For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday March 4, 2012

Pastor’s Corner. . . The Gospel for this Second Sunday of Lent relates the event known as the Transfiguration of Our Lord: Our Lord being transfigured, or glorified before his Apostles Saints Peter, James and John, on the top of Mount Tabor in the Holy Land. Appearing to the Apostles and speaking with Christ were Moses and Elijah: the embodiment of all the teachings of the Law of God and the Prophets.

Why would Christ show Himself in His glory as God? What was the point? We must put this into the context of Our Lord’s public ministry. The Transfiguration of Christ is reported in four places in the New Testament: Matthew 17: 1-9; Mark 9:29; Luke 9:28-36; the Second Letter of St. Peter, 1:10-21. The version at Mass this Sunday is from Mark. Our Lord had begun the second part of His public ministry with His predictions of His death on the Cross. His Apostles were nervous about His repetitious assertion that He would suffer and die by crucifixion, especially since they put their hopes in the mistaken belief that Jesus was to be a political messiah, come primarily to liberate Israel from political subjugation to the Roman Empire. Our Lord now took His three most trusted Apostles, Saints Peter, John and James, up to the peak of Mount Tabor, and manifested to them the reality of who He is: God and man; and the presence of Moses and Elijah underscored the reason for which God had come as a man, known as Jesus: to save all mankind from slavery to sin and death, not merely to free Israel from political and military occupation. Atop Mount Tabor, Jesus also manifested that He is the presence of the Prophets Elijah, the greatest of the Old Testament Prophets, and Moses, who received the Ten Commandments from God. Jesus is the fulfillment of all the promises of the Old Testament, and the reason why Israel was created by God: His instrument through which the Savior of the world would come.

The Transfiguration of Our Lord speaks also to us today. Jesus is not simply another prophet or religious teacher. He is God, the Creator of the universe, Who became a man, and He calls us to share in His divine life and glory in Heaven, by means of the graces flowing from His Cross, that come to us primarily by means of the Church’s sacraments, established by Him. The Cross, which Jesus repeatedly referred to, and which frightened the Apostles, is the only means by which our slavery to sin and death is ended. We come into contact with the Cross by the Church and Her Sacraments, given us by Christ as His instruments to change our lives to become more like God here on earth, and so to share in His glory in Heaven.

During this second week of Lent, meditate on Our Lord’s generosity, and the means by which He shares His life with us. By taking on our human nature, He is like us in everything but sin, and by offering Himself on the Cross to pay for our sins, Jesus showed His true nature and work: He is the one and eternal God who became man so that mankind could become more like God and live forever. We can share in that glory by a life of faith and virtue, heeding the Word of God in our daily lives and allowing God to transform us through His grace of the Sacraments.

So, during Lent, our additional penances, prayer and acts of charity should be entered into for the sole purpose of setting aside our sins that attract us, so that God’s Grace might work to transform us. Christ’s glory on Mount Tabor in the Transfiguration will be ours, if we are in love with the God who became man, Jesus Our Lord, and respond to Him in faith and love, manifested in acts of charity and hope. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Larry Schmidt Sr., Gary Everett, Erin Wiggin, Megan Bobroske, Connie Ward, Corrine Mattson, Marie Michele Louis, Marie Boursiquot, Herman Schneider, Chris Seely, Frank Monaghan, Eva Grace Kelly, John Murray, Billy Therriault, Mary D’Arco, Anthony Sansone, Tessie Mulhern, Margie Joyce, Tonin Gjepaj, Sandra Mayfield, Lily Ann O’Connell.

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Thomas Pavia, Cassandra Eloy, Anilia Firmin, Joseph Danilauskas, Bridget Sheehy, Norma Johnson, 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.

Special Energy Collection . . . The second collection today is the Special Energy Collection to help pay the Higher Energy and Fuel Costs for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

Daylight Savings Time . . . Begins next Sunday, March 11th. Please remember to set your clocks forward one hour.

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: March 5th .

Padre Pio. . . You may notice a new bronze statue of Saint Padre Pio: a gift from a good friend of the parish. The statue was cast in Italy, and arrived three weeks ago. Now with the stone work complete, he is there to inspire us. Many thanks to the anonymous donor, and many blessings on you and your family for your generosity and devotion.

LENT: Each Friday during Lent: abstain from eating meat. Those aged 14-60 years old, unless ill or suffering from a medical condition: no meat is to be eaten: a simple way to do penance for our sins, making a small sacrifice, an outward sign that we are sorry to God.
Stations of the Cross: Fridays during Lent at 4:00pm in English, in the Msgr. Nagle Hall.
Lenten Confessions. . . Every Tuesday during Lent: 7:00-9:00 pm. In Msgr. Nagle Hall.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies. . . On the March Wednesdays: 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, to read the works of St. Theodoret of Cyr. All the readings are in English translation.

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

Greek Grammar. . . A beginner grammar class that meets Thursdays: 6:30 pm in the Rectory.

Repainting the Church. . . $606,440.00 is pledged towards our goal of $629,000.00. We need everyone’s help to. Just a bit more from everyone, and we’ll complete this project.

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 projectrachel@diobpt.org.

Annual Bishop’s Appeal. . . Has begun. Many parishioners may have already received a letter from Bishop Lori. Saint John’s annual goal, set by the diocese, is $100,000. The funds collected for the Bishop are used for the numerous charitable and educational works of the Diocese.

St. Patrick’s Parade. . . Begins at 12 noon on Saturday, March 10th. Bring the family downtown for a day of fun, rousing music and Irish pride. Check The Advocate for details.

Defending Our Religious Liberty. . . On Monday, February 27th, Bishop Lori and the other Catholic bishops of Connecticut met with Congressional Representatives to voice opposition to the federal health care insurance mandate violating our First Amendment Right to Freedom of Religion. Make your voice heard: contact your representative: please contact www.ctcatholic.org for legislators’ addresses and phone numbers, and voice your opposition.

February 26, 2012 $ 12,528.25
February 27, 2011 $ 12,804.43

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

March 11th Sunday Readings: Ex 20:1-17 or 20:1-3, 7-8, 12-17; 1 Cor 1:22-25; Jn 2:13-25.

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, juliannedemarco@yahoo.com, or Janet Lancaster at 203-637-3301, jmlancaster@optonline.net.

St. John’s 20’s and 30’s: The Flock….our 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: March 8th in the Rectory

*NEW* Francis & Clare High School Youth Group. . . Faith. Adventure. Community. That’s what you’ll find at the new post-Confirmation co-ed High School Youth Group. Join us! Meetings on the 2nd and 4th Sunday each month. Find the group “Francis and Clare Youth Group” on Facebook or email Deirdre.garrahan@gmail.com for more info.

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.

40 Days For Life. . . Join other Christians and take part in the international 40 Days for Life effort during Lent: February 22nd through April 1st. In addition to 40 days of peaceful prayer and fasting for an end to abortion, please consider volunteering for one or more hours during the 40 days, and help to spread the word to others about this important life-saving effort. St. John’s parish day of vigil is: Friday, March 16th. For more information please contact Gene Dagostino, 203-530-1908, gdag@optonline.net.

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).

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.

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. Wagering & prizes, live auction, live jazz band, superb food provided by 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 All proceeds will be used here at the Basilica.

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, March 27th.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, March 3, 2012
4:00 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
Sunday, March 4, 2012
7:30 Sister Ellen Mary CSJ Birthday Remembrance req. Marie Carr
8:30 +Margueritte Lauture req. Lloydie Lamontagne
10:00 +Dorothy Wargo Birthday Remembrance req. Arthur J. Wargo
12:00 +Anna Young req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, March 5, 2012
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 +Lorraine Bouton req. Eva Czytowska
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
8:00 +Sister Elizabeth Hart R.S.M. req. Esther Hart & Family
12:10 +Laurence Smith req. Jeanne Loughlin
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
8:00 +Mary M. Callahan req. daughter Maryella Callahan
12:10 +Elfriede Kuhland req. Mary Beth Malone
Thursday, March 8, 2012
8:00 +Raymond Jean-Rene req. Anne Jean-Rene
12:10 +Louise Bashaw req. Wendy Dalton
Friday, March 9, 2012
8:00 Donald Samedi Birthday req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Frances A. Pouzar req. Ed Pouzar
Saturday, March 10, 2012
8:00 +Fr. Georges Mathelier req. Montanise Paulemon
12:10 Special Intentions Joseph Kung req. Agnes Kung

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 . . . Basic Grammar: Meets Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm in the rectory.

Coffee Hour. . . NO coffee hour until the church painting is completed.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:
145 years ago, or so:
March 8, 1867: Lent. “Wednesday last was Ash Wednesday, the first day of the great Lenten fast. The usual services for the day were held in the Roman Catholic Church.”

140 years ago, or so:
March 10, 1871: St. Patrick’s Day. “The programme for the celebration in honor of Ireland’s patron saint, on the 17th of March, is not yet fully decided, but it is thought there will be a procession of the various Catholic societies, or a lecture in Seely’s Hall in the evening or both.”

120 years ago, or so:
March 6, 1891: “The Stations of the Cross and the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament were given in St. John’s R. C. church on Wednesday evening. The regular Wednesday evening Lenten sermon was postponed until this Friday evening, at which time a discourse will be preached by the Rev. John Corcoran of New Haven, on the subject “The Sacred Heart”.”

80 years ago, or so:
March 9, 1933: TWO SCOUTS GET LIFE RANK AT THE COURT OF HONOR. “The March session of the Court of Honor of the Stamford Council, Boy Scouts of America, was very well attended by Scouts of the various troops. Promotions which took place are as follows: to Life Scout rank, Scouts William Elwell of Troop 3, and Robert Thayer of Troop 22 (St. John’s R.C. Church.)”

65 years ago, or so:
March 9, 1949: St. John’s Students Merit Award Winners. “Ann Forbes and Patricia Quinn, students in St. John’s Junior High School, were named Merit Award winners in the Hartford Courant parade of Youth Scholastic Art Contest. Their work is among 500 examples of pictorial, graphic and commercial art, selected by a panel of judges as the best of 2,000 entries submitted by Junior and Senior high schools and technical schools of the same level throughout Connecticut. All 500 entries, now on exhibition in Hartford, will be sent on to Pittsburgh, where a national contest, sponsored by the Scholastic Magazines will be held at Carnegie Institute from May 7 through 31.”

Looking Toward Holy Saturday
-Fr. Terry Walsh

“He did no wrong; no deceit was found in his mouth. When he was insulted, he returned no insult.” – 1 Peter 2

The following text is taken from an ancient homily on Holy Saturday , the author is unknown. It is a magnificent meditation on the “40 Hours” our Lord lay in the Tomb and a wonderful source of contemplation as we approach the Passion and Death of our Lord, and await His Resurrection……

“Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the Cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ Christ answered him: ‘And with your spirit.’ He took him by the hand and raised him up saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’ I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, o sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.

For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.”

As we seek to deepen our spiritual life during this Holy Season of Lent, we draw strength through our meditation on the sacrifice, the humility, the love of so great a Redeemer.