For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday August 19, 2012

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

The appointment by Pope Pius XII of the first Chinese Bishop of Shanghai took some of the sting from the communist charge that the Catholic Church was a foreign institution. The new bishop first outlined the response of the Church in Shanghai to the communist threat in his first pastoral letter of October 7,1950. His policy was one of conciliation with the government on indifferent matters, but of refusal to compromise on the essential tenets and principles of the Catholic faith and discipline. He first worked to unite the clergy by seeking the cooperation of both religious order and diocesan priests. The other points of emphasis were the spiritual formation of the Catholic youth in the Legion of Mary and the establishment of study groups and religious devotional programs for the spiritual formation of Catholic families.

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, but would also provide the training ground for young adult Catholics to defend and propagate the Catholic faith, in the very sight of the communist onslaught.

The Catholic student catechism groups and Legion of Mary formed at the University of Aurora in Shanghai in the summer of 1950, were particularly determined and dedicated. These young adults determined to pursue one goal: the growth of the Catholic Church in China. As threats from the communists grew, so did their dedication. They were not public in their profession of faith, but simply accepted the reality of the danger they were in as believing Catholics in communist atheist China. They made four promises each morning, before God: they were willing to accept imprisonment and death; willing to renounce all relationships for the time being in order to consecrate themselves to the defense of the Church; willing to adopt a fixed program of spiritual life; willing to accept whatever mission might prove useful to the Church, regardless of the danger.

The movement received the blessing and support of Bishop Kung, who “strongly believed that the Catholic youth were the hope and future of the Church”, just as the Chinese understood the training of Chinese youth to be essential to build up the state and to destroy the Church. During a rally at Saint Ignatius College on December 8, 1950, hundreds of Catholic students gathered to greet their new bishop. Speaking in the name of all, one student told Bishop Kung that “When we cry out in our adversity, and we are in need of that balm that strengthens, it is our bishop who will supply it. It is with our bishop that we will find strength.” Turning to a Crucifix, Bishop Kung responded, telling the young Catholics of Shanghai, “Because I have the responsibility to guide the great Diocese of Shanghai, because the Lord Jesus Himself placed this upon my shoulders, I vow to exhaust all my strength to fulfill my duty. I wish that you, with all your strength, might sustain me.”

The government began its Three-Self Program: The Catholic Church in China should be run by Chinese, funded by Chinese and exist for the Chinese. It designed to destroy Chinese Catholic ties with the Pope and to establish a government Church. The Chinese Catholic bishops clarified the Catholic position: The Catholic Church was not a government institution, its unity was seen in the essential bond of communion with the Holy Father. The Catholic Church was already providing native Chinese bishops, priests and religious, according to canon law, which would gradually assume control of the Church in China as the number of native-born priests and religious increased; The Catholic Church in China would be self-supporting, since it accepted no funding with foreign political implications; the foreign missionaries would work solely to build up the local Church throughout China, and not for the benefit of any foreign political interests.

The official government response was swift and clear. The response by the bishops “. . . was issued by the imperialist elements of the Catholic Church, the serious attention and indignation of all quarters have been aroused. It affords irrevocable proof of the attempt on the part of the imperialist elements of the Catholic Church to sabotage the Chinese Catholic Church’s patriotic independence and reformation movement, and of the presence of imperialist elements who try, under the disguise of the clergy, to make use of the Catholic Church as an instrument of aggression for the American-Chiang bloc to injure the interests of the Chinese people.”

On April 22, 1951, in the midst of this great turmoil, Bishop Kung issued his second pastoral letter, announcing the consecration of the Diocese of Shanghai to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. At first glance this may appear to be merely a devotional document. But there is much more here than meets the eye, especially when seen in light of his first pastoral letter, reaffirming his loyalty to the Successor of Saint Peter and outlining his pastoral plan for the diocese; in connection with his opening of two Marian Years: 1953, dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima, and 1954, dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes. The 1917 apparitions at Fatima condemned communism in Russia; the 1858 apparitions at Lourdes underscored the authority of the Successor of St. Peter, the Pope. These are the pastoral instructions of a bishop to his flock, clearly demonstrating his unbending Creed, expressed to the Catholics of Shanghai, along with the training instructions for his troops, and the spiritual weapons needed for the upcoming battle; and he drew the battle lines clearly, at least for those with eyes to see. One can see Bishop Kung calling the faithful and clergy to spiritually arm themselves under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, while reaffirming their dedication to the Successor of Saint Peter and to the Catholic Church founded by Our Lord. The heart of his troops would be the Catholic family, united by praying the Family Rosary, and daily study-meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary, and Catholic youth. The bishop sought to strengthen the unity of all Shanghai Catholics, laity and clergy around their bishop. Prayer would be the defense against the government. Bishop Kung was not anti-government; he was anti-atheism. The real battle was that of God’s Kingdom against the Kingdom of this world; almighty God against the unlimited claims of Caesar—those of the Chinese government; the battle that Heaven is our true homeland, not just here on earth.
—Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Chuck Woodin, Gary Everett, Nancy O’Shea, Mary Jane Peterson, Rev. Patrick J. O’Connell, Valerie Romanello, 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: Larry P. Evaristo, 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.

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 Basilica. Next Holy Hour: Monday, August 20th .

Banns of Marriage:
Bann I Michael Barich and Bridgett Hagarty
Bann I Evan Corsello and Dania Terenzio
Bann III Daniel Buckley and Maureen Nysewander

Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: As part of our parish efforts that a cause for canonization of Ignatius Cardinal Kung be opened soon after the appointment of a new bishop, three days of prayer will be celebrated at the Basilica: October 11, 12 and 13, ending with the 4 p.m. Mass on October 13th with the consecration of the parish to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Bishop Kung’s first work was to consecrate his Diocese of Shanghai to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our following his lead for the intention of his cause for canonization will be a blessing for our parish. Please mark your calendars and look for details.

MASS SCHEDULE CHANGE: Beginning Sunday, September 9th: the 12 noon Solemn Choir Mass will be changed to 11:30 a.m. The schedule for all other weekend Masses remains the same.

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: The parish office has votive offerings for sale: 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.

 St John’s Flock (20’s and 30’s Young Adult Ministry): See you soon! Come join the Flock for monthly Faith Formation meetings on the 2nd Thursday of the month and other social/service events. For more information, please go to stjohnsflock.com or email core-team@stjohnsflock.com.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday August 12, 2012 $ 12,235.30
Sunday August 14, 2011 $ 12,925.84
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

August 26th Sunday Readings: Jos 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b; Eph 5:21-32; Jn 6:60-69.

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.

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, 9a.m.-1:30p.m., 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.

HANDS FOR LIFE at Chelsea Piers: 1 Blachley Road, Stamford on August 25th: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sponsored by Stamford Hospital—come learn easy Hands ONLY CPR [no mouth-to-mouth] FREE. Join the easy, fast training AND help set a world’s record of 10,000 trainees: www.Handsforlife.Org_for details.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, August 18, 2012
4:00 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
Sunday, August 19, 2012
7:30 +Margaret Landgraf Harvey req. Jim and Deb Duffy
8:30 +James A. Banas req. Lloydie Lamontagne
10:00 +Dorothy Wargo 26th Anniversary req. Arthur J. Wargo
12:00 +Angelo Velez req. Anne Marie Samedi
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, August 20, 2012
8:00 Tony and Linda Colon
12:10 +Herculano and Gloria Oliva req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
8:00 +Mr. Householder req. Ed McLaughlin
12:10 +Juliet White req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
8:00 +Sister Bernadette Maxell req. Tom Timon
12:10 In Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary req. Ferry G.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
8:00 +Betty Lupinacci req. Anthony and Nancy Ferro
12:10 +Marion Murphy req. Mary Jean DalMolin
Friday, August 24, 2012
8:00 +Rosina Raiteri
12:10 Jose Soria Vidal req. Charles Paternina
Saturday, August 25, 2012
8:00 Rev. Sudhir D’Souza req. Ferry G.
12:10 +Rosina Raiteri req. Sharon Gannon

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 ADVOCATE:

130 years ago, or so:
August 20, 1880: The R. C. Excursion. “On Wednesday morning about nine o’clock, about fifteen hundred persons embarked on the barge “Job Neilson,” which was in tow of the tugboat “Vim,” both of the John H. Starin fleet. The temperance society, under whose auspices the excursion was given, marched from their assembly room through Main and Atlantic streets to the steamboat dock headed by the Stamford brass band. The excursionists spent the day at Glen Island and enjoyed a good old-fashioned time. They arrived home a little after 8 p.m..”

105 years ago, or so:
August 21, 1907: DIVISION OF PARISH. “St. John’s Roman Catholic parish has been divided, the new parish to include all the east portion of the old, and to be known as St. Mary’s. The pastor of the new parish is Rev. Denis L. Gleeson, D.D., who has been pastor of St. Anthony’s, an Italian church of Hartford. Dr. Gleason was in town a week ago, looking over the ground, although no one here was aware of the object of his visit. A site for a new church has been bought, at the corner of Elm and Jefferson Streets, and work will be commenced on the new building as soon as possible. The new parish includes all the territory east and south of a line running through the canal to the railroad to Hawthorn Street; thence through Hawthorn Street to Main; thence through Main to Glenbrook road, to Hamilton Avenue; thence through Hamilton Avenue to the railroad, and thence along the tracks of the railroad.”

80 years ago, or so:
August 26, 1933: REV. JOS. B. DALY TO CELEBRATE HIS FIRST HIGH MASS. “Tomorrow morning at 11 in St. John’s R. C. Church, the Rev. Joseph B. Daly, son of Mr. and Mrs. Owen J. Daly of 29 Fifth Street, will celebrate his first Solemn High Mass. Right Reverend Monsignor Peter H. McClean of St. Augustine’s Church, Bridgeport, a cousin of the celebrant, will act as assistant priest. The deacon and sub-deacons will be the Rev. Walter Daly, O Carm., and Rev. William Daly, O Carm., both of Stamford. Rev. Kihan Lynch, professor of philosophy at Marymount College, will preach the sermon. Father Daly was ordained a priest in the Carmelite Order. Before his departure from Rome, Father Daly received the special privilege of giving the Papal blessing. This will be imparted to the congregation immediately after the Mass. Tomorrow afternoon, between the hours of 3 and 6, Father Daly will be at home to his friends.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Rev. Msgr. Peter McClean was also a vocation from St. John’s parish.)

“Do You Know What Day It Is?”
– Fr. Terry Walsh

“Yet thou hast made him little less than God, and dost crown him with glory and honor.” – Psalm 8:5

The Olympics demonstrate the effect of what can be accomplished through hard work and determination. So many of the individual stories are in a way inspiring—overcoming adversity, reaching new and extraordinary heights in personal endurance, and so on. Indeed, many have inspired others to dream of the possibility of achieving personal goals that lead to a deeper appreciation of the gifts God has bestowed— especially goals of virtue off the athletic field. Meanwhile, from dawn till dusk people everywhere are putting themselves to the test – running faster, jumping higher, and developing skills in a variety of activities that are meant to strengthen character and confidence – especially in the young. The “language” of sports translates across borders and builds bridges among cultures. What joy the achievements of human excellence bring – the fruit of much labor. And in the high-tech age, sports provide a wholesome alternative to gadgets galore. Very often, people gain great consolations by reaching new heights or pushing through difficult barriers through steadfast determination. What reasonable sacrifices am I willing to make to reach my best performance? Perhaps the best lesson of all is found in discovering our limits and humbly recognizing what we can not attain. That takes courage. It’s particularly fruitful when that discovery prompts us to turn our gaze away from ourselves and instead begin to contemplate the One who knows no limits – the Infinite One who emptied Himself completely in order to share His Divine Life.

Team sports add the component of working together to accomplish a community goal. Clearly, each individual effort affects every other member of the team and since responsibility to the community takes precedence over personal achievement, individual accomplishments may need to be sacrificed in order for the team to be victorious. Moreover, is there a willingness to offer constructive criticism to teammates even when it’s difficult? Applied to the spiritual life, these lessons lead to a deeper understanding of love. St. Paul refers to this when he writes about the Mystical Body of Christ. He reminds us that as each member grows in holiness – “faith working through love” – the entire Body grows in holiness. Yet, if one member falls, the ill effect is felt by the whole Body. We are obligated to grow in holiness and to help others in their pursuit of a holy life as well. Sports can make a wholesome contribution. Ah, there are a million stories. One Christmas Day during World War I, American and German soldiers crawled out of their bloody trenches and met each other in the middle – for a game of soccer. After their game, they simply couldn’t go back to shooting eachother. Consider, too, the most renowned athletic stage – the Olympics. Consider the 1924 Summer Games? Do you remember Eric Liddell? He was considered to be the world’s fasted human. Yet, he refused to compete in 3 of the 4 events he qualified to run because they took place on Sunday. Liddell would not compromise the integrity of his faith. His heroic witness captured the attention of the entire world. Instead, he ran the 400 meters and set a new world record with his victory.

What place do sports hold in the heart of man today? Is it still an activity that builds character and friendships? Or, has it become an “end” in itself – one that governs the daily activity of families even to the exclusion of honoring God? In many respects, Sports have replaced religion. So few attend Church, yet many would not think about missing practice. Few seem to know the Our Father or the Hail Mary, yet many recite the entire history of their favorite sports team. Few seem to know the names of the four Evangelists, the most important books ever written, yet many can rattle off the starting lineups of their favorite team, along with accompanying statistics. Few can list the 10 Commandments, and fewer still the Beatitudes, but most can tell you the rules governing their sport, including obscure nuances for the most ridiculous scenarios. So few know the story of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but most know the story of Ruth, DiMaggio, and Mantle. So few seem to engage in a faithful prayer life, but missing a daily workout would be considered ‘a mortal sin.’ Truly, “Coach” is not God, even though he might be treated as such by some. As faithful Catholics, our dignity is realized in our relationship with God. The virtue of Religion falls under the Cardinal Virtue of Justice. We fulfill that virtue by keeping the Commandments. “In creation God laid a foundation and established laws that remain firm, on which the believer can rely with confidence, for they are the sign and pledge of the unshakable faithfulness of God’s covenant. For his part man must remain faithful to this foundation and respect the laws which the Creator has written into it” (Catechism, 346).

Skipping Mass in favor of a sporting event clearly indicates a lack luster desire for God. A faithful prayer life would have prevented the tragedy of turning a wholesome activity into an “end” in itself. We have been made to share in the Divine Life. We are meant to be crowned with glory and honor, in heaven. It is a crown that comes through faith, hope, and love and is the fruit of following the One True God in this life. Sports ought to contribute to the growth and development of the human person rather than serve as a conduit of self-absorption, whose logical end is the exploitation and commoditization of the human person and the loss the true dignity – union with God.