For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday August 12, 2012

Pastor’s Corner: This is the third of a six part biographical series about Ignatius Cardinal King.

The Catholic Church was aware of the threat to its Chinese missions and institutions even before the Chinese communists came to power. Bishop James E. Walsh wrote his Maryknoll superiors in late 1948,

It is possible to live and work under the Commies for a time, even tough it is certain that they will scotch or kill us in the end (that is, once their power is in place and is really established and consolidated). . . . Nobody has any illusions about Red determination to eliminate all religion.

Knowing the difficulties faced the communist party in Russia in its attempts to eradicate religion, the Chinese Communist Party decided to exercise patience. On September 29, 1949, the party put into effect its Common Program during the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. The document was worded to reassure all groups in China that they had a united interest, represented and defended by the party. The violent plan and program actually prepared by the party to remake China was not mentioned in the Common Program. The Catholic Church and other religious groups were given a reassurance of freedom. But the party insisted that it alone had authority to define what a legitimate religion was, and so gave itself unlimited powers. The Church soon felt that power, once the government decided the Catholic Church was not a legitimate religious institution. The most immediate result was the party’s religious policy, which included the closure of churches and brutal treatment of foreign-born priests and nuns throughout China, exceptionally heavy taxation of Catholic Church property, the take over of all educational institutions, and the formation and education of the young. The policy against foreigners, foreign missionaries, and against the foreign-based Catholic Church became more intensely applied after June 25, 1950, when North Korean troops crossed the 38th parallel into South Korea; and even more so following the entry of more than 300,000 Chinese across the border to assist North Korea during the first weeks of October. The government established the Resist America, Aid Korea movement, giving further emphasis to the potential dangers of foreigners in China, especially Americans and French, now at war with China’s ally, Korea. The bulk of the Catholic foreign missionaries came from France and the United States. Now their efforts became increasingly suspect, and Chinese government-backed public demonstrations against them and the pope, more common and virulent. The Catholic Church was labeled an imperialist institution, wrapped in a cloak of religion; the Pope was the tool of powerful governments, not the preacher of the Gospel. The government demanded a choice be made by Chinese Catholics: loyalty to the People’s Republic of China or to the foreign-based Catholic Church. Patriotic Chinese could not be Roman Catholics—a foreign Catholic Church. The Chinese government wanted to “purify” and “reform” the Chinese Catholic Church of “foreign, counter revolutionary elements”. This was the government’s justification for its anti-Catholic program and establishment of its own government Patriotic Catholic Church.

All three aspects of party policy came to be defined by the formula of The Three-Self Movement, as revealed in a secret Chinese government document, Instructions on Questions Concerning Catholic and Protestant Churches, drawn up in Shanghai as guidelines. It gives a clear picture of the Catholic Church, with a membership of 3,000,000 throughout China, ministered by 12,000 priests, and of the Protestant groups, with a membership of about 700,000 persons. The document begins, “Marxists are absolute atheists. We believe that religion is an impediment to the people’s awakening.” But there would be no outright attack on religion. Patriotism would be the key to building confidence and trust among Chinese Catholics, without mentioning the universal Catholic Church. “We will lead and support patriots within the church and we will unite the majority of the believers to fight against the minority who are linking up with imperialists”, the Instructions read. Once the majority of Chinese Catholics had been won over, then the party could rebuild a Chinese Catholic Church that would be self-governing, self-propagating and self-financing , fully controlled by and at the service of the Chinese Communist Party, freed from the foreign control of the Pope, foreign-born missionaries and foreign-money. It would be a Chinese Church for the Chinese People, under the control of the People’s Republic of China. But the government authors of the Instructions knew there would be difficulties with one specific religious institution in China: “But in the powerful Catholic Church now we do not have such a movement [the Three-Self Movement]. We hope that the local government will pay attention to the patriotic Catholics and unite them at a proper time to launch such a movement.”

The response of the Catholic Church in Shanghai was formulated by Bishop Kung, which he outlined in his first pastoral letter of October 7, 1950, barely two months becoming the first native-born Bishop of Shanghai. He first worked to unite the clergy by seeking the cooperation of both diocesan priests with religious order priests, especially with the Jesuits whose missionary efforts formed the heart of the Diocese of Shanghai. The other points of emphasis were the spiritual formation of the Catholic youth, the establishment of the Legion of Mary for the spiritual formation of Catholic families, and the establishment of study groups.

The youth would be formed by reviving the Marian Sodalities, first established by Jesuit missionaries in the sixteenth century as a means to popularize the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola. Not only would membership in the sodalities

strengthen high school and university age youth, they would also be training grounds for young adult Catholics to defend and propagate the Catholic faith. Faced with a future without bishops, priests or religious sisters, Bishop Kung and the Jesuits began preparing the next generation of Catholics, loyal to the Successor of Peter, but pretty much on their own in China. All this in full view of the coming communist onslaught.

The caption reads: It [The Catholic Church] is not what it appears to be. It is the principal center of the international capitalistic movement to oppose Russia, Communism and
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: Thaddeus O’Connor, Kathleen O’Connor, Grace Fusco, Marie Conetta, Frank Ardise, 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, Virginia Toussaint, George Muro, Ann Rich, Lena Chiappetta, Rosina Raiteri, Felicia Stramandinoli, Duverney Caporal, Terrence Cooke, Charles Harman, Bill Wiles, Carmen Candelaria.

Wednesday, August 15TH. . .The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary , IS a Holy Day of Obligation : All Catholics are obliged to attend Mass either the evening before at the vigil Mass on August 14th at 5:15 p.m., or on August 15th at 8:00 a.m.; 12:10 p.m.; or 5:15 p.m. Confessions will be heard prior to each Mass.

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 13th .

Banns of Marriage:
Banns II: Daniel Buckley and Maureen Nysewander
Banns III: Robert Westwood and Mairead McWeeney
Banns III: 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: An intermediate grammar and reading class: Some basic grammatical knowledge of Biblical Greek is required. 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.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday August 5, 2012 $ 12,692.66
Sunday August 5, 2011 $ 11,464.70

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

August 19th Sunday Readings: Prv 9:1-6; Eph 5:15-20; Jn 6:51-58.

Home Schooling Families: A group for home schooling families meets monthly on Tuesday in the Nagle Hall. All ages are welcome. Please contact Bridget Bethray at bridget.bethray@gmail.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.

St. Leo 32nd Annual Parish Fair. . .at St. Leo Parish, 24 Roxbury Road, Stamford. Tuesday, August 28 through Friday, August 31, from 6PM to 11PM and Saturday, Sept. 1st from 2PM to 11PM. Enjoy rides, games, live entertainment, international foods, bingo and our $10 raffle with a 1st prize 2012 Mercedes-Benz C300 4matic Sport. For more information call Denise Esposito at 203-322-1669 x227.

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.

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.

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.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, August 11, 2012
4:00 Christina Byrne req. Ann LePore
Sunday, August 12, 2012
7:30 +Patricia B. Marshall req. Richard Foreman
8:30 Rev. Albert Audette req. Ferry G.
10:00 +Lucas Marenco req. Friends of Melindy & Carlos
12:00 Natarelli and Pugliese Families req. Shawn Mary McAuliffe
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, August 13, 2012
8:00 +Anna and Jeannette Kollama req. Dorothy Keyes
12:10 +Jim Bosilevas req. Dorothy Keyes
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
8:00 Special Intentions Monsignor DiGiovanni req. Dorothy Keyes
12:10 +Marcello Santagata req. Angela Giannitti
5:15 +Estanislao C. Carbungco req. Cecilia Carpio
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
8:00 +John Maloney req. Mary
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Yvonne St. Preuve
5:15 +Lottie Keyes req. Keyes family
Thursday, August 16, 2012
8:00 +Primo Mangahis req. his family
12:10 +Stephen Churley req. Mary Churley
Friday, August 17, 2012
8:00 +George Muro req. Helene Neigler
12:10 +Rosina Raiteri req.Maureen and Rick Carpiniello
Saturday, August 18, 2012
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. the McAleer family
12:10 Scholastica Nabwire’s Birthday req. sons Michael and Andrew Mbabaali

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 7:30 pm ’till 9:00 pm in the rectory. All are welcome.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies: Wednesdays, 7:30 pm in the rectory: Next meeting, September 5th.

The Latin Reading Group: Meets Wednesday evenings at 6:15 pm in the rectory: basic reading ability required.

Introduction to Biblical Greek: Basic Grammar: Meets Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm in the rectory.

Coffee Hour: Starts again in September.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:
145 years ago, or so:
August 16, 1867: “The St. John’s Roman Catholic Benevolent Association will make an excursion on Thursday, 22nd inst., to Five Mile River. This is a good Society and should be liberally patronized.”

110 years ago, or so:
August 13, 1902: POLISH CATHOLIC CHURCH. “Negotiations are under way, and will, it is thought, be closed in a few days, for the transfer of the school property in Hawthorn Street by St. John’s R.C. parish to the Polish parish which has recently been formed here. Father Ludercuski is the Polish pastor. He has been here for several weeks, and has been given hearty support by his countrymen. There are 480 communicants in the denomination, which includes Slavonians as well as Poles. Father Ludercuski has said two Masses Sundays in the lower chapel of St. John’s Church, one at 8 and the other at 10:30. There has been a large congregation at each, and at the business meetings much interest in the undertaking has been shown.”

60 years ago, or so:
August 15, 1950: Pope To Proclaim Mary’s Ascension New Church Law. “Pope Pius has called a secret consistory to make belief in the bodily assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven a dogma of the Catholic Church, it was announced yesterday. The dogma will be the first added to the doctrine of the church in nearly 100 years. The last was that of the Immaculate Conception proclaimed on Dec. 8, 1854. L’Osservatore Romano, Vatican City newspaper, made the announcement on the eve of the Feast of the Assumption-today-which has been observed by Catholics for centuries. L’Osservatore Romano said the Secret Consistory of Cardinals has been called for Oct. 30, and that Pope Pius will proclaim the dogma on Nov. 1 on the closing day of an International Marian Congress in Rome. The proclamation will compel all members of the church to believe that the Mother of Jesus was borne bodily into heaven. Belief in the Assumption has been nearly universal in the church. Pope Benedict XIV, who reigned from 1740 to 1758, declaring “it is a probable opinion which to deny were impious and blasphemous.” The modern movement to have the belief included as Catholic dogma was started in 1863 when Isabella II, Queen of Spain, asked Pope Pius IX for a Papal ruling on the matter. The Catholic Encyclopedia says the day, year and manner of Mary’s death is not known for certainty. The dates for it vary from three to 15 years after Christ’s ascension. Two cities claim to be the place of her departure, Jerusalem and Ephesus. Her tomb is found at Jerusalem.”

Our Lady of Knock
– Fr. Terry Walsh

They sailed to America to begin anew in a land of hope and promise. Would they ever return to their loved ones left behind? In spite of the tremendous hardships their faith was not diminished; on the contrary, it grew more deeply rooted. Indeed, they carried it to America. Our parish of St. John’s was founded by these faithful immigrants in 1854. Just as they had endured religious persecution at home, so too were they greeted with it here in Stamford. It didn’t stop them. The Catholic Faith in Ireland persevered through unrelenting persecution, yet yielded enormous fruits and graces. The ‘Golden Age’ of Ireland, as it is known, produced great scholarship from the time of Saint Patrick through the 8th century. And while invasions, persecution and famine became characteristic of the Irish experience, these hardships served to deepen their faith. In 1536, the ‘self-proclaimed’ head of the Church (of England), King Henry VIII, sought to stamp out the Catholic Church in Ireland. The English persecution persisted even after the Catholic Emancipation Act was instituted some 300 years later in 1828. Henry VIII attacked the Monasteries which were the very heart of Ireland. These spiritual communities were also centers of Irish culture and provided various services that sustained entire villages. Henry tried to crush the spirit of the Irish by dismantling the Monasteries. Religious statues, paintings, and icons were destroyed and fidelity to the Pope was forbidden. Brutal martyrdom, kidnapping for slave labor, and general persecution persisted for three centuries. And yet, these terrible persecutions could not suppress the hearts and minds of the faithful. It seemed to buoy their resolve. They suffered devastating famines in the 1840’s and again in the 1870’s: over a million dead, over a million fled her shores. It was on the heels of this terrible suffering, on a rainy summer evening, August 21, 1879, that the faithful Irish received a great grace. Fifteen villagers were blessed to witness an extraordinary apparition lasting two hours. Only fifty years earlier, the villagers of the poor farming community of Knock constructed their Parish Church (a year before the Catholic Emancipation Act was passed in 1829) and they chose Saint John the Baptist as their patron. Like the Baptist, they too were out in the wilderness, searching for the Lamb. Centuries earlier, the Baptist pointed to Jesus: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”(John 1:29). Persecution did not diminish the gaze of the Irish. Throughout the centuries, they remained faithful to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and their devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In the apparitions of our Lady, it seems that Mary always appears to the simple, humble, and very often the marginalized: Juan Diego at Guadalupe, Bernadette at Lourdes, and the children at Fatima and LaSalette. The same was true on that summer evening at Knock. And what did they see in that silent apparition? Just behind the Church, the witnesses tell us that the apparition hovered about 2 feet off the ground. The Blessed Virgin Mary was standing beside an Altar, and upon it stood a Lamb. Behind the Altar, a Cross. St. Joseph stood beside the Blessed Mother with his head bowed slightly and St. John the Evangelist stood next to him holding open the Bible. Angels surrounded the Altar. Although it was pouring rain, the apparition did not get wet, nor was the ground beneath them wet. While no words were spoken, the scene spoke volumes. Just as our Lady and the Beloved Disciple were present at the foot of the Cross at Calvary, so too are they beside the Altar at Holy Mass where the Innocent Lamb pours out His Blood for us. The Book of Revelation, written by St. John, is essentially about the Mass, the “Wedding Feast of the Lamb.” John writes, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”(Revelation 5:12).

Why do people around the world journey to the West of Ireland to visit the Shrine? The Very Reverend Paul Waldron pointed to the spiritual fruits: “Knock is a shrine of prayer and a school of suffering. It is Mary’s own hospital for her afflicted children. Here they come in their thousands, year after year to speak with Our Blessed Mother in consoling, intimate prayer, and to lay before her their poor bruised hearts and aching bodies. Some may be given the joy of health restored, but all are assured of a still greater blessing. They leave with the grace of a new understanding of their life and of the place that the Cross has in making them like their suffering Saviour. They leave, formed after Mary’s own Immaculate Heart….Here you have a Shrine that has been built not with material stones, but with gems far more precious, the millions of Rosaries that loving hearts and worn fingers have laid all these years at the feet of Our Lady of Knock”(Ibid., p.139). Indeed, four Popes have visited the Shrine, most recently Pope John Paul II on September 30, 1979.Our parish of St. John the Evangelist was founded by Irish immigrants a short time before the apparition in Knock. How wonderful it is that today the Knock Novena is prayed between the Feasts celebrating the final two Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, the Assumption and the Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth. While we may not be able to travel to the Emerald Isle to visit our Lady of Knock, we can rest assure that by entering into the Novena, She will visit us.

PRAY THE “KNOCK NOVENA” Aug 14 (Vigil of the Assumption) through Aug 22 (Queenship of Mary)
Copies of the Novena are posted at all the Doors of the Church