For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday February 5, 2012

Pastor’s Corner. . . CORRECTION: There is a serious mistake that I made on the website [which has been corrected] and in my pulpit announcement last weekend, and in this month’s number of The Eagle, which I correct now. The parishioners who created our magnificent scaffolding inside the Basilica are the O’Farrell Family, and their company is Colgate Scaffold. They are renowned in the Tri-State area for their superb and reliable work, with such important examples as their past efforts at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, The Supreme Court at Centre Street and other important projects in Manhattan, and which is amply demonstrated by their superb work just completed here at Saint John’s. I apologize for my error, and re-iterate my thanks to Michael O’Farrell who daily stopped by to oversee his expert workmen, as well as my thanks for such a magnificent job as we begin to restore our Basilica. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Saint John’s has a new organist and choir master: Mr. Christopher Mueller [pronounced Miller], who comes to us from the Church of Notre Dame in New York City, where he served as director of music since 1999 and for the Columbia University Catholic Ministry. He is a published composer as well, having authored hundreds of Catholic liturgical works, including settings of the Sunday Responses and numerous motets. His recent congregational mass setting was written using the new English translations of the Mass, Missa pro editione tertia, and has been purchased by parishes all over the English-speaking world, and will be featured at the Church Music Association of America’s Sacred Music Coloquium this summer in Salt Lake City. For more information about Chris and his accomplishments and expertise, please check the website,

Mr. Mueller also sings in the sacred medieval men’s trio, Trio Triumvirum; performs as a jazz pianist in his instrumental quartet, Grand Central, and has worked as an off-broadway musical theater director, as a dance accompanist for the Alvin Ailey School and the Neubert Ballet School in Carnegie Hall, and as a vocal coach.

Since 2005, Chris has also served as the Coordinator of Marriage Preparation Programs [Pre-Cana] for the Archdiocese of New York, in which capacity he served nearly 3,500 engaged couples yearly, and taught marriage preparation classes with his wife throughout the Archdiocese.

Chris, his wife and children are no strangers to Saint John’s. Chris has directed the choir for the solemn profession for the Sisters of Life here at St. John’s. His wife and children have been actively involved in the Basilica’s Saint Anne’s Homeschooling Group, and at the Tuesday morning Moms and Tots gatherings.

We are delighted that Chris has joined our staff here at the Basilica, and look forward to restoring our music program. As we all know, the Mass is a true sacrifice as a memorial of Our Lord’s sacrifice on the cross, as the Church has always taught, most recently in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “The Eucharist is a memorial in the sense that it makes present and actual the sacrifice which Christ offered to the Father on the cross, once and for all on behalf of mankind. The sacrificial character of the Holy Eucharist is manifested in the very words of institution, ‘This is my body which is given for you’ and ‘This cup is the New Covenant in my Blood that will be shed for you’ [Luke 22: 19-22]. The sacrifice of the cross and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one and the same sacrifice. The priest and the victim are the same [Christ]; only the manner of offering is different: in a bloody manner on the cross, in an unbloody manner in the Eucharist.” [Catechism of the Catholic Church, 280].
We, too, offer something along with Our Lord, as St. Paul wrote, whether it be our prayers or our sufferings, joining them to His cross. This is the reason Saint John’s has a paid choir: to offer beauty to God as our part of His Sacrifice of the Mass. To be able to offer God only the best and most beautiful music we can, which also lifts our souls and minds to Him, is worth the cost. We welcome Chris and the return of the choir, and look forward to Holy Week, when the work is completed, and we make our offering to God by providing the beauty of the John Canning Studios’ art work, made possible by the generous sacrifices of our parishioners, and beautiful music. For those who come to visit the Basilica, the beauty of the interior and the music can lead them to God, who is the source of all that is Good, True and Beautiful; to us who are parishioners, it is our gift to God, as well as our statement of thanks to Him who loves us so much He sent His only Son for us. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Marie Michele Louis, Norma Johnson, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Viergina Toussaint, George Muro, Ann Rich, Lena Chiappetta, Rosina Raiteri, 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.

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:, February 6th at 7:30 p.m. Monday downstairs in the Monsignor Nagle Hall.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies. . . Will next meet on the Wednesday in March: 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, to read the works of St. Theodoret of Cyr. All the readings are in English translation; all welcome.

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. The Beginner Latin class meets every Wednesday: 6:30-7:30 pm; The Beginner Greek class meets every Thursday: 6:30-7:30 pm, both meet in the rectory. As always, there is no charge for these courses.

Repainting the Church. . . $588,078.00 is pledged towards our goal of $629,000.00. We 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: $25. per week: $3.57 per day for 10 months. Please, lend a hand.

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.

*NEW* Francis & Clare High School Youth Group…..Faith. Adventure. Community. That’s what you’ll find at the new post-Confirmation coed High School Youth Group. Join us for our kick-off event Sunday Jan 29th 6-8pm! Meetings on the 2nd and 4th Sunday each month. Find the group “Francis and Clare Youth Group” on Facebook or email for more info.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR. . . Saturday, May 5th, 4:00-7:30 pm: Kentucky Derby: This will be our primary fundraising event of the season, and all are invited to enjoy a live television feed of the Derby, post time at 6:24 pm. Betting & prizes, live auction, live jazz band, superb food provided some of the best local restaurants, including Columbus Park Trattoria, and excellent local food shops, including mountains of fresh lobster, crab, oysters, clams and shrimp from Grade A ShopRite, wines, mint juleps and soft drinks as well. Come join us for a great evening. All proceeds remain here at the Basilica.

January 29, 2012 $ 12,701.47
January 30, 2011 $ 12,212.16

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

February 12th Sunday Readings: Lv 13:1-2, 44-46; 1 Cor 10:31-11:1; Mk 1:40-45.

Reminder: ASH WEDNESDAY: February 22nd is the beginning of Lent. The usual Mass schedule will be followed: 8 am Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Hall; 12:10 pm Mass IN THE BASILICA. Ashes will be offered beginning at 7 a.m. for those who cannot attend Mass, during both Masses, and at the Basilica office door all day until 7:30 pm. Ash Wednesday IS NOT A HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION. The rules of fasting and abstinence both apply on Ash Wednesday: those aged 14-60 years old, unless ill, suffering from a medical condition, no meat is to be eaten, and only one full meal, and NO snacking between meals. This is a simple way to begin actually doing penance for our sins, to make a small sacrifice in what we eat.

Lenten Confessions. . . Each Tuesday evening during Lent, 7:00-9:00 pm in the parish hall.

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,, or Janet Lancaster at 203-637-3301,

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: ). Next meeting: February 9th in the Rectory

Project Rachel Ministry. . . offers free and confidential help to those seeking healing after abortion. Come back to God who is love and mercy. Info. (203) 416-1619 or

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: or call her at 203-866-1606. Next meeting: Monday, February 27th.

Mardi Gras. . .Sacred Heart, Schuyler Ave., Stamford: Saturday Feb 18th: 7-10:30 pm: join us for DJ entertainment, and a great dinner of pasta fagioli, wings, meatballs, sausage & peppers, coffee, dessert, beer & wine. RSVP: by Feb 16th: Barbara Cerulli: 203-348-1268 or Marie Loiseau: 203-355-3711. Join us for fun!

Sunday, April 29th. . . HOLY ROOTS!, a discussion about the religious foundations of Stamford: 1641-1876, at the Stamford Historical Society: 2-5 pm. Speakers: Msgr. DiGiovanni, Mr. John Allen [Congregational] and Rev. James Wheeler [Episcopal]. Cost: $15. per person; $5 students, payable to Stamford Historical Society. Please mail check to Stamford Historical Society, 1598 High Ridge Road, Stamford, CT 06903-4107.

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. . . February 11th: World Day of Prayer for the Sick: a special Mass and the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick will be hosted by the Knights of Malta at Saint Aloysius Church in New Canaan at 3:00 pm. All are welcome to join us.
For information: Please contact
Betty Flynn: 203-966-1959 or or
Hope Carter: 203-966-5186 or

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased

Saturday, February 4, 2012
4:00+Members DeRosa, Capobianco & Kronk Families and Edwin Clark req. Joan and John Kronk
Sunday, February 5, 2012
7:30+Alexander Munro 34th Anniversary req. Munro and DeVivo Families
8:30+Achille Lamontagne req. Lloydie Lamontagne
10:00 UPPER CHURCH +Giuseppina Docimo req. Carpanzano Family
10:00 NAGLE HALL +Rosina Raiteri req. Priests of the Parish
12:00+Rosanne Fazio req. her Uncle Frank D’Amico
6:00+Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, February 6, 2012
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10+George Terenzio req. Mary Jean DalMolin
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
8:00+Joseph W. Callahan req. daughter Maryella Callahan
12:10+Elionise Simon req. Anne Jean-Rene
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Ida Carpanzano
12:10+Catherine B. Pullen req. the family
Thursday, February 9, 2012
8:00+Robert Cogan req. Tom Timon
12:10 Special Intentions Rina Scafidi
Friday, February 10, 2012
8:00+Natale Sposato req. Mossa Family
12:10 Thanksgiving and Special Intentions John Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
Saturday, February 11, 2012
8:00+Eleanor Chidsey req. John J. Chidsey
12:10+John O’Hara Sr. and son John req. Stephanie O’Hara

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:
145 years ago, or so:
February 5, 1869: The Catholic Fair. “The following list comprises some of the more prominent prizes drawn at the Fair held by the ladies of St. John’s Catholic Church, with the names of those who were entitled to them: One ton of coal, donated by Messrs. Scofield & Co., was drawn by Eugene Drew; a barrel of flour, by Patrick Moran; a marble top table, by P. McNamara; an ice pitcher, by Thomas Ferry Potter, of Greenwich; one ton of coal, donated by Wm. D. Smith, Esq., by Wm. Derbyshire; revolver, by S.G. Silliman; altar vestments by Rev. John Fagan; picture of Father O’Neil, by Henry T. Smith, of New Hartford, Conn.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: The photograph of the Rev. James O’Neil, pastor of St. John’s from 1861 to 1868, was graciously given back to St. John’s Parish by the Great-Grandson of Henry T. Smith, during the pastorate of Rev. Msgr. William A. Nagle. It is the only known photo of Father O’Neil and currently hangs in St. John’s Rectory.)

135 years ago, or so:
February 9, 1877: “The pupils of St. John’s R.C. school give an exhibition in the town hall Tuesday evening, February 13. The program includes vocal and instrumental music, comedy, etc. Judging from the success of the last public entertainment given by the school, it is safe to predict a full house for next Tuesday evening.”

February 8, 1878: Death of Pope Pius IX. “A dispatch received yesterday afternoon announced the death of Pope Pius IX, at 4:57 Wednesday afternoon. This event has long been expected, as the Pope has been rapidly failing for several months past.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: The parish of St. John the Evangelist was formed during the reign of Pope Pius IX.)

95 years ago, or so:
“The Red Cross Christmas Seal Committee held a final meeting at the Visiting Nurse Association offices, and listened with much interest to the report of its chairman, Mrs. E. D. Smith The ambition to double last year’s sales has been more than realized. Among the sales reported was in St. John’s Catholic Church, where 6,152 tickets were sold and the parochial school sold 2,385. Father O’Brien and Sister Evangelist endorsed the sale very heartily, and the parish made an additional contribution to the Anti-Tuberculosis work of $66.56..”

The Call to Discipleship
– Fr Terry Walsh

In these early weeks of Ordinary Time in the Liturgical Year we have been hearing about the beginning of our Lord’s Ministry from the Gospel of Mark. Jesus has invited the Apostles to share in the work of Redemption; indeed, it is the duty and the privilege of all the baptized to share in ‘Building up the Kingdom.” I wonder what would be going through Jesus’ mind as He approached the busting activity of the diligent fishermen – Peter and Andrew, James and John – who were seeking to haul in a great catch (Mk 1:16). Might he have had a particular eagerness, a purposefulness to His step? John the Baptist, martyred out of love for Him, fulfilled his mission and now Jesus’ burning desire to proclaim the Good News would at long last finally begin – His love was on fire – he was pumped up and eager to announce the Good News of Salvation– it was the whole purpose for his becoming man and the moment had arrived – ‘that moment toward which all time and history, all human and divine longing have been directed’ – it’s here – finally. You can see it in His step. What’s more – he’s about to invite those he loves to share in His Mission. As He gets closer to the chatter of the men giving orders to each other in their boats, perhaps his smile unveils His excitement – He can’t contain it. He’s eager to get started….

Meanwhile, the typical busyness of the day occupies the attention of the fishermen as the sun rises higher in the sky and the gulls begin to gather in greater number to feast – the fish are cleaned as they are gathered. These hardworking fishermen hope for a slightly bigger catch in the next wave. Their thoughts quite naturally are focused on meeting their quota in order to support their families and pay their taxes – along with the other general cares and concerns of the day. Perhaps, their thoughts drift off to the future – maybe next year they’ll be able to add a boat, or at least hire another worker or two. Their restless concerns occupy their minds. Looking up from their nets, they see Him. As He approaches, they’re curious. He meets them. He invites them: Follow Me! Jesus is inviting each one of us – today- right now- to follow Him – to be aware of the purpose of our existence – to come to know Him and grow in a deeply personal relationship with Him – and through that intimate relationship, to draw others to Him – to “Cast into the Deep.” Consider the response of the first Apostles. There was no hesitation. Peter, Andrew, James, and John left everything immediately and followed Him. For them, it wasn’t simply a matter of “coming after” Jesus; rather, it was much more profound. It was a matter of imitating him, casting aside anything that hindered their fidelity and their growth in virtue.

Just as they had gutted and cleaned the fish, digging out and tearing away all the useless parts for the sea gulls, leaving only the lean, nutritious piece ready to be consumed – so too they scraped away whatever hindered them from preaching the Word of God and being active participants in the mission entrusted to them. Likewise, the leaner we are, spiritually speaking, the more faithfully we can focus on growing in virtue and responding to the Grace Jesus seeks to pour into our hearts in order to accomplish His work. Just as Jesus revealed His Kingdom to the Apostles and gave them a share in his mission and his suffering, so too, does he offer it to us. We’re called to an intimate communion with God. Trust Him – he will nourish you – through his grace – especially in the Eucharist – received in the State of Grace.
“I am the living bread which came down from Heaven; if anyone