For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday March 6, 2011

Pastor’s Corner. . March 9th is Ash Wednesday, which is an important day since it marks the beginning of the annual efforts of Our Lord’s Church to emphasize Our Lord’s mission: “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand” [Mt 4: 17; Mk 1:15].
God became man so that mankind could be freed from the power of sin and death. God initiated that by becoming a man in the womb of the Virgin Mary, so He could offer payment for our sins on the Cross, and Grace to transform us to be more like Him. So, that’s all done with, right? We’re all saved!! No, not exactly. Christ has done His part. But how about you and me? Do we cooperate with Christ and His Cross, or do we block it by our own ego, leading to our denial of God in real life actions called sins? If all we do is believe in Jesus, and then live as if he didn’t exist, what good is that? Even Satan believes in Jesus, but the actions of his daily existence work against God. Each human being must embrace God’s work, and contribute to it, as Saint Paul says, by making up for what is lacking in the Cross of Christ [I Col 1:24]. What could be lacking in the Cross of Christ, except that you and I do not take part personally in that sacrifice? Lent is the time to do that anew. We make Christ’s Cross personal in our own lives, by turning away from whatever displeases God—which is a huge self-sacrifice. Why turn from sin, when it’s usually so much “fun”, at least according to our society. The reason to turn from sin is that it offends God. Why? Because we debase ourselves by sin and by turning away from God: we make ourselves less than human. Lent is a time to return to God in daily life—It’s called repentance—turning from sin to God, mirroring His image.
We begin Lent by the use of a sign: ashes, an ancient and public sign of sinfulness and repentance. There are many Old Testament references of the use of ashes to express public sorrow for one’s sins [Job 1: 12-13; 43: 6; Jos 7:7; Jer 25: 34 for example]. Our Lord mentioned ashes as a sign of repentance referring to the cities of Tyre and Sidon, that if He had performed his miracles in those pagan towns even they “would have done penance in sackcloth and ashes” [Matt 2: 21]. In the early Church, repenting sinners would be marked with ashes as a sign of their public sorrow and penance for their sins, which they would continue for years. Ashes are also a sign of death, and are used on Ash Wednesday to remind us that we are mortal. The priest reminds each person on Ash Wednesday as he imposes ashes on their foreheads, “Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.” There is a God, but you are not Him.
Ash Wednesday is a day of symbols which should mirror the inner reality of our hearts: we recognize that we will die one day, and that all our days are days of preparation for eternity, either with God or without Him. We cannot think that we will have eternal life by presuming upon Jesus’ mercy. Our Lord is clear throughout the Gospels: His mercy is granted to many sinners—but always with the injunction to avoid repeating sin. There is a limit to God’s mercy: continue to deny Him by your sins, and all you do is to prepare for eternal death. Ash Wednesday is the Church’s annual call to us to return to God, seriously, by being filled with sorrow that we have offended God by our sins, and by turning away from those sins—permanently—so that we can grow in the Grace of Christ by being more like Him. We must want to live forever so intensely that we willingly and actively push aside everything and everyone that leads us away from Our Lord. The ashes on your forehead are useless, unless they be an outward sin of your interior and serious repentance: your turning from sin to God.
Prayer, fasting and charity are the actions of the penitent, as well as Confession. Let’s determine our program for Lent that is realistic: not outward signs only, but actions that reveal your heart full of love of Christ. —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Frank Cronin, Christina Wright, Bovais Buissereth, Stacey, Megan Bobroske, Connie Ward, Corrine Mattson, Billy Therriault, Babe Ruggiero, Tana Sibilio, Kathleen Nichols, Kyaiera Mistretta, Millie Maida, Joseph Hlavaty, Dr. Elaine Parliman, Rev. Carlos Antonio Mesa, Corrie Evans, Shirly Mailhot, Roledonne Samedi.

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Harold John Frost, Dorothy Davis, William Loughlin, Courtney Harry, Beauvais Buissereth, Violette Leclerc, 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.

Daylight Savings Time. . .begins Next Sunday, the First Sunday of Lent. Please don’t forget to turn your clocks Forward one hour.

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.

NEW SUNDAY MASS SCHEDULE: Beginning Next Week – 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; and 5:00 p.m.

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

R.C.I.A. (Convert) Classes. . . in the Rectory on Tuesday nights at 7:30pm.

Saint Monica Patristic Institute. . . Will NOT meet on Ash Wednesday.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light Memorial. . . + Salvatore DeRosa Birthday Remembrance req. Joan and John Kronk.

LENTEN FAST AND ABSTINENCE . . .On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and all Fridays during Lent, all Catholics age 14 and older are obliged to abstain from eating meat, and all Catholics in good health between the ages of 18 and 59 are also obliged to fast. Abstinence means not eating meat or meat products; fasting means having only one full meal and two light meals during the day, with no snacks between meals. Drinking water or taking medicine or vitamins does not break a fast. All Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence from eating meat. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of both abstinence and fasting.

ASHES. . . Will be imposed on Ash Wednesday during the 8a.m. and 12:10p.m. Masses, and at the rectory until 7:30 pm.

CONFESSION. . . During Lent, every Catholic Church throughout Fairfield County will remain open each Tuesday evening, from 7:30 -9:00 P.M. for confessions, including. St. John’s. This parish offers Confession daily, Monday through Friday and Sunday, 30 minutes before each Mass. Saturday Confessions are offered 3:00 –4:00 pm.

LENT PARISH RETREAT….March 28-30, Mon-Wed from 7-8pm. Come join us for Eucharistic Adoration, Benediction, Confession and a Lenten Reflection. All are welcome.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS. . . Each Friday during Lent at 4:00 pm in English.

Hebrew Beginners Grammar Class. . .Thursdays at 5:30 pm in the rectory.

Biblical Greek Study Group. . .Thursday at 6:30 pm in the Rectory.

Sunday February 27, 2011 $ 12,804.43
Sunday February 28, 2010 $ 13,503.81

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

March 13th Sunday Readings: Gn 2:7-9; 3:1-7; Rom 5:12-19 or 5:12, 17-19; Mt 4:1-11.

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, March 8th.

Sisters of Life Award. . . Each year, the Sisters of Life bestow the John Cardinal O’Connor Award upon men and women outstanding in their work to build a culture of life one heart at a time by putting their talents and lives at the service of women pregnant and in need. This year, three of our parishioners received this prestigious award at ceremonies in New York City: Maria Marchetti, Tom Kolenberg and Gene D’Agostino. We congratulate Gene, Tom and Maria for their witness to the Dignity of Human Life: you are a tribute to Saint John’s!

ALTAR SERVERS. . . We are looking for boys and young men to serve the new 8:30 am Sunday Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form. You have to be at least 10 years old; we’ll teach you the Latin. Please call Monsignor 203-324-1553, [ext. 11].

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 juleps 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.

Greenwich Choral Society. . . Will present a concert: “Of War and Peace”, Saturday, March 5th at 4:30pm in the historic Christ Church, 254 East Putnam Avenue, Greenwich. Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, as well as works by Samuel Barber, Benjamin Britten, Ralph Vaughan Williams and others will be offered. Tickets are $50 each: www.GreenwichChoralSociety.org .

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: March 28th.

The Diocese of Bridgeport . . . is joining in the first local 40 Days for Life campaign during Lent 2011! Why not offer your prayer and fasting this Lent on behalf of vulnerable human life by participating in the 40 Days for Life Campaign? A new way to pray and fast this Lent. Visit http://40daysforlife.com/bridgeport to learn more about how you can get involved or contact Christine Murphy: cmurphy1224@comcast.net, ph. (203) 438-4866, or Gene D’Agostino at 203-530-1908 or gdag@optonline.net.

Catholic War Veterans Kulka Brothers Post # 1957. . . is currently recruiting new members. The Post meets at 7pm on the 3rd Thursday of the month at the Knights of Columbus, 507 Shippan Avenue. Please contact Cortland Mehl at 203 322 4323 or airtransportation@yahoo.com .

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

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, March 5
4:00 Special Intentions Joseph Kung req. Agnes Kung
Sunday, March 6
7:30 +Achille Lamontagne req. Lloydie Lamontagne
10:00 +Dorothy Wargo Birthday Remembrance req. Arthur J. Wargo
12:00 Enzo & Alma Liotti 60th Anniversary req. The Marchetti Family
6:00 +Itulia Rincher req. Rincher family
Monday, March 7
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 +James Thomas 1st year anniversary req. The Pinto Family
Tuesday, March 8
8:00 +Mary & Edward Naghton, Marie McDonnell req. Aine Middlebrook
12:10 For the intentions of the Boiteau Family req. Maude and Paul Hughes
Wednesday, March 9
8:00 Donald Samedi Birthday req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Thursday, March 10
8:00 Holy Apostle Seminary Faculty & Students req. Bosilevas Family
12:10 +Kevin O’Rourke req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Friday, March 11
8:00 Special Intentions Michael Sugzda family req. Louise Munro
12:10 +Lucian Robustelli req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Saturday, March 12
8:00 +Hope & Joseph McAleer req. the McAleer Family
12:10 +His Eminence Ignatius Cardinal Kung req. Cardinal Kung Foundation

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 the Church each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30a.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 . . . 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…The Jeff Cavin’s program has ended on February 24th. We will NOT be offering another one this year.

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:
140 years ago, or so:
March 12, 1869: “The Roman Catholic Society have purchased a lot 200 X 100 feet, in one of the most prominent and valuable positions on Atlantic Street, from Mr. A. J. Bell, for $12,500. We understand it is the intention of the society to build a handsome church edifice on their new purchase.”

120 years ago, or so:
March 8, 1889: Services in Lent. “There were special services in St. John’s R. C. Church on Ash Wednesday, and during the entire period of Lent there will be the usual regulations that have been annually observed. Each week there will be a Wednesday evening service at 7:30—a sermon and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. On Friday evenings at 7:30 there will be the Stations, or the way of the Cross. Ash Wednesday is so termed, because it is the custom in the R. C. Church to sprinkle ashes that day on the heads of penitents. “Remember man, thou are dust, and unto dust thou shalt return.” Lent is a season of mortification, prayer and fasting, and it has heretofore been the custom to have a priest from some other town deliver a sermon or sermons. The Lenten devotions on Wednesday evenings are usually crowded.”

100 years ago, or so:
March 11, 1911: On St. Patrick’s Eve. “The alumni of St. John’s Parochial School and the ladies of the parish have arranged for an entertainment and supper to be given in St. John’s School hall, Thursday. Supper will be served from 5 p.m. until 7:30, and there will be an entertainment afterwards. There will also be a sale of Irish lace and Irish souvenirs. Coming on the eve of St. Patrick’s day, there will be an Irish atmosphere to the entertainment. A program lasting an hour or more and literary and musical in character, will be given. There will be no dancing, because of the season. Tickets are 25 cents each.”

50 years ago, or so:
March 10, 1961: Girl Scouts Plan Religious Note In Their Week. “A feature in the celebration of National Girl Scout Week, Stamford Girl Scouts will observe Girl Scout Sunday March 12. With their leaders, they will attend, in uniform, the church of their choice. Stamford churches participating with special observances at regular services will include St. John’s R.C. Church, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Holy Name of Jesus Church, Faith Tabernacle Baptist Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, St. Mary’s Church, St. Maurice’s Church and Union Memorial Church.”

As
-Fr. Terry Walsh
It’s a small word but it carries a big meaning. Consider the Our Father, the prayer our Lord Jesus Himself taught us to pray. In that beautiful prayer, our Lord is inviting us to address Almighty God, Creator of all things, giver of life and peace, as Abba, Dad. In the Our Father, Jesus is identifying Himself, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, as our Brother. After all, He doesn’t say “My Father” – He says “Our Father.” And after telling us over and over again that God loves us and sustains us in every way, if we but humbly follow Him and faithfully adhere to His Commandments, He promises us that He will remain with us and be in us. All we need to do is ask for whatever we want, and, provided it is for the good of our soul, or the soul or another for whom we are praying, and we are asking with a pure heart, it will be done. He even explains how we are to ask and what to ask for. What could be better? Ok, so what’s the catch? I mean, after all, Jesus is saying He will provide all things for us both in this life, and, even better, in the life to come, in Heaven, provided we are faithful. What does it mean to be faithful? In the Lord’s prayer, there is that little word, As. Thy will be done on earth As it is in Heaven. Forgive us our trespasses As we forgive those who trespass against us.
Are we willing to allow the Will of God to replace our own self-will? Are we willing to forgive those who have sinned against us; those who have caused us grief? Humility is the key. If we recognize that it is actually in our best interest to allow God to direct our path, according to His Will, then we will more easily walk the path of God rather than the path of the world; we will more eagerly seek the grace of God (especially in Confession and Eucharist), recognizing that it is the means of our spiritual growth and formation and a total gift of love. While it is obviously in “our best interest” – how much better to seek to do the will of God simply and purely because of love. We will prefer His will to worldly “treasure” and we will receive His grace most abundantly through a deep and abiding life of prayerful dialogue with our Lord. And what is His Will? Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments. If you love me, pick up your Cross and follow me. If you love me, love your neighbor” – even those who cause you grief – “As yourself.” We see this quite clearly in the Our Father. St. Theresa of Avila, the great 16th century Carmelite mystic, put it this way: She said, “Yes, that person has sinned against you. But, haven’t you sinned even worse against God? And He forgave you. Shouldn’t you likewise forgive those who sin against you?”
It can be a real difficult test, especially when the offense has caused a great deal of pain. But Jesus said He would help. He will indeed provide the necessary grace. If we take but a small courageous step; if we explain to Jesus that we hate the sin, but not the sinner; if we forgive 1st from the heart, then He will provide the graces we need to say a kind word, perhaps even to say, “I forgive you.” What sweet words. How wonderful it is to hear our Lord say those same words to us: “I absolve you from your sins” – “I forgive you.” Graces are then flowing all over the place. The grace of fortitude, the grace of peace and generosity, the grace of wisdom and understanding—that is, the recognition that the one who sinned against you actually harmed himself far greater than the wound he inflicted upon you and that by your act of forgiveness, you actually helped him to heal both from the damage of sinning as well as the initial wound that caused him to sin in the first place – succumbing to self-will rather than praying for the grace to do the will of God (to love). It’s simply the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others AS you would have them do unto you.’