For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday May 10, 2015

Pastor’s Corner. . . This weekend is Mothers’ Day, and the parish honors our mother, Our Lady, by crowning her at the 10:00 a.m. Mass. Devotion to Our Lady is not worship of her—
Assumption of Blessed Motherwe worship God alone! But we give honor to the saints for their perfection mirrors that of God, and pray that they will speak to God on our behalf, since we are all members of the Body of Christ, the Catholic Church, founded by Our Lord, who is the Head of the His Church.

We honor Mary, in particular, because of her moral excellence, and because of the superior way she is joined and dedicated to God. She is the most perfect disciple of Her Son; the first, after Jesus, to share in His bodily resurrection: she wears the Crown of victory, for those who remain faithful, about which St. Paul wrote in I Corinthians 9:24, and about which St. John wrote in the Apocalypse 2:10: “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Apocalypse 12 is about Mary’s cooperation with God in bearing the Savior, and in her fidelity to God in His battle with Satan: “And a great portent appeared in the heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” Our devotion to Mary “proceeds from true faith, by which we are led to recognize the excellence of the Mother of God, and by which we are moved to filial love toward our mother and to imitation of her virtues.” [Vat II, Lumen Gentium, 67] Mary has a special role in God’s plan: by grace she is Mother of the God-made-man, and so she is exalted above angels and men. By her close association in the saving events of Christ’s life, she remains in the presence of the glorified Christ, interceding for us, as she continues participating in Christ’s saving work. Our hope is to come to her reward of sharing in Christ’s bodily resurrection: this is our salvation; the reason why God became a man, suffered, died and rose from the grave. Mary is what we hope to be: in love with God forever, in the flesh.

Devotion to Our Lady began immediately in the life of the primitive Church, as is reflected in the Gospels, early writings, and early paintings in the Catacombs in Rome. All the earliest Baptismal Creeds mention Mary. By the second century, the Church came to describe her role as that of the New Eve, contributing the best of humanity to God’s re-creation of everything in Christ, who is the New Adam. By the fifth century, the Council of Ephesus (431) granted the title of God–bearer [Theotokos] to Mary, clearly and accurately describing her role in God’s work for our salvation. While still a creature and a human being like ourselves, unequal to the perfection of Christ the Redeemer-King, Mary continues to work for the salvation of all: as mother of the King of the universe, the closest human being to Christ, Mary still influences the heart of Her Son on our behalf, while urging us to imitate her virtue and devotion to Christ. She is the mother to whom we go when in trouble or in need.

We crown Our Lady today, as a sign of our filial devotion to Her, that She may lead us to Her Divine Son. Let the mothers of the parish imitate Mary’s faith and virtues, and let their children remain truly devoted to their mothers, not just today, but every day of their lives.

Please pray for the sick: Jay Olnek, Catherine Olnek, Lena Cocchia, Barbara Rizzi, Alexandre Laurent, 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, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Joseph H. Dervil, Elaine Marie Breunich, Patrick Timon, Thomas Mardi, Alfred Candito, Sr., Mable 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.

***Ascension Thursday: May 14h is a Holy Day of Obligation.
Masses are at 5:15p.m. on Wednesday, May 13th and on Thursday, May 14th at 8:00a.m., 12:10p.m.; 5:15p.m.

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, May 11th.

Over 100 Benefits of Eucharistic Adoration: #15 – By being faithful to a Holy Hour of Adoration you can teach by example. “The young should be taught the value of Eucharistic Adoration.” (Saint John Paul II)

St. Joseph Votive Light Memorial: Barbara Wolf req. Angela Giannitti

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: In Thanksgiving req. Angela Giannitti

A Day of Prayer for China: Sunday, May 24th a world-wide effort to pray for the persecuted Church in China. The Diocesan Chancellor, Father Robert Kinnally, will celebrate the 12Noon Mass on May 24th, which will be offered for the Church in China, and for the opening of the Cause of Canonization of Cardinal Kung. Please join us.

Banns of Marriage:
I Banns: Kelly Elizabeth Cingari and Samuel James Basi
II Banns: Elizabeth Bello and Christopher Spoust
III Banns: Juliana Oliveira Moura and Joseph Gaetano Barresi

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 May 3, 2015 $ 11,965.00
Sunday May 4, 2014 $ 15,640.78

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

May 17th, Sunday Readings: Acts 1:15-17, 20a, 20c-26; 1 Jn 4:11-16; Jn 17:11b-19.

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.

Lost & Found . . . Please check the Lost & Found in the Rectory for any items you may have left in the church. Feel free to call Cindy at the rectory, M-F, 9AM – 4:30PM, 203-324-1553 x21.

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.

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: Monday, June 22nd 7:30PM Location: Cosi at 230 Tresser Blvd., Stamford (in front of the Stamford Mall).

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, May 9, 2015
4:00 +Monsignor William Nagle req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
Sunday, May 10, 2015
7:30 +Antonio Lepore req. Rose Lepore
10:00 +Lina DeVivo – 56th Anniversary req. DeVivo and Munro Families
12:00 +Belen deLeon req. Noela
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, May 11, 2015
8:00 +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Charles and Matthew Austin req. parents
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
8:00 +Virginia and Eileen Carr – Birthday Remembrance req. Marie Carr
12:10 +Joan Schneider req. Frances and Tim Ginski
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
8:00 +Florencia Sepulbeda req. Lucy Espinoza
12:10 +Joseph and Gabrielle Rafter req. Ann Lepore
5:15 +Paddy Brouder req. Cornelia Brouder
Thursday, May 14, 2015
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Lucy Espinoza
12:10 Michelle Sagdati Birthday Remembrance req. Mom, Billy, Ricky, Brooke Morris & John and Lindsey Ciglar
5:15 Pablo Labrosciano req. wife and children
Friday, May 15, 2015
8:00 +Clercy Millien req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Giuseppe Annetta req. Pugliese Family
Saturday, May 16, 2015
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10 +Carlos Rino req. Regina C. Miguel Sherwood

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: For the spiritual formation of young ladies and men, 6th-8thgrades. For more info. Please contact Anne Marie, religioused@stjohnsstamford.com or 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: Starts again in September, after the 10:00 a.m. Family Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:

100 years ago, or so:
May 28, 1908: “Today is Ascension Day and is observed as a holy day of great devotion by Roman Catholics. Services were held at 5, 7 and 9, this morning in St. John’s R. C. Church, and all were attended by large congregations. There will also be a service at 7:30 this evening.”

80 years ago, or so:
May 15, 1933: MOTHERS HONORED IN THE CHURCHES. “Sermons glorifying the old-fashioned mother and the modern one, and stressing the part played in history by mothers, were developed along different angles by the ministers of Stamford at the church services yesterday, in observance of Mother’s Day. Special music suitable to the occasion was offered, and in many cases the churches were elaborately decorated with flowers. The general observance of the day included much visiting by mothers to the homes of their children or by children to their mothers, some children even making long trips in order to be with their mothers on the day. Flowers and simple gifts were showered on the mothers. The Rev. Charles A. Corcoran preached at all the Masses at St. John’s R. C. Church on Mother’s Day.”

75 years ago, or so:
May 17, 1940: ANNUAL MAY CROWNING CEREMONY TO BE HELD BY SODALITY ON MAY 26. “The annual May crowning ceremony of the Children of Mary Sodality of St. John’s Catholic Church will take place on Sunday afternoon, May 26, at 3. Arrangements are being made. Members of the Senior and Junior sodalities who expect to be in the procession will attend the rehearsal on Monday evening at 7:30 in St. John’s Church. Miss Cecile Labelle, president of the Senior Division, will perform the crowning ceremony. She will be assisted by the other officers, Catherine Carr and Margaret Downing. Rev. Norman J. St. Martin of the Sacred Heart Church of Stamford will speak at the ceremony.”

50 years ago, or so:
May 13, 1965: STAMFORD MAN TO BE ORDAINED TO PRIESTHOOD. “Saturday, May 22, Stephen J. DeLuca of 46 Minivale Rd., Springdale, will be ordained a priest at St. Augustine Cathedral , Bridgeport, at 10 a.m. by Bishop Walter W. Curtis, Bishop of Bridgeport. Sunday, May 23, he will celebrate his first High Mass. Stephen attended St. John’s School in Stamford and St. Basil’s Prep. He studied for the priesthood at St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, and Christ the King Seminary at St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, N.Y.”

Liturgy of the Word
– Fr. Terry Walsh

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
– Jesus

What we mean by “The Word” and how well “Receptive” are we to the effect God seeks to work in us through the Word. In the rather small, picturesque Medieval town of Loreto on the Adriatic Coast of Italy rests the “Holy House” of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It’s said that some four million pilgrims visit the Holy House each year. In the thirteenth century the 13’ by 7’ Chamber was moved from Nazareth and finally came to rest in Loreto in order to protect it from invading Saracens. Today, it occupies the center space within a great Basilica built around it to honor the humble abode where Mary lived. St. Francis of Assisi is said to have remarked that it was “the holiest place on earth” because it was within the walls of this house that the Word became Flesh. Indeed, before he entered it, he encircled the outer walls on his knees, in prayer. It was here that the Archangel Gabriel visited Mary: “Hail, full of Grace! The Lord is with you!”(Luke 1:28). Today, and everyday around the world, the “Word is made Flesh” upon the altar in the Eucharist: He dwells IN us! – in our very souls. We prepare for that union by first hearing the Word of God in the readings from Sacred Scripture. St. Paul cries: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God”(Colossians 3:16). Readings from Sacred Scripture nourish our souls and prepare us to receive the “Word made Flesh” in Holy Communion. God enters the world He created in order to enable us to enter into Heaven: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not made anything that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it”(John 1:1-5). Through the interior dialogue of prayer, the language of faith, we meditate upon the Light of Truth, the holy Word of God.

After the Penitential Rite at the beginning of Holy Mass and the Gloria, we’re ready to hear the Word. Just as God “speaks” creation into being through His Word on the very first page of the Scriptures, so too does He speak to our hearts in the hope of recreating us into His Likeness – to become holy. It’s up to us. Just how receptive are we? Consider the parable of the Sower and the Seed. Jesus explains that some are eager to receive the Word into their hearts and consequently produce abundant fruits; that is, the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, kindness, and so on. Our part in producing these spiritual fruits is actually one of cooperation with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we need the virtue of humility when we come to meet our Lord in the Mass. The proud heart fails to truly hear the Word of God and so fails to understand the need for grace. The proud heart fails to enter the dialogue with God and so fails to receive the love of God; he chooses to remain in the darkness. Pride utterly blinds us to the Truth. “A sacramental celebration is a meeting of God’s children with their Father, in Christ and the Holy Spirit; this meeting takes the form of a dialogue, through actions and words. Admittedly, the symbolic actions are already a language, but the Word of God and the response of faith have to accompany and give life to them, so that the seed of the Kingdom can bear fruit in good soil. The liturgical actions signify what the Word of God expresses: both his free initiative and his people’s response of faith”(CCC, 1153). When we hear the Word of God in Mass it is truly Jesus speaking to us and he is causing an effect in our souls, that is, if we are listening. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord….He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit….I the Lord search the mind and try the heart, to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings”(Jeremiah, 17: 7, 8, 10). We actively seek our Lord by pondering the Scriptures and, through our search, we naturally grow in faith and knowledge of the “Word made Flesh.” Take a peek at the beautiful stained glass window beside the altar of Mary. It is the scene of the Annunciation in the “Holy House” of Nazareth. Consider Her faith. Notice the humble pose as our Lady kneels in prayer. She’s pondering the Word of God upon the pages of the Scriptures. The Archangel Gabriel hovers near to proclaim God’s favor and the Holy Spirit conceives the Word in her. Contemplating her joy upon receiving the Word, St. Ambrose teaches us that we are all called to share in that joy – if we but receive the Word humbly and with love. He writes, “A soul that believes both conceives and brings forth the Word of God and acknowledges his works. Let Mary’s soul be in each of you to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let her spirit be in each to rejoice in the Lord. Christ has only one Mother in the flesh, but we all bring forth Christ in faith. Every soul receives the Word of God if only it keeps chaste, remaining pure and free from sin, its modesty undefiled. The soul that succeeds in this proclaims the greatness of the Lord, just as Mary’s soul magnified the Lord and her spirit rejoiced in God her Savior”(Liturgy of the Hours, volume I, p.353). When we enter the “Holy House” – the Mass – we, like Mary, meet God. Will we allow the Word to enter us? During this hopeful Season of Advent, may we grow in our appreciation of the Mystery of the Holy Mass and always seek to grow in our love for our Lord; may we listen attentively to the Word and allow Hi to prepare our hearts and souls and so worthily receive the fruits of His Passion – the Eucharist.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR FIRST COMMUNICANTS WHO RECEIVED THE EUCHARIST FOR THE FIRST TIME YESTERDAY, MAY 9th AND HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL MOMS!!!