For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday August 2, 2015

TransfigurationPastor’s Corner: August 6th is the Solemnity of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. This is an ancient feast. It was first celebrated in the 5th century and became a more popular celebration in 1457, following the Catholic defeat of the Turks at the gates of Belgrade.

The Feast Day is based on an historical event: Six days after giving Saint Peter the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, Our Lord went up to the top of Mount Tabor with his Apostles, Saints Peter, James and John. He went there to pray with them, his closest Apostles. There something happened: Jesus allowed His divine glory to shine through His humanity

Why would Christ show Himself in His glory as God? What was the point? We must put this into the context of Our Lord’s public ministry. The Transfiguration of Christ is reported in four places in the New Testament: Matthew 17: 1-9; Mark 9:29; Luke 9:28-36; the Second Letter of St. Peter, 1:10-21. Our Lord had begun the second part of His public ministry, and His predictions of His death on the Cross had begun. His Apostles were nervous about His repetitious mention of His crucifixion, especially since they put their hopes in the mistaken belief that Jesus was to be a political messiah, liberating Israel from subjugation to the Roman Empire. They hoped Jesus would become king, and they would come into power on His coattails. That was not why God had become Man; nor the reason why He performed healings, fed thousands with a few loaves and fishes, restored sight to the blind. He came to free Israel and all humanity from slavery to sin and death; not from slavery to the Roman Empire.

Our Lord now took His three most trusted Apostles, Saints Peter, John, and James, up to the peak of Mount Tabor, and manifested to them the reality of who He is: God, in the flesh. There, showing the Apostles His glory as God, Jesus manifested also that He is the fulfillment of all the Prophets and the Law of the Old Testament. He had taught the Apostles this already, but it went in one ear and out the other, because they were dreaming of their future lives of riches, once Jesus became king of Israel. The reality that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Law and Prophets was attested to by two others who appeared to the Apostles: Moses, who received the Law—the Ten Commandments—from the hands of God, and Elijah, the greatest of God’s prophets. This transfiguring of Jesus, showing His glory as God to His Apostles, accompanied by Moses and Elijah, underscored all that Jesus had taught the Twelve Apostles. It also did something else: it strengthened and prepared these three Apostles to face the horrors that would soon come that contrasted with the Glory they saw on Mount Tabor: for it would be these same three Apostles, Saints Peter, James and John, who accompanied Jesus to pray once again a few months later: to the Garden of Gethsemane, on Holy Thursday, when Jesus was arrested, beaten, killed, and rose from the dead: which is the reason why God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses; why God spoke through Elijah and the prophets: to save humanity from the fruit of sin which is eternal death.

The Transfiguration of Our Lord speaks also to us today. Jesus is not simply another prophet or religious teacher. He is God—He always has been, who became a man in the womb of the Virgin Mary. He calls us to share in His divine life and glory in Heaven, by means of the graces flowing from His Cross that come to us by means of the Church established by Him. The Cross, which Jesus repeatedly referred to, and which frightened the Apostles, is the only means by which our slavery to sin and death is ended. We come into contact with the Cross by the Church and Her Sacraments, given us by Christ to begin His changing of our lives to become more like God in this life, and to share in His glory in Heaven. On August 6th, meditate on Our Lord’s generosity, and the means by which He gives us new life. By taking on our human nature and becoming one like us in everything but sin, and by offering Himself on the Cross to pay for our sins, Jesus showed His true nature and work: God became man so that mankind could become God. We can share in that glory by a life of faith and virtue, heeding the Word of God in our daily lives and allowing God to transform us through His grace in the Sacraments. Christ’s glory on Mount Tabor in the Transfiguration is to be ours, if we are in love with the God who became man, Jesus Our Lord.
—Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Mildred Beirne, Joe Brennan, Betty Brennan, Nancy Gallagher, Billy Therriault, Thomas Bernie, Loy Mulyagonja, Ben Castle, Jay Olnek, Catherine Olnek, Lena Cocchia, Alexandre Laurent, 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.

Air Conditioning Collection . . . The second collection today will be the Air Conditioning collection for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

AUGUST 6TH: There will be NO 12:10 Mass that day, because the Sisters of Life will have their solemn profession of vows at 11:00 a.m. Please plan accordingly.

WANT TO BE A CATHOLIC? OR, Or are you a Catholic who would like a refresher course in the Faith, or who never received First Holy Communion or Confirmation? These classes are for you. Classes: Tuesdays, 7:00-9:00 p.m. 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. Please call the rectory for information (203-324-1553, ext. 21). Special Needs Classes: Contact Michelle O’Mara at momara@stcatherineacademy.org 203 540 5381 ext. 2012.

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.

The St. Monica Latin Reading Group: Meets on Thursday afternoons at 12:45 to read writings from the early Church and will resume meeting in September at a date to be announced. Newcomers are welcome. A basic reading ability in Latin is necessary. For more information, please call Saint John’s Rectory at 203-324-1553 Ext. 21.

Annual Bishop’s Appeal: 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 (www.2014synod.org/tickets). Last call – The deadline for the bus has been extended until August 9th. There are a few more seats available. Anyone interested in securing your seat on the bus (and a free ticket for entry) for the Synod Mass must e-mail Frank Carpanzano at fcarpanzano@advancetravel.com by the above date.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday July 26, 2015 $ 12,561.50
Sunday July 27, 2014 $ 12,994.78

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

August 9th, Sunday Readings: 1 Kgs 19:4-8; Eph 4:30—5:2; Jn 6:41-51.

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.

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 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 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.

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: August 24th 7:30PM Location: Cosi at 230 Tresser Blvd., Stamford (in front of the Stamford Mall).

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: September 21, 22 & 23: A Triduum of Prayer in honor of Saint Padre Pio: 7:30 p.m. each night in the Basilica, with Eucharistic Adoration & Benediction; a Sermon; Novena Prayers, and Veneration of the Relics of Saint Padre Pio. September 23rd is the Feast Day of Saint Padre Pio: 7:30 p.m. Triduum Prayers begin inside the Basilica, then, weather permitting, we will have an outdoor Solemn Eucharistic Procession, with Novena Prayers and Solemn Benediction at our outdoor Shrine of Padre Pio.
EVERYONE IS WELCOME!

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, August 1, 2015
4:00 Mary Kung req. parents
Sunday, August 2, 2015
7:30 +Paul J. Zorn req. Cathal Gilmore
10:00 Priests of the Parish req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:00 Mildred and Joan Beirne req. Diane Strain
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 People of the Parish
Monday, August 3, 2015
8:00 Alexandra and Gertha Laurent
12:10 Deceased members of the Proenza Family
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
8:00 Special Intentions Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
12:10 +Paul J. Zorn req. Cathal Gilmore
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
8:00 +Margaret M. Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Jeannette Alves req. Larry and Sandra Bolanowski
Thursday, August 6, 2015
8:00 +M. Marianne Gabriel req. Montanise Paulemon
12:10 NO MASS (Sisters of Life Solemn Vows at 11AM)
Friday, August 7, 2015
8:00 +Lucia Britanico req. Saldua Family
12:10 +Charles and Matthew Austin req. parents
Saturday, August 8, 2015
8:00 Paulemon Family req. Montanise Paulemon
12:10 +Rose Mary Mulholland req. Margaret King-Fitzpatrick

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 more 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:

130 years ago, or so:
August 3, 1883: Seventh Annual Excursion. “Thursday, the 16th day of August, is the time appointed for the great annual excursion of St. John’s R. C. Church. The capacious barge “Stephen Warren” and the services of a powerful steam tug have been engaged for the occasion, and “Glenn Island” is the point selected for a landing. An excellent brass and string band will be on board, and we may be sure that nothing will be left undone to promote the holiday pleasantry and comfort of the party.”

110 years ago, or so:
August 2, 1907: Portiuncula in Catholic Church. “The devotion of the Portiuncula or Grand Pardon, was begun in St. John’s R. C. Church at 3 yesterday afternoon and closes at sunset today. The “Grand Pardon” dates from the early years of the thirteenth century. St. Francis, praying for the conversion of sinners, was told to ask a favor of heaven, and it would be granted. Whereupon he promptly begged that all who would come to the little Church of Our Lady of Angels at Assisi, the Portiuncula of St. Francis and his brethren-having confessed, would receive full pardon of their sins and full remission of all the punishment due to their sins. The favor was inaugurated with due solemnity by Pope Honorius III. The annals of the thirteenth century tell of the throngs that bore down on the little hill town of Assisi from the evening of the day of “St. Peter in Chains” to the evening of the next day. All night the procession went in and out the little church and next evening contentedly filed out from Assisi again, singing Te Deums as they went home, some of them great distances. This continued for 200 years. So great did the crowd grow each year that the Pope extended the indulgence to the churches that had branched out from the Portiuncula. The devotion is held in only a few churches in this diocese. The privilege was obtained for St. John’s Church by the Franciscan fathers.”

80 years ago, or so:
August 8, 1933: St. Anne’s Ladies’ Aid Card and Bingo Party on Thursday. “The St. Anne’s Ladies’ Aid Society of St. John’s R.C. Church is sponsoring a card and bingo party at the Cleary homestead on Church Street in Glenbrook on Thursday evening, August 10, and the committee in charge is making every effort to make it an enjoyable affair, hoping for liberal patronage, as the entire proceed are to be used in work of relief among the poor and needy. The spacious grounds will be well lighted by electricity and card and bingo playing will begin at 8:15. Many prizes have been donated for the winners of high scores in all games. In case of unfavorable weather, the affair will be postponed to the first clear evening.”

The Steubenville Retreat

-Fr. Andy Vill

(Story continued from last week’s bulletin)

After having made my Emmaus retreat and attending the youth group at St. Mary’s for the spring semester, I was eager to learn as much as I could about the Faith. I was listening to talks on CD, reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and spending a lot of time with likeminded people. When the opportunity presented itself at the end of the semester, I signed up for a summer youth conference which was to be held at The Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. The youth minister Laura had reserved seven tickets; one for her, one for a male chaperone (Dave), and five youth tickets. In the end, only three of us teens signed up to go.

I had asked for the weekend off from work and arrived on that Friday morning in July prepared for the eight hour car ride that awaited us. When I arrived, Laura was already waiting in the parking lot with Dave. We chatted for a bit before Laura received two text messages. They both read, “Hey, I can’t make it this weekend, sorry!” The other two teens had bailed on us! Laura and Dave talked it over and offered to refund my money for the weekend if I didn’t want to go. They left the decision up to me. “Well, I was really looking forward to this and I DID take the weekend off from work so that I could go…”

Eight hours later we pulled into the campus of Franciscan University. Because of traffic we had hit in Pittsburgh, we were late. The evening activities were well underway when we walked in. There was music playing and we could see a little altar set up on the stage of the auditorium. I recognized that the Host that we used at Mass was on display in a metal stand (monstrance). This was my first experience of what I would come to know to be Eucharistic Adoration. I knew what the Church taught about the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, but in my heart I did not believe it. I wanted to. I just couldn’t wrap my head around how Jesus could make himself present in the appearance of bread and wine.

On Saturday morning the main speaker spoke about the importance of going to Confession and opening ourselves up to the ways in which the Holy Spirit desired to move in us that weekend. He mentioned that Confessions would be heard at lunch time in the University Commons. As my little group of three walked to the cafeteria to grab our slice of pizza in the early afternoon, I felt the desire to try Confession once more. This would be the third try at confession in six months.

As I sat down in front of the priest I began my confession with the minor sins I had committed. When it came time to confess those sins I had been holding onto in previous Confessions, I went ahead and told him. We had always been told that “the priest has heard it all”, but I was genuinely surprised when he didn’t react when I told him what had been weighing on me for years. He absolved me and I left.

As I walked out, a smile came over me. I moved toward Laura and Dave who had been waiting outside for me. “You look different!” Laura told me. “I feel different!” A sensation of weightlessness had overcome me. My face felt warm with the joy of freedom! For the first time in eighteen years, the first time since my baptism, I was totally freed from my sins! It was as if I were walking on air.

That night we had another opportunity for Eucharistic adoration. The whole group gathered in silence as the priest brought the Blessed Sacrament out and the band slowly began to play the hymn O Salutaris. What I saw that night was different than I had ever seen before. For the first time in my life, when the Host was lifted up, I saw Jesus. It is not that He hadn’t been there at all of the Masses I had attended in my life, but for the first time in my life, I had the eyes to see Him. Like Fr. Audette said in his homily last weekend, sin acts like radio interference and it is harder for us to hear Him speak to our hearts. I am now convinced that you cannot believe in the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist until you believe that God can and does forgive sins and you have experienced His mercy in the Sacrament of Confession. If the God of the universe can forgive me of my sins, why is it so hard to believe that He could make Himself present in the appearance of bread and wine?

That day my life changed. From then on there was no turning back. If I was going to live for anything, for anyone, it was going to be for Christ. Stay tuned for next week’s bulletin article where I’ll talk about how God prepared me to hear Him calling me to be His priest.