For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Easter Sunday April 20, 2014
Pastor’s Corner: The greatest proof of God’s love for us is the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and His bodily Resurrection from the grave. Christ began His Catholic Church, established on the Apostles, to share the fruits of His Cross and Resurrection throughout time. We actually share in the fruits of these greatest of all historic events by means of the Church’s seven sacraments, instituted by Christ. Let’s read the Church’s early teachings:
Ancient Holy Saturday Homily [2nd century]: “Today there is a great silence over the earth, for the King sleeps. . . God is dead in the flesh, and has shaken Sheol to its foundations. He goes to seek our first parents like a lost sheep. He cries out, ‘
I bid you: Awake, sleeper! I did not create you to lie bound in hell. Arise from the dead, for I am life to those who have died. Rise up, work of my hands, my likeness, made in my image. Rise, let us go hence.
‘For your sake I put on your lowly shape as a man. For your sake I came to earth and to the underworld. See the spittle on my face—it was for you, that you might have the breath of life again. See my cheeks reddened by the blows—it was for you, that you might be remade in my image. See my torn back—it was for you, that I might take the burden of sin from your shoulders. See the nail-marks in my hands—it was for you, because you once put your hand to the forbidden tree.
‘Arise, let us go hence. I have a heavenly throne prepared for you, and the cherubim shall bow down before you.’”
Jerusalem Catechesis, 20-22 [4th century]: “What marvelous love God shows to us! Christ endured the tormenting nails in his innocent hands and feet; we, knowing nothing of his pain and suffering, receive the salvation that sprang from them.
Let no one, therefore, think of baptism simply as forgiveness of sins and grace of adoption by God, as though it were identical with the baptism of John the Baptist, which effected only forgiveness. For our baptism not only brings forgiveness and the gifts of the Holy Spirit; it is also the symbolic expression of Christ’s sufferings. . . You were baptized into Christ and you put on Christ, in this way you were made like the Son of God.
At the Last Supper, Christ said of the bread: ‘This is my Body.’ Who can doubt the truth henceforth? He said of the wine: ‘This is my Blood.’ Who can claim that it is not his Blood? Let us then, with full conviction receive the bread and wine as Christ’s Body and Blood. The Body is given to you in this symbolic form of bread and the Blood in the form of wine; having received them, you are one in body and one in blood with Christ. Thus, we become Christ-bearers, for his Body and Blood have been introduced into our bodies. Thereby, too, we become, according to Blessed Peter, sharers in the divine nature.”
St. Augustine, Sermon 3 [5th century]: “The Passion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is a pledge of victory and a lesson in patience. What may the hearts of believers not expect from God’s grace when His only Son did not hesitate to become a man and to die at the hands of men whom He Himself had created? Great indeed are God’s promises to us, but greater still is what He has already done for us. How can we doubt that He will give us his life [forever] when He has already given us His death?
Who is Christ but the Word that ‘was in the beginning, was with God, and was God’? [John 1: 1 and cf. Gen 1:1] That Word ‘was made flesh and dwelt among us.’ [John 1:2] He was unable as God to die for us; to die, He had to take mortal flesh from us. Then the immortal One could die and give life to mortal men and women; He would give a share of Himself to those whose lot He first shared as a man. We had no power of ourselves to live; He had no power of Himself to die. He entered, therefore, into an exchange with us: we gave Him the means of dying for us; He gave us the means of living forever.” —Msgr. DiGiovanni
Please pray for the sick: Christina Samon Ta-Chu, Charles Armstrong, Pasqualina Bruzzese, Nancy Gallagher, 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.
Please pray for those who have recently died: Jessica Rybnick Fleckenstein, 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.
Easter Collection . . . The second collection today will be the Easter 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, Monday, April 21st.
Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: +Edward and Bill Cody req. Cody Family
Divine Mercy Sunday: April 27th: A Holy Hour 1:00-2:00PM with the Holy Rosary, Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Monsignor Nagle: April 26th will be the one year anniversary of Monsignor Nagle’s death. Please remember our former pastor in your prayers.
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 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. Join us.
Coffee Hour. . .There will be No Coffee Hour Easter Sunday, April 20th. Coffee hour will resume next Sunday, April 27th, after the 10:00 a.m. Mass. All are welcome.
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: $41,862.00. Please be generous; we need everyone’s help.
Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday April 13, 2014 $ 12,158.00
Sunday April 14, 2013 $ 13,732.55
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 27th, Sunday Readings: Acts 2:42-47; 1 Pt 1:3-9; Jn 20:19-31.
Home Schooling Families: Meet in the Msgr. Nagle Parish hall each First Friday: May 2. All ages are welcome. Please contact Bridget Bethray: email@example.com, or Janet Lancaster: 203-637-3301, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
STAMFORD SYMPHONY: Will perform Handel’s Messiah in our Basilica on
Saturday, December 6, 2014: Tickets are $50.00.
Tickets may be purchased 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: email@example.com.
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).
Francis & Clare: Our High School Youth Group. Students interested in being part of the Teen Leadership Group: E-mail Deirdre.firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
+ Denotes Deceased
HOLY SATURDAY, April 19th
NO 4PM MASS
8:00PM Easter Vigil: +Dr. Vincent Kung req. Family
Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014
7:30 Millie Terenzio Birthday req. children
10:00 +Anthony Lepore req. Rose Lepore
12:00 Jane Gannon Birthday req. Sharon Gannon
5:00 NO 5PM MASS
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, April 21, 2014
8:00 +Susan Jingles req. Monsignor Stephen DiGiovanni
12:10 +John Mannes – 53rd Anniversary req. Munro and DeVivo Families
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
8:00 Special Intentions Mary Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
12:10 +Dolores Cartwright req. John and Laura Pascale
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
8:00 Sal, Monica and Family req. Louise
12:10 +Josephine Henson req. John and Laura Pascale
Thursday, April 24, 2014
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
12:10 Aliana Kravar req. Fabiola C.
Friday, April 25, 2014
8:00 +Matthew Saccone
12:10 +Robert Steward req. Bill and Jeannine Steward
Saturday, April 26, 2014
8:00 +Ann DiGiovanni req. Mike Guarnieri
12:10 +Jennie Galasso req. Joan Tedeschi
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.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 7th-8thgrades-HighSchooler young men: Ferry: 324-1553 x22.
St. Maria Goretti Society: For the spiritual formation of 7th-8th grades-High School young ladies: Beth: 975-0074.
Holy Hour: on Monday Nights, 7pm—8 pm. Adoration, Holy Rosary, and Benediction. All are welcome!
The Legion of Mary: Wednesday Evenings: 7:30 pm ’till 9:00 pm in the Msgr. Nagle Hall. All are welcome.
St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies:—Latin Patristic Reading Group:Wednesday evenings at 6:15 pm in the rectory: basic reading ability required.
–-Intermediate Studies in Biblical Greek: Intermediate Grammar: Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm in the rectory.
Coffee Hour. . .There will be No Coffee Hour Easter Sunday, April 20th. Coffee hour will resume next Sunday, April 27th, after the 10:00 a.m. Mass. All are welcome.
St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:
135 years ago, or so:
April 22, 1881: “In the Roman Catholic church Easter is always a high day. The music last Sunday was specially good in the evening, at Vespers. The choir was assisted on this occasion by Mr. Griswold, Mr. Parker and Mr. E. Carey. The soprano of the regular choir, Miss Annie Weed, was in splendid voice for the evening program, and sang her solos to the evident pleasure of the vast congregation, who listened with intense delight to the music throughout. It was quite apparent that Mr. Chas. W. Smith, the accomplished organist, had taken great pains in preparing the program and drilling the choir, for the result was very satisfactory. His own part was rendered in a masterly way and the new organ of the church with its beautiful variety of stops, which he knows too well how to combine, was made to speak forth in pleasing tones, as can alone be done by one familiar with the mechanical construction of the king of instruments.”
70 years ago, or so:
April 26, 1943: Local Churches Are Crowded For Easter Sermons. “Easter Sunday, bringing to a close the Lenten season, was observed in Stamford churches with programs of special music and Easter sermons. Rev. Walter T. Hines, who gave the Easter Sunday service in St. John’s Catholic Church, saw in the tolling of the church bells an admonishment to the individual and society alike to do penance and reflect. Rev. Hines said, in part: In the center of St. Peter’s Square in Rome there stands a gigantic pillar, a hundred feet high, and pilgrims from all parts of the world read the inscription on it: ‘Christ lives, Christ conquers, Christ reigns.’ Never do we see the truth of these words more clearly than on Easter Sunday morn. Millions of buds open in the Spring twilight, the green of the leaves glows, flowers unfold their petals. Nature new-born sings praises of reawakened life. Yet not long before we were chilled by Winter’s icy blasts. Some people may have said hopelessly that Spring would never come again. Yet Spring can only be retarded, never withheld. Darkness can only contend against light, it can never finally overcome it. The triumph of wickedness is only temporary, sooner or later honesty and goodness will hold their triumphal away. Only for three days did the tombstone of Christ’s victorious enemies close His sepulcher. On the third day at dawn the seal fell from the grave and since then Christ, the conqueror of death, can never more be overcome. Since then Christ lives, Christ conquers, Christ reigns.”
Christ our Light
– Fr. Terry Walsh
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly”(Jn 10:10)
My first year of Theology in Major Seminary was the Jubilee Year, 2000. Naturally, the Church offered many special graces for the faithful throughout the world. One of those graces was the chance to view the Shroud of Turin, the burial garment of our Lord. On our first free weekend, 15 of my classmates and I took the overnight train from Rome to Turin so that we might have a glimpse of the Holy Shroud. It was an amazing experience, a grace filled moment. One of the most startling things I learned about the Shroud was that the Image left upon the cloth was the result of a “Radiant Light” characteristic of a Nuclear Blast. It was the immediate image left at the moment of His Resurrection. He has Risen! He is God! And he has come to rescue his sheep and to put His enemies beneath His feet. The Light will not be extinguished. He has triumphed over death and offers life to all who follow Him. Light shines on the darkness and reveals the Truth. Darkness, on the other hand, reminds us of falsehood, of sin, and ultimately of death. In John’s Gospel we hear these words: “In Him [the Word, Jesus Christ] was life, and the life was the light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…. The True Light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.”
Consider Jesus miraculous birth in the Stable. Indeed, throughout His public Ministry, he enlightened all his witnesses by miracle after miracle, teaching after teaching, enlightening all who followed Him. At His Transfiguration, His glory was revealed once again in blinding light. How is it then that so many remained in the dark? As Jesus “Hour” approached, the true intentions of the hearts of all were made manifest. Many preferred the “cozy cave of ignorance” rather than the “Light of Christ.” In order to receive the Light, the human heart must be willing to let go of false teachings that may seem “comfortable” and instead freely choose to walk in the Light – even when that walk requires some extra effort. To leave what is comfortable can be difficult. Contemplating Jesus words requires humility and a desire for Truth. Putting those words into action requires some work, perhaps even some manner of purification, which would naturally involve some measure of suffering. In the end, it becomes a decision to love. There is no love without sacrifice.
Sadly, many looked upon Jesus as one who simply drew attention to Himself for some selfish reason. They accused Him of bringing division to the so-called “community.” Their hearts were in the dark and their lack of humility revealed their own selfish desires. Their refusal to be transformed by the Light ultimately led to shouts of “Crucify Him!” They sought to extinguish the Light. They missed the point entirely. Jesus came to give life. But they “had not the love of God within them”(John 5:42). As they mocked him while he suffered His frightful agony upon the Cross, their pride punctuated a false victory over He who exposed their deceit, their contempt for God. Opening His side with the lance, the final blow of hate, would instead reveal the Light of Truth. The Blood and Water that flowed from His Wounded Sacred Heart became the very Light of divine grace that would wash away the darkness. In His Glorified Body, streams of Healing Light beam from His Merciful Heart and all who seek Him with humility and love are filled with this Light. “I am the Light of the world; he who follows me will have the Light of Life”(John 8:12). “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
We receive this Light most abundantly through the Sacraments. It is precisely sacramental grace that transforms our souls making us holy; sacrament grace imparts wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, piety, fortitude, as well as awe and wonder. As we grow in grace, we walk more and more in the Light. It’s that simple. It is the “well lit path” that leads to Heaven. When we walk in the Light we will not fall into the snags and potholes of falsehoods, lies, deceits, and spiritual laziness that try to derail us from union with God. We just need to take that 1st step – that act of faith in our heart. Open the door just a crack and let the Radiant Light of Christ lead you from the darkness into the warmth and peace and joy and happiness of life IN HIM. He has Risen! He has come to give life…Happy Easter!