For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday September 2, 2012

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

On July 3, 1985, Bishop Kung was paroled from the Ward Street Jail. The next day, major papers throughout the west published the announcement. Unlike his arrest and imprisonment in 1955, this news was trumpeted by the Chinese government, claiming that the aged Bishop was “remorseful” and “repentant” for his “crimes against the State”, and had signed a document expressing his change of heart. Despite his years rejecting government offers that tied his release to a public repudiation of the Pope, the government claimed that Bishop Kung had finally made the deal that could have secured his release many years earlier. Now, the Chinese government, through its Patriotic Catholic Association , the government organization in control of all Catholic churches, depicted the prelate as having abandoned the posture of loyalty to the Pope that made him the concern of Catholics’ prayers worldwide. The Chinese government even told the press that Bishop Kung “had kissed the ring of the Patriotic Bishop of Shanghai, and promised to act under his guidance.” All this was a series of lies, posturing by the Chinese government before the world’s press. However, the western media, and Catholics around the world, had their doubts about the government story. The ambiguous wording and the absence from the government’s account of any direct statement by the Bishop denouncing the Vatican, suggested that the Chinese authorities, not the Bishop, had relented, because Bishop Kung would not submit to them, even after decades of imprisonment.

Despite these false statements by the Chinese government, Bishop Kung was not free. He did leave the Ward Street Jail after decades, but he was to be under house arrest in Shanghai at the residence of a former colleague, Father Aloysius Jin, with whom he endured years of imprisonment for refusing to break communion with the Holy Father. Jin finally accepted the terms of the government in 1982, renounced his loyalty to the Pope, was released ,and created the Bishop of Shanghai by the government. The Chinese government’s “bishop” of Shanghai was now the jailer of the legitimate Bishop of Shanghai, Bishop Ignatius Kung.

In August 1985, Father Camille Graff, S.J. wrote an open letter to Bishop Kung, published by La Croix: “Of course we are told by your jailer that you have ‘admitted your crimes;’ And as a matter of fact, you have been given to the ‘Patriotic Association of the Catholic Church’ to be watched over, under the responsibility of the Bishop—and his two Auxiliary Bishops—who have usurped your Episcopal See of Shanghai. Although we were asked to believe that it is a ‘liberation’, no one is allowed to see you, except your new jailer.”

The reality was that the government released Bishop Kung fearing he might die in prison and be acknowledged a martyr. The media had some inkling that this was the case, since the Bishop was forbidden to speak to anyone, especially to the press. He, himself later told the press, “I was placed in the custody of the ‘Patriotic Association’ which I had steadfastly opposed. I had no freedom of movement during my ‘parole.’ I was not allowed to go out alone.”

On January 5, 1988, the Chinese government suddenly announced the termination of Bishop Kung’s house arrest. His health was deteriorating. Bishop Kung’s nephew, Joseph Kung and his wife Agnes brought the Bishop to Stamford in May, 1988. Bishop Walter W. Curtis, Bishop of Bridgeport, generously agreed to assist Bishop Kung by accepting him into the priests’ retirement facility, the Queen of Clergy Residence, attached to Saint Joseph’s Hospital, under the supervision of Sister Daniel Marie McCabe, C.S.J., President of the hospital. After his arrival, the Chinese government confiscated his passport, rendering Bishop Kung an exile from his homeland and diocese.

In May the following year, Bishop Kung traveled to Rome to meet with Blessed Pope John Paul II. “During that meeting, I was told by the Holy Father that I had been elevated in 1979, in pectore, to the College of Cardinals. I kept this a secret until our Holy Father announced it to the world on May 29, 1991.” That consistory was the first since the collapse of Communism cross Eastern Europe, victims of Communism: three prelates from the former Warsaw Pact countries of Romania, Czechoslovakia and East Germany. It was clear that the Vatican wanted to give special acknowledgment to those who had suffered under Communism. The Chinese government responded angrily that the Pope was seen as “meddling in its internal affairs by appointing a Chinese priest as a Catholic cardinal.”

During the Consistory of June 28th, as Cardinal Kung stepped forward to receive the red birettum from the Holy Father, the crowd jumped to its feet and broke into sustained applause for eight minutes in recognition of Cardinal Kung’s fidelity and long-suffering for the Church. The cardinalatial robes he wore had been those of Terence Cardinal Cooke, given Cardinal Kung by John Cardinal O’Connor of New York.

The final years of his life were lived quietly in Stamford at the home of Joseph and Agnes Kung. He continued his life of prayer and offered daily Mass at his nephew’s home for the Church in China, and occasionally in local parishes and for various groups. In 1999, the year of his 70th anniversary of priestly ordination, 50th anniversary as a bishop, and 20th as a Cardinal, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect for the Congregation for Doctrine [Now Pope Benedict XVI], along with hundreds of others from around the world, sent his greetings: “In your decades of fidelity to the Church, you have followed the example of Christ the Good Shepherd, and even in the face of great suffering, have not ceased to proclaim the truth of the Gospel by your words and example. For your faithful witness to Christ, the church is deeply grateful.”

As he lay on his death bed, dying of stomach cancer, the Cardinal’s last were, “God save me, Holy Mother save me.” Ignatius Cardinal Kung died on March 12, 2000 at the age of 98 in the Stamford home of Agnes and Joseph Kung. The funeral for Cardinal Kung were held in our Basilica on March 18, 2000. The Holy Father sent Francis Cardinal Stafford, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity as his personal representative to the funeral.

Cardinal Kung’s life spanned the twentieth century. His decades of imprisonment bore clear witness to Christ and His Catholic Church, his loyalty to the Successor of Saint Peter, and his dedication to the Catholics of Shanghai. His decades of suffering made him one of the great confessors of the Catholic Faith.

Please pray that his cause for canonization may soon be opened.
—Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Marie Byrnes, Betsabe Chung, Linda DeMott, Billy Therriault, Edna Campbell, Julia Oliveira, Chuck Woodin, Gary Everett, Nancy O’Shea, Mary Jane Peterson, Rev. Patrick J. O’Connell, Valerie Romanello, Megan Bobroske, Connie Ward, Father Guglielmo, Kathleen Moger, Flint and Helen Moger, Paul Cavalli, Mario Stano, Kevin O’Byrne, Clemese & Faramon Lochard, Jean Midi, David Morgan, Gene Gavin, 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: Jennifer Gallagher, 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.

Catholic University of America Collection . . . Please drop your special envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.

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, September 3rd .

Banns of Marriage:
Bann I Danny Torres and Ariana Morales
Bann II Zachary Flynn and Kelly Fontneau
Bann III Michael Barich and Bridgett Hagarty
Bann III 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 NEXT 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 26, 2012 $ 12,150.36
Sunday August 28, 2011 $ 8,011.58 (Hurricane Irene)
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

September 9th Sunday Readings: Is 35:4-7a; Jas 2:1-5; Mk 7:31-37.

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.

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, September 24th.

VOLUNTEER CHOIR SEEKING SINGERS. . . The Basilica is pleased to announce that we are re-starting our volunteer parish choir, to sing at the 4pm Vigil Mass on Saturday afternoons, and we are looking for men and women in all voice parts.  If you are interested in joining us, please contact Christopher Mueller, our Organist and Choirmaster, for more details.  He can be reached by phone at (203) 324-1553 x18, or via email, at info@benesonarium.com.  We look forward to a new season of beautiful music!

Feast of the Triumph of the Cross at St. Gabriel Church. . .On Friday September 14th  Saint Gabriel Church in Stamford will celebrate a Solemn High Mass for the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross  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!

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, September 1, 2012
4:00 +Deceased Members of DeRosa, Capobianco & Kronk Families and Edwin Clark req. Joan and John Kronk
Sunday, September 2, 2012
7:30 +Mario Ceprini req. the McAleer Family
8:30 +Margaret Landgraf Harvey req. the Duffy Family
10:00 +Emily Bush req. Margaret Kerrane
12:00 +Lucille E. Bruno req. Diane Strain
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, September 3, 2012
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 +Sebastao and Horacio Seixas req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
8:00 +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Gjin Tushaj req. wife Age Tushaj
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
8:00 Special Intentions Joseph Kung and Family req. Agnes Kung
12:10 +Frank Skehan 10 years req. Maureen and Rick Carpiniello
Thursday, September 6, 2012
8:00 +Laurence Laukhuf req. the Young Family
12:10 +James M. Duffy req. Duffy Family
Friday, September 7, 2012
8:00 Faithful Departed
12:10 In Honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus req. Fabiola C.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
8:00 +John Maloney req. Mary
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Yvonne St. Preuve

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:
145 years ago, or so:
September 9, 1867: “The ladies of St. John’s Catholic Church return their thanks to those who so generously patronized the fair lately held in Seely’s Hall for the benefit of their new church, and acknowledge their especial indebtedness to Mrs. J. Ayres, who furnished the ice cream for the affair; Capt. W.D. Smith, for coal presented; Patrick Brennan, for grand cook-stove; Mr. L. H. Huributt Jennings, the hatter, for set of furs; A. W. Voorhies, Esq., H. W. Wicks, Repke & White, Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Clark of Mianus for oysters and cake furnished gratis; Mrs. Bland, for innumerable favors; Mr. P.A. B. Triacca, for grand wardrobe; Mr. Cohen, merchant tailor and Messrs. Chas. Alphonse and P. Cavanagh for police service. They also take pleasure in recording the noble action of the members of the band, who offered their services gratuitously during the entire time of the fair, and labored incessantly to please all as well as to make the fair a success. Mr. Leonard of the Stamford House will please accept our thanks for many kind favors, and, last, but not least, the gentlemanly editors of the Advocate will be held in grateful remembrance.”

100 years ago, or so:
September 9, 1912: Catholic Church Notes. “There will be instructions for the public-school children, Wednesdays, at 3:45 P.M., in the parochial school building. There will be choir rehearsal, Friday evening. Confirmation will be conferred upon a class of St. John’s Catholic Church children by Bishop J. J. Nilan, Dec. 22. At the meeting of the Holy Name Society last night, there was a large attendance. A class was started in the Liturgy and the Ceremonies of the Church.”

70 years ago, or so:
September 5, 1942: STAMFORD NUN REPORTED PRISONER OF JAPANESE. “ A Stamford nun, Sister Corita, who for five years has been assigned as a teacher at Maryknoll Academy in Manchukuo, has been interred in a Japanese prison camp at Dairen, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. William T. Herrgen of 75 Garden St., have been told by the War Department. Sister Corita, whose family name is Rita Anna Herrgen, is a graduate of St. John’s Parochial School and Sacred Heart Academy. She later studied at Short’s Secretarial School and, before taking her vows, was employed in a clerical position at the Yale and Towne Manufacturing Co. Entering Maryknoll in 1930 Sister Corita furthered her studies at Mount St. Vincent College in New York, where she received a B.S. degree, later being assigned to the teaching staff of Maryknoll Academy in Manchukuo.”

Religious Education begins September 23rd…..
The Well-Nourished Tree—a few preparatory thoughts…

– Fr. Terry Walsh

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” –Psalm 1

Sacred Scripture is filled with beautiful images that tell a story about our relationship with God. The image of running streams of water evokes an understanding of life-giving nourishment for all that breathes. Water cleans, heals, nourishes, refreshes, and sustains life. It’s used in the sacrament of Baptism to symbolize the grace of God, which accomplishes all these works in the spiritual life of every soul that draws grace through faith in Christ.

At baptism we become like a tree planted beside the stream of Living Water, Jesus Christ. If we seek Him, our “roots” will reach out to Him. In other words, baptism begins our life in Christ, but the seeds of faith, hope, and charity planted in the garden of our soul by God Himself need to be properly watered. The tilling of that garden begins in the Domestic Ecclesia – the “House Church” – the home. The formation of faith for children necessarily begins through the fruit of the love of one’s parents. It’s essential that the mother and father demonstrate a faithful life of prayer, frequent reception of the sacraments, and “live the faith through love.” When parents receive these “life-giving” waters in their souls, they are filled with the necessary “tools” to carry out their work; that is, they receive the gifts of an understanding heart, a courageous spirit, a holy desire to share their hope of salvation with their children. As a consequence, the children grow in their knowledge and understanding of the Presence of God in their lives.

Education of children is of course an aspect of the vocation of Sacramental Married life and is the special responsibility of Moms and Dads. God will provide the necessary graces to parents to help them in the education of their children in the ways of faith, provided the parents cooperate with Him. It all begins with a faithful prayer life and fidelity to the Sacraments, especially Confession, Eucharist, and in the case of Parents, fidelity to the Sacramental Bond of Marriage. The conduit of grace that exists between Sacramentally married couples is the well-spring of grace that flows out to the children. Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 13, ought to be emblazoned upon the hearts and souls of all married persons. Unconditional love, in imitation of Christ, allows married couples to embrace their vocation in the truest sense and obviously summons the graces necessary to teach and defend the faith in the home. Indeed, parents will be held accountable for their participation in teaching their children the “Gospel of Life” – that is, the love of God and the call to discipleship. What sweet words they’ll hear from our Lord in Heaven: “Well done my good and faithful servant. Now enter the home of my heavenly Father.”

What a beautiful vocation! What a great responsibility our Lord places on the shoulders of Moms and Dads. Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, My burden light.” And while there are many challenges to raising children in the world today, our Lord does not lay upon us more than we can handle, provided we ask for the help. When we turn to him in our need and ask for the grace of Wisdom, of Understanding, of Counsel, and so on, He will provide. We live in a troubled world that breeds confusion and obscures the path of righteousness. Children today face pretty big challenges, especially on the moral and spiritual fronts. Clearly, parents today have to be well versed in their faith so that they can teach the faith with confidence and live the faith in peace and joy – even in an unsettled environment – very much like the early Christians did so many centuries ago. Indeed, the Catechism emphasizes the special role that Moms and Dads have been assigned by our Lord: “The role of the parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute. The right and duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable”(ccc2221)…Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the faith of which they are the ‘first heralds’ for their children. They should associate them from their tenderest years with the life of the Church. A wholesome family life can foster interior dispositions that are a genuine preparation for a living faith and remain a support for it throughout one’s life”(ccc 2225).

A few more thoughts next week……