For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday January 1, 2012

Pastor’s Corner. . .
The repainting of the Basilica interior begins Tuesday, January 3rd and will continue until Friday, March 31st , in time to clean and prepare the interior for Holy Week and Easter.
That’s the plan; I earnestly ask everyone in the parish to pray that this schedule becomes reality. The artists at the John Canning Studio are the best experts in their field, and they will try diligently to make the deadline while providing the most beautiful sanctuary in Fairfield County for the Glory of God.

During this period, the upper church will be closed Mondays through Saturdays, with the daily 8 am and 12:10 pm Masses and Confessions, and Monday evening 7-8 pm Adoration, offered downstairs in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall. The upper church will be closed to everyone during the weeks of work, for safety reasons. Likewise, the Bell Street doors will be closed during the week. To enter the Hall, everyone will have to use the doors on the rectory side of the basilica. The upper church will be opened only on Saturday afternoons in time for 3 pm Confessions and 4 pm Mass, and will remain open each Sunday for the regularly scheduled Confessions and Masses. Because the entire interior of the upper church will be covered in scaffolding, during each week of work until April 1st, Mondays—Saturday inclusive, the upper church will be inaccessible to everyone, except those working on the project. For safety reasons, please understand that you will not be able to enter the upper church, even to light a candle or to say a prayer during these weeks of intense work. As difficult an inconvenience as this will be, I ask you please to understand and to cooperate, for your own safety. The Blessed Sacrament will be reserved downstairs in the Monsignor Nagle Hall, which will remain open during the usual hours: Mon-Fri: 6:30 am- 4:30 pm; Sat: 6:30 am-1 pm. The upper church will be open for Confessions and Masses on Sundays: 6:30 am-1:30pm; 4:00 pm-7:30 pm. Because of the fire code, there will be no votive candles in the parish hall; nor can anyone go into the upper church to light candles, except on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, when the upper church will be open for weekend Masses. I apologize, again, for the inconvenience that this will impose on everyone, and ask that you assist the parish staff with your patient cooperation, and the artists with your prayers for success in their work.
So, in a nut shell, here’s the Confession and Mass schedule starting Tuesday, January 3rd until March 31st:
Daily Masses:
Monday-Saturday: 8 am & 12:10 pm: PARISH HALL
Confessions Monday-Friday: 7:30am-7:50am; 11:30am-11:55 am: PARISH HALL.
Weekend Masses:
Saturday Vigil: 4pm: UPPER CHURCH
Saturday Confessions: 3:00 pm-4:00 pm: UPPER CHURCH.
Sunday Masses: 7:30 am; 8:30 am; 10:00 am; 12 noon; 5:00 pm; 6:00 pm: UPPER CHURCH
Sunday Confessions: 7:00 am-7:30 am; 9:30 am-10:00 am; 11:30 am-12 noon: UPPER CHURCH.
Religious Education classes will follow the regular Sunday morning schedule, with classes both in the Parish Hall and in the Rectory as usual.

Other changes to our usual schedule and practice during these work months:
All funerals will be downstairs during the workdays, as well. Funerals on Saturdays might be possible in the upper church, but we will know only once work begins. Baptisms on Saturday and Sunday will continue to be offered in the upper church; any Baptisms during the workdays will have to be in the parish hall. Likewise, there will be no coffee and refreshments offered after the Sunday 10 a.m. Mass in the parish hall until Easter.

All seasonal Masses and religious services during the upcoming workweeks will also be in the Parish Hall.

EXCEPT Ash Wednesday Masses [February 22nd] will be in the upper church, because of the crowds.

The Lenten Parish Mission will be in the Parish Hall as well: February 27, 28 & 29 at 7:30 pm for Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, a spiritual conference and Confessions.

I think that does it. Please accept my thanks for your cooperation as the work begins. I think each weekend will prove fascinating, as we see the work progress, from construction of the scaffolding throughout the entire basilica, to the repair work on the plaster ceilings and walls, to the painting and decoration work. Each week will be as if each of us is receiving a new dazzling gift to raise our minds and hearts to God, the source of all beauty. If you have not yet made a donation to help pay for the basilica repainting, please consider making one today: white donation envelopes are available at the basilica entrances, and will be available in the Monsignor Nagle Hall once we move downstairs next week. Please be as patient as you have been generous during these weeks of work. And, please pray for the successful completion of the repainting of the Basilica interior, which is, after all, for the glory of God and the inspiration of those who worship here. God bless you in the New Year! —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Duverney Caporal, Bridget Sheehy, Herman Schneider, Chris Seely, 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, Lily Ann O’Connell, Titina Tarantino, Richard Ridge, Mario Stano, Mark Ferris, Marie Maddox, Stacey, Kathleen Nichols, Rev. Carlos Antonio Mesa, Corrie Evans, Shirly Mailhot, Roledonne Samedi.

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Terrence Cooke, Charles Harman, 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.

Second Collection . . . The second collection today will be the 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:, January 2nd at 7:30 p.m. All subsequent Monday Evening Holy Hours will be downstairs in the Monsignor Nagle Hall.

Saint Peter Votive Light Memorial. . . The left votive Special Intentions Bridgette Schilling and the right votive In Memory of Achille Lamontagne both req. Lloydie Lamontagne.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies. . . Resumes Wednesday, January 4th at 7:30 pm in the rectory. Our guest lecturer for January will be Father Michael Novajoski, recently returned from Rome, who will offer lectures and readings by Origen, one of the most influential 3rd century theologians. All are welcome: just walk in the rectory front door. All the readings are in English.

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

New Study Group. . . Some 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. As always, there is no charge for these courses.

Biblical Greek Study Group. . .Thursdays: 6:30 pm in the Rectory (reading ability required). Our next meeting will be January 12th.

Repainting the Church. . . $606,500.00 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.

NOTE: While the basilica is being painted, all weekday Masses INCLUDING FUNERALS will be in the hall.

Religious Education Classes. . . CANCELLED: January 1st.

Coffee Hour. . . Please note: NO coffee hour this Sunday, January 1st and it will not resume until the painting of the Basilica is finished.

St. Gabriel Church—Epiphany Celebrations. . . You are cordially invited to two celebrations of the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord at Saint Gabriel Church, 914 Newfield Avenue, Stamford:
Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Latin mass according to the 1962 Missal), Friday, Jan 6th at 7:30PM, Mozart’s Missa Brevis in C, The Sparrow Mass with Gregorian Chant. Light Reception to follow.

Sung Vespers and Benediction, Sunday, Jan 8th at 4PM. Wine and Cheese to follow in the Parish Hall.

Christmas December 25, 2011 $ 39,028.00
Christmas December 25, 2010 $ 30,676.50

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

January 8th Sunday Readings: Is 60:1-6; Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6; Mt 2:1-12.

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, January 3rd.

Children’s Choir. . . Anmarie and Tom Galgano are our 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: January 12th 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.

DAILY MASSES & CONFESSIONS: Beginning January 3rd—March 31st:
All 8 a.m. & 12:10 p.m. Masses and Confessions Monday—Saturday will be offered in the downstairs Parish Hall. THE UPPER CHURCH WILL BE CLOSED ALL WEEK, reopening only for
Saturday 3 pm Confessions and 4 pm Mass, and the usual Sunday Masses and Confessions.
Please Use the Walkway Blue Doors to Enter and Leave the Nagle Hall
(side of the church near the rectory)

+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, December 31, 2011
4:00 +Denis Oliveira req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
Sunday, January 1, 2012
7:30 +Charles Cycon req. Cycon Family
8:30 +Robert Monahan
10:00 +Salvatore and Caterina Piria req. Domenico Piria
12:00 +Suzanne Donovan 17th Anniversary req. Marion Morris
5:00 +Dorothy Moriarty req. Jimmy and Michelle Sagdati
6:00 NO MASS
Monday, January 2, 2012
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 Achille and Micilia Paulemon req. Montanise Paulemon
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
8:00 +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Raymond Gabriele req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
8:00 +Dr. Raymond Gabriele req. the Marchetti Family
12:10 Special Intentions Wendy Lamb req. Tom & Olga Kolenberg
Thursday, January 5, 2012
8:00 Juliana Medina req. Marion Morris, Tony Colon and Carmine Boccuzzi
12:10 +Robert Monahan req. Maude and Paul Hughes and family
Friday, January 6, 2012
8:00 Faithful Departed
12:10 Sacred Heart of Jesus req. Anne Marie Samedi
Saturday, January 7, 2012
8:00 Special Intentions Stephen M. DiGiovanni req. Josephine Languedoc
12:10 In Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary req. Ferry G.

Weddings. . . Couples must contact and begin meeting with one of the parish priests for at least 6 months before a hoped for wedding date at Saint John’s. Please call the parish secretary, Cindy, or one of the priests for an initial discussion.

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.

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. . . NO coffee hour this Sunday January 1st and it will not resume until the church painting is completed.

St. John’s in THE NEWS:
THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
135 years ago, or so:
January 2, 1886: Stamford. “On Christmas four Masses were celebrated in our church, the first at 5 o’clock and the others at the same hours as on Sundays, and few, if any, in the parish failed to attend some one of those Masses, the weather being remarkably fine for the season. The sanctuary choir, consisting of about fifteen boys, all good singers, sang at the first and last Masses, in a manner that showed much care and preparation. This is the first time a choir of this kind has sung in our parish and it is hoped the same may be continued.”

The STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
100 years ago, or so:
January 5, 1910: “St. Anne’s Ladies’ Aid Society will hold its annual winter entertainment for the benefit of the poor, in St. John’s school hall, Thursday evening.”

10 years ago, or so:
January 6, 2001: Joyous, jubilee winds down. “The Feast of the Epiphany tomorrow marks the end of the Jubilee 2000, a universal celebration in the Roman Catholic Church that began Nov. 28, 1999. During normal Jubilee Year celebrations, which are designated by the pope and occur about every 25 years, many Catholics worldwide make a pilgrimage to Rome’s four great basilicas to strengthen their ties to God and to ask forgiveness for sins. Those who make the pilgrimage are rewarded with a clean slate in the eyes of God, church leaders say—meaning the rescinding of all temporal punishment the Catholic Church says is owed for sins previously forgiven. With the start of a new millennium and the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ, Pope John Paul II made the 800-year-old tradition more accessible by allowing bishops to designate churches within each diocese as pilgrimage sites so more people could participate in the Jubilee and earn the special indulgence afforded by making the pilgrimage. In the Bridgeport Diocese, five churches were named pilgrimage sites: St. John the Evangelist in Stamford, St. Mary’s in Norwalk, St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport, St. Theresa in Trumbull and St. Peter in Danbury. “In 1300 A.D., the church began celebrating Holy Years when Catholics are encouraged to forgive the debts of others, forgive offenses against them and to encourage people to bind stronger ties to their faith,” said Monsignor Stephen DiGiovanni of St. John the Evangelist. There are a variety of spiritual activities that revolve around the Jubilee, with the most important one being the opening of what is called the Holy Door.“

Blessed Virgin Mary
Mother of God

-Fr. Terry Walsh

Loving Mother of the Redeemer, gate of heaven, star of the sea, assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again. To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator, yet remained a virgin after as before. You who received Gabriel’s joyful greeting, have pity on us poor sinners.
—Hymn (Night Prayer, Liturgy of the Hours)

This beautiful hymn sung by priests and religious after the final Hour of the day, “Night Prayer” reflects on the sheer wonder of God’s plan for our salvation. After all, Jesus, who is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, actually created Mary, the Immaculate Conception, the woman who would become His Mother -in time. And so, as St. Paul writes, “in the fullness of time” when God chose to become incarnate for the benefit of all humanity, he was conceived in the Immaculate Womb of one he specially created, Mary. St. Louis De Montfort writes, “Mary is the supreme masterpiece of Almighty God and he reserved the knowledge and possession of her for himself. She is the glorious Mother of God the Son who chose to humble and conceal her during her lifetime in order to foster her humility…Mary is the sealed fountain (Song of Songs 4:12) and the faithful spouse of the Holy Spirit where only he may enter. She is the sanctuary and resting-place of the Blessed Trinity where God dwells in greater and more divine splendor than anywhere else in the universe, not excluding his dwelling above the cherubim and seraphim…I declare with the saints: Mary is the earthly paradise of Jesus Christ the new Adam, where he became man by the power of the Holy Spirit, in order to accomplish in her wonders beyond our understanding.” (True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, articles 5, 6). (Incidentally, de Montfort’s classic treatise is available in our bookstore—you might recall that we handed them out to the entire parish after the weekend Masses a few years ago, so important the need to have a clear understanding of t role of Mary in our lives and our need to be devoted to Her).

It is, after all, Mary’s consent, Her “Yes” to God, “Let it be done to me according to your word” that the Second Person of the Holy Trinity leaves His throne of Glory and humbles Himself to become man (although remaining a Divine Person of course, but now, having 2 Natures: Human and Divine). St. Paul speaks eloquently about the “Self-Emptying” of Christ in his Letter to the Philippians, “Though he was in the form of God, Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at. Rather, he emptied himself and took the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of men. He was known to be of human estate, and it was thus that he humbled himself, obediently accepting even death, death on a cross! Because of this, God highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name above every other name, So that at Jesus’ name every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father: JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!”(chapter 2: 6-11). Once Mary said “yes” I will be His Mother (and later, consent to his immolation on the Cross—for us), God took upon Himself our lowly nature—and once again made it Holy. Mary is His Mother.

St. Irenaeus (3rd Century) encourages us to honor God by honoring His Mother: “Those who suppose that Christ took nothing from the Virgin are badly mistaken. In order to cast away the inheritance of the flesh, they also reject the analogy between Christ and Adam. And his descent into Mary would also be superfluous in this case. Why did he come down into her if he were to take nothing of her? Still further, if he had taken nothing of Mary, he would never have made use of those kinds of food that come from the earth, by which the body that has been taken from the earth is nourished. Nor would he have hungered, fasting those 40 days, like Moses and Elijah, unless his body was craving after its own proper nourishment; nor again, would John, his disciple, have said, when writing of Him, ‘Jesus, wearied as he was with the journey, sat down beside the well’ (John 4:6) nor would David have proclaimed of him beforehand, ‘They have added to the grief of my wounds’; nor would he have declared, ‘My soul is very sorrowful’ (Matthew 26:38), nor, when his side was pierced, would there have come forth blood and water. All these things are tokens of the flesh that had been derived from the earth, which he had recapitulated in Himself, bringing salvation to his own handiwork” (Against Heresies, 3.22.1).

Mary is truly the Mother of God because she is the Mother of Jesus who is a Divine Person. She gives Him His humanity. And so, the graces we need to be made holy and so to be saved actually come to us through her “Yes, I will do it.” Again, De Montfort captures the essence of Her extraordinary role in our lives as our Spiritual Mother when he writes: (Mary) is (Jesus’) mystic channel, His aqueduct, through which He causes His mercies to flow gently and abundantly”(True Devotion, article 24).
BEHOLD YOUR MOTHER