For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday May 24, 2015

Pastor’s Corner. . .

Nine years ago, a young priest arrived on the Rectory door step: Father Terry Walsh. He has provided nine years of gracious and generous service to our Basilica, as one of the most dedicated of the priests ever to have been assigned to Saint John’s since the parish began in 1847.

As with all diocesan priests who promise obedience to the local bishop and to his successors, we do whatever the bishop asks us to do. Bishop Caggiano has asked Father Walsh to move to another parish. The usual term in a parish for a parochial vicar is five years: we have been blessed with Father Walsh for nine, so no one can complain. As of June 30th, he will be the parochial vicar of Christ the King Parish in Trumbull.

Bishop Caggiano has also assigned a priest to our Basilica, but he will announce that appointment along with others during the next few weeks. All I can say is he is recently ordained, born and raised in Fairfield County, and a fine young man. His assignment at Saint John’s officially begins on June 30th, but I have given him two weeks vacation, since he is just returning from the seminary.

I am delighted that Bishop Caggiano allowed Father Walsh to remain with us, especially during these past ten months when Father Walsh served as the parish administrator while I have been in Rome. We will all miss him greatly. I am quite sure he will do very well in Trumbull, and bring the people of Trumbull closer to Our Lord, to the Blessed Mother, and to the Church. Please be kind enough to thank Father Walsh for his dedication and service to our parish.

We have been blessed with good priests in our parish, and we should be grateful. Please pray for more vocations to the priesthood: every young man has the moral obligation to ask whether God is calling him to share in the priesthood of Jesus for the salvation of the world. Every parent should ask your son to consider the priesthood. My long experience as the Vocation Director of the Diocese and as Rector of Saint John Fisher Seminary, was that most young men will bristle at the question, immediately responding “No!” That is because they are unsure, and, in these secular days, somewhat embarrassed that someone might have discovered he is religious! The priesthood is a wonderful life, since it is cooperating with Our Lord’s love and mercy. Consider it.

God bless you,
Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Jay Olnek, Catherine Olnek, Lena Cocchia, Alexandre Laurent, Louise Morello, John MacLean, John Murray, 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: Barbara Rizzi, 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.

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 25th.

Over 100 Benefits of Eucharistic Adoration: “ The love of God and neighbor, the greatest commandment, is expressed in, and the fruit of, Eucharistic worship.” – St. John Paul II

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: Shelby Frances Mayor and Robert Thomas Morton, Jr.
III Banns: Kelly Elizabeth Cingari and Samuel James Basi

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.

Annual Bishop’s Appeal: Has begun. Saint John’s goal, set by the diocese, is $110,000. The funds collected for the Bishop are used for the numerous charitable and educational works of the Diocese. We have collected to date: $54,795.00. Please be generous; we need everyone’s help.

Celebration Mass of SYNOD 2014 – Saturday, September 19, 2015 @ 11:00 AM…At the Webster Area at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport. Bishop Frank Caggiano cordially invites you to join 9,000 faithful throughout the diocese for Mass, Music and Thanksgiving. Doors will open at 9:00 AM with Praise and Worship music and the debut of the new Diocesan Youth Choir. The Basilica of St. John’s will have bus transportation to this event but we need to know how many are interested in order to accommodate everyone so please let us know by contacting Frank Carpanzano at fcarpanzano@advancetravel.com.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday May 17, 2015 $ 13,919.00
Sunday May 18, 2014 $ 12,019.70

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 31st, Sunday Readings: Dt 4:32-34, 39-40; Rom 8:14-17; Mt 28:16-20.

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 23, 2015
4:00 +Teresa Lombardo req. Diane Costello
Sunday, May 24, 2015
7:30 Ryan and Meredith Driscoll req. Andrew and Scholastica
10:00 Veterans of the Parish
12:00 For the persecuted Roman Catholic Church in China req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, May 25, 2015
8:00 +Carmen Torres req. Yvette Martinez
12:10 +Vincent Fernandes req. Sarah and Abdul Aslam
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
8:00 +Thomas A. Pia Sr. req. Jen and Burke Fisher
12:10 Special Intentions Robert Norton req. Kieran V. Malone
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
8:00 +Thomas A. Pia Sr. req. Erin and Chris Fisher
12:10 +Nicholas Valtz req. Glenda Treadway
Thursday, May 28, 2015
8:00 Gail Piria req. Grandchildren
12:10 +Ruth Craig req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Friday, May 29, 2015
8:00 +Joseph and Margaret Curtis req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Henry Santiago req. Pat and Mary Walsh
Saturday, May 30, 2015
8:00 +Kenneth Settle req. Soffio Family
12:10 +Mary Condolora req. John Kramer

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:
130 years ago, or so:
May 28, 1886: The Day of Dedication. “Sunday, May 30th, will always stand as an interesting and memorable date in the history of the Catholic church in Stamford. On that day, with characteristic ceremonies, and in the presence of a vast congregation, the new church is to be solemnly dedicated to Divine worship. Slowly but surely, without haste but without rest, the work has advanced for sixteen years until now the great edifice and its appropriate equipments are so nearly completed that their formal dedication is in order, and is appointed for next Sunday at 10 a.m. Solemn High Mass is celebrated at the hour mentioned, with the Rt. Rev. Bishop McMahon as celebrant; Rev. Father Hughes of Hartford, will be Arch Priest. Fathers Gleason and Walsh, Deacons of Honor; Father Fagan, Deacon of Mass; Father Coleman, Sub-Deacon; and Father Tierney will be Master of Ceremonies. The dedicatory sermon will be preached by the Rev. Dr. Horstman, a distinguished and eloquent Catholic priest, and pastor of a large church in Philadelphia. The music will include Lamboiotle’s Mass, with a full chorus, and competent soloists, also, in addition to the organ, and orchestra of seven pieces. There will be Solemn Vespers in the evening, on which occasion the principle address will be by the Rev. Dr. McGlynn, of New York, whose energy as a churchman and eloquence as a speaker have given him a national reputation.”

100 years ago, or so:
May 28, 1915: Notice from Bishop Nilan. “Rt. Rev. John J. Nilan, Bishop of the diocese of Hartford, has issued in the current edition of the Catholic Transcript the following: “A triduum in honor of the Blessed Eucharist will be held in all the churches of this diocese on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 4, 5 and 6. The Eucharistic Triduum is prescribed by the Sovereign Pontiff with the object of fostering greater devotion to our Divine Lord in the Holy Eucharist and promoting the practice of daily communion. The prescribed exercises for these days include a sermon on Holy Communion, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and the recitation of the enclosed prayer. A partial indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines is granted on each day of the triduum, plenary indulgence on any day of the triduum to those who go to confession and communion, and also a plenary indulgence to those who go in a body to communion at Mass on Sunday, June 6, and pray for the intentions of the Pope.”

The Creed
– Fr. Terry Walsh

This Creed is the spiritual seal, our heart’s meditation and an ever-present guardian; it is, unquestionably, the treasure of our soul.” – St. Ambrose

“Do you believe in miracles?!” That was the question put to the audience witnessing the great American Hockey victory over the Soviets at the Winter Olympics held at Lake Placid in 1980. When I was watched the movie Miracle, my mind drifted back to my college dormitory community room where the entire dorm population was crammed into one room watching the match on an 18 inch screen cheering on the scrappy Americans in their match against the Soviets. The same two teams had played an exhibition match in New York just two weeks earlier and the Soviet team had crushed the young American squad. Yet, one of the interesting things about the American team was that despite the terrible loss, they believed in their team and in each other. The undercurrent at Lake Placid pitted our free society of America against the cold governance of a Totalitarian regime. Tensions were high throughout the world. One had the sense that the same exuberant joy and euphoria that permeated that college community room likewise captured the hearts of every American when the now familiar chant: USA! first arose throughout the arena. Our country was suffering then, much like it is today. Yet, when these fearless Olympians courageously rose to the occasion and crushed the very team that seemed so invincible, they restored a pulse of dignity and hope to our entire nation, indeed, to the entire free world. There seemed to be a great healing emerging. We knew who we were and we were finally letting the whole world know that we were united. It was as if each voice chanting USA! was actually saying to every other voice in that chorus throughout our country “I am with you” and “We are all in this together” and “I will not let you down!”

This is precisely the interior attitude we are called to share in our hearts when, after having been nourished by the Liturgy of the Word, we are prepared to take on the world, that is, we are ready to follow Christ through our resolute commitment to love God, to love our neighbor, and to keep the Commandments. As we all stand together, shoulder to shoulder in the pews at Mass, and proclaim our catholic faith, we understand our true identity: we are children of God. As faithful Catholics, it is important for us to grow in our knowledge of the faith in order to live it according to the will of God. The Creed is the “backbone” so to speak. Understanding its significance and meaning is therefore necessary. Some liken the Creed to our ‘team cheer’. After all, over a billion Catholics recite the Creed on any given Sunday, calling to mind Jesus’ prayer to the Father: “The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me”(John 17: 22-23). While we proclaim the Creed with devotion, we are also called to grow in our knowledge of its meaning. The Catechism prominently devotes its first (and longest) section to the explanation of the twelve articles of the Creed, referencing Sacred Scripture as well as sharing wonderful insights from the Saints. The 4th Lateran Council declared: “We firmly believe and confess without reservation that there is only one true God, eternal, infinite and unchangeable, incomprehensible, almighty, and ineffable, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; three persons indeed, but one essence, substance or nature entirely simple”(Catechism, 202).

Once we have responded to the invitation to believe, the supernatural gifts of faith, hope, and charity are infused into our souls by God at the moment of our baptism and these gifts are nourished throughout our lives through our free cooperation with grace, which we receive most abundantly through the Sacraments. Growing in our knowledge of the faith enables us to live it more authentically and therefore the Creed becomes an act of love. Imagine the joy we would bring to our Lord if all the baptized enthusiastically proclaimed the Creed and abided by the vows that each has made at baptism. What great shouts to Heaven! The angels would weep glad tears. The Creed celebrates the great mysteries of our faith: The Holy Trinity, The Incarnation, and our Incorporation into the Divine Life. Many who have gone before us proclaiming the Creed suffered tremendous persecution and many were martyred. Faithful Catholics around the world today likewise face the same tribulations because they too seek to be ‘caught up into the love of the Holy Trinity’ that Jesus spoke about in the Upper Room. We’re called to pray for those throughout the world who witness to Christ when they pray the Creed under very difficult circumstances.

In the 4th century, heretical teachings questioning the divinity of Christ arose against the Church, which compelled the Church to broaden the Apostle’s Creed in order to clarify the truth of our faith. This broader statement of faith is known today as the Nicene Creed. We believe that the Church Magisterium, that is, the Pope and the College of Bishops, successors to St. Peter and the Apostles, is actually governed by the Holy Spirit. St. Cyril of Jerusalem taught: “This synthesis of faith was not made to accord with human opinions, but rather what was of the greatest importance was gathered from all the Scriptures, to present the one teaching of the faith in its entirety. And just as the mustard seed contains a great number of branches in a tiny grain, so too this summary of faith encompassed in a few words the whole knowledge of the true religion contained in the Old and New Testaments”(Catech. Illum. 5, 12: PG 33, 521 -524). As faithful Catholics, we abide by the Divine Revelation entrusted to the Church.

God has restored to us our true dignity and has opened the doors of paradise. It is with this knowledge that we rise to our feet and tell the whole world who we are. Our opponent, “the devil, the flesh, and the world” which had defeated the first Adam has been defeated by the New Adam, Jesus Christ, and we are on his team, members of His Mystical Body. “I believe in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son…” As we drink from the true fountain of life – the living waters of grace flowing from the side of Christ into our souls, sacramentally, we grow in the sevenfold gift of the Holy Spirit and we will quite naturally proclaim these words of faith from the deepest regions of our hearts. It is this glad cheer that consoles the Heart of our Redeemer and quite literally radiates love – for God and for neighbor. We profess the Creed just after hearing and deliberating the Word of God and in anticipation of receiving the Word made Flesh, the Eucharist, the greatest miracle in the world! Think of it! One could spend a lifetime reflecting on the significance of that one “moment”. Do you believe in miracles?

“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews