For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday May 11, 2014

Assumption of Blessed Mother

Pastor’s Corner: This weekend is Mothers’ Day, and the parish honors our mother, Our Lady, by crowning her at the 10:00 a.m. Mass. Devotion to Our Lady is not worship of her—we worship God alone! But we give honor to the saints for their perfection mirrors that of God, and pray that they will speak to God on our behalf, since we are all members of the Body of Christ, the Catholic Church, founded by Our Lord, who is the Head of the His Church.

We honor Mary, in particular, because of her moral excellence, and because of the superior way she is joined and dedicated to God. She is the most perfect disciple of Her Son; the first, after Jesus, to share in His bodily resurrection: she wears the Crown of victory, for those who remain faithful, about which St. Paul wrote in
I Corinthians 9:24, and about which St. John wrote in the Apocalypse 2:10: “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Apocalypse 12 is about Mary’s cooperation with God in bearing the Savior, and in her fidelity to God in His battle with Satan: “And a great portent appeared in the heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” Our devotion to Mary “proceeds from true faith, by which we are led to recognize the excellence of the Mother of God, and by which we are moved to filial love toward our mother and to imitation of her virtues.” [Vat II, Lumen Gentium, 67] Mary has a special role in God’s plan: by grace she is Mother of the God-made-man, and so she is exalted above angels and men. By her close association in the saving events of Christ’s life, she remains in the presence of the glorified Christ, interceding for us, as she continues participating in Christ’s saving work. Our hope is to come to her reward of sharing in Christ’s bodily resurrection: this is our salvation; the reason why God became a man, suffered, died and rose from the grave. Mary is what we hope to be: in love with God forever, in the flesh.

Devotion to Our Lady began immediately in the life of the primitive Church, as is reflected in the Gospels, early writings, and early paintings in the Catacombs in Rome. All the earliest Baptismal Creeds mention Mary. By the second century, the Church came to describe her role as that of the New Eve, contributing the best of humanity to God’s re-creation of everything in Christ, who is the New Adam. By the fifth century, the Council of Ephesus (431) granted the title of God–bearer [Theotokos] to Mary, clearly and accurately describing her role in God’s work for our salvation. While still a creature and a human being like ourselves, unequal to the perfection of Christ the Redeemer-King, Mary continues to work for the salvation of all: as mother of the King of the universe, the closest human being to Christ, Mary still influences the heart of Her Son on our behalf, while urging us to imitate her virtue and devotion to Christ. She is the mother to whom we go when in trouble or in need.

We crown Our Lady today, as a sign of our filial devotion to Her, that She may lead us to Her Divine Son. Let the mothers of the parish imitate Mary’s faith and virtues, and let their children remain truly devoted to their mothers, not just today, but every day of their lives.
—-Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Dorothy Clements, John Palumbo, Kristine Barron, Silvana Manes, Louise Munro, Lena Cocchia, Sr. Anne-Marguerite, Christina Samon Ta-Chu, Charles Armstrong, Pasqualina Bruzzese, Nancy Gallagher, 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: Liliana Pappa, 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.

Monthly Collection . . . The second collection today will be the monthly 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, May 12th.

Banns of Marriage:

I Banns: Timothy Ginski and Frances Dewey.
II Banns: Elias Youssef and Leora Zach.

St. Anne Society: Next Sunday, May 18th, will host the annual “Celebration of the Sacraments” dinner NEXT SUNDAY. immediately after the 5 pm Mass to honor all the Religious Education Students for the year. Pizza and Pasta and Desserts…bring the whole family—see you in the Msgr. Nagle Church Hall at 5:45pm Sunday, May 18th!

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.

Bake Sale: Delicious Spring Sweets & Treats! Next 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.

SAVE THE DATE: Free concert on June 22nd, 7-9pm, Corpus Christi, 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.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday May 4, 2014 $ 15,451.50
Sunday May 5, 2013 $ 12,670.04

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 18th, Sunday Readings: Acts 6:1-7; 1 Pt 2:4-9; Jn 14:1-12.

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: $80,851.00. To those 291 people who donated so far, thank you, very much! Please be generous; we need everyone’s help, even if only a few dollars.

Home Schooling Families: Meet in the Msgr. Nagle Parish hall each First Friday. 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 10, 2014
4:00 Deceased members of the Sexton and Winter Families req. Hannah Sexton Young
Sunday, May 11, 2014
7:30 +Lina DeVivo – 55th Anniversary req. DeVivo and Munro Families
10:00 +Augustine DeSanty req. Natarelli Family
12:00 +James and Ismalia Machado req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
5:00 +Frank Alagia
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, May 12, 2014
8:00 +Virginia and Eileen Carr Birthday Remembrance req. Marie Carr
12:10 +Kyle Cruz req. John and Maria Mossa
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
8:00 +Ann DiGiovanni req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
12:10 +Michel and Chenet Jean-Guillaume and Family req. their sisters and brothers
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
8:00 +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Natale Sposato req. John and Maria Mossa
Thursday, May 15, 2014
8:00 +Bartosz Palosz req. Ewa Czytowska
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Friday, May 16, 2014
8:00 Monica O’Brien req. Sal Costantino
12:10 +Ann DiGiovanni req. Agnes Ostrowski
Saturday, May 17, 2014
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10 Special Intentions Nowitsky 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. . .Last Coffee Hour this Sunday, May 11th, after the 10:00 a.m. Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall.

St. John’s in THE NEWS:

THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
135 years ago, or so:
May 11, 1878: STAMFORD. “May devotions here morning and evening-Mass in the morning, instructions in the evening and singing by the choir form the chief exercises. A beautiful shrine in honor of the Blessed Virgin is erected and decked with the fairest flowers. It is a very prominent feature in the church. Father Toner’s sermon was delivered last Sunday. The large church was crowded, and the eloquent preacher did ample justice to the text, “What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul.”

THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
80 years ago, or so:
May 15, 1933: MOTHERS HONORED IN THE CHURCHES. “Sermons glorifying the old-fashioned mother and the modern one, and stressing the part played in history by mothers, were developed along different angles by the ministers of Stamford at the church services yesterday, in observance of Mother’s Day. Special music suitable to the occasion was offered, and in many cases the churches were elaborately decorated with flowers. The general observance of the day included much visiting by mothers to the homes of their children or by children to their mothers, some children even making long trips in order to be with their mothers on the day. Flowers and simple gifts were showered on the mothers. The Rev. Charles A. Corcoran preached at all the Masses at St. John’s R.C. Church about Mother’s Day.”

THE Fairfield County Catholic:
15 years ago, or so:
May, 1997: Seven priests set to be ordained May 24. “The Diocese of Bridgeport will ordain seven new priests this month. Bishop Edward M. Egan will officiate at the Mass of Ordination at St. Augustine Cathedral on Saturday, May 24, at 10 a.m. The men to be ordained are Revs. Paul Check, Brian Gannon, Norman Guilbert, Jr., Cyprian LaPastina, George O’Neill, Thomas Powers and Leszek Szymaszek. Paul Nicholas Check is a native of Bridgeport. He served nine years as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, and resigned his commission as a captain in 1990. He completed his pre-theology studies at the St. John Fisher Seminary Residence in Stamford.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Father Check served as an Assistant Pastor at St. John’s from 2001 to 2006.)

The Trials of Life in Christ
-Fr. Terry Walsh

Our “Spiritual Journey” from the moment of our being “grafted” onto the Body of Jesus Christ at Baptism is shrouded in love. The Vatican II document, Gaudium et Spes, states: “For man would not exist were he not created by God’s love and constantly preserved by it; and he cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and devotes himself to His Creator”(GS19). Each moment of our lives is an opportunity to grow in our devotion to God in our thoughts, our words, and our actions. Our Lord is present IN us (see John 14). He also walks BESIDE us. He walks with us every step of the Way – in joy and in sorrow – through abundant consolations as well as overwhelming desolations. He walks with us, if we let Him. We are His children.

How do we understand hardship and suffering? How do we reconcile the “trials of life” with our understanding of God who is Love? What role does suffering play in the lives of God’s children? When we look through the eyes of faith, we are able to understand that there are actually TWO stages of life. It is critically important that we have a clear perspective of this truth. The first stage is our very brief life here on earth. The Kingdom of God truly resides in the souls of all who are born of water and the Spirit and become branches on the Vine, that is, branches of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Yet, we are nonetheless subject to all sorts of trials in this 1st stage of life. Our Lord allows us to experience some measure of suffering and trial in order that we may prove our love, our fidelity, and our desire for God, who IS love. The 2nd stage, we hope, will be upon the Holy Mountain, the Heavenly Jerusalem, where all the trials of life will be over and the joy of complete union with God will fill us with a peace that is simply not of this world. Indeed, we may have that peace even now, in this 1st stage of life, which sustains us in the knowledge of His love. We hear this promise at every Holy Mass: “My peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you” (once again, see John chapter 14). St Paul reminds us: “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us”(Rm 8). We simply need to look to the Cross. There we see the Innocent Victim who suffered FOR us. Suffering is not a Good, it is clearly an Evil. Yet, God is able to draw good out of evil. Consider our Lord’s own suffering; His Passion and His Death. Jesus demonstrated His love for us when He became Incarnate in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He showed the depth of His love for us through His One Perfect Sacrifice. And the good? The Resurrection – the forgiveness of sins – everlasting Light, Happiness, and Peace. Salvation comes to us through the Cross. And yet, how often we run from the Cross rather than sit at the foot of it in prayer and ask for the graces we need – the grace to forgive or seek forgiveness; the grace to have the courage to bear up under the difficulties of this life; the grace of understanding with regard to various relationships we have; the grace to grow in wisdom and knowledge and piety so that we can become more and more like Christ.

The Cross is the Narrow Gate. Our Lord will help us carry it if we ask Him. We encounter the Cross in a 100 different forms each day. Some are little Crosses – others simply seem to crush us ‘like grapes in the winepress.’ Carry the little ones with love and see your spiritual strength, that is, the Power of God within you, grow more vibrant and spiritually mature. Then you will embrace the heavier Cross for love of Him who bore it for you. Every “trial” becomes an opportunity; every “yes, I will carry my Cross, with love” enables our “branches” to grow ever stronger and produce even more abundant fruit. And what is our “fruit”? The fruits of the Holy Spirit are borne through our cooperation with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit that flow into our hearts most abundantly through the sacraments. In other words, when we cooperate with our Lord through our daily prayer, our faithfully receiving the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Confession, we will produce the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, indeed every virtue. Our Lord Himself encourages us: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the Vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit…He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing”(Jn 15). May we open our hearts and minds to the nearness of the Beloved and come to understand that even in the ‘trials of life’ we are actually bearing abundant fruits.