For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday Sep 22, 2013

Pastor’s Corner: Now that the school year has begun, it’s time to consider the weightier questions of life: no more intellectual fluff in my articles, such as you enjoyed during the leisurely summer months. That being the case, let’s get down to business: Ever wonder why you exist? Ever wonder what it is that makes an action good or bad? Here are answers to those questions from two of the greatest of the Church’s saints:

The first comes from Saint Alphonsus Liguori [1699-1781]. Born in Naples, Italy, he began a legal career. After completing his law degree, he decided to give himself to God, and was ordained a priest in 1726. He worked and preached among the poorest in Naples, was the founder of the Redemptorists, and a great moral theologian. Here is his answer to Why do you exist?:

“God has loved you from eternity, and through pure love, He has selected you from among the many people whom he could have created in place of you; but He has left them in their nothingness, and has brought you into existence.”

So, the answer to “why do you exist ?” is: because God wants you to exist. Imagine, God thinks about you and loves you!!! Keep that in mind when you’re having a bad day.

The second answer comes from Saint Robert Bellarmine [1542-1621]. Born in Montepulciano, Italy to noble parents, he shocked them by announcing as a young man that he wanted to be a priest and a Jesuit. He entered the Society of Jesus in Rome and began his university studies. He was one of the most important of the Church’s theologians, teachers and reformers, who dedicated his every thought and action to the Glory of God and the up-building of His Catholic Church. So, in life, how does one decide between good and evil? :

“If you have common sense, then, you will realize that you were created for God’s glory and your own eternal salvation; this is your goal, this the center of your soul, this your heart’s treasure. If you reach that goal, you will be happy; if you do not, you will be wretched.

“Regard everything as truly good that brings you to that goal, everything as truly evil that takes you from it. Prosperity or adversity, riches or need, health or sickness, life and death are, for the wise person, neither to be sought nor avoided for their own sake. If they contribute to God’s glory and your salvation, they are good; if not, they are evil.”

Rather simple and clear answers: You exist because God wants you to exist and He loves you. You will find happiness by doing only those things that lead you to God, since everything that is evil leads you away from God and eternal life. The basic guidelines for doing good and avoiding evil being the Ten Commandments.

So, here is your first homework assignment for the new school year: Love God by avoiding evil and doing good. You will be happier if you do this, and not just ponder it.
—Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Lena Cocchia, Thomas Bernie, Nancy Gallagher, Maria Wnek, Reno Antonio Rosa, Silvana Smith, 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: Thomas Lupo, Robert LeBeau, 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.

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 23rd.

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

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: Special Intentions Paul Cavalli

St. Joseph Altar Votive Light: +Robert LeBeau req. Family

Sunday Noon Mass: Will be our Gregorian Chant Mass. The Mass will be offered in English, with our Gregorian Chant schola leading the music propers of the day. Please join us.

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.

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.

St. Monica Latin Reading Group: Will resume weekly Wednesday meetings on October 2nd at 6:15 pm in the rectory. We end in time for the St. Monica Patristic meetings. We read the Latin Church Fathers in the original language. Currently, we are translating St. Augustine’s De Trinitate. A basic reading ability in Latin [high school level] is necessary. Please join us.

St. Monica Biblical Greek Grammar: An intermediate grammar/reading class: Basic grammatical knowledge of Biblical Greek is required. Currently we are also translating the Gospel of Saint John. We meet Thursdays at 6:30 pm in the Rectory. Please 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.

LIFE CHAIN: Sunday October 6: 1-3 PM in front of the our Basilica on Atlantic Street. This is our annual peaceful witness of Americans praying for the end of legalized abortion. Participants join in prayer and display signs [which will be provided] urging passers-by to support the pre-born, reminding them of the sanctity of human life. More info: Frank Carpanzano: 203-975-8833 xt 3004.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday September 15, 2013 $ 10,955.99
Sunday September 16, 2012 $ 12,533.78

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

Sept. 29th, Sunday Readings: Am 6:1a, 4-7; 1 Tm 6:11-16; Lk 16:19-31.

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: $84, 486.00. 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: This Monday, September 23rd.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION: BEGINS SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 22nd—8:30 to 9:45.
Registration is OPEN now. 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.

RCIA…Anyone interested in becoming Catholic or Catholics who have not yet received Eucharist or Confirmation are invited to attend classes beginning on Octobet 8th at 7:00 pm in the Rectory.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, September 21, 2013
4:00 +Hedy Jagodzinski req. Mr. and Mrs. James Jagodzinski
Sunday, September 22, 2013
7:30 +Alma Vota req. Pastiva Family
8:30 Mario Incalicchio req. Maude and Paul Hughes
10:00 Special Intentions Tarleton Family
12:00 +Bill Morris 4th Anniversary req. Marion, Bill, Richard, Michelle, Jimmy
Sagdati and grandchildren
5:00 +Fr. Rufin Kuveikis, O.F.M., Cap.
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, September 23, 2013
8:00 Padre Juan Pineda req. Maria Trivino
12:10 In Honor of Saint Padre Pio 45th Anniversary req. Marion Morris and Family
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
12:10 Carmen Trivino req. Maria Trivino
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
8:00 +Margaret Curtis req. Mary Maloney
12:10 Jean and Joana Lauture and Family req. Ferry G.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
8:00 All Souls in Purgatory req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 Barbara Schuerger req. Maria Trivino
Friday, September 27, 2013
8:00 In Honor of the Sacred Heart req. Maria
12:10 +Jeannette Dowd req. Bill and Jeannine Steward
Saturday, September 28, 2013
8:00 +Wladek and Willemina Falek req. daughter
12:10 +Jimmy 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 meeting: October 4th.

Francis & Clare: Co-Ed High School Youth Group. Email Deirdre.garrahan@gmail.com.

Pray to end Legalized Abortion: Wednesdays, 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: Sunday, after the 10:00 a.m. Family Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:

145 years ago, or so:
September 25, 1868: FUNERAL OF FATHER O’NEIL. “The funeral of Father O’Neil took place on Tuesday, at the Roman Catholic chapel, and was attended by a very large concourse of his late parishioners and friends. The funeral services, which were very impressive, were conducted by the Rt. Rev. F. P. McFarland, of Hartford, assisted by a large number of Catholic clergymen from different parishes of the State and elsewhere. The temperance society attended the funeral in full regalia. Father O’Neil was born in Sligo, Ireland and was 54 years old. He has been in charge of the Roman Catholic congregation in Stamford for ten years.”

115 years ago, or so:
September 25, 1896: “The members of Hobbie Post, G.A.R. presented St. John’s R. C. Church fair with a handsome onyx table last night.”

100 years ago, or so:
September 26, 1910: Gold Chalice for Father Coleman. “The farewell gift presented to Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman, curate of St. John’s Catholic Church, this city, from the Y.M.T and L. Society of Danbury, at a reception given him by that society the other evening, is a gold chalice bearing the inscription: “Donated to Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman by St. Peter’s T. & L. society, Sept. 22, 1910.” Father Coleman was much touched by this strong evidence of regard in which he is held by the society. He responded with a brief address in which he heartily thanked the members for the gift and wished the society continued prosperity.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: After serving as curate from 1910 to 1913, Father Coleman would return and serve as Pastor from 1936 to 1963.)

70 years ago, or so:
September 25, 1942: “In commemoration of the one-hundredth anniversary of the first Mass celebrated in Stamford, there will be a Solemn High Mass in St. John’s Catholic Church at 11 a.m. on Sunday.”

55 years ago, or so:
September 26, 1957: “Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Daly of 55 Fairfield Ave., celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary at a buffet supper in their honor Wednesday. Mr. & Mrs. Daly were married on Sept. 25, 1907 in St. John’s. They have three sons, Thomas Jr. and Walter of Stamford, and James of Noroton Heights. The Rev. Mel Daly, pastor of St. Simon Stock Church in New York City, a nephew of the couple, and his brother, the Rev. Albert Daly of Middletown, also attended.”

The Start of Religious Education, R.C.I.A., and other Parish ActivitiesFr Terry Walsh

As the daylight hours begin to wane ever so slightly and the tips of the trees begin to reveal the spectacular colors hidden within the leafy green canopy, the autumn air summons us back from our summer siesta to begin anew the many parish activities here at St. John’s. A simple glace over the weekly bulletin unveils various opportunities for spiritual and cultural enrichment and a welcoming invitation to broaden one’s understanding of the faith we profess as well as contribute to the good of the parish at large by enriching others with one’s own insights and experiences. In other words, come join us and help “build up the Body of Christ” and see the gift of your own Baptismal grace flourish and water the garden of our Parish community! Allow me to offer a simple glace over some of the opportunities that await you. Keep in mind, there are often special events added throughout the course of the year so keep an eye on the bulletin each week. Let’s look at a typical week here at the parish. On Monday evenings, there is Eucharistic Adoration from 7:00 to 8:00 pm., which typically includes praying the Joyful mysteries of the Holy Rosary. What better way to begin the new week: Adoring our Lord and contemplating His love for us through our contemplation of the Mysteries of His Life. Come for an Hour before our Lord and then join your friends afterward for a late meal together. Tuesdays in the Rectory, we offer the RCIA Program for anyone interested in becoming Catholic. The RCIA , or “Rite for Christian Initiation for Adults” meets from 7:00 to 8:00 pm in the Rectory beginning in October to prepare adults of all ages to be received into full Communion with the Church. Come join us! On the First Tuesday each month, the Mom’s and Tot’s meet in the Basilica at the Altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary for half an hour of Eucharistic Adoration (10:30 am). Interestingly, the beautiful Stained glass Window above illustrates the Gospel passage where Jesus invites the children to come near so He may bless them and indeed that is precisely what happens in that monthly visit in front of Him, who pours out His graces from the Monstrance. Don’t be deterred for fear that your infant or young child can’t sit still and quiet for the half hour. You’ll be in good company. After Adoration, the Mom’s and Tot’s meet for refreshments and activities. The St. John’s Young Adult’s 20s and 30s Group, “The Flock” will meet on Tuesdays in the Church Hall twice each month for faith, fellowship, and food. In addition to the bi-monthly program, these meetings will also make known various social and volunteer opportunities for the young adults. Bring a friend and expand your horizons! On Wednesdays at St. John’s, the Legion of Mary, under the title of “Our Lady of Sorrows” meets in the Msgr. Nagle Hall from 7:30 to 9:00 pm. It attends to the personal spiritual growth of each member as well as various apostolic works. Throughout the Wednesdays of October, a series on St. Maximus the Confessors’ The Life of the Virgin will meet at 7:30 pm in the Rectory. Beginning in November, a new Bible Study program on the Book of Isaiah will be offered. Friday mornings in the Rectory begin with the Holy Name Society at 7:00 am. Men of the parish gather for coffee and a bit of banter. At 7:20, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament begins, along with a brief spiritual conference until 7:50 am. Many attend the 8:00 Mass and meet after Mass for breakfast before going on to work. Some of our Parishioners meet each Friday morning in support of Life by praying for an end to abortion. They meet on the sidewalk in front of the “Planned Parenthood” facility at 1039 East Main Street and have had a significant impact in helping others grow in their understanding of the sanctity of human life. Through their faithful prayers and moral support, many have seen the light and have chosen life.

Our Religious Education program resumes today! How truly blessed we are to welcome back our faithful and dedicated volunteer teachers. Year after year they eagerly greet the children of our parish and lead them in the ways of faith. Classes meet on Sunday mornings from 8:30 to 9:45 and then all attend the 10:00 am family Mass. In addition to the classroom obligations, the parish also has special programs for the older candidates: St. Dominic Savio Society (7th and 8th grade Boys), the St. Maria Goretti Society (7th and 8th Girls), and the St. Francis and St. Clare Society is our parish youth group for High School Girls and Boys and coincides with the 9th grade Confirmation Program. All High School boys and girls (grades 9 – 12) are invited and encouraged to attend. In particular, the Francis and Clare Society focuses attention on the dignity of the human person and the respect we owe to one another. It is a wonderful opportunity to build lasting friendships as our young people walk the path to spiritual maturity and become faithful witnesses to Christ. This year, the Francis and Clare Society will visit the Cloisters Museum in New York in the Fall and another optional excursion to the City in the Spring. The Sunday Morning Coffee Hour resumes this month in the Parish Hall following the 10:00 am Family Mass. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet new friends and learn more about the parish activities from those who are already well-engaged. Three times a year, the St. Anne Family Society meets in the Church Hall following the 5:00 pm Mass for pizza, pasta, and other assorted foods (OCT. 7th) A brief talk on the faith, along a little Q and A rounds out the evening over a variety of desserts.

Remember to keep watch for special programs throughout the year. Our first special event, “The Photographer and the Saint” will take place on September 21st at 5:30 pm in the Mons. Nagle Hall. Looking ahead to December, there will be a “Marriage Retreat” offered at the Convent of St. Bridget of Sweden in Darien. Organized by parishioners, speakers will include Msgr. McCormick, Alice Von Hilderbrand, and Fr, Apostoli, C.F.R., along with the priest of St. John’s. So, we’re off and running! Come join us. Help build up the parish by contributing your gifts and talents and join in on the wonderful experiences offered for your spiritual enrichment and fellowship. Bring a friend!