For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday July 31, 2011

Pastor’s Corner. . . .

August 6th is the Solemnity of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. This is an ancient feast. It was first celebrated in the 5th century and became a popular feast only in 1457 following the Catholic defeat of the Turks at the gates of Belgrade. The feast is based on an historic event: Our Lord being transfigured before his Apostles Saints Peter, James and John, on the top of Mount Tabor in the Holy Land.
Why would Christ show Himself in His glory as God? What was the point? We must put this into the context of Our Lord’s public ministry. The Transfiguration of Christ is reported in four places in the New Testament: Matthew 17: 1-9; Mark 9:29; Luke 9:28-36; the Second Letter of St. Peter, 1:10-21. Our Lord had begun the second part of His public ministry with His predictions of His death on the Cross. His Apostles were nervous about His repetitious assertion that He would die by crucifixion, especially since they put their hopes in the mistaken belief that Jesus was to be a political messiah, come primarily to liberate Israel from political subjugation to the Roman Empire. Our Lord now took His three most trusted Apostles, Saints Peter, John and James, up to the peak of Mount Tabor, and manifested to them the reality of who He is: God; and the reason for which God had come as a man: to save all mankind from slavery to sin and death, not merely to free God’s Chosen People from political slavery. Atop Mount Tabor, showing the Apostles His glory as God, Jesus manifested also that He is the fulfillment of all the Prophets and the Law of the Old Testament. This was made clear by Jesus’ manifestation of the Prophets Elijah, the greatest of the Old Testament Prophets, and Moses, who received the Ten Commandments from God.
The Transfiguration of Our Lord speaks also to us today. Jesus is not simply another prophet or religious teacher. He is God, and He calls us to share in His divine life and glory in Heaven, by means of the graces flowing from His Cross, that come to us primarily by means of the Church’s sacraments, established by Him. The Cross, which Jesus repeatedly referred to, and which frightened the Apostles, is the only means by which our slavery to sin and death is ended. We come into contact with the Cross by the Church and Her Sacraments, given us by Christ as His instruments to change our lives to become more like God here on earth, and to share in His glory in Heaven.
On August 6th, meditate on Our Lord’s generosity, and the means by which He gives us a share in His life. By taking on our human nature and becoming one like us in everything but sin, and by offering Himself on the Cross to pay for our sins, Jesus showed His true nature and work: He is the one and eternal God who became man so that mankind could become God. We can share in that glory by a life of faith and virtue, heeding the Word of God in our daily lives and allowing God to transform us through His grace of the Sacraments. Christ’s glory on Mount Tabor in the Transfiguration will be ours, if we are in love with the God who became man, Jesus Our Lord.— Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Sandra Maysied,Vincent Sharkey, Sr., 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. . . Morris Smith, 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.

Repainting the Church. . . Currently we have $558,903.00 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.

Monday Evening Holy Hour . . . Monday nights 7-8:00 pm for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Rosary in the church. Next Hour: Monday, August 1st at 7 p.m.

Protectress of Rome Icon Votive Light Memorial . . . Special Intentions Ann and Matthew Borkowski req. Michael Borkowski.

Banns of Marriage:
Banns I:
David Smith and Abigail Ramsey
Anthony D. Northern and Valerie LaGuerre
Banns II:
Kerline Guillaume and Luca Boursiquot
Banns III:
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 24, 2011 $ 12,417.50
Sunday July 25, 2010 $ 12,151.01

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

August 7th Sunday Readings: 1 Kgs 19:9a, 11-13a; Rom 9:1-5; Mt 14:22-33.
Latin Mass. . . Fr. Cyprian LaPastina offers the Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form each Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. here at Saint John’s; The August 2nd Mass is cancelled; the next Mass is Tuesday, August 9th.

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).

Job Seekers . . . Meets the 4th Monday monthly 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 August 29th.

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.)

Homeschooling. . . If you are interested, come to the Immaculate Heart of Mary New York Homeschool and Parent Conference at the DoubleTee Hotel at 455 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY, Friday, August 5th: 2-8 pm and Saturday, August 6th: 9-4pm for information. Free Admission. For more information:www.IHMConference.org This meeting is restricted to parents with teens, children and nursing babies.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, July 30, 2011
4:00 +Members DeRosa, Kronk, Capobianco Families and Edwin Clark req. Joan and John Kronk
Sunday, July 31, 2011
7:30 The suffering souls in Purgatory req. the Mossa Family
8:30 +Caterina Bertuca Piria req. Domenico Piria
10:00 +Sharonlee Musolini req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
12:00 +Salvatore Piro req. Josephine and Al Mitchell
5:00 +Louise and Arthur Thiel req. Andrew and Valerie McAleer
6:00 +Rose Astrid Jean-Guillaume req. her parents
Monday, August 1, 2011
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 +Mary Windsor req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
8:00 +Albert and Amelia Carriera req. Gerard J. Carriera
12:10 +Archbishop Basil M. Schott req. Mary Churley
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
8:00 +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Joe Loglisci req. Rosa Parisi
Thursday, August 4, 2011
8:00 +Santilli/DiOrio Families req. Anita Fasanelli
12:10 +Gina Drew req. Danny Rainho
Friday, August 5, 2011
8:00 Tessie Mulhern req. Mulhern Grandchildren
12:10 Sr. Danielle Gonzalez, FMA, final vows req. Dr. Joseph McAleer
Saturday, August 6, 2011
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
12:10 Special Intentions Gerard Landon req. Josephine Languedoc

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 ADVOCATE:
140 years ago, or so:
August 7, 1868: Local News. “The St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Total Abstinence and Benevolent Society, which has recently been organized in this town, promises much more than at first anticipated. Between two and three hundred male members already have joined and taken the pledge, and not a single instance, but one, of falling away, has yet been reported. The society has a firm hold on its members by the influence and example of its excellent leader, Father Gaffney, and to the perseverance and energy of that gentleman are due in a great measure the efficient working and sound basis of the association.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: The Reverend Eugene Gaffney was a curate at St. John’s from 1867 to 1871.)

105 years ago, or so:
August 3, 1906: Special Devotions. “The devotion of the Portiuncula was concluded at sunset, yesterday, in St. John’s R. C. Church, having been commenced at 3 o’clock Wednesday afternoon. The holding of this devotion is a special privilege, and outside of St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hartford, there are only two or three churches in the diocese where it may be held. The devotion was attended by a large number of people.”

100 years ago, or so:
August 7, 1909 : WELCOME TO FATHER O’BRIEN. “The steamer Baltic, upon which the Rev. James C. O’Brien, pastor of St. John’s R. C. Church, is a passenger, is expected to reach New York tomorrow. Members of the parish who have been arranging for a reception to the pastor have decided to hold it tomorrow evening in the Lyceum. The church choir will take part, and there will probably be some short addresses, but the main object is to show the pastor something of the esteem in which he is held by his flock, and how glad they are they he has enjoyed a holiday, and returned in good health.”

70 years ago, or so:
August 6, 1941 : “The General Philip Sheridan Branch, Ancient Order of Hibernians, will observe the fiftieth anniversary of its founding with a special program of activities Saturday and Sunday. The Stamford branch was started in 1891 and was known for years as Division Number Two. Its first officers were F. T. Galagher, president; Dr. L. S. Buckley, vice president; James Devitt, recording secretary; James M. Picker, financial secretary; and James McGee, treasurer. Since its organization, the branch has had a steady and sound growth.”

What is the Purpose of your Life?
– Fr Terry Walsh
“They feast on the riches of your house; they drink from the stream of your delight. In you is the source of life and in your light we see light.” – Psalm 36
In order to answer the question, we need to consider the purpose of Creation. After all, we didn’t create ourselves. God did. And so, really, we need to consider the nature of God. Who is He? Why did he create anything, let alone man? God has revealed Himself to us—we call it Divine Revelation: Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. He has revealed Himself to us in such a way that we can know him, personally, and know why he created. We can understand the nature and purpose of our existence. We can choose to respond to his invitation and in so doing, we can choose to live with him, in him, really, for all eternity. Ah, how important it is to read the Scriptures; how necessary it is to understand the beauty and the authority of the Church.
Great philosophers yearned for the knowledge and understanding we have been given. They searched for the same answers: Who am I? Why do I exist? Where did the Universe come from? Who is God? They searched because of their desire to understand the meaning and purpose of existence and they were able to grow in their knowledge and understanding through the gift of Reason—a gift that God had given them—a God they did not know. Throughout the centuries, each generation would build on the knowledge gained by the previous one. Yet, the deepest questions concerning the nature of man and his ultimate purpose could only be answered by a gift—God telling us about himself. For instance, while philosophers could actually conclude through the use of reason that God exists and that he created all things, they could never come to know him as a Holy Trinity. God had to tell us.
Even on the first page of the Bible the Trinity is working together to create all things—through love. Indeed, St. John teaches us that God is love. It is the love within the Trinity that explodes out into Creation as it were—not my accident—but by a free act of love. God willed it. He speaks all of Creation into being—through the Word. Let there be this, let there be that. And it is. On the sixth day, God says: “Let US create man in OUR image, after OUR likeness.” Notice the plural—US and OUR. God is a family—three distinct Persons—Divine Persons—and yet—One Eternal God. He is, as the Catechism so beautifully teaches, one nature, one substance, one essence, one God—yet, three distinct Persons, equal to each other in power, majesty, and love. It is their love that spills out into Creation—He wills it. God created the Universe and everything in it out of love—pure, gratuitous love. Therefore, the purpose of our life is to love. He created us in His image and likeness—that is with the Gifts of Reason and Freedom, as well as an immortal soul so that we could fulfill our purpose, to love, and so become like Him, He who is holy, he who is love. And, He tells us how we may accomplish our mission to love. “If you love me,” Jesus tells his disciples, “keep my Commandments…love your neighbor as yourself…pick up your Cross and follow me” and so on—it’s all there in Divine Revelation, particularly in the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Not only does he tell us what to do, but he actually gives us all the tools and teaches us how to accomplish it. He instructs us and then he gives us the grace. The problem, of course, is the tendency we have toward selfishness, more commonly known as concupiscence. After the Fall of man, our human nature was weakened. We can know God and understand what he has called us to do through the gift of Reason. But, he leaves the choice up to us. After all, the purpose of our life is to love. That is why we were given the gift of freedom. It is impossible to love without that gift since love is ultimately an act of the will—it’s a decision—a choice (love is not merely a feeling). At the heart of love is sacrifice. We need only look to the Cross to see the perfect act of love. “Not my will, but your will be done!” we hear Jesus say in the Garden of Gethsemane. We imitate our Lord when we pray the Our Father, “Thy will be done.” In other words, when we freely ask God to help us be formed into His Likeness, we are saying “I love you” to God. And in this life, that formation will involve both joy and sorrow, consolations and desolations. The key is to keep turning toward Him and allow Him to teach us, to nourish us, to heal us, to love us. He does it most powerfully through the Sacraments. And the graces we receive Sacramentally that form us into His Likeness depend so much on us, our willingness to be taught, nourished, healed, loved. That’s where prayer comes in—which opens the heart to a humble recognition of the Presence and Power of God and humbly admits our littleness—our utter dependency on the Author of all life to give us life—to let us bask in his Light – and so “feast on the riches of His House” – that is—” to be “caught up in the love of the Holy Trinity—forever.