For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday Nov 10, 2013

Pastor’s Corner: During November, the Church universal celebrates the dedication of three of the four major basilicas in Rome: November 9th will be the feast of the dedication of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, the pope’s cathedral, as the bishop of Rome; November 18th, the feast of the dedication of the Basilica of Saint Peter and the Basilica of Saint Paul, built over the tombs of the two greatest Apostles nearly 1,800 years ago.

The November 9th celebration reminds us of the unity we have with the Successor of Saint Peter, Pope Francis, as members of the Church founded by Christ. The original basilica was built by Pope Sylvester I, and consecrated in 324 a.d. to Our Savior. By the early 10th century fires and earthquakes forced it’s rebuilding, and rededication to St. John the Baptist, and rededicated also to St. John the Evangelist in the 12th century. On the façade is a Latin inscription expressing the wish of the Emperor Constantine and Pope Sylvester that the Basilica be “The Head and Mother Church of all Churches throughout the City of Rome and the World.”

The November 18th celebration reminds us of the central place of the Apostles Peter and Paul in the development of the Church, the same Church we belong to. “Oh, Happy Rome, whose stones are consecrated by the Blood of the Martyrs, Peter and Paul”, is an ancient hymn recalling the ministry and martyrdom in Rome of these two Apostolic giants. St. Peter, the fisherman, was crucified in 67 a.d., and buried in the cemetery at the base of the Vatican Hill. In 323 a.d., the Emperor Constantine began one of the largest construction projects of the ancient world: the leveling of the Vatican Hill, moving over 1 million cubic feet of rock and dirt, to build the first Basilica above the tomb of Saint Peter. Both the ancient and present day Basilicas were dedicated on November 18th. St. Paul, the tentmaker, was martyred outside Rome’s walls, and buried near the present-day Fiumicino Airport near Ostia. Constantine began a Basilica above Paul’s tomb, but it was not completed until the fifth century by the Emperor Theodosius and Pope Saint Leo the Great. Archaeological explorations beneath St. Peter’s in the 1940’s, and beneath St. Paul’s in the 2000, unearthed and confirmed the tombs of each Apostle beneath the basilicas’ high altars.

It may be difficult for us who live in the 3rd millennium to understand the importance of the celebrations concerning church buildings of another time, so far away from Stamford. The celebrations are important because we belong to the Church they founded, share the Apostles’ faith and are united with them in the sacraments. A priest named Gaius wrote in 200 a.d., “If you come to Rome I will show you the tombs [tropaia, Greek for trophies] of the Apostles Peter in the Vatican and Paul on the via Ostiense.” St. John Chrysostom, two centuries later, offered some idea of the importance of the lives and tombs of Peter and Paul: “The sepulchers of those who served Christ crucified surpass the palaces of kings, not so much in the greatness and beauty of the buildings, as in other tings of more importance, such as the multitude of those who with devotion and joy visit them. For the emperor himself, clothed in purple, goes to the tombs and kisses them. . He who wear a royal crown looks on it as a great privilege from God that a tentmaker [St. Paul] and a fisherman [St. Peter], should be his protectors and defenders. . .” [Hom. I Cor, 20].

These celebrations are really about the larger universal Catholic Church, whose very essence is the same today as when Christ established it on the Apostles. Here at Stamford’s Basilica, we are reminded of the Apostle Peter by his bronze statue with the Keys of Heaven; and of our union with His Successor, Pope Franics, by the four bricks from the Holy Year doors of the four major basilicas of Rome, sent to the parish by Pope John Paul II, set in the walls behind the statue. Though far from the City of Rome, we are one in communion each time we gather at the altar for Mass, through Christ in the Eucharist, sharing Christ’s life with the Apostles and saints. —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.

Archdiocese for Military Service Collection . . . The second collection today will be for the Catholic priest chaplains in the United States military. 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, November 11th.

Sunday, November 24th: NO 12 Noon Mass: Because of the city Parade

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: +Mary Patricia Ann Payne req. Szele Family

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.

BIBLE STUDY: Fr. Walsh will lead our study of The Book of Isaiah, on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8 pm in the Rectory. 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.

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.

Maria Goretti Society: is sponsoring a Canned Food Drive to help the hungry in our community as Thanksgiving approaches. Beginning this 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.

Saint Gabriel Church: on Friday, November 22, 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) for the Feast of Saint Cecilia. Followed by refreshments in the Parish Meeting Room. Please  join us!

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday November 3, 2013 $ 14,387.00
Sunday November 4, 2012 $ 14,181.82
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Nov. 17th, Sunday Readings: Mal 3:19-20a; 2 Thes 3:7-12; Lk 21:5-19.

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.

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.

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.

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: Monday, December 2nd.

St. Maria Goretti Society: Next meeting will be Sunday November 17th 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.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, November 9, 2013
4:00 +Alfred Henry Lovell req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
Sunday, November 10, 2013
7:30 Deceased members of the Sexton and Winter Families req. Hannah Sexton Young
10:00 +Gaston Millien req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:00 +Joseph and Effie Ramos req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
5:00 +Fr. Rufin Kuveikis, O.F.M., Cap.
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, November 11, 2013
8:00 Veterans of the Parish
12:10 Monsignor Thaddeus Malanowski req. Frank and Beth Carpanzano
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
8:00 +Margaret Curtis req. Mary Maloney
12:10 In Honor of the Eternal Father req. Josephine Languedoc
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
8:00 Special Intentions Josephine Languedoc req. Mildred Beirne
12:10 Deceased members of the Lops Family req. Yvonne St. Preuve
Thursday, November 14, 2013
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
12:10 Padre Juan Pineda req. Maria Trivino
Friday, November 15, 2013
8:00 +Wilhelmina Letterman req. Pam Rittman
12:10 Deceased members of the Galbert Family req. Ferry G.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. the McAleer Family
12:10 +John B. Wynne req. O’Brien-Costantino Family

Baptisms: Are celebrated every day of the week, according to the schedule of the parish priests and the families. Baptisms at St. John’s are one-family only ceremonies: never groups. Please call Cindy (203-324-1553, ext 21).

Weddings: Couples must contact and begin meeting with one of the parish priests for at least 6 months before a hoped for wedding date at Saint John’s. Please call the parish secretary, Cindy, or one of the priests for an initial discussion.

Holy Name Society: For the men of the parish, meets Fridays in the Rectory, 7-7:50 a.m. for coffee, Eucharistic Adoration & Benediction. All men of the parish are welcome. We finish in time for the 8am Mass.

Moms & Tots: Moms and their kids meets in the Church each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30a.m.

St. Anne’s Family Society: A 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 NEWS:.

NEW YORK FREEMAN’S JOURNAL:
145 years ago, or so:
November 14, 1868: The late Rev. J. H. O’Neil of Stamford, Ct. “On Tuesday, Oct. 20th, the “Month’s Mind” of the lamented Rev. James H. O’Neil, of Stamford, Conn., was duly observed, at that place, by the offering up of a solemn Mass of requiem for the repose of his soul. A large number of the clergy of the diocese of Hartford assembled to do honor to the memory of the deceased, who held a deservedly high place in their esteem, both for the profound talents which he possessed, and the retiring piety which characterized his life. The people, who had been so long the recipients of his fatherly blessings, crowded the scared edifice and every avenue leading to it, showing thereby that the memory of their late pastor was deeply engraven on the hearts. The successor of Father O’Neil in the important district of Stamford is the earnest and excellent Rev. John Fagan, late of Collinsville.”

THE NEW YORK HERALD:
130 years ago, or so:
November 14, 1883: “The firm of Patrick F. McMahon, of New York, has the order for the three windows donated by the Societies of the Roman Catholic Church and they are now in process of manufacture.”

THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
120 years ago, or so:
November 11, 1893: STAMFORD. “The St. John’s parochial school is overcrowded, there being a larger attendance than previous years. It goes to show the wisdom of parents in sending their children to school where they will get a religious education as well as all other branches of study.”

THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
100 years ago, or so:
November 17, 1915: DEATH OF JOHN GERONIMO. “John Geronimo died last night at his home, 2 North Street, after a protracted illness. He was born in Italy about 70 years ago and came to America when twelve years of age. The funeral service will be held in St. John’s Catholic Church, Saturday, at 10 a.m. Interment will be in Springdale Cemetery. It is said that Mr. Geronimo was the first Italian resident of Stamford.”

80 years ago, or so:
November 12, 1934: “Sister Mary Corita, a former member of the Children of Mary Sodality of St. John’s Church, spoke yesterday to 200 people in the basement of the Sacred Heart Church, Schuyler Ave.”

Liturgy of the Word (1)
– Fr. Terry Walsh

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” – Jesus

What do we mean by “The Word” and just how “Receptive” are we to the effect that God seeks to work in us through the Word? In the rather small, picturesque Medieval town of Loreto on the Adriatic Coast of Italy rests the “Holy House” of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It’s said that some four million pilgrims visit the Holy House each year. In the thirteenth century the 13’ by 7’ Chamber was moved from Nazareth and finally came to rest in Loreto in order to protect it from invading Saracens. Today, it occupies the center space within a great Basilica built around it to honor the humble abode where Mary lived. St. Francis of Assisi is said to have remarked that it was “the holiest place on earth” because it was within the walls of this house that the Word became Flesh: the Incarnation. Indeed, before he entered it, St. Francis of Assisi encircled the outer walls on his knees, in prayer. It was of course within those walls that the Archangel Gabriel greeted the Blessed Virgin Mary: “Hail, full of Grace! The Lord is with you!”(Luke 1:28).

Today, and everyday around the world, the “Word is made Flesh” upon the altar in the Eucharist: Our Lord dwells IN us! – in our very souls. We prepare for that union by first hearing the Word of God in the readings from Sacred Scripture. St. Paul cries: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God”(Colossians 3:16). Readings from Sacred Scripture nourish our souls and prepare us to receive the “Word made Flesh” in Holy Communion. God enters the world He created in order to enable us to enter into Heaven: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not made anything that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it”(John 1:1-5). Through the interior dialogue of prayer, the language of faith, we meditate upon the Light of Truth, the holy Word of God.

After the Penitential Rite at the beginning of Holy Mass and the Gloria, we’re ready to hear the Word. Just as God “speaks” creation into being through His Word on the very first page of the Scriptures, so too does He speak to our hearts in the hope of recreating us into His Likeness – to become holy. It’s up to us. Just how receptive are we? Consider the parable of the Sower and the Seed. Jesus explains that some are eager to receive the Word into their hearts and consequently produce abundant fruits; that is, the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, kindness, and so on. Our part in producing these spiritual fruits is actually one of cooperation with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we need the virtue of humility when we come to meet our Lord in the Mass. The proud heart fails to truly hear the Word of God and so fails to understand the need for grace. The proud heart fails to enter the dialogue with God and so fails to receive the love of God; he chooses to remain in the darkness. Pride utterly blinds us to the Truth. “A sacramental celebration is a meeting of God’s children with their Father, in Christ and the Holy Spirit; this meeting takes the form of a dialogue, through actions and words. Admittedly, the symbolic actions are already a language, but the Word of God and the response of faith have to accompany and give life to them, so that the seed of the Kingdom can bear fruit in good soil. The liturgical actions signify what the Word of God expresses: both his free initiative and his people’s response of faith”(CCC, 1153). When we hear the Word of God in Mass it is truly Jesus speaking to us and he is causing an effect in our souls, that is, if we are listening. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord….He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit….I the Lord search the mind and try the heart, to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings”(Jeremiah, 17: 7, 8, 10). We actively seek our Lord by pondering the Scriptures and, through our search, we naturally grow in faith and knowledge of the “Word made Flesh.”

Take a peek at the beautiful stained glass window beside the altar of Mary. It is the scene of the Annunciation in the “Holy House” of Nazareth. Consider Her faith. Notice the humble pose as our Lady kneels in prayer. She’s pondering the Word of God upon the pages of the Scriptures. The Archangel Gabriel hovers near to proclaim God’s favor and the Holy Spirit conceives the Word in her. Contemplating her joy upon receiving the Word, St. Ambrose teaches us that we are all called to share in that joy – if we but receive the Word humbly and with love. He writes, “A soul that believes both conceives and brings forth the Word of God and acknowledges his works. Let Mary’s soul be in each of you to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let her spirit be in each to rejoice in the Lord. Christ has only one Mother in the flesh, but we all bring forth Christ in faith. Every soul receives the Word of God if only it keeps chaste, remaining pure and free from sin, its modesty undefiled. The soul that succeeds in this proclaims the greatness of the Lord, just as Mary’s soul magnified the Lord and her spirit rejoiced in God her Savior”(Liturgy of the Hours, volume I, p.353).

When we enter the “Holy House” – the Mass – we, like Mary, meet God. Will we allow the Word to enter us? As the holy season of Advent fast approaches, may we grow in our appreciation of the Mystery of the Incarnation and enter more deeply into the mystery of the Holy Mass. May our hearts always seek to grow in our love for our Lord; may we listen attentively to the Word and allow Him to prepare our hearts and souls in order that we may worthily receive the fruits of His Passion – the Eucharist.