For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday July 19, 2015

Pastor’s Corner: One of the most ancient of the Church’s articles of faith is the Communion of the Saints. This is about the very nature of the Church that Jesus began: About what the Catholic Church is, who is a member of it, and what it does.

The Catholic Church, founded by Jesus personally on the Twelve Apostles, forms a community of believers, strongly linked to Jesus, who is the Head of the Church. Everyone who is baptized is a member of the Catholic Church, even if they don’t call themselves “Catholic”. For Jesus started only ONE Church: every other Christian religion was begun by some guy who broke away from the one Church for one reason or another. Nevertheless, Jesus made the Sacrament of Baptism the ONE sacrament that joins everyone together who receives it. So, even if someone is belongs to the Baptist or Congregational or Episcopal or Methodist churches, or to some other Protestant group, if they are baptized, they all belong to the only Church Jesus began—because of the power of the Sacrament of Baptism Jesus established. Those who are Protestants are only partially members of the Catholic Church, but they are members, nonetheless.

All members of Jesus’ Church have a common sharing in holy things: the faith, the sacraments—especially in the Eucharist, if fully Catholic; various other spiritual gifts given by God. We call this sharing in holy things “communion”—not just Holy Communion, but a communion in all holy things: communion means a sharing. The root of that sharing/communion is a shared faith and charity, which leads the members to look out for each other, to pray for each other, to give help to each other. An example of this is in the Sunday collection: everyone puts some money in the basket and that helps the parish to provide for the spiritual needs of all the members of the parish, helps those members who are in financial need, provides educational classes to help instruct members in the faith. Another example is our daily prayer at Mass for those in need.

But there are more members of Jesus’ Catholic Church than just those we see on Sunday, or even just those who are alive: the saints are living members of the Church. So, the “Communion of the Saints” refers to a sharing of spiritual gifts by the saints in Heaven with us on earth, and even with the deceased faithful in Purgatory. The Saints, having led holy lives imitating Jesus and Mary, now live with God in Heaven, and share their blessings with us. The Saints pray for us daily, interceding with the Risen Jesus. They help us, as our friends in Heaven, to gain Heaven, ourselves.

One of the pious practices of the Church is to pray to the saints, asking their help. Saints are not gods—there is only ONE God, yet the saints are close to God and pray for us, just as we pray for our friends. One of the most popular modern saints is Saint Padre Pio, who died in the 1950’s. He was a Capuchin monk who lived an extraordinary life in Italy. We have a bronze statue of him outside our Basilica. This September, the parish will begin an annual Novena to Saint Padre Pio, thanking him for his extraordinary blessings to our parish, and asking him to continue to pray for all our families. Beginning on Tuesday, September 15th, continuing through Wednesday, September 23rd [Padre Pio’s Feast Day], Novena prayers will be prayed at all the Masses. During the last three days of that Novena, additional solemn prayers and Benediction will be offered on the evenings of September 21, 22 and 23, beginning at 7:30 pm in the Basilica. Please mark your calendars, and plan to join us for these holy days asking one of God’s saints to continue to pray for our Basilica family—we who share in the Communion of the Saints Jesus began when He founded His Catholic Church. – Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Joe Brennan, Betty Brennan, Nancy Gallagher, Billy Therriault, Thomas Bernie, Loy Mulyagonja, 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, 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: Philip C. Clark, Marie Gedeon, Edward J. Gill, Joseph Runio, Gary DeSalvo, 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.

Co-Operative Mission Collection . . . Please drop your Co-operative Mission Collection envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory. There will only be one collection today.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: Sp. Int. Paolo Cavalli req. Giannitti Family

Banns of Marriage:
II Banns: Claudine Firmin and Patrick Labaze
III Banns: Amparo E. Amparo and Robert Santiago

Convert Classes: Have you ever thought of converting to Catholicism? Do you know someone who might want to become Catholic? Or are you a Catholic, yet never received First Holy Communion or Confirmation? These classes are for you. Classes: Tuesdays, 7:00PM in the Rectory, beginning in September. This is an eight week course of studies, that repeats throughout the year, so, if you miss a class or two, you can easily make them up. Special Needs Classes: Contact Michelle O’Mara at 203 540 5381 ext. 2012. Our next classes will begin in September and continue through May. Please call the rectory for information (203-324-1552, ext. 14).

St. Monica Biblical Greek Grammar: Thursdays at 6:30 pm. 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.

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: $98,071.00. Please be generous; we need everyone’s help.

Celebration Mass of SYNOD 2014– Saturday, September 19, 2015 @ 11:00 AM At the Webster Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport. Bishop Frank Caggiano 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. If you choose to drive, you must register and secure your ticket of entry by August 15, 2015 through the Eventbrite link ( The Basilica of St. John will have bus transportation. Please secure your seat on the bus .and free entry ticket by July 31, 2015. For additional information or to secure your bus seat/ticket, please email Frank Carpanzano at

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday July 12, 2015 $11,092.00
Sunday July 13, 2014 $13,515.78

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

July 26th, Sunday Readings: 2 Kgs 4:42-44; Eph 4:1-6; Jn 6:1-15.

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

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

Electronic Giving – Offertory Donations Made Easy…Consider using your credit card to make your weekly or monthly donation to St. John’s. Easier for you, and less costly for the parish than the printing and mailing of weekly envelopes, credit card giving automatically sends your weekly offering to the Basilica of St. John’s. Call the parish secretary (324-1553, ext. 21).

Saint John’s School Reunion. Columbus Day week-end, October 10-11, 2015. If you attended St. John’s School, or know anyone who did, please e-mail your information to 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 planning 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.

Francis & Clare, The Flock, Saint Maria Goretti & Saint Dominic Savio Societies will NOT continue in September. I am grateful to everyone who organized and participated in these parish societies during these past years. Father Vill, Father Audette and I are looking to reorganize present programs, and to institute new parish initiatives, spiritual societies, devotions, charitable works and educational activities and groups during these next months, all in line with the Diocesan Synod decisions and decrees and the changing needs of our parish.

Job Seekers: There’s no charge. Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., a leader in helping find jobs. More info, see: or 203-866-1606: Next meeting: July 27th 7:30PM Location: Cosi at 230 Tresser Blvd., Stamford (in front of the Stamford Mall).

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, July 18, 2015
4:00 +Veronica and John Buckheit req. Leon Taricani
Sunday, July 19, 2015
7:30 +Frances Augustine req. Armelle Penta
10:00 +Jayson Jarrett req. Norma Jarrett
12:00 +Noemi Isidro req. daughters
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, July 20, 2015
8:00 Souls in Purgatory
12:10 +Dorothy Jagodzinski req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
8:00 +Margretta DeVivo – 8th Anniversary req. DeVivo and Munro Families
12:10 +Gregoria T. Gloria req. Angeles Family
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
8:00 George Paulemon req. Montanise Paulemon
12:10 +Kathleen Wink req. Joan Fitzgerald
Thursday, July 23, 2015
8:00 +Cono Pasquel req. Nicholas and Therese Troilo
12:10 +John Wanat req. Bill Christiaanse
Friday, July 24, 2015
8:00 +Edward and Clementine Pagoda req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
12:10 +Wilma Nemchek req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Saturday, July 25, 2015
8:00 +Achille and Micilia Paulemon req. Montanise Paulemon
12:10 +William David Weisenburger Sr. 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.

Pray to end Legalized Abortion: Wednesdays, 7-10:30a.m., Stamford’s Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St.

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 Monsignor DiGiovanni for more information (203-324-1553, ext 11).

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:
110 years ago, or so:
July 23, 1903: “St. John’s R. C. Church has been draped in mourning for Pope Leo. The work was done by J. A. Hislop & Co.”

Old St Johns Church

80 years ago, or so:
July 20, 1935: Spire On St. John’s Catholic Church Shattered In Terrific Storm. “A terrific thunderstorm, breaking here last night shortly after 8, brought temporary relief from the heat but did property damage estimated at upwards of $10,000. There was no loss of life and no personal injuries reported as due to the storm. St Johns Spire

The 20-foot stone spire atop St. John’s R. C. Church was struck by lightning at 8:25, the top of the spire and one side being hurtled to the street 125 feet below. A 200-pound stone torn from the spire was carried through the air across Atlantic St. landing on the skylight of H. Frankel and Sons store at 262 Atlantic St. and crashing down to the ground floor and through a show window in the front of the store.”

[Editor’s note: 2015: one of the stones thrown down by the lightening, now sits before the rectory front steps!]

The Clap-Out

-Fr. Andy Vill

Moving into St. John’s this week has made me a bit nostalgic about past experiences and excited for new beginnings. As Monsignor DiGiovanni mentioned in a previous bulletin, my assignment here is a bit of a homecoming. My paternal grandparents were married here. My Dad, Aunt Lisa, and Uncle Tony were all baptized in this parish before my grandparents moved up to Ridgefield. In my freshman year of college I attended UCONN right up the road. I worked for a year in an office over on West Broad Street. I lived at St. John Fisher Seminary on Newfield Avenue for three years. The move back to Stamford is exciting for me but also familiar.

What was exciting, but not familiar at all, was when I moved to Rome, Italy in July of 2010. In fact this Sunday, July 19th, 2015, marks five years to the day since I boarded my flight to begin my years of theological studies in the Eternal City. The experience of living in another country was totally foreign to me (no pun intended). As the orientation team at the North American College (NAC) welcomed us those hot summer days in July and August, they tried to do as much as they could to make us feel at home. Everything was well planned, every activity had a purpose, and all was meant to introduce us to life in Rome and life at the College. In a little twist on an old cliché, we soon learned about the NAC, “It’s not home, but it’s much!”

Excited to be a part of something great, being formed at the same seminary where Msgr. DiGiovanni and Fr. Walsh had studied, I was eager to dive into the traditions of the College. How happy I was then when I arrived at the College and right off the bus experienced the first of what would be many traditions. In fact, this tradition would bookend of my time in Rome. I am referring to tradition of the “clap-in” and the “clap-out”. When the new students arrive at the college for the first time they are greeted by the current students who line the steps leading up to the college chapel and “clap-in” the new seminarians as the chapel bells chimed.

I still remember sitting in the chapel some five years ago and listening to the Rector explaining the tradition of the clap-in and clap-out. As we began our time at the college we were clapped into the chapel by students who were welcoming us to the place where we would be formed to be priests over the next five years. On our last day at the college we would be clapped out by those students who came after us; bidding us farewell as we left Rome to proclaim the Gospel in our respective dioceses and parishes.

I remember fondly the clap-outs of former students who would leave the college each year after finishing their time of formation. The clap-out is an opportunity to say goodbye to friends and faculty whom they were leaving behind. My clap-out on June 25th of this year was the culmination of a whirlwind morning with Mass, last minute packing, and giving away things I couldn’t fit into my suitcase. I was halfway done walking through the college building when I heard the chapel bells begin to ring. I was going to be late for my own clap-out! I rushed with two friends to the chapel steps with my luggage and began to say my goodbyes. I was moved as I said goodbye to the college I had called my home for the last half-decade and goodbye to friends who made calling it home possible.

My Alma Mater will always have a special place in my heart having been my home for five years. I am also confident that, as I meet the parishioners of St. John’s Parish, I will be encountering those who will make it possible for me to call this church on Atlantic Street my home. So I express my gratitude for the welcome to the parish I have been receiving and gratitude for the possibility to continue to be a part of something great!