For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday April 22, 2012

Pastor’s Corner. . . These are reflections on Christ’s saving work on the Cross and in the Resurrection, which remain with His Church throughout the ages, and whose power is transmitted to us daily in the Mass and Sacraments established by Jesus Himself:

“The Passover we now celebrate is the source of salvation for everyone, beginning with Adam, who is saved and brought to life. The great men and women and temporal events of the old covenant of Moses were images and prefigurations of eternal realities, and their purpose was to foreshadow the truth that has now come in Christ. Once the truth is present its images must yield their place; when the king is present, no one bows to his statue.

“It is clear how inferior the image is to the truth, the old Passover to the new one of Christ, for the old celebrated the short life given to the Hebrew first-born children, while the new celebrates eternal life given to every man and woman. It is no great thing to escape death for a brief season if one must shortly die nonetheless; but it is truly a great thing to escape death entirely. That is the good fortune of those for whom Christ has died as Passover Victim.

“The very name of the feast manifests its excellence, at least if we look at the realities to which the name points. For ‘Pasch’ means the ‘passing over’; the destroyer who was striking the first-born Egyptians passed over the Hebrew homes, while still more truly has he passed over us, for he left us untouched who have been raised by Christ to eternal life.

“What does it signify that the Passover and preservation of the first-born marked the beginning of the Hebrew year? It points to the fact that Christ’s true paschal sacrifice on the Cross is the beginning of eternal life. The year, after all, is the symbol of eternity, for it is a closed and ever-revolving circle, never coming to a halt. At the beginning of the year, then, Christ, Father of the world to come, was offered in sacrifice for us, and cancelling our former life, gave us a new and unending life through the bath of rebirth in Baptism, in which we were assimilated to his death and resurrection.

“Let each of us, then, strive truly to begin a new life and not return to the old one of sin, whose end has come. For ‘if we are dead to sin, how is it possible for us to live in it?’” [Easter Homily of the Early Church]

“The Son of God has taken human nature so closely to himself that one and the same Christ consists not only of that Man himself who is the First-born of every creature, but of all his saints as well. As the Head cannot be separated from the members of the Body [the Church], neither can the members be separated from the Head.

“Although it is said of eternal life and not of our earthly estate that God is all in all, yet he dwells even now in his temple, the Church, as he promised: ‘I am with you all days, even to the end of the world.’ All that God’s Son did and taught, therefore, to reconcile the world to the Father is not simply a fact of history, but a present and operative reality. Himself born of the Virgin by the Spirit’s power, He now makes His spotless Church fruitful through the same Spirit, and she bears countless children to God in the birth of Baptism. Of these children it is written: ‘They are born, not of flesh and blood or of human desire, but of God.’ He it is who, excluding none, forms all the nations of the earth into one holy flock and daily fulfills his promise to gather all his sheep. Though he said to Blessed Peter above all others, ‘Feed my sheep,’ the Lord Himself is everyone’s Shepherd. He so strengthens them with His love that, as He did not hesitate to die for them, they do not hesitate to die for Him.

“For, if we share the Body and Blood of Christ, we are assimilated to what we eat and drink. In all circumstances we will show forth in body and soul the images of Him in whom and with whom we died and were buried and rose to new life.” [Pope Saint Leo the Great, Sermon 12 on the Passion]

“The heavenly sacrifice of the Mass which Christ established is truly the inheritance-gift of the new covenant, left us as the pledge of His presence. It is provision for our journeying through this world until we come face to face with God.

“He wanted His blessings to abide with us and desired that our souls, redeemed by His priceless blood, should become ever more holy and bear more fully the likeness of His Passion. Therefore, He bade His Apostles, the first priests of the Church, to celebrate unceasingly these mysteries of eternal life. They and all the faithful would thus, to the end of time, have daily before their eyes the symbol of Christ’s suffering; bearing it in their hands and taking it into their mouths and hearts, they would be unable to forget the redemption wrought for them.” [St. Gaudentius of Brescia, Treatise 2] —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Marcy Stano, Mary-Jane Rice, Joan Duffy, Gale Browne, Titina Tarantino, Corrie Evans, Mercedes Huertas, Peter Boltrek, Billy Therriault, Raymond Eagan, Gary Everett, Erin Wiggin, Megan Bobroske, Connie Ward, Corrine Mattson, Marie Michele Louis, Herman Schneider, Eva Grace Kelly, John Murray, Mary D’Arco, Anthony Sansone, Tessie Mulhern, Margie Joyce, Tonin Gjepaj, Sandra Mayfield.

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Anthony Russo, Violet Roddy, David Brandel, Blanche Kulowiec, 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.

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: April 23rd .

Easter Duty. . . Each Catholic is obliged to receive Holy Communion at least once yearly, during the Easter Season (Easter—Pentecost, June12). One should also go to Confession at least once yearly, as well, in order to worthily receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord.

RESTROOMS. . . For our new parishioners, especially with small children: our restrooms are located in two places at St. John’s: in the vestibule to the left of the front door once you walk into the basilica [the same door that leads to the choir loft] and downstairs in the parish hall, by way of the elevator: go down one floor [it’s the only place the elevator goes to], down the corridor to the right. The vestibule area has a changing table.

BOOKSTORE. . . New in bookstore: Beautifully framed picture of our Icon of Mary Protectress of the Roman People. Thanks to Maureen Carpinello and our head altar server and photographer Andrew Mbabaali we now have for sale large and small framed prints of our beloved Icon. Our parish bookstore has moved—across the hall in the front vestibule of the basilica, into the bell tower. You can’t miss it: the space is larger and well lit. Please visit.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies. . . Will NOT meet in May. See you in September!!

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

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

Repainting the Church. . . $620,662.00 is pledged towards our goal of $641,000.00. The Canning Studio artisans have completed their work, and the result is a masterpiece that will last at least 100 years. PLEASE, if you have not completed your pledge payments, or haven’t made a donation to the church repainting, please do so now: what else can you contribute to that will inspire people during the next 100 years? Thanks.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR. . . For Two great parish events:
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.

40 Hours Devotion. . . Will begin here at the Basilica on Friday, June 8th at 7:30 pm. The Blessed Sacrament will remain exposed and the Basilica open throughout that weekend, until Sunday, June 10th at 5:30 pm, when we begin our outdoor Eucharistic Procession:

Sunday June 10th: 5:30-9:00 pm: Feast of Corpus Christi and Parish Block Party: The parish will sponsor an outdoor Eucharistic Procession through the streets of Stamford beginning at 5:30 p.m ending by 6:30pm FOLLOWED BY a Parish Block Party: food and non-alcoholic beverages, with the Catholic Band L’Angelus from 6:30-9:00pm: it will be fun and food for the family: and all without charge, as our way to thank everyone in the parish for having contributed to the repainting of our basilica. The procession begins on Atlantic Street at the Basilica front door; the Parish Block Party in the parish parking lot. Please join us!

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday April 15, 2012 $ 14,062.49
Sunday April 17, 2011 $ 14,551.26

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

April 29th Sunday Readings: Acts 4:8-12; 1 Jn 3:1-2; Jn 10:11-18.

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: May 10th in the Rectory

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.

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. We have collected to date: $37,084.

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.

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.

Tony Melendez in Concert. . . St. Theresa Church, Trumbull, CT, Friday, May 4th, 2012 @ 7:30PM. Purchase tickets at http://sttheresatrumbull.org. Please call 203-261-3145 with any questions. “My wish to you, is to continue giving this hope to all the people.” Pope John Paul II, Papal Visit 1987.

The St. Francis Youth Group. . . is proud to sponsor “Catch the Spirit” a Christian Contemporary music concert on Friday June 8th @7:30pm. The concert will be held at Crystal Theater in Norwalk Connecticut and will feature a live band accompanying 20 talented teen singers from across Fairfield County. Tickets may be purchased through http://catchthespirit.eventbrite.com/ Ticket cost is $10.00. Proceeds from the concert will benefit Abolition International -a non profit organization founded by Natalie Grant. Abolition International is dedicated to the eradication of human exploitation. A small portion of the proceeds will be used to purchase new song books for the St. Francis Teen Mass Singers. People who are unable to attend the concert may make a donation through the ticket website.

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 203-866-1606. Next meeting: This Monday, April 23rd.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, April 21, 2012
4:00 Special Intentions Millie Terenzio Birthday req. Family
Sunday, April 22, 2012
7:30 +Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
8:30 +Helen Pagnotti req. Jean and John Bendick & Family
10:00 +Audrey Reda req. the Carpanzano Family
12:00 +Gregory and Sean Rullman req. the Rullman Family
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, April 23, 2012
8:00 Thanksgiving to God req. Montanise Paulemon
12:10 +Sister Elizabeth Hart R.S.M. req. Esther Hart and Family
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
8:00 +John Currier req. the Natarelli Family
12:10 +Emilinne Quesnel req. Kiernan Malone
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
8:00 +Yumi Demicco req. Patricia O’Hara Taylor
12:10 +Helen Bush req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
Thursday, April 26, 2012
8:00 Thang and Diep Nguyen Wedding Anniversary
12:10 +George Terenzio req. Sharon Gannon
Friday, April 27, 2012
8:00 +Sister Mariette Bouille req. Montanise Paulemon
12:10 +Mrs. Marilou Peters req. Mrs. Jeannine Steward
Saturday, April 28, 2012
8:00 +Yumi Demicco req. Patricia O’Hara Taylor
12:10 John O’Hara Sr. and son John O’Hara req. Patricia and Christine O’Hara Taylor

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. For more information 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, September 5th.

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. . . After the 10:00 a.m. Family Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall. All are welcome.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:
140 years ago, or so:
April 29, 1870: “Let all whom it may concern read the “notice to builders” advertised in this issue by the Roman Catholic Society of Stamford.”
NOTICE TO BUILDERS
The Contract For Building the new Catholic church, on Atlantic street, will be left open for bids for a short time. Plans and Specifications may be examined at the residence of Rev. John Fagan on Meadow street.

120 years ago, or so:
April 27, 1893: Death of Daniel Doolan. “The death of Daniel Doolan, which occurred Tuesday night, removes from the scene an interesting figure, and one who honored both his race and religion by qualities of industry, integrity and good citizenship, which challenge the respect of all. No man now living has been so long identified with the Catholic community of Stamford. He was prominent when adherents in Stamford numbered less than fifty souls, and when its Mass was celebrated in a private house, that of the late Patrick Drew. He lived to see, from this small beginning, the church of his faith expand to the number of over 4,000 persons, and during his life in Stamford, saw its increase in population from 4,000 to 18,000. He was over 85 years of age upon the morning of his death.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Daniel Doolan’s name appears on an 1850 census of parishioners, the earliest register of Catholics in St. John’s archives.)

75 years ago, or so:
April 29, 1937: K. of C. Council Plans Celebration Of Anniversary. “St. Augustine Council, Knights of Columbus, will begin the celebration of its fiftieth anniversary, tomorrow night, with the initiation of more than 100 candidates in the second degree of the order. The meeting will be held in St. John’s School hall. Council members will receive Holy Communion at the 8 a.m. Mass in St. John’s R.C. Church Sunday morning.”

25 years ago, or so:
April 24, 1986: Filmmaker Otto Preminger dies. “It was in 1963, after the high intensity lights and the cameras had been rolled out of the sanctuary of Stamford’s St. John Roman Catholic Church, when Otto Preminger offered Msgr. Nicholas P. Coleman an autographed copy of the script of “The Cardinal.” The monsignor, the Rev. William Nagle said yesterday, is remembered as replying with a broad grin, “Thank you, Otto, but I already have a copy of the script. I’d like $10,000 instead.” Mr. Preminger then took out his billfold, and wrote a check to the congregation.”

The Elevation
– Fr. Terry Walsh

What thoughts run through your heart and mind at that extraordinary moment of grace when the Consecrated Host is raised to the Father in sacrifice? What greater example of mercy could there possibly be? Jesus offers His very Body and Blood, laying down His very life for sinful humanity. It is truly the supreme act of love and mercy. What inspirations flow into the depths of your soul at that extraordinary moment? One faithful communicant once shared with me his response at that extraordinary moment of the Holy Mass: “My Lord and My God” echoing the words of the Apostle Thomas who probed the open wound in the side of Christ, piercing the veil, as it were, moving from doubt to true knowledge of our Lord’s Perfect Sacrifice. Thomas fell to his knees in thankful adoration – just as we utter those faithful words upon our knees and contemplate His love.

In those few brief moments, we gaze upon mercy and love Himself and see with the eyes of faith the vision Isaiah had been granted when he came to serve God: extraordinary Light emanating from the very Heart of God, exploding out to all the Universe, stamping out darkness, crushing all impurity, restoring Light, Happiness, and Peace. In those holy moments when I look up at our Lord resting in my hands I pray the prayer of St. Faustina: “O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a font of Mercy for us, I Trust in You.” He has revealed Himself as our Merciful Redeemer. He has offered Himself in sacrifice for our salvation; we are offered the gift of life in the Eucharist.

Our Patron, St. John, uses the images of Light and Water in his Gospel, as well as his letters, to describe the flow of grace, that is, the flow of mercy and love from the Temple, the Body of the Risen Christ. The vision of this glorious flow of grace described by John and seen by St. Faustina draws our eyes back to the tiny host wherein our Lord resides – for us. Thoughts drift back to that still moment when the Centurion thrust the lance into the dead Body of Christ Crucified, opening up the gates of life, never to be closed again. Let us not forget that that same Sword pierced the Immaculate Heart of His Most Pure Virgin Mother through whom the gift of eternal life came to us.

Like St. Thomas, the Centurion recognized in an instant that he was in the Presence of God. That Roman soldier, St. Longenius, dropped to his knees and believed and was washed clean in His Blood. What thoughts run through your heart and mind at that extraordinary moment of grace when you likewise find yourself at the foot of the Cross – at every Holy Mass and the consecrated host is raised to the Father in the most extraordinary act of love and mercy – for you? After all, we, too, have pierced Him. Yet, He forgives. He turns His Merciful gaze toward each one of us from the tiny host and He calls each one of us by name: “Come to Me…I will give you ‘Living Water’… ‘I will fill you with Divine Light’… ‘I will feed your thirsty soul with the Bread of Angels and streams of Living Water will forever well up from within you!’ How can our reaction be anything other than “My Lord and My God!”