For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday October 18, 2015

Pastor’s Corner: Some of the Church’s greatest martyrs are recalled this weekend: On October 17th: Saint Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch in what is today Syria who died a martyr in Rome in the early 2nd century; and on MartyrOctober 19th, the North American Martyrs, who died martyrs in what is today Canada and New York State in the mid-17th century. What could these men, living in times and places so different from one another, have in common?

The first thing Ignatius, Isaac and his Jesuit companions shared in common was their unflinching love for and faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ, which led them to become His priests. The second was their love for His Catholic Church, the only religion personally started by Jesus and His 12 Apostles.

Ignatius was appointed and consecrated Bishop of Antioch by St. Peter. Saint Peter then went to Rome., where he headed the early Church, and died a martyr in 64 AD. By the end of the 1st century, at the end of his life, Ignatius was arrested because of his faith during the persecution by the Roman Emperor Trajan, and dragged across Asia Minor and Italy to Rome, where he was thrown to the lions as entertainment for the bloodthirsty Roman crowds. Ignatius gave Christ’s Church the name Catholic. Since he was a disciple of Saint Peter, and consecrated a bishop by Saint Peter, Ignatius knew what he was talking about! As he was being dragged across Asia Minor on his way to martyrdom, Ignatius wrote seven letters addressed to the Church in each of the cities he passed by. They are some of the most venerable gems of early Christian literature. He wrote these letters to the Catholic Church located in the towns through which he passed reminding and urging them to remain faithful to Christ and His Catholic Church. Ignatius wrote that the Church founded by Christ is that which exists throughout the whole world—the only Church that is catholikos, or universal: found in every nation. On These letter give us an exact picture of the Church as established by the Apostles. They describe the Indians true Faith, and the early Church’s structure, as having been organized by the 12 Apostles: each local church or diocese was headed by a bishop, who had received his authority directly from one of the 12 Apostles, when one of the 12 Apostles ordained the man a bishop: just as Saint Peter had ordained Saint Ignatius to be the Bishop of Antioch. Those bishops handed on the same authority to the men they ordained bishops. The bishops, as direct successors of an Apostle, were assisted by priests and deacons. The heart of Ignatius’ faith was Our Lord, and the mainstay of early Catholic life was the Eucharist, the true Body and Blood of Christ, along with His Revelation in Sacred Scripture, the Bible.

The priests, Saints Isaac Jogues, John de Breubeuf, Anthony Daniel, Gabriel Lalemant, Charles Garnier, and Noel Chabanel, and two Religious Brothers, Rene Goupil and John de Lalande preached and established the Church in what is today upstate New York and Canada. In 1642, while Saint Isaac Jogues was bringing desperately needed supplies to the Huron Indian mission from Quebec, his group was attacked by Native Americans. He and his companion Rene Goupil were savagely beaten and tortured—hair, beard, and finger nails torn off, and their forefingers bitten through. Goupil was killed, but Jogues escaped and returned to Europe. In spite of his horrific experience and torture, he insisted that his Jesuit superiors permit him to return: twice he returned to the missions to the same Native Americans who had tortured him and killed his friend. The second time, Jogues was recaptured, tortured again and tomahawked on October 18, 1648. The others suffered the same fate between 1648 and 1649.

Ignatius of Antioch and the North American Martyrs died in different times and places, each bearing witness to the same reality—Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all time and all places, who redeemed everyone and everything by His Cross. They saw the preaching of Christ’s truth and the offering of His Grace in the Sacraments for the salvation of souls worth dying for. As they were tormented and dying, they prayed for their persecutors and executioners, just as Our Lord did from the Cross.
—Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Catherine Longo, 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: Richard Hughes, 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.

World Mission Sunday Collection . . . Please drop your special envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.

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).

FAITH ON TAP: FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS and YOUNG ADULTS 21-39 years old: Tuesday, October 27th at 7-9pm at Murphy’s Townhouse Café on Franklin Street in Stamford, around the corner from UCONN. Free admission, cash bar, [ID’s required], with an introductory talk on Jesus the Son of God by Father Michael Novajosky. Come, and bring a friend!!
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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!
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Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday October 11, 2015 $ 14,422.00
Sunday October 12, 2014 $ 13,052.56

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 25th, Sunday Readings: Jer 31:7-9; Heb 5:1-6; Mk 10:46-52.

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

Saint Augustine Medal: Each year, the Diocese of Bridgeport recognizes the contribution of lay women and men from around Fairfield County, bestowing on them a bronze medal dedicated to the patron of our diocese, Saint Augustine. This year’s recipients from Saint John’s are Juanita Evans and Nicholas Troilo. Both served for more than a year as our parish delegates to the Synod of Bridgeport. They spent innumerable hours in meetings, reading and preparing for meetings, and praying for the success of the Synod as Bishop Caggiano’s tool to reform and update our diocese. Congratulations!

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.

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, (in front of the Stamford Mall).

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 day of prayer and spirituality. Registration will begin on November 7th at 7:45 am; Mass celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano at 8:30 am. Talks by Father Peter J. Cameron, O.P. and Author Sonja Corbitt, and 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 info. contact Maureen Ciardiello: (203) 416-1445 or Marcy Haley (203) 416-1627 or email to  womensconference@diobpt.org.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, October 17, 2015
4:00 +Elizabeth and Thomas Daly req. Leon Taricani
Sunday, October 18, 2015
7:30 +Joan M. Hawk req. Jim and Lori Rubino
10:00 +Carmine Pisano req. Michael Gallo
12:00 +Bishop Walter Curtis, the late Bishop of Bridgeport 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 19, 2015
8:00 +Louise Munro req. Priests of the Parish
12:10 +Rosemary Haines req. Bill Christiaanse
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
8:00 +Larry Dober req. Daniel Bicker
12:10 Anthony Galasso req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
8:00 +Johanna DeLavalle req. Ethel Schmidt
12:10 +John Palid req. Amparo Herrera
Thursday, October 22, 2015
8:00 +Anne Marie Cappeli req. Valerie Collins
12:10 +Frank Cavaliere req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Friday, October 23, 2015
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola
12:10 In Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary req. Maria Trivino
Saturday, October 24, 2015
8:00 +Anne T. Mara req. Collins Family
12:10 +Albert Joseph Leitch III req. Erica Kane

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 NEWS:

130 years ago, or so:
THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
Oct. 25, 1884: “The Children of Mary will receive Holy Communion in a body at 9 o’clock Mass Sunday. The singing of the junior choir on last Sunday at 9 o’clock Mass was excellent. This choir is improving wonderfully under the tuition of Sister Evangelista. Rev. Henry T. Walsh, our worthy assistant pastor, has been elected one of the vice presidents of the Alumni Association of the Seminary of Our Lady of Angels, Niagara, the institution in which he was educated.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES:
Oct. 19, 1884: CATHOLIC CHURCH MATTERS. “St. John’s Church, Stamford, when finished, will be one of the grandest edifices in the State of Connecticut. Work on it has been in progress for several years. The material is native blue-stone cut in squares and laid in dark-colored cement, and it is of a Gothic style of architecture. Progress on the building has been slow of late, for the reason that the work has been conducted on the principle of “pay as you go.” There will be three magnificent marble altars in the church ,which will cost $8,000. The Rector is the Rev. William H. Rogers. It is expected that this temple will be ready for consecration by next June.”

THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
75 years ago, or so:
Oct. 25, 1940: Spiritual And Business Leaders Endorse Community Chest Drive. “The Community Chest drive today received the endorsements of a leader in the city’s spiritual life and a leader in its business life. The Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman, pastor of St. John’s Catholic Church, and Julius H. Buettner, president of the Stamford Chamber of Commerce and president treasurer of the Buettner-Rome Co., cited a number of reasons why the Chest deserves the support of the public. Father Coleman’s statement was:”The Stamford Community Chest campaign deserves the support of every individual in the community. Stamford should lead the way in this expression of goodwill to our neighbor. Stamford has reason to be proud of the record of the local agencies which minister to the human needs of the community. We should be united in a supreme effort to show that love of God and our fellow man is the guiding principle of our lives. Every one in Stamford should consider it a privilege to have a part in this campaign. Bishop McAuliffe expresses it well in the letter which was read at all the Masses last Sunday when he said “The Community Chest is the symbol of a deep, peaceful and generous community spirit.”

How to Make a Good Confession Part 2: The Step-by-Step – What should I do?
-Fr. Andy Vill

“Bless me father for I have sinned…” Each confession begins with the recognition of why you are there in the first place. Last week I wrote about the need to go to confession; this week I’d like to do a step-by-step of how to make a good confession. Whether you go face-to-face or behind a screen, you ought to begin by telling the priest how long it has been since your last confession and your state in life. By state in life, I mean to say your vocation; priest or deacon, nun, married, or single person. These two pieces of information helps the priest to understand the gravity of the sins committed and to better understand the state of someone’s soul.

People have asked, “What does it matter what my state in life is; a sin is a sin, right?” I will give two examples to help understand why it makes a difference. Let’s take for example someone who confesses that they did not pray the Liturgy of the Hours the day before. If the person is a priest, deacon or nun who has made promises or vows, it would be a mortal sin for them. If they are a lay person who did not make any such promises, while praying the Liturgy of the Hours is laudable, not praying it is not sinful. Another example would be a man who has gambled away his life savings. If he is single, the consequences of the sin might only affect him. If he is married with a family, it is also a sin against his family for whom he is responsible.

Next, you should begin to tell your sins to the priest. What is required in confession is that you confess any mortal sins. The Catechism of the Catholic Church clarifies what this is for us: For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.” Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin. (CCC 1857&1859) [See the Catechism of the Catholic Church articles 1854-1864 for more clarification on this].

A confession in which there are no mortal sins to confess is termed a “devotional confession” since, while it is not necessary to receive Sacramental grace in order to be forgiven, people make the confession as an act of devotion. While venial sins (for which someone is sorry) are forgiven through the reception of the Eucharist (CCC 1416), the person confessing these sins in the context of the Sacrament of Penance can receive graces which help him or her to fight these sins. If at any point you need help confessing your sins or feel uncomfortable about not knowing how, simply ask the priest for help. He will be happy to walk you through it.

Once you have made your confession, listen to whatever counsel the priest offers and the penance he assigns. If the priest does offer counsel, it is simply that, you can do with it what you will. I would say though, having heard many confessions, the priest grows in wisdom as he celebrates the Sacrament and what he has to say is not without merit. Generally speaking, you should take the penance as it is given. If you feel it is too light or maybe a bit too severe, try to trust the priest’s judgement. If it is a penance you feel is totally unreasonable to complete, tell the priest as much. It is one thing to be assigned an entire rosary to pray, it is something completely different to be assigned one million Hail Marys to be completed by dinner time!

Finally, say your Act of Contrition. This can be the prayer you learned in CCD class all those years ago, but know that there are many versions which are acceptable. If you don’t know it, my advice is LEARN IT! Until you have it memorized, feel free to bring it with you written out or, if nothing else, ask the priest to help you through it!

Once that’s done, just sit there and allow the grace of Jesus Christ wash over you as the priest prays the words of absolution over you! Now it’s time to leave, do penance and give thanks! Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His mercy endures forever!

In next week’s bulletin I will talk about some practical things not to do in the confessional which will help you to make a better confession.