For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday July 21, 2013

Pastor’s Corner: One of our life-long parishioners, Lawrence Bolanowski, has spent his waking hours for more than 30 years dedicated to the preservation of all things concerning Saint John’s Parish. During the first 10 years of my time here, he drove one time each week from his home in New Jersey during the wee hours of the morning to leaf through the un-indexed pages of the Stamford Advocate at the Ferguson Library. He succeeded in photocopying more than 30 linear feet of news articles about every aspect of Saint John’s from 1850 through the present day. He also discovered and procured for the parish a large collection of vintage Catholic memorabilia, most of it specifically related to Saint John’s. We also now have a large collection of early Catholic books: devotional books, Catholic school books, and instructional books from the mid-19th century through the 1940’s. Among the books is a small pamphlet, Facts and Reasons, an Open Letter to Protestants, written by Fr. Ambrose Reger, O.S.B., published in 1912. It is basically an explanation of Catholic life for non-Catholics at the turn of the 20th century. Most of the list of basics are unknown to Catholics today. Since the Church teaches the same truths today as in the last century, during the next few weeks I will quote from this instructional work, and I think you’ll find it fascinating, AND may provide you with explanations why the Church believes and does what She believes and does. Here goes:
“What kind of people are the Catholics? Many seem to think that Catholics must bear an exterior mark of their religion. After they have seen the first specimen of a Catholic, they invariably exclaim, with a tone of disappointment in their voices: ‘Why! He looks just like anybody else.’ This is certainly true, for the simple reason that anybody may be or become a Catholic. The Catholic Church bars no one from her membership, who is willing to lead a Christian life and keep her precepts. Color, rank, trade and nationality are not the question put to the candidate for Catholicism, but: Do you believe? It is the living faith that saves a person, not one’s money, nor honors, nor a person’s looks. Therefore you cannot tell a Catholic by his appearance and public actions, but you can tell a Catholic by the person’s private life at home, in church and at work.
In almost every Catholic house you will find:
Crucifixes and pictures of Our Lord and the Saints. The former show you a representation of Christ hanging on the cross. They are made of wood, stone, metal, etc. When Catholics pray, we turns toward the crucifix, not in adoration of the piece of sculptural art, but adoring Him whom it represents. We do not worship pictures, but we use them like books that teach, warn and encourage us. And if you see images of Saints in our homes, remember that Catholics do not adore the Virgin Mary and the Saints. The pictures remind us that the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints were real people, like ourselves, who love God. It is true we entertain the greatest veneration for the Blessed Virgin and the heroic Christians of former ages whom the Church regards as Saints. But then, you likewise venerate the memory of the great men and women of the country; you speak in terms of highest respect of them, and decorate their graves and monuments. You venerate the mother of George Washington; why not the mother of Jesus Christ? You venerate the men who signed the Declaration of Independence; why not praise the men and women who by the shedding of their blood and by their sinless lives testified to the truth of Divine Religion? Our prayers to the Saints are entirely different from our prayers to God. We ask God to help us by His almighty power, but we ask the Saints to intercede for us and to pray in union with us to God, just as you might ask a friend to pray for you. We believe that our prayers gain in merit when they are accompanied by the intercession of the Saints, who, being friends of God, must surely have more influence with God than we poor sinners. All members of the Church are friends of the Saints, and we simply ask our friends in Heaven to help us by their prayers and their closeness to God.”
—More next week.
—Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Ron DeCamp, Keith Nicholson, Connor Walsh, Katherine Jean Kirby, O.S.F., John Duffy, 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, 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, Catherine Olnek, Margaret Kelly, Julia Oliveira.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Rick Agnew, M. Esther Hart, Cliff Linquist, Kathy Robustelli, 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, 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.

Co-Operative Mission Collection: Please drop your Co-operative Mission Collection envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory. There will only be one collection today.

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 22nd

Banns of Marriage:
Banns I: Ann Zopf and Andrew Patterson
Banns II: Brianne Leigh Tafuro and Thomas William Taylor III

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: +Vincent DeRosa req. Joan and John Kronk

Latin Reading Group: Cancelled for the summer.

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 for information.

Basilica Insignia: We have new symbols of our being a papal basilica: a new canopy and a new bell. Both are smaller and more practical for carrying in processions. The canopy or ombrellone was used to protect the popes during the early years of the Church as they walked in procession through Rome. Our canopy has the embroidered coats of arms of the basilica and of Pope Benedict XVI, who named St. John’s a basilica in 2009. The bell or tintinabulum alerted the people that the pope was passing by. Ours is made of carved pieces of oak that originally were part of the confessionals here at St. John’s. There is a small statue of St. Peter beneath the bell.

Summer Bible Discussion Group: For some cool summer reading! We meet each Tuesday evening through the summer from 7-8:00pm. 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. 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.

Novena of Saint Anne: Saint Anne is the mother of Our Lady. The Novena of prayers will begin on July 17th and continue each day following the 12:10 Mass [on Sunday, at the end of the 11:30 Mass] until the Feast Day, July 26th. Please join us and pray for your family.

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 July 14, 2013 $ 11,334.49
Sunday July 15, 2012 $ 12,059.13

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

July 28th, Sunday Readings: Gn 18:20-32, Col 2:12-14, Lk 11:1-13.

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: $81,747.00. 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.

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 .

IHM Homeschool Conference – August 2 & 3, 2013: The Immaculate Heart of Mary New York Homeschool and Parent Conference will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel Tarrytown, 455 South Broadway, in Tarrytown, on Friday, August 2nd (2:00pm – 8:00pm) and on Saturday, August 3rd (9:30am – 3:30pm). Confirmed speakers include: Fr. Andrew Apostoli, Fr. Gerald Murray, Dr. Catherine Moran, Mrs. Mary Ellen Barrett, and Mrs. Colleen Hammond! Admission is free and pre-registration is not required. For more information, please visit www.ihmconference.org or call : 540-636-1946.

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: this Monday, July 22nd.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, July 20, 2013
4:00 Special Intentions req. Borromeo Family
Sunday, July 21, 2013
7:30 +Margretta DeVivo 6th Anniversary req. Munro and DeVivo Family
8:30 In Honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for a favor req. Blanca Soto
10:00 +Anna and Carmine Coniglio and Madeline Sabia req. Camille Coniglio
11:30 +Anthony and Derrick Ramos req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
5:00 +Fr. Rufin Kuveikis, O.F.M., Cap.
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, July 22, 2013
8:00 +Thomas G. Moran Jr. req. Mary Gaine
12:10 +Frederick R. Schmitt req. Hannah Sexton Young
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
8:00 +James Bivona req. Angela Giannitti
12:10 +Phyllis C. Bonanni req. Craig and Cristina Fioravanti
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
8:00 Special Intentions John and Lori Ostrowski req. Frank and Zofia Piotrowski
12:10 +Mary Agostino req. the Duffey Family
Thursday, July 25, 2013
8:00 +Lisa Rich-Coats req. Paul Polotaye
12:10 Deceased friends of Joseph and Agnes Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
Friday, July 26, 2013
8:00 +Julius and Elizabeth Sebestyan req. Peter Sebastian
12:10 +Bridget Cebulski req. Duffy Family
Saturday, July 27, 2013
8:00 +Anna Do req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 In Honor of the Divine Will of the Holy Trinity

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: Fridays, 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 Msgr. Nagle Hall. 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:.

130 years ago, or so:
THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
July 28, 1882: “The Young Men’s Temperance Society of St. John’s R. C. church are organizing another grand popular picnic, to be given in Woodside Park next Thursday, August 3rd. Athletic sports, games, trotting races, music, dancing and other picnic attractions are on the programme, and the prospect is that the affair will have the largest attendance and best fun of the picnic season.”

125 years ago, or so:
THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
July 26, 1889: “Rev. Father Buckley, S.J., will be at St. John’s R.C. Church Sunday, August 4th, to establish The League of the Sacred Heart.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: The 1889 charter, establishing St. John’s as a member of the League of the Sacred Heart, proudly hangs in the priests’ sacristy of St. John’s Church.)

120 years ago, or so:
THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
July 25, 1891: STAMFORD. “The delegation headed by Rev. Father Keena to the shrine of St. Anne Toronto, Canada, arrived home last Friday. All seemed deeply impressed with the pilgrimage and claim they are much benefited by the journey. Some miraculous cures have often taken place at this shrine.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: in the following year, 1892, Father Keena formally organized the St. Anne’s Society at St. John’s, which still exists today.)

75 years ago, or so:
THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
July 25, 1938: Local A.O.H. Unit To Hold Outing at Woronowich’s Farm. “Members of the General Philip Sheridan branch, A.O.H., will hold an outing at Woronowich’s Farm, Wildwood Rd., next Sunday, when plans for the annual field day and picnic of the organization will be completed. The latter event is scheduled Sunday, August 14, at Geriak’s Farm, Intervale Rd. Malachy Lyman is chairman of the annual outing. Next Sunday’s picnic, limited to members, will be a “booster” meeting for the August event. The Rev. Thomas McMahon of St. Clement’s Church and the Rev. Michael J. Sullivan of St. John’s Church were admitted to the Sheridan branch at a meeting and social Friday night. The auxiliaries and State officers were present for the initiation of members, including Miss Rita Cooney of Shelton, State president; Mrs. Margaret Bliss of Bridgeport, county president; and Miss Mary Walsh of Shelton, county historian.”

Credo, “I Believe….”
– Fr Terry Walsh
As part of the “Church Militant” – that is, the Church on Earth fighting against sin and temptation – our banner is the Cross and our “Fight Song” is the Creed: the Apostles Creed, which of course comes to us through the Apostles, as well as the Nicean Creed, which comes to us through the Church by way of the Apostles. The Creed is our ‘Profession of Faith.’ We read in the letter to the Hebrews, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Notice the Trinitarian nature of the Creed: we begin by professing our faith in God the Father, then declare our faith in God the Son, and finally we confess our faith in the Holy Spirit. The Catechism teaches us, “The first part speaks of the First divine Person and the wonderful work of creation; the next speaks of the Second divine Person and the mystery of his redemption of men; the final part speaks of the Third divine Person, the origin and source of our sanctification.”(ccc190). “Faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God. At the same time, and inseparably, it is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed…For a Christian, believing in God cannot be separated from believing in the One he sent, his ‘beloved Son,’ in whom the Father is ‘well pleased.’…One cannot believe in Jesus Christ without sharing in His Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals to man who Jesus is…we believe in the Holy Spirit because He is God”(ccc150ff).

Faith is a gift that God infuses into our souls at Baptism, that moment when we make our very 1st profession of Faith. At the same time, God infuses the virtues of hope and charity. These 3 “Theological Virtues” are nourished through our free cooperation with the Grace of God, which we receive ordinarily and most abundantly through the Sacraments. Naturally, our prayer life opens our hearts and minds to God and shows our true desire for Him, leading to a greater portion of grace. God doesn’t limit the amount of grace we can receive; rather, we are the ones who limit the grace we receive. If we close our hearts we block the abundant flow of grace God pours out to fill our souls—to heal us, to nourish and restore us, to strengthen us. As Jesus said from the Cross, “I thirst” – for YOU.– that you will draw near to the Throne of grace and receive! The abundant graces poured into our souls strengthen our faith, our hope, and ultimately our love. What a joy it is to grow in our knowledge and love of God and to express that joy in the Creed during the Holy Mass.

Then of course it is a matter of our “practicing” the faith – putting what we believe into action, or as St. Paul says, “faith working through love” – our acts of kindness and mercy, together with our prayer life, reading Sacred Scripture in order to come to know the Heart of God, and so on. Our declaration of our faith each Sunday during the Liturgy of the Holy Mass just after having been nourished by the Word and just before being nourished by the Eucharist is a great act of faith. We profess our faith in God as an act of Love. The more we practice our faith, the greater will be our understanding. “The same Holy Spirit constantly perfects faith by His gifts, so that Revelation may be more and more profoundly understood. In the words of St. Augustine, ‘I believe in order to understand; and I understand, the better to believe’”(ccc158).

In speaking about the Creed, St. Ambrose said: “This Creed is the Spiritual seal, our heart’s meditation and an ever-present guardian; it is, unquestionably, the treasure of our soul.” St. Jerome reminds us, however, that “Ignorance of the Scriptures is Ignorance of Christ!” In order to come to know the heart of God, to grow in faith and understanding of His love for us and the relationship we are called to share in, we need to open up the Scriptures and let the Word of God penetrate our hearts. As St. Cyril of Jerusalem teaches us: “…just as the mustard seed contains a great number of branches in a tiny grain, so too this summary of faith encompassed in a few words the whole knowledge of the true religion contained in the Old and New Testaments.”

As we grow in our faith, our “fight Song” will take on a greater meaning in our hearts and we will live it more profoundly in the circumstances of our daily lives. It’s a matter of habit…..and what better time to strengthen that habit during this “Year of Faith”!