For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday January 30, 2011

Pastor’s Corner. . As one ages, there seem to be more and more frequent anniversaries. This past week, on January 26th, was the 160th anniversary of the dedication of the original Saint John’s Church on Meadow Street, in 1851. Another anniversary will soon appear: May 30th will mark the 125th anniversary of the 1886 solemn dedication of today’s Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist. In its day, Saint John’s was seen as an architectural marvel, compared in national and local papers with the Cathedral in Milan, Italy, and the largest stone church in the State of Connecticut. Scores of newspapers, including the New York Times, reported every aspect of the impressive dedication ceremonial, and described in detail the church interior.
To mark this anniversary year, I propose we imitate our ancestors in the faith—members of our parish—by copying their efforts to make this house of God more beautiful. Two years ago we began the repainting and restoration of the sanctuary; this year, the side chapels. Now, let’s work for the completion of the repainting of the entire church during 2011, this 125th anniversary year of the Basilica’s completion.
The first restoration jobs bid during the past two years were awarded to the John Canning Studios, which completed their work in the sanctuary and side chapels in record time. Canning Studios, as you may recall, is the Connecticut-based studio that has restored and renovated some of the most impressive historic and architecturally significant buildings in our country. Among their work, besides numerous historic Catholic churches and cathedrals: New York’s Grand Central Station and Radio City Music Hall; Connecticut’s State Capitol building; Yale University’s Battell Chapel and historic Graduate Student Lounge; Boston’s Public Library; Pennsylvania State Capitol building; San Francisco’s City Hall dome and War Memorial Opera House; The Executive Office Building and the Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The job to repaint the rest of the Basilica has been put out to bid, and we are awaiting the results. In the meantime, Bishop Lori has given me permission to begin a parish capital campaign, once the bids are completed.
With that in mind, I ask you to consider contributing for the completion of the church repainting. If Mr. Canning is awarded the bid, we can be assured he will use the finest quality paints, and that his superbly trained artists will provide a decorative scheme that will be pleasing, inspiring and will last 100 years. Ninety years ago, when the recently restored murals in the sanctuary and side chapels were painted, inferior paints and gold were used, which quickly darkened soon after their completion. Likewise, the numerous repainting projects of the church interior employed inferior quality paints and workmanship: hence, the severe peeling away from the walls and ceiling of huge swathes of paint. I am insistent, this time around, that we employ the best in the field of historic restoration, even if costly, because that is what we owe to the impoverished immigrant generations who built the church, who often scratching together only a few pennies from their scant resources, and to future generations of Stamford’s citizens. The initial bid from Mr. Canning was $350,000. , which I believe we can raise if 350 families or individuals pledge $1,000, payable over 10 months. Fathers Walsh, Audette and I are doing that, and we hope many of you will join in: the most beautiful interior we can provide as our way of thanking God for His blessings, and the method by which we can offer everyone in Stamford, no matter how poor or needy, an experience of beauty, leading to God. Lend us a hand, in imitation of those parishioners of 125 years ago, who built the most beautiful church in the State. —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Babe Ruggiero, Tana Sibilio, Kathleen Nichols, Kyaiera Mistretta, Millie Maida, Joseph Hlavaty, Doreen & Courtney Harry, Dr. Elaine Parliman, Tom Timon, Bill Skidd, Rev. Carlos Antonio Mesa, Megan Bobroske, Connie Ward, Corrine Mattson, Billy Therriault, Adriana & Noelle Quinones, Corrie Evans, Shirly Mailhot, Roledonne Samedi.

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Jamie Chapin, Joseph J. Lasko, James Bosilevas, Robert Lockhart, Luis Vericat, Fransoice Simon, Rose Pavia, Margaret Smegal, Bill Cody, John Donaher, Shirley Piacenza, Sheila Lockhart, James Andersen, Domineco Gentile, Alma Vota.

NEW SUNDAY MASS SCHEDULE: Beginning March 13th:
Saturday Vigil Mass: 4:00 p.m.
Sunday: 7:30 a.m.; 8:30 a.m. Latin Mass; 10:00 a.m. Family Mass; 12:00 noon Solemn Choir Mass; 5:00 p.m.

Sunday Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form. . . Will begin at Saint John’s on March 13th, the First Sunday of Lent, at 8:30 a.m. This will be a Low Mass, offered each Sunday .

Sunday Afternoon Mass. . . Will begin at Saint John’s on March 13th, the First Sunday of Lent, at 5:00 p.m. There will be no music or added ceremony at this Mass: 35 minutes.

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 31st at 7 p.m.

Saint Peter Votive Lights Memorial. . .The left votive is in memory of James Bosilevas and the right votive is for the recovery of William Wilosky both req. Joan and John Kronk.

Protectress of Rome Votive Light Memorial . . .In memory of Father James Thoman req. Joan and John Kronk.

Memorial Votive Lights. . . Five votive lights for memorials: The two votive lights next to the statue of Saint Peter, the one before the icon of the Protectress of Rome above the statue of Saint Rita, 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.

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

Saint Monica Patristic Institute. . . Will next meet in March, at 7:30PM in the rectory; to read the Regola Pastoralis by Pope Saint Gregory the Great, in English. Please join us.

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

Hebrew Grammar Class. . .Thursdays at 5:30 pm in the rectory. This is for beginners.

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

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 Tuesday, February 15th at 7:30 pm in the rectory. Please bring your notes and experimental work to the meeting.

Parish Tour Guides. . . I’ll be contacting you all this week to begin scheduling our training meetings through January and February: please study the Basilica Self-guide Brochure.

Project Rachel. . . Peace after abortion. Your first step can be a Rachel’s Vineyard weekend retreat for any person who has struggled with the emotional or spiritual pain of an abortion. Our next retreat is January 28-30, 2011. Call 203-218-0291 or visit http://www.rachelsvineyardbpt.com. All inquiries are confidential.

Sunday January 23, 2011 $ 11,886.86
Sunday January 24, 2010 $ 12,309.53

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

February 6th Sunday Readings: Is 58:7-10; 1 Cor 2:1-5; Mt 5:13-16.

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, February 1st .

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.

Help!!. . . The parish has begun work to secure funding for various parish projects and programs. Before our committee begins contacting foundations, I ask all parishioners to lend a hand: if anyone has personal contacts or involvement with any corporations, foundations, endowments or other grant providing institutions, I would be grateful if you would contact me. Personal relationships always are helpful, so if you know anyone on the board of a foundation or charity, or if you are involved in making such decisions for such charitable entities, please give me a call. Thanks very much. Mons. DiGiovanni

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, juliannedemarco@yahoo.com or Janet Lancaster at 203-637-3301, jmlancaster@optonline.net.

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.

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: February 28th.

St. Gabriel’s Church Liturgical Events . . . All are welcome.
– Solemn Mass on the Feast of the Presentation with Procession and Blessing of Candles,
Bishop William Lori, Celebrant — Wednesday February 2nd at 7:30PM — Reception to follow
-Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes — Friday Feb. 11th at
7:30PM. Low Mass with organ followed by Rosary and Benediction
Located at 914 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, CT. For questions, please call (203) 322-7426.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, January 29
4:00 +Vincent DeVivo 53rd Anniversary req. DeVivo & Munns Families
Sunday, January 30
7:30 + Mr. and Mrs. Beaublum req. Anne Marie Samedi
10:00 + Helen Bolanowski req. Lawrence Bolanowski
12:00 +Frank Tartell req. Michael Tartell
6:00 Special Intentions Padriac Mulhern req. Mulhern family
Monday, January 31
8:00 +Chester G. Stolar req. The Young family
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Marie Carr
Tuesday, February 1
8:00 +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 Special Intentions Christopher Flynn
Wednesday, February 2
8:00 Lilian Janesch req. Cycon family
12:10 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Yvonne
Thursday, February 3
8:00 Mary Coffey req. Cycon family
12:10 +Dominick Rizzi req. Ann Marie Smith
Friday, February 4
8:00 +James Bosilevas req. Bosilevas family
12:10 +Vincenzo Giannitti req. Giannitti family
Saturday, February 5
8:00 +Anthony P. D’Ariano req. son Anthony
12:10 Souls in Purgatory 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.

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. Our next meeting will be Sunday, February 27th.

Pray to end legalized abortion . . . Wednesdays, 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: all are welcome.

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

Introduction to Hebrew. . . Thursdays at 5:30 pm in the rectory: This is a true beginner’s class in grammar.

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

St. John’s in The ADVOCATE:
135 years ago, or so:
Jan. 31, 1879: “The pupils of St. John’s (R.C.) school will give a grand concert and exhibition at the Town Hall, Thursday evening, Feb. 20th. The preparations being made indicate a very fine entertainment.”

100 years ago, or so:
Feb. 3, 1912: BLESSING THE THROATS: “The feast of St. Blaise was observed throughout the Catholic world today. In the local Catholic churches it was marked by a the special ceremony of the blessing of the throats of the faithful, in keeping with traditions of the early years of the Catholic Church. One story is told of his relieving a lad who was choking to death with a fish bone caught in his throat. This is the most familiar, while there are many other legends depicting the prisoner as a humane and able practitioner. He was beheaded. The Catholic church in the east celebrates the feast at a later date than the Roman Catholic Church, which has set apart Feb. 3 as the particular date for the feast of St. Blaise. Throats were blessed in St. John’s at the mass at 8 a.m. This afternoon, at St. John’s at 3, and this evening at 7:30, throats will also be blessed.”

60 years ago, or so:
Jan. 31, 1952: CYO Starts Plan In Second Half; Johnnies Titlists: “The St. John’s have been declared as first half champions in the CYO Basketball League’s High School division. The Johnnies won five and lost one in the regular play. A protest by the St. Maurice’s was disallowed, after presentation before a committee comprised or Ray Booker, Nick Carlucci and Moe Magliola.”

35 years ago, or so:
Feb. 1, 1974: Norman L. Raymond Wins Scout Award: “Norman L. Raymond , an architect and Stamford resident, has been selected for the Scout Citizen of the Year Award,” according to Ernest Kaufman, Stamford District chairman for the Boys Scouts of America. Mr. Raymond, along with other local scouting volunteers, will be honored at the annual Stamford Scouters District Dinner at the German Club at 7:30 p.m. Feb 7. Mr. Raymond joined the Boy Scouts in 1925 as a member of Stamford Troop 1, and earned the Eagle Scout Award, scouting’s highest achievement. A former scoutmaster of Troops 4, 10, 14, and 22, he has served as president and chairman of the Stamford district as well as chairman of every operating committee.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Norman Raymond was the second Scoutmaster of St. John’s Troop 22, after it was resurrected in 1951, having been dormant for over ten years.)

Spiritual Blindness
-Fr Terry Walsh
“Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness….Awake, O Sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” – Saint Paul
Lent is just around the corner. It seems to sort of sneak up on us each year. This year, Ash Wednesday is on March 9th. It’s good to look ahead a bit and perhaps consider how we would like to enter into the Season of Lent—to prepare for it. Lent is a season of Conversion: “Repent, and Believe in the Gospel.” It is a season of opportunity. Our Lord is calling us to a deeper, more faithful relationship with Him. But, saying yes to God means turning away from worldliness which very often blind us to our true end, fellowship with God. The world tempts us to look away from God and place attention selfishly on ourselves. Consequently, the efficacy and even the mystery of the Sacraments can be lost. It takes effort to sit still for a few moments and silently reflect on how God is working in our souls; that is, how He mysteriously anoints us and administers supernatural graces that revive us and enable our spiritual eyes grow stronger. We become more adept at discerning truth and purity and holiness through a deeper prayer life and a more faithful reception of the sacraments. In order to bear fruit, we have to put these “gifts of the Holy Spirit” to work, and, in the quiet of our souls, become docile to the path God calls us to travel. When we’re filled with the Holy Spirit, we’ll begin to see as God sees. We won’t be tempted to see as man sees: man who is so fallible, so proud; man who judges on appearances as if he possessed perfect knowledge and understanding. Pride blinds us. It darkens the eyes of our soul and makes us look silly. It beguiles us along a very dangerous path that constantly chips away at our true identity as “Children of the Light.”
In the Gospel of John (chapter 9) we hear the story of the man born blind. Our Lord uses the occasion to teach that He alone is the True Light. Through Him, we are able to see all that is True. Humility is the key. The Pharisees were the leaders of God’s Holy People, but they had lost their way. They were angry men. Why? Well, they were envious of this Jesus. Could it be that they allowed themselves to be caught up in the imagination of their minds? Had they become ‘little kings’ unto themselves? Could it be that they preferred the appearance of being wise and learned and deserving of respect rather than humbly bowing down before God? Had the Pharisees truly been wise, they would have been men of deep prayer and their prayer would have led them to spiritual purity. They would have recognized Who it was that walked in their midst. They would have witnessed through the eyes of love and mercy the manifestation of the divinity of this Jesus, humbly healing the man born blind – relieving his life-long suffering. They would have rejoiced with hearts overflowing in awe and wonder – not only because of his merciful healing, but even more because they would have clearly recognized that the time of their own spiritual captivity would have been over. The great Healer was staring right at them! How could they possibly have missed Him? They were looking right at Him! How could they have missed the very One they claimed to be waiting for – the Messiah! How? Well, perhaps they weren’t really looking for Him after all. Perhaps they were really only concerned about satisfying their own worldly desires. Perhaps they allowed their conscience to be formed by the world – and not by God. They weren’t really interested in spiritual purity. They were more interested in filling their greedy hearts with worldly stuff. The man born blind, on the other hand, possessed a great gift, even before Jesus restored his sight. The man born blind was filled with humility. It was his humility that allowed the Holy Spirit to rush upon him. It was his humility that that enabled him to forget himself so that he could focus his attention upon the Anointed One. In the midst of the angry mob, that humble soul overflowed with love and gratitude, declaring unequivocally, “I do believe in the Son of Man!” What could his foes do to harm his radiant soul? They could beat him. Perhaps even kill him. It really didn’t matter – the Son of Man, the Messiah, knew his name – loved him – healed him and “led him beside restful waters and refreshed his soul.” Those arrogant Pharisees couldn’t harm his soul. It was protected. That poor humble man knew well his own identity – he was a soul loved by God – and he in turn offered him thanks and praise!