For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday May 9, 2010

Pastor ’s Corner. . . Last weekend’s fundraising Gala was an overwhelmingly magnificent success! The seven singers from the Metropolitan Opera, including those who will star in this season’s Met production of Tosca, opening May 8th, were outstanding. The crowd numbered around 500 persons, and the stars wowed everyone with the quality and beauty of their voices, and the artistry of their singing. Absolutely magnificent!—and the acoustics of the church interior, designed by our own John Ennis in 1885, enhanced an already unforgettable evening. The gala musical presentation was followed by an equally elegant reception and supper in the Old Town Hall. Numerous St. John’s Parish events had been hosted in the town hall—both the original one from the late 1800’s and the “new” one built in 1906, and now known as the Old Town Hall. The historic building is graceful and has been beautifully restored, accentuating its graceful, sweeping formal staircase with magnificent white marble columns and architraves, WPA murals, and detailed plaster cornices. The entire evening was superb.
There are many parishioners and others who worked tirelessly during these past months to make the evening such a success. First, I must thank Mr. Barry Tucker and the members of the Richard Tucker Foundation, which made the evening possible. They brought the best of the Metropolitan Opera stars to us, and to those stars I am equally indebted for their generosity and their talents. Chief Robert Nivakoff, whose son is Fr. Benedict, O.S.B., offered Mass here a few weeks ago, and his officers were on hand to ensure our safety. Sandy Goldstein and the downtown Ambassadors were indispensible in their kindness and assistance, as well. The staff of the Old Town Hall, and Mr. Ernie Orgera of the City of Stamford and his staff, all made our arrangements for the use of the Old Town Hall possible.
The parish committee worked tirelessly during these months to make everything possible, and I’m grateful to them. Likewise, Joseph McAleer, one of the parish trustees, designed all the invitations, announcements cards, advertisements and programs, and Greg Duffy, who printed everything at MinuteMan Printing in Norwalk, both did superb jobs. Both Joe and Greg donated their time and talents, for which I am very grateful. The parish staff, whose names I will not mention, since they always yell at your poor pastor when I do mention them by name, also did great work behind the scenes with organization, ticket sales and so much more, and without whom, there would have been no event.
The dynamic duo who were the mind, heart and muscle behind the event was Patty Arnone and Father Al Audette. These two tirelessly generous people were absolutely prodigal in their expenditure of talents, strength and time to ensure the perfection of the evening—and everyone appreciated their efforts. No one is more grateful to them both, than I.
To our donors who gave gifts, but who could not attend the evening, please accept my thanks for your continued support of our parish.
We don’t yet know the exact amount that we made for the parish that night: we’ll know this coming week once all the bills are paid. Nevertheless, I am sure we can return to painting another portion of the church interior because of the generosity of those who attended and contributed to our Night at the Opera event.
To all who worked to make the evening such a success, and to all who attended or supported the evening, please accept my thanks. Hopefully, more parishioners will attend next year’s opera gala so we might complete the painting of our beautiful church.
God bless you! —Mons. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Emily Turturino, Fr. Andrew Walter, George Szele, Sr., Robert Lebeau, Connie Ward, Cheryl Carucci, Jerry Pellegrino, Joan Bachman, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Matthew H. Kenealy Jr., Anthony P. D’Ariano, Salvatore Piro, Andrew Caruso, James R. Clements, Irene Zelinsky, Margaret L. Rekos, Mary Catherine Sheehan, Paul K. 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, William Wolf, Alfred Gautrau, David Lloyd, Evelyn Mahan.

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

Ascension Thursday. . . Is May 13th, and a Holy Day of Obligation. The Vigil Mass will be offered on Wednesday, May 12 at 5:15 pm; on Thursday: 8:00am, 12:10 pm & 5:15 pm.

Easter Duty. . . The sign that we are practicing Catholics is that we receive Holy Communion: which means we lead a moral life and hold the same faith as does our local successor of the Apostles, Bishop Lori and the Successor of Saint Peter, Pope Benedict: we are in communion with them. The Easter Duty is a precept insuring that all Catholics receive Holy Communion at least once during the year: from Palm Sunday through Trinity Sunday [May 30th]. That implies that everyone should go to confession at least once per year, especially during the Easter season. Unless prevented by illness or other serious reasons, if one does not go to Confession or receive Holy Communion at least during this time of year, then that person can’t be considered much of a practicing Catholic.

Parish Mother of the Year. . . On Tuesday, May 25th at 7:00pm here at Saint John’s: the Council of Catholic Women will host their annual Parish Mother of the Year Awards: A light reception will follow in the Monsignor Nagle Hall. All are welcome to attend.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies. . . Continues our study of Eusebius’ Life of Constantine: 7:30 pm each Wednesday in the rectory: all are welcome.

Weekday Morning Mass Time. . . Some people have asked if we would consider changing the morning Mass to 7:30 a.m., which might prove convenient for more people on their way to work. What would you think if daily Morning Mass were at 7:30 a.m. instead of
8 a.m.? Would you come?? Please let us know what you think. Thanks. —Your priests.

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.”) 

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY. . .Let the mothers of the parish imitate Mary’s faith and virtues, and let their children remain truly devoted to their mothers, not just today, but every day of their lives.

Sunday May 2, 2010 $ 13,891.26
Sunday May 3, 2009 $ 13,018.93

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

May 16th Sunday Readings: Acts 7:55-60; Rev 22:12-14, 16-17, 20; Jn 17:20-26.

Hymns for this Sunday . . . (1) 165 (2) 83

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass:
Mass Ordinary: Missa l’hora passa – Ludovico da Viadana, 1565-1644.
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 Vocem iucunditatis (Spread the news with a voice of joy; let it be heard, alleluia; speak it out to the very ends of the earth; the Lord has liberated his people, alleluia, alleluia. Shout joyfully to God all the earth; sing a psalm to his name; praise him with magnificence. [Cf. Isaiah 48:20; Ps. 65]); Alleluia Ego vos elegi (I have chosen you from the world, in order that you might go, and bear fruit, and that your fruit should last. [John 15:16])
Offertory Benedicite gentes (O nations, bless the Lord our God, let the voice of his praises resound; he has restored my soul to life and he has not suffered my feet to stumble; blessed be the Lord who has neither rejected my prayer nor turned away from me, alleluia. [Ps. 67:8,9,20])
Communion Ego vos elegi (I have chosen you from the world, in order that you might go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should last. [John 15:16])
Offertory Motet: Angelus Domini – William Byrd 1540-1623
(O sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord, all the whole earth.Sing unto the Lord, and praise his Name; be telling of his salvation from day to day. [Ps. 96:1-3, trans. M. Coverdale])
Communion Motet: Jesu nostra Redemptio – Tomás Luis de Victoria 1548-1611
(Jesus, our redemption, love and desire, God, Creator of all things, becomes man in the fullness of time. What mercy made thee bear our crimes, to suffer a cruel death that we might be saved from death! Descending into Hell’s prison, freeing thy captives, Thy noble triumph won, dwelling at the Father’s right hand. [Anon., 10th Cent.])

Annual Bishop’s Appeal. . . Our Parish goal is $85,000. Please be generous to Bishop Lori.
Next weekend we will provide envelopes in the pews for parishioners to make a pledge to Bishop Lori.

Job Seekers. . . Meets the 4th Monday of each month in the rectory at 7:30 pm: all are welcome. Topics include job interviewing, writing of resumes, networking and job seeking strategies. The group is led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., is a leader in helping find jobs: for more info, see: www.redinc.biz

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, May 8
4:00 +Vincent Freccia, Jr. req. Family
Sunday, May 9
7:30 +Lina DeVivo 51st Anniversary req. Munro & DeVivo Families
10:00+Scholastica Lloyd req. Carmen Lara & The Lloyd Family
12:00 Most Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
6:00 Special Intentions Marie Florestal
Monday, May 10
8:00 +William Morris, req. Cortland Mehl
12:10 +Antonio D’Amico req. His son Frank
Tuesday, May 11
8:00 +Agnes Joseph req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
Wednesday, May 12
8:00 +Virginia & Eileen Carr, Birthday Remembrance req. Marie Carr
12:10 People of the Parish
5:15 +Carmine Salvatore req. Giannitti Family
Thursday, May 13
8:00 Special Intentions James Cody
12:10 +Louise Thiel 1st Anniversary req. The McAleer Family
5:15 +Louise Thiel req. Martha M. Dombroski
Friday, May 14
8:00 +Brunilola Perez req. Pugliese Family
12:10 +Phillip Rappa req. Millie & George Terenzio
Saturday, May 15
8:00 +Hope & Joseph McAleer req. The McAleer Family
12:10 Thanksgiving to God req. Joseph Alexandre

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 the 8am Mass.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary Ladies’ Society . . .will meet May 15th and 22nd and will then resume in September.

Moms & Tots . . . Moms and their kids meets each first Tuesday of every month at 10:00 a.m.

Religious Education. . . Last Class—May 9th. All are invited to the St Annes Awards Night on May 16th at 5pm

St. Anne Society’s “Celebration of the Sacraments” Come join us Sunday, May 16th beginning at 5:00pm Special awards given at the dinner by the Teachers of each class. There will be Pizza/Pasta as usual
Pray to end legalized abortion . . . Weds, 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 7:30 pm in the rectory. All are welcome.

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

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

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

St. John’s in the NEWS:
130 years ago, or so:
The Connecticut Catholic:

May 11, 1878: STAMFORD. “May devotions here morning and evening-Mass in the morning, instructions in the evening and singing by the choir form the chief exercises. A beautiful shrine in honor of the Blessed Virgin is erected and decked with fairest flowers. It is a very prominent feature in the church. Father Toner’s sermon was delivered last Sunday. The large church was crowded, and the eloquent preacher did ample justice to the text, “what does it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?” The proceeds are for the orphans, that greatest and most ennobling of charities. The congregation, always responsive to such call, in their generosity, gave liberally. Father Desmond, of Portland, is on a visit for a few days; and as the Rev. gentleman is a distinguished linguist and Irish scholar, he has kindly consented to hear the confession of any of the parishioners who would like to confess in their native Gaelic. Some there are who will certainly be very happy to embrace this opportunity. The following statistics may interest the readers of The Catholic. Whole number of births in Stamford for 1877, 266; whole number of Baptisms in the Catholic Church, 131; whole number of marriages, in Stamford, 59-whole number in Catholic church, 32. Here is a problem for some of our philosophical statisticians: Is the native element dying out?”

55 years ago, or so:
The STAMFORD ADVOCATE:

May 11, 1956: Cemetery Altar To Be Dedicated Memorial Day. “An altar-memorial, in memory of Stamford priests who are buried there, has been placed on the priests’ plot in St. John’s Cemetery in Springdale. It will be dedicated at the annual 11 a.m. services Memorial Day. The Rt. Rev. Msgr. Nicholas P. Coleman, pastor of St. John’s Church and superintendent of the St. John’s Cemetery Association, will officiate at the dedication. The altar-memorial is so designed that the front of it is an altar and the rear is a monument on which will be inscribed the names of the priests buried in the priests’ plot. There are many priests buried in their family’s plots in the cemetery and there are three buried in the priests’ plot. They are the Rev. John Fagan, who was pastor of St. John’s Church, from 1868 to 1873; the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Denis L. Gleason, D.D., pastor of St. Mary’s Church for 45 years, and who died in February 1953; and the Rev. Daniel F. Golden, assistant pastor of Sacred Heart Church, who died in March 1955.”

Come, O Most Holy Spirit, Come
(Part IV) -Fr. Terry Walsh
The Sacrament of Confirmation

We are in the midst of such a Holy time of the year. After having been lifted up on the Cross for the Life of the world, our Lord rose from the dead, as He said He would, and then lived among the Apostles and Disciples for 40 days. On the Glorious 40th day, He Ascended to the Father in Heaven out of love for us. It is from there that the Father and the Son send the Advocate, the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, Who will lead and guide us to all Truth. Ten days after the Ascension of Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost to dwell in the hearts and souls of all who are baptized and live a faithful life in Christ. We receive the fullness, or the “completion” of the graces of Baptism through the Sacrament of Confirmation.
The Church teaches us that “by the Sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit…they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obligated to spread and defend the faith by word and deed”(ccc1285). Moreover, “this seal of the Holy Spirit marks our total belonging to Christ, our enrollment in His service for ever, as well as the promise of divine protection in the great eschatological trial” (see also Rev. 7:2-3; 9:4 and Ezek 9: 4-6)”(ccc1296).
What are the effects of the Sacrament of Confirmation? Well, clearly, there is an ‘outpouring of the Holy Spirit’ into the soul of the one confirmed. Our souls are indelibly marked with a special ‘character’ just as the Disciples souls were on the day of Pentecost, and we’re all aware of the effect it had on them. Recall that in the Garden of Gethsemane they all ran away at the moment Jesus needed them most. But upon receiving the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they were filled with the strength and love of the Holy Spirit and all became great witnesses to Jesus by the shedding of their own blood – martyrdom – save St. John. John was the only Apostle at the foot of the Cross during our Lord’s Crucifixion and death. Tradition holds that there was an attempt to put him to death too – he was actually thrown into a vat of boiling oil – but it had no effect. He was then exiled and suffered “White” Martyrdom through daily persecutions, all for the sake of the Name of Jesus.
We, likewise, receive the graces we need to be faithful witnesses to Christ. The Catechism beautifully describes the effects of Confirmation: “(It) brings and increase and deepening of baptismal grace: it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, ‘Abba! Father!’; it unites us more firmly to Christ; it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us; it renders our bond with the Church more perfect; it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross”(ccc 1302). And St. Ambrose adds: “Recall that you have received the spiritual seal….Guard what you have received. God the Father has marked you with his sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his pledge, the Spirit, in your hearts.” We guard what we have received by “seeking the things that are above” – by faithfully living the Gospel in all that we think and say and do – by praying faithfully – and by receiving the Sacraments worthily and with thanks and praise.
Our Religious Education program moved the conferral of the Sacrament of Confirmation to the 9th grade, thus offering our young people the benefit of another year of instruction to complement what they are learning at home. It has been a wonderful addition to our program. The 8th grade year has afforded our students to enter into a deeper understanding of Sacred Scripture and at the same time enter into seminar discussions on our faith. Their efforts this year proved very fruitful.
Our Parish will have several men and women receiving Confirmation at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport on Pentecost Sunday by Bishop Lori. These have been studying the Faith throughout the year in our R.C.I.A. program. Please continue to pray for them as they approach that great day!