For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pastor’s Corner. . . Common wisdom is that religion and politics don’t mix. That’s true—if you live in a bubble. But we don’t. No one’s life is so compartmentalized that every action or thought is unconnected to other thoughts or to daily events. Religion and politics do mix, in reality, because everything mixes and is interrelated. The federal, state and local governments legislate and enforce morality every day: laws against murder, against rape, against stealing and against other activities most people would consider bad. Most people consider them bad because, under normal conditions, these actions are always bad. We know this because of the Natural Law: a law written by God in the hearts of every human person [Rom. 2, 14]. The question is how do governments determine what is morally good and morally evil; or, more realistically, what is right and what wrong? The fundamental documents of our country, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, are based on the Natural Law. If the Natural Law is ignored, a nation is on shaky ground, and tragedy may be imminent. We are living through such a tragedy today, and the reasons are not simply economic, but, at their heart, religious. Greed and lust for power are sins, not just human flaws judged to be wrong by a government. Yet, the global community is brought to its knees today because of human disregard for the Natural Law that protects the dignity of each human person, not as a commodity, but as the image and likeness of God, who has received rights directly from the Creator; rights neither government nor business nor economic policy should deny or ignore. Yet they have been ignored, and people suffer as a result. We are cogs in a larger machine, and our worth depends upon our productivity and usefulness to the machine–at least, that’s what some people think.
Sixty years ago, the world approached a similar crisis, brought about by similar circumstances: the rise of the Axis powers seeking to rewrite world history based on privilege of blood and race, nationalism and the supremacy of the State over the individual person. For Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito, and later Stalin, each person had value only if useful to the State. The only voice against these powers was the Catholic Church in the persons of Popes Pius XI and XII.
Pius XII, basing his protests against Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin on those first enunciated by Pius XI, said there were two fundamental errors for his time—which are the same fundamental errors today:
First: “the forgetfulness of that law of human solidarity and charity which is dictated and imposed by our common origin, and by the equality of a rational nature in all men, to whatever nation they belong, and by the redeeming Sacrifice offered by Jesus Christ on the Altar of the Cross.”
Second: Making the State all-powerful, instead of God: “Once the authority of God and the sway of His [Natural] law are denied, . . . the State puts itself in the place of the Almighty, and elevates the State or group as the final goal of life, the supreme criterion of the moral and juridical order, therefore forbidding every appeal to the principles of natural reason and of Christian conscience” [Summi Pontificatus, 52, 53].
If government can determine what is morally good and morally evil, was it evil for the tens of millions to die in the Holocaust? Hitler’s government said it was necessary, and therefore, good. Was it evil for tens of millions to die in Communist Russia? That government determined those deaths were necessary, and morally acceptable. How about slavery in the United States, or the Jim Crow laws in southern states? The government determined those laws necessary, and so morally good. We know those laws were unjust—but people obeyed them, because the State had styled itself omnipotent in determining the progress of lives.
Today, we are not talking about the mass murder of millions because of race or creed; but we are talking about the U.S. federal government, state and local governments that legislate contrary to the Natural Law, and of many who live as if the Natural Law does not exist; and that the dignity and needs of human beings can be and are ignored, in the interest of making money or acquiring power or for the “common good”.
We will be going to the polls in 20-plus days. Even though we may think that the issues in the election are political, many of them are, first and foremost, religious and moral. Of the highest importance is the question of legalized abortion; next is embryonic stem cell research: if innocent human life is unprotected, no one is safe; next is the legitimization of gay marriage; on the horizon is legalized euthanasia. Questions of the economy, immigration, housing, the education of our children, and the assistance to the growing impoverished classes of our nation, are also about the dignity of the human person: because these are moral questions, they are religious questions. Of great interest in the last weeks are the economy and the unbridled greed of Wall Street—and of all of us who simply followed along. Who is more important: you or money? God gave us that answer long ago, but few listen to Him.
These are not Catholic issues or questions; these are basic questions about the Natural Law: about who you are, no matter what your religion, or if you have no religion at all. Any government that legislates contrary to the Natural Law legislates against its own citizens, since its citizens become expendable compared to the needs of the State, or the needs of the market, and in favor of anarchy. No government has the right or power to legislate morality contrary to the Natural Law.
An editorial in the New York Times by Anne O’Hare McCormick appeared the day after Pope Pius XII issued his first encyclical condemning the theories fueling totalitarian governments:
“The central theme of his long encyclical is the function of the State in the modern world, and that is the crux of the struggle of our time. The dictatorship of today is not simply a form of government; it is a form of life, a usurpation of every human and divine right, a growth of power so abnormal that it is like a tumor pressing on the whole social body and preventing other nations from functioning naturally” [New York Times, Oct 30, 1939, p. 16].
This could have been written yesterday. We need more than a rhetorical call for change, whether by Democrats, Republicans or the Tea Party; we need those who will pare down the god we call government, by acknowledging the inalienable rights of the human person in civil laws based on the Natural Law, that will protect us from ourselves, from powerful interest groups and from governments that otherwise willingly relegate us to the dustbin of history for profit.
— Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Shirly Mailhot, Roledonne Samedi, Maurice Babe Ruggiero, 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. . . James Andersen, Domineco Gentile, Alma Vota, Ben DeSalvo, 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 left votive light is in memory of Ida DeRosa req. Joan and John Kronk.

Protectress of Rome Votive Light Memorial . . .Special intentions Emma Auguste req. Sabine Auguste.

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: October 18th at 7 pm.

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.

Religious Education. . . Classes have begun. For those not yet registered, you may register On-Line at the St. John’s Website,, or call the rectory, and speak with Cindy, 203-324-1553 x21. Classes begin Sundays at 8:30 sharp. Please be on time. Thank you for your cooperation.

Latin Mass. . . The Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form will be offered here at Saint John’s Tuesday’s at 9:30 a.m. by Fr. LaPastina of Saint Gabriel Parish. Because of the diocesan priests’ retreat, the next Latin Mass will be October 26th.

Saint Monica Patristic Institute. . . Meets Wednesdays at 7:30pm in the Rectory: Our October topic: Early Martyrs mentioned in the Roman Canon. All are welcome.

Latin Reading Group. . .Wednesdays at 6:15 pm in the Rectory.

Biblical Greek Study Group. . .Thursday at 6:30 pm in the Rectory: open only to those with a reading ability in Biblical Greek.

Trinity Catholic Middle School. . .is holding an Open House Saturday, October 30, 2010 from 10am to 12noon, at 948 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, on the same campus as Trinity Catholic High School. Parents and students interested in a challenging academic program in a faith based school are encouraged to attend.

Sunday October 10, 2010 $ 12,948.53
Sunday October 11, 2009 $ 10,989.04

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

October 24th Sunday Readings: Sir 35:12-14, 16-18; 2 Tm 4:6-8, 16-18; Lk 18:9-14.

Choir News:. . . If you or your children are interested in one of the Choirs, please contact the Choir Master, Frederick Backhaus ( or 617-913-5571. We have only a few choir positions left. Schola audition: Volunteers interested in auditioning for the Sunday Noon Mass choir should contact Fred to arrange an audition. Please join us.

Home Schooling Families. . . A group for home schooling families meets one Tuesday each month. All ages are welcome. Please contact Julianne DeMarco 203-966-3641 or or Janet Lancaster at 203-637-3301 or at

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.

Coffee Hour. . . in the parish hall after the 10:00 a.m. Mass. All are welcome. We are looking for volunteers to help out with the coffee hour. If interested, please contact Janet Lancaster at (203) 637-3301 or

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., see:

St. Maria Goretti Society. . . For the spiritual formation of young ladies, 8th-12th grades. First Meeting will be this Sunday, October 17th in the Rectory. Questions, contact Beth Carpanzano at 203-975-0075

Basilica Meetings: As we prepare to open our Basilica Office, there will be a few meetings: Tour Guide Training: October 28th at 7:30 pm in the rectory;
Tea Hostesses: October 30th at 5pm in the rectory;
Grant Writers: November 1st at 7:30 pm in the rectory.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, October 16
4:00 +Members of DeRosa, Kronk, Capobianco Families & Edwin Clark req. John & Joan Kronk
Sunday, October 17
7:30 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory
10:00 +William Morris req. Carmela Micik & Family
12:00 +His Excellency Bishop Walter Curtis req. Cardinal Kung Foundation
6:00 +Anna Bellettiere req. Christina & C.J. Fioravanti
Monday, October 18
8:00 Floyd & Emma Fleming & Family req. James Bosilevas
12:10 +Joseph Turturino Birthday Remembrance req. daughter-Christina Strain
Tuesday, October 19
8:00 +Shelsea Bertrance req. Frank Carpanzano
12:10 +Margaret I. Mitchell req. Hannah Young
Wednesday, October 20
8:00 Marie Antoinette, King Louis XVI & 40,000 Martyrs req. James Bosilevas
12:10 +Genorose Ofiero req. Pinto Family
Thursday, October 21
8:00 +William Wolf req. Angela Giannitti
12:10 For the Group Light of the World req. Ferry G.
Friday, October 22
8:00 Germaine Bargar & Thomas Craige Families req. James Bosilevas
12:10 +Beatrice Touhey req. Family
Saturday, October 23
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
12:10 Gail Piria req. Domenico Piria

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. Questions, contact Ferry Galbert 203-324-1553 ext. 22.

St. Maria Goretti Society. . . For the spiritual formation of young ladies, 8th-12th grades. First Meeting will be October 17th in the Rectory. Questions, contact Beth Carpanzano at 203-975-0075

Bible Study…Meets each Thursday at 7 p.m. in the rectory. This year’s study includes the Book of Revelation and Acts of the Apostles. 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:

Introduction to Biblical Greek . . . Meets Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm in the rectory: open only to those with a reading ability in Biblical Greek.

Coffee Hour. . . After the 10:00 a.m. Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall. All are welcome.

St. John’s in The ADVOCATE:
140 years ago, or so:
Oct. 18, 1872: The Catholic Fair: “The annual fair of St. John’s R.C. Society opened under very favorable auspices in the Town Hall, Tuesday evening. The floor was completely occupied by a busy and animated throng, and from the stage, the Hamden Band of Bridgeport discoursed eloquent music. The display of fancy goods is very fine, and a number of valuable articles are being disposed of by lottery. Among the latter is a gold watch and chain, warranted genuine by Mr. A. Weed, jeweler; also a magnificent French clock. The fair will be continued every day during the week.”

120 years ago, or so:
Oct. 20, 1892: IN THE CHURCHES—How the 250th Anniversary Was Inaugurated: “The first day of the celebration of Stamford’s 250th anniversary was devoted to religious services which thoroughly entered into the spirit of the occasion, and drew from the civil and ecclesiastical history of the town, lessons which will be remembered long after the anniversary has passed by. At St. John’s R.C. Church, High Mass was celebrated by Father Keena at 10:30 a.m. The music of the mass was composed by Prof. J.F. O’Brien, choirmaster of the church. Rev. W.H. Rogers began his sermon by referring to Columbus and his discoveries, of his strong belief in Catholicity and of the difficulties and dangers he encountered in his efforts to convert the people to the Catholic religion after planting the cross on San Salvador. The efforts of his followers through the ages since, who, by their zeal and courage and strong belief in their faith, have surmounted many difficulties and sacrificed lives and fortunes, is a lesson for the members of the Catholic Church to recall, and to be proud that their faith is established in every civilized part of the world. In speaking about the history and growth of the church in Stamford he said: From 1845 to 1848, Stamford was occasionally visited by Bishop Tyler, who ministered to the spiritual needs of the few Catholics residing in the neighborhood. At that period the rolling-mills at Stillwater gave employment to a considerable number of men belonging to the church, and others were employed as gardeners, coachmen and laborers. Mass was first said in the house of Patrick Drew. Afterwards the Town Hall was used for Divine service, and finally, in May, 1848, Father Brady took up his residence on the Cove Road, and took spiritual charge of the Catholics of Stamford and Norwalk. On July 4, 1849, ground was broken for a church building on Meadow Street, a one-story frame structure, 60 X 40. The church was dedicated January 28, 1851.”