For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday June 26, 2011

Pastor’s Corner. . .
Civil War, Reconstruction & Construction:
Saint John the Evangelist Church, 1861-1886

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the commencement of the American Civil War, the parish is hosting a small historical display in the rectory through July 31st. Many of our parishioners served in the Union Army, and the display is basically about them, and about one parishioner in particular, John Ennis, who was the architect of our basilica, dedicated on May 30, 1886.
The Civil War (1861-1865) was America’s crucible, in which its foundational principles and the reality of daily life were purified and reformulated. While the war began as a battle to preserve the Union, it evolved into a struggle to likewise abolish slavery, and, inadvertently, brought about the possibility of serious social change for most, including Catholics. The soldiers’ common bond of blood and suffering on the battlefield, and the anguish that struck every home, began to forge, if not a unity, at least the beginnings of acceptance, toleration and mutual cooperation of the disparate racial, national, ethnic, religious and economic groups that made up the Union. But it was a long and painful road.
Saint John’s, originally founded by Irish-Catholic immigrants, became the first home for all Catholic immigrants arriving in Stamford throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. We established ourselves in predominately Anglo-Saxon America in which “nationality was defined racially, and race was conceived hierarchically”[Louis Menand, The Metaphysical Club]. By mid-century, neither Irish-Catholic nor African-American was looked upon kindly:  the Irish-Catholic was portrayed as a dim-witted simian drunkard, manipulated by the Pope and priests to overthrow America;

the African-American, slave or free, was viewed as equally dim-witted and slothful.

Both Irish-Catholics and African-Americans were seen as naturally inferior forms of life, and Catholicism, a religion for the uneducated foreigner and brutes of the lower classes.

The Thomas Nast cartoons seen here were published in Harper’s Weekly during the 1860’s and 1870’s, as were scores of others, and they conveyed the common American Protestant prejudices. The War brought social changes for both African-Americans and Catholic-Americans that would bear fruit only much later.
By mid-19th century, the Catholic Church in America was challenged to provide pastoral care for the arriving millions of Catholic immigrants from various countries, as well as to develop and forge an identity as loyal Americans for its foreign-born Catholic fold. The participation of Irish-Catholics in the Civil War challenged the general notion that Catholics could never be loyal Americans; the construction of the largest stone church in Connecticut soon after the close of military hostilities, also showed the determination of the local Catholic community to state clearly that Connecticut is our home, and that we are not going anywhere, no matter how displeasing we might be to either the Protestant majority or to any other group.
The parish Civil War display offers a glimpse into Saint John’s Parish from the beginning of the Civil War in 1861 through May 30, 1886, when the upper church was dedicated. By means of original letters, vintage artifacts, parish documents, Stamford Advocate reports from the period, personal items owned and used by Catholic parishioner soldiers on the battlefield, and personal religious items of parishioners, an image of our parish and of the first generation of American Catholics of Stamford emerges that is very moving and compelling. We share their story. The Catholics represented in this historic display are just like us: we share the same Catholic faith, and worship in the same church built by the sacrifices of those earlier Saint John’s parishioners. By our repainting the interior of the church, we are engaged in the same work begun by them: offering something beautiful to God, that will help bolster and preserve the faith of future generations of Stamford Catholics, while stating clearly to all that the Catholic Church is here to stay, and that we have something to teach worth listening to. Come on over to the rectory, and take a 30 minute walk through the history of our parish’s earlier Catholic families. There is no charge, and all are welcome. -Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Ed Nemcheck, Jo Darling, Thomas Mahala, Titina Tarantino, Richard Ridge, Mario Stano, Mark Ferris, Marie Maddox, Barbara Schueger, Bernadette Jachimczyk, Terry Cooke, 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. . . William Kilcoyne, Jr., Vera Benna, Matilda “Tillie” Sisca, Giuseppina Docimo, Adelaide Velanzano, Aura Piedra, Jeanne & Andy Robustelli, Mary Ferrara, Genoveffa 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.

Peter’s Pence Collection . . . Please drop your Peter’s Pence Collection envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory. There will only be one collection today.

St. Peter’s Statue. . . Is vested in pontifical vestments in preparation for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul on June 29th. Red is the color of martyr’s, apostles and popes. Since we are a Minor Basilica, the Pope’s church in Fairfield County, please be sure to visit Saint John’s on the 29th, to receive a plenary indulgence by going to confession within 7 days of June 29th, receiving Holy Communion, and praying one Our Father, One Hail Mary and one Glory Be for the intentions of the Successor of Saint Peter, Pope Benedict XVI.

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 27th at 7 p.m.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light Memorial. . . Special Intentions Ida Carpanzano req. friend of the family.

Banns of Marriage: Banns I: Martine Jean-Rene & Keith Britt
Dario Marras & Michelina Docimo
Joseph Martin & Helen Duffy
Halina Prerna Jones and Ashwin Jayaraman
Banns III: Jamie DiSilvio & Matthew McFarland

Brides in 2012. . . The church interior will be covered in scaffolding beginning October 10th: the sanctuary to the aisle crossing until Christmas 2011; from the aisle crossing to the front door through mid-June, 2012. Please plan accordingly.

Repainting the Church. . . Currently we have $535,821.00 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. Please lend us a hand.

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.

Sunday June 19, 2011 $ 11,446.70
Sunday June 20, 2010 $ 9,621.26
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

July 3rd Sunday Readings: Zec 9:9-10; Rom 8:9, 11-13; Mt 11:25-30.

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 28th.

Mass On Line. . .Visit the parish website:, 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.

Annual Bishop’s Appeal. . . Our parish goal to support the charitable and educational works of the diocese is $85,000. Currently we have $62,726.00 collected. Please help our Bishop by your generosity.

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,, or Janet Lancaster at 203-637-3301,

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:

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. Please call the rectory and leave a message with Cindy, the parish secretary: 203-324-1553, ext. 21.

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: or call her at 203-866-1606. Next meeting: Monday June 27th.

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).

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, June 25, 2011
4:00 Special Intentions Monsignor DiGiovanni req. Millie Terenzio
Sunday, June 26, 2011
7:30 +Marie Woolf req. Fabiola C.
8:30 +David W. Ney req. Anne DuFrane
10:00 +Frances Delaney Birthday Remembrance req. Arthur J. Wargo
12:00 +Salvatore Piro req. Marion Morris
5:00 +Louise and Arthur Thiel req. Andrew and Valerie McAleer
6:00 +Carmen Perez req. Pugliese Family
Monday, June 27, 2011
8:00 +Anna Do req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
8:00 +Lucille Pacelli req. Lucille Ballentine
12:10 +Camille and Daniel Mascia req. Frank D’Amico
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
8:00 +Charlotte MacNeil req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Charles Pascale req. John and Laura Pascale
Thursday, June 30, 2011
8:00 Thanksgiving to the Sacred Heart of Jesus req. Maria
12:10 +Mary Darby req. the Duffy Family
Friday, July 1, 2011
8:00 +Virginia and Eileen Carr req. Marie Carr
12:10 In Honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus req. Ferry G.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Yvonne St. Preuve
12:10 In Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary req. Ferry G.

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. Ferry at 203-324-1553 ext. 22.

St. Maria Goretti Society. . . For the spiritual formation of young ladies, 8th-12th grades. Beth 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 members’ homes. 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. . . After the Sunday 10 a.m. Mass is ended for the summer. Will start again in September.

St. John’s in THE NEWS:
155 years ago, or so:
July 3, 1858: Religious Intelligence. “Bishop McFarland (Romish) administered the rite of confirmation to about 70 persons on Sunday last, in Stamford.”

140 years ago, or so:
July 2, 1869: “Though our Borough appears to have taken no official notice for the proper observance of the anniversary of American Independence, our Roman Catholic friends appear to be determined to do their part in making the Fourth what it ought to be—a day of popular enjoyment. Extensive preparations have been made for their grand excursion and picnic at Woodside Park.”

120 years ago, or so:
June 28, 1890 : Stamford. “Last Friday evening in St. John’s church about fifty promoters of the League of the Sacred Heart received diplomas and silver crosses, as tokens of the fact that they had faithfully fulfilled the obligations of their position for the past six months. This league numbers 1,500, and has done a great deal of good since its organization in the parish. On the same evening the children of the parish were consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The acts of consecration were read by Miss M. Sheehan and Master J Dooley. For the proficiency shown by the children upon this occasion, a large share of credit is due to the good Sisters of this parish, who took much pains with their training. The Rev. W. H. Rogers explained the objects of the society, and in a few well chosen words congratulated its members upon the good they had done. The idea of this society is a sort of religious league, the members of which promise to assist each other in propagating devotion to the sacred heart of our Divine Lord, and aid each other by a union of prayer. The league is under the direction of Rev. T. Keena, who has labored zealously for its success.”.

The Fairfield county catholic:
25 years ago, or so:
July 1987 : “Does a good knowledge of history have an effect on the way we view the present? “Yes,” says Father Stephen M. DiGiovanni, diocesan historian. “When you study history, you realize most of the problems we worry about today are not new; they are just presented in a different light at a different time. The church has faced many of the problems we are worrying about today in earlier generations. History helps us find the solutions easier.””

Corpus Christi
The Body of Christ
– Fr. Terry Walsh
Each year we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi on the Sunday that follows the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity (these dates are all determined by the date of Easter each year). Now, within the “Octave” of Corpus Christi (Sunday to Sunday) we celebrate both the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the Friday – the day that commemorates His Crucifixion – and the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the Saturday – the day that Mary prayerfully waited for the Resurrection. Notice the union of their two hearts. Wherever Jesus is, there is our Blessed Mother. Jesus was “given flesh” through Mary’s “Yes” and of course Mary was “given flesh” by her Son, Who created Her, Immaculately. As DeMontfort writes, “(Mary) is His mystic channel, his aqueduct, through with he causes his mercies to flow gently and abundantly”(True Devotion, 24). We are called to receive those precious graces Sacramentally and the most extraordinary way is in Holy Eucharist where we receive our Lord Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity!
What love God has for His children. Through our faith in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Host we behold the Lamb of God each day right before our very eyes when we stand before Him at Mass and hear the words “The Body of Christ.” Our “Amen” attests to our belief that God Himself – His very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity is actually about to enter into our being and change us forever, transforming us into more perfectly into His Divine likeness. And He invites us to receive this gift every day. Imagine if we could only receive Him once a year – or – once in a lifetime. Would we approach Him differently? Would we prepare for that intimate moment of God showering His Presence over us, in us, and through us any differently than we do today? Our preparation is integral to receiving Him worthily. After all, we prepare well for special guests that come into our homes. How much more deliberate should our preparation be to receive the author of all life, indeed, of all that is, into our individual souls? Our Lord gives us the wonderful gift of the Sacrament of Confession so that we may be purified of anything hindering us from approaching Him with a pure heart and soul. Moreover, as we anticipate His arrival into our souls, we can prepare wonderful gifts to present to Him – the gifts of our good deeds, our cheerful sacrifices, our heartfelt prayers offered throughout the week. The gift of the Eucharist has come to us at a great price. Sacrosanctum concilium, the Vatican II document on the Sacred Liturgy, put it this way: “At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and Blood. This He did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a Sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us’ (SC 47).”
The Eucharist is our Life, and so the Mass, likewise, is our Life. It is through His One Perfect Sacrifice at Calvary, which we enter into at every Holy Mass, that our Lord nourishes us in the life of grace. It is the same Body and Blood that hung upon the Cross, the same Christ that was given to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, the same Jesus that has been received by countless souls in the Mystical Body who seek completeness, and, as St. Justin cautions, “…no one may take part in it unless he believes that what we teach is true, has received baptism for the forgiveness of sins and new birth, and lives in keeping with what Christ taught.” And the Church adds: “In the Eucharist the sacrifice of Christ becomes also the sacrifice of the members of His Body. The lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer, and work, are united with those of Christ and with his total offering, and so acquire a new value. Christ’s sacrifice present on the altar makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be united with the offering”(ccc1368). Finally, St. Ambrose explains the effect of the words of Consecration: “Be convinced that this (Eucharist) is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed…Could not Christ’s word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature.”