For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday August 29, 2010

Pastor’s Corner. . . As you may have noticed, Saint John’s is a Minor Basilica. Among the numerous duties attached to that papal dignity are two requiring special attention: the first duty is that we become a center for the promotion of the teachings of the popes, with emphasis on those by Pope Benedict XVI. That we plan to do by lecture series and other means. The second duty requires more work: we are to become a pilgrimage shrine. Because of our history in the formation of Catholic life in southwestern Fairfield County; because of our rich liturgical and spiritual life; because of the superb parish musical choral tradition, extant since the consecration of the first church in 1851; and because all basilicas may grant special plenary indulgences and other spiritual benefits not available in parish or even cathedral churches, the Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist in Stamford has the obligation to work to attract and welcome pilgrims and other visitors, so that these blessings that are ours may be shared for the salvation of many.
While this may seem interesting to the casual reader, the reason I write this is to solicit your assistance as parishioners: I am NOT asking for money, so you can breathe easily. We will need volunteers to help with a variety of tasks in order to develop programs and services for the pilgrims who will visit Saint John’s. We will need volunteers to lead small groups through the basilica on 30 minute tours; ladies of the parish willing to host monthly fundraising rectory teas to help fund our gardens; volunteers willing to give directions to visitors, to help with the gift shop, and to maintain the parish museum which I hope to create soon. The time involved in any of these programs will not be onerous: a few hours each week; and our scheduling will be very flexible. There will be brief classes to teach the tour guides and museum docents, and to prepare you for public speaking to small groups. I’ll even allow the guides to use index cards while giving the tours!!
During these past weeks, I have been visiting some of larger churches in New York City and Washington, D.C. Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is always crowded, primarily because it occupies such a prominent location in the City. The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. offers one of the most interesting programs for visitors. Their tours were brief, lasing only about 30 minutes, and the guides’ primary characteristic was that they are friendly and devoted members of their parish. There wasn’t much eloquence or startling revelations about the architecture or history, but there was beauty in the guides’ presentations because they were proud of their protestant cathedral church. That is the characteristic most needed here, as well: parishioners who simply love Saint John’s and their Catholic faith, and who wish to make visitors feel welcomed by sharing a few facts about the building and its history. Another great pilgrimage church is the Catholic Cathedral Basilica in Saint Louis. One of the gentlemen who applied for the position of organist here at Saint John’s told me about the programs at Saint Louis’ Basilica: 18 years ago, when there were no programs or tour guides, very few people visited. Now, over 2 million people visit the Saint Louis Basilica annually.
While Stamford may not be New York City, or Washington, D.C., or even Saint Louis—at least, not yet [!!], we are the most prominent city in the State of Connecticut and in the northern metropolitan area, and Saint John’s is the most prominent church in Fairfield, Litchfield and Westchester Counties. The number of visitors to Saint John’s has increased since becoming a basilica, but I am convinced more will come once we put in place programs that instruct and welcome, so that many thousands will come each year to Stamford’s Basilica. During the past few years school groups have come: one public high school from upstate New York brings 200 students to Saint John’s each year for the past four years to hear me lecture about the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Reform. Local parish religious education classes have visited the basilica, as well as some small groups. I think we can and should do more, since we have the responsibility to work for the salvation of people by welcoming them to our Basilica by making it a pilgrimage shrine. I would hope to have everything in place by the first Sunday in Advent, November 28th.
So, please give us a hand: volunteer as a tour guide, museum docent, a hostess for monthly garden teas in the rectory, someone to help write foundation grant proposals, or to work in the book and gift shops. Consider donating a couple hours each week to the Basilica. Please give me a call: 203-324-1553, ext. 11, and let’s talk. My hope is that we can draw more people to the Basilica each year than Jerry Springer attracts to the Rich Forum—but I can’t do that alone, even with the help of our two great priests, Fathers Walsh and Audette, and with the support of our superb staff. We need you to lend us a hand. — Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Maurice Babe Ruggiero, Dean Simonelli, Marlene Stern, 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. . . Catherine McVey Hanley Smith, Nichole Philips, Jane Lubin, Mary Moriarty, Katie Fontneau, Achille Lamontagne, Rosemarie Gaffney, Kushtrim Elezaj, William R. Plank, Paul Jankowitz, Salvatore Piro, Jerry Pellegrino, Andrew Caruso, Irene Zelinsky, Margaret L. Rekos, Mary Catherine Sheehan, Paul K. Jankowicz, James Thomas, Lawrence Schmidt Jr., Haitian Earthquake Victims, Roshah E. DeJean, Paul Reda, Katherine Dziezyc, John Castellano, Eugene Lops, William Wolf, Alfred Gautrau, David Lloyd, Evelyn Mahan.

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

Saint Peter Votive Lights Memorial. . .The left votive is for the special intentions of Ann and Jo.

Monday Evening Holy Hour . . . .Come join us on Monday nights 7-8:00 pmfor Eucharistic Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Rosary, Next Hour: August 30th at 7

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, each person has a private room. Please call 203-218-0291 or Jeremiah31v17@aol.com or visit our website at www.rachelsvineyardbpt.com.

Parish Picnic. . . Please mark your calendars: The Parish Picnic will be at Cove Island Pavilion on Sunday, September 19th: 1 pm-5 pm. Food, beverages, games for kids of all ages: please plan to attend this great fun parish event. SIDE DISHES: If you would like to bring a side dish to the picnic please call Judy De Felice at 322-5331 for details. Thank you very much!

Memorial Votive Lights. . .The two votive lights next to the statue of Saint Peter, the one 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.

Sunday August 22, 2010 $ 10,799.96
Sunday August 23, 2009 $ 12,780.19

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

September 5th Sunday Readings: Wis 9:13-18b; Phmn 9-10, 12-17; Lk 14:25-33.

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.

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.

St. Leo’s Annual Parish Fair. . . August 31-Sept. 4th: Enjoy international foods, live entertainment, Bingo and a raffle for a 2010 Mercedes-Benz C300 W4 Sedan. For more information, 203-322-1669, ex. 227 and speak with Denise Esposito.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, August 28
4:00 +DeGuardia & Longo Families req. Millie & George Terenzio
Sunday, August 29
7:30 +Kathy Rogers req. Mary Jean Dalmolin
10:00 +Charles Kronk, Charles Kronk, Jr. & Nicholas Churley req. Mary Churley
12:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
6:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
Monday, August 30
8:00 +Monica Watson Walsh req. The Bikers
12:10 +Judith Powers req. Sharon Gannon
Tuesday, August 31
8:00 +Jackie O’Connor req. Mary Bridget Gaine
12:10 Andrew & Katherine Bosilevas req. James Bosilevas
Wednesday, September 1
8:00 Thanksgiving to God req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 Gail Piria req. Domenico Piria
Thursday, September 2
8:00 +Bridget & Patrick O’Connor req. Mary Bridget Gaine
12:10 +Peggy Corcione req. Jo & Ann Corcione
Friday, September 3
8:00 +Margaret M. Timon req. Thomas A. Timon
12:10 +Jenney Tomacello req. Terenzio Family
Saturday, September 4
8:00 +Teresa Nandera req. Scholastica Nabwire
12:10 In Honor to the Blessed Virgin Mary

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 parish hall 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. Starts Sunday Sept. 26, 2010.

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 on September 8th.

The Legion of Mary. . . . Meets Wednesday Evenings at 7:30 pm in the parish hall. All are welcome.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies . . . Meets Wednesday evenings at 7:30 pm in the rectory: Resuming September 8, 2010. The topic will be The Rule of St. Basil.

Introduction to Biblical Greek . . . Meets Thursday 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 Advocate:
120 years ago, or so:
Sept. 5, 1890: St. John’s R. C. Church Matters. “Arrangements are being made to have the St. John’s Catholic fair open in Miller’s Hall on September 11th, three or four days earlier than was anticipated. This on account of the desirability of having the fair close before Hobbie Post’s fair opens. Father Keena has been out of town this week visiting his parents in Hartford. Father Carroll has returned from his vacation, which was spent this year at Far Rockaway. St. John’s Parochial School will open next week, Monday, with the same teachers as those formerly employed. The school is reported to be in a flourishing condition.”

100 years ago, or so:
Sept. 3, 1910: ENNIS AFTER LONG WALK. “In a letter written at Alameda, Cal., Frank J. Ennis has the following to say of his father, John Ennis, who recently broke Edward Payson Weston’s cross-continent walk record: “As to my father’s condition, I want to say that he reached the end of his long journey in first-class shape, and has felt no ill effects from the long walk as yet, and I feel sure with a good rest he will feel better than ever again. But my father has done better than he ever dreamed of, cutting 25 days off the record of that grand old man of the road, E.P. Weston”.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: From 1881 to 1886, John Ennis was the architect/builder of the upper chapel of St. John’s Church.)

90 years ago, or so:
Sept. 1, 1922: STAMFORD MAN CANDIDATE FOR CATHOLIC PRIESTHOOD. “Patrick Killeen of Stamford is among the candidates for the Catholic priesthood who have recently received seminary assignments from Rt. Rev. John J. Nilan, bishop of Hartford, which includes Stamford. He has been assigned to St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore. He was graduated from St. John’s parochial school, and, after attending the Stamford High School, was entered at St. Thomas’ Seminary.”

50 years ago, or so:
Sept. 3, 1963: Rev. B.E. Parent Named Pastor of St. John’s Church. “The Rev. Bertrand E. Parent, a former curate at St. Mary’s Church, Stamford, is returning here as pastor of St. John’s church, it was announced by the Most Rev. Walter W. Curtis, Bishop of Bridgeport. Simultaneously the Bishop announced the establishment of two new parishes in Stamford. One will be named St. Bridget. The second new parish will be named St. Gabriel’s, the name of another of the Superior or Archangels venerated by Catholics.”

ENVY Fr. Terry Walsh
“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” – so says worldly wisdom. But upon closer inspection, the green that prompts such thinking may actually be envy. If our attention is focused on what we don’t have, we might very well miss the gifts we do have and so fail to develop them for the benefit of others, as is our common mission as children of God – every grace and blessing is ultimately a gift from God (indeed, ‘the only thing we can claim as our own is sin’).
Every gift and blessing is meant to ‘build up the body of Christ.’ So why is there jealousy? Why envy? Do we lack trust? After all, if we’re cooperating with the Holy Spirit and developing the gifts He’s afforded us, we would quite naturally be fulfilled. What then could possibly be lacking in our Spiritual life that would lead to envy?

The Church teaches us that “envy represents a form of sadness and therefore a refusal of charity; the baptized person should struggle against it by exercising good will. Envy often comes from pride; the baptized person should train himself to live in humility”(ccc2540). And St. John Chrysostom adds: “Would you like to see God glorified in you? Then rejoice in your brother’s progress and you will immediately give glory to God. Because his servant could conquer envy by rejoicing in the merits of others, God will be praised.” St. Augustine called the sin of Envy “the diabolical sin.” And St. Gregory the Great added, “From envy are born hatred, detraction, calumny, joy caused by the misfortune of a neighbor, and displeasure caused by his prosperity”(ccc2539). Remember, it was “through the devil’s envy that death entered the world”(Wis 2:24).

Jesus tells us in the Gospels that in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven we must have the heart of a child; that is, we must be humble. Pride causes us to look inward – at ourselves – in a selfish way – and so we miss the beauty of God. Humility, on the other hand, draws our gaze heavenward, and so we begin to see God more clearly in our neighbor. We’re on the same team, so to speak, and so we should rejoice in our teammate’s gifts and contributions to the team rather than be envious that those particular gifts and talents don’t “belong” to us. Ultimately, they “belong” to God alone.

St. Catherine of Siena, in the Prologue of The Dialogue, explains that while God could have created each of us perfectly – with every gift in their full measure – He chose instead to distribute different gifts to different people. Why? So that we would learn to love. So that we would develop the gifts He’s blessed us with for the good of everyone else. If we freely give what we’ve received, (and we’ve all received everything we have from God), then we will all have everything we need. If, however, we hoard our gifts or perhaps even ignore them, we’ll deprive others of the blessings they ought to be receiving through us. Moreover, if we fall into the sin of jealousy, or worse, envy, we not only neglect the development of the gifts God has bestowed upon us, but we may actually become an obstacle to those who are quite faithfully trying to carry out God’s plan in their lives – to simply share the fruits of their gifts with others.

The antidote of course is grace. Divine grace enables us to sharpen our focus so that we may see more clearly the path our Lord asks us to take. When we humbly walk the path of holiness, we are in God’s hands. We realize in the depth of our souls that He is so very pleased when we acknowledge His goodness to us and when we simply ask for His assistance in realizing the full potential of those gifts – in whatever measure He has poured out to us. Our attention is then properly directed at pleasing Him and not on what he happens to be doing in the soul of our neighbor.