For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday September 21, 2014

Pastor’s Corner: September 17: Today is the feast day of Saint Robert Bellarmine [1542-1621], who became one of the most important cardinals in the Church, implementing the reforms of the Council of Trent following the protestant revolt. He was born in the beautiful Italian town of Montepulciano to noble yet impoverished parents. Brilliant, he memorized the entirety of Virgil and wrote poetry in Italian and Latin as a boy. Early on he decided to become a priest, and entered the novitiate of the then new religious Society of Jesus, the Jesuits in 1560. He was sent to the Jesuit house in Mondavi, in the Piedmont region of Italy, embarking on his spiritual and intellectual formation as a novice, mastering Greek and philosophy. He began his theological studies at the University of Padua in 1567, and the University of Leuven in today’s Louvain, Belgium. His health faltered, and was sent to Rome in 1579, as a professor of theology at the Jesuit Roman College—today’s Pontifical Gregorian University. He was named its rector in 1592, a cardinal in 1599. He died in 1521. He was a brilliant theologian, prodigious author [Thomas Jefferson had Bellarmine’s works in his library at Monticello; using some the cardinal’s political ideas for the foundational documents of the United States!], exemplary bishop and cardinal. He is primarily remembered as the man who condemned the works of Galileo.

Galileo was the most successful proponent of the theory of Copernicus that the earth revolved around the sun: Heliocentrism. To us, that’s quite uninteresting and taken for granted as true—because it is. However, in Galileo’s time, the theory was contrary to the common sense view that the sun revolved around the earth—everyone could SEE the sun “rose” in the morning or “set” in the evening. In 1616, Bellarmine wrote Galileo to inform him that a decree would soon be issued prohibiting the teaching of Copernicus’ ideas. Galileo wrote back, thanking him, and agreed not to teach or write about them. The reasons for the Church’s action were varied: first, Galileo couldn’t prove that the earth moved around the sun, even with his famous telescope. His “proof” was the movement of the tides—according to him they were obviously controlled by the sun as the earth moved around it. Wrong! The next reason was the Bible, seen as the weightiest of sources along with the teachings of the Church, which clearly referred to the sun revolving around the earth. How, then, could Galileo teach that the earth revolved around the sun when the Bible obviously taught otherwise? –AND, Galileo couldn’t prove his theory. The other problem was the protestant reformation, and its insistence that the Bible was entirely sacrosanct and factually correct. In northern Europe, the doctrines of Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and others [all had roundly condemned Copernicus’ teachings, while the pope at the time supported them as fascinating] had been taken up by local rulers who used them to fuel and justify their military and political battles. If the Church came out in support of Galileo’s theory, apparently contrary to Scripture, the ramifications in northern Europe would have been horrific. Prudence dictated to Bellarmine and to the Church that Galileo’s works had to be suppressed until he could prove them true. Faith did not vie with science: it simply required confirmation that scientific observation was based on actual reality and facts and could be proven. Much was at stake. In his correspondence with Paolo Antonio Foscarini, one of the greatest supporters of the theories of Galileo, Bellarmine wrote exactly that: the Church condemned the works of Galileo because he could not prove them, and because he had agreed to stop teaching them during such dangerous times of political, religious and military upheaval: everyone had heard of the brutal Sack of Rome in 1527 by Lutheran mercenaries, and had no desire to repeat that or similar violence.

Cardinal Bellarmine is buried in the Church of Saint Ignatius, the unofficial parish church of the Pontifical Gregorian University. I plan to stop by today after office hours, to visit Saint Robert and to pray for Saint John’s parishioners, for your personal intentions and for the sick or deceased relatives and friends whose names parishioners have sent me. God bless you. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Robert Valluzzo, 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.

Monthly Collection . . . The second collection today will be the monthly collection for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

St. Joseph Altar Votive Light: +Salvatore 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, September 22nd.

Banns of Marriage:
I Banns: Michael John Racca and Lauren Elizabeth Montefusco.
I Banns: Christopher Charles Kulick and Anne Yogisha Makwana.
II Banns: Andre Labrosciano and Elizabeth Sabia.
III Banns: Kevin Michael Sullivan and Milagros Marlene Chinchay Collahua.

St. Monica Latin Reading Group: Thursday afternoons 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.

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

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.

Sts. Maria Goretti & Dominic Savio Societies …will be having their first meeting of the year next Sunday, September 28th, after the 10am Mass in the Rectory. All boys and girls who are in the 7th and 8th grades are welcome! Please contact Anne Marie at 203-324-1553 or, for more information.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday September 14, 2014 $ 13,637.50
Sunday September 15, 2013 $ 10,955.99

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 28th, Sunday Readings: Ez 18:25-28; Phil 2:1-11 or 2:1-5; Mt 21:28-32.

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

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. For more details or to sign up, please 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.

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.

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: Classes have started, Sundays from 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: or 203-866-1606:
Next meeting: This Monday, September 22nd, Location: Cosi at 230 Tresser Blvd., Stamford (in front of the Stamford Mall).

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, September 20, 2014
4:00 +Elizabeth and Thomas Daly req. Leon Taricani
Sunday, September 21, 2014
7:30 +Margaret P. Feeney req. Marty Keary
10:00 +June Lambiase req. Lambiase Family
12:00 +Bill Morris 5th Anniversary req. Marion, Bill, Richard, Michelle, Jimmy Sagdati and Grandchildren and
+Michael Windsor req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
5:00 +George B. Cooper
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, September 22, 2014
8:00 Richard Paul Kim req. Joseph and Mary Kim
12:10 +Salvatore Conte req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
8:00 +Laura Pascale req. Anna and Gerry Gerhard
12:10 In Honor of Saint Padreo Pio 46th Anniversary req. Marion Morris and Family
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
8:00 +Francesca Pugliese req. Pugliese Family
12:10 +Salvatore Zaccagnino req. Janice Pasqua
Thursday, September 25, 2014
8:00 +Margaret and Joseph Curtis req. Mary Maloney
12:10 Barbara Schuerger req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
Friday, September 26, 2014
8:00 Mary Young Kim req. Joseph and Mary Kim
12:10 Vincent Eugene Jagodzinski req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
Saturday, September 27, 2014
8:00 +Wladek and Willemina Falek req. daughter
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.

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-12th grades young ladies: Anne Marie 203-324-1553.

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 the office for more information.

Coffee Hour. . . 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:

Sept. 25, 1868: FUNERAL OF FATHER O’NEIL. “The funeral of Father O’Neil took place on Fr O Neil Tuesday, at the Roman Catholic chapel, and was attended by a very large concourse of his late parishioners and friends. The funeral services, which were very impressive, were conducted by the Rt. Rev. F. P. McFarland, of Hartford, assisted by a large number of Catholic clergymen from different parishes of the State and elsewhere. Father O’Neil was born in Sligo, Ireland, and was 54 years old. He has been in charge of the Roman Catholic congregation in Stamford for ten years previous to his death. He was remarkable for a quiet enthusiasm in faithfully pushing forward the spiritual and temporal interests of his congregation. It is said he has left all his property-amounting to several thousand dollars, to the church.”

75 years ago, or so:
Sept.23, 1939: St. John’s Boys Have Grid Team. “St. John’s Varsity Club of the Boys’ Brigade, last year’s junior city champions, are preparing to start their second season with Jim Callahan, Merritt, Gorman, and Mulkerin in the backfield, and practically the same line as last year. Bob Callahan, the high scorer of last year’s team, is again at end, and doubling for his brother at quarterback. New additions to the team include King, Cullen, O’Connor, McNamara, and Gaureter. Last year the team scored more than 200 points, winning seven games and losing one. This year the team is looking forward to an even more successful season. All players are members of St. John’s Boys’ Brigade, which is the junior Catholic Youth Organization of St. John’s Roman Catholic Church.”

60 years ago, or so:
Sept. 5, 1942: Doctors’ Guild Holds Breakfast At. St. Joseph’s. “The annual communion breakfast of the Cosmas and Damien Guild, an organization of area doctors of the Catholic faith, was held Sunday morning at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Mass was celebrated in the hospital for the members by Rt. Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman, Pastor of St. John’s Church. The more than 40 doctors attending were given a progress report on the construction of the new 85-bed wing at St. Joseph’s.”

Christian Discipleship
– Fr. Terry Walsh

The world offers so many distractions and yet although we live in the world, our Lord tells us, we are not “of” the world. At baptism we died a sort of death and at the same time rose to a new life—a life centered on Christ; indeed, a life lived “in” Christ. Faith leads us to Him and love nourishes and builds our relationship with Him. Of course, our spiritual life is filled with all sorts of challenges—some small and some not so small. Yet, Jesus promised that He would always be with us to heal our brokenness, if we allow him to heal us, and at the same time, strengthen us so that when we are tested, either by “the world” or “the enemy” or our own human weakness, He is always there to help us. Indeed, as St. Augustine teaches us from his experiences of spiritual desolation, our Lord is actually shouting and waving and doing all sorts of things to keep us in Him through our everyday experiences. Our Lord ‘calls and shouts and breaks through our deafness’ St. Augustine writes in his Spiritual Classic, The Confessions, that we may abide in Him and He in us. And of course, Sacred Scripture calls to mind the effect of the Sacrament of Baptism: “God is present to our inmost being: ‘In Him we live and move and have our being.’ In the words of St. Augustine, “God is ‘higher than my highest and more inward than my innermost self’”(ccc300). And yet, there is still the problem of sin. There is still the battles that frail human nature is presented daily—in part, to test our resolve, in part to prove our love, our willingness to humbly ask God for the assistance we need in order to do His will. And of course, it is humility, motivated by love, that brings us to our Lord in the Sacrament of Confession when we recognize that we have fallen in thought, word, or deed. It is that recognition of our Lord’s voice deep in our heart, our conscience, where He calls us to a humble recognition, contrition, and confession so that he can then heal, restore, nourish, and build up.

As we come to understand that God calls us to share in a life of unimaginable happiness we begin to understand what this relationship entails. It’s an active, meaningful journey unto spiritual perfection that begins at the very moment of our Baptism. This path to Christian Perfection is paved with our active and sacrificial love. This path is groomed and prepared by identifying and sifting away vice. The surface is paved with the moral virtues and traveled well as these virtues are informed by and strengthened through the supernatural graces provided by God Himself: Wisdom, Knowledge, Counsel, Understanding, Fortitude, Piety, and of course, Fear of the Lord, more commonly called “Awe and Wonder”. When we are docile to the Holy Spirit and develop the habit of virtuous living we travel through every bend and pothole guided by the Light of Christ. Only vice from within our own engine can cause a breakdown and perhaps even end our journey. Vice leads us away from God. Prayer and the Sacraments are the antidote. Jesus reminds us of this danger. He quotes the prophet Isaiah: “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me…” Christian Perfection is forged in the heart or, as St. Paul teaches, “Faith working through love.”

St. Augustine traveled a very bumpy road for many years until at last he came to understand the love God had for him. His profound conversion of heart is recorded in the Spiritual Classic, The Confessions. No longer would he travel the road of self-indulgence. He opened his heart to the truth and God flooded his soul with grace and peace. There was no turning back. He lived now for Christ. He confesses:

“Urged to reflect upon myself, I entered under your guidance into the inmost depth of my soul. I was able to do so because you were my helper. On entering into myself I saw, as it were with the eye of the soul, what was beyond the eye of the soul, beyond my spirit: your immutable light…this light was above me because it had made me; I was below it because I was created by it. He who has come to know the truth knows this light….you overcame the weakness of my vision, sending forth most strongly the beams of your light, and I trembled at once with love and dread. I learned that I was in a region unlike yours and far distant from you, and I thought I heard your voice from on high: ‘I am the food (Eucharist) of grown men; grow then, and you will feed on me. Nor will you change me into yourself like bodily food, but you will be changed into me…

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you…You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.”