For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday March 6, 2016

Pastor’s Corner: The Annual Catholic Appeal, which used to be the called the Annual Bishop’s Appeal, is an important instrument that allows us to be generous to those in need during Lent. Begun by Bishop Egan years ago, it is a special collection designed to fund the charities and good works of the Bishop of Bridgeport throughout Fairfield County, which is the Diocese of Bridgeport.

What type of charities does the Annual Catholic Appeal help? Your donation will be used to feed the hungry: this funds the two soup kitchens run by the Diocese of Bridgeport: New Covenant House of Hospitality on Fairfield Avenue here in Stamford, and the Thomas Merton Center on Madison Avenue in Bridgeport. You also fund the Senior Nutrition Programs offered by Catholic Charities in Stamford, Norwalk, Danbury and Bridgeport, providing hot meals to home bound seniors, without charge. Last year, more than 1 million hot meals were served by these Catholic programs throughout Fairfield County to the homeless, homebound, and needy.

Catholic Charities of Fairfield County is also funded by your donation, and offers counseling, both individual and family, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, educational programs, and more, to thousands of people who could not otherwise receive such assistance.

Your donation also helps fund the seminary program: Saint John Fisher Seminary Residence was founded in 1989 by me. It provides a local seminary program for young men between the ages of 18 and 40 to enter into a disciplined life of study and pray. It’s program also provides guidance by a faculty of priests and lay teachers to determine whether God is calling them to the priesthood, while also providing the Diocese a means to determine the suitability of the young men to be priests. Since its founding, Fisher has brought 87 young men to priestly ordination for the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Your generosity also funds the various educational programs around the diocese. The Fairfield County Catholic, is a means of educating the faithful of the work of Catholic Church around the diocese. The monthly Catholic newspaper is offered free of charge. Our local Catholic grammar schools and high schools throughout Fairfield County also receive funding from the Annual Bishop’s Appeal.

This is just a brief outline of some of the good works that you support and fund by your donation to the Annual Catholic Appeal. There are many more.

Each parish is given a goal set by a committee of pastors: Saint John’s goal this year is $110,000. During the April 30/ May 1weekend, we will offer you the opportunity to make or to pledge a donation when we have our “In-Pew” weekend to fill out donation envelopes in church. Please use these next weeks to consider what your gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal will be, that we may continue our good works to form and assist the lives of thousands throughout Fairfield County. God bless you for your generous support of this diocesan Appeal.
—Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Jonathan Victor, Sophia Petrafesa, Donald Gerbasi, Lyn Geikie-Rice, Ann Cody, Addison Byrne, Ruth Coyle, Joyce Simoneau Rybnick, Brianna Petigny, Cathy Itri, Elaine Shoztic, Louise Morello, Chris Seely, Jacqueline Domingue, John Kronk, Mary Lena Cocchia, Alexandre Laurent, John MacLean, John Murray, Karyl Suzanne Bearden, Kevin O’Byrne, Barbara Itri, Victoria Campos, Rita Timon, Diane Grant, Mary Bauer, Mary Rose Bauer, Paolo Cavallo, Silvana Smith, Josh Frank, Mildred Beirne, Joe Brennan, Betty Brennan, Nancy Gallagher, Billy Therriault, Loy Mulyagonja, Jay & Catherine Olnek.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Julie Breunich, Angeline Kom Simo, Ken Hopson, Mary & Stephen Churley, Deborah Karen Fallacaro, Fr. Joseph Malloy, Alberico Faugno, Alvaro Paternina, Bonnie Keyes, Anne Duffell, Marian Bissell, Domenic Civitillo, Suzanne DePreta, John Marena, Mary Fahey, Audrey Thorpe, Marie Martin, Doris Byrd, Santiago Collazo, Klebert Lorent, Susanne DePreta, Margaret Lupo, Stanton Parrish.

American Bishops’ Overseas Appeal Collection . . . Please drop your special envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.

St. Joseph Votive Light Memorial: +Joseph Taricani req. Leon Taricani

Stations of the Cross: Fridays during Lent at 4 p.m. in the Basilica.

SAVE THE DATES: 2016 KENTUCKY DERBY: Saturday, May 7th, 4-7 p.m., in the Rectory. Our annual fundraiser features a simulcast of the Run for the Roses, fabulous food and drink, and the chance to win some spectacular prizes, like a 65” Samsung curved smart TV. Space limited to 100 guests only; tickets: $125. All proceeds this year will fund the work on the church’s clerestory.

Handel’s Messiah: The Stamford Symphony will perform this classic in the Basilica on Saturday, December 10th at 8 p.m. Tickets go on sale at the Stamford Symphony to members of the Basilica parish now before sales to the general public begin. For ticket reservations, please call: Patron Services: 203-325-1407, x 10, and mention that you are a parishioner.

CHOIR: Anyone having vocal musical talent who would like to offer your talents to God, please consider joining our parish choir. The choir rehearses each Friday evening, and sings at the 12 noon High Mass each Sunday. If you are interested, please contact our organist, David Indyk: idorganist@gmail.com

LATIN LOW MASS: In the Extraordinary Form each Friday at 2pm. Everyone is welcome.

Latin: Anyone interested in learning Latin? If so, let Monsignor know [203-324-1553, x 11], since we are considering beginning Latin grammar classes.

Faith on Tap: For young Catholics 21-39 years of age, will be on Tuesday, March 15th beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Murphy’s Townhouse Café on 97 Franklin Street. Father John Connaughton will speak on “Rethinking the Ten Commandments.” Join us for a beer and a stimulating discussion.

The Upper Room: For Catholics ages 39 and up, will be on Tuesday, March 29th beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Columbus Park Trattoria’s Upper Room on Columbus Park in downtown Stamford. Join us for a glass of wine and a stimulating discussion of our Faith.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday February 28, 2016 $ 14,432.24
Sunday March 1, 2015 $ 11,871.19
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

March 13th, Sunday Readings: Is 43:16-21; Phil 3:8-14; Jn 8:1-11.

Behold the Lamb: Join us the third Saturday of every month from 7-8 p.m. for Eucharistic Adoration in the Basilica. The Holy Hour will be accompanied by charismatic songs and confessions will be available. Bring the entire family, children and all! This month’s Behold the Lamb Holy Hour will be on Saturday March 19th, 2016. See our posters in the church for a listing of future dates!

MEN of SAINT JOHN’S: Looking for a spiritual boost? Try something new during Lent: Our Holy Name Society is it! Come to the Rectory each Friday at 7 a.m. and join with 30 men of the parish for coffee, prayer, Eucharistic adoration and Benediction. Out by 8 a.m. in time for daily Mass. Just walk in the front door of the Rectory. Come join us!

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 classes are for you: Wednesdays 7:30-9:00pm in the Rectory. This is an eighteen week course of studies. Please call the rectory for information (203-324-1553, ext. 21). We began on Wednesday, March 2nd.

Police: As policemen and women are under attack throughout the country, we ask that you Please remember the members of our Stamford Police Department in your prayers. Likewise, remember in your prayers members of Stamford’s EMS and Fire Department, and our military women and men who protect our nation.

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 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.

Life Runners: Are you a runner interested in joining the fight against abortion through LIFE Runners ((http://www.liferunners.org/)? Meet ups will consist of a monthly group run starting with prayer outside a local abortion clinic. No previous running experience is required. Please contact Diane Kremheller at diane.kremheller@gmail.com for additional details.

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: fmoran@futurefive.org

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 or Monsignor at spqrnac@gmail.com.

St. Monica Latin Reading Group:  Tuesdays at 12:45 in the Rectory.  We are continuing our review of ecclesiastical Latin using Second Latin by Cora and Charles Scanlon.  Currently, we are reading excerpts from the Summa Theologica  of St Thomas Aquinas.  An intermediate reading ability in Latin is necessary.  Please call the Rectory for information.

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, April 25th 7:30PM Location: Cosi at 230 Tresser Blvd, (in front of the Stamford Mall).

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, March 5, 2016
4:00 +Cardinal Edward M. Egan – 1st Anniversary req. Dr. Joe McAleer
Sunday, March 6, 2016
7:30 +Richard Saunders req. Bill Saunders
10:00 +Dorothy Wargo Birthday Remembrance req. Arthur Wargo
12:00 +Anna Young req. Kung Family
5:00 +Peter Pia
6:00 People of the Parish
Monday, March 7, 2016
8:00 Thanksgiving to St. Rita for prayers answered req. Diane Strain
12:10 Stephanie Zachariadis req. Gina Uva
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
8:00 Alexandra and Gertha Laurent
12:10 +Frank and Sunda Longo req. Longo Family
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
8:00 +Howard Jones, Jr. – 1st Anniversary req. Dr. Joe McAleer
12:10 +Joseph Cognetta req. Pinto Family
Thursday, March 10, 2016
8:00 +Barbara Wolf req. Giannitti Family
12:10 +Madeline Preziosi req. Marion, Bill, Richard and Jimmy and Michelle Sagdati
Friday, March 11, 2016
8:00 Special Intentions Gina Uva
12:10 +Charles Poidomani req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
Saturday, March 12, 2016
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10 +Shirley Cooper Saunders req. Bill Saunders

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. For more information, 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 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: End Legalized Abortion: Fridays, 7:45a.m.-10a.m: Stamford’s Planned Parenthood, 35 Sixth Street.

The Legion of Mary: Wednesday Evenings: 7:30 pm ’till 9:00 pm in the Msgr. Nagle Hall.

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: Tuesdays at 12:45 in the Rectory.

Coffee Hour: After the 10a.m. Family Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall.

St. John’s in the ADVOCATE:

145 years ago, or so:
March 12, 1869: “The Roman Catholic Society have purchased a lot 200 X 100 feet, in one of the most prominent and valuable positions on Atlantic Street for $12,500. We understand it is the intention of the society to build a handsome church edifice on their new purchase.”

115 years ago, or so:
March 6, 1902: Fast Day Proclamation. “The annual proclamation for fast day (Good Friday) has just been issued by Gov. McLean. It says: “In willing obedience to the custom established in righteousness and revered by the fathers, I hereby appoint Friday, the twenty-eighth day of March, as a day of fasting and prayer. And I recommend that the people of Connecticut observe that day in humble acknowledgment of the greatness and goodness of God, and in their homes and churches turn their thoughts and desires from the things that perish with using to those imperishable treasures that bring to the children of man peace, and honor, and happiness, and a faith that knows no fear.”

70 years ago, or so:
March 9, 1946: St. John’s School Students To Present An Irish Musical. “An Irish Musical will be presented on March 15 at 7:30 p.m. by St. John’s Parochial School. Among the students who will render such old time favorites as “It’s a Great Day for the Irish,” “Little Town in the Old County Down,” and “A Little Bit of Heaven,” are Catherine Crowley, Barbara Gartner, John Fitzpatrick, Francis Page, Nancy Kennedy, Norma Grimm, Faith Rahmlow, Richard Horan and Gerald Callahan and Frank Horan, a former student.”

50 years ago, or so:
March 8, 1965: Scout Troop Conducts Joint Camp Project. “Troop 22, Boy Scouts of America, sponsored by St. John’s Church, held a unique camping program this past weekend. Over 40 Scouts camped in St. John’s School Friday and Saturday nights. Following the Friday evening troop meeting, the boys set up camp in the school hall. They spent the balance of the evening performing one of the troop’s good turn projects—stuffing envelopes with Easter Seal data for the Rehabilitation Center. Saturday morning, following breakfast cooked outside in the parking lot behind the school, a physical fitness program was held, with representative of each patrol competing in track and field events.”

The Despair of Holy Saturday
-Fr. Andy Vill

Ever Lent we begin already with the privilege of the certainty of the Resurrection. Beginning on Ash Wednesday we take on penances, but we know them to be just for a time. We know that at the end of forty days we can return to eating chocolate, drinking alcohol, using Facebook, or whatever else we had given up. We know that in a few weeks we will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, Stations of the Cross on Good Friday and the Easter Vigil on Saturday night. For us in 2016, it is impossible to begin the Triduum without anticipating the joy we will experience on Easter Sunday.

The whole Triduum is a re-presentation (as is every Mass we celebrate) of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. We call this the Pascal Mystery. There was one year however in which the joy of Easter was not understood by the community of believers until the moment in which they experienced it on Sunday. That community of believers was none other than the first disciples; that is, the Apostles themselves.

Think of where all of the disciples were when Jesus was being crucified. John was the only Apostles who stayed at the foot of the Cross with His mother Mary and the other women. Judas had betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15). Peter had been willing to defend Jesus with a sword in the garden (John 18:10), but chose to deny Him with his words three times in the courtyard of the high priest (John 18:13-27). The other Apostles had similarly fled or abandoned Jesus along the way. In spite of their having abandoned Jesus, news of His death must have reached them all soon enough. Jesus is dead. Their Rabbi is gone. For the last three years they hadn’t had to worry because they had trust in Jesus, that what He said was true; but He was gone. They buried Him. That’s it.

Had the last three years all been for naught? They had left their families and livelihoods to follow the man they thought was the Messiah. They thought Him to be invincible and now He was gone. Maybe it had been too good to be true. What would they do now? Would they return to their lives as fishermen? What does a life without Jesus look like?

As we in 2016 proceed through the rest of our Lent let us take the time to pray with the despair of Holy Saturday. In prayer we should place ourselves in the shoes of the Apostles on the morning after the Crucifixion. What would that have felt like? What is the experience of loss and disappointment look like when the whole promise of eternal life is on the line?

The Apostles had experienced such despair and yet… there still must have been that glimmer of hope. Jesus had said that he would be rejected and killed before rising from the dead in three days (Mark 8:31). Could it be that His words were true after all? They would have to wait until Easter morning to discover the truth of the Resurrection.

We are already blessed to know. How do our lives look different because of that? How do our actions tell the world that “there is a God and I’m not him” and that He has come that [we] might have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10)? May God give us the grace this season of Lent to love Him more fully, that we may witness to the joy of the Resurrection that we may always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls [us] to account for the hope that is in [us] (1 Peter 3:15).

Pastor’s Corner: Per the directives of the Diocese, parishes must regularly publish their financial reports. Below, please find the financial statements for the first six months of this Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2015. The fiscal year ended with a profit of $82,808. The parish has no debt, other than a few current normal bills. We still have much needed repairs. The 32 clerestory windows on the outside upper church are in desperate need of paint and sealant. I am very grateful for your generosity. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Comparative State Activities 12-31-15 Adj
Comparative State of position 12-31-15 Adj
2016 Wedding Jubilee Mass: On Sunday, April 17, 2016 at Saint Paul Parish, Greenwich beginning at 3:00pm Bishop Caggiano will be celebrating the 2016 Wedding Jubilee Mass. This Mass is for couples celebrating 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 plus year wedding anniversaries. This will be the only Wedding Jubilee Mass for 2016. Mass will be followed by a reception in the Parish Hall. You may register with our Parish Secretary, Cindy, at 203-324-1553 x21 or email at stjc@optonline.net, or contact Janet Davis 203-416-1636 or jdavis@diobpt.org Reservations must be received by April 1, 2016.

Behold the Lamb-Mar-May 2016 Edit