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

Pastor ’s Corner. . .This is another sermon by Pope Saint Leo the Great: “The true worshipper of the Lord in his Passion should look upon the crucified Jesus with the eyes of the heart and recognize in Jesus’ flesh his own. For there is no one so weak that the victory of the Cross fails him, no one whom Christ’s prayer cannot help. If Christ did good to those who raged against him, how much more to those who turn to him? He has pierced through our ignorance and strengthened us in our weakness; his holy blood has turned aside the flaming sword that was brandished over our lives. The darkness of ancient night has yielded to his true light.
“Let us, then, not be so arrogantly and anxiously immersed in the business of our present life that we do no strive wholeheartedly to follow the example of our Redeemer and to become like him. Everything he did and endured was for our salvation so that the power inherent in the Head [Christ] might enter into the members of the Body [us, as members of His Church] as well.”
“When God took our mortal substance unto himself and ‘the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, what man, save the unbeliever, was excluded from his merciful embrace? Who cannot recognize his own weakness in Christ’s? Who cannot see that in his nature as our fellow-servant, Christ ate and slept, was sad and wept in his loving concern for others?”
“Our nature was to be healed of its ancient wounds and purified of the infection of sin. Therefore the Only-begotten of God became one of the sons of men that he might have not only the fullness of divinity but an authentic manhood as well. It was for our sake that he lay lifeless in the tomb and rose on the third day and ascended to the right hand of the Father’s majesty. If we walk in the way of his commandments and are not ashamed to confess our sins, we shall share his glory” [Sermon 15, On the Lord’s Passion].

This is from a sermon by Saint Macarius: “Woe to the ship if the pilot abandons it, for it shall be tossed by waves and storms and be wrecked! Woe to the soul if it does not have the Lord for its Pilot, for it shall be battered by the dark spirits, and must perish at last!
“Woe to the earth if no farmer tills it! Woe to the soul if Christ does not cultivate it and enable it to yield the good fruits of the Spirit! Once abandoned, it will be filled with thorns and thistles, and its yield will be fit for naught but burning! Woe to the heart in which Christ its Lord does not dwell! Once abandoned, it will overflow with evil attachments and become the prey of every vice.”
“As a farmer takes suitable tools with him when he goes out to till the soil, so Christ, the heavenly King and true Farmer, took a body and a Cross as his tools when he came to desolated mankind in order to till the soil of souls. He cleared it of the thorns of evil affections and the weeds of sin. When he had tilled it with the ploughshare of the Cross, he planted in it the beautiful gardens of the Spirit, which would produce sweet fruits of every kind for God its Lord” [Sermon 28]. —Mons. DiGiovanni

Please plan to attend the Holy Week ceremonies of the Triduum:
April 1: Holy Thursday at 8:00 pm: Mass of the Lord’s Supper, with adoration until midnight;
April 2: Good Friday at 3:00 pm: the Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion;
April 3: Holy Saturday at 8:00 pm: the Easter Vigil, the solemn celebration of Easter.

Please pray for the sick. . . Robert Lebeau, 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. . . Paul Jankowicz, James Thomas, Marjorie L. O’Kane, 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.

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.”) 

Holy Week Confessions. . .Tuesday evening: 7:00 – 9:00 P.M., Monday through Wednesday and Sunday, 30 minutes before each Mass. Holy Thursday & Good Friday: 11:30-12noon. Holy Saturday 3:00 – 4:00 pm.

GOOD FRIDAY FAST AND ABSTINENCE . . .On Good Friday, 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 only 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. Good Friday is a day of both abstinence and fasting, a means of sharing in Christ’s sacrifice for our salvation.

Tenebrae: The traditional psalm service introducing the Sacred Triduum will be offered on Wednesday March 31st at 8:00 pm in the Basilica. All are welcome.

St. Monica Institute. . . will NOT meet on Wednesday.

Biblical Greek Class . . . will NOT meet on Holy Thursday evening.

The Parish Ladies’ Group . . . will NOT meet on Holy Saturday morning.

The Eagle. . .A new parish publication, edited by our own Dr. Joseph McAleer, will provide a variety of interesting articles each month on theology, the spiritual life, Catholic cultural life and even reviews of local restaurants, bakeries and other neighborhood emporia.

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.
THIS CONCERT WILL NOT BE BROADCAST ON THE PARISH CAMERAS.

Sunday March 21, 2010 $ 14,077.00
Sunday March 22, 2009 $ 13,205.97

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

Easter Sunday Readings: Acts 10:34a, 37-43; Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23; Col 3:1-4; Lk 24: 13-35.

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. Please see the St. John’s website for more information. THIS CONCERT WILL NOT BE BROADCAST ON THE PARISH CAMERAS.

Hymns for this weekend. . . (1) 60 (2) 67.

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 with the choir at each double bar line.
The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Judica me Deus (Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly nation; from wicked and deceitful men deliver me, for you are my God and my strength. Send forth your light and your truth; these have led me and brought me to your holy mountain and to your dwelling place. [Ps. 43:1,2,3]); Tract Sæpe expugnaverunt me (Often have they fought against me from my youth. Let Israel now say: Often have they fought against me from my youth. Yet, they have not prevailed against me: my back has become an anvil for the hammering of sinners. They have long oppressed me with their iniquities. But the Lord of justice will break the necks of sinners. [Psalm 129:1-4]); Offertory Confitebor tibi (I will praise you, O Lord, with my whole heart; deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and observe your word; revive me according to your word, O Lord. [Psalm 119:7,10,17,25]); Communion Nemo te condemnavit (“Woman, has no one condemned you?” – “No one, Lord.” – Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” [John 8:10,11]).
Offertory Motet: Vere languores nostros – Tomás Luis de Victoria, 1548-1611 (Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. And with his stripes we are healed. Sweetest wood and sweetest iron, sweetest weight is hung on Thee. Thou alone wast counted worthy to uphold the King of heaven and Lord of all. [Responsory 3 at Tenebrae, Wednesday in Holy Week]).
Communion Motets: Crucifixus a 8 – Antonio Lotti, 1667-1740 (He was crucified also for us, under Pontius Pilate: he suffered and was buried. [from the Nicene Creed]); Miserere mei – William Byrd, 1540-1623 (Have mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness; according to the multitude of thy mercies do away mine offences. [Ps. 50:1]).
Postlude: Psalm 50 – Tonus peregrinus.

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.

Annual Bishop’s Appeal. . .Our Parish goal is $85,000. Please be generous to Bishop Lori.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, March 27
4:00 +James Berger req. Eileen & Robert
Sunday, March 28
7:30 Frank Janesch req. The Cycon Family
10:00 Special Intentions Carmen Morales Birthday req. Mother
12:00 +William M. Borkowski req. Michael Ann Borkowski
6:00 +Sylvina Hanley req. Jim Berry
Monday, March 29
8:00 +Mr. Joseph M. Callahan req. Maryella Callahan
12:10 Paul Gelaj req. Hana
Tuesday, March 30
8:00 Special Intentions Monika req. Ewa Czytowska
12:10 +Michel & Chener Jean-Guillaume req. Brothers
Wednesday, March 31
8:00 +Mrs. Mary M. Callahan req. Maryella Callahan
12:10 Souls in Purgatory
8:00PM Service of Tenebrae: An evening service of psalms, responses & readings composing the Matins & Lauds for Holy Thursday. Chanted Psalms with Choral Motets by Croce & Viadana.

TRIDUUM SACRUM
HOLY THURSDAY, April 1-The church remains open until 12 midnight for Eucharistic Adoration
NO 8AM or 12:10PM Masses
8:00PM: Mass of the Lord’s Supper: People of the Parish

GOOD FRIDAY, April 2
NO 8 AM or 12:10 pm Masses
3:00PM Liturgy of Lord’s Passion

HOLY SATURDAY, April 3
NO 8AM, 12:10 PM or 4 PM MASSES
8:00PM Easter Vigil: People of the Parish

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. We finish 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 NEWS:
140 years ago, or so:
The Stamford Advocate:
April 1, 1870:IMPROVEMENTS. “Mr. A.J. Bell has opened a new street, (which should be called “Bell Street”) from Atlantic to South street, through his property near the Congregational church. He has already built a model blacksmith shop for Wm. A. Lockwood, and intends to build large additions on the south row of houses, and make them front on the new street. In time he will probably put up a block of stores on the corner of the new street and Atlantic, immediately opposite to the lot owned by the Roman Catholic Society, on which, it is said, an elegant stone church is to be built.”

125 years ago, or so:
The Connecticut Catholic:
April 4, 1885: STAMFORD. “On Sunday a collection will be taken up at all the Masses for the benefit of the seminarians, in accordance with the circular from our Reverend Bishop, read on last Sunday. The Lenten exercises will close on this week; on Easter Sunday, the devotion and singing will especially be very fine. The altar will be tastefully decorated with flowers. On Sunday evening a sermon will be delivered by Father Synnott of Bridgeport, when Vespers will take place instead of the afternoon. A new choir consisting of about 24 boys from our parochial schools, will make its appearance for the first time, through the efforts of Father Skelly.”

75 years ago, or so:
The stamford advocate:
March 29, 1934: FATHER CARROLL TELLS STORY OF HOLY THURSDAY IN ST JOHN’S R.C. CHURCH. “At the last of his series of Lenten services in St. John’s R.C. Church last night, the Rev. James F. Carroll of the Holy Ghost Fathers at Ferndale, told the story of Holy Thursday, of the arrest, trial and sentence of Jesus. He spoke also of the significance of the crucifixion. He referred to Christ’s death on the Cross as “the substitution of God-made man in the place of sinning humanity for the redemption of the world.” and said sin was to be punished in Him that was innocent. “Is it any wonder that the eyes of all the world are turned every decade to the little town of Oberammergan where the Passion Play is given?” he asked. He said that the first act in the great drama of the crucifixion concerns the arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, which took place on Holy Thursday after the Holy Eucharist. He told how Christ said “My father, if it be possible, may this chalice pass from me” and explained that Christ was to atone for every sin down to the very last sin.”

Prophecies Fulfilled…. – Fr. Terry Walsh
The Prophet Isaiah lived 750 years before the Incarnation; that is, before the second Person of the Holy Trinity left His Heavenly Throne and came to rescues us from death, taking the sins of the world upon Himself through a terrible suffering and an ignominious death upon the Cross. Isaiah speaks of His Sacrificial love centuries before it takes place. These prophesies help us understand the depth of God’s love for us.
“I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. The Lord is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame”(Is. 50:6).
St. Matthew records the fulfillment of this prophecy: “Then they spat in His face and struck him; and some slapped Him, saying, ‘Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?’”(Mt 26:67).
“Even as many were amazed at Him – so marred was His look beyond that of a man, and His appearance beyond that of mortals”(Is. 52:14). The Letter to the Hebrews writes of the effect of this suffering: “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered; and being made perfect He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him…”(5:8).

The entire 53rd chapter of the Book of Isaiah tells of the Suffering Servant and would be a wonderful source of meditation throughout Holy Week as we approach the Passion. After meditating on the prophecies of Isaiah, it would be helpful to reflect upon their fulfillment in the New Testament (consider the following Scripture passages for fruitful meditation: Matthew chapter 8: verse17; 26:62-63; 21:1-5; 26:14-15; 27:57-60; Romans 3:21-26; 4:5-8; 5: 6-8; Acts of the Apostles 8:28-35; the 1st letter of Peter 2:21-25 are but a few points of reflection. Likewise, the Psalms speak eloquently of our Lord’s Passion and Death. Most notably perhaps is Psalm 22, which begins with a cry of abandonment but ends with great hope. In addition, Psalms 16, 27, 31, 33, 41, 49, 55, 69, 86, 88, and 109 all reflect the suffering Jesus would endure for our sake.

The Suffering Servant is at the same time the Victor. He came to “crush the head of the serpent” – to conquer sin and ultimately death – and to restore life to his people. Isaiah writes: “I will extol and praise your name; for you have fulfilled your wonderful plans of old, faithful and true….For you are a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in distress;/ Shelter from the rain, shade from the heat….On this Holy Mountain the Lord of Hosts will provide for all peoples, / A feast of rich food and pure, choice wines./ On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, / The web that is woven over all nations;/ he will destroy death forever. / The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces”(Isaiah 25).

Finally, it is important to reflect upon the love and humility of Jesus. St. Paul writes beautiful canticles in his various letters that sing the praises of so magnificent sacrifice. In his letter to the Philippians 2: 6-11, Paul writes: “[Jesus], though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a Cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
He did it for love of us.