For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday August 18, 2013

Assumption

Pastor’s Corner: August 15th was the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven. The Feast of the Assumption of Mary is the fulfillment of Christ’s promise of glory and eternal salvation of the whole human person, body and soul.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the first after Our Lord to experience the Resurrection of the Body: that’s what the Assumption of Mary is, her bodily resurrection into heaven. This is why she wears a crown: the crown of the one who has, as St. Paul describes it, run the race to the finish, and won, not a perishable crown of leaves, as did victorious athletes in ancient Rome, but the crown of eternal life in the flesh. Christ came to save the entire human person. Since we are composed of body and soul, that means He came to save both body and soul from eternal death. The body is important, everyone knows that. We know the world’s beauty, the love of our mothers, fathers, friends, husbands, wives, and children, because of our senses. We don’t intuit love or beauty; we know it through our sense experience; through our bodies. We enjoy the beauty of a day and of creation, the glories of human ingenuity and talents, music, art, literature, all through our senses. Our body is an essential part of us, as is our soul. Christ took on human flesh and became like us in everything but sin, so He could redeem the entire person. To think that eternal life is just for our souls is to hope for only partial salvation. As St. Paul says, we will see God face to face. Likewise, St. Paul instructs us, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?” As the image of God, then, our body is important, and respect for the body in human morality essential to the Christian for eternal life.

Our Lady, the closest and most perfect disciple of Christ is the first to experience this eternal life in the flesh. The Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven is about Christ’s promises and hard work coming to fruition for Mary and for all of us. In a homily by St. John of Damascus, an 8th century Father of the Church, we catch a glimpse of the mystery of Mary’s bodily Assumption into Heaven:

“How could Mary taste death from whom the true Life [Christ] flowed out to all? Yet she did fall under the law inflicted by Him whom she bore, and as a daughter of old Adam she suffered the old sentence of death, even as her Son did, who is Life itself. But now as Mother of the living God, she is fittingly taken up to heaven by Him. For how could death feed on this truly blessed one who had eagerly listened to the word of God; who at the Archangel’s salutation, filled with the Holy Spirit, conceived the Son of God; who without pain gave birth to Him; whose whole being was ever consecrated to her Creator? Could hell receive such a one? Could corruption destroy a body in which Life [Christ] had been brought forth? For her, beloved brethren, a way is prepared to heaven . . . For if Christ, the Way and the Truth, has said: ‘Where I am there also shall my servant be’, does it not follow that His Mother is surely with Him?”

The Assumption of Mary bodily into Heaven is a promise to us as well, that Christ’s hard won victory on the Cross can be shared by us too. The grave will not be our end, if we love Christ and strive to please Him in a virtuous and holy life through His Church. Christ showed His glory as God to the Apostles on Mount Tabor. He proved His love for us on the Cross. He fulfilled His promises by bringing His Mother to Heaven body and soul. Let us pray to Our Lady for strength to persevere that we too may share in this wondrous gift, body and soul, offered us by the Lord who loves us so much that He wants us with Him forever. – Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Reno Antonio Rosa, 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.

Monthly Collection . . . The second collection today will be the monthly 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 August 19th.

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.

Holy Name Society: Each Friday morning at 7:00 in the Rectory, 30+ parish men of all ages meet for coffee followed by adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, prayer, a spiritual conference and Benediction, ending at 7:50, just in time to go to Mass or work—or both! All men of the parish are welcome: just walk in the front or back door of the rectory, they’re unlocked, and follow your nose to the coffee and your ears to the conversation and laughter. Join us.

Sacred Heart Church: Stamford’s 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 and 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.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies: Begins anew this year each Wednesday evening during October, beginning on October 2nd at 7:30 pm in the Rectory. Being October, the month of Our Lady, we will read The Life of the Virgin by St. Maximus the Confessor. You can purchase the text on Amazon or Alibris: translated by Stephen Shoemaker, published by Yale University Press, 2012. A great spiritual classic: the oldest biography of Jesus’ Mother. Join us.

St. Leo 33rd Annual Parish Fair: at St. Leo Parish, 24 Roxbury Road, Stamford. Tuesday, August 27st through Friday, August 30th, from 6PM to 11PM and Saturday, August 31st, from 2PM to 11PM. Enjoy rides, games, live entertainment, international foods, bingo and our $10 raffle with a 1st prize 2013 Mercedes-Benz C300 4matic Sport. For more information: call
Denise Esposito at 203-322-1669 x227.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday August 11, 2013 $ 9,982.50
Sunday August 12, 2012 $ 12,235.30

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

August 25th, Sunday Readings: Is 66:18-21; Heb 12:5-7, 11-13; Lk 13:22-30.

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 17, 2013
4:00 +James Menard req. the McAleer Family
Sunday, August 18, 2013
7:30 Deceased members of Sexton and Winter Families req. Hannah Sexton Young
8:30 Scholastica Nabwire req. sons Michael and Andrew
10:00 +Dorothy Wargo 27th Anniversary req. Arthur Wargo
11:30 +Dominic Carpanzano req. Pasquale and Ida Carpanzano
5:00 +Fr. Rufin Kuveikis, O.F.M., Cap.
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, August 19, 2013
8:00 +Fred Valois req. Family
12:10 +Angelo Velez req. Anne Marie Samedi
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
8:00 +Daniel Alfred Kough req. Norise Perez
12:10 +Willie Longo req. Rose Gesualdi
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
8:00 +Howard B. Hillman req. Jacqueline Wetenhall
12:10 +Caridad Hernandez Guedes req. Irsa Garcia
Thursday, August 22, 2013
8:00 Intentions of the Blessed Virgin Mary
12:10 In Honor of the Divine Will of God req. Ferry G.
Friday, August 23, 2013
8:00 +Corrie M. Evans req. husband and daughter
12:10 +Jeannette Dowd req. Bill and Jeannine Steward
Saturday, August 24, 2013
8:00 +Ena, Osner, Ashley Lubin req. Marie Lubin Joseph
12:10 +Marjorie Dewey req. the Dewey 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: 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. Next meeting, October 2nd.

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:

145 years ago, or so:
THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
August 19, 1870: “The Catholic church in Stamford was crowded on Monday with a well pleased audience, the occasion being a grand sacred concert, and lecture on the doctrine of infallibility lately pronounced and defined by the Ecclesiastical Council at Rome. The general interest on this subject was demonstrated by the fact that large numbers, other than Catholic, were present and manifested their interest in the lecture by earnest attention. Of course the attraction of the concert drew a large number of the lovers of music, representing all classes of our citizens. The concert was given under the direction of Mr. Charles W. Smith, the well known musician of this town. It was a success. It was more. It astonished everybody, especially the “outsiders,” who went there from motives of curiosity or amusement, not by any means expecting to hear first class music artistically rendered.”

130 years ago, or so:
THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
August 23, 1884: STAMFORD. “The Forty Hours Devotion, which commenced last Friday, closed on Sunday with a solemn High Mass. Father Walsh, as celebrant, and Father Rogers, and an unknown priest from Fordham, as deacon and sub-deacon, and Father Crowley of Norwalk as master of ceremonies. The altar was tastefully decorated and the ceremonies very impressive, surpassing any of former years. The different societies and sodalities which took part in the procession after Mass presented a neat appearance: by their regalia and handsomely embellished banners, they were the Children of Mary, the Sacred Heart Sodality, the Society of the Infant Jesus, and St. Aloysius Sodality.”

50 years ago, or so:
THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
August 18, 1961: “A dinner honoring Archbishop Lawrence J. Shehan who, in the near future, will assume his new duties as co-adjutor Archbishop of Baltimore, Md., was held Thursday night by the board of directors of St. Joseph’s Hospital; the medical staff and the Sisters of St. Joseph. A buffet dinner was served in the doctors’ conference room by the hospital personnel under the supervision of the Sister dietitians. The Rt. Rev. Msgr. Nicholas P. Coleman, P.A., V.F., pastor of St. John’s Church, and treasurer of the hospital, speaking for the board of directors and the sisters, paid tribute to Archbishop Shehan and presented to him a spiritual bouquet from the Sister of St. Joseph and a check from the hospital.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Lawrence J. Shehan, who would go on to become a Cardinal, was the first Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport.)

Our Lady of Knock (Feast Day: August 21st)
– Fr. Terry Walsh

They sailed to America to begin anew in a land of hope and promise. Would they ever return to their loved ones left behind? In spite of the tremendous hardships their faith was not diminished; on the contrary, it grew more deeply rooted. Indeed, they carried it to America. Our parish of St. John’s was founded by these faithful immigrants in 1854. Just as they had endured religious persecution at home, so too were they greeted with it here in Stamford. It didn’t stop them. The Catholic Faith in Ireland persevered through unrelenting persecution, yet yielded enormous fruits and graces. The ‘Golden Age’ of Ireland, as it is known, produced great scholarship from the time of Saint Patrick through the 8th century. And while invasions, persecution and famine became characteristic of the Irish experience, these hardships served to deepen their faith. In 1536, the ‘self-proclaimed’ head of the Church (of England), King Henry VIII, sought to stamp out the Catholic Church in Ireland. The English persecution persisted even after the Catholic Emancipation Act was instituted some 300 years later in 1828. Henry VIII attacked the Monasteries which were the very heart of Ireland. These spiritual communities were also centers of Irish culture and provided various services that sustained entire villages. Henry tried to crush the spirit of the Irish by dismantling the Monasteries. Religious statues, paintings, and icons were destroyed and fidelity to the Pope was forbidden. Brutal martyrdom, kidnapping for slave labor, and general persecution persisted for three centuries. And yet, these terrible persecutions could not suppress the hearts and minds of the faithful. It seemed to buoy their resolve. They suffered devastating famines in the 1840’s and again in the 1870’s: over a million dead, over a million fled her shores. It was on the heels of this terrible suffering, on a rainy summer evening, August 21, 1879, that the faithful Irish received a great grace. Fifteen villagers were blessed to witness an extraordinary apparition lasting two hours. Only fifty years earlier, the villagers of the poor farming community of Knock constructed their Parish Church (a year before the Catholic Emancipation Act was passed in 1829) and they chose Saint John the Baptist as their patron. Like the Baptist, they too were out in the wilderness, searching for the Lamb. Centuries earlier, the Baptist pointed to Jesus: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”(John 1:29). Persecution did not diminish the gaze of the Irish. Throughout the centuries, they remained faithful to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and their devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the apparitions of our Lady, it seems that Mary always appears to the simple, humble, and very often the marginalized: Juan Diego at Guadalupe, Bernadette at Lourdes, and the children at Fatima and LaSalette. The same was true on that summer evening at Knock. And what did they see in that silent apparition? Just behind the Church, the witnesses tell us that the apparition hovered about 2 feet off the ground. The Blessed Virgin Mary was standing beside an Altar, and upon it stood a Lamb. Behind the Altar, a Cross. St. Joseph stood beside the Blessed Mother with his head bowed slightly and St. John the Evangelist stood next to him holding open the Bible. Angels surrounded the Altar. Although it was pouring rain, the apparition did not get wet, nor was the ground beneath them wet. While no words were spoken, the scene spoke volumes. Just as our Lady and the Beloved Disciple were present at the foot of the Cross at Calvary, so too are they beside the Altar at Holy Mass where the Innocent Lamb pours out His Blood for us. The Book of Revelation, written by St. John, is essentially about the Mass, the “Wedding Feast of the Lamb.” John writes, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”(Revelation 5:12).

Why do people around the world journey to the West of Ireland to visit the Shrine? The Very Reverend Paul Waldron pointed to the spiritual fruits: “Knock is a shrine of prayer and a school of suffering. It is Mary’s own hospital for her afflicted children. Here they come in their thousands, year after year to speak with Our Blessed Mother in consoling, intimate prayer, and to lay before her their poor bruised hearts and aching bodies. Some may be given the joy of health restored, but all are assured of a still greater blessing. They leave with the grace of a new understanding of their life and of the place that the Cross has in making them like their suffering Saviour. They leave, formed after Mary’s own Immaculate Heart….Here you have a Shrine that has been built not with material stones, but with gems far more precious, the millions of Rosaries that loving hearts and worn fingers have laid all these years at the feet of Our Lady of Knock”(Ibid., p.139). Indeed, four Popes have visited the Shrine, most recently Pope John Paul II on September 30, 1979.Our parish of St. John the Evangelist was founded by Irish immigrants a short time before the apparition in Knock. How wonderful it is that today the Knock Novena is prayed between the Feasts celebrating the final two Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, the Assumption and the Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth. While we may not be able to travel to the Emerald Isle to visit our Lady of Knock, we can rest assure that she hears the cries of Her faithful children and tirelessly intercedes for us with Her Son. Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland, pray for us!