For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday Jan 26, 2014

Old Church

Pastor’s Corner: For the majority of mortals residing in New England, January holds little more than gray, gloomy and frigid days, remembered only by the seeming eternity with which their bleak hours pass. It was never any better. For example,
January 26th, 1851 was just another such miserable mid-winter’s day for the inhabitants of Stamford, except for a handful of impoverished Catholic Irish immigrants and one travel-wearied bishop, who gathered to dedicate the wooden clapboard chapel of Saint John the Evangelist, then located on Meadow Street—where the Marriott stands today on Tresser Blvd. The event merited a few lines in the local Stamford paper, on the bottom of an inside page, very well below the fold:

“This very neat edifice which has been recently finished, on Meadow Street, in this village, was dedicated on Sunday last by appropriate ceremonies. The services were conducted by the Right Rev. Bernard O’Riley, of Providence, R.I.”

The wooden chapel measured 60 by 40 feet, and was under the jurisdiction and care of Father John C. Brady, Rector of St. Mary’s in Norwalk, who lived on Cove Road in Stamford, sort of mid-way between both towns.

In Yankee Connecticut, Catholics were few, and priests non-extant, in the early part of the 19th century. Patrick Walsh, a native of Ballintaylor in Waterford, Ireland, wrote his immigrant son Michael, then living in Rochksborough [today, Roxbury Road], Stamford. In his letter of June 19, 1828, Patrick scolded his son for not attending Mass: “You tell me you have no Roman Catholick [sic] Priest nearer to you than New York. Nevertheless, mind your duty to God and your Master, which is the only way to forward you, here and hereafter” [Basilica archives]. He disregarded his father’s advice, married a local Protestant girl, and spent his life preaching against Catholicism. Go figure!

By 1851, there were no more than about 100 Catholics in town. But they were loud and insistent, having repeatedly complained to the Bishops of Hartford to impress upon them that Stamford’s Catholic community, while small numerically, meant business, and needed not merely an occasional visit by an itinerant priest, but a pastor of souls who lived in town, with a church of their own. And they got what they needed and wanted!

Those two-fisted Catholic forbearers of ours were the men and women who also built our present church a few decades later, assisted by the help of hundreds more poor Catholic immigrants, whose presence swelled the Catholic community; and they built more than just another church, but, for the time, the largest stone church in the state on Atlantic Street. Somehow, they raised the funds, and, somehow, in the next century, they built one of the largest schools in the city, two convents, and Saint Joseph Hospital. Not bad! Those were the decades when the Church formed the local culture. Now, 160 years after the dedication of the original tiny wooden clapboard chapel on Meadow Street in “Little Dublin”, we are also a Basilica—the pope’s church in Fairfield County.

So, happy anniversary of our dedication! While the anniversary on the 26th of this month in the Year of Our Lord 2014 may not make your January days less dull, it should warm your hearts knowing that earlier generations of parishioners so loved and cherished the same Catholic faith that we share today, that they endured much to pass it on to us by providing God with the most beautiful church in the state. Let’s do the same: it’s time to complete the repainting of our basilica, so we can preserve both faith and parish church for the subsequent generations of Stamford’s Catholics.
—Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Ruth Coyle, James Tymon, 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: Antoinette Rubino, James Hale, 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.

Church in Latin America Collection . . . Please drop your special Church in Latin America envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.

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 27th.

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 29th.

Supper with Bishop Caggiano: Any young man, high school, college and post-college age who has ever thought about the priesthood, can be the guests of our Bishop on February 18th at the Saint John Fisher Seminary Residence on Newfield Avenue. There is no charge, nor obligation: just an opportunity to consider that God may truly be calling you to the priesthood. If you are interested, just contact Monsignor, or Fathers Audette or Walsh, or simply phone the office [203-324-1553, ext 21] and speak with Cindy, our parish secretary. If you’d need a ride, we’ll be happy to oblige.

SAINT GABRIEL PARISH LECTURE SERIES FOR LENT: CATHOLIC IDENTITY:
RENEWING OUR APPRECIATION –
On four Monday evenings during the Lenten season (March 10th,17th, 24th, and 31st) from 7:30 -8:30 p.m. in the Saint Gabriel parish hall, Dr. Joan Kelly will lead us on a tour of our Catholic Faith Tradition.  Together we will explore the wealth of our glorious Catholic Heritage steeped in a centuries old Tradition more than 2000 years old.  You will be enlightened about the historical resplendency of Catholic doctrine, ritual and devotion that manifests itself in our Church down to the present day!

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday January 19, 2014 $ 10,988.00
Sunday January 20, 2013 $ 11,389.47
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Feb. 2nd, Sunday Readings: Mal 3:1-4; Heb 2:14-18; Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22-32.

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.

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.

HOLY SPIRIT SCHOOL—OPEN HOUSE: Applications are now being accepted for the 2014/2015 school year. Open Houses are Sunday, January 26th from 10AM—1PM and Monday, January 27th thru Wednesday, January 29th from 9:30AM—11:30AM. For directions and more information, please contact Ms. Dina Monti, Principal at 203-329-1623 or visit our website , www.holyspiritschool.info and learn how our nurturing learning environment and Christian values can launch your children’s life-long academic and spiritual growth!

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, January 27th.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, January 25, 2014
4:00 +Dr. Vincent and Theresa Kung req. Family
Sunday, January 26, 2014
7:30 +Franco Pericles req. Marie F. Florestal
10:00 +Thomas O’Grady req. Bill and Mary Fox
12:00 +Anthony Lepore and +June Lambiase req. Rose Lepore and Lambiase’s Family
5:00 +Frank Alagia
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, January 27, 2014
8:00 +Jackie Savage
12:10 +Marcello Santagata req. Angela Giannitti
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
8:00 Gertha Laurent
12:10 +Scott A. Clark req. Collins Family
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
8:00 +Mary and Thomas O’Brien req. Barbara O’Brien
12:10 All Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
8:00 Alexandra Laurent req. Mom
12:10 +Vincent DeVivo – 56th Anniversary req. Munro and DeVivo Families
Friday, January 31, 2014
8:00 +Mrs. N. Isidro req. Glenda Treadway
12:10 +Francis J. Sullivan req. Anne and Salvatore Conte
Saturday, February 1, 2014
8:00 +Josephine C. Palastro req. Marilen Versaggi and Family
12:10 +Sanil Wagnac req. Ferry G.

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:

DEDICATION OF THE ORIGINAL CHURCH OF ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST, JANUARY 26, 1851.

THE BOSTON PILOT:
February 3rd, 1851: Connecticut. STAMFORD. “Mr. Editor: From a conviction of the interest which your truly Catholic paper has always taken in communicating through its columns the progress of our holy religion, I take pleasure in informing you of the dedication of our Church in Stamford, on Sunday, January 26th, by the Rt. Rev. Bishop O’Reilly. The morning was beautiful and it would appear that the cross shone with more than usual luster: from an early hour in the morning the hills and valleys were literally covered over with the sons and daughters of the emerald isle, whose hearts and souls were overflowing with joy that the time at length arrived when they had a church to be dedicated to the service of Almighty God. This church has been commenced and completed by the indefatigable zeal of our pious and exemplary pastor, Rev. John C. Brady, with the cooperation of the whole-souled Catholics of Stamford. The Church was dedicated to Almighty God under the patronage of St. John the Evangelist, after which confirmation was conferred on a considerable number, who were duly prepared by their Rev. Pastor; then High Mass was sung by the Pastor, and after the first gospel the Bishop ascended the platform and preached a very eloquent and persuasive sermon on the gospel of the day to a crowded congregation, many of whom were not of our religion, yet they were much delighted by the mild and charitable sermon. In the afternoon at vespers he preached one of the most powerful and practicable sermons we ever heard. On the following Tuesday he dedicated another Church, erected by the same pastor, under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary , and administered confirmation to those who were prepared here; he was assisted by the Rev. Mr. Lynch of Bridgeport, and Rev. Mr. Brady of Middletown. So now Mr. Editor you must think that our holy religion is flourishing rapidly along the Sound. A few years ago there was no cross erected to cheer the heart of a poor Irish emigrant coming from New York to New Haven, but now the emblem of salvation may be seen in every little village. Yours truly, J. T. O’R.”

“The Eucharist: “the Heart and the Summit of the Church’s life”
– Fr. Terry Walsh

In the stillness of the Upper Room, in that first Eucharistic Feast at the Last Supper, the Apostles were distraught at the talk of betrayal and the departure of the Lord. Knowing the path that lay before Him, His terrible passion, His suffering and death, Jesus assured the Apostles that He would always remain with them. He consoled them with the most tender words, consecrating them in the truth, reminding them of his love. As they listened to Jesus pray to the Father on their behalf, they heard a plea for unity and love and at the same time, a commission to preach the word and so build up the Body of Christ. “Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one…I do not pray for these only but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me…that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them”(John 17: 11,20-21,26). The Eucharist unites us to Christ and to one another. We have arrived at the threshold of that “moment” – the moment of the most intimate unity between God and man – we are about to receive the Eucharist. As we eagerly anticipate this utterly profound moment, we joyfully stand to pray to our Heavenly Father in the words our Lord gave us. In our humble petition, we offer praise and thanks and at the same time, we ask: “Give us this day our daily bread” – the Living Bread come down from Heaven to be in us! Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever…he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and…abides in me, and I in him”(John 6:51, 54, 56). God is poised in this moment to enter “under our roof” and dwell in our house and nourish and heal our souls, making us ready for Heaven. As we anticipate the inestimable graces that will enable us to produce good fruit throughout our earthly sojourn, graces that will help us turn away from sin and more readily embrace the call to holiness, we gaze upon the Cross and simply contemplate the cost of so great a gift. We are utterly humbled. Amazing! In unison, we pray: “Our Father…” Imagine, we are calling Almighty God, Father! St. Paul explained to the Romans the beauty of this filial bond made possible by the sacrifice of His Only-Begotten Son: “When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him”(Romans 8: 15-17). And now, we’re about to receive His Son. Extraordinary! As a unified community, we pray “Our Father…” with faith and hope, and love, celebrating His mercy. We believe He will sustain us in our trials and tribulations, most especially through the graces that flow into us abundantly through the Eucharist! As our thoughts drift back to the Upper Room, we recall our Lord’s invitation: “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him…Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid”(John 14: 23, 27). Our Lord says these same words to us at every Mass. We are there, in the Upper Room with Him. Soon, in a moment, He will be placed upon our tongue, wrapped in the tiny host, and He will remain with us. Consider just how easy He makes it for us. He nourishes and sustains us through gifts of ordinary bread and wine that have become His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

As the priest “fractures” the Host, breaking it in half, perhaps we contemplate that moment when Blood and Water flowed from the open wound inflicted by the Roman soldier who had thrust a spear into His side. It is this same “Life-giving” Blood that heals our brokenness. Taking a small piece from the Host, the priest places it inside the Chalice and quietly prays these words: “May this mingling of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it.” We cry out, “Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.” Naturally, our thoughts drift to that poignant moment when John the Baptist first uttered this cry in the desert and encouraged his disciples to go and follow Him. At the same time, we might consider the Exodus when the blood of the lamb was placed over the doorposts of the Israelites so that the angel of death would “Passover” them, so that they would live. Now, the Blood of the true Lamb comes to us, sacramentally, in the Eucharist. We’ve been called to the Supper of the Lamb. We behold Him, just as the Apostles did, and humbly proclaim: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” What tremendous depth these words convey. St. Augustine reminds us: “We are all beggars before God.” The time has finally come to receive Him. We may only receive the Eucharist in “the state of grace” – that is, free from all mortal sin. St. Paul put it this way: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself”(1Corinthians 11:27-29). Jesus thirsts for our love. He has given us the means to prepare ourselves to receive Him faithfully. Upon receiving Him, we take time to offer a prayer of thanksgiving, mindful of His Real and abiding Presence in us. Now, we are ready to go out into the world—on a mission—to draw others into the Body of Christ—through our faith and love. After offering the prayer after Communion, the priest imparts God’s blessing and sends us out to ‘love and serve the Lord.’ And from that very moment, we begin again our faithful preparation for the next Mass we attend. “Make the Mass your life!”