For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday May 26, 2013
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Pastor’s Corner: The rectory is a major concern. As everyone has noticed, the building needs much work. No substantial work has been done on the building since the present wooden siding was installed in the early 1920’s. [It was installed on top of the original clapboarding which is still under there: tongue and groove wooden planks, painted a mustard yellow: we have picture postcards from the first two decades of the last century, and the rectory painted yellow, with green shutters and red and white stripped awnings over each window. Pretty classy!]
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There are other factors rendering this project unique. First, the building is an historic treasure: this is one of the last Greek Revival homes left in Stamford. Built in 1850 by a local developer, Augustus Knowlton, it originally was a simple two storey, rectangular floor plan. The rectangle was divided in half, for two families: each side had a basement kitchen, a main floor sitting room and parlor, and two rooms on the second floor, with a shallow attic above. Each side of the house was joined by a staircase, rising from the basement to the attic, and each side had its own front door. A contemporary 1850 advertisement from The Advocate gives a good idea of the original structure in the picture above.
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The original, 1850 design is based on Knowlton’s idea of a Greek temple. It sits on three steps, running the length of the front porch. This was supported by seven simple Doric columns, each standing atop a rectangular wooden plinth. The wooden frames of the two door and ground floor windows are wider at the bottom and tapered at the top, imitating the door lintels of Greek temples. In mid-19th century America, this architectural style developed as an expression of the Democratic principles of the American Republic. Since Democracy was born in Greece, it was thought that Greek architecture best expressed the American ideal, even in private homes. The Greek Revival design elements are easier to recognize if you stand across Atlantic Street and look back at the rectory.
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The house was purchased in the late 1850’s by Galen A. Carter, Jr., a New York lawyer, who expanded the building to its present size—37 rooms with 27 fireplaces—adding a ball room, dinning room, upstairs kitchen, the entire third floor, and Mansard roof [sloping decorative roof], and gables. By adding a ball room and dinning room, he lengthened the front of the house, adding two more columns—replacing the originals with nine wooden fluted Corinthian columns, with carved wooden Corinthian capitals decorated with lotus blossoms and acanthus leaves [Acanthus is growing in front of the house].
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My thought is to remove the 1920’s siding, install insulation, and new siding. To add to the complexity of this project, there is an ingenious 1850 feature: the most advanced 1850 fire prevention system—brickwork fills the balloon framing of the exterior walls, to prevent fire from spreading through the walls to the upper rooms. The difficulty is that the brickwork makes the installation of any type of insulation nearly impossible! More on that later. Another tricky aspect of this is the original decorative woodwork, some of which is rotted. You can see this especially on the side of the rectory facing the church, along the garden walkway: look up at the soffit, or overhang of the roof, and you can see the rotted woodwork. The upper Mansard roof, all the decorative woodwork, built-in gutters and soffit all have to be repaired/restored or replaced. While standing on the side of the house, notice the gazebo: it is collapsing. However, the detailed wooden decorations are in relatively good shape.
Local builders and craftsmen are still submitting bids for the project. I think, at this point, the best approach would be to do this in phases: the first being the most necessary—the rebuilding/restoration of the gazebo, before it entirely collapses. The next phase would be the Mansard roof and the roof gables, replacing the asphalt shingles with new carriage house shingles, that look like fish scales, according to the original design. That’s the initial idea: let’s see what actually happens, once bids are all submitted, and I sit down with the parish Trustees, Financial Council and craftsmen who know about such things, then we can decide how to move ahead. Please say a few prayers. —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 Cavalli, 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: Frances White, Hugh Troshynski, 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.
Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: Special Intentions Paul Cavalli
St. Joseph Altar Votive Light: Special Intentions req. Jo and Ann Corcione
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 27th.
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.
Solemn High Mass for the Feasts of Corpus Christi and The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: On Thursday May 30, 2013 at 7:30 PM Saint Gabriel Church in Stamford will celebrate a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Latin Mass according to the 1962 Missal) for the Feast of Corpus Christi and on Friday June 7th at 7:30 PM, for the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Refreshments to follow in the Parish Meeting Room. Please join us!
Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday May 19, 2013 $ 11,006.00
Sunday May 20, 2012 $ 10,521.39
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.” —Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
June 2nd, Sunday Readings: Gn 14:18-20; 1 Cor 11:23-26; Lk 9:11b-17.
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: $60,527. 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 email@example.com, or Janet Lancaster at 203-637-3301, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
Francis & Clare: Our High School Youth Group. Students interested in being part of the Teen Leadership Group: E-mail Deirdre.firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
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 email@example.com.
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: Monday, June 3rd.
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, May 25, 2013
4:00 +Ines and Albert Gommi req. Leon Taricani
Sunday, May 26, 2013
7:30 +Anthony Lepore req. Rose Lepore
8:30 Monsignor Peter Dora req. The Legion of Mary of St. John the Evangelist Church
10:00 +Dorothy (Dora) Pellegrino req. Mary Bridget Gaine
11:30 The Persecuted Roman Catholic Church in China 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, May 27, 2013
8:00 +Deceased Veterans of the Parish
12:10 +Rick Cote
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
8:00 +John Carlson req. Sharon Gannon
12:10 +Andrew Joseph Hoenig req. Mary Jean DalMolin
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
8:00 +Margaret Curtis req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Michael A. Browne req. Marchetti Family
Thursday, May 30, 2013
8:00 +Edward J. McNamara req. Mary Jean DalMolin
12:10 Michael Guarnieri
Friday, May 31, 2013
8:00 In Honor of the Virgin Mary req. Montanise Paulemon
12:10 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
8:00 +Josephine Fusaro req. Pat Urso
12:10 +Thomas Davoren req. Bill Carello
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.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
DEDICATION OF ST. JOHN’S CHURCH, MAY 30, 1886
The NEW YORK TIMES:
STAMFORD’S NEW CHURCH. “The new Catholic Church of St. John the Evangelist, at the junction of Atlantic and Bell streets, was dedicated today with impressive ceremonies. By 10 o’clock, the hour for the beginning of the function, the new edifice, which has a seating capacity of 1,600, was not only entirely occupied but the congregation overflowed into the vestibule and out on the stoops. All the Catholics of Stamford, and they number 4,000, about one-fourth of the whole population, who could be there were present. At 10 o’clock the Right Rev. Lawrence S. McMahon, Bishop of Hartford, with his attendant ministers, emerged from the sanctuary and walked in procession down the middle aisle to the door and made a circuit of the exterior walls of the church, the Bishop sprinkling them with holy water, while the accompanying priests chanted the “Miserere.” Returning, the interior walls were likewise blessed, and when the altar was reached the litany of the saints was chanted. At the pontifical High Mass which followed, Bishop McMahon was celebrant. The sermon was preached by the Rev. Ignatius F. Horstmann, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In the evening, at vespers, the Rev. Dr McGlynn, of New York, preached, and the church was crowded. In general style the new edifice is said to resemble the Milan cathedral. The exterior dimensions are 100 by 180 feet. The material used is granite, quarried at Leites Island, near New Haven, from which the stone used for the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty came. The spire, which will not be built for some time, will be 250 feet high, the tallest in the State. The interior has 10 finely proportioned pillars, surmounted by beautifully arched capitals, whence rise graceful arcade arches. The sanctuary contains an altar of sculptured Italian marble, standing 30 feet high, with Mexican onyx pillars. Two transcepts have galleries with a seating capacity of 300 each, and the lower floor will seat 1,000 people. The pews and woodwork are of carved oak. The stained glass windows are very beautiful, and cost from $250 to $500 each. The central altar window is a memorial of the late Father Fagan, the founder of the church. The window representing the Ascension was presented by his successor, now of New Britain. The window on which is depicted the Visit of the Magi is the gift of the present Rector, the Rev. William H. Rogers. Father Walsh, of Litchfield, an assistant in Stamford for over seven years, presented the window representing the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. Three of the other windows were presented by church societies, and the rest by members of the congregation. Over fifteen years have been spent in the erection of the church, and its cost is about $250,000. Of this amount $50,000 remains unpaid.
The Year of Faith
– Fr. Terry Walsh
Is it reasonable to believe that there is One God and that He created all things in a beautiful and harmonious order simply out of love? Does it pass the reasonable test? Is it reasonable that at a particular “moment” the Holy Trinity chose to “share” His bountiful love and create a universe as a reflection of the very beauty, majesty and harmony within the Trinity? Is it reasonable that God created mankind in His own Image and Likeness, endowing us with an immortal, rational soul, along with the gift of freedom, giving us the ability to know Him and to love Him? Is it reasonable to believe that even after man utterly rejected God in the Garden of Eden, God would continue to love man, even to the point of coming to our rescue in the flesh? If we put the gifts of reason and freedom to work, we will come to understand that yes, indeed, it is reasonable when we consider the nature of our Creator: perfect in Power and Love. The gift of faith is open to all who humbly seek God. Although God promised the hope of a Redeemer immediately after Adam disobeyed Him, man needed to pursue virtue and come to understand the sacrificial nature of love. Throughout the Old Testament, God gradually led man along the path of righteousness. Consider the covenant relationship He initiated with Abraham (because of his faith!) and his descendants (all of us who believe) to fulfill the purpose of our existence – to know and love God. It’s a natural fit, after all, God has written the truth on our hearts. In other words, we can come to know and understand the proper order of God’s design, which begins and ends in love, through the use of the gift of reason which he has given us if we freely choose to seek the truth, and so be drawn into the love of God for all eternity – in Heaven. In his First Epistle, St. John explained: “Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love”(1John 4:7).
God has revealed that each one of us has been uniquely created in His Image and that we are loved personally by God. He extends to each of us an invitation to believe in Him and to love Him in return. It is reasonable. Jesus said, “He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And he who sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness”(John 12:44-46). The Light of Truth comes to all who seek Him and opens the heart and mind to the love of God. There is work involved in the process of faith. Remember the old garden metaphor: our soul is like a garden. When we respond to the invitation to believe, God plants the “theological virtues” in our garden. In other words, He plants the seed of Faith, Hope, and Charity in us. Are you a good gardener? If you tend the garden of your heart, opening it up in humble wonder of the gift of life, the wonder of Creation, the gentle whisper of God’s voice in your conscience – then the waters of grace will flow into your garden and water the seeds that God infused into your soul. Now, at times, the growth is painful – digging and churning and pulling up weeds. Yet, we also experience the consolation of a beautiful sunset, an encouraging word, a welcomed pat on the back. Graces come to the humble heart in abundance – they flow deeply into the heart of one who seeks them through simple prayer, reflection of the Scriptures, acts of kindness, perseverance, and the like. In other words, for the person who wants to know God, God will manifest Himself and bring peace. Our Lord assures us: “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him”(John 14: 23). Through childlike awe and wonder, we come to recognize that God became our Redeemer through the Mystery of the Incarnation in order to raise us up to a share in His Divine life. St. Paul rejoices: “But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’(Galatians 4:4). Think of it! Through our response: ‘Yes, I believe’ our Lord pours his sevenfold gift of grace into our souls. He has come to rescue all who believe and obey by clothing us in his divinity, protecting us from the fear of ever being lost or wounded again. Indeed, our least effort draws graces from Him that deepen our understanding and strengthen our resolve to persevere. Each small effort toward God is an act of faith! Consider the great Apostle, St. Peter. Our Lord invites Peter to follow Him and helps him to see the Truth. Peter proves to be most zealous in his desire to live according to the truth. And yet, the Scriptures also reveal a glimpse of Peter’s frailty. He makes mistakes, he falls. But even in these experiences, Peter teaches us a great lesson. He never quits! He acknowledges his weaknesses and calls out to our Lord for help. He begs pardon, he asks for healing. Indeed, time and again, he humbles himself and cooperates with the grace of God and grows in virtue, allowing God to water the garden of his soul – through consolation and desolation. He believes! Again, there is work involved. Faith isn’t simply a matter of saying “I believe” but rather, faith is entering into a relationship with God. It leads to a deep and abiding knowledge of God and demands an unequivocal response of love, or as St. Paul put it: “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love”(Ephesians 4:15-16). Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed “The Year of Faith” beginning October, 2012. What a wonderful opportunity to enrich the garden of our soul. What will you do to celebrate this gift? Why not initiate a program of prayer and study including the Rosary, the Bible, the Catechism, and the writings of the Saints? Whatever you decide to do, it will lead to an increase of faith!