For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday July 13, 2014

Basilica Pastor’s Corner: July 16th is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, an especially important day for Saint John’s, since Pope Benedict XVI raised our parish to the dignity of a minor basilica on July 16, 2009. The date is worth remembering because, as a minor basilica, Saint John’s has a special bond with the Holy Father, and unique spiritual privileges among the churches of the Diocese of Bridgeport: after the Cathedral of Saint Augustine, Saint John’s is the most important church in Fairfield County. Because we are the Pope’s Church, we can offer plenary indulgences throughout each year, which no other church can.

The Basilica is a formal symbol of the spiritual bonds between all Catholics, as members of Jesus’ Mystical Body, the Church, united visibly with Christ by our communion with the Successor of Saint Peter, Pope Francis. We are all connected through Baptism, and also each time we receive Holy Communion, we are in communion with God, but also with each Catholic around the world. This is symbolized at Mass during the Eucharistic Prayer—the long prayer following the Holy, Holy, Holy, when the priest prays specifically for the pope and for the local bishop. Those prayers are symbolic of our communio—a Latin word that means our spiritual unity with the saints in heaven, the souls in Purgatory, and with each Catholic around the world. For by being in communion with the pope, who is the Successor of Saint Peter and the personification of the Church, we share the same faith, and share the life of grace in the sacraments; by being in communion with the local bishop, the local successor of the apostles, that communion is brought closer to home. No one has just a private relationship with Christ. While there is that private aspect to our faith, there is much more: we belong to one another in Jesus’ Catholic Church, and work by our prayers and spiritual sacrifices to help each other gain eternal life with the God who loves us. God works daily through His Church in us to save everyone on the planet.

The plenary, or full, indulgence offered in our Basilica on July 16th is a perfect example of that connectedness between all baptized people, both living and dead. A plenary indulgence is the remission before God of the temporal punishment for sins, whose guilt is forgiven in sacramental confession. The Church, as the minister of Christ’s graces, grants these special graces to faithful Catholics who willingly perform a designated public act of devotion: in this case, by visiting the Basilica on July 16th, the anniversary of our being made a basilica, and by doing a specific spiritual, charitable action: praying one Our Father and the Apostles’ Creed for the intention of the pope; receiving Holy Communion on the day of the indulgence; and having gone to Confession sometime within a week prior to or following July 16th. One must be free from all attachment to sin in order to receive an indulgence. This is a moment of deeper conversion to Christ, and reception of His grace.

In other words, the entire body of the Church is willing to join you to perform the penance for your sins: by administering the merits of Jesus’ suffering and Cross, and the merits of the saints, to those who seek an indulgence. Here, then, is the reality of communio—a sharing in spiritual gifts—each person in the Body of Christ, which is the Church, works for the salvation of everyone else: we share the spiritual gifts of Our Lord by sharing in the same Catholic Faith, and joining efforts, willingly performing simple acts of faith and charity to benefit others, and, thus, we open ourselves to God’s perfecting us, through the graces of His sacraments and blessings in His Catholic Church.

Please take advantage of the Basilica’s special bond with Pope Francis, by visiting on July 16th, and by piously working for these blessings by praying for the Holy Father. These indulgences can also be applied to someone we love who has died: a further sign that even our beloved dead continue sharing with us, because we are all united in Christ’s Catholic Church. —-Msgr.DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Joyce Considine, Laureen Keenan, Bonnie and Dorothy Keyes, Billy Therriault, Thomas Bernie, Ruth Coyle, Jacqueline Domingue, John Palumbo, Kristine Barron, Silvana Smith, 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: Theodore Scheidel, Jr., 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, Virginia Donaghue,
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, July 14th.

Banns of Marriage: II Banns: Michael Talarico and Krystal Collins.

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.

Attention Actors and Stage Managers. Fr. Audette is looking for actors and a production manager for a play he is directing – October opening: William Douglas Home’s, Lloyd George Knew My Father. Character parts and production manager are open. Please call Father Al at 203-733-5953. Rehearsals through the summer for presentation on October 23rd, 24th and 25th.

Gluten Free Hosts: Any one 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 that you prefer a gluten-free host for Holy Communion. 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, which is the door near the elevator.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday July 6, 2014 $ 12,999.04
Sunday July 7, 2013 $ 11,736.74

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 20th, Sunday Readings: Wis 12:13, 16-19; Rom 8:26-27; Mt 13:24-43.

Annual Bishop’s Appeal: We made our goal: $108,150.00 . 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. 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, July 12, 2014
4:00 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
Sunday, July 13, 2014
7:30 Deceased members of the Sexton and Winter families req. Hannah Sexton Young
10:00 +Anna & Carmine Coniglio and Madeline Sabia req. Family
12:00 +Jocelyn, Sydney, Oswald and Kilda Machado req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
5:00 +George B. Cooper
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, July 14, 2014
8:00 +John Maloney req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Demetria Garcia req. Irsa Garcia Abrantes
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
8:00 Andrew Mbabaali req. Mom Scholastica Nabwire
12:10 +Alfred H. Lovell req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
8:00 +Theron and Lena Carr req. Marie Carr
12:10 Sr. Maria Carmel, MC req. Sharon Gannon
Thursday, July 17, 2014
8:00 +Lucie Charles req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +A.J. Hoenig req. Millie Terenzio
Friday, July 18, 2014
8:00 +Hubert Zappe req. Dewey Family
12:10 +Elena Esquibel req. Irsa Garcia Abrantes
Saturday, July 19, 2014
8:00 +Wayne Robert Wickard req. Joseph Saglimbeni
12:10 +Jayson Jarrett req. Norma Jarrett

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 NEWS:

THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
130 years ago, or so:
July 15, 1883: An Absurd Rumor. “The work of finishing up the interior of the new Catholic church on Atlantic street is making good progress under the superintendence of Mr. John Ennis. It involves the trimming and handling and placing in position of a great mass of heavy woodwork. It goes up to stay, and can’t be done in a day or month. A rumor has been abroad, thought to be the invention of a discharged workman, that “no Protestants need apply” for a place in the mechanical force employed on the church. This is mere nonsense. Neither the master mechanic nor the clergy of the church entertain any such purpose or spirit. They employ good mechanics, and never ask a man whether his is a Jew or a Gentile, a Greek or a Roman or anything else. Their only discrimination, so far as the work on hand is concerned, is in favor of good carpenters.”

THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
125 years ago, or so:
July 20, 1889: STAMFORD. “Rev. James Lawless celebrated his first High Mass on Sunday, June 30, in this parish, with Rev. Father Keena acting as deacon. Mr. Peter McClain as sub-deacon, and Rev. Father Carroll, master of services. There was no sermon but Rev. Father Carroll, in a most appropriate manner, congratulated Father Lawless on his priesthood and wished him a long and happy life in his new calling.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES:
80 years ago, or so:
July 20, 1935: Stamford Church Tower Is Razed by Lightning. “Lightning struck a tower tonight on St. John’s Catholic Church and demolished it, scattering great chunks of granite on the street and sidewalk ninety feet below. One boulder weighing about 100 pounds was hurled across Atlantic Street through the skylight of a retail shop.”

THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
60 years ago, or so:
July 15, 1954: Elevated To Rank of Monsignor. “The Rev. N. P. Coleman, pastor of St. John’s Catholic Church, a priest of the archdiocese of Hartford for 52 years, today was raised to the status of a domestic prelate with the title of Right Reverend Monsignor. He will have the office also of diocesan consultor.”

Our Lady of Mount Carmel
– Fr. Terry Walsh

O Virgin Mary, blessed and venerable art thou: who without blemish to thy maidenhood, didst become the Mother of the Saviour. O Virgin Mother of God, He whom the whole world cannot contain, enclosed Himself within thy womb, and became man. – Gradual, Liturgy of the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel JULY 16

As I entered the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome for the very first time, I was completely overwhelmed. The Baroque architecture seemed to pull heaven down to earth. Walking through the Basilica became a walk through time as beautifully carved monuments adorned the various side altars and called to mind the lives of great Saints who contributed to our understanding of the union between God and man. There seemed to be a palpable feeling that they lingered still, standing guard, pointing to the Sacrifice.
As I approached the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter just beneath the great stained glass image of the Dove, the Holy Spirit, I glanced to the side walls that surrounded the sanctuary and gazed upon the towering statues of Founders of great Religious Orders that were actually built into the Pillars of the Basilica. In effect, these spiritual pillars of the Church formed their Religious Congregations on the Evangelical Counsels of the Gospel: poverty, chastity, and obedience. Ah, yes, St. Francis, St. Benedict, St. Dominic, and…..wait a minute, Elijah? Wasn’t he in the Old Testament? How then could he be considered the ‘Founder’ of the Carmelites? After all, the Carmelite Order began nearly 2000 years after the Prophet Elijah. Ah yes, the answer is found in the 1st Book of Kings, chapter 18: in a word, purity. It was atop Mt. Carmel that the Prophet Elijah challenged the 450 false prophets who had corrupted the Israelites, leading them into their impurity – infidelity to the Holy Covenant. Indeed, the people had strayed after false gods and had forgotten their unique relationship with the One True God. Elijah challenged their fickle hearts which had grown impure and duplicitous: “How long will you straddle the issue? How long will you go limping with two different opinions?” Elijah challenged the people to choose. Either follow God or go your own way, but do not pretend to love God when you are clearly disobeying His holy will. Elijah demanded purity of intention from the Israelites and to prove that he actually spoke on the authority of God, he challenged the false prophets to a contest – a sacrifice.

After the utter failure of the false prophets to demonstrate any power whatsoever, Elijah prepared his sacrifice. Then, he cried out to God, “Let it be known this day that you are God…Answer me Lord! Answer me, that this people may know that you, Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to their senses.” Immediately, a great fire swept down from heaven like lightening and consumed the entire sacrifice, even the wood and the dust and the water. Elijah’s powerful prayer made from the holy depths of his heart was heard. The sacrifice was completely consumed, demonstrating a certain perfection, a sacrifice that foreshadowed the One Perfect Sacrifice that Jesus would offer to the Father centuries later atop Calvary in order to pay the debt of the sins of repentant souls. Like the great Prophet Elijah, pious Christian souls of the 12th century fled to Mt. Carmel in the hope of entering into that same deep and abiding contemplative prayer demonstrated by the Prophet; a spiritual way of life that yielded oceans of grace and revealed the love of God in a more perfect way. The Carmelite Monks claimed Elijah as their Founder because of his pure and faithful love. Likewise, we hear the echo of the cry of Elijah, who beckons all people to conversion of heart. Indeed, the Carmelites have taken up this cry and have entered into true spiritual warfare through contemplative prayer and a rigorously disciplined way of life. The faithful hermits who found themselves on that same Mountain centuries after Elijah sought the fire of God’s love through the New and Eternal Covenant – the graces that are poured out from that Perfect Sacrifice on Calvary which now flow into the hearts of all believers, purifying us through love. In his Sermons, Saint Augustine wrote: “Elijah prayed and offered sacrifice, and Christ offered himself as a perfect sacrifice for the whole world. Elijah prayed that rain might fall on the earth; Christ (prayed) that divine grace might flow into human hearts. Elijah’s command to his servant: ‘Go up and look out seven times, is a foreshadowing of the seven-fold grace of the Holy Spirit to be given to the Church. And the small cloud rising up out of the sea that the servant saw is a symbol of the Incarnate Christ born in the sea of this world.” Our Lord became Incarnate in the Virgin Mary. She who is the Immaculate Conception was chosen by the Carmelites to be their Patroness because of her purity, her ardent faith, her undying love.

Our Lord comes to us through Mary, the Vessel of Purity, the Virgin Mother of God. Indeed, Our Lady offers us a great gift through the Carmelites. It is the Scapular, revealed through private revelation to St. Simon Stock on Sunday, July 16, 1251. “In answer to his appeal for help for his oppressed order, she appeared to him with a scapular in her hand and said: “Take, beloved son this scapular of thy order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all Carmelites a special sign of grace; whoever dies in this garment, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant” (Catholic Encyclopedia). The Church teaches: “The Scapular of Mount Carmel is an external sign of the filial relationship established between the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen of Mount Carmel, and the faithful who entrust themselves totally to her protection, who have recourse to her maternal intercession, who are mindful of the primacy of the spiritual life and the need for prayer. The Scapular is imposed by a special rite of the Church which describes it as ‘a reminder that in Baptism we have been clothed in Christ, with the assistance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, solicitous of our conformation to the Word Incarnate, to the praise of the Trinity, we may come to our heavenly home wearing our nuptial garb”(Popular Piety and the Liturgy, Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, p.144) The Feast has a very special significance for our parish here at St. John’s. One year ago, on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, written on the Papal Document from the Vatican, St. John the Evangelist Parish was raised to a Basilica. What a blessing to know that this wonderful grace took place through our Lady’s love and protection. In honor of our Lady of Mount Carmel (Feast Day July 16th), we will offer the Scapular to all who would like to receive the habit on the Sunday following Her Feast, July 18, after all the Masses. It is important that all who receive the habit of the Scapular take time to prepare spiritually through prayer and understand that it be worn with faithful devotion to our Lady, who gently leads us to her Son.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pray for us !