For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday June 29, 2014

Papal Keys Pastor’s Corner: “O Happy Rome, whose soil is ennobled by the blood of the two Princes of the Apostles, Saints Peter & Paul.” These words from an ancient hymn for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul [June 29th] sum up why the Church of Rome and the Bishop of Rome, the pope, exercise a unique position within the entire Church: because both Peter and Paul, the greatest of the Twelve Apostles, lived, ministered and were martyred in Rome under the Emperor Nero in 67 A.D. Devotion to them was universal even before their martyrdoms. Their tombs are still venerated under the high altars of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, and the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican. On the tombs—typical of Italians of every age—can be seen ancient graffiti, calling upon each Saint for help. There is a special link between the Church of Rome and its shepherd the pope as the successor to Saint Peter, who continues the ministry of Peter in our own day.

Our Lord gave the fullness of His authority to teach, govern and guide His Church, and to forgive sins, first to Saint Peter and then to rest of the Apostles. But Peter had a unique responsibility: symbolized by Christ having changed only Peter’s name, not those of the other Apostles: from Simon to Peter: which means Rock, and Our Lord told him “You are Peter, the Rock upon which I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.” [Mt 16.18-19] Our Lord promised that Satan, the father of lies, would not prevail against the Church that Jesus personally established on the shoulders of this weak fisherman. So, despite the mistakes, weaknesses and even sinfulness of Peter and his successors the popes throughout the centuries, Our Lord guaranteed that nothing wrong that these weak men might do could destroy His Church.

Peter’s role as the Rock upon which Our Lord built His Church was confirmed by Christ. In the Gospel of Luke [22:31-32]: Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.” Knowing that Peter would deny Him three times on the night before He died, Our Lord told Peter not to despair, but that Christ Himself would pray for Peter. Even though Peter failed the night before Christ died by denying Christ, Our Lord knew that “when you have turned again”, meaning, as Peter grew in the faith, especially after receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, one of his jobs would be to confirm and strengthen the other Apostles. After the Resurrection, Our Lord confirmed Peter’s commission, as recorded in the last chapter of the Gospel of John: “When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’ Peter said, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time Jesus said to Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ Jesus said to him a third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt because Jesus said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ Peter said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.” This He said to show by what death Peter was to glorify God. And after this He said to Peter, ‘Follow me.” [Jn 21. 15-18] Saint Augustine tells us that Our Lord questioned Peter three times about the Apostle’s love for Him in order to allow Peter the opportunity to make up for the three times Peter had denied Our Lord the night Jesus was arrested. After that, Jesus confirmed Peter’s role, and clarified that Peter was to lead the way as the chief shepherd of the Church and head of the Apostles. The other Apostles received Christ’s authority to preach, baptize and to forgive sins, but only to Peter did Jesus give the promise that the Gates of Hell, whose instruments are error and sin, would not prevail over the Church built upon Peter, and that Peter’s role was to strengthen the faith of all, including the other Apostles, and to be the chief shepherd and guide of the Church toward salvation. Peter grew into his job. We, like him, stumble, fall and make mistakes as we try to become more like Jesus on our journey of faith. By the time he was martyred, Peter got it right! He imitated Jesus perfectly.

Saint Paul taught the nations, and gave the Church much of its early formulations and expressions of faith: He put into words for future generations the Apostles’ experience of Christ. He bore witness to the Resurrected Christ who appeared to him while he was trying to destroy the early Church. Paul’s work brought all other nations outside Israel to know and share in God’s mercy through Christ in His Church. Let us pray to Peter and Paul for Pope Francis and for the Church today. Let us grow in the faith as did they, and imitate their perfect witness to Christ in our daily lives. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Laureen Keenan, Bonnie and Dorothy Keyes, Billy Therriault, Thomas Bernie, Ruth Coyle, Jacqueline Domingue, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Lucy Zabatta Carrigan, Ellen Green Tully, Thomas Hogan, 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, Ann R. DiGiovanni.

Peter’s Pence Collection . . . Please drop your Peter’s Pence Collection envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory. There will only be one collection today.

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 30th.

Salus Populi Romani icon Votive Light: Special Intentions Jo and Ann.

Banns of Marriage: II Banns: Barry Marc Delmonico and Kristen Romano.

RELICS: The relics of Saints Peter and Paul are on the high altar: the gilded brass reliquary on the left of the tabernacle contains a relic of Saint Peter. The reliquary on the right of the tabernacle is a relic of Saint Paul.

St. Monica Latin Reading Group: Wednesdays at 6:15 pm in the Rectory: resuming in September. 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. An intermediate grammar/reading class. We are translating the Gospel of John. Basic grammatical knowledge of Biblical Greek is required. For the summer, we meet in a parishioner’s home. Call the rectory for information, if you’re interested.

Gluten Free Hosts: Any one who might be allergic to gluten, please know that we have gluten free hosts for Holy Communion: please tell the priests about 15 minutes prior to the Mass you are attending: he will prepare a gluten-free host for you, in a separate receptacle called a Pyx: when you come up to Holy Communion, please go the priest you spoke with before Mass: he’ll hand you the Pyx, so you may take the gluten-free host yourself and receive Holy Communion by your own hand. Since the priests will have been distributing Communion using the regular hosts, if they handled the gluten-free host, you might become ill if you were to consume any particle of the regular gluten hosts. Once you have received Holy Communion, hand the Pyx back to the priest, or wait until after Mass and return it to him in the Sacristy: the door near the elevator.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday June 29, 2014 $ 13,185.33
Sunday June 30, 2013 $ 11,441.95

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

July 6th, Sunday Readings: Zec 9:9-10; Rom 8:9, 11-13; Mt 11:25-30.

Annual Bishop’s Appeal: We made our goal: $103,445.00. We’ve made our goal, so we’re done! To all who donated, THANK YOU, VERY MUCH!

Home Schooling Families: Has finished meeting for the year. We’ll start again in September, when we meet in the Msgr. Nagle Parish hall each First Friday of each month. All ages are welcome. Please contact Bridget Bethray: bridget.bethray@gmail.com, or Janet Lancaster: 203-637-3301, OR: 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 Women’s Groups, both large & small, meet regularly in the rectory and in homes. Contact Lisa Kotasek: lisakotasek@gmail.com OR: 203-253-3499.

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 contact Sue Kremheller, Director of Religious Education, by calling the Parish Office at 203 324 1553. Service Hours are available for those who have already been Confirmed. The 2014-2015 schedule will list the 2 Sunday nights each month.

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).

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 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, August 25th.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, June 28, 2014
4:00 +Veronica and John Buckheit req. Leon Taricani
Sunday, June 29, 2014
7:30 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
10:00 Priests of The Basilica of St. John the Evangelist req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:00 Jef and Mary Spetland req. Marion Morris
5:00 +Frank Alagia
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, June 30, 2014
8:00 +John Waupotic req. Waupotic Family
12:10 Special Intentions Joseph F. Kravar req. Fabiola C.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
8:00 +Pat McLaughlin req. Dr. Joe McAleer
12:10 In Honor of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ req. Marion Morris
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
8:00 +Margaret M. Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Charles Pascale req. John and Laura Pascale
Thursday, July 3, 2014
8:00 +Gene Tushaj req. Age Tushaj
12:10 +Rolando Garcia req. Irsa Garcia Abrantes
Friday, July 4, 2014
8:00 +George Henderson req. Michael and Nancy Finlay
12:10 +Anthony Ramos req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
Saturday, July 5, 2014
8:00 Gavin Samedi Birthday req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +June Hall Lovell req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski

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 meet in the Church each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30a.m. We will NOT BE MEETING on the 1st Tuesday in July or August, however alternate dates may be announced……

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. Meetings are held twice a month in the Church Hall. 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 will resume in September.

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. June 25th last meeting until September. –-Intermediate Studies in Biblical Greek: Intermediate Grammar: Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm in the rectory: summer meetings at a private home.

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 ADVOCATE:

140 years ago, or so:
July 5, 1872: “The various Roman Catholic Societies of Stamford intend to unite today, July 4th, in a grand excursion and picnic at Woodside Park. The procession will be headed by the Howe band of Bridgeport. On arrival at the Park a string band will be organized, and dancing on a suitable stage will be one of the chief amusements of the day. All manner of refreshments will be liberally provided, and the prospect is for a “good time” for all who choose to attend.”

100 years ago, or so:
July 2, 1915: MORE PEOPLE AT LAWN PARTY. “Last night was the second and final night of St. John’s Catholic Church’s lawn party, and euchre. Because of the clear weather, it proved a greater success than the preceding evening, about 600 people attending, two-thirds of whom were indulging in euchre or pinochle. Dancing followed the card games. Kearney’s orchestra played during the evening.”

60 years ago, or so:
July 6, 1956: Native of Ireland Has Keen Interest In City Affairs. “Observing her 100th birthday today at her home, Mrs. Mary Hosey Murphy, is quite active for her age. Happy at having reached the century mark, Mrs. Murphy is still able to get around by herself. She maintains an interest in what is going on in Stamford and the world, reading the Stamford Advocate daily. Born in Daly’s Town, County Longford, Ireland on July 6, 1856, she came to Stamford at an early age. She was married to Patrick Murphy in St. John’s Catholic Church here on Feb. 12, 1885 and has resided ever since in the part of Stamford that is often called “Kerrytown”.”

10 years ago, or so: July 6, 2004: St. John Church to Mark its 150th Year. “St. John the Evangelist Parish, the first Catholic church in southern Fairfield county, will celebrate its 150th anniversary this summer. The church began in 1851 as a mission of St. Mary’s Parish in Norwalk, but gained enough membership to establish itself as an independent parish three years later. Catholic immigrants from Ireland, Italy, Poland and other European nations provided the money and labor to build the church. They dug the foundation themselves, said Monsignor Stephen DiGiovanni, the pastor and historian at St. John. The church will mark its anniversary with an exhibit of artifacts and documents, including ornate gold and brass bookstands and chalices.”

The Living Word of God
-Fr. Terry Walsh

“It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” – Matthew 4:4

Have you ever had the experience of reading a story that you simply could not put down – hour after hour your heart and mind happily absorbing tremendous new insights and understanding, delving ever deeper into the mystery of life? You recognize in those moments that your life has somehow changed – a new course heading has been established. Who better to re-orient the spiritual compass than God Himself? The Prophet Jeremiah rejoiced: “Thy words were found, and I ate them, and thy words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I am called by thy name, O Lord, God of Hosts” (Jer. 15:16). Each turn of the page gradually unlocks the mysteries of life, like a soft summer breeze gently filling the sail of your heart, leading you to new shores. What could be more exciting than coming to understand the origin of human existence and the very purpose of life? The very first verses of the Bible capture our attention as we contemplate the explosion of love emanating deep from within the Trinity: God creating everything out of nothing in a simple and perfect act of love – forming man with such tender affection and endowing him with the ability to know Him and to love Him. As the story unfolds, we meet Adam, Noah, and Abraham who enter into Covenant relationships with God. Later, Moses, Joshua, David, Elijah, and many others help carry out God’s plan of Salvation, all leading up to that unique moment in time: the Incarnation! Indeed, all the books in the Bible point to the four Gospels, which tell the story of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of God-made-man, Jesus Christ. As we peer a little deeper into the stories of the Old Testament, we soon discover that there are actually many layers. “According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral, and anagogical senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church” (Catechism, 115). For instance, the early Saints of the Church pondered the story of Noah’s Ark and they explained how on a deeper level it actually corresponds to Jesus, who saved His family from sin and death; that is, all who are incorporated into His Mystical Body through the waters of baptism, through the Ark of the Church. Each of the 73 books in the Bible reveals important lessons on their own, while at the same time are all woven together into the bigger story of Salvation History and the relationship between Christ and the Church. Consider the story of the twelve sons of Jacob in the book of Genesis. When the younger son, Joseph, reveals to his brothers the dream he had concerning the higher place he would have among them, they were enraged. They plot to kill him – their own brother. What utter bewilderment! They betray him, selling him for 30 pieces of silver to nomads traveling to Egypt. As we read the story, our thoughts immediately leap across the centuries to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus, surrounded by his “brethren” – the twelve Apostles – has likewise been betrayed – sold for 30 pieces of silver by his “brother,” Judas and then abandoned in the Garden. In the Book of Genesis, Joseph would emerge as the right hand man of Pharaoh, who had put Joseph in charge of distributing the world’s supply of grain when a seven year famine engulfed the nations. On a deeper level, we come to understand that Joseph actually prefigures Jesus, who, centuries later, would be revealed as the Bread of Life, feeding all who hunger for spiritual healing and nourishment.

Page after page, God reveals His plan of Salvation through the humble Chosen People of Israel, preparing all the world for the glory of the Incarnation. Just as Moses would lead the Israelites out of the slavery of Egypt to the Promised Land, Jesus would lead the faithful out of the slavery of sin and darkness into Heaven. Just as the great prophet Elijah would offer the true sacrifice on Mount Carmel, Jesus would offer the perfect Sacrifice, His life, on Calvary. Isaiah speaks of the Suffering Servant some seven centuries before the Second Person of the Holy Trinity becomes Incarnate, revealing that it was always His intention to lay down His life for our sake, opening the gates of Heaven closed by Adam’s Fall from grace. When we read the Old Testament in light of this truth, our hearts expand with utter gratitude and amazement. How can our response be anything but faithful, unconditional love for him? Yet, if we never take the time to ponder the history of Salvation, how can we really know Him? St. Jerome said, “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing to division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). In other words, how can we really fully appreciate the lengths he has gone to pour out His love upon us and to teach us exactly how we ought to respond to him if we haven’t taken the time to ponder His words? Through our prayerful contemplation of the mystery of our Redemption, we’ll be filled with his Wisdom. “Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her” (Wisdom 6:12). Moreover, we’ll avoid the errors of presumption, such as those made by the Sadducees who confronted Jesus concerning the Resurrection. “Jesus said to them, ‘Is not this why you are wrong, that you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?”(Mark 12:24). Sadly, those who neglect the Scriptures simply don’t realize what they are missing – for if they would take the time to read the Bible, they would, quite naturally be led by the Light of Christ. He alone pours “Light” into our hearts and minds and without this Light we would only stumble in the dark. If we allow our Lord to plant His words deep in the garden of our soul, we’ll bear spiritual fruits – the treasure of Heaven. “As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty” (Matthew 13:23). The 73 “books” of the Old and New Testaments comprise 1335 “chapters” – each about a page in length (including the 150 Psalms). If you read 1 single page each day, you will have read the Bible in about 3½ years. That’s about 10 minutes of your time each day – or roughly the equivalent of the amount of time you would spend watching commercials in an average half-hour sitcom. Wonderful graces will wash over you simply from opening the Bible and making an honest effort. “In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, ‘but as what it really is, the word of God.’ In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them’” (Catechism, 104). Each turn of the page will quite literally transform the soul and lead to greater wisdom, understanding, knowledge and piety. God will whisper into the ear of your soul: “Trust me.” “Be courageous.” “I will never leave you.” “Follow Me.” Even when you feel as though you “don’t get it” God will reward you and encourage you. Why not at least try. Our Lord said, “Ask and you will receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be open to you.”