For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday Oct 27, 2013

Pastor’s Corner: Friday, November 1st, is All Saints Day: a Holy Day of Obligation. The Solemnity of All Saints calls to mind an aspect of the reality of the Church of which many people are unaware: The Catholic Church isn’t a humanly created institution. The image is clear in the Book of the Apocalypse: “The angel said to me, ’Come and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married.’ He. . . Showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. . . The City stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” [Apoc 1:10-14]. Saint Paul continues the image: “You are part of a building that has the apostles and prophets for its foundations, and Christ Jesus himself for its main cornerstone.” [Eph 2:20] The Church was personally established by Our Lord, and has been called “Catholic” since the end of the first century. While its membership is made up of women, men and children from around the globe, it is a living creation of God, with Jesus literally as its head, and we, literally as its members, just like your arms and legs are members of your own body, managed by your head.

Most people do not realize that there is an intimate relationship between Our Lord and all who are baptized, were baptized, and whoever will be baptized: a relationship that begins on the date of your baptism, but continues throughout all time, crossing all boarders of space and time. That relationship springs from our sharing in the very life of Jesus through Baptism and the Sacraments, especially that of His Body and Blood, the Eucharist, or Holy Communion, which we are privileged to receive during Mass. However, whenever we attend Mass, there are others present beside those standing and sitting in the church. All the saints and angels, and God Himself, is present with us—not as an ideas or memories, but actually: in real time. All Saints Day calls to our minds that deeper reality of our unity in Christ and all the baptized, living and dead, through His Catholic Church.

That is why there are statues and pictures of saints in Catholic Churches. They remind us of the heroes of the Faith, who loved Jesus so very much, heroically. As you look around our Basilica, can you name any of the statues or paintings of the saints? You should be able to. Let’s take a little tour of the images of those men and women who pray for each of us daily before the Throne of God.

Let’s start inside the glass and wooden doors at the entrance. Standing in the center aisle, take a right: walk up the northern [right] side aisle: walk down the aisle to the baptismal font, on your right, and stop. Face the font, and there, next to the font is a white marble statue: who are the two men? The one kneeling is Jesus, the one standing is Saint John the Baptist: the last and greatest prophet, who baptized Jesus, and then died a martyr. Turn to your right and face the back wall: there is a stature of Saint Rita of Cascia: a wife and mother who suffered greatly at the hands of her abusive husband and children; after their death she became a nun, dedicating her life the Christ for the salvation of the world. Above her is a large oil painting of Our Lady: Jesus’ mother, who holds her divine son. The Blessed Virgin Mary was the first and most dedicated of Jesus’ disciples. Turn around, and walk down the aisle: at the front of the church is the side altar of Saint Joseph, the foster father of Jesus and husband of Mary. Next to the altar is a white marble statue of Saint Therese of Lisieux, a young girl who became a cloistered Carmelite nun, suffered from tuberculosis and offered her sufferings for the salvation of the world. Turn a little to the right, and there is a large seated bronze statue of Saint Peter: the chief Apostle, who died a martyr in Rome in 67 a.d. The popes in Rome share his office given him by Our Lord as head of the Church. Look up, and you’ll see four painted “statues”: on the far left is Blessed Pope Pius IX, next is Saint Patrick, then Saint Augustine and his mother Saint Monica. Turn round again, and walk to the exact center of the church, and face the high altar: on the right is Saint John the Evangelist; to the left is a statue of Our Lord with His Sacred Heart. Walk across to the other side, to the side altar of Our Lady, with Her Son standing below her. Next to the altar is a white marble statue of Saint Anthony of Padua, who holds the Infant Jesus. Now look up at the side wall: the far right of the large window is a painting of Saint Michael the Archangel; next, Saint Philip Neri; on the right of the window is Saints Joachim and Ann, the parents of Mary. These are real life people, who loved God.

Here’s your homework: Google each saint to learn more about their lives of faith: they, literally, changed their culture around them because of their love for God. The saints are still part of the Catholic Church, and pray for you and me daily at the throne of God. Speak to the saints, just as you would your friends. Ask their help and guidance; read their biographies on-line for inspiration and get an idea what to do with your life: how can you love Jesus?—how can you change the world? Through Christ, you can do great things. Happy All Saints Day! —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Walter & Ann DiGiovanni, Bonnie Keyes, Ed Grady, Connor Walsh, Billy Therriault, Thomas Bernie, Megan Bobroske, Mary Churley, Lena Cocchia, Thomas Bernie, Nancy Gallagher, Maria Wnek, Reno Antonio Rosa, Silvana Smith, Joseph W. Evans, Connie Ward, Ron DeCamp, Keith Nicholson.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Frances Rose Fabrizio, Zelma Potter, 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.

Monthly Collection . . . The second collection today will be the monthly collection for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

Saint Augustine Medal: Each year, the Bishop of Bridgeport presents an award to Catholics from around the diocese who have shown particular dedication to their parishes. This year, Bishop Caggiano is bestowing the Saint Augustine Medal to Rose Cerreta, a life long member of Saint John’s Parish. Rose received her sacraments here, was married here, and then moved to Monroe. She teaches daily in Stamford’s public schools. Before reporting to school, Rose opens our church—every morning for the past 20 years at 6:15 a.m. Her devotion and dedication to Saint John’s is greatly appreciated, and has merited her this award. Thanks, Rose.

November 1st. . . The Solemnity of All Saints IS a Holy Day of Obligation, when all Catholics are obliged to attend Mass. The Mass schedule is: Vigil Mass: Thursday Oct 31st at 5:15 P.M. Masses on Friday, November 1st are at 8:00 A.M., 12:10 P.M. and 5:15 P.M.

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, October 28th.

Banns of Marriage: Banns III: Brian Thomas Jacobi and Kara Therese Banahan

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: +Mary Szechenyi Szele 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.

Saint John’s School Exhibit: On view in the Msgr. Nagle Hall each Sunday following the 10 a.m. Mass, or by appointment with Monsignor: 203-324-1553, ext. 11.

St. Monica Latin Reading Group: Wednesday meetings at 6:15 pm in the Rectory. We read the Latin Church Fathers. 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 : Confession, Mass, supper and social time with other couples.

Hopeline: Pregnancy Resource Center invites you to a Fall fundraiser: Hibernian Hall, 186 Greyrock Place, on Thursday, November 14th: 7-9 pm. Hot hors d’oeuvres and beverages served.

Saint Gabriel Church: on Monday November 4,  2013  at 7:30 PM  will celebrate a Solemn High Mass In the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Mass in Latin according to the 1962 Missal) Latin Mass for the Dead
Followed by refreshments in the Parish Meeting Room. Please  join us!

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday October 20, 2013 $ 11,602.22
Sunday October 21, 2012 $ 13,519.93
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Nov. 3rd, Sunday Readings: Wis 11:22-12:2; 2 Thes 1:11-2:2; Lk 19:1-10.

Annual Bishop’s Appeal: Saint John’s annual goal, set by the diocese, is $100,000. The We have collected to date: $84,596.00. 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: 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.

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.

Holy Name Society: Each Friday morning at 7:00 in the Rectory, 30+ Catholic men of all ages meet for coffee, 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 are welcome: just walk in the front or back door of the rectory.

RCIA…Interested in becoming Catholic or Catholics wanting to receive First Communion or Confirmation are invited to attend classes: Tuesdays at 7:00 pm in the Rectory.

St John’s Flock (20’s and 30’s Young Adult Ministry): 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.

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.

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.

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).

St. Maria Goretti Society: First meeting of the Year will be this Sunday October 27th after the 10AM Mass. For the spiritual formation of young ladies,7th-8th grades (High Schoolers welcome) .For more information please call Beth 203-975-0074.

Job Seekers: Meets 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: Next Monday, November 4th.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, October 26, 2013
4:00 +June Hall Lovell req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
Sunday, October 27, 2013
7:30 +Sister Mary Rose Gallagher CSJ Birthday Remembrance req. Marie Carr
10:00 +Grace Pohlman req. Pam Rittman
12:00 +Roldofo Sollesta req. Legion of Mary And +Louis DeAngelis req. Craig and Cristina Fioravanti
5:00 +Fr. Rufin Kuveikis, O.F.M., Cap.
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, October 28, 2013 8:00 +Espalie Valbrun req. Guirlene Valbrun
12:10 +Phaeton Sydney req. Guirlene Valbrun
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 8:00 +John Maloney req. Mary Maloney
12:10 Deceased members of the Giancola Family req. Michael and Karen Piacenza
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 8:00 In Honor of St. Rita req. Maria
12:10 +Mary Mennona req. the Pinto Family
Thursday, October 31, 2013 8:00 Father Walsh req. Parishioner
12:10 +Gabriel Lio req. Pasquale and Ida Carpanzano
5:15 +Louise Mescoloto req. CJ and Cristina Fioravanti
Friday, November 1, 2013
8:00 +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 Deceased members of the Galbert Family req. Ferry G.
5:15 +Monsignor William Nagle req. John and Joan Hagan and Family
Saturday, November 2, 2013
8:00 +Wladek and Willemina Falek req. daughter
12:10 All Souls

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 family society meeting four times a year on Sundays after the 5pm mass, with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament and prayer, supper, and a lecture in the church hall.

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:For spiritual formation of men,7th-8thgrades-High Schoolers welcome Contact-Ferry203-324-1553 x22.

St. Maria Goretti Society: For the spiritual formation of young ladies,7th-8th grades(High Schoolers welcome).Beth 203-975-0074.
First meeting of the Year will be Sunday October 27th after the 10AM Mass.

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

St. John’s in THE NEWS:
THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
145 years ago, or so:
October 28, 1870: “Ground has been broken for the foundation of the new Catholic Church on Atlantic Street.”

105 years ago, or so:
October 28, 1907: Observance of All Saints’ Day. “In St. John’s R.C. Church, yesterday, the announcement was made that next Friday will not be observed as a fast day by Catholics, as it is All Saints Day. This is the first time in a number of years that this distinction has been made for any holiday falling on Friday, excepting Christmas. There will be services in the church at 5, 7, 8 and 9 a.m. Saturday will be All Souls’ Day, and there will be a service at 3 p.m. in the cemetery at Springdale.”

THE HARTFORD COURANT:
70 years ago, or so:
October 30, 1942: St. Joseph’s Hospital, Stamford, Dedicated. “The new St. Joseph’s Hospital in Stamford was dedicated during the past week. The new hospital in Stamford has received reservations for patients already and the first of them will be admitted November 2. The building has a capacity at present of approximately 80 beds in wards, semi-private and private rooms.”

THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
40 years ago, or so:
November 3, 1973: Huge Crowd. “Talking about a huge crowd, Father Bill Nagle recalls the huge crowd that gathered Sunday at St. John’s Cemetery in Springdale, where a special Mass was celebrated to observe All Souls Day. More than 500 persons attended the Mass, which will be an annual affair in the Diocese of Bridgeport and at the Camp Ave. cemetery.”

FAIRFIELD COUNTY CATHOLIC:
20 years ago, or so:
November, 1993: “Richard Stanley of Stamford used to watch his brother James, who died three years ago, struggle to climb the front steps of St. John’s Church in Stamford. It left a deep impression on him. In his brother’s memory, Stanley donated an elevator which was recently installed at a side entrance on the north side of the church to make it easier for people with disabilities like his brother had to attend Mass. Rev. William Nagle, pastor of St. John’s, thanked Stanley for his thoughtfulness. “Our church steps are steep,” he said, “and already some of the older people in the parish have used the elevator. While it is not a great number, it means a lot to these people.””

Preparation for the Mass
– Fr Terry Walsh

Pass the ketchup! Ah, to see the joy on the faces of so many people enjoying a good barbeque, especially in the cold weather. Of course, these wonderful gatherings require much planning and more than a little work. The food needs to be carefully organized well in advance to ensure proper quantities as well as a wide variety. Then of course the SUV needs to be packed with precision in order to squeeze the coolers in between the grill, the portable TV, the table and chairs and other necessary items. Nothing is left to chance. Years of experience enable the process to be fine-tuned to ensure the best results: an on time departure from the family garage assures securing the usual parking spot, normally just after sun-up. It’s game time! Well, actually, the game begins in 6 hours, but it’s good to be prepared. The old saying rings true – “Anything worth doing is worth doing well!” It seems only natural to plan well for those things that interest us so that we can derive the greatest joy from them. And yet, how well do we prepare for the most important thing: that deeply personal and intimate encounter with God? What place does the Mass hold in our hearts? A simple examination of conscience reveals whether God holds the central place in our Spiritual House, our soul, or if perhaps we’ve given that space to a lesser occupant. What place does the Mass – and keeping the 3rd Commandment – hold in our hearts? Is God first in our hearts? And do we “Keep Holy the Sabbath”? Recall the Psalmist, “But I through the abundance of thy steadfast love will enter thy house, I will worship toward thy holy temple in the fear of thee”(Psalm 5:7).

Consider the story of the Israelites as they prepared to cross the Jordan and take possession of the Promised Land. Imagine their excitement! Thousands upon thousands lined the River’s edge, the air abuzz with joy and anticipation. What might have been occupying their hearts and minds in those days leading up to the crossing? Perhaps they were reflecting on the many blessings they had already received, especially the love and attention God demonstrated toward them – freeing them from bondage and caring for them in the desert. It was during those long years that they came to know God more personally – His fidelity and love – His abiding Presence. And now, in these special moments, they no doubt happily considered the life that lay ahead in the land of “milk and honey.” Do we likewise reflect on the blessing of being “rescued” by God and His invitation to live in the true and eternal Promised Land—or have we slipped a bit in the gratitude and devotion we owe to God? Just before Joshua led the people into the Promised Land, he summoned them and conveyed God’s message, reminding them of the duties and obligations that faith and love demand: “Sanctify yourselves; for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you”(Joshua 3:5). What sweet words in the ears of the people! We likewise hear the very same words at every Mass: “The Lord be with you!” In order to understand the mystery of the Mass we need to begin with the mystery of the spiritual life. It can be challenging, and yet, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well!”

The spiritual life rests on Faith, which is a gift infused into our souls by God. Love makes it grow and we prove our love for God by keeping the Law, by praying well, and by loving one another. Jesus said: “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him”(John 14:23). In other words, it’s up to us. God doesn’t force our hand. Our “full, active, and conscious participation” is directly related to our spiritual life – prayer, devotion, sacrifice. Each time we pick up the Bible and read a passage, we come to know Christ a little better. Each time we pick up the Rosary and reflect on one of the Mysteries of our Lord, our hearts expand in appreciation for what he has done for us. When we simply take a few moments to talk with Him in a heart to heart conversation, we prove our ‘living faith’ and bring joy to Him. Consequently, we begin to understand the ‘spiritual language.’ These spiritual exercises lead us to a faithful examination of our conscience and ultimately to the Sacrament of Confession where we allow our Lord to sanctify us and so prepare our souls to receive Him worthily in Holy Eucharist. The Mass is truly Heaven on earth and there is nothing more exciting. Think of it! All the Angels and Saints are present. God the Father is receiving the sacrifice of his Son who has laid down His life so that we could be free from death. The Holy Spirit is at work. This is real!

Through our faithful, humble effort, God draws us into his life. We’ll come to contemplate the meaning of our very existence, the wonder of creation, the hope of eternal happiness. St. Paul reminds us: “For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, ‘I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people’”(2 Corinthians 6:16). He likewise teaches us the meaning of preparedness: “Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the Gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:14-18a).

The graces flowing from the side of Christ provide all we need to conquer sin and ultimately attain our goal, union with God in Heaven forever. It’s important to remember that we receive these fruits in proportion our desire for them – we all receive the very same Eucharist but we do not receive the same measure of grace. There is work involved. Are our hearts and minds fully engaged or have we allowed ourselves to quietly turn our inner gaze toward more earthly concerns? Ah, preparation. We are called to pick up the Cross every day and through it, grow in holiness: to root out faults and failings and at the same time grow in virtue. Like Joshua, we rely on God’s help. We enter the Promised Land when we cross the Threshold and enter the Church. As we dip our fingers into the Holy Water, we remember that we too have ‘crossed the Jordan’ at baptism and are constantly seeking to sanctify ourselves through our fidelity to Christ and our baptismal promises. As we bless ourselves with the sign of the Cross, we remember the cost of our salvation and look up to the great stained glass window high above the Altar and consider the depth of the love of our Lord. This is no ordinary event – it is the Mass. Jesus is there to greet us, looking upon us with love, examining our hearts. You are ready. You have prepared. You are focused. You want to be there! You are eager to talk with Him and seek a deeper more abiding relationship with Him. There is a deliberateness to your actions. You begin to genuflect with a renewed purpose. You are dressed appropriately and are eager to hear the Word. All this before the priest even enters the Sanctuary. At Mass, we are not mere spectators relegated to the sidelines to watch others engaged in activities striving toward a goal. No! At Mass, we are active participants. And the moment finally arrives: “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…”