For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday October 11, 2015

Pastor’s Corner: Why are the traditional colors of Halloween black and orange? Odd colors, aren’t they? Modern celebrations of Halloween have little to do with the original. In fact, the only things left are the colors and the name: Hallow’een—abbreviated Old English meaning Hallowed Evening—the vigil of the holy day of obligation on November 1st of All Hallow’s, or as we call it, All Saints Day, which is followed by All Souls Day, November 2nd. In Catholic Europe, these days developed as a type of Miracle Play in small towns: a combination of pranks and costumes on October 31st representing the triumph of the Evil One before the coming of Christ. As the sun rose on November 1st, emphasis shifted to the triumph of Christ and His Saints over the powers of Satan and Death. November 1st celebrates the victory of Christ, His Saints and His Catholic Church. November 2nd
Skeleton is the day when everyone remembered those who had died, praying for their eternal salvation.

The Halloween colors are taken from All Souls’ Day and funeral Masses: The traditional color of mourning worn by people at funerals is black; the traditional color for the Church in mourning, as well. So, at funerals, the priest often wears black vestments. Another traditional color for mourning is orange: the color of unbleached beeswax candles. The candles used on the altars are all made of bees wax: they are white, because they have been bleached clean. Unbleached bees wax is orange, a sign of imperfection or unfinished business: like people’s lives when they die: unfinished business. Halloween became a popular link between time before Christ when evil ruled, and the triumph of Christ over death through the Cross, as celebrated on November 1st and 2nd.
Cross November 1st and 2nd call to mind an aspect of the reality of the Church that many people are unaware of: that the Church is composed of Christ who is the Head, as Saint Paul says, and the faithful—both living and dead—who form the members of His Body, the Church. All Saints Day recalls the innumerable men, women, and children who led lives of heroic virtue and great holiness: All Saints. They pray for us. As members of the Church, they practice charity in heaven by praying for us to God. They are our friends in Christ. All Souls Day on November 2nd calls to mind those innumerable men, women, and children who have died, but whose lives were less than perfectly holy. They, hopefully, are in Purgatory, being purged of the effects of their sins. We remember them in a particular way, as our act of charity, praying for them because they are still members of the Church.

Not everyone is in Heaven; not everyone is in Purgatory. The popular fallacy is that everyone who dies goes to Heaven. Not so, at least not according to Our Lord’s revelation in Scripture and the Church’s consistent teachings. If we live without Christ or live contrary to Christ now in life, then why would we want or expect to be with Christ forever in Heaven? At the end of the month and beginning of November, we recall those Saints who loved Christ so much that they based their daily lives on His words. We also recall those others who desired to live good lives, but who were less than perfect because of human weakness.

November 1st and 2nd are days of great hope, because God’s mercy is stronger than our sins; stronger than the power of Satan and death. As a sign of that, the Church offers special graces for the Souls in Purgatory. By our simple prayers, acts of charity, and proper intentions united with the Church as the Body of Christ, we can gain a Plenary Indulgence for deceased members of our families—and it costs nothing. A Plenary Indulgence is the remission before God of the temporal punishment due for sins that had been already forgiven by Confession. Sin has a lasting effect on us, and can be cleansed only through penance. Hopefully, we can do these penances prior to our death; sometimes not. That is where the Church comes in: The Church, established by Our Lord as the minister of Redemption, authoritatively dispenses and applies the treasury of grace won by Christ and His Saints. One Indulgence can be had each day from November 1st through the 8th, and each indulgence can be applied by us to one of the faithful departed per day. All we need do is this: 1) go to Confession at least once during that week, and receive Holy Communion on the day(s) you wish the Indulgence; 2) visit any cemetery or a Catholic church; 3) and pray for the deceased—one Hail Mary and one Our Father for the intention of the Pope, and recite the Apostles’ Creed .

This is the reality of Christ’s mercy through His Church. We are asked to have faith in the Catholic Church, which is the only Church personally established by Christ on His Twelve Apostles. By doing these simple spiritual tasks and acts of charity, we demonstrate that faith. Let us be mindful of the goodness of Our Lord, pray to the Saints for their intercession, and pray for the faithful departed that they might one day see the God who loves us. —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Lee Kaplan, 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: Michel Lops, Louise Munro, 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.

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

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: +Ed Cody, Birthday Remembrance req. Cody Family

Banns of Marriage:
III 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 convert (R.C.I.A.) classes are for you: Wednesdays 7:30-9:00pm in the Rectory. This is an eighteen 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).

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

+++++
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!
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Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday October 4, 2015 $ 12,110.00
Sunday October 5, 2014 $ 11,332.97

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 18th, Sunday Readings: Is 53:10-11; Heb 4:14-16; Mk 10:35-45.

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.

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.

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.

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: Monday, October 26th 7:30PM Location: Cosi at 230 Tresser Blvd., Stamford (in front of the Stamford Mall).

Trinity Catholic High School: 926 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, CT will be conducting its Open House on Thursday evening October 15th at 7pm.  All middle school students and their parents, as well as high school students considering transferring, are welcome to attend.  Tours of the school will be available as well as a chance to speak directly with administrators and staff.  Information regarding the Entrance Exam, which will be administered Saturday, October 31st and Saturday, November 14th, will also be available. Visit our website at www.trinitycatholic.org for more information or contact the school at (203)322-3401 ext. 302.

Trinity Catholic Middle School: Saturday Open House, October 17, 2015, from
9am—11am at 948 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, CT. Please contact our Admissions at
203-322-7383 for further information.

SECOND DIOCESAN WOMEN’S CONFERENCE: “Faith, Love and Mercy”
Saturday, November 7th, 2015 from 8:30 am-4:30 pm, at Hyatt Regency, 1800 east Putnam Avenue, Old Greenwich. This is a spiritual opportunity for women to gather together for a day of prayer. Registration will begin at 7:45 am with Mass celebrated by Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano at 8:30 am. Talks by Father Peter J. Cameron, O.P. and Author Sonja Corbitt, along with time for reflection, adoration and confession will round out the day with closing remarks at 4:00 pm. Breakfast and lunch will be served. Cost is $55 per person. For more information contact Maureen Ciardiello
(203) 416-1445 or Marcy Haley (203) 416-1627 or send an email to womensconference@diobpt.org..

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, October 10, 2015
4:00 +Joseph Peter Young req. Family
Sunday, October 11, 2015
7:30 Special Intentions Ewa Czytowska, Birthday
10:00 +Tom McTigue 10th Anniversary req. Nancy McTigue
12:00 +Msgr. John V. Horgan-Kung req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, October 12, 2015
8:00 +Alina Prevot req. Kerline Maignan
12:10 +Ron Szabo req. Michael Smith and Diane Strain
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
8:00 +Elizabeth Pepe Troilo req. her son, Nicholas Troilo
12:10 +Viola Lynch req. Ann and Bill Dee
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
8:00 +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Richard M. Harris req. John Pascale
Thursday, October 15, 2015
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola
12:10 In Honor of Santo Expedito req. Maria Trivino
Friday, October 16, 2015
8:00 +Joseph and Margaret Curtis req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Teresa Lombardo req. Marion, Bill and Richard Morris
Saturday, October 17, 2015
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10 +Bill Pinto req. Pinto Family

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 8a.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:
80 years ago, or so:

Oct. 14, 1935: UPWARDS OF 2,500 MEN IN THE HOLY NAME SOCIETY PARADE—Chief of Police Brennan Heads Long Procession as Grand Marshal—solemn Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at Outdoor Altar in Presence of 4,000 People. “In a demonstration of their religious faith, Catholic men of western Fairfield County parishes, in numbers estimated from 2,500 to 3,500 paraded before thousands lined along Stamford’s main streets, yesterday afternoon. Before a gold cross on an altar erected on a hill on the Knights of Columbus grounds, Elm Street, symbolic of another hill of Calvary, the marchers of the
Holy Name Societies renewed their pledge to Christ Holy Name March and country, concluding the rally with Solemn Benediction. From the canopied altar covered with the gold altar-cloths of the Catholic Church, sparkling in the sun, the celebrant of the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament approximately 4,000 men and women who knelt before the monstrance containing the Host as it was moved in the sign of the cross over the bowed heads of public assemblage. The street parade was restricted to Holy Name Members. Police Chief John B. Brennan as grand marshal led the parade promptly at 2:30 from State and Atlantic streets. The formation of the various units took place on streets running into South Street. With police escort and band, the first group to move was the Holy Name Society of the St. John’s church, from Bell Street to South. Bands and drum corps participating included: Catholic Protectory, New York City; Boys’ Band, Greenwich; Stamford Colonial band; Norwalk band; Holy Name Drum Corps; St. John’s Drum Corps; St. Francis Bugle and Drum Corps, New Haven.”

How to Make a Good Confession Part 1: On the Need to Go to Confession
-Fr. Andy Vill

Going to confession can be an intimidating task. Both as a layman and now as a priest, I have had to defend the need to go to confession often. “Why can’t I just ask God to forgive me? Why do I need to confess to a priest?” In short you can try to ask God to forgive you for you sins. Not only can you try, but you should ask God to forgive you. Each evening I make an examination of my conscience and I ask God to forgive me of my failings from that day. The reason we go to confession is because we have the certainty of God’s grace through the Sacraments. We can experience so much uncertainty in our prayer; “Does God really hear me? How can I know that He is working in all of this?” In every other aspect of our lives we seek certainty and security, why would we not accept it when Jesus promises us the certainty of forgiveness through confession?

Jesus forgave people of their sins all throughout His public ministry. The Pharisees question Jesus when He forgives the sins of the paralytic man…who but God alone can forgive sins? (Luke 5:21). Their concern was absolutely valid! The problem is that they did not recognize that Jesus is in fact God. We can ask the same question of priests today, “Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Now, unlike Jesus, I know that I am NOT God. But, as a priest, I do act as an instrument of God’s grace. Jesus acts through His priests. After imparting the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles after the Resurrection He gave them the power to forgive sins in His name. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained. (John 20:23).

When I hear the question, “Why do I have to confess to a priest?” it is often not motivated by the doubt that it is possible, but more often because one has a particular sin that they cannot imagine confessing to a priest. If you find yourself in that situation, I beg you to go to confession! The Devil is the Father of Lies and plays against us on both sides of sin in his trickery. First, he works to convince us that the sin is not really a sin, or at least not that bad; perhaps he convinces us that we really need that sin to be happy. He convinces us that it is actually a good thing. The moment we commit sin he turns on us and convinces us that the sin is so bad that we cannot tell anyone what we have done. The lie we are told is that we cannot be forgiven of that sin because it is too big for God, or because the priest will judge us for our sinfulness. These are all lies! St. Paul exhorts us to remember who we really are…all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. (1 Thessalonians 5:5). If we are to live in the light, it means recognizing our faults and living in truth!

Another image I find helpful to explain the need for confession is to see our sins like chains. In our battle against evil, when we are free to move about, it is easier to avoid capture. Once we have one chain on us, it limits out “spiritual mobility.” We can still move about, but not as easily. Bound by once chain, it is easy for the devil to place another chain on us and so on. The more chains (sins) we are burdened with, the more we feel overwhelmed by it and it seems impossible to escape. Think of your own life: once you commit one sin, how easy is it stay strong and avoid committing more sins? Do you sometimes convince yourself that since you have sinned already, what’s the point of struggling against committing more sins? In confession, Jesus, acting through the priest, comes in and unlocks all of our chains and sets us free once more.

Another discouragement can come when we commit the same sins over and over again. The fact that we are plagued with attacks by the devil should tell us that our soul is worth something! I think that those of you who are parents can understand God’s perspective the best. If your son or daughter does something wrong and asks for forgiveness, you will forgive them even if you know that they will probably get into trouble again. Why do you keep forgiving your children’s mistakes? Because you love them! God loves us as His sons and daughters as well! When we make the act of contrition we do not promise to never sin again, because that would be unreasonable. We say, “I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to sin no more…” It is our resolution at the time of the confession which is most important. It might seem to be the same thing, but it is not. Are we resolved to not sin again? The doubt about our strength in the future should not discourage us from resolving to change our lives, especially since we recognize that the change needs to happen with the help of God’s grace.

Next week I will write about the step by step process of making a good confession.