For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday January 15, 2012

Pastor’s Corner. . . Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas! The news channels could not get enough of them by Monday night, following Tebow’s incredible 80 yard pass to Thomas, who carried the ball 62 yards to the Denver Broncos’ overtime victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers: 29-23. Not bad.

While the “oohs” and “ahhs” ascended from all sides in admiration of these young men, there was another interesting point made in the media, and it basically ignored Thomas’ achievement, leaving him in the dust. It was the biblical passage from the Gospel of Saint John:

“And God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son,
that those who believe in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting” [John 3:16].

Tebow often wears the biblical citation in white print on his eye black. What caught the attention of the media was the fact that, during the Broncos-Steelers game the other night, Tebow passed 316 yards during that game, an average of 31.6 yards per pass. Magic numbers!! Of course the media went wild: knowing nothing about authentic religion, authentic Christian faith, Our Lord the Gospel, the “coincidence” between Tebow’s performance on the field and his favorite Biblical quotation citation was altogether too much to be ignored. And criticism of the quarterback’s religious faith was repeated. How could such a talented and successful athlete believe in God AND show it in public? What an embarrassment.

The man is a believing Christian. Bill Maher and sports commentators have repeatedly criticized Tebow for his public Christian faith; Saturday Night Live even did a skit on the subject, mocking him and Jesus. One can see every commandment shattered on the T.V. screen and the movies, or described in any day’s newprint in lurid and appreciative detail, and no one bats an eye. Does anyone condemn those players for dancing in the end zone, or other antics off the field? Rarely, except when so criminal they cannot be overlooked. Yet, kneel down and say a prayer in public; dare to mention God seriously, and sneers arise from the enlightened opinion makers. The critics are vocal because they do not understand the nature of Christianity, which is not merely private, but very public, since it should form our daily actions; and because the reality of God is dangerous—it provokes and challenges the life we pursue. God intervening the human history in the flesh, is scary. The Prologue to John’s Gospel said it: “He was in the world, an the world was made through Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” [John 1: 10-11]. The media is doing what the world has done before Christ for two millennia. Just look at Tebow’s favorite quotation about God’s love. How did God show His love for the world? In private dreams? In secret notes to individual devotees? In private, hidden messages designed solely for the benefit of the recipient? No. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son.” The eternal Son of God, the Creator of the universe—neither too private an individual nor too hidden an action, I might add—manifested His love for His Creation, including by becoming one of us. He was born in the relative privacy of poverty, but that anonymity quickly disappeared, to be visited by shepherds, Three Kings and the neighbors from the fields and surrounding towns; He made quite a name for Himself by preaching to thousands [and not simply discussing religion in the privacy of home]; He cured many, fed thousands, performed miracles, was publicly tried, tortured and executed, and then publicly showed Himself risen from the dead to tens of thousands after His Resurrection. Then, He instructed His Twelve Apostles, the foundation of His Church, to preach to all nations, baptizing in the name of the Trinity. Not very private and secret, if you ask me.

Religion as private? Not if it’s the True Religion established by Our Lord. There is little private about Christianity once the gift of faith is accepted by a person; since there was nothing private about the God who became a man in the Incarnation. Once the invisible God became visible, any privacy about belief in God was put to rest, for one’s faith, if authentic, forms one’s private and public life, because faith leads to active love for God. And because the essence of Christianity is to imitate Christ, not just have nice private thoughts about Him. We do love God in the deep recesses or our hearts, yes; but public witness to that faith in charity, mercy, and hope, in imitation of God, is of the essence. So, Mr. Tebow was simply doing what any Christian should do: show by his life that he believes in Christ. He does this more powerfully and dramatically than most, since God has given him such great gifts. But the gifts each of us receives is not just for ourselves: they are given by God that we might share them with others, so that others might see God working in us, and come closer to the Divine Giver of all that is good.

Saint Gregory Nazianzen wrote about that: our responsibility to use God’s gifts to lead others to God: “Nothing honors God more than the conversion and salvation of human persons. We are to be lamps lit in the world’s darkness, sharing in the splendid radiance of the light which is Christ, and ever more fully enlightened by the Trinity. All has been done by God so that you might become as other rays of Christ’s light, which is the life-giving power for others. Let yourself become perfect lights before that immense Light, Who is Christ. Join to yourself that most pure and clear light of the Trinity, of which you have now received only a single ray, coming from the One God, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory for all ages, Amen” [Sermon 39].

We may not all be so athletically able as Messrs. Tebow and Thomas. Yet, we are all called to imitate Our Lord, as a way to thank God for His blessings, and a way to lead others to Him. “All has been done by God so that you might become other rays of Christ’s light for others”, is what Saint Gregory wrote. So, let’s do it! Imitate Tebow, and give glory to God in your life that others might come closer to the Him who is the source of all that is good, true and beautiful, and who offers true happiness here and forever. Don’t worry about what the media or anyone thinks; worry about what God thinks, and strive to please Him in daily life.
—Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Marie Boursiquot, 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. . . Felicia Stramandinoli, Duverney Caporal, 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.

Monthly Collection . . . The second collection today will be the monthly 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 Nagle Hall. Next Holy Hour:, January 16th 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).

Repainting the Church. . . $610,528.00 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 8, 2012 $ 12,393.09
January 9, 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 22nd Sunday Readings: Jon 3:1-5, 10; 1 Cor 7:29-31; Mk 1:14-20.

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: February 9th 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.

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.

Trinity Catholic Middle School. . . is holding an Open House on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in our building at 948 Newfield Avenue, Stamford. (Snow date is Thursday, February 2) The school is located on the same campus as Trinity Catholic High School. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet the Administration and Teachers, tour the facility, learn about the curriculum and have all of your questions answered. Parents and students interested in a challenging academic program in a faith based school are encouraged to attend.

Trinity Catholic High School. . . SchoolParents are welcome to visit Trinity Catholic High School during Catholic Schools Week. Stop by any time Tuesday morning, January 31st from 8:30 to 10:30. COME TAKE A LOOK TUESDAY. Come see Trinity in action…observe classes in session. Trinity welcomes freshmen as well as transfer students. For information, call 203-322-3401 x 16, or email: admissions@trinitycatholic.org.

St. Dominic Savio Society. . . Next meeting January 22nd after the Noon Mass.

St. Maria Goretti Society. . . Next meeting January 29th after the 10AM Mass.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, January 14, 2012
4:00 +Deceased Members of the DeRosa, Capobianco & Kronk Families and Edwin Clark req. Joan and John Kronk
Sunday, January 15, 2012
7:30 Souls in Purgatory req. Nelly Contreras
8:30 Special Intentions Diana Sadlon req. Mr. and Mrs. DeSoye
10:00+Christopher T. Harris, Jr. req. the Kazazes Family
12:00+Theresa Yao Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
5:00+Marie Wenthen
6:00+Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, January 16, 2012
8:00 Souls in Purgatory
12:10 Special Intentions Maryella T. Callahan
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
8:00 In Thanksgiving req. Thang Nguyen
12:10+Regina Quigley req. John and Eileen Tarleton
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
8:00 +John Gallagher req. John and Eileen Tarleton
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Nelly Contreras
Thursday, January 19, 2012
8:00 +Edward Raska req. Vinnie and John Coniglio
12:10 +Maria Preziosi 19th Anniversary req. her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren
Friday, January 20, 2012
8:00 +George Terenzio req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Elionise Simon req. Anne Jean-Rene
Saturday, January 21, 2012
8:00 Special Intentions Christina Mueller req. Drina and Justin Mostecki
12:10 +George Terenzio req. Carpanzano Family

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 NEWS:
The CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:135 years ago, or so:
January 18, 1879: Stamford. “The annual church report was read at High Mass, last Sunday, and was most favorable for the parish. The pastor exhorted his congregation to make extraordinary exertions during the coming year so that something may be done toward the completion of the church. Contributors to the building fund have the benefit of a monthly Mass as well as a requiem at the hour of death.”

The HARTFORD COURANT:
120 years ago, or so:

January 19, 1894: New Britain. “The Rev. Father Michael Tierney, senior priest of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in this city, received the official notification of his appointment as bishop of the Hartford diocese this afternoon at 3 o’clock. He at once went to Hartford to inform Vicar-General Hughes and assumed the duties of the office immediately.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Rev. Michael Tierney was Pastor of St. John’s from 1874 to 1876.)

The NEW YORK TIMES:
85 years ago, or so:

January 16, 1928 : Stamford. “The Rev. James C. O’Brien, pastor of St. John’s Catholic Church here for twenty-seven years, died suddenly tonight of heart disease in the office of his physician, Dr. J. J. Cloonan. Father O’Brien celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday on Christmas Day and his fiftieth anniversary as a priest on Dec. 22. Father O’Brien was ordained a priest on Dec. 22, 1877. His first appointment was as curate in St. Patrick’s Church, Hartford.”

The STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
50 years ago, or so:

January 16, 1964 : Bishop Curtis Will Officiate At Scout Event. “The 11th annual Ad Altare Dei award presentation sponsored by the Catholic Youth Organization of the Diocese of Bridgeport will be held Feb. 1, at the Holy Name Church. The awards will be presented by the Most Rev. Walter W. Curtis, Bishop of Bridgeport. Scout candidates for the award must have prepared themselves through a series of religious instructions under the direction of their local troop chaplain, after which they must pass a board of review. Those Scouts who successfully passed the board of review include Daniel J. Moriarity, Patrick J. Moriarity, and Daniel E. Shaub, Troop 22, St. John’s Roman Catholic Church.”

Choose Life…
January 23 is a National Day of Penance
– Fr. Terry Walsh

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice, and cleaving to Him…” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
Choose life….

We must recognize that the path to eternal happiness within the Holy Trinity is a path we choose to take. Each of us is given the choice. We each have immortal souls and we are meant to live in God – but He does not force us to live in Him. Our decisions in this life determine where we live eternally. The Council Fathers of Vatican II put it this way: “Let all be convinced that human life and its transmission are realities whose meaning is not limited by the horizons of this life only: their time evaluation and full meaning can only be understood in reference to man’s eternal destiny.” Sadly, our Culture rejects the gift of life – it rejects the Commandments – it has made itself ‘god’. And yet, consider what God has revealed to us: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…”(Jeremaih 1:5); or again in the Gospel of Luke: “For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy”(Lk 1:44). The Psalmist, too, sings of the wonder and magnificence of the human person created in the image and likeness of its Creator: “For Thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb…Thou knowest me right well; my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret…”(Psalm 139!).

God created us in His Image when He breathed the breath of life into us – creating us body and soul – a life that begins at conception. He included freedom in His plan – that we might freely choose to love Him, that we would choose the blessing and receive life. But do we contemplate the wonder of His love and marvel at His infinite goodness? We are tragically caught up in a “Culture of Death’ – a culture that proclaims its independence from God, following in the footsteps of Adam. He willfully separated Himself from God. He tumbled out of Paradise and the State of Grace and found himself crawling in the dust. Why? God gave him life and, of course, every other gift and blessing in the State of Grace. But Adam took his eye off the ball. His pride got the better of him. Pride has a terrible effect on a soul meant for love. Adam thought ‘he knew better.’ Imagine the utter shock and horror that rocked his world when the bill showed up – when it came time to pay for his choice. Fast forward to our world today. We live in a culture of moral relativism that celebrates the right to kill what God has brought to life, violating the very commandments that lead to life.

Abortion, Destruction of Embryos, Euthanasia, Eugenics – the list goes on – all done in the so-called name of scientific advancement for ‘the benefit’ of mankind.” Has the subtle snake desensitized our moral and spiritual radar? Have we willfully turned away from God and embraced instead the culture of man? Neither Science nor Public Opinion has any power of absolution, yet it presumes this power. It calls evil (abortion, etc) good and ignores the consequences. It is utterly incomprehensible. Have we lost our way? Has science and technology been commandeered? Have we lost our moral compass and bitten the apple?

Again, the Second Vatican Council beautifully encapsulates our true relationship with God: “The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. The invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot love fully according to Truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his Creator.” Choose life….

Consider praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary on January 23 for the conversion of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother.