For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday July 8, 2012

Pastor’s Corner. . . July is traditionally dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. The reason why the Son of God became a man; why the Creator humbled Himself to become a creature, was that He could offer a sacrifice that would free mankind from sin and death. In the Old Testament, the primary sacrifices were blood sacrifices: blood being the bearer of life in contemporary thought, so an animal’s lifeblood was offered in order to appease the Author of life, angered by human sin. Other sacrifices were offered as well, such as of first fruits. But blood sacrifices were the most important, in both Israel and in pagan cults in the ancient world. Likewise, blood sacrifices were costly—an animal was an expensive commodity, and to sacrifice one to God impressed upon the person making the offering that God must be important if only valuable things were to be offered to Him: God was no joke or myth, and approaching Him was no game.

The first essential blood sacrifice of the Old Testament is recorded in the Book of Exodus: each Jewish family was to procure a lamb or goat without blemish—only an unblemished, perfect offering could be made to God—and on the night of the Passover, the lambs or goats were sacrificed and the blood of the lamb smeared over the door lintels of each Jewish house. When the angel of death saw the blood of the lamb, he passed over the home. It was the blood of the lamb that saved God’s Chosen People inside from death.

The law of Moses proscribed a variety of animal sacrifices offered at the Temple in Jerusalem. But none of these could forgive sins. As Saint Paul wrote, “For it is impossible that sins should be taken away with blood of bulls and of goats. Therefore in coming into the world, Jesus says, ‘Sacrifice and oblation you desired not, but a body you have given

to me; Then I said, ‘Behold, I come to do your will, Oh God’. “God annuls the first covenant [of Moses] in order to establish the second [Jesus’ own]. It is in this ‘will’ that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” [Heb 10: 4-7] The strength of human sin and the power of death were so strong that only the sacrifice of the Son of God in the flesh could destroy them.

Those who built and decorated our church understood well the importance of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord, shed that we might be saved from death. It’s in the decoration: in the central window above the altar is the crucifixion:, and angels hold chalices to catch the Most Precious Blood as it pours from Christ’s wounds. Along the woodwork in the sanctuary, you’ll notice carved woven thorns, reminding us of the Crown of Thorns that made Jesus suffer and bleed so profusely. These carved thorns are all around the church: on the sanctuary walls around the altar; on the sanctuary doors to the sacristy; in all the door windows, above the doors of the three confessionals; along the interior stained glass wall near the front entrance, along the choir loft. Likewise, along the top of the sanctuary woodwork are golden grapevines symbolizing the Blood of Christ in the Eucharist that we receive in Holy Communion; on top of the Confessionals, symbolic of His mercy, as well as along the frames of the Stations of the Cross and on the choir loft. The Blood of Christ is the Incarnation of the Mercy of God, shed for our pardon by a merciful God, and we receive its benefit through the Sacraments of the Catholic Church.

The common phrase “life blood”, which describes the power of blood in sustaining life, is true also when concerning the life blood of God, shed to wash us clean of the power of sin. The image is there in the Book of Revelation: the martyrs are those who imitated Christ even to the point of death; “and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” [Rev. 7: 14] For us, the power of Christ’s Blood poured out for us is made present in the Seven Sacraments, and especially in the Eucharist, and in Confession, when the power of that Blood relieves the penitent of the weight and guilt of sins. Charles Dickens wrote in Nicholas Nicolby: “There are some who define a family as those with whom one shares blood. Others define family as those for whom we would shed blood.” We are God’s family, for whom He thought fit to shed His own blood on the Cross. July is dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord, so that we might keep before our mind’s eye the real Mercy of Christ—even during the easy days of summer. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick. . . Mario Stano, Kevin O’Byrne, Patricia McNamee, Harrie Humphreys, Linda DeMott, Clemese & Faramon Lochard, Jean Midi, Stan Zebroski, David Morgan, Gene Gavin, Maureen Casner, Stephen Casner, 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. . . Marcy Stano, Rev. J. Barry Furey, Robert Pergola, 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.

Monthly Collection . . . The second collection today will be the monthly collection for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

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, July 9th .

Banns of Marriage:
Banns II: Sabine Auguste and Christopher Januski

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies. . . We begin again on Wednesday, September 5th at 7:30 pm in the Rectory. All are welcome, and the texts we read are in good English translations.

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

Biblical Greek Grammar. . . A beginner grammar class:If interested, call: 324-1553, ext 11.

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 personal offering symbolic of one’s 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. Please take a look at the beautiful Votive Hearts now hanging under the Icon of Our Lady in the back of the church.

Annual Bishop’s Appeal. . . $81,867 has been pledged to the diocese towards the parish goal of $100,000. I am very grateful for all who have contributed to the diocesan appeal, and ask others to consider assisting by your own generous gift.

Sacred Heart Parish. . . On Schuyler Avenue here in Stamford, will host a Tag Sale: July 13-14th in the school gym: used furniture and housewares. Stop by for great bargains.

St. John’s School Reunion: Class of 1970: Will be held on August 4th: For information, please call Ramona Spinelli: 203-685-9508: We are looking not only for graduates from the Class of 1970, but anyone who attended Saint John’s School with our class, but left prior to graduation.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday July 1, 2012 $ 12,085.15
Sunday July 3, 2011 $ 11,607.21
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

July 15th Sunday Readings: Am 7:12-15; Eph 1:3-14 or Eph 1:3-10; Mk 6:7-13.

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. For more information: call (203) 416-1619 or projectrachel@diobpt.org.

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.

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, July 23rd.

Our Lady of Guadalupe. . .The Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe will visit our Basilica of St. John the Evangelist from Friday, July 13 to Sunday, July 15. This is a full sized image of Our Lady, photographed by NASA from the original tilma of St. Juan Diego. Please plan to make a pilgrimage to the Basilica, and spend some time in prayer for your family and friends, entrusting your greatest cares to Our Lady’s loving heart, and thank her for her visit.

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel at the Basilica. . . Monday, July 16th is the 3rd anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s generously raising our parish to the dignity of a Minor Basilica. A Plenary Indulgence is offered that day to anyone who visits the Basilica, prays the Creed, one Our Father and one Hail Mary for the intentions of the Holy Father, goes to Confession and receives Holy Communion sometime within that week after July 16th. 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 will be served in the parish rectory for all who attend. Please join us for the 8:00 a.m Mass and our brief ceremony 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.

Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel at St. Gabriel Church. . .On Monday, July 16th Saint Gabriel Church in Stamford will celebrate a Solemn High Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel at 7:30 PM.  Mass will be celebrated in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.  (In Latin according to the 1962 Missal) Music by Victoria, Morales and Gregorian Chant.  A light reception will follow in the Parish Meeting Room.  Please mark your calendar and join us!

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, July 7, 2012
4:00 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
Sunday, July 8, 2012
7:30 +Ida Telesco req. Josephine Languedoc
8:30 +Jean D’Amico req. Frank D’Amico
10:00 +Noemi Aclock req. Marie Frantz
12:00 +Irene Medwed 8th Anniversary req. Munro and DeVivo Families
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, July 9, 2012
8:00 Thanksgiving to God req. Mrs. Guillaume Paulemon
12:10 +Jayson Jarrett req. Norma Jarrett
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
8:00 In Honor of the Immaculate Conception req. Gina Uva
12:10 +Angela Grande req. Anita Fasanelli
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
8:00 Special Intentions Mary Sherry req. Michelle and Derrick
12:10 +John Lacrete req. Marie Frantz
Thursday, July 12, 2012
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
12:10 In Honor of the Eternal Father req. Ferry G.
Friday, July 13, 2012
8:00 +Arthur Lee Baker req. Patrick Kelty
12:10 +Jack and Theresa Scalfari req. daughter Marion
Saturday, July 14, 2012
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. the McAleer Family
12:10 +Sebastian Interlandi Jr., req. John J. Chidsey

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; will resume in September.

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:
150 years ago, or so:
THE NEW YORK FREEMAN’S JOURNAL AND CATHOLIC REGISTER:
July 14, 1860: Ordinations. “On Thursday, the 20th of June, the Most Rev. Archbishop of Baltimore , in the chapel of St. Mary’s Seminary, in that city conferred the sacred order of Sub-deaconship on William Mahoney, John Gately, of the diocese of Baltimore, John Fagan, of Hartford diocese, Patrick Corrigan and Edward Michael Hickey, of the diocese of Newark, Patrick Byrne and Victor Louis Regaouf. On the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul, William Mahoney, John Fagan, Patrick Corrigan and Charles Peter Koopmans, a native of Holland, adopted for the diocese of Covington, received Deaconship. On Saturday, Feast of St. Paul, Patrick Francis McCarthy, William Mahoney, John Fagan and Patrick Corrigan were ordained priests in the same place by the Most Rev. Archbishop.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: The Reverend John Fagan was Pastor of St. John’s from 1868 to 1873 and initiated the building of our Atlantic Street Church.)

100 years ago, or so:
THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
July 10, 1912: “The Holy Name Society of St. John’s R. C. Church will attend holy communion on July 14. In the evening, there will be a regular monthly meeting of the society, followed by benediction.”

50 years ago, or so:
THE Stamford advocate:
July 9, 1962: St. John’s Wins CYO Title As Esposito, Longo, Shine. “The St. John’s CYO baseball team gave up five runs in the top half of the 14th inning and then rallied to score six of its own to down the Holy Name CYO from Providence, 9-8, and capture the New England Catholic Youth Organization Grammar School Championship at Dillon Field, Hartford Sunday. Tony Esposito worked the first 13 1/3 innings for Stamford before Bill Longo took over as Holy Name made its drive in the top of the 14th. The pair bested Bill Blifford who went the route and took the loss as the Saints made the amazing comeback after falling behind. In the bottom of the 14th, Chet Wisniewski opened with a single. Murray also singled and Pastore came up with a double to score both runners. Bill Smith singled to center but Pastore was nailed at the plate. Ed Docimo grounded out but Gene Gerardi walked and O’Connor singled to score Smith. Esposito then lashed a triple to center to tie the count at 8-8 as Gerardi and O’Connor crossed the plate. Longo then came through with a sharp single to left to score Esposito and give St. John’s the title.”

“Peter, do you love Me?”
-Fr Terry Walsh

The most important journey we take in this life begins at the threshold of what can be an unfamiliar road – a road that can only be traveled with the help of God’s grace – it is that spiritual journey that leads to union with God. If we ask Him, our Lord will take us along the most beautiful roads. If we ask Him, He’ll bring us to spiritual heights that we simply haven’t even begun to imagine. The journey begins with the firm conviction that Jesus is truly present – in our midst – in all the most ordinary circumstances of our lives. As we begin to seek the path of holiness, we might begin to wonder exactly how it is our Lord will lead us along this unfamiliar road. The answer begins with a question: “Do you love Me?”

Jesus asks each one of us the same question He put to Peter on the shores of Galilee. “Do you love Me?” It’s a question that demands thoughtful reflection. We ought to take care not to respond impetuously. If we take the leap – if we take that 1st step into the Heart of Jesus – everything will change! We’ll begin to see through the eyes of God. Our values will necessarily change. It all begins with that 1st step – that “I believe” – that sincere desire for fulfillment that can only be found in Christ – that pure gift of faith which is given when we ask for it. If we let Him, our Lord will astound us with incomprehensible graces and boundless love. If we let Him, He’ll captivate our hearts and minds and open to us the way to everlasting peace and happiness. He’ll reveal Himself to us – deep in our hearts – so that we will abide in His love. Perhaps, at this very moment, you find yourself at this crossroad in your spiritual journey to God. The world tugs away at your heart – it tries to pull you away from what is truly good and pure and beautiful with what is fleeting. Yet, your heart searches for something more – something you somehow know the world cannot provide. There’s a spark for what is real and true and holy. Perhaps, as you stand at that crossroad, you gaze down the trail blazed by Jesus and consider – for a moment – the cost. What will it take to travel that road? Do you ponder with wonder and awe – and with confidence? Or, has fear clouded your vision? What if I get lost along the road? What if I meet with unexpected difficulties? What will it cost me? While contemplating your path, imagine, for a moment, Jesus standing beside you. You don’t see Him – but He sees you. His gaze waits to see what you’ll choose, hoping you’ll choose Him. He’s almost begging with His eyes – pleading with your soul: “Follow Me – My yoke is easy, My burden Light.” ‘Let Me show you the wonders of my love. Please. Come on…If you only knew the gifts and fruits that await you. If you’d just try – take that first step.

Turn off the TV – put aside the internet. Come, spend time with Me. Sit with me for 15 minutes and ask for whatever you want – I’ll give it to you.’ Is it wisdom you want – so that you can help your children negotiate the snares of this world – you’ll have it. Is it an understanding heart you desire – so that you’ll have compassion for those poor, forgotten souls suffering all around you – consider it done. Perhaps you seek the gift of fortitude – so that you can muster the strength to forgive a wound suffered at the hands of a friend – or, to ask forgiveness for a wound you’ve inflicted on another. I can help. Ask Me. Walk with ME. I am really and truly present. I’ll lead you – if you let Me. Trust ME. Peter did. He traveled the road of holiness. It wasn’t without suffering and trial. In Jesus’ greatest hour of need, Peter stared down the path of holiness and ran the other way. It cost too much. In the worst night of Jesus’ life, when He needed Peter the most, he denied Him – 3 times! That hurt. Yes, Peter fell. He struggled. He failed. He suffered the crushing agony of denying Jesus. He knew Him and still, He denied Him. But Peter did not despair. How many times have we been in Peter’s shoes? How many times have we turned away from Jesus at home, at school, at work? How many times have we calculated the cost and said ‘I’m not going to pay that price!’ It’s too hard. I can’t forgive. I won’t forgive. Peter, “Do you love Me?”

Peter answered Jesus by emptying Himself of his self-will. He stood up for Jesus and proclaimed His Name to the world – he no longer counted the cost – so that everyone could share in the same gift of love that he discovered when he took up his Cross and followed Jesus. He was ridiculed, thrown into prison, endured persecution – YEAH – it cost Him – and through each and every trial, Peter entered deeper and deeper into the abode of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. He forgot himself and so discovered himself. He fed the lambs; he tended the sheep with the deepest humility – the greatest love – ultimately stretching out his hands – it cost him his life. If today you find yourself at that Crossroads, standing at the threshold – peering out at path of holiness that lies before you – considering the cost – listen for that gentle plea – ‘Be not afraid. Follow Me – I’ll provide all the necessary things – just say yes. Can you hear the echo of His voice in your soul: “Do you love Me?” I will fill your heart with every grace and blessing and like Peter, you too will be able to say with all your heart and soul, “Yes, Lord, I love you!”