For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday August 5, 2012
Pastor’s Corner: This is the second of a six part biographical series about Ignatius Cardinal King.
Father Kung was next assigned as the headmaster of the Aurora College Preparatory School in Shanghai, which coincided with the Japanese military occupation of China, where he continued to work until 1946. When he arrived in 1937, the school enrollment totaled only a few hundred students. By the end of his tenure in 1946, the number had risen over 1,000 students. In 1946, Father Kung was transferred to his new post as headmaster of Gonzaga High School in Shanghai, and pastor of Saint Louis Gonzaga Parish, where he remained until 1949. Following the Japanese occupation of Shanghai, China was in a pitiable state, as was most of Asia and Europe following the termination of hostilities during World War II. This was exacerbated by the Chinese civil war, followed by the slow armed progress of the communist People’s Liberation Army through the country. On May 24, 1949, the People’s Liberation Army entered Shanghai, and with only a few shots fired, “liberated” China’s largest city. Just a few days later, on June 9, 1949, a native son, Father Ignatius Kung (Gong) Pin-mei was appointed the first Bishop of the new Diocese of Soochow.
Father Kung was ordained a bishop on October 7, 1949, the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, by the Apostolic Internuncio to China, Archbishop Vincent Riberi, in the Jesuit Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola in Xujiahui. At the close of his episcopal ordination ,Bishop Kung told those gathered that Pope Pius XII’s creation of a new Chinese diocese was heroic, at the very moment the communists were threatening the Catholic Church throughout the country. He said:
“I thank the Holy Father above all for his confidence in me. Better than anyone else, he knows our situation [the imminent persecution of the Church by the communist Chinese government ] Despite this, he has created a new diocese. Is this not a palpable proof of his paternal confidence? Yet, it is he who holds the rudder of this new ship [the Diocese of Soochow], as if repeating Christ’s own order, ‘Put out into the deep’, and I confidently respond, ‘At your word I will lower the nets.”
As the communist control of the country and its war against the Catholic Church continued to develop, Pope Pius XII transferred Bishop Kung on July 15, 1950, naming him the first Chinese Bishop of Shanghai and Apostolic Administrator of Soochow and Nanking. He was now the bishop of the most important diocese in China with the largest Catholic population, just in time to do battle with the communist government.
The Catholic Church in China had been experiencing a great spiritual renewal, beginning with the defeat and expulsion of the Japanese military forces from China. Since then, many robust initiatives were made to evangelize the pagan Chinese majority, especially in Shanghai , and to strengthen the spiritual lives of the Catholics there. The establishment of the Catholic Central Bureau provided coordination the missionary efforts of the Catholic Bishops throughout the country. The growth of lay spiritual movements such as the Legion of Mary and catechetical groups on University campuses, both under the direction of the Jesuits, were grass roots efforts for lay Catholics to reach out into society to convert their pagan neighbors. The Church, therefore, was on a trajectory for battle with the growing atheistic communist party and government for the minds and hearts of China.
These were dangerous times. There were organized attempts by the government to co-opt various religious groups. Most protestant groups willingly co-operated early on and accepted “patriotic” Chinese forms of their religions. But the Catholic Church was different: it was the largest of all missionary efforts in China, with more than 3,000,000 Chinese Catholics, with the largest number of priests, religious brothers and sisters, both foreign and native born. And, it was international, with headquarters not in China, but Rome. As the communist propaganda machine began working, it painted all non-Chinese influences and organizations as enemies. The communist government quickly began expelling foreign missionaries, especially foreign-born Catholic priests, religious brothers and religious sisters. Any who remained were incarcerated, as were many native clergy. Bishop Kung warned his priests at a retreat,
“You must not have any more illusions about our situation. . . You have to face prison and death head on.
This is your destiny. It was prepared for you because Almighty God loves you. What is there to be afraid of?”
The government crackdown on the Catholic Church was more virulent than against any other religious institution. The guiding government principle was the same in their relationship with all religions, but the methods varied. Because the Catholic Church was largest and most highly organized of “foreign” religious institutions, and because it was structurally dependent upon a foreign “ruler”, the pope, it was targeted more viciously than any others. Attacks in the press, both in editorials and political
cartoons, as well as political speeches and organized public demonstrations against the Church were common throughout the country. Likewise, more and more frequent were the number of arrest of Chinese priests, nuns and Catholic lay persons of all ages.
The anti-Catholic political cartoon on the left shows the pope, crowned with the papal tiara, brandishing a cross with a bayonet tied to it, dancing to the tune of American financiers and politicos. A constant theme of the communists was that the Catholic Church was a fraudulent institution, whose true nature was political, cloaking its undercover activities in religion. Foreign-based, foreign-financed and staffed by foreign priests, the Catholic Church was portrayed as the enemy of the People; its’ bishops and priests “running dogs” of the imperialist western powers, especially America.
The Chinese caption reads: In February and October 1950 the Vatican
twice convened meetings between church officials and representatives of
American secret service organizations, to discuss ways of strengthening the opposition against The People.
Please pray for the sick: Nancy O’Shea, Mary Jane Peterson, Rev. Patrick J. O’Connell, Valerie Romanello, 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, 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.
Air Conditioning Collection . . . The second collection today will be the Air Conditioning 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 Basilica. Next Holy Hour: Monday, August 6th .
Banns of Marriage:
Banns I: Daniel Buckley and Maureen Nysewander
Banns II: Robert Westwood and Mairead McWeeney
Banns II: Steven Thomas Morton and Candice Elvira Seeger
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, 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 Salvation of the People of Rome, in the back of the side aisle.
Annual Bishop’s Appeal: $87,682.00 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.
Sunday, August 5th – “Miracle of the Snows”. . . In honor of our Lady of the Snows, there will be a procession with the statue of Our Lady following the 10AM Mass. All are welcome.
Monday, August 6th—No 12:10 Mass:. . . 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 this Monday, August 6th, there will be NO 12:10 PM MASS This Monday.
Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday July 29, 2012 $ 11,202.77
Sunday July 31, 2011 $ 12,637.41
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
August 12th Sunday Readings: 1 Kgs 19:4-8; Eph 4:30-5:2; Jn 6:41-51.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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).
Holy Land Pilgrimage: November 9-19, 2012: The Sisters of Saint Birgitta Convent 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.
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: Monday, August 27th.
Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Solemn High Mass:On Wednesday August 22nd Saint Gabriel Church in Stamford will celebrate a Solemn High Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at 7:30 PM. Mass will be celebrated in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. (In Latin according to the 1962 Missal) Refreshments to follow in the Parish Meeting Room. Please mark your calendar and join us! All are welcome.
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, August 4, 2012
4:00 +Deceased Members DeRosa, Capobianco & Kronk Famlies and Edwin Clark req. Joan and John Kronk
Sunday, August 5, 2012
7:30 +Michael Masucci req. Tom Bullaardt and Chantal Holmgren
8:30 +Marlene Herrero req. Rosita A. Domdom
10:00 +Vincent Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
12:00 In Honor of God the Father of all Mankind req. Josephine Languedoc
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, August 6, 2012
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 NO MASS (Sisters of Life Solemn Vows at 10AM)
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
8:00 +Philomena Ferro req. Anthony Ferro
12:10 Souls of Purgatory req. Onide Jean-Guillaume
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
8:00 +Paul Rittman req. Pam Rittman
12:10 Thanksgiving to God req. Scholastica Nabwire
Thursday, August 9, 2012
8:00 +Rosina Raiteri req. John and Eileen Tarleton
12:10 In Honor of the God the Father req. Ferry G.
Friday, August 10, 2012
8:00 +Thomas McCabe req. Bob Kolenberg
12:10 +Hildrey Lassiter req. Jim and Denise Grier
Saturday, August 11, 2012
8:00 +Thomas Villanueva req. Villanueva Family
12:10 +Rafella Annetta req. Pugliese 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; 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:
130 years ago, or so:
The Connecticut Catholic:
August 9, 1884: STAMFORD: “On last Sunday, as was previously announced, an opportunity was extended to the parishioners and the public of viewing the interior of our new church; and it is needless to say, the privilege was highly appreciated, as was evidenced by the numerous visitors. Everyone expressed opinion of praise and satisfaction as to the magnificent appearance of the edifice, and no more general satisfaction could have been felt by any congregation than was manifested upon last Sunday. The three windows presented by the A.O.H. are set apart to the honor of those who have been ministerial in the erection of the church. One is dedicated to the memory of our deceased pastor, Rev. Father Fagan; another to Rev. Father Tierney, our former pastor, now of New Britain; and the other to our present pastor, Rev. Father Rogers.”
August 12, 1885: STAMFORD. “Over 100 members of the A.O.H., with St. John’s band, attended the immense parade at Hartford on Tuesday, and returned home well pleased with their visit to that city. Those from this place who saw the parade speak words of praise for the organization from this town. Mr. P. Hanrahan, with the other aids, looked well in his new uniform.”
120 years ago, or so:
THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
August 14, 1891: Ancient Order of Hibernians. “In March 1877, the First Division, A.O.H., was organized. The membership was small at first but has increased rapidly. There has been organized within the past few days what will be known as the Second Division of the Order, starting out with a membership roll of fifty names.”
70 years ago, or so:
August 6, 1941: Hibernians Here To Observe 50th Birthday of Unit. “The General Philip Sheridan Branch, Ancient Order of Hibernians, will observe the fiftieth anniversary of its founding with a special program of activities Saturday and Sunday. The Stamford branch was started in 1891 and was known for years as Division Number Two. Its first officers were F.T. Galagher, president; Dr. L.S. Buckley, vice president; James Devitt, recording secretary; James M. Picker, financial secretary; James McGee, treasurer. Since its organization, the branch has had a steady and sound growth. Holy Mass for the souls of deceased members will be offered Saturday at 9 a.m. Sunday at 3 p.m. the major degree of the order will be conferred at exercises in St. John’s school auditorium.”
The Bread of Angels
– Fr Terry Walsh
“Tears were running down his cheeks. The prophet was completely and utterly overwhelmed. But why was he crying? Ah, the drama of life is deeply immersed in mystery, especially the supernatural life. We believe in so much that we simply do not see. We cannot see our soul, yet it is immortal. We cannot see emotions such as love, fear, or joy, and yet we live by them. Indeed, the Saints remind us that all that we can see and touch will one day pass away, and that there will be “a new heaven and a new earth”(Revelation 21:1). At the same time, God has revealed that there are things that will in fact never pass away: “Love never ends”(1 Corinthians 13:8). Ah, the mystery of love is the mystery of God. Why then was Isaiah crying? Afterall, he was gazing upon Love personified. Imagine it! What a miraculous grace he was given before he was sent out to preach. He would speak about the Virgin Birth, the Suffering Servant, and the Consolation of Israel. God prepared Him by allowing him a glimpse of Heaven. As he stood before the Throne of God, the prophet was surrounded by myriads of angels and archangels all chanting with perfect sweetness and power, “Holy, Holy, Holy! Is the Lord of hosts!”(Isaiah 6:3). We enter into that very same chorus at every Mass, although now the Saints are there too. Imagine the sweet fragrances he was drinking in, incomprehensible to mere human senses. Isaiah was shaking, his tears increasing as his conscience was laid bear before the Throne. There was little doubt that he was a good man, afterall, he demonstrated an eager desire to serve the Lord. Yet, his tears revealed the shame of the wounds upon his soul due to sin. Immediately he felt a tremendous urge to run away. He was unworthy to stand in the presence of God and he knew it in the depth of his heart. His impurity was an offence to God. And yet, in that moment, the true contrition of the prophet pierced the Heart of Divine Mercy. Instantly, the doomed prophet was healed! God sent an angel to touch the sullied lips of Isaiah with a burning coal taken from the Altar, immediately purging all uncleanness. “Behold,” whispered the fiery seraphim, “this has touched your lips. You have been made clean. Your sins are forgiven.” What amazing words of love! What mystery! We hear those very same words in the Sacrament of Confession! The Vision of Isaiah is real. Truly, we participate in the same scene when we walk through the doors of St. John’s to attend Holy Mass. It’s true. Countless angels and Archangels fill the sanctuary praising God and bowing down in adoration in sheer amazement as he confines himself in the host. They are really there! We’re “in heaven” at the Mass. Do you see it? Do you exhibit the same awe and wonder that Isaiah felt? Have you made a faithful effort to uncover the mysteries of faith through daily prayer and faithful reception of the graces that come through each personal encounter with Christ, sacramentally? Indeed, as we penetrate the Mysteries of our faith, we’ll begin to understand the beauty of God and the ocean of His love. Bit by bit we’ll become ever more docile to the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, and so respond to the invitation to stand in His presence, like Isaiah. We’ll be filled with that same Awe and Wonder; we will be made clean. When we peer behind the veil of the Mystery of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we’ll gain a deeper awareness of our filial relationship with God. He wipes our sins away with the gentle words of absolution; He touches our lips – not with a burning coal – but rather with His very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity – the Bread of Angels! He calls us to walk in His Radiant Light from the very moment of our baptism. Are there tears running down your cheeks? How easily we are distracted. How fragile our commitment. What does it take for God to get our attention? Do the cares of daily life distract you from the spiritual reality of the Presence of Almighty God? He is truly gazing upon each one of us, not in a general way so that we might hide anonymously hide behind our neighbor, but rather, He is actually peering into each heart and inspecting the deepest regions of our conscience. The spiritual life is a journey. Naturally, there is a gradual growth. But conversion of the heart depends on our response to the invitation of grace. In the natural world, a child grows into adolescence and eventually into a mature person. On the other hand, the spiritual life, which is also meant to grow – requires a decision. We are not meant to remain in “spiritual adolescence” but rather, we are meant to hunger for heaven. Spiritual adolescence might be something like this: Only an hour earlier I was rolling out of my comfortable bed. Barely awake, I hopped into the car to roll into Church and on the way out the door I grabbed a bagel, forgetting about the one hour fast from food before receiving Holy Communion. I rushed up the steps out of breath, yet again, but excusing myself because, after all, Mass hadn’t really started yet, the altar servers were still filing into the Sanctuary. Now seriously, imagine Isaiah strolling into Heaven late for his vision, and nonchalantly picking the sleep out of his eye, wiping the crumbs off his lapel, and yawning, as if the gift before him was ‘no big deal’ – as if it was just one more thing he had to do before getting on with the important and fun part of his day. There is more going on at Mass than meets the eye, the spiritual eye that is – and that’s the one that really counts. A lack of tears – of thanksgiving, of joy, of love for our Lord – may actually bring tears to His cheeks. The gift of life is a precious mystery of love. But we have to be attentive to it, else we will miss it and mistakenly grab onto fleeting things. Recall the childlike wonder at the beauty of a sunset – one that covered the entire sky with a fiery orange and red tapestry. As soon as you noticed it, you stopped in the middle of whatever it was that was occupying your attention and immediately turned your complete attention to that amazing scene! The mystery spoke directly to your heart and you knew, even as a child, that if you didn’t stop whatever you were engaged in at that moment and turn your gaze to that wonder before your eyes, it would be missed, perhaps gone forever. And in that little peek, your heart and mind were utterly captured by the beauty created by God. That childlike wonder, with the help of God’s grace, is meant to mature into a deep spiritual vision of the truth behind the veil of the natural world; that is, we’re meant to see more distinctly with the ‘eyes of the heart’ as St. Paul would say, the deeper mysteries of life that mould our souls and prepare us for eternal beatitude, provided we seek that vision; provided we drink in the Living Waters of Divine Grace, which come to us most abundantly in the Bread of Angels, the Eucharist. The wonder of life is a faithful contemplation of the mystery and love of the One who made it.