For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday Sept 6, 2015

Pastor’s Corner: As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we are delighted to have Mr. David Indyk as our new Basilica Choir Master and Organist. His credentials are impressive:

David was born in Poland, where he received his primary education at the Frederick Chopin Elementary School of Art, and completed his work at the Arthur Malawski School of Music with emphasis in voice, choral music, piano and trumpet. He next pursued his musical studies at the Organ Conservatory of the Diocese of Rzeszow, Poland with specialization in Sacred Liturgical Music, Organ, Harmony and Voice.

Following his advanced musical studies, David served as the Organist and Liturgical Director of the 40-member adult choir, and organist for two youth choirs at the Minor Basilica of the Assumption in the Diocese of Rzeszow, Poland. He next served as the Assistant Organist in Saint Norbert’s Church, and the Associate Organist and Conductor of the Youth Symphonic Orchestra in Saint Mary’s Church, both in the Archdiocese of Krakow. After coming to the United States, David served as the Organist and Music Director at Saint Theresa’s Church in Linden, New Jersey, and the Music Director in Saint Joseph Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Most recently, David served as the Music Director in Holy Name of Jesus Church here in Stamford. David has given various personal performances in the Archdiocese of New York and Newark, as well as in the Dioceses of Metuchen and Bridgeport. He is also the Organist and soloist for the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in New York City.

We are delighted to have David with us, and are quite sure his musical program will be among the best in Connecticut.

During the next few weeks, we are hoping to begin try-outs for parishioners interested in joining our volunteer choir, which will begin singing at the Sunday 12 noon High Mass on Sunday, September 13th. For those interested in trying out, please stay tuned for information about times and scheduling.

Please note further bulletin notices regarding upcoming events hosted and sponsored by the Basilica: in particular, our FAITH ON TAP, at Murphy’s Townhouse Café on Franklin Street, beginning September 15th; and our

PADRE PIO TRIDUUM OF PRAYER on September 21, 22, 23, here in the Basilica.

God bless you,
—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.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Richard Saunders, Msgr. William Genuario, Fr. Peter DeMarco, Fr. Nicholas Calabro, Rafael Pina, Martin Zaremski, Betty Fones, Philip C. Clark, Marie Gedeon, Edward J. Gill, Joseph Runio, Jeanne Loughlin, Barbara Wolf, Dominick Franco Sr.

Special Annual Collection . . .The second collection today will be the Special Annual Collection for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

Banns of Marriage: II Banns: Anthony Tarzia and Lauren Pakkala

September 14th: Triumph of the Cross: 12:10 Mass:
Public Veneration of the Relic of the True Cross after Mass.

FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS and YOUNG ADULTS 21-39 years old: Tuesday, September 15th at 7-9pm
at Murphy’s Townhouse Café on Franklin Street in Stamford. Free beer, wine, soft drinks & finger food for our first night [ID’s required], with an introductory talk and fellowship. Just come and bring a friend!!

A Triduum of Prayer in Honor of Saint Padre Pio
September 21, 22 & 23: 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.
The Upper Room at COLUMBUS PARK:

will begin on Wednesday, October 28th, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday August 30, 2015 $11,841.00
Sunday August 31, 2014 $10,850.08

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

September 13th, Sunday Readings: Is 50:5-9a; Jas 2:14-18; Mk 8:27-35.

Police: Please remember the members of our Stamford Police Department in your prayers.

Baptism/Confirmation Sponsorship Certificate: When asked to be a sponsor, a certificate is needed from your home parish. If the 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.

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

Special Needs Religious Ed. Classes: Contact Michelle O’Mara at: 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.

Project Rachel Ministry: Offers free and confidential help to those seeking healing after abortion. Come back to God, who is love and mercy. Come begin your healing journey and experience God’s hope & mercy! Saturday, November 21, 2015. 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 203-348-4355 or

Saint John’s School Reunion. October 10th here at St. John’s. The reunion will start with 4:00 Mass and a Reception/Dinner to follow. If you, or someone you know attended St. John’s please e-mail 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.  In Facebook, please search…. St. John’s School Alumni, Stamford and “like” the page.

Job Seekers: Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., a leader in helping find jobs. More info, see: or 203-866-1606: There’s no charge. Next meeting: September 28th 7:30PM Location: Cosi at 230 Tresser Blvd., Stamford (in front of the Stamford Mall).

BISHOP CAGGIANO: Will be at Saint John’s on Tuesday, October 13th to give a talk on Our Lady of Fatima: 7-8:30 p.m. All are welcome.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, September 5, 2015
4:00 +Jennie Galasso req. Tony Galasso
Sunday, September 6, 2015
7:30 +AJ Hoenig req. Family
10:00 +Roledonne J. Samedi req. Family
12:00 +Carmen Trivino req. Maria Trivino
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 People of the Parish
Monday, September 7, 2015
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +John Marshall req. Ed Nemchek
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
8:00 +Helen Carr – Birthday Remembrance req. Marie Carr
12:10 Armelle and Gerard Raschella
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
8:00 +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Chenet and Michel Jean-Guillaume and Family req. brothers and sister
Thursday, September 10, 2015
8:00 +Osner, Ena and Ashley Lubin req. Marie Lubin
12:10 +Charles and Matthew Austin req. parents
Friday, September 11, 2015
8:00 +Elida and Charles Belfort req. Marie Lubin
12:10 +Karl and Louise Wilk req. Sue Kremheller
Saturday, September 12, 2015
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10 +William Morris req. Jo Mitchell

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: Fridays, 7:45a.m.-10a.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:Intermediate Biblical Greek: Intermediate Grammar: Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm in the rectory. Please call Monsignor DiGiovanni for more information (203-324-1553, ext 11).

Coffee Hour: Starts again Sept.20th, after the 10:00 a.m. Family Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:

150 years ago, or so:
Sept. 11, 1863: “On Saturday last, the schools connected with the Roman Catholic Church made an excursion to Jones Wood, New York. There were several hundred—men, women and children—and as they marched to the depot, preceded by a fine band of music, we never saw a neater or more orderly procession. A special train of 13 cars was filled with the excursionists. The day was remarkably fine, and no accident occurred to mar their enjoyment.”

140 years ago, or so:
Sept. 10, 1875: “We hear that Rev. Father Tierney has purchased Mr. Candee’s residence on Atlantic street, just south of the new church, for a parsonage.”

110 years ago, or so:
Sept. 8, 1906: SCHOOLS REOPEN MONDAY. “Supt. Of Schools Everett C. Willard returned to town, this week, from his summer home on Lake Champlain, where he went in July. Since coming to town, Mr. Willard has been busy having appointments with teachers, and arranging various details for the opening of the schools Monday. St. John’s parochial school will not be opened Monday, and it is impossible to tell now just when the new building will be far enough advanced to permit sessions being held. It was the intention to have eight rooms finished by the first of October, but there have been the usual delays in getting material, with the result that it looks now extremely doubtful that the original intention can be carried out. It would seem to an outsider that a good deal of hustling will have to be done to have the lower part of the school finished by the first of November.”

85 years ago, or so:
Sept. 9, 1930: INTERESTING LETTER IN CATHOLIC TRANSCRIPT PRAISES TOQUAM SCOUTS. “Editor of the Transcript: Dear Sir: Having been a Summer camper in this town for three years I have been attending St. Francis R.C. Church in Torrington. This year the church was opened in Goshen for the Summer months. I have noticed on every Sunday morning a group of Boy Scouts from Stamford Troop 22 at every service and at the altar rail. These boys with their leaders hike three miles each way to Mass. This morning, Aug. 15, it was raining very heavy but they were there at the altar rail again. I cannot say too much for these boys and their leaders. They act and speak like a well-behaved group. Yours sincerely, William J. Owen, Goshen, Conn.”

Meeting with Fr. Lynch
-Fr. Andy Vill

(Story continued from the August 30th, 2015 bulletin)
Having met with Fr. Nick and made initial contact with the Diocese about my priestly vocation, I made an appointment to meet with the vocation director, Fr. Peter Lynch. He and I met in the same room as I had with Fr. Nick where we chatted a bit about where I was from, what I was doing with my life at that point, and what I did in my free time. When I told Fr. Lynch about my involvement in the Boy Scouts, he told me about his scouting days and his fondness for the program.

When it came to my priestly vocation, he asked me a question that caught me a bit off guard. “What leads you to believe that God is calling you to the priesthood?” For him it was a very normal, typical question to ask a man interested in entering the seminary. For me it was strange. Of the few people I had told by that point, everyone was excited for me but no one had asked me “why?” like that. As I write this article it is easy for me to see all the ways God had already acted in my life, but at the time I hadn’t organized the sequence of events as clearly. I began to tell him about my experience in Emmaus and conversion at the Steubenville Conference. I told him about waking up on the morning of November 10th and about Fr. Murphy’s homily. When I told him about the Billboard on I-95 a huge smile came onto his face. “We just started that ad campaign! You’re proof that it was worth it!”

It was either at that meeting or the meeting with Fr. Nick that I went on a tour of the seminary. Being a former convent, the layout of the Fisher Residence is somewhat similar to that of the retreat center at Immaculate High School where I made my Emmaus retreat. When we arrived on the ground floor of the seminary Fr. Nick and I encountered a couple seminarians who joined us on my tour. When we arrived in the chapel I was blown away by its beauty. The simple design with its green marble sanctuary and golden tabernacle beneath the tri-part stained-glass windows which demonstrate the Pascal sacrifice of Jesus was simply breathtaking. The few windows on this sides (which today are all stained-glass) were equally breathtaking. The cool air and crisp smell of the chapel benches carried a sense of the holiness of the place.

Upon seeing a red candle hanging in the sanctuary, I asked Fr. Nick what it was for. I remember having seen it at St. Mary’s in Ridgefield but never knew what it signified. He and the seminarians looked at me as if waiting for me to crack a smile. “He must be joking…” they thought to themselves. “This guy wants to be a priest and doesn’t know what that is for?” Realizing that I was serious with my question, Fr. Nick gently explained that it was the sanctuary candle which indicates that the Blessed Sacrament is in the tabernacle. I felt silly, but only a little. At my home parish of St. Elizabeth Seton, the church had been designed with the tabernacle on the left side and a white candle had been lit next to it. I was not used to seeing a red candle in the sanctuary.

Then, as now, I was a firm believer in the fact that it is better to ask questions in the moment in order to learn what I don’t know rather than to proceed in ignorance not wanting to seem the fool. Inevitably the time will arise where I will need to have an answer for something and wouldn’t it be a shame for me to say, “I don’t have the answer for you because I was too embarrassed to ever ask.”

We finished the tour and I was invited to return another night to join the whole house for a meal and meet the rector, Fr. Joseph Linck. I was also invited to attend the bishop’s Discernment Retreat which would be held in January. I looked forward to my next visit with much joy. This is where God wanted me to be, I had no doubt about it.

Stay tuned for next week’s article about the discernment retreat!