For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday October 5, 2014

Pastor’s Corner: In the center of Rome is one of the largest of its structures: the Victor Emmanuel Monument. A massive tonnage of white marble, it sits at the edge of the ancient Roman Forum, a bad imitation of a theater set from an Italian opera, daily insulting the architectural glories of the ancient Empire whose ruins lie behind it. Everything of beauty and antiquity nearby is dwarfed by it. One of those buildings is the church of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, directly behind the monument.

The Church of the Ara Coeli is ancient: by the early 6th century a monastery stood on the spot, and its church was then considered “ancient”. It sits atop a vast mountain of 122 very steep steps, which offer one of the few hints of the City’s original seven hills. For the Church is built atop the Capitoline Hill, where once stood the center of the known Imperial world, and from which the name of every government center is derived: a nation’s “Capitol”. The church was built here precisely because it was the capitol of the Empire—a sign of the triumph of Christ, the Incarnate God, over the Imperial Eagle; and because of an ancient legend recalled by the Roman poet Virgil in his fourth Eclogue. It was here, where the original imperial palace stood next to the Temple of Jupiter, that the Emperor Augustus, the first Roman emperor, summoned the Tiburtine Sibyl to consult her if it was right that the Senate of Rome make him a god. Here, where the church now stands, Augustus received the Sibyl’s reply that there is a God mightier even than Caesar: “. . . there are signs that justice will be done, soon the earth will be bathed in sweat and from the sun will descend the King of future centuries.” As she spoke, so the legend proceeds, a vision appeared of a woman, robed in light, standing on an altar holding a child in her arms, and two voices cried out, “This is the Virgin who will receive in her womb the Savior of the world—this is the altar of the Son of God.” There, Augustus built an altar—the Ara Coeli—the Altar of Heaven; and there, a few centuries later, as Augustus’ empire crumbled, another altar was raised to the honor of the Mother of God, which remains today in the present church.

This is one of the most venerated and beloved of Rome’s churches, and walking around is like walking through the pages of Roman history, with monuments and tombs of some of the City’s greatest women and men—beginning with the tomb of Saint Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine. The ceiling is of carved and gilded wood, and tells the story of the defeat of the Moslem fleet by Catholic forces in 1571 at the naval battle of Lepanto [which is commemorated on Tuesday, October 7th, the Feast of the Holy Rosary], halting Islam’s naval expansion in the Mediterranean. Here, in the church that commemorates the True God become man, is a commemoration of the defeat of a militaristic religion aimed specifically at the destruction of the Church personally begun by Christ, whose centerpiece is the Incarnation: that God become a man so we might live forever. Google Santa Maria in Ara Coeli: it’s worth the visit, albeit a virtual one on-line. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Suzanne DePreta, Patrick and Rita Timon, Harrie Humphreys, Diane Grant, Robert Valluzzo, Marie Augustin, Mary Churley, 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: Stefano Pirolozzi, Teodoro DeBlasi, Erzulia Joseph, 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.

Banns of Marriage:
II Banns: Joseph Dominic Palma and Lauren Christine Claire Wantuck.
III Banns: Michael John Racca and Lauren Elizabeth Montefusco.
III Banns: Christopher Charles Kulick and Anne Yogisha Makwana.

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, October 5th.

St. Monica Latin Reading Group: Thursdays at 12:45 in the Rectory. We are beginning this Fall’s meetings with a review of Ecclesiastical Latin using Latin Grammar by Cora and Charles Scanlon. 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 danmarengo@aol.com.

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.

Mom’s and Tot’s will meet on Tuesday October 7th at a special time: 11:00 am.

Consecration to Jesus through the Blessed Virgin Mary…those completing their 33 day preparation are invited to meet in the Basilica on the Feast of our Lady of the Rosary, October 7th at 10:30 am, or 7:30 pm for the Consecration.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday September 28, 2014 $ 13,500.00
Sunday September 29, 2013 $ 11,887.01

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

October 12th, Sunday Readings: Is 25:6-10a; Phil 4:12-14, 19-20; Mt 22:1-14.

Home Schooling Families: All ages are welcome. For information, please contact Bridget Bethray: bridget.bethray@gmail.com, or Janet Lancaster: jmlancaster@optonline.net,
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 saintjohnsflock@gmail.com.

Francis & Clare: Our High School Youth Group. Students interested in being part of the Teen Leadership Group contact Sue Kremheller, D.R.E. at: religioused@stjohnsstamford.com.
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 meet Tuesdays at 7:00PM in the rectory. Anyone interested in becoming a 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 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.

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. For more information, contact Sue Kremheller, D.R.E.at: religioused@stjohnsstamford.com.

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, October 27th, 7:30PM Location: Cosi at 230 Tresser Blvd., Stamford (in front of the Stamford Mall).

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, October 4, 2014
4:00 +John Melfi, Sr. and Mary Melfi req. Joseph Melfi
Sunday, October 5, 2014
7:30 People of the Parish
10:00 +Jocelyn, Sydney, Oswald and Kilda Machado req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
12:00 +Ann DiGiovanni req. Jimmy and Michelle Sagdati
5:00 +George B. Cooper
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, October 6, 2014
8:00 +Charles V. Austin Jr. req. family
12:10 Special Intentions Gerard Raschella req. Armelle
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
8:00 Rev. Father George Scales req. Scholastica Nabwire
12:10 In Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary req. Ferry G.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
8:00 +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Frances Fabrizio req. Ed Nemchek
Thursday, October 9, 2014
8:00 +Maria Vu req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 +Frances Fabrizio req. Terenzio Family
Friday, October 10, 2014
8:00 +Valencia Lancaster req. Sue Kremheller
12:10 +Carmen Perez req. Pugliese Family
Saturday, October 11, 2014
8:00 Special Intention
12:10 Special Intentions Smith Family req. Parker 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 young men, 7th-8thgrades. Anne Marie 203-324-1553, x21.

St. Maria Goretti Society: For the spiritual formation of , young ladies,7th-8thgrades:Anne Marie 203-324-1553 x21.

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:

130 years ago, or so:
October 12, 1883: Roman Catholic Conference. “The quarterly conference of the Catholic clergymen residing in the New Haven district of this Diocese was held today at St. John’s R. C. church in this town, Bishop McMahon presiding. The conference was opened by solemn High Mass, with Rev. T. Walsh, of Georgetown, Conn., as celebrant; Rev. T. Cremin, as Deacon; Rev. James Ryle, as Sub-Deacon; and Rev. Henry T. Walsh, as Master of Ceremonies. The exercises of the conference lasted some three hours, and were attended by forty-eight priests.”

50 years ago, or so:
October 7, 1964: St. John Pupils Form Sodality, Choose Officers. “Officers have been chosen for the new Junior Sodality of Our Lady at St. John’s School. President is Diana Johnson; vice president, Catherine Daly; treasurer, Patricia Heffron; secretary, Virginia Scime; sergeant-at-arms, Noel Hanrahan. Members of the Junior Sodality making consecration to the Virgin Mary include: Robin Burke, Deborah Canino, Jenny Carlucci, Cathy Daly, Joseph DiBartola, Patricia DiDonato, Jacquelyn Downing, Kathy Dumphy, Sharon Ehlers, Carol Gleason, Pompeo Gatto, Mark Hanrahan, Noel Hanrahan, Diane Hayes, Susan Hayes, Patricia Heffron, Nancy Hull, Kathy Hushion, Robert Hushion, Diana Johnson, Pamela Lane, Frank Longo, Mary Magee, Robert Marciano, JoAnn Montefuscoli, Colleen O’Brien, Gary Osuch, Joan Romaniello, Betty Jane Romano, Colleen Royce, Theresa Salvatore, Virginia Scime, Denise Seabrooks, Mary Seflick, Cathy Sette, Mary Ellen Shaub, Jerry Struzik, Susan Thompson, Carmela Truglio, Rita Vitti, and Marie Warner..”

20 years ago, or so:
October 12, 1993: Parishioner’s Gift Elevates Church. “A gift from a lifelong parishioner will give others attending services at St. John’s Church in Stamford a lift if they need it. Richard Stanley of Stamford donated a $200,000 elevator to the church in memory of his brother, James, who died three years ago. Stanley was inspired to finance the construction of an elevator in the church after watching his brother struggle to climb the front steps of St. John’s, a Roman Catholic church, during the last year of his life. “Mr. Stanley decided to give us an elevator so people who had trouble climbing the steps could get in easier,” said the Rev. William Nagle, pastor at St. John’s.”

The Rosary
On the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, October 7th
– Fr Terry Walsh

Why should I pray the Rosary? It takes so long. My mind wanders so much. What’s the point? These, of course, are typical objections. The simple response as to why one should pray the Rosary is holiness, and that is, after all, the goal of our lives. Consider reading St. Louis de Montfort’s Secrets of the Rosary or a host of writings of other Saints throughout the Centuries. Consider the 15 Promises our Lady gives for those who faithfully pray the Rosary: www.ourladyswarriors.org/prayer/15promise.htm Clearly, there are enormous spiritual benefits to be gained. The Rosary opens the heart to a deeper understanding of the Life, Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord. All 20 Mysteries are about Him. Our Blessed Mother “accompanies” us as it were on a journey through Her Son’s mission. I have heard it said that when we are praying the Rosary, we are holding our Lady’s Hand. Don’t worry about distractions—that is simply part of the “Battle of Prayer” (see the Catechism, part IV) – so don’t worry about it. And don’t throw in the towel either. Fight back. Pause a moment when you realize you have ‘drifted off a bit’ – take a breath, smile, and carry on. It will become easier to win these battles as you develop the habit of devotion. The writings of a multitude of Saints can help to form your understanding of the Spiritual Life and how to grow in your spiritual life. St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, to name but a few. Read what they have written and you will be amazed. Consider the magnificent writings of the great spiritual writer, St. Francis de Sales. In his spiritual classic, Introduction to the Devout Life (highly recommended reading!), one could apply his methods of prayer to the Rosary. He writes: “Since prayer places our intellect in the brilliance of God’s light and exposes our will to the warmth of his heavenly love, nothing else so effectively purifies our intellect of ignorance and our will of depraved affections. It is a stream of holy water that flows forth and makes the plants of our good desires grow green and flourish and quenches the passions within our hearts”(Introduction to the Devout Life, p. 70, John Ryan, translator, Image Books). Now, de Sales writes about an effective method of ‘Mental Prayer’ that consists in 4 steps. “The first,” he says, “consists of a lively, attentive realization of God’s presence, that is, that God is in all things and all places…The second way to place yourself in God’s presence is to remember that he is not only in the place where you are but also that he is present in a most particular manner in your heart and in the very center of your spirit…A Third way is to consider how our Savior in his humanity gazes down from heaven on all mankind and particularly on Christians, who are his children, and most especially on those who are at prayer, whose actions and conduct he observes…A fourth method consists in use of simple imagination when we represent to ourselves the Savior in his sacred humanity as if he were near us, just as we sometimes imagine a friend to be present and say, ‘I imagine that I see such a one who is doing this or that…”(Introduction to the Devout Life, p. 73-75). It seems the Saints have applied these basic principles in their spiritual lives and have yielded wonderful insights that they have shared with us. Consider the writings of St. Bernard taken from the Liturgy of the Hours Office of Readings:

From a sermon by Saint Bernard, abbot: We should meditate on the mysteries of salvation

The child to be born of you will be called holy, the Son of God, the fountain of wisdom, the Word of the Father on high. Through you, blessed Virgin, this Word will become flesh, so that even though, as he says: I am in the Father and the Father is in me, it is still true for him to say: “I came forth from God and am here.”

In the beginning was the Word. The spring was gushing forth, yet still within himself. Indeed, the Word was with God, truly dwelling in inaccessible light. And the Lord said from the beginning: I think thoughts of peace and not of affliction. Yet your thought was locked within you, and whatever you thought, we did not know; for who knew the mind of the Lord, or who was his counselor? And so the idea of peace came down to do the work of peace: The Word was made flesh and even now dwells among us. It is by faith that he dwells in our hearts, in our memory, our intellect and penetrates even into our imagination. What concept could man have of God if he did not first fashion an image him in his heart? By nature incomprehensible and inaccessible, he was invisible and unthinkable, but now he wished to be understood, to be seen and thought of. But how, you ask, was this done? He lay in a manger and rested on a virgin’s breast, preached on a mountain, and spent the night in prayer. He hung on a cross, grew pale in death, and roamed free among the dead and ruled over those in hell. He rose again on the third day, and showed the apostles the wounds of the nails, the signs of victory; and finally in their presence he ascended to the sanctuary of heaven. How can we not contemplate this story in truth, piety and holiness? Whatever of all this I consider, it is God I am considering; in all this he is my God. I have said it is wise to meditate on these truths, and I have thought it right to recall the abundant sweetness, given by the fruits of this priestly root; and Mary, drawing abundantly from heaven, has caused this sweetness to overflow for us.