For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday November 4, 2012

Pastor’s Corner: Halloween was stranger than usual this year because of the storm. It is usually advertised as a day of fear and fright, especially of the dead. In reality, it should be a reminder to light a candle and a prayer for the dead. Just a few days ago, the Church celebrated the Solemnity of All Saints on November 1st and All Souls Day on November 2nd , calling to mind an aspect of the reality of the Church of which many people are unaware: The Catholic Church isn’t a humanly created institution. Established personally by Our Lord when He commissioned the Twelve Apostles, it is the living Body of Christ which reaches beyond time: Christ is the Head, we—both the baptized living and dead—are the members, through which Our Lord works to save everyone on the planet. As you can read in the New Testament, Our Lord created His Church with His Apostles as the living foundation. The image is clear in the Book of the Apocalypse: “The angel said to me, ‘Come and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married.’ He. . . showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. . . The City stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb” [Apoc 1:10-14]. Saint Paul continues the image: “You are part of a building that has the Apostles and Prophets for its foundations, and Christ Jesus himself for its main cornerstone” [Eph 2:20]. The Church personally established by Our Lord, which has been called “Catholic” since the end of the first century, while it includes human beings among its members, is a living creation of God, with Jesus literally as its head, and we, literally as its members, just like your arms and legs and eyes are members of your own body. There is an intimate relationship between Our Lord and all who are baptized with everyone else who has been baptized, and whoever will be baptized. That relationship springs from our sharing in the very life of Jesus through the Sacraments, especially through Baptism and the Sacrament of His Body and Blood, the Eucharist, or Holy Communion, which we are privileged to receive during Mass. Whenever we attend Mass, all the saints and angels, and God Himself, is present with us—not as an idea or a memory, but actually. The 1st & 2nd of November remind us of that deeper reality of our union in Christ through His Catholic Church.

All Saints Day [Nov 1] recalled the innumerable men, women, and children who led lives of heroic virtue and great holiness, who tried to imitate Jesus in their daily lives, and succeeded. These Saints pray for us to Our Lord; as members of the Church, they continue to practice charity from Heaven in our regard. All Souls Day [Nov 2] calls to mind those innumerable men, women, and children who have died, but whose lives were less than perfect imitations of Jesus’. They, hopefully, are in Purgatory, being purged of the effects of their sins. We remember them in a particular way, as our act of charity, praying for them, as members of the Church. Not everyone is in Heaven: some are in Purgatory, being purified; some are in Hell. The popular fallacy is that everyone goes to Heaven simply because we exist. Not so, at least not according to Our Lord’s revelation in Scripture and the Church’s consistent teachings. If we live without Christ now, or live in a manner contrary to Christ, why would we want or expect to be with Him forever in Heaven?

The first two days of November recalled those Saints who loved Christ so much that they formed their daily lives around Him, to please Him first, and those others who desired to live perfect lives, but who were less than perfect because of human weakness and sin. These are days of great hope, because God’s mercy is stronger than our sins; stronger than the power of Satan and death. As a sign of that, the Church offers special graces for the Souls in Purgatory. Purgatory is the name given by the Church to the final purification of the elect, who led less than perfect lives, but not mortally sinful lives [I Cor 3:15; I Pet 1:7]. As seen in Scripture, this is an ancient belief, joined to that equally ancient practice of praying for the dead [2 Mac 12:46]. If there were no hope of salvation after death, no chance of purification after death, why are there so many instances in Scripture of people praying for the dead? By our faith, made manifest by our prayers, acts of charity, and proper intention, united with the Church as the Body of Christ, we can gain a Plenary Indulgence for deceased members of our families or friends, and it costs nothing. A Plenary Indulgence is the remission before God of the temporal punishment due for sins that had been forgiven by Confession. Sin has a lasting effect on us, which can be cleansed only through penance. Think of sin as the immoral equivalent of fast and greasy food: you can stop eating it, but a nasty residue called cholesterol remains. Sin is like that: even after we stop sinning, there is a type of “spiritual cholesterol” that remains. It can be cleansed only through penance, now or in Purgatory—if you make it that far after death! Hopefully, we can do these penances prior to our death; sometimes not.

That is where the Church comes in: The Church, established by Our Lord as the minister of Redemption, dispenses and applies to those in need the treasury of graces of Christ and His Saints. One Indulgence can be had each day from November 1st through the 8th, and each can be applied by us to one of the faithful departed per day. All we have to do is this: 1) go to Confession at least once during that week, which implies a true repentance and conversion from sin; and receive Holy Communion on the day(s) you wish the Indulgence; 2) visit any cemetery; 3) and pray—one Hail Mary and one Our Father for the intention of the Pope; 4) if you can’t visit a cemetery, then visit any Catholic church, fulfilling the requirements 1 and 3, and also recite the Apostles’ Creed. This is Christ’s mercy through His Church, through the power of the Keys of Heaven, Our Lord gave to Saint Peter [Matt 16: 17-19]. We are asked to have faith in the Church established by Christ and to demonstrate that faith through charity by doing these simple spiritual tasks. Let us be mindful of the goodness of Our Lord, pray to the Saints for their intercession as our friends in Heaven, and pray for the faithful departed: Heaven is our goal; The Catholic Church, Christ’s instrument.
—Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Ed Koplos, Elaine Mellace, Heidi M. Fernandez, Kenneth Bell, Dr. Ben T. Williams, Hugh Gibney, Joevil Basulgan Dela Cruz, Bill Rottman, Martha Salvatore, 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, Kathleen Moger, Flint and Helen Moger, Paul Cavalli, Mario Stano, Kevin O’Byrne, Clemese & Faramon Lochard, Jean Midi, David Morgan, Mary-Jane Rice, Joan Duffy, Gale Browne, Mercedes Huertas, Peter Boltrek.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Tatina Tarantino, Barbara Jones, Rosino Zezima, Mary Loglisci, 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, Anthony Russo, Violet Roddy, David Brandel, Blanche Kulowiec, Thomas Pavia, Cassandra Eloy, Anilia Firmin, Joseph Danilauskas, Bridget Sheehy, Virginia Toussaint, George Muro, Ann Rich, Lena Chiappetta.

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, November 5th.

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: Our High School Youth Group. Students interested in being part of the Teen Leadership Group. E-mail Deirdre.garrahan@gmail.com to get involved.

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., Nov. 13th at 7 pm in the Rectory.

Sunday, November 18th: The Thanksgiving Parade will begin at 12 noon: because of this, the 11:30 a.m. Mass will be CANCELLED, since no traffic can get through the police lines.

Thanksgiving Day: There wil be only ONE MASS: 10:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Please make a note of this, and join us with your family on that holiday.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: April 6-7, 2013: The Basilica will sponsor a symposium on the work of the Catholic Church to form culture on the Gospel since Constantine’s legalization of the Church in 313 a.d. The speakers will be:
Raymond Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Signatura;
Archbishop Timothy Broglio, Ordinary of the Military Archdiocese of the United States;
Professor Elizabeth Lev, Professor at the University of St. Thomas, Rome;
Professor George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow and Chair of Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, D.C. Lectures will be delivered in the Monsignor Nagle Hall on Saturday, April 6th; A Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form will be offered by Cardinal Burke on Sunday, April 7th. All are welcome. It should be an exciting weekend at St. John’s!

Remember to Vote on Tuesday: This is about more than the economy: Catholics must remember that by voting for a candidate who supports abortion, gay marriage, and other immoral actions that are contrary to the Natural Law, they participate in those evil actions by their vote.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday October 28, 2012 $ 12,114.00
Sunday October 30, 2011 $ 11,058.64
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

November 11th Sunday Readings: 1 Kgs 17:10-16; Heb 9:24-28; Mk 12:38-44.

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.

St John’s Flock (20’s and 30’s Young Adult Ministry): 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.

Maria Goretti group: Will be meeting in the rectory this Sunday November 4th after the 10:00 am Mass.

Dominic Savio group: Will be meeting in the rectory this Sunday November 4th after the 11:30 am Mass.

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: Our Next meeting:
Monday, November 26th.

Sanctuary Work: The repair work continues: as you can see, the new oak steps have been installed in the sanctuary. The next step is the completion of the new arched oak altar rail, now being made according to the original 1886 church design, as seen in the photo in the sanctuary: solid oak stairs, pillars, arches and railing will extend the entire length of the sanctuary and side altars: an exact replica of the 1886 work. It will all be completed and installed before Thanksgiving. Eventually, the 65 broken marble tiles in the sanctuary floor will be replaced, the floor leveled and cleaned, and the three marble altars re-pointed, repaired and cleaned as well.

Storm Damage: The church was undamaged by the storm, other than one or two slates coming loose on the roof, which will be replaced in the next few days. A few large branches from the tree in front of the rectory came down in the front yard, slightly damaging the fencing. The real damage was to the rectory: about half the rectory roof blew off during the height of the storm’s intense winds on Monday evening. We’ve notified the diocesan insurance people of the storm damage, and we had three roofers in on Tuesday to give us estimates for the work. Compared with the damage suffered by so many
people, this is relatively minor; nothing more than an additional headache in the daily operations.

St. Anne Society …..Potluck Dinner for November 4th has been cancelled.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, November 3, 2012
4:00 +Deceased members DeRosa, Capobianco and Kronk Families and Edwin Clark req. Joan and John Kronk
Sunday, November 4, 2012
7:30 +Deceased members of Petranchik Family req. Joseph Petranchik
8:30 +Mother Lillian Cairo req. the Borkowski Family
10:00 +David E. Fuhrman req. Tim Rosati
11:30 +Deceased members of the Preziosi Family req. Marion Morris & Family
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, November 5, 2012
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 +Joseph and Alice Walsh req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
8:00 +Deceased members of Joseph Peter and Anna Young’s Family req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
12:10 +Deceased members of Do Family req. Thang Nguyen
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
8:00 +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Deceased members of Nguyen Family req. Thang Nguyen
Thursday, November 8, 2012
8:00 +John Maloney req. Mary
12:10 +Vera Dandry req. Laura and John Pascale
Friday, November 9, 2012
8:00 All Souls in Purgatory req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Jean Maglio req. a friend of the family
Saturday, November 10, 2012
8:00 +Avelina A. Carpio req. Cecilia C. Carpio
12:10 +Duverny Caporal req. Carpanzano Family

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: The meeting scheduled for Sunday, NOVEMBER 4th HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

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. Will be meeting in the rectory next Sunday November 4th after the 11:30 am Mass.

St. Maria Goretti Society: For the spiritual formation of young ladies, 7th-8th grades (High Schoolers welcome). Call Beth at 203-975-0074. Will meet next Sunday November 4th after the 10:00 am 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 ADVOCATE:

155 years ago, or so:
Nov. 4, 1858: DEATHS. “In Stamford, Oct. 25, Rev. James Reynolds, AE 49.” (Editor’s Note: Father Reynolds was Pastor of St. John’s from 1857 to 1858.)

140 years ago, or so:
Nov. 11, 1870: “The regular annual ball of St. John’s R. C. Benevolent Association will take place at Hoyt’s Hall, Thanksgiving Eve. Excellent music is engaged, and those who attend are promised a good time. Tickets $1, admitting a gentleman and lady.”

120 years ago, or so:
Nov. 7, 1890: St. John’s R.C. Church Matters. “The fence in front of the rectory received a fresh coat of paint early this week. The usual examination in the parochial school lasted nearly all of the present week. This Friday evening there will be the benediction of the blessed sacrament in St. John’s church at 7:30 o’clock. The quarterly conference of this R.C. diocese was held this week in Hartford. The pastors attended on Tuesday and the assistant pastors on Thursday.”

75 years ago, or so:
Nov. 7, 1938: Catholics in State Are Not Obligated To Fast on Friday. “The obligation of Catholics to abstain from meat on Fridays has been lifted by the Most Rev. Maurice F. McAuliffe, bishop of Hartford, for Friday of this week, Armistice Day, a legal holiday in Connecticut. Bishop McAuliffe’s dispensation was announced by letter in all Catholic churches of the diocese, at Masses, yesterday.” (Editor’s note: Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.)

70 years ago, or so:
Nov. 8, 1941: Music for Sunday Church Services. “With the thought that Stamford people are interested in the many and varied sacred selections heard in the local churches each Sunday, The Stamford Advocate plans to announce on the church page each Saturday, the music which will be in many of the churches. St. John’s Catholic. The High Mass at 11 o’clock at St. John’s Catholic Church tomorrow will include the Asperges Me, Gregorian; the Kyrie, by Montani, sung by the boys’ choir; a Gloria by Marsh, and a Credo by Krekel, sung by the mixed choir. The offertory will be Arcadelt’s “Ave Maria,” sung by the boys’ choir; and the mixed choir will sing the Sanctus and the Benedictus. The Agnus Dei is by Vito Carnevali, sung by the boys’ choir. Mr. Fagan will play the organ recessional.”

The Language of the Mass
– Fr Terry Walsh

Shortly after we arrived in Rome for our first year of Seminary, our class took a weekend trip to visit the medieval city of Assisi. While we were visiting this holy place and learning about the great Saints that had lived there, Francis and Clare, we were also taking some time to make the cultural adjustments that living in a foreign county would quite naturally have upon us. After a full day of visiting the Churches of Assisi, we gathered at the local theatre to see a stage production of the life of St. Francis. I was looking forward to it, especially since I had just walked through the very places St. Francis and St. Clare had walked; indeed, Assisi was the very birthplace of the Franciscan Order, as well as the cloistered Poor Clare’s. When the curtain went up my excitement dwindled. I couldn’t believe it. They were speaking Italian! And why wouldn’t they – we were, after all, in Italy. The wind went right out of my sail and I had to sit through a long production where I could only watch and sort of guess the storyline. I didn’t speak the language and consequently, I couldn’t really understand the beauty of the conversion of this great Saint, nor could I fully appreciate the depth of his holy life – the sacrifices Saint Francis had endured out of love for God. Thinking back to my youth, I remember having a similar experience when I attended Mass. I generally knew the story, but I didn’t have a great depth of understanding, nor did I appreciate the reality of the mystery taking place all around me. My knowledge of the faith was at a very rudimentary level. The parts of the Mass were a bit confusing to me. I knew when to sit and when to stand, but I didn’t know the significance of those gestures, nor did I understand the Readings with any real depth, especially the Old Testament. The beauty and majesty of the Mystery was lost to me. I didn’t really ‘speak the language’ of the Mass. I was easily distracted and found my mind contemplating things that really had nothing to do with the Mass at all. Ah, I was in the midst of Heaven and I didn’t have a clue.

When would I grow in my understanding of the faith, and in particular, when would I come to appreciate the Mystery of the Mass through the eyes of spiritual maturity? I didn’t really know at the time just how oblivious I really was. I presumed that it would just sort of happen automatically with the turn of the clock. And yet, I hadn’t really invested the time or effort that a deeper love necessarily demands. Now somewhere along the line, I began to realize that my relationship with God depended on my response to His invitation and so I began to seek Him with a more thoughtful disposition. I began to pray with a more ardent desire to know God. I came to understand that in a practical sense, the day of decision actually takes place each and every morning. Will I seek a deeper relationship with God today, or will I settle for mediocrity? Will I ask the more difficult questions about things I don’t really understand in order to gain a deeper wisdom, or will I merely check off the obligatory ‘I went to Mass’ box?

What is the Mass? Why is it called a Sacrifice? How is it different from any other form of worship? What does it mean to say that the whole heavenly court is present? What role does the priest play and what is the role of the laity? What effect does the Mass actually have on me? What are the different parts of the Mass and how are they connected? These and other questions needed to be answered if I was to be fully engaged in the Liturgy of the Mass and so receive the graces our Lord was offering me for my spiritual growth – for my salvation. Until I turned that corner in my spiritual development, I knew that I wouldn’t truly “speak the language” of the Mass, and as a consequence, I couldn’t fully appreciate the union of Heaven and Earth. Moreover, I didn’t understand the sacrificial nature of the Mass – that we were actually taking part in the one perfect sacrifice at Calvary. I didn’t really see the big picture. Others around me seemed to be deeply immersed in prayer; almost swept up in the mystery of what God was doing in those grace-filled moments. They spoke the language, no doubt through a faithful prayer life and an abiding love. And yet, there were others around me who seemed even more distracted than me. I suppose that will always be the case. Some have made great progress while others are simply holding on. Oftentimes, the difference seems to be a matter of the heart. In other words, once we have decided for God, then a simple gaze toward heaven, as St. Therese might say – a gaze from the heart – will effectively draw us into the mystery and fill us with the graces which flow from the side of Christ. Degrees in Theology are not a prerequisite. A simple decision to give one’s due attention to God is all that is necessary. Spiritual insights, deeper understanding, abiding faith – all these things and more will be poured into the soul of the one who desires them. It’s simply a matter of humble perseverance. The soul that longs for God will quite naturally pursue an ever deeper relationship with God; he will seek answers to the questions that percolate in the heart and mind and lead to a broader understanding of the love of God, which will in turn transform the soul into a truer image of Christ Himself. The Mass is truly Heaven on earth.

The better we understand the significance of each part of the Mass, the more deeply we can enter into it. Indeed, the Second Vatican Council reminds us of the importance of growing in our appreciation of the Mass in order to be fully engaged in our worship of God. The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy put it this way: “Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people’ (1 Peter 2: 2-4, 9) is their right and duty by reason of their baptism”(SC 14). It goes without saying that in order to enter into a “full, conscious, and active participation” in the Mass, one clearly must be engaged in a full, conscious, and active life of prayer throughout the week. After all, how will we come to recognize the Presence of God in the Mass on Sunday if we neglect Him the rest of the week? Our active participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass actually begins each morning at the foot of the Cross when we make our daily offering, “Thy will be done.”