For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday Sept 27, 2015

Pastor’s Corner: Now that the school year has begun, it’s time to consider the weightier questions of life: no more intellectual fluff in my articles, such as you enjoyed during the leisurely summer months. That being the case, let’s get down to business: Ever wonder why you exist? Ever wonder what it is that makes something you do to be good or bad? Here are answers to those questions from two of the greatest of the Church’s saints:

The first comes from Saint Alphonsus Liguori [1699-1781]. Born in Naples, Italy, he began a legal career. After completing his law degree, he decided to give himself to God, and was ordained a priest in 1726. He worked and preached among the poorest in Naples, was the founder of the Redemptorists, and a great moral theologian. Here is his answer to the question: Why do I exist? Or What is the meaning of my life?:

“God has loved you from eternity, and through pure love, He has selected you from among the many people whom he could have created in place of you; but He has left them in their nothingness, and has brought you into existence.”

So, the answer to “why do you exist ?” is: because God wants you to exist. Imagine, God thinks about you and loves you!!! Keep that in mind when you’re having a bad day.

The second answer comes from Saint Robert Bellarmine [1542-1621]. Born in Montepulciano, Italy to noble parents, he shocked them by announcing as a young man that he wanted to be a priest and a Jesuit. He entered the Society of Jesus in Rome and began his university studies. He was one of the most important of the Church’s theologians, teachers and reformers, who dedicated his every thought and action to the Glory of God and the up-building of God’s Catholic Church. So, in life, how does one decide between good and evil?:

“If you have common sense, you will realize that you were created for
God’s glory and your own eternal salvation; this is your goal, this the center of your soul, this your heart’s treasure. If you reach that goal, you will be happy; if you do not, you will be wretched.

“Regard everything as truly good that brings you to that goal, everything as truly evil that takes you from it. Prosperity or adversity, riches or need, health or sickness, life and death are, for the wise person, neither to be sought nor avoided for their own sake. If they contribute to God’s glory and your salvation, they are good; if not, they are evil.”

Rather simple and clear answers: You exist because God wants you to exist and He loves you. You will find happiness by doing only those things that lead you to God, since everything that is evil leads you away from God and eternal life. The basic guidelines for doing good and avoiding evil being the Ten Commandments.

So, here is your first homework assignment for the new school year: Love God by avoiding evil and doing good. You will be happier if you do this, and not just think about it.
—Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Paolo Cavallo, Silvana Smith, 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: Rene Lafleur, Victor Lafleur, John Gannon, 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.

Syrian Refugee Special Collection . . . The Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano has asked that the second collection this weekend be for the daunting Syrian refugee problem. Pope Francis has asked for help in any way possible. The monies received in this collection will be forwarded to Catholic Relief Services who have a significant on the ground presence in many of the countries involved. Your generosity is appreciated.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: Silvana Smith req. Angela Giannitti

Banns of Marriage:
I Banns: Michael Wyman Goode, Jr. and Lauren Ann Romanello

WANT TO BE A CATHOLIC? OR, are you a Catholic who would like a refresher course in the Faith, OR have you never received First Communion or Confirmation? These R.C.I.A. classes are for you: Wednesdays 7:30-9:00pm in the Rectory, beginning September 30th. This is an eight week course of studies that repeats during the winter/spring; 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).

Our Lady of Fatima Procession: Begins in the Basilica, Saturday, October 10th, after 12:10 mass.
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BISHOP CAGGIANO: Will be at Saint John’s on Tuesday, October 13th to give a talk on Our Lady of Fatima: Msgr. Nagle Parish Hall: 7-8:30 p.m. All are welcome.
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The Upper Room at COLUMBUS PARK Trattoria:
FOR CATHOLICS aged 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s AND UP:
Wednesday, October 28th, 7-9 p.m.
Discussions about our Catholic Faith &
the Columbus Park Bar will be open. Bring a friend!

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday September 20, 2015 $ 10,019.00
Sunday September 21, 2014 $ 10,216.39

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

October 4th, Sunday Readings: Gn 2:18-24; Heb 2:9-11; Mk 10:2-16.

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: began last Sunday, September 20th, at 8:30AM. ALL STUDENTS should have registered and paid.

Special Needs Religious Ed. 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.

PRO LIFE EVENT:  The Gospel of Life Society invites you and your family to participate  in Stamford’s Life Chain, Sunday, Oct 4, 2015: 1pm-2:30pm. Please join us on Atlantic Street in front of the Basilica for this annual Life-event: a peaceful witness of Americans praying for the end of abortion. Participants display signs (will be provided) urging passers-by to support the pre-born, reminding them of the sanctity of human life. For details, call Frank Carpanzano at 203-975-0074.

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 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. 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 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. 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: www.redinc.biz or 203-866-1606: There’s no charge. Next meeting: This Monday, September 28th 7:30PM Location: Cosi at 230 Tresser Blvd., Stamford (in front of the Stamford Mall).

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, September 26, 2015
4:00 Suzanne Kremheller req. Scholastica Nabwire
Sunday, September 27, 2015
7:30 +Suzanne Demonchaux req. Dominique Demonchaux
10:00 +Vincent Eugene Jagodzinski req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
12:00 +Geraldine Naclerio req. Michael Gallo
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, September 28, 2015
8:00 All Souls in Purgatory req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Marcial T. Gloria req. Angeles Family
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
8:00 +Anne Constance Penta req. Armelle Penta
12:10 +Maria Preziosi Birthday Remembrance req. your children, grandchildren and great
grandchildren
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
8:00 Jane and John Gannon 59th Anniversary
12:10 +Marcella Barr req. Morgan Family
Thursday, October 1, 2015
8:00 Sister Ellen Mary CSJ – 78 years religious anniversary req. Marie Carr
12:10 +Feroze Aslam req. Abdul and Sarah Aslam
Friday, October 2, 2015
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Lucy Espinoza
12:10 In Honor of the Guardian Angels – Our Heavenly Companions req. Marion Morris
Saturday, October 3, 2015
8:00 +Ben Mondor req. Marc Valois
12:10 +Raymond Laverdiere req. Marc Valois

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 are welcome. We finish in time for the 8 a.m. 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:— Biblical Greek: Intermediate Grammar: Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm in the rectory. Call Monsignor DiGiovanni for more information (203-324-1553, ext 11).

Coffee Hour: After the 10a.m. Family Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:

125 years ago, or so:
Oct. 4, 1889: Who Won the Big Prizes. “Notwithstanding that the weather was for the most part unfavorable, the fair of St. John’s R. C. church was a decided success, financially and otherwise, and very gratifying to all concerned, especially to Father Rogers and his assistants, Fathers Keena and Carroll, under whose personal superintendence much of the work was done. The financial net result it is expected will amount to between $1,700 and $1,800. James Burns, of West Stamford, was the fortunate winner of the building lot presented by Owen Daly. The elegant gold watch was won by Mrs. John Ennis. Father Carroll, of St. John’s, won the large French plate mirror which was looked upon with pardonable desire by so many. A copy of the celebrated picture of the Angelus was won by Miss Z. Bouvier, of New York.”

85 years ago, or so:
Oct. 2, 1929: Court of Honor Held By Scouts. “At the October Court of Honor of the Stamford Council of Boy Scouts held at Scout Headquarters, 36 Summer Street, last night the following qualified for advancement to first class rank: Thomas Kerrigan, John Ennis and Robert Langer, Stamford Troop 22.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Thomas Kerrigan and John Ennis would later go on to become Eagle Scouts.)

60 years ago, or so:
Oct. 4, 1956: St. John’s Church Holy Name Society Holds Annual Dinner. “More than 100 persons attended the 5th annual dinner of the St. John’s Holy Name Society Wednesday. A highlight of the program was the presentation on behalf of the society of a $500 check to the St. Joseph’s Hospital Building Fund. The contribution was handed to the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Nicholas P. Coleman, pastor of St. John’s Church and secretary-treasurer of the building fund, as further payment on the $2,400 pledge by the society. A total of $2,200 has now been donated..”

25 years ago, or so:
Sept. 27, 1990: “In recognition of the 70th anniversary of the National Council of Catholic Women, a Mass in each of the five diocesan districts will be celebrated. The Stamford district will be celebrating the anniversary in St. John the Evangelist Church on Oct. 14. In honor of Right to Life Sunday, the 10:30 a.m. Mass will also include a blessing for expectant parents.”

The Synod Mass
-Fr. Andy Vill

Last Saturday, on the second anniversary of the installation of Bishop Frank Caggiano as the fifth bishop of Bridgeport, I attended the closing Mass of the Diocesan Synod in the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard. Many people have asked me for my impressions of the Mass and the Synod in general. Having been in Rome for the majority of last year, I had to hear about the goings-on of the Synod from afar through secondary means. At Saturday’s Mass however, I was able to see firsthand the excitement and enthusiasm of the Diocese as we now begin to implement the fruit of the Synod.

It was a joy for me to see so many brother priests gathered for a Mass! Occasions such as priestly ordinations and the Chrism Mass each year renew the sense of collegiality among priests and the Synod Mass was no less inspiring! The music for the entire event; including the procession of the Blessed Mother statue, the pre-rally of sorts and the Mass itself, was a demonstration of the musical talents of people from the entire diocese. I am proud of our parishioner who were there singing in the Diocesan choir as well as the many people who showed up for the Mass in support of our bishop and the great diocese of ours! The presence of so many; priests, deacons, religious and lay men and women, was an inspiration for all who were in that packed arena.

I will admit that I found it initially frustrating to hear applause all throughout the Mass since we know the Liturgy is about our worship of God and not the praising of human achievement. I was able to appreciate the sentiment behind it however. The applause was a sign of the great joy of the people present at Mass whose excitement overflowed. In the Mass of Ordination both for priests and deacons, the people are to applaud when the men are presented for ordination as a sign of their consent and agreement. In a similar way, at the Synod Mass, the people resounded with their consent to all that was said, especially the bishop’s inspiring homily.

As Bishop Frank pointed out in his homily, the Mass is not a sign of the end, but rather the beginning of the growth in our life of faith in Fairfield County. While the Mass did signify the conclusion of the yearlong deliberations of the Synod delegates, the projects which the bishop has implemented as a result demonstrate a great hope for the future of the Church.

Overall, all who were apart of the Synod process and the concluding Mass can take great pride (in the virtuous and totally not sinful way!) in the great work that has been done in our diocese so far. This next phase which is upon us calls all people of the diocese to greater participation. Many of us will be called to help in specific ways, being involved in concrete projects. No longer can we claim that the work of building up the faith in our diocese is the work of someone else. We are all called to spread the Gospel and principally we are called to be men and women of prayer in support of our bishop, the clergy and religious of this diocese and the entirety of the laity laboring in the Lord’s vineyard; that we might claim the Church as our own; just as Christ has claimed us for Himself!