For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday Sep 1, 2013

Pastor’s Corner: Even though we no longer have a parish school, each September begins the “new year” for parish activities and changes. Here is a brief list:

—On Saturday, September 21st, we will host a photographic exhibit of the life of Saint Padre Pio, The Photographer and the Saint. Beginning at 5:30 pm in the Monsignor Nagle Hall, unpublished photographs of the saint will be displayed by Patrizia Mastrorillo, daughter of the official photographer of Padre Pio’s monastery, Gaetano Mastrorillo. A video of the life and work of the saint, and refreshments will be offered. This event is sponsored by the Puglia Center of America. Everyone is invited to attend.

—Our Saint Monica Institute for Patristic Studies will begin on Wednesday, October 2nd at 7:30 pm in the Rectory, and each Wednesday during the month to read St. Maximus the Confessors’s Life of the Virgin Mary. Just walk in.

—On Sunday, October 13th during the 10 am Family Mass, the Parish will renew our consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

There will be some changes in the Mass and confessions schedules.

—Beginning next weekend, the weekend of September 7th: the professional choir will move from 11:30 to sing at the 10 a.m. Family Mass. The 11:30 am Mass will be moved back to 12 noon. The reason we moved it last year was because people mentioned that 12 noon was too late for Mass. Not so; in fact, the numbers are lower, so we’ll go back to 12 noon, BUT, the professional choir will not sing at that Mass any longer. The noon Mass will feature popular hymns.

—Beginning September 29th, the 8:30 Extraordinary Form Mass will be cancelled. When we began the Latin Mass nearly three years ago, we had a great number of people attending. Now, the numbers certainly do not demonstrate a “need” for this extraordinary Mass. I like the Latin Mass, but, if there is no need for it, as seen in the declining number of people attending, then there is no need to continue. Especially considering the very heavy Sunday schedule of Masses, Confessions, Baptisms and Sunday religious education classes. The intentions for the 8:30 Masses will be joined to the 12 noon Masses. The last Latin Mass will be offered on Sunday, September 22nd.

—The weekend Confession schedule will remain the same, with one change:
Saturday: 3-4 pm;

The one change is because we’re moving the 11:30 Mass to 12 noon:

Sunday: 7:00-7:30; 9:30-10:00; 11:30– 12 noon.

It has become the unhappy practice for many to arrive just a few minutes prior to the beginning of Mass, and lining up for Confession. It is not right that you go to Confession once Mass begins. So, beginning September 7th, when the Mass begins, the priest will stop hearing confessions—even if there is a line. Please, if you want to go to confession on the weekend, we’re here to be of service to you. BUT, you are also here to assist at Mass. If you want to go to confession before Mass, please come at least 20 minutes before the beginning of Mass, so there is no long line of late comers as Mass begins. Likewise, please do not insist that your children go to confession every week: once each month is sufficient, and it will give others the chance to confess before Masses begin. Thanks for your cooperation.

Please be mindful of the changes. God bless you. – Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Thomas Bernie, Ann Krupnik, Nancy Gallagher, Maria Wnek, Reno Antonio Rosa, Silvana Smith, Juanita Evans, Joseph W. Evans, Megan Bobroske, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Father Richard Futie, Charles Austin, Jr. , Carol Lovello, Joseph Michael Kirkland, Harry Parson, 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.

Special Annual Collection . . .The second collection today will be the Special Annual 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, tomorrow evening, Monday, September 2nd.

Banns of Marriage: Banns II: Allen Drenzek and Rian Heffron

Latin Reading Group: Cancelled for the summer.

Biblical Greek Grammar: An intermediate grammar/reading class: Basic grammatical knowledge of Biblical Greek is required. Thursdays at 6:30 pm in the Rectory. Call the rectory for information.

Padre Pio: September 21st: MARK YOU CALENDAR: A display of original photos of Saint Padre Pio and champagne reception in commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the saint’s death. The Msgr. Nagle Hall: 5:30-9:00 pm, Sponsored by the Puglia Center of America and the Diocese of Manfredonia. Everyone’s welcome: books of his photos will be available.

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 into English by Stephen Shoemaker, published by Yale University Press, 2012. A great spiritual classic: the oldest biography of Jesus’ Mother. Join us.

CAPP: A lay-led organization of business professionals founded by Pope John Paul II for the study and implementation of the Church’s social teachings. An introductory meeting will be held at Saint Michael’s Parish, 469 North Street, Greenwich, on Thursday, September 5th at 7:30 pm.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday August 25, 2013 $ 11,901.45
Sunday August 26, 2012 $ 12,144.36

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

Sept. 8th, Sunday Readings: Wis 9:13-18b; Phmn 9-10, 12-17; Lk 14:25-33.

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 in the Msgr. Nagle Parish hall each First Friday, beginning October: Oct 4, Nov 1, Dec 6, Jan 3, Feb 7, March 7, April 4, May 2. All ages are welcome. Please contact Bridget Bethray at, or Janet Lancaster at 203-637-3301,

St John’s Flock (20’s and 30’s Young Adult Ministry): Come join the Flock for meetings on Two Tuesdays a month and other social/service events. For more information, please go to or email

BIBLE STUDY: Fr. Walsh will lead our study of The Book of Isaiah, on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8 pm in the Rectory, beginning November 6th. Bring your Bible.

Francis & Clare: Our High School Youth Group. Students interested in being part of the Teen Leadership Group: E-mail 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

Electronic Giving – Offertory Donations Made Easy: Consider using your credit card for your weekly 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. 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. Schedules are flexible, and training is provided. Call 348-4355 or

St. Clement Preschool: 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: or 203-866-1606: Next meeting: Monday, September 23rd.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, August 31, 2013
4:00 +Catherine and Eugene Dzilinski req. Marie Carr
Sunday, September 1, 2013
7:30 Thanksgiving req. Thang Nguyen
8:30 +Salvatore Piria req. Rose Migliazza
10:00 +Rev. Stephen Gormley req. Legion of Mary
11:30 Hubert Franz Zappe req. the Dewey Family
5:00 +Fr. Rufin Kuveikis, O.F.M., Cap.
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, September 2, 2013
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 +M. Yvrose Ceide req. Montanise Paulemon
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
8:00 +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +John J. Hogan req. Paul and Maude Hughes
Wednesday, September 4, 2013

8:00 +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Gene Tushaj req. Age
Thursday, September 5, 2013
8:00 +Frank J. Skehan req. Maureen and Rick Carpiniello
12:10 +John A. Coughlin req. Eileen Carpanzano and Family
Friday, September 6, 2013
8:00 Faithful Departed
12:10 +Andrew Joseph Hoenig 1st Anniversary req. the Terenzio Family
Saturday, September 7, 2013
8:00 +Gene Luhrs req. McAleer Family
12:10 +James M. Duffy req. Duffy 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

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 Sunday, Sept. 22nd, after the 10:00 a.m. Family Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall.

St. John’s in THE NEWS:.

140 years ago, or so:
September 4, 1874: “The large stones lying in the neighborhood of St. John’s church, and complained of by a correspondent in our last issue as a nuisance, were promptly removed Monday morning.”

130 years ago, or so:
September 6, 1884: STAMFORD. “The people of this parish were surprised and grieved to learn on last Sunday the death of Rev. Eugene Gaffney of Thomaston. Father Gaffney, after his ordination, came to Stamford in 1867 and remained here about four years, acting as assistant Pastor under Father O’Neil and Father Fagan. He had been energetic and untiring in his devotion while performing the duties of his sacred calling and during his short stay in our parish, many can testify to his zealous labors as a priest and to his noble acts of friendship and goodness, the effects of which can be seen this day. He was largely instrumental in organizing St. Patrick’s Temperance society, which today is in a good and prosperous condition. By his death the diocese loses a good and faithful worker in God’s service and especially the people of Thomaston have reason to mourn their loss. His funeral, which took place on last Tuesday, was largely attended by the priests of this diocese. Fathers Rogers and Walsh were present. Our people should remember him in their prayers.”

100 years ago, or so:
September 8, 1913: SCHOOLS OVERCROWDED ON THE OPENING DAY. “The children of St. John’s Catholic parochial school began the school term this morning, after attending a Solemn High Mass at 8 a.m. in the church, which was celebrated by Rev. Thomas J. Sullivan, curate of the parish, who will have charge of the school work during the year. Father Sullivan said at noon that he could give no approximate number of pupils registered, but he thought there will be no overcrowding.”

50 years ago, or so:
September 5, 1963: New Parish Lines Set. “The boundaries of two new Stamford parishes have been announced by the Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, along with several clerical changes and appointments affecting the Stamford area. Two priests from St. John’s Church have been reassigned to Bridgeport parishes, with one area priest named as a new assistant at St. John’s. The new parishes of St. Bridget and St. Gabriel were both carved out of St. John’s parish.”

– Fr. Terry Walsh

Our last days in the Holy City of Jerusalem centered on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Commissioned by the Emperor Constantine, the enormous Romanesque Church was built over the Rock of Calvary where Jesus was crucified and the Tomb where He was buried, a mere forty yards away from the Cross, and where He rose from the dead. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is carefully divided among the Greek Orthodox, the Roman Catholic, and the Armenian Apostolic denominations, although the Coptic Orthodox, as well as the Ethiopian and Syrian Orthodox Churches also play a small role. Once again we were witnessing the divisions so characteristic of the Holy Land – even within the Christian Community. Upon entering the Church, we were greeted by a stunning mosaic depicting the preparation of the Body of Jesus for burial with a commemorative marble “Stone of Unction” beneath the mosaic, complete with beautiful hanging candle lamps. Throngs of pilgrims streamed into the Church, ascending the staircase that led to Calvary, just to the right of the “Stone of Unction”. The staircase opened into three Chapels side by side, the center Chapel belonging to the Greek Orthodox, with an altar directly over the Rock of Calvary, the 12th Station. The adjoining Roman Catholic “Chapel of the Nailing of the Cross” marked both the 11th and 13th Stations of the Cross. Pilgrims gradually moved to the center Chapel and one by one knelt before the altar, reaching down a narrow hole in the floor to touch the Rock. Icons flanked the altar, most notably, the Crucifixion scene and our Lady of Sorrows standing beside the Cross. Votive candles seemed to cast a colorful hue reminiscent of the hundreds of candles held at the beginning of the Easter Vigil. Fragrant incense released a sweet-smelling aroma, calling to mind the blessing of the gifts of bread and wine upon the altar in the Holy Mass. Although we were shoulder to shoulder in the tightly packed area in the small Chapels honoring the place where Jesus was crucified, there was nevertheless a reverential silence as people prayed, reflecting on the cost of our salvation. We returned to the main level to the “Chapel of Adam” built directly beneath Golgotha (Calvary), where tradition claims Adam had been buried. The New Adam came to heal the children of the Old Adam through the Cross. We found our way to “The Chapel of the Crusaders” where we offered Holy Mass and called to mind the profound realization that we were actually receiving the fruits of His Sacrifice where Jesus suffered, died, was buried, and rose from the dead. Months later, I am still digesting the graces of that moment. As Catholics, we believe the supernatural spiritual reality that wherever Mass is offered in the world, it is in fact, mystically at the foot of the Cross. Truly, we enter into that One sacrifice that took place some 2000 years ago whose efficacy nourishes all who worthily receive Him throughout all time! The “Mystical Calvary” unites all the Saints in Heaven with all the faithful here on earth – at every Mass. We made our way to the Tomb and joined the long line of pilgrims that patiently waited to venerate the place where Jesus was laid to rest. The Tomb is enclosed in a “Little House” of marble known as the Edicule, which contains two very small rooms. The first room is the Greek Orthodox “Chapel of the Angel” whose small altar contains a relic of the actual stone that was “rolled back” Easter morning. The inner room has a marble slab covering the actual stone where the Body of Jesus was placed. Five pilgrims at a time enter the small doorway into the Tomb, the holiest place on earth, to pray for a few precious seconds, reflecting on the complete “self-emptying” of Christ – that He actually died for us. Later, we made our way through the narrow cobblestone passages of Jerusalem, we finally arrived at the Church of the Dormition where the Blessed Virgin Mary was Assumed Body and Soul into Heaven. We began the next morning visiting the Church of St. Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary. The Romanesque Basilica was built in the 12th century over the home of St. Anne and St. Joachim. The Blessed Virgin Mary was born in a small cave just beneath the main level of the Basilica. We offered the Mass of the Immaculate Conception in the Sacristy Chapel in honor of our Lady. After dinner and a little rest, we returned to the Holy Sepulchre just before midnight for an extraordinary grace-filled experience. Since it was Saturday night, the Church remained open for the Vigil services. We walked through the dark and quiet alley ways of Jerusalem until we finally reached the Holy Sepulchre. We entered the candle lit Church and were greeted with loud and melodious chanting. Thuribles of burning incense drew many pilgrims to the Tomb where the Orthodox were conducting their lengthy service. A couple hours later, they gave way to the Armenian Service. Chanting and clouds of incense continued through the early morning hours until at last, the Catholics time had arrived promptly at 4:00 am. When we had arrived at midnight, our small group settled in various places in the Church to “watch and pray” as we waited for the Catholic Mass in the Tomb at 4:00 am. As I wandered around the Church, I thought about St. Mary Magdalene rushing to the tomb early on the morning of the Resurrection, seeking Jesus. I made my way up to the 12th Station to spend time at the foot of the Cross. As time drifted by and the Orthodox and Armenian pilgrims dispersed, I found myself all alone. When I heard the bells being rung, I moved from Calvary to the Tomb. The Catholic Mass was about to begin. As the priest went into the Tomb to prepare for Mass, I joined the Sisters of St. Bridget and a couple other religious in our group for Mass in the Tomb. Like St. Mary Magdalene, we too experienced the Risen One. He entered our souls through His gift of the Eucharist – Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, all made possible through the Paschal Mystery accomplished in this very place. Finally, we returned to the Hotel for a little rest before beginning our last day in the Holy Land. We boarded our bus for the short drive to the Bridgettine Convent where we had begun our pilgrimage several days earlier, giving us the opportunity to reflect not so much on how we had passed through the Holy Land, but rather, how the Holy Land had actually passed through us – our hearts and souls – and that we would be digesting the graces for years to come. As the Sun was setting, it seemed to be resting directly over the Church of the Dormition, shining upon Jerusalem. It’s beautiful rays seemed to whisper to us that the Blessed Virgin Mary, who gave birth to the true Light of the world, was drawing souls to her son. May the merciful Rays of the Risen One shine upon us and one day draw us into the true Holy Land – the love of the Holy Trinity, Heaven.