For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday July 7, 2013

Pastor’s Corner. . . July 4th, the celebration of our nation’s Declaration of Independence, was always marked well in Stamford. This was particularly true following the American Civil War, when the sacrifice on the battlefields of so many thousands of Stamford’s young men was still a fresh and painful memory; and among the fallen were many Catholics from Saint John’s. Just ten years earlier, in 1855, a Stamford lawyer, William T. Minor was elected Connecticut’s governor, and the platform of his Know-Nothing Party was “to resist the insidious policy of the Church of Rome, and all other foreign influences against the institution of our country, by placing in all offices in the gift of the People, whether by election or appointment, none but native-born Protestant citizens.” The War provided a testing ground for much in America, including the popular Connecticut Yankee notion that would have willingly deprived Catholics of our rights granted by the U.S. Constitution. But the service of tens of thousands of Catholics on the battlefield, proved this false.

After the War, the articles bore a much friendlier tone than prior to 1865. The Advocate’s July 2, 1869 number ran a long article about the unofficial yet first noticeable post-War celebration, in which “. . . our Roman Catholic friends appear to be determined to do their part in making the Fourth what it ought to be—a day of popular enjoyment.” A week later, The Advocate reported what had happened on July 4th: church bells were rung, fire works exploded, citizens went to Shippan Point and Mianus Harbor to view the regatta. The paper observed, “The most exciting and interesting feature of the observances of the day is due to the public spirit and enterprise of our Irish-American [Catholics of Saint John’s ] citizens who celebrated the Fourth by a grand excursion and pic-nic in Woodside Park. Before proceeding to the park, a procession was formed which moved through the principal streets.” Parish priests, religious sisters, municipal dignitaries, along with the police and members of “the hook-and-ladder and hose company” joined with the throngs of Catholics marching through the city according to the various parish societies, accompanied by marching bands. “Last but not least, was a wagon drawn by four horses on which were grouped a number of young girls dressed in white, with red and blue favors, representing the several States in the Union.” Once arrived, refreshments, entertainments, games and dancing were provided until 7:00 p.m.

Those earlier Independence Day celebrations, especially following any of America’s wars, following were of exceptional importance, as a means of paying tribute to the fallen heroes and to those living veterans who had endured the unimaginable horrors of the battlefield to preserve our nation and our rights. Liberty in America was deemed precious, and the rights of all sufficient cause for war. Since the Civil War, Catholics were considered neighbors worthy to be called Americans, because so many had fought valiantly and died courageously on the battlefield to preserve the Union and the Constitution.

This July 4th, as the Church in the United States comes to the close of its Fortnight of Freedom, let us not forget that our liberties and freedoms are still precious, and still threatened, this time by our own President and his administration. They threaten the Religious Freedom of Catholics, by forcing the Catholic Church to act against its moral teachings, threatening enormous financial fines and closure of Catholic institutions if we do not comply. Even our earliest immigrant members of St. John’s Parish, who endured anti-Catholic prejudice, knew that such suffering was worthwhile, both because it was the lot of the true Christian to suffer for the Faith, in imitation of the Lord, and because being in the United States was worth suffering any hardship that might be required. The sense that the fight was worthwhile was understood by Catholics because of the nation’s Constitution, whose recognition of natural rights, including that of the First Amendment, Freedom of Religion, eventually won the day, allowing the Catholic Church to flourish and to establish the greatest non-government school system, medical and charitable services and universities open to everyone in the country. Today, these institutions are threatened by the United States government: all Catholic institutions must comply to the government mandate about health services, even though contrary to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, or pay enormous fines which would force their closure. Exemptions to other religious groups have been granted, but not to the Catholic Church. The result will be more than the closure of Catholic institutions; it will mean depriving millions of Catholics and non-Catholics of the Church’s educational, medical and charitable services, from schools to hospitals to soup kitchens, all could be closed, as has happened already in Boston. It may also force local parish churches to close.

Pray for our country, for our President, our Congress and, especially, for our troops. The U.S.A. is still the greatest nation on the planet; that’s why so many people still make their way to our shores– and many even make it to Stamford, the greatest city in Connecticut, and to Saint John’s!
—Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: John Duffy, Mary Bauer, Mary Rose Bauer, Gertha Laurent, Alexandra Laurent, 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, 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: Yvette Constant, Sr. Fernanda, P.O.S.C., 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.

Air Conditioning Collection . . . The second collection today will be the Air Conditioning 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 July 8th.

Banns of Marriage: Banns II: Lourdes Daniel Delbeau and Charles Lubens Perard

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.

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 vcomberi@gmail.com or at 203-559-6965, or Leah Kurtz at wkurtz@gmail.com or at 203-222-9796.

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.

ST. JOHN’S 2013 SUMMER CHOIR CAMP. . .All children ages 5-15 are encouraged to join our summer choir camp!  Registration is free, and the program runs from Monday, July 29th through Thursday, August 1st.  ALL CHILDREN MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE. For more information, or to register, please visit the St. John’s website, or use this shortcut link:  bit.ly/127dbxz

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday June 30, 2013 $ 11,856.50
Sunday July 1, 2012 $ 13,612.93

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

July 14th, Sunday Readings: Dt 30:10-14; Col 1:15-20; Lk 10:25-37.

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: $76,987.00. 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 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.

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
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 .

St. Clement Preschool . . . will be opening for the Fall of 2013.  NAEYC Accredited & School Readiness Program open to all 3 & 4 year old children.  Please call (203)323-4844 for information & an appointment for a tour.  

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, July 22nd.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, July 6, 2013
4:00 Special Intentions Terese Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
Sunday, July 7, 2013
7:30 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
8:30 +Monica and Noce Filipi req. their granddaughter
10:00 +Marie DeDominicis req. Nancy Longo and Family
11:30 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
5:00 +Fr. Rufin Kuveikis, O.F.M., Cap.
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, July 8, 2013
8:00 In Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary
12:10 +Patsy Cappiello req. Duffy Family
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
8:00 +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Jayson Jarrett req. Norma Jarrett
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
8:00 +Gwen Prodell
12:10 +James Henson req. John and Laura Pascale
Thursday, July 11, 2013
8:00 Special Intentions Josephine
12:10 Father Audette req. Millie Terenzio
Friday, July 12, 2013
8:00 +Elvira Mendicino req. Pasquale and Ida Carpanzano
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Maria Trivino
Saturday, July 13, 2013
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. the McAleer Family
12:10 +Irene Medwed 9th Anniversary req. Munro and DeVivo 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.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 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:
155 years ago, or so:
THE NEW YORK FREEMAN’S JOURNAL:
July 14, 1860: Ordinations. “On Thursday, the 20th of June, John Fagan, of the Hartford diocese received the sacred order of Sub-deaconship. On the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul, John Fagan received Deaconship. On Saturday, Feast of St. Paul, John Fagan was ordained a priest by the most Rev. Archbishop.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Rev. John Fagan was Pastor of St. John’s from 1868 to 1873. It was during his pastorate that construction on the present church began.)

140 years ago, or so:
THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
July 11, 1873: “The “glorious Fourth” passed quietly enough in Stamford. A large number of business men availed themselves of the holiday, to visit some of the attractive resorts on the Sound. On the other hand a large number of city visitors enjoyed their holiday in and around Stamford. One of the sensations of the day in Stamford was the procession to Woodside Park headed by the Stamford Band, and the drum corps connected with St. John’s Roman Catholic Church. The picnickers enjoyed themselves well as they usually do on such occasions, and nothing occurred to mar the success of the occasion.”

50 years ago, or so:
July 13, 1961: Mission Sunday Speakers Slated For Area Churches. “Several members of religious orders will be speaking in Stamford Catholic Churches Sunday in observance of Cooperative Mission Sunday. Among the 80 representatives of Catholic orders, assigned to speak throughout the diocese on Sunday, will be The Rev. Richard B. Morrow, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph J. Morrow of Stamford, who will discuss missionary work of the Church of Bernadette, at Masses at St. Gregory’s Church, Danbury.”

35 years ago, or so:
July 9, 1980: Bingo: gambling for fun, charity and a little profit. “On any weeknight, anywhere from 50 to 200 women crowd into cool basements and dank gamerooms throughout the city. They come to get away from the humdrum routine of their daily lives. They come to lose themselves in the excitement of trying to win a lot for a little. Tuesdays at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, a dollar will buy your eighteen squares of bingo numbers. Most players also buy “specials,” which are integrated into the regular bingo games throughout the evening. But no matter what the price, the players, come regularly, some playing at a different church every night.”

Summer Pilgrimages…
(From the Eagle) -Fr. Terry Walsh

Summer is here! It seems to offer such wonderful promise of new and exciting opportunities for wholesome adventure. Looking back on the days of my youth and the anticipation of the summer break from school, I remember what wonderful experiences we had packing up the family station wagon to visit new and interesting places. The six of us would pile into the car in the wee hours of the morning before the sun rose and off we went on some new adventure. Of course, only dad had to stay awake to drive. The rest of us would wake up when we pulled into some rest stop on the highway and break out the Captain Crunch and feast on a scrumptious breakfast of Ring Dings and Yodels (Chocolate). There were no TV’s or DVD players in the cars in those days and air conditioning meant rolling down the windows. Despite a lack of gadgets, there was no shortage of interesting things to see – each new day brought exciting new “firsts” for us. In a mere two or three weeks each summer, we would manage to camp out in the Smoky Mountains, wade in the Wisconsin Dells, traverse the dusty Badlands, wake to a magnificent sunrise at the Grand Canyon, or visit the stunning Montreal Cathedral. Reflecting on those extraordinary grace-filled experiences, the fondest memories seemed to be “between the lines”. Of course, visiting National Landmarks such as Mount Rushmore or the Great National Parks, such as Sequoia, gave us a deeper appreciation for our Country. As a teenager, these various summer adventures also taught me that things which at first seemed somehow beyond my reach were in fact attainable. Indeed, our Country became our classroom and the most valuable lessons learned had more to do with virtues than the wonderful places we visited. The simplest things were actually a source of pure joy – crossing into a new state usually led to a “Kodak Moment” – we all piled out of the wagon and took a picture to prove we actually went to Wyoming. But the real joy was experiencing these joys together and learning lessons – together. A deeper appreciation of the bountiful graces we were actually receiving throughout those wonderful adventures would become more clear years later – through more mature eyes – especially understanding the sacrifices made by mom and dad and the lessons they imparted to us: patience, kindness, sacrifice, and joy were part of each and every day.

It’s amazing what can be accomplished with a little simple planning, a few boxes of Captain Crunch, and a map. As summer approaches, why not consider planning a family adventure? Start local and see how it goes. And why not consider including a little pilgrimage as part of the itinerary? After all, what could be more natural for a faithful catholic family than to make a holy pilgrimage to a holy place once a year. There are so many possibilities “just around the corner”. One pilgrimage site I would highly recommend is a scenic two hour drive from Stamford: the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Stockbridge is a beautiful New England town nestled in the Berkshires and is also home to the Norman Rockwell Museum as well as Tanglewood. Begin at the Shrine and go from there. The Divine Mercy Shrine offers a variety of programs and liturgies. Visit the Grotto, walk the outdoor Stations of the Cross, or join the other pilgrims for the Chaplet at 3:00 pm, the Hour of Mercy, in the beautiful Chapel. For the more adventurous, I recommend picking up a copy of The Diary written by St. Faustina, and read a little bit before visiting the Shrine. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the sprawling fields that line the hilltop property. Don’t be surprised to enjoy immediate fruits from such an endeavor, although the greater portion will likely be welling up the rest of your lives – all because you went out of your way to meditate in a special way on the gift of faith and to offer thanks by incorporating a simple pilgrimage into the summer trip. What could be better than that? After visiting the Shrine, head over to a concert at Tanglewood a few minutes up the road. Camping out is optional. While it was always a regular part of the Walsh family itinerary, there are hotels and B&B’s that might be a bit more appealing. One possibility would be the historic Red Lion Inn in the center of town. The Inn has quite an interesting history. It actually began as a Stagecoach stop in the 1770’s. The kids can research the places that you visit with their ipods in the back seat. Of course, we only dreamed of ipods and the like in our travels back in the 70’s (especially when traveling through Pennsylvania – ok, there were some boring parts, but that’s life). When we hit a bit of a lull, Mom would pull out the Mobile Travel Guide and read to us about the places we would see later that day – much more entertaining than an ipod.

From Stockbridge, travel Northwest to the Shrine of the North American Martyrs and the birthplace of St. Kateri Tekakwitha in Auriesville, (Fultonville), New York. It rests in the Mohawk Valley. Perhaps a visit to Cooperstown could round out the day. It’s only an hour from the Shrine of the Martyrs to the Baseball Hall of Fame – America’s favorite pastime. And while a visit to the Hall of Fame would be fun, it would also offer a wonderful opportunity to teach the kids about true greatness. On the one hand, Cooperstown celebrates the accomplishments of truly gifted athletes at the game of baseball. The Shrine of the martyrs, on the other hand, celebrates the lives of the heroes of the faith who are enshrined forever in the Halls of Heaven. They bore witness to our Lord Jesus Christ even to the shedding of their blood for love of God and neighbor. And they did it right here in America. Perhaps on the drive home to Stamford, you might consider stopping by one of the holy places in New York, such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral, or in New Jersey, such as the Shrine of our Lady of Fatima. There are many holy places just a short distance from home and each of them helps make the home a holy place. Pilgrimages are a natural catholic way of life and can easily be incorporated into a travel itinerary that would include a variety of other interesting sites and places. Why not? When parents plan the vacation trip around the faith, they are making a statement to their children: This is important to us as a family. It becomes an occasion of grace and is quite naturally woven into the fabric of the family identity, not to mention yielding an increase in knowledge and understanding of the faith we profess. Who knows where a little pilgrimage will lead – today Litchfield, tomorrow Rome? Jerusalem? Such an excursion would emphasize the evangelical spirit of our faith, especially in the “Year of Faith.” Get an early start….