For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday September 7, 2014

Pastor’s Corner: September 7, 2014

Each year as summer draws to a close, I write about our Annual Collection for the parish. Your generosity has been extraordinary, and by it you have repaired and restored our Basilica, which is a spiritual home for thousands in downtown Stamford.

During the past calendar year, some work has been done on the 1850 Greek Revival rectory, funded by your generosity. The gazebo was given a new foundation, stripped, repaired, repainted, and given a new roof ($37,000.00); we replaced the roof atop the front porch, and repaired/restored the sunken Yankee gutters ($10,000.00). I had hoped to have accomplished more, but a lead paint test revealed that there are numerous layers of that potent mix on every part of the house’s exterior. We cannot simply scrape down the walls and put a new coat of paint over it. Since I hope to remove the lead paint-covered clapboarding, replace it with a modern wood composite clapboarding with baked on enamel coloring, and put insulation inside the walls, it would make sense to install new windows throughout, as well: most are the original 1850’s windows!! All this will require much more than that provided by this Annual Collection.

That being clarified, I would ask your kindness so we can take a few more baby steps in the rectory project. As you may notice, there is much rotted decorative woodwork below the roof, and rotted eves. Just look up at, just below the roof line of the rectory, and you’ll see all the rotted woodwork. If we could tackle those rotted and rotting sections this year, and then think about the complete project after my return from Rome, that would be helpful. Please lend us a hand once again, so we can make some progress restoring our historic building which provides so many services to our parishioners. We need your help!

These are hard financial times for everyone, and I am sorry to ask again for your help. If you can spare something, please make a contribution to the Basilica using the red Annual Collection envelope. Your donation is only for the Basilica. The priests are making their contributions, just as you are, so please lend a hand.

With prayerful best wishes, and renewed gratitude, I remain,
Msgr Signature




Reverend Monsignor
Stephen M. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Mary Churley, Millie Terenzio, Stefano Pirolozzi, 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: Dorothy Clements, Tommaso Marena, Martine Kelly, Arthur Sherry, 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.

Special Annual Collection . . .The second collection today will be the Special Annual Collection for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: + Marlina Gheringheli req. Joan and John Kronk.

St. Joseph Altar Votive Light: Special Intentions Stefano Pirolozzi.

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, September 8th.

Banns of Marriage:
I Banns: Kevin Michael Sullivan and Marlene Chinchay Collahua.
II Banns: Lanois Fefe and Martine Legerme.

St. Monica Latin Reading Group: Thursdays in the Rectory: 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. Please call the rectory for information.

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. Call the rectory for information.

Prayers in Rome: If you have any prayer intentions, or people you’d like me to pray for at the Tombs of the Apostles, Saints and Martyrs while I’m in Rome for the upcoming year, please drop a note to Cindy in the parish office: please DO NOT give a huge list of names of everyone you know or everything you’ve hoped for; just one or two intentions at a time, please. God bless you, Msgr. DiGiovanni.

World War I: The United States entered the War to End all Wars in 1917. Among them were many parishioners of Saint John’s. I am hoping to arrange a display underscoring the sacrifices made by Saint John’s parishioners both on the battlefield and at home in support of the War effort. If you have the names of Stamford family members who served in the U.S. forces during the war, or any memorabilia from family members who fought in Europe, or of nurses who helped the injured at the front or at home during the war, or letters from family members about the war, I would be grateful if you would lend them to the parish or donate them to the parish archives that we might use them for our display in 2017. On our “The Advocate” page, you’ll find an article from1916 about a priest from Saint John’s at the front! Please look in your attics, so we can look ahead to 2017. Msgr. DiGiovanni

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday August 31, 2014 $ 10,849.08
Sunday September 1, 2013 $ 11,384.45

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

September 14th, Sunday Readings: Nm 21:4b-9; Phil 2:6-11; Jn 3:13-17.

Home Schooling Families: All ages are welcome. For information, please contact Bridget Bethray:, or Janet Lancaster:,
or at 203-637-3301

St. John’s Women’s Groups: Contact Lisa Kotasek:, 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 or email Mary at

Francis & Clare: Our High School Youth Group. Students interested in being part of the Teen Leadership Group contact Sue Kremheller, D.R.E. at:
Service Hours are available for those who have already been Confirmed.

RCIA: Classes will begin on Tuesday, September 30th at 7:00 pm. Anyone interested in becoming Catholic, or adult Catholics wanting to receive First Communion or Confirmation, please 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

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

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION NEWS: Please register now early. 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. ALL STUDENTS must be registered before the start of classes.  First day of classes is Next Sunday Sept. 14th.

Job Seekers: There’s no charge. Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., a leader in helping find jobs. More info, see: or 203-866-1606: Next meeting: Monday, September 22nd, Location: To Be Decided

Agnus Dei Knights of Columbus Council: is sponsoring a Day of Recollection with Fr. John Perricone on Saturday, Oct. 11 starting at 9:30am at the St. Birgitta retreat house in Darien, CT. The day includes Confessions, two meditations and closing Mass/Benediction. Lunch will be served at 12pm. The day concludes around 4:30pm. The cost is $50 per person.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, September 6, 2014
4:00 Special Intentions John Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
Sunday, September 7, 2014
7:30 +AJ Hoenig req. Millie Terenzio
10:00 +Dorothy Clements req. Priests of the Parish
12:00 Stephanie O’Hara and Family req. Josephine
5:00 +George B. Cooper
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, September 8, 2014
8:00 +Helen Carr – Birthday Remembrance req. Marie Carr
12:10 Gerard and Armelle Raschella Anniversary
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
8:00 +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Ed Cody – 21st Anniversary req. Cody Family
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
8:00 Gertha Laurent
12:10 +Angelo Mancini req. Richard Foreman
Thursday, September 11, 2014
8:00 +Karl and Louise Wilk req. Sue Kremheller
12:10 Deceased of 9/11 req. Ferry G.
Friday, September 12, 2014
8:00 +Charles Chebetar Sr. req. Carpanzano Family
12:10 +AJ Hoenig req. Millie Terenzio
Saturday, September 13, 2014
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10 Special Intentions 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. 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: Thursday afternoons in the rectory: basic reading ability required. Please call the rectory for information
Intermediate Studies in Biblical Greek: Intermediate Grammar: Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm in a private home. Please call rectory for information.

Coffee Hour. . .Starts again September 14th, after the 10:00 a.m. Family Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall.


130 years ago, or so:
Rev Downey Sept. 13, 1884: STAMFORD. “Our Sunday school opened on last Sunday with a very good attendance, considering the extreme heat of the day. For the past two weeks, the thermometer has found itself among the nineties causing warmer weather than was expected at this season. A mechanical engineer connected with the Scientific American, after visiting the interior of our church, pronounced the work done by Mr. Ennis as excellent in every particular. Daniel Hanrahan’s son, who was a pupil at our parochial school, commences this term at St. John’s College, Fordham. John Downey, a graduate of this college, will go to the new seminary at Boston. Mr. Reilly of the firm of Reilly and Bounty, has begun to set the stone steps into position, at the main entrance to the church. The large stones, which weigh about nine tons each, were raised into position on last Saturday and Monday by Seth Miller’s men.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: John Downey would go on to be ordained a priest for the diocese of Hartford.)

Sept. 11, 1886: STAMFORD. “The parochial schools will commence the fall term by opening on next Monday morning. Since the close of the school last term, many improvements have been made for the convenience and accommodation of the scholars who have attended and also for a great many more. Everything has been done not only to maintain a high and well graded Catholic education, which has heretofore been taught there, but also pains have been taken for the comfort and convenience of the scholars. Parents should see that their children attend from the first day, for if parents are careless about this important matter they cannot expect their children to do otherwise. The mission given last week in this parish by the Dominican Fathers closed on Sunday evening. Every morning two Masses were said with instructions and sermon, and there was also a sermon every evening. Large as our fine church edifice is, it was too small for the great attendance in the evening, and all through the exercises of the mission, the great interest of the congregation was evident from the great number who attended.”

Sacred Scripture…”God’s Love Letter”
– 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. And how can we avoid tears of sorrow as we hear Isaiah’s prophesy 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? God’s love for his faithful people is written on every page – it’s the story of the most intimate union of love between God and man. 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 to 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.” St. Paul encourages us: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…”