For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday July 25, 2010

Pastor’s Corner. . . Monday is the Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of Our Lady. The celebration of this humble married couple belies the common place wisdom that religion doesn’t have much effect on real life. Possibly the person who first coined that thought just didn’t have much religion to begin with, so its absence was a greater influence. Nevertheless, the homespun lives of Saints Joachim and Anne, while not very Hollywood, and not even fully known, did change history, since their daughter cooperated in the Incarnation, whereby God’s entrance into human history as the Man-God Jesus, transformed everything.
That Mary had parents is taken for granted, even though nothing is mentioned in Scripture. But there is a very early document, known as the Protoevangelium of Saint James, written between 170-180 a.d. [For the full document, Google] It is one of the most famous apocryphal writings of the early Church and, despite it not having been included by the Church in its canon of Scriptural books, it was one of the most widely read religious works of its age: originally written in Greek, there are early extant Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Georgian, Arabic and Ethiopic translations or paraphrases. It was a best seller, was quoted by many of the Church Fathers, and had an unparalleled influence on the development of popular devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the early Church, as seen by the development of various Marian feast days, such as the Immaculate Conception, the Presentation of the Virgin and that of Saints Joachim and Anne. By the mid-6th century there were two massive churches built in honor of Mary’s parents in Jerusalem and Constantinople, and their feast day was celebrated in the east by the end of the 6th century; in Rome by the 8th century, and from there, throughout Europe. While everything in the book cannot be taken as historically true, much of it can. And the lives of Saints Joachim and Anne as presented in this work is the earliest known written version of the story.
Why a devotion to the parents of Mary? First, in an earlier age, no family was considered complete without grandparents. Likewise, the story of a married couple struggling with the seeming impossibility of not being able to have children, was so touchingly real that it captured the attention of millions. Here is a story of the complete Holy Family, whose beginning is found in the generosity of God’s blessings on a man and his wife. Not only is the faith and trust in God of Joachim and Anne repaid by their conceiving Mary, but, they mark the very moment when the divine intimately enters human history—God intervenes in the conception of Mary, the fruit of the very natural love of Joachim and Anne, and He preserves Mary from the stain of Adam’s Original Sin, in view of Mary’s role as the Mother of the Savior. It is a similar means by which God sanctified Samson and John the Baptist in the wombs of their mothers in view of their roles in the Redemption of humankind.
The parish’s image of Saint Anne is a traditional one, and can be seen on the pulpit: Saint Anne instructing a young Mary as she reads the Scriptures of the Old Testament. While the banner is new, its image of Saint Anne and Mary is very old: cardboard figures, embroidered and hand decorated, popular in the late 19th century, and taken from the original parish banner that was used before the turn of the 20th century at Saint John’s.
Saints Joachim and Anne are the patrons of married couples, who remained faithful to each other and to God, despite rough times in their marriage. Their fidelity and faith strengthened them to remain together, and their love helped to bring about your salvation. Nothing commonplace about their simple lives, daily formed by their love for God and each other. Not bad patrons and examples for real married life. — 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.

Saint Peter Votive Lights Memorial. . . Left votive is for the special intentions of Dionysia, Julia, Joseph, Ava, Maria & Teresa Oliveira and the right votive is for the special intentions of Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop Lori, Msgr. DiGiovanni, Rev. Walsh, Rev. Audette, Rev. Check req. by Julia and Dionysia Oliveira.

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.”) 

Memorial Votive Lights. . . Five votive lights for memorials: The two votive lights next to the statue of Saint Peter, the one which will soon hang before the icon of the Protectress of Rome above the statue of Saint Rita, and the two above the side altars of Saint Joseph and Our Lady, 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.

St. John’s 20’s and 30’s Young Adult Group: Here is the info regarding the Summer Cruise & Clambake to Sheffield Island: Date: Thursday, August 5, 2010
Time: 5:45 Meet at the Norwalk Seaport Association Dock (Corner of Washington & Water Streets) South Norwalk. Ferry leaves the DOCK at 6:00pm and returns at 10pm (rain or shine). Please see the attached link for menu details and pricing ($55 for regular clambake dinner salmon entrée or $75 for Lobster dinner). Finally, please RSVP by Wednesday July 28th. Call 203-838-9444. Note: St. John’s Flock on Facebook (Catholic Young Adult Group, Stamford, Ct) ( Includes: o Round-trip cruise to Sheffield Island o Panoramic views of Long Island Sound
o Tour of historic Sheffield Island Lighthouse o Dinner on the Island provided by Bull’s Head Market )

Sunday July 18, 2010 $ 10,672.18
Sunday July 19, 2009 $ 12,343.05

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

August 1st Sunday Readings: Ecc 1:2; 2:21-23; Col 3:1-5, 9-11; Lk 12:13-21.

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. Registration and payment can be made On-Line on the St. John’s Website,, or 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.

Summer Homilies. . . By the parish’s three priests will address the same subjects during the summer weekends: what it means to be Catholic, and the practical aspects of living our Catholic Faith. While the topics will be the same, the homilies will not be “canned”, but written by each priest in our own personal and inimitable styles.

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 24
4:00 +Mrs. Jeanne Capodilupo req. Dr. Joseph McAleer
Sunday, July 25
7:30 +John & Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Young
10:00 Special Intentions Mary Kung req. Joseph & Agnes Kung
12:00 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
6:00 Josette Jean-Baptiste Alexandre req. Family
Monday, July 26
8:00 +Emma Siciliano req. Frank & Beth Carpanzano
12:10 +Salvatore & Teresa Corbo req. Pugliese Family
Tuesday, July 27
8:00 +Emma Siciliano req. Pasquale & Ida Carpanzano
12:10 The Intentions of all the Living & Deceased of the Smith and Parker Families req. Maureen Parker
Wednesday, July 28
8:00 Andrew Mbabaali req. Mom-Scholastica Nabwire
12:10 +Helen Pepe req. Mary Churley
Thursday, July 29
8:00 +William Morris
12:10 +Vito Corcione req. Jo & Ann Corcione
Friday, July 30
8:00 The McMullin Family req. Mom & Dad
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
Saturday, July 31
8:00 In Thanksgiving to God
12:10 +Joe & Josephine Larobina 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 resume Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 9:30AM.

Moms & Tots . . . Moms and their kids meets in church 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: we’ll resume in September.

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: back in September.

Introduction to Biblical Greek . . . Meets Tuesday evenings at 7:00 pm in the rectory: open only to those with a reading ability in Greek.

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

St. John’s in The News:
125 years ago, or so:
July 26, 1884: Stamford. “The Children of Mary are expected to receive Holy Communion in a body next Sunday. Rev. Fathers Rogers and Walsh attended the retreat lately held at New Haven. Father Rogers at present is unwell on account of the chills. The attendance at 9 o’clock Mass on last Sunday was so great that every pew was occupied. At least 1,000 of the congregation attend that Mass every Sunday. .”

110 years ago, or so:
July 31, 1899: PRIESTS ORDAINED. “Three candidates for the priesthood were ordained by Bishop Tierney at St. Joseph’s Cathedral yesterday morning, a large congregation being present and some forty priests of the diocese occupying seats in the sanctuary. The candidates were James A. Broderick of Willimantic, Bernard Donnelly of Stamford and John Kennedy of Naugatuck. Bishop Tierney performed the ceremony of ordination and laying on of hands. The Rev. W. H. Rogers, Pastor of Stamford, was chaplain to Bernard Donnelly. The ceremony was very impressive and the young men are well known as students of promise and earnest to succeed in their chosen calling.”

July 26, 1898: Valuable Gift to St. John’s R. C. Church. “St. John’s R.C. Church is being enriched, and its interior greatly improved, by the erection of fourteen groups of statuary representing the stations of the cross, and used in services which occur on Fridays in Lent and at other times. The stations are works of art, and the color-blending and general effect are very pleasing. They are the gift of a Stamford lady, a member of the congregation, whose name will probably be announced by the pastor, Rev. Father Rogers, after the blessing ceremony, which is to occur August 14, the vigil of the Feast of the Assumption.”

5 years ago, or so:
July 31, 2004: “They aren’t the IRS. Still, most churches have some accounting of their numbers – and it’s tricky business. Monsignor Stephen DiGiovanni of St. John’s Church in Stamford doesn’t stand at the pulpit counting his 1,000 family parish; if he did, he would be standing there for a long time. Church policy asks new congregants to register with the church so when Msgr DiGiovanni says he preaches to about 5,000 individuals, he is able to do so with a degree of certainty.”

The 1st Eucharistic Prayer
-Fr. Terry Walsh
The Roman Canon, or the “1st” Eucharistic Prayer is the oldest and also the longest of the Eucharistic Prayers. Theologians often attribute the prayer to St. Hippolytus of Rome. The words of Consecration are the same in each of the Eucharist prayers. Writing just after the 2nd Vatican Council, Father Enrico Mazza said, “The text of the Roman Canon, that is, the 1st Eucharistic Prayer, as we have it today, acquired its form between the end of the 4th century and the 7th century, and has not been changed significantly since the days of Pope Gregory the Great (6th century)….It is venerable because it was for so long the only Eucharistic Prayer of the Roman Church” (Mazza, The Eucharistic Prayers of the Roman Rite, p.53). Centuries earlier, the Council of Trent held that: “Holy things must be treated in a holy way and this sacrifice (the Mass) is the most holy of all things. And so, that this sacrifice might be worthily and reverently offered and received, the Catholic Church many centuries ago instituted the sacred Canon. It is so free from all error that it contains nothing which does not savor strongly of holiness and piety and nothing which does not raise to God the minds of those who offer. For it is made up of words of our Lord Himself, of apostolic traditions, and of devout instructions of the holy pontiffs.” Mazza explains, “The Canon is made up of 15 prayers, each complete in itself. These are set one alongside another like tiles in a mosaic…and that the text of the Canon was already fixed in the 1st half of the 4th century.” During the Second Vatican Council, there were proposals to change the Canon but the Holy Father, Pope Paul VI, determined that the prayer should remain unchanged. He ordered that an additional two or three “Anaphoras” – Eucharistic Prayers – be composed.” And so today, the Church has additional Eucharistic Prayers that also find their roots in the Apostolic Church and the Tradition of the Church.
While there are many aspects of the “Roman Canon” we might explore, I would like to focus on just one distinct part: The Litanies. These remind us of the profound reality that we are praying with the “Communion of Saints” – they are present at the Mass and in addition to thanking and praising God with us, we also call upon them to intercede for us before the Throne of God. In the 1st half of the Canon, we honor Mary and Joseph. We honor all the Apostles by name. Notice, St. Matthias is included in the 2nd litany and St. Paul, the “Super Apostle” is included in the 1st. We also honor the Martyrs, specifically Linus (Pope 67-76), Cletus (Pope 76 –88), Clement (Pope 88-97), Sixtus (Pope 115 – 125), Cornelius (Pope 251-253), Cyprian (Bishop of Carthage, c.250), Lawrence (Deacon of Rome), Chrysogonus (d.304), John and Paul (brothers from Rome, brothers in Rome, 362), and Cosmas and Damian (brothers and physicians, Rome, 303). After the Consecration we continue our prayer for fellowship with the apostles and martyrs: John the Baptist (the Precusor of Jesus), Stephen (1st Deacon and 1st Martyr), Matthias (Apostle chosen to replace Judas, stoned to death), Barnabas (patron of St. Paul, stoned to death), Ignatius (1st c. martyr), Alexander, Marcellinus (priest and martyr, 304), Peter (exorcist and martyr, 304), Felicity (martyred widow, 165), Perpetua (martyr, 165), Agatha (Virgin martyr, 250), Lucy (Virgin martyr, 304), Agnes (Virgin martyr, 304), Cecilia (Virgin martyr, 2nd c.), and Anastasia (martyr, 304). We are truly in communion with these great Saints, together with all the Saints and Angels, as we give thanks and praise to God in every Holy Mass.