For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday May 25, 2014

Ascension

Pastor’s Corner: The Ascension of Our Lord is one of the great solemnities of the Church’s calendar because it recalls the historic event of Our Lord’s return to Heaven in His resurrected human body. Christ is one Person in two natures, human and divine. Everything Jesus did as a man was also an act of the eternal Son of God, since once God entered into human history on the first Christmas, the Invisible and Eternal God became visible in the man Jesus. So, Jesus’ human love is the embodiment of the redeeming love of God. Because Jesus’ human actions are also divine actions of the Son of God, He can fulfill God’s promise of salvation in the tangible, real way intended by God. Salvation is not an idea, or a state of mind. Salvation is the result of God’s work in the flesh. His triumph over sin and the grave is, likewise, in the flesh and real: the flesh taken on by the Son of God in the womb of the Virgin. His saving actions—born in Bethlehem, crucified and risen in Jerusalem—have a value and an effect beyond time and space—Jesus saved not just his contemporaries who were in Bethlehem at His birth or those who were at His death and Resurrection in Jerusalem—His acts in the flesh are real actions of God, who transcends time and space. So, the great mysteries of Jesus’ human life, His Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension, have a real and long lasting effect for all humankind through all ages and in all places.
“Do not touch me”, Jesus told Mary Magdalene on the first Easter morning, “for I have not yet ascended to my Father.” [John 20, 16]. Saint Paul, tells us that since Jesus is not only a great man, but the new Adam [Rom 5.18], every event in Jesus’ life affects and modifies the condition of our own life to the very depths of our existence. Jesus is both creator and redeemer, or re-creator: He not only forgives sins by His death and Resurrection, He recreates humankind. He destroys the power of sin and the grave by His submission to death on the Cross, but snatches victory from it by His Resurrection from the dead. His Ascension to Heaven in His resurrected human body renders this victory definitive: humankind enters into the life of the Trinity once and for all in the Person of the Incarnate Son of God [Heb 9, 26; 10,10].

Jesus returned to the Father in His human flesh in order to send the Holy Spirit to guide His Church and to continue His work transforming every human person in every generation and place: this is the beginning of our personal glorification through Christ, who continues His work in His human flesh from heaven through the Holy Spirit. His Ascension is His promise that we can gain eternity in the flesh by responding to Him in love in our daily lives. He is the Head of the Church; we form the Body of the Church. Where the Head has gone, the Body hopes to follow. Love Our Lord, be attentive to His Grace, for heaven awaits those who love Him. For some sense of the importance for us of the Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven, here are a few excerpts from some of the great sermons by the Church Fathers:

“The days between the Lord’s resurrection and his ascension are not idle ones; in them great mysteries are confirmed and others revealed. During these days the fear of death recedes as the immortality not only of the soul but also of the flesh is made evident. During these days the Lord breathes forth his Holy Spirit on all the Apostles and in a special way gives Peter the keys of the kingdom and the care of his flock. Throughout this whole period, therefore, beloved, God providently teaches the hearts of his own to recognize the Lord Jesus to be as truly risen as he had been truly born and as he truly suffered and died. The Apostles and all the disciples, so fearful about the Cross, so doubtful about the resurrection, are strengthened by irresistible truth. . . As the disciples looked on, man was ascending beyond the angelic orders, beyond archangelic heights. Having been united to God’s nature in his Son, man now shared in the Son’s glory at the Father’s throne.” [Pope St. Leo the Great, On the Ascension]

“Christ descended from heaven out of mercy to us, and though he alone ascends, we also ascend, for we are one with him through grace. We are not claiming for the Body, the Church, the dignity of the Head, Christ the Son, but we are assured that the Body is inseparable from the Head.”
[St. Augustine, On the Ascension of the Lord] —-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: Bronislawa (Betty) Balutowski, 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.

Ascension Thursday: May 29th is a holy day of obligation. Masses: 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28th and at 8:00 a.m., 12:10 p.m.; 5:15. p.m. on Thursday, May 29th .

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 26th.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: Special Intentions Jo and Ann.

Banns of Marriage:
I Banns: Anthony Annunziata and Jennifer Hoppe.
III Banns: Timothy Ginski and Frances Dewey.

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.

Catholic Author Jen Fulwiler Talk, Book Signing & Q&A on Mon., June 2nd from 6:30-8:30PM in Nagle Hall. “Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It” book for sale. Learn about her conversion to Catholicism, her blog, and her online reality show about raising seven kids in the faith. Join us. Please RSVP to Lisa at lisakotasek@gmail.com or 203-253-3499.

SAVE THE DATE: Free concert on June 22nd, 6-8pm, 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 18, 2014 $ 11,798.00
Sunday May 19, 2013 $ 11,245.37

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

June 1st, Sunday Readings: Acts 1:12-14; 1 Pt 4:13-16; Jn 17:1-11a.

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: $82,351.00. To those 298 people who donated so far, thank you, very much! Please be generous; we need everyone’s help, even if only a few dollars from each person.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: Father Walsh celebrates his 10th anniversary of priestly ordination. Congratulations, and many blessings!!!

BAKE SALE: Was a great success!! The Bake Sale grossed almost $1,500. The ladies who baked and worked the sale were many, and ALL wish to remain anonymous. So, please accept my thanks, ladies, for your wonderful work and generosity to our parish.

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, please call the parish secretary (324-1553, ext. 21).

St John’s Flock (20’s and 30’s Young Adult Ministry): Meets every Monday from
7-9pm for Holy Hour at the Basilica, and fellowship afterwards, as well as other social/service events. For more info, join our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/321733548424/ or email Mary at 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: 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 24, 2014
4:00 The Persecuted Roman Catholic Church in China req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
Sunday, May 25, 2014
7:30 Joan and Alexander Baldwin req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
10:00 Parish Veterans
12:00 +Aniello Preziosi 48th Anniversary and Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Aniello’s children, grandchildren
and great grandchildren and Fabiola C.
5:00 +Frank Alagia
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, May 26, 2014
8:00 Souls in Purgatory
12:10 +Harry Fabrizio req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
8:00 Special Intentions William Roy Carello req. father
12:10 +Genoeffa Giannitti req. Angela Giannitti
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
8:00 Special Intentions Nanette Carello req. father
12:10 +Sheila and Robert Lockhart req. Harriet Lockhart
5:15 +Gerald Murray req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Thursday, May 29, 2014
8:00 +Margaret Curtis req. Mary Maloney
12:10 Special Intentions Szele and Szechenyi Family
5:15 +Patricia Payne req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Friday, May 30, 2014
8:00 +Alliance Sauver req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Dorothy McShane req. Anne Conte
Saturday, May 31, 2014
8:00 Special Intentions Richard Yosca req. Mary and Kieran Malone
12:10 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.

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 NEW YORK TIMES:
128 years Ago:
May 30, 1886: DEDICATION OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH OF ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST. “The new Catholic Church of St. John the Evangelist, at the junction of Atlantic and Bell streets, was dedicated today with impressive ceremonies. By 10 o’clock, the hour for the beginning of the function, the new edifice, which has a seating capacity of 1,600, was not only entirely occupied but the congregation overflowed into the vestibule and out on the stoops. All the Catholics of Stamford, and they number 4,000, about one-fourth of the whole population, who could be there were present. At 10 o’clock the Right Rev. Lawrence S. McMahon, Bishop of Hartford, with his attendant ministers, emerged from the sanctuary and walked in procession down the middle aisle to the door and made a circuit of the exterior walls of the church, the Bishop sprinkling them with holy water, while the accompanying priests chanted the “Miserere.” Returning, the interior walls were likewise blessed, and when the altar was reached the litany of the saints was chanted. At the pontifical High Mass which followed, Bishop McMahon was celebrant. The sermon was preached by the Rev. Ignatius F. Horstmann, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. After congratulating the congregation and the Pastor upon the work now completed, he reviewed briefly the history of the parish and the labors of its former Pastors. He referred to the edifice just completed as proof of the vitality and expansive power of the Catholic Church, and of its being a religion of works as well as of faith. Other religions, he said, needed no temple, for they had nothing to teach. The ministers of other religions simply reflected the views of their congregations, and were dependent on their good-will for continuance in office. The so-called reformers had clamored for all faith and no works. Now it was the reverse; one may believe what he pleases so long as he acts decently. The preacher concluded by exhorting his hearers to keep their bodies, far more beautiful than any temple raised by human hands, unspotted from the world. In the evening, at vespers, the Rev. Dr. McGlynn, of New York, preached, and the church was crowded. Among the clergymen who assisted in the sanctuary in the morning were the Rev. James Smith, of Greenwich; J. O’Donnell, of Norwalk, T. H. Wallace, of Lewiston, Me.; P. Skelly, of Chester; Bernard Sheridan, of Middleton; J. Carroll, of Westport, and Martin J. Brophy, of New York.”

The Feast of the Visitation: May 31
– Fr. Terry Walsh

“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth”(John 4:23).

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you”(Jn 14:15). In other words, as faithful members of the Mystical Body of Christ, we are imbued with the Holy Spirit, who leads and guides all the Children of the Light into the Heavenly Kingdom. Our brief sojourn here on earth is our opportunity to follow Christ: to love him and honor him. He helps us every step of the way. Through every trial, every suffering, every joy and every consolation we are strengthened by the seven-fold gift of the Holy Spirit so that we may accomplish our mission: as St. Paul put it: “To live the truth in love”(Ephesians4:15). The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Immaculate Conception, was created without the stain of sin, yet, she endured great suffering. She suffered in union with Her Son—for love of Him. She suffered for love of his Mystical Body, the Church. She was filled with the Holy Spirit, yet she suffered. Consider the wonder of the Annunciation—the most extraordinary moment in time. What immeasurable joy! Yet, this young “unmarried” woman endured false accusation. And, just like her Son would do during His Passion, Mary ‘opened not her mouth’ to defend her innocence. Rather, she faithfully placed her trust in God and remained completely docile to the Holy Spirit. She Motherly Heart focused on the needs of others. After all, she was carrying the Messiah. Yet, she humbly journeyed over the hill country to visit Elizabeth, who was preparing for the birth of John the Baptist. Mary is our model of purity, humility, love – indeed, every virtue. Now our Heavenly Mother visits each one of us in the very same way. She comes to us tenderly to lead us into the Heart of Her Son.

In True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Louis De Montfort writes: “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”(n.35,36). When we examine our prayer life, what place have we given to our Spiritual Mother? Are we truly devoted children? She loves each one of Her children with a perfect love. She is our great Intercessor, always seeking to lead us into a deeper union with Her Son. Though our devotion to her, we imitate Christ and at the same time honor the 4th commandment. And as our devotion deepens, the Holy Spirit will pour abundant graces into our souls, forming us more perfectly in love. DeMontfort put it this way: “…the more the Holy Spirit finds Mary, his dear and inseparable spouse, in a soul the more powerful and effective he becomes in producing Jesus Christ in that soul and that soul in Jesus Christ”(n.20). Each time we utter the “Angelic Salutation” better known as the “Hail Mary” we call upon her motherly aid and she rushes to our side. How beautiful to contemplate the Mysteries of Jesus through the Hands of Mary, the pedals of the Rosary. Consider the origin of the Hail Mary: it begins with the Salutation of the Archangel Gabriel, sent from God, to greet the Virgin Mary: “Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” Soon after, Mary visits Elizabeth. Upon her greeting, Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, cries out to Mary, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.” And finally, the spiritual children of Mary, that is, the Church, completes the prayer: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.” De Montfort reminds us that the salvation of the world began with this prayer at the Annunciation.. He writes: “The ‘Hail Mary’…brought to a dry and barren world the Fruit of Life…the Hail Mary is a heavenly dew which waters the earth of our soul and makes it bear its fruit in due season….When the Hail Mary is well said, that is, with attention, devotion and humility, it is, according to the saints, the enemy of Satan, putting him to flight; it is the hammer that crushes him, a source of holiness for souls, a joy to the angels and a sweet melody for the devout. It is the Canticle of the New Testament, a delight for Mary and glory for the most Blessed Trinity. The Hail Mary is dew falling from heaven to make the soul fruitful. It is a pure kiss of love we give to Mary. It is a crimson rose, a precious pearl that we offer to her”(253).”

Citing the Church Fathers, the great Saints of the early Church, DeMontfort clarifies the extraordinary role of Mary in the life of the Church –in every member of the Mystical Body of Her Son: “God the Holy Spirit entrusted his wondrous gifts to Mary, his faithful spouse, and chose her as the dispenser of all he possesses, so that she distributes all his gifts and graces to whom she wills, as much as she wills, how she wills and when she wills. No heavenly gift is given to men which does not pass through her virginal hands”(n.25). The great Solemnity of Pentecost is just around the corner: June 8th. As we prepare for this great Feast, let us call to mind that it is through the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin Mary, that the gift of our Redemption took place. May we be ever mindful of our Lady’s faithful “YES” and imitate her love as we welcome the Holy Spirit into our hearts and so be formed into true images of her Son.