For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday September 11, 2011

Pastor’s Corner. . . In his novel, The Agony and The Ecstasy, Irving Stone asks a question I’d heard only once before in the Koran: Why does God need a son? It’s a good question, but it starts from the wrong place. The question looks at God as if He were just like us, alone and in need of offspring. God doesn’t “need” anything, since He is quite self-sufficient and perfect. And, He is not “alone”, as if isolated and lonely, since the very Essence of God, His inner self revealed by Jesus, is a community of persons, whom we call Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There was never a time when the Father was “alone”, or when the Son or Holy Spirit did not exist. Each eternal Divine Person of the Trinity shares the same Divine Nature: they are “part”, if you will, of the One and Only and Eternal God. Saint Joseph of Cupertino [1603-1663], a humble Franciscan brother and mystic, once explained the Trinity in the simplest of terms: The Trinity can be compared to one blanket folded twice, forming three parts: each part is the same “stuff” or essence as the whole blanket, yet each fold is distinct from the other folds. So, too, the essence of God: each Divine Person—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—is of the same “stuff” or essence—each is God, yet each is distinct from the other as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Three Persons of the One Trinity.
The great revelation of Our Lord is the inner reality of God—one God, yet three Divine Persons—and the deep love each Person has for the Others, which flows over to us: created in God’s image and likeness, so we could be lovable to God. The extent and depth of that love is seen in God’s working to save us all from Satan and his greatest tools, sin and death. God does this in the Incarnation: the Father loves us so much that He sent His only Son to become a man, by the power of the Holy Spirit. The entire Trinity is involved in getting you to Heaven. As Saint Ignatius of Antioch once wrote: “God became a man so that man[kind] could become God”. That’s the “why” God has a Son who became a man; the means by which He accomplishes our becoming more like God, is the Cross. God became a man simply so He could die on the Cross to pay for human sin. So great and powerful is human sin, Satan and death, that the death of God in the flesh is the only antidote, the only medicine powerful enough to save us. So, the reason God has a Son is not that He was lonely, or decided one day to act as do the false gods of Greek and Roman mythology; the reason God has a Son is that is Who God is: One God in Three Divine Persons, so in love with us that God gets involved personally with each of us, to raise us to share His eternal life.
Saint Paul writes of God’s work to save all mankind, both Jews and non-Jews [Gentiles] alike, in his letter to the Ephesians: “Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near through the blood of Christ. It is He who is our peace, and who made the two of us one by breaking down the barrier of hostility that kept us apart. In his own flesh, He abolished the Law with its commands and precepts, to create in Himself one new man from us who had been two and to make peace, reconciling both of us to God in one body through His Cross, which put that enmity to death” [Eph. 2:13-16]. Likewise, Christ’s sacrificial death on the Cross restored peace between humankind and God. And since He is also God from all eternity, Jesus’ human obedience has eternal effects for all of us.
The One God who worked miracles and wonders as narrated in the Old Testament is the same God working now. The only difference is the manner of God’s wonder working. As Pope Saint Leo the Great described it, “The swiftly writing hand of the Word [the Son of God] promulgated the precepts of the new covenant, not from the veiling clouds nor amid thunder and lightning that drive the people away in terror, but in calm speech, with his hearers gathered around Him. Thus the harsh aspects of the Old Law in the Old Testament would vanish under the soothing influence of grace, and His spirit of adoption of us would dispel all servile fear” [Sermon 95 On the Beatitudes]. The essence of God is love, not vengeance, as seen in the relationship of the Trinity, manifested to us. The unhappy tenth anniversary we celebrate this weekend is a reminder of the horrors wrought by those who deny the incarnate mercy of God in Jesus of Nazareth. For those who flew the planes, and for those who supported them, their God is one only of vengeance and death. The True God, who humbled Himself to raise all humankind up, by submitting Himself to such men, comforts all even today, even as He did two millennia ago, when He died, “making the two of us one by breaking down the barrier of hostility that kept us apart”, as Paul wrote above. Let us pray for those who lost their lives on 9/11, those in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania, and for their families; for those public servants and generous citizens who rushed to the aid of the victims, who exemplified the generosity of God Himself in actions of charity and self-sacrifice, and not merely in words. And let us pray for those who support such acts of horror, that they may one day learn that the true God is merciful, and asks that we show mercy in imitation of Him, so that might be saved. —-Monsignor 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, Lily Ann O’Connell, Thomas Mahala, Titina Tarantino, Richard Ridge, Mario Stano, Mark Ferris, Marie Maddox, Terry Cooke, Stacey, Kathleen Nichols, Millie Maida, Rev. Carlos Antonio Mesa, Corrie Evans, Shirly Mailhot, Roledonne Samedi.

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Andrea Pavia, Rocco Buzzio, Vera Benna, 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.

Special Annual Collection . . .The second collection today will be the Special Annual 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 Holy Hour: Monday, September 12th at 7 p.m.

Children’s Choir. . . We have a young couple from the parish who will be our new music directors for the children’s choir this year. AnMarie & Tom Galgano will begin in September. 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.

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.

Banns of Marriage:
Banns I:
Paul (Teddy) Fusaro and Jennifer Lauren Alosco

Saint Monica Patristic Institute. . . This year’s new lineup began 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.

Hebrew Beginners’ Grammar Class: Thursdays: 5:30 pm in the Rectory: started 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. . . $580,859.00 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: that’s $100. per month, or $25. per week, or $3.57 per day for 10 months. Lend a hand. Please take a look at the Saint Joseph Altar: there are two new pictures of the preparatory painting work.

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).

Respect Life Sunday—October 2nd. . . Bishop Lori will offer the 10 a.m. Mass here at the Basilica on Respect Life Sunday. All are welcome to attend.

Sunday September 4, 2011 $ 13,530.20
Sunday September 5, 2010 $ 13,162.56

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

September 18th Sunday Readings: Is 55:6-9; Phil 1:20c-24, 27a; Mt 20:1-16a

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, September 13th.

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).

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 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, please call Kaye at 203-322-7910.

Saint Gabriel Church. . . Sung Mass in Latin for the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross (Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite), Wednesday, September 14th at 7:30 PM. Refreshments to follow in Parish Meeting Room. Saint Gabriel Church, 914 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, CT. all are welcome.

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.

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 ). Next meeting: Thursday, October 13th.

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

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, September 26th.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, September 10, 2011
4:00+John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
Sunday, September 11, 2011
7:30+Karl and Louise Wilk req. Suzanne Kremheller
8:30+William Morris req. Jo Mitchell
10:00+Randolph Samedi req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:00 For the deceased of 911 req. Ferry G.
5:00 Souls in Purgatory req. John Marciano
6:00+Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, September 12, 2011
8:00 Special Intentions the Avridor Family req. Juanita
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
8:00+Donald McQuade req. Charles and Joanne Crawley
12:10 Special Intentions Norma Jarrett
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
8:00+Ines and Albert Gommi req. Leon Taricani
12:10 In Honor of Our Lady of Sorrows
Thursday, September 15, 2011
8:00 +Mary Ellen and Joseph Santoro, Helen Carr req. Marie Carr
12:10 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Friday, September 16, 2011
8:00 Reddy and Alice MacDonald and Family req. Mary Maloney
12:10+Luis Vericat req. the Marchetti Family
Saturday, September 17, 2011
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. the McAleer Family
12:10 Catherine Olnek Birthday req. Sharon Gannon

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 late September.

St. John’s in THE NEWS:
The CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
125 years ago, or so:
September 12, 1885: Stamford. “A portion of the marble to be used in the construction of the altar of our church has arrived and work is being done upon the foundation. The builders of the foundation are Messrs. Theis and Trueg of 42nd Street, New York City and by the plans it can be seen that the altar, when completed, will be second to none in New England. On Monday morning, at half past eight, Mass was celebrated in the church, attended by all the scholars of our parochial school, and after Mass, under charge of the Sisters, marched to the school to begin once more their labors for the fall term.”

The NEW YORK TIMES:
110 years ago, or so:
September 13, 1900: DON’T WANT PASTOR PROMOTED. Catholics at Stamford, Conn., Object to Losing the Rev. W. H. Rogers. “Great surprise was caused today by the announcement that the Rev. William H. Rogers, for twenty-seven years pastor of St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, had been appointed by Bishop Tierney pastor of St. Patrick’s Church, Hartford. This is a promotion, as St. Patrick’s is considered one of the leading parishes in the State. Nevertheless there is a distinct feeling of opposition to the change among Catholics in this city. An earnest request will probably be made to the Bishop to reconsider his action.”

The STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
10 years ago, or so:
October 12, 2001: Local Masses remember victims at one-month mark. “Masses were held yesterday at several area churches, part of a Roman Catholic tradition that celebrates a memorial a month after a death. Yesterday marked the one-month anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center. “The men who killed so many last month claimed to be men of God,” said Monsignor Stephen DiGiovanni, of St. John the Evangelist Church in Stamford. “It is not always that we do God’s will. It was not God’s will that was done last month.” Bishop William E. Lori will dedicate a new altar at St. John’s to those who died in the attack, DiGiovanni said. “Everyone who comes to this church and kneels by this altar will remember those who died,” he said. DiGiovanni praised firefighters who risked and lost their lives by running into the trade center towers before they collapsed. He recognized Stamford Fire Chief Robert McGrath as a local hero, representing his comrades in New York City. “Let us remember those who were there. May they rest in peace,” DiGiovanni said.”

The Battle of Prayer
(Revisited) -Fr. Terry Walsh
Why is prayer a ‘battle’? There are many ‘erroneous notions’ of prayer, as the Catechism calls them, that we must battle. “Some people view prayer as a simple psychological activity, others as an effort of concentration to reach a mental void. Still others reduce prayer to ritual words and postures. Many Christians unconsciously regard prayer as an occupation that is incompatible with all the other things they have to do: they ‘don’t have the time.’ Those who seek God by prayer are quickly discouraged because they do not know that prayer comes also from the Holy Spirit and not from themselves alone”(ccc2726). Consider meditating on Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 8, as well as the 4th part of the Catechism (“Christian Prayer” – which helps us understand the nature of prayer as well as how to pray in very practical ways).
Often times, prayer involves a battle against distractions or perhaps dryness. But these are overcome by simply turning our hearts to God and asking for His help. When we humbly ask for the grace to pray better, to be consoled, to let go of distractions and to be nourished by divine grace, we will be given all we need and more. That’s not to say we won’t have to struggle from time to time. Yet, even in those periods of difficulty, our Lord is walking with us, helping us to put aside presumption and despair and instead walk the humble path of love and trust. Perhaps you might simply pray: “Come, Holy Spirit, free my heart and mind of all distractions during this Holy Mass, or during this prayer of the Rosary, or during my reading and meditating on the Scriptures.” What a wonderful prayer of trust and fidelity. Then, our full attention will be more easily centered on listening to God. We already know that “apart from Jesus we can do nothing.” He’s already made that abundantly clear in the Allegory of the Vine and the Branches (John chapter 15). All good things come from Him and prayer opens our hearts to a greater appreciation of his goodness to us and our complete dependence upon Him. Augustine wrote, “God wills that our desire should be exercised in prayer, that we may be able to receive what he is prepared to give.” But are we willing to be transformed and come to desire “the things that are above” – the graces of faith, hope, and love that form us into “new creations” and lead us to a new spiritual strength and wisdom that ‘enables the soul to rule the body’? Consider the words of St. Ambrose, “That man is rightly called a king who makes his own body an obedient subject and, by governing himself with suitable rigor, refuses to let his passions breed rebellion in his soul, for he exercises a kind of royal power over himself. And because he knows how to rule his own person as king, so too does he sit as its judge. He will not let himself be imprisoned by sin, or thrown headlong into wickedness.” Prayer is indispensable in realizing this spiritual maturity.
Consider a lesson from the Catechism: “The great figures of prayer of the Old Covenant before Christ, as well as the Mother of God, the saints, and he himself, all teach us this: Prayer is a battle. Against whom? Against ourselves and against the wiles of the tempter who does all he can to turn man away from prayer, away from union with God. We pray as we live, because we live as we pray. If we do not want to act habitually according to the Spirit of Christ, neither can we pray habitually in His name. The ‘spiritual battle’ of the Christian’s new life is inseparable from the battle of prayer”(Catechism, no.2725).