For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday April 10, 2011

Pastor’s Corner. . . God became man at Christmas so He could offer Himself—human body, soul, mind and heart—in obedience to the Father on Good Friday, and so free us from sin and death. Below are two beautiful reflections on the mystery of why and how deeply God loves each of us as manifest in the Father’s sending of the Son and the Son’s loving obedience to the Father, for our sake:

“God, the Word of the Father, did not abandon human nature to corruption, but canceled the death our [human] nature had incurred by offering his own body, corrected our neglect by his teaching, and restored mankind’s estate by his acts of power.
“If you read the Scriptures, you will find all this confirmed by those men of God, the Savior’s Apostles: ‘The love of God drives us on, for we believe that if one man died for all, then all have died; and if he died for all, then we must no longer live for ourselves but for him who died and rose for us, our Lord Jesus Christ.’ This and other passages show that mankind was rescued from death only by the Word of God [the Eternal Son] who had created them in the beginning.
“The reason why the Word took flesh himself was that he might make of himself a Victim for others. ‘The children all are men of flesh and blood; he became one of them in order to destroy by his death the lord of death, that is, the devil, and to free those whom fear of death had everywhere made slaves.’ By sacrificing his own body he abrogated the law against us and renewed the springs of life in us by giving us the hope of the resurrection.
“Men and women had given death power over them. It was fitting, then, that God the Word became a man in order to destroy death and restore life. Listen to St. Paul, a man filled with Christ: ‘As death came through one man’s doing, so did the resurrection from the dead. As all die in Adam, so all will be restored to life in Christ.’ Henceforth we do not die forever as men and women condemned; instead as men and women who are to be raised from the dead, we await the general resurrection which God will effect in due time” (St. Athanasius, Discourse 10: On the Incarnation of the Word).

Another patristic writer expressed Christ’s work in this way:

“God is angered at the soul that sins, and he hands it over to the enemy (Satan) who seduced and malformed it.
“A house whose owner is absent becomes darkened and filled with dust and filth. So the soul whose Lord no longer holds festival in her with his angels is filled with the darkness of sin, with base desires and affections, and with every kind of degradation.
“Woe to the path on which no one walks and no human voice is heard! It becomes the lair of beasts. Woe to the soul in which the Lord does not walk and scatter with his voice the beasts of spiritual evil! Woe to the ship if the pilot abandons it, for it shall be tossed by waves and storms and be wrecked! Woe to the soul if it does not have the Lord for its Pilot, for it shall be battered by the dark and bitter sea, by its turbulent affections, and by the evil spirits, and must perish at last!
“Woe to the earth if no farmer tills it! Woe to the soul if Christ does not cultivate it and enable it to yield the good fruits of the Spirit! Once abandoned, it will be filled with thorns and thistles, and its yield will be fit for naught but burning! Woe to the heart in which Christ its Lord does not dwell! Once abandoned, it will overflow with evil attachments and become the prey of every vice.
“As a farmer takes suitable tools with him when he goes out to till the soil, so Christ, the heavenly King and true Farmer, took a body and a Cross as his tools when he came to desolated mankind in order to till the soil of souls. He cleared it of the thorns of evil affections and the weeds of sin. When he had tilled it with the ploughshare of the Cross, he planted in it the beautiful gardens of the Spirit, which would produce sweet fruits of every kind for God its Lord forever” (St. Macarius, Sermon 28).
In preparation for Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday, April 17th, you might consider reading the Passion and Resurrection narratives in the four Gospels: (They begin in Matt. 26; in Mark 14; in Luke 22; in John 13): —a few brief chapters each night until Easter would be very rewarding for all.—-Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Josephine Melfi, Terry Cooke, Christina Wright, Stacey, Megan Bobroske, Connie Ward, Corrine Mattson, Billy Therriault, , 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, Babe Ruggiero, 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.

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 11th at 7 p.m.

Protectress of Rome Icon Votive Light Memorial . . . Special Intentions Janemarie Raiteri req. friends.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light Memorial. . . + Bill Cody req. the Cody family.

St. Joseph Votive Light Memorial . . . + Bill Cody req. the Cody family.

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 $249,650 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 $35,265.00 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 (203) 857-0088.

Sunday April 3, 2011 $ 13,601.54
Sunday April 4, 2010 $ 10,331.02
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

April 17th Sunday Readings: Is 50:4-7; Phil 2:6-11; Mt 26:14—27:66.

Statues
. . . Are covered beginning this weekend until Easter. This is to remove all that distracts us from
contemplating the Cross of Christ and His divine generosity in our regard. These next two weeks provide you with the perfect to make the Stations of the Cross. They were created by St. Francis of Assisi to help Christians meditate on the Cross of Christ while in their own home parish churches, since most were unable to make the expensive pilgrimage to Jerusalem. To make the Stations, start with the First Station (on the left front of the church, above the confessional). At each Station, genuflect and say “We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you; because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.” Then stand up and meditate briefly on the station: simply look at the sculpture; what does it signify? What was Jesus going through? What were His Blessed Mother, His best friend, Saint John, St. Mary Magdalene and others going through in this station? Then recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, one Glory Be, and move to the next station, repeating the above ritual at each station. Here are the Stations: #1: Jesus is Judged before Pontius Pilate; #2: Jesus carries his Cross; #3: Jesus falls the first time; #4: Jesus meets His Blessed Mother; #5: Simon of Cyrene helps carry the Cross; #6: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus; #7: Jesus falls the second time; #8: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem; #9: Jesus falls the third time; #10: Jesus is stripped of clothes; #11: Jesus is nailed to the Cross; #12: Jesus dies on the Cross; #13: Jesus is taken down from the Cross; #14: Jesus is buried in the tomb. End by kneeling at the altar rail, and say one Our Father, one Hail Mary, one Glory Be for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI, our Holy Father.

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 12th.
Papal Blessings. . . The Basilica can now offer the service of providing papal blessings for parishioners. Please call the parish office for further information and speak with Cindy (203-324-1553, ext. 21).

Home Schooling Families. . . A group for home schooling families meets monthly on Tuesday. 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.

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: cmurphy1224@comcast.net, ph. (203) 438-4866, or Gene D’Agostino at 203-530-1908 or gdag@optonline.net.

St. John’s 20’s and 30’s “The Flock”….our new young adult group, offers social and community service activities. Meetings on the 2nd Thursday of each month in the rectory. 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.

St. Mary Church-Stamford. . .is hosting an All American Card Party/Game Night on Friday, April 29 at 7 pm (doors open at 6 pm) in the Church basement at 566 Elm St. Tickets are sold in advance at $15. Contact Vita at 203-348-7933.

Sacred Heart Church. . .Father Richard F. Futie will celebrate a Mass in Honor of St. Gerard (Patron of Mothers, their children, the unborn as well as Husbands and Wives who are  praying to have a child). The Mass on Thursday, May 5th 2011 at 7:00PM.  We encourage everyone to come especially as families. Prayers for special blessing and respect for life will be recited at 6:45pm.   Expectant Mothers, Mothers with newborns and married couples praying to conceive will be Blessed with the Holy Relic of St. Gerard. If you need any further information, please contact Marie at Sacred Heart Church at 203-324-9544 from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, April 9
4:00 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
Sunday, April 10
7:30 +Mr. and Mrs. Milne req. Fabiola C.
8:30 Souls in Purgatory req. Anne Marie Samedi
10:00 +Viola and Pasquale Russo req. Josephine & Anthony Marene
12:00 Diane Strain: God’s Blessing req. Marion Morris and Family
5:00 Souls in Purgatory req. John Marciano
6:00 Special Intention Destin Pompee
Monday, April 11
8:00 +June Lambiase req. Mr. and Mrs. Michael Kolenberg
12:10 +Suzanne Margaret Denvir req. Lenny and Family
Tuesday, April 12
8:00 Diane Strain req. Josephine Languedoc
12:10 Marion Morris: God’s Blessings req. Billy, Ricky, Brooke and Lindsey Morris & Jimmy and
Michelle Sagdati
Wednesday, April 13
8:00 +Joseph Corbo req. Rosemarie Cerreta
12:10 +Daniel Butler req. Tara Seeger
Thursday, April 14
8:00 +Tin Nguyen req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Friday, April 15
8:00 +Mr. and Ms. Arthur and Anna Jean-Guillaume req. children and grandchildren
12:10 +Alexis Davis req. Maryanne Koller
Saturday, April 16
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. The McAleer Family
12:10 +Delores McCullough req. Denise Klemm

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, 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 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.

The Latin Reading Group. . . Meets Wednesday evenings at 6:15 pm in the rectory: basic reading ability required.

Introduction to Biblical Greek . . . Meets Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm in the rectory: basic reading ability required.

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. Family Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall. All are welcome.

St. John’s in The Advocate:
75 years ago, or so:
April 16, 1938: New Chimes for St. John’s Church. “New chimes in the spire of St. John’s Catholic Church on Atlantic St. were tested this morning in preparation for use in connection with the Easter services tomorrow. They were first tested yesterday, but tolled in monotone because of the Good Friday observance. Heard in their carillon for miles around the city, the chimes attracted the attention of many residents, particularly older folks who recalled that they had never heard a bell in St. John’s Church before. The Rev. N. P. Coleman, pastor, explained that the church never had a bell for the spire. The chimes are of a tubular type, played from the console of an electric organ, picked up by microphone and amplified through four horns in the tower. The tones in their original sound are heard by the congregation in the church auditorium. They contain 21 notes from A to F.”

65 years ago, or so:
April 13, 1945: Join In Tribute To Deceased President. “A hastily organized radio program brought Mayor Charles E. Moore and leaders in the three prominent religious faiths to a WSRR microphone last night at 8:15. The Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman, the Rev. Stanley F. Hemsley and Michael Wofsey, president of the Stamford Jewish Center, joined the Mayor in tribute to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. All will agree that the liberty and peace-loving people of the world have lost their greatest defender and champion said the Mayor. His record in public life is a bright page in our history. Father Coleman, with a brief introduction , read Psalm 129, ’Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord’.”

50 years ago, or so:
April 16, 1964: Religious Authors Educational Work; Parents In Stamford. “A new literary work in the field of Catholic education has been completed by Mother Marie Aimee Carey, O.S.U., a Stamford resident who entered the Ursuline Novitiate at New Rochelle, N.Y. nearly 15 years ago. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward V. Carey, of 20 Brodwood Dr., Mother Marie Aimee is author of “A Bibliography for Christian Formation In The Family,” published by the Paulist Press of Glen Rock, N.J. Distribution of the work is being aided by several Stamford Catholic Churches. It was prepared as a treatise by the religious in pursuit of her educational advancement. Now in Rome for a year of religious and cultural studies, Mother Marie Aimee is a graduate of St. John’s Parochial School, Sacred Heart Academy, College of New Rochelle, and received her masters degree in religious education from Catholic University, Washington, D.C.”

The Spiritual Journey:
Consolation and Desolation
“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us”(Rm. 8:18).
– Fr. Terry Walsh

Have you ever asked yourself the question, ‘Why me?’ After all, Lord, I go to Mass every Sunday. I’m honest and hard-working. I try to be fair and kind, and so why is this or that happening to me? Why? Critical thinking is good provided we’re asking to grow in understanding. But if we’re asking with a measure of anger, perhaps even contempt, we reveal a need to grow more aware of the spiritual nature of our relationship with God. Asking God questions about the circumstances of our lives enables us to broaden our understanding of how God is at work to heal and strengthen us and ultimately lead us to Himself: it’s a means to holiness. And so, how do we understand both the joys and the sorrows of our lives. How do consolations and desolations effect my soul? If we think of our relationship with the Holy Trinity as a journey, then we can understand every little thing that happens in our life as effecting our spiritual health. St Theresa of Avila said there is no ‘middle ground’ in the spiritual life – we are either moving toward God or away from Him. And so, what is the disposition of our hearts? Are we seeking God? Do we search for Him in the Scriptures and the Sacraments? Do we recognize Him in our Trials and Joys? Do we speak to Him from the heart, as he expects, and so develop a filial trust? Every relationship is a two way street and deepens through faithful communication.

Indeed, it is through our love for God and one another that we best communicate with God. Our faithful prayer life enables us to cry out to Him with a louder ‘spiritual’ voice, allowing Him to draw us into Himself, giving us all we need to accomplish our individual journey to reach home to heaven safely. Jesus said, ‘Take up your Cross and follow Me.’ In other words, share in My Journey and I’ll strengthen you in Faith, Hope, and Charity and so enable you to become Holy. Trust Me. I’ll take care of you in joy and in sorrow. Recall that beautiful day when our Lady Presented the Christ Child in the Temple – the 4th Joyful Mystery. Her heart must have been overflowing with wonder and awe. What peace and consolation! Moments later, however, the Prophet Simeon greeted the Holy Family and said to our joyful Mother, “A sword of sorrow will pass through your heart.” What desolation. One moment, Mary is on the top of the world, the next She feels the sting of pain caused by the sins of mankind. Years later, as Her Son triumphantly entered the gates of Jerusalem hailed as King and Messiah, the people threw palm branches in His path as a sign of love and respect. Yet, 3 days later, He was sold for a few pieces of silver, betrayed by one who accompanied Him for 3 years. Consolation, desolation. Jesus shared an intimate Passover meal with those whom He had chosen and at that “Last Supper” our Lord joyfully instituted the Sacraments of Eucharist and Priesthood – Consolation. Hours later, He would be arrested in the dark of night, tried, tortured, and crucified – Desolation. And from the Cross, Jesus cried out, “Why?” “Why has thou forsaken Me?” Jesus is crying out Psalm 22 in His anguish; yet, it is a Psalm that ends in Hope. It is a Psalm that praises and thanks God; indeed, it is a Psalm that ultimately places complete Trust in the Father.

St. Peter answers our question, “Why?” and calls us to follow our Lord, just as he did: “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he trusted to Him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls”(1Pt 2:21).