For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday May 31, 2015

Pastor’s Corner. . . “When the Lord gave his disciples divine power to regenerate mankind, he said: ‘Go, teach all nations, and baptize them in the name of the Father and of
Holy Trinity 05-31-15 the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’ This was why the Spirit had descended on God’s Son-made-man, learning thereby to dwell in mankind and to find repose in God’s creatures, carrying out the Father’s will in them and making them new in Christ” [Ireneaus of Lyons, Against Heresies, Book 3].
The entire work to save mankind from sin and death is a work of the Three Divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity, and this can be seen in the Resurrection of Our Lord: the Eternal Son, conceived in womb by the Holy Spirit, died in the flesh to pay for human sin, and was awakened from among the dead by the Eternal Father [“the God of the living”, as Saint Paul calls Him in his Letter to the Romans, 4:17], as a sign of His paternal acceptance of the Son’s sacrifice. Once raised from the dead, the Eternal Son sends forth the Holy Spirit into the Church upon the persons of the Twelve Apostles and Our Lady. It is this Holy Spirit that we receive in the Sacrament of Confirmation.

The Father, who began the work of salvation with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, forming the Chosen People of Israel, brings that work to fruition through the obedience of His Son, the sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Church, and the remaining of the Son in the Church through the work of the Holy Spirit in the sacraments, sanctifying and leading all back to the Father.

Saint John wrote of the witnesses to the truth of Christ: “This is He who came in water and in blood, Jesus Christ; not in water only, but in the water and in the blood. And it is the spirit that bears witness that Christ is the truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word [who is the Son], and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three are one” [I John 5: 5-9].

What is John writing about? Water, is the water of Baptism; Blood is Christ’s shed on the Cross and given us in Holy Communion. The Trinity continues to work through the Church and the Sacraments, created by Christ.

Even though Jesus returned to the Father in His crucified and risen human body, He entered into a new kind of intimacy with mankind in the Holy Spirit, which he alluded to when He told His Apostles, “I will not leave your orphans” [John 15:18]. Jesus was speaking of His actual incarnate presence in the Church through the Church’s sacraments. It is the Holy Spirit who is Lord of the Sacraments, changing bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ in the miracle of Transubstantiation at Mass, and who empowers God’s creatures used in the sacraments, such as water in Baptism, by which Christ sanctifies us through His incarnate and risen manhood. To obtain that goal, all Persons of the Blessed Trinity work, that each of us might spend eternity with the Trinity in Heaven.
-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, June 1st.

Over 100 Benefits of Eucharistic Adoration: #18 – Do you want the Lord to give you many graces? Visit Him often. Do you want Him to give you few graces? Visit Him rarely. Do you want the devil to attack you? Visit Jesus rarely in the Blessed Sacrament. Do you want Him to flee from you? Visit Jesus often! (St. John Bosco)

Banns of Marriage:
I Banns: Betty Angeline Gabriel and Rigensly Piersaint
II Banns: Shelby Frances Mayor and Robert Thomas Morton, Jr.

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: $60,840.00. 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, Connecticut. 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.
IMPORTANT – There will be no parking at the arena!!! Please secure your seat on the bus and free entry ticket by JUNE 28TH. For additional information, please email Frank Carpanzano fcarpanzano@advancetravel.com.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday May 24, 2015 $13,425.00
Sunday May 25, 2014 $13,363.53

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

June 7th, Sunday Readings: Ex 24:3-8; Heb 9:11-15; Mk 14:12-16, 22-26.

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.

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.

Saint John’s School Reunion. A committee is organizing a reunion for all who attended St. Johns School over Columbus Day week-end, October 10-11th 2015. If you attended, or know anyone who did, please e-mail the following information to Erin.Cody@SunGard.com or call (203) 325-3128 and leave a message (please speak slowly and clearly). Full name (including maiden name), e-mail, phone, mailing address, year graduated or left SJS, and if you would like to join the committee. Alumni should go to Facebook and search “St. John’s School Alumni, Stamford” and Like the page. Please pass this information on to anyone you know who may have attended: siblings, parents, cousins, aunt and uncles, grandparents, friends.

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 30, 2015
4:00 Tom Timon req. Mary Jean Dal Molin
Sunday, May 31, 2015
7:30 Special Intentions Jack Walsh req. Legion of Mary
10:00 All Souls in Purgatory req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:00 +Aniello Preziosi 49th Anniversary req. your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren (Morris)
and John and Lindsey Ciglar
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, June 1, 2015
8:00 Special Intentions Marion Morris req. Labrosciano Family
12:10 +Jean Butero req. Barbara O’Brien
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
8:00 +Margaret M. Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Charles and Matthew Austin req. parents
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
8:00 +Thomas Pia req. Frank and Beth Carpanzano
12:10 +Kenny Ayles req. Glenda Treadway
Thursday, June 4, 2015
8:00 +Joseph Richichi req. Carpanzano Family
12:10 +Anthony Pellicci req. Mary and Kieran Malone
Friday, June 5, 2015
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Lucy Espinoza
12:10 +Mr. and Mrs. Octavius and Venilia Mehu and Family by grandchildren
Saturday, June 6, 2015
8:00 +Joseph and Margaret Curtis req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Hugh Zappe req. Dewey Family

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:
June 4, 1869: “The schools connected with St. John’s Roman Catholic church, passed down Main street on a picnic excursion to Lavin’s Rock. They numbered about 180, and presented a neat and orderly appearance, while marching in procession through the town.”

140 years ago, or so:
June 6, 1873: IN MEMORIAM! DECORATION DAY IN STAMFORD. “The beautiful and appropriate custom of strewing memorial flowers upon the graves of those who died for their country, was celebrated this year in Stamford with a pomp and circumstance hitherto unattempted in our locality. On no occasion since Decoration Day was instituted has it wholly lacked observance here, if only in the votive wreathes laid on the soldiers’ graves by the immediate friends of the deceased heroes, but it required the systematic efforts of an organized Association to plan and carry through successfully the elaborate and imposing programme of Friday. The Veteran Soldiers’ Association supplied this necessary organizing force, and having a patriotic public to appeal to-working for an object which touched the hearts and enlisted the sympathies of all classes-they were enabled to inaugurate and direct the most imposing popular demonstration which our village streets have witnessed for years. The celebration of Decoration Day in Stamford was worthy of the town and the occasion. Following is a list of soldiers buried in Stamford Cemeteries: CATHOLIC CEMETERY: Patrick Picker, Thomas Buckley, Morris Carroll.”

75 years ago, or so:
June 2, 1940: Father Hagearty and St. John’s Choir on World Fair Program. “Rev. Charles E. Hagearty, assistant at St. John’s Catholic Church, will be the guest speaker in the Temple of Religion at the New York World’s Fair, Sunday, at 3 p. m. The program will take the form of a Holy Hour, and will be dedicated to “Christ, the preacher on the Mount.” Father Hagearty, in three addresses, will discuss the third, fifth and seventh Beatitudes in the light of their relation to the modern world. Musical selections will be rendered by the Senior Choir of St. John’s Church, which was organized by Father Hagearty in 1935. The choir will be under the direction of Irene Kearney, with Howard Fagan at the organ. The program is being sponsored by the St. Paul Guild of New York City,”

Preparation of the Altar and the Offertory
– Fr. Terry Walsh

What thoughts occupy your mind as the liturgy moves from hearing the Word of God to receiving the Word of God in the Eucharist? What happens in that move toward the altar as the priest prepares to receive and offer the gifts? This holy ritual is imbued with profound spiritual significance that anticipates the nourishment of our souls. It is a time of thoughtful interior preparation for both the priest and laity. This transition begins as the Roman Missal is placed upon the altar and the gifts of bread and wine that will be confected into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ are received and placed beside the Chalice. We are naturally drawn into a deep contemplation of the Mystery of the Sacrifice we are about to enter at Calvary. Our eyes are drawn to the Chalice at the center of the altar. The image of a bride meeting her bridegroom comes to mind as the priest draws back the veil which covers the Chalice. After all, the Mass is known as the “wedding feast of the Lamb”– the marriage between Christ and the Church. Jesus, the Bridegroom, has come to unite himself to his bride, each one of the faithful, by offering himself to the Father in payment for the debt of our sins. The Holy Mass is truly a nuptial mystery. Indeed, from the creation of Adam and Eve to the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ, God reveals his infinite love for us. As the saying goes, “If you knew how much you were loved, you would cry tears of joy!” Throughout the preparation of the altar, we’re afforded the opportunity for thoughtful meditation that we might consider the intimate relationship we are called to share with God. Perhaps our thoughts drift back to that joyful manifestation of Christ’s divinity at the wedding feast at Cana which began his public ministry. Just as Jesus turned water into wine at Cana, He will soon change bread and wine into the Eucharist in this Holy Mass. Are we prepared to enter Calvary and witness his passion with sheer wonder and awe? Indeed, the “New Wine” provided by Christ is the grace poured out from his open side through the sacraments. And so, as we gaze upon the veiled Chalice upon the altar, our hearts lift up to God and we offer him our thanks and praise with sheer awe and wonder.

In a few moments, we’ll be surrounded by the whole Heavenly Court and join them in praising God: “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!” Indeed, these moments of preparation of the altar and the offertory are filled with great anticipation and are meant to be savored. What spiritual gift have we brought to the Mass to lay beside the Bread and Wine on the Altar? Have we prepared well? The prophet Isaiah sheds light on the gift that is most pleasing to our Lord. It is humble daily prayer, good deeds done with a generous spirit, and fruitful sacrifices made out of love for one another. These are the gifts that delight our Lord. They are precious because they imitate his generosity and love. Our Lord exhorts us: “Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool”(Isaiah 1:16-18). Have we taken the time to make a sincere examination of our conscience and be cleansed of sin through the sacrament of confession? Just how pure is the offering we bring to Him each Sunday?

Practically speaking, how can we expect to enter into the great sacrifice and drink the “new wine” if we have not lived according to the demands of our faith – if we have not truly made an effort to grow in love for God and neighbor. Are we praying well each day? Are we truly seeking to grow in holiness, faithfulness, and love? Isaiah is simply reminding us that we need to clear away the debris, the obstacles that hinder our spiritual growth. “If you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your desire with good things, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in”(Isaiah 58: 9b-12). Remember the difference between Cain and Abel. Abel offered to God “firstfruits”, his very best. This was pleasing to God. Cain, on the other hand, did not give to God his best. God gently explained to Cain why his gift was unacceptable and gave him the opportunity to make a better effort, encouraging him to try again, but Cain was filled with pride and jealousy. His heart grew bitter. If we, like Abel, offer our very best, that is, when we seek to grow in love for God and neighbor, our souls will overflow with the graces flowing from the Lamb. Consider the words of St. Ambrose: “Where a man’s heart is, there is his treasure also. God is not accustomed to refusing a good gift to those who ask for one. Since he is good, and especially to those who are faithful to him, let us hold fast to him with all our soul, our heart, our strength, and so enjoy his light and see his glory and possess the grace of supernatural joy”(St. Ambrose, LOH, vol. II, p.203).

As the priest raises the patent with the host, he gives thanks, asking God to bless all the bread that is upon the corporal to be distributed to the faithful. Then the priest pours wine into the Chalice and mixes water, calling to mind the blood and water that flowed out from his side as he hung upon the Cross and prays: “By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity.” After giving thanks for the gift of wine, the priest prays in a low voice, “With humble spirit and contrite heart may we be accepted by you, O Lord, and may our sacrifice in your sight this day be pleasing to you, Lord God.” Next, the priest incenses the gifts of bread and wine, then the Cross, and finally the altar. The priest is incensed by the deacon, and then the Deacon incenses the people, who are “Living Temples” by virtue of the gift of Baptism. After the offering of the gifts, the priest washes his hands and seeks interior purity before entering into the Eucharistic Prayer. Finally, the priest offers a prayer over the gifts in preparation for the great Eucharistic Prayer.