For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pastor’s Corner. . .Monday, August 29th is the Feast of the Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist. For those unaware of the essentials of the Church’s Faith, this may appear odd. In today’s culture, martyrdom of any variety is viewed as fanatical, especially since our society disdains any self denial of food, T.V. or any luxurious pleasure as excessive. Likewise, in view of the frequency of Moslem extremists to kill themselves for their own purposes against America, all religions and public expression of religion are suspect as crazed. But, because someone claims to die for God doesn’t mean it is so.
For the Catholic Church, the basic bottom line principals for all actions, public or private, are two:
You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, mind and strength;
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
This was the foundational outline Our Lord gave when asked about the most important of the Ten Commandments, upon which daily life is based for one who claims to love God [Mt 22:34-40; Mk 12:28-31].
So, for the Catholic Church everything must be done first to please God, which means, doing His Will in our daily lives; next, to benefit those around us. True martyrdom, therefore, can never harm others. There are nuts in all institutions and communities. For instance, when, in the early 17th century, Guy Fawkes decided to blow up the British Houses of Parliament specifically to kill King James I, his queen, children and most of the ruling class of England, he claimed to desire martyrdom in order to free the Catholic Church in England! He failed, and caused the British Government to redouble its efforts to stamp out the Church. He was not a religious man, despite his claims, since his evil actions were entirely contrary to Christ. One is not a martyr simply because one dies for a cause he claims to be religious, and which kills the innocent. One is a martyr who prefers to die rather than to deny God by word or deed.
John the Baptist, the last and greatest of the prophets of the Old Testament, the first of the New, was an authentic martyr. He preferred to die for the truth, rather than deny God. He did not take dozens of people along with him when he died. He was beheaded in his prison cell, alone, except for those few sent by King Herod to kill him. Why did he die? What good did his death produce?
The good done was the clear witness he gave by his death that God’s will must preferred to all else, otherwise, tragedy results. In the midst of every day life, we all fudge doing God’s will; we cheat on what we consider small stuff, or private stuff, because “God understands” the pressures of our daily lives. He does understand, and He knows the truth that “the Devil is in the details” of life. John the Baptist died because he was impolitic enough to continue telling the truth when he had been officially instructed to stop. The topic was the adulterous relationship of the king with his brother’s wife. King Herod, already married, banished his wife and child, and took his brother’s wife for himself; the relationship was also seen as incestuous. These days, neither adultery nor incest rank high on any list of deadly sins—if such a list exist at all, outside the Catholic Church, of course. But the series of evil events leading to the relationship of King Herod with his brother’s wife were serious, indeed, for they broke both of the two Commandments listed above, and, therefore, were highly offensive to God and, therefore, very harmful for others, John the Baptist, included.
The truth John died for was this: the primacy of God, in both private and public life. Once you decide that God’s will is second to your own will, everything—I do mean everything—begins to fall apart. Not because God seeks vengeance because you break a rule; rather, because by doing that which offends God you deny God’s authority, and in so doing, harm yourself and others because you allow yourself to do anything. Everyone then becomes a disposable item, whose only value is usefulness to you, right now. Business, government, personal relationships, family bonds, all become meaningless, once we set God’s will aside, and make our own agenda the most important. Why? Because once we judge our agenda to be the most important, everyone else and everything becomes subject to our will and agenda: people and things are good only if they help us attain our goal; people and things are bad if they hinder our attaining our goal. Simplistic? Yes: but accurate. The Devil IS in the details—of everyday life. The way we treat people in private is the way we treat them in public. People are either things to be used to satisfy oneself, or they are the image of God. King Herod saw everyone as disposable, in private and in public: he could kill his brother-in-law, first two wives and his sons, because he wanted his brother’s wife; he could use his brother’s wife to satisfy himself; he could kill the Jews and servants, because he wanted to achieve his political goals. Anything wrong with this?
So, John the Baptist refused to stop his public protests. He wasn’t a prude about things sexual. He simply understood that the way the King treated people in private—as if God did not exist—was the same way the King treated people in public—as if God did not exist. And the result was tragedy, great pain and suffering for tens of thousands. John spoke the truth—God’s will must be primary in all aspects of daily life, public and private. Herod privately was attracted by John’s preaching. But, his ego and many lusts for all forms of personal gratification drowned out his longing to follow John’s preaching. Herod’s god was Herod, and the satisfying of his desires— matters of State importance. John paid for Herod’s self-idolatry and life of lies that used people as things. He died for truth and the God of truth.
Spend some time reading the Gospel accounts of St. John’s work and his martyrdom [Mt: 3: 1-17; 11:1-6; 14: 1-12; Mk 1: 1-11; 6: 14-29; Lk 3; 7: 18-30; Jn 1: 6-9; 1: 19-36; 3: 22-37]. Love the Lord with your whole heart, mind and soul; love your neighbor as yourself. No one gets hurt, and life is better now and for eternity. — Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Tonin Gjepaj, Monica Dewey, Megan Bobroske, Connie Ward, Corrine Mattson, Billy Therriault, Sandra Mayfield, 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, Kathleen Nichols, Millie Maida, Joseph Hlavaty, Rev. Carlos Antonio Mesa, Corrie Evans, Shirly Mailhot, Roledonne Samedi.

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Brian Bill, Olga Rich, 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.

Air Conditioning Collection . . . The second collection today will be the Air Conditioning collection for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

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 29th at 7 p.m.

Saint Peter Votive Light Memorial. . . The left votive is in memory of Leonard Pellecchia and the right votive is for the recovery of Anne Pellecchia req. Joan and John Kronk.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light Memorial. . . In memory of Marlina Gheringhelli req.Joan and John Kronk.

Protectress of Rome Icon Votive Light Memorial . . . Special Intentions Ann and Jo.

Memorial Votive Lights . . . The votive lights at the shrine of Saint Peter, Our Lady, St. Joseph, or at the icon of Mary Protectress of the Roman People, may be memorialized each week for the intention or memory of a loved one, for a donation of $20.00 per candle, per week. Please call Cindy at 203-324-1553, ext. 21.

Saint Monica Patristic Institute. . . This year’s new lineup begins on Wednesday, September 7th, continuing each September Wednesday, starting at 7:30 pm in the rectory. We will meet this year each Wednesday in September, November, January, March & May. Our topic for September is Saint Peter in Rome: Scriptural, patristic and archeological evidence of Peter’s life and ministry in the Eternal City. There is no charge; classes last approximately 1 hour, and all the texts we read are in English translations. Everyone is welcome. Just walk in.

Hebrew Beginners’ Grammar Class; Thursdays: 5:30 pm in the Rectory: starts September 8th.

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

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

Repainting the Church. . . $577,322.00 is pledged towards a goal of $629,000.00. I ask everyone’s help. Each parish priest is donating $1,000.00. If each individual or household contributes $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. Help!

Banns of Marriage:
Banns III:
Donald Lynn, Jr. and Corina Mates

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.

Parish Picnic. . . Mark your calendars: Sunday, September 18th beginning at 1:30 pm: our annual parish picnic at Cove Island Park, at the Pavilion. Fun and food for families with kids of all ages: beach, swings, games, rollerblading, and food: all without charge. Just show up and have fun. If you’d like to bring a dessert or side dish, please call Judy DeFelice: 203-322-5331 (9-2pm, Monday-Friday).

Children’s Choir. . . Any parent whose child or children might be interested in joining the children’s choir to sing during each Sunday 10 a.m. Mass, please call the rectory, and leave your name, your child’s name and your phone number with Cindy: 203-324-1553, ext. 21. All ages are welcome.

Sunday August 21, 2011 $ 11,553.90
Sunday August 22, 2010 $ 10,799.96

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

September 4th Sunday Readings: Ez 33:7-9; Rom 13:8-10; Mt 18:15-20.

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 next Latin Mass is Tuesday, August 30th.

Religious Education. . . Parents, please register your children early for the upcoming religious education classes which begin September 25th. Registration and payment can be made On-Line on the St. John’s Website, www.stjohnsstamford.com, or call the rectory, and speak with Cindy, 203-324-1553 x21. Or, pick up registration forms at the church doors.

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 ).

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.

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. We are 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, 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

Saint Leo’s Parish Fair. . .Tuesday, August 30th through Saturday, Friday, September 2: 6pm-11pm. And Saturday, September 3: 2pm-11pm. Ride bracelets available Tues, Wed, Thurs evenings, and Sat. afternoon at $25.00!! International foods, live entertainment, Bingo and rides, $10 raffle for a 2011 Mercedes-Benz C300 4matic Sport, and rides, rides. More info: call Denise Esposito: 203-322-1669, ext. 227.

Haitian Catholic Community Center. . . At 93 Hope Street here in Stamford, will host their annual musical fundraising concert: Chantons Ensemble! Chante Ansamn! On Saturday, October 1st. The Haitian Catholic Center is run by the Diocese of Bridgeport as a spiritual and cultural center for Haitian Catholics within lower Fairfield County. Your support would be greatly appreciated. Information: 203-406-0343.

Saint Gabriel Seniors Group. . . will begin meeting Tuesday Sept. 13th in the Church Hall 1-4 PM and every Tuesday thereafter.  Come and join us – bring a friend – everyone is welcome. Do your own thing…. play cards, bingo, and craft’s, whatever! We have weekly refreshments and special events throughout the year. Don’t miss out! Stop in and say “Hello!”  We look forward to meeting you.
Any questions call Kaye 203-322-7910.

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.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, August 27, 2011
4:00 DeGuardia Family req. Millie Terenzio
Sunday, August 28, 2011
7:30 +Achille Lamontagne req. Domenico Piria
8:30 +Marlene Stern req. Celia Batan & Family
10:00 +June Lambiase req. Kathleen Wright
12:00 Special Intentions Warren, Christine, Kevin, Katherine Ogden req. Julie Cempel
5:00 +Louise and Arthur Thiel req. Andrew and Valerie McAleer
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, August 29, 2011
8:00 +Curioni Family req. Leon Taricani
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
8:00 +Veronica and John Buckheit req. Leon Taricani
12:10 +Ann Loughman req. Eamonn Loughman’s Family
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
8:00 +Elizabeth Daly req. Leon Taricani
12:10 +Bill Macchio req. Giannitti Family
Thursday, September 1, 2011
8:00 Thanksgiving req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 +Fausta Fernandez req. Borromeo Family
Friday, September 2, 2011
8:00 +Jen Tomasello req. Mom and Dad Piacenza
12:10 Padriac Mulhern req. Nieces and Nephews
Saturday, September 3, 2011
8:00 +Antonio Trillo req. Charles and Ana Paternina
12:10 All the Souls in Purgatory 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.

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 . . . .Wednesdays, 7:30 pm in the rectory: First meeting, September 7th.

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. . . Meets 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 beginning again in September.

St. John’s in THE NEWS:
The CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
130 years ago, or so:
August 31, 1878: Stamford. “The devotion of the Forty Hours commenced on Sunday, 18th inst, with a Solemn High Mass. In the evening Vespers were sung and every seat in the church was occupied. The sermon was delivered by Father Russell of Norwalk, on the institution of the adorable sacrament of the altar, and of the reparation which should be made to our Divine Savior, so mysteriously veiled therein. The gifted preacher at the conclusion of his eloquent discourse gave a justly merited tribute of praise to the people of this congregation on account of their piety, devotion, and truly Catholic zeal which were well attested he said by the thousand communions received on that day, and the magnificent structure, though still incomplete, in which he had the pleasure to see so good a people, and which would be a lasting monument of their devotion to the Blessed Eucharist.”

The NEW YORK TIMES:
75 years ago, or so:
September 3, 1936: REV. FRANCIS LALLY, 74, DIES SUDDENLY. “The Rev. Francis J. Lally, pastor of St. John’s Catholic Church for the last eight years, and one of the five golden jubilarians among Connecticut priests, died suddenly this morning in the vestry of the church as he prepared to celebrate the 8 o’clock Mass. He was in his seventy-fifth year.”

The STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
50 years ago, or so:
August 30, 1962: St. John’s CYO Team Rewarded At Dinner Event. “About 150 well wishers attended a dinner for the St. John’s CYO Baseball Team which won the New England Grammar School championship in the Knights of Columbus Hall Tuesday night. Coach Bob Lynch, of the Stamford Catholic High football team, was the speaker, and he gave an inspirational as well as amusing talk on sports. St. John’s defeated the Providence champion 9-8 in 14 innings to win the title. Coach Frank J. Jerabek Jr. presented awards to the members of the team, including the “most valuable player” award to Anthony Esposito. Other members of the team were Bill Longo, Chet Wisniewski, Gene Gerardi, Bill Smith, Stanley Esposito, Richard O’Connor, Peter Murray, John Duffy, James Pastore, Serafino Docimo and James Gallagher. Chico Vejar, former middle-weight boxer, was the emcee, with Rev. Philip T. Morrissey giving the invocation and Rev. John P. Odie, the benediction, both are of the St. John’s R. C. Church.”

Christian Perfection – Fr. Terry Walsh
August 28th marks the Memorial of St. Augustine of Hippo (+ 430). He is the Patron Saint of the Diocese of Bridgeport. The story of his conversion to Christianity had an enormous impact on the Church, as told in his autobiography , the spiritual classic, The Confessions. His mother, St. Monica, had a great influence upon her son and is known especially for her intercessory prayer for the conversion of Augustine. Augustine would become a great theologian and be named a Doctor of the Church, especially for his understanding of the Trinity and of Grace. While he wrote many letters and commentary on the Scriptures, his best known works (readily available today) were Confessions and City of God. Augustine’s spiritual journey is familiar to all who seek God with a sincere heart—listening for God and discovering his nearness, especially through the trials and tribulations of the Cross.
Our Lord ‘calls and shouts and breaks through our deafness’ that we may abide in Him and He in us. “God is present to our inmost being: ‘In Him we live and move and have our being.’ In the words of St. Augustine, God is ‘higher than my highest and more inward than my innermost self’”(ccc300). As we come to understand that God calls us to share in a life of unimaginable happiness we begin to understand what this relationship entails. It’s an active, meaningful journey unto spiritual perfection that begins at the very moment of our Baptism. This path to Christian Perfection is paved with our active and sacrificial love. This path is groomed and prepared by identifying and sifting away vice. The surface is paved with the moral virtues and traveled well as these virtues are informed by and strengthened through the supernatural graces provided by God Himself. When we are docile to the Holy Spirit and develop the habit of virtuous living we travel through every bend and pothole guided by the Light of Christ. Only vice from within our own engine can cause a breakdown and perhaps even end our journey. Vice leads us away from God.
Jesus reminds us of this danger. He quotes the prophet Isaiah: “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me…” Christian Perfection is forged in the heart or, as St. Paul teaches, “Faith working through love.”
St. Augustine traveled a very bumpy road for many years until at last he came to understand the love God had for him. His profound conversion of heart led him to a life of contemplation of the mysteries of god and sharing that knowledge through his many writings. No longer would he travel the road of self-indulgence. He opened his heart to the truth and God flooded his soul with grace and peace. There was no turning back. He lived now for Christ. He confesses:
“Urged to reflect upon myself, I entered under your guidance into the inmost depth of my soul. I was able to do so because you were my helper. On entering into myself I saw, as it were with the eye of the soul, what was beyond the eye of the soul, beyond my spirit: your immutable light…this light was above me because it had made me; I was below it because I was created by it. He who has come to know the truth knows this light….you overcame the weakness of my vision, sending forth most strongly the beams of your light, and I trembled at once with love and dread. I learned that I was in a region unlike yours and far distant from you, and I thought I heard your voice from on high: ‘I am the food (Eucharist) of grown men; grow then, and you will feed on me. Nor will you change me into yourself like bodily food, but you will be changed into me…
Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you…You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.”