For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday June, 5, 2011

Pastor’s Corner. . . EGGS!! Marvelous creations! They have been the dietary mainstay for millennia, right after bread and water. So, too, in the religious art of the Church. The obvious symbolism is that of fertility and reproduction. But, for the earliest Catholic traditions, these seemingly perfect foods were also symbols of The Perfect One, and His work to save us, while reconciling all creation to Himself through His Son.
The type of egg that has fascinated generations of Christians, is, of course the largest—the ostrich egg. Its elliptical perfection, and nearly indestructible durability, provided an irresistible source of inspiration, especially when tied to an ancient myth about the ostrich. Somehow, among inhabitants of Christian Palestine, Egypt and Arabia, the notion developed that a mother ostrich would abandon her eggs after laying them, and return weeks later to stare her eggs into hatching. Odd as it sounds, some people believe anything. In the creative mid-east mind, this became a symbol of God’s continuous and uninterrupted concern for you and for me: constantly watching over us and guiding us to eternal life.
The reason I mention ostrich eggs and their symbolism, is because there are now two of them suspended in 19th century oil lamps in front of the icon of Our Lady, Salus Populi Romani. The tradition of placing ostrich eggs at shrines dates from the third century, especially near shrines of Our Lady. The reason is that eggs were also seen as symbols of the Resurrection of Christ, His rising from the grave and defeat of death. That’s where Easter eggs originated. Ostrich eggs became particularly suited for this symbolism because their walls are so very thick and terribly durable. They represent the tomb of Christ; and the struggle of the ostrich chick to free itself from the egg, became symbolic of Christ’s struggle to free all humankind from death, body and soul, in the Resurrection of the dead. The placing of the eggs before Our Lady’s icon, then, is symbolic of the completed mystery of salvation: God’s work to save us from eternal death began when the Angel Gabriel announced to Our Lady that she had been chosen to bear the Eternal Son of the Father. The reason the Eternal Son became incarnate, born in Bethlehem, was so He could be obedient to the Father, willingly suffering on the Cross, offering Himself in place of humanity in payment for our sins. On the third day, He rose in the flesh He had taken in the womb of the Virgin Mother. So, the icon of Our Lady holding Jesus, the Eternal Incarnate Son of the Most High, and the eggs before the icon, speak of the completed work of our salvation: from womb to tomb to eternity: God descended into the womb of the Virgin, in order to take a human body, soul, mind and will, for the sole purpose of being raised upon the Cross; and He descended into the tomb of the earth, to rise on the third day in the Resurrection, bringing with Him eternal life for us all. Omne vivum ex ovo: all life comes from the egg, as an ancient Roman saying went. So, too, with Our Lord and His bringing us salvation: from the womb of the Virgin Mother, and from the womb of His sepulcher in Jerusalem, He brings forth life that lasts forever.
As the Easter Season draws to a close next week, stop by the icon of Our Lady: She is way up atop the back wall of the northern side aisle, above the statue of St. Rita. Say a prayer of thanksgiving to Her who gave the best humankind had to offer to be joined with the Eternal Son of God, to bring forth Our Lord—truly God and truly man—for our salvation. The ostrich eggs in front of the icon speak of that hard work done by Our Lord and Our Lady, His Virgin Mother, to destroy death and the power of Satan, for you and for me. Say a little “thank you”, and maybe pray for someone who is far from God and His Church, that they might return, and be touched by His saving, ever-watchful and Incarnate love. —-Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Titina Tarantino, Richard Ridge, Mario Stano, 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. . . Jeanne & Andy Robustelli, Genoeffa Melchionno, Cynthia Callahan, Teresa Angelini, Natale Sposato, Joseph George Terenzio, Elizabeth Gross, Natalie Ryan, Soreida Mendez, Dr. Elaine Parliman, Jack Mahan, Pat Civitillo, Dr. Erlman, Robert Monahan, 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.

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: June 6th 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; the development of Catholic life in Stamford following the War; and the work of one of our parishioners, John Ennis, Union Army veteran, architect and builder of the upper church dedicated on May 30, 1886. This exhibit will be offered in the Rectory through July 31st:
Mondays-Fridays, 9:00 am. until 4:30 pm: just ring the bell;
Saturdays and Sundays BY appointment:
Please call the rectory (324-1553, ext 11 or 21).
School groups, seniors’ groups and all are welcome. There is no charge.

Repainting the Church. . . Final bids are being gathered to repaint our church’s interior. Currently we have $524,515.00 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 $85,000. Currently we have $51,102.00 collected. Please help our Bishop.

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

Saint Monica Patristic Institute. . . Will not meet during the summer. See you in September.

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

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

Sunday May 29, 2011 $ 10,459.95
Sunday May 30, 2010 $ 9,944.26
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

June 12th Sunday Readings: Acts 2:1-11; 1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13; Jn 20:19-23.

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, June 7th.

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 June 27th.

Sacred Heart Parish. . . On Schuyler Avenue, will host a parish mission June 2-5: offered by the priests of the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii in Pompeii, Italy, who will bring with them a miraculous picture of the shrine’s world-famous icon of Our Lady. Call the parish for details: 324-9545.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, June 4
4:00 +Margaret Stubbs req. Alison Tosches
Sunday, June 5
7:30 Special Intentions Msgr. Stephen M. DiGiovanni req. Millie Terenzio
8:30 Special Intentions Christina Wright req. Marion Scalfari
10:00 Janet Lancaster req. Elizabeth Lancaster
12:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
5:00 Souls in Purgatory req. John Marciano
6:00 +Mr. and Mrs. Octavius and Venila Mehu and Family req. their Grandchildren
Monday, June 6
8:00 +Jeanne and Andy Robustelli req. Msgr. Stephen M. DiGiovanni
12:10 +Niall O’Toole req. Jie-eun O’Toole
Tuesday, June 7
8:00 +Francis Mukwaya req. Scholastica Nabwire
12:10 +Vera Dandry req. Laura and John Pascale
Wednesday, June 8
8:00 +Members of St. Augustine Council and Lafayette Assembly req. the Bosilevas Family
12:10 Special Intention
Thursday, June 9
8:00 Special Intentions Msgr. Stephen M. DiGiovanni req. Josephine Languedoc
12:10 +Antonio D’Amico req. his son Frank
Friday, June 10
8:00 +Varkey Apraim req. Family
12:10 +Marian Giordana 1st Anniversary req. Millie Terenzio
Saturday, June 11
8:00 +Filomena Ottaviano req. Anthony and Josephine Marena
12:10 Thank you Baby Jesus and St. Jude req. Maritza Sanchez

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.

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…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 . . . Will not meet during the summer. See you in September.

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 in THE advocate:
140 years ago, or so:
June 10, 1870: The New Catholic Church. “A few weeks ago we noticed briefly the contemplated church edifice of the Roman Catholic Society of Stamford. Since then, an interview with the architect challenges us to give more correct and much fuller details of the enterprise, which, connected as it is with one of the choicest and most prominent locations in our village, cannot fail to have more or less interest for all classes of our readers. The first thing to be done, of course, was to secure the services of a competent architect. Mr. James Murphy, of Providence, R.I., was requested to furnish plans, and this he had done in a highly satisfactory manner. Mr. M. is a gentleman whose native genius is as cultivated by education obtained in the best architectural school of New York, that though young in years, he has already proved himself a thorough master of his profession. No fewer than twenty-three first class church edifices lately finished, or now in process of construction in Connecticut and Massachusetts, have been designed by him. Among these are the Catholic church in Norwalk, nearly finished, the splendid stone church now building in Danbury, a magnificent church in Norwich, lately finished, 280 feet long, and with a spire 250 feet above the curb stone; also splendid church buildings in New Haven and New London, and in various towns and cities in Massachusetts, which we need not here particularize. Suffice it to say , this is his specialty of ecclesiastical buildings. Mr. Murphy is the leading Catholic architect of New England, and his plans for the new church in Stamford, when carried out, will display a building that no citizen need be ashamed of.”

115 years ago, or so:
June 6, 1896: THE SILVER JUBILEE. “The celebration of the silver jubilee of Rev. Wm. H. Rogers of Stamford began Tuesday night when an entertainment was given in the town hall by pupils of the parochial school and members of the church choir. The pastor was greeted with hearty applause as he entered, with his assistants and other clergy for whom boxes had been reserved. There has seldom, if ever, been as large an audience in the town hall as that of that night. People began to flock there before 7 o’clock. The seats were soon filled, and then all the standing room was taken. Men, women and children stood for two hours and a half without complaining of fatigue and no one left until the last selection was finished. There is not space to make extended mention of the various items of the program, but of every one praise might be written.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: the present sanctuary lamp was presented to Father Rogers on this occasion. Father Rogers was pastor of St. John’s from 1876 to 1900.)

Why must I confess my sins to a Priest?
– Fr. Terry Walsh

Well, the short answer of course is that our Lord requires it. After all, Jesus Himself instituted each of the 7 Sacraments – those supernatural realities where we encounter our Lord in a mysterious and efficacious way. Sacramental Confession takes place through the Priest who says: “I absolve you” – yet it is Christ working and speaking through His priest. Spiritual grace flows from God through the priest – even when the priest himself is not in the state of grace because the grace comes from God who is always Holy. St. Augustine once said: “As for the proud minister, he is to be ranked with the devil. Christ’s gift is not thereby profaned: what flows through him keeps its purity, and what passes through him remains clear and reaches fertile earth…The spiritual power of the sacrament is indeed comparable to light: those to be enlightened receive it in its purity, and if it should pass through defiled beings, it is not itself defiled.”

We truly meet Christ when we enter into the Sacrament of Confession. After the Resurrection, Jesus went to the Apostles – who were His Priests – and said to them: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men’s sins, they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are held bound” (Gospel of John 20:22-23). “Jesus entrusted the exercise of the power of absolution to the apostolic ministry which he charged with the ‘ministry of Reconciliation’(2Cor 5:18)”(ccc1442). Jesus pours new and plentiful graces into our souls that we might cooperate with Him in overcoming the temptations that confront us each day – and He accomplishes this through His priests. Speaking to Peter, Jesus says: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”(Mt 16:19). The Catechism reminds us: “The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health, has willed that his Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation, even among her own members”(ccc 1421). Citing the Scripture passages Psalm 51:17; John 6:44 and 12:32; as well as 1 John 4:10, the Catechism goes on to say: “This endeavor of conversion is not just a human work. It is the movement of a ‘contrite heart,’ drawn and moved by grace to respond to the merciful love of God who loved us first”(ccc1428). The penitent therefore must have true sorrow for sins committed, confess them to the priest, receive absolution and be willing to do penance in order for sins to be forgiven and to be reconciled with the Church.

There are many resources that will help clarify understanding of this Sacrament beginning with the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Article numbers 1420-1498), along with many other Church documents such as Pope John Paul’s “Reconciliation and Penance”. John Paul wrote that it would be “foolish…to disregard the means of grace and salvation which the Lord has provided and…to claim to receive forgiveness while doing without the sacrament which was instituted by Christ precisely for forgiveness.”

“The confessor (priest) is not the master of God’s forgiveness, but its servant”(CCC1466)