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

Pastor’s Corner. . .December 8th is our national patronal feast: the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady. This solemnity is about God’s preparations for our salvation in Jesus: God the Father prepared a holy and suitable mother for His Eternal Son. Since He would take on our human nature, joining it with His Divine Nature, that representative of humanity had to be perfect and without sin. While, Mary’s parents, Saints Anne and Joachim, had natural marital relations, it was by God’s intervention that she who was conceived in Saint Anne’s womb would be “full of grace”, by God’s application in anticipation of the merits of Jesus’ Cross, to make sure that Mary would be conceived without contracting Adam’s Original Sin, which is transmitted to all of us. This is beautifully expressed in a homily by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux:
“It befitted God to be born of none but a virgin, and it befitted the virgin that having borne God she should bear no other. The Creator of men, in becoming himself a man born of men, had to choose, indeed even form, the kind of mother he knew befitted him and knew would please him. Therefore, he wanted her to be a virgin so that from a spotless one he, The Spotless One, might come forth to cleanse away the sins of all mankind.
“He wanted her to be humble from whom he, as the man meek and humble of heart, would be born; he wanted her to give a salutary example of all the virtues. Therefore he made the Virgin conceive, for she had earlier offered her vow of virginity to him but had also won the merit of humility.
“How could the angel have addressed her as filled with grace if there had been anything in her—even anything good—that was not the work of grace? In order, then, that she who would conceive and bear the Holy of Holies might herself be holy in body, she received the gift of virginity; that she might herself be holy in spirit, she received the gift of humility.
“These were the glorious jewels of mind and body that adorned the royal Virgin. Her beauty was known in heaven, whose citizens gazed on her with admiration; she attracted the eyes of the Eternal King to herself and drew down a heavenly messenger to greet her.
“ ‘The angel was sent to a virgin’: a virgin in flesh and spirit, a virgin by deliberate intention, a virgin such as the Apostle Paul describes, holy in mind and body. The Lord did not stumble on her by accident but chose her from eternity; the Most High prepared her, the angels preserved her, the fathers pointed her out, the prophets promised her coming” [Sermon 2: In Praise of the Virgin Mary]. — Msgr. DiGiovanni

NOTA BENE: December 8th is a holy day of obligation: so important is this celebration that all Catholics are obliged to attend Mass, unless ill or prevented by emergency. The schedule can be found in the bulletin on the next page.

Please pray for the sick. . . James Bosilevas, Doreen Harry, Robert Lockhart, 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, 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. . . Fransoice Simon, Rose Pavia, Margaret Smegal, William 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.

Holy Day of Obligation. . . December 8th: The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception: The Vigil Mass will be offered on December 7th at 5:15 pm and Masses on December 8th: 8 a.m., 12:10 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.

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: December 6th at 7 p.m.

Protectress of Rome Votive Light . . . Special intentions Cardinal Raymond Burke and Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith req. Michael Borkowski.

Saint Peter Votive Lights. . .The left votive – Special intentions Jo and Ann.

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 .

Bible Study. . . Meets each Thursday at 7 p.m. in the rectory to study the Book of Revelation and Acts of the Apostles. See Schedule of Events on the Parish Website for dates.

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.

Saint Monica Patristic Institute. . . Will meet again January 5th and each Wednesday of the month to read the letters of Pope Saint Gregory the Great, led by Father Futie, Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish. All are welcome to what should be fun!!

Saint John’s Christmas Fair. . .This weekend Saturday Dec. 4th, 3pm-5:30pm and Sunday Dec. 5th, 8:15am – 1:30pm. 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.

Sunday November 28, 2010 $ 11,597.62
Sunday November 29, 2009 $ 11,928.20

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

December 12th Sunday Readings: Is 35:1-6a, 10; Jas 5:7-10; Mt 11:2-11.
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.

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, Dec. 7th at St. Gabriel’s.

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.

St. John’s Flock Catholic Young Adult Group . . . are planning the following December Events: Saturday, December 11th at 10:00am – Volunteer Event with Sisters of Life, 159 Skymeadow Drive in Stamford.  Help the Sisters prepare for their celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Over 100 children will be attending this event which will be held on December 12th. Likewise, on Monday, December 13th at 7:00pm – Adoration at St. John’s Basilica followed by a meeting from 8-9:00 at the rectory. And, on Saturday, December 18th at 7:00 – Celebrate with The Flock for Christmas Cocktails and Cheer. 7:00pm.  Additional details available by joining our group on Facebook.  Please follow us on Facebook by searching:  St. John’s Flock (Catholic Young Adult group in Stamford, CT)

Holy Spirit School. . . “Take a Look Tuesday” to visit the school for parents interested in enrolling their children for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years: call 203-329-1623 or visit www.holyspiritschool.info.

Coffee Hour. . . There will be NO Coffee Hour this Sunday after the 10:00 a.m. Mass because of the Christmas Fair this weekend.

Christmas Midnight Mass. . . The usual post-Midnight Mass rectory parish reception is CANCELLED this year, in an attempt to reduce parish spending.

Christmas is on Saturday. . .So, this year it will awkward for the usual weekend Mass schedule. PLEASE NOTE: On Christmas Day [Saturday, December 25th] there will be NO 4:00pm Saturday Vigil Mass for Sunday. All who normally attend the Saturday evening Mass will have to come back on Sunday for Sunday’s Mass, just like the rest of us. Excuse any inconvenience.

Church painting. . . John Canning’s Studio will complete the side chapels by Monday, and the scaffolding will come down this week. The design behind each side chapel altar is a reproduction of that done by our parishioner Thomas MaGee in the 1920’s. I hope you like it.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, December 4
4:00 +John Van Dereedt req. Frances Van Dereedt
Sunday, December 5
7:30 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
10:00 +Bill Pinto req. Pinto family
12:00 +William M. Borkowski req. Michael & Ann Borkowski
6:00 Special Intentions Father Pritzl req. Lisa Janniello
Monday, December 6
8:00 +Barbara Gentile 3rd Anniversary req. Marion & Bill Morris & Family
12:10 +William Bresnan req. Bill Christiaanse
Tuesday, December 7
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
12:10 +Kathleen Corbo req. Anthony & Carolyn Conte
5:15 Souls in Purgatory
Wednesday, December 8
8:00 +Virginia & Eileen Carr req. Marie Carr
12:10 In Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary req. Ferry G.
5:15 The Diteodore family req. Frank Carpanzano
Thursday, December 9
8:00 Special Intentions
12:10 Special Intentions req. Kielty
Friday, December 10
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
12:10 +Lucia & Antonio Tana req. Leon T.
Saturday, December 11
8:00 +Hope & Joseph McAleer req. the McAleer family
12:10 Ziriana Taaka req. Scholastica Nabwire

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 & St. Maria Goretti Society . .. group will be having a field trip to the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, and The Mother Teresa exhibit on Saturday, December 11th. We will meet in the rectory at 8:45 a.m. Permission Slips are in the rectory and in the sacristy after Mass.
The Next Meeting for St. Dominic Savio Society will be on December 12 in the rectory, after the Noon Mass.
The Next Meeting for St. Maria Goretti Society will be on December 19 in the rectory, after the Noon Mass.

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

St. John’s in The news:
135 years ago, or so:
The STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
Dec. 12, 1873: Preamble and Resolutions Upon the Death of The Rev. John Fagan of Stamford, Conn.: “At a meeting of St. Patrick’s T.A.B. Society, held in their rooms on the evening of December 7th, 1873, the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:
WHERAS, it has pleased Almighty God, whose decrees are not to be questioned by man, to remove from life our beloved Pastor, Rev. John Fagan, be it
Resolved, That while we bow in humble submission to the will of Him who doeth all things well, we deeply feel the loss of our Director and Pastor.
Resolved, That his counsels in the government of our Society were always those of wisdom and prudence; that while we owe him a lasting debt of gratitude for the interest he always manifested in our advancement and prosperity, we shall ever cherish his memory as one who possessed our confidence, won our love, and watched over our welfare.
Resolved, That we fully appreciate the great mind, kind heart and virtuous character of which he was possessed; and that the success he achieved in all his labors among us, attests the good energy and determination with which he carried out his praiseworthy undertakings.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent for publication to the Boston Pilot, the Irish World, and the Stamford Advocate, and that a copy be presented to the relatives of the deceased.
Michael Coughlin, Jeremiah Hogan, Robert Walsh, James Toner, Jr., John H. Picker, Committee on Resolutions.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Father Fagan was pastor from 1868 to 1873.)

50 years ago, or so:
The HARTFORD COURANT:
Dec. 11, 1959: 17 Priests Receive Papal Awards. “Pope John XXIII has awarded Papal honors to 17 priests of the Bridgeport Diocese. Named Protonotary Apostolic: Rt. Rev. Msgr. Nicholas P. Coleman, V.F. of Stamford.”

20 years ago, or so:
The NEW YORK TIMES:
Dec. 6, 1992: MUSIC; Recitals Usher In Holiday. “Handel’s “Messiah” will be performed twice by the Fairfield County Chorale, with professional soloists and the Norwalk Symphony. Another “Messiah” will be offered next Sunday at 7, with James David Christie conducting the Ensemble Abendmusik of Boston at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Stamford.”

What Comes to Mind….? -Fr. Terry Walsh
Do you remember what it was like in those few days leading up to Christmas morning? So much anticipation and wonder – so much Mystery. It was unlike any other time of year. The excitement was all around you – at home, in school, in town. Everyone was looking forward to the Day. Christmas is filled with Mystery. Why did God become man? And why was He born in a cave surrounded by animals? Why wouldn’t anyone open their doors for Mary and Joseph? Peering a little deeper into the Mystery, we need only look to the Shepherds: “And an angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Be not afraid; for behold I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all people…and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!’”(Luke 2:9-13). Imagine seeing that Heavenly Host on the hillside that night? What an extraordinary vision. The shepherds, filled with peace and joy, quickly made their way to the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes.

The Savior has come…Our Lord comes to us everyday. But do we look for Him with the same eagerness as the Shepherds did that Holy night? We have been blessed with the gift of Faith infused in our souls at Baptism. By grace, we are able to “see” through the eyes of faith the Mystery that the Shepherds were blessed to see with their natural eyes. By faith we are able to believe what our natural eyes do not see. How pleasing it is to our Lord when we respond to this mysterious invitation; when we look to Him in the Host and understand with full confidence that all of Heaven surrounds us in that moment. But do we call this Mystery to mind as we approach the Altar to receive Him? Consider the exchange between Padre Pio and Padre Alberto D’Apolito concerning the Mystery of the Holy Mass. Padre Pio said, “‘What great care She (Blessed Virgin Mary) took to accompany me to the altar this morning. It seemed to me that She had nothing else to think about except myself as She filled my whole heart with sentiments of holy love.’ Asked if the Madonna had been present at Mass, Padre Pio answered: ‘Yes, she placed Herself to the side, but I could see her, what joy! What paradise…’ Has she attended only once, or is she always present? Padre Pio: ‘How can the mother of Jesus, present on Calvary at the foot of the Cross, who offered Her Son as victim for the salvation of souls, be absent at the mystical Calvary of the altar?’ Is our Lady present at all the Masses that are being celebrated in the world? Padre Pio: ‘Yes.’ Do the angels attend? Padre Pio: ‘The whole celestial court is present.’ That is why the Mass was both Calvary and Paradise for Padre Pio”(Padre Alberto D’Apolito, My Daily Eucharist, vol. 1, March 13).

Why was Jesus born into the world? So that He could die on the Cross for the Salvation of all who follow Him…so that we could receive Him, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in every worthy reception of Holy Communion. The Mystery of our Salvation is found in His love. When we open the doors of our hearts to the Mystery of His love we too will be filled with wonder and awe; we will grow in our knowledge and love of Him and we will bring that joy to all we meet. Rejoice…..