For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Web Version December 16, 2012

Pastor’s Corner: The Institute for Classical Architecture & Art in New York City [ ] bestowed their annual Stanford White Award at a formal dinner in New York City last Friday. One of the winners of this prestigious prize was the John Canning Studios, for their design and workmanship in the restoration of the Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist: THAT’S US!!

The Institute is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the classical tradition in architecture, urban development and related applied arts. According to their website, the Institute “is a valued educational resource for students of art, planning, and architecture, design professionals, and the general public, assisted today by the growing network of regional and local chapters.” It annually publishes volumes in its acclaimed series entitled the Classical America Series in Art and Architecture. [ publications-and-bookshop/classical-America-series-in-art-and-architecture ].

The award is named after Stanford White, the renowned New York City architect of and greatest representative of the movement known as “The American Renaissance” of the late 19th and early 20th century. Some of his most famous buildings in this area still exist, such as the Washington Square Arch in New York City and the Public Library in Boston. He was the architect of choice for the rich and famous, designing and building the 5th Avenue mansions of the Vanderbilt and Astor Families, as well as scores of opulent summer homes on Long Island, along the Connecticut coast and in Newport.

John Canning, David Riccio and the artisans of his studio received the award last Friday evening, and quite worthily. Last year, John Canning spent scores of hours just sitting in our Basilica, watching the changing light inside as the morning wore into afternoon and evening, in order to select his palette of colors for the interior. His design was not the product of stock designs that he had already at hand. Rather, he painstakingly observed the changing light on the various surfaces of the building’s interior, as well as the light in the stained glass subtly intensifying and diminishing as the morning wore into afternoon and evening, day after day. His observations were nurtured by his years of study of medieval church coloring and design, and that of the Gothic-revival churches, especially those of Augustus Welby Pugin, designer of the Houses of Parliament in London.

This news should be a source of great pride for us all at Saint John’s. Last weekend, I met a man who told me he had been at the Institute’s awards dinner. He paid little attention to the speaker, until he heard “Stamford, Connecticut”, loud and clear. When he discovered the award had been granted for the design of our church interior restoration here in his home town of Stamford, he was thrilled.

I am equally delighted, and offer my congratulations to John Canning, David Riccio and the rest of the Canning Studio team. I also want to offer my thanks, once again, to all who donated to the painting of our Basilica interior. Your generosity was a great gift to God and a strong manifestation of your faith and love for your parish. I am delighted that your part in creating this beautiful basilica interior has now been recognized by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. As John Canning told me, “This award is the fruit of a wonderful collaboration: the Canning Studio and Saint John’s Parish.”
Congratulations to all, and thanks. -Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Vincenza Rosa Parisi, Patricia Moriarty, Maureen Ferguson, Margaret Pia Perry, 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: Carlos Magan, John Lyons, Louise Sebastian, Louise LiVolsi, Federico Garcia, Francesca Lampariello, Titina 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.

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

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, December 17th.

Sunday Sung Evening Prayer [Vespers] & Benediction: Here in the Basilica every Sunday : 4 P.M.-4:45 P.M. All are welcome, so come with the family and pray together. Evening Prayer will conclude in time for the 5 P.M. Mass.

PAINTING DONORS: Everyone in the parish has been extremely generous in donating for the church repainting. We are preparing a list of donors to be placed in the hallway near the church elevator with other commemorative plaques. Please take a look at the draft list and see if we have your name correctly spelled: go to the parish website and click the tab PAINTING DONORS at the top of the homepage: just scroll down the alphabetically arranged list of names. If there is a mistake, please call Cindy in the parish office [203-324-1553, ext 11] and let us know, so we can correct it. Thank you, again for your generosity to the parish, which has restored our beautiful Basilica.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies: We next meet on Wednesday January 2nd, at 7:30p m in the rectory. Our moderator will be Fr. Samuel Kachuba.

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.

RCIA Classes: For those who would like to become Catholic, and for those Catholic adults who would like to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation: we’ll next meet, Tues., Dec. 18th at 7 pm in the Rectory. Monsignor DiGiovanni will continue his lectures on the History of the Catholic Church, and provide a walking tour and an explanation of the symbolism, art and theology behind the design and building of our beautiful Basilica. Anyone else who might be interested in joining the walking tour, please come to the rectory on December 18th by 7 pm. Ours is a fascinating church, and the interior is much more than “pretty”. It is, as all Catholic churches are, living symbols of the Heavenly Jerusalem, as narrated in the Book of the Apocalypse [Revelation 21], built on 12 foundation stones, each bearing the name of one of the Twelve Apostles. Come, join us and learn what treasures are inside our Basilica.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday December 9, 2012 $ 12,734.00
Sunday December 11, 2011 $ 13,003.41
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

December 23rd Sunday Readings: Mi 5:1-4a; Heb 10:5-10; Lk 1:39-45.

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, or Janet Lancaster at 203-637-3301,

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

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 or email

Francis & Clare: Our High School Youth Group. Students interested in being part of the Teen Leadership Group. E-mail to get involved.

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: or 203-866-1606: Next meeting: Monday, January 28th.

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

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!

Harvest Now is a statewide food growing project to help the poor of our neighborhood. We need volunteers who grow vegetable gardens at home. We all grow more vegetables during the summer than we can eat. So, possibly, you could donate some of your vegetables to the food pantry of your choice. Please contact Monsignor at the church office if you are interested. This year Harvest Now fed 8,200 people. 400,000 people in CT use food banks in Connecticut over the course of a year. This number increases 6% every year. If you have a vegetable garden during the summer months, perhaps you can donate a portion of your produce to your local food bank/soup kitchen.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, December 15, 2012
4:00 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
Sunday, December 16, 2012
7:30 +Rose Donahue and Mary Hynes req. Marie Carr
8:30 +Donald Curry
10:00 +Bill Pinto req. the Pinto Family
11:30 +Mary Laginestra req. her Family
5:00 +Marie Wenthen
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, December 17, 2012
8:00 +Theodora Chung req. Mary and Joseph Kim
12:10 +Ben Nathan req. Karyn Dunn
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
8:00 +Blanche Kulowiec
12:10 +Robert J. Petruzzellis req. Lavonne Petruzzellis
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
8:00 +Randolph Samedi req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 Special Intentions Languedoc Family req. Josephine Languedoc
Thursday, December 20, 2012
8:00 +Wladek and Willemina Falek req. daughter
12:10 Special Intentions Pedario Lauture req. Ferry G.
Friday, December 21, 2012
8:00 +Shirley Rittman req. Pam Rittman
12:10 +Robert J. Petruzzellis req. Lavonne Petruzzellis
Saturday, December 22, 2012
8:00 Special Intentions Eileen Tarleton
12:10 Special Intentions Jeff Spetland & Mary Cycon req. Ferry G.

Weddings: Couples must contact and begin meeting with one of the parish priests for at least 6 months before a hoped for wedding date at Saint John’s. Please call the parish secretary, Cindy, or one of the priests for an initial discussion.

Baptisms: Are celebrated every day of the week, according to the schedule of the parish priests and the families. Baptisms at St. John’s are one-family only ceremonies: never groups. Please call Cindy (203-324-1553, ext 21).

Holy Name Society: For the men of the parish, meets Fridays in the Rectory, 7-7:50 a.m. for coffee, Eucharistic Adoration & Benediction. All men of the parish are welcome. We finish in time for the 8am Mass.

Moms & Tots: Moms and their kids meets in the Church each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30a.m.

St. Anne’s Society: A family society meeting four times a year on Sundays after the 5pm mass. Pizza and Pasta in the Church Hall.

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

St. Dominic Savio Society: Will be meeting this Sunday, December the 16th, in the rectory following the 11:30AM Mass. For the spiritual formation of young men, 7th-8th grades (High Schoolers welcome). Call Ferry, 203-324-1553 x22.

St. Maria Goretti Society: Will be meeting this Sunday, December 16th, in the rectory following the 10AM Mass. 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, January 2nd.

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:

150 years ago, or so:
Dec. 22, 1865: “The usual services will be held in the Roman Catholic Church on Christmas Day.”

135 years ago, or so:
Dec. 23, 1876: CATHEDRAL BUILDING FUND. “The following are the names of parishes contributing to the building fund of St. Joseph’s Cathedral, as far as received by the Bishop’s Secretary: St. John’s, Stamford—$382.47.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: the equivalent 2012 dollars would be $8,138.96.)

100 years ago, or so:
Dec. 23, 1912: Father O’Brien’s Anniversary. “Rev. J.C. O’Brien, pastor of St. John’s Catholic Church for the past 12 years, celebrated the 35th anniversary of his ordination as a priest yesterday. Father O’Brien entertained eight of his former classmates and colleagues in former pastorates in honor of the occasion.”

50 years ago, or so:
Dec. 22, 1962: Christmas Services, Music Listed For Churches Here. “Stamford churches will celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ with Masses and services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Traditional carols and other Christmas music will be performed. In response to its notices, the Advocate has received the following listings of services: ST. JOHN’S CATHOLIC: A Solemn High Mass will be celebrated at midnight in the upper church only. The senior choir under the direction of Choir-master James Duffy will sing “
The Mass of the Shepherds” by Pietro Yon in four parts. The organist of St. John’s Church is Mrs. Mary Gaudio.”

25 years ago, or so:
Dec. 18, 1986: Vandals batter church crèche. “In the front yard of the parish house of St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Stamford yesterday morning, a statue of the Virgin Mary lay cracked in half. The ceramic baby Jesus was missing two fingers. One of the Three Kings had lost an arm. Sometime between midnight and 6 a.m. yesterday, the crèche was vandalized, damaging eight of the 18 ceramic figures in the manger scene, said the Rev. William Nagle, pastor of St. John’s on Atlantic Street for almost 14 years. “I was upset and distraught” said Nagle, who was standing out in front of the crèche yesterday. “I was sick at heart”.”

The Creed
– Fr. Terry Walsh

This Creed is the spiritual seal, our heart’s meditation and an ever-present guardian; it is, unquestionably, the treasure of our soul.” – St. Ambrose

“Do you believe in miracles?!” That was the question put to the audience witnessing the great American Hockey victory over the Soviets at the Winter Olympics held at Lake Placid in 1980. When I was watched the movie Miracle, my mind drifted back to my college dormitory community room where the entire dorm population was crammed into one room watching the match on an 18 inch screen cheering on the scrappy Americans in their match against the Soviets. The same two teams had played an exhibition match in New York just two weeks earlier and the Soviet team had crushed the young American squad. Yet, one of the interesting things about the American team was that despite the terrible loss, they believed in their team and in each other. The undercurrent at Lake Placid pitted our free society of America against the cold governance of a Totalitarian regime. Tensions were high throughout the world. One had the sense that the same exuberant joy and euphoria that permeated that college community room likewise captured the hearts of every American when the now familiar chant: USA! first arose throughout the arena. Our country was suffering then, much like it is today. Yet, when these fearless Olympians courageously rose to the occasion and crushed the very team that seemed so invincible, they restored a pulse of dignity and hope to our entire nation, indeed, to the entire free world. There seemed to be a great healing emerging. We knew who we were and we were finally letting the whole world know that we were united. It was as if each voice chanting USA! was actually saying to every other voice in that chorus throughout our country “I am with you” and “We are all in this together” and “I will not let you down!”

This is precisely the interior attitude we are called to share in our hearts when, after having been nourished by the Liturgy of the Word, we are prepared to take on the world, that is, we are ready to follow Christ through our resolute commitment to love God, to love our neighbor, and to keep the Commandments. As we all stand together, shoulder to shoulder in the pews at Mass, and proclaim our catholic faith, we understand our true identity: we are children of God. As faithful Catholics, it is important for us to grow in our knowledge of the faith in order to live it according to the will of God. The Creed is the “backbone” so to speak. Understanding its significance and meaning is therefore necessary. Some liken the Creed to our ‘team cheer’. After all, over a billion Catholics recite the Creed on any given Sunday, calling to mind Jesus’ prayer to the Father: “The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me” (John 17: 22-23). While we proclaim the Creed with devotion, we are also called to grow in our knowledge of its meaning. The Catechism prominently devotes its first (and longest) section to the explanation of the twelve articles of the Creed, referencing Sacred Scripture as well as sharing wonderful insights from the Saints. The 4th Lateran Council declared: “We firmly believe and confess without reservation that there is only one true God, eternal, infinite and unchangeable, incomprehensible, almighty, and ineffable, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; three persons indeed, but one essence, substance or nature entirely simple” (Catechism, 202).

Once we have responded to the invitation to believe, the supernatural gifts of faith, hope, and charity are infused into our souls by God at the moment of our baptism and these gifts are nourished throughout our lives through our free cooperation with grace, which we receive most abundantly through the Sacraments. Growing in our knowledge of the faith enables us to live it more authentically and therefore the Creed becomes an act of love. Imagine the joy we would bring to our Lord if all the baptized enthusiastically proclaimed the Creed and abided by the vows that each has made at baptism. What great shouts to Heaven! The angels would weep glad tears. The Creed celebrates the great mysteries of our faith: The Holy Trinity, The Incarnation, and our Incorporation into the Divine Life. Many who have gone before us proclaiming the Creed suffered tremendous persecution and many were martyred. Faithful Catholics around the world today likewise face the same tribulations because they too seek to be ‘caught up into the love of the Holy Trinity’ that Jesus spoke about in the Upper Room. We’re called to pray for those throughout the world who witness to Christ when they pray the Creed under very difficult circumstances.

In the 4th century, heretical teachings questioning the divinity of Christ arose against the Church, which compelled the Church to broaden the Apostle’s Creed in order to clarify the truth of our faith. This broader statement of faith is known today as the Nicene Creed. We believe that the Church Magisterium, that is, the Pope and the College of Bishops, successors to St. Peter and the Apostles, is actually governed by the Holy Spirit. St. Cyril of Jerusalem taught: “This synthesis of faith was not made to accord with human opinions, but rather what was of the greatest importance was gathered from all the Scriptures, to present the one teaching of the faith in its entirety. And just as the mustard seed contains a great number of branches in a tiny grain, so too this summary of faith encompassed in a few words the whole knowledge of the true religion contained in the Old and New Testaments” (Catech. Illum. 5, 12: PG 33, 521 -524). As faithful Catholics, we abide by the Divine Revelation entrusted to the Church.

God has restored to us our true dignity and has opened the doors of paradise. It is with this knowledge that we rise to our feet and tell the whole world who we are. Our opponent, “the devil, the flesh, and the world” which had defeated the first Adam has been defeated by the New Adam, Jesus Christ, and we are on his team, members of His Mystical Body. “I believe in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son…” As we drink from the true fountain of life – the living waters of grace flowing from the side of Christ into our souls, sacramentally, we grow in the sevenfold gift of the Holy Spirit and we will quite naturally proclaim these words of faith from the deepest regions of our hearts. It is this glad cheer that consoles the Heart of our Redeemer and quite literally radiates love – for God and for neighbor. We profess the Creed just after hearing and deliberating the Word of God and in anticipation of receiving the Word made Flesh, the Eucharist, the greatest miracle in the world! Think of it! One could spend a lifetime reflecting on the significance of that one “moment”. Do you believe in miracles?

“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews