For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday November 2, 2014

Pastor’s Corner: Since this will appear by the evening of Halloween, and most will read it on Sunday, The Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, my this weekend piece should deal with something macabre. So be it.

The frighteningist [sorry, I couldn’t help myself] church in Rome is, oddly enough, closest to the center of the City’s night life: Santa Maria della Concezione, owned and operated by the Capuchin Friars at the foot of the via Veneto. The church was designed by Antonio Casoni and built in 1624 by Pope Urban VIII. The church was known for the holiness of its monks. But one monk, Friar Pacifico, was particularly renowned in the mid-19th century, not for his piety, but for his talent forecasting winning lottery numbers. Crowds gathered at the church daily, and the line of “penitents” wrapped around the block—gamblers hoping for a tip on the winning numbers! While income soared for the candles lit by “pious” visitors, Pope Gregory XVI put a stop to it all, ordering the monk banished from Rome. At the city gate, as he was being escorted out of the Rome under guard, Fr. Pacifico gave a tearful farewell to the City he loved, in which he adroitly managed to slip in the winning numbers for the next five city lotteries.

Today, few go into the upstairs church: no lottery tips. All go downstairs into the crypt. In the 18th century, when the nearby cemetery was closed down, the remains of thousands of monks were delivered to the live monks next door. They decided to be creative. So, today, the crypt church is the burial site for more than 4,000 monks who died between 1528 and 1870, when the last burial occurred. All the bones were used to decorate the crypt—every conceivable place on walls and ceilings is covered by bones placed in baroque and rococo designs. One room is adorned—floor, walls and ceiling—with decorative motifs in shin bones; another with designs in femurs; another with skulls; full skeletons dressed in monks’ robes sit along the walls or lie as if napping; chandeliers made of finger bones; skulls form frames around holy pictures, vaulting patterned with toes. On the ceiling of one chapel, in a frame of knee caps, stands a full skeleton holding a scythe in one hand and an hour glass in another, posing until the Last Day as the Grim Reaper, himself! Not much has changed since my last visit nearly twenty years ago, except the monks seem to have dusted the place, changed the light bulbs and done a bit of a cleanup for the tourists, who herd into the crypt daily.

For us, it’s Halloween; but for the Church, this is the weekend to remember the dead—our family and friends, and even those we never knew. They are still members of the Church, quite alive, in Heaven, Purgatory or Hell, awaiting the Last Judgment–and we should pray for them. Even in this odd Roman church with its macabre decoration, death is faced with a kind of smile—odd for us today. For the monks understood well that Christ triumphed over death, and that our bones would one day rise from the grave to rejoin our souls, as Christ promised by His own Resurrection from the dead. The chapel that frightens tourists is really the monks’ way of spitting in death’s eye; a laugh in the face of the Grim Reaper, who is usually accustomed to terror in the eyes of those he visits. For the faithful Catholic, we may be fearful of death, but ultimately, we know that Christ triumphed over death, and we know that we shall see the God who loves us face to face, with our own eyes, on that Last Day. Pray for the Faithful Departed: Requiescant. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Dominick Franco, Ro Clarke, Suzanne DePreta, Patrick and Rita Timon, Billy Therriault, Thomas Bernie, 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, Ruth Coyle, Jacqueline Domingue, John Palumbo, Kristine Barron, Silvana Smith, Lena Cocchia, Christina Samon Ta-Chu.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Lilji Vasilji, Scott Therriault, Bill Detrick, Malcolm Pounds, 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.

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, Nov. 3rd.

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 1st Communion or Confirmation, call the parish secretary (324-1553, ext. 21).

Can Food Drive: The Maria Goretti and Dominic Savio Societies are sponsoring a Can Food Drive to help the hungry in our community as Thanksgiving approaches. Beginning November 1st and 2nd, there will be boxes in the back of the church. (Please do not bring cans with expired dates). Canned and non-perishable foods will be collected through Sunday, November 16th. Your generosity is much appreciated.

Saint Augustine Medal: Each year, the Bishop of Bridgeport presents an award to Catholics from around the diocese who have shown particular dedication to their parishes. This year, Bishop Caggiano has bestowed the Saint Augustine Medal to Lilian Ramos, president of the Legion of Mary, and Alvina Ramos, Secretary of the Legion of Mary. Congratulations to Lilian and Alvina!

INDULGENCES…..A Plenary Indulgence for a soul in Purgatory can be obtained each day from November 1st through November 8th. The requirements are to make a Confession, to be free of all attachment to sin (even venial sin), visit a cemetery and pray for the dead, say 1 Our Father and 1 Hail Mary for the monthly intentions of the Pope, and receive Holy Communion on the day you seek the Plenary Indulgence.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday October 26, 2014 $ 9,171.44
Sunday October 27, 2013 $ 11,886.52

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

November 9th, Sunday Readings: Ez 47:1-2, 8-9, 12; 1 Cor 3:9c-11, 16-17; Jn 2:13-22.

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.

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.

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, December 1st, 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, November 1, 2014
4:00 +John and Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Sexton Young
Sunday, November 2, 2014
7:30 +Wladek and Willemina Falek req. daughter
8:30 Souls in Purgatory
10:00 +Gene Tushaj req. Age Tushaj
12:00 All Souls in Purgatory req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
5:00 +George B. Cooper
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, November 3, 2014
8:00 +Margaret and Joseph Curtis req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Dr. Vincent Bagli req. Dr. Joe McAleer
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
8:00 +Margaret M. Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Federico Garcia req. Aurea Garcia
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
8:00 Deceased members of the Do Family req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 +Vera Dandry req. Laura and John Pascale
Thursday, November 6, 2014
8:00 Deceased members of the Nguyen Family req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 +Mary Kielty
Friday, November 7, 2014
8:00 Mary Jordhamo req. Legion of Mary
12:10 +Anne Perna req. Marc Romano
Saturday, November 8, 2014
8:00 +Margarita Gonzalez req. Alison and Kevin Tosches
12:10 +Theresa Vitti req. Alison and Kevin Tosches

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 ADVOCATE:
130 years ago, or so:
Nov. 9, 1883: “The large stained-glass windows for the new Catholic church have been handsomely provided for by the self-sacrifice and liberality of the various temperance and benevolent associations connected with the parish. The front window will be supplied by St. John’s Benevolent society. The north window by St. John’s Temperance and Benevolent society, and the south window by St. Patrick’s Total Abstinence and Benevolent society. These gifts will aggregate in value about $1,500. The clerestory windows will also be put in shortly, and the general interior work continued through the winter.”

75 years ago, or so:
Nov.7,1938: Catholics in State Are Not Obligated To Fast on Friday. “The obligation of Catholics to abstain from meat on Fridays has been lifted by the Most Rev. Maurice F. McAuliffe, bishop of Hartford, for Friday of this week, Armistice Day, a legal holiday in Connecticut. Bishop McAuliffe’s dispensation was announced by letter in all Catholic churches of the diocese, at Masses yesterday.”

50 years ago, or so:
Nov. 5, 1963: Catholic Scouts Attend Retreat. “Twenty-seven Boy Scouts of the Catholic faith from the Alfred W. Dater Council BSA attended a pilgrimage at Manrese Retreat House, Ridgefield, Sunday. The pilgrimage is a requirement to be fulfilled by Scouts working on the third and final step of the Ad Altare Dei Religious Award. The group assembled in the chapel for the prayers lead by Scout Daniel Moriarty, Troop 22, St. John’s Church. The afternoon’s program ended with benediction of he Blessed Sacrament celebrated by Father McCabe assisted by Scouts Daniel Moriarty, Patrick Moriarty and William Boffa, all of St. John’s Stamford.”

40 years ago, or so:
Nov. 5, 1974: CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. “As a sign on the church indicates, St. John’s Church is celebrating this year its 100th birthday. A concelebrated Pontifical High Mass of Thanksgiving will mark the climax of that observance Saturday at 5:30 p.m. St. John’s, built a century ago by Irish immigrants, is the City’s oldest Catholic Church. Pastor Rev. William A. Nagle has said that, because of the City’s accelerating population, St. John’s may soon be considered as a candidate for a new Stamford diocese cathedral.”

The Holy Souls in Purgatory
– Fr Terry Walsh

The Solemnity of All Saints on November 1st is followed by The Commemoration of All the Souls of the Faithful Departed, “All Souls.” Purgatory, of course, is a gift of Mercy. Souls who are not yet worthy to enter Heaven undergo the merciful grace of purification due to ‘temporal punishment’ so that they will indeed be made clean and then be worthy to stand in the Presence of God in the company of all the Angels and Saints. The Church teaches us: “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven”(ccc). In other words, those who live holy lives here on earth, seeking to keep the Commandments and remain in the ‘state of grace’ through Confession and prayer, will be drawn into the beatitude of Heaven, but may undergo some final purification before entering that blessed feast unstained. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the greatest prayer of the Church and has of course the greatest efficacy for ‘speeding the journey’ of those undergoing purification. What a tremendous blessing to have a Mass offered for the Souls in Purgatory. On “All Souls” day, the Priest is allowed to celebrate 3 Masses. Christmas is the only other day of the year when the Priest is extended that privilege; however, for reasons of pastoral necessity, it often happens that the priest will offer more than one Mass on a given day because there are not enough priests to meet the needs of the people. We may offer intercession for the Holy Souls in other ways too, such as various devotions (Rosary, Seven Sorrows, Divine Mercy Chaplet) as well as other prayers and sacrifices. We read in the Book of Job that Job sought to intercede for his sons by offering sacrifices for them with the hope that God would have mercy upon his family in this life and keep them on the path of holiness. We read in Job 1:5: “….Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, ‘It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts’.” Likewise, our prayers are just as efficacious for the ‘immortal souls’ of the dead. Our intercession helps speed their journey from purification to beatitude. Take into account the words of St. John Chrysostom, “Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.” Consider, too, Judas Maccabees in the Old Testament who took up a collection to provide an offering on behalf of the dead: “For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin”(2 Maccabees 12:44).

The Preface of the Liturgy of the Eucharist for The Commemoration of the Souls of All the Faithful Departed is an act of faith and love. It expresses our sure and certain hope that those who faithfully followed our Lord here on earth will one day be with Him in Heaven, forever.

In him, who rose from the dead, our hope of resurrection dawned. The sadness of death gives way to the bright promise of immortality. Lord, for your faithful people life is changed, not ended. When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven.