For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday August 17, 2014

Pastor’s Corner: This is the last of the four part series about Ignatius Cardinal Kung.

Late on the night of September 8 and throughout the early morning hours of the 9th, 1955, the communist forces struck. Hundreds of police simultaneously raided all Catholic parishes, convents, the seminary and all Catholic institutions in Shanghai, as well as the homes of leading Catholic laypersons. They arrested Bishop Kung, 23 priests, 2 Carmelite nuns, nearly 300 lay Catholics. The next morning edition of the Shanghai daily secular newspaper, Sin Weh Jih Pao carried the story: The police actions and arrests were carried out by the government “In order to destroy this anti-government group of Kung Pin-mei at its very roots, and to exterminate all anti-revolutionary elements that are hidden by the Catholic Church.” Depending upon the newspaper consulted, the accusations against Bishop Kung changed, as did the fabricated details and evidence to support the fraudulent charges. His real crime was his unshakeable faith in God, and his unbreakable loyalty to God’s representative on earth, the Pope. The state could not control his conscience.

During the subsequent weeks, Shanghai’s priests, Catholic leaders and members of the Catholic youth were subjected to interrogations, group indoctrination classes, imprisonment or house arrest. All were shown newspapers proclaiming Bishop Kung’s betrayal of Church and homeland, whose policies for the Diocese of Shanghai were anti-revolutionary lies, part of a massive espionage plot. Twenty-eight mass meetings of 20,000 Catholics were held during the first two weeks of September, during which those Catholics of Shanghai who “had seen the light” and joined the communists spoke to those forced to attend, encouraging them to abandon the Kung Pin-mei clique and join the patriotic Catholic movement.

One such mass meeting of thousands of Catholics took place in Shanghai on September 12th. The Catholics, herded into the stadium and guarded by armed police, witnessed as group accusations were made against Bishop Kung, his priests and loyal Catholic laypersons. An eyewitness described he scene:

“After all sorts of accusations were thrown at the Bishop, he was told to speak. But the bishop remained silent. Then they thrust him in front of the mike and kept urging him to say something. The bishop seeing that there would be no end to this, raised his head and shouted, ‘Long live Christ’ several times. The crowd, mostly students followed up by shouting: ‘Long live the bishop’, but could only shout twice because the soldiers raised their rifles and Tommy guns and pointed them ordering them to keep quiet or they would open [fire]. Then they pulled the bishop away from the mike and pushed him roughly into the waiting lorry and drove off. The bishop was dressed in a Chinese short jacket and trousers and had his hands tied behind his back.”

Because Bishop Kung wanted only to be a bishop of Jesus Christ as well as a man and a true Chinese citizen that he stood as an obstacle to the government, and so he had to be toppled. Why did they wait so long to pull him down? As Father Jean Lefeuvre, who knew and worked with the bishop, wrote, “For a reason that we will express, and pardon, as the Bible tells us: “because they did not want the death of the sinner, but his conversion.” The conversion the communists wanted was the Bishop’s acceptance of communism; they did not want his death because he would then be acclaimed a martyr.

Father Lefeurvre continued, “They wanted Kung’s complete submission, which could not be had except by the destruction of his personality. This explains their long and patient waiting, in the hopes of discovering some fault that would permit them to creep into the individual’s conscience and shatter it. He had to be crushed, slowly.

For five years Bishop Kung was imprisoned without a trial. No one outside the jail heard from him or saw him, until March 16, 1960, when he was dragged before a Chinese court with twelve other Catholic defendants, and sentenced to life imprisonment for treason. During the first years in jail, as he later recalled, “There were six pairs of feet in my face each night”, of those sharing his unheated and unventilated cell, huddled together on the wooden floor, designed to ensure no one could sleep. His daily food ration was one small tin of watery rice with a piece of crushed turnip; no books, no writing materials, no visitors. After a few years, no one saw him and he was shut away in total isolation which last over two decades. After his release in 1988, he told one reporter that the guards had been instructed not even to look at him. So, as they passed his cell, they turned their faces away, lest he have even that minimal human contact. His life was one of physical labor. His mainstay was silent prayer: no prayer books or Rosary permitted, and not even the movement of his lips in prayer—a punishable offense—so, he tolled the Hail Maries of the Rosary on his fingers, and each month made the thirty-day retreat of Saint Ignatius Loyola, his namesake, from memory.

Cardinal Kung was and remains an example for us all: the faithful disciple of Jesus. Let us strive to imitate his love for Our Lord, for His Catholic Church, and for His Blessed Mother. Please pray that the Church will open the cause of canonization for the Cardinal soon, and please pray for China. —-Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Mary Bauer, Mary Rose Bauer, Paul Cavalli, Maggie Ward, Yvonne Saint Preuve, Sr. Anne-Marguerite, Peter Monks, Mary Louise Wakin, Agnes Allen, Laureen Keenan, Bonnie and Dorothy Keyes, Billy Therriault, Thomas Bernie, Ruth Coyle, Jacqueline Domingue, John Palumbo, Kristine Barron, Silvana Smith, Lena Cocchia, Christina Samon Ta-Chu, Nancy Gallagher.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Shirley Polcer, Joyce Considine, 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.

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, August 18th.

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 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.

Painting Donors: The names of donors who assisted in the repainting of the basilica interior is now on display in the hallway near the elevator. As you may recall, we published the list a few months ago, asking for your comments or possible corrections. Those corrections have been made, and we hope the list will prove complete. Please accept my thanks for everyone’s generosity in bringing the restoration and beautification of our church to such a happy conclusion.

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; 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 August 10, 2014 $ 13,616.44
Sunday August 11, 2013 $ 11,489.35

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 24th, Sunday Readings: Is 22:19-23; Rom 11:33-36; Mt 16:13-20.

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 16, 2014
4:00 Deceased Family Members of Peter Joseph Young req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
Sunday, August 17, 2014
7:30 Henry Kim req. Joseph and Mary Kim
10:00 +Dorothy Wargo 28th Anniversary req. Arthur J. Wargo
12:00 +Al Lorenti req. Rosary Group
5:00 +George B. Cooper
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, August 18, 2014
8:00 Thanksgiving Ricardo Antoine J. Zamis req. Marie Hogu
12:10 Scholastica Nabwire req. sons Michael and Andrew
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
8:00 Mary Hau req. Joseph and Mary Kim
12:10 +Sarah and Joseph Brennan
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
8:00 Thanksgiving Ricardo Antoine J. Zamis req. Marie Hogu
12:10 +Charles McGorty
Thursday, August 21, 2014
8:00 +Angelo Velez req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Marcel Gedeon req. Marion Morris
Friday, August 22, 2014
8:00 +Charles V. Austin Jr. req. family
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
8:00 +Celestino Rivera req. Rosa C. Delrosario
12:10 +Margaret Mulhern req. daughter and sons

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. Our next meeting will take place in September.

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:
145 years ago, or so:
August 19, 1870: THE CATHOLIC CONCERT. “The Catholic church in Stamford was crowded on Monday with a well pleased audience, the occasion being a grand sacred concert, and lecture on the doctrine of Infallibility lately pronounced and defined by the Ecumenical Council at Rome. The general interest on this subject was demonstrated by the fact that large numbers, other than Catholic, were present, and manifested their interest in the lecture by earnest attention. Of course the attraction of the concert drew a large number of the lovers of music, representing all classes of our citizens. The Concert was given under the direction of Mr. Charles W. Smith, the well known musician, of this town; it was a success. It was more. It astonished everybody, especially the “outsiders,” who went there from motives of curiosity or amusement, not by any means expecting to hear first class music artistically rendered.”

THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
130 years ago, or so:
August 23, 1884: STAMFORD. “The large stones for the steps of our church arrived last week. St. Patrick’s Temperance society and the Sacred Heart sodality received Holy Communion in a body. The Forty Hours Devotion, which commenced last Friday, closed with a Solemn High Mass. Father Walsh, as celebrant, and Father Rogers, and a visiting priest from Fordham, as deacon and sub-deacon, and Father Crowley of Norwalk as master of ceremonies. The altar was tastefully decorated and the ceremonies very impressive, surpassing any of former years. The different societies and sodalities which took part in the procession after Mass presented a neat appearance by their regalia. They were the Children of Mary, the Sacred Heart Sodality, the Society of the Infant Jesus, and St. Aloysius Sodality.”

THE CATHOLIC TRANSCRIPT:
115 years ago, or so:
August 19, 1898: “Our Stamford correspondent informs our readers of a beautiful and generous gift made by a lady of that city to St. John’s church. The gift consists of a handsome set of Stations of the Cross which lend an additional beauty to the church interior and which will serve as inspirations of devotion to those who enter the sacred edifice. The donation was prompted by motives of purest charity as is evidenced by the lady’s refusal to have the name of the donor made public. The reward she sought was not praise from the lips of men. She desired to have her good deed recorded in the heart of Him whose sufferings the stations recall.”

Assumption and Queenship of Our Lady

– Fr. Terry Walsh

The month of August brings great celebrations in the Liturgical Year of the Church. On August 6th each year, we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration, when Jesus reveals to Peter, James, and John His Divinity in all His Glory, and we understand that we are called to share in that Glory by His grace. On August 15th each year, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Body and Soul, into Heaven. And, one week later, on August 22nd each year, we celebrate the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary, Who already shares in the glory of Her Son Jesus Christ.

Mary is indeed our Queen, but She is even more our Mother. She Who was Immaculately Conceived, magnified the greatness of Her Son by fulfilling Her mission, directing Her every action to the Glory and Honor of God through Her fidelity and love. Mary, the ‘Living Tabernacle of God’, is perfectly united to the Mission of our Redeemer. She too endured the suffering of the Passion and Crucifixion in Her Motherly Heart, a suffering prophesized by Simeon in the Temple when Her Son was Presented to the Father forty days after our Lord’s Nativity. (The Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows is September 15th each year, the day after the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross.) “Before being Crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth, Mary first wore the Crown of Thorns”. She suffered with Him. We too enter into that suffering – we enter into His death and burial at our Baptism so that we “may rise” with Him and, at the end of the age, have our bodies restored and glorified in Heaven, a grace that all the Blessed will share at the Second Coming of Christ. Mary, the pure and sinless Mother of Jesus and our Mother, lives in this Glory where She intercedes for us. “In a wholly singular way She cooperated by Her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason She is a mother to us in the order of grace” (ccc968).

Reflecting on our Heavenly Queen, St. Bernard of Clairvaux had this to say:
Who can conceive how great is the glory of the Queen of the world? As She advanced to Heaven, with what depth of devotion and affection the angels and saints, the whole multitude of heavenly citizens, went forth to welcome Her. With what magnificent canticles She was conducted to Her glorious throne; with what gracious bearing, serenity of countenance. Her Son received Her with divine embraces and exalted Her above all creatures, with the honor His Mother merited. She was crowned with the glory that reflects Her majestic Son. And in True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, St. Louis de Montfort had this to say:

Mary is the supreme masterpiece of Almightly God….She is the sanctuary and resting-place of the Blessed Trinity where God dwells in greater and more divine splendor than anywhere else in the universe, not excluding His dwelling above the Cherubim and Seraphim(5). St. Louis de Montfort adds, In Mary, God has enclosed all that is beautiful, resplendent, rare, and precious, even His own Son. This immense treasury is none other than Mary…From Her fullness all men are made rich…She is His mystical channel, His aqueduct, through which He causes His mercies to flow gently and abundantly(24).

As we honor our Blessed Mother in the Glorious Mysteries of Her Assumption and Her Coronation as Queen of Heaven and Earth, may we be ever mindful of Her love for us and allow Her to lead us to Her Son. Mary, Queen of Peace, Pray for us.