For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday August 26, 2012

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

Late on the night of September 8 and throughout the early morning hours of the 9th, 1955, the communist forces struck. Hundreds of police simultaneously raided all parishes, convents, the seminary and all Catholic institutions in Shanghai, as well as the homes of leading Catholic laypersons. They arrested Bishop Kung, 23 priests, 2 Carmelite nuns, nearly 300 lay Catholics. The next morning edition of the Shanghai daily secular newspaper, Sin Weh Jih Pao carried the story: The police actions and arrests were carried out by the government “In order to destroy this anti-government group of Kung Pin-mei at its very roots, and to exterminate all anti-revolutionary elements that are hidden by the Catholic Church.” Depending upon the newspaper consulted, the accusations against Bishop Kung changed, as did the fabricated details and evidence to support the fraudulent charges. His real crime was his unshakeable faith in God, and his unbreakable loyalty to God’s representative on earth, the Pope. The state could not control his conscience.

During the subsequent weeks, Shanghai’s priests, Catholic leaders and members of the Catholic youth were subjected to interrogations, group indoctrination classes, imprisonment or house arrest. All were shown newspapers proclaiming Bishop Kung’s betrayal of Church and homeland, whose policies for the Diocese of Shanghai were anti-revolutionary lies, part of a massive espionage plot. Twenty-eight mass meetings of 20,000 Catholics were held during the first two weeks of September, during which those Catholics of Shanghai who “had seen the light” and joined the communists spoke to those forced to attend, encouraging them to abandon the Kung Pin-mei clique and join the patriotic Catholic movement.

One such mass meeting of thousands of Catholics took place in Shanghai on September 12th . The Catholics, herded into the stadium and guarded by armed police, witnessed as group accusations were made against Bishop Kung, his priests and loyal Catholic laypersons. An eyewitness described he scene:

“After all sorts of accusations were thrown at the Bishop, he was told to speak. But the bishop remained silent. Then they thrust him in front of the mike and kept urging him to say something. The bishop seeing that there would be no end to this, raised his head and shouted, ‘Long live Christ’ several times. The crowd, mostly students followed up by shouting: ‘Long live the bishop’, but could only shout twice because the soldiers raised their rifles and Tommy guns and pointed them ordering them to keep quiet or they would open [fire]. Then they pulled the bishop away from the mike and pushed him roughly into the waiting lorry and drove off. The bishop was dressed in a Chinese short jacket and trousers and had his hands tied behind his back.”

This wasn’t just a persecution of religion. A more fundamental principle was involved: It was about human dignity. Bishop Kung had a very acute sense of this dignity, which made him even more devoted to the Church and to his people. Would it be possible to be a man according to the new faceless ‘humanity’ that Communism wanted to establish?

Because Bishop Kung wanted only to be a bishop of Jesus Christ as well as a man and a true Chinese citizen that he stood as an obstacle to the government, and so he had to be toppled. Why did they wait so long to pull him down? As Father Jean Lefeuvre who knew the bishop wrote, “For a reason that we will express, and pardon, as the Bible tells us: “because they did not want the death of the sinner, but his conversion.” The conversion the communists wanted was the Bishop’s acceptance of communism; they did not want his death because he would then be acclaimed a martyr.

Father Lefeurvre continued, “They wanted Kung’s complete submission, which could not be had except by the destruction of his personality. This explains their long and patient waiting, in the hopes of discovering some fault that would permit them to creep into the individual’s conscience and shatter it. The communists are like stone workers whose goal is to crack rocks: they find a fault in the stone, insert a wooden wedge, water it so that the wood expands and the rock splits. The communists were looking for that fault in the Bishop, work on it, and, so, everything would fall apart.” The first cut into the block of Kung was against his fidelity: Bishop Kung’s crime was his unshakeable fidelity to God and His Catholic Church. Unchangeable, it had to be gotten rid of. But the Church was too closely united to him for there not to have been a massive uprising against the state if it laid hands on him. He had to be crushed, slowly.

For five years Bishop Kung was imprisoned without a trial. No one outside jail heard from him or saw him, until March 16, 1960, when he was dragged before a Chinese court with twelve other Catholic defendants, and sentenced to life imprisonment for treason. During the first years in jail, as he later recalled, “There were six pairs of feet in my face each night”, of those sharing his unheated and unventilated cell, huddled together on the wooden floor, designed to ensure no one could sleep. His daily food ration was one small tin of watery rice with a piece of crushed turnip; no books, no writing materials, no visitors. After a few years, no one saw him and he was shut away in total isolation which last over two decades. After his release in 1988, he told one reporter that the guards had been instructed not even to look at him. So, as they passed his cell, they turned their faces away, lest he have even that minimal human contact. His life was one of physical labor. His mainstay was silent prayer: no prayer books or Rosary permitted, and not even the movement of his lips in prayer—a punishable offense—so, he tolled the Hail Maries of the Rosary on his fingers, and each month made the thirty-day retreat of Saint Ignatius Loyola, his namesake, from memory.
—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.

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 27th .

Banns of Marriage:
Bann I Zachary Flynn and Kelly Fontneau
Bann II Michael Barich and Bridgett Hagarty
Bann II Evan Corsello and Dania Terenzio

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 Novajosky 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.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday August 19, 2012 $ 11,897.90
Sunday August 21, 2011 $ 11,533.90
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

September 2nd Sunday Readings: Dt 4:1-2, 6-8; Jas 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27; Mk 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23.

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.

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.

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.

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 25, 2012
4:00 DeGuardia Family req. Millie Terenzio
Sunday, August 26, 2012
7:30 In Honor of St. Anthony req. Linda Zachariadis
8:30 +Laszlo Biza req. Marie Bartolutti
10:00 +Sally Ryan Sweeney req. Virginia and Paul Gerardi
12:00 Sp. Int. Scholastica Nabwire and Andrew Mbabaali req.Marion Morris
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, August 27, 2012
8:00 In Honor of the Sweet Infant Jesus req. Linda Zachariadis
12:10 +Louis Potance req. Nancy and Anthony Ferro
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
8:00 In Honor of Our Lady of Lourdes req. Linda Zachariadis
12:10 +Margaret Landgraf Harvey req. Helen and Joe Martin
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
8:00 Deceased members of the Lamothe, Jean Marie and Laroche Families req. Bernard and Nicole Lamothe
12:10 Thanksgiving, Praise and Love to the Eternal Father req. Josephine Languedoc
Thursday, August 30, 2012
8:00 +Catherine and Eugene Dzilinski req. Marie Carr
12:10 +Terrence Cooke req. Josephine Languedoc
Friday, August 31, 2012
8:00 +Mary Barry, 1st Anniversary req. McAleer Family
12:10 Thanksgiving to God req. Bernard and Nicole Lamothe
Saturday, September 1, 2012
8:00 Thanksgiving req. Thang Nguyen
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 ADVOCATE:
90 years ago, or so:
September 1, 1922: STAMFORD MAN CANDIDATE FOR PRIESTHOOD. “Patrick Killeen of Stamford is among the candidates for the Catholic priesthood who have recently received seminary assignments from Rt. Rev. John J. Nilan, Bishop of Hartford, which includes Stamford. He has been assigned to St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore. The candidate was graduated from St. John’s School and Stamford High School.”

80 years ago, or so:
August 30, 1933: FATHER CALLAHAN IS PRESENTED PURSE. “A large gathering of members of the parish and friends throughout the community was present in the basement of St. John’s R.C. Church, last night, when Judge John F. Keating presented to the Rev. Henry M. Callahan, former assistant pastor, a purse as a testimonial from his well-wishers here. Judge Keating was chairman of the committee collecting the funds for the testimonial. He spoke of the esteem in which Father Callahan was held when he made the presentation. Father Callahan responded graciously. A number of priests who had been closely associated with the guest of honor attended the reception. Among them were the Rev. Francis J. Lally, pastor of St. John’s; the Rev. John J. Kelley, formerly of St. John’s; the Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman, also formerly of St. John’s; the Rev. Charles Corcoran, assistant pastor of St. John’s; the Rev. Jerome T. Cook, assistant at St. John’s; and Rev. James J. Wilson who succeeded Father Callahan at St. John’s.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Father Callahan was Principal of St. John’s School and brought a sports program to the school when he created the St. John’s Recreation Club in 1926)

60 years ago, or so:
September 2, 1953: Pope Establishes Two Additional Dioceses In State. “Pope Pius XII has expanded the Roman Catholic Church organization in the United States in a series of changes, including creation of two new dioceses in Connecticut, raising of the existing Diocese of Hartford to the status of an Archdiocese, and appointment of four new bishops and promotion of three others. The changes were announced today through the National Catholic Welfare Conference, by Archbishop Amicio Giovanni Cicognani, apostolic delegate to the United States. The Diocese of Hartford, which formerly comprised the whole state of Connecticut, becomes an archdiocese and the present bishop, Henry J. O’Brien, becomes Archbishop. The new dioceses are those of Bridgeport and Norwich. Bishop Lawrence J. Shehan, now auxiliary to the archbishop of Baltimore, was appointed bishop of Bridgeport.”

The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick
– Fr. Terry Walsh
“But not a hair on your head will perish…” (Luke 21:18)

One of the most stunning Stained glass windows in our Basilica is the Consummatum Est directly above the High Altar. In that one scene of the Crucifixion, we are presented with the depth of God’s love for us. The Crucifixion draws us into a deeper contemplation of the meaning of our Lord’s words: “If you love me, pick up your Cross and follow me.” Suddenly, human suffering takes on new meaning. Indeed, so much does our Lord love us that He allows us participate in the Redemption of the world. The Church teaches: “Moved by so much suffering Christ not only allows himself to be touched by the sick, but he makes their miseries His own: ‘He took our infirmities and bore our diseases’ (Mt 8:17, Isa 53:4)…On the Cross Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil and took away the ‘sin of the world’, of which illness is only a consequence. By His passion and death on the Cross Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive Passion”(ccc1505).
While the Sacrament of Anointing is most commonly administered to those near the end of their earthly journey, anyone experiencing serious illness or even those suffering the effects of old age may receive the Sacrament. While the one anointed might actually experience the grace of a physical healing, he will always receive the supernatural gift of spiritual strength that will enable him to shoulder the Cross of his affliction. God works wonders in the humblest of circumstances and while the fruits of such an offering may go unnoticed by all those around him, the effects will be unveiled one day in Heaven. Indeed, it’s in those moments of our greatest suffering that our Lord is nearest us. God is truly present.

We hear about the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick in the Gospel of St. Mark as well as in the Letter of St. James: “Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the Church (Bishops and Priests), and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven” (James 5:14ff).
The Rite of Anointing begins with the Sacrament of Reconciliation. After the priest lays hands upon the head of the sick person, he anoints the person with the oils that have already been specially blessed by the Bishop at the Chrism Mass. The priest anoints the person’s forehead while reciting the prayer: “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in His love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. Amen” and then he anoints the palms of their hands and says: “May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up. Amen” If the person is still able to consume, he then receives Holy Communion.

In the case of one who is near death, the Sacrament of Anointing is particularly important in order to prepare the soul for a Holy death. It’s important to make this desire known to your family today. There may come a day when you are unable to make the request on your own and others may not value the graces of this sacrament and consequently might not think to call the priest to come to administer the treasure of these graces to you. Take the time now to discuss with your family this most generous gift of our Lord.