For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday Jan 12, 2014

Pastor’s Corner: As this Christmas season progresses, the Church celebrates three 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 why He was born.

The Three Kings came, having followed a star rising in the east. In reality, they saw a rare eclipse of Jupiter by the moon. The movement of Jupiter, the “king” of planets, was interpreted in the ancient world as a portent of a royal birth. The Three Kings, or Magi, observed this, and understood that the baby they found in Bethlehem was no mere child, but a king; but they did not know the child was greater than any other 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, the 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 on the Cross.

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 this weekend, 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.” The baptism Jesus received at the hands of Saint John the Baptist was a preparatory penitential rite: it could not forgive sins; as John would say, his work only prepared for the greater work of the greater one who would follow him: only that Baptism Jesus would institute as a sacrament could forgive sins. Jesus submits to John’s ritual as a sign to all sinful mankind that we must submit to the will of the Father to receive forgiveness through Christ.

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 came to the aid of a newly-married couple. Sparing them the embarrassment of having no wine for their guests, He changed hundreds of gallons of water into the best wine anyone had ever tasted. An act of miraculous charity.

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 sacrifice on the cross. 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 can share His divine life.

—Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Terence Dervishi, Antoinette Rubino, Andres Ferrer Sr., 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: Edna Campbell, Joseph Pavia, 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.

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 13th.

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 leads our study of The Book of Isaiah, on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8 pm in the Rectory. Bring your Bible. Next meeting: January 15th.

BAKE SALE: Special thanks also to those bakers and volunteers who we missed giving thanks to in last week’s bulletin. Special thanks to: Juanita Evans, Keiko Martello, Jane Marie Raiteri, Eileen Tarleton, and Aura Valerie Collins who made brownies and the espresso. We are grateful for those 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!  Again, we raised $1,749 which will go towards the repairs needed at the rectory.
—Msgr. DiGiovanni

March for Life: Wednesday, January 22, 2014. A bus from the Diocese will be stopping at the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist at 6:00am.  The bus will leave 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.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday December 29, 2013 $ 11,735.00
Sunday December 30, 2012 $ 16,554.37
Sunday January 5, 2014 $ 8,603.50
Sunday January 6, 2013 $ 13,024.28
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Jan. 19th, Sunday Readings: Is 49:3, 5-6; 1 Cor 1:1-3; Jn 1:29-34.

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: 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.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, January 11, 2014
4:00 +Novart Mary Casparian req. Carpanzano Family
Sunday, January 12, 2014
7:30 +Deceased members of the Sexton and Winter Families req. Hannah Sexton Young
10:00 +James M. Conlon req. Carpanzano Family
12:00 Mass of Thanksgiving and +John Maloney req. Diane Strain and Mary Maloney
5:00 +Frank Alagia
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, January 13, 2014
8:00 Capt. Patrick J. Heiny USMC req. Sharon Gannon
12:10 +Wilhelmina Letterman req. Pam Rittman
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
8:00 +Lina and Xavier Fontaine and Family req. Jean-Guillaume Family
12:10 +Mary Rinaldi req. John and Laura Pascale
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
8:00 +Donald Curry req. Nancy Finlay
12:10 All Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
8:00 +David Buttolph req. Nancy Finlay
12:10 Souls of Purgatory req. Onide Jean-Guillaume
Friday, January 17, 2014
8:00 +Anna D’Ambrosio req. Nancy Finlay
12:10 +Louis Fecci – 2nd Anniversary req. Louise Munro
Saturday, January 18, 2014
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10 +Victoria Santagata req. Angela Giannitti

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 ADVOCATE:

145 years ago, or so:
January 15, 1869: Our Local Clergymen. “In giving very brief sketches of our Stamford clergymen, we must premise by saying that we think this town excels in this profession; and though we would not, if we could justly, say unpleasant things of any one of them, it gives us great pleasure to say what we do, believing it to be the truth, and the friends of those mentioned, we trust, will find the portraits faithfully executed. Father Fagan, of the Roman Catholic church, though but a short time here, has already, as we learn, won the respect and confidence of his numerous parishioners. He takes a great interest in the temporal as well as spiritual welfare of his people, and in this he is ably and efficiently seconded by the Rev. Eugene Gaffney, his assistant.”

110 years ago, or so:
January 17, 1903: Roman Catholic. “Tomorrow will be the Feast of the Holy Name and will be specially observed by Roman Catholics. In St. John’s Church, the Holy Name Society, which has membership of about 500 men, will receive Holy Communion at the 7:30 o’clock Mass.”

75 years ago, or so:
January 18, 1939: Spiritual Retreat For Catholic Youth Of Stamford Planned. “The first annual mid-year spiritual retreat for boys and girls of high school age will be held in St. John’s Catholic Church Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 27, 28 and 29, it was announced today by the Inter-parish Council of the Stamford Catholic Youth Organization. The retreat exercises will be directed by Rev. Robert X. Sheridan, S.J., a member o the faculty of Boston College High School, who has had considerable experience with high school students’ retreats in New England. The retreat will be for boys and girls of every parish in Stamford and is not only for those who are attending school but for those of high school age who are working.”

50 years ago, or so:
January 12, 1963: Scenes For Movie To Be Filmed At Church, School Here. “Stamford again will be “location” for scenes for a moving picture to be made by a Hollywood movie company. Specifically, St. John’s Church on Atlantic St. and St. John’s School will be used in filming of scenes in “The Cardinal.” The movie, based on the novel of the same name, will be a fictional biography of a cardinal. St. John’s Church will be used as the church where early in his career, the cardinal is a parish priest. The shooting of the Stamford scenes is expected to begin Feb. 7 and take about a week.”

THE LITURGY of the EUCHARIST
– Fr Terry Walsh

“A picture speaks a thousand words!” This old familiar expression is clearly displayed in homes of those who adorn their walls with pictures of family and friends, which constantly serve to remind them of their love for one another. A glance through a family album reveals still more priceless memories. A little deeper reflection on any one of these snapshots in time would certainly evoke a deep and perhaps even mysterious appreciation of the profound impact they actually had on the lives of others; how they helped pave the paths that led to many bountiful graces and blessings. When we carefully consider their loving influence, deeply felt emotions often bubble to the surface of our hearts. Naturally, our appreciation of their influence leads to a greater understanding of the sacrificial nature of love. So often, there is a yearning to cling to those “moments” – to “go back” and “re-live” each precious experience with a new found appreciation of its significance. While the joyful memories effortlessly rush over our hearts, even the painful ones may arouse a deeper gratitude for sacrifices that were not fully understood at the time. If only we could go back and enter into that “life-changing” moment and once again enjoy the graces flowing from that love! Would that we could express our gratitude, even as we continue to receive the gift! Ah, only in the Mass is this very hope realized where we are, in fact, able to “go back” even though we are actually “moving forward”. In the Mass, we enter into the most extraordinary act of love and mercy ever known to man: the moment when Jesus laid down his life upon the altar of the Cross so that we could share in his divine life. We contemplate His sacrifice even while we continue to receive its fruits. Truly, it happens at every Mass. In a mysterious and efficacious way, we are there – at the Last Supper – hearing the words of consecration – as He says them. We are truly at the foot of the Cross with our Blessed Mother – She, likewise, is really and truly present. It’s not a simple picture, as we observe in the beautiful stained glass window, but rather, it is the reality of the Mass. The Eucharistic prayer paints the picture for us while at the same time makes present the one perfect sacrifice of Jesus, which took place in time, nearly 2000 years ago but that we enter into at every Mass. The Priest calls us to lift up our hearts to the Lord in thoughtful preparation for the Eucharistic Prayer: it is right and just. While we have come to give thanks and praise, we will actually receive the outpouring of grace from the pure, spotless, holy victim, the Lamb of God. The Church teaches that the Anaphora, that is, the Eucharistic Prayer, is “the heart and summit of the celebration of the Mass.” While there are different Eucharistic Prayers, each of them shares certain common attributes: the Preface, the Epiclesis, the Institution narrative, the Anamnesis, and the Intercession. We are remembering what Jesus has done; indeed, we are entering into it. At the Last Supper, Jesus instituted the Memorial of his sacrifice, the Eucharist, and conferred upon the Apostles the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the Sacred Priesthood, so that the Memorial of his Passion, Death, and Resurrection would be offered throughout the rest of time – for our salvation. He promised he would remain with us forever and so he does – through his priests.

The Preface introduces us to the mysterious union of heaven and earth as we call to mind various aspects of the mystery of the life of Christ. There are many different Prefaces, each expressing a different aspect of our salvation. After calling to mind the particular facet of the salvation won for us by our Lord celebrated in the Preface, we enter into the song of the angels and saints: “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!” All of heaven is in our midst – we are entering into their constant chorus of thanks and praise in the presence of God. The great prophet Isaiah (Book of Isaiah, Chapter 6) as well as our Patron, St. John (Revelation 4:6), were blessed with a vision of the glory of God. Indeed, many Saints have been given the grace of seeing what the Church has always held: that in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we are entering into the Glory of God. He is Present, along with the angelic hosts and all the saints. We truly sing with them. Consider the Trinitarian nature of this Heavenly chorus of wonder and praise for the gifts of creation, redemption, and sanctification. We sing “Holy (Father), Holy (Son), Holy (Holy Spirit)! Lord God of Hosts! Heaven and earth are filled with your glory!” All three Persons of the Holy Trinity are at work. Next, the priest, standing in the place of Christ, prays to the Father to send the Holy Spirit on the gifts of bread and wine that are upon the altar of sacrifice. This part of the Eucharistic prayer is known as the Epiclesis. The Priest extends his hands over the offerings and says: “Be pleased, O God, we pray, to bless, acknowledge, and approve this offering in every respect; make it spiritual and acceptable, so that it may become for us the Body and Blood of your most beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.” Then with clear distinction, the priest pronounces the words of Institution, which include the words of Consecration. While the words of Institution vary slightly among the different Eucharistic Prayers that may be chosen for the Mass, the words of consecration are identical in all the forms of the Eucharistic Prayers. When the priest holds up the Host after the consecration prayer, understand that Jesus is really there – Christ is turning His Merciful gaze toward you from the tiny host and calls you by name: “Come to Me…I will give you ‘Living Water’… ‘I will fill you with Divine Light’… ‘I will feed your thirsty soul with the Bread of Angels and streams of Living Water will forever well up from within you!’ What greater example of mercy could there possibly be? In those few brief moments, through the eyes of faith, we can see the extraordinary Light emanating from the very Heart of God, exploding out to the entire Universe, stamping out darkness, crushing all impurity, restoring Light, Happiness, and Peace. He has offered Himself in sacrifice for our salvation; we are offered the gift of life in the Eucharist. After we proclaim the Mystery of Faith, we continue with the Anamnesis; that is, the remembrance of salvation history: the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and our joyful expectation of His return. While the various forms of the Eucharistic prayer vary slightly in the Anamnesis, all call to mind the cost of our Salvation and the glorious return of our Lord.

Finally, the Eucharistic Prayer concludes with the Intercession. We are in the midst of a great spiritual reality: by virtue of our incorporation into the Mystical Body of Christ through our baptism, we are actually praying together with the whole Church at every Mass – everyone is spiritually present. “In the Intercession, the Church indicates that the Eucharist is celebrated in communion with the whole Church in heaven and on earth, the living and the dead, and in communion with the pastors of the Church, the Pope, the diocesan bishop, his presbyterium and his deacons, and all the bishops of the whole world together with their Churches”(Catechism of the Catholic Church, no.1334). The Mass is a supernatural reality; there is more taking place than meets the eye, and our appreciation of this truth requires our ardent desire to understand – to look at the picture and reflect on the meaning. The Great Amen affirms our true belief while our understanding continues to unfold as we fall in love with God.