For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday May 22, 2011

Pastor’s Corner. . . Once again, I would like to share with you some reflections about Our Lord’s work for our salvation by two of the great Church Fathers: Saint Ephrem the Deacon and Saint Cyril of Alexandria:

“Our Lord was conquered by death and then conquered death in turn. He bowed to death and took it willingly upon him so that he might cast death out against its will. He went forth carrying his Cross, since death would have it so; but he cried out upon the Cross and led the dead forth from their world in Hell, though death protested mightily.
“Through the body that was his, death slew him; with this same weapon, his human body, Jesus won his victory in turn. He hid his divinity under the veil of his humanity and approached death, which slew him and was slain by him. Death killed his natural life, but supernatural life slew death in turn.
“Because death could not devour him if he had no human body, nor hell swallow him up if he were not flesh and blood, the Eternal Son of the Eternal Father came to the Virgin and took manhood from her in her womb. In that human body, he entered Hell and robbed it of its treasures. When death had laid hold of him, he feared not but snatched his own life from its grasp and, with himself, many others.
“This noble foster-Son of the carpenter, Joseph, carried his Cross over the yawning abyss of Hell and transported the human race to the house of life. A tree had been mankind’s downfall, in the Garden of Eden; the tree of the Cross brought it to new life.
“Glory to you, Lord! You made ;your Cross a bridge over death so that the souls of men and women might traverse it from death to life. Glory to you! You donned the body of mortal man and made it a fountain of life for human beings. You live because your slayers treated your life as a farmer does his seed. Your executioners sowed your life like wheat in the deep earth of death that it might rise up and bring with it a great crop of life” (Sermon 3, On Our Lord).

“’I die,’” says the Lord, ‘for all men and women so that I may give them life and redeem all flesh with my own. For when I die, death dies; and when I rise, so shall fallen human nature. I became like you, a man of Abraham’s seed, that I might in all ways be like my brothers and sisters.’
“There was no other way of destroying the lord of death (Satan) and, with him, death itself unless Christ had given himself for our sake, one man as a ransom for all; for he was superior to all others. That is why somewhere in the psalms he says, he offers himself as a spotless Victim to God the Father: ‘Sacrifice and oblation you did not want, but you fitted me with a human body. Holocausts and offerings for sin you did not wish; then I said: ‘Behold, I come!’”
“Jesus was crucified in the place of all and for the sake of all in order that, when one man had died for all, we all might live in him (for it could not be that his human life should remain subject to death and corruption). That Jesus did in fact offer himself on the Cross for the life of the world is clear from his own words: ‘Holy Father, guard them’; and again: ‘For their sake I sanctify myself.’ ‘Sanctify’ here means to consecrate and offer as a spotless and fragrant Victim. Christ therefore gave his body for the life of us all, and through that body he restored life to us. How this occurred I shall briefly explain as best I can.
“Once the living Word of God had taken flesh in the womb of the Virgin, he made it share in his own inalienable possession, namely life, and made it, through its marvelous union with himself, to be itself life-giving. Christ’s body therefore enlightens those who share in it, expelling death when it enters those subject to death” (Commentary on the Gospel of John, Book 4).

Christ’s body enters us whenever we receive Him in Holy Communion. For it is the sacraments instituted by Our Lord which give us a share in His life. No greater sacrament is there than the Holy Eucharist, since it is actually the Resurrected Body and Blood of Our Lord. He describes this in the Gospel of John, chapter 6, and emphasizes the importance of this sacrament, by saying that “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you shall not have life within you.” Without Our Lord’s sacraments, especially Holy Communion, we cannot gain eternal life, no matter how strongly we have faith in Him. Otherwise, all we need is faith to be saved; that would mean that we could save ourselves simply by believing. Even Satan believes in Christ, but is eternally damned. Without Christ’s sacraments, we cannot be saved. We should recall how generous God is to us, and strive daily to please Him more and more in our daily lives. —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . George Terenzio, Natale Sposato, Mark Ferris, Marie Maddox, Barbara Schueger, Bernadette Jachimczyk, Terry Cooke, Christina Wright, Stacey, Megan Bobroske, Connie Ward, Corrine Mattson, Billy Therriault, Tana Sibilio, Kathleen Nichols, Millie Maida, Joseph Hlavaty, Rev. Carlos Antonio Mesa, Corrie Evans, Shirly Mailhot, Roledonne Samedi.

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Elizabeth Gross, Natalie Ryan, Soreida Mendez, Dr. Elaine Parliman, Jack Mahan, 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.

Catholic Communication Campaign Collection . . . Please drop your special envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.

Easter Duty. . . Each Catholic is obliged to receive Holy Communion at least once yearly, during the Easter Season (Easter, April 24—Pentecost, June12). One should also go to Confession at least once yearly, as well, to worthily receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord.

Monday Evening Holy Hour . . . Monday nights 7-8:00 pm for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Rosary in the church. Next Hour: May 23rd at 7 p.m.

The Civil War, Reconstruction and Construction: St. John’s, 1861-1886: This parish historic exhibit traces the contribution of Saint John’s parishioners during the Civil War, displaying Civil War artifacts from both the Stamford Historical Society and the parish archives; then outlines the work of one of our parishioners, John Ennis, Union Army veteran, architect and builder of the upper church; and Catholic parish life from the Civil War until the dedication of our church on May 30, 1886. This exhibit will be offered in the Rectory through the summer, beginning the weekend of May 28th and continuing through July 31st: Mondays-Fridays, 9:00 am. until 4:30 pm; Saturdays and Sundays by appointment: please call the rectory (324-1553, ext 14 or 21). There is no charge.

Repainting the Church. . . The cost will be $625,000. Currently we have $500,524 pledged. 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.

Annual Bishop’s Appeal. . . Our parish goal to support the charitable and educational works of the diocese is $87,000. Currently we have $49,477.00 collected. Please help our Bishop.

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

Saint Monica Patristic Institute. . . Will meet each May Wednesday, 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).

Sunday May 15, 2011 $ 11,464.35
Sunday May 16, 2010 $ 13,774.35

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

May 29th Sunday Readings: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17; 1 Pt 3:15-18; Jn 14:15-21.

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, May 24th.

Mass On Line. . .Visit the parish website: www.stjohnsstamford.com, click the photo of the church up top, and you’ll see live all that’s going on in church, daily. Now compatible with Apple “Mac OS” as well as Microsoft Windows PCs.

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. Call the parish secretary (324-1553, ext. 21).

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

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.

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).

Vatican Choir. . . Is making its first USA tour, and will perform at the Palace Theater on Thursday, June 9th at 8:00 p.m. For tickets and information: 973-520-8951 or WWW.THECHOIR.IT

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.

Job Seekers . . . Meets the 4th Monday of each month in the rectory at 7:30pm: all are welcome. 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 call her at 203-866-1606. Next meeting: Monday May 23rd

Saint Gabriel Church . . . Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite
(Latin Mass according to the 1962 Missal) will be offered at Saint Gabriel Church, on Tuesday, May 31st at 7:30 PM, in celebration of the Queenship of Mary. All are welcome!

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, May 21
4:00 Special Intention
Sunday, May 22
7:30 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
8:30 Holy Souls in Purgatory req. Josephine Languedoc
10:00 Special Intentions Father Walsh req. Millie Terenzio
12:00 Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI: God’s Blessings req. Our Lady of Loreto Altar Guild
5:00 +Robert Lynch req. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Moccia
6:00 Special Intentions the Abbasi family req. Kacey Barnes
Monday, May 23
8:00 +Joseph David Ferrari req. James Beardsley
12:10 Special Intentions Father Check req. Millie Terenzio
Tuesday, May 24
8:00 Father Brian Gannon 14th Anniversary req. Sharon Gannon
12:10 The Persecuted Roman Catholic Church in China req. The Cardinal Kung Foundation
Wednesday, May 25
8:00 Margaret Mary Cycon req. Cycon Family
12:10 Special Intention
Thursday, May 26
8:00 +Pilar Ramos req. Micaelina Piedrahita
12:10 Special Intentions Father Walsh req. Millie Terenzio
Friday, May 27
8:00 +Joan Haggarty req. Angela Murphy and Bob Schumann
12:10 Joe and Regina Terenzio Wedding Anniversary req. Mom and Dad
Saturday, May 28
8:00 +Gina Drew req. Danny Rainho
12:10 +Ruth Jean Dillon req. Janine S. O’Connor

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 after the 5pm mass, with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament and prayer, supper, and a lecture in the church hall. Next meeting is this Sunday May 15th.

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. Will next meet on Sunday, May 15th, in the rectory after the 12 noon mass.

St. Maria Goretti Society. . . For the spiritual formation of young ladies, 8th-12th grades. Info, contact Beth Carpanzano at 203-975-0074. Next meeting is Sunday, May 15th, in the rectory at 3:00pm.

Bible Study…Has finished until September 2011; stay tuned for details.

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. . . Will start again in September.

St. John’s dedication—May 30, 1886
The New York Sun:
STAMFORD’S NEW CATHOLIC CHURCH. “The members of St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Stamford conceived the idea sixteen years ago of erecting a new house of worship. The building which had been in use since the establishment of the church was too small to accommodate the increasing Catholic population which now has grown to 4,000. The site selected is at the junction of Atlantic and Bell streets. The earnestness with which Catholics of Stamford and vicinity entered into the plan encouraged Father Fagan, then pastor, to undertake a building larger and more beautiful than the most enthusiastic could hope for. The edifice stands today nearly completed. Father Fagan died soon after the work was begun, but his successor, Father Tierney, now of Hartford, continued it. As soon as the basement floor was finished the old church was turned into a school house, and the congregation have since worshipped in the basement of the new church. For two or three years the work lagged. In November 1882, Mr. John Ennis, who had retired from pedestrianism and became a resident of Stamford, was induced to undertake the work of completing the building. He brought to the work long experience as an architect and builder, and he gave it his entire thought. Father Rogers, who succeeded Father Tierney, began work in the fall of 1882 with a debt of $80,000 on the growing building. Since then he has reduced the debt $30,000, besides steadily continuing the work. The edifice is now finished, with the exception of the spire and some of the interior furnishing, and the date of dedication has been fixed for Sunday, May 30.”

The Boston Pilot:
“The new church of St. John the Evangelist, in Stamford, Conn., was dedicated on May 30 by the Rt. Rev. Bishop McMahon. About 3,000 persons were present. At the Pontifical High Mass Bishop McMahon was celebrant; the Very Rev. James Hughes, Vicar-General of the Diocese of Hartford, arch-priest; the Rev. James Fagan, of Naugatuck, deacon; the Rev. Father Slocum, of Norwalk, sub-deacon, and the Rev. Michael Tierney, of New Britain, Master of Ceremonies. The Deacons of Honor were the Revs. Thomas J. Coleman, of Fairfield, and Henry T. Walsh, of Litchfield. The sermon was preached by the Rev. Ignatius F. Horstmann, D.D., Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.”

The HARTFORD COURANT:
“Bishop McMahon will dedicate St. Johns church at Stamford on Sunday evening. He will be assisted by a large number of clergy. The church has been sixteen years in building and is one of the largest and finest in the state. The total cost is said to have been $250,000.”

Come, O Most Holy Spirit, Come
(Part III)
-Fr. Terry Walsh
(Pentecost Sunday is June 12th )
“God saved us through the baptism of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit he lavished on us through Jesus Christ our Savior, that we might be justified by His grace and become heirs, in hope, of eternal life.” –Titus 3: 5 – 7

When St. John writes in his first letter, “God IS love” he teaches us that we are called to abide in that love and to be a conduit for that love. The Catechism teaches: “Love is the 1st gift of God, containing all others”(ccc733). And St. Paul reminds us, “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”(Rm 5:5). For our part, we must open our hearts to receive the graces he pours out upon us. Prayer opens the pathways of the heart thereby allowing the living waters (divine grace) to flow freely and abundantly and consequently nourishing the seeds He planted in us at our baptism. On the other hand, a lack of prayer hardens the heart and closes those same pathways. Consequently, the seeds of faith, hope, and charity (along with every other gift and virtue) dry up and produce little or no fruit. In other words, our Lord offers the graces of divine life; he does not force us to receive them.
One of the most beautiful images of this relationship is the “Allegory of the Vine and the Branches” in the Gospel of John, chapter 15. In this chapter, Jesus reveals to his disciples, all of us, that He alone is the true vine and that we who are baptized into His Mystical Body are like branches on the vine. Just as a branch receives life from the vine and is able to bear fruit, so too are we able to have life and bear “spiritual fruit” through the nourishment we receive from Christ, “the Vine.” This nourishment, this grace, is the very essence of love, God Himself. It is the Holy Spirit who dwells in us and animates us, provided we cooperate with His inspirations and are docile to His promptings: “If you love Me you will keep My commandments….Follow Me….You are children of the Light; walk in the Light.” As children of God, we are, of course, called to live IN God beginning here on earth through baptism and then, one day forever in heaven. Our brief time on earth is our time to choose our eternal destiny. And our Lord pleads, “Choose the Blessing – choose life!!!” That’s not to say, of course, that we won’t make mistakes, etc., but rather, that it is our intention to live “according to the Spirit” and that if we happen to fall, we have recourse to our Lord of Mercy, Jesus Christ, who will heal us and restore us to friendship with God. Indeed, through our humble acknowledgement of our faults and failings we may receive forgiveness and nourishment through “The Vine”; that is, through the Sacraments, and so bear abundant fruit for the Kingdom of God – in our own souls, in the Church, and in the world. What are the fruits of the Holy Spirit? In his letter to the Galatians, St. Paul teaches us that the Fruits of the Spirit are “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”(Gal 5: 22-23). Consider the words of St. Basil: “Through the Holy Spirit we are restored to paradise, led back to the Kingdom of heaven, and adopted as children, given confidence to call God ‘Father’ and to share in Christ’s grace, called children of light and given a share in eternal glory.” Pure Gift!
In Acts of the Apostles, we see the Holy Spirit working in a powerful way in the early Church. It is a wonderful book of the New Testament to read throughout the Easter Season. Just as the Holy Spirit led the Church in the time of the Apostles, so too does He continue to lead and guide us through their successors. The Catechism teaches us: ‘The mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit is brought to completion in the Church, which is the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. This joint mission henceforth brings Christ’s faithful to share in his communion with the Father in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit prepares us and goes out to us with His grace, in order to draw us to Christ. The Spirit manifests the risen Lord to us, recalls his word to us and opens our minds to the understanding of His Death and Resurrection. He makes present the mystery of Christ, supremely in the Eucharist, in order to reconcile us, to bring us into communion with God, that we may ‘bear much fruit.’’(ccc737).