For the entire bulletin, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday August 16, 2015

Pastor’s Corner: August 15th was the SolemnityAssumption of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven. The Assumption of Mary is the fulfillment of Christ’s promise of glory and eternal salvation of the whole human person, body and soul.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the first after Our Lord to experience the Resurrection of the Body: that’s what the Assumption of Mary is, her bodily resurrection into heaven. This is why she wears a crown: the crown of the one who has, as St. Paul describes it, run the race to the finish, and won; not a perishable crown of leaves, as did victorious athletes in ancient Rome, but the crown of eternal life in the flesh. Christ came to save the entire human person. Since we are composed of body and soul, that means He came to save both body and soul from eternal death. The body is important, everyone knows that. We know the world’s beauty, the love of our mothers, fathers, friends, husbands, wives, and children, because of our body’s senses. We don’t intuit love or beauty; we know it through our sense experience; through our bodies. We enjoy the beauty of a day and of creation, the glories of human ingenuity and talents, music, art, literature, all through our senses.  Our body is an essential part of us, as is our soul.  Christ took on human flesh, took a human soul and free will, and became like us in everything but sin, so He could redeem the entire person.  To think that eternal life is just for our souls is to hope for only partial salvation.  As St. Paul says, we will see God face to face. Likewise, St. Paul instructs us, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?”  As the image of God, then, our body is important, and respect for the body in human morality essential to the Christian to gain eternal life.

Our Lady, the closest and most perfect disciple of Christ, is the first to experience this eternal life in the flesh.  The Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven is about Christ’s promises and hard work coming to fruition for Mary and for all of us.   In a homily by St. John of Damascus, an 8th century Father of the Church, we catch a glimpse of the mystery of Mary’s bodily Assumption into Heaven:

“How could Mary taste death from whom the true Life [Christ] flowed out to all? Yet she did fall under the law inflicted by Him whom she bore, and as a daughter of old Adam she suffered the old sentence of death, even as her Son did, who is Life itself.  But now as Mother of the living God, she is fittingly taken up to heaven by Him.  For how could death feed on this truly blessed one who had eagerly listened to the word of God; who at the Archangel’s salutation, filled with the Holy Spirit, conceived the Son of God; who without pain gave birth to Him; whose whole being was ever consecrated to her Creator?  Could hell receive such a one?  Could corruption destroy a body in which Life [Christ] had been brought forth?  For her, beloved brethren, a way is prepared to heaven . . . For if Christ, the Way and the Truth, has said: ‘Where I am there also shall my servant be’, does it not follow that His Mother is surely with Him?”

The Assumption of Mary body and soul into Heaven is a promise to us as well, that Christ’s hard won victory on the Cross can be shared by us too.  The grave will not be our end, if we love Christ and strive to please Him in a virtuous and holy life now, through His Church.  Christ showed His glory as God to the Apostles on Mount Tabor.  He proved His love for us on the Cross.  He fulfilled His promises by bringing His Mother to Heaven body and soul.  Let us pray to Our Lady for strength to persevere that we too may share in this wondrous gift, body and soul, offered us by the Lord who loves us so much that He wants us with Him forever.–

—Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Josh Frank, 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: Martin Zaremski, Betty Fones, 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.

Monthly Collection: The second collection today will be the monthly collection for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

Banns of Marriage:
I Banns: Homero F. Ribadeneira and Luz P. Romero

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, 7:30-9:00 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.

Religious Ed Registration: will be Sunday August 30th, September 6th, September 13th, after the 10AM and 12 PM Masses. ALL STUDENTS  must be registered and have paid before the start of classes on September 20.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday August 9, 2015 $12,017.00
Sunday August 10, 2014 $13,616.44

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 23rd, Sunday Readings: Jos 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b; Eph 5:21-32; Jn 6:60-69.

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 203-348-4355 or www.birthright.org.

Saint John’s School Reunion. There will be a reunion for all students, nuns, priests, and lay teachers of St. Johns School in Stamford, CT on October 10th in Stamford.  The reunion will start with 4:00 Mass and a Reception/Dinner to follow. We already have confirmation from a 1938 graduate and someone who left when the school was closed in 1973. Please spread the word to family and friends, young and old, near and far, the more the merrier.  If you, or someone you know attended St. John’s please e-mail Erin.Cody@SunGard.com with your first, last (and family) name, contact info (e-mail and home address), and year you graduated.  E-mail is preferred but if you don’t have e-mail please call Ann Cody at (203) 325-3128 and leave your information on the answering machine.  Also be sure to let us know if you would like to join the committee.  Remember to speak clear and slow.  More information will be provided as plans firm up.  In Facebook, please search….  St. John’s School Alumni, Stamford and “like” the page.

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, followed by refreshments.
EVERYONE IS WELCOME!

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, August 15, 2015
4:00 +Taricani Family req. Leon Taricani
Sunday, August 16, 2015
7:30 +Dorothy Wargo 29th Anniversary req. Family
10:00 Special Intentions Elizabeth Lancaster
12:00 +Arthur Sherry req. Sherry Family
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, August 17, 2015
8:00 Souls in Purgatory
12:10 +Frederick W. Fontneau req. James and Lori Rubino
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
8:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
12:10 Special Intentions Scholastica Nabwire
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
8:00 +Bob Laverdiere req. Marc and Michael Valois
12:10 +Alexander Balutowski req. his daughter, Therese Troilo
Thursday, August 20, 2015
8:00 +Larry Ferguson req. Marc and Michael Valois
12:10 +Linda Traficante req. Cornelia Brouder
Friday, August 21, 2015
8:00 +Angelo Velez req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 Special Intentions Lorraine and Peter Jenkins req. Cornelia Brouder
Saturday, August 22, 2015
8:00 Special Intentions Claire Laginestra req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
12:10 +Ann Mara req. Rick Robustelli

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 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:

140 years ago, or so:
August 22, 1873: “The Roman Catholic church was densely filled on Monday evening, by a congregation met to hear a lecture from Rt. Rev. Bishop McFarland, of the Diocese of Hartford. The Bishop’s remarks were heard with close attention, and at the conclusion of his address, a collection was taken up in aid of the new church, resulting in the addition of a handsome sum to the building fund. Mr. C. W. Smith presided at the organ with the musical skill for which he is noted.”

125 years ago, or so:
August 19, 1887: “The iron steamboat “Ceteus,” took out about twelve hundred persons, including quite a host of young children, from the Canal dock on Tuesday, for an excursion to Coney Island. There have been several large excursions this season from this place, probably none surpassed that of Tuesday under the auspices of St. John’s R.C. Church. Father Rogers, who had the chief charge of the affair, spared no pains or precautions to secure the safety and comfort of all. The route selected—to Coney Island—was quite long enough and not too long, and the several hours ashore were filled with sight-seeing and amusements, novel to many and interesting to all. St. John’s cornet band made things lively on the way down and back, while A. Campbell’s orchestra fulfilled all the desires of the dancers in the music line, by their industrious and lively playing. Not an accident even of a minor character occurred to mar the pleasures of the day for any of the excursionists.”

85 years ago, or so:
August 18, 1932: BOY SCOUT CAMP NEARS END OF TENTH YEAR AT TOQUAM. “The final week of the tenth season of Camp Toquam, the Summer training camp of the Stamford Council of Boy Scouts, is now under way. The enthusiasm of the campers this year has resulted in an unusually active and interesting program, brimming of worthwhile recreation. At the Council of Awards, held in the picturesque council circle on the hilltop, Camp Director A. Wilson Beeny presented the following campers with achievements awards: Camp Toquam Service Award: Fourth year award to Robert Herrgen. Award of the National Rifle Association, consisting of junior diplomas and medals, were presented for Promarksman to Robert Graham: Marksman, First Class to Everett Mastrich and Donald Reyen: Sharpshooter award to Everett Mastrich and Donald Reyen. American Red Cross swimming progress award was presented to Robert Graham. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Robert Herrgen, Donald Reyen, Everett Mastrich and Robert Graham all earned the rank of Eagle Scout on Sept. 26, 1932) .”

“A Real Shot in the Arm”
-Fr. Andy Vill

(For those of you who were hoping to read the continuation of my vocation story, I am sorry for delaying it a week, but I wanted to write a different article this week. For those of you at the 7am or 5pm Mass who are just reading the bulletin to distract yourself from my homily, I apologize for that as well…)

Nuns are great. Plain and simple, I love nuns. I can’t imagine my priestly formation, and now priesthood, without them. I wanted to express my thoughts about a most special event which occurred a week and a half ago. On August 6th, here at the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist, eight women made their final profession of vows in the community of the Sisters of Life. If you have never been to a Profession of Vows, I would encourage you to attend the vows next year. It is an experience of such joy that it is hard to communicate in writing.

I remember the first time I attended a profession for the Sisters of Life. I was at St. John Fisher Seminary and came to serve at the Mass. Every time I have returned since that first time, I have been impacted in a profound way by the privileged place which the priests and altar servers have in the sanctuary; being able to see the faces of the women who are laying down their lives for the Lord. The joy and excitement, the emotion and true sense of purpose is all visible as these sisters present themselves to their superior Mother Agnes and to the bishop who presides over the Mass. From our vantage point, we are also able to see the faces of all of the family members and friends who have come to support their daughter, sister, niece, aunt, friend. For many, this is the first time they have been to anything like this and for other still, it is the first time they really “get” why their loved one is dedicating their life in this way.

This year, like every year, the church was packed with people, so much so that they were spilling out into the vestibule as Mass began. In his homily, Cardinal Dolan compared the vows ceremony to a wedding. The sisters wear veils, they make vows and they receive a ring as a sign of their fidelity and commitment. To think that God has called these women to Himself in such a special way, in a privileged relationship such as it is, is almost hard to comprehend. And still, as hard as it is to wrap one’s head around, there is a real beauty in the mystery of it all. These women have their whole lives to contemplate that mystery!

The event of the vows brings so many people together as well. I was able to see a priest friend with whom I had studied in Rome, friends I had met at the graduation ceremony of the United States Naval Academy last spring, sisters whom I have come to know over the years and young women who are discerning whether or not God is calling them to religious life. One friend described the Mass and reception which followed at the Villa Maria Guadalupe as “Catholic-Palooza” having so many priests and nuns, and holy lay people in attendance. A priest friend referred to the day as a “real shot in the arm” for his priesthood as he encountered Christ in a tangible way in the example and lives of these sisters.

For all of us who are not religious sisters, we can enjoy a special relationship with them by uniting with them in prayer. Pray for these sisters, that they might live their vocation to love as best they can. Pray that they might be unselfish in their service to each other and to the world. Pray that they might one day be saints in heaven. Pray especially for those women whom God is right now calling to Himself to love Him as a religious sister. Pray for them, encourage them, and support them.

As always, may God bless you and keep you in His Love!