphony and the Choir of the Basilica of St. John will present the famous Requiem by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on Sunday, April 11 at 7:30 PM. A benefit concert for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti, 100% of the proceeds will go to Haitian relief efforts. The concert will be conducted by Maestro Eckart Preu, the chorus prepared by Scott Turkington. While no entrance fee will be required, a suggested donation of $25.00 will go far toward raising needed funds to aid those now suffering in Haiti. Donors wishing to contribute $50.00 or more will be listed in the Donors’ Circle section of the printed program and will have reserved seating.

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 54 (2) 62.

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass
Mass Ordinary: Missa brevis – Antonio Lotti, 1667-1740.
All are encouraged to sing the Creed at the Noon Mass, which may be found in the hymnal at No. 289. The Creed is sung alternating, at each double bar line, with the choir.
The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Oculi mei (My eyes are forever turned towards the Lord; for he shall release my feet from the snare; look upon me and have mercy on me, for I am abandoned and destitute. Unto you, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul; O my God, I trust in you, let me not be put to shame. [Ps. 25:15,16,1-2]); Tract Ad te levavi (I have lifted my eyes up unto you, who dwell in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hands of their masters, and as the eyes of a maidservant to the hands of her mistress, so do our eyes look unto the Lord our God until he have mercy on us. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us. [Ps. 123:1-3]); Offertory Justitiae Domini (The ordinances of the Lord are right, bringing joy to all hearts, sweeter than honey or the honeycomb. Therefore your servant will observe them. [Ps. 19:9-12]); Communion Passer invenit (The sparrow has found herself a home, and the turtle dove a nest in which to lay her young: at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God! Blessed are they who dwell in your house, they shall praise you for ever and ever. [Ps. 84:4,5]).
Offertory Motet: Ne reminiscaris, Domine – Orlandus Lassus, 1532-1594 (Remember not, O Lord, our offences, neither those of our parents, and take not revenge of our sins; spare, O Lord, spare thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy precious blood, lest thou be angry with us forever.)
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]).

Marriage Anniversaries. . . Bishop Lori will celebrate a Mass for couples observing their 15th—50th—plus wedding anniversaries this year on April 25th at 3:00 PM at St. Theresa Church, Trumbull. Please call St. John’s rectory [203-324-1553, ext 21] to register.

Saint Gabriel Parish. . . Will offer a lecture by Fr. James Turro, internationally renowned Scripture Scholar and professor at Seton Hall University, on Tuesday, March 9th at 7:30 pm. All are invited.

Mass Intentions+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, March 6
4:00 +John & Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Young
Sunday, March 7
7:30 +Peter Medwed 4th Anniversary req. Munro & DeVivo Families
10:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
12:00 +Helen Connor req. LAOH of Stamford
6:00 +Boccuzzi Valente req. Gina Uva
Monday, March 8
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 +Daniel Fraher req. John Regan
Tuesday, March 9
8:00 Donald Samedi, Birthday req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 Special Intentions Marie Carr req. Marion & Phil Giordano
Wednesday, March 10
8:00 +Joseph McKenney req. Dr. & Mrs. Pat Santagata
12:10 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Thursday, March 11
8:00 +Lauren Boiteau req. Maude & Paul Hughes
12:10+Ida Anderson Birthday Remembrance req. Kate Longo
Friday, March 12
8:00 +Marie Summa req. Lisa Ingram
12:10 Special Intentions Joseph Kung req. Agnes Kung
Saturday, March 13
8:00 + Hope & Joseph McAleer req. The McAleer Family
12:10 Special Intentions Birgitta O’Brien-Costantino

Holy Name Society . . . For the men of the parish, meets Fridays in the Rectory, 7-7:50 a.m. for coffee, Eucharistic adoration & Benediction. All men of the parish are welcome. Finished in time for 8 am Mass. 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 legalized abortion . . . Wednesdays, 7-10:30a.m., Stamford’s Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St.

St. Dominic Savio Society. . . . 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 Bosthwick, 203-554-2004.

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:
140 years ago, or so:
March 12, 1869: “The Roman Catholic Society have purchased a lot 200 X 100 feet, in one of the most prominent and valuable positions on Atlantic Street, from Mr. A. J. Bell, for $12,500. We understand it is the intention of the society to build a handsome church edifice on their new purchase.”

110 years ago, or so:
March 14, 1900: Bishop Tierney’s Appeal for Missions. “Bishop Tierney has sent out circulars to all the Catholic churches in the diocese making an appeal to the Catholics for funds for the maintenance of the Indian missions. The circular states that the need of funds this year is greater on account of the withdrawal of federal support from the Catholic mission schools. The reason for the withdrawal of financial aid by the government toward the Catholic missions is not understood among the Catholics and severe criticism has come from some quarters in consequence of the withdrawal of federal aid.”

65 years ago, or so:
March 3, 1955: Rev. Sean S. Reid, Dr. Crowley To Be Hibernian Guests. “The Rev. Sean S. Reid, pastor of the Carmelite Church, New York City, and Dr. Francis M. Crowley, dean of the Fordham University School of Education, will be guests of honor at the St. Patrick’s Day observance of the Ancient Order of Hibernians on Sunday. Members will assemble in Hibernian Hall at 7:40 Sunday morning and will march to St. John’s Church for the 8 o’clock Mass and Communion. Breakfast will be served at 9:15 in Hibernian Hall, Greyrock Pl. and Forest St.”

55 years ago, or so:
March 12, 1964: Scout Leaders Visit Bay State. “Boy leaders of Troop 22, Boy Scouts of America, sponsored by St. John’s Catholic Church, were guests of Explorer Post 109, sponsored by the Chelsea Council, Knights of Columbus, Chelsea, Mass., last weekend. During their stay at the “Y,” the boys were visited by John Slater, mayor of Chelsea, who talked to the boys stressing the value of seeing first-hand the places foremost in the history of the birth of the nation. He said America is a great country only because of the people who are thinkers and doers, and not followers. The following Boys Scouts and leaders participated: Scouts Mike Sledge, Daniel Shaub, Daniel Moriairty, Pat Moriairty, Thomas Lynam, Arthur Remy, William Boffa, Terry Costello, and Bob Johnson. Leaders Scoutmaster Edwin Iacovo Jr., assistants Kenneth Jones and Richard Nopper.”

The Interior Life-Fr. Terry Walsh

On Ash Wednesday, we heard the words, “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.” The Holy Spirit beckons each of us to examine our lives in light of the Gospel and identify those areas of our lives that are inconsistent with the ‘Universal call to holiness’ – those things that slow us down in our journey to God. What are the obstacles that prevent us from being formed more perfectly into faithful reflections of our Lord? Interior penance helps us attain an honest assessment of our relationship with Christ. Conversion of the heart is not a simple matter of pledging not to commit a particular sin. Rather, it is an active search for the Truth and an ardent desire to adhere to the Truth. Jesus Christ is the Truth.

We discover Him in the Scriptures, in our faithful reception of the Sacraments (with proper preparation – prayer, confession, etc), and through our deepening faith evidenced by our love. There’s a sort of searching taking place, a search that necessarily begins with an act of humility, a plea for help, that is, “divine assistance.” Lord, heal me of (you fill in the blank) and fill me with your love (your grace, your mercy). A regular examination of conscience is indispensable for spiritual growth along the path that leads to the Heart of our Lord. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that there’s a twofold process at work here. “This conversion of heart is accompanied by a salutary pain and sadness which the (Early Church) Fathers (also known as the Patristics, such as St. Augustine, St. Leo the Great, St. Gregory the Great, St. Athanasius, St. Jerome, and many others) called animi cruciatus – that is, affliction of spirit – and compunctio cordis – that is, repentance of heart.”

It takes courage to peer inside the heart. It takes still more effort to admit faults and failings and recognize a need for healing and forgiveness. In a way, it may seem ‘easier’ to avoid such an honest and thorough examination of the heart but in the last analysis, we would be denying ourselves of the graces necessary to enter into the life we’re called to share with Christ. Our Lord stands ready to supply all the graces necessary for our complete immersion into Him. He knocks on the door of our heart, constantly inviting us to allow Him to enter and “fix what’s broken’ – ‘purify what’s muddy’ – in short, to heal, to restore, and to strengthen us. He requires our faithful cooperation acting out of love for Him. He tells us in the Gospel of John, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him…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”(Jn 14:23). Open up the Scriptures and drink in the Word. Allow Him to teach and inform your conscience and so discover the path he has laid out for you. It is truly the path of peace, the path of true freedom, the path of truth – and it is accomplished through His Cross.

St. Clement of Rome once said, “Let us fix our eyes on Christ’s blood and understand how precious it is to his Father, for, poured out for our salvation, it has brought to the whole world the grace of repentance.” ‘Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel…..’