For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday April 10, 2016

Pastor’s Corner:  Happy 375th Anniversary!! —-of the founding of Stamford in 1641. The area of Stamford Insignia the original 1641 settlement was originally named Rippowam by members of the Minisink [Munsee] tribe of Native Americans. On July 1, 1640, the land was purchased from Chief Ponus by Nathaniel Turner of the New Haven Colony for 12 coats, 12 hoes, 12 ratchets, 12 glasses, 12 knives, four kettles, and “four fathoms of white wampum.” The deal was negotiated further until 1700, when a substantial sum of money was paid the tribe.

Turner sold his land in 1640 to a group of Protestant colonists, members of the Church of Christ in Wethersfield, Connecticut, who organized the Wethersfield Company, latter called the Rippowam Company. Embroiled in a bitter quarrel with other members of the church, they determined to leave Wethersfield and settle on Long Island Sound, somewhere along the Rippowam River—precisely on Captain Turner’s land. [There was real estate development in Stamford from the beginning!] Originally part of the New Haven Colony, the 28 Puritan families and two “Negro servants” arrived in the summer of 1641 and began building their first meeting house and settlement in what is today’s Vets’ Park, across from the Old Town Hall. In 1662, we were re-organized as part of the Connecticut Colony with our seat of government in Fairfield.

Membership in Stamford was limited to Puritans. In fact, prior to 1818, when the first Constitution of Connecticut was formed, the Puritan—Congregational Church—was the only established religion, paid for and supported by the state government. Being an English colony, Connecticut’s laws were severely anti-Catholic. Classic works of the time—Edward Johnson’s Wonder-Working Providence of Sions Savior, published in 1654, or Increase Mather’s Order of the Gospel, published in 1700, or Cotton Mather’s Magnalia Christi Americana of 1702, popularized the belief that the New England colonies were established by God as mankind’s second chance to live the Gospel in a pure form, with no less a destiny than to become the beacon of the Protestant Reformation to the world. According to these colonial divines, the only form of religion and government acceptable to God was that of the Puritan fathers.

The laws of the colonies in Connecticut reflected this elitist view. They were designed as barriers to intruders and as supports for a system of government and religion intolerant of dissent. Any one who declined to support the civil or religious creeds of the colonies as established by God through the General Court could not be permitted to enjoy the rights and privileges of a citizen, hold elected post, or be allowed the ministrations of a clergyman. If one wanted to become a citizen, one had to take a public oath. Such was the case of Dr. Francois Forgue in 1774 in Fairfield. He was a baptized Catholic, born in France, and took the public oath in Fairfield denouncing, point by point, the creed of the Roman Catholic Church. Stamford was no different. Things have changed since then: Catholics form the largest single religious group in town.

I am the chair of one of the committees organizing the official celebrations of Stamford’s 375th. The first event will be next Sunday, April 17th, at the Old Town Hall—down the street from the Basilica. This first celebration begins at 3pm: “The Role of Religious Faith in the Life of Stamford.” I joked with my fellow committee members that none of us would have been allowed to settle in Stamford in 1641, because we are all members of then-illegal religions: Roman Catholic, Jewish, Episcopal, Baptist, Moslem.

That bias slowly changed during the subsequent decades. Why? Because people in Stamford needed one another in the reality of daily life, and realized God is greater than human hatred. Catholics were allowed to settle in the mid-19th century because Stamford needed the strong backs of Irish and Italian immigrants. As the town developed into a city, growing industries needed more and more workers, and more and more immigrants from around the world arrived. I hope you will join us next Sunday, April 17th from 3-4p.m. at the Old Town Hall. We Catholics form the largest and most influential of all the groups that settled in Stamford. Our presence at the Old Town Hall is important since our presence in goodly numbers will make a statement, just as our presence in the community since the 1840s has made an impact in the lives of everyone, today. Please join us.—Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: William Byrnes, Jonathan Victor, Sophia Petrafesa, Donald Gerbasi, Lyn Geikie-Rice, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Maureen Tilley, Enrico Imbrogno, Sr., Ann Cody, 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.

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: +Ann Cody req. Cody Family and Friends

Banns of Marriage:
I Banns: Alejandro Idarraga Restrepo and Jennifer Anne Koziol

SAVE THE DATES:
Sunday, APRIL 17th: 3 p.m.-4 p.m. at the Old Town Hall: The opening of the 375th anniversary of Stamford celebrations: the ROLE OF RELIGIOUS FAITH IN THE LIFE OF STAMFORD. Msgr. DiGiovanni is the chairman of the committee organizing this event: Everyone is welcome: Let’s all show up at the Old Town Hall to make a statement: Catholics play an important part in the life of Stamford, and we’re proud of it!!

Faith on Tap: Tuesday, April 19th at 7:00 pm: For young Catholics 21-39 years of age, will be on at Murphy’s Townhouse Café on 97 Franklin Street. Father Andrew Vill will speak on Why Get Married in the Church? Join us for a beer and stimulating discussion.

The Upper Room: Monday, April 25th at 7:30 pm: in the Upper Room at Columbus Park Trattoria on Broad Street in downtown Stamford. This is for Catholics aged 30 and up. Join us for a glass of wine and a lively discussion. This month’s topic:
Dr. Joe McAleer will speak on The Wisdom of Cardinal Egan, previewing his new book of the Cardinal’s writings.

Saturday, MAY 7th: 4-7 p.m., 2016 KENTUCKY DERBY: 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 will fund the work on the church’s clerestory.

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

Sidewalk Advocates for Life: “Did you know that there are innocent lives being lost due to abortions in Stamford each week? Would you like to learn how to help women in unplanned, crisis pregnancies choose life at the abortion center? Sidewalk Advocates for Life offers a peaceful, prayerful, law-abiding sidewalk advocacy method that seeks to reach that woman’s heart and fill her needs so she can confidently choose life! Our next training will be held on Saturday, April 30 from 8:00am to 12:00pm at St. John the Evangelist Rectory in Stamford, CT. If you would like to learn this method and check out our program, please contact the Program Co-Director Noelle at 857-345-0808 or noelle.gross@gmail.com. More information at www.sidewalkadvocates.org!”

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday April 3, 2016 $ 16,860.81
Sunday April 5, 2015 $ 14,669.32

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

April 17th, Sunday Readings: Acts 13:14, 43-52; Rev 7:9, 14b-17; Jn 10:27-30.

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 April 16th, 2016. See our posters in the church for a listing of future dates!

MEN of SAINT JOHN’S: Looking for a spiritual boost? 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!

Wedding Anniversary Celebration: Held by the Diocese of Bridgeport on April 17th has been changed to St. Theresa’s Church in Trumbull.

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.

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).

Religious Ed news: Early Bird Registration is now open for the 2016/2017 school year.  This year’s prices will be in effect until May 1st. You may register on line or fill out the forms and turn them in on April 10, 17 and May 1 during class time as well as after all the Masses on May 1st.  You can also drop off your registration at the rectory with Cindy Monday-Friday from 9-4:30.

Cub Scouts : Interested in Cub Scouts? Join us for our first Pack Meeting/ Open House to learn more about scouting and have a chance to sign up your elementary school aged boys. Thursday April 28th, 2016 from 7-8pm in the Msgr. Nagle Hall. Pizza will be served.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, April 9, 2016
4:00 +Bill Cody req. Cody Family
Sunday, April 10, 2016
7:30 +Jeanne Loughlin req. Eleanore Smith
10:00 +Drago and Ramon A. Campusano
12:00 Marion Morris – God’s Blessing req. Billy, Richard, Jimmy and Michelle Sagdati and Grandchildren
5:00 Poor Souls in Purgatory
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, April 11, 2016
8:00 +Jean and Karl Berger, Jr.
12:10 +Elvira Carpanzano req. Pasquale and Ida Carpanzano
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
8:00 +Elaine Marie Breunich req. Sue Kremheller
12:10 Diane Strain – God’s Blessing req. Marion Morris
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
8:00 +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Josephine Henson req. John Pascale
Thursday, April 14, 2016
8:00 +Tin Nguyen req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 Thanksgiving to God req. Ferry G.
Friday, April 15, 2016
8:00 +Joseph and Margaret Curtis req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Charles Poidomani req. Anne Conte
Saturday, April 16, 2016
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10 +John Gannon req. Evangelin Drought

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:

130 years ago, or so:
April 13, 1888: “There was a large attendance at the St. John’s concert and fair of the Roman Catholic church at Miller’s Hall on Friday evening last. The piece of roadway opposite the Catholic church, Atlantic street, made by John E. Knapp, is attracting a great deal of attention. The frost had very little influence over it. The Father Matthew Society and Father Matthew Cadets, headed by a drum corps, made a short parade on Monday evening, previous to attending the fair in Miller’s Hall.”

120 years ago, or so:
April 13, 1897: “May 7 next will be the tenth anniversary of the organization of St. Augustine Council, Knights of Columbus. The celebration, however, will probably be held on a later date, and a live committee is now busy making elaborate arrangements for the event.”

105 years ago, or so:
April 14, 1909: BAZAAR IN SCHOOL HALL. “The bazaar for the benefit of St. John’s R. C. Church opened in the new assembly hall of the school last night. Opening nights are not usually the best in point of attendance in affairs of this character, and there was threatening weather to contend against last night also, but, for all that, there was a large gathering present, and every one had a good time. The entertainment was provided by the choir. The solo work was by Miss May Kenny and Miss Katherine Kane, two attractive young singers. There are five booths, each presided over by a church society—the Catholic Women’s Benevolent Legion, the Children of Mary, St. Anne’s Aid Society, the Alumni Association of the school and the Third Order of St. Francis. The hall was decorated very effectively, and proved adequate to the size, and in every other respect suitable for such an entertainment. The decorations were done by J. A. Hislop & Co. The bazaar will be open for nine evenings. There will be an entertainment every evening, following which there will be dancing. The entertainment will be provided by some society each evening. This evening there will be a euchre under the auspices of the C.W.B.L. A number of valuable prizes have been offered and all the indications point to a pleasant evening among those who attend.”

50 years ago, or so:
April 16, 1964: “A new literary work in the field of Catholic education, “A Bibliography for Christian Formation In the Family,” has been completed by Mother Marie Aimee Carey, O.S.U., a Stamford resident who entered the Ursuline Novitiate 15 years ago. Now in Rome for a year of religious and cultural studies, Mother Marie Aimee is a graduate of St. John’s Parochial School.”

The Courage to Say “Yes” to the Lord
-Fr. Andy Vill 

As we continue through the Easter season we have been hearing about the Early Church from the Acts of the Apostles. This past Wednesday the first reading for Mass spoke about an encounter between the High Priest and the Apostles. The Sadducees were “filled with jealousy” and the Apostles were put into prison so as to stop them from preaching.

They were in prison and it would seem like their mission should have ended. How can you preach if there is no audience? How can the message get out if you are holed away in a jail somewhere? At a time in which it would seem fitting to give up, God provides a solution. During the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison, led them out, and said, “Go and take your place in the temple area, and tell the people everything about this life” (Acts 5:19-20). As we know from Church history, these men would continue proclaiming the message of Christ. They would go on to proclaim Christ even by the martyrdom they would endure.

The Apostles were given the strength to continue on their mission to bring the Lord to as many people as they could. The Lord prompted them, but, in the end, their conviction to continue had to be their own. The angel of the Lord opened the door and gave instructions, but the Apostles were the ones who had to preach; they were the ones who had to say “yes” and stand in the temple area.

What about us? How often do we see the obstacles in our life and use them as excuses? This weekend Fr. John Connaughton will be speaking to us at the Basilica about vocations. A vocation is the state in life to which God calls each of us. Essentially, God is telling us, I want you to be holy and the best way for you to become holy is to live in this or that way. It is a call that requires a response. When we realize that God is calling us to a particular vocation (priesthood, marriage or consecrated life) how do we react? Do we have the courage to respond in the affirmative? Do we acknowledge that our true happiness is found in doing God’s will? Or rather, perhaps we find excuses? Do we continue to wander out of fear of making the wrong choice? Fear of not being happy.

We already know the answer Jesus gives to those who want to delay in responding to his call to discipleship. And to another he said, “Follow me.” But he replied, “[Lord,] let me go first and bury my father.” But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” And another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.” [To him] Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:59-62).

God wants you to be generous with your will. He wants you to be generous with your time. He wants you to be generous with your very life. During this season of Easter, consider spending time with the Lord in prayer for a few minutes each day and ask Him what obstacles are in your life that are keeping you from saying “yes” to Him completely. Once you discover what those things are ask God to help you to remove them so that you may do His will. In being freed of these obstacles and excuses, the messenger of the Lord can say to you with that same confidence he spoke to the Apostles, “Go and take your place…and tell the people everything about this life.”

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