For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday October 7, 2012

Pastor’s Corner: This is the second installment of Bishop Kung’s Pastoral Letter of 1951 on the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

If a mother ought to teach her children the language of the family, Mary rises eminently as the mother of Christians. The Holy Rosary is Mary’s prayer; all Christians learn to say it from a young age; they find it full of the most beautiful praises of God.

By beginning with the Sign of the Cross, the Christian is reminded that he is ransomed by the Cross of Jesus. He recalls that the Cross is for us the source of all grace and all glory, a moving witness of the love of Christ, the standard of Christ the King; the Christian realizes that the worst sufferings can be the prelude to a glorious resurrection.\

The Creed is a profession of faith by which the Christian proclaims his belief in the truths that the apostles learned from the lips of Jesus, by which they were instructed directly by the Holy Spirit. During these past twenty centuries, the martyrs carried their witness in favor of this same doctrine: they shed their blood for us in order to hand that faith down to us in its purity and integrity.

The Our Father is the response of Jesus himself to his disciples’ request: “Lord, teach us how to pray.” No one on earth has a better way to glorify God in reverent prayer than the Our Father. He taught us the Our Father by which we can approach God to give full homage and to implore His mercy and to request his assistance in all our spiritual and temporal needs. Pope Pius XI said: “How could the Eternal Father refuse to come to our aid, when we pray using the words of His own Son?”

The Hail Mary reminds Christians of the goodness, the purity and the holiness of our Celestial Mother: She is full of grace, blessed among women, the Lord is with Her, Mary is the Mother of God. In this prayer the great love of God for us is so clearly shown in which He sent His Only Son to earth, to give us the true life. Through the Hail Mary we commend ourselves to our Mother, and through Her to God, with all our needs “now and at the hour of our death.”

Finally, the Glory Be lifts our hearts up to the heart of the Blessed Trinity, and we know that whoever lifts his heart to God lifts also the world around him. All persons, young or old, educated or illiterate, can and should learn to recite the [Rosary] chaplet fruitfully. Mary desires that the Rosary be a chain connecting all the members of the Mystical Body.

One might occasionally object that the indistinct repetition of the same words runs the easy risk of making this prayer a monotonous and routine formula. But to speak like this, one would have no understanding of the language of love, and to be insensible of the language of children. For in this repetition is love, and piety, and humility of spirit and the sweet fragrance of a true simplicity. The Son of God said: “Unless you become like a little child, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Our Heavenly Mother has shown her desire to have our daily recitation of the Rosary associated with the Consecration to Her Immaculate Heart. More than that we meditate and live the Mysteries of the Rosary, we are to feel thrilled to dedicate all our strength to the patronage of Mary our Mother and our Queen.

On June 13, 1917, the Blessed Virgin told the young shepherds of Fatima: “For the salvation of souls, Jesus desires the spreading of devotion to my Immaculate Heart throughout the world. If they do as I say, many souls will be saved and there will be Peace. To escape disasters, I ask that the world be consecrated to my Immaculate Heart.”

During the other apparitions at Fatima, she said: “I am the Lady of the Holy Rosary. I come to warn the faithful to amend their lives. You must pray the Rosary every day and pray it well.” She continued, “Pray! Pray much and make sacrifices for sins. Many are the souls buried in Hell because no one prays or offers sacrifices for them.”

It is strongly recommended that the recitation of family Rosary be joined with a daily reading from Christian doctrine [The catechism]. We have already pointed out how the prayers of the Rosary call to mind the principal truths of our religion. We hope that among our families the father, mother or one of the older children might explain to the other family members the Sign of the Cross, a part of the Hail Mary or Our Father, or one of the twelve articles of the Apostles’ Creed. When these small chats have been given, one might turn to the fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary for material for the daily lesson. These Mysteries tell us all about the lives of Jesus and Mary. If we know Jesus and Mary, we will be ignorant of very little that is important in life. “You have the words of eternal life”, Saint Peter told Jesus. In the Joyful Mysteries we rejoice with Jesus and Mary; in the Sorrowful Mysteries, we sympathize and enter into His lesson of courage; in the Glorious Mysteries we see before us hope in a certain and lasting triumph. Once a first series of discussions about Catholic doctrine are completed, another might begin; the treasures of Wisdom and of the knowledge of God are inexhaustible.
—Bishop Ignatius Kung

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.

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 8th.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light Memorial. . . + Ida DeRosa req. Joan and John Kronk.

Banns of Marriage: Bann II 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, 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, to strengthen his people as the government persecution of the Catholic Church began. Our following his lead for the intention of his cause for canonization will be a blessing for our parish. Please mark your calendars.
Chinese Banners: On either side of the high altar bear the words in Chinese characters composed and written by Bishop Kung in 1954 to his beleaguered Catholics during the Communist persecution of the Church in China: “Neither Fire nor Sword can take away my faith in God.” Let Bishop Kung’s words be our motto as we approach our parish consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the weekend of October 13th.

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. 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 & Clare: 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 will next meet, Tues., Oct. 9th, 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 30, 2012 $ 13,330.00
Sunday October 2, 2011 $ 14,491.11

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

October 14th Sunday Readings: Wis 7:7-11; Heb 4:12-13; Mk 10:17-30.

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.

Surprise: Last week, a parishioner put an old St. John’s Parish envelope dated MARCH 31, 1940 in the collection. Whoever that parishioner was, please accept my thanks for your kindness, because you gave something to Saint John’s that is very important—a memory of earlier days of our parish. The envelope is now preserved in our ever-expanding parish archives. If anyone has any memento of your earlier years in the parish or of the school, please be kind enough to share it with us, or possibly even donate it to our parish archives. You can provide a true link with past generations of St. John’s parishioners: and it will be preserved forever.

Thanks: To Father Cyprian LaPastina, Pastor of St. Gabriel Parish, for his work lining the interior of the relic cabinet with red damask and gold border: a fitting repository for the relics of the saints: just like Rome!

LIFE CHAIN: Stamford, This Respect for Life 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.

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, October 6, 2012
4:00 +Deceased Members DeRosa, Capobianco & Kronk Families and Edwin Clark req. Joan and John Kronk
Sunday, October 7, 2012
7:30 +Paul Emil Del Gatto req. Wilson Elser LLP
8:30 +Anthony G. Branca req. Natarelli Family
10:00 +John and Valencia Lancaster req. Fr. Terry Walsh
11:30 +Peggy Walsh req. Fr. Terry Walsh
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, October 8, 2012
8:00 Thanksgiving for favor granted req. Enide Labadie
12:10+Maria Vu req. Thang Nguyen
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
8:00+Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 In Honor of Mary, Help of Christians req. Maria
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
8:00+Peggy Walsh req. Fr. Terry Walsh
12:10+John and Valencia Lancaster req. Sue Kremheller
Thursday, October 11, 2012
8:00 Thomas Cycon req. Ferry G.
12:10 Thanksgiving to God req. Marie Ange Francois
Friday, October 12, 2012
8:00 Sp. Int. Anthony Tymon req. Tom Timon
12:10+Frederick Fox req. the Dewey Family
Saturday, October 13, 2012
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. the McAleer family
12:10+Joseph Peter Young req. Joseph and Agnes Kung

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.

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.

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:

135 years ago, or so:
THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
Oct. 12, 1878: “The Sisters being pinched for sufficient accommodation in the small house, which the necessity of the parish was obliged to substitute for a convent deserving the name, are to have the place enlarged by the addition of 37X16 feet. This gives them a neat chapel, music room and increased facilities in every respect.”

THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
130 years ago, or so:
Oct. 12, 1883: “The quarterly conference of the Catholic clergymen residing in the New Haven district of this Diocese, was held today at St. John’s R.C. church in this town, Bishop McMahon presiding. The conference was opened by solemn High Mass, with Rev. T. Walsh, of Georgetown, Conn., as celebrant; Rev. T. Creamin as Deacon; Rev. James P. Ryle, as Sub-Deacon; and Rev. Henry T. Walsh as Master of Ceremonies. The exercises of the conference lasted some three hours, and were attended by forty-eight priests.”

100 years ago, or so:
October 9, 1916: SPIRE FOR CATHOLIC CHURCH. “It was announced yesterday, at all Masses in St. John’s Catholic Church, that a parish bazaar will be held the week of Nov. 13, to raise funds to erect a steeple on the church. Rev. J.C. O’Brien, pastor of the church, and the majority of the parishioners feel that the spire should be erected. It has been deferred because of lack of funds. It will be erected next spring, if the bazaar is a success.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: the spire was actually constructed in 1926.)

85 years ago, or so:
October 8, 1925: SCHOOL PUPILS TO HONOR COLUMBUS. “Columbus Day and Fire Prevention Day will be observed together, tomorrow, by the pupils of the eighth grade of St. John’s Parochial School with a fitting program. In honor of Columbus, the following program has been prepared: Singing of America by the class accompanied by Catherine Stevens on the piano, Walter Clark, Anthony DeYulio and Charles Sotire on violins, and Daniel Piranto on the cornet. The members of the orchestra are all members of the class. “The Landing of Columbus,” a reading, will be given by Catherine Stevens. Charles Schwartz will speak on “The Character of Columbus.” “Help It On,” a musical number, will be rendered by Mary Murtha at the piano, with the rest of the orchestra remaining as in the first number.”

St. Maria Faustina Kowalska—Feast Day October 5th
– Fr Terry Walsh
“I desire trust from My creatures. Encourage souls to place great trust in My fathomless mercy. Let the weak, sinful soul have no fear to approach Me, for even if it had more sins than there are grains of sand in the world, all would be drowned in the unmeasurable depths of My Mercy.” – Diary, 1059

At the Mass of Thanksgiving on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Pontificate of Pope John Paul II, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, soon to become Pope Benedict XVI, gave the opening address in the early twilight of a beautiful autumn day at the outdoor Mass in the Piazza of St. Peter. The sanctuary was filled with bishops and priests who had traveled from all over the world to concelebrate with John Paul. The Cardinal addressed the Holy Father: with these words: “We can note today that you have put your whole being into serving the Gospel and have let yourself be spent by it (II Cor 12: 15). In your life the word “cross” is not merely a word. You have let yourself be wounded by it, body and soul. Again, like Paul, you too bear suffering to complete in your earthly life what is still lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of the Body of Christ which is the Church (cf. Col 1: 24)”. Recall that on April 30, 2000, Pope John Paul II had instituted the Solemnity of Divine Mercy (2nd Sunday of Easter) and Canonized Maria Faustina Kowalska, whose private revelations concerning the Mercy of God were compiled in the Diary. The lives of these two holy souls, John Paul and Faustina, seemed to be woven from the same spiritual fabric of sacrificial love as they proclaimed the Mercy of God to a world crying out for healing. Indeed, Pope John Paul II actually drew his last breath just after receiving Holy Communion on the Vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday five years after these proclamations. John Paul often wrote about our Lord’s eagerness to flood us with His mercy; to sweep away worldly misery and fill us with His love: “In the eschatological fulfillment mercy will be revealed as love, while in the temporal phase, in human history, which is at the same time the history of sin and death, love must be revealed above all as mercy and must also be actualized as mercy. Christ’s messianic program, the program of mercy, becomes the program of His people, the program of the Church. At its very center there is always the cross, for it is in the cross that the revelation of merciful love attains its culmination… In a special way, God also reveals His mercy when He invites man to have “mercy” on His only Son, the crucified one”(Dives Miserecordia “Rich in Mercy”, 8). Clearly, John Paul imitated Jesus when he met his would-be assassin in prison and forgave him. “It is impossible to establish this bond between people, if they wish to regulate their mutual relationships solely according to the measure of justice. In every sphere of interpersonal relationships justice must, so to speak, be “corrected ” to a considerable extent by that love which, as St. Paul proclaims, “is patient and kind” or, in other words, possesses the characteristics of that merciful love which is so much of the essence of the Gospel and Christianity.”(DM 14). After nearly seventy years of the Church’s thorough examination of the private revelations of Faustina, it seems fitting that Pope John Paul II was the one to finally approve her mystical encounters with our Lord and the various elements they contained and the promised attached to them.

In the Diary, Faustina recalls hearing an interior voice in the depth of her soul calling her to religious life, a call she answered on August 1, 1925 when she entered the Cloister. While she was favored with tremendous mystical experiences, she nonetheless realized that the true path to holiness came through humility and sacrificial love. “True love is measured by the thermometer of suffering”(Diary, 343). She wrote: “Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God…My sanctity and perfection is based upon the close union of my will with the will of God”(Diary, 1107). Faustina endured her suffering by uniting herself to the suffering heart of Jesus: “Although outwardly I meet with many sufferings and various adversities, this does not, however, lessen my interior life for a moment nor disturb my inner silence. I do not fear at all being abandoned by creatures because, even if all abandoned me, I would not be alone, for the Lord is with me. And even if the Lord were to hide, love will know how to find Him. For love knows no gates or guards; even the keen-eyed Cherub himself, with his flaming sword, will not stop love; it will work its way through wilderness and scorching heat, through storm, thunder and darkness, and will reach the source from which it came, and there it will endure forever. All things will come to an end; but love, never”(1022). Our Lord appeared to St. Faustina in His Glorified Body with bright rays of Red and White light streaming from His Sacred Heart on February 22, 1931. Jesus spoke these words to her. Our Lord asked that a painting be made of this Image and He promised, “By means of this Image I shall be granting many graces to souls; so let every soul have access to it”(Diary, 570). Moreover, our Lord told Faustina that He wanted the 1st Sunday following Easter to be a great celebration honoring His Mercy. “On this day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy…Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet”(Diary, 699). The prayer known as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy was given to Faustina in September, 1935 as a means of uniting oneself to the sacrifice of our Lord and is ideally prayed at 3:00pm; that is, the hour that ‘mercy triumphed over justice’. Our Lord relayed to Faustina, “Souls who spread the honor of My mercy I shield through their entire life as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a judge for them, but a Merciful Savior”(Diary, 1075).