For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday June 10, 2012
Pastor’s Corner. . . “It makes you want to stay Catholic”, an elderly lady said out loud for everyone to hear, during a parish pilgrimage to our Basilica from Georgia. In light of the too-numerous priest scandals of the past few years, she wasn’t talking about priests as the reason “to stay Catholic”. Rather, she spoke in reference to the reality of Jesus present in His Catholic Church—Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity—in the Most Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist. And she knew this to be true, not because a priest told her so, but because she had read it in the Gospel of Saint John the Evangelist, our patron.
Have you ever read the sixth chapter of Saint John’s Gospel? The chapter opens with Our Lord feeding the five thousand people by multiplying five loaves of bread and two fish. Following the miracle, Our Lord took his apostles and fled to the mountains, knowing the people would otherwise have forced him to be king of Israel. No one understood His real purpose and work: to save humankind from Adam’s sin and from Death, not to liberate a conquered Israel and become its king. The Apostles are next seen in a boat on Lake Tiberias, when Jesus walks on the water, and they are frightened, thinking him a ghost. “It is I, do not be afraid,” Jesus told them. So far, we are told that Jesus is not interested in political power, and that He is God, having power over creation—even the wind and waves, which He had created.
Finally, by verse 22, Our Lord begins his discourse on the Eucharist. The crowd he’d fed the previous day found him, and listened as he taught. But Our Lord knew they were there only because they wanted more free food! Jesus began by teaching them not to work for food that will perish, but for that which will give eternal life. When they asked where they might find such food, he responded, “I am the bread of life”, and “I am the living bread from heaven. If anyone eat of this bread he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” Eleven times in one chapter, Our Lord repeated this, affirming over and over again, “My flesh is real food and my blood real drink.” What did he mean? Was He speaking symbolically? No. Maybe he meant what he said. This is certainly possible. But, for those who had tracked Jesus down looking for more food, their response to His words was to reject what he said and abandon Him, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” If Our Lord did not mean what He said, don’t you think he would have run after those people to clarify that He was only speaking symbolically? But He didn’t run after them. He let them go. In fact, He turned on his apostles to ask them “Do you also wish to go away?” seeing that they too found his teaching about the Eucharist hard to believe. Jesus meant what He said: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life everlasting and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, abides in me and I in him.” He meant precisely what he said, and His Catholic Church understood that immediately.
In the catacombs of Rome, and in much literature of the first three centuries, the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is clearly presented: in the sign of bread and fish. The early Church developed a simple undercover sign for Jesus: the fish. Since each letter of the word FISH in Greek [IXTHUS] is the first letter of five words that form a statement of faith about Jesus: “Jesus Christ, Son [of] God, Savior.” You might see this acronym today on bumper stickers—a fish with the name of Jesus. When it was presented alongside loaves of bread in frescoes in the Roman catacomb, it represented the Eucharist: the outward appearance is bread, but the inner reality is THE FISH—Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior. At Mass, through the invocation of the Holy Spirit, the bread and wine are transformed into the actual resurrected Body and Blood of Christ. No mere symbol: a deeper reality. God who created all from nothing, now uses his creation—simple bread and wine—transforming them that God becomes our food, so we become transformed to be more God-like in our lives. Without God’s help and grace in the sacraments, we can never be saved. Faith is only the beginning, opening us up to Christ. It is God alone who transforms and saves, giving Himself in the sacraments.
The Church commemorates this reality this weekend in the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. On the afternoon of Sunday, June 10th, we will make a public profession of our faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist during our outdoor procession with the Most Blessed Sacrament. Jesus meant what He said: He remains with His Church until the end of time, really present in the Most Blessed Sacrament; the Church means what she professes: Jesus is both God and man, and He feeds us on His Body and Blood in the Eucharist: for that faith and the reality that Jesus is God and man, really present in the Eucharist, will lead to eternity—because He said it would in chapter 6 of the Gospel of Saint John the Evangelist: “My flesh is real food and my blood real drink”; “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood will remain in me and I in him.” This is the means by which Our Lord transforms us to become more like Him. —Msgr. DiGiovanni
Please pray for the sick. . . David Morgan, Gene Gavin, Maureen Casner, Stephen Casner, Marcy Stano, Mary-Jane Rice, Joan Duffy, Gale Browne, 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. . . Regina Ngodie, Corrie Evans, Ernesto F. Scafidi, 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: Monday, June 11th .
St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies. . . See you in September!!
Banns of Marriage:
Banns I: Robert Edward Lynch & Gilian Elizabeth Farrelly
Nicholas Joshua Campbell III & Elizabeth Kathleen Jetton
Banns II: Elizabeth Ann Pimpinella & Mario Luigi Pansino
Latin Reading Group. . .Wednesdays: 6:15 pm in the Rectory (reading ability required).
Biblical Greek Grammar. . . A beginner grammar class:Thursdays: 6:30 pm in the Rectory.
Repainting the Church. . . WE MADE IT!!!! I am very grateful to all parishioners who supported this repainting project by giving a donation or making a pledge. Now, if you everyone would pay their pledges, we can pay John Canning Studios completely. Thanks!.
Votive Hearts. . .An ancient Catholic practice is to place a small heart or metal decoration at a shrine of the Blessed Mother, as a symbolic personal offering for a prayer, or as a personal sign of thanksgiving for a favor granted. You can see some in front of the Icon of Our Lady. The parish office now has hand made votive plaques for sale, to be placed near the Icon of Our Lady. There are two sizes: small copper hearts: $10.00 each; larger copper flowers: $50.00 each. You may purchase them by visiting or phoning the office [Mon-Fri, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.], and they will be hung at the Icon of Our Lady soon after purchase, remaining as a constant sign of your prayer:like a candle, but lasting longer.
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: $76,230.00
Feast of Corpus Christi: Sunday June 10th: 5:30-9:00pm:
—Eucharistic Procession through the streets of Stamford beginning at 5:30pm
—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. Join us!
Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday June 3, 2012 $ 13,103.21
Sunday June 5, 2011 $ 14,024.70
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
June 17th Sunday Readings: Ez 17:22-24; 2 Cor 5:6-10; Mk 4:26-34.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Janet Lancaster at 203-637-3301, email@example.com.
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: Thursday June 14th 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.firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
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
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).
Linens for the Homeless. . . A local candidate to become an Eagle Scout is leading a project to provide for the homeless. Boxes are in the vestibule for donations of new or gently used bath towels and bed Linens, and you are asked to make a donation during the next few weeks to help the homeless. Your donations will be taken to the Stamford Shelter for the Homeless. Please be generous.
Voluntary Services for the Blind. . . Bring sunshine to someone’s life. Volunteers are needed to be drivers, readers, friendly visitors, shoppers and clerical assistants for legally blind persons. For information, call 203-324-6611, ext 2.
Sacred Heart Church – Solemn High Mass. . . Will be offered on Friday June 15th, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, at 12:10 pm at Sacred Heart Church on Schuyler Avenue in Stamford. All are welcome.
NAVY SEAL BIOGRAPHY BOOK SIGNING. . .On Thursday, June 14, 2012, at 6:00 pm, there will be a book signing by the author of the Navy SEAL biography: Fearless, The Undaunted Courage And Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team Six Operator Adam Brown. The author, Eric Blehm, will greet anyone interested at the Ferguson Library (main branch) auditorium. His book is of interest locally because Stamford native Brian Bill heroically carried the mortally wounded Adam Brown to safety through enemy fire.
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, June 25th.
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, June 9, 2012
4:00 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
Sunday, June 10, 2012
7:30 +Judy Mooney 1st Year Anniversary req. Dr. Joe McAleer
8:30 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
10:00 +Anna and Carmine Coniglio req. Camille Coniglio
12:00 +Jeannette Murphy req. Josephine Languedoc
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 NO 6PM MASS
Monday, June 11, 2012
8:00 +Michael A. Rubino req. Lori and Jim Rubino
12:10 +George Gibbons req. Derrick Sherry
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
8:00 +Achille Lamontagne req. Lloydie Lamontagne
12:10 +Josephine D’Amico req. her son Frank
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
8:00 +Anthony and Ceceila Conte req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
12:10 In thanksgiving of favors received req. Marion Morris
Thursday, June 14, 2012
8:00 +Tom Cuddy req. the Mulhern Family
12:10 +Deceased friends of Joseph and Agnes Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
Friday, June 15, 2012
8:00 +Virginia and Eileen Carr req. Marie Carr
12:10 Mrs. Marilou Peters req. Mrs. Jeannine Steward
Saturday, June 16, 2012
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. the McAleer Family
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. . . Starts again in September.
St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:
145 years ago, or so:
June 11, 1869: A CARD. “The children of St. John’s Roman Catholic Sunday School, take this method of expressing their thanks to Mr. Isaac Selleck, for the free use of his beautiful and romantic grounds, known as “Latin’s Rocks,” on the occasion of their first annual Picnic, held June 3rd, 1869. To Mrs. J. Ayres-that estimable lady whose kindness to us during the Fair will not be forgotten; and who so generously sent us a supply of ice-cream for our Picnic-we acknowledge our heartfelt indebtedness. Capt. Skiddy, for the generous loan of flags, will please accept our best thanks. J.B. Knapp, Esq., may rest assured that this liberal supply of ice, will in no way tend to chill our tender affection for him. Our Sunday-school teachers, who contributed so largely to our amusement during the day, will be remembered with lively gratitude. /s/ P. Reilly, Sup’t.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Mr. Patrick Reilly was one of St. John’s School’s two teachers when it was opened in 1861. He remained the principal of the school until 1876 and was also the church’s organist.)
100 years ago, or so:
June 14, 1916: TOWN IS ENTHUSIASTIC OVER SCHOOL PARADE. “If the people responsible for the part the public and parochial school children of Stamford played today in the celebration of the 275th anniversary of the settlement of Stamford could have heard-and it may be assumed that most of them by this time have heard-the comments volunteered this morning by delighted onlookers, they would have been pleased with themselves and with the world in general. “Splendid” was a word that was overworked, describing the great parade of school children with its pretty floats. The St. John’s Parochial School section presented more uniformity of costume and size of pupils than most of the others. All the girls were in white dresses with red white and blue sashes and white hats, and the boys all wore white hats, white waists with blue anchors of the sleeves, and blue sashes. The Parochial School children were given an ovation all along the line of march, and especially at the reviewing stand.”
75 years ago, or so:
June 14, 1937: St. John’s School Class Is Graduated. “Eighty-two members of the 1937 class of St. John’s School were graduated in a ceremony in St. John’s R.C. Church, yesterday afternoon. On the stroke of three, the procession of graduates filed into the church. Following a hymn, the graduates were presented their diplomas by Rev. N.P. Coleman, pastor of the church, who gave a brief address. The hymn “O Most Holy One” was then sung.
-Fr Terry Walsh
How do you guys do that? I’ll never forget the wonder in that child’s face. I had just finished speaking with the first Communion class, preparing them for their big day. After explaining how the priest consecrates ordinary bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, I asked if there were any questions. One boy eagerly raised his hand and asked, “How do you guys do that?” It was beautiful! He believed with his whole heart, but he didn’t understand exactly how it happened. The path to true understanding is paved with just such childlike humility and trust. Jesus promised that if we seek Him with such an open heart, and persevere in prayer, we will certainly receive the graces we desire: understanding, knowledge, wisdom. On a recent trip to Ireland, my dad and I hopped in a car and made our way through beautiful and vibrant villages until we finally reached the picturesque town of Kinsale on the Southern Coast. Winding our way through the narrow streets lined with rather old and odd shaped buildings, we suddenly found ourselves stuck in traffic. A few moments later, a band of people were crossing in front of our line of cars, singing. Everyone was getting out of their cars, straining to see what was going on. Naturally, we put the car in park and joined them. As we moved closer to the intersection, we saw people falling to their knees. A glance to our left explained everything. Our Lord was passing by: it was the Feast of Corpus Christi! The people of Kinsale were celebrating the nearly thousand year old Feast of Corpus Christi. Processing though their streets at the conclusion of Holy Mass, the priest raised the Monstrance holding the Eucharist, followed by all the parishioners: Jesus was showering them with grace. Similar processions were taking place on that day throughout the world. The singing grew louder and sweeter as more and more people joined in the procession: “Sing, my tongue, the Savior’s glory / of His flesh the mystery sing / of the Blood, all price exceeding / shed by our immortal King / destined for the world’s redemption / from a noble womb to spring.” St. Thomas Aquinas’ beautiful hymn, composed specifically for this Feast, brought tears to many who understood the grace of this moment.
Until the late 12th century, the Church had focused more attention on the efficacy of grace at work in those who received the Eucharist. By the early 13th century, however, the Church began to focus more attention on the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. A couple significant events helped propel this understanding and strongly influenced Pope Urban IV, who eventually proclaimed the Feast to the Universal Church in 1264. The first incident concerned the visions of Blessed Juliana (1193-1252). Juliana was a devout Augustinian Religious living in Liege (Belgium) who greatly venerated the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. She began having visions concerning the Eucharist, which continued over the course of twenty years. “About 1209 (Juliana) reported a vision, many times repeated, of the full moon in splendor except for a dark area on one side. She came to understand that the moon represented the Church, and that the dark area was caused by the absence of a feast in honor of the Blessed Sacrament. Then in 1263, Peter of Prague, a priest, was experiencing a crisis in faith. He struggled to believe in the substantial Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Yet, his persistence led to a great miracle. Recall the Gospel scene when Jesus fed the five-thousand with a meager five barley loaves, a foreshadowing of the bountiful efficacy of the Eucharist. When our Lord explained the Bread of Life to his followers, many refused to believe. Jesus said to them: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him”(John 6:53-55). After hearing these words, many walked away – they simply lacked childlike trust. Peter of Prague likewise was troubled by this great mystery but persevered in prayer. Finally, he decided to make a pilgrimage to Rome to pray at the very tomb of St. Peter and plead his case for the grace to believe.“On his way back from Rome, he stopped in Bolsena, where, while he was saying Mass in the Crypt of St. Christine, he saw blood come out of the Host, so much so that the Corporal got completely wet. Pope Urban IV, who was in Orvieto at that time, struck by such an extraordinary event, ordered the Sacred Cloth to be brought there”(The Cathedral of Orvieto, Solini Marcello, Plurigraf, p.2).
Like that little boy, who eagerly hoped for a deeper understanding and had the courage to raise his hand and ask, Peter of Prague raised his heart to God and received his reply. In a very real way, the persistent prayer of one man, Peter of Prague, led to the Feast of Corpus Christi. If you make a pilgrimage to the Cathedral at Orvieto, you will see that 800 year old Corporal soaked with the Blood of Christ, the answer to Peter’s member of the prayer. “Corpus Christi!” What sweet words we are privileged to hear at every Holy Mass: “The Body of Christ!” Think of it. The same Blood that gushed from the Host that lain upon the Corporal for Peter of Prague is the very same Blood that rushes upon us. What a uniquely powerful moment! The entire world is transformed each time a Church receives the Body of Christ. Imagine if we could only receive Him once a year, or, once in a lifetime. Would we prepare for that intimate moment any differently?