For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday May 17, 2015

Pastor’s Corner. . . The visit of Pope Francis to the Pontifical North American College on Saturday, May 3rd was deemed a success by the students and faculty. It was the first time since 1979 that a pope had offered Mass at the College.

The Holy Father arrived at 11:00 A.M. and was welcomed by the rector and faculty at the formal entrance to the College. The North American College was founded in 1859. But the present building is much recent in construction. When the present building was completed in 1953, it was the largest modern building to rise in Rome since the end of World War II. Its purpose was clear: the train American young men to be priests who would return to the United States to preach the Gospel. There was a distinct aspect to the seminary preparation offered in Rome, compared to that offered in the United States: the unique purpose of the College was to forge a deeper link between the American seminarians and the Successor to Saint Peter, the pope. Those young priests, in turn, once returned home, would inspire a deep and abiding love for the Holy Father among American Catholics. The seminary is built atop the Janiculum Hill, so situated as to give all students a clear and perfect view of the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica, which stands very close by.

On the morning of May 3rd, the Holy Father, the direct Successor of Saint Peter, passed under the balcony of the ceremonial entrance to the College, above which is inscribed, in Latin:

The young men who have come here from the distant shores of America,
looking upon the Vatican Hill, strengthen their faith and their love
For the Roman Pontiff.

All one need do from this vantage point is to turn around, and there is the dome of Saint Peter’s—so very close.

If you remember, I’d asked every parishioner of Saint John’s to do me a favor: to pray that the Holy Father would open the cause of canonization of Cardinal Ignatius Kung, who suffered for decades at the hands of the communist Chinese government for his Catholic faith and dedication to the pope. Monsignor William Millea, a Bridgeport priest working in the Vatican once told me that if you want this pope to read something, put it in Spanish. Makes sense, since Spanish is his first language. To help that along, I asked good parishioners, Berto and Margarita Ucero, now living in Mexico City, to translate a prayer for the cause of Cardinal Kung into Spanish; Greg Duffey, our expert printer at Minuteman Press in Norwalk, printed the Spanish translation up, and Cindy Hulbert in the parish office FedExed them to me. By the Wednesday before the pope’s visit, I had distributed them to various seminarians, including Bridgeport’s own Shane Nunes from Ridgefield, to Monsignor Thomas Powers, a Bridgeport priest working in the Vatican, and even to Cardinal Donald Wuerhl, archbishop of Washington, D.C. I thought one of these guys would succeed in giving it to the pope!

After the Mass, the Vatican secret service, commonly known as the Swiss Guards, carefully kept everyone back from the pope, for security sake. Of all the men I conscripted to help with this task, only one succeeded: Monsignor Powers, who could not give it to the pope personally, but did give it to the pope’s priest secretary, who is a friend of Monsignor Powers.

So, your prayers worked—at least in that we got one of our Cardinal Kung holy cards into his hands. Please continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will open the pope’s heart to open the cause of canonization for Cardinal Kung.

God bless you all. I’ll be back in the parish by the end of June, and I look forward to seeing you on the weekend of July 4th. – Monsignor DiGiovanni

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.

First Collection: Catholic Communication Campaign Collection, Please drop your special envelope into the First basket that will be passed at the Offertory.

Second Collection: Nepal Special Collection, Please join with the Catholic community across the United States in responding to our suffering brothers and sisters through a special collection for the work of Catholic Relief Services in Nepal. Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano

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 18th.

Over 100 Benefits of Eucharistic Adoration: #16 – I strongly recommend that each of us make a resolution, no matter how much the decision may cost us, to make a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament…once a week. (Fr. John Hardon)

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:
II Banns: Kelly Elizabeth Cingari and Samuel James Basi
III Banns: Elizabeth Bello and Christopher Spoust

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 10, 2015 $ 10,413.00
Sunday May 11, 2014 $ 10,973.34

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 24th, Sunday Readings: Acts 2:1-11; 1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13 or Gal 5:16-25; Jn 20:19-23 or Jn 15:26-27; 16:12-15.

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 16, 2015
4:00 Special Intentions Agnes Kung req. Family
Sunday, May 17, 2015
7:30 Forgotten Souls in Purgatory req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
10:00 +Benedicta Peralta req. Linda Banaga
12:00 +Joseph and Effie Ramos req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, May 18, 2015
8:00 +Sandra Bolanowski req. Priests and Staff of the Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist
12:10 +Rev. Frank Sanfelippo – 2nd Anniversary req. Louise Munro
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
8:00 All Souls in Purgatory req. Legion of Mary
12:10 +George Terenzio req. Family
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
8:00 Special Intentions Janet Lancaster
12:10 +Charles and Matthew Austin req. Parents
Thursday, May 21, 2015
8:00 +Mr. and Mrs. Frank Dulko req. Daughter and Family
12:10 +Francantonio Annetta req. Pugliese Family
Friday, May 22, 2015
8:00 +Angela Tortora req. Frank and Beth Carpanzano
12:10 Special Intentions Father Terrence Walsh
Saturday, May 23, 2015
8:00 +Anthony Pellicci req. Lori and Jim Rubino
12:10 +Anthony Pellicci req. Frank and Beth Carpanzano

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:
145 years ago, or so:
May 19, 1871: CONSECRATION OF THE NEW ROMAN CATHOLIC CEMETERY. “Yesterday will long be a memorable day among the Roman Catholic fraternity of Stamford. The new cemetery was solemnly consecrated by the Rt. Rev. Bishop McFarland. The Bishop was attended by the local Catholic clergy, and many other clergymen from various parts of the diocese. An immense concourse of people were present to witness the ceremonies which were of the most imposing character. The remains of the late Rev. Fathers O’Neil and Reynolds were exhumed from their resting place in the churchyard and conveyed to the new cemetery where they were re-interred with ceremonies befitting the occasion.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Fathers Reynolds and O’Neil were, respectively, St. John’s third and fourth pastors.)

135 years ago, or so:
May 21, 1880: THE ADVOCATE DIRECTORY. “ROMAN CATHOLIC– ST. JOHN’S—Rev. Father Rogers, pastor; Rev. H. T. Walsh, assistant. Sunday services at 7:30, 9 and 10:30 A.M. and 3 P.M. Sunday school at 2 P.M. P. Reilly and Thomas Ross, superintendents. Weekday service every morning at 7 o’clock. CONVENT—Convent of our Lady of Lourdes. Superior: sister Mary Arsenine. Ten sisters. Connected with St. John’s R. C. Church. ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS.—First Division of Stamford. Meets first Tuesday and second Thursday in each month in Hubbard’s Block. Daniel Shea, President. ST. PATRICK’S T.A.B. SOCIETY– Meets first and third Sunday in each month in school house on Meadow street. Michael Coughlin, President. One hundred members. ST. JOHN’S BENEVOLENT SOCIETY-Meets first Thursday in each month. Robert J. Walsh, President. One hundred members.”

65 years ago, or so:
May 27, 1949: Stamford To Mark Memorial Day; Rites At Cemetery. “Municipal offices, stores and schools will be closed on Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day. The Ferguson Library and the office of the Family & Children’s Center will also be closed for the day. Services at St. John’s Cemetery, Springdale, will be held Monday morning at 11, under the direction of St. John’s Post, No. 1006, Catholic War Veterans. The Rev. Patrick Donnelly will deliver the sermon, and a salute will be fired by the American Legion firing squad. Dr. William Troy of St. John’s Post will read the Gettysburg Address, and Reginald Connolly, of St. Mary’s Post, CWV, will deliver General Logan’s Order. Names of all veterans who died during the year will be read by John White. The ceremonies will close with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.”

Liturgy of the Word II
– Fr. Terry Walsh
“You have been born anew, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for ‘All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord abides forever.’ That word is the good news which was preached to you.”
– (1 Peter 1:23-25).

First, it is helpful to understand that the Liturgy of the Church is comprised of five “Liturgical Seasons” woven together throughout the course of a year. In effect, these “Liturgical Seasons” teach us about the life of Jesus beginning with the hopeful expectation of His Incarnation, followed by His ministry, His suffering, death, and His Resurrection. Each Liturgical Year begins on the 1st Sunday of Advent – the season when we look to the coming Messiah who will be born into the world on Christmas day. The Readings chosen by the Church for the Masses offered during Advent quite naturally reflect upon the theme of hope and salvation. For instance, the Prophet Isaiah teaches us about the One who will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” seven hundred years before it actually takes place. He goes on to tell us how it will happen so that when it happens, all may give praise to God: “the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.” In like manner, the Liturgy of the Word during the Christmas Season reveals that He will be called Jesus and that He will be “a great Light to the Nations.” Hearing these truths in the Liturgy of the Word in holy Mass are meant to awaken our desire for God while at the same time serve to nourish us with confidence and fill our hearts with consolations as we walk along the sometimes difficult path on the road to salvation. “In order to reveal himself to men, in the condescension of his goodness God speaks to them in human words: ‘Indeed the words of God, expressed in the words of men, are in every way like human language, just as the Word of the eternal Father, when he took on himself the flesh of human weakness, became like men’”(Catechism, 101). Ordinary Time, the 3rd Liturgical season, is comprised of 34 weeks and ends with the great Solemnity of Christ the King. The flow of ‘Ordinary Time’ is interrupted by the Liturgical Seasons of Lent and Easter. The Penitential character of the Readings chosen from Scripture during the Season of Lent summons us to a greater love by reflecting upon the suffering and death of the Innocent Victim, Jesus Christ and so invite us to consider our own willingness to “Take up our Cross” in our daily life and “Follow Him.” The Readings lead us along the path of repentance and renewal and are designed to remind us about the importance of prayer and fidelity to our Baptismal promises.

While the Scriptures span over the course of thousands of years, the Liturgy of the Word reveals their unity. Indeed, as the Church reminds us, the Old and the New Testaments are ‘one seamless garment’ whereby ‘the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament and the New is actually hidden in the Old’ – a truth demonstrated at each Mass. For example, the events surrounding the Israelites and their suffering in Egypt which lead to the great Exodus and their eventual arrival in the Promised Land actually prefigures the journey of the Church and the suffering that her members, all the baptized, endure in our ‘Land of Exile’ before we may arrive home in the true Promised Land, Heaven. The Blood taken from the sacrificial Lamb and placed over the doorposts of the Israelites so that the angel of death would “Passover” their homes actually prefigures the Blood of Christ, the true Lamb of God, who washes each one of us in His Blood and thereby saves all who faithfully follow Him. We hear both stories in the Mass and so begin to see that God’s plan for our salvation stretches all the way back to the moment of Creation. The Church has designed the Liturgy of the Word in Mass to help us draw the connections between the Old and New Testaments in order to broaden our understanding of the infinite love of God and his patient and merciful kindness and fidelity.

Did you know that every Catholic Church throughout the entire world hears exactly the same readings wherever they attend Mass each day? We are after all one Body, one Church, and so our Lord is teaching everyone throughout the entire world the very same lessons – whether they be heard in English, Spanish, Latin, Chinese, or any other approved Liturgical Language. We are One Church, we participate in “one” liturgy; that is, the Church has selected specific Readings for each day of the year that are read in every Catholic Church throughout the entire world, in the local language. There are over a billion Catholics in the world today hearing the very same Readings at Mass each and every day.

The 1st Reading at Mass is taken from the Old Testament with the exception of the Easter Season, when we fittingly hear from the New Testament Book, “Acts of the Apostles.” The 2nd Reading is selected from the New Testament. The Gospel is the pinnacle of the Liturgy of the Word as the Gospels give us the very words of Christ Himself. We stand for the Gospel out of great reverence and often Incense the Gospel before proclaiming it. Before approaching the Gospel, the priest silently prays: “Cleanse my heart and my lips, almighty God, that I may worthily proclaim your holy Gospel.” And, once the priest has uttered the words, “A Reading the Gospel of John…” he makes the sign of the Cross on the page, followed by the sign of the Cross on his forehead, lips and heart and prays, “May the Lord be in my mind, on my lips, and in my heart.” After proclaiming the Gospel, the priest utters still another silent prayer as he kisses the Gospel: “Through the words of the Gospel may our sins be wiped away.” All the Readings in the Liturgy of the Word connect to teach a particular lesson, which is given by the priest in the Homily. Homilies are required on Sundays and Solemnities and are given by the Ordained Minister. The Homily speaks about the Mystery of Salvation as revealed by the Word of God and is meant to instruct the faithful and draw the listeners into a deeper appreciation for the love of God. We conclude the Liturgy of the Word with the Prayers of the Faithful, asking God to grant our prayers through His Son, before entering into the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The “Mystical Body of Christ” is indeed unified by the Word of God. How awesome is that! The Readings are not arbitrarily chosen according to the personal preference of the Minister; rather, they are carefully selected and arranged by the Magisterium of the Church so that over the course of that time we may hear from virtually every Book of Sacred Scripture, thus broadening our understanding and knowledge of God. It is a three Year Cycle: Thus, Year A is the year when the 1st Gospel is predominant, that is, the Gospel of Matthew. Year B is the year of St. Mark the Evangelist and finally, Year C proclaims the Gospel of Luke. The Forth Gospel, that is, the Gospel of St. John, has special prominence and is proclaimed each and every year.

The Liturgy of the Word opens the heart and prepares us to receive “the Word made Flesh” – Holy Eucharist!