For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday November 11, 2012

Pastor’s Corner: On November 9th, the Church celebrated the anniversary of the dedication of the Major Basilica of Saint John Lateran, built by the Emperor Constantine, and dedicated on November 9, 324 A.D. Why does every Catholic parish in the world annually celebrate the anniversary of an ancient church 3,000 miles away in Rome? The answer is found on the church’s façade: the Basilica of Saint John Lateran is the “Mother and Head of All Churches in the Holy City [Rome] and throughout the World.” This is the cathedral for the Bishop of Rome [the pope] who is the Successor of Saint Peter, head of the Apostles. It was to Peter that Our Lord gave the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven [Matt. 16:19]. As the cathedral church of the Successor of Saint Peter, the Basilica of Saint John Lateran becomes the touchstone for all who are part of the Church established by Our Lord, called “Catholic” since the end of the first century. To be in communion with the Successor of Saint Peter means to be fully part of that one Church founded personally by Christ. Pope Saint Leo the Great clarified this in the 5th century: “Peter was so blessed by the Fountainhead of all gifts, Jesus Himself, that since he received so much by himself, nothing passes to others except by participation in him. The Word-made-flesh [Jesus] in this way continues to dwell among us, and Christ continues to devote Himself wholly to the restoration of mankind” [Sermon #4]. Ours is the Catholic Faith professed for two thousand years by the millions and millions of saints, beginning with the Twelve Apostles and the Blessed Mother. Therefore, the anniversary of the dedication of this ancient church is a celebration of the founding of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church by Christ on Saint Peter, whose name means the Rock. Called by Christ to a unique role, Peter was sinful and weak. He had to grow into his role as the Rock upon which Our Lord built His Church [Matt. 16: 13-19]. Because of his faith and love for Our Lord, Peter was three times forgiven by Christ for his three denials on the night Jesus was betrayed [John 21:15-18] so that he and the other Apostles could hand on the truth of Christ and the grace of His Cross to all generations of believers through Christ’s Catholic Church, presided over by Peter and Peter’s Successor, the pope, the Bishop of Rome. The Catholic Church is not a closed society, but the Mystical Body of Christ, through which He invites all mankind to benefit from His Cross and revelation.

November 10th was the commemoration of one of the most important popes in the Church’s history: Pope Saint Leo the Great [pope, 440-461 A.D.]. While Leo was Pope, there were those who wanted to use the Church for their own political ends, such as barbarians and the eastern emperor in Constantinople; others wanted to change the Church’s faith, making Christ to be more politically correct, such as certain bishops, priests, and monks. One monk, Eutyches, popularized the notion that Jesus was not God and man, but only God who had taken on the appearance of a man. If that were so, Leo wrote in his famous Tome, then God would not have saved mankind, since everything from His birth and death to His resurrection would have been God play-acting as a man. While this is an oversimplification of his position, it is the heart of it, and, when Leo’s Tome was read out at the Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.), the council fathers shouted their approval: “Peter speaks through Leo!” Leo’s greatness was his personal love for the real Lord—not some Jesus he’d made up in his head–and his love for Christ’s Catholic Church, which urged him, as the successor to Saint Peter, to defend the truth of Christ, to pattern his own life on Our Lord’s, and to urge others to do the same in charity.

Many today, even among the clergy, try to change the faith or moral teaching of the Church. The truth of Christ is not something we make up, nor is it something determined by the ever-changing winds of popular opinion or popular morality. Our Catholic faith and morality is, rather, revealed by God through His Church. Christ’s promise to St. Peter that “the gates of Hell will not prevail” against the Church was His assurance that the successor to Saint Peter and the bishops in communion with him teach the truth unfailingly, no matter how unpopular that truth might be. If we follow the teachings of the Successor of Saint Peter, the Pope, we cannot err in our lives. The two celebrations of the Dedication of St. John Lateran and of Pope Saint Leo the Great emphasize this. Let us pray in a special way for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI who is the direct successor of Saint Peter. “Peter speaks through Benedict”, to paraphrase the fathers of the Council of Ephesus. Pray for him that he might be strengthened as he guides us how to live on earth in order to go to Heaven. —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, 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: Federico Garcia, Francesca Lampariello, 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.

Anmarie & Tom Galgano: For nearly two years, this wonderful young couple has led our children’s choir and music at the 10 A.M. Family Mass. After the abrupt resignation of our former organist, they came to our assistance. Tom and Anmarie recently informed me that they will no longer continue their music leadership because of the many changes in their lives, including the selling of their home. I am truly saddened by this. I have told them how grateful I am for their generosity; now I want to express my thanks to everyone in the parish, in writing. They are a wonderful and talented family, whose generosity they made manifest from the first after their arrival at Saint John’s. They will continue to be parishioners, but now will join us in the pews instead of in the choir loft. Tom & Anmarie, please accept my thanks and that of the entire parish for your goodness to Saint John’s!

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 12th.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies: The next study group will meet beginning November 14th: 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 wanting to become Catholic, and for those Catholic adults who would like to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation: we’ll next meet, Tues., Nov. 13th at 7 pm in the Rectory.

Sunday, November 18th: The Thanksgiving Parade begins at 12 noon: because of this, the 11:30 a.m. Mass will be CANCELLED, since no traffic can get through the police lines. There are Parking Passes at the church entrances for the 10AM mass.

Thanksgiving Day: There will 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.

Parish Finance Council: Will gather for its next meeting on Thursday, November 29th at 7:30 pm in the rectory.

Sunday Sung Evening Prayer [Vespers] & Benediction: Will begin on the First Sunday of Advent: December 2nd, in the Basilica at 4 P.M.-4:45 P.M., every Sunday during the year: all are welcome, so come with the family and pray together. Evening Prayer will conclude in time for the 5 P.M. Mass.

Advent Mission: Monday-Wednesday, December 3, 4 & 5: 7:30-8:30 p.m. in the Basilica. Bring the family for evenings of prayer and inspiration to prepare for Christmas. All are welcome.

Please pray that the Cause of Canonization for Ignatius Cardinal Kung will be opened soon.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday November 4, 2012 $ 13,976.00
Sunday November 6, 2011 $ 16,473.35

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

November 18th Sunday Readings: Dn 12:1-3; Heb 10:11-14, 18; Mk 13:24-32.

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.

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.

Job Seekers: Meets the 4th Monday monthly in the rectory at 7:30pm: There’s no charge for these services. Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., a leader in helping find jobs. More info, see: www.redinc.biz or 203-866-1606: Next meeting: Monday, November 26th.

Annual Food Drive: Please donate imperishable and canned foods to the needy: boxes are in the church vestibule at the front door.

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!

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, November 10, 2012
4:00 +Marilyn A. Goshea and Richard E. Goshea, Sr. req. Hope Goshea and Missey Goshea
Sunday, November 11, 2012
7:30 Veterans of the Parish
8:30 +Barbara Grace Blythe Anderson req. Angela and John Paul Marchetti
10:00 +Gaston Millien req. Anne Marie Samedi
11:30 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, November 12, 2012
8:00 +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Rosina Raiteri req. Mary Jean DalMolin
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
8:00 Sp. Int. Anne and Mario Incalicchio req. Maude and Paul Hughes
12:10 Thanksgiving to God req. Marie Ange Francois
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
8:00 +Andrew Warren Blackson, Jr. req. Lula Blackson
12:10 +Luis Vericat req. the Paternina Family
Thursday, November 15, 2012
8:00 Sue Cart and Family req. Louise Munro
12:10 Sp. Int. Joseph and Stacey Kravar, Birthday req. Fabiola C. – Mom
Friday, November 16, 2012
8:00 +Gordon Dybas req. Pam Rittman
12:10 +Achille Lamontagne req. Lloydie Lamontagne
Saturday, November 17, 2012
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. the McAleer Family
12:10 +Albert Audette, Sr.

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 ADVOCATE:
145 years ago, or so:
Nov. 15, 1867: “The Fourth Annual Ball of St. John’s Roman Catholic Benevolent Association will be given at Seely’s Hall, Nov. 27th, and arrangements are being made which promises to make it exceed any of the former balls given by this Society. The object is a good one, and no doubt the treasury will be largely replenished by the proceeds. Dodworth’s band will be in attendance.”

120 years ago, or so:
Nov. 16, 1893: St. Anne’s Society. “The St. Anne’s Ladies’ Aid Society of St. John’s R.C. Church is increasing rapidly in membership. It has now 250 names upon its roll, and more are being added every day. They meet in the sacristy of the church every Friday evening at 7:30 o’clock for the purpose of sewing and doing other practical work connected with the society. There is already a large field for their labors, and a larger number still will no doubt require assistance before spring arrives, and the society will be greatly appreciated and prove a blessing to the many poor families who will receive aid.”

90 years ago, or so:
Nov. 16, 1920: ITALIANS TO ERECT CHURCH. “Upwards of 50 Stamford Italians met last night, at the Italian Social Institute in south Street, and took steps looking to the organization of an Italian Catholic parish in Stamford. An executive committee of five, with Joseph Carpinelli as chairman, was appointed. This committee will appoint sub-committees, and a campaign will begin at once to raise funds to purchase a lot on which to erect a church. The name proposed for the parish is Sacred Heart. A lot fronting 440 feet in Schuyler Avenue, and with a depth of 150 feet, has been offered to the men interested in the movement. The terms are reported to be very favorable. The lot is owned by Representative Schuyler Merritt and Henry K. McHarg. According to men interested in the movement, the Rt. Rev. Bishop Nilan had given his approval to the project, provided the necessary funds are raised. It is estimated that there are upwards of 2,000 Italian Catholics in Stamford.”

60 years ago, or so:
Nov. 13, 1951: Education Week Is Observed At. St. John’s School. “St. John’s Parochial School began the observance of American Education Week today with a “Unite for Freedom,” program. Mass was celebrated at 8 a.m. The Rev. Richard R. Dunn, principal, is general chairman of the meetings. Father Dunn, chaplain of the Catholic Lending Library, spoke on “Books: One of the Basic Needs of Education” at the general school assembly this morning.”

Preparation for the Mass
– Fr Terry Walsh

“But I through the abundance of thy steadfast love will enter thy house, I will worship toward thy holy temple in the fear of thee.” – Psalm 5:7

Pass the ketchup! Ah, to see the joy on the faces of so many people enjoying a good barbeque, especially in the cold weather. Of course, these wonderful gatherings require much planning and more than a little work. The food needs to be carefully organized well in advance to ensure proper quantities as well as a wide variety. Then of course the SUV needs to be packed with precision in order to squeeze the coolers in between the grill, the portable TV, the table and chairs and other necessary items. Nothing is left to chance. Years of experience enable the process to be fine-tuned to ensure the best results: an on time departure from the family garage assures securing the usual parking spot, normally just after sun-up. It’s game time! Well, actually, the game begins in 6 hours, but it’s good to be prepared. The old saying rings true – “Anything worth doing is worth doing well!” It seems only natural to plan well for those things that interest us so that we can derive the greatest joy from them. And yet, how well do we prepare for the most important thing: that deeply personal and intimate encounter with God? What place does the Mass hold in our hearts? A simple examination of conscience reveals whether God holds the central place in our Spiritual House, our soul, or if perhaps we’ve given that space to a lesser occupant. What place does the Mass – and keeping the 3rd Commandment – hold in our hearts?

Consider the story of the Israelites as they prepared to cross the Jordan and take possession of the Promised Land. Imagine their excitement! Thousands upon thousands lined the River’s edge, the air abuzz with joy and anticipation. What might have been occupying their hearts and minds in those days leading up to the crossing? Perhaps they were reflecting on the many blessings they had already received, especially the love and attention God demonstrated toward them – freeing them from bondage and caring for them in the desert. It was during those long years that they came to know God more personally – His fidelity and love – His abiding Presence. And now, in these special moments, they no doubt happily considered the life that lay ahead in the land of “milk and honey.” Do we likewise reflect on the blessing of being “rescued” by God and His invitation to live in the true and eternal Promised Land—or have we slipped a bit in the gratitude and devotion we owe to God? Just before Joshua led the people into the Promised Land, he summoned them and conveyed God’s message, reminding them of the duties and obligations that faith and love demand: “Sanctify yourselves; for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you”(Joshua 3:5). What sweet words in the ears of the people! We likewise hear the very same words at every Mass: “The Lord be with you!” In order to understand the mystery of the Mass we need to begin with the mystery of the spiritual life. It can be challenging, and yet, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well!”

The spiritual life rests on Faith, which is a gift infused into our souls by God. Love makes it grow and we prove our love for God by keeping the Law, by praying well, and by loving one another. Jesus said: “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him”(John 14:23). In other words, it’s up to us. God doesn’t force our hand. Our “full, active, and conscious participation” is directly related to our spiritual life – prayer, devotion, sacrifice. Each time we pick up the Bible and read a passage, we come to know Christ a little better. Each time we pick up the Rosary and reflect on one of the Mysteries of our Lord, our hearts expand in appreciation for what he has done for us. When we simply take a few moments to talk with Him in a heart to heart conversation, we prove our ‘living faith’ and bring joy to Him. Consequently, we begin to understand the ‘spiritual language.’ These spiritual exercises lead us to a faithful examination of our conscience and ultimately to the Sacrament of Confession where we allow our Lord to sanctify us and so prepare our souls to receive Him worthily in Holy Eucharist. The Mass is truly Heaven on earth and there is nothing more exciting. Think of it! All the Angels and Saints are present. God the Father is receiving the sacrifice of his Son who has laid down His life so that we could be free from death. The Holy Spirit is at work. This is real!

Through our faithful, humble effort, God draws us into his life. We’ll come to contemplate the meaning of our very existence, the wonder of creation, the hope of eternal happiness. St. Paul reminds us: “For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, ‘I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people’”(2 Corinthians 6:16). He likewise teaches us the meaning of preparedness: “Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the Gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication”(Ephesians 6:14-18a).

The graces flowing from the side of Christ provide all we need to conquer sin and ultimately attain our goal, union with God in Heaven forever. It’s important to remember that we receive these fruits in proportion our desire for them – we all receive the very same Eucharist but we do not receive the same measure of grace. There is work involved. Are our hearts and minds fully engaged or have we allowed ourselves to quietly turn our inner gaze toward more earthly concerns? Ah, preparation. We are called to pick up the Cross every day and through it, grow in holiness: to root out faults and failings and at the same time grow in virtue. Like Joshua, we rely on God’s help. We enter the Promised Land when we cross the Threshold and enter the Church. As we dip our fingers into the Holy Water, we remember that we too have ‘crossed the Jordan’ at baptism and are constantly seeking to sanctify ourselves through our fidelity to Christ and our baptismal promises. As we bless ourselves with the sign of the Cross, we remember the cost of our salvation and look up to the great stained glass window high above the Altar and consider the depth of the love of our Lord. This is no ordinary event – it is the Mass. Jesus is there to greet us, looking upon us with love, examining our hearts. You are ready. You have prepared. You are focused. You want to be there! You are eager to talk with Him and seek a deeper more abiding relationship with Him. There is a deliberateness to your actions. You begin to genuflect with a renewed purpose. You are dressed appropriately and are eager to hear the Word. All this before the priest even enters the Sanctuary. At Mass, we are not mere spectators relegated to the sidelines to watch others engaged in activities striving toward a goal. No! At Mass, we are active participants. And the moment finally arrives: “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…”