For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday Feb 22, 2015

Per the directives of the Diocese, parishes must regularly publish their financial reports. Below, please find the financial statements for the Second Quarter ended December 31, 2014. The parish has no debt, other than a few current normal bills. I am very grateful for your generosity. — Fr. Walsh

12-31-14 State of Activities

12-31-14 State of Fin Position

Please pray for the sick: John Murray, Barbara Rizzi, Sister Mary Rinaldi, FMA, 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.

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 23rd.

Salus Populi Romani icon Votive Light: Special Intentions

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: Barbara Wolf req. Angela Giannitti

St. Joseph Votive Light Memorial: Paul Cavalli req. Angela Giannitti

Banns of Marriage: II Banns: Walter Philip Clark III and Jesy Anne Liamzon

Confessions During Lent: Besides the usual daily schedule, Confessions will also be heard each Tuesday during Lent: 7pm– 9pm, February 24th – March 31st, in the Basilica.

Stations of the Cross: Fridays during Lent at 4:00pm in English, in the Basilica.

All Fridays during Lent – are days of abstinence from eating meat for those 14 years and older, unless sickness or medical conditions prevent this.

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.

2014 Synod of the Diocese of Bridgeport: The third session of the General Delegates to the 2014 Synod of the Diocese of Bridgeport met on Saturday, February 7th.  Prior to the meeting the delegates were asked to review the nine challenges that were developed from the listening groups, the previous meetings of the general delegates, the study groups and the Synod Commission.  After a period of quiet prayer invoking the Holy Spirit, the delegates were asked to select six of the nine challenges as the key tasks for the implementation phrase of the Synod.  The six implementation challenges will be published in the next issue of the Fairfield County Catholic and on the diocesan website.  If you would like more information about the work of the synod, please contact Nicholas Troilo or Juanita Evans, our Parish Delegates by contacting our Parish Office, 203 324 1553.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday February 15, 2015 $ 11,716.00
Sunday February 16, 2014 $ 9,455.38

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

March 1st, Sunday Readings: Gn 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18; Rom 8:31b-34; Mk 9:2-10.

Over 100 Benefits of Eucharistic Adoration: #4 – All the angels of heaven gaze in ecstasy at the image left on your soul after each holy hour you make in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. (Excerpt from ‘Letters To A Brother Priest’)

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 7-9pm, and third Sunday from 5-7pm 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.
Will meet this Sunday, February 22nd, 6-8pm.

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, February 21, 2015
4:00 +Maryann Healey req. John and Maria Mossa
Sunday, February 22, 2015
7:30 Special Intentions Thomas Hickman req. Andrea Hickman
10:00 +Labouze Jean Pierre req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:00 Marion Morris and Family req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, February 23, 2015
8:00 +Olivia Palermo req. Joyce Patten and Lorraine Van Langen
12:10 +Charles and Matthew Austin req. Parents
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
8:00 Special Intentions Sebastian Hickman req. Andrea Hickman
12:10 +Mildred O. Weeks req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
8:00 +Tomas D. Roset req. Rosita A. Domdom
12:10 +Esperance Phillips req. Abdul and Sarah Aslam
Thursday, February 26, 2015
8:00 +Ann DiGiovanni req. Nancy Finlay
12:10 +Catherine Pascale req. John Pascale
Friday, February 27, 2015
8:00 +William Tufariello req. Sandra and Larry Bolanowski
12:10 +Jerry Pacelli req. Ed Nemchek
Saturday, February 28, 2015
8:00 In Honor of St. Anthony req. Rosita A. Domdom
12:10 +Edward Sandor req. Abdul and Sarah Aslam

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:

140 years ago, or so:
February 28, 1873: “Washington’s Birthday was not very generally or extensively observed in this vicinity. The Post Office was closed part of the day, our local banks and a few manufacturing establishments shut down for the whole or a portion of the day. The Veterans’ Association gave the stars and stripes to the breeze from the window of their club room. It was found impossible to hoist the Borough flag owing to the fact that the halyards were frozen fast. In the afternoon the Cadets of St. John’s R. C. Society, paraded through the principal streets, headed by an efficient and apparently well disciplined drum corps. The processionists carried the American, French, German and Irish flags, and presented a neat appearance as they marched, keeping time to the beat of the drums. In the evening the drum corps and their friends crowded the floor of the school house on Meadow street, and danced till nearly midnight.”

80 years ago, or so:
February 26, 1934: 2 EAGLE SCOUT BADGES GIVEN AT EXPOSITION. “The Merit Badge Exposition of Stamford By Scouts closed Saturday night with a large attendance. That it accomplished its purpose of acquainting the general public with the broad program of Scouting, and may net a small amount for the camp scholarship fund, was the verdict of those in charge. The feature of the entertainment Saturday night was the presentation of two Eagle Scout badges, the highest award in Scouting, by the fathers of the boys receiving them. They boys were James O’Brien, jr., and Robert Thayer, jr., both of Troop 22, St. John’s R. C. Church.”

65 years ago, or so:
February 23, 1952: St. John’s Lists Honor Pupil Roll. “The honor roll for the first semester for the current school year at St. John’s Parochial School was announced today with first honors awarded to 30 pupils and second honors to 34. Honor students included: Ninth Grade, first honors, College Preparatory Division: Lorraine Aunce, Myrna Dolan, Roberta Downey, John Drosdeck, Jeanne Gacher, Mary Savage; Commercial Division: Patricia Nichols, Christine Rubina, Carol Wallace. Second honors, Preparatory Division: Josephine DeFillippis, Frances Forster, Nora Kennedy, Mary Kank, Ann Roche. Commercial Division: Marjorie Aylward, Vita Ienner, Patricia Sheridan.”

Our Lenten Journey and Christian Discipleship
– Fr. Terry Walsh

The world offers so many distractions and yet although we live in the world, our Lord tells us, we are not “of” the world. At baptism we died a sort of death and at the same time rose to a new life—a life centered on Christ; indeed, a life lived “in” Christ. Faith leads us to Him and love nourishes and builds our relationship with Him. Of course, our spiritual life is filled with all sorts of challenges—some small and some not so small. Yet, Jesus promised that He would always be with us to heal our brokenness, if we allow him to heal us, and at the same time, strengthen us so that when we are tested, either by “the world” or “the enemy” or our own human weakness, He is always there to help us. Indeed, as St. Augustine teaches us from his experiences of spiritual desolation, our Lord is actually shouting and waving and doing all sorts of things to keep us in Him through our everyday experiences. Our Lord ‘calls and shouts and breaks through our deafness’ St. Augustine writes in his Spiritual Classic, The Confessions, that we may abide in Him and He in us. And of course, Sacred Scripture calls to mind the effect of the Sacrament of Baptism: “God is present to our inmost being: ‘In Him we live and move and have our being.’ In the words of St. Augustine, “God is ‘higher than my highest and more inward than my innermost self’”(ccc300). And yet, there is still the problem of sin. There are still the battles that our frail human nature is presented daily—in part, to test our resolve, in part to prove our love, our willingness to humbly ask God for the assistance we need in order to do His will. Humility, motivated by love, brings us to our Lord in the Sacrament of Confession when we recognize that we have fallen in thought, word, or deed. It is that recognition of our Lord’s voice deep in our heart, our conscience, where He calls us to a humble recognition, contrition, and confession so that he can then heal, restore, nourish, and build up. Confessions are available every day here at St. John’s and throughout Lent, we will offer Confessions on Tuesday Evenings from 7 -9 pm.

As we come to understand that God calls us to share in a life of unimaginable happiness we begin to understand what this relationship entails. It’s an active, meaningful journey unto spiritual perfection that begins at the very moment of our Baptism. This path to Christian Perfection is paved with our active and sacrificial love. This path is groomed and prepared by identifying and sifting away vice. The surface is paved with the moral virtues and traveled well as these virtues are informed by and strengthened through the supernatural graces provided by God Himself: Wisdom, Knowledge, Counsel, Understanding, Fortitude, Piety, and of course, Fear of the Lord, more commonly called “Awe and Wonder”. When we are docile to the Holy Spirit and develop the habit of virtuous living we travel through every bend and pothole guided by the Light of Christ. Only vice from within our own engine can cause a breakdown and perhaps even end our journey. Vice leads us away from God. Prayer and the Sacraments are the antidote. Jesus reminds us of this danger. He quotes the prophet Isaiah: “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me…” Christian Perfection is forged in the heart or, as St. Paul teaches, “Faith working through love.”

St. Augustine traveled a very bumpy road for many years until at last he came to understand the love God had for him. His profound conversion of heart is recorded in the Spiritual Classic, The Confessions. No longer would he travel the road of self-indulgence. He opened his heart to the truth and God flooded his soul with grace and peace. There was no turning back. He lived now for Christ. He confesses:

“Urged to reflect upon myself, I entered under your guidance into the inmost depth of my soul. I was able to do so because you were my helper. On entering into myself I saw, as it were with the eye of the soul, what was beyond the eye of the soul, beyond my spirit: your immutable light…this light was above me because it had made me; I was below it because I was created by it. He who has come to know the truth knows this light….you overcame the weakness of my vision, sending forth most strongly the beams of your light, and I trembled at once with love and dread. I learned that I was in a region unlike yours and far distant from you, and I thought I heard your voice from on high: ‘I am the food (Eucharist) of grown men; grow then, and you will feed on me. Nor will you change me into yourself like bodily food, but you will be changed into me…

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you…You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.”