For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday June 14, 2015

Pastor’s Corner. . . Have you ever read the sixth chapter of Saint John’s Gospel? The chapter opens with Our Lord feeding the five thousand people by multiplying five loaves of bread and two fish. Following the miracle, Our Lord took his apostles and fled to the mountains, knowing the people would otherwise have forced him to be king of Israel. No one understood His real purpose and work: to save humankind from Adam’s sin and from Death, not to liberate a conquered Israel and become its king. The Apostles are next seen in a boat on Lake Tiberias, when Jesus walks on the water, and they are frightened, thinking him a ghost. “It is I, do not be afraid,” Jesus told them. So far, we are told that Jesus is not interested in political power, and that He is God, having power over creation—even the wind and waves, which He had created.

Finally, by verse 22, Our Lord begins his discourse on the Eucharist. The crowd he’d fed the previous day found him, and listened as he taught. But Our Lord knew they were there only because they wanted more free food! Jesus began by teaching them not to work for food that will perish, but for that which will give eternal life. When they asked where they might find such food, he responded, “I am the bread of life”, and “I am the living bread from heaven. If anyone eat of this bread he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” Eleven times in one chapter, Our Lord repeated this, affirming over and over again, “My flesh is real food and my blood real drink.” What did he mean? Was He speaking symbolically? No. Maybe he meant what he said. This is certainly possible. But, for those who had tracked Jesus down looking for more food, their response to His words was to reject what he said and abandon Him, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” If Our Lord did not mean what He said, don’t you think he would have run after those people to clarify that He was only speaking symbolically? But He didn’t run after them. He let them go. In fact, He turned on his apostles to ask them “Do you also wish to go away?” seeing that they too found his teaching about the Eucharist hard to believe. Jesus meant what He said: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life everlasting and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, abides in me and I in him.” He meant precisely what he said, and His Catholic Church understood that immediately.

In the catacombs of Rome, and in much literature of the first three centuries, the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is clearly presented: in the sign of bread and fish. The early Church developed a simple undercover sign for Jesus: the fish. Since each letter of the word FISH in Greek [IXTHUS] is the first letter of five words that form a statement of faith about Jesus: “Jesus Christ, Son [of] God, Savior.” You might see this acronym today on bumper stickers—a fish with the name of Jesus. When it was presented alongside loaves of bread in frescoes in the Roman catacomb, it represented the Eucharist: the outward appearance is bread, but the inner reality is THE FISH—Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior. At Mass, through the invocation of the Holy Spirit, the bread and wine are transformed into the actual resurrected Body and Blood of Christ. No mere symbol: a deeper reality. God who created all from nothing, now uses his creation—simple bread and wine—transforming them that God becomes our food, so we become transformed to be more God-like in our lives. Without God’s help and grace in the sacraments, we can never be saved. Faith is only the beginning, opening us up to Christ. It is God alone who transforms and saves, giving Himself in the sacraments.
– Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Ben Castle, Jay Olnek, Catherine Olnek, Lena Cocchia, Alexandre Laurent, Louise Morello, John MacLean, John Murray, Karyl Suzanne Bearden, Nellie Taylor-Boltrek, Kevin O’Byrne, Barbara Itri, Victoria Campos, 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, John Palumbo, Silvana Smith.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Jeanne Loughlin, Barbara Wolf, Dominick Franco Sr., 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.

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 15th.

Over 100 Benefits of Eucharistic Adoration: #20 – A Holy Hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament is worth more than a thousand years of human glory. (Saint Padre Pio)

Banns of Marriage:
III Banns: Betty Angeline Gabriel and Rigensly Piersaint

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.

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.

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: $70,520.00. Please be generous; we need everyone’s help.

Famous British Catholic Boys Choir to sing at St John the Evangelist: The Schola Cantorum, the renowned boys choir of The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School in London, England, is to sing a concert at St John the Evangelist at 7 pm on Thursday 2 July.  Cardinal Vaughan is one of the most famous Catholic Schools in the UK and the school’s choir is highly regarded for its fine singing, often heard at London’s Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. You may have already heard the boys sing without realising as their voices are also heard on many movie soundtracks – recent films on which they have sung include the Harry Potter series, Paddington, Life of Pi and The Age of Adaline. The boys also sing in the chorus at London’s Royal Opera House.  On this trip the Schola are performing in four US cities, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, New York and the concert here in Stamford on 2 July when they will perform a varied program of beautiful sacred music. Entrance is free.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday June 7, 2015 $12,796.00
Sunday June 8, 2014 $ 13,511.06

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 21st, Sunday Readings: Jb 38:1, 8-11; 2 Cor 5:14-17; Mk 4:35-41.

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.

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.

Baptism/Confirmation Sponsorship Certificate: When asked to be a sponsor, a certificate is needed from your home parish. If the parish priest does not know you personally, or by sight, the only other way of knowing you as a practicing catholic is by tracking your contributions by check or envelope.

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.

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.

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.

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, June 13, 2015
4:00 For the deceased family members of Vincent and Theresa Kung
Sunday, June 14, 2015
7:30 +Christopher J. Bernier req. Frank and Beth Carpanzano
10:00 +Louis DeCarlo 1st year anniversary req. Pinto Family
12:00 Special Intentions Marion Morris req. Mildred and Joan Beirne
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 People of the Parish
Monday, June 15, 2015
8:00 Souls in Purgatory
12:10 +Clifford Pittman req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
8:00 Deceased members of the Isidro Family
12:10 +Charles and Matthew Austin req. parents
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
8:00 Father Walsh req. Labrosciano Family
12:10 +Stanley Alsenas
Thursday, June 18, 2015
8:00 +Joseph Richichi req. Lori and Jim Rubino
12:10 +Jose Margel Cruz req. brother
Friday, June 19, 2015
8:00 All Souls in Purgatory req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Mario Borgatti req. Rick Robustelli
Saturday, June 20, 2015
8:00 Thanksgiving to God req. Montanise Paulemon
12:10 +Roseann O’Brien req. Alison and Kevin Tosches

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:

135 years ago, or so:
June 17, 1881: “The anticipated pleasure of about two hundred of the scholars of St. John’s R.C. schools was seriously interfered with, last Thursday, by the storm which set in early in the day and after they had got down to the water at Sound Beach. With the children and youth was Rev. Father Rogers and the Sisters, who are the teachers.”

125 years ago, or so:
June 20, 1890: “The Cecilian Society has donated an American flag to St. John’s parochial school, and the day appointed for the raising of the same is on the morning of July 4th. The societies connected with the church are expected to take part in the exercises, and speeches and music will be interesting features of the occasion. St. John’s Band has been engaged for the celebration. After the flag raising there will be a picnic in the afternoon at Woodside Park, under the auspices of St. John’s R. C. Church.”

75 years ago, or so:
June 19, 1942: To Say First Mass Here Sunday, June 28. “The Rev. Joseph J. McEvoy, S.J., son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph P. McEvoy of 233 Hillside Ave., Fr McEvoy
will be one of 40 members of the Society of Jesus to be ordained to the priesthood in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart at Woodstock College, Woodstock, MD, Sunday, by the Most Rev. Michael J. Curley, Archbishop of Washington and Baltimore. On Sunday, June 28, at 11 a.m., Father McEvoy will sing his first Solemn High Mass at St. John’s Catholic Church here. A graduate of St. John’s Parochial School, which he attended from 1918 until 1925, Father McEvoy began his preparation for the priesthood in the Jesuit order in 1929 at the novitiate of St. Andrew, Poughkeepsie, N.Y..”

50 years ago, or so:
June 19, 1962: Recollection Day Held At Monastery. “The annual Day of Recollection for Catholic Boy Scouts, sponsored by the Catholic Committee on Scouting of the Alfred W. Dater Council was held this weekend at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Monastery, New Canaan. Committee in charge were John P. Guerrlich, John J. Barthardt, Norman Raymond, Anthony Passero and Frederick Miller Jr. Scouts attending from Troop 22, St. John’s Church, were Terrance Costello, James Gallagher, Edward Leonard, James Otis and John Connolly.”

“Do You Know What Day It Is?”
– Fr. Terry Walsh

“Yet thou hast made him little less than God, and dost crown him with glory and honor.” – Psalm 8:5

Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Football, Soccer, Hockey, and a host of others…all demonstrate the effect of what can be accomplished through hard work and determination. So many of the individual stories are in a way inspiring—overcoming adversity, reaching new and extraordinary heights in personal endurance, and so on. Indeed, many have inspired others to dream of the possibility of achieving personal goals that lead to a deeper appreciation of the gifts God has bestowed— especially goals of virtue off the athletic field. Meanwhile, from dawn till dusk people everywhere are putting themselves to the test – running faster, jumping higher, and developing skills in a variety of activities that are meant to strengthen character and confidence – especially in the young. The “language” of sports translates across borders and builds bridges among cultures. What joy the achievements of human excellence bring – the fruit of much labor. And in the high-tech age, sports provide a wholesome alternative to gadgets galore. Very often, people gain great consolations by reaching new heights or pushing through difficult barriers through steadfast determination. What reasonable sacrifices am I willing to make to reach my best performance? Perhaps the best lesson of all is found in discovering our limits and humbly recognizing what we can not attain. That takes courage. It’s particularly fruitful when that discovery prompts us to turn our gaze away from ourselves and instead begin to contemplate the One who knows no limits – the Infinite One who emptied Himself completely in order to share His Divine Life.

Team sports add the component of working together to accomplish a community goal. Clearly, each individual effort affects every other member of the team and since responsibility to the community takes precedence over personal achievement, individual accomplishments may need to be sacrificed in order for the team to be victorious. Moreover, the team relationships are put to the test: is there a willingness to offer constructive criticism to teammates even when it’s difficult? Applied to the spiritual life, these lessons lead to a deeper understanding of love. St. Paul refers to this when he writes about the Mystical Body of Christ. He reminds us that as each member grows in holiness – “faith working through love” – the entire Body grows in holiness. Yet, if one member falls, the ill effect is felt by the whole Body. We are obligated to grow in holiness and to help others in their pursuit of a holy life as well. Sports can make a wholesome contribution. Ah, there are a million stories. One Christmas Day during World War I, American and German soldiers crawled out of their bloody trenches and met each other in the middle – for a game of soccer. After their game, they simply couldn’t go back to shooting each other. Consider, too, the most renowned athletic stage – the Olympics. Consider the 1924 Summer Games? Do you remember Eric Liddell? He was considered to be the world’s fasted human. Yet, he refused to compete in 3 of the 4 events he qualified to run because they took place on Sunday. Liddell would not compromise the integrity of his faith. His heroic witness captured the attention of the entire world. Instead, he ran the 400 meters and set a new world record with his victory.

What place do sports hold in the heart of man today? Is it still an activity that builds character and friendships? Or, has it become an “end” in itself – one that governs the daily activity of families even to the exclusion of honoring God? In many respects, Sports have replaced religion. So few attend Church, yet many would not think about missing practice. Few seem to know the Our Father or the Hail Mary, yet many recite the entire history of their favorite sports team. Few seem to know the names of the four Evangelists, the most important books ever written, yet many can rattle off the starting lineups of their favorite team, along with accompanying statistics. Few can list the 10 Commandments, and fewer still the Beatitudes, but most can tell you the rules governing their sport, including obscure nuances for the most ridiculous scenarios. So few know the story of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but most know the story of Ruth, DiMaggio, and Mantle. So few seem to engage in a faithful prayer life, but missing a daily workout would be considered ‘a mortal sin.’ Truly, “Coach” is not God, even though he might be treated as such by some. As faithful Catholics, our dignity is realized in our relationship with God. The virtue of Religion falls under the Cardinal Virtue of Justice. We fulfill that virtue by keeping the Commandments. “In creation God laid a foundation and established laws that remain firm, on which the believer can rely with confidence, for they are the sign and pledge of the unshakable faithfulness of God’s covenant. For his part man must remain faithful to this foundation and respect the laws which the Creator has written into it” (Catechism, 346). Remember the 3rd Commandment: “Keep Holy the Sabbath.”

Skipping Mass in favor of a sporting event clearly indicates a lack luster desire for God. A faithful prayer life would have prevented the tragedy of turning a wholesome activity into an “end” in itself. We have been made to share in the Divine Life. We are meant to be crowned with glory and honor, in heaven. It is a crown that comes through faith, hope, and love and is the fruit of following the One True God in this life. Sports ought to contribute to the growth and development of the human person rather than serve as a conduit of self-absorption, whose logical end is the exploitation and commoditization of the human person and the loss the true dignity – union with God.