For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday January 2, 2011

Pastor’s Corner. . .The Church celebrates the Epiphany this weekend, which commemorates three historical events of great importance: the veneration of the Christ Child by the Three Kings; the Baptism of Our Lord by John the Baptist; and the miracle of the Wedding Feast at Cana. Each of these events is important, because each explains precisely who this child is and what He was to do.
The Three Kings came, having followed the “star” rising in the east. In reality, they saw a rare eclipse of Jupiter by the moon, the “king” of planets, the movement of which was interpreted in the ancient world as a portent of royal birth. They observed this, and understood that the baby they found in Bethlehem was no mere child, but a king, greater than any earthly monarch. Following the then common understanding of the stars and planets, the Three Kings believed that such a birth had been the result of the movements of heavenly bodies. How many today follow astrology in the same way!? St. Augustine made this observation to clarify why the Kings followed the star to the birth of Christ:
“. . . that star which the Magi saw did not have power over Christ, New-Born according to the flesh, but rather obeyed Him as witnesses to His birth. If we must speak of fate, then rather let us say, not that the star was Christ’s destiny, but that Christ was the destiny of the star, since He caused it to exist and rise in the east for the Three Kings.” [Contra Faustinum, II, 5].
Their gifts bore witness to the reality of Jesus’ identity: gold for a king; frankincense for a god; and myrrh, both a medicine and a burial herb in the ancient world, for one who was to cure humanity of sin and death by his own saving death.
St. John Chrysostom described it this way:
“The Son of God, Who is the God of all things, is born a Man in a human body. He permits Himself to be placed in a crib, Who holds the heavens in His Hand. He is confined in a Manger whom the world cannot contain; He is heard in the voice of a wailing Infant, at Whose voice in the hour of His passion on the cross the whole earth trembled. The Magi, beholding a Child, profess that this is the Lord of Glory, the Lord of Majesty, . . ” [Sermon for the Epiphany].
The Baptism of Our Lord, which feast we celebrate next Sunday, and which I will treat at greater length in next week’s bulletin, signifies who the man Jesus is: the voice from Heaven tells us “This is my beloved Son, on whom my favor rests; listen to Him.”.
And, finally, the Wedding Feast at Cana: the first of Jesus’ public miracles as he began his ministry. At the prompting of His Mother, Jesus comes to the aid of a newly married couple. Sparing them the embarrassment of having no wine for their guests, He changes water into hundreds of gallons of the best wine anyone had ever tasted.
Who is this? These three events tell us: Jesus is the Creator of the universe, whose word created everything from nothing, and is obeyed even by the basic elements of nature. The child born in the manger is no mere child: He is the only God, eternally existing, through whom everything was created in the universe; who, for love of mankind created in His image and likeness, humbled Himself to be born in the image and likeness of sinful man, taking on human flesh of the Virgin Mary; He entered His creation to recreate everything by His presence and self-sacrifice. He especially comes to recreate every human being, wounded by the sin of Adam and subject to death, whom He frees by His life-giving death on the Cross. This is He, born in Bethlehem, revealed at the Jordan at His baptism, manifested in his power at Cana: God who became a man so that mankind might share His divine life.
—Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Millie Maida, Joseph Hlavaty, Doreen Harry, Dr. Elaine Parliman, Tom Timon, Bill Skidd, Rev. Carlos Antonio Mesa, Megan Bobroske, Connie Ward, James Bosilevas, Doreen Harry, Corrine Mattson, Billy Therriault, Adriana & Noelle Quinones, Corrie Evans, Joseph J. Lasko, Shirly Mailhot, Roledonne Samedi, Maurice Babe Ruggiero, Marlene Stern, 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. . . Robert Lockhart, Luis Vericat, 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.

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. The memorials will be published in the bulletin. Please call Cindy at ext. 21, between 9AM—1:30PM.

Monday Evening Holy Hour . . . Monday nights 7-8:00 pm for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Rosary in the church. Next Hour: January 3rd at 7 p.m.

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

Religious Education Classes. . . CANCELLED: January 2nd.

HEBREW CLASSES. . .Anyone interested in studying Hebrew?? Our first class will be on Thursday, January 13th at 5:30 pm in the rectory: if interested, call Cindy [x 21].

Envelopes. . . Some parishioners have not received their weekly envelopes during these past weeks. It is the envelope company’s fault. We have complained to them repeatedly, but to no avail. We have tried to change companies, but those we spoke with seem as inept as our present envelope providers. The envelope company cannot fix this until February. In the meantime, if you have not received your envelopes, please use a plain envelope and write your name and/or your account number on it. It’s a good exercise in patience, I suppose. Monsignor DiGiovanni

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 at 7:30PM in the rectory, and each Wednesday of the month to read the letters of Pope Saint Gregory the Great, led by Father Richard Futie, Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish. All are welcome to what should be fun!!

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.

Grant Writers. . . The next meeting of the Parish Grant Writers will be Monday, January 10th at 7:30 pm in the rectory. Please bring your notes and experimental work to the meeting.

Sunday December 26, 2010 $ 14,597.13
Sunday December 27, 2009 $ 10,455.00

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

January 9th Sunday Readings: Is 42:1-4, 6-7; Acts 10:34-38; Mt 3:13-17.

Latin Mass. . . Fr. Cyprian LaPastina will offer the Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form each Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. here at Saint John’s; the next Mass is Tuesday, January 4th .

Parish Tour Guides. . . Training will continue, beginning mid-January. Stay tuned for details.

Basilica Self-guided Tours. . . Please pick up a Basilica self-guided tour booklet at the church entrances, give it a try, following the enclosed map of the Basilica, and let me know what you think. This is one of a number of efforts to prepare the Basilica for pilgrimage groups and visitors beginning this summer.

Mark your calendar. . . Saturday, May 7th: Join us for the Kentucky Derby in the Monsignor Nagle Hall for an evening of fun, chance, good food, great music, and prizes. We’ll watch the race on jumbo screens, the ladies in huge Derby hats and with mint julips to boot! This will be our major fundraising event of the year, the proceeds of which will be used to help repaint the rest of the church interior. Come join us for the fun, and bring friends: details to follow.

Kentucky Derby Night at the Races. . . Organizing meeting will be on Thursday, January 6th at 7:30 pm in the rectory. Open to men and women. All are welcome.

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.

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. There is no charge for these services. Next meeting: January 23rd.

Coffee Hour. . . Each Sunday after the 10:00 a.m. Mass in the parish hall. All are welcome. Please note: NO coffee hour on Sunday, January 2nd.

Mass On Line. . .Visit the parish website: www.stjohnsstamford.com, 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.

St. Gabriel’s Church Epiphany Celebrations . . . All are welcome.
Solemn Vespers & Benediction — Sunday January 2nd at 4:00PM
Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form— Thursday January 6th at 7:30PM
(Latin Mass according to the 1962 Missal)
Located at 914 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, CT. For questions, please call (203) 322-7426.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, January 1
4:00 +Howard Meny req. Hannah Young
Sunday, January 2
7:30 Father Terry Walsh req. Francis Baranowski
10:00 +James & Lizabeth Gallagher req. Marchetti Family
12:00 +Suzanna Donovan 16th Anniversary req. Marion Morris
6:00 +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
Monday, January 3
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 +Rudolph Verrilli req. Joseph Verrilli
Tuesday, January 4
8:00 +Doris Rodrigues req. the Aslam family
12:10 +Keith Segouia req. Mossa family
Wednesday, January 5
8:00 +Frank Infanti req. Lucille Rackermann
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Mossa family
Thursday, January 6
8:00 +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Friday, January 7
8:00 +Stanley Alsenas req. Jon Alsenas
12:10 +Chadwick Braggiotti req. Mouria Paz Johnson & Family
Saturday, January 8
8:00 In honor to the Sacred Heart of Jesus req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Paul Anthony Reda req. Sharon Gannon

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. Book of Revelation and Acts of the Apostles.

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.

Introduction to Hebrew. . . Thursdays at 5:30 pm in the rectory, beginning January 13th.

Coffee Hour. . . After the 10:00 a.m. Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall. All are welcome. Cancelled Jan. 2nd.

St. John’s in The NEWS:
The STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
140 years ago, or so:
Jan. 8, 1869: “The Roman Catholic choirs are generally found to excel. This is true of the choir in the Catholic church in this town. Additional good voices and other improvements have been lately added, and though they appear to need a good organ, yet they produce very pleasing music.”

The STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
100 years ago, or so:
Jan. 9, 1911: Prosperous New Year for Parish. “Rev. James C. O’Brien, pastor of St. John’s Catholic Church, read his annual report at the celebrations of Mass in that church yesterday. The report showed that the past fiscal year has been a prosperous one for the parish. There has been a substantial reduction of the indebtedness and the new fiscal year is begun with a considerable balance in the treasury. Father O’Brien is in the eleventh year of service as pastor of St. John’s Church. There has been much progress and improvement since he came here and there is more in view for the future. It is his desire to complete the church—erect a tower and finish the interior.”

The Fairfield County Catholic:
15 years ago, or so:
Jan. , 1997: New Monsignors Announced: Papal honors given to 17 priests. “The following priests were named Chaplain of His Holiness:
Msgr. William A. Nagle, pastor of St. John Parish in Stamford. He has also served as a member of the Presbyteral Council, Vicar for Vicariate I, and a member of the Board of St. John Towers in Stamford.
Msgr. Edward B. Karl, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Bethel since 1989. He has also served as a member of the Presbyteral Council, the Diocesan Retirement Board for Clergy, and Vicar for Vicariate III.
Msgr. Stephen M. DiGiovanni, founding rector of the St. John Fisher Seminary Residence, where he still serves. He holds a doctorate in Church history from the Gregorian University in Rome.
Msgr. Edward J. Scull, pastor of St. Pius X Parish in Fairfield since 1972. He has also served on the faculty of Notre Dame Catholic High School in Bridgeport and as principal of the former Central Catholic High School in Norwalk.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Msgr. Nagle was pastor from 1973 to 1998; Msgr. Karl was a summer assistant in 1962; Msgr. Scull was an assistant from 1954 to 1958 and was principal of St. John’s School; Msgr. DiGiovanni is the present pastor of St. John’s.)

The Epiphany
(Revisited)
– Fr. Terry Walsh
As a Seminarian, several of our academic classes focused on the various books of the Bible, such as the Psalms or the Letters of St. Paul. They were very interesting courses, but were only able to focus on specific aspects of the various particular parts of the Bible. There’s so much ground to cover and at first glance, it can appear a little “foreign.” After all, the events and circumstances in the Holy Bible go back many centuries. Even the most recent writings in the Bible (The New Testament) are 2000 years old! Where do I begin? How will I understand?

And yet, it’s not simply a history book. It is rather like a “love letter” and it is addressed to every single person created in the image and likeness of God – individually. It is the living Word of God and it speaks to our hearts in a unique way if we simply pick it up and read it.
And so, I began to understand more clearly that in order to come to know the Heart of our Lord, I needed to read the Bible in a new way. Yes, the courses were very helpful and interesting. Still, it was time to travel through the Bible in a more personal way – to read it as a letter from God.

So, on Ash Wednesday of my 3rd year at the Seminary, I decided I would read a couple chapters each day throughout Lent. When Easter arrived, I continued my daily reading – at least one chapter a day – every day – until I read the last word on the last page of the last book of the Bible. I began to see all of “Salvation History” unfold before my eyes in a whole new way. Each book of the Bible was “connected” to every other book and told a story of love. Somewhere along the line I found myself “praying” my ‘chapter-a-day.’ There were days that I just couldn’t put it down. So many graces come with that journey – the grace of coming to a greater knowledge and understanding of God for sure – but also the graces that come simply from spending that time with God. There were so many ‘ah ha’ moments – so many occasions when I was able to “connect the dots” so to speak – and see how all of Sacred Scripture was part of a seamless whole – it is Christ. Coming to understand His love and mercy, His faithfulness and patience – and every other virtue for that matter – was quite literally like wiping fog away from a window. It’s a wonderful journey into the very Heart of Jesus Christ. He leads us every step of the way. I began that journey on Ash Wednesday, a “day of darkness” when we remember that “we are dust and unto dust shall we return” – a day when we consider our own mortality. I finished a year and a half later on the Feast of the Epiphany, the day of great Light. I hadn’t planned it that way, it was simply another grace. It was the grace of understanding that in order to gain a true knowledge of the purpose of life, we must be enlightened by Christ Himself. He alone pours “light” into our hearts and minds so that we may know the love of God. Without this light we would only stumble in the dark. Why not begin your journey to the Heart of our Lord on the day of great Light and see where He leads you – one chapter at a time….