For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday May 4, 2014

Pastor’s Corner: Our Lord’s promise to His Apostles that He would remain with His Church until the end of time did not imply some symbolic presence; nor is His presence of the nature of a memory of Him that Christians might conjure up occasionally. The real effects of the Savior’s Resurrected self are to be had in the seven Sacraments He instituted in His Church. The Sacraments are the true first fruits of Christ’s Resurrection: by them He remains with His Church until the end of time, sharing His divine life with His believing people, leading to His victory over death in our resurrection at the end of time. Here are two samples of the 4th century catechetical lessons by Saint Cyril of Jerusalem on Baptism and the Eucharist:

“You have been brought to the holy font of baptism, as Christ was carried from the Cross to the tomb. Each of you was asked whether he believed in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. You uttered the saving profession of faith and were three times immersed in the water; three times you came forth. In image and sign you thus symbolized Christ’s three-day burial. When you were submerged in the water, you dwelt in unseeing night; when you came forth, you entered the light of day. Thus you were dead and reborn, and the water was both your tomb and your mother’s womb. We were not literally dead or buried or crucified or risen. Yet from the imitation of the realities salvation truly came to us. Christ was literally crucified and buried and literally rose from the dead; we symbolized in ourselves what He experienced, and thus truly shared in His salvation. What marvelous love God shows to mankind! Christ endured the tormenting nails in His innocent hands and feet; we, knowing none 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. This is why Saint Paul says: ‘Do you not realize that when we were baptized into Christ Jesus, we were baptized into His death? We were therefore also buried with Him by our baptism into His death’”
[Jerusalem Catecheses 20, Mysterium 1].

Here is Cyril’s presentation on the Church’s ancient teaching about the Eucharist:
“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 physical bodies. Thereby too we become, according to Saint Peter, sharers in the Divine Nature.

“In the Eucharist, then, we must look beyond the everyday bread and wine, for these are in reality Christ’s Body and Blood. Whatever the senses may suggest to you, let faith make; you assured of the truth. Be certain in faith that what seems to be mere bread to the taste is not mere bread but Christ’s Body, and what seems to be mere wine to the taste is truly His Blood. This is the Bread of which David spoke: ‘The bread strengthens man’s spirit, as oil brings gladness to the face.’ Strengthen your soul, therefore, by receiving the Bread as the spiritual food it is, and your heart’s face will be glad. Let your conscience be pure and your heart contemplate the Lord’s glory.” [Jerusalem Catecheses, 22, Mysterium 4]. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Silvana Manes, Louise Munro, Lena Cocchia, Sr. Anne-Marguerite, 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: Elinor Zarimski, Amelia DeDomenici, 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.

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, May 5th.

Banns of Marriage: I Banns: Elias Youssef and Leora Zach.

St. Monica Latin Reading Group: Wednesdays at 6:15 pm in the Rectory. We read the Latin Church Fathers. We are about to begin translating Tertullian’s De Oratione [On Prayer], and his Apologeticus pro Christianis [A Defense for Christians]. 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.

All Parish Women: Join us in the Rectory on Monday, May 5th, 5:00-6:30 pm, for social time, refreshments, and to talk about being a Catholic woman, and to discuss your present or future needs and ideas about daycare, pre-school, and early learning. Please RSVP to Lisa Kotasek: lisakotasek@gmail.com, or call 203-253-3599.

Bake Sale: Delicious Spring Sweets & Treats! Sunday, May 18th in Msgr. Nagle Hall after the Masses. Proceeds will benefit the repair of the Rectory. We need lots of bakers and lots of buyers as well as volunteers to help at the sale. Bakers: Please bring your brightly wrapped goodies down to the Hall Saturday afternoon, May 17th before the 4 PM mass. For information or to volunteer contact Scholastica Nabwire: 203-975-7311 or 917-975-2896 or email her at nascho44@optonline.net.

St. Gerard Mass: At Sacred Heart Church, 37 Schuyler Avenue, on Thursday, May 8th at 6:45pm: All expectant parents and those trying to conceive and their families are invited.

SAVE THE DATE: Free concert on June 22nd, 7-9pm for the entire family: here at Saint John’s: L’Angelus will perform again for our parish. Bring the whole family and a picnic supper, and enjoy beautiful music with other parishioners of the Basilica.

Religious Education 2014-2015. . . Early Registration will begin in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall during classes this Sunday May 4th from 8:30-9:45am and after the 10AM Mass. Registration will continue in June in the Rectory Office during normal weekday hours or on-line. First day of class will be Sunday, September 14th at 8:30am.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday April 27, 2014 $ 13,297.00
Sunday April 28, 2013 $ 11,535.76
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

May 11th, Sunday Readings: Acts 2:14a, 36-41; 1 Pt 2:20b-25; Jn 10:1-10.

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: $73,616.00. 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 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: 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.

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, June 23rd.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, May 3, 2014
4:00 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
Sunday, May 4, 2014
7:30 People of the Parish
10:00 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
12:00 Jimmy and Michelle Sagdati 13th Wedding Anniversary req. Mom, Billy, Ricky, Brooke Morris and
John and Lindsey Ciglar
5:00 +Frank Alagia
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, May 5, 2014
8:00 +Margaret M. Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Kyle Cruz req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
8:00 +Ann DiGiovanni req. Betty Calarco
12:10 +Vito A. Romano req. Janice Pasqua
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
8:00 +Ann DiGiovanni req. Lisa D’Acunto
12:10 +Frances and Harry Fabrizio req. Mary Long
Thursday, May 8, 2014
8:00 Special Intentions Josephine Franco
12:10 +Nelson and Monica Filipi req. daughter Anna
Friday, May 9, 2014
8:00 +Agnes Joseph req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Teresa Nandera req. Scholastica Nabwire
Saturday, May 10, 2014
8:00 +Clercy Millien req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Mary Ann Mascarenhas req. Carpanzano Family

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 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. . .Sunday, after the 10:00 a.m. Family Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall. All are welcome.

St. John’s in THE NEWS:

THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
145 years ago, or so:
May 6, 1870: “We expect soon to interview the architect of the proposed new Roman Catholic Church, Mr. James Murphy, of Providence, R.I., and lay before our readers a full and detailed description of the building that is to be. For the present, we will content ourselves with a few facts in relation to the new church which have lately come to our knowledge. The society at first endeavored to secure the lot on the south side of St. John’s Park, but failing in that, they have finally and absolutely decided to build on their lot on Atlantic street. The building, when finished according to the present plans, will be the finest ecclesiastical edifice in the State of Connecticut.”

100 years ago, or so:
May 11, 1914: FORTY HOURS’ DEVOTION. “Forty Hours Devotion, a devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, ended in St. John’s Catholic Church, this forenoon, with a Solemn High Mass and a procession in which the Blessed Sacrament was carried with solemn ceremony through the church and back to the main altar. Little girls dressed in white and wearing white veils, distributed cut flowers before the Sacrament. The devotion began on Sunday, with a Solemn High Mass celebrated by Rev. T. J. Sullivan. The other officers of the Mass were Rev. James C. O’Brien, deacon, and Rev. Father McCarthy of Hartford, sub-deacon. On Monday, at 8 a. m., a High Mass was sung by Rev. Father McCarthy. The Solemn Mass which ended the devotion was celebrated Rev. Father McCarthy with Rev. T. J. Sullivan, deacon and Rev. James C. O’Brien, sub-deacon. Benediction followed the Mass.”

THE CATHOLIC TRANSCRIPT:
40 years ago, or so:
May 10, 1974: 25 Priests To Mark Silver Jubilee Monday. “Twenty-five priests will concelebrate Mass in St. Bridget’s Church, Cheshire next Monday, May 13, in observance of their 25th anniversary of ordination. Father Nagle has been pastor of St. John’s Parish, Stamford, since June of last year. On Sunday, May 26, he will concelebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. John’s at 12 Noon. Concelebrating with him will be Msgr. John J. Toomey, V.G., Father Martin J. O’Connor, Vicar of Vicariate I, Msgr. Francis X. McGuire of New Canaan and Fathers Joseph A. Heffernan of Springdale, Edward D. Halloran of Glenbrook, John F. Jazowski and Richard J. Grady, both of Stamford.”

BEHOLD YOUR MOTHER
– Fr Terry Walsh
“God the Father gathered all the seas together and called them the seas or maria. He gathered all his grace together and called it Mary, or Maria… ‘the treasury of the Lord’.”
–St. Louis DeMontfort

Atop the great oak doors of the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist rests the Coat of Arms which greets us with the words our Lord uttered from the Cross and leads us to reflect upon the role of Mary in the sanctification of our souls. As he gazes upon the beloved disciple from the Cross, Jesus says: “Behold your Mother.” Indeed, he is saying the same to us. Some moments later, Blood and Water gushed from his Sacred Heart, torn open by the soldier’s lance. Jesus emptied himself in the greatest act of love ever known to man. Contemplating His perfect sacrifice, we approach the Altar and our gaze quite naturally is drawn to Stained glass window above the High Altar: Consummatum Est: It is Finished. There we contemplate the pain and sorrow endured by our Blessed Mother. John, also grieving, comforts Mary. Our Lady consented to the immolation of her Son for our sake, just as she consented to his Incarnation according to the will of God – for our sake.

As we consider the Incarnation, we turn our gaze to the side chapel, and meditate on the magnificent scene of the Annunciation so beautifully depicted in the Window. There we see Mary kneeling in prayer, reflecting upon the word of God. Through her Fiat, her willingness to become the Mother of our Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary becomes the Mother of Grace. Indeed, the image in the window depicts the Living Waters of sanctifying grace flowing from Mary, going out to water the souls of all who come to believe. Jesus said, “If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow living water’”(John 7: 37-38). Jesus promised that if we respond to the life giving waters of eternal life and abide in his love, the Holy Trinity would reside in us, that is, “The Kingdom of God is within.” Thus, the living waters necessary for our salvation actually well up from within us to heal and nourish our souls with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Counsel, Fortitude, Piety, and Fear of the Lord. Indeed, we receive every gift and blessing necessary for salvation. St. Louis DeMontfort explains, “God the Son imparted to his mother all that he gained by his life and death, namely his infinite merits and his eminent virtues…She is his mystic channel, his aqueduct, through which he causes his mercies to flow gently and abundantly”(True Devotion, 24).

The Gospel of John provides such beautiful images and spiritual insights that enable us to see the depth of the love of God. What a wonderful influence Mary would have had upon the beloved disciple throughout the course of years they lived together following the Ascension of our Lord: the conversations they would have had concerning the life of Jesus; the graces John would have received through Mary’s intercession for him. Among the four Evangelists, the Gospel of John is the most spiritual account of the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus. Beautiful images of Light and Water abound and lead to a deeper understanding of the Presence of God in our souls. John recounts the compelling story of conversion of the woman at the well who came to receive the Living Waters and in turn joyfully watered the gardens of her neighbors through her new found faith. Just as Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman, so too does he speak to us: “…whoever drinks of the water I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life”(John 4:14).

The choice is ours. On the one hand, we may choose to drink from the worldly waters that focus on the self and are attractive to the flesh. These waters bring immediate gratification, but at the cost of spiritual emptiness. Alternatively, we may choose to drink from the life-giving waters emanating from the wounded side of Christ. He pours them out to us every single day. These waters come to us most abundantly through the Sacraments and bring spiritual enrichment, gradually forming us into more perfect likenesses of Christ. These waters enable us to embrace our Cross and to offer the trials of life for the glory of God and the sanctification of our souls. In essence, our Cross becomes an opportunity to prove our love for the One who offered himself up for us. And just as our Lady stood by Jesus, so too does she accompany us. Recall the encouraging words of the prophet Jeremiah, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is in the Lord. He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: it fears not the heat when it comes; its leaves stay green; in the year of the drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit”(Jeremiah 17:7-8). We come to the Basilica to enable the roots of our soul to spread wide and grow deep beside the Living waters of sacramental grace. Each sip moves us closer to Heaven by enabling us to accomplish the mission our Lord has given us: “Love one another as I have loved you.” The best path is traveled through our spiritual Mother. “If Mary, the Tree of Life, is well cultivated in our soul….she will in due time bring forth her fruit, which is none other than Jesus”(True Devotion, St. Louis DeMontfort, 218).