For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday September 5, 2010

Pastor’s Corner. . . September 3rd was the feast of Pope Saint Gregory I [Pope, 590-607a.d.], known as The Great. His father, Gordian, was a member of Rome’s ruling aristocracy, who later renounced both wealth and position to serve as a deacon, and was placed in charge of the Church’s temporal resources. His mother, Saint Sylvia, likewise devoted herself to the Church as a nun. Their classical education and personal example of faith was not lost on their son.
Following his studies, Gregory was named Praetor or Prefect of the City of Rome, a post he held for five years until he renounced his political career to become a monk. He used his vast fortune and estates in Sicily to establish six monasteries, and converted his parents’ Roman home into the monastery of Saint Andrew, in which he enrolled himself, and which still exists today. As the political, economic and social world fell apart in Italy, Gregory moved to the only eternal stability in God and the simplicity of monastic life.
His hope for a quiet life was short-lived, however, for he was chosen by the pope to serve as his ambassador to the Roman imperial court at Constantinople. Following his successes abroad in one of the most challenging of diplomatic posts, during which time he wrote one of his most celebrated theological works, the Moralia of Job, Gregory returned to Rome and soon found himself elected pope. So much for quiet.
Rome was a wasteland, having been abandoned by the imperial court nearly three centuries earlier when the Emperor Constantine created his new capital at Constantinople. With the City literally crumbling, everything from the feeding the poor and the repair of roads and sewers, to the provisioning and payment of the army, was relegated to the only institution left standing: the Church; and to the only person with any authority or resources, the pope. Added to this was the nearly continuous desolation throughout Italy wrought by the Lombards, added to the lasting devastation left by the Emperor Justinian’s army, which marauded through Italy nearly one generation earlier. Feeding the poor, presiding over the Catholic Church worldwide, abandoned by the faraway Emperor, beleaguered by barbarian invasions, heretical movements and self-serving rulers, Gregory was further afflicted by poor health. Through all this, he persevered: he reformed the Church, sent missionaries to establish the Church in England and to reform the Church in Spain; dealt with problems between the Church and rulers in Gaul [France] and North Africa, and in northern Italy, divided by loyalties to the Emperor in Constantinople; he wrote numerous theological works, especially his Pastoral Rule, which guided bishops for centuries; his Dialogues, on lives of the saints, and his homilies, which influenced the development of the Church throughout the Middle Ages and are still extant and useful today.
It would appear Gregory was right back where he started. But, in the thick of a losing battle against the political chaos of his time, Gregory employed his talents and his love for God and God’s Catholic Church to heal his world. His Catholic faith maintained him, and his humility expressed the truthfulness of his teaching and priestly ministry, as did his patience in the face of crisis. He wrote, “For my part, I regard the virtue of patience greater than signs and wonders.” If only all of us had such a command of that virtue!
The example of Pope Saint Gregory the Great should encourage us in the trials we experience in our own lives. We should never despair of the assistance of Divine Providence, or grow impatient with the timing or manner in which God comes to our aid. He permits everything to happen to us, both good and bad, in order to lead us to eternal life. Humility and patience are needed when facing the challenges of our lives, especially to remind us that this world is not all there is; and that we should use this world to gain eternity. Call upon St. Gregory for assistance: He who dealt with barbarian hordes, unruly clergy and fractious royalty, will be more than a match for the problems of our lives today: ask for his faith, patience and humility to trust in God’s Providence. Do the battle of faith in daily life, and keep your eye on heaven. — Msgr. DiGiovanni

CHOIRS: Mr. Frederick Backhaus will soon take up his new responsibilities as our new choir master and organist. He is hoping to expand the number of singers in the choirs. To assist him, I appeal to all parishioners with any musical talent or knowledge to consider offering your abilities for his consideration. If you can read music and hold a note, you may be the person we want. On Saturday, September 11th at 1pm, Mr. Backhaus is inviting all members of the childrens’ choir and their families to an open house in the Monsignor Nagle Hall. On Wednesday, September 15th at 7 pm, we will host an open house for all interested in knowing more about the parish choirs and music programs, and especially for those parishioners who would like to apply for choir membership. Please plan to be with us, and help us offer God more beautiful music as part of our Sacrifice of the Mass.

Please pray for the sick. . . Maurice Babe Ruggiero, Jean 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Sue Richard, June Lambiase, Robert D’Aquila, Kevin Sutton, Catherine McVey Hanley Smith, Nichole Philips, Jane Lubin, Mary Moriarty, Katie Fontneau, Achille Lamontagne, Rosemarie Gaffney.

Catholic University of America Collection . . . Please drop your special envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.

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!

Monday Evening Holy Hour . . . .Monday nights 7-8:00 pm for Eucharistic Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Rosary in the church, Next Hour: September 6th at 7 pm.

Religious Education. . . Parents, please register 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,, or call the rectory, and speak with Cindy, 203-324-1553 x21.

Saint Monica Patristic Institute. . . Will resume on Wednesday, September 8th at 7:30pm in the Rectory: Our topic: The Monastic Rules of St. Basil. All are welcome.

Latin Reading Group. . . Resumes Wednesday, September 8th at 6:15 pm in the Rectory.

Memorial Votive Lights. . .The Saint Peter votive lights, the one before the Marian icon, 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.

Saint Peter Votive Lights Memorial. . .The two votive lights are in memory of Pilar Ramos req. Micaelina Piedrahita.

October 28, 2012…Will begin a year long celebration: the Church and its contributions to civilization. It all began with Constantine’s military victory and conversion, with its first effect, the legalizing the Catholic Church. From that moment, the Church could preach freely, and the Gospel influenced all areas of life, beginning with the formation of laws upholding the dignity of the human person as the Image of God. It is time to recall the immense effect the Catholic Church’s preaching of the Gospel has had on the formation of civilization throughout the world, and we will do that here at the Basilica with a series of spiritual exercises, lectures, musical, social and theatrical events throughout the year.

Sunday August 29, 2010 $ 9,712.50
Sunday August 30, 2009 $ 11,583.32

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

September 12th Sunday Readings: Ex 32:7-11, 13-14; 1 Tm 1:12-17; Lk 15:1-32 or 15:1-10.

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

Choirs. . .Our new choir master, Mr. Frederick Backhaus, will be arriving in a few short weeks. He has asked to meet those already singing in the choirs and those who might want to join the choirs. To that end, there will be meetings:
Childrens’ Choir and their parents on Saturday, September 11th
at 1pm in the Monsignor Nagle Hall.
Open House for Volunteer Choir and those interested in joining on
Wednesday, September 15th at 7pm in the Monsignor Nagle Hall. Join us.

Red Mass Oct. 17th. . . At the 10 am Mass: Archbishop Dolan, the new Archbishop of New York will be the celebrant for the annual Red Mass for judges and lawyers: all are welcome.

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, or Janet Lancaster 203-637-3301,

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. Please contact Janet Lancaster at (203) 637-3301 or

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:, 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:

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, September 4
4:00 +Members of DeRosa, Kronk, Capobianco Families & Edwin Clark req. Joan & John Kronk
Sunday, September 5
7:30 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
10:00 +William Morris req. Dorothy Rich
12:00 +Frank Skehan req. Maureen & Rick Carpiniello
6:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
Monday, September 6
8:00 Souls in Purgatory
12:10 +John O’Hara, Sr. & Son John req. Stephanie O’Hara
Tuesday, September 7
8:00 +Leonard Piacenza req. Family
12:10 +Hector Jance req. Family
Wednesday, September 8
8:00 Special Intention
12:10 +Charles & Eva Kronk req. Mary Churley
Thursday, September 9
8:00 +Helen Carr req. Marie Carr
12:10 +Jenny Tomasello req. Mom & Dad
Friday, September 10
8:00 +Frank Janesch req. Cycon Family
12:10 Evelyn & Jack Mahan req. Maude & Paul Hughes
Saturday, September 11
8:00 +Hope & Joseph McAleer req. The McAleer Family
12:10 Special Intentions Light of the World Group In Haiti

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 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

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:
145 years ago, or so:
Sept. 11, 1863: “On Saturday last, the schools connected with the Roman Catholic Church, made an excursion to Jones Wood, New York. There were several hundred—men, women and children—and as they marched to the depot, preceded by a fine band of music, we never saw a neater or more orderly procession. A special train of 13 cars was filled with the excursionists. The day was remarkably fine, and no accident occurred to mar their enjoyment.”

Sept. 9, 1867: “The ladies of St. John’s Catholic Church return their thanks to those who so generously patronized their fair lately held in Seely’s Hall. They acknowledge their special indebtedness to Mrs. J. Ayers, who furnished the ice-cream for the fair; Capt. W. D. Smith, for coal presented; Patrick Brennan, for grand cook stove; Mr. L. H. Huributt Jennings, the hatter, for set of furs; A. W. Voorhees, Esq., H. W. Wicks, Repke & While, Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Clark of Mianus for oysters and cake furnished gratis; Mrs. Bland for innumerable favors; Mr. P. A. B. Triacca, for grand wardrobe; Mr. Cohen, merchant tailor, and Messrs. Chas. Alphonse and P. Cavanagh for police service. They also take pleasure in recording the noble action of the members of the band, who offered their services gratuitously during the entire time of the fair, and labored incessantly to please all as well as to make the fair a success. Mr. Leonard of the Stamford House will please accept our thanks for many kind favors and, last, but not least, the gentlemanly editors of The Advocate will be held in grateful remembrance.”

50 years ago, or so:
Sept. 9, 1960: Parochial Schools Enroll 4,900 Pupils. “Among the nearly 4,900 students so far enrolled in Stamford’s seven parochial schools, St. Mary’s School has the largest enrollment. St. Mary’s reports 1,430 students, followed by Stamford Catholic High School with an opening-week enrollment of 900. All schools may gain a few students until enrollment becomes relatively stable in October. Other figures reported by the schools: St. Cecilia’s, 700; Sacred Heart (at Rice School), 1212; Holy Name, 557; St. Maurice’s, 458; and St. John’s, 700.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: The original St. John’s School opened its doors in 1861.)

Cast into the Deep – Fr Terry Walsh
I wonder what would be going through Jesus’ mind as He approached the busting activity of the diligent fishermen who were seeking to haul in a great catch. Might there have been an eagerness, a purposefulness to His step? John the Baptist, martyred out of love for Him, fulfilled his mission and now Jesus’ burning desire to proclaim the Good News would at long last finally begin – His love was on fire – he was pumped up and eager to announce the Good News of Salvation– it was the whole purpose for his becoming man and the moment had arrived – ‘that moment toward which all time and history, all human and divine longing have been directed’ – it’s here – finally. You can see it in His step. What’s more – he’s about to invite those he loves to share in His Mission. As He gets closer to the chatter of the men giving orders to each other in their boats, perhaps his smile unveils His excitement – He can’t contain it. He’s eager to get started…

Meanwhile, the typical busyness of the day occupies the attention of the fishermen as the sun rises higher in the sky and the gulls begin to gather in greater number to feast – the fish are cleaned as they are gathered. These hardworking fishermen hope for a slightly bigger catch in the next wave. Their thoughts quite naturally are focused on meeting their quota in order to support their families and pay their taxes – along with the other general cares and concerns of the day. Perhaps, their thoughts drift off to the future – maybe next year they’ll be able to add a boat, or at least hire another worker or two. Their restless concerns occupy their minds. Looking up from their nets, they see Him. As He approaches, they’re curious. He meets them. He invites them: Follow Me! Cast into the Deep!

Jesus is inviting each one of us today, right now, to follow Him – to be aware of the purpose of our existence – to come to know Him and grow in a deeply personal relationship with Him – and through that intimate relationship, to draw others to Him – to “Cast into the Deep.”
Consider the response of the first Apostles. There was no hesitation. Peter, Andrew, James, and John left everything immediately and followed Him. For them, it was a matter of imitating him, casting aside anything that hindered their fidelity and their growth in virtue.

Just as they had gutted and cleaned the fish, digging out and tearing away all the useless parts for the sea gulls, leaving only the lean, nutritious piece ready to be consumed – so too they scraped away whatever hindered them from preaching the Word of God and being active participants in the mission entrusted to them. Likewise, the leaner we are, spiritually speaking, the more faithfully we can focus on growing in virtue and responding to the Grace Jesus seeks to pour into our hearts in order to accomplish His work.

Just as Jesus revealed His Kingdom to the Apostles and gave them a share in his mission and his suffering, so too, does he offer it to us. We’re called to an intimate communion with God. Trust Him – he will nourish you – through his grace. Live in the Kingdom. Proclaim it to others.