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

Pastor’s Corner. . . . July 26th is the Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of Our Lady. The celebration of this humble married couple belies the common place wisdom that religion doesn’t have much affect on real life. Possibly the person who first coined that notion just didn’t have much religion to begin with, so its absence was a greater personal influence. Nevertheless, the homespun lives of Saints Joachim and Anne, while not very Hollywood, and not even fully known, did change history, since their daughter participated significantly in the Incarnation, whereby God’s entrance into human history as the God-become-Man, Jesus of Nazareth, transformed all subsequent human history and all creation.
Even though nothing is mentioned in Scripture, the fact that Mary had parents can be taken for granted. But there is a very early document, known as the Protoevangelium of Saint James, written between 170-180 A.D. [For the full document, Google www.newadvent.org/fathers/0847.htm] It is one of the most famous apocryphal writings [meaning, not part of the Bible] of the early Church and, despite it not having been included by the Church in its canon of Scriptural books, was one of the most widely read religious works of its age: originally written in Greek, there are early extant Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Georgian, Arabic and Ethiopic translations or paraphrases. It was a best seller, and was quoted by many of the Church Fathers. The work enjoyed an unparalleled influence on the popular devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the early Church, as seen by the development of various Marian feast days, such as the Immaculate Conception, the Presentation of the Virgin, and that of Saints Joachim and Anne. By the 6th century there were two massive churches built in honor of Mary’s parents in Jerusalem and Constantinople, and their feast day was celebrated in the east; in Rome by the 8th century, and from there, throughout Europe. While everything in the book cannot be taken as historically true, much of it can. And the lives of Saints Joachim and Anne as presented in this work is the earliest known written version of their story.
Why a devotion to the parents of Mary? First, in an earlier age, no family was considered complete without grandparents. Likewise, the story of a married couple struggling with the seeming impasse of not being able to have children, was so touchingly real that it captured the attention of millions. Here is a story of the complete Holy Family, whose beginning is found in the generosity of God’s blessings on a man and his wife who asked God’s help. Not only is the faith and trust in God of Joachim and Anne repaid by their conceiving Mary, but, they mark the very moment when the Divine intimately enters human history—God intervened in the conception of Mary, the fruit of the very natural and intimate act of human love of Joachim and Anne, and He preserved Mary from the stain of Adam’s Original Sin, in view of Mary’s role as the Mother of the Savior, and in anticipation of Christ’s saving sacrifice.
The parish’s images of Saint Anne are traditional, and can be seen on the pulpit, and in the small statue to the left of the altar: Saint Anne instructing a young Mary from the Scriptures of the Old Testament. The relics of Saints Anne & Joachim are next to the small statue. While the background fabric of the banner is new, its image of Saint Anne and Mary is very old: cardboard figures, embroidered and hand decorated, taken from the original late-19th century parish banner that was used here at Saint John’s. It is an image of a mother teaching her daughter the ways of God. While Mary did play an essential role in our salvation by being the Mother of God, she was not born with a Catholic Encyclopedia in her head. She had to be educated and formed, as do all children, by parents. Saint Anne provided much of that education, especially about God and His love, and how to be a faithful servant of God, according to Jewish law and customs. It was this education, spiritual guidance and human formation of Mary as a young lady by her mother that further prepared Mary for her momentous role as the most important woman in human history—the second Eve, through whom all creation would be recreated by her Son, Jesus—the second Adam. Simple, homespun words, examples of faith, charity, forgiveness, instructions about God as the most important One in their lives, and how to pray: these are some of the commonplace instructions that Saint Anne must have given her daughter; commonplace by nature, yet exceptional in their result: Mary was prepared to be the mother of our salvation in Christ.
Saints Joachim and Anne are the patrons of married couples, who remained faithful to each other and to God, despite rough times in their marriage. Their fidelity and faith strengthened them to remain together, and their love helped to bring about your salvation. Nothing commonplace about their simple lives, daily formed by their love for God and each other. Not bad patrons and examples for real married family life.
— Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Sr. Ellen Mary Doherty, C.S.J., 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. . . Sr. Elizabeth Hart, R.S.M., 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.

Repainting the Church. . . Currently we have $556,783.00 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.

Church Saints. . . The Canning design for repainting the church interior includes the painting pictures of eight saints in shades of gray and white, in imitation of the marble statues in the sanctuary. The eight saints will go on the upper walls of the transepts: two on either side of each of the two large windows. The saints chosen are: Saints Joachim and Anne [the oldest devotional society in the parish]; Blessed Pope Pius IX [pope when the parish began in 1847]; Saint Patrick; Saint Augustine; Saint Monica; Saint Philip Neri; Saint Michael the Archangel.

St. Joseph Votive Light Memorial. . . In memory of Anna and Carmine Coniglio req. Camille Coniglio
Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light Memorial. . . In memory of Madeline Sabia req. Camille Coniglio.

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 25th at 7 p.m.

Banns of Marriage:
Banns II:

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. All should be completed by Holy Week. 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.

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, mlancaster@optonline.net.

Sunday July 17, 2011 $ 13,058.00
Sunday July 18, 2010 $ 10,672.18

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

July 31st Sunday Readings: Is 55:1-3; Rom 8:35, 37-39; Mt 14:13-21.

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, July 26th.

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.

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: Deirdre.Garrahan@gmail.com).

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’s no charge for these services. The group is led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., is a leader in helping find jobs. More info, see: www.redinc.biz 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).

Saint Joseph Parenting Center Seeks Volunteers. . .The Saint Joseph Parenting Center (SJPC) is a non profit parent education center located at St Mary Parish on Elm Street in Stamford. We provide free parenting classes to adults in Fairfield County who are at risk of abusing and/or neglecting their children. SJPC is currently seeking compassionate and committed volunteers to assist in our office with reception and light clerical work on either Monday mornings or Wednesday evenings. For more information about volunteering at SJPC, please call (203)588-1934 or email sgalanski@sjpcenter.org . , or see our website at www.sjpcenter.org. We are now up and running on Facebook. Please join us. (Note: Our offices will be closing for a 3 week summer break. We’ll be back August 15th.)

Natural Family Planning Awareness Week July 24-30, 2011….. . A Mass for NFP Awareness Week will be celebrated on Tuesday July 26th at St. Rose of Lima Parish, Newtown, CT at 7:30 p.m., with Eucharistic Adoration and Rosary beginning at 7:00 p.m. The dates of NFP Awareness Week highlight the 43rd anniversary of the Papal Encyclical Humanae Vitae (July 25), which articulates Catholic teaching about human sexuality, conjugal love and responsible parenthood. The dates also mark the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne (July 26), the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. http://www.usccb.org/prolife/issues/nfp/index.shtml.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, July 23, 2011
4:00 +Sharonlee Musolino req. Alison Tosches
Sunday, July 24, 2011
7:30 +Margretta DeVivo 4th Anniversary req. DeVivo and Munro families
8:30 +Achille Lamontagne req. Augusta Lamontagne
10:00 John Kret req. Kateri Duffey
12:00 Special Intentions Mary Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
5:00 +Louise and Arthur Thiel req. Andrew and Valerie McAleer
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, July 25, 2011
8:00 +Raymond J. Seery req. Julia Mulligan
12:10 +Bridget Cebulski req. the Duffy family
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
8:00 +Anthony and Derrick Ramos req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
12:10 +Julius Sebestyen Family req. family
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
8:00 +Lucia Melchionno req. Joanna Wesson
12:10 +Archbishop Basil M. Schott req. Mary Churley
Thursday, July 28, 2011
8:00 In Honor of St. Francis req. Maria
12:10 +Helen M. Cappiello req. the Duffy family
Friday, July 29, 2011
8:00 +Mary Ellen Gasdaska req. Hannah Young
12:10 John Kret req. Kateri Duffey
Saturday, July 30, 2011
8:00 +James Andersen req. the Mossa family
12:10 +Diane Bonanno req. the Renella 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:
The CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
120 years ago, or so:
July 25, 1891: Stamford. “The delegation headed by Rev. Father Keena to the shrine of St. Ann Toronto, Canada, arrived home last Friday. All seemed deeply impressed with the pilgrimage and claim they are much benefited by the journey. Some miraculous cures have often taken place at this shrine.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following year, 1892, Father Keena organized the St. Anne’s Society at St. John’s.)

The STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
115 years ago, or so:
July 29, 1897: Wanted-A Crosswalk or a Ferry. “Few crosswalks in the city are used by more people than the one on Atlantic Street, near Bell. Thousands of people walk over it to attend services in the Roman Catholic Church, to say nothing of the thousands who use it in passing to and from the Advocate Building. The crosswalk-and it is only a poor excuse for one-has long been in a bad condition. In rainy weather a big pool of water collects in the middle of the street, and an enterprising merchant has been accustomed to send a man with a shovel to remove the lake between the car-tracks. A new walk is needed here, and the street should be repaired at once.”

The HARTFORD COURANT:
110 years ago, or so:
July 31, 1899 : “Three candidates for the priesthood were ordained by Bishop Tierney at St. Joseph’s Cathedral yesterday morning, a large congregation being present and some forty priests of the diocese occupying seats in the sanctuary. The candidates were James A. Broderick of Willimantic, Bernard Donnelly of Stamford and John Kennedy of Naugatuck. Bishop Tierney performed the ceremony of ordination and laying on of hands, and he was assisted by the Rev. Florimond De Bruycker of Willimantic and the Rev. Thomas W. Broderick of St. Peter’s Church, this city, as deacons of honor, and the Rev. Dr. James P. Donovan, chancellor of the diocese, as master of ceremonies. The Rev. John H. Broderick of Moosup was chaplain to his brother, the Rev. William H. Rogers of Stamford was chaplain to Bernard Donnelly, and the Rev. P. M Kennedy was chaplain to his nephew, John Kennedy. The sermon was preached by the Rev. Felix O’Neill of Willimantic. The ceremony was very impressive and the young men are well known as students of promise and earnest to succeed in their chosen calling.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: The Reverend William H. Rogers was pastor of St. John’s in 1899.)

Who do you play for? -Fr. Terry Walsh
Grant that we, who are nourished by his body and blood, may be filled with his Holy Spirit, and become one body, one spirit in Christ. – Eucharistic Prayer III

Do you remember the movie “Miracle on Ice” that told the story of the surprising USA Hockey team that took home the Gold Medal in the 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Games? Tensions were hot throughout the world in those days – Communism and the Cold War was at a fever pitch. And, of course, the Nation was dealing with the terrible Hostage Crisis in Iran. And yet, in a few short weeks at Lake Placid, a small group of young men gave an entire country an unexpected joy that seemed to linger long after the closing ceremonies and to have a lasting effect on us all.
The Victories on the Ice were utterly astounding. The USA Hockey team was the clear underdog entering into the Olympics. And yet, the Miracle of rising to the top was something much deeper – much richer than even the Gold Medal itself. It was a lesson in virtue. Courage, Sacrifice, Singleness of purpose. Herb Brooks, the Coach of that unforgettable Team, taught his players something about the human spirit. A simple lesson, really, but one that seems to allude many. It is the lesson of selflessness. The turning point in the training of the team came after a grueling practice session as the team drew closer to the opening ceremonies. There were many such sessions, but what set this particular session apart from the rest was that it came on the heels of what could be called a battle with ‘selfishness’. The team had just lost a scrimmage game on the road. As Herb Brooks gazed upon the faces of his players down the final minutes of the game, his players seemed to have their minds – and their eyes – on other things. They were not “in the game” but rather, they had drifted away. So, immediately after the game, the American Team stayed on the ice. And they began doing wind sprints back and forth on the ice. One after the other. It was the custom of Coach Brooks to pause during typical practices, especially in the early days of putting the team together and ask one of the lads where they were from – who did they play for. And each would respond by shouting out his name and the College or University he represented – remember, these were College guys – not Professionals, like the Russian team. But on this particular night – he didn’t ask them – he just drilled them – one sprint after another. The assistant coach reluctantly blew the whistle to signal the start of each sprint. From time to time, he would plead with Coach Brooks that the lads just couldn’t handle any more—they were exhausted to the point of collapsing. It was time to call it a day. But Coach Brooks was not satisfied. They had indeed come so far, and yet, they hadn’t yet learned the most important thing—and it could not be taught—it had to be learned. He would not stop. Finally, in one brief pause between whistles, as the players were all clutching their legs, gasping for breath, one player yelled out his name: “Mike Eruzione!” Coach Brooks replied, “Who do you play for?” Eruzione replied, “I play for the United States of America!” It was all the Brooks was waiting for. Eruzione, the captain of the team, did not play for the College here. He was chosen to play for his Country. He finally understood, and so too his teammates finally understood. And who do you play for? In his Letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul chides the community for losing sight of their true identity. They lost sight of the Truth of the Gospel. They were not living as brothers and sisters in Christ. “For when one says, ‘I belong to Paul,’ and another, ‘I belong to Apollos,’ are your not merely men? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are equal, and each shall receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building”(1 Corinthians 3:5-9).
What is your name? Who do you play for? I play for Jesus Christ, He who humbled Himself to become man in order to redeem me – that I may become a member of His Mystical Body (His Team) and so share Everlasting Life with Him in Heaven. And what is required? Love. And Love, by it’s very nature is sacrificial. St. Paul would go on to teach the Corinthians – and all of us – the nature of love (see chapters 12 and 13 of this same Letter). Our Team is the Church, whose guiding Light is the Holy Spirit. “The Church has been planted in this world like a Garden of Eden. Thus the Spirit of God says, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden’(Genesis 2:16) – that is, ‘Eat from every Scripture of the Lord, but you must not eat with a proud mind, or touch any heretical discord”(St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 5.20.2).