For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday November 23, 2014

Pastor’s Corner: Pope Pius XI began his pontificate in 1922. He faced the aftermath of the First World War, when the Church was the sole institution surviving on the continent of Europe. Trust in big government, in the economy, in the military, and in the brotherhood of men, all had failed, leaving Europe in ruins, and the lives of millions shattered. In his first encyclical letter (Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, Dec. 23, 1922) the pope said that the sufferings of the world “were due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law out of their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in politics. That as long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations. Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ.” He then dedicated his entire pontificate to Christ the King, and, three years later, established the Solemnity of Christ the King, which we celebrated this weekend. His was not simply a pious gesture. Pius XI was warning about the horrors that were soon to overtake Europe and the world by means of Fascism, Nazism, and Communism: all ideologies dedicated to perfecting human society by denying the human person and humanity, created in the image and likeness of God. If people are not the image of God, they are disposable, and the pope saw this happening in his own time. Only if we permit Christ, who is the King of Universe, to rule over our very lives, forming our daily relationships, and guiding our every action by the virtue of Christian charity, only then can the world hope for any semblance of justice or peace or prosperity. Without Christ, the totalitarian governments stepped in to take the place of God, and men and women became tools for the up-building of the state. The state is not God, and we are not merely cogs in a political machine. The pope hoped that this annual celebration would recall to the world the necessity of Christ, for Christ’s kingly dignity, he wrote, “demands that the State should take account of the commandments of God and of Christian principles, both in making laws and in administering justice, and also in providing the young a sound moral education.” And, “the faithful… will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal. If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn [merely] natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls . . .” (Quas primas, Dec. 11, 1925)

Thanksgiving recalls that which is essential to our national character from the beginning: thanking God, as embodied by the nation’s Pilgrims. It was, however, a thanksgiving of more than one day, basing daily life and polity upon God’s word and Natural Law. That’s in the Declaration of Independence: “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary. . . to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to separate. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The path to life and happiness is found by thanking God daily in the life of the individual and of the state by personal practices and laws based on “the Law of Nature and of Nature’s God.” Without that, we slip into being less than human all too quickly. Pius saw what happens when Christ is excluded from our national or personal lives–people become disposable, first the weakest, as with Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin. That can happen again-and is now, even in our country! Christ is King: welcome him into your daily life, thanking Him by a life designed to please and obey Him. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Victoria Campos, Nicholas DiMatteo, 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: Nicholas J. DiMatteo, 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.

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

THANKSGIVING DAY: ONLY one Mass at 10 a.m.: Bring your family and begin the most American of Holidays by thanking God for His generosity.

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. 24th.

Salus Populi Romani icon Votive Light: +Rose Kronk req. Joan and John Kronk.

St. Joseph Altar Votive Light: +Vincent DeRosa req. Joan and John Kronk.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: +Edward and Bill Cody req. Cody Family.

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

BAKE SALE – 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 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!

Coffee Hour: No Coffee Hour this Sunday, Nov. 23rd and next Sunday Nov. 30th.
Coffee Hour will resume Sunday Dec. 7th.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday November 16, 2014 $ 13,289.00
Sunday November 17, 2013 $ 10,620.48

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 30th, Sunday Readings: Is 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7; 1 Cor 1:3-9; Mk 13:33-37.

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.

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

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: 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 Christmas Giving Tree: This year is to benefit pregnant women and their families served by the Sisters of Life. At Christmas we celebrate the gift of the Christ child and every birth of a child is a renewal of this greatest gift. Thank you for helping us to celebrate! The name of an item is written on each tag in the Christmas basket that would benefit the woman in need.  Please take a tag or tags as you are able purchase the item on the tag and take the gift to the rectory.  All items are due back to the parish by Tuesday December 16th.  Thank you so much for your generosity!

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, November 22, 2014
4:00 +Bill Cody – 4th Anniversary req. Cody Family
Sunday, November 23, 2014
7:30 +Giancarlo Pirolozzi req. Giannitti Family
10:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Ferry G.
12:00 NO 12:00PM MASS (Stamford Thanksgiving Parade)
5:00 +George B. Cooper
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, November 24, 2014
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 +Robert LeBeau req. Family
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
8:00 +Shirley Rittman req. Pam Rittman
12:10 +Gaetano and Maria Conte req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
8:00 Theresa Kim req. Joseph and Mary Kim
12:10 +Varton Sarkissian req. Dr. Joe McAleer
Thursday, November 27, 2014 – Thanksgiving Day (10AM Mass Only)
8:00 NO 8:00AM MASS
10:00 +Noemi Isidro req. Lupe Dauplaise
12:10 NO 12:10PM MASS
Friday, November 28, 2014
8:00 In Honor of Padre Pio req. Maria Trivino
12:10 +Antonio Cortese req. Anthony Carpanzano
Saturday, November 29, 2014
8:00 In Honor of Saint Rita req. Maria Trivino
12:10 +Tomas D. Rosete req. Rosita A. Domdom

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: No Coffee Hour this Sunday, Nov. 23rd and next Sunday Nov. 30th. Will resume Sunday Dec. 7th.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:


139 years ago,
December 3, 1875: “A memorable event-especially to the Roman Catholic people of the town-occurred on Thanksgiving day. The congregation assembled in the vicinity of the old church edifice, and marched in procession to the new church, where an audience numbering not less than sixteen hundred persons gathered to witness the dedicatory services of the new chapel, a spacious and substantially finished apartment, in the basement of the new edifice. A number of the Catholic clergy from elsewhere in this diocese and from the archdiocese of New York took part in the ceremonies. The priests and attendant acolytes, to the number of thirty-six, walked in procession down the aisle of the chapel, and passing outside, walked around the edifice, sprinkling holy water and reciting in Latin the prayers appointed to be used on such occasions. Subsequently High Mass was celebrated, followed by a sermon from one of the visiting clergymen, in which he took occasion to congratulate the pastor and people on the superb edifice they have raised for the worship of god. “If this be the chapel,” said he, “what must the church be when it is all completed? I have no doubt it will be one of the most beautiful in the New England states.” The chapel is supplied with a new pipe organ, which, though much inferior in size to the grand organ to be used in the church, is a fine instrument, and was played in a masterly manner. The vocal part of the music was strikingly fine, and constituted no inconsiderable part of the service.”

Who do you play for?
-Fr. Terry Walsh

Grant that we, who are nourished by his body and blood, may be filled with his Holy Spirit, and become one body, one spirit in Christ. – Eucharistic Prayer III

Do you remember the movie “Miracle on Ice” that told the story of the surprising USA Hockey team that took home the Gold Medal in the 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Games? Tensions were hot throughout the world in those days – Communism and the Cold War was at a fever pitch. And, of course, the Nation was dealing with the terrible Hostage Crisis in Iran. And yet, in a few short weeks at Lake Placid, a small group of young men gave an entire country an unexpected joy that seemed to linger long after the closing ceremonies and to have a lasting effect on us all.

The Victories on the Ice were utterly astounding. The USA Hockey team was the clear underdog entering into the Olympics. And yet, the Miracle of rising to the top was something much deeper – much richer than even the Gold Medal itself. It was a lesson in virtue. Courage, Sacrifice, Singleness of purpose. Herb Brooks, the Coach of that unforgettable Team, taught his players something about the human spirit. A simple lesson, really, but one that seems to allude many. It is the lesson of selflessness. The turning point in the training of the team came after a grueling practice session as the team drew closer to the opening ceremonies. There were many such sessions, but what set this particular session apart from the rest was that it came on the heels of what could be called a battle with ‘selfishness’. The team had just lost a scrimmage game on the road. As Herb Brooks gazed upon the faces of his players down the final minutes of the game, his players seemed to have their minds – and their eyes – on other things. They were not “in the game” but rather, they had drifted away. So, immediately after the game, the American Team stayed on the ice. And they began doing wind sprints back and forth on the ice. One after the other. It was the custom of Coach Brooks to pause during typical practices, especially in the early days of putting the team together and ask one of the lads where they were from – who did they play for. And each would respond by shouting out his name and the College or University he represented – remember, these were College guys – not Professionals, like the Russian team. But on this particular night – he didn’t ask them – he just drilled them – one sprint after another. The assistant coach reluctantly blew the whistle to signal the start of each sprint. From time to time, he would plead with Coach Brooks that the lads just couldn’t handle any more—they were exhausted to the point of collapsing. It was time to call it a day. But Coach Brooks was not satisfied. They had indeed come so far, and yet, they hadn’t yet learned the most important thing—and it could not be taught—it had to be learned. He would not stop. Finally, in one brief pause between whistles, as the players were all clutching their legs, gasping for breath, one player yelled out his name: “Mike Eruzione!” Coach Brooks replied, “Who do you play for?” Eruzione replied, “I play for….. the United States of America!” It was all the Brooks was waiting to hear. Eruzione, the captain of the team, helped impart a deeper understanding. He was chosen to play for his Country—not merely for himself. He finally understood, and so too his teammates finally understood. And who do YOU play for? In his Letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul chides the community for losing sight of their true identity. They lost sight of the Truth of the Gospel. They were not living as brothers and sisters in Christ. “For when one says, ‘I belong to Paul,’ and another, ‘I belong to Apollos,’ are your not merely men? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are equal, and each shall receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building”(1 Corinthians 3:5-9).

What is YOUR name? Who do YOU play for? I play for Jesus Christ, He who humbled Himself to become man in order to redeem me – that I may become a member of His Mystical Body (His Team) and so share Everlasting Life with Him in Heaven. And what is required? Love. And Love, by it’s very nature is sacrificial. St. Paul would go on to teach the Corinthians – and all of us – the nature of love (see chapters 12 and 13 of 1st Corinthians). Our Team is the Church, whose guiding Light is the Holy Spirit. “The Church has been planted in this world like a Garden of Eden. Thus the Spirit of God says, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden’(Genesis 2:16) – that is, ‘Eat from every Scripture of the Lord, but you must not eat with a proud mind, or touch any heretical discord”(St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 5.20.2).