For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday September 14, 2014
My flight to Rome left exactly at 4pm from JFK, and proved to be relatively pleasant, as far as flights go, arriving early, at 6:25 am, Rome time. After breezing through passport control and customs with only one carry-on, I made my way into the City, arriving at the back door of the Casa Santa Maria, the graduate department of the American seminary, at 7:40 am, just in time for breakfast. My boxes had arrived weeks before, so I spent the next hour or so unpacking, showering, saying my prayers, offered Mass, and then set out to meet the Rector of the seminary.
After a 30 minute brisk walk across town, walking up the Janiculum Hill (unaffectionately referred to as “Cardiac Hill”), I arrived at the main entrance to the Pontifical North American College, the main campus of the American Bishops’ major seminary in the Vatican. With more than 300 seminarians from dioceses across the United States, all college graduates pursuing their final four years of study and spiritual formation in preparation for ordination to the priesthood, it is the largest of all American seminaries. I made my way to the Rector’s office to receive my final instructions about my project, met with him and with the archivist, submitted my request for documents for the next morning, and walked out the front door by 3pm.
Now, the real work for my first day in Rome began: a walking pilgrimage to the Basilica of Saint Lawrence “Outside the Walls” of the City, which houses the tombs of Saints Stephen and Lawrence, and Blessed Pope Pius IX. This was to be my first stop to offer thanks for a safe trip, to ask blessings on my project, and to pray for the people of the Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist in Stamford.
The walk across the City, past the Stazione Termini and out past the ancient City’s walls, took me a mere 60 minutes—and my bunions felt it! The Basilica was built in 330 AD by the Emperor Constantine on top of the tomb of Rome’s most famous deacon, Saint Lawrence, who was martyred in the year 257 AD, by the Emperor Valerian I. Saint Lawrence’s tomb became one of the City’s earliest and most popular pilgrimage sites. The remains of the Church’s first martyr, Saint Stephen, were brought to Rome and interred in the same shrine with those of Saint Lawrence a few years later.
The reason for my pilgrimage to this basilica, is because of another tomb nearby those of the two sainted deacons: that of Blessed Pope Pius IX who was the pope when our Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist was founded  and the present structure was completed . Blessed Pius IX was pope 1846-1878, during one of the most turbulent periods of the Catholic Church’s near 2,000 year history. He defined the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception and that of Papal Infallibility.
The Basilica of Saint Lawrence received worldwide notoriety during World War II, when Rome was bombed by the Nazi’s and Pope Pius XII went to that portion of the City to encourage and aid those who had been injured in the destroyed portion of the City. There I prayed for the intentions of everyone at our Basilica in Stamford, and will continue to pray for you all each day, and to remember those persons and intentions you ask me to pray for . Please remember me in your prayers. God bless you.
Please pray for the sick: Marie Augustin, Mary Churley, 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.
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.
Catholic University of America Collection . . . Please drop your special envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.
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 15th.
Banns of Marriage:
I Banns: Andre Labrosciano and Elizabeth Sabia.
I and II Banns: Kevin Michael Sullivan and Milagros Marlene Chinchay Collahua.
III 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.
Agnus Dei Knights of Columbus Council: is sponsoring a Day of Recollection with Fr. John Perricone on Saturday, Oct. 11th, 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. For more information, please contact Dan Marengo (718) 829-8056 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Procession honoring Our Lady of Fatima: will take place on Saturday, October 11th, immediately following the 12:10 Mass. We will process to the Rectory Garden and pray the Rosary. All are welcome to attend.
Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday September 7, 2014 $ 11,727.00
Sunday September 8, 2013 $ 13,081.93
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 21st, Sunday Readings: Is 55:6-9; Phil 1:20c-24, 27a; Mt 20:1-16a.
Home Schooling Families: All ages are welcome. For information, please contact Bridget Bethray: email@example.com, or Janet Lancaster: firstname.lastname@example.org,
or at 203-637-3301.
St. John’s Women’s Groups: Contact Lisa Kotasek: email@example.com, 203-253-3499.
St John’s Flock (20’s and 30’s Young Adult Ministry): The Flock is a group of Catholic young adults in their 20s and 30s committed to strengthening community ties through regular meetings to growth in our faith, social events, and community service projects. The group meets regularly each month on the first Monday for Holy Hour and fellowship from 7-9, and third Sunday from 5-7 pm for the 5pm mass and fellowship. We also organize and participate in various service, social, and faith events.
Please join St. John’s Flock on September 20th, at the Villa Maria, Stamford, CT. For more details on this event or to sign up, please email Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Francis & Clare: Our High School Youth Group. Students interested in being part of the Teen Leadership Group contact Sue Kremheller, D.R.E. at: email@example.com.
Service Hours are available for those who have already been Confirmed.
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 of St. John’s. Call the parish secretary (324-1553, ext. 21).
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION NEWS: Classes start this Sunday, Sept. 14th, 8:30AM-9:45AM. Please get all baptismal and communion certificates in to the Parish Office as soon as possible.
Job Seekers: 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, September 22nd, Location: To Be Decided
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, September 13, 2014
4:00 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
Sunday, September 14, 2014
7:30 Deceased members of the Sexton and Winter Families req. Hannah Sexton Young
10:00 +Richard Wargo Birthday Remembrance req. Arthur J. Wargo
12:00 +Elizabeth A. Coughlin req. Eileen Carpanzano and Family
5:00 +George B. Cooper
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, September 15, 2014
8:00 In Honor of Our Lady of Sorrows req. Armelle
12:10 Special Intentions Rev. Sam Kachuba req. Ferry G.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
8:00 +Mary Ellen and Joseph Santoro req. Marie Carr
12:10 +Randolph Samedi req. Anne Marie Samedi
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
8:00 +Charles V. Austin Jr. req. Family
12:10 +Nelson and Monica Filipi req. daughter Anna
Thursday, September 18, 2014
8:00 +Gerald Johnson req. Tom Timon
12:10 Richard Paul Kim req. Joseph and Mary Kim
Friday, September 19, 2014
8:00 Mary Young Kim req. Joseph and Mary Kim
12:10 +Hedwig Figura Jagodzinski req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
Saturday, September 20, 2014
8:00 +Selina Brocklebank – 10th Anniversary req. Louise Munro
12:10 Michael Muwanguzi req. Mom Scholastica and Andrew
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.
Coffee Hour. . .Starts again this Sunday, September 14th, after the 10:00 a.m. Family Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall.
St. John’s in THE NEWS:
THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
140 years ago, or so:
Sept. 17, 1875: “Work on the new Catholic church, Atlantic street, continues to be actively pushed forward. The walls and roof are now nearly finished, and the massive but not ungraceful proportions of the building can be distinctly appreciated. It is expected to be so far finished this fall that services will be held during the winter in the basement, and next month the place will be made ready for a grand fair, which we learn is to be held there for the benefit of the church. It is said that the Sunday and day schools connected with the church are soon to be taken charge of by the Sisters of Mercy.”
THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
120 years ago, or so:
Sept. 16, 1893: STAMFORD. “Last Sunday evening at St. John’s R.C. Church an impressive and beautiful ceremony was witnessed and participated in
by a large congregation. It was the blessing of new altars recently purchased by the church. The lady members of the league of the Sacred Heart and the Children of Mary, dressed in white, with veils and wreaths, marched in procession from the basement of the church through Bell street and entered the church singing the Litany of the Blessed Virgin. Vespers were then sung, after which the new altars were blessed, while the societies sang appropriate hymns. An eloquent sermon was delivered by Rev. Wm. H. Rogers, after which benediction was given. John Mulville of Washington avenue has been appointed one of the delegates from the Catholic Church in Connecticut to the Congress of Religions now being held at the World’s Fair.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: John Mulville is the donor of a stained glass window in the church: rectory side, fourth from front. He is also the father of the Rev. Francis X. Mulville, a vocation from the parish.)
September 14: Feast of the Triumph of the Cross
We need to ask, “Lord, how can I best love You?”
– Fr Terry Walsh
Jesus teaches us in the Gospel to take up our daily Cross – to imitate Him. Love is a decision. It is a free act of the will. Naturally, our emotions influence our decision, and yet, we cannot reduce love to a mere feeling. By its very nature, love is sacrificial. The greatest act of love ever known to man was the total self-emptying of Christ upon the Cross. Therein lies our decision, our act of love. He beckons us, “Follow Me.”
As we ponder His invitation to embrace the Cross, we survey the bounty of His grace. St. Paul assures us that the life we’re meant to share in heaven, which comes through the Cross, is so glorious that it’s simply beyond our comprehension. Even in this life, our Lord will satisfy our every need, spiritual and material, and help us embrace the Cross with love, just as He did, when we place our trust in Him.
Jesus constantly knocks upon the door of our heart and then eagerly awaits our reply. When we accept His invitation: “Yes, Lord, I believe,” we enter into His Mystical Body. Ah, then our Lord speaks to our hearts from within us. Through prayer, our hearts open to the mysteries of the Kingdom and the supernatural life of grace emboldens us. We have decided to love. Each conversation with God leads to a deeper understanding and a more faithful commitment to love unconditionally, just like Jesus. We decide to love, even when we feel we’re not being loved back. Our interior life begins to blossom, and our daily decisions are purified through the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of Wisdom and Understanding. It’s not simply a matter of tuning out the world; rather, we simply become more aware of the abiding Presence of God. We’re better able to distinguish true love from selfish feelings; we choose the Cross. We ask, “Lord, how can I best love You?” Through prayer, we hear His gentle voice guiding us into a particular vocation and then, through grace, we allow Him to build our house, as Psalm 127 teaches, upon an unshakable foundation. Once we decide to love Him back, He will never abandon us.
Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments; love one another as I have loved you; pick up your Cross and follow Me.” Our response of love to His invitation is a deliberate and free act of the will. Where do we find the Cross? In general, we encounter the Cross through the various trials and tribulations of daily life. In a more fundamental way, however, we meet the Cross when we answer the simple question: “How can I best love God?” Some are called to the Priesthood or the Religious Life. Others find their vocation through the various gifts and talents bestowed upon them by God, which are meant to be developed for the good of others. And the great majority answer the question through the beautiful vocation of Marriage. Every vocation is a path to love and, therefore, an encounter with the Cross. Jesus encourages us, “Be not afraid.” When we abide in the love of God, He will help us to be true to the Cross.
Humility is the key. St. Paul’s beautiful canticle in his Letter to the Philippians praises our Lord’s perfect sacrifice and points to His complete Self-Emptying as the model for us: “Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied himself in the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a Cross” (Philippians 2:6-8). St. Therésè of Lisieux reminds us that our “self-emptying” is accomplished through the little things – “it’s about doing the ordinary things with extraordinary love for God.” Ultimately, it is the only road to true happiness. Once we recognize the agape love of Christ and seek to imitate His love, we discover our true purpose and we receive the abundant means of grace to truly love with the heart of Christ. When the seeds of faith, hope, and love are watered by our Lord, the path to holiness becomes abundantly clear. “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you”(John 15:7).
In order to flourish in one’s vocation, prayer is absolutely essential. Little effort at praying well will inevitably lead to a lack-luster preparation for encountering Christ in the Sacraments. Consequently, the abundant graces our Lord showers upon the soul will, at best, trickle beneath the surface. Naturally, the soul can’t run on empty. We can’t give what we don’t have. In order to give love we must first receive love; especially through faithful reception of Holy Eucharist. Christ emptied Himself for His Bride, the Church. He joyfully nourishes all who freely decide to approach the altar of sacrifice with ardent faith and a holy desire to receive His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. It’s not a decision that one should ever make lightly. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you”(John 15: 12).
Pray the Stations of the Cross