For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday April 19, 2015
Pastor’s Corner. . . Last Sunday, April 12th, I went to Saint Peter’s to assist at a papal Mass. I arrived in the Basilica at 7:45 a.m. with a few other American priests, vested in cassock and surplice, and sat in the chapel of the Most Blessed Sacrament for instructions how to distribute Holy Communion to the 10,000 people in attendance. The Mass was scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.

This was no ordinary Mass for the Second Sunday of Easter, although that was the title given it on the front cover of the printed Mass booklet. There was little extra, and you sensed it upon entering the vast basilica built over the tomb of Saint Peter. The music was different: there were three non-Catholic choirs singing in an unfamiliar language; the instruments were different; strange—to western ears—flutes and stringed instruments sending out eastern, almost Arabic tones and harmonies. And there were very many bishops from Eastern European countries and churches, along with their Catholic counterparts, all vested in unique robes: strange to “Western” eyes, but quite common throughout Eastern Europe, the Holy Land, Africa, and even Russia.

We all knew why we were there, and it was not simply to be with the Holy Father for Mass. We were there to pray with the Holy Father at Mass for a very special centenary. But, just in case someone in that vast Basilica was confused, the Holy Father made the reason crystal clear within the first five minutes. We were there to commemorate the 1915 slaughter of 1.5 million Christian Armenians by Moslem troops of the collapsing Ottoman Empire. Tens of thousands of men, women and children of all ages were shot; tens of thousands were crucified; tens of thousands were beaten and tortured to death; tens of thousands were starved; the remainder were systematically exhausted, beaten and abused to death during a forced march across Anatolia.

The Holy Father called the mass murder by two names: genocide, in the Ottoman
Empire’s attempt to destroy the Armenians in Anatolia: “the first genocide of the 20th century”, he said. The second term: martyrdom, for they were killed specifically because they were Christians, both Orthodox and Catholics. He continued, “It is necessary and indeed a duty to honor their memory for whenever memory fades it means that evil allows wounds to fester. Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it. He next addressed the massacre of Armenian Christians in the context of the contemporary persecution of Xtians in the Moslem world.

The Holy Father then spoke about why we should not forget: “It is necessary, and indeed a duty to recall the centenary of that tragic event, that immense and senseless slaughter whose cruelty your forebears had to endure. . .” This was one of three massive and unprecedented tragedies of the 20th century. The other two were perpetrated by Nazism and Stalinism. These were his references to the Holocaust by Hitler, and the killing of 7.5 million people in Stalin’s efforts to collectivize Soviet agriculture, especially in Ukraine.

Later that day, the Holy Father sent a message concerning the centenary of the Armenian “Great Evil”, as it is called. In that message he included a call to the world: “All who are heads of state and of international organizations are called to oppose such crimes with a firm sense of duty, without ceding to ambiguity or compromise.”

This is not a new theme for the Holy Father. On Good Friday, April 3rd, condemned the world’s “complicit silence” about recent persecutions and slaughters of Christians by Moslem forces in various countries, most recently in Africa. He stated that “Martyrdom knows no [Christian] denominations.” All killed in Christ’s name are martyrs.

At the end of his speech, the Holy Father reminded those 10,000 people in Saint Peter’s that it was insufficient simply to recall with sorrow this “Great Evil”. He reminded us all that while remembering, we must also forgive. For the essence of being a Christian is to emulate Our Lord, who came to forgive sinners–even those who tortured and murdered him on the Cross; He died even to redeem them! It is time to forgive all who were guilty and to move forward to rebuild a world more pleasing to God, in mercy.

Let us join the Holy Father by responding to his plea: let us pray for forgiveness, and begin by forgiving anyone who may have offended us or our families, no matter how grievously. For it is in mercy that justice is rooted; and with justice, peace. —-Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Louise Morello, John MacLean, John Murray, Barbara Rizzi, Karyl Suzanne Bearden, Nellie Taylor-Boltrek, Pete Boltrek, Kevin O’Byrne, Barbara Itri, 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: Thomas Mardi, Alfred Candito, Sr., Mabel Lewis, Linda DePreta, Theresa Deluca, Josephine Melfi, Mary Lou Kerr, Madeline Preziosi, Cardinal Edward M. Egan, Suzanne Demonchaux, Carolina Paniagua, Angelo Russo, Johanna Delavalle, Felicitas Cody, Roledonne J. Samedi, Harrie Humphreys, Angelina Corcione.

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, April 20th.

Over 100 Benefits of Eucharistic Adoration: #12 – It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in adoration before the Eucharist as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. (Fr. John Hardon)

Banns of Marriage:
II Banns: Michelle Ann Houston and Tony Orrin Temerario
III Banns: Katie Cecilia Arenas and Juan Esteban Pabon

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.

Religious Ed News: This Wednesday, April 22nd is Confirmation at 7p.m. celebrated by Bishop Frank Caggiano Next Saturday, April 25th is the First Communion Retreat (parents & students) at 9a.m. in the Nagle Hall.

2015 KENTUCKY DERBY: Save the date and join us! Saturday, May 2nd, 4-7 p.m., this year in the Rectory. Our annual fundraiser for the Basilica features a simulcast of the “Run for the Roses,” fabulous food and drink, and the chance to win some spectacular prizes. Space limited to 100 guests only; tickets: $125. All proceeds benefit the restoration of our historic 1850 Rectory. For more information and tickets, please visit www.stjohnsstamford.com or call the Rectory: 324-1553, ext. 21. See you on May 2nd!

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday April 12, 2015 $ 14,172.06
Sunday April 13, 2014 $ 17,522.63

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

April 26th, Sunday Readings: Acts 4:8-12; 1 Jn 3:1-2; Jn 10:11-18.

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.

Lauralton Hall: will be offering an entrance exam for 7th grade girls on Saturday, May 2nd at 8:00a.m. Pre-register for the exam online at www.lauraltonhall.org. Any questions, please call our Admissions Office at (203) 878-3333.

Discover Lauralton Hall: will host Discover Lauralton next Sunday, April 26th, from 1:00p.m.—3:30p.m. for 5th, 6th,& 7th grade girls. To register and for further information, please call our Admissions Office at (203) 878-3333.

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: Monday, April 27th 7:30PM Location: Cosi at 230 Tresser Blvd., Stamford (in front of the Stamford Mall).

St. Maria Goretti Society & St. Dominic Savio Society: Will meet after the 10AM Mass this Sunday, April 19th, in the rectory. For the spiritual formation of young ladies & men, 6th-8thgrades. Please contact Anne Marie religioused@stjohnsstamford.com or 203-324-1553, x21.

Trinity Catholic H.S. : Please support Trinity Catholic High School here in Stamford. Tickets for the 2015 Cash Raffle are being sold in the vestibule after all next Sunday masses on April 25th and 26th. Tickets are $50.00 each. First prize is $5,000 cash, second prize $2,500, and third is $1,000. Your support will allow Trinity Catholic to continue providing catholic values, moral development, and academic excellence to future generations for years to come. We appreciate your support.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, April 18 2015
4:00 +Esther Backman req. Leon Taricani
Sunday, April 19 2015
7:30 +Joseph Mangano req. Pavia Family
10:00 +Jean Delicata req. Deb DePaolo
12:00 +Sebastian Sakakini req. Frank Carpanzano
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, April 20, 2015
8:00 Souls in Purgatory
12:10 +Nicholas A. Ruzza req. Bill Christiaanse
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
8:00 +Katrin Nikaj req. Age Tushaj
12:10 Special Intentions Millie Terenzio Birthday req. Family
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
8:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
12:10 +John Mannes – 54th Anniversary req. Munro and DeVivo Families
Thursday, April 23, 2015
8:00 +Kola Pacushaj req. Age Tushaj
12:10 +Charles and Matthew Austin req. Parents
Friday, April 24, 2015
8:00 Special Intentions Adrian Family
12:10 +Daniel J. Donahue req. Bill Christiaanse
Saturday, April 25, 2015
8:00 +Ramon Santiago req. Amparo Herrera
12:10 Special Intentions 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. Maria Goretti Society & St. Dominic Savio Society: Will meet this Sunday after the 10AM Mass in the rectory. For the spiritual formation of young ladies and men, 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:
April 22, 1870: “The old house standing on the lot purchased by the Roman Catholic society is being taken down. This we suppose is the first step towards the great work of building the new church. The house above referred to was one of the oldest in the village. The relic hunter, Charley Alphonso, found behind the wainscoting several copper coins, some of which were nearly two hundred years old.”

110 years ago, or so:
April 21, 1906: “The forty hours’ devotion will commence in St. John’s R. C. Church, tomorrow, with a Solemn High Mass at 10:30. There will also be a service in the evening, and the devotion will be continued Monday and Tuesday.”

60 years ago, or so:
April 22, 1953: 3 Boy Scouts Gain Coveted Promotions. “The monthly Boy Scout Review Board for higher ranks promoted Explorer William F. Griesinger of Belltown P.T.A. sponsored Explorer Post E 1 to Eagle Scout Tuesday night at the Scout Office. Ken V. Piotrowski of Springdale School P.T.A. Troop 44 was advanced to Life Scout, and Fred Miller of St. John’s R. C. Church Troop 22 became Star Scout.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Frederick E. Miller, Jr. Esq. would go on to become a Scoutmaster of Troop 22. He also was a teacher at Stamford Catholic High School, now named Trinity Catholic High School.)

30 years ago, or so:
April 24, 1986: A director and a Stamford church. “It was in 1963, after the high-intensity lights and the cameras had been rolled out of the sanctuary of Stamford’s St. John Roman Catholic Church, when Otto Preminger offered Msgr. Nicholas P. Coleman an autographed copy of the script of “The Cardinal.” The Monsignor, the Rev. William Nagle said yesterday, is remembered as replying with a broad grin, “Thank you Otto, but I already have a copy of the script. I’d like $10,000 instead.” Mr. Preminger then took out his billfold, and wrote a check to the congregation. For a few months in 1963, Hollywood came to St. John Church on Atlantic Street for the filming. The movie, based on the life of Cardinal Frances Joseph Spellman, starred Tom Tryon and John Huston. St. John’s, built in 1875, was chosen because it reminded the director of the type of Massachusetts church that Cardinal Spellman attended as a boy, said Nagle. “The church hasn’t changed very much since that time,” Nagle said. “I still get calls at 2 in the morning, when people see the movie on the late show and recognize the interior of the church.”

The Language of the Mass
– Fr Terry Walsh

Shortly after we arrived in Rome for our first year of Seminary, our class took a weekend trip to visit the medieval city of Assisi. While we were visiting this holy place and learning about the great Saints that had lived there, Francis and Clare, we were also taking some time to make the cultural adjustments that living in a foreign county would quite naturally have upon us. After a full day of visiting the Churches of Assisi, we gathered at the local theatre to see a stage production of the life of St. Francis. I was looking forward to it, especially since I had just walked through the very places St. Francis and St. Clare had walked; indeed, Assisi was the very birthplace of the Franciscan Order, as well as the cloistered Poor Clare’s. When the curtain went up my excitement dwindled. I couldn’t believe it. They were speaking Italian! And why wouldn’t they – we were, after all, in Italy. The wind went right out of my sail and I had to sit through a long production where I could only watch and sort of guess the storyline. I didn’t speak the language and consequently, I couldn’t really understand the beauty of the conversion of this great Saint, nor could I fully appreciate the depth of his holy life – the sacrifices Saint Francis had endured out of love for God. Thinking back to my youth, I remember having a similar experience when I attended Mass. I generally knew the story, but I didn’t have a great depth of understanding, nor did I appreciate the reality of the mystery taking place all around me. My knowledge of the faith was at a very rudimentary level. The parts of the Mass were a bit confusing to me. I knew when to sit and when to stand, but I didn’t know the significance of those gestures, nor did I understand the Readings with any real depth, especially the Old Testament. The beauty and majesty of the Mystery was lost to me. I didn’t really ‘speak the language’ of the Mass. I was easily distracted and found my mind contemplating things that really had nothing to do with the Mass at all. Ah, I was in the midst of Heaven and I didn’t have a clue. When would I grow in my understanding of the faith, and in particular, when would I come to appreciate the Mystery of the Mass through the eyes of spiritual maturity? I didn’t really know at the time just how oblivious I really was. I presumed that it would just sort of happen automatically with the turn of the clock. And yet, I hadn’t really invested the time or effort that a deeper love necessarily demands. Now somewhere along the line, I began to realize that my relationship with God depended on my response to His invitation and so I began to seek Him with a more thoughtful disposition. I began to pray with a more ardent desire to know God. I came to understand that in a practical sense, the day of decision actually takes place each and every morning. Will I seek a deeper relationship with God today, or will I settle for mediocrity? Will I ask the more difficult questions about things I don’t really understand in order to gain a deeper wisdom, or will I merely check off the obligatory ‘I went to Mass’ box?

What is the Mass? Why is it called a Sacrifice? How is it different from any other form of worship? What does it mean to say that the whole heavenly court is present? What role does the priest play and what is the role of the laity? What effect does the Mass actually have on me? What are the different parts of the Mass and how are they connected? These and other questions needed to be answered if I was to be fully engaged in the Liturgy of the Mass and so receive the graces our Lord was offering me for my spiritual growth – for my salvation. Until I turned that corner in my spiritual development, I knew that I wouldn’t truly “speak the language” of the Mass, and as a consequence, I couldn’t fully appreciate the union of Heaven and Earth. Moreover, I didn’t understand the sacrificial nature of the Mass – that we were actually taking part in the one perfect sacrifice at Calvary. I didn’t really see the big picture. Others around me seemed to be deeply immersed in prayer; almost swept up in the mystery of what God was doing in those grace-filled moments. They spoke the language, no doubt through a faithful prayer life and an abiding love. And yet, there were others around me who seemed even more distracted than me. I suppose that will always be the case. Some have made great progress while others are simply holding on. Oftentimes, the difference seems to be a matter of the heart. In other words, once we have decided for God, then a simple gaze toward heaven, as St. Therese might say – a gaze from the heart – will effectively draw us into the mystery and fill us with the graces which flow from the side of Christ. Degrees in Theology are not a prerequisite. A simple decision to give one’s due attention to God is all that is necessary. Spiritual insights, deeper understanding, abiding faith – all these things and more will be poured into the soul of the one who desires them. It’s simply a matter of humble perseverance. The soul that longs for God will quite naturally pursue an ever deeper relationship with God; he will seek answers to the questions that percolate in the heart and mind and lead to a broader understanding of the love of God, which will in turn transform the soul into a truer image of Christ Himself.

The Mass is truly Heaven on earth. The better we understand the significance of each part of the Mass, the more deeply we can enter into it. Indeed, the Second Vatican Council reminds us of the importance of growing in our appreciation of the Mass in order to be fully engaged in our worship of God. The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy put it this way: “Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people’ (1 Peter 2: 2-4, 9) is their right and duty by reason of their baptism”(SC 14). It goes without saying that in order to enter into a “full, conscious, and active participation” in the Mass, one clearly must be engaged in a full, conscious, and active life of prayer throughout the week. After all, how will we come to recognize the Presence of God in the Mass on Sunday if we neglect Him the rest of the week? Our active participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass actually begins each morning at the foot of the Cross when we make our daily offering, “Thy will be done.”
“Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have Mercy on us!”