For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday October 19, 2014

Pastor’s Corner: The Quirinal Palace is the residence of the president of Italy. No one knows his name, but they know where he lives—in the pope’s house. Pope Gregory XIII built the original structure in 1583, as a modest summer residence to provide escape from the wilting malarial heat of Roman summers. The Quirinal Hill, being one of the seven original hills of ancient Rome, sits high above the city, exposed to cooling breezes from the nearby Alban Hills.

The pope is the head of the Catholic Church, established personally by Our Lord. However, the pope also became the ruler of the Papal States, established personally by the Emperor Charlemagne in 800 AD. As a king in his own right, albeit elected by cardinals and not of royal lineage, the pope ran a government, and, as all governments, it grew. Once a mere summer home atop the Quirinal Hill, the structure expanded to house more and more government offices, apartments for visiting officials, cardinals and royalty, and became the permanent residence of the popes and the place where popes were elected—not in the Sistine Chapel. Ousted from the Quirinal in 1870 during Italian unification, the Vatican provided an emergency residence. There, five popes remained, each referred to in the world press as “The Prisoner of the Vatican”, refusing to set foot outside the confines of the Vatican enclosure until the new Italian state made restitution for stealing all the churches, all church property, all church institutions, all church works of art throughout Italy. Even today, if you come to Italy, it’s the Italian Government that owns all the churches, not the Catholic Church. Only in 1929 was a treaty signed, creating Vatican City State—an independent sovereign state— as protection against further government interference. Back to the Quirinal!

At the beginning of the 17th century, a bell tower was completed as the centerpiece of the main courtyard of the pope’s house. I entered the museum section of it for the first time last Sunday morning, since the building is a five minute walk from my residence. Inside the main courtyard is the central bell tower. It is a pleasant, non-descript structure: bells on top, a clock beneath the bells, hugh Italian and European Union flags waving. But the most arresting feature of the entire structure—and the only thing that people stop and point to as they cross the vast yet empty courtyard below, is the mosaic beneath the clock: it is a beautiful 20 foot high mosaic Madonna and Child, based on a design by Carlo Maratta. Between two windows, it appears as a central window.

She is a proud mother, dressed in blue, standing at the right side of the mosaic—as if looking out the central window at us. She looks down, apparently nodding to us, discretely. Her real purpose is to hold on to her obviously precocious 4 or 5 year old son, who is standing on one foot atop the balustrade of this open window—hence His mother’s caution—and He is smiling at us and waving with his right arm outstretched above his head. The courtyard of the Presidential Palace is dominated by a smiling Savior and Madonna—and everyone, literally everyone passing through, stops and looks—and smiles back. And so did I!

It is a marvelous image—the Creator of the Universe who became a man by the agency of the New Eve, His Mother—in the heart of the Italian State that tries its best daily to ignore the Catholic Church. It is quite something—this God become man! —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Ro Clarke, 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, 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: Carol Sorbo, Bill Detrick, 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, Jenny Gallagher, 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.

World Mission Sunday 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, October 20th.

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.

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).

Sts. Maria Goretti & Dominic Savio Societies: next meeting will be on this Sunday,
October 19th after the 10am Mass in the Rectory. All boys and girls who are in the 6th, 7th and 8th grades are welcome! Please contact Anne Marie at 203-324-1553 or email
religioused@stjohnsstamford.com for more 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.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday October 12, 2014 $ 12,810.00
Sunday October 13, 2013 $ 11,417.69

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 26th, Sunday Readings: Ex 22:20-26; 1 Thes 1:5c-10; Mt 22:34-40.

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.

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.

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

The 21st Annual Christopher F. Mooney, S.J. Lecture in Theology, Religion & Society – “On Calling a Diocesan Synod: Hopes and Dreams”. Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, Bishop of Bridgeport, will speak on his hopes for the Diocese. Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 8 p.m. at Fairfield University’s Quick Center for the Arts. Admission is Free. For more information, please Contact: Meg McCaffrey, 203-254-4000, ext. 2726.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, October 18, 2014
4:00 +Bishop Walter Curtis, the late Bishop of Bridgeport req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
Sunday, October 19, 2014
7:30 +Vito and Rose Longo req. daughter Millie Terenzio
10:00 +Angelo Mancini req. Richard Foreman
12:00 +James and Ismalia Machado req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
5:00 +George B. Cooper
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, October 20, 2014
8:00 +Virginia Mello req. Tina Carey
12:10 +Paul Rittman, Jr. req. Pam Rittman
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
8:00 Special Intentions Anna Palosz req. Ewa Czytowska
12:10 +Charlie Van Hecke req. Dewey Family
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
8:00 Jean Luker req. Derrick Sherry and Family
12:10 Eugene O’Driscoll req. Derrick Sherry and Family
Thursday, October 23, 2014
8:00 +Denise Williams req. Ewa Czytowska
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Friday, October 24, 2014
8:00 Lester Fisher Family req. Louise Munro
12:10 +Margaret Mulhern req. daughter and sons
Saturday, October 25, 2014
8:00 +Daniel Ronald Plouffe req. Dr. Joe McAleer
12:10 +Anthony and Cecelia Conte req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte

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, 6th-8thgrades. Anne Marie 203-324-1553, x21.

St. Maria Goretti Society: For the spiritual formation of , young ladies,6th-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 NEWS:

THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
140 years ago, or so:
Sept. 17, 1875: STAMFORD. “The Children of Mary will receive Holy Communion in a body at 9 o’clock Mass, Sunday. The singing of the junior choir Rev Walsh on last Sunday at 9 o’clock Mass was excellent. This choir is improving wonderfully under the tuition of Sister Evangelist. Rev. Henry T. Walsh, our worthy assistant pastor, has been elected one of the vice presidents of the Alumni Association of the Seminary of Our Lady of Angels, Niagara, the institution in which he was educated.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: The Rev. Henry T. Walsh was an Assistant Pastor at St. John’s from 1878 to 1885. He was the donor of a stained glass window in the sanctuary to the right of the high altar.)

THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
15 years ago, or so:
October 20, 2001: Altar goes full circle. Panel from Dublin moves from a bar to a Stamford Church. “Monsignor Stephen DiGiovanni never expected to discover at a local bar the altar that would one day grace his church. It was during St. John the Evangelist Church’s monthly Theology on Tap program at Temple Bar on Bedford Street in Stamford that DiGiovanni glanced down and noticed the front panel of an altar fastened to the bar. We were sitting one day at the bar and just happened to look down said the pastor of St. John’s. I looked down and there was the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Immaculate Heart of Mary was the first of three panels on the former altar “frontal” that caught the Monsignor’s eye. On the left lay an anchor, the symbol of hope in Christ in His church; in the middle, the scepter as the symbol of Christ the King; and to the right, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the image of Mary’s complete love for her son. DiGiovanni did not know what the altar was doing there, but he knew it didn’t belong in a bar. Michael McEveney, one of the owner-operators of the Temple Bar and Druid Restaurant, said the panel originally was the altar of the archbishops of Dublin from the mid to late 19th century. When DiGiovanni offered to buy the frontal, Temple’s owners insisted on donating it. DiGiovanni approached Phil DeFelice, a longtime St. John’s parishioner, to build a replacement frontal for the bar. Today the altar sits at the head of St. John’s sanctuary.”

Practical considerations…
– Fr Terry Walsh

I remember when I was a teenager, perhaps 13 or 14 years old, our parish priest came down from the Sanctuary area during his homily and spoke to the people in the aisle. He explained that the Church was now offering the opportunity to receive Holy Communion in the hand. Up to that time, we were to receive only on the tongue. He recognized that this new way would be very difficult for people. After all, the Church had only allowed Communion on the Tongue. No one in the Church had received Communion in the Hand. He encouraged us to “try it”. I don’t recall the whole homily—it was 40 years ago after all. I just remember in a general sense that the congregation seemed a bit stunned.

Looking back on that moment so many years later, it seems to me that we might ask a different question. Have you considered perhaps receiving our Lord on the Tongue? It is your option, after all. And, I might even go a step further. Have you considered receiving Communion at the Communion Rail, on the Tongue? It seems to me that it is a worthy question to reflect upon. There would be a few very obvious advantages even from a very practical point of view. First, when a person comes to the Communion Rail, the posture is kneeling. For those who are able, it is a very humble posture. Of course, God knows the humble heart whether one is standing, sitting, or kneeling. But just from a practical point of view, if one is able, it might be a posture worth considering. What’s more, there are some moments to prayerfully meditate on the gift of the Eucharist and a quiet moment to offer an interior prayer with a degree of stillness, rather than movement, that is, walking forward until it’s “one’s turn.” At the rail, one can gaze upon the Tabernacle and contemplate the Empty Tomb, or perhaps how the Blessed Virgin Mary became the Living Tabernacle at the Incarnation and how we, likewise, become “Living Tabernacles” when we receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Her Son in the Host. We might gaze upon the Altar, where moments earlier, Jesus became present—for our Salvation—and our thoughts might drift back to the “Altar of the Cross” on Calvary—the very Sacrifice we are entering into in the Mass—and consider our Lord’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection. We might consider the Mystery of this supernatural encounter with Almighty God as we kneel at the rail, calling to mind the myriads of angels surrounding us just as Isaiah was blessed to witness in his extraordinary vision at the time of his calling. They are, of course, all present—for wherever God is, there the angels are too. In those beautiful moments of anticipation as the priest draws near to us holding the Ciborium filled with the Eucharist, we might gaze on the windows high above the altar and see Mary holding the Child Jesus, the Light of the world, being adored by the wise men who are kneeling before him. They are pagans—yet they are prostrate in humble adoration. They have come bearing gifts. What gift have I brought to him? As I kneel before him, I can offer my joys and my sorrows; I can give Him my day and ask that He help me to live it according to His holy will. I can bring Him my struggles and pains and ask for His help. In short, I can give Him everything. After all, He has given everything to me. I might have an extra moment to turn my gaze to the right and contemplate on the window of His Kingship and humbly ask Him to reign in me. Yes, there are many such considerations that can help me prepare to receive my King, my Lord, my God, and I will have those “extra” quiet, still, moments to prepare for that encounter with Him while kneeling at the rail.

Now, certainly one can contemplate the glory of God walking up to the priest to receive standing. Indeed, we all quite naturally are praying in those moments. I am merely suggesting that if one is able, it might be worth considering the option of approaching the Communion Rail and kneeling for a few moments in prayer—in stillness—and then, after receiving, remaining there at the rail, in stillness, as you consume the Host, in stillness for a few precious moments, offering a brief prayer of praise and thanksgiving rather than meandering back to one’s pew while still consuming the Host and at the same time trying to negotiate the aisles with lines of people moving in a variety of directions. It just seems to be a practical consideration. Each of us longs to relish that uniquely powerful moment of great peace and awe and wonder—that the Great God, the Loving God, the Almighty One, has humbled Himself to enter into us so that He draw us closer to Himself.

Our goal is holiness, of course, and reverence is essential. And, as eager souls always seeking a deeper and more abiding love for God, we are, for all practical purposes, open to opportunities that will help us realize that desire. Perhaps this is one simple way that might help. It seems to me that it is at least worth considering. Why not give it a try…