For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday October 25, 2015

Pastor’s Corner: In another week, the Church will celebrate All Saints’ Day on November 1st. The Solemnity of All Saints calls to mind an aspect of the reality of the Church of which many people are unaware: The Catholic Church is NOT a humanly created institution. This is clear in the Book of the Apocalypse: “The angel said to me, ’Come and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married.’ He. . . Showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. . . The City stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” [Apoc 1:10-14]. Saint Paul continues the image: “You are part of a building that has the apostles and prophets for its foundations, and Christ Jesus himself for its main cornerstone.” [Eph 2:20] The Church was personally established by Our Lord, and has been called “Catholic” since the end of the first century. While its membership is made up of women, men and children around the globe, it is a living creation of God, with Jesus literally as its head, and we, literally as its members; just like your arms and legs are members of your own body, managed by your head. Angel Most people do not realize that there is an intimate relationship between Our Lord and all who are baptized, were baptized, and whoever will be baptized: a relationship that begins on the date of your baptism, and continues forever, crossing all boarders of space and time. That relationship springs from our sharing in the very life of Jesus through Baptism and the Sacraments, especially that of His Body and Blood, the Eucharist, or Holy Communion, which we are privileged to receive during Mass. There is more: whenever we attend Mass, there are others present beside those standing and sitting in the church. All the saints and angels, and God Himself, is present with us—not as ideas or memories, but actually: in real time. All Saints Day calls to our minds that deeper reality of our unity in Christ and all the baptized, living and dead, through His Catholic Church. Jesus works through His Catholic Church to destroy the power of evil: and the saints take that role up in their lives.

That is why there are statues and pictures of saints in Catholic Churches. They remind us of the heroes of the Faith: real people who loved Jesus so very much, and heroically, that their lives were forever changed, and they changed the world. As you look around our Basilica, can you name any of the statues or paintings of the saints? You should be able to. Let’s take a little tour of the images of those men and women who pray for each of us daily before the Throne of God.

Let’s start inside the basilica front interior doors. Standing in the center aisle, take a right: walk up the northern [right] side aisle: walk down the aisle to the baptismal font, on your right, and stop. Face the font, and there, next to the font is a white marble statue: who are the two men? The one kneeling is Jesus, the one standing is Saint John the Baptist: the last and greatest prophet, who baptized Jesus, and then died a martyr. Turn to your right and face the back wall: there is a stature of Saint Rita of Cascia: a wife and mother who suffered greatly at the hands of her abusive husband and children; after their death she became a nun, dedicating her life to Christ for the salvation of the world. Above her is a large oil painting of Our Lady: Jesus’ mother, who holds her divine son. The Blessed Virgin Mary was the first and most dedicated of Jesus’ disciples. Turn around, and walk down the aisle: at the front of the church is the side altar of Saint Joseph, the foster father of Jesus and husband of Mary. Next to the altar is a white marble statue of Saint Therese of Lisieux, a young girl who became a cloistered Carmelite nun, suffered from tuberculosis and offered her sufferings for the salvation of the world. Turn a little to the right, and there is a large seated bronze statue of Saint Peter: the chief Apostle, who died a martyr in Rome in 67 a.d. The popes in Rome share his office given him by Our Lord as head of the Church. Look up, and you’ll see four painted “statues”: on the far left is Blessed Pope Pius IX, next is Saint Patrick, then Saint Augustine and his mother Saint Monica. Turn round again, and walk to the exact center of the church, and face the high altar: on the right is Saint John the Evangelist; to the left is a statue of Our Lord with His Sacred Heart. Walk across to the other side, to the side altar of Our Lady, with Her Son standing below her. Next to the altar is a white marble statue of Saint Anthony of Padua, who holds the Infant Jesus. Now look up at the side wall: the far right of the large window is a painting of Saint Michael the Archangel; next, Saint Philip Neri; on the right of the window is Saints Joachim and Ann, the parents of Mary. These are real life people, who loved God on earth, and still do now in heaven.

Here’s your homework: Google each saint to learn more about their lives of faith: they, literally, changed their world around them because of their love for God. The saints are still part of the Catholic Church, who pray for you and me daily at the throne of God. Speak to the saints, just as you would your friends. Ask their help and guidance; read their biographies on-line for inspiration and get an idea what to do with your life: how can you love Jesus?—how can you change the world? Through Christ, you can do great things. More next week! —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.

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: This 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!!
The Upper Room at COLUMBUS PARK Trattoria:
FOR CATHOLICS aged 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and UP:
This 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 October 18, 2015 $ 13,073.00
Sunday October 19, 2014 $ 14,154.34

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

November 1st, Sunday Readings: Rv 7:2-4, 9-14; 1 Jn 3:1-3; Mt 5:1-12a.

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.

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

Electronic Giving – Offertory Donations Made Easy…Consider using your credit card to make your weekly or monthly donation to St. John’s. Easier for you, and less costly for the parish than the printing and mailing of weekly envelopes, credit card giving automatically sends your weekly offering to the Basilica of St. John’s. Call the parish secretary (324-1553, ext. 21).

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

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

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, October 24, 2015
4:00 +William Perretti req. Giannitti Family
Sunday, October 25, 2015
7:30 Special Intentions req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
10:00 +Mary T. McElroy
12:00 +Teresa Lombardo req. Marion, Bill and Richard Morris
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, October 26, 2015
8:00 Special Intentions Louise Morello req. Rosemary Drexel
12:10 +Anthony and Cecelia Conte req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
8:00 +Sister Mary Rose Gallagher CSJ – Birthday Remembrance req. Marie Carr
12:10 +Frances and Harry Fabrizio req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
8:00 Special Intentions Carson and Maura Daly req. Szele Family
12:10 +Onide Jean-Guillaume req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
Thursday, October 29, 2015
8:00 +John Maloney req. Mary Maloney
12:10 Special Intentions Millie Terenzio req. Family
Friday, October 30, 2015
8:00 +Gene Tushaj req. Wife Age
12:10 +John Palid req. Amparo Herrera
Saturday, October 31, 2015
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola
12:10 Msgr. Stephen M. DiGiovanni req. Ferry G.

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:

140 years ago, or so:
Oct. 29, 1875: The Catholic Fair. “The largest attendance of last week was that of Wednesday and Saturday evenings, though on every evening since the fair opened, until its close, the attendance was large, and the interest unabated. On Saturday evening the scene was particularly brilliant, and fully one thousand persons were present. The apartment in which the fair was held is the basement story of the new Catholic church. It is capable of seating twelve hundred persons, and with its numerous graceful iron pillars, its black walnut and ash wainscoting, and the neatness as well as the solidity of its finishing, can hardly be surpassed in any ecclesiastical edifice in city or country. On Saturday night when its sixty globe-covered gas jets threw a flood of brilliant light over the finely dressed and moving throng below, the scene was in a high degree animated and picturesque. Around the walls, at regular intervals, appeared on a shield, the state coat of arms of each of the states. On the west end of the building appeared the American and Irish flags; and at the east side a platform was erected on which an orchestra of seven pieces discoursed eloquent music at intervals during the evening. This band, under the direction of Mr. B. Lamb, is wholly a Stamford institution, and being composed of enthusiastic students of the art, who have had, moreover, the benefit of long practice together, its performance was really excellent. The programme heard on Saturday night included many pieces of high musical merit, and they were well performed.”

110 years ago, or so:
Oct. 28, 1907: Observance of All Saints’ Day. “In St. John’s R.C. Church, yesterday, the announcement was made that next Friday will not be observed as a fast day by Catholics, as it is All Saints’ Day. This is the first time in a number of years that this distinction has been made for any holy day falling on Friday, excepting Christmas. There will be services in the church at 5,7,8 and 9 a.m. Saturday will be all Souls’ Day, and, aside from the usual services in the church in the morning, there will be a service at 3 p.m. in the cemetery at Springdale.”

40 years ago, or so:
Nov. 3, 1973: Huge Crowd. “Talking about a crowd, Father Bill Nagle recalls the huge crowd that gathered Sunday at St. John’s Cemetery in Springdale, where a special Mass was celebrated to observe all Souls Day. More than 500 persons attended the Mass, which will be an annual affair at the Camp Avenue Cemetery.”

How to Make a Good Confession Part 3: What not to do – Tips for a better confession

-Fr. Andy Vill
Last week, I mentioned that I would write about what not to do in confession. Obviously there are many things one shouldn’t do in the confessional that don’t need to be mentioned (like taking a nap or doing your taxes), but I want to focus on common occurrences which are sometimes unnecessary or miss the point of why you are there to begin with. I will also offer some tips for things you can do that are helpful for the priest.

In the confessional, the priest is acting in persona Christi, that is, in the person of Christ. Understanding the priest’s role as judge can be confusing since Jesus told his disciples to stop judging, that you may not be judged (Matthew 7:1) [see also Luke 6:37]. It is important to realize that the priest is not there to judge the person, but to judge the contrition of the sins. That being said, it is not generally helpful for a priest to hear how you are a good person who does a lot of good stuff… Keep it simple; confess your sins, say you’re sorry, and most importantly, mean it!

When you are finished confessing your sins, it is helpful for the priest to hear, “…and I am sorry for these sins I cannot now remember.” Variations on this will do, but the essential thing is that the priest will know that you have finished. Sometimes, when I experience a long pause, I will ask, “Are there any other sins you’d like to bring to the Lord in this confession?” I just want to see if you have finished, I am not looking for you to make up new sins! If you have, simply tell me, “No, that’s all!”

Another thing to remember is that YOU are going to confession to confess YOUR sins. It can be easy to talk about the sins of your spouse or your children, but I can’t absolve their sins if they are not in front of me, I am there to absolve you from your sins.

As a practical note, we offer confessions at the Basilica daily, from 11:30am-11:55am Monday through Friday, from 3pm-4pm on Saturdays and for a half hour before the 7:30am, 10am, and 12pm Masses. Often the lines are long, and people need to get back to work after Mass. If you know you want to talk to the priest about something in depth, consider making an appointment to go to confession to a priest, or come by the office between 9am and 4:30pm on a weekday to see one of us. It is tough for us to lead the Angelus at noon and get ready for Mass when someone comes into the confessional at 11:53am and wants to make a general confession of their whole life!

It is important that you have a firm purpose of amendment as well for a good confession. What does that mean? Simply put, not only do you need to be sorry for the sins you have committed, but you have to intend to not commit those sins again. That doesn’t mean you will never sin again, but that you intend in that moment to never sin again. We cannot control the future, but we can make a firm resolution in the moment of the confessional. When you say that you are sorry for all of your sins and that you intend to sin no more, you don’t need to worry about jumping back into the confessional two minutes later to confess a venial sin you forgot to confess. If you were truly sorry for the sins you forgot to mention, they are forgiven of you. Obviously mortal sins should be brought up if you forgot to confess them the last time.

Finally, I have been asked whether I have denied someone absolution before. I won’t say whether I have or not, but I can tell you the reasons I would withhold absolution. Know first of all that my intention is to absolve every person who enters that confessional. Ten sinners coming in and ten penitents leaving absolved is a great day! A priest is saddened in the rare occasions where he needs to withhold absolution.

The instance in which I would not absolve a penitent is when someone is not sorry for the sins that they have committed. If they have done something to offend God or their neighbor, but are not sorry, they can’t be forgiven since they are not really asking to be forgiven. It is rare that someone would bring up a sin for which they were not sorry. What is more common is that the person shows that they are not sorry by their lack of a firm purpose of amendment. That means that they express their unwillingness to change their lives and give up their sin. This is seen most often in a sinful relationship or, more specifically, with sinful activities in a relationship which the penitent is unwilling to even try to stop. Someone can think they got away with something by receiving the prayer of absolution when they really aren’t sorry, but the Sacrament needs two elements to take place; the words of absolution from the priest and the contrition for sins on the part of the penitent. Both elements are necessary for you to receive God’s grace and mercy in the Sacrament.