For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday April 21, 2013

Twin Brothers

Pastor’s Corner: April 21st—this year, Sunday—marks the 2,766th anniversary of the founding of the City of Rome by Romulus and Remus. This is more interesting than you might imagine, trust me!! According to legend, the twin brothers are the sons of Rhea Silvia and the god Mars, or at least the demi-god Hercules. Makes sense: if you are going to make up a legend to impress your enemies and competitors, why not make your founders offspring of the gods? Immediately after birth, the infant twins are set adrift in the Tiber River, miraculously saved, raised by a she-wolf—Lupa, which became the City’s symbol [picture at left]. Once grown, the two battle over where to build their city. Romulus won, killed his brother, and named the new city after himself—Rome—built on the Palatine Hill. Not a bad legend, as legends go. In 2008, archaeologists discovered a cave directly beneath the imperial palace built on the Palatine Hill by the Emperor Augustus. Decorative mosaics cover the cave interior. This may have been a shrine to she –wolf, venerated as the place where the founding twins were suckled and reared. Augustus was the first Roman emperor, who reigned at the time of Christ’s birth. Having seen himself as the founder of a new Rome, it is believed he built this “chapel” to the twin founders to support his claims and rule. While this of interest to historians, and the story is hawked to tourists for their entertainment, most people find little of the ancient myths and City ruins of lasting interest. The myth of Rome fascinates to this day: its architecture, legal system and innumerable military triumphs all fuel television shows and numerous historical studies. Yet the popular myth, while extolling the treasures by a civilization of high culture and lofty ideals, regularly overlooks the daily ancient reality of the City and Empire of the celestial Twins that embodied human cruelty and legalized human degradation.

But the present Rome does not attract the millions who travel each year because of ruins and legends of the she-wolf. Since the first century, another reality has drawn people: Saints Peter and Paul, the founders of the Church in Rome. One need only look back to March, with the election of a new pope—a new Successor to Saint Peter—to see the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, and tens of thousands of media people—who stormed the Eternal City. They did not come to see ruins; they did not gather at the Coliseum or the Roman Forum. They came across the Tiber River to the Basilica of Saint Peter to see the living Successor of Saint Peter, and to be part of the living Church personally founded by Christ, called “Catholic” by a disciple of Saint Peter, himself, St. Ignatius of Antioch, at the end of the first century.

Our Catholic Church and our Faith are not based on legend; our shrines are not sites recalling mythology. Our Faith is based on the historic Person of Our Lord, who entered human history during the reign of the Emperor Augustus, revealed to His Apostles the mysteries of the Faith, imparted to them in a unique way His power to forgive sins, and His command to offer eternal life to everyone on the planet, in every age and place. By God’s Providence, Peter and Paul came to Rome so that Christ could conquer the world beginning at the world’s heart, by those two who bore witness to the reality of Christ by courageously preferring death rather than deny the God who loved them so very much. The two greatest basilicas, of Saint Peter’s and Saint Paul’s, are built on the actual tombs of the two Apostolic Founders, martyred by the Empire.

The Rome of today is alive because of the Catholic Church and the ministry of Saints Peter and Paul. An ancient hymn for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul phrases it this way: “Oh, Happy Rome, consecrated by the blood of your two Princes.” All creation was changed when God the Creator entered into His creation to redeem it from the power of Evil. All world history changed when Saints Peter and Paul came to the capitol city of the ancient Empire to extend Christ’s words and grace. They came to restore all things to God in Christ, and the Catholic Church continues that work today, with the Successor of Peter at the helm.

So, while stuffy historians, like myself, revel in this anniversary of the founding of the ancient City, let us rejoice more heartily in Christ, who created a reality of eminently greater stature and worth—the Catholic Church, His Mystical Body, founded on Saints Peter and Paul, which is the reason the ancient City continues to exist, and for greater reasons than archaeology or tourism. For it is two real men, Saints Peter and Paul, and not the mythological twins, Romulus and Remus, who are the reason why the City is still great.
—Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Diane Grant, Huong Diep Nguyen, Kevin O’Byrne, Paul Cavallo, Peter Baccaro, Yvette Constant, Sheila Beirne, Thomas Beirne, Billy Therriault, Megan Bobroske, Harrie Humphreys, Lena Cocchia, Msgr. Peter Dora, Gary Everett, Connie Ward, Flint Moger, Kathleen Moger, Catherine Olnek, Margaret Kelly, Julia Oliveira.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Felix Boursiquot, Helen Moger, Alfred Preziosi, Brian M. Murray, Fr. James C. Hoge, O.S.B., Fr. David Howell, Mario Stano, Raymond Jean-Rene, Caroline Pavia, Virginia Raiteri, Myrtle Rocco, 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.

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 April 22nd.

Easter Duty: Each Catholic is obliged to receive Holy Communion at least once yearly, during the Easter Season (Easter, March 31st—Pentecost, May 19th). That means each person should also go to Confession at least once yearly, to receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord worthily.

Banns of Marriage: Banns II: Russell S. Loesch and Caitlin M. Harkins

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

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies: Will not meet in May.

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. 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. Info: 203-324-1553.

Vocation Holy Hour & Benediction: April 21st 2:00-3:00pm in the Basilica. Join us to pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Padre Pio: Mark your calendar for an important upcoming event here at the Basilica: Saturday, September 21st, 5:30-9:00 pm, Saint John’s will host an important exhibit of photographs by Gaetano Mastrorilli, who devoted his life and art to preserving the memory of Saint Padre Pio, one of the greatest and most popular of modern-day saints. His daughter, Patrizia Mastrorilli will be on hand to host this exhibit in the Monsignor Nagle Hall. Stay tuned for more details.

Holy Roots! Continued: The Stamford Historical Society will host an afternoon presentation about the development of various churches in Stamford on Sunday, April 28th from 2-5 PM. This year highlights the Stamford Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church and First Presbyterian Church, with emphasis on Stamford’s Gilded Age (1868-1893). The Stamford Historical Society is located on 1508 High Ridge Road: cost is $15 for adults/ $5 for students under 18. For information and tickets, please call 203-329-1183.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday April 14, 2013 $ 13,522.00
Sunday April 15 2012 $ 13,930.49
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

April 28th, Sunday Readings: Acts 14:21-27; Rev 21:1-5a; Jn 13:31-33a, 34-35.

ANNUAL BISHOP’S APPEAL: Has begun. Many parishioners may have already received a letter from the Diocese. Saint John’s annual goal, set by the diocese, is $100,000. The funds collected for the Bishop are used for the numerous charitable and educational works of the Diocese. We have collected to date: $42,572. Please be generous; we need everyone’s help.

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. Tickets can be purchased on the parish website or at the parish rectory office. All proceeds will be used for the repair, restoration and repainting of our 1850 Greek Revival Rectory.

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.

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.

Project Rachel Ministry: Offers free and confidential help to those seeking healing after abortion. Come back to God, who is love and mercy. 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: Supports women with unplanned pregnancies to bring their babies to term, providing pregnancy tests, connecting 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. Call 348-4355 if
Interested, or click onto www.birthright.org .

Job Seekers: Meets the 4th Monday monthly in the rectory at 7:30pm: There’s no charge. 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, April 22nd.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, April 20, 2013
4:00 Millie Terenzio Birthday req. children
Sunday, April 21, 2013
7:30 +John Mannes 52nd Anniversary req. Munro and DeVivo Family
8:30 Marion Morris req. Mildred and Joan Beirne
10:00 +Feroze Aslam req. Anthony and Josephine Marena
11:30 +Dr. Vincent Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
5:00 +Alphonse and Lucy Alagia
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, April 22, 2013
8:00 +Edward Heidig req. Kevin
12:10 +Leyda Esquebel req. Irsa Garcia
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
8:00 Sp. Int. Monsignor William Nagle req. Legion of Mary
12:10 +Demetria Garcia req. Irsa Garcia
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
8:00 Eric Ukcamaj req. Mule Ukcamaj
12:10 +Mary Loglisci req. Sharon Gannon
Thursday, April 25, 2013
8:00 +James Farrell req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Helen Pagnotti req. Jean and John Bendick
Friday, April 26, 2013
8:00 +Joseph L. Ballerini req. Salvatore Costantino
12:10 +Felix Boursiquot req. Ferry G.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
8:00 Sp. Int. Thang and Diep Nguyen Wedding Anniversary req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 +Frederick R. Schmitt req. Hannah Sexton Young

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:For spiritual formation of men, 7th-8thgrades-High Schoolers welcomeContact-Ferry203-324-1553 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: Will not meet in May.

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 NEWS:
The CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
130 years ago, or so:
April 25, 1895: STAMFORD. “The Children of Mary will receive Holy Communion in a body on Sunday. There will be devotions in the church every evening except Saturdays and Sundays, during the month of May. Mr. John Ennis has charge of the work in putting in the pews of our new church which he expects to complete about next fall.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES:
85 years ago, or so:
April 23, 1929: JOHN ENNIS, 86, DIES; A NOTED ATHLETE. “John Ennis, who in the days when six-day walking races were popular, ranked with the kings of the sawdust path in this country and Europe, and who afterward attained championships in swimming and skating, died at his home here today of pneumonia, in his eighty-seventh year. Mr. Ennis was engaged in the contracting business here for many years before he retired. He built St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, one of the largest edifices in the State.”

THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
60 years ago, or so:
April 22, 1953: 3 Boy Scouts Gain Coveted Promotions. “The monthly Boy Scout Review Board for higher ranks promoted Explorer William F. Griesinger of Belltown P.T.A. sponsored by Explorer Post E 1 to Eagle Scout Tuesday night at the Scout Office. Fred Miller of St. John’s R.C. Church Troop 22 became a Star Scout.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Frederick E. Miller, Jr., Esq. would later go on to become the Scoutmaster of Troop 22 and President of St. John’s Holy Name Society. He was also instrumental in the writing of the parish history published in 2012.)

THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
50 years ago, or so:
April 22, 1964: Diocese Awards 13 Scholarships To Area Students. “Two four-year winners are among the 13 Stamford area students chosen for scholarship awards to three Bridgeport Diocesan High Schools in Stamford, Greenwich, and Norwalk. Winner of a one-year scholarship to Stamford Catholic High, announced today by The Very Rev. Msgr. John F. McGough, superintendent of the Bridgeport Diocesan Schools, and Rev. Martin B. Hitchcock, assistant superintendent of schools, was Margaret Mary Black, daughter of Mrs. And Mrs. Frank Black of 117 Main St., Stamford, from St. John’s School, Stamford.”

Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit—Looking Toward Pentecost
– Fr Terry Walsh

As ‘children of the Light’ we are constantly receiving the graces of the Holy Spirit throughout our daily lives. We received this Light at Baptism and provided we are faithful to the Light, it will be kept burning brightly and attract others to the Light. Staying near the Light who is Christ is a deliberate act of our will. Our Lord tells us to ask for whatever you want and He will provide it – provided it is for the good of your soul. If we ask with humility and an ardent desire for union with our Lord, the fountain of grace will gush up from within us. These are the waters where our ‘soul is restored’ and ‘our cup overflows.’ In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us: “The Water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life”(4:14). We receive these graces primarily and ordinarily through the Sacraments – those magnificent ‘encounters with Christ’ who nourishes and sustains us. Through our faithful cooperation, He forms us into ‘children of the Light.’ We receive the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit so that we may grow in virtue and become holy, or as St. Gregory of Nyssa put it, “The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God.” What exactly are the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit?

There are 7 Gifts and 12 Fruits. It would be helpful to review the Catechism of the Catholic Church for a more complete understanding (available in the St. John’s Bookstore or Online at www.vatican.va and then click on “Compendium”). The Church teaches us that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are “permanent dispositions” which make us docile in following divine inspirations. They are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and Fear of the Lord. We learn in Sacred Scripture that the beginning of Wisdom is ‘Fear of the Lord,’ also called ‘Awe and Wonder’. More specifically, it means to love the things that God loves – namely purity, goodness, truth, and holiness and to hate the things that God hates – namely sin, which harms us and separates us from God. Jesus says, ‘Ask for whatever you want in My Name, I will give it to you.’ Of course, we must sanctify ourselves first – that is, we must seek to live a faithful life and to be in the state of grace. Then, ask for the gift of Wisdom, just as Solomon did. Ask for the gift of Fortitude – courage – to do what is right even in difficult circumstances. Ask for the gift of Counsel – to know what to say – and sometimes what not to say – to people seeking a word of encouragement. Ask for whatever you want and then apply the gift of that grace to become a bright light to attract others to what is good and true and pure and holy through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

“The Fruits of the Holy Spirit are perfections formed in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists 12: charity, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity”(ccc). St. Paul speaks about these fruits of the Holy Spirit in his letter to the Galatians (5:22). When we ‘seek the things that are above’ we ‘bare fruit that will last’ – we ‘build heavenly treasure.’ And just as the exchange of love between the three persons of the Holy Trinity overflows into all creation, so too will the effects of the graces we receive overflow into acts of kindness, generosity, and love, and all the fruits of the Holy Spirit, Who dwells within us.