For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday September 30, 2012

Pastor’s Corner: On April 22, 1951, Bishop Kung issued his second pastoral letter, announcing the consecration of the Diocese of Shanghai to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This was part of the spiritual program to prepare the Catholic community of Shanghai to meet the terrible years of suffering, imprisonment, poverty, and in many cases, martyrdom that Catholics in China would face. Strengthening Catholic families in prayer, teaching and strengthening the Catholic faith of families by praying the Rosary and meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary, would serve them well as faced a government increasingly hostile and merciless to those who refused to abandon God and His Catholic Church. During the next few weeks, sections of the Bishop’s Pastoral Letter will be printed here, to prepare us to consecrate ourselves, our families and our parish to Our Lord through the Immaculate Heart of His Mother and ours, the Blessed Virgin Mary:

 “The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Our Savior, was chosen by her Divine Son to serve as the mother of all his good disciples. A mother’s duty is to clothe and feed her children. Her love for her children inspires her to teach them virtuous habits, to protect them for all harm, to fill them with a fraternal affection, that with them she might share bravely and loyally the pains and joys of the whole family. What’s more, it is usually the mother who teaches her children to speak the family’s language.

“Mary, the mother of Christians, from the first moment when she was asked to actively cooperate in the Redemption, responded perfectly to the holy will of God. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord”, she said to the Angel Gabriel. Surely she obeyed with the same eagerness of will to her Son who wanted that She be the mother of his disciples. Mary had a place at the side of the Cross of Jesus on Calvary. She confessed without blushing or trembling her great love for Him in that hour of His Passion. She united her heart and her will to the Heart and Will of Jesus, and they offered the same sacrifice to the Father, with the same intentions: that humanity be ransomed from sin and provided with the graces necessary to live a holy life on earth and a happy one for all ages in Heaven.

“This union with Jesus has merited for Mary the title of co-redemptrix. She merited for us the graces that are clothing of our souls: the robe of baptismal innocence that clothes the soul with beauty for the eyes of God. Since her love for Him was so immense and faithful, it is through her hands that Jesus allows these favors to pass to Christians of all times.

“Likewise, Mary, as a good mother, feeds her children. It is from His mother’s most pure body that Jesus took his own flesh and blood, which give life and strength to Christians in the Holy Eucharist. At Nazareth, the tireless love of Mary worked to raise a strong Jesus to preach and suffer for us. Christians, devoted to Mary, feel drawn by Her to approach frequently the sacraments and to pray often. In this way, She aids us to grow in the likeness of Jesus, and to acquire strength to make known Christ by word and example in our lives.

 “How does Mary teach us virtuous habits? Above all, by her own example. Christians who meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary learn from them the spirit of humility of the Virgin of the Annunciation, of her selfless charity in the Visitation, of her serene patience in the Nativity, and so forth. Anxious for the well-being of her children, she continues to teach them virtues that are most necessary in certain periods of history, by her apparitions to her chosen beloved children. At Lourdes, she recommended purity; at Fatima, mortification in reparation for sins.

“Mary protects her children from evil: this is the one truth of experience for all Christian families after a certain time. One of our most familiar prayers that we make says: Remember O Sweet and Blessed Virgin Mary, that never was it know that anyone who sought your protection or sought your help was left unaided.

Everyday, throughout the whole world, the Church sees confirmation of the truth of these words.

“A strong affection naturally unites children with their mother. Her greatest gift given to us her children is Jesus, the Son of God, as our elder brother. That the human family could be glorified by a brother infinitely good and noble, conferring upon us a new dignity and a pledge of divine life and grace as ‘the adopted sons and daughters of God’, is that they possess them through the merits of Jesus. Mary, Mother of all Christians, watches to prevent all discord among her children. She both inspires and defends them, teaches them to be charitable in thought and in word for those members of the family who might be unjustly accused [by the government]. For if a member is tempted by folly or weakness to leave the family, Mary, as a good Mother, tries to save and call him back.”  —Bishop Ignatius Kung

Next week we will continue with another section of this pastoral letter as inspiration for next week.

Please pray for the sick:  Rosino Zezima, Richard Lauture, Raymond Jean-Rene, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Andrew Joseph Hoenig, Jutland R. Jean-Rene, 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.

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, October 1st .

Banns of Marriage:   Bann I     Luwig Rene and Josiane Gabriel

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: The 12 noon Solemn Choir Mass has been changed to 11:30 a.m. The schedule for all other weekend Masses remains the same.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies:  The next study group will meet beginning November 7th: led by Dr. Lois Gandt, we will read the Life of St. Augustine by Possidius, the close friend of the saint whose work gives great insight into his life, work and deep love for Our Lord. All are welcome.

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.

Francis & Claire:  High School Youth Group kick-off on Sunday, October 28th after the 5pm Mass.  Students interested in being part of the Teen Leadership Group.  E-mail Deirdre.garrahan@gmail.com to get involved.

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.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION: Has begun.  Registration is OPEN.  Registration and payment can be made on our website, or in the office during the week.

RCIA Classes…..for those persons who would like to become Catholic as well as for those Catholics who have not yet received the Sacrament of Confirmation began Tues, Sept. 25th at 7 pm in the Rectory.

Our Lady of Grace School: October 27th, will celebrate its Golden Jubilee with a Dinner Dance and Car Raffle at the Italian Center. The Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts have educated more than 5,000 children in their school, and taught hundreds of our children in the parish religious education program. Tickets will be sold outside the Basilica: please generously support the sisters, and come celebrate with them on Oct. 27th.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday September 23, 2012 $ 13,623.83
Sunday September 25, 2011 $ 11,854.66
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

October 7th Sunday Readings: Gn 2:18-24; Heb 2:9-11; Mk 10:2-16.

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.

LIFE CHAIN: Stamford, Next Sunday, October 7th: 1pm-3pm. Please join us on Atlantic Street in front of the Basilica for the annual Life Chain: a peaceful witness of Americans praying for the end of legalized abortion. Participants display signs urging passers-by to support the pre-born, reminding them of the sanctity of human life and join in prayer. For details, call Frank 203-975-8833, x 3004.

Holy Land Pilgrimage: November 9-19, 2012: The Sisters of Saint Birgitta Convent of Darien will sponsor a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Cost: $2,900 per person, including roundtrip airfare from New York, room and two meals daily, as well as transportation to all the sites.

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.

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!

Trinity Catholic High School: Trinity Catholic High School is having their Open House on Thursday, October 11, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. All middle school students and their parents are invited. Current high school students looking to make a change are also welcome. Meet Mr. Tony Pavia, our Principal, take a tour of the school and meet with department chairs. All are welcome! Trinity Catholic High School 926 Newfield Avenue Stamford CT 06905 203-322-3401 x 13 or e-mail: admissions@trinitycatholic.org.

Feast of the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux: This Wednesday October 3, 2012 Saint Gabriel Church in Stamford will celebrate a Solemn High Mass for the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux 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!

PASTA SUPPER: St. John’s Holy Name Society will hosts it’s 2nd annual Pasta Dinner this Thursday Oct 4th in Monsignor Nagle Hall 6:00pm-9:00pm, to help the Sisters of Life. Food, wine, beer and soft drinks and jazz piano by Chris Mueller. THIS IS OPEN TO EVERYONE. Tickets are $50.00 per person, checks should be made out to Co-workers Of Life Stamford and can be purchased at the Rectory or contact Gene D’Agostino at 203-530-1908 or Frank Carpanzano – 203-975-8833 ext.3004. Beginning at 4:30: a Holy Hour with Benediction and Evening Prayer with the Sisters in the Basilica, ending in time for the Pasta Supper.

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, October 29th.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, September 29, 2012
4:00 +Lucilo R. Palacio req. John and Eileen Tarleton
Sunday, September 30, 2012
7:30 +Francis Cronin req. Family
8:30 +Achille Lamontagne req. Lloydie Lamontagne
10:00 Sp. Int. Delphine Clegg req. the Van Auken Family
11:30 +Sharon DeBerardinis req. Maria and Tony Marchetti
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, October 1, 2012
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 Sister Ellen Mary CSJ 75 yrs religious anniversary req. Marie Carr
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
8:00 +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 Thanksgiving for the Holy Guardian Angels req. Marion Morris
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
8:00 +Ben Mondor req. Marc Valois
12:10 +Fernando and Antonia Seixas req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Thursday, October 4, 2012
8:00 +Ulysses “Jun” Solis req. friend
12:10 +Caroline Uva req. Linda Shippee
Friday, October 5, 2012
8:00 Faithful Departed
12:10 Connie Hynes
Saturday, October 6, 2012
8:00 Padre Guillermo Dove req. Maria
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. Pizza and Pasta in the Church Hall. Next Meeting is this Sunday, SEPTEMBER 30th: The Sisters of Life will give a talk on The Culture of Life.

Pray to end Legalized Abortion: Wednesdays, 7-10:30a.m., Stamford’s Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St.

Francis & Clare: High School Group kick-off on Sunday, Oct. 28th after the 5pm Mass. Email Deirdre.garrahan@gmail.com.

St. Dominic Savio Society: For the spiritual formation of young men, 7th-8th grades (High Schoolers welcome).
Call Ferry, 203-324-1553 x22.

St. Maria Goretti Society: For the spiritual formation of young ladies, 7th-8th grades (High Schoolers welcome).
Call Beth at 203-975-0074. Next Meeting:Oct 7th, after the 10am Mass.

Holy Hour: on Monday Nights, 7pm—8 pm. Adoration, Holy Rosary, and Benediction. All are welcome!

The Legion of Mary: Meets on 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, November 7.

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: After the 10:00 a.m. Family Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall. All are welcome!

St. John’s in THE NEWS:
130 years ago, or so:
THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
Oct. 4, 1884: “A circular from our bishop was read and explained at all the Masses Sunday, in accordance with the encyclical letter of Pope Leo XIII. The Rosary will be said every morning during the month of October, after 7 o’clock Mass and on Sundays before Vespers, followed by Benediction. Confessions will be heard every morning before and after Mass.”

THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
120 years ago, or so:
Oct. 6, 1892: “At the services in St. John’s R.C. Church Sunday morning, the Rev. Father Keena read the letters of the Pope and of Bishop McMahon, in regard to Columbus Day. Appropriate religious services will be held in the Stamford church. Father Keena heartily encouraged the societies and the people to join in that celebration.”

70 years ago, or so:
Sept. 14, 1883: FIRE DISCOVERED IN ST. JOHN’S SCHOOL THIS NOON. “Shortly after 700 pupils in St. John’s Parochial school, Bell St., had been dismissed for lunch hour at noon today, fire swept through the third story of the building, gaining such headway that a second alarm was sounded for every piece of fire apparatus in the city. The flames ran along under the peak in the long roof, breaking out in two places. The fire was brought under control in a few minutes, but the building, built in 1906, was in such condition from smoke and water that class sessions will probably be suspended for several days.”

FAIRFIELD COUNTY CATHOLIC:
15 years ago, or so:
October, 1999: “Celebration of the Latin Mass returned after 30 years to Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Stamford on September 12. The parish has added the Latin Mass to the Sunday schedule at 2 p.m., every Sunday except the first Sunday of the month.”

10 years ago, or so:
October, 2001: Mercy Sisters celebrate 150th anniversary. “When the Sisters of Mercy stepped ashore in the Diocese of Hartford in 1852, they came to minister to a needy Catholic community. The Sisters’ first establishment in Fairfield County was at Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Stamford, where they opened a school in 1876. At their height, the Sisters of Mercy were teaching 25,000 students a year.”

Have you ever read the Bible, Cover to Cover?
– Fr. Terry Walsh

“It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” – Matthew 4:4

Have you ever had the experience of reading a story that you simply could not put down – hour after hour your heart and mind happily absorbing tremendous new insights and understanding, delving ever deeper into the mystery of life? You recognize in those moments that your life has somehow changed – a new course heading has been established. Who better to re-orient the spiritual compass than God Himself? The Prophet Jeremiah rejoiced: “Thy words were found, and I ate them, and thy words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I am called by thy name, O Lord, God of Hosts”(Jer. 15:16). Each turn of the page gradually unlocks the mysteries of life, like a soft summer breeze gently filling the sail of your heart, leading you to new shores. What could be more exciting than coming to understand the origin of human existence and the very purpose of life? The very first verses of the Bible capture our attention as we contemplate the explosion of love emanating deep from within the Trinity: God creating everything out of nothing in a simple and perfect act of love – forming man with such tender affection and endowing him with the ability to know Him and to love Him. As the story unfolds, we meet Adam, Noah, and Abraham who enter into Covenant relationships with God. Later, Moses, Joshua, David, Elijah, and many others help carry out God’s plan of Salvation, all leading up to that unique moment in time: the Incarnation! Indeed, all the books in the Bible point to the four Gospels, which tell the story of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of God-made-man, Jesus Christ. As we peer a little deeper into the stories of the Old Testament, we soon discover that there are actually many layers. “According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral, and anagogical senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church”(Catechism, 115). For instance, the early Saints of the Church pondered the story of Noah’s Ark and they explained how on a deeper level it actually corresponds to Jesus, who saved His family from sin and death; that is, all who are incorporated into His Mystical Body through the waters of baptism, through the Ark of the Church. Each of the 73 books in the Bible reveals important lessons on their own, while at the same time are all woven together into the bigger story of Salvation History and the relationship between Christ and the Church.

Consider the story of the twelve sons of Jacob in the book of Genesis. When the younger son, Joseph, reveals to his brothers the dream he had concerning the higher place he would have among them, they were enraged. They plot to kill him – their own brother. What utter bewilderment! They betray him, selling him for 30 pieces of silver to nomads traveling to Egypt. As we read the story, our thoughts immediately leap across the centuries to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus, surrounded by his “brethren” – the twelve Apostles – has likewise been betrayed – sold for 30 pieces of silver by his “brother,” Judas and then abandoned in the Garden. In the Book of Genesis, Joseph would emerge as the right hand man of Pharaoh, who had put Joseph in charge of distributing the world’s supply of grain when a seven year famine engulfed the nations. On a deeper level, we come to understand that Joseph actually prefigures Jesus, who, centuries later, would be revealed as the Bread of Life, feeding all who hunger for spiritual healing and nourishment.
Page after page, God reveals His plan of Salvation through the humble Chosen People of Israel, preparing all the world for the glory of the Incarnation. Just as Moses would lead the Israelites out of the slavery of Egypt to the Promised Land, Jesus would lead the faithful out of the slavery of sin and darkness into Heaven. Just as the great prophet Elijah would offer the true sacrifice on Mount Carmel, Jesus would offer the perfect Sacrifice, His life, on Calvary. And how can we avoid tears of sorrow as we hear Isaiah’s prophesy of the Suffering Servant some seven centuries before the Second Person of the Holy Trinity becomes Incarnate, revealing that it was always His intention to lay down His life for our sake, opening the gates of Heaven closed by Adam’s Fall from grace. When we read the Old Testament in light of this truth, our hearts expand with utter gratitude and amazement. How can our response be anything but faithful, unconditional love for him?

Yet, if we never take the time to ponder the history of Salvation, how can we really know Him? St. Jerome said, “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing to division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart”(Hebrews 4:12). In other words, how can we really fully appreciate the lengths he has gone to pour out His love upon us and to teach us exactly how we ought to respond to him if we haven’t taken the time to ponder His words?
The 73 “books” of the Old and New Testaments comprise 1335 “chapters” – each about a page in length (including the 150 Psalms). If you read 1 single page each day, you will have read the Bible in about 3½ years. That’s about 10 minutes of your time each day – or roughly the equivalent of the amount to time you would spend watching commercials in an average half-hour sitcom. Wonderful graces will wash over you simply from opening the Bible and making an honest effort. “Follow Me.” Even when you feel as though you “don’t get it” God will reward you and encourage you. Why not at least try. Our Lord said, “Ask and you will receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be open to you.” Let Him build your Spiritual House (Psalm 127). “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…”(Col. 3:16).