For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday Jan 5, 2014

Pastor’s Corner: The Church celebrates the Epiphany this weekend, which commemorates three historical events of great importance: the veneration of the Christ Child by the Three Kings; the Baptism of Our Lord by John the Baptist; and the miracle of the Wedding Feast at Cana. Each of these events is important, because each explains precisely who this child is and what He was to do.

The Three Kings came, having followed the “star” rising in the east. In reality, they saw a rare eclipse of Jupiter by the moon, the “king” of planets, the movement of which was interpreted in the ancient world as a portent of royal birth. They observed this, and understood that the baby they found in Bethlehem was no mere child, but a king, greater than any earthly monarch. Following the then common understanding of the stars and planets, the Three Kings believed that such a birth had been the result of the movements of heavenly bodies. How many today follow astrology in the same way!? St. Augustine made this observation to clarify why the Kings followed the star to the birth of Christ:

“. . . that star which the Magi saw did not have power over Christ, New-Born according to the flesh, but rather obeyed Him as witnesses to His birth. If we must speak of fate, then rather let us say, not that the star was Christ’s destiny, but that Christ was the destiny of the star, since He caused it to exist and rise in the east for the Three Kings.” [Contra Faustinum, II, 5].

Their gifts bore witness to the reality of Jesus’ identity: gold for a king; frankincense for a god; and myrrh, both a medicine and a burial herb in the ancient world, for one who was to cure humanity of sin and death by his own saving death.

St. John Chrysostom described it this way:

“The Son of God, Who is the God of all things, is born a Man in a human body. He permits Himself to be placed in a crib, Who holds the heavens in His Hand. He is confined in a Manger whom the world cannot contain; He is heard in the voice of a wailing Infant, at Whose voice in the hour of His passion on the cross the whole earth trembled. The Magi, beholding a Child, profess that this is the Lord of Glory, the Lord of Majesty, . . ” [Sermon for the Epiphany].

The Baptism of Our Lord, which feast we celebrate next Sunday, and which I will treat at greater length in next week’s bulletin, signifies who the man Jesus is: the voice from Heaven tells us “This is my beloved Son, on whom my favor rests; listen to Him.”.

And, finally, the Wedding Feast at Cana: the first of Jesus’ public miracles as he began his ministry. At the prompting of His Mother, Jesus comes to the aid of a newly married couple. Sparing them the embarrassment of having no wine for their guests, He changes water into hundreds of gallons of the best wine anyone had ever tasted.

Who is this? These three events tell us: Jesus is the Creator of the universe, whose word created everything from nothing, and is obeyed even by the basic elements of nature. The child born in the manger is no mere child: He is the only God, eternally existing, through whom everything was created in the universe; who, for love of mankind created in His image and likeness, humbled Himself to be born in the image and likeness of sinful man, taking on human flesh of the Virgin Mary; He entered His creation to recreate everything by His presence and self-sacrifice. He especially comes to recreate every human being, wounded by the sin of Adam and subject to death, whom He frees by His life-giving death on the Cross. This is He, born in Bethlehem, revealed at the Jordan at His baptism, manifested in his power at Cana: God who became a man so that mankind might share His divine life.
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BAKE SALE: Special thanks to all those bakers and volunteers who donated their time, talent and treats to this year’s Christmas Bake Sale which was tremendously successful, despite a snow storm on Saturday, December 14th!  This year’s team of bakers numbered 30, both men and women,  and many ladies also helped to sell the delicious, festively wrapped treats after masses on Saturday and Sunday.  Special thanks to: Noreen DeSoye, Carla Countant, Angela Giannitti, Jennifer Marchetti, Maria Marchetti, Rosa Federici, Maureen Carpiniello, Valerie Collins, Lisa D’Acunto, Mary Jean Dalmolin, Paul Hughes, your baker friend that did breads at 1AM, Henry and Thomas (Ryan & Dylan) are their little sisters, they baked cookies and brownies, Beth Carpanzano, Tracy Banahan , Scholastica Nabwire, Jennifer Whipple Marciano, Maureen Hanna,Joe Pellicci , Sue Kremheller, Michelle Sherry, Nancy McKee, Lilian & Alvina Ramos, Rebecca Sullivan, Marie Boursiquot and  Terry Troilo. We raised $1,749 which will go towards the repairs needed at the rectory.  Every single baked good was sold and we are very grateful to all the parishioners who supported this super fun, fundraiser for our parish and rectory.  Stay tuned for more information later in 2014 when we hope to host a mid year Bake Sale! —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Val McIntosh, Pasqualina Bruzzese, Kathy Raggio, Elaine Mellace, Florita Guimbal, Harrie Humphreys, William Perretti, Rosa Vera, Tom Diffley, 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, Connie Ward, Ron DeCamp, Keith Nicholson.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Elmer Lipinski, Nelson Mandela, William Henry, Sr., Louis Chiapetta, Ann R. DiGiovanni, 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.

Special Energy Collection . . . The second collection today will be the Special Energy Collection to help pay the Higher Energy and Fuel Costs 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, January 6th.

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. Next meeting: January 8th.

March for Life:  Wednesday, January 22, 2014. The bus will be departing 5:30 am from the Bridgeport stopping at the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist at 6:00am.  The bus will be leaving Washington, D.C. at 4:00pm to return to Connecticut.  The fee for the bus is $75. Checks can be made payable to: Office for Pastoral Services and mailed to: Diocese of Bridgeport, Respect Life Ministry Office, 238 Jewett Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06606. Please register by Friday, January 17th. Please contact me if you have any questions, Maureen Ciardiello, Office of Pastoral Services, 203-416-1445, mciardiello@dibpt.org.

JANUARY 11TH: Conference on Fatherhood, to be held in the Basilica for all men: 12years and older, single and married; grand fathers and fathers bring your sons; sons, bring your dads and brothers: led by Steve Wood, internationally renowned Catholic speaker on virtue and family life. This is a conference about being a virtuous and strong Catholic man in today’s challenging culture. Stay tuned for further details: All men of the parish should join us for an inspirational day!!

Weekly Sunday collection:
Christmas December 25, 2013 $ 39,054.00
Christmas December 25, 2012 $ 43,180.52
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Jan. 12th, Sunday Readings: Is 42:1-4, 6-7; Acts 10:34-38; Mt 3:13-17

Home Schooling Families: Meet in the Msgr. Nagle Parish hall each First Friday: Feb 7, March 7, April 4, May 2. All ages are welcome. Please contact Bridget Bethray: bridget.bethray@gmail.com, or Janet Lancaster: 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 info: 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).

Trinity Catholic Middle School: is holding an Open House on Saturday, February 1, 2014 from 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. in our building at 948 Newfield Avenue, Stamford. The school is located on the same campus as Trinity Catholic High School. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet the Administration and Teachers, tour the facility, learn about the curriculum and have all of your questions answered.

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, January 27th.

Epiphany Sunday: This Sunday, January 5th: Solemn sung Vespers at 4:00 p m at The Church of Saint Gabriel: 914 Newfield Avenue, Stamford. Everyone is welcome for a beautiful afternoon of prayer, music and Eucharistic Adoration.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, January 4, 2014
4:00 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
Sunday, January 5, 2014
7:30 People of the Parish
10:00 +Frances Delaney 6th Anniversary req. Arthur J. Wargo
12:00 +Suzanna Donovan 19th Anniversary and +Dorothy McKenna req. Marion Morris and Diane Strain
5:00 +Frank Alagia
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, January 6, 2014
8:00 Special Intentions Terese Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
12:10 +Thomas L. Ferry Jr. req. Gregory Michels
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
8:00 Anthony Tymon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Catherine Pascale req. John and Laura Pascale
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
8:00 John J. Gannon req. Sharon Gannon
12:10 In Honor of the United Hearts of Jesus and Mary req. Fabiola C.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
8:00 +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Yvonne
Friday, January 10, 2014
8:00 +Francesco and Josephine Mancuso req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
12:10 Lori Legierse Birthday req. Millie Terenzio
Saturday, January 11, 2014
8:00 Deceased of Haiti earthquake of 2010
12:10 +Katherine Robustelli req. Cortland Mehl

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-HighSchoolers 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:
THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
150 years ago, or so:
January 5, 1866: “The second annual ball of the St. John’s Roman Catholic Benevolent Society, which took place at Hoyt’s Hall, on Friday night last, was a decided success, and a handsome sum must have been realized in aid of the charitable object of the association. The floor managers, Messrs. Eugene W. Drew, Hickey and Mannon, performed their duties in a manner creditable to themselves and agreeable to all concerned. The dancer’s feet kept time to the music of a fine quadrille band, and the harp “woke all its chords” for the enjoyment of the festive throng. The utmost order prevailed throughout and nothing occurred to mar the pleasure of the occasion.”

THE Connecticut catholic:
120 years ago, or so:
January 9, 1892: STAMFORD. “Mrs. John Ennis, the beloved wife of John Ennis of Myrtle Avenue, departed this life Saturday last, leaving behind her a large family to mourn her loss. Her death was unexpected and her loss is irreparable. Her funeral took place from St. John’s R.C. church Wednesday at 10 a.m. Rev. Father Keena celebrated a High Mass of Requiem for the repose of her soul. The floral pieces were many and beautiful and a large number of friends followed the remains to Springdale.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Mary Ennis was the wife of John Ennis, architect of the upper chapel of St. John’s Church. A stained glass window, which is dedicated to her memory, is on the Bell Street side of the church.)

THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
105 years ago, or so:
January 7, 1907: FINE MUSICAL SERVICE. “A Solemn High Mass will be celebrated in St. John’s R.C. Church at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, when the dedication of the new school and convent will take place. Miss Margaret Kennedy, the organist and choir director, is preparing a special musical program for the occasion, which, if it is carried out without any abridgement, is sure to be of great interest. The choir of this church, including the soloists, is a volunteer organization and it is doing excellent work, which really deserves much more appreciation than it at all times receives. Any one having a knowledge of musical composition knows that Catholic music is far more difficult than that of other churches, but, when it is properly sung, it is very beautiful. St. John’s choir has shown continued improvement during the past year and the soloists, Mrs. McMahon, Miss Hickey, John P. Reilly and Joseph Greeney, are doing especially creditable work, and the only thing they can expect for it is appreciation.”

THE EPIPHANY
– Fr Terry Walsh

“Today the Bridegroom claims his bride, the Church, since Christ has washed her sins away in Jordan’s waters; the Magi hasten with their gifts to the royal wedding; and the wedding guests rejoice, for Christ has changed water into wine, alleluia.” – Antiphon for the Canticle of Zechariah, the Epiphany

Light gives life: Creation, the Incarnation, the Epiphany! Consider that very first explosion of light emanating from the love of the Blessed Trinity. I wonder what it would have been like to have witnessed that moment. Sheer joy! Fiat! Let there be Light! And the motive? Pure love. And God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness”(Genesis 1:1-4). Even after the Fall, after Adam had chosen darkness, God reached out to rescue humanity from ‘the pit of destruction’ by taking upon His divine Person our human nature – the Incarnation. By becoming man, our Lord made it possible for us to bask in the perpetual Light of eternal beatitude. Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, obliterates the darkness: “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). The great Solemnity of the Epiphany manifests his Light to all the world: the Father’s Voice is heard from Heaven, “This is my beloved Son, Listen to Him.” The Magi, filled with awe and wonder, fell down in adoration. And at Cana, Jesus manifested His divinity publically for the first time, providing the New Wine, and his disciples believed in Him. Indeed, all who respond to the invitation of faith will receive the gift of light through an interior conversion of the heart. Then, the New Wine of grace received most abundantly through the sacraments, especially Holy Eucharist, will transfigure the soul. The Epiphany ushers into the world tremendous hope in the battle of life. It bursts through ‘the dark valley’ and, through faith, leads us to the interior light of wisdom and understanding – of awe and wonder. Light brings warmth and peace. We have a natural inclination toward it. Darkness, on the other hand, threatens us, leaving a cold feeling. Darkness causes us to stumble and fall away, even to the exclusion of fulfilling our true end, union with God. Like Adam, we too are vulnerable to deception. We are vulnerable to darkness pretending to be light. Just as Adam’s eyes were darkened by the film of pride, so too are the eyes of those who oppose the Light of Truth. Adam preferred a shiny apple more than he desired the light of grace. Consequently, he led mankind into the desert of darkness.

Jesus came to heal us of the darkness of our concupiscent tendencies. But we have to want to be healed; we have to choose the light. Our Lord exhorts us to examine our conscience and to purify our hearts: “Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is sound, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light”(Luke 11: 34).

In the end, our Lord will once again separate the Light from the Darkness – the sheep from the goats. Be filled with the light. Like St. Paul, who encountered our Risen Lord in a flash of blinding Light on the road to Damascus, we too must fall prostrate before him in our daily prayer and our willingness to shoulder the Cross. Our Lord will reach down to lift us up into the Light. Faithful daily prayer, thoughtful meditation of the Scriptures, and fidelity to the sacraments opens the soul to a greater capacity to receive the Light. Consequently, our spiritual vision will become clear and we will be able to act with greater love and so draw others into the Mystical Body of Christ.
“I am the Light of the world, he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12