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

Pastor’s Corner. . . Last weekend, a band of parish bakers succeeded in bringing smiles to many other parishioners by their baked goods, sweets and homemade pasta. Their generous baking and cooking efforts, on sale during last weekend’s parish bake sale, realized $2,150.00, which will be put to good use to help in the repainting of the basilica interior. Here are the names of those who spent so much time and talent to make the bake sale a great success:
Led by Tracy Banahan and Noreen DeSoye, who did so much of the leg work, reaching out to our parishioners to secure their help and talents, and organizing the entire bake sale. Tracy and Noreen were the muses and driving forces leading the generous bakers, and I am truly grateful to them. Their assistants and bakers [in alphabetical order] were: Mirella Badetti, Maureen Carpaniello, Beth & Frank Carpanzano, Mary Jean Dalmolin, Lisa D’Acunto, Judy DeFelice, Linda DeMott, Sue and Sue DePreta, Kathleen Dineen, Juanita Evans, Rosa Federici, Angela Gianitti, Paul Hughes, Di Jackson, Janet Lancaster, Angela Marchetti, Jennifer Marchetti, Maria Marchetti [who made and donated the pasta], Jennifer Marciano, Keiko Martelli, Scholastica Nabwire, Janemarie Raiteri, Pam Rittman, Larry Smith, Kathy Tafuro, and Eileen Tarleton.
Hopefully, I have forgotten no one. But, if I have, please accept my thanks and apologies: my mind is slowly going, don’t you know! To all who had any role to play in our annual bake sale: THANK YOU!!
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Christmas is a mere two weeks away: and, on a Sunday, to boot. To prepare for the anniversary celebration of the Incarnation [God becoming a man], here are two brief reflections on this great entrance of God into human history in order to share His eternal life with us. Unknowable, un-seeable, as pure spirit, and unapproachable, God now becomes knowable and visible in the human form He took in the womb of the Virgin Mary:

“God’s Son, existing before time, invisible, bodiless, light flowing from light, fountain of immortal life, expression of the archetypal Godhead, God’s perfect image—God’s Son bestows Himself on His images [us], becomes flesh for the sake of mankind’s flesh, and takes a rational soul for the sake of our soul, so that like may cleanse like; in a word, He takes to Himself all that is human except sin. He who enriches others becomes poor, for He suffers the poverty of my fleshly condition so that I may win the riches of His Divine life. He who is full is emptied, for His glory is hidden a brief while as a man, so that I may become a sharer in His divine fullness.
“What are these riches of God’s goodness? What is this mystery which relates to me? I had received the divine image but threw it away by my sins. He takes my flesh in order to bring salvation tome, His image, and immortality to my flesh; He thus enters into a new fellowship with each of us, far more marvelous than the first, with Adam and Eve. Through the manhood He made His own, God sanctifies mankind. He would overcome the tyrant, Satan, by force, He would liberate us and bring us back to Himself through His Son, the Mediator between God and humankind. The Good Shepherd, therefore, came to the straying sheep, found us, set us on His shoulders that bore the Cross, and bore us into eternal life.
“God had to become man and to die that we might live. We died with Him in Baptism in order to be cleansed of Adam’s sin; we rose with Him because we had died to sin with Him; we are glorified with Him because we have risen with Him” [St. Gregory Nazianzen, Sermon 45].
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“Poor mortal, set aside awhile your occupations and hide from your tumultuous thoughts. Put off the burden of care and postpone your busy toil. Attend to God and rest awhile in Him. Enter the inner room of your mind; cast out all but God and what helps you look for Him; close the door and seek God. Say to God, my heart: ‘I see your face.’ And do you, Lord, my God, teach my heart where and how to seek, where and how to find You.
“Lord, if you are not here, where shall I seek your absent self? And if you are everywhere, why do I not see you present, now? You dwell in inaccessible light? Indeed, but where is it, and how shall I approach the unapproachable? Who shall guide me and lead me into that light that I may see you in it? What signs shall help me find you? For I have never seen you, Lord God, and do not know your face.
“Exalted Lord, what is this wretched person, exiled from you, to do? Your servant tormented by love of you but banished far from you? I yearn to see you, but your face is too far off. I want to approach you, but your dwelling is unapproachable; to find you, but I do not know where you are; to seek you, but I do not know your face. For, though you are my Lord and my God, I have never seen you. You made me in your image and likeness, and re-made me through your Son and gave me all I have, but I have never known you. I am made to see you, but I have never yet done what I was made to do.
“Look upon us, Lord, enlighten us and show us yourself. Have pity on our toilsome efforts to seek you, for we are powerless without you. Teach me to seek you, and show yourself to this seeker, for I cannot seek you unless you teach me how, nor find you unless you show yourself. Let me seek you with great desire, and desire you as I seek; find you by love, and love you when I find you” [St. Anselm, Proslogion, ch. 1]
We find the Father in His Son, who, although existing for all eternity, makes God visible to us in the flesh, by the power of the Holy Spirit. So, as Saint John wrote, “we have seen Him with our eyes, and touched Him with our hands, and heard Him with our ears.” The unknowable, invisible God became visible in Bethlehem, as one like us, so we could share His life with Him through His Church. We should all think as well of ourselves as God does of us. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Frank Monaghan, Eva Grace Kelly, John Murray, Billy Therriault, Megan Bobroske, Connie Ward, Corrine Mattson, Mary D’Arco, Anthony Sansone, Tessie Mulhern, Gary Everett, Margie Joyce, Tonin Gjepaj, Sandra Mayfield, Sr. Ellen Mary Doherty, C.S.J., Lily Ann O’Connell, Thomas Mahala, Titina Tarantino, Richard Ridge, Mario Stano, Mark Ferris, Marie Maddox, Terry Cooke, Stacey, Kathleen Nichols, Rev. Carlos Antonio Mesa, Corrie Evans, Shirly Mailhot, Roledonne Samedi.

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Bill Wiles, Carmen Candelaria, Gregory E. Mazza, Vincent Sharkey, Sr., Madre Perpetua, Madeleine Charlotin, Louis Servideo, Gladys Brzoska, David Squires, Tom Potts, William Shanley, Jimmy O’Connor, 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., Giuseppina Docimo, Adelaide Velanzano, Aura Piedra, Jeanne & Andy Robustelli, Mary Ferrara, Genoveffa Melchionno, Cynthia Callahan, Teresa Angelini, Natale Sposato, Joseph George Terenzio.

Retirement Fund for Religious Collection . . . Please drop your Retirement Fund for Religious envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory. There will only be one collection today.

ST. ANNE’S SOCIETY REMINDER. . .THIS SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11th ST. ANNE’S SOCIETY WILL MEET IN THE CHURCH HALL IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE 5:00 pm THE MASS. DR. JOAN KELLY WILL BE RETURNING — ALL ARE WELCOME!!!

CONSTRUCTION. . . Continues on the walkway between the church & rectory. Please DO NOT walk on the walkway during construction: IT IS DANGEROUS!! Sorry for any inconvenience.

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: December 12th at 7 p.m.

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 in memory of a loved one, for a donation of $20.00 per candle, per week. Please call Cindy at 203-324-1553, ext. 21.

Salus Populi Romani Icon Votive Memorial. . . Special Intentions req. R. Mastracchio.

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

New Study Group. . . Many people have asked that we again offer basic courses in Church Latin Grammar and Biblical Greek Grammar. So, let’s try it again!! Anyone interested, please call Cindy in the parish office [203-324-1553, ext 21] and leave your name, phone, email, and we’ll see if we can organize new groups to begin in January. As always, there is no charge for these courses, other than the purchase of books.

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

Repainting the Church. . . $600,060.00 is pledged towards our 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. Please, help.

Christmas Schedule:
MASSES: Sat: Dec 24: 4 pm Christmas Vigil Mass;
Sun.Dec 25: MIDNIGHT MASS [at midnight!];
7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m. [Latin Mass];
10:00; 12 noon [Choral Mass]; NO 5 pm Mass;
6 pm [Creole]
CONFESSIONS: Sat, Dec 24: 3-4 pm;
Sun, Dec 25: 7-7:30 am; 9:30-10am; 11:30-12 noon.

Sunday December 4, 2011 $ 13,497.96
Sunday December 5, 2010 $ 10,278.62

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

December 18th Sunday Readings: 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16; Rom 16:25-27; Lk 1:26-38.

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, December 13th.

Children’s Choir. . . Anmarie and Tom Galgano are our new music directors for the 10 a.m. Mass and Children’s Choir this year. 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, age and your phone number with Cindy: 203-324-1553, ext. 21.

Home Schooling Families. . . A group for home schooling families meets monthly on Tuesday in the rectory. All ages are welcome. Please contact Julianne DeMarco at 203-966-3641, juliannedemarco@yahoo.com, or Janet Lancaster at 203-637-3301, jmlancaster@optonline.net.

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: This Thursday, DECEMBER 15th in the Rectory

Project Rachel Ministry. . . offers free and confidential help to those seeking healing after abortion. We invite you to come back to God who is love and mercy. Info. (203) 416-1619 or projectrachel@diobpt.org.

Lost & Found . . . Please check the Lost & Found in the Rectory for any items you may have left in the church. Feel free to call Cindy at the rectory, M-F, 9AM—1:30PM, 203-324-1553 x21.

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

St. Gabriel Church—First Saturday Devotions. . . Saint Gabriel Parish will celebrate the First Saturday Devotions in Honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  On the First Saturday of each month Confessions will be heard from 9:30 to 10 AM, followed by Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, silent prayer, Rosary and Benediction.  All are welcome.

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, January 23rd.

Saint Monica Patristic Institute. . . Will next meet on the Wednesdays of January: 4th, 11th, 18th, 25, starting at 7:30 pm in the rectory. Our topic in January will be the theology of Origen, led by Father Michael Novajoski, parochial vicar of St. Jude Parish, Monroe. There is no charge; classes are 1 hour, and all the texts are in English translations. You’ll love this stuff! Everyone is welcome.

St. Maria Goretti Society. . .The next St. Maria Goretti Society meeting will be held on Sunday, December 18th after the 10am Mass in the Rectory.

Tutoring. . . Could your child benefit from after school or weekend tutoring? Fathers Audette, Walsh and I were speaking about this the other day, and wondered if we should begin a free tutorial program for school children of the parish, to lend them a hand in reading, writing and arithmetic. My question is: are there parishioners who would like an after-school tutorial program for your child here at St. John’s? If there is any interest, please let me know: 203-324-1553, ext 11, and we can discuss details and ideas. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Mass Intentions+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, December 10, 2011
4:00 +Members of DeRosa, Kronk, Capobianco Families and Edwin Clark req. Joan and John Kronk
Sunday, December 11, 2011
7:30 All Souls in Purgatory req. Josephine Languedoc
8:30 Special Intentions Phillip Pizzuti Family req. Louise Munro
10:00 +Liset Santos req. Betsy Allyn
12:00 +William Borkowski req. Michael and Ann Borkowski
5:00 +Louise and Arthur Thiel
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, December 12, 2011
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. John Marciano
12:10 For the unborn req. Morris and Sagdati Families
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
8:00 +Sr. Marguerite Hetu req. Montanise Paulemon
12:10 +Donald John Cavaliero req. John Paul and Angela Marchetti
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
8:00 +Joseph Iantorno req. Frank and Beth Carpanzano
12:10 +Gabriel Caillot & Gaeton Valceus req. Ferry G.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
8:00 +Rose Donahue req. Marie Carr
12:10 +James Bosilevas req. Rose Annis
Friday, December 16, 2011
8:00 +Viergelie Paulemon req. Montanise Paulemon
12:10 Special Intentions Rose Santos req. Diane Strain
Saturday, December 17, 2011
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10 +Members DeRosa, Kronk, Capobianco Families and Edwin Clark req. Joan and John Kronk

Baptisms. . . Are celebrated every day of the week, according to the schedule of the parish priests and the families. Baptisms at St. John’s are one-family only ceremonies: never groups. Please call Cindy (203-324-1553, ext 21).

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 meeting 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. Call Ferry at 203-324-1553 ext. 22.

St. Maria Goretti Society. . . For the spiritual formation of young ladies, 8th-12th grades. Call Beth at 203-975-0074. The next meeting will be held on Sunday, December 18th after the 10am Mass in the Rectory.

Holy Hour. . . on Monday Nights, 7pm—8 pm. Adoration, Holy Rosary, and Benediction. All are welcome!

The Legion of Mary. . . . Meets Wednesday Evenings at 7:30 pm ’till 9:00 pm in the rectory. All are welcome.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies. . .Wednesdays, 7:30 pm in the rectory: Next meeting, November 2nd.

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.

Coffee Hour. . . After the 10:00 a.m. Family Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall. All are welcome.

St. John’s in THE NEWS:
The CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
120 years ago, or so:
December 16, 1893: Stamford. “A sociable and dance under the auspices of St. Anne’s Aid society will be given for benefit of the worthy poor of Stamford at the town hall on Wednesday evening, January 3, 1894. The admission is only twenty-five cents and as the proceeds are for such a worthy cause it will no doubt be well patronized by the public. This society has a membership of two hundred and fifty young ladies banded together for the purpose of diminishing the suffering of the needy poor of the parish under the supervision of two Sisters of Mercy. They meet every Friday evening in the basement of the church for the purpose of sewing and they make many useful articles which they distribute among the worthy poor of the parish.”

The STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
50 years ago, or so:
December 18, 1961: Pope To Announce Council Date Dec. 25. “The opening date of the Roman Catholic Church’s forthcoming ecumenical council, the first in nearly 100 years—will be announced on Christmas Day. The Vatican press office said today a pontifical bull announcing the opening of the council will be read in St. Peter’s Christmas morning. The ecumenical council is expected to start in about a year. Pope John XXIII has frequently referred to it as one of the most important, if not the most important, event of his reign.”

10 years ago, or so:
December 15, 2001: Theology on Tap features talk on ‘power of the keys’. “The Rev. Paul Scalia traveled from his parish in Fredericksburg, Va., to the Temple Bar this week to kick back, drink some Guinness and debate Catholicism’s platform on papal infallibility. Speaking to a full house at the monthly “Theology on Tap” series, sponsored by St. John the Evangelist Church in Stamford, Scalia explained that the pope’s infallibility does not extend to all areas. “He can’t speak infallibly on the weather or sports or anything of the sort,” Scalia said. For the Roman Catholic faith, the pope’s infallibility is based on Matthew 16:17-19, where the Apostle Peter was declared the first pope by Jesus Christ. “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven,” said the Rev. Stephen DiGiovanni, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church, quoting Christ. Called the “power of the keys,” DiGiovanni said, this passage assures that the church will never fall into error.”

The “Universal Call to Holiness”
(Revisited)
-Fr. Terry Walsh

On the very first page of the Bible we hear the extraordinary words: “Let us create man in our image, after our likeness.” God created us in His image; we have been given the ability to think and choose and we have an immortal soul. He likewise created us in His likeness, that is, he created us to be holy. Adam’s disobedience left humanity scarred with the stain of sin; yet, our Redeemer Jesus Christ came to heal us and restore us to the State of Grace so that we could once again be holy—if we choose to open our hearts and souls to His grace. The Church teaches: “At the Baptism of our Lord, ‘the Heavens were opened’ – the heavens that Adam’s sin had closed – and the waters were sanctified by the descent of Jesus and the Spirit, a prelude to the New Creation”(Catechism of the Catholic Church, article 536). At our own Baptism, ‘we followed Christ down into the water’ and we were forever marked with the sign of faith – we became a dwelling place for the Holy Trinity. At that moment, we became children of the Light, and so, we’re expected to be His light – that is – to imitate Christ. And how do we accomplish this? How are we to imitate Christ? Well, in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus says: “Be Perfect.” He calls us to strive toward Perfection. That is our life’s journey. When we fall down, we are called to get up and try again. Through our persistent effort to overcome sin through the ‘habit of virtue, the habit of grace’ we will gradually, bit by bit, root out the darkness and bask in the Light, Jesus Himself. We are called to become holy: to be perfect in Love. Similarly, in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells us: “Be merciful.” And so, to accomplish the goal of holiness we must live the Gospel, or as St. Francis DeSales says: “Live Jesus!” Our Lord calls us to imitate what He does in the Gospels: “Follow me.” In order to fulfill this command, we must first recognize our imperfections and the occasions we have not shown mercy and offer these to the Lord so that He may heal us. Then, we’ll be operating with His Grace – His Strength – and we’ll be able to diffuse His light throughout the world, preaching the Gospel by all that we think and say and do.
As we meditate on the Mystery of the Eucharist, let us contemplate our Lord’s words, “Be Perfect” and “Be Merciful.” In light of His Humility, let us consider His Perfection, His Mercy, coming to our rescue, culminating in the One Perfect Sacrifice upon Calvary where He offers Himself for our salvation. He comes to us everyday, Sacramentally, most profoundly through the Eucharist. St. Bernard he wrote about ‘The 3 Comings of Christ’ – 2 visible and 1 invisible. “In his 1st coming our Lord came in our flesh and in our weakness; in this middle coming he comes in spirit and in power; in the final coming he will be seen in glory and majesty. In the first, Christ was our redemption; in the last, he will appear as our life; in this middle coming, he is our rest and consolation…. listen to what our Lord Himself says: ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to Him’…. and, St. Bernard concludes, ‘your soul will delight in its richness’.”
Gaze upon our Merciful Lord on the Cross and see Perfect Love flowing from Him. Our patron, St. John, writes: “…but when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water”(Jn 19: 33-34). Blood and water poured out of the Body of our Crucified Lord – as the Saints point out, the beginning of the Sacramental Life of the Church: the Blood of the Eucharist, the cleansing waters of Baptism. Consider, too, the Glorified image of our Resurrected Lord – the Image of Divine Mercy – with Rays of Red and White Light emanating from the wound of His Most Sacred Heart – left there by the soldier’s lance. Now, streams of radiant light pour out from that pierced heart – washing over all in His Presence, converting the hearts of all who seek to imitate Him in Mercy and Love. It’s good for us to consider the cost of so great a sacrifice.
What an indescribable Mystery of perfect love and mercy: God entered the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary and took upon Himself – through Mary – our human nature. He was born into the world for our sakes. And now, he enters into a tiny piece of bread in a mysterious way so that He may be born into our souls and nourish and strengthen us in love. We, like Mary, become “living tabernacles.” He calls us to imitate Him – to love God with our whole heart and mind and soul and strength – to love our neighbor as ourselves. He even calls us to love our enemies and pray for our persecutors, just as He did – to be merciful and forgive those who sin against us. May our response echo His Heart of love:
“My heart is ready, O God, / My heart is ready. /I will sing, I will sing your praise. / Awake, my soul, awake lyre and harp, / I will awake the dawn!
THIS SUNDAY DECEMBER 11th ST. ANNE’S SOCIETY WILL MEET IN THE CHURCH HALL IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE 5:00 pm . JOAN KELLY WILL BE RETURNING — ALL ARE WELCOME!!!