For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday April 24, 2016

Pastor’s Corner:                             375th Anniversary of Stamford:

To everyone from St. John’s who attended last weekend’s kick off event at the Old Town Hall, please accept my thanks. We had a good crowd. The largest contingent—and the loudest—was from the Basilica! God bless you for your support.
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A Gift from God to You
While the world moves on, the Church pauses for fifty days in its celebration of the most important event in cosmic history: the Resurrection  in the flesh of Jesus from the grave. He is no zombie or ghost; this is not a scriptural version of The Walking Dead. This is God, who became a man, who destroyed the power of Death by dying on the Cross, and restored Eternal Life by rising from the grave.

One of the Church’s greatest writers, Saint Peter Chrysologus, expressed it clearly in one of his sermons about why God became a man, died on the Cross and rose from the dead for us:

“Listen to the Lord’s appeal to us: In me, I want you to see your own body, your members—your heart, your bones, your blood. You may fear what is divine, but why not love what is human? You may run away from me as the Lord, but why not run to me as your father? Perhaps you are filled with shame for causing my bitter sufferings. Do not be afraid. This cross inflicts a mortal injury, not on me, but on death. These nails no longer pain me, but only deepen your love for me. I do not cry out in agony because of these wounds, but through them I draw you into my heart. My body was stretched on the cross as a symbol, not of how much I suffered, but of my all-embracing love for you. I count it no less to shed my blood: it is the price I have paid for your ransom. Come, then, return to me and learn to know me as your father, who repays good for evil, love for injury, and boundless charity for piercing wounds.”

He continues that we are all share in a way the priesthood of Jesus through our Baptism:  Someone is a priest who offers a sacrifice. What sacrifice do you offer God? He is not interested in you shedding your blood, or sacrificing animals, as was done in the Old Testament. He asks another sacrifice from each one of us: We offer God our will: we decide to do whatever pleases God. Saint Peter’s sermon continues:

“Each of us is called to be both a sacrifice to God and his priest. Do not forfeit what divine authority confers on you. Put on the garment of holiness, gird yourself with the belt of chastity. Let Christ be your helmet, let the cross on your forehead be your unfailing protection. Your breastplate should be the knowledge of God that he himself has given you. Keep burning continually the sweet smelling incense of your prayers. Take up the sword of the Spirit. Let your heart be an altar. The, with full confidence in God, present your body for sacrifice. God does not desire your death, but your faith; God does not thirst for your blood, but for your self-surrender to him; God is appeased, not by the slaughter of animals, but by the offering of your free will.” [Sermon 108.]

If God so loves us, maybe we should begin to love God more.

—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, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died:  Thomas Maker, Cathy Itri, Madeline Powers, Joseph Casale, Dorothy Verderosa, 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.

Catholic Home Missions Collection . . . Please drop your special envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.

Banns of Marriage:
I Banns: Milan John Bull and Lauren Ann Parnoff
III Banns: Alejandro Restrepo Idarraga and Jennifer Anne Koziol

Annual Catholic Appeal: Our in-Pew weekend will be next weekend, April 30/May 1. Please consider generously donating to the Bishop in support of the Diocese’s good works.

SAVE THE DATES :

This MONDAY, APRIL 25th at 7:30 p.m.: THE UPPER ROOM, in the Upper Room at Columbus Park Trattoria, 205 Main 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 speaker and topic:  Dr. Joseph 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.

MONDAY, MAY 30th: 10 a.m.: MEMORIAL DAY MASS AT  ST. JOHN’S CEMETERY, in honor of our deceased Veterans. Everyone is welcome.

TUESDAY, JUNE 14th: The Relics of St. Anthony of Padua will be brought to our Basilica from the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, Italy. Veneration will begin at 10:30 am and continue through the day, ending with an evening Mass. Stay tuned for details.

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 May 21st, 2016. See our posters in the church for a listing of future dates!

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

Trinity Catholic High School :  Please support Stamford’s Trinity Catholic High School’s raffle: Tickets are being sold in the vestibule after all Sunday masses on April 24th. Tickets are $20.00 each. The drawing will be held on April 29th. We appreciate your support.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday April 17, 2016 $ 12,523.89
Sunday April 19, 2015 $ 11,613.49

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

May 1st, Sunday Readings: Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Rev 21:10-14, 22-23; Jn 14:23-29.

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.

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 to12:00pm at St. John the Evangelist Rectory in Stamford, CT. There is a fee of $25 to attend. 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 to RSVP. More information at www.sidewalkadvocates.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 Code of Canon Law. An intermediate reading ability in Latin is necessary. Call the Rectory for information.

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 May 1st during class time as well as after all the Masses on May 1st. You can also drop off your registration at the rectory office to 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.

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).

Regina Pacis Academy “Spring Fling”: Regina Pacis Academy in Norwalk is holding a spring fundraiser on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at The Italian Center, Stamford, 7:30pm-9:30pm Wine Tasting, Live Music For more information please contact: Angela Marchetti at Marchetti.homeschool@icloud.com.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, April 23, 2016
4:00 Margaret and Ignatius Chu req. Joseph Kung
Sunday, April 24, 2016
7:30 Aliani Kravar req. Fabiola
10:00 +Sandra Bolanowski req. Thomas Cycon
12:00 +Terence W. Murphy req. Dewey Family
5:00 Poor Souls in Purgatory
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, April 25, 2016
8:00 Blessings for the biological parents of my grandchildren
12:10 +Mr. and Mrs. Naissance Jean-Guillaume req. Grand and Great-Grand Children
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
8:00 Deceased members of the Millien Family req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Monsignor William A. Nagle req. Joseph Kung
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
8:00 Thang and Huong Diep Nguyen Wedding Anniversary
12:10 People of the Parish
Thursday, April 28, 2016
8:00 +John Maloney req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Carol J. Anderson req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Friday, April 29, 2016
8:00 +Fr. Nicholas Gruner req. Dian Strain, Domenico Piria and Marion Morris
12:10 +Ms. Fanélia Jean-Pierre and Constantin Gaspard req. Nephew and Nieces
Saturday, April 30, 2016
8:00 +Tito Rodriguez
12:10 +Mickaylah Zy’annah Immaculate Lesperance req. Nathalie Clerveaux

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 NEWS:
135 years ago, or so:
THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC:
April 30, 1881: STAMFORD. “The Stamford Herald has seen fit to characterize the audience that assembled to hear the Rev. Edbert F. Glenve’s lecture in Military Hall as disorderly. That such was the case I have not doubt, but that Catholics, as the Herald
sneakingly insinuates, were the disorderly persons, I not only doubt but indignantly deny. No, Mr. Baker, the Catholics were not disorderly, but, according to most trustworthy accounts, a gang of Protestant blackguards, whose highest aspiration it would seem, is to make themselves conspicuous in all public assemblages by their ill behavior, were.”

THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
125 years ago, or so:
April 27, 1893: “The death of Daniel Doolan, which occurred Tuesday night, removes from the scene an interesting figure, and one who honored both his race and religion by qualities of industry, integrity and good citizenship, which challenge the respect of all. No man now living has been so long identified with the Catholic community of Stamford. He was prominent in the church when adherents in Stamford numbered less than fifty souls and when its Mass was celebrated in a private house—that of the late Patrick Drew. He was the oldest member of St. John’s R.C. Benevolent Society and St. Patrick’s society. The funeral will be held on Friday at St. John’s R.C. Church.”

THE FAIRFIELD COUNTY CATHOLIC:
25 years ago, or so:
May, 1993: To Be Ordained. “Albert D. Audette, Jr., a native of Central Falls, R.I., is the son of the late Albert and Mary Audette. He attended elementary schools in Rhode Island and St. Raphael’s Academy in Pawtucket. He received a B.A. degree from the University of Nebraska, and an M.A. degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  Father Audette studied at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook PA, and was ordained to the transitional diaconate on December 5, 1992. He served his deacon internship at Our Lady of Calvary Parish in Philadelphia, PA. Before entering studies for the priesthood, Father Audette served as a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force stationed at the Pentagon. He served as Defense Air Military Attache in Lisbon, Portugal, from 1977 to 1980. He was also a fighter pilot and has had considerable experience in public relations and personnel work in the military. Father Audette will celebrate his first Mass at St. Joseph’s church in Alexandria, VA on May 30th.”

Making a Pilgrimage
-Fr. Andy Vill

A week ago I made a pilgrimage with three of my seminary classmates. These men are among the holiest I had encountered in my five years of study in Rome. I joked that my friendship with the priest who organized the trip was what got me in, but it is also convenient that I have a car big enough for a road trip! Besides that, two of the four of us had to fly in from out-of-state so being in Connecticut, I was the convenient “getaway driver”! Our trip brought us to the North American Martyrs Shrine in Auriesville, NY, the Shrine of St. Kateri Tekakwitha in Fonda, NY, and finally, the Oratory of St. Joseph in Montreal, Canada.

For me this was the second attempt at visiting the North American Martyrs Shrine. When I was living at St. John Fisher Seminary we were on our way to the shrine for a pilgrimage and, for a reason I can’t remember, we had to return to the diocese before we had arrived. At that time I did not know very much about the Society of Jesus at large or the Jesuit Martyrs who died at Auriesville in particular. It is most fitting then that I would only successfully make the trip after three years of Jesuit education in Rome.

I had been to St. Joseph’s Oratory once before when I attended the International Eucharistic Congress in 2008 with our diocesan pilgrimage group. I feel a particular affinity for St. Andre Bessette, the humble porter of Collège Notre-Dame whose devotion to St. Joseph led to the construction of the Oratory, since I was present at his Mass of canonization in Rome and my maternal grandparents are Quebecois.

Beyond the experience of fraternity with my seminary classmates, why would I go on a pilgrimage? What is it exactly?

The tradition of making a pilgrimage for Christians goes back to the earliest years of the Church. When Peter was crucified in Nero’s Circus in Rome and buried in a nearby grave, people began to make visits to his tomb in order to leave votive offerings and pray for his intercession.

Our faith is very incarnational. Jesus became a man. The way we encounter God is enhanced by the sight of stained-glass windows and statues, beautiful vestments and ornate altars, the smell of incense at a funeral or of Chrism at Baptism, Confirmation and Ordination, the sound of solemn music, the taste bread and wine when we receive Jesus’ Flesh and Blood in the Eucharist. So too, is our faith enhanced when we make a journey of prayer to the site of where holy people lived, where some of them were blessed with the crown of martyrdom and where they are now buried.

Taking time away from our busy lives in order to pray in a special place can bring a lot of healing to our souls as well. Before going to the North American Martyrs Shrine we all made a novena to those same Martyrs. When we arrived at the Oratory of St. Joseph, we prayed for particular blessings at various holy spots within the basilica. We prayed for the intercession of all of these saints at each place we stopped. We received a lot of grace on that week away.

Years ago, Catholic families would make it a point to go on a Saturday pilgrimage once and a while. For some people in the diocese, the Basilica is a place for pilgrimage because of its history and stunning beauty (for us, we just consider it our humble little parish church ☺). We can make a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of St. Augustine in Bridgeport, especially during this Year of Mercy to pass through the Holy Door. In Bridgeport there is also the St. Margaret Shrine which we can visit. A bit further away there is the Church of St. Mary in New Haven where Fr. Michael J. McGivney is buried, the Lourdes Shrine in Litchfield, CT, or the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, MA. Auriesville is only three hours from Stamford, so a Saturday pilgrimage to the North American Martyrs Shrine, while a longtime in the car, is definitely possible!

I propose we don’t leave the custom of making pilgrimages in the past. If you are looking for a way to grow in your faith, especially as a family, consider making a pilgrimage. Consider spending some time away with these holy saints and with our Lord. You won’t regret it!