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Bulletin for Sunday August 15, 2010

Pastor’s Corner. . . Sunday, August 15th is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven. Last week we celebrated the Transfiguration of Our Lord, when He revealed His glory as God to His Apostles prior to His death on the Cross. The Feast of the Assumption of Mary is the fulfillment of that promise of glory and eternal salvation for the whole human person, body and soul.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the first after Our Lord to experience the Resurrection of the Body: that’s what the Assumption of Mary is, her bodily resurrection into heaven. This is why she wears a crown: the crown of the one who has, as St. Paul describes it, run the race to the finish, and won, not a perishable crown of leaves, as did victorious athletes in ancient Rome, but the crown of eternal life in the flesh. Christ came to save the entire human person. Since we are composed of body and soul, that means He came to save both body and soul from eternal death. The body is important, everyone knows that. We know the world, the love of our mothers, fathers, friends, husbands, wives, and children, because of our senses. We don’t intuit love or beauty; we know it through our sense experience; through our bodies. We enjoy the beauty of a day and of creation, the glories of human ingenuity and talents, music, art, literature, all through our senses. Our body is an essential part of us, as is our soul. Christ took on human flesh and became like us in everything but sin, so He could redeem the entire person, both body and soul. To think that eternal life is just for our souls is to hope for only partial salvation. As St. Paul says, we will see God face to face. Likewise, St. Paul instructs us, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?” As the image of God, then, our body is important, and respect for the body in human morality essential to the Christian for eternal life.
Some of the early Church Fathers held that one reason Christ could not permit His mother to experience death and the corruption of the grave is seen in the Third Commandment: “What honors He has conferred on her Who commanded us to honor our parents!” [St. John Damascene, Homily II: Oration on the Glorious Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God the Ever-Virgin Mary, 6]. Likewise, Our Lady, the closest and most perfect disciple of Christ, the spouse of the Eternal Father, who conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, is the first to have experienced this eternal life in the flesh. The Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven is about Christ’s promises and hard work coming to fruition, first for Himself, next for Mary and then for all of us. For as all creation is renewed and restored to the Father by Christ, the Second Adam, so, too, humankind had a first hand role through the work of Mary, as the Second Eve, the Mother of this new creation of Grace. She who cooperated intimately in the work of Her Son, now shares intimately in the fruits of His Redeeming work, in the flesh. In We catch a glimpse of the mystery of Mary’s bodily Assumption into Heaven as Saint John of Damascus’ homily continues:
“How could Mary taste death from whom the true Life [Christ] flowed out to all? Yet she did fall under the law inflicted by Him whom she bore, and as a daughter of old Adam she suffered the old sentence of death, even as her Son did, who is Life itself. But now as Mother of the living God, she is fittingly taken up to heaven by Him. For how could death feed on this truly blessed one who had eagerly listened to the word of God; who at the Archangel’s salutation, filled with the Holy Spirit, conceived the Son of God; who without pain gave birth to Him; whose whole being was ever consecrated to her Creator? Could hell receive such a one? Could corruption destroy a body in which Life [Christ] had been brought forth? For her, beloved brethren, a way is prepared to heaven . . . For if Christ, the Way and the Truth, has said: ‘Where I am there also shall my servant be’, does it not follow that His Mother is surely with Him?” [Ibid., 3].
The Assumption of Mary bodily into Heaven is a promise to us as well, that Christ’s hard won victory on the Cross and His Resurrection can be shared by us too. The grave will not be our end, if we love Christ and strive to please Him now by a virtuous and holy life through His Church. Christ showed His glory as God to the Apostles on Mount Tabor. He proved His love for us on the Cross. He fulfilled His promises by bringing His Mother to Heaven body and soul. Let us pray to Our Lady for strength to persevere that we too may share in this wondrous gift, body and soul, offered us by the Lord who loves us so much that He wants us with Him forever .
Please join us for solemn sung Evening Prayer in the Basilica at 4pm on Sunday, August 15th, with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament, followed by an Ice Cream Social in the Monsignor Nagle Hall.
— Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Megan Bobroske, Dermott McMahon, Isabella Baptiste, 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, 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. . . Jane Lubin, Mary Moriarty, 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.

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

The Icon of Our Lady, the Protectress of the Roman People, was donated by Ford Lynch and his daughters Karen and Courtney, in memory of Carol Lynch, a devoted wife and mother.

Saint Peter Votive Lights Memorial. . .The left votive is in memory of the deceased members of the Borkowski and Rainone Families and the right votive is for special intentions Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke and Monsignor Stephen M. DiGiovanni req. Michael Borkowski.

Our Lady’s Icon Votive Light Memorial. . .In memory of John Paul II, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski and Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha req. Michael Borkowski.

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. . . Please 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 Monsignor Nagle Hall. All welcome, and will have an opportunity to meet our new Choir Master, Frederick Backhaus, and his lovely wife, Kathleen.

Monday Holy Hour to pray for Gulf State victims. . . . Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Rosary, Monday – August 16th at 7 pm.

Memorial Votive Lights. . . 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, 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, between 9AM—1:30PM.

Religious Education. . . Parents, please consider registering your children early for the upcoming religious education classes which begin September 26. Registration and payment can be made On-Line on the St. John’s Website, www.stjohnsstamford.com, or call the rectory, and speak with Cindy, 203-324-1553 x21.

Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat for Healing After Abortion will host a retreat for women suffering from the emotional pain of an abortion, September 17-19, 2010. The retreat will combine spiritual meditations, discussions, Confession, a Memorial Service and Mass. Participation is strictly confidential. Participants have their own private room. For more information, please call 203-218-0291 or Jeremiah31v17@aol.com or visit our website at www.rachelsvineyardbpt.com.

Sunday August 8, 2010 $ 12,247.51
Sunday August 9, 2009 $ 11,720.59

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

August 22nd Sunday Readings: Is 66:18-21; Heb 12:5-7, 11-13; Lk 13:22-30.

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

Home Schooling Families. . . A group for home schooling families will begin meeting at St. John’s starting in September on one Tuesday of each month. It will include various activities. All ages are welcome. If interested, please contact Julianne DeMarco at 203-966-3641,
juliannedemarco@yahoo.com or Janet Lancaster 203-637-3301, jmlancaster@optonline.net.

Volunteers for Coffee Hour. . . We are looking for volunteers to help out with coffee hour after the 10 am Mass. Volunteers provide snacks, prepare coffee and set up before Mass, and serve coffee, juice and snacks after Mass. You can help with as little or as much as you would like. Helping out is also a great way to get to know other people in the parish! If you have any questions or are interested in volunteering, please contact Janet Lancaster at (203) 637-3301 or jmlancaster@optonline.net.

Basilica Pilgrimage Office. . . By the New Year, we will open an office to organize pilgrimages to our Basilica. Anyone who would be willing to volunteer, especially to give tours of the church building, please call Monsignor: 324-1553, ext 11. Training will be given.

Foundation Grants. . . We are looking for volunteers to help write grant proposals to various foundations to help finance new programs at the Basilica. Anyone with experience writing grant proposals, and interested in volunteering their time and effort, please call Monsignor.

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.

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. Now compatible with Apple “Mac OS” as well as Microsoft Windows PCs.

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, August 14
4:00 +Vincent Freccia, Jr. 4th Anniversary req. family
Sunday, August 15
7:30 +John Maloney Birthday Remembrance req. Wife-Mary
10:00 Special Intentions
12:00 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
6:00 +Jeanne Polotaye
Monday, August 16
8:00 +Eva Kolbinski req. The Carpanzano Family
12:10 +Joseph Yaworski req. Mary Churley
Tuesday, August 17
8:00 +William Morris req. Mary Jean DalMolin
12:10 +Robert O’Neill 2nd Anniversary req. Eileen Dillon
Wednesday, August 18
8:00 Special intentions Scholastica Nabwire req. Sons-Michael & Andrew
12:10 Anne Marie Incalicchio req. Maude & Paul Hughes and Family
Thursday, August 19
8:00 +Angelo Velez req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +William Morris req. Mary Churley
Friday, August 20
8:00 +Francis Tenywa req. Scholastica Nabwire & Andrew Mbabaali
12:10 Margaret Lalley 1st Anniversary req. Dr. Joseph McAleer
Saturday, August 21
8:00 Matthew & Jean Boiteau req. Maude & Paul Hughes
12:10 +Kevin Daugherty req. Maureen Parker

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 frtwalsh@catholic.org.

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 frtwalsh@catholic.org.

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 Biblical Greek.

Coffee Hour. . . Is finished for the summer. It will start again Sunday, September 26, 2010.

St. John’s in The CT CATHOLIC:
August 19, 1898: A LIBERAL DONATION. “Rarely has St. John’s Church in this city been asked to seat so great a crowd as thronged to the services last Sunday evening. The occasion was the blessing of the new stations which have been recently donated by a generous member of the parish. The stations were purchased of the Messrs. Benziger, of New York, who imported them from the Munich artists. The fourteen groups are said to be the finest set which the firm has ever erected in this diocese. Their cost is in the neighborhood of two thousand dollars, though the beneficiaries placed no limit to her offering and only expressed the desire that the gift might be in keeping with the other graceful appointments of the beautiful church. With singular modesty she requests that her name may not be published in connection with the gift. In the morning, the Rt. Rev. Bishop was present, assisted at the solemn high mass which was celebrated for the patroness who had made the joyous celebration possible. After the mass Bishop Tierney addressed the congregation exhorting the members of the parish to emulate the generosity of the lady who gave the stations. Though all might not be in a position to equal her munificence, they might contribute each his share towards the completion and adornment of this church of which he (the Bishop) was once pastor. The evening service was announced to begin at 7:30, but the seats were all taken long before that hour. The organ which had been tuned for the occasion broke out into the Tannhaeuser Overture for a prelude after which “Calvary” was rendered as a baritone solo by Mr. Coyle of Hartford. The Rev. Father Hickey, O.S.F., of Winsted, then gave a short instruction on the nature and method of the devotions of the Way of the Cross after which the formal blessing and recitation of the accompanying prayers took place. The pastor, Rev. William H. Rogers, tendered the thanks of the congregation to the donor and spoke with pardonable pride of the magnificent structure to which these stations added another note of beauty. Rossini’s “Stabat Mater” followed and those who had come expecting to be rejoiced with a rare musical treat were not suffered to depart in disappointment. From the first bass note of the “Stabat” chorus to the last ringing tome of the tenor solo in the “Cujus” the vast congregation sat motionless drinking in the entrancing sound.”

Assumption and Queenship of Our Lady – Fr. Terry Walsh
The month of August brings great celebrations in the Liturgical Year of the Church. On August 6th each year, we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration, when Jesus reveals to Peter, James, and John His Divinity in all His Glory, and we understand that we are called to share in that Glory by His grace. On August 15th each year, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Body and Soul, into Heaven. And, one week later, on August 22nd each year, we celebrate the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary, Who already shares in the glory of Her Son Jesus Christ.
Mary is indeed our Queen, but She is even more our Mother. She Who was Immaculately Conceived, magnified the greatness of Her Son by fulfilling Her mission, directing Her every action to the Glory and Honor of God through Her fidelity and love. Mary, the ‘Living Tabernacle of God’, is perfectly united to the Mission of our Redeemer. She too endured the suffering of the Passion and Crucifixion in Her Motherly Heart, a suffering prophesized by Simeon in the Temple when Her Son was Presented to the Father forty days after our Lord’s Nativity. (The Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows is September 15th each year, the day after the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross.) “Before being Crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth, Mary first wore the Crown of Thorns”. She suffered with Him. We too enter into that suffering – we enter into His death and burial at our Baptism so that we “may rise” with Him and, at the end of the age, have our bodies restored and glorified in Heaven, a grace that all the Blessed will share at the Second Coming of Christ. Mary, the pure and sinless Mother of Jesus and our Mother, lives in this Glory where She intercedes for us. “In a wholly singular way She cooperated by Her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason She is a mother to us in the order of grace” (ccc968).
Reflecting on our Heavenly Queen, St. Bernard of Clairvaux had this to say:
Who can conceive how great is the glory of the Queen of the world? As She advanced to Heaven, with what depth of devotion and affection the angels and saints, the whole multitude of heavenly citizens, went forth to welcome Her. With what magnificent canticles She was conducted to Her glorious throne; with what gracious bearing, serenity of countenance. Her Son received Her with divine embraces and exalted Her above all creatures, with the honor His Mother merited. She was crowned with the glory that reflects Her majestic Son. And in True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, St. Louis de Montfort had this to say:
Mary is the supreme masterpiece of Almightly God….She is the sanctuary and resting-place of the Blessed Trinity where God dwells in greater and more divine splendor than anywhere else in the universe, not excluding His dwelling above the Cherubim and Seraphim(5). St. Louis de Montfort adds, In Mary, God has enclosed all that is beautiful, resplendent, rare, and precious, even His own Son. This immense treasury is none other than Mary…From Her fullness all men are made rich…She is His mystical channel, His aqueduct, through which He causes His mercies to flow gently and abundantly(24).
As we honor our Blessed Mother in the Glorious Mysteries of Her Assumption and Her Coronation as Queen of Heaven and Earth, may we be ever mindful of Her love for us and allow Her to lead us to Her Son. Mary, Queen of Peace, Pray for us.