For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday April 3, 2011
Pastor’s Corner. . . The second symbol used at Mass having its origin in the Old Testament pre-figurations of Christ, is bread. In the Book of Exodus, as the Israelites prepared to flee from slavery in Egypt, on the night before their departure, they had been instructed to roast a lamb, mark their door posts with the blood of the lamb, and to eat the roasted lamb with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. The bread would have been made of flour and water with no leaven, baked quickly on hot coals. This is the bread still used each year by observant Jews celebrating Passover —Matzo (Ex 13: 30- Grade A has the best Matzo, at least in my opinion!)
At the Last Supper, having been the Passover meal, Our Lord and the Apostles ate the first century version of Matzo: unleavened bread. The essential elements of this First Mass, the new bloodless sacrifice of the New Covenant, were grape wine and unleavened bread made of only wheat flour and water; the Passover Lamb was replaced by Christ—the Lamb of God— the final and perfect sacrifice: God in the flesh, whose blood saves us from death.
Our Lord used leaven as a symbol of the moral corruption of the Pharisees (Mk 8:15; Lk 12:1). St. Paul repeated the symbolism of leaven as moral corruption when he wrote: “Your boasting is unseemly. Do you not know that a little leaven ferments the whole lump of dough? Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new dough, as you really are without leaven” (I Cor 5: 6-8). The Church in the West used both unleavened and leavened bread for Mass until sometime in the 7th century, when unleavened bread became the norm, as is used today. The Eastern Church continues to use leavened bread for Mass.
The use of unleavened bread harkens back to the original Passover from Egypt. It was known in the ancient Jewish world as the bread of affliction and servitude. It’s use at the first Passover meal, and its essential use at every annual Passover meal since the Exodus, recalls both the servitude of slavery and the great power and generosity of God who took such pains to free Israel from slavery to pharaoh in Egypt.
Our Lord’s Last Supper at Passover tied His sacrificial death on the Cross to the original work of God centuries earlier during the Exodus. God’s powerful deeds at the Red Sea for Israel, and the protection of Israel from death by the blood of the lamb, was recalled by Christ—the new and final Lamb of God, whose blood takes away all sin, and frees us all from sin and death. Unleavened bread symbolically recalls God’s earlier actions for our salvation and links them to Christ’s. But even more, this unleavened bread of affliction is now transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit during each Mass into the true resurrected Body of Christ; and the wine into His true Blood: the pledge of eternal life. Each time we approach the altar in Holy Communion, we take our place with the first Israelites, freed from slavery on the first Passover evening; and with the Apostles at the final Passover meal at the Last Supper on the evening when Christ prepared for the final bloody sacrifice on the Cross, and with all the Saints, nourished through the centuries by the Body and Blood of the Lamb of God, Christ the Lord. But now, we too become sharers in the very life of God, who slowly transforms us through the Eucharist to be more like Himself. God does not perform a political action of freeing us from slavery; nor a mere juridical action by which he pardons our offenses. He who pardons also transforms us to share His very life, beginning now through the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, and lasting through eternity.
The Eucharist actually does something, since it is no mere symbol of God but IS the real presence of God in the flesh, as the Council of Florence (1445) defined: “What material food and drink do for the life of the body—sustaining and strengthening it, restoring it to health and giving pleasure—this the sacrament of the Eucharist does for the life of the soul” (Denziger, 1322).
The Mass is a true Sacrifice, in that we offer Christ to the Father in a bloodless way. But the reality is that everyone present offers the sacrifice of themselves joined to the Sacrifice of Christ. But the sacrifice we offer to God is not merely bread and wine: these are the fruit of human labor, and as food they represent life itself. Since these are actually transformed (transubstantiated) by God during the Mass, becoming the body and blood of a real Person, Jesus, the Son of God, and the Second Adam, we become participants in God’s saving actions whose beginnings are recalled by the simple use of unleavened bread and wine: God who began His saving work by freeing Israel from slavery in Egypt, and brought it to its fullness in the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross—the Lamb of God—continues to work among us every time the Mass is offered, feeding us with the Bread of Angels. The Mass becomes meaningful for us only when we join in with Christ’s sentiments: we offer ourselves to God in gratitude for His innumerable blessings, and reap the benefits of His saving work in eternal life. —Monsignor DiGiovanni
Please pray for the sick. . . Terry Cooke, 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. . . Asst. Police Chief Francis Cronin, Mrs. Schuyler-Jones, Theodore Brutus, E. Gaynor Brennan, Jr., Mother Lillian Cairo, P.O.S.C., Dr. Raymond Gabriele, 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.
American Bishops’ Overseas Appeal Collection . . . Please drop your special envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.
Monday Evening Holy Hour . . . Monday nights 7-8:00 pm for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Rosary in the church. Next Hour: April 4th at 7 p.m.
Grant Writers. . . Will next meet on Tuesday, April 26th at 7:30 pm in the rectory.
Electronic Giving – Offertory Donations Made Easy. . . Consider using your credit card to make your weekly or monthly donation to St. John’s. Easier for you, and less costly for the parish than the printing and mailing of weekly envelopes, credit card giving automatically sends your weekly offering to the Basilica of St. John’s. Please call Cindy, 203-324-1553, ext. 21, 9am-1:30pm.
Repainting the Church. . . We’ve begun our campaign to repaint the church: the total cost is $625,000. Currently we have $178,495.00 pledged. I ask everyone’s help in this. If each individual or household would contribute $1,000, payable over 10 months, we’ll have it. In these hard times, that is a lot to ask, I know. Look at it this way: —that’s $100. per month, or $25. per week, or $3.57 per day, and we can do that. Please lend us a hand. All those who contribute at least $1,000. will have their family name publically recorded as a testimony to your generosity. Please lend us a hand. Letters have been sent out to all parishioners, and I ask you to make this part of your Lenten sacrifice, just as the poor Irish immigrants did 150 years ago to build our church. Now it’s up to us; let’s do it!
Annual Bishop’s Appeal. . . Our parish goal to support the charitable and educational works of the diocese is $87,000. Currently we have $32,945.00 collected. During the upcoming weeks, many will receive letters from Bishop Lori asking for your support. We ask your help, and that you acknowledge your parish as the Basilica of Saint John, so your donation will be credited as part of our parish goal.
R.C.I.A. (Convert) Classes. . . in the Rectory on Tuesday nights at 7:30pm.
Lenten Fast & Abstinence. . .On all Fridays during Lent, all Catholics age 14 and older are obliged to abstain from eating meat as a sign of penance on the day of Christ’s saving death.
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.
MALTA HOUSE. . . You are cordially invited to attend the 14th annual Malta House Gala on May 12, 2011 at the Stamford Yacht Club. The festivities begin at 6:30 pm and we will be honoring Albert J. Barber, KM, CEO of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Bridgeport for his humanitarian efforts throughout the Fairfield County and for his ardent support of Malta House and the Order of Malta. If you are unable to attend and would like to place a message or ad in the souvenir journal we have many options available. For a reservation or to purchase a journal ad page, please contact Gwen Cotterell at Malta House at
Sunday March 27, 2011 $ 12,802.50
Sunday March 28, 2010 $ 13,656.28
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
April 10th Sunday Readings: Ez 37:12-14; Rom 8:8-11; Jn 11:1-45 or 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45.
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, April 5th.
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].
Change of Schedule. . Because of my injury and long recuperation, I have been unable to organize the planned May 7th Kentucky Derby fundraising event. We’ll postpone this until the fall.
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, email@example.com or Janet Lancaster at 203-637-3301, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Diocese of Bridgeport . . . is joining in a local 40 Days for Life campaign during Lent 2011! Here’s a new way to offer your prayer and fasting this Lent: on behalf of vulnerable human life by participating in the 40 Days for Life Campaign Visit http://40daysforlife.com/bridgeport or contact Christine Murphy: email@example.com, ph. (203) 438-4866, or Gene D’Agostino at 203-530-1908 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. John’s 20’s and 30’s “The Flock”….our new young adult group, will meet monthly in the Rectory (adding to the Social and Service aspects of the group). Our 1st Monthly meeting will be on March 25th (Subsequent meetings will be held on the 2nd Thursday of each Month). Doors open at 7:00 PM. (More info: Deirdre.Garrahan@gmail.com).
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: Reading ability required.
Latin Reading Group. . .Wednesdays at 6:15 pm in the Rectory: Reading ability required.
Saint Monica Patristic Institute. . . Will next meet in May. Stay tuned for details.
Trinity Catholic HS. . .Crusader Players present “Into the Woods”. Friday April 8th and Saturday April 9th at 7:30 pm, and Sunday April 10th at 2pm. Advance Tickets $8 or $10 at the door. For more information, please contact Cindy Terzian at email@example.com or 203.329.7773. Or to purchase online, go to the TCHS website at www.trinitycatholic.org. Enjoy the show!
The Stamford Historical Society. . . (1508 High Ridge Road) Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 2:00 P.M. , will show the film noir classic BOOMERANG, shot in Stamford in 1946, directed by Elia Kazan and starring Dana Andrews. The hero is based on Homer Cummings, former Mayor of Stamford, U.S. Attorney General and founding partner of Cummings & Lockwood. Senior attorneys will be on hand to share a legal perspective on the film. Free will donation; call 203-329-1183 to reserve a seat. (The movie has shots of St. John’s.)
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, April 2
4:00 +Helen M. Cappiello req. The Duffy Family
Sunday, April 3
7:30 +John Mannes 50th Anniversary req. DeVivo & Munro Families
8:30 In thanksgiving to the Blessed Virgin Mary req. Melissa Dao-Bai
10:00 +Robert D’Aquila req. Frank and Beth Carpanzano
12:00 In Honor of our Guardian Angels req. Ferry G.
5:00 +Christopher Sherman req. The Martelli Family
6:00 Special Intentions Ferry Galbert req. office
Monday, April 4
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 Special Intentions St. John’s Priests req. St. John’s Home School Group
Tuesday, April 5
8:00 +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +John and Angelina Pascale req. John and Laura Pascale
Wednesday, April 6
8:00 +Virginia Carr req. Marie Carr
12:10 +Eva, Charles, Sr. & Nicholas Kronk, Mary Fedonchuk req. Mary Churley
Thursday, April 7
8:00 +Mary Beirne req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Suzanne Margaret Denvir req. Tara Seeger
Friday, April 8
8:00 +Pablo Salazar req. Ewa Czytowska
12:10 +Rev. Anthony Dandry req. Laura and John Pascale
Saturday, April 9
8:00 + Achille Lamontagne req. Daughter
12:10 + Mrs. Agnes Kelly 1st Anniversary by Dr. Joseph McAleer
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:
100 years ago, or so:
April 4, 1914: BRIGHTER AND LIGHTER. “When the members of St. John’s Catholic Church go to mass, next Sunday, they will be agreeably surprised with the appearance of the interior of the church. A very pleasing transformation has been wrought by skilled artisans during the past two months. Their work is about finished, and the schedule of services, which was interfered with when the improvements made it necessary for the congregation to worship in the chapel of the church, will be resumed tomorrow.
Perhaps the most striking change is the rearranged lighting system. Hereafter electricity will be used throughout the upper church, provision being made for use of gas in emergency. The crowning feature of the electric lighting system is a large, electric chandelier which hangs from the ceiling in the sanctuary and encircles the sanctuary light. It is of solid brass, gold-plated, and is set with sixteen prettily arranged lights. It provides a handsome setting for the magnificent sanctuary lamp presented to the church a number of years ago by the daughters of the late Owen Brennan. The chandelier is the gift of Mrs. M.M. Conroy. The nave of the church will be lighted with five 500 watt Mazda lamps, with prettily designed pendants. The side arches, the corridors and the vestibule lights are of similar design. The lighting system was designed and the work executed by the New England Engineering Company.
Another new feature is the presence of marble platforms in front of the altars of the church. Marble steps have been added to the platform in front of the main altar. These platforms and steps are gifts of the Hibernian organizations of the city. They were placed by Ormond Brothers, members of the congregation.
The panels over the main altar have been decorated to give a sky effect. On a sky-blue background are scores of gold-leaf stars. The remainder of the chancel panels and walls have an ivory tone that is pleasing to the eye and harmonizes with the altars. There is some amber bordering, too. The side altars and chancel statuary have been done in the same ivory tone to harmonize with the main marble altar.
The panels and walls throughout the main body of the church are done in a soft gray water-color, while the massive white columns are done in oil. The capitals, the medallions and the small columns are done uniformly in gold leaf, and they brighten up the softer colors wonderfully
The vestibule of the church has received considerable attention. It is finished in a warm shade of yellow. The vestry is done in the same soft gray water-color as the nave. The large cross on the top of the church also has been regilded.”
The Living Temple
-Fr Terry Walsh
In the Book of Revelation, St. John reveals the Vision of Heaven that he was granted by God for our sake. And during the course of His beautiful description of the Heavenly Jerusalem, John speaks so eloquently about the “living water.” He said, “I saw no Temple in the city, for its Temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb…Then he showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the Throne of God and of the Lamb….also, on either side of the river, the Tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit…”(Rev. 21:22ff).
Jesus, of course, is the Lamb of God – He is the Temple. We become – as it were – “living stones” in Him, called to share in the glory of Divine Life. The “water of life” flowing through the Heavenly City is the love of God: the purpose of our existence is to share in that love! Those who respond to His call and open their hearts to God in this earthly journey receive these living waters sacramentally in “Spirit and in Truth” and, some day, perpetually in Heaven. This is all made possible through the One Perfect Sacrifice of Jesus upon the Tree of Life, that is, the Cross. St. Paul reminds us of the cost: “We boast in hope of the glory of God…and Hope does not disappoint – because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Prayer is the key. The Psalmist cries out: “Oh that today you would hear His voice, harden not your hearts!” But, are we listening? Or are we so caught up in worldly cares and concerns that are hearts have become attached to this world and have actually become deaf to the whispers of the Holy Spirit? The story about the woman at the well (John, chapter 4) helps illustrate the point. She was lost. She seemed so worn out, even bitter. Perhaps, over time, she had become accustomed to a gradual hardening of the heart. She had lost her true identity and took on a sort of defensive posture – imbued with “the spirit of world.” The garden of her soul had become a barren, dusty patch. And although she stood right next to ‘the well of living water,’ Jesus Christ, she did not recognize Him. How often our Lord stands beside us each day. Have we likewise become spiritually deaf to His beckoning? Do we truly recognize Him? Or, have our spiritual wounds turned off the faucet of grace?
When worldly concerns govern our hearts, our true identity becomes hazy – even to the point where we don’t recognize the call to divine life. Like the Samaritan woman, our Lord thirsts for our return to Him. He waits for our humble prayer, the fruit of a ‘repentant spirit.’ “Lord, give me a drink. Lord, heal me.” Lord, give me the grace to pray better and to see the way of living you expect from me. Water the ‘garden of my soul’ with the living waters gushing from your wounded side. Fill me with your love – that I may worship you ‘in Spirit and in Truth’ and so recognize your Presence in my soul. It all begins at the door of confession. What are we holding on to in our souls? What are we carrying in the Bucket we call our heart? What faults and failings – what sins? Are we, like the Samaritan woman, willing to hand them over to God and leave that worldly bucket at His feet that He may empty it through Sacramental Confession? Then, we’ll be free to take up the New Bucket – the one filled with living water.
“If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts!” The Scriptures caution us: “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit” – that is – don’t neglect reconciliation with God. Ask for forgiveness. Humbly crack open the hard exterior shell and allow true contrition to flow out – and thus enable the healing balm of the Holy Spirit to water your hearts and so direct your souls into the Living Temple.