For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin June 23, 2013
Pastor’s Corner. . . In the year 67 AD, Saint Peter was crucified head downward nearby the present Basilica of Saint Peter, and Saint Paul beheaded near the present Basilica of Saint Paul: these basilicas were built over the tomb of each Apostle. From the very beginning, Christian tradition considered Peter and Paul inseparable in their ministry, even if they each had a different aspect of the same mission to fulfill. Peter was the first to confess his faith in Christ as the Son of God, received the Keys of Heaven from Christ, and was the leader of both the Apostles and of the Church developing directly from the Chosen People; Paul was given a gifted intellect to plumb the profundity of its richness to preach to the non-Jewish world. With different gifts, they worked for a single cause: the building up of the Church Christ began with the Apostles as its foundation, that would be called Catholic within 30 years of the Apostles’ martyrdom. St. Augustine made this observation: “Only one day is consecrated to the feast of the two apostles [June29th]. But they were also a single unit. Even if they were martyred on different days, they were one. Peter went ahead, Paul followed…Thus we celebrate this feast day, consecrated for us by the blood of these apostles” (Disc. 295, 7-8).
June 29th is the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. For the Church founded by Our Lord on the Apostles, with Saint Peter as her visible head, this solemnity is one of the most important, since it focuses on God’s generous desire to remain with us until the end of time through His Catholic Church; and upon man’s response, sometimes faltering, yet ultimately manifesting God’s power through human weakness.
Pope St. Leo the Great commented about Peter and Paul: “Of their merits and their virtues – which were superior from all accounts – we cannot think of anything contradictory or divisive, because Divine election had made them equal, their efforts similar and their end alike.” He continued, addressing the City of Rome: “These are your holy fathers, your true shepherds, who, as much as they were humanly very different from each other, and even if their relationship was not without tensions, Peter and Paul therefore appear as the initiators of a new city, as a concretization of a new and authentic way of being brothers, made possible by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” (In Natali Apostolorum., 69, 6-7)
And so we can say that on June 29th, the Church in Rome celebrates its birthday, inasmuch as the two Apostles had laid down its foundations by their faith and blood. Moreover, Rome now realizes with greater awareness its mission and its grandeur. In Rome, the link that gave Peter and Paul a common mission has assumed from the first centuries a very specific significance. Like the mythical brothers Romulus and Remus, attributed with the founding of the City of Rome, Peter and Paul are considered founders of the Church in Rome: But Peter and Paul were real men, not myths. The capital of the Roman Empire, which was described in the Book of Revelation as the Whore of Babylon, the destroyer of saints and martyrs, is now toppled by two political and social nobodies, Peter and Paul, victims of the Imperial persecutions themselves, who shed their blood for the true God they loved, in perfect imitation of Christ, and not for any earthly kingdom. “O, Felix Roma. . . Oh, Happy Rome, whose stones are consecrated by the blood of the Princes of the Apostles”, as an ancient hymn for this feast day proclaims. St. John Chrysostom wrote that “the sky is not as bright when the sun sheds its rays as the City of Rome which radiates the splendor of those burning torches (Peter and Paul) through all the world…This is the reason why we love this City…for these two pillars of the Church” (Comm. a Rom ,32).
Both men were martyred in 67 A.D., and Jerusalem fell in 70 A.D., when Temple was destroyed by the conqueror Titus, son of the Roman Emperor Vespasian. The New Covenant forged on the Cross between God and humanity, fulfilled and surpassed all other covenants since Abraham; the Temple of Jerusalem and its bloody sacrifices were no longer of any use. They were overshadowed and rendered ineffective by Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. With Christ’s resurrection and commission to the Apostles to preach his New Covenant, and to apply it throughout the world, God’s grace moves out of the Jerusalem and the world of the Old Covenant, and becomes centered in the political and social heart of the Gentile world, with a universal mission to offer salvation to the entire world by means of His Catholic—Universal—Church.
Let us say a special prayer for our Holy Father, Pope Francis, the Successor of Saint Peter, this weekend, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, that the Lord continue to bless and protect the Holy Father as he continues the work of Saint Peter in the world. Our statue of Saint Peter is vested in pontifical vestments, red, the color of apostles and martyrs. He and Saint Paul spent their lives and shed their blood to witness to the reality of Christ in the world. As American Catholics we should be proud that the Church founded by the Apostles Peter and Paul can thrive in our land, and let us pray that our freedom and religious liberty continue to be recognized as a God given right, and continue to be protected by law. —Msgr. DiGiovanni
Please pray for the sick: Jean Galasso, Jesus Orbagosa, Gary Everett, Robert Jegle, Bonnie Keyes, 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, Billy Therriault, Megan Bobroske, Harrie Humphreys, Lena Cocchia, Msgr. Peter Dora, Connie Ward, Flint Moger, Kathleen Moger, Catherine Olnek, Margaret Kelly, Julia Oliveira.
Please pray for those who have recently died: Anne Zerrenner, Gloria Donahue, 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 24th.
Banns of Marriage:
Banns II: Nitya Elizabeth Abraham and Terrence Peter Moduthagam
Banns II: Mary Cycon and Jeffrey Jon Firment Spetland
Banns III: 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. Call 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 email@example.com or at 203-559-6965, or Leah Kurtz at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 16, 2013 $ 10,407.00
Sunday June 17, 2012 $ 12,152.33
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
–Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
June 30th, Sunday Readings: 1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21; Gal 5:1, 13-18; Lk 9:51-62.
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: $74,387. 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 email@example.com, or Janet Lancaster at 203-637-3301, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Estate of Andrew & Violet Roddy: We recently received a sizeable bequest from these longtime parishioners of Saint John’s. Because of their love for our parish, they wanted to assist Saint John’s so that the good works the parish has done for over 150 years may continue for many more years in Downtown Stamford. Please keep Andrew and Violet Roddy in your prayers. Likewise, please consider remembering Saint John’s in your estate.
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).
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 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, June 24th.
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, June 22, 2013
4:00 +Charles and Josephine Davis req. Joseph Melfi
Sunday, June 23, 2013
7:30 +Anthony Lepore req. Rose Lepore
8:30 +Peter Corelli req. John Paul and Angela Marchetti
10:00 +Frances Delaney Birthday Remembrance req. Arthur Wargo
11:30 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
5:00 +Alphonse and Lucy Alagia
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, June 24, 2013
8:00 +Dominick Carpanzano req. Pasquale and Ida Carpanzano
12:10 Deceased members of the Lockhart Family req. Harriet Lockhart
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
8:00 Padre Guillermo Dove req. Maria Trivino
12:10 Monsignor DiGiovanni req. Millie Terenzio
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
8:00 Priests of the Parish, living and deceased req. the Dewey Family
12:10 +Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Raschella req. Armelle and Gary
Thursday, June 27, 2013
8:00 +Anna Giulia Iantorno req. Pasquale and Ida Carpanzano
12:10 +Richard Clark req. the Dewey Family
Friday, June 28, 2013
8:00 +Eugenia Carpanzano req. Pasquale and Ida Carpanzano
12:10 In Honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus req. Maria Trivino
Saturday, June 29, 2013
8:00 +Wladek and Willemina Falek req. daughter
12:10 +Marcy Stano req. Giannitti Family
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.email@example.com.
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 NEWS:
125 years ago, or so:
THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
June 28, 1890: STAMFORD. “Last Friday evening in St. John’s church about fifty promoters of the League of the Sacred Heart received diplomas and silver crosses, as tokens of the fact that they had faithfully fulfilled the obligations of their position for the past six months. This league numbers 1,500, and has done a great deal of good since its organization in the parish. On the same evening the children of the parish were consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The acts of consecration were read by Miss M. Sheehan and Master J. Dooley. For the proficiency shown by the children upon this occasion a large share of credit is due to the good Sisters of this parish, who took much pains with their training. The Rev Wm. H. Rogers explained the objects of the society, and in a few well chosen words congratulated its members upon the good they had done. The idea of this society is a sort of religious league, the members of which promise to assist each other in propagating devotion to the sacred heart of our Divine Lord, and aid each other by a union of prayer. The league is under the direction of Rev. T. Keena, who has labored zealously for its success.”
120 years ago, or so:
THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
June 29, 1893: Admitted to the High School. “The examinations of applicants for admission to the Stamford High School have resulted in the choice of the pupils following named. The total number of applicants was 91. Of this number 89 took the examination, and 74 successfully passed. The successful candidates include: ST. JOHN’S PAROCHIAL SCHOOL. Michael Boyle, Robbie Cahill, Mamie A. Daly, John A Maher, Richard A. Plunkett.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Michael Boyle is the man after whom Stamford High’s Boyle Stadium was named.)
60 years ago, or so:
June 29, 1953: Johnnies Win State CYO Title; Rip Meriden, 20—6. “The St. John’s CYO baseball nine qualified for the New England CYO championships by capturing the Connecticut title in a game played at the Stamford High School Field Sunday. The Johnnies romped over St. Rose’s of Meriden, 20—6. Tori Fauci led the St. John’s attack with four singles and a home run for a perfect day. Greg Clark and Bill Darling each had four hits in five trips. Home runs were hit by Clark and Larry Fayette. The Johnnies exploded for five runs in the fourth to break open a close battle. A triple by Luke Molloy, single by Fauci, along with a walk and error together with Clark’s four-play wallop accounted for the runs.”
The Writings of the Early Saints of the Church
“The Letter speaks of deeds; Allegory to faith; the Moral how to act; Anagogy our destiny.” – Medieval couplet (CCC 118)
– Fr. Terry Walsh
My first introduction to the “Early Fathers of the Church” better known as “The Patristics” occurred as I was reading through Bible Commentary trying to better understand a particular passage. Suddenly, the meaning became clear, much easier to comprehend. I began to see that the Scriptures could be read in many different ways, or what the Church calls the “Spiritual Sense.” The Catechism explains the various ways of reading the Bible and helps us understand the differences between the Literal and the Spiritual Senses.
“According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the Literal and the Spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the Allegorical, Moral, and Anagogical Senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church. The LITERAL SENSE is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: ‘All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the Literal(St. Thomas Aquinas)’. The SPIRITUAL SENSE: Thanks to the unity of God’s plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs. The ALLEGORICAL SENSE: We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ’s victory and also of Christian Baptism(see also 1 Corinthians 10:2). The MORAL SENSE: The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written ‘for our instruction’(1 Corinthians 10:11 and also Hebrews 3-4:11). The ANAGOGICAL SENSE: (Greek: anagoge; ‘leading’): We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem(Rev. 21:1 – 22:5)”Catechism (115-118).
The Patristics seem to soar in their spiritual insights of Sacred Scripture. What a truly rich history we enjoy in the Catholic Church. Each generation building upon the insights and reflections of the previous generations -one beautiful insight seems to spark another – like wildfire. We begin to see the amazing depth of the Scriptures and we’re able to apply them to our own lives –our work, our play, our joys and our sorrows, in a whole new way. There are many wonderful books available that unveil the meditations of these great Saints. For instance, there is a series of books called Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture published by Intervarsity Press. Each volume considers the various points of view from a select number of Patristics for each and every chapter of the Bible. Another Four Volume Set concerns itself only with the four Gospels: The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers by Ignatius Press. The Sacra Pagina series (published by The Liturgical Press) offers still another glimpse into the meditations of the Patristics. In all cases, the faithful benefit from the prayerful reflections of such greats as St. Augustine, St. Leo the Great, St. John Chrysostom, St. Bernard, St. Gregory the Great, St. Gregory Nyssa, St. Basil the Great, and the list goes on and on. If perhaps you prefer a mix of Saints that span the centuries (rather than those of the fist few centuries), you might enjoy the Navarre Bible Commentary Series which offers commentary from both the Patristics as well as such greats as St. Teresa of Alvia, St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, Blessed Pope John Paul II and other recent Popes, as well as the Faculty of Theology from Navarre University (English version published by Four Courts Press, Dublin, Ireland). I would also recommend a daily reflection book comprised of the meditations of the Patristics on a wide variety of topics concerning the spiritual life entitled: A Year with the Church Fathers, edited by Mike Aquilina and published by St. Benedict Press. It is a wonderful prayer book. There are of course many very good Bible Commentaries available to us today, but the insights of the Early Saints of the Church hold a special place in helping to develop the Theology of our Faith. St. Augustine, for instance, is known as The Doctor of Grace and The Doctor of the Trinity because of the exceptional work he did concerning these aspects of our faith. These volumes are readily available at any Catholic Bookstore and certainly Online. What wonderful additions they would make to a family library to help develop a wonderful appreciation for the Scriptures and the joy of deepening the understanding of our faith. There is a real communion between the saints as well. In a very real way, it’s a bit like having a conversation with the Church Triumphant.
Remember, if you read a page of the Bible each day, you will have read the Bible in about three years – ten minutes or so each day—and you will see all of Salvation History unfold before your eyes. What a Gift!