For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday November 28, 2010

Pastor’s Corner. . .We begin Advent today. It is a pre-festal period during which time we are reminded at each Mass to morally prepare our lives for a worthy celebration of the Feast of Christmas. But there is more. Advent is a time to further prepare ourselves for eternity: that by responding to God’s grace in the Eucharist we receive at Mass, we lead lives of holiness, perform good works of charity, and thus prepare ourselves to attain the goal of our lives, the sharing of eternal joy with God in heaven.
The prayers at Mass express this. For example, the prayer after Communion on Wednesday of the First Week of Advent: “Prepare our hearts, we beg you, O Lord, that, strengthened by this Eucharist, we may do your will. . .” We cooperate with God’s grace now, imitate God’s charity to us in Christ, and gain eternity. This is repeated daily in the Masses during Advent, and, especially in the individual feasts of the saints. At Mass, we are not merely handed a moral ideal, but we are given examples of real men, women and children who did respond by daily lives of holiness. The saints loved the God who showed His love by sending His eternal Son to join Himself to our human nature in the man Jesus. If God loves us so much that He would come to rescue us from our sins and from death, we should love Him in return in real life.
Let’s look at just two of the upcoming Advent saints:
December 3rd : Feast of St. Francis Xavier. A young, brilliant, wealthy young man of the mid-16th century, who, while at the University of Paris, ran into St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus [the Jesuits]. Ignatius succeeded in convincing Francis Xavier to abandon his self-centered life of luxury and privilege, to join the newly established Jesuits and go to India—then, the end of the world! He did, in order to preach the generosity of the Incarnate God who offered Himself in sacrifice on the Cross for us. He wrote to Ignatius that he wished he could return to the University of Paris to convince others “who have more learning than charity” to stop throwing their lives away working for themselves, when millions needed them to preach the Gospel and save them. He continued, “then, they would cast aside their desire for human recognition and make themselves wholly servants of God’s will. They would cry out with all their hearts: ‘Lord, here I am! What do you want of me? Send me where you wish, even to India.’” [Letter 4 to Ignatius]
December 13th : Feast of St. Lucy. A young girl born to a noble pagan family in Syracuse in Italy, Lucy secretly became a Catholic in the late 3rd century, and took a private vow of virginity. Unaware of this, her mother arranged a marriage with a young man. After her mother was healed of an illness, through the intercession of St. Agatha, Lucy revealed her Catholic faith and her private vow, as well as her desire to sell and give to the poor all she had: wealth, land and jewels. Her mother agreed, but her fiancé did not, and revealed Lucy’s Christianity to the state authorities. She was horribly tortured for months, including having her eyes gouged out because she refused to deny Christ, and finally died of her wounds, languishing in prison in 304 a.d., at the age of 15, praying for her persecutors.
These are two examples of real people, who, so moved by God’s generosity in Christ, left everything of worldly value to exercise heroic charity and virtue for Christ’s sake, and for the salvation of others. If we do one-tenth as much, as our gift to God at Christmas, we will have spent our Advent well. — Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Connie Ward, Corrine Mattson, Billy Therriault, Adriana & Noelle Quinones, Corrie Evans, Joseph J. Lasko, 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, Cheryl Carucci, Joan Bachman, Nicholas Czekanski, Wilfred Baretto, Haitian Earthquake Victims.

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Bill Cody, John Donaher, Shirley Piacenza, Sheila Lockhart, 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.

Protectress of Rome Votive Light . . . Special intentions Elizabeth Brennan.

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: November 29th at 7 pm.

Religious Education. . . No Classes on Sunday November 28th due to the Thanksgiving Weekend.

Memorial Votive Lights . . . The two votive lights at the shrine of Saint Peter, and the one before the icon of Mary Protectress of the Roman People, 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.

R.C.I.A. classes. . . Meets in the Rectory on Tuesday nights at 7:30pm .

Saint Monica Patristic Institute. . . Will meet again in January to read the letters of Pope Saint Gregory the Great. Stay tuned for details.

Saint John’s Christmas Fair. . .The weekend of Saturday Dec. 4th, 3pm-5:30pm and Sunday Dec. 5th, 8:15am – 1:00pm. Wreath’s, gifts, food, books and more: Mark your calendar and come join us. Start your Christmas shopping with us: help your parish by purchasing beautiful Christmas gifts and decorative items in our own Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall.

Calling all our Super Bakers – The Christmas Fair is the first weekend of December and that means we need to get busy baking delectable cakes, cookies, pies, breads and even homemade fudge and chocolate covered pretzels. You bake it or make it and we will sell it!   We need a team of bakers
to get busy baking and we also need volunteers to commit to helping sell at our bake shop on Saturday and Sunday, before and after all masses. We are hoping that all baked goods can be festively wrapped (feel free to include the ingredients or even the recipe!) and all baked goods must be brought to Monsignor Nagle Hall by Saturday afternoon or by Sunday AM.  Are you available to bake or would you love to help us sell? Please call Tracy Banahan at 203-834-0284 or email her at southold6@optonline.net.

Sunday November 21, 2010 $ 11,538.50
Sunday November 22, 2009 $ 11,301.12
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

December 5th Sunday Readings: Is 11:1-10; Rom 15:4-9; Mt 3:1-12.

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

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.

Latin Mass. . . Due to the painting of the side chapels, the Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form will be postponed here at Saint John’s until the New Year. HOWEVER, Fr. LaPastina will offer the Latin Mass each Tuesday’s at 9:30 a.m. in the side chapel at Saint Gabriel Parish on Newfield Avenue. The next Latin Mass Tuesday, Nov. 30th at St. Gabriel’s.

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 Schedule of Events on the Parish Website for dates.

Job Seekers . . . Meets the 4th Monday of each month in the rectory at 7:30 pm: all are welcome. Topics: job interviewing, writing of resumes, networking and job seeking strategies.

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.

Coffee Hour. . . There will be NO Coffee Hour this Sunday after the 10:00 a.m. Mass because of the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend.

Religious Education . . . No Classes on Sunday November 28th due to the Thanksgiving Weekend. Classes have begun. For those not yet registered, you may register On-Line at the St. John’s Website, www.stjohnsstamford.com, or call the rectory, and speak with Cindy, 203-324-1553 x21. On-Line at the St. John’s Website, www.stjohnsstamford.com, or call the rectory, and speak with Cindy, 203-324-1553 x21. Classes are on Sundays at 8:30 sharp. Please be on time.

Trinity Catholic High School . . . Holiday Boutique, Thursday, December 2nd, 6pm-10pm, at the Italian Center, 1620 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, CT. The Holiday Boutique is a ladies’ night out, fundraising event for Trinity Catholic High School. Price per ticket $65. Please join them for dinner and wine and shopping! For more information email: carol.tusch@ipaper.com.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, November 27
4:00 +Vinanzo & Michela Zabatta req. Family
Sunday, November 28
7:30 Special Intentions Millie Terenzio req. Office
10:00 +The Sith & Van Dereedt Family req. Daughter
12:00 +Dennis Oliveira req. Lilian & Alvina Ramos
6:00 +Silvio Pinson req. Emperatriz Matias
Monday, November 29
8:00 All Souls in Purgatory req. James Bosilevas
12:10 Special Intentions
Tuesday, November 30
8:00 Special Intentions Rev. Fr. Paul N. Check req. Scholastica & Andrew
12:10 +Tomas D. Rosete req. Rosita A. Domdom
Wednesday, December 1
8:00 +Stanly Bonner req. Jimmy & Michelle Sagdati
12:10 Special Intentions Yvenson & Fancia Saint Preuve req. Brother
Thursday, December 2
8:00 Special Intentions
12:10 Deceased & Living Family Members of James Bosilevas
Friday, December 3
8:00 +Margaret M. Timon req. Thomas A. Timon
12:10 In honor to the Sacred Heart of Jesus req. Ferry G.
Saturday, December 4
8:00 In Thanksgiving
12:10 In honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary req. Ferry G.

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 9:30 a.m.

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

St. Anne’s 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.

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

St. Maria Goretti Society. . . For the spiritual formation of young ladies, 8th-12th grades. Questions, contact Beth Carpanzano at 203-975-0074.

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 the Schedule of Events on the Parish Website for dates.

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. . . NO Coffee Hour Sunday November 28th because of the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend.

St. John’s in The Advocate:
75 years ago, or so:
Nov. 27, 1934: HOLY NAME SOCIETY OF ST. JOHN’S CHURCH PLANS REORGANIZATION. “Several hundred men, members of St. John’s R.C. Church, gathered in the basement of the church, last night, in the first meeting for reorganization of the Holy Name Society of the church. Another meeting will be held in the school auditorium, next Monday night, when officers will be elected and a program prepared. A social hour will follow the business meeting. One week from next Sunday, members of the Society will attend the 8 a.m. Mass in a body and receive Holy Communion. The Rev. James J. Wilson, spiritual head of the society, informed the men, last night, that a social program in connection with the spiritual work will be a definite part of the reorganization. A bowling league will be started as one of the first social and athletic projects.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: The Holy Name Society was originally organized in 1901 at St. John’s.)

35 years ago, or so:
Nov. 28, 1974: St. John’s R.C. Church. “This is a very wonderful Thanksgiving Day for the members of the parish of St. John’s Roman Catholic Church on Atlantic Street. It is the beginning of their centennial year when they can look back to the dedication of the building on Thanksgiving Day of 1875 and think of all that has been accomplished in those past ninety-nine years as well as how much they can do to honor the past. The first Roman Catholics in Stamford were without a church for many years. Missionary priests sent down from Fordham College took care of their needs, one of them being the Rev. Francis P. MacFarland, future bishop and, for a time, Fordham professor. New Haven priests and later Bridgeport pastors also took care of the Stamford people until the pastor at Norwalk was given their care and the Rev. John C. Brady of St. Mary’s in Norwalk, took up residence on Cove Road so as to be in easy reach of each town. It was he who built the first Stamford church on Meadow Street, in January 1851. As the church enlarged, they acquired their first resident priest, the Rev. James Reynolds, who came in November 1857. The following years saw the church enlarge so much that an assistant was required and a school was built. The teachers were laymen until 1876. Plans for the present building were begun. Father John Fagan died while they were being worked on and Father Michael A. Tierney was sent from New London to complete them. On Thanksgiving Day, 1876, the building was dedicated. Other changes took place. The old church was made into a school and the Sisters of Mercy invited to send teachers to the parochial residence being fitted up for their new home.”

KYRIE ELEISON -Fr. Terry Walsh

Advent evokes many spiritual aspirations. It causes us to stop what we’re doing and turn our gaze heavenward – to simply marvel at the gift of life and the call to love. Advent is about Mercy. It was out of sheer Mercy that God the Father sent His Only Begotten Son into the world to make Salvation possible. For Mercy’s sake the veil was pierced so that the Holy Spirit could be poured into the hearts of those who humbly seek to dwell in the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. Kyrie Eleison: Lord, have mercy.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation, instituted and ministered by our Lord, both heals and sanctifies the penitent. Any attempt to climb the Holy Mountain of God begins at the door of Confession. Our humble plea for mercy and forgiveness are found only through this door. Humility is required. Humility perfects the heart and leads us to a faithful examination of conscience and a willingness to do Penance. We meet Christ Himself in Confession and through that holy encounter; He absolves us and strengthens us with an infusion of grace. Through Sacramental Confession, Jesus prepares our souls to receive Him worthily in the Eucharist, where He forms us into ever more faithful images of Himself.
I am tremendously edified by the witness this parish gives for its desire to receive this Sacrament so frequently – everyday before each Mass people come to be reconciled to God. As a priest, I must say that the moment I encounter a sorrowful penitent I am deeply humbled. Even the simplest confession is at the same time a profound experience for me as a priest – simply because of the Presence of Christ in our midst. Every sacramental confession, of course, is an encounter with God. As a priest, I am well aware that our Lord is pouring out His graces through me. He made that act of mercy possible on the day of my ordination. Isn’t that simply amazing? That through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, God mysteriously configures the soul of a man in such a way that He may continue His Mission of Redemption through His priest and so answer our cries for help – Kyrie Eleison. Kyrie Eleison Kyrie Eleison. When I hear confessions before the 12 Noon Sunday Mass, often times the confessions run well into the Mass. Then, as if from Heaven, I hear the most beautiful prayer rising up to Heaven from the Choir. They have entered into the Kyrie, that first part of the Mass, when we ask for mercy. It’s as if the angels have surrounded the confessional and are rejoicing in the Mercy pouring down from Heaven through the hands of the priest into the soul of the penitent. Of course, the choir is expressing our plea for mercy, and while the whole congregation is rejoicing in that mercy during the Penitential Rite in the Mass, there is, at the same time, sacramental grace flowing in the confessional – the “Mercy Seat” as my old spiritual director use to call it. Lord have Mercy! What sweet words our Lord hears when the penitent kneels down to confess: “Bless me Father, I have sinned…” What sweet words of love the penitent hears in return: “I absolve you…go in peace…” Through our humble cooperation, God Himself removes the debris, the worldly obstacles, the slings and arrows, all the stuff that hinders spiritual growth – He wipes it away and clears the path, as it were, so that we might walk more faithfully with Him. He wants so much to fill us with this grace but he doesn’t force us to receive it. He will not hinder our freedom – no – we have to freely come to him – and humbly ask for it: “Lord, have Mercy….” Kyrie Eleison….

“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” –Isaiah 1:18