For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday August 3, 2014

Pastor’s Corner: This is a continuation of the biography of Ignatius Cardinal Kung, begun last weekend. In 1937, Father Kung was assigned as the headmaster of the Aurora College Preparatory School in Shanghai, which coincided with the Japanese military occupation of China, where he continued to work until 1946. The school enrollment totaled only a few hundred students. By the end of his tenure in 1946, the number had risen over 1,000 students. IThat year, Father Kung was transferred to his new post as headmaster of Gonzaga High School in Shanghai, and pastor of Saint Louis Gonzaga Parish, where he remained until 1949. Following the Second World War, China was in a pitiable state, as was most of Asia and Europe. This was exacerbated by the Chinese civil war, followed by the slow armed progress of the communist People’s Liberation Army through the country. On May 24, 1949, the People’s Liberation Army entered Shanghai, and with only a few shots fired, “liberated” China’s largest city. Just a few days later, on June 9, 1949, a native son, Father Ignatius Kung Pin-mei was appointed the first Bishop of the new Diocese of Soochow.

Father Kung was ordained a bishop on October 7, 1949, the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, by the Apostolic Internuncio to China, Archbishop Vincent Riberi, in the Jesuit Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola in Xujiahui. At the close of his episcopal ordination ,Bishop Kung told those gathered that Pope Pius XII’s creation of a new Chinese diocese was heroic, at the very moment the communists were threatening the Catholic Church throughout the country. He said:

“I thank the Holy Father above all for his confidence in me. Better than anyone else, he knows our situation [the imminent persecution of the Church by the communist Chinese government ] Despite this, he has created a new diocese. Is this not a palpable proof of his paternal confidence? Yet, it is he who holds the rudder of this new ship [the Diocese of Soochow], as if repeating Christ’s own order, ‘Put out into the deep’, and I confidently respond, ‘At your word I will lower the nets.”

As the communist control of the country and its war against the Catholic Church continued to develop, Pope Pius XII transferred Bishop Kung on July 15, 1950, naming him the first Chinese Bishop of Shanghai and Apostolic Administrator of Soochow and Nanking. He was now the bishop of the most important diocese in China with the largest Catholic population, just in time to do battle with the communist government.

The Catholic Church in China had been experiencing a great spiritual renewal, beginning with the defeat and expulsion of the Japanese military forces from China. Since then, many robust initiatives were made to evangelize the pagan Chinese majority, especially in Shanghai , and to strengthen the spiritual lives of the Catholics there. The establishment of the Catholic Central Bureau provided coordination the missionary efforts of the Catholic Bishops throughout the country. The growth of lay spiritual movements such as the Legion of Mary and catechetical groups on University campuses, both under the direction of the Jesuits, were grass roots efforts for lay Catholics to reach out into society to convert their pagan neighbors. The Church, therefore, was on a trajectory for battle with the growing atheistic communist party and government for the minds and hearts of China.

These were dangerous times. There were organized attempts by the government to co-opt various religious groups. Most protestant groups willingly co-operated early on and accepted “patriotic” Chinese forms of their religions. But the Catholic Church was different: it was the largest of all missionary efforts in China, with more than 3,000,000 Chinese Catholics, with the largest number of priests, religious brothers and sisters, both foreign and native born. And, it was international, with headquarters not in China, but Rome. As the communist propaganda machine began working, it painted all non-Chinese influences and organizations as enemies. The communist government quickly began expelling foreign missionaries, especially foreign-born Catholic priests, religious brothers and religious sisters. Any who remained were incarcerated, as were many native clergy. Bishop Kung warned his priests at a retreat,

“You must not have any more illusions about our situation. . . You have to face prison and death head on.
This is your destiny. It was prepared for you because Almighty God loves you. What is there to be afraid of?”

The government crackdown on the Catholic Church was more virulent than against any other religious institution. The guiding government principle was the same in their relationship with all religions, but the methods varied. Because the Catholic Church was largest and most highly organized of “foreign” religious institutions, and because it was structurally dependent upon a foreign “ruler”, the pope, it was targeted more viciously than any others. Attacks in the press, both in editorials and political cartoons, as well as political speeches and organized public demonstrations against the Church were common throughout the country. Likewise, more and more frequent were the number of arrest of Chinese priests, nuns and Catholic lay persons of all ages.

A constant theme of the communists was that the Catholic Church was a fraudulent institution, whose true nature was political, cloaking its undercover activities in religion. Foreign-based, foreign-financed and staffed by foreign priests, the Catholic Church was portrayed as the enemy of the People; its’ bishops and priests “running dogs” of the imperialist western powers, especially America.

This brief biography will continue in next week’s bulletin.
—-Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Peter Monks, Mary Louise Wakin, Agnes Allen, 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, Nancy Gallagher, Megan Bobroske, Connor Walsh.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Mary Zimmerly, Pasqualina Bruzzese, 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.

Air Conditioning Collection . . . The second collection today will be the Air Conditioning collection for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

Salus Populi Romani icon Votive Light: +Ruth and Sara Mitchell req. Joan and John Kronk.

St. Joseph Altar Votive Light: +John and Dorothy Steigerwald req. Joan and John Kronk.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: +Vincent DeRosa req. Joan and John Kronk.

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, August 4th.

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 6:30pm. 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. He needs an elderly gentleman to play the role of the butler and he needs a stage manager. 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 27, 2014 $ 12,994.78
Sunday July 28, 2013 $ 12,279.15

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

August 10th, Sunday Readings: 1 Kgs 19:9a, 11-13a; Rom 9:1-5; Mt 14:22-33.

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.

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.

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).

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION: Please register now. Registration and payment can be made on our website, or in the office during the week. For more information, please call the parish secretary, 203-324-1553 x21.

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.

Blood Drive: The Knights of Columbus will be hosting a blood drive on Wednesday, August 20th from 10am – 2:45pm in their Grand Hall located at 507 Shippan Avenue in Stamford. Please call 1-800-733-2767 or visit www.redcrossblood.org to make your life-saving appointment.

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, August 2, 2014
4:00 Special Intentions Mary Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
Sunday, August 3, 2014
7:30 People of the Parish
10:00 Deceased members of the Millien Family req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:00 Frank and Sharon Marchetti req. John Paul and Angela Marchetti
5:00 +George B. Cooper
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, August 4, 2014
8:00 +Mary Paternina req. Charles and Ana Paternina
12:10 +David Morgan req. Friends at Manhattan Country Club
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
8:00 +Margaret M. Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Marlene Herrero req. Rosita A. Domdom
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
8:00 +John Fabrizio
12:10 NO MASS (Sisters of Life Solemn Vows at 11AM)
Thursday, August 7, 2014
8:00 +Maureen Maguire req. Noela Deleon
12:10 +Virginia Donoghue req. Paula Molgano
Friday, August 8, 2014
8:00 +Paul Rittman Jr. req. Pam Rittman
12:10 Catherine M. Fabrizio
Saturday, August 9, 2014
8:00 +Flora Molito req. Pagano and Duddie Family
12:10 +Gjustine Rakaj-Dreshaj req. Family

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:

145 years ago, or so:
August 7, 1868: Local News. Temperance. “The St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Total Abstinence and Benevolent Society, which has recently been organized in this town, promises much more than at first anticipated. Between two and three hundred male members already have joined and taken the pledge, and not a single instance, but one, of falling away, has yet been reported. The society has a firm hold on its members by the influence and example of its excellent leader, Father Gaffney, and to the perseverance and energy of that gentleman are due in a great measure the efficient working and sound basis of the association. Several whose former career in this town had seemed to seal their doom as despicable drunkards, and whose past lives have been spent for the most part in bar-rooms and low groggeries, have now assumed a respectable appearance and have entirely abandoned the path of recklessness and vice.”

Fr Lawless August 6, 1889: “Father J. B. Lawless has received an appointment as assistant in St. Patrick’s church, New Haven of which Father Russell is pastor.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Father James Lawless was a graduate of St. John’s School. St. Patrick’s, New Haven was his first appointment.)

75 years ago, or so:
August 6, 1941: Hibernians Here To Observe 50th Birthday of Unit. “The General Philip Sheridan Branch, Ancient Order of Hibernians, will observe the fiftieth anniversary of its founding with a special program of activities Saturday and Sunday. The Stamford branch was started in 1891 and was known for years as Division Number Two. Its first officers were F. T. Galagher, president; Dr. L. S. Buckley, vice president; James Devitt, recording secretary; James McGee, treasurer. Since its organization, the branch has had a steady and sound growth. Holy Mass for the souls of deceased members will be offered Saturday at 9 a.m. Sunday, at 3 p.m. the major degree of the order will be conferred on a class of 25 candidates at exercises in St. John’s School auditorium. A reception will follow in Hibernian Hall, 229 Main Street, with an entertainment, dancing and refreshments. The Sheridan branch is directed by Malachi F. Lyman, president; Thomas Harding, vice president; John Fahey, treasurer; Richard Comerford, marshal; George Sheridan, financial secretary; James Broderick, recording secretary.”

Our Lady of Knock
PRAY THE “KNOCK NOVENA” Aug 14 (Vigil of the Assumption) through Aug 22 (Queenship of Mary)
– Fr. Terry Walsh

They sailed to America to begin anew in a land of hope and promise. Would they ever return to their loved ones left behind? In spite of the tremendous hardships their faith was not diminished; on the contrary, it grew more deeply rooted. Indeed, they carried it to America. Our parish of St. John’s was founded by these faithful immigrants in 1854. Just as they had endured religious persecution at home, so too were they greeted with it here in Stamford. It didn’t stop them. The Catholic Faith in Ireland persevered through unrelenting persecution, yet yielded enormous fruits and graces. The ‘Golden Age’ of Ireland, as it is known, produced great scholarship from the time of Saint Patrick through the 8th century. And while invasions, persecution and famine became characteristic of the Irish experience, these hardships served to deepen their faith. In 1536, the ‘self-proclaimed’ head of the Church (of England), King Henry VIII, sought to stamp out the Catholic Church in Ireland. The English persecution persisted even after the Catholic Emancipation Act was instituted some 300 years later in 1828. Henry VIII attacked the Monasteries which were the very heart of Ireland. These spiritual communities were also centers of Irish culture and provided various services that sustained entire villages. Henry tried to crush the spirit of the Irish by dismantling the Monasteries. Religious statues, paintings, and icons were destroyed and fidelity to the Pope was forbidden. Brutal martyrdom, kidnapping for slave labor, and general persecution persisted for three centuries. And yet, these terrible persecutions could not suppress the hearts and minds of the faithful. It seemed to buoy their resolve. They suffered devastating famines in the 1840’s and again in the 1870’s: over a million dead, over a million fled her shores. It was on the heels of this terrible suffering, on a rainy summer evening, August 21, 1879, that the faithful Irish received a great grace. Fifteen villagers were blessed to witness an extraordinary apparition lasting two hours. Only fifty years earlier, the villagers of the poor farming community of Knock constructed their Parish Church (a year before the Catholic Emancipation Act was passed in 1829) and they chose Saint John the Baptist as their patron. Like the Baptist, they too were out in the wilderness, searching for the Lamb. Centuries earlier, the Baptist pointed to Jesus: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”(John 1:29). Persecution did not diminish the gaze of the Irish. Throughout the centuries, they remained faithful to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and their devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the apparitions of our Lady, it seems that Mary always appears to the simple, humble, and very often the marginalized: Juan Diego at Guadalupe, Bernadette at Lourdes, and the children at Fatima and LaSalette. The same was true on that summer evening at Knock. And what did they see in that silent apparition? Just behind the Church, the witnesses tell us that the apparition hovered about 2 feet off the ground. The Blessed Virgin Mary was standing beside an Altar, and upon it stood a Lamb. Behind the Altar, a Cross. St. Joseph stood beside the Blessed Mother with his head bowed slightly and St. John the Evangelist stood next to him holding open the Bible. Angels surrounded the Altar. Although it was pouring rain, the apparition did not get wet, nor was the ground beneath them wet. While no words were spoken, the scene spoke volumes. Just as our Lady and the Beloved Disciple were present at the foot of the Cross at Calvary, so too are they beside the Altar at Holy Mass where the Innocent Lamb pours out His Blood for us. The Book of Revelation, written by St. John, is essentially about the Mass, the “Wedding Feast of the Lamb.” John writes, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”(Revelation 5:12). Why do people around the world journey to the West of Ireland to visit the Shrine? The Very Reverend Paul Waldron pointed to the spiritual fruits: “Knock is a shrine of prayer and a school of suffering. It is Mary’s own hospital for her afflicted children. Here they come in their thousands, year after year to speak with Our Blessed Mother in consoling, intimate prayer, and to lay before her their poor bruised hearts and aching bodies. Some may be given the joy of health restored, but all are assured of a still greater blessing. They leave with the grace of a new understanding of their life and of the place that the Cross has in making them like their suffering Saviour. They leave, formed after Mary’s own Immaculate Heart….Here you have a Shrine that has been built not with material stones, but with gems far more precious, the millions of Rosaries that loving hearts and worn fingers have laid all these years at the feet of Our Lady of Knock”(Ibid., p.139). Indeed, four Popes have visited the Shrine, most recently Pope John Paul II on September 30, 1979.Our parish of St. John the Evangelist was founded by Irish immigrants a short time before the apparition in Knock. How wonderful it is that today the Knock Novena is prayed between the Feasts celebrating the final two Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, the Assumption and the Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth. While we may not be able to travel to the Emerald Isle to visit our Lady of Knock, we can rest assure that by entering into the Novena, She will visit us.