For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Easter Sunday April 4, 2010

Pastor ’s Corner. . .This is a third century homily for Holy Saturday, a meditation on Christ’s descent into Hell: God had become man to redeem all aspects of human existence, even the eternal effects of mankind’s abandonment of God through sin—Hell, in which were all the dead since Adam. Christ, “who knew no sin, became sin”, as St. Paul wrote, took on the guilt of all human sin, and experienced even that final abandonment—allowing Himself to become repugnant to the Father, as the means to pay for mankind’s abandonment of God. His descent into Hell extended the power of the Cross to the dead—on Satan’s home court, granting them a share in His triumph over death by His bodily Resurrection:
“What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence and stillness, a silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and had fallen still, for God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping in death from the ages. God is dead in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled. Truly, He goes to seek our first parent like a lost sheep. He wills to visit those who sit in the dark shadows of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his wife Eve from their grievous captivity, He who is God, and Adam’s son.”
“The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, the Cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees Him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ And Christ in reply says to Adam: ‘And with your spirit.’ And grasping Adam’s hand raises him up, saying: “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.”
“I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison [Hades, cf I Pet 3:19]: Come forth, and to those in darkness: have light, and to those who sleep: Rise.”
“I command you: Awake, sleeper! I did not create you to lie bound in Hell. Arise from the dead, for I am life to those who have died. Rise up, work of my hands, my likeness, made in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.”
“For your sake I your God became your son; for you, I the Master took on your form, that of slave; for you, I who am above the heavens came on earth and under the earth; for you, man, I became as a man without help, free among the dead; for you, who left a garden [Eden], I was handed over from the garden [of Olives] and crucified in a garden [Golgotha].”
“See the spittle on my face—it was for you, that you might have the breath of life again. See my cheeks reddened by the blows—it was for you, that you might be remade in my image. See my torn back—it was for you, that I might take the load of sin from your shoulders. See the nail-marks in my hands—it was for you, because you once put your hand to the fruit of the forbidden 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 healed the pain of your side; my sleep will release you from your sleep of death in Hades; my sword has checked the sword [of the angel guarding Eden] which was turned against you.”
“Arise, let us go hence. Satan, the enemy, brought you out of the land of paradise; I will reinstate you, no longer in paradise, but I have a heavenly throne prepared for you. I denied you the tree of life, which was only a symbol, but now I myself am united to you, I who am life itself. I posted the cherubim to guard you as they would slaves; now, the cherubim shall bow down before you” [Patrologia Greca, 43: 439]. —Mons. DiGiovanni

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.

Easter Collection . . . The second collection today will be the Easter Collection 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. (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.”) 

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.

Divine Mercy Devotions. . . April 11th: Will not take place this year because of the Stamford Symphony/Basilica Choir benefit presentation of Mozart’s Requiem.

GRAND CONCERT to BENEFIT HAITI . . . Next Sunday, April 11, the Stamford Symphony and the Choir of the Basilica of St. John will present the famous Requiem by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 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: stjohnsstamford.com. THIS CONCERT WILL NOT BE BROADCAST ON THE PARISH CAMERAS.

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.

Coffee Hour. . .There will be No Coffee Hour Easter Sunday, April 4th. Coffee hour will resume next Sunday, April 11th, after the 10:00 a.m. Mass. All are welcome.

Sunday March 28, 2010 $ 12,374.45
Sunday March 29, 2009 $ 11,644.84

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

April 11th Sunday Readings: Acts 5:12-16; Rev 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19; Jn 20:19-31.

Hymns for this Sunday . . . (1) 79 (2) 83.

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass
Mass Ordinary: Missa brevis in C, K. 229 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756-1791.
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 Resurrexi (I am risen, and I am always with you, alleluia; you have placed your hand upon me, alleluia; your wisdom has been shown to be most wonderful, alleluia, alleluia. O Lord, you have searched me and known me; you know when I sit down and when I rise up. [Ps. 139:18,5,6,1,2]); Alleluia Pascha nostrum (Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed. [I Corinthians 5:7]); Sequence Victimæ paschali laudes (The text may be found in the hymnal at No. 315); Offertory Terra tremuit (The earth trembled and was still, when God arose in judgment, alleluia. [Ps.75]); Communion Pascha nostrum (Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed, alleluia; therefore, let us keep the feast by sharing the unleavened bread of uprightness and truth, alleluia, alleluia. [I Corinthians 5:7,8]).
Offertory Motet: Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem – Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, 1852-1924 (The text may be found in the hymnal at No. 85).
Communion Motets: Laudate Dominum – W. A. Mozart (O praise the Lord, all ye heathen. Praise him all ye nations. For his merciful kindness is ever more and more towards us, and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise the Lord. [Psalm 117]); Ave verum – Mozart (The tx may be found in the hymnal at No. 296); Most glorious Lord of life – Sir William Harris, 1883-1973 (Most glorious Lord of life, that on this day Didst make Thy triumph over death and sin, And having harrowed hell, didst bring away Captivity thence captive, us to win. This joyous day, dear Lord, with joy begin, And grant that we for whom Thou didest die, Being with Thy dear blood clean washed from sin, May live for ever in felicity : And that Thy love we weighing worthily, May likewise love Thee for the same again; And for Thy sake, that all like dear didst buy, With love may one another entertain. So let us love, dear Love, like as we ought; Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught. [Edmund Spencer 1522-99]).

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

HOLY SATURDAY, April 3
8:00PM Easter Vigil: People of the Parish
Easter Sunday, April 4
7:30 People of the Parish
10:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
12:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
6:00 +The Cenatus Family req. Eugena Miejlan
Monday, April 5
8:00 +Wilhelmina-Belia Falek-Roerhoso req. Priests of the Parish
12:10 + John & Angelina Pascale req. John Pascale
Tuesday, April 6
8:00 +Virginia Carr req. Marie Carr
12:10 +Eva, Charles, Sr., Nicholas Kronk, Mary Fedonchuk req. Mary Churley
Wednesday, April 7
8:00 +Margaret M. Timon req. Thomas A. Timon
12:10 +Joan O’Brien req. Ann Armstrong
Thursday, April 8
8:00 Special Intentions Ms. Mary Callahan
12:10 +Bryan Alva req. Ferry G
Friday, April 9
8:00 +Deceased relatives of Joseph W. Callahan
12:10 +Catherine Pascale req. John Pascale
Saturday, April 10
8:00 +Joseph & Hope McAleer req. The McAleer Family
12:10 Deborah & Brazlia Walker req. Betty McDonald

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 Advocate:
100 years ago, or so:
April 11, 1911: Father O’Brien in Norwalk. “Rev. J.C. O’Brien will be the preacher at vespers in St. Joseph’s, Norwalk, tomorrow evening. The Norwalk Hour says: “Father O’Brien is perhaps the best known priest in Fairfield County, having labored in Stamford, Bridgeport, and New Milford for the past twenty-five years. Wherever he has preached, he has invariably drawn large congregations because of his zeal, earnestness, and the practical and convincing way he treats his subject. South Norwalk is to be congratulated in securing the services of Father O’Brien and his many friends as well as those who wish to hear him should fill the church to its capacity on Sunday evening.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: The Rev. James C. O’Brien was pastor of St. John’s from 1900 to 1928.)

75 years ago, or so:
April 6, 1934: Former Local Girl Now a Nun, to Speak Here on Sunday at 3. “The Children of Mary of St. John’s R.C. Church will sponsor an illustrated lecture given by the Sisters from Maryknoll, New York, in the school hall, Sunday afternoon, at 3. One of the Sisters, who is expected to take part in the lecture, will be Sister Mary Corieta, formerly Miss Rita Herrgen of Garden St. All members of the Sodality are invited to bring their relatives and friends. A musical program will follow.”

April 11, 1936: EASTER MUSIC TO FEATURE CHURCH SERVICES TOMORROW. “Happy Easter, most joyous day in the Christian calendar, when the bunnies will bring good things to children and m’lady will don finery for the fashion parade, will be observed, tomorrow, with special music and sermons in Roman Catholic churches. The boys’ sanctuary choir will sing at the 10 o’clock Mass at St. John’s R.C. Church. Music will include “Regina Caeli,” anon; “In this Sacrament sweet Jesus,” ancient Irish melody; “Landa Jerusalem Dominum,” special arrangement; “Alleluia, let the Holy anthem Rise,” Tombelli. Music at the High Mass at 11 will include Kyrie from “Missa de Angelis,” Gregorian XV Century; “Gloria,” Gregorian: credo, “Gregorian Interpolated,” Tassi; offertory, “O Sacrum Convivium,” Roberts-Remondi; sanctus, “Missa Brevia,” “Benedictus and Agnus Dei,” Nicola Montoni; recessional, “Regina Coeli Jubila,” Michaele Praetorius. Accompaniests will be Rudolph Svec, cello: Thomas Collis, bass viol and Frank Smith, violin..”

Christ our Light– Fr. Terry Walsh
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10)
My first year of Theology in Major Seminary was the Jubilee Year, 2000. Naturally, the Church offered many special graces for the faithful throughout the world. One of those graces was the chance to view the Shroud of Turin, the burial garment of our Lord. On our first free weekend, 15 of my classmates and I took the overnight train from Rome to Turin so that we might have a glimpse of the Holy Shroud. It was an amazing experience, a grace filled moment. One of the most startling things I learned about the Shroud was that the Image left upon the cloth was the result of a “Radiant Light” characteristic of a Nuclear Blast. It was the immediate image left at the moment of His Resurrection. He has Risen! He is God! And he has come to rescue his sheep and to put His enemies beneath His feet. The Light will not be extinguished. He has triumphed over death and offers life to all who follow Him.
Light shines on the darkness and reveals the Truth. Darkness, on the other hand, reminds us of falsehood, of sin, and ultimately of death. In John’s Gospel we hear these words: “In Him [the Word, Jesus Christ] was life, and the life was the light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…. The True Light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.”
Consider Jesus’ miraculous birth in the Stable. Indeed, throughout His public Ministry, He enlightened all his witnesses by miracle after miracle, teaching after teaching, enlightening all who followed Him. At His Transfiguration, His glory was revealed once again in blinding light. How is it then that so many remained in the dark?
As Jesus’ “Hour” approached, the true intentions of the hearts of all were made manifest. Many preferred the “cozy cave of ignorance” rather than the “Light of Christ.” In order to receive the Light, the human heart must be willing to let go of false teachings that may seem “comfortable” and instead freely choose to walk in the Light – even when that walk requires some extra effort. To leave what is comfortable can be difficult. Contemplating Jesus words requires humility and a desire for Truth. Putting those words into action requires some work, perhaps even some manner of purification, which would naturally involve some measure of suffering. In the end, it becomes a decision to love. There is no love without sacrifice.
Sadly, many looked upon Jesus as one who simply drew attention to Himself for some selfish reason. They accused Him of bringing division to the so-called “community.” Their hearts were in the dark and their lack of humility revealed their own selfish desires. Their refusal to be transformed by the Light ultimately led to shouts of “Crucify Him!” They sought to extinguish the Light. They missed the point entirely. Jesus came to give life. But they “had not the love of God within them”(John 5:42).
As they mocked him while he suffered His frightful agony upon the Cross, their pride punctuated a false victory over He who exposed their deceit, their contempt for God. Opening His side with the lance, the final blow of hate, would instead reveal the Light of Truth. The Blood and Water that flowed from His Wounded Sacred Heart became the very Light of divine grace that would wash away the darkness. In His Glorified Body, streams of Healing Light beam from His Merciful Heart and all who seek Him with humility and love are filled with this Light. “I am the Light of the world; he who follows me will have the Light of Life”(John 8:12). “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
We receive this Light most abundantly through the Sacraments. It is precisely sacramental grace that transforms our souls making us holy; sacrament grace imparts wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, piety, fortitude, as well as awe and wonder. As we grow in grace, we walk more and more in the Light. It’s that simple. It is the “well lit path” that leads to Heaven. When we walk in the Light we will not fall into the snags and potholes of falsehoods, lies, deceits, and spiritual laziness that try to derail us from union with God. We just need to take that 1st step – that act of faith in our heart. Open the door just a crack and let the Radiant Light of Christ lead you from the darkness into the warmth and peace and joy and happiness of life IN HIM. He has Risen! He has come to give life…
HAPPY EASTER