For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday January 9, 2011

Pastor’s Corner. . . My thanks go to the parish staff and volunteers who worked so diligently to make Christmas so beautiful this year.
Since it is his first Christmas with us, my initial thanks go to Fred Backhaus, our choirmaster and organist. Having jumped into the parish feet first, he presented a superb musical program during Advent and Christmas, with his choir offering many beautiful pieces and Mass settings. I am grateful to Fred and to his lovely wife Kathy, as well as to the choir members of both the 12 noon Mass and the 10 o’clock Family Mass. All, both volunteers and paid choir members did splendidly.
The altar ladies—they’d kill me if I printed their names; I wonder if the FBI is after them!??—did their usual yeomans’ work cleaning and decorating the altars for the holy days. Tony, Carmine, Ferry, Andrew, Domenico and Jef lent their hands and brawn to move, carry, cart and assemble all the necessary parts to make the altars beautiful.
I am grateful to the parish staff who kept the lid on things at the rectory, assuring that the usual day-to-day business of the rectory office continued on apace and without interruption as all the festive preparations were made. To my fellow priests, Fathers Walsh and Audette, I am very grateful, especially since I have been sick with the flu for a while these past days. They picked up the slack quite easily, and made sure that no one quite missed me from the usual Christmas Masses.
To all the ladies who volunteered on the Christmas Fair, whom I thanked in a previous bulletin, and to the many other volunteers who worked so hard to make the holidays enjoyable, please accept my thanks.
To all the parishioners, I wish to send my thanks for your generosity to the parish during the Christmas season, for your faithfulness to Mass and Confession, and for your continued fidelity to our wonderful parish.
God bless you all, especially during this new year.
—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.

Special Energy Collection . . . The second collection today will be the Special Energy Collection to help pay the Higher Energy and Fuel Costs for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

Protectress of Rome Votive Light . . . In memory of John T. Hoops req. The Banahans.

Saint Peter Votive Lights. . .The right votive is for the Pipicelli Family req. Madeline.

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 10th at 7 p.m.

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

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].

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 12th 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.

Christmas December 25, 2010 $ 30,676.50
Christmas December 25, 2009 $ 33,218.00
Sunday January 2, 2011 $ 12,479.96
Sunday January 3, 2010 $ 11,365.17

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

January 16th Sunday Readings: Is 49:3, 5-6; 1 Cor 1:1-3; Jn 1:29-34.

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 11th .

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.

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, or Janet Lancaster at 203-637-3301,

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 24th.

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

Women’s Morning of Reflection. . . At St. Mary Parish, 178 Greenwich Ave., Greenwich, CT, 2nd Thursday of the month, 9:45AM-12:45PM. Next January 13th. Meet and greet coffee social, talks, personal reflection and prayer, Eucharistic celebration with St. Mary parish. Reservations appreciated (914) 244-3685 or $25 suggested donation. Sponsored by the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi movement.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, January 8
4:00 +John & Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
Sunday, January 9
7:30 +Esperance & Don Phillips req. Josephine & Anthony Marena
10:00 +Catherine Pascale req. John and Laura Pascale
12:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
6:00 +Selma Schweitzer req. Tom Donahoe
Monday, January 10
8:00 Thanksgiving to God req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Scott Bailey req. John & Laura Pascale
Tuesday, January 11
8:00 +William McKeon req. Brian McKeon
12:10 +James Logsdail req. the Marchetti family
Wednesday, January 12
8:00 +John Maloney req. wife Mary
12:10 +Generoso Coscarelli req. Josephine & Anthony Marena
Thursday. January 13
8:00 +Donald McQuade req. Charles & Joanne Crawley
12:10 John J. Gannon Birthday req. family
Friday, January 14
8:00 +Clarence Day req. Ed Grady
12:10 +Paul Reda req. the Marchetti family
Saturday, January 15
8:00 +Hope & Joseph McAleer req. the McAleer family
12:10 +Cheryl Ann Smith req. Connie and Philip Smith

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.

St. John’s in The ADVOCATE:
140 years ago, or so:
Jan. 15, 1869: “A Catholic Fair and Festival will be held in Seely’s Hall, commencing next Tuesday and continuing through the week. A large assortment of fancy articles will be distributed to the fortunate winners. Among these are a splendid worked chair, a fine chamber set, china sets, ladies’ watches, fancy clocks, a gold mounted revolver, a fifty dollar greenback, a marble top table, furniture, etc. Good music will be in attendance, and refreshments served to all who desire.”

100 years ago, or so:
Jan. 15, 1912: Father Stanton’s Talk. “The services, yesterday, of the triduum in St. John’s R. C. Church, were very largely attended, especially in the evening, when a large increase over the congregation assembled Wednesday evening was noticeable. Father Stanton’s sermon last night was on the subject of “The Making and the Training of the Christian Home.” He told of the Catholic man’s position in the home. The next service will be held tonight, at 7:30, and Father Stanton extends a cordial invitation to all men of the parish to be present, and make the retreat, which will last until Sunday evening, when the final sermon will be preached.”

85 years ago, or so:
Jan. 16, 1928: STAMFORD MOURNS DEATH OF PASTOR OF SAINT JOHN’S. “News of the death of the Rev. James C. O’Brien was received with sorrow about town. Although it has been known that Father O’Brien was in comparatively feeble health, there was no thought that death was so near. The high regard in which he was held may be gleaned from expressions of opinion from people in official and semi-official life who knew and respected the priest.”

50 years ago, or so:
Jan. 16, 1961: Groundbreaking For St. Leo’s. “The Rt. Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman, V.F.P.A., pastor of St. John’s Church, turned over the first shovel of earth in the groundbreaking ceremonies on Roxbury Rd., for construction of a parish hall for St. Leo’s Church. With him were the Rev. Daniel J. Foley, pastor of St. Leo’s; Frank Mercede and Nicholas Mercede of Frank Mercede and Sons, which will build the hall; Dr. Frederick Bannon, trustee; and John R. Boyd, senior trustee. About 250 attended. This is the first phase of the building program which will also include a church building and school. Masses will be held in the parish hall until the sanctuary is constructed.”

The Baptism of the Lord
– Fr. Terry Walsh
What a wonderful Season! Advent prepared our hearts to welcome our Lord on Christmas Day and the Epiphany ennobled our hearts with his Radiant Light. And today we celebrate His Baptism and so recall the gift of the Holy Spirit which comes to us through our entry into His Mystical Body at our own Baptism. Consider the beautiful Antiphon taken from Morning Prayer on last week’s Solemnity of the Epiphany:
“Today the Bridegroom claims his bride, the Church, since Christ has washed her sins away in Jordan’s waters; the Magi hasten with their gifts to the royal wedding; and the wedding guests rejoice, for Christ has changed water into wine, alleluia.”
That beautiful Epiphany Antiphon ties together three manifestations of the Light of Christ that demonstrate the union between God and man: the Baptism of Jesus, the Adoration by the three Magi, and of course, the Wedding Feast at Cana, where Jesus performed His 1st public miracle thereby manifesting His Divinity to the world. The Antiphon expresses the intimate union between God and man – likened to the union in Sacramental Marriage. Jesus, the Bridegroom marries His Bride, the Church. Each member of the Mystical Body of Christ enjoys that union in a deeply personal way, beginning with Baptism and continuing throughout the journey of life, especially through Holy Eucharist. Moreover, Vatican II established the Baptism of Jesus as a special Feast, which we celebrate today, the day before we enter “Ordinary Time” in the Church’s Liturgy. What exactly was the purpose of the Baptism of Jesus? After all, He is God, so why did He go to the Jordan to be baptized? Consider the meditation of St. Hippolytus: “That Jesus should come to be baptized by John is surely cause for amazement. To think of the infinite river that gladdens the city of God being bathed in a poor little stream of the eternal; the unfathomable fountainhead that gives life to all men being immersed in the shallow waters of this transient world! He who fills all creation, leaving no place devoid of his presence, he who is incomprehensible to the angels and hidden from the sight of man, came to be baptized because it was his will. And behold, the heavens opened and a voice said: ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased’….The Father of immortality sent his immortal Son and Word into the world; he came to us men to cleanse us with water and the Spirit. To give us a new birth that would make our bodies and souls immortal, he breathed into us the spirit of life and armed us with incorruptibility. Now if we become divine after rebirth in baptism through water and the Holy Spirit, we shall also be coheirs with Christ after the resurrection….This is the water that is linked to the Spirit, the water that irrigates Paradise, makes the earth fertile, gives growth to plants, and brings forth living creatures. In short, this is the water by which a man receives new birth and life, the water in which even Christ was baptized, the water into which the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove.” And St. Proclus adds, “Come, consider this new and wonderful deluge, greater and more important than the flood of Noah’s day. Then the water of the flood destroyed the human race, but now the water of baptism has recalled the dead to life by the power of the one who was baptized. In the days of the flood the dove with an olive branch in its beak foreshadowed the fragrance of the good odor of Christ the Lord; now the Holy Spirit, coming in the likeness of a dove reveals the lord of mercy.”