For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday July 11, 2010

Pastor’s Corner. . . July 16th is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, an important day for Saint John’s, since Pope Benedict XVI raised our parish to the dignity of a minor basilica on July 16, 2009. While we did not receive word of this until the following October—the Vatican, like all of Italy, closes down for most of August and September—nevertheless, the date is worth remembering because, as a minor basilica, Saint John’s has special bond with the Holy Father and unique spiritual privileges among the churches of the Diocese of Bridgeport, in that we can offer special plenary indulgences each year. Here are the dates when plenary indulgences may be obtained here at the Basilica:
—February 22nd: the day of the liturgical celebration of the title of minor basilica, and the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter;
—May 30th: The dedication date of the Church of Saint John in 1886;
—June 29th: Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul;
—July 16th: Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the date of concession of the title of minor basilica granted Saint John’s in 2009;
—August 2nd: The Portiuncula, recalling Saint Francis of Assisi;
—November 2nd: All Soul’s Day;
—December 27th: The patronal feast day of Saint John the Evangelist;
—December 31st: The New Year: public recitation of the Te Deum;
—Each parishioner may select one other personal day each year on which to receive the basilica’s plenary indulgence;
—The local bishop may determine another special day each year.
A plenary indulgence is a favor granted by the Church through the merits of Jesus who removes, either partially or completely [plenary], the temporal punishment remaining for sins that have been forgiven in Confession. The Church, as the minister of Christ’s graces, grants these to faithful Catholics willing to perform a public act of devotion: in this case, by visiting the Basilica on the days noted, reciting an Our Father and the Creed for the intention of the pope; receiving Holy Communion on the day of the indulgence, and having gone to Confession at least 20 days prior to or following the day the indulgence is sought. One must be free from all attachment to sin in order to receive an indulgence.
Please take advantage of the Basilica’s special bond with the Holy Father, by visiting on those days and piously working for these blessings.
— Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Aileen Bainton, Jamie Chapin, Angela Bonneau, Emily Turturino, George Szele, Sr., Robert Lebeau, Connie Ward, Cheryl Carucci, 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. . .Katie Fontneau, Achille Lamontagne, Rosemarie Gaffney, Kushtrim Elezaj, William R. Plank, Paul Jankowitz, Matthew H. Kenealy Jr., Anthony P. D’Ariano, Salvatore Piro, Jerry Pellegrino, 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, Haitian Earthquake Victims, Roshah E. DeJean, Paul Reda, Katherine Dziezyc, John Castellano, Eugene Lops, William Wolf, Alfred Gautrau, David Lloyd, Evelyn Mahan.

Votive Lights Memorial. . . The two St. Peter votive lights are in memory of Katie Fontneau.

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

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies. . . Will not meet during the summer, but will resume on September 8th with the study of the Rule of Saint Benedict. All are welcome.

Latin Reading Group. . . Will not meet until mid-August.

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.”) 

Annual Bishop’s Appeal. . . Our Parish has met it’s goal of $85,000. The people of Saint John’s have given $86,109. I am very, very grateful to you for your generosity. We can now turn our attention to the needs of the parish, once again.

Icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary. . . The oil painting of the most famous and ancient of Roman icons of the Blessed Mother—Salus Populi Romani, the Protectress of Rome—has now been completed and returned to the parish: she is enshrined in the northern side aisle in the top arch, above the statue of Saint Rita. Sometime this week, a spotlight will be installed, as will one to illuminate the bronze statue of Saint Peter. Our Lady is high up, at nearly the same height as the original 9th century icon in the Major Basilica of Saint Mary Major, in Rome. Vigil candles will be placed nearby, as will a votive hanging lamp, within the next weeks. There are kneelers facing Our Lady, which are part of the Baptistry, so parishioners might kneel while offering a prayer to Our Lady and her Divine Son. I am very grateful to a friend of the parish and his family who donated the funds commissioning Grace DeVito, a local portrait artist, to create the beautiful icon for us.

Memorial Votive Lights. . . The two votive lights next to the statue of Saint Peter, and the one which will soon hang before the icon of the Protectress of Rome above the statue of Saint Rita, may be memorialized each week for the intention of a loved one, or for the repose of a deceased loved one for a donation of $20.00 per candle, per week. The memorials will be published in the bulletin. Please call Cindy at ext. 21.

Sunday July 4, 2010 $ 10,985.00
Sunday July 5, 2009 $ 10,800.81

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

July 18th Sunday Readings: Gn 18:1-10a; Col 1:24-28; Lk 10:38-42.

Hymns for this Sunday . . . (1) 258, (2) 92, (3) 246

Religious Education. . . Parents, please consider registering your children early for the upcoming religious education classes which begin in October. Just call the rectory, and speak with Cindy [ext 21] or with Fr. Walsh [ext 14]. Thanks.

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. . . Sunday, August 15th, is one of the most beloved of holy days in the Church’s calendar: The Blessed Virgin Mary, the closest of Christ’s disciples, was the first to enjoy the benefits of her Son’s resurrection, being assumed body and soul to Heaven. Join us in our celebration at 4pm Solemn Sung Vespers, and the solemn blessing of our icon, Salus Populi Romani: Mary the Protectress of Rome. An ice cream social will follow in the rectory backyard. All welcome.

Holy Name Society Pig Roast. . . Will be on Saturday, July 24th following the 4 pm Mass, in the rectory’s backyard. Only for Holy Name members, altar servers and their dads: More details during upcoming weeks. If interested, please call Cindy [ext 21].

God Parents. . . If you are preparing to baptize your baby, you will be looking for Godparents for your child. The Church’s law is clear that, since the Godparents’ role is to provide an example of Catholic life, those chosen must be active and practicing Catholics: regular attendance at Sunday Mass, and regular reception of the sacraments are mandatory; they must be living lives of virtue and charity; if married, the Godparents must be in a valid marriage, meaning they have been married in the Catholic Church. If parents have any questions, please feel free to contact one of the parish priests to discuss them.

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:

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, July 10
4:00 +Theodore Joseph Drzyzga req. Sandra & Roy Klemm
Sunday, July 11
7:30 +John & Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Young
10:00 Thanksgiving to God req. Fabiola C.
12:00 +Irene Medwed 6th Anniversary req. Munro & De Vivo Families
6:00 Special Intention Helen and Constantine Karasoulas req. Lia Condax
Monday, July 12
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 Special Intention Anthony Alvarez req. Rosario Pugliese
Tuesday, July 13
8:00 Sam & Family req. Francis Baranowski
12:10 +James Touhey req. Family
Wednesday, July 14
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
12:10 +Patrick Dandry req. Laura Pascale
Thursday, July 15
8:00 +Margaret Curtis req. Mary Maloney
12:10 Special Intention Henry Ternier Birthday req. Melissa Ternier
Friday, July 16
8:00 +Thern & Lena Carr req. Marie Carr
12:10 + Katie Fontneau req. Monsignor DiGiovanni
Saturday, July 17
8:00 +Diane Greene req. Maude & Paul Hughes
12:10 +Joseph & Catherine Schinella req. Pugliese Family

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 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. . . Students and Catholic parents are obliged to attend Sunday Mass. For information, please contact Fr. Walsh (203) 324-1553, ext. 14, or email at

St. Anne Society . . .A family society which meets four times a year on Sundays at 5:00 p.m. with prayer, supper, and a lecture in the church hall. For information, please contact Fr. Walsh (203) 324-1553, ext. 14, or

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. . . Is finished for the summer. It will start again in September.

St. John’s in The News:
150 years ago, or so:
The new york freeman’s journal and catholic register:
July 14, 1860: Ordinations. “On Thursday, the 20th of June, William Mahoney, John Gately, of the diocese of Baltimore, John Fagan, of the Hartford diocese, Patrick Corrigan and Edward Michael Hickey, of the diocese of Newark, Patrick Byrne and Victor Louis Regnouf received the sacred order of Sub-deaconship by the Most Rev. Archbishop of Baltimore in the chapel of St. Mary’s Seminary, in that city. On Saturday, Feast of St. Paul, Patrick Francis McCarthy, William Mahoney, John Fagan and Patrick Corrigan, were ordained priests in the same place by the Most Rev. Archbishop.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: The Rev. John Fagan was Pastor of St. John’s from 1868 to 1873.)

140 years ago, or so:
July 14, 1872: “Rev. Father Fagan desires publicly to express his thanks to the various residents of Washington Avenue and Broad Street who gave shelter to members of his congregation overtaken by the storm on their way home from the picnic July 4th. Mr. Coit’s kindness was especially conspicuous, not only offering the shelter of his house to a number, but afterwards conveying them to their homes in his carriage.”

100 years ago, or so:
July 12, 1907: Alumni Association formed. “St. John’s Parochial School Alumni Association was organized last evening at a meeting in the convent of St. John’s Catholic Church. The association began its career with 50 charter members. Only those pupils of the school who passed entrance examinations for the High School were considered as eligible for membership. The following officers were elected: President, Miss Jennie Terry; vice-president, John A. Maher; secretary, Miss Agnes Hanrahan; treasurer, Sister Mercedes. The association will meet every two weeks. The next meeting will be on July 25.”

55 years ago, or so:
July 15, 1954: “The Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman, pastor of St. John’s Catholic Church, a priest of the archdiocese of Hartford for 52 years, today was raised to the status of a domestic prelate with the title of Right Reverend Monsignor. He will have the office also of diocesan consultor. Father Coleman observed the golden jubilee of his ordination on June 15, 1952.”

The One Thing Fr Terry Walsh

What is the purpose of life? Why are we here? Where are we going and how are we getting there? These are of course ‘age-old’ questions that every person should quite naturally ask. The Church teaches us that there is indeed a purpose to life: to know, love, and serve God. But the choice is up to each one of us. After all, God gave us the gift of freedom. We have been given the gift of life with the truth written upon our hearts. Do we seek the truth? Do we live it? If we choose to follow Christ, we’re on our way to eternal salvation and we’ll arrive there through the nourishment of Divine Grace. There is no other way. Therefore, everything we think, say, and do must grow in conformity to the Divine Will. In other words, when we freely choose to lay down our will and take up the Gospel, we have embraced the purpose of our life and we’ll be given all we need to accomplish our salvation. The difficulty lies in our weakness – that is – in our “self-will’.
Our weaknesses, mixed with the problem of pride, can actually blind us to what is true. We can become so enamored by our ‘way of life’ that a shadow may be cast over the beauty of discipleship and we may sadly cling to what is false. Key indicators of this danger zone would be a lack of prayerfulness, an indifference to the gift of the sacraments, and in general, a lack of love for one’s neighbor. Some classic films illustrate the point. Consider Ebenezer Scrooge. He lived year after year worshiping money. He became a shell of a man – the living dead, as it were. But then he is given a great grace and he responds! He admits his error and repents of his selfishness. The scales fall from his eyes and he becomes a new man. A great healing takes place in his soul and it is manifested in the good he seeks to do following the revelation that the one thing that really matters is love. And of course, God is love. Our purpose is to be drawn into that love – right here and right now – never to be separated from God ever again – in this life or the next. Consider the business tycoon Oscar Schindler and his profound awakening during WW II in Nazi Germany. Witness his conversion. He kept inching his way to the truth until- in the end – he broke down in tears realizing the precious value of one human life. He could have saved 4 more people had he bartered his car. Remember the scene from the movie? In the end, the truth overwhelmed him and he embraced it as he sought forgiveness for his sins.
God has revealed Himself as a loving personal knowable Being. He calls each of us to dwell in Him – Truth, Beauty, Love. It all begins here on earth where we ‘prove of love’ for Him by how we live our lives. This world will pass away, St. Paul reminds us, but life in the Trinity is Eternal. It is truly the one thing that matters. So how come human life has been devalued in our world today as if it were merely a commodity? How is it possible that a total disregard for those created in the Image and Likeness of God can be relegated to such cold, calculated efficient destruction – all in the name of “free choice”? How did the lie cast such a horrible shadow over the truth? Could it be that people lost sight of the one thing that really mattered? In the movie Gladiator, the General reminded his troops: “What we do on earth echoes in eternity!” Do we act with an eye toward the one true thing: union with God – Eternal Salvation? Do we promote life or do we contribute to the laissez-fair cultural norms that advocate death to the most innocent brethren in the Image and Likeness of Love? Do we truly advocate life? Do we support those who advocate the one thing?