For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday September 19, 2010

Pastor’s Corner. . . This week, Pope Benedict XVI made an historically important visit to the United Kingdom. One of the most powerful images was the Successor of Saint Peter walking with the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury down the aisle of Westminster Hall—the same hall in which Saint Thomas More was tried in 1535 and condemned to death because of his Catholic faith. This is so very poignant since the pope came to beatify Blessed John Henry Newman [1801-1890], one of the greatest theologians of the 19th century.
Born an Anglican, he was ordained a minister of that religion and became one of the most noted and controversial of Oxford’s intellectual lights. He began doubting that Anglicanism had anything to do with the Church of Christ during his years of study of the Church Fathers: it became clear to him that the Church of England was the creation of the English Crown, which could and did countenance heresy in the name of political expediency. In his last sermon The Parting of Friends, preached as an Anglican minister on September 25, 1843, Newman, speaking of himself in the third person, told his little congregation:
“And, O my brethren, O kind and affectionate hearts, O loving friends, should you know any one whose lot it has been, by writing or by word of mouth, in some degree to help you thus to act; if he has ever told you what you knew about yourselves, or what you did not know; has read to you your wants or feelings, and comforted you by the very reading; has made you feel that there was a higher life than this daily one, and a brighter world than that you see; or encouraged you, or sobered you, or opened a way to the inquiring, or soothed the perplexed; if what he has said or done has ever made you take interest in him, and feel well inclined towards him; remember such a one in time to come, though you hear him not, and pray for him, that in all things he may know God’s will, and at all times he may be ready to fulfill it.”
After years being torn by doubts, laments and fearful that he must leave his childhood faith, as well as Oxford, he converted to Catholicism in October, 1845 at the hands of an unimpressive Italian priest, Blessed Dominic Barberi, who devoted his life to bringing England back to the Catholic Church. Following his conversion and studies in Rome, Newman was ordained a priest, continued writing and was named a cardinal at the end of his long life. His written works and example have influenced millions of Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
He will be beatified for very many reasons, but the most important is that he willingly gave up everything for Christ. His departure from the Anglican faith, and his embrace of the Catholic Faith, meant abandonment by his friends and family, the loss of his lucrative academic career and home at Oxford, and both he and his conversion became the butt of abuse in print, pulpit and speech throughout his Protestant homeland.
Yet, his new Catholic home treated him little better: most English Catholics and clergy distrusted this convert, scuttled his plans for the establishment of a Catholic university in Ireland, and those for an oratory in Oxford, belittled him for his theological acumen, and badgered him for his writings in speech and print. Throughout his long life, he desired only one thing: to be faithful to Christ and to the Church Christ established for the salvation of the world. And he was.
There are many levels of importance to the Holy Father’s visit to the United Kingdom. The first is the beatification of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, as a sign that, despite the weaknesses and failures of the human members within the Church, holiness and sanctity are still very much present and possible, even for Her priests. The second concerns Pope Benedict XVI’s efforts at reuniting the various Christian religious Churches and bodies into full communion with the Church founded by Christ. His first and most strenuous efforts have been toward the reunion with the Orthodox Churches, which broke with Rome in 1054 A.D. These Churches still maintain the full Faith, the Sacraments, and valid Holy Orders. The schism had many causes on both the Latin and Greek sides, but, as with all schisms, the primary reason was a lack of charity, at least according to Saint Augustine. The Protestant religious institutions, created in the 16th century, are in a different category: they radically changed the content of the Faith, as well as worship; they have few valid sacraments, other than Baptism and Marriage, which can be performed by lay people; and they have no valid Holy Orders. Among these can be listed the Lutheran, Congregational, Baptist, Presbyterian and Anglican communions. They are religious bodies begun by their founders: Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and King Henry VIII. With them we share the grace of Baptism, and fragments of the ancient Catholic Faith, but little else. Let us pray for the success of the Holy Father’s visit: let it bear fruit in reunion, renewed unity in the Catholic Faith, and stronger charity among believers, with Blessed John Henry Newman as a model. — Msgr. DiGiovanni

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.

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

Saint Peter Votive Lights Memorial. . .The two votive lights are in memory of Maurizio M. Mastracchio req. Rosy Mastracchio.

Our Lady’s Icon Votive Light Memorial. . .Special Intentions Diane Strain and Marion Morris req. Mildred and Joan Beirne.

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 Holy Rosary in the church, Next Hour: September 20th 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. . . Meets Wednesdays at 7:30pm in the Rectory: Our topic: The Monastic Rules of St. Basil. All are welcome.

Latin Reading Group. . . Wednesdays 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.

Pro-Life. . . The Gospel of Life Society invites you and your family to participate in Stamford’s Life Chain, on Sunday, October 3rd, beginning at 1:30 pm in front of Saint John’s. Last year, over 1,200 Life Chains were linked across America and Canada, including scores of St. John’s parishioners. This is a non-confrontational witness for life: we simply stand along Atlantic Street in front of the church with signs encouraging greater respect for human life, and we pray. For more info, please call Frank Carpanzano: 203-975-0074.

Sunday September 12, 2010 $ 11,694.20
Sunday September 13, 2009 $ 10,623.12

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

September 26th Sunday Readings: Am 6:1a, 4-7; 1 Tm 6:11-16; Lk 16:19-31.

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:
—Children’s 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 18
4:00 +Vincent Freccia, Jr. req. Family
Sunday, September 19
7:30 +Maria Travino req. Lilian & Alvina Ramos
10:00 +Richard Wargo Birthday Remembrance req. Family
12:00 In Thanksgiving to Padre Pio req. Giannitti Family
6:00 +Jane Lubin req. Marie Lauture
Monday, September 20
8:00 +Peggy Pikul req. Marion & Richard Morris
12:10 Peter Mangeni & Michael Muwanguzi req. Scholastica & Andrew
Tuesday, September 21
8:00 For the group Light of the World in Haiti req. Ferry G.
12:10 +Gerard Albert req. Mary Churley
Wednesday, September 22
8:00 Special Intentions Maiah Rovegno
12:10 Special Intentions
Thursday, September 23
8:00 In Honor of St. Padre Pio 43rd Anniversary req. Marion Morris & Family
12:10 +William Morris 1st Anniversary req. Priests of the Parish
Friday, September 24
8:00 Special Intentions Olivia Rovegno
12:10 +William Morris req. Diane Strain
Saturday, September 25
8:00 In Thanksgiving to God
12:10 +Theresa Leibowitz req. Patricia O’Hara Taylor

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 . . .meets Saturdays in the rectory at 9:30a.m.

Moms & Tots . . . Moms and their kids meets in parish hall each first Tuesday of every month at 10:00 a.m.

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 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, 8th-12th grades. Suzanna Bosthwick, 203-554-2004 for the girls.

Bible Study…Meets each Thursday night in the rectory. Acts of the Apostles and Revelation. See Parish Website for more details.

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 parish hall. All are welcome.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies . . . Meets Wednesday evenings at 7:30 pm in the rectory: The topic is 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. . . It will start again Sunday, September 26, 2010, after the 10:00 a.m. Mass. All are welcome.

St. John’s in The NEWS:
140 years ago, or so:
Sept. 23, 1870: TEMPERANCE PICNIC: “A grand temperance rally is to be held in Woodside Park, on Thursday, September 29th, by St. Patrick’s Total Abstinence Benevolent Society of Stamford. Good music, refreshments and dancing are among the attractions offered. The proceeds are for the benefit of the Church, an object which always calls forth a generous response from our Catholic people.”

100 years ago, or so:
Sept. 26, 1910: Gold Chalice for Father Coleman. “The farewell gift presented to Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman, curate of St. John’s Catholic Church, this city, from the Y.M.T. and L. Society of Danbury, at a reception given him by that society the other evening, is a gold chalice bearing the inscription: “Donated to Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman by St. Peter’s T. & L. society, Sept. 22, 1910.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: The Rev. N. P. Coleman was a curate at St. John’s from 1910 to 1912 and Pastor from 1936 to 1963.)

75 years ago, or so:
Sept. 21, 1935: CATHOLIC MEN OF COUNTY TO PARADE IN CITY ON OCT. 13. “Catholic men of western Fairfield County will meet in this city Sunday, Oct. 13, for a parade and rally. The rally and parade will be under the auspices of the Holy Name societies of the individual parishes. Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman, pastor of St. Catherine’s parish, Riverside, who is diocesan director of the Holy Name societies for this district, is in charge of the general organization of the affair. It is expected that there will be between 3,000 and 4,000 men in the line of march. Each parish will march as a unit carrying its placard of identificati0on, and many of the units will be headed by a band or drum corps.”

45 years ago, or so:
Sept. 25, 1966: Three Oval Apartment Towers Will Start Renewal of Stamford. “The first construction in a controversial $88-million downtown renewal project in Stamford, Conn., will begin early next year with the building of three 17-story oval-shaped apartment towers as low-rent units. The glass-sheathed structures, to be non-profit relocation housing for 352 displaced families, will be set atop a four-acre concrete platform over parking areas and 35,000 square feet of store space. Scheduled to be completed in 18 months, the towers project is being sponsored by St. John’s Roman Catholic Church and the Diocese of Bridgeport.”

Choose Life… – Fr. Terry Walsh
Come Join the Life Chain on Sunday October 3rd here at St. John’s from 1:30 to 3:30 pm
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice, and cleaving to Him…” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

We must recognize that the path to eternal happiness within the Holy Trinity is a path we choose to take. Each of us is given the choice. We each have immortal souls and we are meant to live in God – but He does not force us to live in Him. Our decisions in this life determine where we live eternally. The Council Fathers of Vatican II put it this way: “Let all be convinced that human life and its transmission are realities whose meaning is not limited by the horizons of this life only: their time evaluation and full meaning can only be understood in reference to man’s eternal destiny.” Sadly, our Culture rejects the gift of life – it rejects the Commandments – it has made itself ‘god’. And yet, consider what God has revealed to us: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…”(Jeremiah 1:5); or again in the Gospel of Luke: “For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy”(Lk 1:44).
The Psalmist, too, sings of the wonder and magnificence of the human person created in the image and likeness of its Creator: “For Thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb…Thou knowest me right well; my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret…”(Psalm 139). Indeed, the Psalms celebrate the extraordinary dignity of the human person: “You have made (man) a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor”(Psalm 8).

God created us in His Image when He breathed the breath of life into us – creating us body and soul – a life that begins at conception. He included freedom in His plan – that we might freely choose to love Him, that we would choose the blessing and receive life. But do we contemplate the wonder of His love and marvel at His infinite goodness?
We are tragically caught up in a “Culture of Death’ – a culture that proclaims its independence from God, following in the footsteps of Adam. He willfully separated Himself from God. He tumbled out of Paradise and the State of Grace and found himself crawling in the dust. Why? God gave him life and, of course, every other gift and blessing in the State of Grace. But Adam took his eye off the ball. His pride got the better of him. Pride has a terrible effect on a soul meant for love. Adam thought ‘he knew better.’ Imagine the utter shock and horror that rocked his world when the bill showed up – when it came time to pay for his choice. Fast forward to our world today. We live in a culture of moral relativism that celebrates the right to extinguish what God has brought to life, violating the very commandments that lead to life.

Abortion, Destruction of Embryos, Euthanasia, Eugenics – the list goes on – all done in the so-called name of scientific advancement for ‘the benefit’ of mankind.” Has the subtle snake desensitized our moral and spiritual radar? Have we willfully turned away from God and embraced instead the culture of man? Neither Science nor Public Opinion has any power of absolution, yet it presumes this power. It calls evil (abortion, etc) good and ignores the consequences. It is utterly incomprehensible. Have we lost our way? Has science and technology been commandeered? Have we lost our moral compass and bitten the apple?
Again, the Second Vatican Council beautifully encapsulates our true relationship with God: “The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. The invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot love fully according to Truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his Creator.” Choose life….
Come join us on the sidewalks of Atlantic Street on Sunday October 3 and Stand Up for Life