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

Pastor’s Corner. . . These next few months will be busy ones here at Saint John’s, and I want to give everyone sufficient notice about the projects that will begin in August and run through March.
One of the many attractive aspects of Saint John’s is the fact that we have two of the most venerable and architecturally splendid buildings in all of Fairfield County: the Basilica and the Rectory. While real architectural treasures, they are also expensive, requiring high maintenance. When something breaks here, it usually costs much more to repair or replace than if a similar apparatus were to break at a more modern parish building. Likewise, everything here at 279 Atlantic Street is larger than life, because both buildings are enormous.
Beginning in August, there will be some major work done on the walkway between the Basilica and the Rectory. As you may have noticed, the slate along the garden way is deteriorating rapidly, and the slates have become uneven. To avoid injuries to parishioners, we will remove all the slate, re-grade the path, put in a whole new drainage system, widen it, move a portion of the garden to run along the exterior wall of the church closer to Atlantic Street, and put down re-enforced concrete slabs to pave the pathway. While all that is dug up, we will also install a sewer line, running from the front of the church to the back of the church near the parking lot, to tie in with the city’s lines. This will be for a restroom in the front of the church, which is very much needed. The restroom will not be built until sometime next year: we simply do not have the money, and restrooms, especially large ones, are rather costly. While not yet decided, it is thought that the restrooms might be placed where the bookstore presently is located, off the front vestibule of the church. The bookstore will be moved elsewhere, scaled down significantly, offering only some religious articles and prayer books. That is also in the near future.
During the approximately three weeks of excavation and related work, the walkway through the garden will be closed off to everyone. Please accept my apologies in advance for the inconvenience, but it would be dangerous for anyone to walk through the work area. We are also considering the construction of iron gates at either end of the garden walkway, to begin closing this area off after dark. Quite frankly, the increasing number of intoxicated people passing between our parking lot and Atlantic Street, especially during late summer nights and early mornings, is neither edifying nor wholesome, and provides too great a risk to be ignored. There is little I can do to stop that; at least by erecting gates we might help to protect the buildings by making it impossible to cross the parish property near the church and rectory.
After working out-of-doors, work inside the basilica will begin in October, when the John Canning Studios will begin the restoration and repainting of the church interior. The scaffolding will be erected over the sanctuary and two transepts beginning October 10th, and will remain until a few days before Christmas. Half the church should be completed and scaffold free for Christmas. After the New Year, scaffolding will be erected along the side aisles, and down the central aisle, from the transepts to the choir loft. All that work is scheduled to be completed in time for Holy Week, late March 2012.
Please accept my thanks in anticipation for your patience with all the inconveniences that will be yours during these upcoming months of work. I am also grateful to you for your generosity, without which we could not pursue these major restoration projects. As the months roll by, please say a little prayer for the success of these works. Keep positive: by Easter, we will have a more beautiful and safer Basilica in the heart of downtown. God bless you.
—-Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Louise Morello, Vera Benna, Lily Ann O’Connell, Ed Nemcheck, Jo Darling, Thomas Mahala, Titina Tarantino, Richard Ridge, Mario Stano, Mark Ferris, Marie Maddox, Barbara Schueger, Terry Cooke, Stacey, Megan Bobroske, Connie Ward, Corrine Mattson, Billy Therriault, Kathleen Nichols, Millie Maida, Joseph Hlavaty, Rev. Carlos Antonio Mesa, Corrie Evans, Shirly Mailhot, Roledonne Samedi.

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Margaret Mary Cycon, Mildred J. Fiore, Tana Sibilio, Dr. Bela Szele, Audrey Reda, Helen Pataky, William Kilcoyne, Jr., 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.

Missionary Co-Operative Plan Collection . . . Please drop your Missionary Co-operative Plan Collection envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory. There will only be one collection today.

Repainting the Church. . . Currently we have $553,133.00 pledged towards a goal of $629,000.00. 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.

Monday Evening Holy Hour . . . Monday nights 7-8:00 pm for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Rosary in the church. Next Hour: July 18th at 7 p.m.

Banns of Marriage: Banns I: Mariana Nino and Donald Cowan
Lindsey Fox and James Hilaire

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 late March, 2012. Please plan accordingly.

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 August 8th:
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). There is no charge.

Annual Bishop’s Appeal. . . Please accept my thanks to all who made contributions to assist Bishop Lori and the Diocese by your generosity. We are now over the $85,000.00 parish goal: please consider making your pledge to the parish, now, so we can begin the church repainting project. God bless you.

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,

Sunday July 10, 2011 $ 12,397.55
Sunday July 11, 2010 $ 9,049.93
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

July 24th Sunday Readings: 1 Kgs 3:5, 7-12; Rom 8:28-30; Mt 13:44-52 or 13:44-46.

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, July 19th.

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.

Memorial Votive Lights . . . The votive lights at the shrine of Saint Peter, St. Joseph, and at 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. Please call Cindy at 203-324-1553, ext. 21.
St. Joseph Votive Light Memorial . . . Special Intentions Ann and Jo.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light Memorial. . . In memory of Dr. Béla Szele req. family.

Saint Peter Votive Light Memorial. . .The left votive is in memory of Mary Finnen and the right votive is in memory of Vincent DeRosa req. Joan and John Kronk.

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

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: 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: or call her at 203-866-1606. Next meeting: Monday July 25th.

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, July 16, 2011
4:00 Special Intentions Norma Jarrett
Sunday, July 17, 2011
7:30 +Louise A. Howard req. Aiello family
8:30 Special Intentions Dorothy Keyes req. The Legion of Mary
10:00 +Helen T. Duffy req. the Duffy family
12:00 Andrew Mbabaalis Birthday req. Scholastica Nabwire
5:00 +Louise and Arthur Thiel req. Andrew and Valerie McAleer
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & family
Monday, July 18, 2011
8:00 Martin and Kathleen Jennings req. Bridget Bethray
12:10 +Anna Fedorika req. Mary Churley
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
8:00 Matthew and Jean Boiteau req. Maude and Paul Hughes
12:10 +Jayson Jarrett req. Norma Jarrett
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
8:00 Cathleen Greene req. Maude and Paul Hughes
12:10 +Gabriella Dolinay req. Mary Churley
Thursday, July 21, 2011
8:00 +Joan Hughes req. Maude and Paul Hughes
12:10 Thanksgiving to God req. Myriam Berenice Brutus
Friday, July 22, 2011
8:00 +Louise Carriera, sister req. Gerard J. Carriera
12:10 God’s Blessings Diane Strain req. Joan and Mildred Beirne
Saturday, July 23, 2011
8:00 For the intentions of Margaret Hughes req. Maude and Paul Hughes
12:10 +Madeline Sabia req. the Pinto 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 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.

Holy Hour……Come join us for Holy Hour on Monday Nights from 7pm—8 pm. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Holy Rosary, and Benediction. All are welcome!

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:
120 years ago, or so:
July 20, 1889: Stamford. “Rev. James Lawless celebrated his first high mass on Sunday, June 30, in this parish, with Rev. Father Keena acting as deacon, Mr. Peter McClean as sub-deacon, and Rev. Father Carroll, master of services. Father Carroll, in a most appropriate manner, congratulated Father Lawless on his priesthood.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Fathers Lawless and McClean were both vocations from St. John’s parish.)

100 years ago, or so:
July 21, 1908: “J.H. Scofield & Son have presented to St. John’s R.C. Church a beautiful baptismal statue, which has been placed on the baptismal font. The principal figure is that of St. John’s the Baptist, who is shown in the act of baptizing Christ, the whole thus being symbolic of the sacrament of baptism.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The statue currently is in the baptism area in the rear of the church, Bell Street side.)

75 years ago, or so:
July 20, 1935 : Stamford. “Lightning struck a tower tonight on St. John’s Catholic Church here and demolished it, scattering great chunks of granite on the street and sidewalk ninety feet below. One boulder weighing about 100 pounds was hurled across Atlantic Street through the skylight of a retail shop. Damage estimated at $2,500 was caused by the storm.”

50 years ago, or so:
July 19, 1960 : “Stamford and Darien Boy Scouts who are attending the Golden Jubilee Jamboree in Colorado Springs, Colo., include: John Y. Connolly from St. John’s Catholic Church Troop 22.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Doctor John Connolly, Eagle Scout, is a practicing physician in the state of Maine.)

30 years ago, or so:
July 24, 1980 : “At last night’s Zoning Board of Appeals, a hearing was held on whether a Burger King restaurant should be allowed downtown on a small lot on the corner of Bell and Atlantic Streets. Area residents, most notably the pastor of St. John’s Roman Catholic Church oppose the proposed Burger King. Father William Nagle called on the ZBA to “protect the dignity, maintenance, and cleanliness of houses of worship”.”

The Wonder of Creation Fr. Terry Walsh
What inviting words: “In the beginning, God created…” The Book of Genesis opens with a wonderful invitation to meet God. And, the very first thing we see Him doing is creating! As we read through the first chapter of Genesis we see an explosion of life basking in the freshly created light – every created thing in perfect harmony with every other created thing. One almost gets the sense that God is playing and just having a great time – what tremendous joy! What unparallel beauty! Each magnificent stoke of His brush painting a new beauty, a new wonder. Indeed, it’s so abundant that it would take eternity to begin to appreciate its magnificence.
And, in light of the New Testament, we can re-read the Book of Genesis and discover a whole new hidden layer, one that would not become clear until God, in His infinite Wisdom, would make know “in the fullness of time.” It was not until the Incarnation – God becoming man – that the Triune nature of God would be revealed to the world. In the last Gospel, John begins with the beautiful poem known as the Prologue, where he speaks about the Word made flesh – the One through whom all things were made. John helps us read the first three lines of Genesis with clearer understanding – that indeed all three Person are actively creating – all out of boundless love.
In the Gospels, the Son of God, the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, reveals that He and the Father are One and that to all who seek God, all who allow the Light to penetrate their hearts and souls through the virtue of humility will certainly receive the graces necessary to become “New Creations” and so live in the Kingdom of God – Heaven – forever. And if you think this world is beautiful, you haven’t seen anything yet, so says St. Paul: “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love him.”
Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments, pick up your Cross, daily, and follow me.” He promised he would help us at every turn – but he expects our humble cooperation. After all, we have been given the gift of Freedom precisely so that we could actually choose to love Him back. We are not puppets, nor are we robots. We are fragile and fickle. And yet, we are created in the image and likeness of God. What dignity! St. Irenaeus put it this way: “But man he formed with his own hands, taking from the earth that which was purest and finest, and mingling in measure his own power with the earth. For he traced his own form on the formation, so that what would be seen would be of divine form….And this great created world, prepared by God before the formation of man, was given to man as his place, containing all things within itself”(Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, 11).
How important it is for us to meditate on the gift of life and the call to holiness. How vigilant we must be – indeed Jesus warns us: “Watch and pray.” While the world is beautifully made, it may actually become a stumbling block for us if we lose sight of our true purpose, namely to worship God alone. And so, there is a difference between appreciating created things made by the Master Craftsman on the one hand, and falling in love those created things at the expense of the relationship we are called to share with God alone. St. Gregory of Nyssa writes, “After baptism, we are called God’s children. Therefore, we should carefully examine our Father’s characteristics, so that, by molding and framing our selves in the likeness of our Father, we may appear true children of him who calls us to adoption by grace”(On the Baptism of Christ). Perhaps Leo the Great best directs our attention to the true pearl of great price: “For if ‘you are God’s temple’ and ‘God’s Spirit dwells in you,’ then what every one of the faithful has in his own heart is greater that what he marvels at in heaven”(St. Leo the Great, Sermon 27, 6).