For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday April 6, 2014

Crucifixion
Pastor’s Corner: This Sunday ushers in the period of Passiontide. Our attention is centered entirely upon the sacrificial and redeeming aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry: Jesus’ Passion and suffering, death on the Cross, descent into hell, bodily resurrection from the dead are as so many acts in His conflict with Satan, and in His triumph over death. To underscore this, all statues are covered: the Church wears her “widow’s weeds”, as it were: she begins to mourn, and allows nothing to distract her from fixing her attention on the sacrificial death of Her Bridegroom, Jesus the Lord. Only the crucifixion window above the altar, and the Stations of the Cross are visible.

The meaning of the Cross had been expressed clearly in the New Testament, especially in the Letter to the Hebrews and the four Gospels. By the early fourth century these teachings became more popularly expressed, especially after the rediscovery of the True Cross upon which Jesus died in Jerusalem —it had been buried and preserved beneath the temple to Jupiter, built atop the ancient memorial of Our Lord’s death at Calvary by the 2nd century Roman Emperor Hadrian.

Why a veneration of the Cross? Because the Cross as the instrument of our salvation, and the throne of Christ’s glorious victory over Satan and death. The ancient Holy Thursday Eucharistic hymn, Pange Lingua, expresses this: “Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle; over the trophy of the Cross, proclaim the noble triumph; tell how the Redeemer of the world won victory through His sacrifice. The Creator looked on sadly as the first man, Adam, was deceived, and as he fell into the snare of death, taking a bite of a lethal fruit; it was then that God chose this blessed piece of wood [the Cross] to destroy the other tree’s curse. You alone, O Cross, have been worthy to carry the ransom of the world; mankind’s ship had gone down beneath the waves, but you opened the way to our port of rescue. For you, O Cross, are anointed with the sacred blood which sprung forth from the body of the Lamb.”

Saint John’s is blessed in many ways. As we approach the holiest time of the year, Holy Week, one blessing stands out in my mind: the parish has a Relic of the True Cross: splinters of the wood upon which hung Our Savior, Jesus. It was a gift a few years ago, and fully documented, set in a beautiful 18th century Flemish reliquary. You may have noticed that the door of the tabernacle on the Saint Joseph side altar is missing: I removed it, and replaced it with an unbreakable plexi-glass door set in a brass frame, which locks. The small tabernacle is now the Shrine of the Holy Cross: a permanent reliquary of the True Cross. The Prayer before the Crucifix is on the rail: a meditation about Jesus, Crucified.

Spend some time there during this week, and during next week—Holy Week, meditating on Christ’s generous sacrifice to save you: go to Confession, and join in the Holy Week services on April 16th, 17th, 18th and 11th.
–Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Charles Armstrong, Pasqualina Bruzzese, Nancy Gallagher, Jessica Fleckenstein, Lilliana Papa, Megan Bobroske, Connor Walsh, Billy Therriault, Thomas Bernie, Connie Ward, James Meadows II, Karin Fahey, Margaret Potolicchio, Ruth Coyle, James Tymon, Terence Dervishi, Andres Ferrer Sr., Val McIntosh, Kathy Raggio, Elaine Mellace, Florita Guimbal, Harrie Humphreys, William Perretti, Rosa Vera, Tom Diffley, Bonnie Keyes, Ed Grady.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Jeanette Pavia, Maryann Cornelio, Ernest Szechenyi, Theodore Scheidel, Jr., Virginia Donaghue, Marcel Gedeon, Antoinette Rubino, James Hale, Edna Campbell, Joseph Pavia, Elmer Lipinski, William Henry, Sr., Louis Chiapetta, Ann R. DiGiovanni, Patricia Morris, Jean Fusaro, Frederick Intrieri, Jody Ann O’Brien.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: Victims and Families of the Malaysian Airliner req. Joan and John Kronk.

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, Monday, April 7th.

Abstinence from eating meat: All Fridays during Lent: are days of abstinence from eating meat for those 14 years and older, unless sickness or medical conditions prevent this.

Confessions During Lent: Besides the usual daily schedule, Confessions will also be heard each Tuesday during Lent: 7pm– 9pm in the Basilica.

Stations of the Cross: Fridays during Lent at 4:00pm in the Basilica.

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.

KENTUCKY DERBY: Save the Date!! May 3rd: our annual parish fundraising event: the simulcast of the Derby in the Monsignor Nagle Hall, 4-7pm: outstanding food and drink, raffles, a live auction, and great fun. Come join us for the Kentucky Derby at St. John’s. All proceeds for the repainting and repair of the Rectory.

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, June 22nd, 5:30 pm: Corpus Christi: Join us in our Eucharistic Procession through Stamford , followed by a parish block party: food and fun for the family, with the great nationally renowned band: L’ANGELUS, who played here two years ago. Join us.

Trinity Catholic High School: Please support Trinity Catholic High School here in Stamford. Tickets for the 2014 Cash Raffle are being sold in the vestibule after all Sunday masses on April 6th. Tickets are $50.00 each. First prize is $5,000 cash, second prize $2,500, and third is $1,000. Your support will allow Trinity Catholic High to continue to provide Catholic values, moral development and academic excellence to future generations for years to come.

BISHOP CAGGIANO & OUTDOOR STATIONS OF THE CROSS: At Saint Margaret’s Shrine, 2532 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, on Palm Sunday, April 13th at 1pm. Led by Bishop Caggiano through the beautiful grounds of our only Diocesan Shrine, the Stations of the Cross are a wonderful way to begin Holy Week.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday March 30, 2014 $ 15,759.65
Sunday March 31, 2013 $ 10,602.28

Please increase your Sunday offering by $5.00 each weekend.
“I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”
—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

April 13th, Sunday Readings: Is 50:4-7; Phil 2:6-11; Mt 26:14-27:66 or 27:11-54.

Annual Bishop’s Appeal: Has begun. Saint John’s goal, set by the diocese, is $100,000. The funds collected for the Bishop are used for the numerous charitable and educational works of the Diocese. We have collected to date: $22,315. Please be generous; we need everyone’s help.

Home Schooling Families: Meet in the Msgr. Nagle Parish hall each First Friday: 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.

STAMFORD SYMPHONY: Will perform Handel’s Messiah in our Basilica on
Saturday, December 6, 2014: Tickets go on sale in March ONLY THROUGH
THE STAMFORD SYMPHONY PATRON SERVICE: 203-325-1407, ext. 10.

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 seeks volunteers: Support women with unplanned pregnancies to bring their babies to term, providing pregnancy tests, connecting women with medical, financial, legal and other resources. Flexible schedules; training 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).

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, April 28th.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, April 5, 2014
4:00 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
Sunday, April 6, 2014
7:30 +Virginia Carr req. Marie Carr
10:00 People of the Parish
12:00 +Eugene Drozd req. John Paul and Angela Marchetti
5:00 +Frank Alagia
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, April 7, 2014
8:00 Thanksgiving Mass
12:10 +John and Angelina Pascale req. John and Laura Pascale
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
8:00 Lois Costantino req. Sal Costantino
12:10 +Father Anthony Dandry req. Laura and John Pascale
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
8:00 +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Frances and Harry Fabrizio req. Mary Long
Thursday, April 10, 2014
8:00 Souls in Purgatory
12:10 Special Intentions Marion Morris req. Armelle
Friday, April 11, 2014
8:00 +Tomas D. Rosete req. Rosita A. Domdom
12:10 +Eileen Collins req. McAleer Family
Saturday, April 12, 2014
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10 +Catherine Wallace req. Dr. Joe McAleer

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:
April 7, 1871: “Rev. Eugene Gaffney, of the Roman Catholic church, has left Stamford to take charge of a parish in Thomaston, Conn. His place is supplied by Rev. Father Daly.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: The Reverend Eugene Gaffney was a curate from 1867 to 1871 at St. John’s.)

100 years ago, or so:
April 8, 1914: Holy Week in Catholic Churches. “Holy Week services begin in the Catholic Churches tomorrow. In St. John’s Catholic Church, the choir and the priests are to sing the Tenebrae tomorrow evening, at 7:30. Here is the schedule of services: Holy Thursday: Solemn Mass and procession at 8 a.m. Vesper service, with singing of Tenebrae, at 7:30 p.m. Good Friday: Mass of the pre-sanctification, 9 a.m. Meditation of the Lord’s agony, 2 to 3 p.m. Stations of the Cross, 7:30 p.m. Holy Saturday: Blessing of the new fire, the paschal candle, the baptismal and Easter holy water, followed by solemn Mass and procession, services beginning at 7 a.m.”

85 years ago, or so:
April 4, 1927: K of C to Observe 40th Anniversary. “Plans are under way for an observance by the membership of the 40th anniversary of St. Augustine Council, No. 41, Knights of Columbus, which will occur on Sunday, April 24. The program will open at 8:30 a.m. when the knights will attend a Mass in St. John’s Catholic Church to receive communion in a body. Following this there will be a communion breakfast served in the Elks’ Hall for which an attractive program has been prepared. Judging from reservations received to date, the breakfast will be largely attended. The committee requests that members who have not yet made reservations do so at once in order that sufficient accommodations may be prepared.”

75 years ago, or so:
April 7, 1938: Senior Division, Church Sodality, Plans Skating Party. “Numerous activities for the coming month were planned by the Senior Division, Children of Mary Sodality of St. John’s Catholic Church at its monthly meeting, Monday evening. A skating party will be given, April 20, at Columbus Hall. In the afternoon, a party for children will be held. Members are to meet in the basement of the church, tomorrow evening after devotions. Plans were discussed for the May crowning ceremony, Sunday, May 22. Rev. N. P. Coleman, pastor, spoke in regard to the mission to be held during the first week of May. Rev. Charles Hagearty, chaplain, also spoke. It was decided to hold the annual Communion breakfast of the society in October.”

The Fourth Station
Jesus is met by His Blessed Mother
“And a Sword shall pass through your Heart”
-Fr Terry Walsh

Many who have had near death experiences seem to speak of a similar occurrence – that there whole life passed before their eyes in an instant. Could this be what the moment of Judgment might be like? Images of the Vision of Isaiah come to mind (Is.6). We will, at some moment, find ourselves in the same position as Isaiah did. Each of us will stand before the Throne of God and we’ll be in the Presence of Perfect Holiness, perfect beauty, purity, and truth. We’ll be in the Presence of Love Himself; that is, with the One who emptied Himself of His glory in order to become Incarnate in the Spotless Womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary; the One born into the world that He created in order to offer Himself to the Father in reparation for our sins. Long before He was sentenced by Pilate, Jesus knew what sort of death He would endure. He knew. And so did His Blessed Mother, who consented to His sacrifice with incomparable sorrow and with perfect love. Theirs is the most unique of relationships. Mary is so intimately woven in the life of Her Son: She shares in His Glory, She shares in His pain. De Montfort wrote, “The Most High God came down to us in a perfect way through the humble Virgin Mary, without losing anything of His divinity or holiness. It is likewise through Mary that we poor creatures must ascend to almighty God in a perfect manner without having anything to fear”(157).

How well do we honor Her? How well do we pray for Her Motherly Hands of love to guide us along the path that ends in the Heart of Jesus? What heartache She endured to know the rejection Her loving Son would bear: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…(Is. 53:3)” He carried our sorrows, indeed, He fell under their weight – 3 times. “Yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with His stripes we are healed….He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth”(Is. 53:4). The Son of Mary is our only entrance into Holiness – into Eternal Beatitude – is through Him. “I am the Living Bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats this Bread, he will live for ever; and the Bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh”(Jn 6:51). Through His Passion He demonstrated the depth of His love – the spilling of His Precious Blood became ‘the wellspring to all life, all holiness’ and the only means by which our sins may be taken away and our souls made pure. Sacramental Confession affords us the opportunity to “review the reel” of our life and to seek forgiveness for our transgressions before we stand before the Throne of God. We are healed through the Blood of the One who gave Himself up for us. He alone makes us worthy to enter the Perfection of Heaven. Now is the time of mercy. Mercy is the reason for his dwelling among us, for his suffering, his death, and ultimately his Resurrection. “He poured out His soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors”(Is. 53:12).

Mary shared in that suffering, spiritually, and poured out Her love as only She could, at that sorrowful meeting on the Way to Calvary. St. Josemaria Escriva reflected, “Jesus had been waiting for this meeting with His Mother. How many childhood memories! Bethlehem, the flight into Egypt, the village of Nazareth. Now again he wants her by His side, on Calvary…Our Lord and His Mother will not abandon us and whenever it is necessary, they will make their presence felt to fill the hearts of their loved ones with security and peace.” As you reflect on your relationship with Jesus and Mary, what images come to mind? What life experiences represent your ‘Bethlehem’ or your ‘flight into Egypt’? In your journey, have you called out to Jesus and Mary through thoughtful reflection on the Mysteries of our Lord’s life, especially through the Scriptures and the Rosary? Have you willingly picked up your Cross and so received the consolation of your Mother’s love and encouragement. She is there, at the 4th Station, waiting for you.