For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday Feb 1, 2015

Presentation Pastor’s Corner: February 2nd is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, also known as Candlemas. The celebration recalls the historical event when, in obedience to the precepts of the Law of Moses (Exodus 13:1-3; Leviticus 12:1-8) the Blessed Mother presented her first born son in the Temple in Jerusalem 40 days after His birth. It also recalls the mystical fact that Christ is the final sacrifice who brings about the salvation of the world, and that He comes to us daily in every Catholic Church where Mass is celebrated and the Eucharist received.

The earliest record of this celebration comes from the 4th century, as recorded by a Spanish lady named Egedia in her Diary of a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The Mass celebrated in Jerusalem recalled the historical presentation of Jesus in the Temple, while the procession with lighted candles referred to the mystical reality of who this Child is, and what His life and death would mean for the history and salvation of the world. By the time Egeria witnessed it, Candlemas was already an ancient celebration in Jerusalem. It speaks of the deepest reality of Christ, which is the basis of our ancient Catholic Faith and His Church.

Throughout the Old Testament, all the prophets spoke of the coming of the Savior. And as Jesus was presented in the Temple, as recounted in the Gospel of Luke 2: 21-40, two further prophecies are fulfilled: that of Simeon, who had been promised by God not to see death until he had first seen the Savior; and that of Anna, the prophetess, who recognized the Savior as the Incarnation of the generous God. The Blessed Mother presented Her Son, not simply to observe the Old Law of Moses, but to prefigure the work of Jesus by joining Jesus’ sacrifice to the prophetic words and sacrifices of the Old Law of Israel. She presents Jesus to the Eternal Father, who will accept the sacrifice of His Son on the Cross to pay for human sin. This feast day is the link between Christmas—God becoming man in the flesh—and Good Friday/Easter—God who became man dying in the flesh to rescue us from eternal death. The reason why the Eternal Son, Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, took on human flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mother, was in order to offer on the Cross the humanity that was intimately joined to His divinity in the womb of the Virgin Mary as the ultimate sacrifice, to pay for the sins of the world. He took our punishment for our wrongs. And He could do this because Jesus is both God and man. If Christ had not taught anything, had He not healed or fed anyone, if He had worked no miracles and done nothing other than offer Himself on the Cross, then His work would still have been perfect. Yet, in the generosity of the Father, Christ’s work also included His deeper revelation of the identity of God, and how we should respond to Him in our daily lives.

On February 2nd, then, the Church blesses candles in honor of this historic, mystical event and reality. All candles used during the year in church are blessed on February 2nd, as well as candles for the faithful to bring home. Each candle represents Christ, whose light illumines the world with the Truth about God and about mankind. The candle is also a sign of our faith in Christ, shining in the darkness and sin of the world. We are to imitate Christ in His obedience and love for the Father, and imitate Our Lady in her humility, obeying the Law of God by co-operating with the loving plan of God by which she conceived in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit, and then further expressed her obedience to God’s will by presenting Her Son in the Temple: the sacrifice God Himself provided for our salvation. We are to imitate Mary and Her son in our lives of virtue. Our Lord told His Apostles, “You are the light of the world.” The candles blessed represent Christ in our daily lives. We should let Christ shine to the world by means of our lives of virtue and holiness; especially by our charity and mutual forgiveness, striving to please God by our daily deeds in our imitation of Our Lord, the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph: desiring to do the will of God to please Him first.
—Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Karyl Suzanne Bearden, Nellie Taylor-Boltrek, Pete Boltrek, Kevin O’Byrne, Barbara Itri, Mary Lou Kerr, Elaine Mellace, Victoria Campos, Barbara Wolf, Dominick Franco, Ro Clarke, Suzanne DePreta, Patrick and Rita Timon, Billy Therriault, Thomas Bernie, Diane Grant, Marie Augustin, Mary Churley, Mary Bauer, Mary Rose Bauer, Paul Cavalli, Maggie Ward, Sr. Anne-Marguerite, Peter Monks, Agnes Allen, Bonnie and Dorothy Keyes, Ruth Coyle, Jacqueline Domingue, John Palumbo, Silvana Smith, Lena Cocchia, Christina Samon Ta-Chu.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Felicitas Cody, Roledonne J. Samedi, Harrie Humphreys, Angelina Corcione, Fernand Constant, Karin Fahey, Louise Fazio, Alice Dykes, Anthony Pellicci, Mark Cagle, Nicholas J. DiMatteo, Onide Jean-Guillaume, Canio V. Lorusso, John DePoli, Lilji Vasilji, Scott Therriault, Bill Detrick, Malcolm Pounds, Carol Sorbo, Stefano Pirolozzi, Teodoro DeBlasi, Erzulia Joseph, Jenny Gallagher.

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, February 2nd.

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: Tuesdays, 7:00PM in the rectory. Open to anyone interested in becoming a Catholic, or adult Catholics wanting to receive 1st Communion or Confirmation (call 324-1553) Special Needs RCIA: Contact Michelle O’Mara at momara@stcatherineacademy.org 203 540 5381 ext 2012

Physician Assisted Suicide Information Session: Diocese of Bridgeport Respect Life Ministry, the Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Conference and Family Institute of Connecticut are sponsoring a Physician Assisted Suicide Information Session to be held on Thursday, March 12, 2014 at the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist, 279 Atlantic Ave., Stamford, CT, from 7pm to 9pm.  The session will include speakers from across the diocese to discuss the Catholic understanding of physician assisted suicide, hospice care and current events at the state legislature.  Please join us and bring a friend!  For questions or more information contact, Maureen Ciardiello at the Respect Life Ministry for the Diocese of Bridgeport at 203-416-1445 or email respectlife@diobpt.org.

National Open House Day with Religious at the Sisters of Life: Did you ever wonder what life was like beyond the walls of a convent? Along with religious across the country, the Sisters of Life will be opening their doors on Sunday, February 8 for the first ever National Open House Day with Religious. Pope Francis said: “Wherever consecrated people are, there is always joy!” Please share our joy in celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life by stopping in at Villa Maria Guadalupe (159 Sky Meadow Drive, Stamford, CT 06903) between 2:00 and 5:00 pm to meet our Sisters and see our home. Everyone is welcome. Stay tuned for more information about Days of Service with Religious this summer and a Day of Prayer with Religious on Sunday, September 13, 2015. We look forward to sharing these days with you, so that you may discover, in the words of Pope Francis, that “Joy, true joy, is contagious.” For more information contact: Sr. Mary Karen: 203-329-1492.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday January 25, 2015 $ 12,573.50
Sunday January 26, 2014 $ 11,055.64

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

February 8th, Sunday Readings: Jb 7:1-4, 6-7; 1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-23; Mk 1:29-39.

Over 100 Benefits of Eucharistic Adoration: #1- Every Holy Hour we make so pleases the Heart of Jesus that it is recorded in Heaven and retold for all eternity! (Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta)

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. 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. 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.

The Stamford St. Patrick’s Day Parade: which will take place March 7, 2015 at 12Noon, beginning at Columbus Park, and concluding at Latham Park.  I am reaching out at this time to also invite a group to participate in our 20th St. Patrick’s Day Parade. If you are interested, please contact Michael Feighan at mpfeighan1@gmail.com. We hope that you can join us for the BIG Event.

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; 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: This Monday, February 23rd, 7:30PM Location: Cosi at 230 Tresser Blvd., Stamford (in front of the Stamford Mall).

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, January 31, 2015
4:00 +Vito Melfi req. Joseph Melfi
Sunday, February 1, 2015
7:30 Special Intentions Thomas Cycon req. The Legion of Mary
10:00 +Antonio Lepore req. Rose Lepore
12:00 +Filomena Mamone req. The Legion of Mary
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 People of the Parish
Monday, February 2, 2015
8:00 Special Intentions Patrick Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Lina and Xavier Fontaine and Family req. Jean-Guillaume Family
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
8:00 Mary Coffee req. Thomas Cycon
12:10 Emilee K. Goldman req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
8:00 +Margaret M. Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Charles and Matthew Austin req. Parents
Thursday, February 5, 2015
8:00 Joan Baldwin req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
12:10 +Ruth Fritts Priday req. Bill Christiaanse
Friday, February 6, 2015
8:00 Ferry Galbert
12:10 +Thomas Mazzola req. Anne Conte
Saturday, February 7, 2015
8:00 +Kerry Solomon req. Maria Victoria De Castro
12:10 +Thomas Mazzola 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.

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:

145 years ago, or so:
February 8, 1867: “The Annual Conference of the Roman Catholic Church of this diocese was held in St. John’s Church in this village on Thursday of this week. There was High Mass in the morning, the Bishop and about twenty priests officiating.”

100 years ago, or so:
February 2, 1909: “There were services appropriate to Candlemas Day this morning in St. John’s Roman Catholic Church.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: The Feast Day is also known as the Presentation of the child Jesus’ first entry into the Temple.)

80 years ago, or so:
February 3, 1936: Children of Mary Hold a Meeting. “The monthly meeting of the Children of Mary of the St. John’s R. C. Church was held yesterday afternoon at 3:30 with the new president, Miss Marion McRedmond, in the chair. Sister Patricius gave a short talk to the girls. Later a vote of appreciation was extended to Miss Ann FitzGibbon for her work as president last year. The treasurer’s annual report was read by Miss Marion Hogan. It was decided that the society would hold no further meetings during February and any special meeting necessary in the future will be held Tuesday evenings after devotions, upon notice given in advance. The next regular meeting will take place Sunday, March 1, at which time returns are to be made on tickets which have been distributed.”

Fr Donnelly 60 years ago, or so:
February 4, 1954: Rev. P. F. Donnelly Leaving St. John’s. “The Rev. Patrick F. Donnelly, an assistant pastor at St. John’s Catholic Church for the past several years, has been appointed to a new post in Fairfield. The Rev. Edward J. Scull will replace Father Donnelly at St. John’s. Father Scull, a native of Bridgeport, attended St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield; and St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore, Md. He was ordained to the priesthood in St. Joseph Cathedral, Hartford, by the Most Rev. Henry J. O’Brien, Archbishop of Hartford, on May 3, 1951.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Father Scull was the principal of St. John’s School from 1955 to 1959.)

The Presentation of the Lord –February 2nd
– Fr. Terry Walsh

I’d like to share a story with you….

“A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art. When the Viet Nam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son. About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said, ‘Sir, you don’t know me , but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art. The young man held out his package. ‘I know this isn’t much. I’m not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.’ The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. ‘Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It’s a gift.’ The Father hung the picture over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected. The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. ‘We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture? There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted. ‘We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.’ But the auctioneer persisted. ‘Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200? Another voice shouted angrily. ‘We didn’t come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!’ But still the auctioneer continued. ‘The son! The son! Who’ll take the son?’ Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. ‘I’ll give $10 for the painting.’ Being a poor man, it was all he could afford. ‘We have $10, who will bid $20?’ ‘Give it to him for $10. Let’s see the masters.’ ‘$10 is the bid, won’t someone bid $20?’ The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. ‘Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!’ A man sitting on the second row shouted. ‘Now let’s get on with the collection!’ The auctioneer laid down his gavel. ‘I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son get’s everything!’
God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, ‘The son, the son, who’ll take the son?’ Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.” – Author Unknown