For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday November 16, 2014

Pastor’s Corner: November 18th is the Feast of the Dedication of two more of Rome’s Major Basilicas: Saint Peter’s in the Vatican, and Saint Paul’s Outside the [city’s] Walls. Each is built over the respective tomb of the two Princes of the Apostles, Saints Peter and Paul. Both died during the Roman persecution of the Emperor Nero, in 67 A.D. Soon after their martyrdom, their simple pauper’s graves immediately became pilgrimage centers for the faithful. A priest named Gaius wrote about these in the year 200 A.D., “When you come to Rome, visit the trophies [tombs] of the Apostles: Saint Peter’s in the Vatican, and Saint Paul’s on the road to Ostia.” The only real Church Christ founded was the one he entrusted to the Apostles, and it has been called Catholic since the beginning of the 2nd century.

The Roman Emperor Constantine built the first churches atop the Apostles’ tombs in the early 4th century. The present Saint Peter’s Basilica dates from the 16th century, replacing Constantine’s dilapidated structure; and Saint Paul’s from the 19th century, Constantine’s having been destroyed by fire in 1823. Excavations are now concluding beneath St. Paul’s Basilica just as they were conducted under St. Peter’s in the 1940’s. The tomb and bones of St. Peter were rediscovered beneath the high altar in St. Peter’s. More convincingly, around the graves of both Apostles, the walls are covered in early graffiti. And some of the graffiti dates from soon after the burial of the Apostles, all the way through the early 4th century, when the two basilicas were built at their sites. The graffiti include numerous prayers to the Apostles for family members and early Catholics who visited their graves to pray for the intercession of Saints Peter and Paul.

The Feast of the dedications of these basilicas is more about the Apostles and the Church that Christ established, than about the buildings atop the apostolic tombs. Saint Peter’s Basilica commemorates the chief Apostle, to whom Our Lord gave the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven [Mt 16:17-19] and the guidance of the whole Church [Jn. 21: 15-19]. St. Peter was the Apostle to the household of faith, the Jews, who were God’s chosen people, with whom God had entered a unique and binding covenant on Mount Sinai with Moses, when He gave the Ten Commandments. The Basilica in the Vatican above Peter’s tomb has become, therefore, the church of the Pope who is Peter’s successor as bishop of Rome. But, also it is the church for the household of faith—for the entire Catholic world. So, all major papal ceremonies are held here: the enthronement of popes, canonization of saints, consecration of bishops, election of cardinals, and much, much more: celebrations that affect the entire universal Catholic Church. Saint Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles—the non-Jewish world. So, the basilica atop his tomb has become the church for all those outside the household of faith, all non-Catholics. The Church excludes no one from Christ’s gift of mercy and salvation. The only requirement is to accept the faith and follow the Ten Commandments in daily life, if one wishes to live with God forever. So, the feast day celebration of the dedication of these two Major Basilicas is all about the universality of the mercy Christ offers to the entire world through His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church that He established with Peter as its visible head, built on the foundation of the Apostles [Rev 21: 9-14].

Here at Stamford’s Basilica, we are reminded of the Apostle Peter by his bronze statue with the Keys of Heaven; and of our union with His Successor, Pope Franics, by the four bricks from the Holy Year doors of the four major basilicas of Rome, sent to the parish by Pope John Paul II, set in the walls behind the statue. Though far from the City of Rome, we are one in communion each time we gather at the altar for Mass, through Christ in the Eucharist, sharing Christ’s life with the Apostles and saints. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Barbara Wolf, Fernand Constant, Dominick Franco, Ro Clarke, Suzanne DePreta, Patrick and Rita Timon, Billy Therriault, Thomas Bernie, Harrie Humphreys, Diane Grant, 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: Onide Jean-Guillaume, Canio V. Lorusso, John DePoli, 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, Lucy Zabatta Carrigan, Jenny Gallagher, Ellen Green Tully, Thomas Hogan.

Next Sunday, November 23rd: NO 12 Noon Mass: Because of the city Parade.

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

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. 17th.

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).

STAMFORD SYMPHONY: Will perform Handel’s Messiah in our Basilica on
Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 8pm. One Night Only! Limited number of tickets available. Call today 203-325-4466, or go to www.stamfordsymphony.org.

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. 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 this Sunday, November 16th. Your generosity is much appreciated.

BAKE SALE –Coming Soon! Our Christmas Bake Sale will be held the weekend of Dec. 13/14th. We need lots of you marvelous bakers & helpers as well, to volunteer that weekend. All your delicious goodies needed: Cookies, Cakes, Brownies, Cup Cakes, breads, & candies! Festively wrap your items, label, and include recipes if you wish! Proceeds will benefit the restoration of the Rectory. Please Contact: Scholastica Nabwire at nascho44@optonline.net or call her at 917-975-2896 (c) or 203-975-7311 (h), with information about your baked goods, if you have any questions or especially if you are able to volunteer to help for an hour or two at the Sale on either day. It’s good fun for a good cause!

Holiday Crafts Fair and Bake Sale –  Sacred Heart Church in Stamford is holding a Holiday Craft Fair and Bake Sale: Nov22 9:30-5:30 and Nov23 9:00—1:00 pm in the Lower Church at 37 Schuyler Avenue.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday November 9, 2014 $ 12,745.50
Sunday November 10, 2013 $ 12,469.25

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 23rd, Sunday Readings: Ez 34:11-12, 15-17; 1 Cor 15:20-26, 28; Mt 25:31-46.

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.

Holy Spirit School: Take a Look Tuesday—Applications are still being accepted for the 2014/2015 academic year. We encourage you to visit our school where you can have the opportunity to visit the classrooms and see teachers and students interacting during regular classes. Our next Take a Look Tuesday is November 18th from 9:30AM—11:30AM.

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).

Sts. Maria Goretti & Dominic Savio Societies …next meeting will be this Sunday,
November 16th 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 religioused@stjohnsstamford.com for more information.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased

Saturday, November 15, 2014
4:00 Joseph and Stacey Kravar req. Fabiola C.
Sunday, November 16, 2014
7:30 +Charles McKenna req. Pugliese Family
10:00 +Domingo and Bundo Kim req. Joseph and Mary Kim
12:00 +Peter and Theodora Kim req. Joseph and Mary Kim
5:00 +George B. Cooper
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, November 17, 2014
8:00 Jane Insinga and Helen Mitchell
12:10 Louise Munro req. Thomas Cycon
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
8:00 +Paul Rittman Sr. req. Pam Rittman
12:10 +George Terenzio req. Millie Terenzio
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
8:00 +Charles V. Austin Jr. req. Family
12:10 +Anne Perna req. Pinto Family
Thursday, November 20, 2014
8:00 +Flora Bova req. Anna Failla
12:10 +Mary Roberta Christiaanse req. Bill Christiaanse
Friday, November 21, 2014
8:00 Padre Juan Pineda req. Maria Trivino
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
8:00 +Sister Caroline Marie CSJ Birthday Remembrance req. Marie Carr
12:10 +Maryann Cornelio req. Angela Giannitti

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:

150 years ago, or so:
Nov. 23, 1866: “St. John’s Roman Catholic Benevolent Society will give a grand Ball at Seely’s on Wednesday evening, night before Thanksgiving. We hope they will have a good time, and a large increase to their funds.”

75 years ago, or so:
Nov.22,1939: St. John’s Wins From the Bears. Boys’ Brigade Varsity Gridders Take Over South End Aggregation by Big Score. “The St. John’s Boys Brigade Varsity Club defeated the Golden Bears of the South End by the score of 45-0. the Varsity team scored early in the first period when Callahan, Merritt and Keely were over in rapid succession to score three touchdowns. Merritt also scored an extra point while Fahey scored the third point to put the brigade out in front by the score of 21-0. The highlights of the game were the runs by Keely, of St. John’s who went through the Bear Team for runs of 50 and 40 yards, putting his team in scoring position. The Brigade team has but one more game to play on their schedule, before they start their Winter athletic season.”

50 years ago, or so:
Nov. 23, 1963: Catholic Churches To Offer Mass For President. “The Most Rev. Walter W. Curtis, Bishop of Bridgeport, telephoned a statement to the faithful of the diocese from Rome, where he is attending the Ecumenical Council. He also sent telegrams to Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy and President Lyndon B. Johnson. At the Bishop’s direction, all churches in the diocese will hold a High Mass of Requiem at noon on Monday, with all of the faithful and children of the upper elementary and high school grades urged to attend. The fronts of the churches will be suitably draped and the church bells will be tolled before and after the special Mass for the repose of the soul of President Kennedy.”

40 years ago, or so:
Nov. 22, 1974: Churchmen urge ‘spirit of giving.’. “The Rev. Samuel L. white, pastor of Faith Tabernacle Baptist Church, called on every individual to adopt a “ministry of giving” as he addressed a gathering of 300 at St. John’s Church Sunday evening. The Rev. William A. Nagle, pastor of St. John’s church, said the theme of the service was “a lot to be thankful for in 1975.” He outlined this “spirit of giving” as an act “not for status as a giver or for political gain,” but as the kind of giving done in love, joy and peace.”

THE HEART
– Fr. Terry Walsh
What heart! So often we hear that cry when a truly extraordinary effort takes place – one that simply leaves us awestruck and instills in us an exuberant joy. Man proves time and again that he is capable of reaching new heights through a deep interior commitment to excel. Such amazing stories capture our hearts and prompt us to peer into our own soul and ask simple, yet profound questions: ‘What have I done with the gifts, the blessings, God has poured into my heart?” Consider the contrasting stories of two very different experiences of Olympic Marathon runners, yet one common attribute: a never say die spirit. In the 1960 Rome Olympics, Ethiopian Abebe Bikila was a late substitution in the marathon for an injured teammate. Bikila didn’t have a pair of running shoes so he ran the 26 mile race barefoot and won the grueling marathon in record time. Eight years later, the Tanzanian, John Stephen Akhwari, suffered an injury while competing in the 1968 Mexico City Olympic marathon. Yet, determined to finish the race, Akhwari finally entered the sparsely populated Stadium long after the winner had broken the tape. As the safety motorcycle followed close behind him, he slowly made his way to the finish line. Those people who still remained in the stadium began to realize the extraordinary effort of this lone runner still running. Why? Akhwari would finish dead last. And yet, many other runners who began the race with him did not finish the race at all. Akhwari simply would not quit. When he was asked by a reporter why he didn’t just bow out, his now famous response was: “My country did not send me 10,000 miles to start the race – they sent me 10,000 miles to finish the race.” It is the never say die spirit of the human heart that is so inspiring and no doubt compels each of us to look into our own hearts and examine our interior life, perhaps asking the simple questions: ‘Will I go the distance in my daily prayer life?’ Or, will I pull up and bow out when I am confronted with obstacles? Will I courageously dig deep and ask for the grace of our Lord for the strength to endure, to ‘complete the race’? Imagine if Michelangelo refused to paint the Sistine Chapel? After all, he considered himself to be a sculptor, not a painter. Imagine if Beethoven quenched the flame of his brilliant gift composing symphonies after being struck with the tragedy of losing his hearing? What heart! Ezekiel: “ A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

On an even deeper level, of course, we look to the Saints whose unwavering faith serves as an example to inspire us as well as serving as a conduit of grace for us all. St. Paul, for instance, endured shipwrecks, beatings, imprisonment, slander, scourging, and ultimately death, all for love of God. Every time he was knocked down, he got up and moved on. He explained that each step he took for Christ ultimately served to win him the supernatural graces of the Holy Spirit. Writing to the Romans, he urges us to “fight the good fight” – that is – to seek holiness and so truly become like Christ. “Now that we have been justified by faith, we are at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have gained access by faith to the grace in which we now stand, and we boast of our hope for the glory of God. And this hope will not leave us disappointed, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5: 1-2,5). Despite all the many obstacles, he pressed on. To the Corinthians, St. Paul added, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Throughout Sacred Scripture, there is a constant emphasis on the need for a pure and faithful heart. Indeed the word Heart appears over a thousand times in the Bible and is under intense scrutiny in both the Old and the New Testaments. How often our Lord peers into the hearts of those he encounters throughout the Gospels, challenging them to embrace holiness. “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Mt 15:8). Jesus challenges us to ‘go the extra mile’ and to see each experience through the eyes of faith. The world might see failure, but our Lord looks into the heart and if we are truly giving our best effort, asking him to help us, we will have brought joy to Him: “Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God”(Matthew 5:8). Indeed, throughout the centuries countless men and women have witnessed to their love of God through deep spiritual battles and have been victorious through their humble cooperation with Divine Grace – the Apostles and Martyrs – Mary Magdalene, Augustine, Patrick, and hosts of others. We are after all battling the effects of a weakened Will in the wake of Original Sin. The Saints have taught us how to fight that battle—that is—to seek and receive the graces God wants to give us, giving our Will over to our Lord. Where would we be without their monumental contribution to the faith by their example or their writings? Every day people are fighting the good fight in all the ordinary circumstances of daily life, circumstances that try our patience and test our courage and our love. When the heart is oriented to God, all things are possible. What motivates us? Do we begin the day with an offering at the foot of the Cross and then honor that offering through acts of kindness, mercy, and love? When we allow our Lord to fill our hearts with His grace, especially through attentive prayer, reverent reception of the sacraments, and good deeds, we are allowing him to mold our hearts into more perfect likenesses of his heart.