HeartFor the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday November 1, 2015

Pastor’s Corner: The Solemnity of All Saints Day on November 1st and the Memorial of All Souls Day on November 2nd call to mind an aspect of the Church about which many people are unaware: The Catholic Church isn’t an institution of human design; it is the living Body of Christ that reaches beyond the here and now: Christ is the Head, we—both the baptized living and the baptized dead—are the members, through which Our Lord works to save everyone. November 1st and November 2nd are days recalling God’s immense love and mercy through His Catholic Church.

All Saints Day on November 1st recalls the innumerable men, women, and children who led lives of heroic virtue and great holiness. Now, they pray for us to Our Lord; they continue to be members of the Church, and continue to practice charity from heaven in our regard and for our eternal benefit.

All Souls Day on November 2nd calls to mind those innumerable men, women, and children who have died whose lives were less than perfectly holy. They, hopefully, are in Purgatory, being purged of the effects of their sins. We remember them in our prayers as our act of charity for their benefit, for they continue to be members of the Church. Not every dead person is in Heaven; not everyone is in Purgatory. The popular fallacy is that everyone goes to Heaven. Not so, at least not according to Our Lord’s revelation. If we live without Christ in this life, or if we live contrary to Christ now, then why should we want or expect to be with Christ in Heaven for eternity?

While our society revels in horror stories and myths about the dead during Halloween, the Church turns our attention to the reality of life and death, and the beauty of God’s mercy and love for us. This week we recall those Saints who loved Christ so much that they based their daily lives on Him, and we recall those others who desired to love God, but who were less than perfect because of human weakness. These 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 intention, 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 already forgiven by Confession. Sin has a lasting effect on us, which 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 is 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 can be applied by us to one of the faithful departed per day. All you have to do is this: 1) go to Confession at least once during that week, repent of past sins and remove even the attachment to sin, and receive Holy Communion on the day(s) you wish the Indulgence; 2) visit any cemetery or Catholic church; 3) and pray—one Hail Mary and one Our Father for the intention of the Pope, and recite the Apostles’ Creed.

Christ administers His mercy through His Church. We are asked to have faith in Christ who is able to do this through the Church He personally established, and to demonstrate our faith in our charity by doing these simple spiritual tasks for the dead. 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.

On the High Altar you will find displayed the parish’s relics of the Saints. Our Lady, Our Lord and the Saints are members of the Church, all praying for us, while we pray for those friends and family members who have died: all working for the salvation of all. Spend a few minutes at the altar rail and ask the saints to pray for you and for your family. Happy feast days! —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Thomas G. Maker, Mary Bauer, Mary Rose Bauer, 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, John & Joan Kronk, Mary Churley.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Pauline Whitehead, Suor Ada Marchetti, Ilse Pollard, Marge (Longo) DiDonato, 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.

All Saints Collection: The second collection today will be the All Saints collection for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

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. This is an eleven 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).

Mark your Calendars:

 Faith On Tap: Tuesday, November 17th: 7:00 pm in Murphy’s Townhouse Café on Jefferson Street. Discussions about the Faith for young Catholics 21-39.  The Upper Room: Thursday, November 19th: 7:00pm in Columbus Park Trattoria. Discussions about the Faith for Catholics 30s and up. Join us.

Thanksgiving Day Family Mass, November 26th: 10am in the Basilica. The ONLY Mass on Thanksgiving. Bring the Family!

Rorate Mass, Saturday, December 12th: 6am in the Basilica: a candle lit High Mass of Our Lady in English with our parish Gregorian Choir. Coffee and croissants in the parish hall immediately after Mass.

Handel’s Messiah, Saturday, December 12th: 8pm in the Basilica, performed by the Stamford Symphony and Choir: A wonderful event!
For tickets: Google Stamford Symphony Orchestra.

Parish Advent Retreat, December 14, 15, 16: 7:30-8:30 pm in the Basilica. Prepare for Christmas by spending some time with Our Lord in our parish: the evenings will include Exposition and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament, inspiring sermons, and Confession. Plan to join us with the whole family.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday October 25, 2015 $ 12,584.00
Sunday October 26, 2014 $ 9,176.44
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 8th, Sunday Readings: 1 Kgs 17:10-16; Heb 9:24-28; Mk 12:38-44.

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

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, November 23rd 7:30PM Location: Cosi at 230 Tresser Blvd, (in front of the Stamford Mall).

THANKS, to our donor who paid for the new metal stairs on the Basilica. God bless you and your family for your generosity!

St. Monica Biblical Greek Grammar: Thursdays at 6:30 pm, in the Rectory. 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.

SECOND DIOCESAN WOMEN’S CONFERENCE: “Faith, Love and Mercy”  Next 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.

STAMFORD SYMPHONY: Will perform Handel’s Messiah in our Basilica on  Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 8pm. One Night Only! Limited number of tickets available. Call today 203-325-4466, or go to www.stamfordsymphony.org.

Can Food Drive : The Religious Education Program is sponsoring a Can Food Drive to help the hungry in our community as Thanksgiving approaches. Beginning next weekend (November 7th and 8th), there will be boxes in the back of the church. (Please do not bring cans with expired dates). Canned and non perishable foods will be collected through Sunday, November 15th. Your generosity is much appreciated.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, October 31, 2015
4:00 +Mary Hill req. Joan and John Kronk
Sunday, November 1, 2015
7:30 +Wladek and Willemina Falek req. daughter
10:00 +Gaston Millien req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:00 +Teresa Lombardo req. Jimmy and Michelle Sagdati
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, November 2, 2015
8:00 +Suor Ada Marchetti req. Priests of the Parish
12:10 Deceased Parishioners
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
8:00 +Marie Snaitman Hall req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
12:10 +Laura Pascale req. John Pascale
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
8:00 +Margaret M. Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Charles and Matthew Austin req. parents
Thursday, November 5, 2015
8:00 +Members Do Family req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 +Raul Espinoza req. Lucy Espinoza
Friday, November 6, 2015
8:00 +Members Nguyen Family req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Lucy Espinoza
Saturday, November 7, 2015
8:00 +Joseph and Margaret Curtis req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Yves Marcel req. son Stevens Jeff

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:

125 years ago, or so:
Nov. 7, 1890: St. John’s R. C. Matters. “The fence in front of the rectory received a fresh coat of paint early this week. This Friday evening there will be the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in St. John’s church at 7:30 o’clock. The quarterly conference of this R.C. diocese was held this week in Hartford. The pastors attended on Tuesday and the assistant pastors on Thursday. The feast of All Souls, in commemoration of the departed, was celebrated on Monday last, and the Masses at 7 and 8 o’clock were largely attended.”

115 years ago, or so:
Nov. 7, 1901: “St. Anne’s Ladies’ Aid Society of St. John’s R. C. Church is to give a euchre party in the Town Hall, on the evening of Thursday, Nov. 21. Handsome prizes will be awarded to the winners. At its last regular meeting, St. Joseph’s T.A.B. Society initiated eight new members. Rev. Eugene Sullivan of St. John’s R. C. Church addressed the members on the temperance question.”

75 years ago, or so:
Nov. 4, 1942: “There will be confessions in St. John’s Catholic Church tomorrow afternoon from 4 to 6 and 7:30 to 9 p.m. in preparation for First Friday of the month when Masses will be held at 6 and 7:30 a.m. Holy Communion will be distributed before the 6 o’clock Mass and again at 7 a.m. Confessions will be from 3:30 to 6 tomorrow afternoon.”

50 years ago, or so:
Nov. 5, 1963: Catholic Scouts Attend Retreat. “Twenty seven Boy Scouts of the Catholic faith from the Alfred W. Dater Council B.S.A. attended a pilgrimage at Manress Retreat House, Ridgefield, Sunday. Arrangements for the Pilgrimage were made by John J. Burkhardt and Joseph J. Malloy of the Dater Council, Catholic Committee on Scouting. The pilgrimage is a requirement to be fulfilled by Scouts working on the third and final step of the Ad Altare Dei Religious award. The group assembled in the chapel for the prayers lead by Scout Daniel Moriarty, Troop 22, St. John’s Church.”

40 years ago, or so:
Nov. 4, 1974: Centennial Observance. “Mayor Frederick Lenz presented a plaque from the City of Stamford to Father William A. Nagle to be placed outside St. John’s R. C. Church on Atlantic Street to remain permanently. The occasion is the observance of St. John’s 100th birthday. There will be a Pontifical Con-celebrated Mass of Thanksgiving this Saturday, October 18 at 5:30 p.m.”

Making Your Examination of Conscience Before Confession
-Fr. Andy Vill

I realize that this is a bit out of order in my series on confession, but many people have asked about making the examination of conscience before confession and I neglected to speak about it at the start of these few articles. In the last several weeks we have talked about the reason to go to confession, the step-by-step breakdown of the Sacrament, and the things which would be helpful to avoid in confession. It is important before receiving any Sacrament that we are recollected, especially before Mass and confession.

Most everyone who has gone to confession has had the experience of seeing a priest or the light on in the confessional and thought, “I wasn’t planning on it, but I should go to confession.” We know which sin has really been weighing on our hearts so we jump in the confessional, confess that sin and say, “I’m sorry for this sin and those I can’t remember.” God loves those occasions and is usually the one who prompts those encounters. That being said, as often as we can, we should prepare our hearts by examining our lives since our last confession.

Before anything else, we should identify any mortal sins we may have committed. (See Part 3 Article 8 on Sin in the Catechism of the Catholic Church for the distinction between mortal and venial sins [CCC 1846-1876]). As I have explained previously, there are other means of being forgive our venial sins, such as the penitential rite in Mass, but the only way we can be sure of forgiveness of our mortal sins is through Confession. It is encouraged that we confess our venial sins as well in the Sacrament, especially those with which we struggle most. Venial sins which we do not address can turn into mortal ones. The repetition of sins―even venial ones―engenders vices, among which are the capital sins (CCC 1876).

As we are reminded by Jesus of the two greatest commandments, loving God with your whole being and loving your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:35-40), we have these as the benchmarks for our examination. The Greek word for sin is αμαρτία (amartía) which means “to miss the mark.” The question we need to ask ourselves as we examine our conscience is this: “How have I missed the mark in loving God above all else and loving my neighbor as myself?” The most helpful guide for us was given to Moses on Mount Sinai; the Ten Commandments. The first three have to do with honoring God and the last seven concern our love for neighbor.

Before making a decision, some people find the acronym WWJD (“What Would Jesus Do?”) to be a helpful tool in order to figure out how one should act. When it comes to examining the actions we have already done, to see if we have committed any sins, I find the following helpful; WIDIIFOJ. Obviously I made that acronym up, but the question is an important one: “Would I Do It In Front Of Jesus?” Whether it is watching something inappropriate online, or speaking in a certain way, would I still have done it if Jesus were sitting there in the room with me? It is much easier to recognize that my gossiping about my neighbor was a sin when I ask myself, “Would I feel comfortable gossiping about that person with Jesus?”

It is important to be thorough in our examination, but not to be scrupulous with it. The scrupulous person is one who sees a sin where there is not one. “Forgive me Father for I have sinned, I ate a banana instead of an apple for breakfast today.” This made up example might sound silly, but someone who is scrupulous might see their choice of a banana (that person’s favorite fruit) as a sin because they did not choose to mortify themself with the penance of choosing an apple (their least favorite fruit).

Ultimately, Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). On the one hand, we should recognize our sins and be sorry for them with a firm resolve to not commit those sins again; on the other, we should know that we are created for love and that fact that we have the possibility for reconciliation indicates that God does not want us to live in oppression or despair. Let us give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His mercy endures forever!