For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday May 6, 2012

Pastor’s Corner. . . The One Church established by Our Lord grew at a remarkably fast rate: after only 30 years, it could be found in all the major cities of the Roman Empire, and an impressive number of smaller ones, as well. Here are excerpts from early Church two documents describing that growth and life in the early Church: “Christ our Lord, while on earth, manifested both what He then was and what He had been, what the Father’s will was, and what men were to do. He did this openly to the people and privately to the disciples, among whom were the Twelve chosen to be Apostles to all nations. As Jesus was departing from them, Ascending to Heaven, He bade them go and teach the peoples of the earth, consecrating them through baptism to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Apostles, on receiving the promised Holy Spirit, straightway preached faith in Christ throughout Judea, established the Church, and broadcast the same faith to the nations of the world.

“In every great city they established the Church. From the Church established personally by the Apostles [in large cities], churches in other towns then borrowed the faith and its teachings that they might become churches in turn; the process goes on even today. All are regarded as apostolic because all are offspring of Church founded by the Apostles. All these great churches are descended from the Apostolic Church; all are apostolic because all are one in their foundation. What the Apostles preached—that is, what Christ revealed to them—can be known only through these same churches which the Apostles founded and to which they preached in person and by letter” [Tertullian, Objections to the Claims of Heretics, 20-22].

A mid-2nd century description of the Christian life:
“Christians do not differ from other men as to habitat, language or custom. They live among Greeks and barbarians, wherever destiny has put them. They follow local custom in garb and diet and other matters. But their way of life is nonetheless strange and unbelievable to many. They live in their native land, but as sojourners; as citizens they share everything with their fellow-men, yet they are treated as aliens; any alien country is a homeland to them, and every homeland an alien country. They marry as men and women do and beget children, but they do not practice abortion. They share tables but not beds.

“They live in the flesh but not according to the flesh. They dwell on earth but regard heaven as their city. They follow established law but in their way of life go beyond what the law requires. They love all, and everybody persecutes them. No one knows them, while all condemn them; they are put to death and still are very much alive.

“To put it all briefly: What the soul is to the body, Christians are to the world. The soul is present in all the body’s members; so are Christians in the world’s cities. The soul dwells in the body but does not originate from it; Christians live in the world but do not have their origin there. The invisible soul abides in the visible body; Christians are seen as living in the world, but their piety is invisible. On the other hand, the body, though it suffers nothing from the soul, hates it and makes war upon it because it cannot enjoy its pleasures in peace; the world suffers nothing from Christians but hates them because they reject its pleasures.

“The soul loves the flesh and members which hate it; so do Christians love those who hate them. The soul is enclosed in the body, but it contains the body; Christians must remain in the world as in a prison, but they contain the world. The immortal soul dwells in a mortal home; Christians are pilgrims in a corruptible world while they look forward to heavenly immortality. God has set them in the world as his sentinels, and they may not leave their posts.”
(The Letter to Diognetus) —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Gene Gavin, 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.

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: May 7th .

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. . . $624,945.00 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.

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: $46,339.

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

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 29, 2012 $ 12,532.00
Sunday May 1, 2011 $ 15,622.79

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

May 13th Sunday Readings: Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48; 1 Jn 4:7-10; Jn 15:9-17.

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:This Thursday 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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

MALTA HOUSE 15th SPRING GALA. . . May 17th at the Stamford Yacht Club.  6:30pm cocktails, dinner stations & silent auction; 8:00pm tribute to honorees Lynn Friedberg & William (Mele) Orendord; 8:30pm Live auction & dessert. Cigar Bar open 6:30-9:30.  Tickets may be purchased online at:  www.maltahouse.org.

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, May 5, 2012
4:00 +Anthony J. Pirone req. John and Stacey Leydon
Sunday, May 6, 2012
7:30 +Christina Guerra req. Mariann Gonzalez
8:30 Special Intentions Marie Boursiquot req. The Legion of Mary
10:00 + Albert Gargiulo req. Anthony & Carolyn Conte
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, May 7, 2012
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 +Walter Smith req. Ann and William Dee
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
8:00 +Andrew Warren Blackson, Jr. req. Lula Blackson
12:10 Richard Gawronski req. Maude and Paul Hughes
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
8:00 +Teresa Nandera req. Scholastica Nabwire
12:10 Special Intentions Charles Urgola
Thursday, May 10, 2012
8:00 Special Intentions People of Japan and Helpers whose lives are at risk req. Julia Oliveira
12:10 +Antonio D’Amico req. his son Frank
Friday, May 11, 2012
8:00 +Agnes Joseph req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Sam Hagley req. Mr. and Mrs. Richard P. Lawlor
Saturday, May 12, 2012
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. the McAleer family
12:10 +Virginia and Eileen Carr Birthday Remembrance req. Marie Carr

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. Last one Sunday May 6th.

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.”

Come, O Most Holy Spirit, Come
— Fr. Terry Walsh
The Sacrament of Confirmation

We are in the midst of such a Holy time of the year. After having been lifted up on the Cross for the Life of the world, our Lord rose from the dead, as He said He would, and then lived among the Apostles and Disciples for 40 days. On the Glorious 40th day, He Ascended to the Father in Heaven out of love for us. It is from there that the Father and the Son send the Advocate, the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, Who will lead and guide us to all Truth. Ten days after the Ascension of Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost to dwell in the hearts and souls of all who are baptized and live a faithful life in Christ. We receive the fullness, or the “completion” of the graces of Baptism through the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Church teaches us that “by the Sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit…they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obligated to spread and defend the faith by word and deed”(ccc1285). Moreover, “this seal of the Holy Spirit marks our total belonging to Christ, our enrollment in His service for ever, as well as the promise of divine protection in the great eschatological trial” (see also Rev. 7:2-3; 9:4 and Ezek 9: 4-6)”(ccc1296).

What are the effects of the Sacrament of Confirmation? Well, clearly, there is an ‘outpouring of the Holy Spirit’ into the soul of the one confirmed. Our souls are indelibly marked with a special ‘character’ just as the Disciples souls were on the day of Pentecost, and we’re all aware of the effect it had on them. Recall that in the Garden of Gethsemane they all ran away at the moment Jesus needed them most. But upon receiving the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they were filled with the strength and love of the Holy Spirit and all became great witnesses to Jesus by the shedding of their own blood – martyrdom – save St. John. John was the only Apostle at the foot of the Cross during our Lord’s Crucifixion and death. Tradition holds that there was an attempt to put him to death too – he was actually thrown into a vat of boiling oil – but it had no effect. He was then exiled and suffered “White” Martyrdom through daily persecutions, all for the sake of the Name of Jesus.

We, likewise, receive the graces we need to be faithful witnesses to Christ. The Catechism beautifully describes the effects of Confirmation: “(It) brings and increase and deepening of baptismal grace: it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, ‘Abba! Father!’; it unites us more firmly to Christ; it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us; it renders our bond with the Church more perfect; it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross”(ccc 1302). And St. Ambrose adds: “Recall that you have received the spiritual seal….Guard what you have received. God the Father has marked you with his sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his pledge, the Spirit, in your hearts.” We guard what we have received by “seeking the things that are above” – by faithfully living the Gospel in all that we think and say and do – by praying faithfully – and by receiving the Sacraments worthily and with thanks and praise.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR CONFIRMATION CLASS that will be Confirmed Tuesday, May 8th and to the RCIA candidates that will be Confirmed on May 27th!