For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday January 27, 2013

Pastor’s Corner: For the majority of mortals residing in New England, January holds little more than gray, gloomy and frigid days, remembered only by the seeming tedium with which their bleak hours pass. It was never any better. For example, January 26th, 1851 was just another such miserable mid-winter’s day for the inhabitants of Stamford, except for a handful of impoverished Catholic Irish immigrants and one travel-wearied bishop, who gathered to dedicate the wooden clapboard chapel of Saint John the Evangelist, then located on Meadow Street—where the Marriott stands today. The event merited a few lines in the local Stamford paper, on the bottom of the page, very well below the fold:

“This very neat edifice which has been recently finished, on Meadow Street, in this village, was dedicated on Sunday last by appropriate ceremonies. The services were conducted by the Right Rev. Bernard O’Riley, of Providence, R.I.”

The wooden chapel measured 60 by 40 feet, and was under the jurisdiction and care of Father John C. Brady, Rector of St. Mary’s in Norwalk, who lived on Cove Road in Stamford, mid-way between both town centers.

In Yankee Connecticut, Catholics were few, and priests non-extant, in the early part of the 19th century. Patrick Walsh, a native of Ballintaylor in Waterford, Ireland, wrote his immigrant son Michael, then living in Rochksborough [today, Roxbury Road], Stamford. In his letter of June 19, 1828, Patrick scolded his son for not attending Mass: “You tell me you have no Roman Catholick [sic] Priest nearer to you than New York. Nevertheless, mind your duty to God and your Master, which is the only way to forward you, here and hereafter” [Basilica archives].

By 1851, there were no more than about 100 Catholics in town. But they were loud and insistent, having repeatedly complained to the Bishops of Hartford to impress upon him that Stamford’s Catholic community, while small numerically, meant business. They needed, not merely an occasional visit by an itinerant priest, but a pastor of souls who lived in town, with a church of their own. After a few years of battle, they got what they needed and wanted!

Those two-fisted Catholic forbearers of ours were the men and women who also built our present church a few decades later, assisted by the help of hundreds more poor Catholic immigrants, whose presence swelled the Catholic community; and they built more than just another church, but, for the time, the largest stone church in the state. Somehow, they raised the funds, and, somehow, in the next century, they built one of the largest schools in the city, two convents, and Saint Joseph Hospital. Not bad! Those were the decades when the Church formed the local culture. Now, 160 years after the dedication of the original tiny wooden clapboard chapel on Meadow Street in “Little Dublin”, we are also a Basilica—the pope’s church in Fairfield County.

So, happy anniversary of our dedication! While the anniversary on the 26th of this month in the Year of Our Lord 2013 may not make your January days less dull, it should warm your hearts knowing that earlier generations of parishioners so loved and cherished the same Catholic faith that we share today, that they endured much in order to pass it on to us by providing God with the most beautiful church in the state. We, too have done our part, improving and beautifying our Basilica. And I am grateful to you all. Let’s now work on being better Catholics, and pass our Faith to the next generations of Stamford Catholics.
—Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Robert Ruddy, Michael Bauer, Heidi M. Fernandez, Rosemarie U. Hoffman, Frank Pironto, Anthony Sansone, Ann DiGiovanni, Rita Timon, Barbara Castle, Monsignor William Nagle, Megan Bobroske, Connie Ward, Billy Therriault, Vincenza Rosa Parisi, Patricia Moriarty, Maureen Ferguson, Margaret Pia Perry, Michael Payes, Ed Koplos, Elaine Mellace, Kenneth Bell, Dr. Ben T. Williams, Hugh Gibney, Joevil Basulgan Dela Cruz, Bill Rottman, Richard Lauture, Raymond Jean-Rene, Betsabe Chung, Edna Campbell, Julia Oliveira, Chuck Woodin, Gary Everett, Nancy O’Shea, Mary Jane Peterson, Rev. Patrick J. O’Connell, Valerie Romanello, 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: Eduardo Aquiles, Celia Perdigon, Marge Sabia, 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.

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 28th.

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.

Head’s Up: Lent begins soon: Ash Wednesday is February 13th. Now’s the time to start planning your spiritual program of prayer, penance and charity for this Lent.

Parish Finance Council: Will meet on Thursday, February 7th at 7:30 P.M. in the Rectory.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies: Meets each Wednesday during January, at 7:30pm in the rectory. Our moderator will be Fr. Samuel Kachuba and we will be reading and discussing Saint Augustine’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, Tuesdays in the Rectory, 7:00pm-9pm. 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.

KENTUCKY DERBY: Save the Date!! May 4th: our annual parish fundraising event: the simulcast of the Derby in the Monsignor Nagle Hall, 4-7pm: will include outstanding food and drink, raffles, a live auction, and great fun. Come join us for the Kentucky Derby at St. John’s. All proceeds will go to the repainting and repair of the rectory.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday January 20, 2013 $ 11,429.47
Sunday January 22, 2012 $ 12,126.30
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

February 3rd, Sunday Readings: Jer 1:4-5, 17-19; 1 Cor 12:31—13:13; Lk 4:21-30.

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.

Birthright of Greater Stamford is seeking volunteers: to help support women with unplanned pregnancies to bring their babies to term. Volunteers provide pregnancy tests, listen to client concerns, and connect women with medical, financial, legal and other needed resources. Ability to commit 3 hours per week in the office is desirable. Schedules are flexible, and training is provided. Birthright is located at 388 Summer St., Stamford. Please call the office at 348-4355 if interested. See www.birthright.org for more information.

Electronic Giving – Offertory Donations Made Easy…Consider using your credit card to make your weekly or monthly donation to St. John’s. Easier for you, and less costly for the parish than the printing and mailing of weekly envelopes, credit card giving automatically sends your weekly offering to the Basilica of St. John’s. Call the parish secretary (324-1553, ext. 21).

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.

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!

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: This Monday, January 28th.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, January 26, 2013
4:00 Deceased Members of Duffy and Darby Family req. Duffy Family
Sunday, January 27, 2013
7:30 +Vincent DeVivo 55th Anniversary req. Munro and DeVivo Family
8:30 Mass of Thanksgiving req. Diane Strain
10:00 +Ralph Pesiri MD req. Dr. Robert Miller
11:30 +Clayton Clabaugh req. Dr. Robert Miller
5:00 +Alphonse and Lucy Alagia
6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Monday, January 28, 2013
8:00 +Miriam Espinoza req. Lucy Espinoza
12:10 +Marie Culmone req. Danny Rainho
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
8:00 +Richard Potter req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Anthony Maida, Sr. req. Ann and William Dee
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
8:00 +Mr. and Mrs. Beaublum req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Ernesto Scafidi
Thursday, January 31, 2013
8:00 Special Intentions Kathleen Geraci req. Sue Geraci
12:10 +Maureen Scaccianoce req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
Friday, February 1, 2013
8:00 Faithful Departed
12:10 +Alfredo and Domitila Lluch req. Joseph Petranchik
Saturday, February 2, 2013
8:00 +Mr. Paul T. Frazza Jr. req. Barbara Green
12:10 For the sick and the suffering req. Stephanie O’Hara

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: will meet on FEBRUARY 3rd after the 5pm Mass. Pizza and Pasta in the Church Hall. Guest: Dr. Joan Kelly

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: Will be meeting on January 27th in the rectory after the 11:30 am Mass. For spiritual formation of men, 7th-8th grades(High Schoolers welcome).Ferry 203-324-1553 x22.

St. Maria Goretti Society: Will be meeting on January 27th in the rectory after the 10:00 am Mass. 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 30th.

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:

160 years ago, or so:
Dedication of the original church of St. John the Evangelist– Jan 26, 1851.

The Stamford advocate:
Jan. 28, 1851: The Catholic Church. “This very neat edifice, which has been recently finished, on Meadow street, in this village, was dedicated on Sunday last, by appropriate ceremonies. The services were conducted by the Right Rev. Bishop O’Riley, of Providence, R.I..”

THE HARTFORD COURANT:
Feb. 8, 1851: RELIGIOUS ITEMS. “The Roman Catholic Church at Norwalk, was consecrated by the Rt. Rev. Bishop O’Riley of Hartford, on Tuesday of last week. The Church at Stamford was also consecrated by the same Bishop on Sunday last.”

THE BOSTON PILOT:
Feb. 15, 1851: Connecticut, Stamford. “Mr. Editor: From a conviction of the interest which your truly Catholic paper has always taken in communicating through its columns the progress of our holy religion, I take pleasure in informing you of the dedication of our Church in Stamford, on Sunday, January the 27th [sic] by the Rt. Rev. Bishop O’Reily. The morning was beautiful and it would appear that the cross shone with more than usual luster; from an early hour in the morning the hills and valleys were literally covered over with the sons and daughters of the emerald isle, whose hearts and souls were overflowing with joy that the time at length arrived when they had a church to be dedicated to the service of Almighty God. This church has been commenced and completed by the indefatigable zeal of our pious and exemplary pastor, Rev. John C. Brady, with the co-operation of the whole-souled Catholics of Stamford. The Church was dedicated to Almighty God under the patronage of St. John the Baptist [sic], after which confirmation was conferred on a considerable number, who were duly prepared by their Rev. Pastor; then High Mass was sung by the Pastor, and after the first gospel the Bishop ascended the platform and preached a very eloquent and persuasive sermon on the gospel of the day to a crowded congregation, many of whom were not of our religion, yet they were much delighted by the mild and charitable sermon. In the afternoon at vespers he preached one of the most powerful practicable sermons we ever heard. A few years ago there was no cross to cheer the heart of a poor Irish emigrant, but now the emblem of salvation may be seen in every little village. Yours truly, J. T. O’R .”

“Do this in remembrance of Me.” – 1 Corinthians 11: 24-25
-Fr. Terry Walsh
Part II

In the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, all of heaven is in our midst – we are entering into their constant chorus of thanks and praise in the presence of God. The great prophet Isaiah was blessed with actually seeing this extraordinary vision of the Heavenly Host at the moment of his calling (Book of Isaiah, Chapter 6). Likewise, in the Book of Revelation, our patron, St. John the Evangelist, was given a vision of the glory of God: “And around the throne, are four living creatures…and day and night they never cease to sing, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!’” (Revelation 4:6).

Indeed, many Saints have been given the grace of seeing what the Church has always held: that in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we are entering into the Glory of God. He is Present, along with the angelic hosts and all the saints. We truly sing with them. Consider the Trinitarian nature of this Heavenly chorus of wonder and praise for the gifts of creation, redemption, and sanctification. We sing “Holy (Father), Holy (Son), Holy (Holy Spirit)! Lord God of Hosts! Heaven and earth are filled with your glory!” All three Persons of the Holy Trinity are at work.

After the “Holy, Holy, Holy” the priest, standing in the place of Christ, prays to the Father to send the Holy Spirit on the gifts of bread and wine that are upon the altar of sacrifice. This part of the Eucharistic prayer is known as the Epiclesis. It is by the Power of God that these gifts may become the Body and Blood of Christ. The Priest extends his hands over the offerings and says: “Be pleased, O God, we pray, to bless, acknowledge, and approve this offering in every respect; make it spiritual and acceptable, so that it may become for us the Body and Blood of your most beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Then with clear distinction, the priest pronounces the words of Institution, which include the words of Consecration. While the words of Institution vary slightly, the words of consecration are identical in all forms of the Eucharistic Prayer. In the Roman Canon, also known as the 1st Eucharistic Prayer, the Priest begins by saying: “On the day before he was to suffer, he took bread in his holy and venerable hands, and with eyes raised to heaven to you, O God, his almighty Father, giving you thanks, he said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying”….while the 3rd Eucharistic Prayer, on the other hand, begins: “For on the night he was betrayed he himself took bread, and giving you thanks, he said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying…” We are truly there, at the Last Supper! Jesus is speaking.

Next, through His priest, Jesus says the words of consecration:
“Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is My Body, which will be given up for you.” He then takes the Chalice and continues: “Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the Chalice of My Blood, the Blood of the New and Eternal Covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in Memory of Me.” When the priest holds up the Host, Christ is turning His Merciful gaze toward you from the tiny host and calls you by name: “Come to Me…I will give you ‘Living Water’… ‘I will fill you with Divine Light’… ‘I will feed your thirsty soul with the Bread of Angels and streams of Living Water will forever well up from within you!’ What greater example of mercy could there possibly be? In those few brief moments, through the eyes of faith, we can see the extraordinary Light emanating from the very Heart of God, exploding out to the entire Universe, stamping out darkness, crushing all impurity, restoring Light, Happiness, and Peace. He has offered Himself in sacrifice for our salvation; we are offered the gift of life in the Eucharist.

After we proclaim the Mystery of Faith, we continue with the Anamnesis; that is, the remembrance of salvation history: the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and our joyful expectation of His return. While the various forms of the Eucharistic prayer vary slightly in the Anamnesis, all call to mind the cost of our Salvation and at the same time, the hopeful expectation of the glorious return of our Lord.

Finally, the Eucharistic Prayer concludes with the Intercession. As we proclaimed in the Creed, we are One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church and we believe in the Communion of Saints. We are in the midst of a great spiritual reality: by virtue of our incorporation into the Mystical Body of Christ through our baptism, we are actually praying together with the whole Church at every Mass – everyone is spiritually present. “In the Intercession, the Church indicates that the Eucharist is celebrated in communion with the whole Church in heaven and on earth, the living and the dead, and in communion with the pastors of the Church, the Pope, the diocesan bishop, his presbyterium and his deacons, and all the bishops of the whole world together with their Churches”(Catechism of the Catholic Church, no.1334).

The Mass is a supernatural reality; there is more taking place than meets the eye, and our appreciation of this truth requires our ardent desire to understand – to look at the picture and reflect on the meaning. The Great Amen affirms our true belief while our understanding continues to unfold as we fall in love with God.