For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday Sep 15, 2013

Pastor’s Corner: September 23rd is the Feast of Saint Padre Pio. His was a remarkable life, and we are pleased to host a special photographic exhibit of the life of Padre Pio’s life next Saturday, on September 21st at 5:30pm. The Catholic Faith formed the heart of the spiritual life of Padre Pio’s family: daily Mass and Rosary, the abstaining from eating meat three days each week, in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, memorization of Scriptural passages and the stories of the lives of the saints. Baptized Francesco, he consecrated himself to Our Lord when he was five years old, used to hum religious hymns, played Mass and loved to pray. By the age of 10, he told his parents he wanted to be a priest, and, following the visit to town by a Capuchin friar, completed the picture by telling them “I want to be a friar with a beard.” He was just your basic kid who wanted to be a priest! His parents believed him and brought him to the nearest Capuchin monastery to make inquiries. They were told that since Francesco’s education was rudimentary, he would need to pursue his studies further before being considered for religious life. The only education could be had by hiring a private tutor; to pay a tutor, is father traveled to America to find work—twice, to Mahoningtown, Pennsylvania in 1899, and again to Jamaica, New York in the first years of the 20th century. Padre Pio always remembered his father’s made great sacrifice: leaving his family and homeland to cross the ocean to earn money to pay for his son’s education, so he could become a priest.

On January 22, 1903, Francesco received the Habit of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, taking the name Pio, after Pope Saint Pius V, the great pope of the Catholic Reform of the 16th century. He was ordained a priest on August 10, 1910, the Feast of Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr of the early Church.

A little past his one year anniversary of ordination, Padre Pio became seriously ill, and was eventually sent home, where he lived his Capuchin life as closely as possible in his family’s small stone cottage, offering daily Mass and teaching school. He was recalled to monastic life in September, 1916, and assigned to the small Capuchin community under the patronage of Our Lady of Grace, in the town of San Giovanni Rotondo. Originally there were seven friars, but because of Italian military conscription, four of them had been drafted to serve in the Italian army during World War I. Padre Pio originally taught and served as the spiritual director in a small seminary; later he was named the rector. In August, 1917, Padre Pio himself was conscripted to serve in the Italian medical corps attending wounded Italian soldiers, a post he retained until March, 1918. Upon returning to San Giovanni Rotondo, Padre Pio also returned to his duties as spiritual director, living his motto, “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry.” He taught his students that they should follow a simple spiritual regimen: daily Communion; daily spiritual reading and meditation; daily examination of conscience, and weekly confession, charity. They should simply strive to please God in everything they did by seeking to live according to Our Lord’s own words, “Thy will be done.” One need not worry about anything else, he taught, so long as one sought God’s will in daily life.

In July 1918, Pope Benedict XV urged all Catholics to pray for the end of the war, and Padre Pio offered himself as a victim that the hostilities might end, willing to accept any sufferings as part of the Cross of Christ. From August 5th through the 7th, the young priest had a vision of Our Lord, who pierced Pio’s side, just as His had been on the Cross. It was an experience similar to that reported by Saint Philip Neri, who, while praying in the Roman Catacombs four centuries earlier, was overcome by agony, as his heart literally enlarged, breaking his ribs. Both saints interpreted these experiences as tangible signs of Our Lord’s Incarnate love for them, because Christ allowed them to participate in His Passion for the salvation of the world. On September 20th, Our Crucified Lord appeared again to Padre Pio, and he received the Stigmata—the five wounds of Christ, in his hands, feet and side—visible until the end of the saint’s life. He lived for God in daily prayer, hope and active charity.

Padre Pio is one of the most popular of saints, because he was very real. In his homily during the canonization of Pietralcina’s saintly son in 2001, Blessed Pope John Paul II told the crowds, “The life and mission of Padre Pio prove that difficulties and sorrows, if accepted out of love [for Christ] are transformed into a privileged way of holiness, which opens to prospects of a greater good, known only to the Lord. ‘But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ’ [Galatians 6:14]. Is it not, precisely, the ‘glory of the Cross’ that shines above all in Padre Pio? How timely is the spirituality of the Cross lived by the humble Capuchin of Pietrelcina! Our times have need of rediscovering its value in order to open the heart to hope.”

Love for Our Lord, fidelity to His Catholic Church, a life of prayer and charity, form the legacy to each of us today, as the pope mentioned in 2002: John Paul continued, “To pray, Padre Pio joined an intense charitable activity, of which the House for the Relief of Suffering is an extraordinary expression. Prayer and charity, this is the most concrete synthesis of Padre Pio’s teaching, which is proposed today to everyone” [Homily for Saint Pio’s Canonization, June 16, 2002]. – Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Thomas Bernie, 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, Paul Cavalli, Bonnie Keyes

Please pray for those who have recently died: Robert Jegle, Jennie Galasso, 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.

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, tomorrow evening, Monday, September 16th.

Banns of Marriage: Banns I: John Edward Biatowas and Jacqueline Marie Parker

Latin Reading Group: Will begin again on Wednesday, September 18th: each Wednesday evening at 6:15 pm in the Rectory. A basic reading ability in Latin is necessary: we read the Church Fathers.

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, without charge: books of his photos will be available for purchase.

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.

CONFESSION SCHEDULE: We are changing the Confession schedule: Mon-Fri confessions will be heard ONLY from 11:30-11:55 am. On First Fridays, Confessions will heard from 7:30-7:50am. Saturday and Sunday Confessions remain the same. HOWEVER, once Mass begins on Sundays, Confessions will end, even if there is a line. So, please, if you plan to go to Confession on Sundays, GET TO CHURCH AT LEAST 30 MINUTES BEFORE THE START OF MASS: we will no longer hear Confessions during Sunday Mass.

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.

MARRIAGE RETREAT: Saturday, December 14th at 5pm: St. Birgitta Convent in Darien: The priests of the parish will offer an evening retreat for married couples. Reserve a spot homeplacemoms@gmail.com : Confessions, Mass, supper and social time with other couples.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday September 8, 2013 $ 12,856.48
Sunday September 9, 2012 $ 11,673.12
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Sept. 22nd, Sunday Readings: Am 8:4-7; 1 Tm 2:1-8; Lk 16:1-13.

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: $83,686.00. 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 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 meetings on Two Tuesdays a month and other social/service events. For more information, please go to stjohnsflock.com or email core-team@stjohnsflock.com.

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 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.

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.

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 www.birthright.org.

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, September 23rd.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION: BEGINS NEXT SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 22nd—8:30 to 9:45. Registration is OPEN. Registration and payment can be made on our website, or in the office during the week, or in the Nagle Hall on the first day of class, September 22nd.

Religious Freedom Rally: Sunday, September 22nd: 2-4PM at the Stamford government Center: 888 Washington Blvd, Stamford. Sponsored by the CT Right to Life, the rally will be at the office of Rep. Jim Himes, to protest Obamacare mandates against religious liberty and freedom of conscience for the Catholic Church. Bring a friend. Questions: please call Eileen Bianchini: 203-847-5727.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, September 14, 2013
4:00 All Souls in Purgatory req. Yvonne St. Preuve
Sunday, September 15, 2013
7:30 +Deceased members of the Sexton and Winter Families req. Hannah Sexton Young
8:30 +Caterina Piria req. Rose Migliazza
10:00 +Richard Wargo Birthday Remembrance req. Arthur Wargo
12:00 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, September 16, 2013
8:00 +Mary Ellen and Joseph Santoro req. Marie Carr
12:10 +Randolph Samedi req. Anne Marie Samedi
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
8:00 +Rafael Gonzalez req. Dan Fagan
12:10 Rosemary Reid req. Maria Trivino
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
8:00 +Ronald Sperling
12:10 +Giovanni and Luigia Ceretti req. granddaughter Rosemary Rebula
Thursday, September 19, 2013
8:00 Special Intentions Joseph Kung and Family req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
12:10 Lilian Ramos req. Maria Trivino
Friday, September 20, 2013
8:00 Frances and Tom Forde req. Kathy and Roger Wiggins
12:10 Michael Muwanguzi req. Mom Scholastica Nabwire
Saturday, September 21, 2013
8:00 +Isolda Ceretti req. niece Rosemary Rebula
12:10 +Bridget and Patrick 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. 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:.

THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
120 years ago, or so:
September 16, 1893: STAMFORD. “Last Sunday evening at St. John’s R.C. Church an impressive and beautiful ceremony was witnessed and participated in by a large congregation. It was the blessing of new altars recently purchased by the church. The lady members of the League of the Sacred Heart and the Children of Mary, dressed in white, with veils and wreaths, marched in procession from the basement of the church through Bell street and entered the church singing the Litany of the Blessed Virgin. Vespers were then sung, after which the new altars were blessed, while the societies sang appropriate hymns. An eloquent sermon was delivered by Rev. Wm. H Rogers, after which benediction was given.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: The original 1893 wooden side altars were replaced with the present marble altars in 1928.)

THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
90 years ago, or so:
September 18, 1924: FORMER STAMFORD MEN APPOINTED TO NEW PASTORATES. “Of interest to Stamford citizens is the recent appointment of two priests of the Hartford diocese to new pastorates. Rev. James Q. Dolan and Rev. Patrick F. Connors are well known to local citizens, one by service here as curate of St. John’s Catholic Church and the other by his claim to Stamford as his home town. Rev. James Q. Dolan served as curate of St. John’s Church in 1901 and 1902, and by his wise counsels and ever ready efforts to help in civic and church affairs, endeared himself to local people of all sects. Father Dolan has recently been appointed pastor of St. James’ Church in Stratford. Rev. Patrick F. Connors is a local man, having received his early education in this city. After graduating from the local grammar school, Father Connors entered the employ of the Stamford Advocate and worked in the printing department for several years. He is well remembered for his ready wit and pleasing personality by all he came in contact with during his employment on this paper.”

80 years ago, or so:
September 21, 1935: CATHOLIC MEN OF COUNTY TO PARADE IN CITY ON OCT. 13. Holy Name Societies Expected to Send from 3,000 to 4,000 Members. “Catholic men of western Fairfield County will meet in this city Sunday, Oct. 13 for a parade and rally. Besides the parishes within the confines of Stamford, the following cities are to participate: Westport, Norwalk, South Norwalk, Noroton, Springdale, Sound Beach, Riverside, New Canaan, Glenville, Greenwich and East Port Chester.”

Our Lady of Sorrows—Feast Day September 15th
-Fr. Terry Walsh
“And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.” – Lk 2:35

Our sojourn in this life is comprised of many joys and many sorrows. It is ultimately an encounter with the Cross and an opportunity to love the One who made us and calls us to share in a life of everlasting peace. Our path to the ‘Pearly Gates’ is effectively walked through the formation of the heart. We might ask ourselves, “What is the disposition of my heart?” The pathway to the heart is peppered with many tests of faith and challenges of charity. Will we allow the Holy Spirit to mould our hearts into true likenesses of Christ or will we give way to fear and mediocrity and so scurry away from the Light because it is too bright? Are we willing to pick up our Cross, or to stand by those who are suffering in their hour of need? As we seek a deeper understanding of the nature of God and of the unique relationship He desires with each one of us, we will, quite naturally, be drawn to him in the Sacraments. It is there that we encounter him in the most intimate way and allow Him to form our hearts and fill us with His supernatural strength, thereby deepening our capacity to love. To witness the suffering of a loved one is a heavy Cross and indeed requires special grace. You might find yourself saying: “Ah, if I could only take some of their pain away! If I could just take their place.” And yet, our faith teaches us that we actually have a great power, if only we turn to our Lord. It is the power of prayer. It is the presence of mind to recognize in those terrible moments the necessity of the sacraments and encouraging the suffering soul to make a good and holy confession; to receive the spiritual strength of the anointing of the sick; and to be fortified by receiving the Eucharist.

We have the power to surround the person with love through our devotions and ask our Lord to heal and protect the soul of our loved one. We may indeed share in their suffering in our hearts and so bring grace and consolation in an otherwise helpless situation. In this way, we become an extension of the loving hands of Mary, who shared in the suffering of her son. Anyone who has guarded the bedside of a loved one enduring the pain of cancer or any terrible illness certainly understands this grief. Certainly Mary experienced this as she witnessed the Passion of Her Son. In Her spiritual martyrdom, Mary shared in the Passion of Jesus. St. Basil remarked: “As the sun surpasses all the stars in luster, so the sorrows of Mary surpass all the tortures of the martyrs.” St. Alphonsus put it this way: “Two hung upon one Cross” – in other words, Mary suffered the Passion of Her Son, spiritually. Imagine the sufferings Jesus endured throughout His Passion knowing the utter torment it caused in His Mother’s heart. And yet, through Her spiritual union with Jesus in His suffering, She would be united with Him in His mission of Redemption. What suffering She endured through the bitter attacks of hate and apathy against Her innocent Son. The Prophet Simeon had spoken of this terrible “Sword of Sorrow” that would pierce Her heart when he met them in the Temple thirty three years earlier.

Throughout the centuries, prayers, devotions, feast days, even mystical experiences by various Saints, and the Foundation of a Religious Order concerning our Lady’s Sorrows have helped the Church deepen its understanding of the role of Mary in our own spiritual journey to God. Each year, on September 15th, we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary on a feast known as Our Lady of Sorrows. It follows the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross on September 14th – so closely united are the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The contemplations of the Sorrows of our Lady led to great devotion to her sacrifice and suffering. There are several devotions and prayers concerning the Sorrows and Tears of Mary. The Devotion known as The Seven Sorrows of Mary has been prayed from at least the early 1300’s. The Seven Sorrows include: 1. The Prophecy of Simeon; 2. The Flight into Egypt; 3. Losing the Child Jesus in the Temple for three days when he was 12 years old; 4. Mary meets Jesus was He carried the Cross; 5. Jesus dies on the Cross; 6. Taking the Body of Jesus down from the Cross and laying Him in the arms of Mary; and 7. Jesus is placed in the Tomb. There is a meditative prayer for each sorrow followed by the Hail Mary. Another devotion is known as The Rosary of the Seven (Dolors) Sorrows.

There is a special Rosary made with seven medals – one for each Sorrow – followed by seven beads. The Our Father is prayed on the medal followed by seven Hail Marys for each Sorrow. The Devotion concludes with 3 Hail Marys in honor of our Lady’s tears. Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother by Tan Publishing (available in our bookstore) is recommended for a fuller explanation of the various prayers and devotions, as well as the Seven Promises given to St. Bridget by our Lady for those who pray this devotion. Our Blessed Mother revealed to the mystic, St. Bridget (d.1373, founder of the Brigittines) “No matter how numerous a person’s sins may be, if he turns to me with a sincere purpose of amendment, I am prepared forthwith to receive him graciously, for I do not regard the number of sins he has committed, but look only upon the dispositions with which he comes to me; for I feel no aversion in healing his wounds, because I am called and am in truth the Mother of Mercy.”