For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday April 29, 2012

Pastor’s Corner. . . May, the most beautiful of all months, when the icy grip of winter finally loosens, celebrates the most beautiful and most worthy of all women in human history, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. From its very beginning, the Church has revered Our Lady because of her personal holiness and intimate relationship with the Divine Persons of the Trinity. The most popular prayer, the Hail Mary, is based on the words addressed to Mary by the Archangel Gabriel at the Annunciation: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee,” recalling the wonders God was about to work in her life for the salvation of the world, by which as Our Lady responds, “all generations will call me blessed.” [Luke 1:46-55] Even during her lifetime, Mary was held in high esteem, as was any mother in Jewish society, but especially the mother of someone famous or powerful. By the end of the first century, Mary is venerated, NOT worshiped, since only God receives worship. Mary is venerated as the New Eve, especially described in the writings of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, who had been taught the faith by Saint Peter himself. Mary, the most perfect representative of our human race, now makes up in her own virtuous life of faith for the sins of the first Eve. God the Father recreates all creation through Christ, the New Adam, with Mary as the human co-operator in the Divine plan of salvation.

Saint Athanasius, one of the greatest of the Church Fathers, wrote: “O’ Virgin, your glory transcends all created things because of Christ, O Mother of God the Word. We say that cherubs are sublime, but you are more sublime than they: cherubs support the throne of God, but you support God within your arms. Seraphs are close to God, but you are closer than they: Seraphs hide their faces with their wings, unable to look at the perfect glory of God, but you not only contemplate His face, but caress and suckle Him.” [Virgin Mother of God] The centuries-old popular devotion to Our Lady then became even more popular, for Mary was formally seen as the mother of our salvation and of all graces through Her Son.

As the Church spread throughout Europe in the 5th century and during later centuries, Mary was held in reverence as the mother of all believers, constantly interceding for us with Jesus, while pointing us toward her Son. In Northern Europe, Eve sits in the Garden of Eden, holding the apple of her where the winters are harsh, May was the first month disobedience, with Satan’s serpent entwined. Mary, the of new life, with flowers finally blooming after long winters.New Eve, stands in the new Garden of Paradise, the Catholic Mary, the greatest boast of our race, and Church, filled with flowers; the New Eve treads on Satan, the most perfect representative of humankind, who shared fulfilling God’s promise in Genesis to rescue us from
her humanity with God in Jesus, was always honored in May the effects of our sins. [Genesis 3:15] especially, with flowers that represent the new creation by God through Christ, such as the lily, the rose, the marigold, and numerous wild-flowers, lady-fern, lady’s mantel, lady’s slipper, maidenhair fern, and lady’s thimble. In Medieval France an new image developed of Mary with Her Infant Son: In a walled garden, filled with beautifully blooming flowers, Our Lady sits on the ground holding Her Infant Son. It is a lovely, almost homespun image: God’s love become real in this little baby, playing with his mother, safely within their backyard garden: the garden, of course, is a symbol for Christ’s Catholic Church, and the flowers symbols of Mary’s virtues, Jesus’ signs of God’s love for us during His human life, and the many gifts God gives us through His Church, including Scripture, the Church’s teachings, and the Seven Sacraments.

Our Lady is the exemplar of the Christian life, of one who is totally dedicated to Our Lord. She is also our mother, the New Eve, who gave birth to a new creation in Christ, who prays constantly for our salvation. Let us imitate that natural beauty by dedicating ourselves to follow Our Lady, making our lives blossom in virtue in her honor and for the love of Her Son.
—Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Maureen Casner, Stephen Casner, Marcy Stano, Mary-Jane Rice, Joan Duffy, Gale Browne, Titina Tarantino, Corrie Evans, Mercedes Huertas, Peter Boltrek, Billy Therriault, 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. . . Frank D’Amico, Don Curry, Raymond Eagan, 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.

Catholic Home Missions Collection . . . Please drop your special envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.

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 30th .

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.

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. . . $623,925.00 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 Three great parish events:

Kentucky Derby Saturday: May 5th: 4:00-7:30 pm: 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, [including a trip to Rome], live jazz band, and 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. Come join us!!

40 Hours Devotion 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 will begin our outdoor Eucharistic Procession:

Feast of Corpus Christi & Parish Block Party: Sunday June 10th: 5:30-9:00pm:
—Eucharistic Procession
through the streets of Stamford beginning at 5:30pm ending by 6:30pm AND

—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 22, 2012 $ 11,101.00
Sunday April 24, 2011 $ 13,387.87

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

May 6th Sunday Readings: Acts 9:26-31; 1 Jn 3:18-24; Jn 15:1-8.

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: $42,819.

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: Monday, May 28th.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, April 28, 2012
4:00 +Deceased members of DeRosa, Capobianco, Kronk Families and Edwin Clark req. Joan and John Kronk
Sunday, April 29, 2012
7:30 +Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
8:30 +Adam Novak req. Lancaster Family
10:00 +James & Ismalia Machado req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
12:00 +Vita and Frank Fazio req. her brother Frank D’Amico
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, April 30, 2012
8:00 +All deceased members of Barnes and Parker Families req. the Parker Family
12:10 +Joan Dean req. the Natarelli Family
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
8:00 +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Thomas and Josephine King req. Margaret Fitzpatrick
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
8:00 Special Intentions Smith and Parker Families req. the Parker Family
12:10 +Giuseppe Annetta req. Pugliese Family
Thursday, May 3, 2012
8:00 +Donald Lear req. the Carpanzano Family
12:10 +Florence Procaccini req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Friday, May 4, 2012
8:00 Faithful Departed
12:10 +Gregory and Sean Rullman req. the Rullman Family
Saturday, May 5, 2012
8:00 Thanksgiving to God req. Fabiola C.
12:10 In Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary req. Ferry G.

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 NEWS:
135 years ago, or so:
THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
May 6, 1876: Stamford. “A new house of the Sisters of Mercy, has just been founded here and a great want of the people in facilities for Catholic education promises to be supplied. Three Sisters from Mt. St. Joseph’s Convent, Hartford, have arrived and are installed in the old parochial residence which has been fitted up to answer the purpose of a convent. One poor school house is all that is available now, but ere long, with the blessing of God, another and larger one will be erected.”

125 years ago, or so:
May 2, 1885: Stamford. “Our cemetery at Springdale was considerably damaged by fire last week, which destroyed many trees and shrubs. The damage might have been great only the fire was discovered and put out by some neighbors. After some searching and inquiry on the part of the officers, they ascertained that Zachary Nichols, Chas. Keeler and Charles Smith started the fire. The three were brought before the Borough court and Smith and Keeler were bound over to the Superior court. Probably they didn’t intend to burn the cemetery, but after making the fire it may have become unmanageable. But whether it was their intention or not to destroy the place, they ought to be taught that the match is not to be applied to whatever their fancies dictate, and that ought be done in no better way than by keeping them indoors awhile.”

10 years ago, or so:
THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
May 8, 2003: Facelift for a Landmark. “Laying boards to establish a frame around the tower of St. John the Evangelist Church, workmen spent yesterday precariously climbing across catwalks almost 200 feet above Atlantic Street. After the scaffolding is put in place, the next step is to cut out the concrete and reinforce the joints of the church pinnacles. The renovation of the tower is one of many in a restoration of the Roman Catholic church’s roof and façade. The $1 million project is expected to take at least six months to complete. Parishioners of St. John have donated $760,000, Monsignor Stephen DiGiovanni said, but much more is needed. The parish is looking for outside donations to finish the project. The need to renovate the tower was an unexpected expense, he said. Over the years, St. John’s has gone through a series of renovations. In addition to the roof, the church has repaired its stained glass windows and restored the parish hall. A complete renovation of the church is far from over, DiGiovanni said. Future projects include repainting the interior and new wiring.”

May, the month of Mary
– Fr. Terry Walsh
May is just around the corner. It’s known as the month of Mary. It’s a wonderful time to reflect on the virtues of our Lady and seek to grow in our knowledge and understanding of Her role in Salvation History. It’s said that while Mary is our Queen, She is even more our Mother. Our “May Crowning” of Mary will fittingly be on May 13. This year, the wonderful Feast of our Lady of Fatima happens to fall on a Sunday and while the Sunday Mass takes precedence, we will honor our Lady with a special Procession immediately following the 10 am Mass and so honor our Spiritual Mother on ’Mother’s Day”. The 1st Holy Communion class will lead the Procession into the Rectory Garden behind the Rectory where we will sing the Litany to our Lady. We will return to the Basilica for Benediction. Come to the 10 am Mass and join the Procession on May 13th! The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared 6 times between May and October 1917 to 3 shepherd children, Lucy, Francisco, and Jacinta. At that time, the Church was enduring great persecution in Portugal.

The apparitions at Fatima at the turn of the century are considered “private revelation” by the Church. Some of the other cases when God has blessed us with various visitations of our Blessed Mother include the 1531 visitation in Mexico (Our Lady of Guadalupe); Our Lady of La Salette, in Frace (Maximin Giraud and Melanie Mathieu, 1846); and Rue de Bac, also in France (St. Catherine Laboure, “The Miraculous Medal” – 18 July 1830); Our Lady of Lourdes, (France, St. Bernadette, 11 Feb 1858 through July 16, 18 apparitions); Our Lady of Knock, in Ireland, August 21, 1879); and indeed many others as well. Fatima was approved by the Church in 1930 and has received millions of pilgrims over the years. At Fatima, the Blessed Virgin Mary issued an urgent call to all Her Children to a deep and true ‘conversion of heart,’ repentance from sin, and steadfast prayer, especially with greater devotion through the Immaculate Heart of Mary (most especially through meditation of the Mysteries of our Lord Jesus Christ through the Holy Rosary). Indeed, it was at Fatima that our Lady gave us the prayer we say at the end of each Mystery of the Rosary: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need of Thy Mercy.”

As members of the Mystical Body of Jesus, Son of God and Son of Mary, we become Her “Spiritual Children” at the moment of our Baptism. As faithful sons and daughters of so magnificent a Mother, we come to know and love Her more deeply through prayer and of course by imitating Her love for Christ. Recall the words of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta: “It’s so easy to be proud and harsh and selfish – so easy; but we have been created for greater things. How much we can learn from our Lady! She was so humble because She was all for God.” Mary intercedes for us at the Throne of God with a Mother’s love. We simply need to go to Her and ask for Her help and intercession. Saint Anthony Mary Claret explains: “Mary is the heart of the Church. This is why all works of charity spring from Her. It is well known that the heart has two movements: systole and diastole. Thus Mary is always performing these two movements: absorbing grace from her most holy Son, and pouring it forth on sinners.”

Like Jesus, we too must be obedient children. As we reflect on our Lady’s role as Queen and Mother we will naturally come to know and love Jesus more profoundly and reflect on His obedience to Her. May is a wonderful time to reflect upon our relationship with our Mother so that we might come to love and honor Jesus through Her. The month begins with the celebration in honor of Her Spouse, St. Joseph the worker and it ends by reflecting on the Mystery of the Visitation, that great act of love whereby Mary, the Mother of Jesus, goes out to visit Her cousin Elizabeth, who is preparing to give birth to John the Baptist. Mary likewise comes to us in our need with the same love she showed to Elizabeth.

One way we can honor our Lady during this month of May would be to reflect on what the Saints have written about Her. There is much written in Her honor. Perhaps reading what many consider to be the definitive book on the Blessed Mother, True Devotion by St. Louis de Montfort or perhaps The Secrets of the Rosary by the same Saint. Better still, begin reflecting on the 20 Mysteries of our Lord’s Life, Death, and Resurrection by praying the Rosary every day this month as a family. Let the graces flow. In the words of Pope John Paul II: “Yes, our guide is a strong column. [Mary] accompanies the new Israel, the Church, in its pilgrimage towards the promised land through Christ our Lord. In this way, Our Lady of the Pillar is a ‘flaming torch’ and the ‘throne of glory.’ She affirms the faith of a people who never tire of asking her in the Salve Regina: ‘Show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.” The month of Mary is just around the corner. It’s a perfect time to consider some special devotion to offer so loving a Mother each day of May.