For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday November 22, 2015

Pastor’s Corner: Thanksgiving II
Turkey The Mayflower set sail for the British Colony of Virginia in 1620. A late departure, and a more difficult than anticipated voyage, brought them to Cape Cod, not to Virginia, on November 10, 1620. With no royal charter to land in the north, grumblings of mutiny began among the agents of the original investors. To forestall any possible disintegration of the group, William Bradford, their leader, decided to draft a new agreement, albeit hurriedly, “that might be as firm as any patent, and in some respects more sure”, as he put it.

The Mayflower Compact of November 11, 1620, began by stating their reason for having come to the New World, and the words are worth repeating:

In the name of God, Amen. . . Having undertaken, for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith and honour of our king & country, a voyage to plant the first colony. . . do by these presents solemnly & mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant & combine our selves together into a civil body politick; for our better ordering, & preservation & furtherance of the ends aforetold. No one was a loner on the Mayflower.

The words are echoed 250 plus years later in the Declaration of Independence, and are worth repeating:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, . . . We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Happiness is a goal and a natural right for us. But how do we find happiness? Following the stock market crash of 1929, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made this observation, in his first inaugural address of 1933:

If I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we cannot merely take, but we must give as well; that if we are to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, . . . We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline, because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good.

Being interested in getting as much of everything for oneself as possible, is what got us into the mess of 1929, and the mess that began in 2008, as well. How many millions have been hurt, and will be hurt, by such greed and self-interest? Charity—the interest in the welfare of others First Thanksgiving first—is at the very heart of this nation, from the beginning.

That’s the story of the first Thanksgiving: a feast thanking God. Even if the details of the first Thanksgiving have been prettied up for today’s modern audience, its heart is true: charity for others, and the defense of the dignity of others in private and public, which is, likewise, at the heart of our nation. If you are looking to teach your children something about Thanksgiving, try this: that it is imperative that they always be grateful, and express their gratitude to those who are good to them: God, their parents, their teachers, their friends, and eventually, their wives or husbands. Let’s remember that this year. Happy Thanksgiving!
—Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Jacqueline Domingue, Mary Churley, John & Joan Kronk, Mary 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, 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, Loy Mulyagonja, Ben Castle, Jay & Catherine Olnek, Marie Augustin .

Please pray for those who have recently died: Stanton Parrish, Pauline Whitehead, Suor Ada Marchetti, Ilse Pollard, Marge (Longo) DiDonato, Richard Hughes, Michel Lops, Louise Munro, Rene Lafleur, Victor Lafleur, John Gannon, Richard Saunders.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: +Ed Cody, Bill Cody, Felicitas Cody req. Cody Family

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:

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 pastries 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! Limited number of tickets available. For tickets: Call today 203-325-4466, or go to

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.

Catholic Pilgrimage to Spain with Father Andrew Vill…April 11 – 21, 2016:
Madrid, Toledo, Salamanca, Seville, Cordoba and Avila (St. Theresa).
Cost: $3,299 per person (double occupancy) from JFK. Price includes roundtrip airfare,  all airline fees and government taxes, hotel with daily buffet breakfast, Hotel taxes  and surcharges, 1 lunch, 5 dinners, English speaking professional tour guide and sightseeing.  For more information, please call Frank Carpanzano at 203-975-8833 ext.3004.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday November 15, 2015 $ 13,749.00
Sunday November 16, 2014 $ 13,491.41

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 29th, Sunday Readings: Jer 33:14-16; 1 Thes 3:12—4:2; Lk 21:25-28, 34-36.

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.

Project Rachel Ministry: Offers free and confidential help to those seeking healing after abortion. Come back to God, who is love and mercy. 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

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.

St. Monica Latin Reading Group: Thursdays at 12:45 in the Rectory. We are continuing our review of ecclesiastical Latin, using Second Latin by Cora and Charles Scanlon.  An intermediate reading ability in Latin is necessary. Please call the Rectory for information.

Volunteers: FUTURE 5 is a non-profit organization to help motivated low income high school students in Stamford to improve themselves and their future. We need volunteers to do one-on-one student work, such as college coaches, job prep coaches, and teachers. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Fanny Moran:

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

Interested in Cub Scouts? We are looking to start a Cub Scout Pack here at the Basilica. If you are an adult who would like to be involved as a scout leader, or you have a boy of elementary school age who is interested in becoming a Cub Scout, please email Fr. Vill at with the subject Cub Scouts to express your interest.

March For Life January 22nd, 2016: We want to gage if there is enough interest to get a bus to go down to the March for Life in Washington DC this year. If you are interested please email Fr. Vill at

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, November 21, 2015
4:00 + George Van Langen req. Joyce Patten and Lorraine Van Langen
Sunday, November 22, 2015
7:30 +Sister Caroline Marie CSJ Birthday Remembrance req. Marie Carr
10:00 +Linda DePreta req. Giannitti Family
NO 12:00PM MASS (Stamford Thanksgiving Parade)
5:00 +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, November 23, 2015
8:00 Special Intentions Gertha Laurent
12:10 +Barbara Copp req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
8:00 +Alfred Henry Lovell Jr. req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
12:10 +Charles and Matthew Austin req. parents
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
8:00 Special Intentions Thomas Cycon req. Ferry G.
12:10 +Gaetano and Maria Conte req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
Thursday, November 26, 2015 – Thanksgiving Day (10AM Mass Only)
8:00 NO 8:00AM MASS
10:00 Souls in Purgatory
12:10 NO 12:10PM MASS
Friday, November 27, 2015
8:00 +Barbara Wyman req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
12:10 +John Pagnotti req. Jean and John Bendick
Saturday, November 28, 2015
8:00 In Honor of Padre Pio req. Maria Trivino
12:10 +Thomas Maiorino req. Collins 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).

St. Monica Latin Reading Group: Thursdays at 12:45 in the Rectory.

Coffee Hour: There is no Coffee Hour this Sunday, November 22nd, because of the Parade and there will be no Coffee Hour November 29th, because of Thanksgiving. Coffee Hour will resume Sunday December 6th, after the 10a.m. Family Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:

DEDICATION OF THE R. C. CHAPEL: The Advocate: December 3, 1875. “A memorable event—especially to the Roman Catholic people of the town—occurred on Thanksgiving day. The congregation assembled in the vicinity of the old church edifice, and marched in procession to the new church, where an audience numbering not less than sixteen hundred persons gathered to witness the dedicatory services of the new chapel, [the basement church] a spacious and substantially finished apartment, in the basement of the new edifice [it is today’s Msgr. Nagle Hall]. A number of the Catholic clergy from elsewhere in this diocese and from the Archdiocese of New York took part in the ceremonies. The priests and attendant acolytes, to the number of thirty-six, walked in procession down the aisle of the chapel, and passing out, walked around the edifice, sprinkling holy water and reciting in Latin the prayers appointed to be used on such occasions. Subsequently High Mass was celebrated, followed by a sermon from one of the visiting clergymen, in which he took occasion to congratulate the pastor and people upon the superb edifice they have raised for the worship of God. “If this be the chapel,” said he, “what must the church be when it is all completed? I have no doubt it will be one of the most beautiful in the New England states.” The chapel is supplied with a new pipe organ, which, though much inferior in size to the grand organ to be used in the church, is a fine instrument, and was played in a masterly manner. The vocal part of the music was strikingly fine, and constituted no inconsiderable part of the service.”

Did you hear?…
-Fr. Andy Vill

A few weeks ago I received a suggestion to write a bulletin article about gossip and, since many of us will be visiting with family and in-laws during Thanksgiving this week, what better time than now to discuss the topic! Why is gossip so bad? Principally, because everyone has a right to a good reputation. Once we have tarnished someone’s reputation we cannot “take it back.” Besides hurting the person whom you speak of, you actually hurt yourself, becoming a person who chooses hate over love. A dictionary definition of the term gossip is as follows: casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.

The fact that it is casual shows that it is not a real concern for the wellbeing of the other person. There is a difference between discussing a situation a person is in and subsequently asking for prayers or seeking concrete means of intervening, and the talk which brings the person and their issues to light, but lack charity and seeks to tear a person down. What is charity? Charity means love. Whenever we sin, we are failing in charity. When we sin we either are failing to love God or our neighbor. Talking casually about another person’s misfortune or imperfections does not build them up or the community in any way. Most often when we gossip we bring up juicy details we have heard second or third-hand which we have made no effort to verify. It is the sin of slander or calumny when we make false and defamatory statements about a person in order to ruin their reputation.

“But Father, everything I say about my mother-in-law is absolutely true!” People still have a right to a good reputation. When we purposefully bring up the bad qualities about a person to lower someone else’s opinion of that person we commit the sin of detraction. An Italian phrase says, “La parola più bella è quella non detta.” (The most beautiful word is that which is not spoken.) In other words, follow the advice of your mother from years ago: “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all…”

I am willing to wager that each one of us has participated in gossip at some point in our lives. For some of us, it is more of a struggle than for others. Some of you might be known as the person to whom one should go if they want to “get the dirt” on someone else. Don’t be that person that seeks to “get the dirt” or to whom people go to in order to “find out the dirt”. I once received advice which about staying away from gossip which I think you will find helpful. “Petty men discusses other people in conversation, the mature man discusses ideas and activities.” This can be our standard for conversation. Let us not be petty, but men and women of true maturity. Let us follow St. Paul’s advice the Ephesians, “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29).