For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Easter Sunday April 24, 2011

Pastor’s Corner. . . The greatest proof of God’s love for us is the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and His bodily Resurrection from the grave. We share in these greatest of all historic events through the Church’s sacraments. Since the early Fathers of the Church expressed it best, let’s listen to them:
“The Passion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is a pledge of victory and a lesson in patience. What may the hearts of believers not expect from God’s grace when His only Son did not hesitate to become a man and to die at the hands of men whom He Himself had created? Great indeed are God’s promises to us, but greater still is what He has already done for us. How can we doubt that He will give us his life [forever] when He has already given us His death?
“Who is Christ but the Word that ‘was in the beginning, was with God, and was God’? [John 1: 1 and cf. Gen 1:1] That Word ‘was made flesh and dwelt among us.’ [John 1:2] He was unable as God to die for us; to die, He had to take mortal flesh from us. Then the immortal One could die and give life to mortal men and women; He would give a share of Himself to those whose lot He first shared as a man. We had no power of ourselves to live; He had no power of Himself to die. He entered, therefore, into an exchange with us: we gave Him the means of dying for us; He gave us the means of living forever.” (St. Augustine, Sermons, 3)

“God our Savior’s way of dealing with us is to call us back when we have fallen into sin and to restore us to familiarity with Himself, after we have been estranged by the disobedience of sin. Christ’s coming in the flesh, therefore, His work among us, His suffering and death, His burial and Resurrection, were all intended that we, saved by imitation of Christ, might enter once again into the relationship with God as His adopted sons and daughters.
“If we are to live fully, then, we must imitate Christ not simply in His kindness, humility and patience he showed during His human life, but in his very death. How do we imitate His death? By being buried with Him in baptism. Let us note, first, that the continuity of our earlier life (of sin & disobedience to God) must be disrupted, and for this nothing will serve but to be born again, for rebirth is the beginning of a new life. But before you can begin the new, you must put a finish to the old life: a death [to sin and to an arrogant self-centered life] must intervene.” (St. Basil the Great, The Holy Spirit, 15 )

“Today there is a great silence over the earth, for the King sleeps. . . God is dead in the flesh, and has shaken Sheol to its foundations. He goes to seek our first parents like a lost sheep. He cries out, ‘I bid you: Awake, sleeper! I did not create you to lie bound in hell. Arise from the dead, for I am life to those who have died. Rise up, work of my hands, my likeness, made in my image. Rise, let us go hence.
“‘For your sake I put on your lowly shape as a man. For your sake I came to earth and to the underworld. See the spittle on my face—it was for you, that you might have the breath of life again. See my cheeks reddened by the blows—it was for you, that you might be remade in my image. See my torn back—it was for you, that I might take the burden of sin from your shoulders. See the nail-marks in my hands—it was for you, because you once put your hand to the forbidden tree.
“‘Arise, let us go hence. I have a heavenly throne prepared for you, and the cherubim shall bow down before you.’” (Ancient Holy Saturday Homily )

“What marvelous love God shows to us! Christ endured the tormenting nails in his innocent hands and feet; we, knowing nothing of his pain and suffering, receive the salvation that sprang from them.
“Let no one, therefore, think of baptism simply as forgiveness of sins and grace of adoption by God, as though it were identical with the baptism of John the Baptist, which effected only forgiveness. For our baptism not only brings forgiveness and the gifts of the Holy Spirit; it is also the symbolic expression of Christ’s sufferings. . . You were baptized into Christ and you put on Christ, in this way you were made like the Son of God.
“At the Last Supper, Christ said of the bread: ‘This is my Body.’ Who can doubt the truth henceforth? He said of the wine: ‘This is my Blood.’ Who can claim that it is not his Blood? Let us then, with full conviction receive the bread and wine as Christ’s Body and Blood. The Body is given to you in this symbolic form of bread and the Blood in the form of wine; having received them, you are one in body and one in blood with Christ. Thus, we become Christ-bearers, for his Body and Blood have been introduced into our bodies. Thereby, too, we become, according to Blessed Peter, sharers in the divine nature.” (Jerusalem Catechesis, 20;21;22)
Happy Easter! —-Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Barbara Schueger, Bernadette Jachimczyk, 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. . . Pat Civitillo, Dr. Erlman, 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.

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

Easter Duty. . . Each Catholic is obliged to receive Holy Communion at least once yearly, during the Easter Season (Easter—Pentecost, June12). One should also go to Confession at least once yearly, as well, in order to worthily receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord.

Divine Mercy Sunday. . . Please join us for the recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Exposition and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament, on Sunday, May 1st at 1:30 pm. All are welcome.

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 25th at 7 p.m.

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 203-324-1553, ext. 21.

Protectress of Rome Icon Votive Light Memorial . . . Special Intentions Anne and Lenorq Auguste req. Sabine Auguste.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light Memorial. . . + Deceased members of the Corcione family.

Repainting the Church . . . The cost will be $625,000. Currently we have $321,173 pledged. The work will be done by America’s premier John Canning Studio, whose artists 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. 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.

Latin Reading Group. . .Wednesdays: 6:15 pm in the Rectory (reading ability required).

Saint Monica Patristic Institute. . . Will next meet each Wednesday in May, beginning May 4th at 7:30 pm in the Rectory, to read some of the works of Saint Augustine, offered by Lois Gandt, Ph.D.

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

Biblical Greek Study Group. . .Thursdays: 6:30 pm in the Rectory (basic reading ability required).

Coffee Hour. . .There will be No Coffee Hour Easter Sunday, April 24th. Coffee hour will resume next Sunday, May 1st, after the 10:00 a.m. Mass. All are welcome.

Sunday April 17, 2011 $ 13,209.75
Sunday April 18, 2010 $ 11,992.07

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

May 1st Divine Mercy Sunday Readings: Acts 2:42-47; 1 Pt 1:3-9; Jn 20:19-31.

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 26th.

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).

Grant Writers. . . Will next meet on Tuesday, April 26th at 7:00 pm in the rectory.

Civil War Anniversary. . . These Saint John’s parishioners served and died on the battle field fighting for the Union and to end slavery: Thomas Buckley, Patrick Harrison, Patrick Picker, Martin Kane, John Kelly, Daniel Kennedy, Henry O’Neil, James Keegan, James Warren, Thomas Lahey, Joseph P. Raferty, Martin Lane, John Birmingham, Peter Conroy, William McDonald, James Farron, John Fitzpatrick, P. Fitzpatrick, Morris Carroll, John Reardon, D.D. Dinan, John Collins, John H. McGill, John Conneff, Michael McGiveney, and Martin Cash. Please say a prayer for the repose of their souls.

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 $36,780.00 collected. Please help our Bishop.

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. Advance tickets $15.
Info: 203-348-7933.

Benedictine Monks of Norcia . . . will be staying at Saint John’s rectory for their annual visit next weekend. A fundraising supper will be offered at the Upper Room at Columbus Park Trattoria here in Stamford on April 30th. Donations are tax deductable. For more information: 203-967-9191.

Sacred Heart Church.-Stamford . .Father Richard F. Futie will celebrate a Mass and prayers 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 6:45PM.  All families are welcome.  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 annual Malta House Gala on May 12, 2011 at the Stamford Yacht Club, honoring Albert J. Barber, KM, CEO of Catholic Charities. 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

HOLY SATURDAY, April 23
NO 4:00pm Mass
8:00PM Easter Vigil: People of the Parish
Easter Sunday, April 24
7:30 Special Intentions Millie Terenzio req. friend
8:30 + Cecile Dee req. Monsignor DiGiovanni
10:00 + Mr. and Mrs. Edward Johnston req. Richard and Elaine Shoztic
12:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
5:00 For World Peace and Peace in Families req. Melissa Dao-Bai
6:00 Special Intention Destin Pompee
Monday, April 25
8:00 + Helen Pagnotti req. Jean Bendick
12:10 + Reddy and Alice MacDonald req. Mary Maloney and family
Tuesday, April 26
8:00 The Kelty Family req. Bridget Bethray
12:10 + Sean Gage req. Maude and Paul Hughes
Wednesday, April 27
8:00 Wedding Anniversary Thang and Diep Nguyen
12:10 Special Intentions Birgitta O’Brien-Costantino
Thursday, April 28
8:00 + Pat Nennig req. Josephine Gross
12:10 + Vita and Frank Fazio req. Frank D’Amico
Friday, April 29
8:00 + Boneface Mayende req. Scholastica Nabwire
12:10 + Niall O’Toole req. Jie-eun O’Toole
Saturday, April 30
8:00 Special Intentions Grandma Mulhern req. her grandchildren Margie, Brian, Ernie and Mark Mulhern
12:10 + Matthew Kenealy Jr. req. Ann Cody and Family

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 Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament and 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. Info, contact Ferry Galbert 203-324-1553 ext. 22.

St. Maria Goretti Society. . . For the spiritual formation of young ladies, 8th-12th grades. Info, 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 CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
135 years ago, or so:
May 1, 1876: Stamford. “A new house of the Sisters of Mercy, has just been founded here and a great want of the people in facilities for Catholic education promises to be supplied. Three Sisters from Mt. St. Joseph’s Convent, Hartford, have arrived and are installed in the old parochial residence which has been fitted up to answer the purpose of a convent. One poor school house is all that is available now, but ere long, with the blessing of God, another and larger one will be erected.”

125 years ago, or so:
May, 1886: Stamford. “The regular Easter devotions were equally as well attended as in former years. The altar was beautifully decorated with many natural flowers. High Mass on Sunday was celebrated by Rev. Father Keena. The sermon, and it is unnecessary to say it was a good one, was delivered by our pastor.”

The NEW YORK TIMES:
115 years ago, or so:
April 29, 1895: NEW CATHOLIC PARISH ESTABLISHED. “The Right Rev. Bishop Michael Tierney of the Diocese of Hartford has set aside Darien and Noroton as a separate parish, and appointed the Rev. Father T.M. O’Brien, senior curate of St. Mary’s Church, Norwalk, as rector. The Rev. Father O’Brien delivered a farewell address at St. Mary’s today at each of the three services. His pastorate in the new parish commences May 1. Darien and Noroton were formerly attached to the Stamford parish, and it is understood they were made independent of Stamford through the efforts of John D. Crimmins and other wealthy New York Catholics, Summer residents of Darien, who have magnificent properties at Collender Point and other places on the shore in Darien, and who contributed largely toward constructing the church edifice a few years ago.”

FAIRFIELD COUNTY CATHOLIC:
15 years ago, or so:
May, 1996: Interview with seminary head. “When Rev. Stephen DiGiovanni, director of the John Fisher Seminary Residence in Stamford, became a priest in 1977, he thought it was the end of seminary life for him, but Bishop Edward M. Egan had other ideas. In June of 1989, the bishop founded the St. John Fisher Residence in Trumbull which offered a home-like atmosphere of prayer, study and reflection for young men between the ages of 18 and 40 who are considering a vocation to the priesthood. Father DiGiovanni became its first director.”

Christ our Light
– Fr. Terry Walsh
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10)

My first year of Theology in Major Seminary was the Jubilee Year, 2000. Naturally, the Church offered many special graces for the faithful throughout the world. One of those graces was the chance to view the Shroud of Turin, the burial garment of our Lord. On our first free weekend, 15 of my classmates and I took the overnight train from Rome to Turin so that we might have a glimpse of the Holy Shroud. It was an amazing experience, a grace filled moment. One of the most startling things I learned about the Shroud was that the Image left upon the cloth was the result of a “Radiant Light” characteristic of a nuclear blast. It was the immediate image left at the moment of His Resurrection. He has Risen! He is God! And he has come to rescue his sheep and to put His enemies beneath His feet. The Light will not be extinguished. He has triumphed over death and offers life to all who follow Him. Light shines on the darkness and reveals the Truth. Darkness, on the other hand, reminds us of falsehood, of sin, and ultimately of death. In John’s Gospel we hear these words: “In Him [the Word, Jesus Christ] was life, and the life was the light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…. The True Light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.” Consider Jesus miraculous birth in the Stable. Indeed, throughout His public Ministry, he enlightened all his witnesses by miracle after miracle, teaching after teaching, enlightening all who followed Him. At His Transfiguration, His glory was revealed once again in blinding light. How is it then that so many remained in the dark?
As Jesus’ Hour approached, the true intentions of the hearts of all were made manifest. Many preferred the “cozy cave of ignorance” rather than the “Light of Christ.” In order to receive the Light, the human heart must be willing to let go of false teachings that may seem “comfortable” and instead freely choose to walk in the Light – even when that walk requires some extra effort. To leave what is comfortable can be difficult. Contemplating Jesus words requires humility and a desire for Truth. Putting those words into action requires some work, perhaps even some manner of purification, which would naturally involve some measure of suffering. In the end, it becomes a decision to love. There is no love without sacrifice. Sadly, many looked upon Jesus as one who simply drew attention to Himself for some selfish reason. They accused Him of bringing division to the so-called “community.” Their hearts were in the dark and their lack of humility revealed their own selfish desires. Their refusal to be transformed by the Light ultimately led to shouts of “Crucify Him!” They sought to extinguish the Light. They missed the point entirely. Jesus came to give life. But they “had not the love of God within them” (John 5:42). As they mocked him while he suffered His frightful agony upon the Cross, their pride punctuated a false victory over He who exposed their deceit, their contempt for God. Opening His side with the lance, the final blow of hate, would instead reveal the Light of Truth. The Blood and Water that flowed from His Wounded Sacred Heart became the very Light of divine grace that would wash away the darkness. In His Glorified Body, streams of Healing Light beam from His Merciful Heart and all who seek Him with humility and love are filled with this Light. “I am the Light of the world; he who follows me will have the Light of Life” (John 8:12). “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
We receive this Light most abundantly through the Sacraments. It is precisely sacramental grace that transforms our souls making us holy; sacramental grace imparts wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, piety, fortitude, as well as awe and wonder. As we grow in grace, we walk more and more in the Light. It’s that simple. It is the “well lit path” that leads to Heaven. When we walk in the Light we will not fall into the snags and potholes of falsehoods, lies, deceits, and spiritual laziness that try to derail us from union with God. We just need to take that 1st step – that act of faith in our heart. Open the door just a crack and let the Radiant Light of Christ lead you from the darkness into the warmth and peace and joy and happiness of life IN HIM. He has Risen! He has come to give life…