For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday May 19, 2013

Pastor’s Corner: The first Pentecost saw the Apostles receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Already commissioned by Our Lord to establish His Catholic Church everywhere, they now received the strength, courage and fortitude to do their work. More than 1,800 years later, a successor of the Apostles came to Stamford to dedicate the then newest outpost of Christ’s Church: “The audience assembled on Sunday morning last,” [May 30, 1886] “at 10 o’clock in the new Catholic church of Stamford, was limited only by the capacity of the building, which spacious as it is, could not contain all who sought admission within its walls. While hundreds more stood outside, not less than twenty-five hundred people, obtained entrance, and witnessed the impressive ceremonial of dedication by the Rt. Rev. Bishop McMahon and the priests chosen as his assistants for the occasion.” Thus did The Stamford Advocate begin its report of the dedication ceremonies of our church, adding, “The new church is undoubtedly one of the very finest ecclesiastical edifices in the state.” [The Stamford Advocate, June 5, 1886]

All in all, Stamford was quite impressed: Saint John’s was the largest stone church in the state, and the ceremonies were attended by nearly the entire 4,000 person Catholic population of the city, in attendance. Nowhere in Yankee Connecticut had there been such an expression of the rapid growth of the Church as in Stamford. The preacher for the day was Father Ignatius Horstmann, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, commented: “What a change forty years have brought about in the Catholic Church here in Stamford. The progress of Catholicity in your midst can be read from these facts: from the Mass offered up in private houses to the modest frame chapel on Meadow Street, that was twice enlarged and improved, then to this magnificent structure worthy to be called a cathedral. At first a few faithful, now one-third of the entire population of the town.” [The Connecticut Catholic, June 5, 1886]

Irish Immigrant

The construction of our great church was not an easy project, and seemed doomed to permanent incompletion because of a lack of funding, until the arrival of an Irish immigrant via Chicago—John Ennis, one of the most interesting men in the history of our city. Born in Richmond Harbor, County Longford, Ireland in 1842, he and his family moved to Chicago. Ennis fought for the Union in the Civil War. He worked as a contractor and built a number of churches in Chicago following the great fire. He and his family moved to Stamford, and became members of Saint John’s. He fought to protect the rights of Irish Catholics, established a spa and hotel on Shippan Point, and gained fame as a world class athlete, capturing awards as a swimmer, crack rifleman, boxer, ice skater and long distance walker. He held the world record for 100-mile speed ice skating [he was 52 years old at the time!] and the record for walking across the United States: 50 days and 5 hours at the age of 68 years! [The Currier and Ives print on the left is of John Ennis the Celebrated Pedestrian]

After the exterior of the church was basically completed according to the plans of James Murphy, the original architect, construction stopped, due to lack of funds. Ennis came forward with another plan, and once he convinced the Pastor, Father William Rogers work began anew. Ennis later described his efforts at Saint John’s: “I had sole control of the construction of all the mechanical work, both as architect and general contractor and for four years I gave the work the best that was in me as a skilled mechanic and builder. They were the happiest years of my life: my heart as well as my head and all the physical energy I possessed was employed for a good purpose and a successful end. I remodeled the interior as follows: Restored seven feet of space in order to make a true Gothic ceiling; enlarged the pillars more than twice the diameter of the original plans; substituted circular stairs to the galleries, three flights, instead of plain box stairs, as planned by old drawings. The roof did not collapse as predicted, no one was killed or injured. . .” He described Saint John’s as “the most beautiful Gothic church building in the State of Connecticut”, and continued, “Every line and detail is mine.” One of his last gifts to Saint John’s was the stained glass window in memory of his beloved wife Mary, who died in 1892 [the third northern window, to the left of the baptismal font]. John Ennis died in 1929 of pneumonia at 78 years of age.

So, Happy Pentecost and, on May 30th, Happy Anniversary, St. John’s! Our Catholic parish is but one or tens of thousands of local parishes and chapels around the world, all part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Christ on the Apostles. Let’s remember John and his wife Mary Ennis in a little prayer today, as well as all our fellow Catholics of those earlier days, whose faith, generosity and determination created this beautiful church as a sign of their Catholic faith, and as a gift to future generations who would join them in worshiping God at this altar.
—Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Thomas Beirne, Patrick A. Toole, Sr., Katherine Klass, Patricia McNamee, Ian Rice, Maureen Henry James, 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: Sheila Catherine Beirne, Edward Cipri, Msgr. William A. Nagle, 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.

Catholic Communication Campaign Collection . . . Please drop your special envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.

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 May 20th.

Banns of Marriage: Banns III: Sean Patrick Dunn and Gabrielle Marie Carpanzano

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.

Relics of Saints for May: On the Saint Joseph Altar, relics are displayed of: Saints Philip the Apostle, Athanasius the Great, Pope Alexander I, Monica, Pope Pius V, Venustus, Domitila, Helladius, Gregory of Nazianzen, Anthony of Florence, Philip Neri, Florianus, Boniface, Isidore the Farmer, John Nepomocene, Paschal, Venantius, Peter Coeler, Bernard of Siena, Secundus, Rita of Cassia, Crispin, Vincent, Pope Gregory VII, Nereus, Magdalene Pazzi, Felicitas, Restitutus, Ferdinand, Petronilla.

May 24: World Day of Prayer for China: Following the call by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to pray for China and the persecuted Catholic Church, the Cardinal Kung Foundation has reserved two Masses for that intention: May 24th at 12:10 pm and Sunday, May 26th at 11:30 am. Pray for the end of persecution in China, and for the opening of the Cause of Canonization of Ignatius Cardinal Kung.

Parking Tickets: There is a myth that the parish will pay everyone’s parking tickets. That is NOT true. Saint John’s Parish is bound by contract to the City of Stamford: the City operates and maintains the parking lot, and the parish receives a small rental payment. Those attending Masses at Saint John’s need not pay the parking fee; the City is aware of the Mass schedule. Those attending classes or special events at the parish are reminded to do one of two things: place a piece of paper on your dashboard with the words: “Saint John’s Parish”, or pay the parking fee. The City does not know the dates of special events such as weddings, baptisms or funerals, or of classes. Likewise, parishioners may not park in the lot and go shopping or to a restaurant, or all day expecting to be exempt from payment. Anyone parking on the streets must also pay the parking fee or risk being ticketed. If you receive a parking ticket, it is your responsibility to pay it.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday May 12, 2013 $ 11,975.00
Sunday May 13, 2012 $ 11,406.50

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

May 26th, Sunday Readings: Prv 8:22-31; Rom 5:1-5; Jn 16:12-15.

ANNUAL BISHOP’S APPEAL: Saint John’s annual goal, set by the diocese, is $100,000. The funds collected are used for the numerous charitable and educational works of the Diocese. We have collected to date: $52,247. Please be generous; we need everyone’s help.

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,

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.

CELEBRATION of the SACRAMENTS…End of the year party for the Religious Education program. PIZZA and PASTA, 5:45 pm on SUNDAY MAY 19th in the Church Hall (Awards)

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).

Lost & Found . . . Please check the Lost & Found in the Rectory for any items you may have left in the church. Feel free to call Cindy at the rectory, M-F, 9AM—1:30PM, 203-324-1553 x21.

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

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 .

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: or 203-866-1606: Next meeting: Monday, June 3rd.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, May 18, 2013
4:00 +George Terenzio 2nd Anniversary req. Terenzio Family
Sunday, May 19, 2013
7:30 +Deceased members of Sexton and Winter Families req. Hannah Sexton Young
8:30 Marion Morris req. Diane Strain
10:00 +Deceased members of the Evaristo Family req. S. E. DePreta
11:30 Special Intentions Agnes Kung req. Joseph Kung
5:00 +Alphonse and Lucy Alagia
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, May 20, 2013
8:00 Special Intentions Father Walsh
12:10 Pope Benedict XVI: God’s Blessings req. Our Lady of Loretto Altar Guild
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
8:00 +Alliance Sauver req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 Special Intentions Joseph Kung req. Agnes Kung
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
8:00 Thanksgiving req. Montanise Paulemon
12:10 +Raymond Hull req. McMurchy Family
Thursday, May 23, 2013
8:00 +Frank Byrne
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Friday, May 24, 2013
8:00 Father Brian Gannon 16th Anniversary req. Sharon Gannon
12:10 The Persecuted Roman Catholic Church in China req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
Saturday, May 25, 2013
8:00 +Margaret Mary Cycon req. Thomas Cycon
12:10 +Corrie Evans req. Barbara Chiamulera

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

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: Starts again in September.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:
130 years ago, or so:
May 26, 1882: “The services at the R. C. church last Sunday morning were of more than ordinary interest from the fact that the celebrant of High Mass was Rev. Father Bernard Kelly, a young man of Stamford who has just been ordained as a priest, and who, on the above occasion, conducted Mass for the first time. Father Kelly is a graduate of Villanova College, near Philadelphia. He has been appointed to a curacy in Yankton, Dakota, and will shortly begin his clerical labors in that new and distant field.”

85 years ago, or so:
May 24, 1929: FUNERAL SERVICE TODAY FOR LATE FATHER CONNORS. “Escorted by a squad of four Stamford motorcycle policemen and a delegation from the Charles Carroll of Carrollton Club of Stamford, the body of the Rev. Patrick F. Connors, born in Stamford, was brought from Bethel, where he died Tuesday night in the rectory of St. Mary’s Church, of which he was the pastor, to Stamford interment in St. John’s Cemetery, Springdale, this afternoon. The funeral escort left Bethel Shortly after 1:30 this afternoon.”

70 years ago, or so:
May 22, 1941: Father Matutis To Sing Solemn High Mass Here. “The Rev. Joseph John Matutis, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leon F. Matutis of Henry St., will sing his first solemn Mass Sunday in St. John’s Church at 11. The Rev. Charles E. Hagearty, assistant pastor of St. John’s, will deliver the sermon. The Rev. Charles H. Corcoran, assistant pastor of St. Lawrence Church, West Haven, will be deacon, and the Rev. Francis Shea of St. Thomas Church, Fairfield, will be subdeacon. The Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman, pastor of St. John’s, will act as arch-priest.”

65 years ago, or so:
May 26, 1949: Stamford To Mark Memorial Day; Rites At Cemetery. “Municipal offices, manufacturing plants, stores and schools will be closed on Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day. Services at St. John’s Cemetery, Springdale, will be held Monday morning at 11, under the direction of St. John’s Post, No. 1006, Catholic War Veterans. The Rev. Patrick Donnelly will deliver the sermon, and a salute will be fired by the American Legion firing squad. Dr. William Troy of St. John’s Post will read the Gettysburg Address, and Reginald Connolly of St. Mary’s Post, CWV, will deliver General Logan’s Order. Names of all veterans who died during the year will be read by John White. The ceremonies will close with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.”

Religious Education’s Annual “Celebration of the Sacraments”
May 19th in the Church Hall 5:45 pm
-Fr. Terry Walsh

Join us this evening in the Nagle Hall just after the 5:oo pm Mass for a wonderful celebration to end the Religious Education year. The St. Anne Society is sponsoring once again a dinner that will include pizza, pasta, hot dogs, and other assorted foods and desserts along with lots of fun. While our teachers will be offering various awards to students tonight, we are in fact honoring all the students with the dinner and thanking them for their hard work and their participation throughout the year. Their weekly participation has been an avenue of grace for each of them to contribute to the good of all their classmates. I would like to thank our dedicated teachers who have once again demonstrated tireless devotion to teaching the children of St. John’s the faith, or rather, complementing what you are teaching them at home. Our teachers spend many hours planning lessons and they approach their classrooms with genuine love—for God and for you. As you know, they are readily available to meet with you personally or even to have a brief conversation on the telephone about any questions or concerns you or your children might have concerning the material they are covering. I would simply like to acknowledge them: First Grade, Diane Kremheller; 2nd Grade, Maria Marchetti, Sister Luigi and Sister Maria; John Pendergast teaches the 3rd class concerning Holy Communion. 3rd grade, Marie Boursiquot; 4th Grade, Michelle Sherry; 5th Grade, Leah Kurtz; 6th Grade, Sue Kremheller; 7th Grade, Fr. Audette; 8th Grade, Suzi Trotta, and the Confirmation Class is taught by Trish and Doug DePhillips. Our faithful substitute, Joe Maker, has always been available in the event that one of our teachers was unavailable to teach. He was ably assisted this year by Frank Carpanzano, as well as Tom and Anmarie Galgano.

As you know, our Confirmation program includes participation in the Francis and Clare Society (Youth Group for High School students) that meets twice a month. Deirdre Garrahan and her team of young adults brought an entirely new component to our program this year that yielded wonderful graces and will continue to be an integral part of our Confirmation program in the years ahead. One of the sessions each month focuses on the material the students have been learning in the classroom in preparation for Confirmation, but in a more informal atmosphere. The evening includes fun and games as well as a pizza dinner. One of the principle aims of the Francis and Clare Society is to help our young people cultivate a great love of the faith through their conversations with one another. I hope that this year’s Confirmation class will return to the Francis and Clare Society next year and remain in the program throughout their High School days putting into practice all they have learned as they help mentor the classes that follow them over these next years. They have a wonderful opportunity to cultivate and maintain a great youth group experience here at St. John’s—one that will certainly yield wonderful graces for them as they take the next step out into the world after graduating from High School. The Francis and Clare Society will help strengthen their faith in God and prepare them for the many challenges they will face in the years to come.

I would especially like to thank my assistant, Ann Marie Carpanzano. She has done exceptional work in our program handling many of the administrative tasks so necessary to keep things running smoothly. Cindy Hulbert, our parish secretary, along with our office staff, Jeffrey Spetland, Lisa D’Acunto, Ferry Galbert, and Andrew Mbabaali were likewise involved in much of the administrative work. Finally, I would like to thank Ferry Galbert, Andrew Mbabaali, and Kolbe Duffy for their work with the Dominic Savio Society for 7th and 8th grade youth group for boys, as well as Beth Carpanzano and her daughters, Anne Marie and Marissa Carpanzano, for their wonderful contributions with the youth group, the “Maria Goretti Society” for 7th and 8th grade girls. I would especially note the great success of the Maria Goretti annual can food drive at Thanksgiving and their annual visit to St. Camilla’s convalescent home each spring.

We are likewise blessed to have many assistant volunteers who have been a tremendous help to our program this year. We had many helpful assistants (members of the St. Dominic Society, St. Maria Goretti Society, and the Francis and Clare Society) to our teachers throughout the year who were responsible for many of the organizing tasks of the classroom each week. These include: John Pendergast, Gus Pendergast, Lizzy Trotta, Maria Gabriela Mosa, Daniella Mosa, Rob Fabrizio, Marissa Carpanzano, Sara Alva, Kolbe Duffy, and Julianne Duffy.

Leah and Wendell Kurtz taught our RCIA candidates from September to May and these candidates will be confirmed today, Pentecost Sunday, at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport. Congratulations to all!!!

Early Registration for next Fall is encouraged. We will be expanding our “online” program to include 6th, 7th, and 8th grades next year. It was a tremendous success for our Confirmation class, serving as a helpful complement to our classroom lessons.