For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday June 1, 2014

Sacred HeartPastor’s Corner:

June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a devotion that centers on the physical human heart of Jesus Christ as a symbol of His divine love for humankind.

Throughout the centuries, the human heart has been a sign of human love—what do you normally send out on Valentine’s Day, except a card with hearts all over it? Every form of devotion to Our Lord’s humanity has as its object the devotion to the entire Christ who is the Word Incarnate: the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son of the Eternal Father, who became a man so that mankind could share in God’s divine life. So our devotion to Jesus’ Sacred Heart is a devotion to much more than to an organ that pumped blood. Our devotion to His Sacred Heart of flesh is as the true and natural symbol of His threefold love: His human love; His sensible and spiritual love, infused with supernatural charity; and His divine love as Incarnate Son of God. This is seen in the Gospel: John 7: 37-39: “Jesus said, ‘If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes I me as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” And, John 19: 33-7: “One of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.”

These and other passages were joined to view the Sacred Heart as the fountain that dispenses the Holy Spirit from the Savior’s wounded side. From this came the idea of the Church as born from the pierced side [or Heart] of Christ as the new Eve springing to life from the heart of the new Adam. This was developed during the Middle Ages, as greater devotion to Our Lord’s heart became more popular. St. Bonaventure wrote, “The Church was to be formed from the side of Christ as he slept on the Cross . . . Then, as from a fountain—Christ’s innermost heart—the price of our salvation, would pour out, giving to the Church’s sacraments the power of conferring grace and of being for those who live in Christ a drink of the living water ‘that gushes up for eternal life.’” [Reflections on The Tree of Life] Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Gertrude the Great, especially, were devoted to the Sacred Heart as a means by which one might more deeply penetrate and join oneself to the mystery of the Incarnate God living in the Church and Her sacraments. The visions of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque [1601-1680] brought renewed public attention and devotion to Jesus and His Sacred Heart.

The Heart of Christ, then, is the symbol of the total love of His person for the Eternal Father and for mankind. Through and beyond the human heart, through this devotion one goes to the total love of the Word Incarnate, and also to that love by which the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit love humanity—not merely as a group, but loves each of us individually, and desires to redeem each of us for eternity by means of Christ’s Incarnation and Suffering, Death and Resurrection, made present through the Church and the Church’s sacraments. The image of Jesus’ Heart, afire with love, crowned with thorns, and pierced, has become the symbol par excellence of the passion and depth of God’s love for us that led the Three Persons of the Trinity all to contribute to our salvation through the life and Cross of Jesus. We should all cultivate a personal devotion to Our Lord’s Sacred Heart as a reminder of that Divine Love for each of us and to stimulate our personal response to that Sacred Love.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
—-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: James Capodanno, 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.

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, June 2nd.

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

Banns of Marriage:
I Banns: Nicholas Della Camera and Jessica Burga.
I Banns: Patrick Peluso and Marina Nadgor.
II Banns: Anthony Annunziata and Jennifer Hoppe.

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: This Monday, 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 in our parking lot. Bring the whole family and a picnic supper, and enjoy the beautiful music on a beautiful summer evening.

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 25, 2014 $ 13,228.50
Sunday May 26, 2013 $ 11,024.03

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 8th, Sunday Readings: Acts 2:1-11; 1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13; Jn 20:19-23.

Annual Bishop’s Appeal: Saint John’s goal, set by the diocese, is $100,000. The funds collected are used for the numerous charitable and educational works of the Diocese. We have collected to date: $90,839.00. To those 329 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.

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.

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).

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 31, 2014
4:00 +Ines and Albert Gommi req. Leon Taricani
Sunday, June 1, 2014
7:30 Deceased members of the Van Langen and Patten Families req. Lorraine Van Langen and Joyce Patten
10:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.
12:00 People of the Parish
5:00 +Frank Alagia
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, June 2, 2014
8:00 Elmer Letterman req. Pam Rittman
12:10 +Cliff Beierle req. Anne Conte
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
8:00 +Margaret M. Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 Erika P. Hall req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
8:00 +Charles V. Austin Jr. req. family
12:10 +Frances Fabrizio req. Mary Long
Thursday, June 5, 2014
8:00 Elmer Letterman req. Pam Rittman
12:10 Monsignor DiGiovanni req. Millie Terenzio
Friday, June 6, 2014
8:00 +Katrina Nikaj req. Age Tushaj
12:10 +Octavius and Vènilia Mèhu and Family req. grandchildren
Saturday, June 7, 2014
8:00 Special Intentions Rev. Damian Pielesz
12:10 +Muriel Carlson req. Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians

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 STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
140 years ago, or so:
June 2, 1876: “The dramatic and musical entertainment came off at St. John’s (R.C.) old church building on Meadow street, Tuesday evening. The attendance was large and the performance appeared to give great delight to all present.”

75 years ago, or so:
June 3, 1940: St. John’s Catholic curate, Choir in World Fair Program. “Rev. Charles E. Hagearty, assistant at St. John’s Catholic Church, will be the guest speaker in the Temple of Religion at the New York World’s Fair, Sunday, at 3 p.m. The program will take the form of a Holy Hour, and will be dedicated to “Christ, the preacher on the Mount.” Father Hagearty, in three addresses, will discuss the third, fifth and seventh Beatitudes in the light of their relation to the modern world.”

70 years ago, or so:
June 1, 1943: Memorial Service For Catholic Dead. “Nine war veterans, who died during the past year, were honored yesterday morning at the annual Memorial Day services in St. John’s Catholic Cemetery, Springdale. They were Anthony Palermo, Nicola Pentimore, Frederick R. Larkin, John Wadejko, John P. Quinlan, Vincento Cogliandro, John Farrell, James M. Moran and John Hogan. The service opened at 11 with the invocation by Rev. Michael J. Sullivan, followed by musical selections by St. John’s Band. The reading of Gen. Logan’s orders, marking the establishment of Memorial Day, was given by Capt. Robert Sullivan of St. John’s Boys’ Brigade and Major John Hogan of the Brigade read the names of the veterans who were buried during the year in the cemetery.”

THE CATHOLIC TRANSCRIPT:
65 years ago, or so:
June 3, 1948: St. John’s Parish, Stamford, Marks Centenary; Fr. Coleman Gives Sermon. “St. John’s Parish, Stamford, celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding last Sunday as the Most Rev. Henry J. O’Brien presided at a Solemn High Mass in St. John’s Church.. Celebrant of the Mass was Rev. Patrick E. Killeen of Essex. Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman, pastor of St. John’s, preached the sermon. “This is an outstanding day in the history of the Catholic Church in Stamford,” Father Coleman declared in his sermon. “Today we pay tribute to the clergy and laity who laid the foundation of the Catholic life we enjoy in this year of Our Lord 1948. Within those years, many great events have taken place. The U.S. has grown from a puny infant to the stature of a giant in power, wealth and importance.”

“Do You Know What Day It Is?”
– Fr. Terry Walsh

“Yet thou hast made him little less than God, and dost crown him with glory and honor.” – Psalm 8:5

The world celebrates excellence—and it seems, especially athletic excellence. Consider the world wide following of soccer teams—the World Cup—or Golf, Baseball, Basketball, Football, and the Olympics, to name but a few. Amazing things can be accomplished through hard work and determination. So many of the individual stories are in a way inspiring—overcoming adversity, reaching new and extraordinary heights in personal endurance, and so on. Indeed, many have inspired others to dream of the possibility of achieving personal goals that lead to a deeper appreciation of the gifts God has bestowed— especially goals of virtue off the athletic field. Meanwhile, from dawn till dusk people everywhere are putting themselves to the test – running faster, jumping higher, and developing skills in a variety of activities that are meant to strengthen character and confidence – especially in the young. The “language” of sports translates across borders and builds bridges among cultures. What joy the achievements of human excellence bring – the fruit of much labor. And in the high-tech age, sports provide a wholesome alternative to gadgets galore. Very often, people gain great consolations by reaching new heights or pushing through difficult barriers through steadfast determination. What reasonable sacrifices am I willing to make to reach my best performance? And, discovering our limitations, although humbling, should actually be liberating. Indeed, it requires humility and courage. It’s particularly fruitful when that discovery prompts us to turn our gaze away from ourselves and instead begin to contemplate the One who knows no limits – the Infinite One who emptied Himself completely in order to share His Divine Life: True Excellence!

Team sports add the component of working together to accomplish a community goal. Clearly, each individual effort affects every other member of the team and since responsibility to the community takes precedence over personal achievement, individual accomplishments may need to be sacrificed in order for the team to be victorious. Moreover, is there a willingness to offer constructive criticism to teammates even when it’s difficult? Applied to the spiritual life, these lessons lead to a deeper understanding of love. St. Paul refers to this when he writes about the Mystical Body of Christ. He reminds us that as each member grows in holiness – “faith working through love” – the entire Body grows in holiness. Yet, if one member falls, the ill effect is felt by the whole Body. We are obligated to grow in holiness and to help others in their pursuit of a holy life as well. Sports can make a wholesome contribution. Ah, there are a million stories. One Christmas Day during World War I, American and German soldiers crawled out of their bloody trenches and met each other in the middle – for a game of soccer. After their game, they simply couldn’t go back to shooting each other. Consider, too, the most renowned athletic stage – the Olympics. Consider the 1924 Summer Games? Do you remember Eric Liddell? He was considered to be the world’s fasted human. Yet, he refused to compete in 3 of the 4 events he qualified to run because they took place on Sunday. Liddell would not compromise the integrity of his faith. His heroic witness captured the attention of the entire world. Instead, he ran the 400 meters and set a new world record.

What place do sports hold in the heart of man today? Is it still an activity that builds character and friendships? Or, has it become an “end” in itself – one that governs the daily activity of families even to the exclusion of honoring God? In many respects, Sports have replaced religion. So few attend Church, yet many would not think about missing practice. Few seem to know the Our Father or the Hail Mary, yet many recite the entire history of their favorite sports team. Few seem to know the names of the four Evangelists, the most important books ever written, yet many can rattle off the starting lineups of their favorite team, along with accompanying statistics. Few can list the 10 Commandments, and fewer still the Beatitudes, but most can tell you the rules governing their sport, including obscure nuances for the most ridiculous scenarios. So few know the story of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but most know the story of Ruth, DiMaggio, and Mantle. So few seem to engage in a faithful prayer life, but missing a daily workout would be considered ‘a mortal sin.’ As faithful Catholics, our dignity is realized in our relationship with God. The virtue of Religion falls under the Cardinal Virtue of Justice. We fulfill that virtue by keeping the Commandments. “In creation God laid a foundation and established laws that remain firm, on which the believer can rely with confidence, for they are the sign and pledge of the unshakable faithfulness of God’s covenant. For his part man must remain faithful to this foundation and respect the laws which the Creator has written into it” (Catechism, 346).

Skipping Mass in favor of a sporting event clearly indicates a lack luster desire for God. A faithful prayer life would have prevented the tragedy of turning a wholesome activity into an “end” in itself. We have been made to share in the Divine Life. We are meant to be crowned with glory and honor, in heaven. It is a crown that comes through faith, hope, and love and is the fruit of following the One True God in this life. Sports ought to contribute to the growth and development of the human person rather than serve as a conduit of self-absorption, whose logical end is the exploitation and commoditization of the human person and the loss the true dignity – union with God.

What is truly most important to you? And what practices strengthen and support “that thing”? Well, of course, it is the Mass, the Sacraments, the Rosary, the Heart to Heart prayer with God each day—reading about the Saints and growing in knowledge of the faith (The Catechism of the Catholic Church). How truly blessed we are!