For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday Nov 3, 2013

Pastor’s Corner: Next weekend, a special collection will be taken up in all parishes across the nation to support Catholic priest chaplains in the United States military. Envelopes have been mailed to most parishioners already. I write this as a reminder why this is important.

The reason for the special collection is simple: Neither the United States government, nor the military, nor the Catholic Bishops gives any financial assistance to provide or support Catholic priests for our troops. They are recruited, organized and supported by the Archdiocese for Military Service USA, under the leadership of Archbishop Timothy Broglio. They are desperately in need of our financial assistance, and vocations. What do these priest chaplains do? I’ll answer that with a true story.

In July 1965, a young Maryknoll priest asked to be allowed to join the Navy in order to be sent to Vietnam. The United States was then in the midst of a bloody and ferocious war against communist incursions in Asia. Father Vincent Capodanno, a native of Staten Island, was granted permission, and joined in September 1966. After his training, he was sent to Da Nang, Vietnam and served with various Marine Divisions. Soon after his arrival, a reporter asked why Fr. Vincent became a military chaplain. He replied, “I joined the Chaplain Corps when the Vietnam War broke out because I think I’m needed here as are many more chaplains. I’m glad to help in the way I can”. After completing an 18 month tour of duty in Vietnam, he applied for a three month extension; then for a second three month extension to remain in the field. Fr. Capodanno simply was with his troops—in the camps, on patrol in the jungles and rice paddies, on the battlefield. He offered Mass, heard confessions, gave the last rites to the wounded and dying, encouraged those who were afraid, wrote to the families of his wounded men, and boosted the morale and courage of the fighting men. As one Marine recalled, “Wherever the Marines were, Fr. Capodanno was there, in water or in mud up to his knees.”

In the early hours of September 4, 1967, “Operation Swift” began as a routine search and destroy maneuver for the 1st Battalion of the 5th Marines in the Que Son Valley, 30 miles south of Da Nang. At 4:30 a.m. it became a major battle when the North Vietnamese Army began a mortar barrage. By 9:14 a.m. 26 Marines were confirmed killed in action. Fr. Capodanno, like everyone else in his 3rd Battalion, went to their aid and joined in the fight. In the midst of the battle, Fr. Capodanno ran onto the battlefield to give the last rites to a Marine who had been hit. At the man’s side, Capodanno was hit by shrapnel, shredding his right arm and injuring his legs and shoulders. He refused medical help, directing the medic to other wounded Marines. Despite his injuries he continued returning to the battlefield, carrying the wounded back to safety. He was wounded a second time—his left hand nearly blown off while he administered the last rites and comforted his Marines dying in the battlefield. His final act of courage and charity was to shield with his body a Marine under machinegun fire. Fr. Capodanno was hit 27 times protecting his fellow Marine. He was 38 years old, and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, posthumously. I am privileged to be working on the cause for canonization of Fr. Capodanno.

That is what Catholic chaplains do. Your generosity helps recruit, train and support these priests who serve and support our fighting women and men and their families. Please be generous. Help chaplains serve those who serve our nation. Please help! —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: Frederick Intrieri, Jody Ann O’Brien, 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.

PLENARY INDULGENCES [Nov 1-8]: The Church, established by Our Lord as the minister of Redemption, dispenses and applies the treasury of graces of Christ and His Saints. An Indulgence is the remission of temporal punishment due to our sins, which we will pay for after death. An Indulgence is the Church taking on your penance now—BUT, only if you repent of sin and go to Confession. One Indulgence can be had on each day from November 1st through the 8th, and each can be applied by us to one of the faithful departed per day. All we have to do is this: 1) go to Confession at least once during that week, which implies a true repentance and conversion from sin; and receive Holy Communion on the day(s) you wish the Indulgence; 2) visit any cemetery; 3) and pray—one Hail Mary and one Our Father for the intention of the Pope; 4) if you can’t visit a cemetery, then visit any Catholic church, fulfilling the requirements 1 and 3, and also recite the Apostles’ Creed. This is Christ’s mercy through His Church, through the power of the Keys of Heaven, Our Lord gave to Saint Peter [Matt 16: 17-19]. We are asked to have faith in Christ and in His Catholic Church and to demonstrate our faith through charity by doing these simple spiritual tasks. Let us be mindful of the goodness of Our Lord, pray to the Saints for their intercession as our friends in Heaven, and pray for the faithful departed: Heaven is our goal; The Catholic Church, Christ’s instrument.

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, November 4th.

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: this Monday November 4,  2013  at 7:30 PM  we 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 27, 2013 $ 11,648.00
Sunday October 28, 2012 $ 12,376.03
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Nov. 10th, Sunday Readings: 2 Mc 7:1-2, 9-14; 2 Thes 2:16-3:5; Lk 20:27-38.

Annual Bishop’s Appeal: Saint John’s annual goal, set by the diocese, is $100,000. 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: 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).

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: This Monday, November 4th.

Maria Goretti Society: is sponsoring a Can Food Drive to help the hungry in our community as Thanksgiving approaches. Beginning next weekend (November 9th and 10th), there will be boxes in the back of the church. (Please do not bring cans with expired dates). Canned and non-perishable foods will be collected through Sunday, November 17th. Your generosity is much appreciated. Grazie!!!

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, November 2, 2013
4:00 +Raul Espinoza req. Lucy Espinoza
Sunday, November 3, 2013
7:30 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
10:00 +Rose and Bill Pinto req. Pinto Family
12:00 +Ralph Strain req. Diane Strain And Souls in Purgatory req. Pasquale and Ida Carpanzano
5:00 +Fr. Rufin Kuveikis, O.F.M., Cap.
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, November 4, 2013
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 +Federico Garcia req. Aurea Garcia
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
8:00 Deceased members of Do Family req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 +Mary Vassalo req. Pinto Family
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
8:00 +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Carlos Magan req. Family
Thursday, November 7, 2013
8:00 Deceased members of Nguyen Family req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Friday, November 8, 2013
8:00 +Ruth Harris req. Family
12:10 Deceased members of Joseph Peter and Anna Young’s Family req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
Saturday, November 9, 2013
8:00 All Souls in Purgatory req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Berta Radske req. Eleanor and Frank Zach

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.

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 ADVOCATE:

155 years ago, or so:
November 4, 1858: DEATHS. “In Stamford, Oct. 26, Rev. James Reynolds, AE 49.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Father Reynolds was pastor of St. John’s in 1857 and 1858.)

100 years ago, or so:
November 10, 1911: St. Theodora’s Anniversary. “Yesterday was St. Theodora’s Day. The St. Theodore Society gave a play last night, in the Family Theatre, to celebrate it. All the members were there, and it was quite evident, from the crowded condition of the house, that their friends were also in attendance. The play depicted the life of the saint from whose name the society takes its title. The performance was staged under the direction of R. Martine, president; S. Martine, secretary, and G. Marenna, treasurer. The day was celebrated in the morning by a High Mass in St. John’s Catholic Church.”

90 years ago, or so:
November 7, 1921: CATHOLIC WOMEN MEET. “At a meeting in St. John’s School hall, preliminary steps were taken looking to the organization of a Stamford branch of the Connecticut Council of Catholic Women. After the movement had been explained by speakers, it was decided to hold another meeting on Friday. The meeting will be in the chapel of St. John’s Catholic Church.”

75 years ago, or so:
November 7, 1938: Catholics in State Are Not Obligated To Fast on Friday. “The obligation of Catholics to abstain from meat on Fridays has been lifted by the Most Rev. Maurice F. McAuliffe, bishop of Hartford, for Friday of this week, Armistice Day, a legal holiday in Connecticut. Bishop McAuliffe’s dispensation was announced by letter in all Catholic churches of the diocese, at Masses yesterday. The faithful are urged in view of this favor of the Holy See to make an offering in favor of the poor.”

55 years ago, or so:
November 10, 1959: Memorial Service To Begin Events Of Veterans’ Day. “Stamford will honor Veterans’ Day Wednesday with a memorial service in Central Park at 10 a.m., a parade through Summer, River, Main and Elm streets starting at 2 p.m. and a dinner-dance at the Genovese Steak House, Shippan Avenue, at 7 p.m. Taps will be sounded at 11 a.m. and the flag will be raised to full mast during the playing of the National Anthem. The Rev. Vincent P. Cleary, assistant pastor of St. John’s Church will pronounce the benediction.”

The Mass: Open the Door of your Heart
-Fr. Terry Walsh
“In the Church’s liturgy the divine blessing is fully revealed and communicated. The Father is acknowledged and adored as the source and the end of all the blessings of creation and salvation. In his Word who became incarnate, died, and rose for us, he fills us with his blessings. Through his Word, he pours into our hearts the Gift that contains all gifts, the Holy Spirit.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1082

Do you believe in Angels? Do you believe that one is sitting beside you at this very moment? Your Guardian Angel was sent by God to watch over you, so much does God love you. Yes, angels are real beings created by God and are constantly looking upon the Face of God while at the same time looking upon us. The gift of Faith allows us to contemplate those things we simply cannot see with our natural vision; we cannot perceive them with the senses. Yet, we are able to believe these spiritual realities through Divine Revelation: God Himself has told us. Quite naturally we ponder these supernatural realities in our prayer. Of course, the highest form of prayer is the Mass. We come to Mass to pray. We come to offer our thanks and our praise to God. Thoughtful preparation before the Mass begins helps to facilitate a deeper reflection on the meaning of everything we do during the Mass – from the sign of the Cross to the reception of Holy Communion. Our faith is so rich! It is filled with such majestic beauty and inspiring mystery. We are actually able then to perceive what awaits us in heaven when we lift our hearts and minds to God in the Mass – if only we humble ourselves and ‘become like little children’ as our Lord instructs us in the Gospel. It is the only way to see God.

Once we begin to perceive the Presence of God in our very midst, we’ll begin to perceive the “language of the angels” in our soul and so receive the rich graces He pours upon us at Mass. Jesus invites us and then waits for our reply. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me”(Revelation 3: 20). If the door to our heart remains tightly closed we might pry it open with prayer and soften its hinges with the graces of the sacraments, especially Confession. It’s like wiping fog away from a window. Each faithful encounter makes it a bit easier to grasp the mystery and so enter the portal of the Mass: Heaven on earth. “In the earthly liturgy we share in a foretaste of that heavenly liturgy which is celebrated in the Holy City of Jerusalem toward which we journey as pilgrims, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle. With all the warriors of the heavenly army we sing a hymn of glory to the Lord; venerating the memory of the saints, we hope for some part and fellowship with them; we eagerly await the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, until he, our life, shall appear and we too will appear with him in glory”(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1090).

Faithful preparation is the key to that Door. Is the door of your heart open or shut? We are not entering the Basilica to watch the Mass; rather, we have come to be actively engaged. Our interior joy at each Mass should resemble a child’s joy on Christmas morning and so are able to relate more faithfully to the joy of the shepherds, the zeal of the Apostles, and our Mother’s love. Eager anticipation for the mysterious encounter with God beckons a joyful countenance as you ascend the steps and walk through His Door! Perhaps as you stretch your fingers into the Holy water and bless yourself, you happily recall the knowledge that you are already in Christ by virtue of your baptism. Acknowledging His Presence in the Tabernacle, you genuflect before the King with child-like wonder and profound respect. You take your place in the pew and immediately turn your attention to Him. The bell rings and the procession begins.

What thoughts come to mind as the Priest raises his hand to make the Sign of the Cross: “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!” We need only raise our eyes to the scene of the Crucifixion above the High Altar to recall what love made it possible for us to address God as Father. It was the humility of Christ. Recall the words of St. Paul: “Jesus humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross”(Philippians 2: 8). Or perhaps our mind’s eye might contemplate the Roman soldier being washed in the blood flowing upon him from the open wound as he gazed up at Jesus on the Cross. Calling to mind these events deepens our prayer of the Mass. We are not simply “remembering” the crucifixion; rather, we are actually about to enter the “re-presentation” of the actual Crucifixion in a mysterious way that took place in time 2000 years ago but in truth, is ever-present, infinitely efficacious. We are at the Cross, participating in it, provided our hearts and minds are actively engaged. Our Lord makes it easy for us. We don’t see his disfigured body. Instead, he comes to us in utter simplicity through ordinary bread and wine. All of Heaven has come to adore Him and we are joining the celestial company in the Mass. Ah, if we could only see with our natural eyes what the eyes of faith declare: all the Angels and Saints surround us in the Holy Mass, mysteriously present to worship God in a chorus of love. In this one powerful moment, we acknowledge our hope of eternal beatitude with this simple, yet profound gesture that is in fact a declaration of faith: the Sign of the Cross. Reflecting on the power of the Cross, St. Leo the Great remarked: “The sign of the cross makes kings of all those reborn in Christ and the anointing of the Holy Spirit consecrates them as priests, so that, apart from the particular service of one ministry, all spiritual and rational Christians are recognized as members of this royal race and sharers in Christ’s priestly office. What, indeed, is as royal for a soul as to govern the body in obedience to God? And what is as priestly as to dedicate a pure conscience to the Lord and to offer the spotless offerings of devotion on the altar of the heart?”(Sermo 4, 1: PL 54, 149; Catechism 786). We have opened our hearts and minds to the Presence of God, “The Lord be with you!”