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

Pastor’s Corner: August 2nd is the birthday of the late Ignatius Cardinal Kung, who lived the last years of his life in Stamford, within the boundaries of Saint John’s Parish, following nearly 33 years of imprisonment for the Catholic faith by the Communist Chinese government. This bulletin page will be dedicated to the memory of the late Cardinal for the next few weeks. Please pray that his cause for canonization may begin.

Ignatius Kung (Gong) Pin-Mei was born to Kung Xin Yuan (1871-1947) and Li Xian Yuing (1878-1958) on August 2, 1901 in Pudong, Shanghai, China. He was the eldest of four children: two brothers, Kung HaiMei (1902-1951) and Kung SunMei (1910-1991) and one sister, (Kung CuiBao (1905-1930). He was baptized soon after his birth in Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Tangzhen Village, Pudong, Shanghai, China.

The Kung Family is a venerable Catholic family, practicing the Faith for at least five generations at the time of Ignatius’ birth. The village was a Catholic village, and nearly everyone was a descendant of the Kung Family. His father’s elderly sister, Aunt Martha was a consecrated virgin, and presided over a small village school teaching classical Chinese and the Catholic Catechism. Aunt Martha also played a further role in Ignatius’ religious education and spiritual formation. For example, each Saturday she would walk with Ignatius and his younger brother Vincent to their village parish church for confession. The Cardinal credited his vocation to the priesthood to the influence of his Aunt Martha.

Ignatius’ aunt also provided him at home with the equivalent of his first five years of primary school education. He continued his classical Chinese education at the village school, studying the Four Books (The Great Learning, The Doctrine of the Mean, The Analects, and The Book of Mencius), and the Five Classics (The Confucian Canon, comprising the Book of Changes, The Book of Odes, The Book of History, The Book of Rites, and The Spring and Autumn Annals) His sixth and final year of primary education was completed in the local village school in 1912. When 12 years of age, he then attended the Da Yi Elementary School, administered by the Catholic Church. After one year, he transferred to the Xuhui Public School in Shanghai. Part of this educational program was the memorization of the “300 Poems of the Tang Dynasty.”

A Marist brother provided the young Ignatius with his instructions for his First Confession and First Holy Communion. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation at the customary age of eight or nine years. The precise dates of his receptions of the sacraments are difficult to ascertain since all parish records have been destroyed.

Soon after, in 1913, Ignatius entered Saint Ignatius High School at Zi Ka Wei, then the center of the French Jesuit work in Shanghai. The study of European languages was emphasized in the high school, especially French. Shanghai had been a French colony, and French was the language of business and politics in the city. Ignatius therefore studied French during his first year; then changed to the study of Latin, since he was seriously considering enrolling in the local seminary to study for the priesthood.

As Cardinal Kung recalled years later, “I am grateful to both the Marists and he Jesuits who taught me the knowledge of God and inspired me to pursue the priesthood.”

Following graduation from high school, at 19 years of age, Ignatius entered the diocesan seminary. The seminary was then administered by French Jesuit priests, in whose charge the Shanghai missions had been assigned by the Church’s missionary Congregation de Propaganda Fide. Following the successful completion of his seminary studies and formation, Ignatius was ordained a priest on May 28, 1930 and began his pastoral work.

In September 1930, Father Kung was assigned to the mission at Kao Ghiao [Poi-ne] for various apostolic works until 1933: these included his work as headmaster of the mission’s primary school in the village called Na Quiao for one year; in August 1931 until 1934 he taught at the Zheng Xin Middle School in SongJiang [Sungkang ]; in August 1934 he also served as pastor of the small mission church in the village of Gao Quiao in Feg Xian; in 1936 he returned to Yao Chan Primary School in Na Qiao until August 1937, when he was working at Kuangchi in SongJiang [Sungkang ] as Latin professor and headmaster of the SongJiang College Preparatory School, then newly founded Jesuit school in Shanghai, which served as a preparatory school for Aurora University in Shanghai. He was headmaster during the period when the school was destroyed in the summer of 1937, following the opening of hostilities in the Sino-Japanese War, and the subsequent bombing of the main building and auditorium of the college during a Japanese air raid.

In anticipation of the dangers of war, Father Kung evacuated the school, which saved many student lives. It proved necessary to transport wounded civilians and military personnel by ambulance along with a corps of young doctors and medical students, some as young as 16 years of age, to the University of Aurora. There a military field hospital was set up, but lasted only a few months, when it was completely destroyed as a result of the Japanese bombardment. In the midst of the bombing, as walls of the hospital collapsed around him, Father Kung directed the workers in their efforts to rescue the wounded. Following the bombing, Father Kung was ordered to organize the moving of the wounded to the railroad station for transport to the Province of Chekiang. Father Kung and others worked tirelessly to accomplish this, after which he returned with Father G. Germain, S.J. to Shanghai.
—Msgr. Stephen DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Chuck Woodin, Gary Everett, Megan Bobroske, Connie Ward, Billy Therriault, Father Guglielmo, Kathleen Moger, Flint and Helen Moger, Paul Cavalli, Mario Stano, Kevin O’Byrne, Patricia McNamee, Harrie Humphreys, Linda DeMott, Clemese & Faramon Lochard, Jean Midi, David Morgan, Gene Gavin, Maureen Casner, Stephen Casner, Mary-Jane Rice, Joan Duffy, Gale Browne, Mercedes Huertas, Peter Boltrek, Erin Wiggin, Corrine Mattson, Marie Michele Louis, Herman Schneider.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Stan Zebroski, 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.

Monday Evening Holy Hour: Monday nights 7-8:00 pm for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Rosary in the Basilica. Next Holy Hour: Monday, July 30th .

Banns of Marriage:
Banns I: Robert Westwood and Mairead McWeeney
Banns I: Steven Thomas Morton and Candice Elvira Seeger
Banns III: Erin Elizabeth Carolan and Steven Scholz

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies: We begin again on Wednesday, September 5th at 7:30 pm in the Rectory. Fr. Michael Novajoski will be our moderator as we study Saint Irenaeus of Lyons’ Proofs of the Apostolic Preaching. All are welcome. The texts we read are in good, readable 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: $87,562.00 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.

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.

Holy Land Pilgrimage: November 9-19, 2012: The Sisters of Saint Birgitta of Darien will sponsor a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Literally following the steps Jesus, Mary and Joseph, you can enter the holy places where the events of Salvation History occurred: Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee and many other places. Cost: $2,900 per person, including roundtrip airfare from New York, room and two meals daily, as well as transportation to all the sites. More info: call Scott Scaria: 860-289-2606 or visit the website: www.polandmej.com A $200 deposit is due August 17; full payment by September 14, 2012.

Pentimenti:…A show of artists’ works, entitled “Creating a Dream City” will be open to the public July 20 [6pm-8pm] through August 4 [Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays: 12-5pm] at the Loft Artists Association Gallery, 845 Canal Street here in Stamford. All are welcome.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday July 22, 2012 $ 13,576.08
Sunday July 29, 2011 $ 12,504.55

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

August 5th Sunday Readings: Ex 16:2-4, 12-15; Eph 4:17, 20-24; Jn 6:24-35.

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: Please
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.

Birthright of Greater Stamford is seeking volunteers…to help support women with unplanned pregnancies to bring their babies to term. Volunteers provide pregnancy tests, listen to client concerns, and connect women with medical, financial, legal and other needed resources. Ability to commit 3 hours per week in the office is desirable. Schedules are flexible, and training is provided. Birthright is located at 388 Summer St., Stamford. Please call the office at 348-4355 if interested. See www.birthright.org for more information on this international organization dedicated to life.

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).

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.

Monday, August 6th—No 12:10Mass:…The Sisters of Life will celebrate their annual profession of solemn vows here at Saint John’s at 10:00 a.m. Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, will be the celebrant of the Mass. Because this special Mass will be offered on Monday, August 6th, there will be NO 12:10 PM MASS THAT DAY.

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, August 27th.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, July 28, 2012
4:00 +Kathy M. Rogers req. Mary Jean DalMolin
Sunday, July 29, 2012
7:30 +Harold Garrity req. Colleen Carney
8:30 Monsignor Stephen M. DiGiovanni req. Ferry G
10:00 +Nancy Russo req. Patricia O’Hara Taylor
12:00 +Mary Windsor req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, July 30, 2012
8:00 +Sister Jeanette Fanfan req. Montanise Paulemon
12:10 +Ronald Brady req. the Ferro Family
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
8:00 +Lisa Talia req. Ken and Janet Segerdell
12:10 +Carliss Johnson Fredella req. cousin Maryanne Koller
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
8:00 +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 Thanksgiving and intentions of Mary Elizabeth Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
Thursday, August 2, 2012
8:00 +Peg O’Mahoney req. Ann Rafter
12:10 +Rose Astrid and Family req. Parents
Friday, August 3, 2012
8:00 Faithful Departed
12:10 +Edward and Anne Kolenberg req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Saturday, August 4, 2012
8:00 +Thomas McCabe req. Lori and Jim Rubino
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; 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: Will not meet during the summer. In September, we’ll begin meeting every Wednesday Evenings t 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:
140 years ago, or so:
THE Stamford advocate:
August 5, 1870: Sacred Concert. “We understand that a sacred concert will be given under the direction of our townsman, Mr. Charles W. Smith, in St. John’s Roman Catholic church, August 15th. Artists from St. Mary’s church, Norwalk, together with resident talent, have kindly volunteered their services for the occasion. As to Mr. Smith’s musical ability, that is sufficiently well established, and known, especially among his own townspeople. Selections from Mercadante, Verdi, Baggiola, Ruzio, Millard, and other eminent composers will be given. The managers are confident that their concert will be well worthy of the patronage of the general public and hope to receive a liberal patronage.”

135 years ago, or so:
THE Connecticut catholic:
August 3, 1878: STAMFORD: “The annual collection is generous, allowing for the straightened circumstances of the people. The census shows a congregation of three thousand, all told, perhaps one-third of the entire population of the town. Lawn parties for the benefit of some of the other denominations seem now in order. They are well patronized, both outside and inside the enclosures, as the strains of our cornet band, the warm atmosphere, the Chinese lanterns and the giddy whirl of the “mazy darce” are a great source of enjoyment. This weather, by the way, is exceedingly promotive of thirst, to allay which the cooling and intoxicating Schenck beer, as well as other fluids of a more fiery nature are quaffed by a good many citizens of the “no license” and “blue ribbon” fraternity. No license in effect seems a misnomer. “Its lights are fled” the blue ribbon is faded, and all but rum and Schenck departed.”

115 years ago, or so:
THE HARTFORD COURANT:
July 31, 1899: PRIESTS ORDAINED. “Three candidates for the priesthood were ordained by Bishop Tierney at St. Joseph’s Cathedral yesterday morning, a large congregation being present and some forty priests of the diocese occupying seats in the sanctuary. The candidates were James A. Broderick of Willimantic, Bernard Donnelly of Stamford and John Kennedy of Naugatuck. Bishop Tierney performed the ceremony of ordination and laying of hands, and he was assisted by the Rev. Florimond Do Bruycker of Willimantic, and the Rev. Dr. James P. Donovan, chancellor of the diocese, as Masters of Ceremonies. The Rev. W. H. Rogers was chaplain to Bernard Donnelly.”

Christian Discipleship
– Fr. Terry Walsh

The world offers so many distractions and yet although we live in the world, our Lord tells us, we are not “of” the world. At baptism we died a sort of death and at the same time rose to a new life—a life centered on Christ; indeed, a life lived “in” Christ. Faith leads us to Him and love nourishes and builds our relationship with Him. Of course, our spiritual life is filled with all sorts of challenges—some small and some not so small. Yet, Jesus promised that He would always be with us to heal our brokenness, if we allow him to heal us, and at the same time, strengthen us so that when we are tested, either by “the world” or “the enemy” or our own human weakness, He is always there to help us. Indeed, as St. Augustine teaches us from his experiences of spiritual desolation, our Lord is actually shouting and waving and doing all sorts of things to keep us in Him through our everyday experiences. Our Lord ‘calls and shouts and breaks through our deafness’ St. Augustine writes in his Spiritual Classic, The Confessions, that we may abide in Him and He in us. And of course, Sacred Scripture calls to mind the effect of the Sacrament of Baptism: “God is present to our inmost being: ‘In Him we live and move and have our being.’ In the words of St. Augustine, “God is ‘higher than my highest and more inward than my innermost self’”(ccc300). And yet, there is still the problem of sin. There is still the battles that frail human nature is presented daily—in part, to test our resolve, in part to prove our love, our willingness to humbly ask God for the assistance we need in order to do His will. And of course, it is humility, motivated by love, that brings us to our Lord in the Sacrament of Confession when we recognize that we have fallen in thought, word, or deed. It is that recognition of our Lord’s voice deep in our heart, our conscience, where He calls us to a humble recognition, contrition, and confession so that he can then heal, restore, nourish, and build up.

As we come to understand that God calls us to share in a life of unimaginable happiness we begin to understand what this relationship entails. It’s an active, meaningful journey unto spiritual perfection that begins at the very moment of our Baptism. This path to Christian Perfection is paved with our active and sacrificial love. This path is groomed and prepared by identifying and sifting away vice. The surface is paved with the moral virtues and traveled well as these virtues are informed by and strengthened through the supernatural graces provided by God Himself: Wisdom, Knowledge, Counsel, Understanding, Fortitude, Piety, and of course, Fear of the Lord, more commonly called “Awe and Wonder”. When we are docile to the Holy Spirit and develop the habit of virtuous living we travel through every bend and pothole guided by the Light of Christ. Only vice from within our own engine can cause a breakdown and perhaps even end our journey. Vice leads us away from God. Prayer and the Sacraments are the antidote. Jesus reminds us of this danger. He quotes the prophet Isaiah: “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me…”
Christian Perfection is forged in the heart or, as St. Paul teaches, “Faith working through love.”

St. Augustine traveled a very bumpy road for many years until at last he came to understand the love God had for him. His profound conversion of heart is recorded in the Spiritual Classic, The Confessions. No longer would he travel the road of self-indulgence. He opened his heart to the truth and God flooded his soul with grace and peace. There was no turning back. He lived now for Christ. He confesses:

“Urged to reflect upon myself, I entered under your guidance into the inmost depth of my soul. I was able to do so because you were my helper. On entering into myself I saw, as it were with the eye of the soul, what was beyond the eye of the soul, beyond my spirit: your immutable light…this light was above me because it had made me; I was below it because I was created by it. He who has come to know the truth knows this light….you overcame the weakness of my vision, sending forth most strongly the beams of your light, and I trembled at once with love and dread. I learned that I was in a region unlike yours and far distant from you, and I thought I heard your voice from on high: ‘I am the food (Eucharist) of grown men; grow then, and you will feed on me. Nor will you change me into yourself like bodily food, but you will be changed into me…

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you…You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.”