For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday May 18, 2014

Running of the Roses

Pastor’s Corner: Saturday, May 3rd, was the 140th Running of the Roses: The Kentucky Derby. Our major parish fundraiser of the year was run simultaneously, and I am grateful to all who worked to make the event so successful, to those who donated goods, services and funds, and to those who attended.

The Derby evening total was $40,000 for the parish!

It is the most enjoyable of fundraising events I have attended in years, whether in Stamford, Greenwich or New York City. The evening did not simply materialize on its own; there were many, many people who spent hundreds of hours working to make the evening the success it was. I’d like to thank them:

Our Derby Committee was chaired by Angela Marchetti, who lavished her organizational skills and flare for the artistic upon the event. Her right hand assistant was Tracy Banahan, whose unflagging energy, good sense and decision-making skills made the evening work to perfection. She also did a knock-out job leading us all in “My Old Kentucky Home”, the official anthem of the Derby, prior to post time.

I am extremely grateful to Sam Cingari and his family and staff from Grade A/ShopRite Market, who donated and served the mountains of top quality sea food for the evening. Likewise, Tony and Maria Marchetti and their family and staff provided the superb Italian food. Greg Duffey of Minuteman Press in Norwalk printed and donated all the programs and advertising for the evening. Your continued generosity is overwhelming!

Patty Arnone, Mirella Liotta, Maria and Michael Marchetti, Joseph McAleer, Michael Guarnieri and Juanita Evans, all lent their talents to the organizing committee that met for months to plan and prepare for the event, and worked the entire Derby evening. Many others worked diligently, as well. Among them were our bakers who prepared more than 1,000 sweets for our guests: Rosa Federici, Noreen DeSoye, Kathy Tafuro, Jennifer Marciano, and Landa Leute. Bill Arnone interfaced with the State of Connecticut for permits: a thankless yet essential job. Others made the evening possible by their dedicated service, hard work and donations for auction prizes, including: Noreen and Jack Desoye, Mary and Jef Spetland, Cindy Hulbert, Leon Taricani, Mary Jean Dalmolin, Maureen Carpiniello, Kathy McDaniels, Steve and Kathy Tafuro, Tom Banahan, Scholastica Nabwire, Landa and Tracy Leute, Angela Gianitti, Andrew Mbabaali, Jeannene McMurchy, Marion Morris, Dominic Piria, Tony Colon, Maggie & Simon Bound, Virginia Hughes, Frank Federici, the Nichani Family, Stacy and John Leydon, Carla and Barry Coutant, Jim Berger, and Fathers Audette and Walsh who expended their verbal talents in leading the live auction. Juliska, Pure Play Kids, Ridgeway Cleaners, Hotel Zero, Brooks Brothers, Connecticut Cigar Company, Total Wines & More, Stamford Florist, and the Sisters of Our Lady of Grace Convent, all donated items and services used for our prizes. If I have missed anyone, please forgive me: my mind occasionally slips! To all who donated, and to all who worked to make the evening a success, please accept my deepest and most sincere thanks.

God bless you all for your dedication to our wonderful Basilica parish.
—-Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Dorothy Clements, John Palumbo, Kristine Barron, Silvana Smith, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Wisler Nau, 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, Ann R. DiGiovanni.

Catholic Communication Campaign Collection . . . Please drop your special 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, Monday, May 19th.

St. Joseph Altar Votive Light: Special Intentions

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: Special Intentions Silvana Smith

Banns of Marriage:

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

St. Anne Society: Sunday, May 18th, 5:45 pm: will host the annual “Celebration of the Sacraments” dinner honoring all the Religious Education Students. Pizza, Pasta and Desserts…bring the whole family. No charge.

St. Monica Latin Reading Group: Wednesdays at 6:15 pm in the Rectory. We are 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.

St. Monica Biblical Greek Grammar: Thursdays at 6:30 pm in the Rectory. An intermediate grammar/reading class. We are translating the Gospel of John. Basic grammatical knowledge of Biblical Greek is required.

A Day of Prayer for China: Saturday, May 24th a world-wide effort to pray for the persecuted Church in China. The 4pm Mass on May 24th will be offered for the Church in China, and for the opening of the Cause of Canonization of Cardinal Kung. Please join us.

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.

SAINT JOHN FISHER SEMINARY RESIDENCE: Will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its founding on June 20th: The celebrations begin with Mass offered by Edward Cardinal Egan at the Church of the Assumption, Westport at 6pm, followed by dinner at The Inn at Longshore. Honorees will include Judy and Phil DeFelice, who have served the seminary since its founding. Please call 203-322-5331 for reservations. All proceeds go to the Seminary.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday May 11, 2014 $ 10,776.50
Sunday May 12, 2013 $ 12,228.37

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 25th, Sunday Readings: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17; 1 Pt 3:15-18; Jn 14:15-21.

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: Anyone interested in becoming Catholic or adult Catholics wanting to receive First Communion or Confirmation, call the parish secretary (324-1553, ext. 21).

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, June 23rd.

Catholic War Veterans: and the Stamford VFW will sponsor a veterans’ Mass at Holy Name of Jesus Church on Pulaski Street, on Saturday, May 24th at 5pm. All are invited.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, May 17, 2014
4:00 Special Intentions Agnes Kung req. Family
Sunday, May 18, 2014
7:30 Deceased members of the Longo Family req. Terenzio Family
10:00 +Marge Munger req. Pinto Family
12:00 +Anthony Lepore req. Rose Lepore
5:00 +Frank Alagia
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, May 19, 2014
8:00 Thanksgiving to St. Joseph req. Elia Pochette
12:10 +Pasquale J. Pasqua req. Janice Pasqua
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
8:00 Joe and Lois Costantino req. Sal Costantino
12:10 +Vera and Frank Dulko req. daughter
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
8:00 Special Intentions Dorothy Keyes req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
12:10 +Raymond C. Howard req. Bill Christiaanse
Thursday, May 22, 2014
8:00 Father Terrence P. Walsh req. Ewa Czytowska
12:10 +Justin Mariano req. Janice and Fred Pasqua
Friday, May 23, 2014
8:00 +Ann DiGiovanni req. Mary Jean Dal Molin
12:10 +Guy Derilus 1st Anniversary req. Ferry G.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
8:00 Special Intentions Maria Trivino req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
12:10 Father Brian Gannon 17th Anniversary req. Sharon Gannon

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. . .Starts again in September, after the 10:00 a.m. Family Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall.

St. John’s in THE NEWS:

THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
130 years ago, or so:
May 23, 1885: STAMFORD. “It is with feelings of sorrow that we have to record the death of Mr. John T. Glavin, who died on Sunday, May 17th. Mr. Glavin was in his fortieth year at the time of his death, and had resided in Stamford about ten years. He organized the first division of the A.O.H. in Stamford in March, 1876, with only nine members, was elected its first president and was afterwards elected county delegate. He worked earnestly and faithfully to encourage and foster a spirit of unity amongst Irishmen.”

THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
85 years ago, or so:
May 20, 1929: CHILDREN OF MARY CROWN PATRON AND RECEIVE MEMBERS. “The Children of Mary of St. John’s R.C. Church held their annual ceremony of Crowning of the Blessed Virgin and reception of new members on Sunday afternoon at 3, when about 200 members walked in procession, carrying flowers and singing hymns suitable for the occasion. The statue of the Blessed Virgin was crowned by the president, Miss Emily McRedmond, who was accompanied by two pages, James Harrington and James McRedmond, and crown bearers, Dorothy Swift and Clare Waring, all of whom were attractively dressed.”

45 years ago, or so:
May 23, 1970: Mass Opens Father Parent Testimonial. “The Rev. Bertrand E. Parent, pastor of St. John’s Church, marking his 35th year of ordination this month, will be honored at a testimonial dinner Sunday, at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 384 North State St. A Concelebrated Mass will be said at St. John’s Church at 4 p.m. and the testimonial will start at 5:30 at the K of C auditorium. Father Parent became pastor of St. John’s Church in 1963. He is also chaplain of St. Augustine Council 41, the largest K of C council in Connecticut. Before coming to St. John’s, Father Parent was pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, Bridgeport; and Sacred Heart Church, Bridgeport. He has also been assigned to St. Donato Church, New Haven; St. Charles Church, Bridgeport; and St. Mary’s Church, Stamford. He served as chaplain with the 66th Infantry Division in the St. Nazaise-Larient Sector in Europe during World War II. Father Parent was also chaplain at the Mason General Hospital, Babylon, L.I., N.Y., and at the Philippine Scouts and Replacement Depot.”

“TRUE DEVOTION to the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY”
May, the Month of Mary
– Fr. Terry Walsh

The Saints of the Church have sung the praises of the Blessed Virgin Mary throughout the centuries, beginning with the Apostles. They were merely imitating Christ Himself, who honored Mary above all others. St. Louis Marie Grignion De Montfort (1673 – 1716) likewise sings her praises and challenges us to seek a deeper understanding of our Spiritual Mother through an interior devotion in a little book known as True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Throughout his brief 150 page treatise, he masterfully weaves references to Sacred Scripture, the Dogmas of the Church, and the insights of the Saints, and so helps us understand the magnificence of Mary and the boundless love she holds for each one of her spiritual children. Furthermore, he explains the intimate role she plays in our salvation. It would be sheer foolishness to neglect her. He writes, “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”(TD,157). Throughout the short treatise, DeMontfort explains his devotion by first helping us to understand the one of a kind relationship Mary has with God. Indeed, the Church teaches through the declaration of various Dogmas as well as through the celebration of her feasts and Solemnities in the Liturgy: “The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship”(Catechism, #971). It’s important to make a distinction between praise and adoration. Adoration is reserved for God alone. We are called to praise Mary, but to adore her Son. We honor her with hymns of praise and heartfelt prayer, especially the Holy Rosary. Indeed, we are compelled to honor her if we are to keep the fourth Commandment. And yet, our relationship with Mary ought to be understood in an infinitely deeper way – through love. “God the Son imparted to his Mother all that he gained by his life and death, namely, his infinite merits and his eminent virtues. He made her the treasurer of all his Father had given him as heritage. Through her he applies his merits to his members and through her he transmits his virtues and distributes his graces…She is His mystic channel, His aqueduct, through which he causes his mercies to flow gently and abundantly” (True Devotion,no. 24).

Mary alone has the unique privilege of being at the same time the daughter of the Father, the spouse of the Holy Spirit, and the Mother of the Son. And of course, it was through her that Jesus took upon Himself our human nature so that he could offer Himself to the Father in reparation for our sins. “Mary alone found grace before God without the help of any other creature. All those who have since found grace before God have found it only through her. She was full of grace when she was greeted by the Archangel Gabriel and was filled with grace to overflowing by the Holy Spirit when he so mysteriously overshadowed her…the Almighty made her the sole custodian of his treasures and the sole dispenser of his graces. She can lead them along the narrow path to heaven and guide them through the narrow gate to life…Jesus is always and everywhere the fruit and Son of Mary and Mary is everywhere the genuine tree that bears that Fruit of life, the true Mother who bears that Son”(TD,44). What an extraordinary relationship! What tremendous humility. By virtue of our baptism, our incorporation into the Body of her Son, we share in that relationship, provided we are faithful to our Baptismal promises. Mary will gently lead us into the Heart of Her Son so that we may be healed and so walk in the Light of Truth. She knows the way. “She is not the sun, dazzling our weak sight by the brightness of its rays. Rather, she is fair and gentle as the moon, which receives its light from the sun and softens it and adapts it to our limited perception. She is so full of love that no one who asks for her intercession is rejected, no matter how sinful he may be. The saints say that it never has been known since the world began that anyone had recourse to our blessed Lady, with trust and perseverance, and was rejected”(TD,85).

How would you describe your relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary? How well do you really know Her? DeMontfort turns to the Scriptures to illustrate the tender and effective love of Mary. Our Lady enables the soul to receive a greater measure of grace thereby forming us into a more perfect likeness of Jesus. “When Mary has taken root in a soul she produces in it wonders of grace which only she can produce; for she alone is the fruitful virgin who never had and never will have her equal in purity and fruitfulness….When the Holy Spirit, her spouse, finds Mary in a soul, he hastens there and enters fully into it. He gives himself generously to that soul according to the place it has given to his spouse”(TD, 35). Mary intercedes on our behalf with her Son, just like at the wedding feast of Cana, asking our Lord to give us the New Wine, that is, the graces won for us through the Paschal Mystery. What hopefulness. Imagine it! She is right beside us helping us to faithfully live in Christ.

DeMontfort’s beautiful treatise on our Lady is filled with spiritual treasures, revealing a clear understanding of the role of Mary in the lives of the faithful. It would certainly prove worthy spiritual reading throughout the Holy Season of Lent. Why not consider reading a few paragraphs of True Devotion each day, especially as we begin the month of October, a Marian month, and reflect upon the spiritual insights that lead to a greater understanding of our baptismal promises. The goal we seek of course is a deeper union with our Lord and our Blessed Mother wants to help us. Our late Holy Father, Pope Saint John Paul II, praised the writings of DeMontfort calling them an “inexhaustible fountainhead of spirituality” that “teach the meaning of true devotion to the Blessed Virgin.” As we draw close to Mary, may we echo his apostolic motto: “Totus Tuus” – I am totally yours, Blessed Virgin Mary!