For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday January 8, 2012

Pastor’s Corner. . . As you may have noticed, the work to repaint the Basilica has indeed begun! It will take two full weeks to construct the scaffolding, which will include a number of stairways and towers to support the army of artisans from the John Canning Studios until Friday, March 31st. That’s the plan; I earnestly ask everyone in the parish to pray that this schedule becomes reality, in time for Holy Week and Easter. 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 to everyone, except workers: 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 church and elevator doors will be closed during the week.
To enter the Hall, everyone will have to use the doors to the downstairs hall 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. For safety reasons, please understand that you will not be able to enter the upper church, even 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. 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 devotions 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.
—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.

Special Energy Collection . . . The second collection today will be the Special Energy Collection to help pay the Higher Energy and Fuel Costs 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 Nagle Hall. Next Holy Hour:, January 9th at 7:30 p.m. Monday Evening Holy Hours will be downstairs in the Monsignor Nagle Hall.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies. . . Has resumed Wednesdays 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. . . $609,640.00 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.

DAILY MASSES & CONFESSIONS
Until 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. All Funerals will be in the parish hall until Easter.
Please Use the Rectory Walkway Blue Doors to Enter and Leave the Nagle Hall

January 1, 2012 $ 10,714.00
January 2, 2011 $ 12,479.96

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

January 15th Sunday Readings: 1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19; 1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20; Jn 1:35-42.

Latin Mass. . . On Tuesdays will be CANCELLED until April due to the church painting.

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. 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.

St. Gabriel Church—Epiphany Celebration. . . You are cordially invited to Sung Vespers and Benediction, Sunday, Jan 8th at 4PM, in celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. Wine and Cheese to follow in the Parish Hall at Saint Gabriel Church, 914 Newfield Avenue, Stamford.

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.

+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, January 7, 2012
4:00 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
Sunday, January 8, 2012
7:30 +Francesco Bertuca req. Domenico Piria
8:30 +Charlie Daniel Hudson Hill req. Charles and Ana Paternina
10:00 +Frances Delaney 4th Anniversary req. Arthur J. Wargo
12:00 + Marianna Piria Rosano req. Domenico Piria
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, January 9, 2012
8:00 +Gaynor Brennan req. the Marchetti Family
12:10 In Honor of the Eternal Father req. Ferry G.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
8:00 Thanksgiving to God req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Karl and Louise Wilk req. Sue Kremheller
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
8:00 John J. Gannon Birthday req. Sharon Gannon
12:10 +Marie Emma Auguste req. Sabine Auguste
Thursday, January 12, 2012
8:00 +John Maloney req. Mary
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Nelly Contreras
Friday, January 13, 2012
8:00 +Barbara Ecenrode req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
12:10 +Elionise Simon req. Anne Jean-Rene
Saturday, January 14, 2012
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. the McAleer Family
12:10 +Thomas Conner & Family req. Shawn M. McAuliffe

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 until the church painting is completed.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:
140 years ago, or so:
January 15, 1869: Our Local Clergymen. “In giving very brief sketches of our Stamford clergymen, we must premise by saying that we think this town excels in this profession; and though we would not, if we could justly, say unpleasant things of any one of them, it gives us great pleasure to say what we do, believing it to be the truth, and the friends of those mentioned, we trust, will find the portraits faithfully executed. Father Fagan, of the Roman Catholic church, though but a short time here, has already, as we learn, won the respect and confidence of his numerous parishioners. He takes a great interest in the temporal as well as spiritual welfare of his people, and in this he is ably and efficiently seconded by the Rev. Eugene Gaffney, his assistant. The temperance movement receives the hearty support of both these gentlemen.”

100 years ago, or so:
January 15, 1912: Father Stanton’s Talk. “The services, yesterday, of the triduum in St. John’s R.C. Church, were very largely attended, especially in the evening, when a large increase over the congregation assembled Wednesday evening was noticeable. Father Stanton’s sermon last night was on the subject of “The Making and the Training of the Christian Home.” He told of the Catholic man’s position in the home. The next service will be held tonight, at 7:30, and Father Stanton extends a cordial invitation to all men of the parish to be present, and make the retreat, which will last until Sunday evening, when the final sermon will b preached.”

50 years ago, or so:
January 12, 1963: Scenes For Movie To Be Filmed At Church, School Here. “Stamford again will be “location” for scenes for a moving picture to be made by a Hollywood movie company. Specifically, St. John’s Church on Atlantic St. and St. John’s School will be used in filming of scenes in “The Cardinal.” The movie, based on the novel of the same name, will be a fictional biography of a cardinal. St. John’s Church will be used as the church where early in his career, the cardinal is a parish priest. Otto Preminger, who will produce the firm, was in Stamford recently to make arrangements. The shooting of the Stamford scenes is expected to begin February 7 and take about a week. Several years ago, the moving picture “Boomerang,” had most of its scenes made in Stamford.”

The Epiphany
(Revisited)
– Fr. Terry Walsh

As a Seminarian, several of our academic classes focused on the various books of the Bible, such as the Psalms or the Letters of St. Paul. They were very interesting courses, but were only able to focus on specific aspects of the various particular parts of the Bible. There’s so much ground to cover and at first glance, it can appear a little “foreign.” After all, the events and circumstances in the Holy Bible go back many centuries. Even the most recent writings in the Bible (The New Testament) are 2000 years old! Where do I begin? How will I understand?

And yet, it’s not simply a history book. It is rather like a “love letter” and it is addressed to every single person created in the image and likeness of God – individually. It is the living Word of God and it speaks to our hearts in a unique way if we simply pick it up and read it.

And so, I began to understand more clearly that in order to come to know the Heart of our Lord, I needed to read the Bible in a new way. Yes, the courses were very helpful and interesting. Still, it was time to travel through the Bible in a more personal way – to read it as a letter from God.

So, on Ash Wednesday of my 3rd year at the Seminary, I decided I would read a couple chapters each day throughout Lent. When Easter arrived, I continued my daily reading – at least one chapter a day – every day – until I read the last word on the last page of the last book of the Bible. I began to see all of “Salvation History” unfold before my eyes in a whole new way. Each book of the Bible was “connected” to every other book and told a story of love. Somewhere along the line I found myself “praying” my ‘chapter-a-day.’ There were days that I just couldn’t put it down. So many graces come with that journey – the grace of coming to a greater knowledge and understanding of God for sure – but also the graces that come simply from spending that time with God. There were so many ‘ah ha’ moments – so many occasions when I was able to “connect the dots” so to speak – and see how all of Sacred Scripture was part of a seamless whole – it is Christ. Coming to understand His love and mercy, His faithfulness and patience – and every other virtue for that matter – was quite literally like wiping fog away from a window. It’s a wonderful journey into the very Heart of Jesus Christ. He leads us every step of the way. I began that journey on Ash Wednesday, a “day of darkness” when we remember that “we are dust and unto dust shall we return” – a day when we consider our own mortality. I finished a year and a half later on the Feast of the Epiphany, the day of great Light. I hadn’t planned it that way, it was simply another grace. It was the grace of understanding that in order to gain a true knowledge of the purpose of life, we must be enlightened by Christ Himself. He alone pours “light” into our hearts and minds so that we may know the love of God. Without this light we would only stumble in the dark. Why not begin your journey to the Heart of our Lord on the day of great Light and see where He leads you – one chapter at a time….