For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday June 9, 2013

Gazebo Pic1

Pastor’s Corner: The Rectory conservation/repair project is still in the planning stages. More bids have come in and there are some other contractors who have expressed interest in the project. Likewise, we are investigating the possibility of state or federal funds to assist in this work, since the rectory is of such historic and architectural importance in downtown Stamford.

All those who submitted bids have expressed curiosity about the interior structure of the walls. The building is structurally secure; we had architects and engineers inspect the rectory after I first arrived. The plan to install some type of insulation is stopped in its tracks since no one knows if there is sufficient “open” space inside the walls, for, behind the present-day white clapboarding [from the 1920’s], is the original mustard colored tongue and groove wooden siding [from 1857], and behind that is supposedly brickwork, serving as a firebreak [from 1850]. Gazebo Pic2 Since that is the case and, and since the small side porch or gazebo is collapsing, we’ve been discussing whether to begin by carefully taking the gazebo apart like a jigsaw puzzle [after having secured all necessary permits], and then open up the wall behind the gazebo to explore the actual structure. Then, once new concrete footings are in place, we’d reconstruct the gazebo using as much of the original wooden parts as possible. So far, this is only in the planning/discussion stage.

While ours is a simpler design [above], it reminded me of the 13th century sketch by Villard de Honnecort of the apse of Laon Cathedral in France [left]. You may have to squint to see the resemblance! Ours is a little Carpenter Gothic gem. Granted, it’s a far cry from even this early French Gothic at Laon, yet it reveals a knowledge and appreciation of classical architectural elements by the local Stamford artisans who built our rectory. They tried to replicate Greek and Roman classical design in the rectory as expressive of the democratic principles of the new American Republic. And, in the 1857 rebuild, they tried to recreate some of the grace of Old World architecture, using American Carpenter Gothic decorations. We are the beneficiaries of their talent and genius with our gazebo and the small balcony to its right. All the original carved decorative and support elements of the gazebo are in excellent condition, and will be reused in the reconstruction/conservation. This stage will be more like taking a jigsaw puzzle apart and putting it back together again. All that is original will be preserved; whatever damaged, conserved. Removing some of the present-day clapboarding behind the gazebo will also give us a much better idea how to proceed with the entire rectory. This could mean that the repair of the gazebo and investigation of the walls behind may be all we do until next year, especially if we investigate grants for historic preservation, which will take some time. Right now, we don’t have the money for the entire project. That being the case, we’ll do this in phases, with deliberation. If you have a ideas or suggestions, just give me a call [203-324-1553, ext. 11], or stop me after Mass and we can have a chat. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Anne Zerrenner, 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, 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: Donald Sabia, Robert Luden, Donna Fraleigh, 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.

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 June 10th.

Banns of Marriage: Banns I: Caroline Prado and Andrew Simonds Drury III

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.

Relics of Saints for June: On the Saint Joseph Altar: Saints Peter and Paul, Pamphilius, Peter Martyr, Dionysius, Francis, Julian, Norbert, Severinus, Primus, Queen Margaret, Barnabus, Onophrius, Anthony of Padua, Basil, Vitus, King Francis, Peregrinus, Gervase, Aloysius Gonzaga, Paulinus, Joan, John the Baptist, Gallicanus, Crescentius, Pope Leo II.

NEW BOOK: Monsignor DiGiovanni’s newest book: a brief biography of Cardinal Kung. You can order it on Amazon: Ignatius: The Life of Cardinal Ignatius Kung Pin-Mei. This is a paperback, and provides a readable account of the Cardinal’s heroic life, which includes photos of his family, as a young priest and bishop, as well as his trial and persecution for the Faith. It is an engaging read to put on your summer reading list. Order through the parish bookstore.

Summer Bible Discussion Group: For some cool summer reading! We will begin in the rectory on Tuesday, June 25th from 7-8:00 pm. and meet each Tuesday evening through the summer. We will read and discuss the Epistle of James, using: James: Pearls for Wise Living Study Set by Jeff Cavins and Sarah Christmyer. This is part of The Great Adventure Bible Study Series, published by Ascension Press, available there for $24.95. It is also available on Amazon through Adoremus Books for about $19.00. Everyone is welcome. Questions? please contact Vicki Johnson at or at 203-559-6965, or Leah Kurtz at or at 203-222-9796.

Fortnight of Freedom: Beginning June 22nd [Feast of Saints Thomas More and John Fisher] continuing through July 4th, every Catholic church in the country will observe special services and ask parishioners to offer special prayers to preserve religious freedom in our country. For Catholics this is particularly crucial because of the upcoming Supreme Court decisions about Obamacare, which forces Catholic institutions to offer health insurance providing services contrary to Catholic morality. Eucharistic Adoration each Monday evening during the Fortnight of Freedom will offer special prayers: please join us, and pray for our country.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday June 2, 2013 $ 12,054.00
Sunday June 3, 2012 $ 13,103.21
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

June 16th, Sunday Readings: 2 Sm 12:7-10, 13; Gal 2:16, 19-21; Lk 7:36—8:3.

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: $72,547. 00. 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.

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 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. Please call Cindy at the rectory, M-F, 9AM—1:30PM: 324-1553 ext. 21.

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 24th.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, June 8, 2013
4:00 +Veronica and John Buckheit req. Leon Taricani
Sunday, June 9, 2013
7:30 +David Espinoza req. Lucy Espinoza
8:30 +Richard Lauture req. Legion of Mary
10:00 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
11:30 +Livia Guidastri req. Niece-Rosemary Rebula
5:00 +Alphonse and Lucy Alagia
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, June 10, 2013
8:00 Deceased members of the Eimer and Reichardt Families
12:10 +John Sebestyan req. Peter Sebastian
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
8:00 Elmer Letterman req. Pam Rittman
12:10 Father Albert Audette req. Millie Terenzio
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
8:00 Father Albert Audette req. Josephine Languedoc
12:10 Deceased Friends of Joseph and Agnes Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
Thursday, June 13, 2013
8:00 Deceased members of the Menosky and Bober Families
12:10 In Thanksgiving of Favors Received req. Marion Morris
Friday, June 14, 2013
8:00 +Matthew Saccone
12:10 +Vera Dandry req. Laura and John Pascale
Saturday, June 15, 2013
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. the McAleer Family
12:10 +Josephine Fusaro req. Joan Pellegrino

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 and St. Maria Goretti Society: Will resume in September.

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.

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:
June 15, 1883: “The work of finishing up the interior of the new Catholic church on Atlantic street is making good progress under the direction of Mr. John Ennis. It involves the trimming and handling and placing in position of a great mass of heavy woodwork. It goes up to stay, and can’t be done in a day or month. A rumor has been brought, thought to be the invention of a discharged workman, that “no Protestants need apply” for a place in the mechanical force employed on the church. This is mere nonsense. Neither the master mechanic nor the clergy of the church entertain any such purpose or spirit. They employ good mechanics, and never ask a man whether he is a Jew or a Gentile, a Greek or a Roman, or anything else. Their only discrimination so far as the work on hand is concerned, is in favor of good carpenters.”

100 years ago, or so:
June 14, 1916: TOWN IS ENTHUSIASTIC OVER SCHOOL PARADE. “If the people responsible for the part the public and parochial school children of Stamford played today in the celebration of the 275th anniversary of the settlement of Stamford could have heard, they would have been pleased with themselves and with the world in general. Today’s spectacle was the greatest parade of school children in the history of Stamford. It was the prettiest parade of school children, if not the prettiest parade of any type in the history of Stamford. At least 4,000 children marched or rode, probably 4,500. The St. John’s Parochial School section presented more uniformity of costume and size of pupils than most of the others. All the girls were in white dresses with red white and blue sashes and white hats and the boys all wore white hats, white waists with blue anchors on the sleeves and blue sashes. The Parochial School children were given an ovation all along the line of march, and especially at the reviewing stand. In general, the girls in the parade wore white dresses with trimmings of their school colors. In many sections they also wore white hats, similarly trimmed. Some of the girls carried sun-shades in their school colors, or in red, white and blue, with a generous sprinkling of stars. Some carried Japanese sunshades. The boys, for the most part, wore white waists, except those who were in athletic, military, departmental or fancy costume. In many sections, boys wore white hats. Their waists and hats were, generally speaking, trimmed with the school colors or with the national colors. The principals and practically all of the teachers marched with their pupils or rode with them, in automobiles. Rev. John J. McGrath marched with the St. John Parochial School children.”

In Their Two Hearts
(The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
– Fr. Terry Walsh

The Solemnity of the Easter Season ended with the great feast of Pentecost 50 days after the Resurrection of our Lord. We “re-entered” Ordinary Time, a period that lasts 33-34 weeks of the Liturgical Cycle (beginning at the conclusion of the Christmas Season and interrupted for the Seasons of Lent and Easter). During “Ordinary Time” we celebrate 4 special feasts of our Lord: Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi, The Sacred Heart, and at the end of Ordinary Time, just before the 1st Sunday of Advent (the beginning of the New Liturgical Year) we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King.

Each year we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi on the Sunday that follows the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity (all determined by the date of Easter). Last Sunday we celebrated the Solemnity of Corpus Christi and entered into the “Octave” of this great Solemnity. Now, within the “Octave” of Corpus Christi (Sunday to Sunday) we celebrate both the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on (June 7th) the Friday – the day that commemorates His Crucifixion – and the Immaculate Heart of Mary on (June 8th) the Saturday – the day that Mary prayerfully waited for the Resurrection of Her Son. Notice the union of their two hearts. Wherever Jesus is, there is our Blessed Mother. Jesus was “given flesh” through Mary’s “Yes” and of course Mary was “given flesh” by her Son, Who created Her, the Immaculate Conception. Notice, too, that we celebrate feasts honoring Jesus and Mary ‘side by side’ in September each year as well: the “Triumph of the Cross” on September 14th followed by “Our Lady of Sorrows” on September 15th. Mary, of course, shares in the Passion of Her Son, spiritually. Just as their two Hearts are united in joy, so, too, are they united in pain and suffering. Theirs is an inseparable union.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus can be demonstrated in the Early Church and among the Patristic writers in the early centuries. There is a wonderful book tracing the devotion to the Sacred Heart throughout the history of the Church written by Timothy O’Donnell, entitled Heart of the Redeemer. It is a wonderful examination of the Devotion of the Body of Christ, the Church, has had to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, including detailed accounts of the Private Revelation of the Saints as well as the Scriptural accounts, beginning at the foot of the Cross when blood and water poured out of our Lord’s Heart when it was opened by the spear of the Roman Centurion.St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary provides a most wonderful understanding of the Immaculate Heart of our Lady. As we grow in our union with God through Mary, our Hearts will be formed into fonts of love as Jesus and Mary draw us into Divine Love. This short Treatise on the role of Mary in Salvation History is truly a treasure.Certainly the writings of St. Gertrude, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, and a host of others inspire us to devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus from which every good thing flows. St. Faustina put it this way: “In difficult moments, I will fix my gaze upon the silent Heart of Jesus, stretched upon the Cross, and from the exploding flames of His merciful Heart, will flow down upon me power and strength to keep fighting”(Diary, 906). Recall the Psalmist’s plea, “O search me God and know my heart. O test me and know my thoughts. See that I follow not the wrong path and lead me in the path of life eternal”(Psalm 139).
“My Heart is ready, O God/My heart is ready”(Psalms).