For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday November 18, 2012

Pastor’s Corner: Thanksgiving is my favorite civic holiday: it is essentially American, and reminds us—by loads of delicious uniquely American food—that, besides the “Natural and unalienable Rights” enumerated in the Declaration of Independence of Life and Liberty, the third is “the Pursuit of Happiness.” This statement needs tempering, lest the reader think that Happiness refers merely to immediate self-satisfaction of every urge and whim, no matter what the cost. It doesn’t. The Happiness to be pursued is that prosperity beneficial to everyone: the common good for all. The earliest, quintessentially American document is the Mayflower Compact, which explained why English men and women risked life to set sail for the colonies in 1620: “In the name of God. Amen. Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our king and country, a voyage to. . . The Northern parts of Virginia, do. . Covenant and combine ourselves together into a body politic.” They came here in pursuit of happiness, which was to be had by sacrifices made together, for the benefit of all involved: we call that the common good. And the common good is that which benefits all, not just one or two people, and not merely financially, but morally—that which makes us truly happy is that which bolsters our dignity as the image and likeness of God, never debasing anyone for profit, either personal or corporate.

How about an even earlier American document: written around 600 A.D., by Saint Columban, whose Irish monks are believed to be among the first to have found America—Long Island to be exact: “God makes man from the earth but ennobles him with the impress of his own image. Man’s greatest dignity is his likeness to God, if it is preserved. If man uses his innate powers rightly, he will be like God. . . To love God involves keeping His commandments, and these are summed up in love for one another” [Instructions, 11: 1]. Those monks were exercising their unalienable Right in their Pursuit of Happiness—by which they meant imitating God. Here’s more: “Genuine charity takes the form ‘not of words, but of truthful deeds.’ Let us give back to God our Father His image in us, an image kept spotlessly holy, for He is holy; an image spotless in love, for He is love; an image spotless in devotion and truth, for He is devoted and true. Let us not paint an alien image in ourselves; the painter who is undisciplined, angry, sensual, self-centered and proud paints the picture of a tyrant in himself. Therefore, lest we end with the self-portrait of a despot, let us allow Christ to paint His image in us.” In other words, in our pursuit of happiness, we can never gain that happiness by hurting or using others: I cannot find happiness by depriving others of theirs [Instructions, 11:2].

One more American document, this is by President Franklin D. Roosevelt: “If I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other, that we cannot merely take but we must give as well; that if we are to go forward, we must be willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective. . . . With the clean satisfaction that comes from the stern performance of duty by old and young alike, we aim at the assurance of a rounded and permanent national life” [First Inaugural Address, 1933].

The authentic essential of our American civic feast at Thanksgiving is not merely loads of food: that is the benefit gained by the hard work of generations of Americans before us. Each time we sit down for Thanksgiving, we should consider what our duty is NOW to make our city and country better. What sacrifices must I make for the common good? What must I do for others in their Pursuit of Happiness? “No greater love can one have than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” [John 1:13]. Was Jesus American? He sounds like He could be! Happy Thanksgiving!
—-Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Michael Payes, 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.

Thanksgiving Day
November 22nd

There will be only
ONE MASS: 10:00 a.m.
Join us with your family to thank God.

Monthly Collection . . . The second collection today will be the monthly collection for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light Memorial. . . + Bill Cody req. Cody Family

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 19th.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies: Dr. Lois Gandt will lead us in our study of the Life of St. Augustine by Possidius. We meet on Wednesday at 7:30 p m in the rectory. 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. 27th at 7 pm in the Rectory.

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

Rectory repairs: Work has begun to replace the rectory roof, blown off during the recent storm. The work will be paid for by our insurance.

Coffee Hour: is Cancelled Sunday Nov. 11th & Sunday Nov. 18th. Will Resume Sunday Nov. 25th.

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

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday November 11, 2012 $ 13,181.60
Sunday November 13, 2011 $ 11,309.81

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

November 25th Sunday Readings: Dn 7:13-14; Rv 1:5-8; Jn 18:33b-37.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:
His Eminence 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!

Solemn High Mass for the Feast of St. Nicholas. . .On Thursday December 6th, 2012  Saint Gabriel Church in Stamford will celebrate a Solemn High Mass for the Feast of St. Nicholas at 7:30 PM.  Mass will be celebrated in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.  (In Latin according to the 1962 Missal) Refreshments to follow in the Parish Meeting Room.  Please mark your calendar and join us!

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, November 17, 2012
4:00 +Vito Melfi req. Joseph Melfi
Sunday, November 18, 2012
7:30 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
8:30 +Margaret Gertrude Tommer req. Angela and John Paul Marchetti
10:00 +Camille Mascia req. her brother Frank D’Amico
11:30 NO 11:30 AM MASS (Stamford Thanksgiving Parade)
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, November 19, 2012
8:00 Alvina Ramos req. Maria
12:10 +Vita Fazio req. brother Frank D’Amico
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
8:00 Special Intentions Gail Piria req. Family
12:10 Special Intentions Terenzio Family
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
8:00 +Sister Caroline Marie CSJ Birthday Remembrance req. Marie Carr
12:10 Padre Juan, Priesthood Anniversary req. Maria
Thursday, November 22, 2012—Thanksgiving Day (10AM Mass Only)
8:00 NO 8 AM MASS
10:00 +Vince Gallagher req. Noel & Maryse Smith
12:10 NO 12:10 PM MASS
Friday, November 23, 2012
8:00 +Father Robert Pohley req. John J. Chidsey
12:10 Millie Terenzio req. Ferry G.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
8:00 +Frank Cognetta req. the Pinto Family
12:10 Sith Family req. the daughter

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: Co-Ed High School Youth Group. 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 28.

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: Cancelled Sunday Nov. 11th & Sunday Nov. 18th. Will Resume Sunday Nov. 25th.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:
The Stamford Advocate:
November 26, 1875: “The first religious services in the basement of the new Catholic Church are to be held today. The congregation will assemble at the old church and march in a body to the new edifice. Another large stone fell while being hoisted to its place on the new Catholic Church on Tuesday last. It broke a hole in the roof which, however, can be easily repaired.”

The Connecticut Catholic:
November 30, 1879: STAMFORD. “There will be a Mass at 8 o’clock Thanksgiving Day; Vespers at half past seven in the evening. There will be a free lecture given by Father Rogers of Brooklyn, and a collection taken up. Proceeds will go to the convent. The lecture will be given after Vespers. This week, on Thanksgiving eve, the Ancient Order of Hibernians hold their second annual ball in Soldiers Hall, Hubbard’s Block. From the many preparations the society has made to the occasion, there is little doubt that it will be one of the best of the season.”

The Connecticut Catholic:
November 27, 1886: STAMFORD. “The new steam heaters have all been completed, and last Sunday the church was comfortably heated by them. They have been constructed and give entire satisfaction.”

The Stamford Advocate:
November 27, 1934: HOLY NAME SOCIETY OF ST. JOHN’S CHURCH PLANS REORGANIZATION. “Several hundred men, members of St. John’s R. C. Church, gathered in the basement of the church, last night, in the first meeting for reorganization of the Holy Name Society of the church. Another meeting will be held in the school auditorium, next Monday night, when officers will be elected and a program prepared. A social hour will follow the business meeting. One week from next Sunday, members of the Society will attend the 8 a. m. Mass in a body and receive Holy Communion. The Rev. James J. Wilson, spiritual head of the society, informed the men, last night, that a social program in connection with the spiritual work will be a definite part of the reorganization. A bowling league will be started as one of the first social and athletic projects.”

The Stamford Advocate:
November 27, 1953: Catholic Hierarchy To Honor First Bishop of New Bridgeport Diocese. “The most impressive assemblage of Catholic dignitaries and clergy Bridgeport has ever witnessed will be present in St. Augustine’s Cathdedral Wednesday when the Most Rev. Lawrence J. Shehan, D.D., is installed as the first bishop of Bridgeport. Five archbishops, headed by the Most Rev. Henry J. O’Brien, D.D., Metropolitan of the Province of Hartford, and 20 bishops will be among those who will attend the ceremonies.”

The Mass: Open the Door of your Heart
-Fr. Terry Walsh

“In the Church’s liturgy the divine blessing is fully revealed and communicated. The Father is acknowledged and adored as the source and the end of all the blessings of creation and salvation. In his Word who became incarnate, died, and rose for us, he fills us with his blessings. Through his Word, he pours into our hearts the Gift that contains all gifts, the Holy Spirit.” – Catechism 1082

Do you believe in Angels? Do you believe that one is sitting beside you at this very moment? Your Guardian Angel was sent by God to watch over you, so much does God love you. Yes, angels are real beings created by God and are constantly looking upon the Face of God while at the same time looking upon us. The gift of Faith allows us to contemplate those things we simply cannot see with our natural vision; we cannot perceive them with the senses. Yet, we are able to believe these spiritual realities through Divine Revelation: God Himself has told us. Quite naturally we ponder these supernatural realities in our prayer. Of course, the highest form of prayer is the Mass. We come to Mass to pray. We come to offer our thanks and our praise to God. Thoughtful preparation before the Mass begins helps to facilitate a deeper reflection on the meaning of everything we do – from the simple sign of the Cross to the awesome reception of Holy Communion. Our faith is so rich! It is filled with such majestic beauty and inspiring mystery. We are actually able then to perceive what awaits us in heaven when we lift our hearts and minds to God in the Mass – if only we humble ourselves and ‘become like little children’ as our Lord instructs us in the Gospel. It is the only way to see God.. Once we begin to perceive the Presence of God in our very midst, we’ll begin to perceive the “language of the angels” in our soul. In other words, we’ll be better able to receive the rich graces He pours upon us at Mass. Jesus invites us into a deeper relationship with Him and then He waits for our reply. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3: 20). If the door to our heart remains tightly closed we might pry it open with prayer and soften its hinges with the graces of the sacraments, especially Confession. It’s like wiping fog away from a window. Each faithful encounter makes it a bit easier to grasp the mystery and so enter the portal of the Mass: Heaven on earth. “In the earthly liturgy we share in a foretaste of that heavenly liturgy which is celebrated in the Holy City of Jerusalem toward which we journey as pilgrims, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle. With all the warriors of the heavenly army we sing a hymn of glory to the Lord; venerating the memory of the saints, we hope for some part and fellowship with them; we eagerly await the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, until he, our life, shall appear and we too will appear with him in glory” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1090). Faithful preparation is the key to that Door. Is the door of your heart open or shut? We are not entering the Basilica to watch the Mass; rather, we have come to be actively engaged. Our interior joy at each Mass should resemble a child’s joy on Christmas morning and so are able to relate more faithfully to the joy of the shepherds, the zeal of the Apostles, and our Mother’s love. Eager anticipation for the mysterious encounter with God beckons a joyful countenance as you ascend the steps and walk through His Door! Perhaps as you stretch your fingers into the Holy water and bless yourself, you happily recall the knowledge that you are already in Christ by virtue of your baptism. Acknowledging His Presence in the Tabernacle, you genuflect before the King with child-like wonder and profound respect. You take your place in the pew and immediately turn your attention to Him. The bell rings and the procession begins. What thoughts come to mind as the Priest raises his hand to make the Sign of the Cross: “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!” We need only raise our eyes to the scene of the Crucifixion above the High Altar to recall what love made it possible for us to address God as Father. It was the humility of Christ. As we make the sign of the Cross, we might reflect on the words of St. Paul who said: “Jesus humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross”(Philippians 2: 8). Calling to mind these events deepens our prayer of the Mass. We are not simply “remembering” the crucifixion; rather, we are actually about to enter the “re-presentation” of the actual Crucifixion in a mysterious way that took place in time 2000 years ago but in truth, is ever-present, infinitely efficacious. We are at the Cross, participating in it, provided our hearts and minds are actively engaged. Our Lord makes it easy for us. We don’t see his disfigured body. Instead, he comes to us in utter simplicity through ordinary bread and wine. All of Heaven has come to adore Him and we are joining the celestial company in the Mass. Ah, if we could only see with our natural eyes what the eyes of faith declare: all the Angels and Saints surround us in the Holy Mass, mysteriously present to worship God in a chorus of love. In this one powerful moment, we acknowledge our hope of eternal beatitude with this simple, yet profound gesture that is in fact a declaration of faith: the Sign of the Cross. Reflecting on the power of the Cross, St. Leo the Great remarked: “The sign of the cross makes kings of all those reborn in Christ and the anointing of the Holy Spirit consecrates them as priests, so that, apart from the particular service of one ministry, all spiritual and rational Christians are recognized as members of this royal race and sharers in Christ’s priestly office. What, indeed, is as royal for a soul as to govern the body in obedience to God? And what is as priestly as to dedicate a pure conscience to the Lord and to offer the spotless offerings of devotion on the altar of the heart?”(Catechism 786). We have opened our hearts and minds to the Presence of God, “The Lord be with you!”