For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday March 15, 2015

Pastor’s Corner: Cardinal Egan died last week, as most people have heard. During Monday and Tuesday morning, thousands of people from the tri-state area filed into Saint Patrick’s Cathedral to pay their final respects and to offer a prayer for the Cardinal, whose body lay in state before the high altar. The cathedral was jammed for the funeral on Tuesday.

The Cardinal had served as the Bishop of Bridgeport from 1988 until his appointment as the archbishop of New York in 2000. During those years, he accomplished much in Fairfield County: among his accomplishments, he reorganized the Catholic school system throughout the diocese, established the Hispanic and Haitian apostolate, reorganized diocesan healthcare facilities, and initiated the Inner-City Foundation for Charity and Education. He founded the Saint Catherine School for Children with Special Needs in Bridgeport, and served as chairman of the board for Sacred Heart University and for the 15 Bishop Curtis Homes for the Elderly. He also served as the chairman of the board of governors of the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and served on various national and international Catholic committees and institutions. In Stamford, he established the Haitian Catholic Center on Hope Street, served as the chairman of the board for Saint Joseph’s Medical Center, and built the Catherine Dennis Keefe Queen of the Clergy Residence for Retired Priests, both institutions on Strawberry Hill.

The Cardinal played an immensely important part in my life as a priest and a friend. One day after being installed as the third bishop of Bridgeport, he asked me to found the Saint John Fisher Seminary Residence. He firmly believed there were many young men throughout Fairfield County who thought about becoming priests, and he wanted to provide them a place to test those thoughts. Founded first in Trumbull, Fisher moved to Stamford on Newfield Avenue 4 years later, because there were so many young men who responded to God’s call to test a vocation to the priesthood, just as then-Bishop Egan knew they would. During my 8 years as Rector of Fisher and Vocation Director of the Diocese of Bridgeport, hundreds of men entered Fisher. For many, we decided they either had no true vocation or were not suited to serve as priests. But, during those years, Bishop Egan ordained 57 young men priests who came through Fisher. Dozens more have been ordained since he left for New York, and Saint John Fisher Seminary Residence continues today, in its 26th year. The Cardinal also named me Pastor of Saint John’s in 1998, for which I am indebted to him for his generosity and farsightedness, giving me such a great parish in the heart of a great city.

For most people, they only knew the Cardinal by numbers: how many institutions he founded; how much money he raised to support Catholic education, Catholic health care or Catholic charitable works. He was much more than his numbers or his numerous accomplishments. He was the finest priest I have ever known; one of the finest Catholic men. His deep love for Our Lord and for His Catholic Church fueled his every day, and was manifest in his daily labors for Christ’s Bride, the Church, and in his innumerable generous and charitable works for people throughout our diocese and New York. One example was his response to the attacks of 911: he was daily at Ground Zero; daily visited those Fire; Police and Emergency personnel injured during the rescue efforts; and daily met the families of those who died heroically trying to save thousands that day.

Please say a prayer for Cardinal Egan. We are better for his having been a priest and bishop here. Requiescat in aeternam: May he rest in peace. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: John MacLean, John Murray, Barbara Rizzi, 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: Cardinal Edward M. Egan, 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.

American Bishops’ Overseas Appeal Collection . . . Please drop your special envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.

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 16th.

Over 100 Benefits of Eucharistic Adoration: #7 – Each time you approach the Blessed Sacrament remember that Jesus has been waiting for you for twenty centuries for this personal visit from you. (St. Josemaria Escriva)

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.

St. Patrick’s Day AOH Mass: St. Patrick’s Day, Tuesday, March 17th, 9:00am, there will be an AOH St. Patrick’s Day Hiberian Mass. All are welcome!

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday March 8, 2015 $ 11,366.00
Sunday March 9, 2014 $ 13,435.77

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 22th, Sunday Readings: Jer 31:31-34; Heb 5:7-9; Jn 12:20-33.

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.

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).

Reconciliation through Confession: Lent invites us to be aware of how alienated and sinful humankind can be, but return is always possible through Christ Our Lord. Looking to Christ means looking with faith and repentance. Lent is a time when one can receive grace and peace. Our Holy Father has said, “the grace of the sacrament may support and nourish the commitment to be faithful disciples of the Lord.” The opening prayer of today’s Mass reminds us that Jesus spoke of peace to a sinful world and brought humankind the gift of reconciliation by the suffering and death He endured. We too can experience that gift of reconciliation through confession. We can receive that gift on Tuesday nights at 7pm to 9pm at all the parishes in the Diocese when Confession is offered. Like the Prodigal Son, we can come back to our Father’s house and echo the words of the happy father at the return of his son, “For my son was lost and is now found.” (Luke 15:24).

St. Maria Goretti Society & St. Dominic Savio Society: Will meet this Sunday after the 10am Mass in the Rectory! Hope to see you there! Questions, contact Anne Marie at 203-324-1553 x21 or religioused@stjohnsstamford.com.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, March 14, 2015
4:00 +Lucia and Antonio Tana req. Leon Taricani
Sunday, March 15, 2015
7:30 +John Lancaster req. Sue Kremheller
10:00 Brian Mulhern req. Margie Mulhern
12:00 +Charles Joseph Gawley req. Dewey Family
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, March 16, 2015
8:00 +Edward Cardinal Egan req. by the people of the Basilica of St. John’s
12:10 +Peter Medwed – 14th Anniversary req. Munro and DeVivo Families
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
8:00 +John Maloney req. Mary Maloney
9:00 AOH St. Patrick’s Day Hiberian Mass
12:10 +Charles and Matthew Austin req. parents
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
8:00 Special Intentions Sophia Hickman req. Andrea Hickman
12:10 Francis Kung req. parents
Thursday, March 19, 2015
8:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
12:10 Special Intentions John Paul and Angela Marchetti
Friday, March 20, 2015
8:00 Cardinal Burke req. Dewey Family
12:10 Special Intentions Carolina Hudson req. Andrea Hickman
Saturday, March 21, 2015
8:00 In Thanksgiving of Favors Received req. Dinah
12:10 Bridie McGroarty req. Margie Mulhern

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:

150 years ago, or so:
March 18, 1864: “Yesterday was St Patrick’s day, and, contrary to the general rule, the weather was fine in the morning. Mass was celebrated and a sermon preached by Rev. Father O’Neil in the Roman Catholic Church. A full congregation was in attendance.”

110 years ago, or so:
March 17, 1905: HIBERNIANS CELEBRATING. “A Solemn High Mass was celebrated in St. John’s Roman Catholic Church this morning at 9, by Rev. James C. O’Brien, pastor. Father O’Brien’s assistants were officers of the Mass. The congregation was very large. There will be a St. Patrick’s Day lecture in St. John’s tonight at 7:30. Father Fitzgerald of Greenwich, who is a most fluent and forceful speaker, will deliver an address, with an appropriate eulogy of the patron saint. After the service, the members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians will proceed in a body to their hall in Pitt’s Block, Main Street, when a general good time has been arranged. Addresses will be made by a number of the members, followed by an entertainment of a most interesting character. A St. Patrick’s Day supper will be a part of the evening’s enjoyment.”

75 years ago, or so:
March 16, 1941: Hibernians Plan Dance to Observe St. Patrick’s Day. “The annual entertainment and dance in Hibernian Hall, Main St., tonight, under the auspices of the Gen. Philip Sheridan Branch, A.O.H., will lead the city’s observance of St. Patrick’s Day. The program sponsored by the Hibernians will get under way at 8 p.m. and will include singing and dancing, with Irish and American music, and other features.”

25 years ago, or so:
March 18, 1990: Pride of the Irish. The feast of St. Patrick celebrated in Stamford. “With twinkles in their eyes and smiles on their lips, a contingent of Stamford’s Irish population turned out in full force yesterday to celebrate the feast of St. Patrick. The day began with a Mass at St. John’s Church on Atlantic Street, where the Rev. Michael Moynihan praised the Irish for their faith and dedication to the Catholic church. “The Irish always insist on handing down to their children,” he said, calling on his audience to encourage their young to become active with the church. “The church has a need, once again, for the strong faith of the Irish. Bring someone home to Jesus.” The Mass was attended by about 300 people, including members of the local chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the General Philip Sheridan division. Most everyone wore a touch of green, be it a tie, a tam o’shanter (a Scottish cap) or a kelly green sweater.”

The Fourth Station
Jesus is met by His Blessed Mother
“And a Sword shall pass through your Heart”
-Fr Terry Walsh

Many who have had near death experiences seem to speak of a similar occurrence – that there whole life passed before their eyes in an instant. Could this be what the moment of Judgment might be like? Images of the Vision of Isaiah come to mind (Isaiah, ch.6). We will, at some moment, find ourselves in the same position that Isaiah did. Each of us will stand before the Throne of God and we’ll be in the Presence of Perfect Holiness, perfect beauty, purity, and truth. We’ll be in the Presence of Love Himself; that is, with the One who emptied Himself of His glory in order to become Incarnate in the Spotless Womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary; the One born into the world He created in order to offer Himself to the Father in reparation for our sins. Long before He was sentenced by Pilate, Jesus knew what sort of death He would endure. He knew. And so did His Blessed Mother, who consented to His sacrifice with incomparable sorrow and with perfect love. Theirs is the most unique of relationships. Mary is so intimately woven in the life of Her Son: She shares in His Glory, She shares in His pain. De Montfort wrote, “The Most High God came down to us in a perfect way through the humble Virgin Mary, without losing anything of His divinity or holiness. It is likewise through Mary that we poor creatures must ascend to almighty God in a perfect manner without having anything to fear”(157). How well do we honor Her? How well do we pray for Her Motherly Hands of love to guide us along the path that ends in the Heart of Jesus? What heartache She endured to know the rejection Her loving Son would bear: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…(Is. 53:3)” He carried our sorrows, indeed, He fell under their weight – 3 times. “Yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with His stripes we are healed….He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth”(Is. 53:4).

The Son of Mary alone is Holy. Our only entrance into Holiness – into Eternal Beatitude – is through Him. “I am the Living Bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats this Bread, he will live for ever; and the Bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh”(Jn 6:51). Through His Passion He demonstrated the depth of His love – the spilling of His Precious Blood became ‘the wellspring to all life, all holiness’ and the only means by which our sins may be taken away and our souls made pure. Sacramental Confession affords us the opportunity to “review the reel” of our life and to seek forgiveness for our transgressions before we stand before the Throne of God. We are healed through the Blood of the One who gave Himself up for us. He alone makes us worthy to enter the Perfection of Heaven. Now is the time of mercy. Mercy is the reason for his dwelling among us, for his suffering, his death, and ultimately his Resurrection. “He poured out His soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors”(Is. 53:12). Mary shared in that suffering, spiritually, and poured out Her love as only She could, at that sorrowful meeting on the Way to Calvary. St. Josemaria Escriva reflected, “Jesus had been waiting for this meeting with His Mother. How many childhood memories! Bethlehem, the flight into Egypt, the village of Nazareth. Now again he wants her by His side, on Calvary…Our Lord and His Mother will not abandon us and whenever it is necessary, they will make their presence felt to fill the hearts of their loved ones with security and peace.” As you reflect on your relationship with Jesus and Mary, what images come to mind? What life experiences represent your ‘Bethlehem’ or your ‘flight into Egypt’? In your journey, have you called out to Jesus and Mary through thoughtful reflection on the Mysteries of our Lord’s life, especially through the Scriptures and the Rosary? Have you willingly picked up your Cross and so received the consolation of your Mother’s love and encouragement. She is there, at the 4th Station, waiting for you.