For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday Aug 11, 2013

Pastor’s Corner: Let’s continue our review of that 1912 mini-catechism:

Why is there a lamp kept burning constantly in front of the altar? The sanctuary lamp burning night and day before the tabernacle [the small room with the colored curtain in front of it, at the center of the high altar] means that the Blessed Sacrament—the consecrated host—is preserved there, and it invites us to pay homage to Our Lord who truly is present in the Blessed Sacrament. Since Our Lord taught that the Eucharist IS actually His resurrected Body and Blood, we know He is truly present in the tabernacle, [24/7], waiting for us to visit Him. The Church founded by Christ is the place in which we find the fullness of His revealed truth in Scripture and the Church’s teaching, as well as Christ, Himself, truly present in the Eucharist. The sanctuary lamp reminds us that He is there, waiting for us in the tabernacle.

Why do Catholics call their priest Father? The name Father, which Catholics give to their priests, is the result of the love and respect they feel for the minister of God, and it expresses at the same time most perfectly his manifold offices. St. Paul reminded Christians in Corinth that he was their spiritual father [I Cor 4:15] because of the numerous good things Paul brought them as one of Christ’s apostles and priests. When the Catholic addresses his priest with this endearing title, he remembers that this priest became his spiritual father by giving him the second birth in Baptism; that this priest is really his spiritual father, who advises, rebukes and warns him, who teaches him Holy Religion, gives him the bread of life in Holy Communion, joins him in Hold Wedlock, strengthens him in the hour of death, buries his remains and precedes his soul by his prayers to the judgment seat of God.

Do Catholics believe in the Bible? Of course. In fact, God wrote the books of the New Testament using Apostles and their disciples who were the founding fathers of the Catholic Church. Every homily preached in every Catholic church around the world is based on the Bible. The fact that we base every dogma of our faith on the Bible, the fact that the Catholic Church has always been the guardian of the Bible, that all our religious services contain readings from portions of the Bible, and that every priest, nun and religious brother, as well as many lay persons pray five times daily the Liturgy of the Hours [Breviary], which consists mainly of psalms of the Old Testament and readings from the New Testament, should be proof sufficient that Catholics believe in the Bible. We do not use the Bible, however, to create new beliefs, as some Christian groups do. We consider the Bible as the “Sacred Constitution” entrusted to our Holy Mother the Church to whom alone is given the right to interpret its meaning in accordance to the will of Jesus Christ, as Our Lord told His Apostles to “Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you, all days, even unto the consummation of the world” [Matt. 28:20].

Kind reader, this little book does not claim to be a complete exposition of Catholic doctrine, but you can obtain more literature on the subject for the mere asking one of the parish priests. Read Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church: study these sources of Catholic teaching and understand that the Catholic Church is the One personally founded by Christ, inviting every person on the planet to join and receive the benefits of His mercy and love.
—Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Silvana Smith, Juanita Evans, Joseph W. Evans, Connie Ward, Billy Therriault, Ron DeCamp, Keith Nicholson, Connor Walsh, Katherine Jean Kirby, O.S.F., John Duffy, Mary Rose Bauer, Mary Bauer, Catherine Olnek, 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, Megan Bobroske, Harrie Humphreys, Lena Cocchia, Msgr. Peter Dora, Margaret Kelly, Julia Oliveira.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Stephen Boccuzzi, John DeDomenici, Scott Clark, Richard 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.

Thursday, August 15TH. . .The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, IS a Holy Day of Obligation: All Catholics are obliged to attend Mass either the evening before at the vigil Mass on August 14th at 5:15 p.m., or on August 15th at 8:00 a.m.; 12:10 p.m.; or 5:15 p.m. Confessions will be heard prior to each Mass.

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 August 12th.

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.

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.

Sacred Heart Church Stamford,  The Italian National Parish, is celebrating “The 90th Anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone.”  Sacred Heart will be holding a fundraiser featuring “The Sicilian Tenors” on September 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm in the Church. The Tenors will sing music from Hollywood, Broadway to Italy.  Donation for the ticket is $75.00 each. For more information or tickets, please contact Sacred Heart Rectory at 203-324-9544 from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday August 4, 2013 $ 11,283.50
Sunday August 5, 2012 $ 12,692.66

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

August 18th, Sunday Readings: Jer 38:4-6, 8-10; Heb 12:1-4, Lk 12:49-53.

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: $82,876.00. 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.

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 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.

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, August 26th.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, August 10, 2013
4:00 Christina Strain Birthday Remembrance req. Diane Strain
Sunday, August 11, 2013
7:30 +Joan Pastiva req. Joseph Pastiva
8:30 Sp. Int. Claire Elliott req. Matthew and Alyssa Stachowiak
10:00 +Sheila and Robert Lockhart req. Harriet Lockhart
11:30 +Allyson Agostino req. the Duffy Family
5:00 +Fr. Rufin Kuveikis, O.F.M., Cap.
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, August 12, 2013
8:00 Sp. Int. Marie and David Dooley and Family req. Frank and Zofia Piotrowski
12:10 +Anthony and his father req. the Dewey Family
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
8:00 Sp. Int. Ed and Gail Ostrowski and Family req. Frank and Zofia Piotrowski
12:10 +Vincent and Theresa Yao-Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
8:00 Florence Ciccarello req. Bill Carello
12:10 Joseph Seidman req. the Dewey Family
5:15 +Nicholas Lazzaro req. Dr. Joe McAleer
Thursday, August 15, 2013
8:00 +John Maloney Birthday Remembrance req. Mary Maloney
12:10 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
5:15 Monsignor Stephen M. DiGiovanni req. Josephine Languedoc
Friday, August 16, 2013
8:00 +Michele Wrublewski req. Larry and Sandy Bolanowski
12:10 +Gene Tushaj req. Age
Saturday, August 17, 2013
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. the McAleer Family
12:10 +Jackie O’Connor req. Mary Gaine

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 ADVOCATE:
145 years ago, or so:
August 16, 1867: “The St. John’s Roman Catholic Benevolent Association will make an excursion on Thursday, 22d inst., to Five Mile River. This is a good Society and should be liberally patronized.”

110 years ago, or so:
August 15, 1903: ITALIANS CELEBRATING. “Local Italians who are Roman Catholics held a celebration today in honor of the festival of Maria Virginie Lassunta, or the Assumption, as the feast is known, in English. It is observed generally, but the Italians always celebrate it in an elaborate manner. A Solemn High Mass was held in St. John’s R. C. Church at 10:30, at which there was a large congregation, consisting mostly of Italians. The celebrant was Father Sullivan, who was assisted by Fathers Clyne and Flynn. Rev. Pasquale Monzelli of New Rochelle preached a sermon in Italian, which was heard with marked interest by his county people.”

85 years ago, or so:
August 18, 1930: “Raymond Farrell, junior assistant Scoutmaster of Stamford Troop 22, sponsored by St. John’s R. C. Church, qualified for advancement to Eagle Scout, the highest Scout rank, at the Court of Honor held at Camp Toquam on Aug. 2.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Raymond Farrell was the first Scout from St. John’s Troop to become an Eagle Scout.)

65 years ago, or so:
August 15, 1950: Pope To Proclaim Mary’s Assumption New Church Law. “Pope Pius has called a secret consistory to make belief in the bodily assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven a dogma of the Catholic Church, it was announced yesterday. The dogma will be the first added to the doctrine of the church in nearly 100 years. The last was that of the Immaculate Conception proclaimed on Dec. 8, 1854. Thousands devoted especially to the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, will be assembled from all parts of the world for one of the most important events of the 1950 Holy Year. The delegates are bringing thousands of statues of the Virgin, some of them from the world’s most noted shrines. Pope Pius, in proclaiming the dogma in St. Peter’s Basilica on the day of the Feast of All Saints, will speak “Ex Cathedra,” (from the chair), that is, when he is presumed by the Church to be infallible. The proclamation will compel all members of the church to believe that the Mother of Jesus was borne bodily into heaven or expose themselves to heresy. Belief in the assumption has been nearly universal in the church. Pope Benedict XIV, who reigned from 1740 to 1758, declaring “it is a probable opinion which to deny were impious and blasphemous.”

Reflections on a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (November 2012)
-Fr Terry Walsh
“I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near” (Is.50:7-8).

After offering Mass in the Church of the Transfiguration, we began our journey to Jerusalem, visiting several holy places along the way. As we descended Mt. Tabor, I thought about the love our Lord had for the Apostles. The Transfiguration was well beyond their comprehension, yet with gentle patience, Jesus tenderly anticipated the bewilderment Peter, James, John, and the others would experience when they witnessed the terrible suffering and cruel death Jesus would endure on the Cross. Our Lord knew their faith would be severely shaken and thus was preparing their hearts for the truth: He would die – and rise. Only a week earlier, Jesus had questioned the disciples, “Who do you day that I am?” Peter responded, “The Christ of God.” So much had happened in this short span of days for the Apostles: Peter’s Confession of faith, their journey to Tabor, the witnessing of the Transfiguration, hearing the Father’s voice, seeing Moses and Elijah! While they knew Jesus was indeed the Messiah, they failed to understand how He would accomplish His mission. Jesus explained: “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised”(Luke 9:21-22). The day after the Transfiguration, Jesus challenged them again to a deeper spiritual awakening: “‘Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men.’ But they did not understand…”(Luke 9:44). We drove east until we reached the Highway that runs South along the Jordan River. We began our trek into the Judean Desert, following in the footsteps of Jesus. The Jordan River, a few miles to our East, served as Israel’s border with Jordan. A barbed wire fence equipped with surveillance cameras prevented people from wandering into the forbidden plain – riddled with mines to deter invading armies – that stretched to the riverbank. We gazed upon beautiful mountains sloping down to a rather dusty flatland. As Jesus walked through this land in route to Jerusalem, He prepared the Apostles for what lie ahead: “And taking the Twelve, he said to them, ‘Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written of the Son of man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon, they will scourge him and kill him, and on the third day he will rise.’ But they understood none of these things…”(Luke 18: 31). We turned east onto a carefully guarded road recently opened to pilgrims, leading to the Jordan River. We walked to the staging area along the slow moving river. Armed soldiers on either side of the narrow water made sure no one swam across to the other side. We stepped into the muddy water, remembering that it was the place where John the Baptist had baptized Jesus and the Father’s voice was heard: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased”(Matthew 3:17). This was the place where, some 1200 years earlier, Joshua led the Israelites into the Promised Land. The night before their crossing, Joshua encouraged the people: “Sanctify yourselves; for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you”(Joshua 3:5). Likewise, Jesus, the true “Joshua”, encouraged the disciples at the Last Supper, the night before He would “crossover” and conquer death itself. He said to the weary Apostles, “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me”(John 14:1). We are sanctified through our faith in Jesus. We went on to visit Mount Temptation, where Jesus was tempted, and Jericho, the oldest city on earth. After visiting the Caves of the Essenes (Dead Sea Scrolls), we went for a swim in the Dead Sea. It seemed a little eerie. In the midst of so much tension between Israel and her neighbors, there seemed to be a peculiar peace and tranquility there. Floating upon the sea as if on a comfortable bed, I gazed at the afternoon sunlight draped over the Judean Mountains, casting a colorful shadow over throughout the land. From the Dead Sea, we drove up to Jerusalem where we would spend the last days of our Pilgrimage contemplating the Passion of our Lord. Indeed, it seemed as though the whole pilgrimage had been a preparation for meditation. The next morning, we entered the Old City to pray the Stations of the Cross before the crowds filled the narrow cobblestone streets. We prayed the last four Stations in the square behind the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It was simply too crowded inside the Church to pray together at the actual Station sites. We entered the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and were overwhelmed by its sheer size. We climbed the staircase that landed at the Chapel in front of the Twelfth Station and there we reverenced the very Rock where Jesus was crucified. Each and every place we visited throughout the pilgrimage led to this one – the Cross. Beside the Altar that was built upon the Rock where Jesus died, there was an icon of Our Lady of Sorrows who stood in this place gazing upon her Son as He hung dying, hearing His words: “Woman, behold your son.” We made our way back down to the main level into the Chapel of the Crusaders where we offered Mass – at the ‘Mystical Calvary’ – the Altar of our Lord. Immediately after Mass, we joined the long line that sought entrance into the Tomb where our Lord was laid to rest after having been taken down from the Cross. As the line inched forward, we silently prayed the Rosary. Five pilgrims at a time would enter the Tomb and pray for a few moments in this most sacred place. We spent the rest of the day visiting places in the City connected to the Passion, beginning with the site where St. Peter denied our Lord three times. Near the home of Caiaphas, the High Priest who had convened the trial of our Lord, Jesus was thrown into a dark pit to await trial. We went down into that dungeon-like pit and huddled together for a few moments contemplating the 88th Psalm: “You have taken away my friends and made me hateful in their sight. Imprisoned, I cannot escape; my eyes are sunken with grief…They surround me all the day like a flood, they assail me all together. Friend and neighbor you have taken away: my one companion is darkness.”