For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday March 8, 2015

Pastor’s Corner: Our Bishop of Bridgeport, Bishop Frank Caggiano, is in Rome this week. He has come for meetings in the Vatican and to spend some time with his seminarian, priest students at the North American College, and three other Bridgeport priests in the City. All together there are seven Bridgeport guys in Rome:

The Bridgeport priest with the longest Roman record is Monsignor William Millea: he grew up in Shelton, at Saint Joseph’s Parish, and was ordained a priest in 1980. He has been working the Vatican Secretariat of State since 1987; next in Roman seniority is Monsignor Thomas Powers: he grew up in Newtown, and Saint Rose of Lima is his home parish. He was ordained a priest in 1997, and works in the Vatican Congregation for Bishops; Father Andrew Vill grew up in Ridgefield in Saint Elizabeth Seton Parish and was ordained a priest last year. He is presently completing a Master’s Degree in Theology; Father Robert Woolfe grew up in Shelton, at Saint Joseph’s Parish. He was ordained last year, as well, and is also completing his Master’s Degree in Theology; Father Peter Lenox grew up in Bridgeport, at Saint Andrew’s Parish. He was ordained a priest in 2000, and was assigned to Rome last September to pursue his Master’s Degree in theology; Mr. Shane Nunes is from Fairfield and grew up in Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish, and arrived in September to begin his seminary studies in theology working towards ordination to the priesthood, which, hopefully, will be in 4 years. And then, there’s me.

This past Thursday, Bishop Caggiano gathered us all to celebrate Mass with him at the Tomb of Saint Peter, in the Clementine Chapel, directly beneath the High Altar. As you know, Saint Peter and Saint Paul were both martyred in Rome by the Emperor Nero in 67 AD: Saint Paul in July and Saint Peter in October, following the burning of Rome. Thousands of other Catholic men, women and children died for their faith in Our Lord during those late summer and early autumn days. Peter was crucified head down, in a public garden and race track in what is today the Vatican. His body was thrown into a pauper’s grave nearby, and forgotten as an enemy of the state. However, he wasn’t forgotten—at least not by other Catholics, who immediately turned his grave into an unofficial pilgrimage site, and, over the years, left graffiti and simple prayers scratched on the plaster and cheap marble that made up his grave. [Marble is not a costly item in Italy—it is cheaper than wood, because marble is very common, while wood is rare because of the lack of arable land in Italy].

The chapel in which we offered Mass was built in the 4th century when the Emperor Constantine built the first huge basilica of Saint Peter on top of that simple, pauper’s grave. We prayed for all the Catholics of our diocese at that Mass, and asked St. Peter to inspire many more young men to follow him by becoming a priest of Jesus Christ. The Mass at the Tomb of Saint Peter, with bishop and his priests and seminarians from various parishes throughout our Diocese praying with him, was a powerful sign of our shared Catholic Faith and our unity through the Holy Mass. Peter was at the First Mass when Jesus offered Himself at the Last Supper and on the Cross; Saint Peter and all the Saints; Our Lord and all the angels were with us at the Mass last Thursday, praying for you all at home.

Pray for vocations to the priesthood: God calls many young men, and every unmarried Catholic young man has a moral obligation to consider offering his life as a priest for the salvation of the world. The question is not “Do I want to be a priest?” The real question is, “Does God want me to be a priest?” There is your Lenten meditation.

Then, call Fr. Sam Kachuba, the Rector of Saint John Fisher Residence on Newfield Avenue in Stamford [203-322-5331] and talk to him about what God is calling you to do with your life. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: John MacLean, 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: Suzanne Demonchaux, Carolina Paniagua, Angelo Russo, Johanna Delavalle, 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.

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, March 9th.

Parish Lenten Retreat: There will be a Lenten Retreat in the Basilica, March 16th, 17th & 18th from 7-8PM. Please come join us!

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.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday March 1, 2015 $ 11,706.00
Sunday March 2, 2014 $ 10,937.19

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 15th, Sunday Readings: 2 Chr 36:14-16, 19-23; Eph 2:4-10; Jn 3:14-21.

Over 100 Benefits of Eucharistic Adoration: #6 – Perpetual Adoration extends its influence far beyond the individual adorers, touching their homes and families and reaching out to the parish community and beyond. (Pope Paul IV)

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.

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; just one or two intentions at a time, please. God bless you, Msgr. DiGiovanni.

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, 2015 at the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist, 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.  Maureen Ciardiello, at 203-416-1445 or email respectlife@diobpt.org.

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

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, March 7, 2015
4:00 Joseph Kung req. Family
Sunday, March 8, 2015
7:30 +Mirian Espinoza req. Lucy Espinoza
10:00 +Dorothy Wargo Birthday Remembrance req. Family
12:00 +Martine and Kelly req. Jimmy and Michelle Sagdati
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, March 9, 2015
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Lucy Espinoza
12:10 +Mr. and Mrs. Naissance Jean-Guillaume and Family req. Grandchildren
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
8:00 +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Charles and Matthew Austin req. Parents
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
8:00 +Gjek and Dila Camaj req. Age
12:10 +Ms. Fanelia Jean-Pierre and Constantin Gaspard and Family req. Nephews and Nieces
Thursday, March 12, 2015
8:00 Special Intentions Benjamin Hickman req. Andrea Hickman
12:10 +Antoinette Rubino req. Carla Coutant
Friday, March 13, 2015
8:00 +Marcel Gedeon req. Marie Gedeon
12:10 For the Opening of the Cause of Ignatius Cardinal Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
Saturday, March 14, 2015
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10 +Michael Chapman req. Mulhern Family

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:
March 12, 1869: “The Roman Catholic Society have purchased a lot 200 X 100 feet, in one of the most prominent and valuable positions on Atlantic Street, from Mr. Andrew J. Bell, for $12,500. We understand it is the intention of the society to build a handsome church edifice on their new purchase.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: the amount would be approximately $211,000 in 2015 dollars.)

125 years ago, or so:
March 14, 1890: “Rev. Father Cronan, assistant pastor of St. Mary’s R.C. church, Greenwich, is expected to deliver an address next Sunday at 7:30 p.m., in the St. John’s R.C. church, Stamford. The sermon will be appropriate to St. Patrick’s Eve, and there will also be musical vespers, followed by benediction of the blessed sacrament.”

115 years ago, or so:
March 14, 1898: RELIGIOUS NOTES. “A Polish priest from New Britain will be at St. John’s R. C. Church this evening and tomorrow morning, for the benefit of the Polish population of this city.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: the ethnic Polish parish of Holy Name of Jesus in Stamford was organized in 1903.)

105 years ago, or so:
March 14, 1910: Palm Sunday Oratorio. “At St. John’s R. C. Church, next Sunday evening, the sacred oratorio entitled “The Seven Last Words,” by Dubois, will be sung. Miss Hogan, a New Haven singer of widely-known merit, will render the principal soprano solos of this beautiful composition. Other solo parts will be sung by Miss Kennedy, Mr. Smith and Mr. Reilly. Rev. Dr. Shanley of Danbury will preach a sermon appropriate to the sentiment and spirit of the service.”

80 years ago, or so:
March 9, 1927: ST. JOHN’S GIRLS FORM AN INDOOR BALL LEAGUE. “The St. John’s girls are organized into an indoor baseball league. Games are being played every Wednesday now and as soon as the weather gets warmer the league will move outdoors. Three teams are in the league and the members of the teams are as follows: Blue Dogs—Captain Elizabeth DeMill, A. Byrnes, L. Cheney, L. Smith, L. Moore, M. Smith, A. Obrzud, A. Burnes. Red Rascals– Captain Florence DeMill, Helen Shapia, Dorothy Cantwell, H. McGuinness, A. Egan, M. Greeney, A. Moran, R. Ormond, A. Verrachio. Blues and Greys– Captain, H. Ormond, Eleanor DeMill, C. Vagedes, E. Burns, A. Cleary, C. Daley, A. Stankard, M Chall, M. McCann.”

The First Station
-Fr. Terry Walsh

“He did no wrong; no deceit was found in his mouth. When he was insulted, he returned no insult.” – 1 Peter 2

Did you ever wonder what might have been going through the mind of our Lord at the First Station? Or have you considered what those witnessing this horrible scene might have been thinking?

I sometimes wonder if Jesus might have been reflecting on all that he had done for the very people who stood in his midst, accusing him unjustly. Imagine it! He obeyed the will of the Father: “Though he was in the form of God, Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at. Rather, he emptied himself and took the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of men”(Philippians 2:6-7). God became man and now, for the rest or eternity, Jesus, a Divine Person, has two natures: Divine and human – for love of us. The Incarnation! And then, he lived among us for 33 years, obedient to Mary and Joseph, humbling working and praying and doing every manner of good to those around him. Indeed, St. Louis DeMontfort contends that through this humble obedience He gave the Father more glory than all the miracles. Humble obedience. I wonder if he called his many marvelous works of kindness to mind in this moment as at the 1st Station as he stood before his accusers: healings, casting our demons, feeding the hungry, raising the dead, restoring sight to the blind, teaching the truth and calling all to a life of holiness, faithfulness, and love. Indeed, he called all to share in his holiness and he promised the necessary graces to accomplish this call—if only we would humbly obey him and follow him. Then, how could this be? How could he be standing in front of this court to be tried as a criminal?

There he was, innocent, yet scorned by his own, falsely accused, arrested in the dead of night and brought before an angry mob. I wonder if he might have been reflecting on the many words of thanks he had heard from those he had healed. I wonder if he may have thought about the cold places he had slept and the lack of food he suffered from time to time, or perhaps the toil he endured when everyone was pulling at his cloak hoping to gain a grace. What strength it must have taken to stand there before this crooked crowd. He had just endured a suffering unlike anything ever known to man during his agony in the Garden. He had felt the terror of abandonment as he watched his Apostles scatter away. What utter disappointment. What sadness. He had said to them: “Watch and Pray”. But they fell asleep. There he stood, the innocent Lamb being prepared for the Slaughter. Was he thirsty? After all, he had endured a horrible spiritual suffering in the Garden so intense that he actually sweat blood. He must have been dehydrated and wearied with grief. Were the bruises he endured as he was dragged to the court making it difficult to see – or to breath? “He did no wrong; no deceit was in his mouth. When he was insulted, he returned no insult”(1 Peter 2). He simply stood there. He opened not his moth. He had already done his talking: three years of laying down his life for everyone he met. Where were they?

Seven centuries earlier, the great prophet Isaiah spoke of this moment, the moment of the Passion of the Suffering Servant: “The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame”(Isaiah 50:7). He was prepared to “make all things new” through the suffering of the Passion, knowing that through his Passion, he would feed all who come to him seeking Eternal Life, union with God, forever. He was carrying out his Mission and he knew he would be vindicated: “No weapon fashioned against you shall prevail; (even though for a short time it seemed that he was defeated) every tongue you shall prove false that launches an accusation against you. This is the lot of the servants of the Lord, their vindication from me, says the Lord”(Isaiah 54:17). All for the Salvation of souls…. “All you who are thirsty, come to the water! All you who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk”(Isaiah 55:1). He was thinking about us….

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom do I fear? The Lord is my life’s refuge; of whom am I afraid? When evildoers come at me to devour my flesh, These enemies and foes themselves stumble and fall….But I believe I shall enjoy the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the Lord!” – Psalm 27