For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday June 24, 2012

Pastor’s Corner. . . A tradition going back to apostolic times recounts that Saints Peter & Paul had their last meeting before martyrdom on the road to Ostia, outside Rome: Soon after, Peter was crucified head downward nearby the present Basilica of Saint Peter, and Paul beheaded near the present Basilica of Saint Paul: these basilicas were built over the tomb of each Apostle. From the very beginning, Christian tradition considered Peter and Paul inseparable in their ministry, even if they each had a different aspect of the same mission to fulfill.

Peter was the first to confess his faith in Christ as the Son of God, received the Keys of Heaven from Christ, and was the leader of both the Apostles and of the first Church developing directly from the chosen people; Paul was given a gifted intellect to plumb the profundity of its richness to preach to the non-Jewish world. With different gifts, they worked for a single cause: the building up of the Church Christ began with the Apostles as its foundation, that would be called Catholic within 30 years of the Apostles’ martydom. St. Augustine made this observation: “Only one day is consecrated to the feast of the two apostles [June29th]. But they were also a single unit. Even if they were martyred on different days, they were one. Peter went ahead, Paul followed…Thus we celebrate this feast day, consecrated for us by the blood of these apostles” (Disc. 295, 7-8).
June 29th is the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, celebrated at least since the year 258 A.D. during the Roman persecution of the Church by the Emperor Valerian. For the Church founded by Our Lord on the Apostles, with Saint Peter as her visible head, this solemnity is one of the most important, since it focuses on God’s generous desire to remain with us until the end of time through His Catholic Church; and upon man’s response, sometimes faltering, yet ultimately manifesting God’s power through human weakness.

Pope St. Leo the Great commented about Peter and Paul: “Of their merits and their virtues – which were superior from all accounts – we cannot think of anything contradictory or divisive, because Divine election had made them equal, their efforts similar and their end alike.” He continued, addressing the City of Rome: “These are your holy fathers, your true shepherds, who, as much as they were humanly very different from each other, and even if their relationship was not without tensions, Peter and Paul therefore appear as the initiators of a new city, as a concretization of a new and authentic way of being brothers, made possible by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” (In Natali Apostolorum., 69, 6-7)

And so we can say that today the Church in Rome celebrates its birthday, inasmuch as the two Apostles had laid down its foundations by their faith and blood. Moreover, Rome now realizes with greater awareness its mission and its grandeur. In Rome, the link that gave Peter and Paul a common mission has assumed from the first centuries a very specific significance. Like the mythical brothers Romulus and Remus, attributed with the founding of the City of Rome, Peter and Paul are considered founders of the Church in Rome: But Peter and Paul were real men, not myths. The capital of the Roman Empire, which was described in the Book of Revelation as the Whore of Babylon, the destroyer of saints and martyrs, is now toppled by two political and social nobodies, Peter and Paul, victims of the Imperial persecutions, themselves, who shed their blood for the true God they loved, in perfect imitation of Christ, and not for any earthly kingdom. “O, Felix Roma. . . Oh, Happy Rome, whose stones are consecrated by the blood of the Princes of the Apostles”, as an ancient hymn for this feast day proclaims. St. John Chrysostom wrote that “the sky is not as bright when the sun sheds its rays as the city of Rome which radiates the splendor of those burning torches (Peter and Paul) through all the world…This the reason why we love this city…for these two pillars of the Church” (Comm. a Rom ,32).

Both men were martyred in 67 A.D., and Jerusalem fell in 70 A.D., when Temple was destroyed. The New Covenant forged on the Cross between God and humanity, fulfilled and surpassed all other covenants since Abraham; the Temple was no longer of any use. With Christ’s resurrection and commission to the Apostles to preach his New Covenant, and apply it throughout the world, God’s grace moves out of the Jerusalem and the world of the Old Covenant, and becomes centered in the political and social heart of the Gentile world, with a universal mission to offer salvation to the entire world by means of His Catholic—Universal—Church.

Let us say a special prayer for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, the Successor of Saint Peter, this weekend, and also on Friday, the Solemnity itself, that the Lord will continue to bless and protect the Holy Father as he continues the work of Saint Peter in the world. Our statue of Saint Peter is vested in pontifical vestments, red, the color of apostles and martyrs who spent their lives and shed their blood to witness to the reality of Christ, to remind us to pray for our Holy Father. Pray, likewise, for the whole Catholic Church, that she, like Saint Paul, may continue to preach fearlessly the truth of Christ to all. As American Catholics we should be proud that the Church founded by the Apostles Peter and Paul can thrive in a land where freedom of religion and religious liberty is recognized as a God given right, protected by law. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Clemese & Faramon Lochard, Jean Midi, Stan Zebroski, 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. . . Joseph Perna, James McManus, 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.

Peter’s Pence Collection . . . Please drop your Peter’s Pence Collection envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory. There will only be one collection today.

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 25th .

Banns of Marriage:
Banns II:
Nadege Jean-Rene & Michael Sternovais Baptiste
Banns III:
Robert Edward Lynch & Gilian Elizabeth Farrelly
Nicholas Joshua Campbell III & Elizabeth Kathleen Jetton

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies. . . See you in September!!

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.

Votive Hearts. . .An ancient and venerable Catholic practice is to place a small heart or decoration at a shrine of the Blessed Mother or patron saint, as a symbolic personal offering as a symbol of 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.

Fortnight for Religious Liberty. . . June 22-July 4th: Throughout the country, Catholics will be urged to pray these days, especially for the protection of our Freedom of Religion, especially in light of the recent Obama Administration assaults on the Catholic Church, forcing the Church to provide and pay for that which the Church holds immoral. Beginning June 22 [the Feast of Saint John Fisher, martyred in the 16th century defending the Catholic Church’s rights against King Henry VIII] through July 4th [our Independence Day], here at Saint John’s the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for one hour, following the 12 noon Mass. We ask that every parishioner try to visit the church once each day to pray for the protection of our Religious Liberty.

Sacristy Bell. . . We have a new sacristy bell, as you may have noticed: it is an 18th century hand beaten copper bell, decorated with four crosses, from one of the early Spanish Missions in Arizona, possibly the small mission of San Cayetano de Calabrazas, near Nogales, Arizona. Founded in 1756 by the Jesuit Fathers, it was destroyed by marauding Apaches in 1786. The workers who cleaned and restored it [Greenwich Metal] told me the bell is made of the purest copper they had ever seen in an antique work, and that southern Arizona is renowned for its pure copper, used since ancient times by native tribes, where the mission is located. While it’s sound is not the sweetest, its antiquity can remind us of the noble and extensive roots of the mission efforts of Christ’s Catholic Church, established to bring salvation to the whole world. I would love to have told you that the bell proves that Cortes discovered Stamford, but that might be going too far! And that is certainly not as interesting as the truth, that we belong to the Church founded personally by Our Lord, that exists in every corner of the globe, and that our little, ancient bell from the desert of Arizona, made by Spanish priests and native converts, who came to the New World to preach salvation to the native peoples, calls us daily to worship God, as it called other Catholics in an 18th century Spanish mission far away.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday June 17, 2012 $ 12,152.33
Sunday June 19, 2011 $ 11,446.70

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

July 1st Sunday Readings: Wis 1:13-15; 2:23-24; 2 Cor 8:7, 9, 13-15; Mk 5:21-43.

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.

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.

Francis & Clare High School Youth Group. . . Will not meet during the summer.

St. John’s 20’s and 30’s: The Flock…Will not meet during the summer.

Electronic Giving – Offertory Donations Made Easy…Consider using your credit card to make your weekly or monthly donation. 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).

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.

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.

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, June 25th.

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. . . On July 16th: the 3rd anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s generous granting of the dignity of a Minor Basilica to our parish. To commemorate the occasion, a simple ceremony will be held on July 16th following the 8:00 a.m. Mass. On the front steps of the Basilica, we will bless a new time capsule and new bronze and red granite plaques to seal up the cornerstone opened last year. Following the brief ceremony, coffee and will be served in the parish rectory for all who attend. Please join us for the
8:00 a.m Mass on July 16th. The bronze and granite plaques are the work of Don Foley at Fairfield Monuments in Darien across from Saint John’s Cemetery.

Parking Lot Code. . . Over the years, we occasionally change the code for the electric gate to the rectory parking lot behind the church. The reason is that workmen and others seem to feel free to give it out to friends and neighbors. This is to inform anyone with the code that it is now changed again, just in time for the Live@Five Concerts: this is a security measure.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, June 23, 2012
4:00 +Charles and Josephine Davis req. Joseph Melfi
Sunday, June 24, 2012
7:30 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Yvonne St. Preuve
8:30 Special Intentions Monsignor DiGiovanni req. Josephine Languedoc
10:00 +Frances Delaney Birthday Remembrance req. Arthur J. Wargo
12:00 +Audrey Reda 1st Year Anniversary req. Dr. Anna Guarna
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, June 25, 2012
8:00 +John Graziano req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
12:10 Special Intentions Monsignor DiGiovanni req. Millie
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
8:00 +Louise and Arthur Thiel
12:10 In Honor of Baby Jesus
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
8:00 Special Intentions Sarah Fieler req. the Gentile Family
12:10 Arthur and Mary Sherry req. Derrick and Michelle Sherry & Family
Thursday, June 28, 2012
8:00 Special Intentions Jack Walsh
12:10 In Honor of the Eternal Father req. Ferry G.
Friday, June 29, 2012
8:00 Special Intentions Michael Guarnieri
12:10 +Camille and Daniel Mascia req. her brother Frank D’Amico
Saturday, June 30, 2012
8:00 Special Intentions Joseph Kravar III req. Fabiola C. – Grandma
12:10 +Mary Darby req. Duffy Family

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 NEWS:
125 years ago, or so:
THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
June 29, 1889: Stamford. “A new water motor has been placed in St. John’s church for the organ. The church census has been completed by Rev. Fathers Rogers, Keena and Carrol, and has resulted satisfactorily. The parochial school will close this week for the summer vacation. Rev. Fathers Rogers, Keena, Laurence and others attended the commencement exercises at St. John’s church, Fordham, N.Y. on Wednesday. Rev. James Lawless of this town was ordained a priest at Boston by the archbishop. The services were witnessed by his father, Mr. Michael Lawless, and his other relatives. His many friends wish him every blessing in his holy calling. He will celebrate High Mass in this town on Sunday.”

75 years ago, or so:
THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
June 29, 1937: Eagle Scout Rank For Craig Kellogg. “Scout Craig Kellogg, of Troop 22, sponsored by St. John’s R.C. Church, successfully qualified for advancement to Eagle Scout rank, scouting’s highest award, at a special court of honor, last night, at the local Scout office. Scout Kellogg entered Scouting in September 1935 advancing to second class December 1935; first class January 1936; Star Scout April 1936; Life Scout August 1936; and Eagle Scout June 1937.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Scout Kellogg was the 12th Eagle Scout from the Troop and the last before the Troop went inactive in 1940. It was resurrected in 1951 and produced three additional Eagle Scouts before again going inactive in 1971.)

35 years ago, or so:
THE CATHOLIC TRANSCRIPT
June 24, 1977: Father DiGiovanni To Be Ordained In Bridgeport Church This Saturday. “Bishop Walter W. Curtis will ordain Stephen M. DiGiovanni to the priesthood for the Diocese of Bridgeport in St. Raphael’s Church here this Saturday, June 25, at 10 A.M. Father DiGiovanni is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter DiGiovanni of 65 Rena Place, Fairfield. He was born in Arlington, Mass., June 8, 1951. A graduate of Andrew Warde High School, Fairfield, he took his seminary studies at St. Thomas, Bloomfield; St. Mary’s, Baltimore; and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. During his four years’ study in Rome he was involved in ministerial programs at the Hospital of Santo Spirito, was an instructor at Marymount International School and was an associate chaplain for the Sixth Fleet of the U.S. Navy in Gaeta. Father DiGiovanni will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving in St. Catherine of Siena Church, Riverside, this Sunday, June 26, at 12 noon.”

Prayer
-Fr. Terry Walsh

The Catechism (2726) explains the nature of prayer – that it is fundamentally a relationship with God – speaking and listening: “Some people view prayer as a simple psychological activity, others as an effort of concentration to reach a mental void. Still others reduce prayer to ritual words and postures…”

The Church emphasizes that the key to fruitful prayer is the true intention we hold in our hearts as we pray. Consider the beautiful devotion of the Holy Rosary. It is a devotion that focuses on 20 Mysteries of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Each time we faithfully enter into these mysteries we grow in grace. By allowing the Mysteries to enter into us – into our hearts and minds – we become more aware of the Sacrificial love and the unparalleled humility of our Lord. When we truly enter into the devotion with our hearts lifted up to heaven, we will receive the graces we need to imitate our Lord. We will become like him. In the deeper regions of our hearts, He is there. As we seek to enter more deeply into a clearer understanding of the “what” and the “why”, our Lord Himself opens up the pathways of understanding by flooding us with grace. It is our “asking, seeking, and knocking” that is, our persistent effort and faithful conversation with God that helps us understand the beauty of the Incarnation, the joy of the Visitation, the new life of grace forged through his Nativity, and so on. Likewise, he teaches us about the cost of this life: the intensity of his suffering in the garden of Gethsemane and the pain of betrayal; the anguish of the Cross. As we meditate on the Glorious Mysteries, we come to realize that he is actually calling us to a life of Glory—”in Him” and that the path is the same—the path of love. Love by its very nature is sacrificial and so we come to understand, through our prayer, that the path to the Glory of eternal life in the Holy Trinity is walked through a willingness to “lay down our lives” like He did. St. Therese would say that we realize that goal by doing all the little ordinary things that make up our daily life—with extraordinary love—for God. Jesus said: “Pick up your Cross and Follow Me.”

Meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary helps us see the path more clearly. Our petitionary prayer grows more refined because our awareness of our vocation becomes clearer to us. This of course comes about through many forms of prayer. In this example of the Rosary, the “repetitive nature” of the devotion is NOT a thoughtless repetition of the same words; rather, it is a pathway, a contemplative conduit of the words Jesus Himself gave to us – Our Father – and a humble consideration of what those words mean when we contemplate the Annunciation or the Baptism of our Lord, or the Agony of His Passion. It is a thoughtful consideration of the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother, throughout His life. And, it’s the realization that we are indeed Her children and as such, are called to a life in imitation of Her Son.

Through our Mother’s intercession, we will see the path more clearly. Every prayer we utter from the heart draws us closer to God. That faithful approach to the Rosary (or to the Devotion of the Seven Sorrows of Mary, or the Divine Mercy Chaplet, or any other “repetitive” prayer) – with BOTH Heart and Mind lifted up – is far different than a simple “recitation” of “repetitive” words. In addition, as we grow more spiritually mature, the effects of our prayers will touch us more profoundly and move us to a greater love. We leave behind the simple desire for the “feel good” consolation and move to a deeper understanding of the real and true PRESENCE of God IN us. That’s not to say that we will not receive the “feel good” consolation – but – that it’s not the end nor is it the reason for our prayer. The End is found in God Himself and the reason is a greater love for Him, a greater understanding of His love for us, and a clearer vision of how we may become more like Him. Put yourself in our Lady’s Hands. She will lead you to Her Son. Recall the words of our Lord: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you receive it, and you will”(Mk 11:24).