For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday January 6, 2013

Pastor’s Corner: The Church celebrates the Epiphany this weekend, which commemorates three historical events of great importance: the veneration of the Christ Child by the Three Kings; the Baptism of Our Lord by John the Baptist; and Jesus’ first miracle at the Wedding Feast at Cana. Each of these events is important, because each explains precisely who this child is and what He was to do.

The Three Kings came, having followed a star rising in the east. In reality, they saw a rare eclipse of Jupiter by the moon, the “king” of planets, the movement of which was interpreted in the ancient world as a portent of royal birth. They observed this, and understood that the baby they found in Bethlehem was no mere child, but a king, greater than any earthly monarch. Following the then common understanding of the stars and planets, the Three Kings believed that such a birth had been the result of the movements of heavenly bodies. How many today follow astrology in the same way!? St. Augustine made this observation to clarify why the Kings followed the star to the birth of Christ:

“. . . that star which the Magi saw did not have power over Christ, New-Born according to the flesh, but rather obeyed Him as witnesses to His birth. If we must speak of fate, then rather let us say, not that the star was Christ’s destiny, but that Christ was the destiny of the star, since He caused it to exist and rise in the east for the Three Kings.” [Contra Faustinum, II, 5].

Their gifts bore witness to the reality of Jesus’ identity: gold for the King of the Universe, not merely King of the Jews; frankincense, an offering for God; and myrrh, both a medicine and a burial herb in the ancient world, for one who was to cure humanity of sin and death by his own saving death on the Cross.

St. John Chrysostom described it this way:
“The Son of God, Who is the God of all things, is born a Man in a human body. He permits Himself to be placed in a crib, Who holds the heavens in His Hand. He is confined in a Manger whom the world cannot contain; He is heard in the voice of a wailing Infant, at Whose voice in the hour of His passion on the Cross the whole earth trembled. The Magi, beholding a Child, profess that this is the Lord of Glory, the Lord of Majesty, . . ” [Sermon for the Epiphany].

The Baptism of Our Lord, which feast we celebrate next Sunday, and which I will treat at greater length in next week’s bulletin, signifies who the man Jesus is: the voice from Heaven tells us “This is my beloved Son, on whom my favor rests; listen to Him.”.

And, finally, the Wedding Feast at Cana: the first of Jesus’ public miracles as he began his ministry. At the prompting of His Mother, Jesus comes to the aid of a newly married couple. Sparing them the embarrassment of having no wine for their guests, He changes water into hundreds of gallons of the best wine anyone had ever tasted.

Who is this? These three events tell us: Jesus is the Creator of the universe, whose word created everything from nothing, and is obeyed even by the basic elements of nature. The child born in the manger is no mere child: He is the only God, eternally existing, through whom everything was created in the universe; who, for love of mankind created in His image and likeness, humbled Himself to be born in the image and likeness of sinful man, taking on human flesh of the Virgin Mary; He entered His creation to recreate everything by His presence and self-sacrifice. He especially comes to recreate every human being, wounded by the sin of Adam and subject to death, whom He frees by His life-giving death on the Cross. This is He, born in Bethlehem, revealed at the Jordan at His baptism, manifested in his power at Cana: God who became a man so that mankind might share His divine life. Not a bad reality with which to start off the New Year! Let’s love Him who loves us so very much. —-Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Rita Timon, Barbara Castle, Monsignor William Nagle, 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, 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: Pat Orzo, 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.

Violet Roddy: Was a lifelong parishioner of Saint John’s who died in February of 2008. She was kind enough to remember Saint John’s in her will. Very recently we received a generous disbursement from her estate, which is most appreciated, and will be used to help fund the numerous and varied restoration/repair projects in the parish. I am grateful to Violet and her family for their generosity to our parish and ask that you keep her in your prayers.

Special Energy Collection: The second collection today will be the Special Energy Collection to help pay the Higher Energy and Fuel Costs 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 January 7th.

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.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies: Meets each Wednesday during January, at 7:30p m in the rectory. Our moderator will be Fr. Samuel Kachuba and we will be reading and discussing Saint Augusine’s essay, On True Religion. Everyone is welcome, and you’ll find it interesting.

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: (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) Session 2 begins this TUESDAY JANUARY 8th 2013 in the Rectory at 7:00 pm. Anyone interested in becoming Catholic is welcome to attend. Anyone who has not yet received the Sacrament of CONFIRMATION is encouraged to attend. Any questions, please feel free to call the Office at 203 324 1553 and ask for Fr Walsh.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Christmas December 25, 2012 $ 43,180.52
Christmas December 25, 2011 $ 39,028.00

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

January 13th, Sunday Readings: Is 42:1-4, 6-7; Acts 10:34-38; Lk 3:15-16, 21-22.

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.

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.

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, 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, January 5, 2013
4:00 +Rosario Coscia req. Thomas and Patrice Banahan
Sunday, January 6, 2013
7:30 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
8:30 +William Kronkowski req. Dacres Family
10:00 +Frances Delaney 5th Anniversary req. Arthur Wargo
11:30 +Suzanna Donovan 18th Anniversary req. Marion Morris
5:00 +Alphonse and Lucy Alagia
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, January 7, 2013
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 +Phil Gambino req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
8:00 +Corrie Evans
12:10 Sp. Int. Marleine Marcelin req. Bernadette Mahotiere
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
8:00 +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
8:00 +Frank and Josephine Mancuso req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
12:10 Lori Legierse Birthday req. Millie Terenzio
Friday, January 11, 2013
8:00 Thanksgiving to God req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +John Collins req. Legion of Mary
Saturday, January 12, 2013
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10 John J. Gannon Birthday req. Sharon Gannon

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.

Francis & Clare: Co-Ed High School Youth Group. Email Deirdre.garrahan@gmail.com.

Pray to end Legalized Abortion: Wednesdays, 7-10:30a.m., Stamford’s Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St.

St. Dominic Savio Society: For spiritual formation of men, 7th-8th grades(High Schoolers welcome).Ferry 203-324-1553 x22.

St. Maria Goretti Society: For the spiritual formation of young ladies,7th-8th grades(High Schoolers welcome).Beth 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 9th.

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:
January 6, 1869: “The Roman Catholic choirs are generally found to excel. This is true of the choir in the Catholic church in this town. Additional good voices and other improvements have been lately added, and though they appear to need a good organ, yet they produce very pleasing music.”

100 years ago, or so:
January 8, 1912: St. John’s Holy Name Society. “At the regular monthly meeting of St. John’s Holy Name Society, last evening, the following officers were elected for the ensuing year: Spiritual Director and Treasurer, Rev. N.P. Coleman; president, John A. Waters; vice-president, Jas. Brennan; secretary, Wm. Hyland; marshal, John Grumbly; music leader, John Reilly; organist, Karl Lossignol. Under the auspices of the Holy Name Society, a tridium will be given on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evening in St. John’s. The sermons will be delivered by Father Stanton, a Dominican missionary, who is considered a very eloquent and convincing speaker. The services will be open to all the men of the parish and they are all cordially invited. A large number have already signified their intention of being present for the opening exercise on Wednesday evening at 7:00.”

90 years ago, or so:
January 11, 1922: Storm Fells Great Wooden Cross On St. John’s Catholic Church. “Stamford’s first real snow storm of the season started this morning at 8. For three hours a fine, dry snow fell, reaching a depth of about two inches, although the depth was six inches where drifts had collected. The large, wooden, gilt cross which adorned St. John’s Catholic Church, fell, shortly before noon today, first to the slumping roof and then to the ground, breaking into a hundred pieces. The debris covered the steps of the south entrance to the church on Atlantic Street. A stone cross, similarly placed, was knocked down by a bolt of lightning almost fifteen years ago, and broken.”

50 years ago, or so:
January 12, 1963: Scenes For Movie To Be Filmed At Church, School Here. “Stamford again will be location for scenes for a moving picture to be made by a Hollywood movie company. Specifically, St. John’s Church on Atlantic St. and St. John’s School will be used in filming of scenes in “The Cardinal.” The movie, based on the novel of the same name, will be a fictional biography of a cardinal. St. John’s Church will be used as the church were, early in his career, the cardinal is a parish priest.”

The Epiphany
– Fr. Terry Walsh
“Ignorance of the Scriptures is Ignorance of Christ.” – St. Jerome

As a Seminarian, several of our academic classes focused on the various books of the Bible, such as the Psalms or the Letters of St. Paul. They were very interesting courses, helping us to understand the Literal Sense, the “historical–critical” method of reading Scripture as well as the Spiritual sense, which the Church Fathers so beautifully expound in their writings. Indeed, their spiritual insights into the hidden meanings of Scripture seem to be inspired themselves, so wonderful and helpful. Still, examining various aspects of the Scriptures, like the Psalms, or the Letter of St. Paul, or the Wisdom books, etc., simply focused on specific aspects of the various particular parts of the Bible. There’s so much ground to cover and at first glance, it can appear a little “foreign.” After all, the events and circumstances in the Holy Bible go back many centuries. Even the most recent writings in the Bible (The New Testament) are 2000 years old! Where do I begin? How will I understand? While the Scriptures reveal the history of Salvation the Bible is not simply a history book. It is rather like a “love letter” as the Saints call it, and it is addressed to every single person created in the image and likeness of God – individually. It is the living Word of God and He speaks to our hearts in a unique way when we open up the Bible and peer into the hidden mysteries of God’s love for us….if we would simply pick it up and read it. And so, I began to understand more clearly that in order to come to know the Heart of our Lord, I needed to read the Bible in a new way. Yes, the courses were very helpful and interesting. Still, it was time to travel through the Bible in a more personal way – to read it as a letter from God. So, on Ash Wednesday of my 3rd year at the Seminary, I decided I would read a couple chapters each day throughout Lent. When Easter arrived, I continued my daily reading – at least one chapter a day – every day – until I read the last word on the last page of the last book of the Bible.

I began to see all of “Salvation History” unfold before my eyes in a whole new way. Each book of the Bible was “connected” to every other book and told a story of mercy, fidelity, hope, and love. Somewhere along this spiritual journey through the Bible, I found myself “praying” my ‘chapter-a-day.’ There were days that I just couldn’t put it down. So many graces come with that journey – the grace of coming to a greater knowledge and understanding of God for sure – but also the graces that come simply from spending that time with God. There were so many ‘ah ha’ moments – so many occasions when I was able to “connect the dots” so to speak – and see how all of Sacred Scripture was part of a seamless whole – it is Christ. Coming to understand His love and mercy, His faithfulness and patience – and every other virtue for that matter – was quite literally like wiping fog away from a window. It’s a wonderful journey into the very Heart of Jesus Christ. He leads us every step of the way. I began that journey on Ash Wednesday, a “day of darkness” when we remember that “we are dust and unto dust shall we return” – a day when we consider our own mortality. I finished a year and a half later on the Feast of the Epiphany, the day of great Light. I hadn’t planned it that way, it was simply another grace. It was the grace of understanding that in order to gain a true knowledge of the purpose of life, we must be enlightened by Christ Himself. He alone pours “light” into our hearts and minds so that we may know the love of God. Without this light we would only stumble in the dark. Why not begin your journey to the Heart of our Lord on the day of great Light and see where He leads you – one chapter at a time….