For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:
Bulletin for Sunday April 17, 2011

Pastor’s Corner. . . I have heard it commented that God is cruel, since He permitted, even required, His Son to suffer. That is a comment made by individuals who know little about God, and less about the reality of God’s love for us. Jesus died, not because a cruel God required the suffering; God suffered in the flesh because mankind’s sins are so enormous; our own outrages so cruelly astounding, that they could be paid for and their effects overcome only by the suffering of the Son: the Creator of the universe, humbled to become a creature, in order to suffer to raise us up from our own self-inflicted corruption, and to repay our crimes–with eternity in the flesh. Here is one of the clearest narratives of Jesus’ divine generosity in our regard on the first Good Friday, which led to His and our triumph over death: nailed to a Cross in the flesh taken in the womb of the Virgin, buried in a borrowed grave and raised in the Easter Resurrection of God in the flesh: all done for us. Be grateful! Happy Easter!
“Jesus freely goes forth to the sufferings foretold for him; indeed he had himself foretold them to his disciples and had been forced to upbraid Peter, who took the prediction badly. The salvation of the world was to hang upon this suffering. Jesus therefore declared himself to those who were searching for him: ‘I am the one you seek.’ When accused, he did not answer; when he could have hidden, he would not, even though he evaded attack on several other occasions.
“Moreover, he weeps for Jerusalem, which by its unbelief was its own downfall, and he condemns the glorious temple to total ruin. He bears patiently a blow to the head from a man who was twice over a slave. He is slapped, spat upon, insulted, tortured, whipped, and finally nailed to the Cross with two thieves to share his suffering. He is numbered among murderers and felons, drinks the bitter sap of an evil vine, is crowned with thorns instead of palm-sprigs and grape-clusters; he is pierced with a lance and finally buried.
“All this he suffered for our salvation. Those who were slaves to sin were also subject to the penalty of sin; he was sinless and the wholly just Man, but he bore the punishment for our sins and by his death on the Cross lifted the ancient curse [of Adam]. He took on himself the bitter sorrows of mortal, suffering man; he made human deformity his own and restored man to his lofty estate.
“The purple garb of mockery pointed to the true King, the reed on his head to the weakness of Satan’s power; the slaps he received were the pledge of our freedom. Thus he bore the insults and afflictions that were our due.
“His side, like Adam’s was pierced, but from it came, not a woman whose mistake brought death, but a fountain of life to enliven the world. A twofold stream flows from the fountain; it give us rebirth in the baptistery and feeds us as children at God’s altar and table [at Mass]. (Saint Theodoret of Cyrrhus, On the Incarnation of the Lord ).
Here is another work, observing the love of God in the flesh:

“The true worshiper of the Lord in his Passion should look upon the crucified Jesus with the eyes of the heart and recognize in Jesus’ flesh your own. For there is no one so weak that the victory of the Cross fails you, no one whom Christ’s prayer cannot help. If Christ did good to his enemies who raged against him, how much more to you when you turn to him? He has pierced through our ignorance and strengthened us in our weakness. . .
“Let us, then not be so arrogantly and anxiously immersed in the business of our present life that we do not strive wholeheartedly to follow the example of our Redeemer and to become like him. Everything he did and endured was for our salvation so that the power inherent in Jesus, the Head, might enter into us, the members of His Body, as well.
“When God took our mortal substance unto himself and ‘the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,’ what person . . . was excluded from his merciful embrace? Can you not recognize your own weakness in Christ’s? Who cannot see that in his nature as our fellow-servant, Christ who ate and slept, was sad and wept in his loving concern for us?
“Our nature was to be healed of its ancient wounds and purified of the infection of sin. Therefore, the
Only-begotten of God became on of the sons of men that he might have not only the fullness of divinity but an authentic manhood as well. It was for our sake that he lay lifeless in the tomb and rose on the third day and ascended to the right hand of the Father’s majesty.” (Pope Saint Leo the Great, Sermon 15, On the Lord’s Passion). —-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. . . Robert Monahan, Jeanne Dora Robustelli, 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.

Monthly Collection . . . The second collection today will be the monthly collection for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

HOLY WEEK CONFESSION. . . Monday-Wednesday: 7:30-7:50am & 11:30-11:50am;
Holy Thursday & Good Friday: 11:30-12noon; Holy Saturday: 3:00 –4:00pm.

HOLY WEEK MASS CANCELLATIONS. . .Holy Thursday (Ap. 21) & Good Friday (Ap. 22): NO 8am or 12:10pm Masses; Holy Saturday (Ap. 23) NO 8am, 12:10 pm OR 4pm Masses.

HOLY WEEK MASS SCHEDULE. . . Monday-Wednesday: 8am & 12:10 pm;
Holy Thursday (Ap. 21st): 8pm Mass of the Lord’s Supper & Adoration until midnight;
Good Friday (Ap. 22nd): 3pm: Passion of Our Lord;
Holy Saturday (Ap. 23rd): 8pm: Easter Vigil.

GOOD FRIDAY FAST & ABSTINENCE. . .On Good Friday, all Catholics age 14 and older are obliged to abstain from eating meat. Likewise, all Catholics 18 years old to 59 are obliged to fast: take only one full meal and two smaller meals are to be eaten, with no snacks between meals, as a sign of penance on the day of Christ’s saving death. If one is ill, or weakened because of bad health, these rules do not apply.

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 18th at 7 p.m.

Protectress of Rome Icon Votive Light Memorial . . . Priests of the Parish.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light Memorial. . . + Deceased members DeRosa, Kronk families and Edwin Clark req. Joan and John Kronk.

St. Joseph Votive Light Memorial . . . Special Intentions Ann and Jo.

Memorial Votive Lights . . . The two votive lights at the shrine of Saint Peter, and the one before the icon of Mary Protectress of the Roman People, 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, between 9AM—1:30PM.

Repainting the Church. . . The cost will be $625,000. Currently we have $260,750 pledged. The work will be done by America’s premier John Canning Studio, who restored Grand Central Station, Radio City Music Hall, scores of historic churches and government buildings throughout the country. I ask everyone’s help in this. The three parish priests are donating $1,000.00 each. 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. Just as the poor Irish immigrants did 150 years ago when they built our church. Now it’s up to us; let’s do it!

Sunday April 10, 2011 $ 13,269.00
Sunday April 11, 2010 $ 12,477.07

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

April 24th Easter Sunday Readings: Acts 10:34a, 37-43; Col 3:1-4; Jn 20:1-9.

Statues. . . Are covered until Easter. This is to remove all that distracts us from contemplating the Cross of Christ and His divine generosity in our regard.

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 19th.

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.

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).

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. Please help by your donation to the Bishop.

Grant Writers. . . Will next meet on Tuesday, April 26th at 7:30 pm in the rectory.

R.C.I.A. (Convert) Classes. . . Cancelled during Holy Week.

Hebrew Beginners’ Grammar Class. . .Thursdays: 5:30 pm in the Rectory (Cancelled this week).

Biblical Greek Study Group. . .Thursday: 6:30 pm in the Rectory: (Cancelled this week).

Latin Reading Group. . .Wednesdays: 6:15 pm in the Rectory: (Cancelled this week).

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 7pm (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.

Electronic Giving – Offertory Donations Made Easy. . . Consider using your credit card for 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.

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): Thursday, May 5th 2011 at 7:00PM.  All families are welcome; prayers for 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 Relic of St. Gerard. Join us.

MALTA HOUSE. . . The 14th annual Malta House Gala will be held on May 12, 2011 at the Stamford Yacht Club, honoring Albert J. Barber, KM, CEO of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Bridgeport . Congratulatory ads and messages are available in the souvenir journal. For reservations or journal ad pages, please contact Gwen Cotterell at Malta House at (203) 857-0088.

Handy Man. . . Need a truck for hire, clean-ups or dump runs, and someone to do the work? Call James Pipicelli, a member of the parish Holy Name Society: 203-550-4285.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, April 16
4:00 +Paul P. Pavia Jr., Susan Perretta, Roseann and Stephanie Schriefer req. Alison Tosches
Sunday, April 17
7:30 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
8:30 Souls in Purgatory req. Melissa Dao-Bai
10:00 +Millien Family req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:00 +Frank Digangi req. Maria and Tony Marchetti
5:00 +Francis Tortora req. his son
6:00 +Xavier Fontaine and Family req. his friends
Monday, April 18
8:00 +Salvatore R. Pirio req. Josephine Languedoc
12:10 +Josephine Henson req. John and Laura Pascale
Tuesday, April 19
8:00 +Justina Campo req. Brian McKeon
12:10 Intentions of the Holy Father, 6th Anniversary of Election req. Priests of the Parish
Wednesday, April 20
8:00 Jane Gannon Birthday req. Sharon Gannon
12:10 Special Intentions Millie Terenzio Birthday

TRIDUUM SACRUM
HOLY THURSDAY, April 21-The church remains open until 12 midnight for Adoration.
NO 8AM or 12:10PM Masses
8:00PM: Mass of the Lord’s Supper: People of the Parish

GOOD FRIDAY, April 22
NO 8 AM or 12:10 pm Masses
3:00PM Liturgy of Lord’s Passion

HOLY SATURDAY, April 23
NO 8AM, 12:10 PM or 4 PM MASSES
8:00PM Easter Vigil: People of the Parish

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 NEWS:
The STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
140 years ago, or so:
April 22, 1870: “The old house, standing on the lot purchased by the Roman Catholic society, is being taken down. This we suppose is the first step towards the great work of building the new church. The house above referred to was one of the oldest in the village. The relic hunter, Charley Alphonse, found behind the wainscoting several copper coins, some of which were nearly two hundred years old.”

The STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
130 years ago, or so:
April 22, 1881: “In the Roman Catholic Church Easter is always a high day. The music last Sunday was especially good in the evening at Vespers. The choir was assisted on this occasion by Mr. Griswold, Mr. Parker and Mr. E. Carey. The soprano of the regular choir, Miss Annie Weed, was in splendid voice for the evening programme, and sang her solos to the evident pleasure of the vast congregation, who listened with intense delight to the music throughout. It was quite apparent that Mr. Chas. W. Smith, the accomplished organist, had taken great pains in preparing the programme and drilling the choir, for the result was very satisfactory. His own part was rendered in a masterly way and the new organ of the church, with its beautiful variety of steps, which he knows so well how to combine, was made to speak forth in pleasing tones, as can alone be done by one familiar with the mechanical construction of the “king of instruments.” Rev. Father Walsh delivered an address in the evening on the lessons of the resurrection of Christ, as pleasing and as orthodox as one could wish to hear from any pulpit.”

The CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
115 years ago, or so:
April 20, 1895: STAMFORD. “The services during holy week in St. John’s churches were solemn and impressive. A large congregation was always in attendance. Easter Sunday service was more than grand. At the solemn high mass the singing and music rendered by the choir was highly creditable to the choir master, Mr. O’Brien. At vespers, the church was crowded as Rev. Father McClean of Washington University, D.C., delivered an eloquent sermon on the resurrection of Christ. He gave an able sermon. He has a bright future before him as a pulpit orator. He is a Stamfordite and we were glad to hear his second annual sermon on Easter Sunday evening.”

The Stations of the Cross
– Fr Terry Walsh
Reflecting on the Passion of our Lord, we are drawn into the path he traveled for our sake. As we contemplate each station we begin to experience in our hearts the pain he endured. At the same time, we are able to offer him our sufferings, our daily trials. Our suffering has value. When we offer it to our Lord, we participate in the redemption of the world. St Paul once said, “I will make up for what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ.” At first glance, one might wonder, what could possibly be lacking in the sufferings of Christ. After all, he offered the perfect sacrifice on the Cross. Indeed, all the suffering ever known or endured by mankind taken as a whole pales by comparison to the suffering the Innocent Victim endured. What was Paul talking about? Jesus tells us, “Pick up your Cross and follow me.” In other words, open your heart to a more perfect love. Be willing to go the extra mile for those in need. In this, we become more perfect reflections of Divine love.
Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we die with Christ. In other words, we are meant to turn away from selfishness and instead humbly seek to live the Gospel, the Word of Life. In a general sense, we accomplish this by carrying out the ordinary daily circumstances of our lives with an eye toward Heaven. In providing for our families and encouraging one another in all our various activities as if we are attending to Christ Himself. Love God in our neighbor. More specifically, as we encounter the Cross through illness, loss of a job, struggles and disagreements with friends and family, the loss of a loved one, and so on, the Cross becomes heavier and more difficult to manage. Like Christ at the 1st Station, we are judged. Like Christ, we receive the Cross; we stumble, we fall under its weight. Yet, it is precisely in these circumstances that we receive the help we need to carry our Cross, to endure it – if we ask. Our Lord is most near us when we are put to the test. He promised he would never abandon us; he would always provide whatever we need in every circumstance- joyful or sorrowful – if we pray to him and give thanks for His generous love. We may encounter the Cross in many ways.
Often times, the Cross comes to us. It might be light and temporary. It might be heavy and sustained. Others may lay the burden on our shoulders, or perhaps we willingly seek the Cross; that is, we go out of our way to satisfy the needs of others. Any sacrifice we make is an encounter with the Cross. And there is joy in it. It’s not that there is joy in suffering, which is always an evil. Rather, the joy comes in knowing we are growing in holiness – even in the midst of suffering and sacrifice; we are being made new through the graces we are receiving through our cooperation with the Holy Spirit as we fulfill our Baptismal Promises. Recall the 4th Station, where Jesus meets our Lady, Mary: “Behold, I will make all things new!” he tells Her. He accomplishes it through the Cross. We’re able to participate in His journey at each station. He allows us, indeed beckons us, to walk with Him. Jesus said, “Learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart.” As we seek to love our neighbor as Christ loves us, we will find a joy and peace that can only come from God. The little sacrifices that we can offer to our Lord each day – the kind word, the pat on the back, the errand done generously, the prayer offered for another’s intention – these unite us to the Cross. What Station are you experiencing today?