For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday March 13, 2011

Pastor’s Corner. . .What do you want from life? That is the basis of another question: What is the goal of Lent? This isn’t so arcane as you might think, because, where you fit God into your life determines not just the “what” you want from life, but the “how” by which you achieve what you want from life. Each year we go through these Lenten 40 days; but why? The goal is to turn our minds and hearts—our desires—in a direction that is profitable. By profitable, I mean, towards that which will make us happy. Usually, when one thinks of “desire” for something that will make us happy, we imagine the immediate satisfying of some urge or need. We push God out of the way, even in our thoughts, and misconstrue the immediate satisfaction of our bodily urges or ambitions for happiness. Our true happiness comes when we do that which we were designed to do: to please God and by doing that which pleases the God who loves us, rather than by merely and temporarily satisfying our every desire. St. Paul reminds us of our real status as slaves to our sins [Rom 6:15 ff]. And all the time you thought you were the boss of your own life. Silly Rabbit. . . as the cereal advert once ran. Christ offers liberation from the tyranny of sin and death, and, as an extra bonus of His love, eternal life as His co-heirs of eternity. All that, just for trying to please Him now, not merely in thought, but in deed. Continuing to sin is like insisting that you love your wife, while you continue to go out with your girl friend; you can’t insist that you love God, while continuing to sin, acting as if He didn’t exist [I John 2:3-4].
One the Church’s greatest sinners, Saint Augustine, was an expert at this. He sought to “scratch every itch”, as the saying goes. For him, running after women and seeking fame and fortune were the most important things in life, because he believed he was the most important person in his life and, so, he determined that was what he’d do to be happy. He believed in God, but God was not real enough for Augustine to change the way he lived, since God was an idea and not as real as Augustine’s personal urges and ambitions. That was Augustine’s primary error: if we don’t first treat God as God, then we treat ourselves as God, and so we tend to treat others as things, so we can use anyone, hurt anyone, cheat everyone, simply because we want whatever we want in life, and that justifies whatever we do. We are first, and everyone else is second, because God really doesn’t exist in our lives, at least not enough to affect how we live. Or, we’ve created an idea of God, and worship that idea instead of the true God. Here’s Saint Augustine:
“The whole life of a believing Christian is, after all, a holy desire. What you desire, you do not yet see, but your desire enables you to be filled with seeing when the time for seeing comes. A comparison: If you want to fill a bag with something very big, you stretch the mouth of it; the object is big and the mouth small, but by stretching the mouth you make it bigger. In like manner, God expands our desire by deferring fulfillment; through desire He stretches the soul and makes it able to hold more. . . What, then, are we to do in this life where we do not yet lay hold of what we desire? St. Paul wrote, ‘I forget what is behind and stretch out to what is ahead, intent on the goal of heavenly calling,’ This is our life’s purpose: to practice desire. But we can cultivate holy desire only to the extent that we detach our desire from the world. You are to be filled with good things from God; you must first empty yourself of evil. Suppose God wanted to fill you with honey, but you were already filled with vinegar! You must empty yourself of vinegar, be cleansed, even with laborious scrubbing, so that you may be fit to be filled with something better” [Commentary on the First Letter of John, Treatise 4].
Pope Saint Gregory the Great put it this way: “Some people are so simple that they do not know what is right. But true simplicity is marked by genuine innocence, and the non-virtuous do not have it. Simplicity is a passionate enthusiasm for what is good. . . Some people are not simple in their actions, for they seek external satisfaction rather than inner spiritual rewards. We cannot go down two roads at the same time: when we outwardly do what God commands, but harbor worldly desires. A person fully avoids evil and sin when he begins, out of love for God, to sin no more. As long as he does good only out of fear, however, he does not fully avoid evil; for we sin by the very fact that we would like to sin if we could do so without punishment” [Moralia in Job, Book 1].
Lent is the annual season during which we strive to turn our desires from satisfying ourselves in sinful pursuits and desire, and work for true happiness that comes from loving God here and now. After we stop doing evil actions, then we can move on to stop desiring to do evil. For sin is not just doing evil actions; a sin is knowing the doing of something is evil, and nevertheless desiring to do it, and then actually doing it. This is a question of real life actions and the real life exercise of your free will for avoiding evil and doing good. The first thing we should all do is to go to Confession, to repent of our sins, turn our hearts from sin, and receive God’s forgiveness. This is the “scrubbing” out of ourselves of the bitter residue of sin [vinegar, as Augustine says], so that God may fill us with honey, His very life. Try it this year: you’ll be much happier by Easter, having rid yourself of bad and sinful desires and habits, and learned to want to do good, because you love God, and you desire to please Him in everything. —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Terry Cooke, 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.

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 14th at 7 p.m.

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

Saint Monica Patristic Institute. . . Meets each Wednesday at 7:30 pm in the rectory during March. Please join us as Fr. Futie moderates our reading of the Pastoral Rule by Pope Saint Gregory the Great. We use English translations of the works read, so no need to fear you’d be left out.

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.

CONFESSION. . . During Lent, every Catholic Church throughout Fairfield County will remain open each Tuesday evening, from 7:00 -9:00 P.M. for confessions, including here at the Basilica. This parish already offers Confession daily, Monday through Friday and Sunday, 30 minutes before each Mass. Saturdays 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.
Each Friday during Lent at 6:00pm in Creole/French.

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

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

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

Saint Patrick’s Day. . . March 17th Mass will be offered at the Basilica at 10 a.m. The Ancient Order of Hibernians sponsors this Mass, and everyone is welcome to attend. Immediately following the Mass, there will be a procession to the Government Center for the raising of the Irish Flag, followed by a reception at the Hibernian Hall on Grove Street. All are invited.

Sunday March 6, 2011 $ 12,916.96
Sunday March 7, 2010 $ 12,392.93

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

March 20th Sunday Readings: Gn 12:1-4a; 2 Tm 1:8b-10; Mt 17:1-9.
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 15th.

Grant Writers. . . Our next meeting for the parish grant-writers will be Tuesday, March 15th at 7:30 pm in the rectory.

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.

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 include job interviewing, writing of resumes, networking and job seeking strategies. There is no charge for these services. The group is led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., is a leader in helping find jobs. For more info, see: www.redinc.biz or e-mail her at Melanie at Redinc.biz or call her at 203.866.1606. 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 .

St. Dominic Savio Society. . . Will be meeting in the rectory this Sunday the 13th, after the
12 PM mass. For the spiritual formation of young men, 8th – 12th grades. Questions, please contact Ferry Galbert 203-324-1553 ext. 22.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, March 12
4:00 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
Sunday, March 13
7:30 +Peter Medwed 10th Anniversary req. DeVivo and Munro Families
8:30 +Alexander Munro req. Munro and DeVivo Families
10:00 For the Special Intentions of the Badetti Family req. Mirella Badetti
12:00 +Achille Lamontagne req. Lloydie Lamontagne
5:00 Special Intentions Bradley Sinecort req. Iris Weissman
6:00 +Mr. Constantin Gaspard and Ms. Fanelia Jean-Pierre req. Nieces and Nephews
Monday, March 14
8:00 Special Intentions Alan Bates req. The Baranowskis
12:10 +Victor Coudert req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Tuesday, March 15
8:00 +John and Valencia Lancaster req. Suzanne Kremheller
12:10 +Marie Gaudio req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Wednesday, March 16
8:00 +Tim Pingue req. Maria and Tony Marchetti
12:10 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Thursday, March 17
8:00 Special Intentions Meg Starson req. Francis Baranowski
12:10 Persecuted Catholic Church in China req. The Bosilevas Family
Friday, March 18
8:00 +For the soul of Tomas D. Rosete req. Rosita A. Domdom
12:10 +P. Evangelista req. Brian McKeon
Saturday, March 19
8:00 Ana Margarita Ucero Birthday req. Sharon Gannon
12:10 Special Intentions Francis Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung

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. . . Will be meeting in the rectory this Sunday the 13th after the 12 PM mass. 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:
145 years ago, or so:
March 18, 1864: “Yesterday was St. Patrick’s day, and, contrary to the general rule, the weather was fine in the morning. Mass was celebrated and a sermon preached by Rev. Father O’Neil in the Roman Catholic Church. A full congregation was in attendance.”

100 years ago, or so:
March 15, 1911: Catholic Church Notes. “There will be a solemn high mass in St. John’s Catholic Church on Friday, St. Patrick’s Day, at 9 a.m. In the evening at 7:30, there will be a vesper service and benediction with a sermon by the pastor, Rev. James C. O’Brien.”

75 years ago, or so:
March 16, 1936: 200 MEMBERS OF A.O.H. RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION. “More than 200 members of the General Philip Sheridan branch of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and auxiliaries received Holy Communion in a body at the 8 o’clock Mass in St. John’s R. C. Church, yesterday. The Hibernians will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the annual entertainment and ball in Elk’s auditorium tomorrow night, at 8:30. It was announced at all Masses in St. John’s Church yesterday that services in honor of Ireland’s patron saint will be held in the church tomorrow night. They will begin at 7:30 and will be concluded in time for those desiring to attend the Hibernian’s affair, which is scheduled to start promptly at 8:30.”

35 years ago, or so:
March 15, 1976: Keep faith, hope of Irish, Rev. Walsh urges crowd at St. Patrick’s affair. “The Irishman’s answer to a searching America is faith coupled with hope, the Rev. John J. Walsh of St. John’s Church, told a capacity crowd of 300 Sunday morning at the 33rd annual Communion Breakfast of Stamford’s General Philip Sheridan Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. The breakfast followed a Communion Mass celebrated at St. John’s Church in commemoration of St. Patrick’s Day and the deceased members of the division. The Rev. William Nagle conducted the Mass which alluded to the life of the biblical character Abraham and his religious devotion and faith. Father Nagle advised the congregation to ‘continue to practice the faith of Abraham and St. Patrick.’ He honored the latter for introducing Catholicism to the Irish in Ireland and throughout western Europe. ‘Irishmen have found an answer to despair that gives peace to the soul and is rooted in their faith,’ Father Walsh said. With faith, new energies are awakened and a feeling of closeness to a Divine Being is experienced, according to Father Walsh.”

Sacraments Schedule
First Holy Communion Candidates
(2nd Grade Students as well as those students in the Special Communion Class (Grades 3 through 9)who have attended the Special Saturday Sessions and have been given approval by the D.R.E. (Fr. Walsh).

1st Confession: Saturday March 26th 9:oo am in the Church

1st Holy Communion: Saturday May 7th 9:oo am (Arrive at 8:oo in the Hall)
(There will be a special event on May 8th concerning all 1st Communicants and the May crowning. Details to follow.
Dress Code:
Girls – White Dresses/Gowns
Boys – Jacket and Tie and Shoes, no sneakers

Confirmation Class Candidates:
(Those who have met all necessary requirements: Class attendance, participation in Maria Goretti and Dominic Savio, Meeting with the Priests of the Parish to discuss Knowledge of the Faith, and Attend the Retreat on April 2nd)

Retreat: April 2nd at St. John’s (Mandatory for Confirmation – details given in
Class. Any questions, please contact Mr. and Mrs. DePhillips.)

Confirmation Rehearsal: May 1st during the regularly scheduled Religious
Education class period. We will begin in the Rectory and then proceed to
the Church.

Confirmation: Thursday Night May 7th at 7:oo pm (All candidates arrive by 5:45
in the Church Hall for a meeting with Archbishop Cronin)

Dress Code:
Young Ladies – White Gowns (Rental information will be given at class)
Young Men – Red Gowns (Rental information will be given at class)

Special Note: Parent/Student/Priest Meeting
On February 13th, each Confirmation candidate was given a letter and available appointment times concerning a mandatory meeting with either Msgr. Di Giovanni or Fr. Walsh – along with their parent(s) – in order to determine their preparedness for reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation. These meetings must be completed before the RETREAT on April 2nd . Arranging this meeting is the student’s responsibility. Please call the parish office and arrange a time with Cindy. Thank you.
Any questions, please call the office at 203-3241553 x21