For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday Nov 17, 2013

Pastor’s Corner: Now that elections are over, let’s consider running for office.

By that, I mean that more Catholics—not Kennedy-type Catholics—but those who are faithful to the Church, need to step up and consider becoming candidates for office. Too many Catholics in public service qualify their positions on essential issues. How often do we hear Catholic politicians tell us, “while I’m personally opposed to . . . , I cannot permit my personal beliefs to form public policy.” It would be like saying back in 1840, “while I’m personally opposed to slavery, I can’t allow my personal beliefs to form public policy.” In reality, every politician forms public policy actions on personal beliefs. But there’s an even more fundamental issue: making sure that policies and legislation do no harm to individuals or their rights: there are no throw away people in our society, since each is the image and likeness of God. Public policy, no matter what the issue, must be based on the common good, not on personal beliefs. Because an individual believes something to be true or good, doesn’t make it so. Pope Benedict XVI wrote that in his encyclical, Truth in Charity: “The greatest service to development, then, is a Christian humanism that enkindles charity and takes its lead from truth, accepting both as a lasting gift from God. Openness to God makes us open towards our brothers and sisters and towards an understanding of life as a joyful task to be accomplished in a spirit of solidarity. A humanism which excludes God is an inhuman humanism. Only a humanism open to the Absolute can guide us in the promotion and building of forms of social and civic life—structures, institutions, culture and ethos—without exposing us to the risk of becoming ensnared by the fashions and fads of the moment.. . God’s love calls us to move beyond the limited and the ephemeral, it gives us the courage to continue seeking and working for the benefit of all. . . to fight and suffer for love of the common good.”

Right now, let’s consider local offices that affect local daily life, like the Board of Education, or the Board of Finance, or the Board of Representatives of our fair city. During this last election, some of our parishioners did run for office. One parishioner, John F.X. Leydon, Jr., succeeded in being re-elected to the Board of Education. For very many decades, Catholic priests were on the Boards of Education in major Connecticut cities, including Stamford. With the prohibition by Pope John Paul II that priests not hold elected public office, that is no longer an option. But there is no prohibition against faithful Catholic lay men or women running for those offices. Many people I know are unhappy about aspects of life in Stamford, from taxes to the curriculum at public schools. So what are you going to do about it? Complaining is not enough: so I write to encourage parishioners of the Basilica of Saint John to seriously consider running for these offices, so that you may positively affect the life of people in this town. This is not a question of making everything in town “Catholic”, but rather to form public policy on the true common good, which means that all public policy, laws and actions are designed to respect the dignity of the human person. The Second Vatican Council taught the responsibility of the laity in public life in these words: “The laity need a full awareness of their role in building up society, an awareness which will keep them preoccupied with bringing Christian large-heartedness [magnanimity] to the fulfillment of their duties, whether family, social, or professional. . . In loyalty to their country and in faithful fulfillment of their civic obligations, Catholics should feel themselves obliged to promote the true common good. Thus, they should make the weight of their opinion felt, so that civil authority may act with justice, and laws may conform to moral precepts and the common good. Catholics skilled in public affairs and adequately enlightened in faith and Christian doctrine should not refuse to administer public affairs, since by performing this office in a worthy manner they can simultaneously advance the common good and prepare the way for the gospel” [Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, 19]. If you don’t like the way public schools operate, or are at odds with the curriculum your child faces each day, do something about it. If you don’t like the decisions of the Board of Reps, do something about it. If you think the financial decisions of the city need improvement, do something about it. If you think the state government needs some remedying, do something about it.

Those politicians who thrive on private interests do so because people who respect the common good won’t get involved. This is not easy. But it is essential: that is the basis for our nation’s greatness; it is the basis of our faith that we get involved in public affairs: forming our culture by our Faith, to make things better for everyone, because we are the image and likeness of God, and should be given the chance to live accordingly. Get moving! Consider running, and begin organizing, now, for the next election.
—Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Rosa Vera, Tom Diffley, 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: Patricia Morris, Jean Fusaro, 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.

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, November 18th.

Banns of Marriage: Banns I: Michael Joseph D’Angelis and Mary Jo Wilson
Michael Todd Strickland and Rosemarie Pasqua

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

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: +Bill Cody req. Cody Family

St. Joseph Altar Votive Light: Special Intentions Theresa Kung req. 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: Friday mornings at 7:00 in the Rectory, 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.

Maria Goretti Society: is sponsoring a Canned Food Drive to help the hungry in our community as Thanksgiving approaches. 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 this Sunday, November 17th. Your generosity is much appreciated.

Saint Gabriel Church: on this 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 10, 2013 $ 12,338.00
Sunday November 11, 2012 $ 13,181.60

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

Nov. 24th, Sunday Readings: 2 Sm 5:1-3; Col 1:12-20; Lk 23:35-43.

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, or Janet Lancaster at 203-637-3301,

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 info: or Email:

Francis & Clare: Will have it’s large group meeting this Sunday, Nov. 17th, at 6PM in the Church Hall. Our High School Youth Group. Students interested in being part of the Teen Leadership Group: E-mail 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

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

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: or 203-866-1606: Next meeting: Monday, December 2nd.

St. Dominic Savio Society: Next meeting will be this Sunday, November 17th, after the 10AM Mass in the Rectory. For spiritual formation of men, 7th-8thgrades – High Schoolers welcome Contact-Ferry203-324-1553 x22.

St. Maria Goretti Society: Next meeting will be this 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.

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 : Confession, Mass, supper and social time with other couples.

December 21: 6:45 am Special Advent Mass in the Extraordinary Form: A Rorate Mass by candlelight, an ancient 12th century Mass to greet Christ the Light of the World at sunrise.
Coffee-And to follow in the parish hall. Everyone is welcome.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, November 16, 2013
4:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Pasquale and Ida Carpanzano
Sunday, November 17, 2013
7:30 Louise Munro req. Thomas Cycon
10:00 +Raimond Kump req. Eleanor and Frank Zach
12:00 +Bridget Gray req. her son Charles Gray and +Dennis Oliveira 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 18, 2013
8:00 +John Andrews req. Hannah Sexton Young
12:10 +James Fogarty req. Ann Armstrong
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
8:00 +Paul Rittman, Sr. req. Pam Rittman
12:10 Alvina Ramos req. Maria Trivino
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
8:00 +Aldo Iantorno req. Pasquale and Ida Carpanzano
12:10 Deceased members of the Augustin Family req. Yvonne St. Preuve
Thursday, November 21, 2013
8:00 Padre Juan Pineda Anniversary in the Priesthood req. Maria Trivino
12:10 +Raymond Gentry req. Hannah Sexton Young
Friday, November 22, 2013
8:00 +Sister Caroline Marie CSJ Birthday Remembrance req. Marie Carr
12:10 +Bill Cody Anniversary Mass req. Cody Family
Saturday, November 23, 2013
8:00 Ruth Boiteau req. Maude and Paul Hughes
12:10 +Norbert Simon req. Salvatore Costantino

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: Meets this Sunday, Nov. 17th at 6PM in the Church Hall. Co-Ed High School Youth Group. Email

Pray to end Legalized Abortion: Wednesdays, 7-10:30a.m., Stamford’s Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St.

St. Dominic Savio Society: Next Meeting -This Sunday, Nov. 17th, after the 10AM Mass in the Rectory. For spiritual formation of men, 7th-8thgrades-High Schoolers welcome Contact-Ferry203-324-1553 x22.

St. Maria Goretti Society: Next Meeting – This Sunday, Nov. 17th, after the 10AM Mass. 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:

140 years ago, or so:
November 19, 1875: “The capacious basement of the new Catholic church is now so far completed as to be nearly ready for services. It is intended to e first used for that purpose on thanksgiving day.”

85 years ago, or so:
November 19, 1929: STAMFORD GIRL SCOUT TROOPS AWARDED MERITS AND BADGES AT ANNUAL RALLY. “Troop; 18—Captain, Miss Carolyn Smithson. Bernice Harkin, red and white ribbons, scholarship; Claire Boisfeuillet, white ribbon; Catherine Pledgie, scholarship (2), second class, scribe, home service badge; Helen Vagedes, scholarship (3); Anna Schwartz, interpreter, scholarship (5); Betty Wynkoop, white ribbon.”

60 years ago, or so:
November 22, 1954: Supreme Knight Hart To Attend Breakfast Of K of C Assembly. “Supreme Knight Luke Hart will be one of the guests Dec. 5 at the annual communion breakfast of Lafayette Assembly, Fourth Degree, Knights of Columbus, William Thomson, faithful navigator of the assembly, announced today.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: William Thomson was a St. John’s trustee for many years.)

50 years ago, or so:
November 21, 1963: Use of Modern Languages For Sacraments Sanctioned. VATICAN CITY, (AP) “The day put aside, at least temporarily, controversial declarations on religious liberty. In another major development, the Roman Catholic assembly voted to allow the use of modern languages throughout the sacraments, such as baptism and marriage, without even retaining Latin for key phrases.”

35 years ago, or so:
November 23, 1978: St. John’s fair. “St. John’s Catholic Church on Atlantic St., will hold the annual fair Dec. 2 and 3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mrs. Michael Ganino and Mrs. William O’Kane, chairmen, plan a variety of gifts, religious articles, books, used treasures, food and baked goods. Assisting committees will be headed by Miss Agnes Barrett, Miss Margaret Powers, Mrs. John Caraszi, Mrs. John Coughlin, Mrs. Alfred Gautrau, Miss Therese Doumenjou, Mrs. Edward Esposito, Mrs. Peter Ligouri, Mrs. James McGrath, Mrs. Joseph Miller, Mrs. Thomas McTigue, Mrs. Patrick Magee, Miss Theresa Melsopp, Mrs. William Sanislo, Mrs. Asa Scanlon, Mrs. Frederick Miller and Miss Nancy Zerrenner. Also assisting are Frank Black, John Flynn, Russell Tuson, Sam Florentine and Joseph Melfi.”

Liturgy of the Word II
– Fr. Terry Walsh
“You have been born anew, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for ‘All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord abides forever.’ That word is the good news which was preached to you.” -1 Peter 1:23-25

First, it is helpful to understand that the Liturgy of the Church is comprised of five “Liturgical Seasons” woven together throughout the course of a year. In effect, these “Liturgical Seasons” teach us about the life of Jesus beginning with the hopeful expectation of His Incarnation, followed by His ministry, His suffering, death, and His Resurrection. Each Liturgical Year begins on the 1st Sunday of Advent – the season when we look to the coming Messiah who will be born into the world on Christmas day. The Readings chosen by the Church for the Masses offered during Advent quite naturally reflect upon the theme of hope and salvation. For instance, the Prophet Isaiah teaches us about the One who will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” seven hundred years before it actually takes place. He goes on to tell us how it will happen so that when it happens, all may give praise to God: “the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.” In like manner, the Liturgy of the Word during the Christmas Season reveals that He will be called Jesus and that He will be “a great Light to the Nations.” Hearing these truths in the Liturgy of the Word in holy Mass are meant to awaken our desire for God while at the same time serve to nourish us with confidence and fill our hearts with consolations as we walk along the sometimes difficult path on the road to salvation. “In order to reveal himself to men, in the condescension of his goodness God speaks to them in human words: ‘Indeed the words of God, expressed in the words of men, are in every way like human language, just as the Word of the eternal Father, when he took on himself the flesh of human weakness, became like men’”(Catechism, 101). Ordinary Time, the 3rd Liturgical season, is comprised of 34 weeks and ends with the great Solemnity of Christ the King. The flow of ‘Ordinary Time’ is interrupted by the Liturgical Seasons of Lent and Easter. The Penitential character of the Readings chosen from Scripture during the Season of Lent summons us to a greater love by reflecting upon the suffering and death of the Innocent Victim, Jesus Christ and so invite us to consider our own willingness to “Take up our Cross” in our daily life and “Follow Him.” The Readings lead us along the path of repentance and renewal and are designed to remind us about the importance of prayer and fidelity to our Baptismal promises.

While the Scriptures span over the course of thousands of years, the Liturgy of the Word reveals their unity. Indeed, as the Church reminds us, the Old and the New Testaments are ‘one seamless garment’ whereby ‘the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament and the New is actually hidden in the Old’ – a truth demonstrated at each Mass. For example, the events surrounding the Israelites and their suffering in Egypt which lead to the great Exodus and their eventual arrival in the Promised Land actually prefigures the journey of the Church and the suffering that her members, all the baptized, endure in our ‘Land of Exile’ before we may arrive home in the true Promised Land, Heaven. The Blood taken from the sacrificial Lamb and placed over the doorposts of the Israelites so that the angel of death would “Passover” their homes actually prefigures the Blood of Christ, the true Lamb of God, who washes each one of us in His Blood and thereby saves all who faithfully follow Him. We hear both stories in the Mass and so begin to see that God’s plan for our salvation stretches all the way back to the moment of Creation. The Church has designed the Liturgy of the Word in Mass to help us draw the connections between the Old and New Testaments in order to broaden our understanding of the infinite love of God and his patient and merciful kindness and fidelity.

Did you know that every Catholic Church throughout the entire world hears exactly the same readings wherever they attend Mass each day? We are after all one Body, one Church, and so our Lord is teaching everyone throughout the entire world the very same lessons – whether they be heard in English, Spanish, Latin, Chinese, or any other approved Liturgical Language. We are One Church, we participate in “one” liturgy; that is, the Church has selected specific Readings for each day of the year that are read in every Catholic Church throughout the entire world, in the local language. There are over a billion Catholics in the world today hearing the very same Readings at Mass each and every day.

The 1st Reading at Mass is taken from the Old Testament with the exception of the Easter Season, when we fittingly hear from the New Testament Book, “Acts of the Apostles.” The 2nd Reading is selected from the New Testament. The Gospel is the pinnacle of the Liturgy of the Word as the Gospels give us the very words of Christ Himself. We stand for the Gospel out of great reverence and often Incense the Gospel before proclaiming it. Before approaching the Gospel, the priest silently prays: “Cleanse my heart and my lips, almighty God, that I may worthily proclaim your holy Gospel.” And, once the priest has uttered the words, “A Reading the Gospel of John…” he makes the sign of the Cross on the page, followed by the sign of the Cross on his forehead, lips and heart and prays, “May the Lord be in my mind, on my lips, and in my heart.” After proclaiming the Gospel, the priest utters still another silent prayer as he kisses the Gospel: “Through the words of the Gospel may our sins be wiped away.” All the Readings in the Liturgy of the Word connect to teach a particular lesson, which is given by the priest in the Homily. Homilies are required on Sundays and Solemnities and are given by the Ordained Minister. The Homily speaks about the Mystery of Salvation as revealed by the Word of God and is meant to instruct the faithful and draw the listeners into a deeper appreciation for the love of God. We conclude the Liturgy of the Word with the Prayers of the Faithful, asking God to grant our prayers through His Son, before entering into the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The “Mystical Body of Christ” is indeed unified by the Word of God. How awesome is that! The Readings are not arbitrarily chosen according to the personal preference of the Minister; rather, they are carefully selected and arranged by the Magisterium of the Church so that over the course of that time we may hear from virtually every Book of Sacred Scripture, thus broadening our understanding and knowledge of God. It is a three Year Cycle: Thus, Year A (which we will enter on the 1st Sunday of Advent this year) is the year when the 1st Gospel is predominant, that is, the Gospel of Matthew. Year B is the year of St. Mark the Evangelist and finally, Year C proclaims the Gospel of Luke. The Forth Gospel, that is, the Gospel of St. John, has special prominence and is proclaimed each and every year. The Liturgy of the Word opens the heart and prepares us to receive “the Word made Flesh” – Holy Eucharist!