For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link:Bulletin for Sunday August 24, 2014

RomePastor’s Corner:   My new, temporary job in Rome begins in September.  My last day at the parish will be Sunday, September 7th, and I will fly out to Rome that afternoon.  Since I will remain Pastor of Saint John’s, even while I am in Rome for the year, Bishop Caggiano has named a temporary Administrator for Saint John’s: Father Terrence Walsh. I think you know him!!
The job of a parish administrator is rather straight forward: he is in charge of the daily operation of the parish, changing nothing regarding the administrative policies and practices of the parish. His responsibility is to ensure that the parish continue providing spiritual and educational services to our parishioners during the upcoming 12 months of my absence.
As you all know, Father Walsh is an eminently capable priest: hard working, zealous and faithful. I am delighted that the bishop chose him to watch over or “baby sit” our parish. His trusty sidekick will be Father Audette. Having been the pastor of two parishes, Father Al can provide Father Walsh with any administrative guidance he may require, as well as continuing to lend a hand by offering Masses, hearing Confessions and administering the Sacraments. The parish staff will remain the same, so my absence will not affect the high quality of services provided in the parish office and in the church itself.
During my absence there will be no capital campaigns or construction projects.
You will notice some significant work beginning next week, however: the replacement of the three metal staircases leading to the Basilica: the Bell Street side entrance; the rectory garden side entrance; the sacristy entrance, will all be replaced. As you may have noticed, the present staircases are in rough shape: they are nearly 70 years old, so we got our money’s worth!  They are on the verge of becoming unsafe, so it is time to replace them. A generous  and anonymous parishioner has stepped forward to provide the funds for the project. The fabrication of the new stairs is being completed now, and the installation should begin next week.
Likewise, before I leave, I will be writing all parishioners asking you to be generous to the parish in the upcoming Annual Collection. As you know, this collection annually helps fund minor repair projects in the basilica and rectory. Your help is essential to the continued restoration of our historic buildings, as well as the continued maintenance and operation of the parish.
During my absence, please remember me in your prayers, as I will you and your families at the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul and at the other shrines in Rome. God bless you all.
—-Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick:  Lee Kaplan, 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.

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

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light:  Kevin Moriarty 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 25th.

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.

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.

RELIGIOUS ED NEWS:  Registration for the 2014-2015 school year will be held the weekend of September 6th/7th after the Saturday 4pm Mass as well as after the Sunday 10am, 12pm and 5 pm Masses in Msgr. Nagle Hall.   ALL STUDENTS must be registered before the start of classes.  First day of classes is Sunday September 14th.
Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday  August 17, 2014        $  10,850.50
Sunday  August 18, 2013        $    9,930.67

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 31st, Sunday Readings:  Jer 20:7-9; Rom 12:1-2; Mt 16:21-27.

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.

St. Leo 34th Annual Parish Fair: at St. Leo Parish, 24 Roxbury Road, Stamford.  Tuesday, August 26th through Friday, August 29th, from 6PM to 11PM and Saturday, August 30th, from 2PM to 11PM.  Enjoy rides, games, live entertainment, international foods, bingo and our $10 raffle with a 1st prize 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250C4.  For more information: call
Denise Esposito at 203-322-1669 x227.

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 23, 2014
4:00 +Dorothy and Fred Wahlstrom req. Leon Taricani
Sunday, August 24, 2014
7:30 +Domingo and Bundo Kim req. Joseph and Mary Kim
10:00 Thanksgiving to God req. Ketty Desrouleaux
12:00 +Joseph Jacobs req. Maryanne
5:00 +George B. Cooper
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, August 25, 2014
8:00 Souls in Purgatory
12:10 +Laura Trimboli req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
8:00  Thanksgiving to God req. Ricardo Antoine J. Zamis
12:10 Richard Paul Kim req. Joseph and Mary Kim
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
8:00 Thanksgiving to God req. Ricardo Antoine J. Zamis
12:10 +John and Theodora Kim req. Joseph and Mary Kim
Thursday, August 28, 2014
8:00 Thanksgiving to God req. Ricardo Antoine J. Zamis
12:10 +John and Theodora Kim req. Joseph and Mary Kim
Friday, August 29, 2014
8:00 Thanksgiving to God req. Ricardo Antoine J. Zamis
12:10 +Francescantino Pugliese req. Pugliese Family
Saturday, August 30, 2014
8:00  Deceased members Terenzio and Longo Families req. Millie Terenzio
12:10 Mary Young Kim req. Joseph and Mary Kim

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 ADVOCATE:

140 years ago, or so:
August 28, 1874:   “The annual fair of St. John’s R. C. society will begin about the 15th of September. It is expected to be a very successful affair. Work on the new church edifice is being actively pushed forward.”

100 years ago, or so:
August 25, 1916HERE ARE THE WINNERS. St. John’s Catholic School, Odd Fellows and Battery F. “The library contest which has been running since May has closed, and the winners are announced as follows: First prize, St. John’s Catholic Church and school; second, Odd Fellows’ Club; third, Battery F. That is to say, St. John’s wins in Class I, comprising churches, church organizations, etc.; the Odd Fellows win in Class 2, comprising fraternal organizations, clubs, etc.; Battery F wins in Class 3, comprising schools, libraries, fire departments, hospitals, military companies, etc. St. John’s School and the ‘Odd Fellows’ Club were close competitors for first honors. An expenditure of $25 would have overcome the margin of some 44,000 votes by which  these two were separated in the final result.”

80 years ago, or so:
August 28, 1933FR. DALY SINGS FIRST HIGH MASS.  “The Rev. Joseph B. Daly, son of Mr. and Mrs. Owen J. Daly, of 29 Fifth Street, celebrated his first Solemn High Mass at St. John’s R. C. Church yesterday morning at 11. The church was crowded. In the afternoon and evening, friends flocked to his home to give their well wishes.”

50 years ago, or so:
August 30, 1962St. John’s CYO Team Rewarded At Dinner Event. “About 150 well wishers attended a dinner for the St. John’s CYO Baseball Team which won the New England Grammar School championship in the Knights of Columbus Hall Tuesday night. Coach Bob Lynch, of the Stamford Catholic High football team, was the speaker, and he gave an inspirational as well as amusing talk on sports. St. John’s defeated the Providence champion 9-8 in 14 innings to win the title. Rev. John J. Filip, Bridgeport Diocesan CYO director, presented the St. John’s team with the Diocesan trophy for the championship it won which advanced it along the way toward the New England crown. Coach Frank Jerabek, Jr. presented awards to the members of the team, including the “Most Valuable Player” award to Anthony Esposito.”

Mary our Mother
– Fr. Terry Walsh
Special Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary—33 Day Program begins September 4th at St. John’s
“She is His mystic channel, His aqueduct, through which he causes his mercies to flow gently and abundantly.” – St. De Montfort
The Saints of the Church have sung the praises of the Blessed Virgin Mary throughout the centuries, beginning with the Apostles. They were merely imitating Christ Himself, who honored Mary above all others. St. Louis Marie Grignion De Montfort (1673 – 1716) likewise sings her praises and challenges us to seek a deeper understanding of our Spiritual Mother through an interior devotion in a little book known as True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Throughout his brief 150 page treatise, he masterfully weaves references to Sacred Scripture, the Dogmas of the Church, and the insights of the Saints, and so helps us understand the magnificence of Mary and the boundless love she holds for each one of her spiritual children. Furthermore, he explains the intimate role she plays in our salvation. It would be sheer foolishness to neglect her. He writes, “The Most High God came down to us in a perfect way through the humble Virgin Mary, without losing anything of his divinity or holiness. It is likewise through Mary that we poor creatures must ascend to almighty God in a perfect manner without having anything to fear”(TD,157).
Throughout the short treatise, De Montfort explains his devotion by first helping us to understand the one of a kind relationship Mary has with God. Indeed, the Church teaches through the declaration of various Dogmas as well as through the celebration of her feasts and Solemnities in the Liturgy: “The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship”(Catechism, #971). It’s important to make a distinction between praise and adoration. Adoration is reserved for God alone. We are called to praise Mary, but to adore her Son. We honor her with hymns of praise and heartfelt prayer, especially the Holy Rosary. Indeed, we are compelled to honor her if we are to keep the fourth Commandment. And yet, our relationship with Mary ought to be understood in an infinitely deeper way – through love. “God the Son imparted to his Mother all that he gained by his life and death, namely, his infinite merits and his eminent virtues. He made her the treasurer of all his Father had given him as heritage. Through her he applies his merits to his members and through her he transmits his virtues and distributes his graces”(TD,24).
Mary alone has the unique privilege of being at the same time the daughter of the Father, the spouse of the Holy Spirit, and the Mother of the Son. And of course, it was through her that Jesus took upon Himself our human nature so that he could offer Himself to the Father in reparation for our sins. “Mary alone found grace before God without the help of any other creature. All those who have since found grace before God have found it only through her. She was full of grace when she was greeted by the Archangel Gabriel and was filled with grace to overflowing by the Holy Spirit when he so mysteriously overshadowed her…the Almighty made her the sole custodian of his treasures and the sole dispenser of his graces. She can lead them along the narrow path to heaven and guide them through the narrow gate to life…Jesus is always and everywhere the fruit and Son of Mary and Mary is everywhere the genuine tree that bears that Fruit of life, the true Mother who bears that Son”(TD,44). What an extraordinary relationship! What tremendous humility.
By virtue of our baptism, our incorporation into the Body of her Son, we share in that relationship, provided we are faithful to our Baptismal promises. Mary will gently lead us into the Heart of Her Son so that we may be healed and so walk in the Light of Truth. She knows the way. “She is not the sun, dazzling our weak sight by the brightness of its rays. Rather, she is fair and gentle as the moon, which receives its light from the sun and softens it and adapts it to our limited perception. She is so full of love that no one who asks for her intercession is rejected, no matter how sinful he may be. The saints say that it never has been known since the world began that anyone had recourse to our blessed Lady, with trust and perseverance, and was rejected”(TD,85).
How would you describe your relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary? How well do you really know Her? De Montfort turns to the Scriptures to illustrate the tender and effective love of Mary by explaining the allegorical relationship between Rebecca and her son, Jacob in the Book of Genesis. “Jacob would not have escaped death,” declares De Montfort, echoing the Early Fathers of the Church, “if his dear mother Rebecca had not saved him by her ingenuity and her good advice”(TD,184). In other words, true devotion to Mary enables the soul to receive a greater measure of grace thereby forming us into a more perfect likeness of Jesus. “When Mary has taken root in a soul she produces in it wonders of grace which only she can produce; for she alone is the fruitful virgin who never had and never will have her equal in purity and fruitfulness….When the Holy Spirit, her spouse, finds Mary in a soul, he hastens there and enters fully into it. He gives himself generously to that soul according to the place it has given to his spouse”(TD, 35). Mary intercedes on our behalf with her Son, just like at the wedding feast of Cana, asking our Lord to give us the New Wine, that is, the graces won for us through the Paschal Mystery. What hopefulness. Imagine it! She is right beside us helping us to faithfully live in Christ. De Montfort’s beautiful treatise on our Lady is filled with spiritual treasures, revealing a clear understanding of the role of Mary in the lives of the faithful. It would certainly prove worthy spiritual reading throughout the Holy Season of Lent. Why not consider reading a few paragraphs of True Devotion each day throughout Lent and reflect upon the spiritual insights that lead to a greater understanding of our baptismal promises. De Montfort recommends an optional 33 day preparation program before making the Consecration. His program begins with a 12 day period of spiritual exercises that are designed to free one from the “spirit of the world.” The remaining 21 days are divided into three one week sessions designed to grow in knowledge, first of oneself, then of the Blessed Mother, and finally of our Lord Jesus. Various Scripture passages are recommended, along with select spiritual reading and prayers. It is enough to simply read True Devotion and pray the Consecration prayer and save the 33 day preparation for another time. We will actually be the book Thirty Three Days to Morning Glory, which will include reflections from Saint Pope John Paul II, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and St. Maximilian Kolbe, in addition to De Montfort. The goal we seek is a deeper union with our Lord and our Blessed Mother wants to help us. Our late Holy Father, Saint Pope John Paul II, praised the writings of De Montfort calling them an “inexhaustible fountainhead of spirituality” that “teach the meaning of true devotion to the Blessed Virgin.” As we draw close to Mary, may we echo his apostolic motto: “Totus Tuus” – I am totally yours, Blessed Virgin Mary!
Come join us on September 4th and be Consecrated to our Lady….see Bulletin for details