For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday March 10, 2013

Pastor’s Corner: During Lent, Jesus’ saving work as described in the New Testament is clearly foretold in the Old Testament. For instance, those from the Book of Exodus outline those historic actions of God to free His people from slavery in Egypt. God’s chosen leader is Moses, who is an image of Christ. Just as Moses received the Ten Commandments from God as the sign of their unique relationship with God, so too, Christ, sent by the Eternal Father, is the second Moses and the new Lawgiver, to give us a new commandment: charity in imitation of Himself. Moses came to free Israel from slavery to pharaoh; Christ came to free all humankind from slavery to Satan, sin and death. Moses led his people to freedom and safety in the promised land through the waters of the Red Sea; Christ leads us to safety in Heaven through the waters of Baptism in His Catholic Church, the New Israel.

Throughout the Book of Exodus there are numerous signs and symbols of Christ and His saving work for us. I would like to consider one: the sacrificial or paschal lamb. That lamb sacrificed in the Book of Exodus, whose blood saved Israel from death, prefigures the final sacrificial lamb: Jesus, Himself, whose blood frees us from eternal death.

After failed attempts to secure Israel’s freedom from slavery to pharaoh, Moses threatened a final punishment if liberty were again withheld: God would kill every first born throughout Egypt. To protect the children of Israel, God instructed Moses that each household should sacrifice an unblemished one-year old lamb or goat. The lamb’s blood was to mark the door posts and lintels of the houses of the Jewish slaves: that blood of the lamb would be the sign protecting the Israelites from the angel of death who would pass over those blood-marked homes. The Israelites were to eat the roasted flesh of the lamb with bitter herbs, signs of their suffering and slavery, and with unleavened bread: for there was no time for the dough to be leavened or to rise, since everything would happen very quickly as Israel escaped from Egypt. The angel of death killed the first born of man and beast in those houses not marked with the blood of the lamb. Even pharaoh’s son was not spared—the final calamity that urged him to free Israel. Pharaoh, a real historic person, becomes a symbol of Satan, holding mankind in slavery to sin.

That original Passover night became essential to the identity of Israel; and the saving work of God who freed Israel from slavery to pharaoh and death by the blood of the lamb, was to be celebrated annually. Even to this day, each spring, Passover is celebrated throughout the world in Jewish homes in remembrance of God’s mighty deeds of freedom.

When Our Lord entered into Jerusalem, which we will commemorate on Palm Sunday, he was coming to the Holy City in order to celebrate the Passover, and the city was jammed with thousands of pious pilgrims who arrived for the same purpose. For ancient Israel, their liberation and deliverance from slavery by God was paramount to their identity. This is reflected in the Old Testament books, especially in Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, in the repeated insistence that Israel remember God’s works by annually repeating the Passover festival, and in the proscriptions against breaking God’s commandments or harming foreigner workers in Israel, “. . . For you were once slaves in Egypt. . .”

The Last Supper of Our Lord was no mere daily meal. It was the Passover, so the evening and the supper were packed with symbolism and meaning, recalling God’s earlier works to free Israel from slavery to Pharaoh. Our Lord, therefore, chose that festival and that supper to begin the final and essential works of salvation: He linked the Passover of Israel and the annual sacrifice of the Passover lambs with His Last Supper, and with His sacrifice on the Cross. The Last Supper was popularly represented in many of the Roman catacombs: Our Lord at the center of a table, surrounded by the Apostles. But, in the serving dish in front of Jesus, instead of the Passover lamb, there is a fish: an ancient sign of Jesus: Each letter of the Greek word for fish, Icthus, was the first letter for an early expression of faith: “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior”. And this portrays the essence of that last Passover meal of Jesus’ Last Supper: God’s saving power would no longer come by means of a sacrificial animal, but from the new Lamb of God: Jesus, who is the Eternal Son of God in the flesh, whose blood now saves all mankind from slavery to Satan, sin and death. The whole of the old ritual law of the Old Testament is fulfilled and completed in Christ. All the rituals and sacrifices of Jewish culture no longer have value, having been replaced by the final and most important of all sacrifices: God in the flesh, obedient to the Father, paying for the sins of all mankind on the Cross.

In the Book of Revelation, the New Jerusalem is built around and illumined by the Lamb of God: Jesus, Incarnate, Crucified, Risen from the dead in His flesh, who lay atop the book of judgment sealed with seven seals until the end of time. You can see that image in the front lower panel of the high altar in the sanctuary: the Lamb of God atop the book, holding across his shoulder a banner or sign of His Resurrection from the dead. His sacrifice on the Cross is repeated each day in the Catholic churches throughout the world, whenever Mass is offered. For it is the Mass that Jesus gave us at the Last Supper, along with the priesthood and the Eucharist: the ritual Jewish Passover meal of liberation from slavery, now becomes the essential ritual meal during which Christ is offered anew daily, in an unbloody way, to free us from sin and death. And we share in that sacrifice by sharing in His Body and Blood in Holy Communion: that small wafer of unleavened bread, now actually transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit into the risen Body and Blood of the God-made-man, who was Crucified and Raised from the dead for us.

It is through the Sacraments Jesus gave His Apostles, who established His Catholic Church, that we share in His life and enter into the deepest possible union with Him and with all Baptized believers, to form His Mystical Body, which is the Church. We do not simply share ideas about Jesus: we share one faith, and because of that we are united in His life through Baptism and especially through the Eucharist: we receive His Body in order to be formed into His Mystical Body, the Church, the New Israel. There is much more to this than meets the eye, or as reported by the press or in politics: and it is God working through His Catholic Church leading to eternal life with the God who loves us. -Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Sheila Beirne, Thomas Beirne, Billy Therriault, Megan Bobroske, Harrie Humphreys, Lena Cocchia, Msgr. Peter Dora, Gary Everett, Connie Ward, Helen & Flint Moger, Kathleen Moger, Catherine Olnek, Margaret Kelly, Robert Ruddy, Michael Bauer, Frank Pironto, Anthony Sansone, Ann DiGiovanni, Rita Timon, Barbara Castle, Monsignor William Nagle, Vincenza Rosa Parisi, Patricia Moriarty, Maureen Ferguson, Julia Oliveira.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Frank Pironto, Betsabe Chung, Dorothy Konopka,Patricia Lee Thiesfeldt, Nancy Claire O’Shea, Louis Angenola, Gerard Phillippe, Naida Cognetta, Cheryl Wolven, Richard Lauture, Mauril Lauture, 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.

American Bishops’ Overseas Appeal Collection: Please drop your special envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI req. Joan and John Kronk.

St. Joseph Altar Votive Light: +Salvatore DeRosa req. Joan and John Kronk.

Confessions During Lent: Besides the usual daily schedule, Confessions will also be heard each Tuesday during Lent: 7pm– 9pm in the Basilica.

Stations of the Cross: Fridays during Lent at 4:00pm in English, in the Basilica.

Abstinence during Lent: As a simple act of penance for sins, all Catholics 14 years and older are required to abstain from eating any meat on Fridays during Lent, unless the person is in ill health or suffering from a medical condition.

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 March 11th.

Sunday Sung Evening Prayer [Vespers] & Benediction: In the Basilica every Sunday: 4:15pm-4:45pm. All are welcome: Bring the family to pray and stay for the 5 pm Mass.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies: Will meet again in the Rectory on the Wednesdays in March: 6, 13, 20 & 27. Our moderator will be Father Michael Novajosky, who will lead us in our reading and study of the Life of Moses, a spiritual classic by Saint Gregory of Nyssa. Great for Lent!

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. Meets Thursdays at 6:30 pm in the Rectory.

RCIA Classes: (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) 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. Please feel free to call 203-324-1553.

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

New Book for Sale: Monsignor DiGiovanni’s most recent book: The Second Founder: Bishop Martin J. O’Connor and the Pontifical North American College. Available now in the parish bookstore, or on Amazon.com, or Barnes & Noble.com, or Trafford Book Store.com in hardcover, paperback and E-book.

CONNECTIONS! Ministry for Catholic Singles 35 and older: invites you to a Lenten “Evening of Reflection” with Fr. Peter Cipriani. Monday, March 18, 7pm at Notre Dame High School 220 Jefferson Street, Fairfield. Mass at 7pm in the school chapel followed by Father’s talk. Light refreshments will be served. This is open to all singles 35 and older. To RSVP or for questions, contact Fr. Norm Guilbert at 203-336-1835.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday March 3, 2013 $ 15,622.00
Sunday March 4, 2012 $ 12,825.28

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

March 17th, Sunday Readings: Is 43:16-21; Phil 3:8-14; Jn 8:1-11.

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: This month will meet on Monday, April 1 at 7:30 PM in the rectory. There is no charge for these services. Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Redinc, LLC, provides job interview coaching, resume writing and job search coaching. More info, see: www.redinc.biz or 203-866-1606. : Next meeting: Monday, April 1st.

Conclave: Since our parish was elevated to a Minor Basilica, let us offer one Hail Mary at each Mass for the Cardinals as they gather in Conclave to elect a new Successor of Saint Peter. Likewise, I ask you each to offer a second Hail Mary daily for Cardinal Burke. He generously offered to be part of our symposium, which has been cancelled due to the Conclave. Let us pray for him as he pursues his more important duty of electing a pope.

Papal Relics: During this time of preparation for the Conclave, and during the Conclave itself, Relics of Saint Peter and those of His Successors who are canonized saints, are displayed on the high altar for your veneration. Please pray for the College of Cardinals.

Pope’s Coat-of-Arms: If you look up at the choir loft, you’ll notice an empty space above the central door: since Benedict XVI has abdicated, we have no Pope, and his coat-of-arms has been taken down, leaving only our Basilica’s coat-of-arms on display.

Saint Gabriel Church in Stamford . . .will celebrate a Solemn High Mass for the Feast of  Saint Joseph on Tuesday March 19, 2013 at 7:30 PM in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite(Latin Mass according to the 1962 Missal) for the Feast of Saint Joseph. Refreshments to follow in the Parish Meeting Room Please join us!

Ancient Order of Hibernians: Will attend the 10 a.m. Mass on Sunday, March 17th: St. Patrick’s Day, followed by their march to the Government Center to raise the American and Irish flags. All are welcome.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, March 9, 2013
4:00 Thanksgiving for the ministry of the late Ignatius Cardinal Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
Sunday, March 10, 2013
7:30 +Anthony Lepore req. Rose Lepore
8:30 +Titina Tarantino req. Marion Morris and Family
10:00 +Michael Chapman req. the Mulhern Family
11:30 +Peter Medwed 12th Anniversary req. Munro and DeVivo Family
5:00 +Alphonse and Lucy Alagia
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, March 11, 2013
8:00 +Myrio Paulemon req. Aunt
12:10 +Mr. Constantin Gaspard and Fanelia Jean req. Nieces and Nephews
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
8:00 Special Intentions Claire Tymon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Mary Daniele req. the Mossa Family
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
8:00 Marion Morris req. Armelle Penta
12:10 +Mr. and Mrs. Naissance Jean Guillaume and Family req. Grandchildren
Thursday, March 14, 2013
8:00 +Tomas D. Rosete req. Rosita A. Domdom
12:10 +Andrew Koehm req. Dr. Joe McAleer
Friday, March 15, 2013
8:00 +John and Valencia Lancaster req. Sue Kremheller
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. the McAleer Family
12:10 John J. Tarleton req. Sharon Gannon

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).

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.

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 Family Society: A Potluck dinner and speaker for families: meets 4 times a year….next date to be announced

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 March 17 in the rectory after the 11:30 a.m. Mass.Contact-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, March 13th.

The Latin Reading Group: Meets Wednesday evenings at 6:15 pm in the rectory: basic reading ability required.

Intermediate Studies in Biblical Greek: Intermediate 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:

MARCH 10, 2013 IS GIRL SCOUT SUNDAY IN THE UNITED STATES

60 years ago, or so:
February 21, 1955: Girl Scout Sunday To Be Marked By St. John’s Troops. “The Girl Scouts of St. John’s School will observe Girl Scout Sunday, March 6, by receiving Holy Communion at the 8 o’clock Mass. Breakfast will be served in the school after Mass. On March 11, Friday of Girl Scout Week, the three troops will have a joint birthday party in the school gymnasium. Penny Raymond will lead the flag ceremony with Ann Gasperrino, Ann Kilcoyne, Mary Daisey, Beverly Burke and Gloria Schultz as color bearers. Songs will be led by Jo Ann Mancinelli, Shery Raymond and Barbara Plomitallo. Brownie Troop 170 will supply the ushers. Girl Scout troop 134 is in charge of the day’s program and refreshments will be served by members of Girl Scout Troop 155. Mothers and other special guests have been invited.”

50 years ago, or so:
June 5, 1964: Girl Scouts Conduct Joint Court Of Awards. “Girl Scout Troops 74 and 645 held a joint Court of Awards Tuesday, in the St. John’s School auditorium. Junior Scouts from Troop 74 earned merit badges: Cook: Bridget Ormond, Diedre Costello, Mary Orricchio, Judy Cornwell, Patricia Kennedy, Andrea Martinelli, Julianne Breunich, Rose Marie Fanning, Anita Bobersky, Charlotte Frank, Michele Leary, Patricia O’Malley, Patricia Foster, Lois Gugliotto, Mary Anne Hanson, Carol Martinelli. Irma Rizzo, Rina Tozzoli, Jacqueline Romano, Cynthia Drosdeck, Jo Ann Robotti, Linda DiVasto, Elise Veremakis, Jennie Sileo, Mary Ellen Shaub, Barbara Baudisch, Isabelle Mancinelli, Diane Paul, Maureen Costello, Judy Talor, Connie Dyrak, Sheila Lyman, Cathy Phelan, Alice Remy, Mary Lou Ryan. Pet, Lois Gugliotto. Drawing and painting, Patricia Kennedy. Housekeeping, Jennie Sileo, Cathy Griswold, Cynthia Drosdeck,. Patricia Griswold, Diane Hayes, Linda DiVasto. Songsters, Jennie Sileo, Mary Ellen Shaub, Cynthia Doosdeck, Barbara Baudisch, Diane Paul, Maureen Costello, Judy Talor, Cathy Griswold, Patricia Griswold, Linda DiVasto. Arts and rounds, Jo Ann Robotti. Back yard fun, Isabelle Mancinelli, Cynthia Drosdeck, Jo Ann Robotti, Elise Veremakis, Cathy Griswold, Patricia Griswold, Mary Ellen Shaub. Collector, Isabelle Mancinelli, Linda DiVasto, Jo Ann Robotti, Margaret Gallagher, Elise Veremakis, Judy Talor, Mary Ellen Shaub, Mary Lou Ryan. The Sign of the Arrow was earned by Jo Ann Robotti, Mary Ellen Shaub, Patricia Griswold, Cynthia Drosdeck, Cathy Griswold.”

The Habit of Prayer
– Fr Terry Walsh

How often does it feel like “the burden of prayer?” How do we pray? When, where, and how often? Am I doing it right? Shouldn’t I be getting some answers, some feedback from God? To begin, prayer is that intimate conversation we have with God in that quiet place in our soul, even in the midst of an often times noisy world all around us. St. Therese calls prayer quite simply a ‘Surge of the Heart toward God.’

There is so much to say about prayer, but I will simply focus on a few practical points for consideration. Prayer is of course indispensable in our spiritual growth. It is a necessary activity that prepares us for faithful reception of the Sacraments, for a deepening of our knowledge and understanding of God and consequently of ourselves; prayer enables us to examine our lives in light of the Gospel teachings and informs our conscience so that we might seek forgiveness for those occasions when we realize we have offended God or one another.

In prayer, we’re able to offer thanks and praise to God, we’re able to adore Him, we’re able to petition Him for whatever we need or for some particular gift that will benefit someone else in need. If we’re able to receive so many varied and beautiful graces through prayer, why is it so difficult to pray sometimes?

Well, it might simply be that we don’t work at it. It is, after all, a relationship. If too little attention is given to examining “the prayer life” how can it grow? That’s NOT the same thing as saying ‘too little time’ is spent in prayer. The time for prayer will quite naturally vary from person to person, depending on one’s vocation, along with a whole host of other circumstances. The “attention” I’m speaking about has more to do with the quality of our prayer life. It is, in many ways, an “organic” activity – it’s a living relationship with God: it changes, it grows, it deepens, provided there is due attention given to it.

As a practical matter, I’d recommend that you consider forming a “foundation” to your daily prayer. This might include a brief, but deliberate, morning offering, something as simple as standing at the foot of the Crucifix in your room and offering the day to God – asking Him to bless your family, your work, your play, and so on. Naturally, it would be good to take a few moments at the end of each day to examine – briefly – how you did in light of the Gospel.

Read the Scriptures everyday. Let the habit of growing in the knowledge of God be real food for your soul every single day. It is amazing the ground you’ll cover in just a month by reading a page a day – it only takes 10 minutes. Imagine where you’ll be a year from now in your journey through the story of Salvation history and how the graces you’ll receive will strengthen the virtues of faith, hope, and love in your soul.

Reflect on one of the Mysteries of our Lord’s life through the beautiful devotion of the Rosary. It is a beautiful “Community” prayer, that is, said with others—such as a group of friends. It is especially wonderful when a family gathers to pray the Rosary together, perhaps after dinner each night or before bedtime and calls to mind the wise old saying, “The family that prays together, stays together!”

And finally, perhaps, take 10 minutes to simply tell God what’s on your mind and in your heart. He really wants to hear it from you. What trust, what an act of faith and hope and love as you simply give it all to Him and ask for whatever you need to heal and to grow. This would be a good beginning. See where the Holy Spirit leads you. One thing is certain, if you seek Him through a deepening of your prayer, He will reveal Himself to you in that “inner room” of your soul. Prayer will no longer seem strained, or a burden, but rather, it will become alive and fresh and as natural as the air you breathe.