For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday May 1, 2016

Pastor’s Corner: May, the most beautiful of all months, when Eve the icy grip of winter finally loosens, celebrates the most Rose beautiful and most worthy of all women in human history, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. From its very beginning, the Church has revered Our Lady because of her personal holiness and intimate relationship with the Divine Persons of the Trinity. The most popular prayer, the Hail Mary, is based on the words addressed to Mary by the Archangel Gabriel at the Annunciation: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee,” recalling the wonders God was about to work in her life for the salvation of the world, by which as Our Lady responds, “all generations will call me blessed.” [Luke 1:46-55] Even during her lifetime, Mary was held in high esteem, as was any mother in Jewish society, but especially the mother of someone famous or powerful. By the end of the first century, Mary is venerated, NOT worshiped, since only God receives worship. Mary is venerated as the New Eve, especially described in the writings of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, who had been taught the faith by Saint Peter himself. Mary, the most perfect representative of our human race, now makes up in her own virtuous life of faith for the sins of the first Eve. God the Father recreates all creation through Christ, the New Adam, with Mary as the human co-operator.

Honey Suckle Saint Athanasius, one of the greatest of the Church Fathers, wrote: “O’ Virgin, your glory transcends all created things because of Christ, O Mother of God the Word. We say that cherubs are sublime, but you are more sublime than they: cherubs support the throne of God, but you support God within your arms. Seraphs are close to God, but you are closer than they: Seraphs hide their faces with their wings, unable to look at the perfect glory of God, but you not only contemplate His face, but caress and suckle Him.” [St. Athanasius, Virgin Mother of God]

The Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. formally defined the role of Mary in our salvation: Mary can be called the Mother of God, since she gave human form to the Eternal God. She didn’t create God, as no mother creates her child, but gave birth to the Eternal God in the flesh. The centuries-old popular devotion to Our Lady then became even more popular. As the Church spread throughout Europe in the 5th century, Mary was held in reverence as the mother of all believers, constantly interceding with Her Son for us while constantly pointing us toward her Son. In Northern Europe, where the winters are harsh, May was the first month of new life, with flowers finally blooming after long winters. Mary, the greatest boast of our race, and the most perfect representative Rose 2 of humankind, who shared her humanity with God in Jesus, was honored in May especially with flowers that represent the new creation by God through Christ, such as the lily, the rose, the marigold, and numerous wild-flowers, lady-fern, lady’s mantel, lady’s slipper, maidenhair fern, lady’s thimble, to mention only a few. Our Lady is the exemplar of the Christian life, one who is totally dedicated to Our Lord. She is also our mother, the New Eve, who gave birth to a new creation in Christ, who prays constantly for our salvation. May is naturally the most beautiful of months. Let us imitate that natural beauty by dedicating ourselves to follow Our Lady, making our lives blossom in virtue in imitation of her honor for the love of Her Son. —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Renee Kahn, 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, Rita Timon, Diane Grant, Mary Bauer, Mary Rose Bauer, Paolo Cavallo, Silvana Smith, Mildred Beirne.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Donald Pontbriant, 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.

***Ascension Thursday: May 5h is a Holy Day of Obligation. Masses are at 5:15p.m. on Wednesday, May 4th and on Thursday, May 5th at 8:00a.m., 12:10p.m.; 5:15p.m.

Banns of Marriage: II Banns: Milan John Bull and Lauren Ann Parnoff

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

SAVE THE DATES :

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 window frames.

TUESDAY, MAY 11 th: 7P.M.: THE UPPER ROOM-Season Finale!: 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 topic: Try your best to Stump the Priest! Any/All questions accepted!

TUESDAY, MAY 17 TH: 7P.M.: FAITH ON TAP: For young Catholics 21-39 years of age, will be on at Murphy’s Townhouse Café on 97 Franklin Street. Sister Mary Elizabeth, S.V. will speak on “Discovering The Feminine Genius” Join us for a beer and a stimulating discussion.

SATURDAY, May 21 s t: 7-8 P.M.:BEHOLD THE LAMB: Join us the third Saturday of every month for Eucharistic Adoration in the Basilica, with charismatic songs and. Bring the entire family, children and all! See our posters in the church for a listing of future dates!

MONDAY, MAY 30th: 10 A.M.: MEMORIAL DAY MASS :
——AT ST. JOHN’S CEMETERY, in honor of our deceased Veterans. All are welcome.

TUESDAY, JUNE 14 th: :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 A.M. and continue through the day, ending with an evening Mass. Stay tuned for details.

Latin Grammar Classes: Will not be held, due to a lack of interest.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday April 24, 2016 $ 12,851.60
Sunday April 26, 2015 $ 12,275.01

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 8th, Sunday Readings: Acts 7:55-60; Rev 22:12-14, 16-17, 20; Jn 17:20-26.

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

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.

Relic of the Heart of St. John Vianney: Will be visiting St. Mary’s Church in Greenwich, May 3-5th. Please go to the parish website for further information: www.stmarygreenwich.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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, April 30, 2016
4:00 +Richard Saunders req. Carpanzano Family
Sunday, May 1, 2016
7:30 +Drago and Ramon A. Campusano
10:00 +Mabel Lewis req. Norma Jarrett
12:00 Jimmy Sagdati Birthday Remembrance req. Mom, Billy, Ricky and Michelle Sagdati
5:00 Poor Souls in Purgatory
6:00 People of the Parish
Monday, May 2, 2016
8:00 +Mr. and Mrs. Beaublum req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Joseph and Gabrielle Rafter req. Ann Lepore
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
8:00 Alexandra and Gertha Laurent
12:10 +Onide Jean-Guillaume req. siblings, children and grandchildren
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
8:00 +Margaret M. Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 Yvonne St. Preuve
5:15 +Charles and Matthew Austin req. parents
Thursday, May 5, 2016
8:00 +Patrick Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 All Souls in Purgatory
5:15 +M. Pauline Whitehead req. The Legion of Mary
Friday, May 6, 2016
8:00 +Jimmy O’Connor req. Mary Bridget Gaine
12:10 +Carol Romanowski and Jack and Theresa Scalfari req. Marion Scalfari
Saturday, May 7, 2016
8:00 +Agnes Joseph req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Vic DeVera req. Amy Garcia

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:
May 3, 1889: Stamford’s Centennial. “This, one of the oldest towns in the State, was not behind others in a proper observance of April 30th. Mass was said at St. John’s R. C. church, and taken altogether the day was properly commemorated in accordance with the Governor’s proclamation. On Atlantic, Main, Broad and other streets, many flags were displayed, and on Monday large banners were flying on the top of Clark & Hoyt’s building, and the flag pole in the park and the Town Hall.”

85 years ago, or so:
May 8, 1930: MAY SESSION OF COURT OF HONOR. “At the May session of the Court of Honor of the Boy Scouts of America, Scout Warren Simonsky of Stamford Troop 22 qualified for advancement to Star Scout rank. Second Class Scouts promoted to First Class were: Joseph O’Donnell and Gerard Kapper, Troop 22. Tenderfoot Scouts promoted to Second Class included Phillip Worth, Anthony Tella and Joseph Gavin, Troop 22.”

80 years ago, or so:
May 3, 1927: RECREATION CLUB YEARLINGS ENGINEER A TRIPLE PLAY IN GAME WITH BASES LOADED. “The St. John’s Jrs. defeated the St. Andrew’s baseball team on Sunday afternoon at Betts field by the score of 17-3 in a free hitting contest. Every player on the St. John’s team with the lone exception of Harold McMahon got at least one hit and several got two. Louis Montagnino connected three times.”

35 years ago, or so:
May 2, 1979: St. John’s Women Join in Communion Breakfast. “The combined St. John’s Rosary Guild and St. Anne Society annual communion Mass at St. John’s Catholic Church will be celebrated by the Rev. William A. Nagle, pastor, Sunday at 9 a.m. The annual communion breakfast will follow at the Marriott Hotel with the Rev. Eugene C. Brissette, S.J., as featured speaker.”

20 years ago, or so:
May 8, 1997: Catholics Celebrate Holy Day. “Today is a Holy Day of Obligation for Roman Catholic worldwide. Catholics must attend Mass, according to the Rev. William A. Nagle of St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Stamford. According to the Rev. Nagle, a recent change in the holy calendar by the American bishops has created some confusion among Catholic as to when the holiday would be observed. The day, also known as Ascension Thursday, marks the day that Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven.”

Wasting Time with the Lord
-Fr. Andy Vill

One of the commandments that we sin against the most is the third which tells us:

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it (Exodus 20:8-11).

When most of us speak of breaking this commandment, if we even bring it up in confession, it goes something like this, “Bless me Father for I have sinned, I missed Mass last Sunday.” Now don’t get me wrong, God wants us to attend Mass; Mass is good for us.

Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church. The faithful give witness by this to their communion in faith and charity. Together they testify to God’s holiness and their hope of salvation. They strengthen one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (CCC 2182).

Yet, is it possible to faithfully attend Mass every Sunday and still be breaking the third commandment? The simple answer is yes. Many of us, myself included, find ways to make the Sundays just like any other day. We fail in making any resolve to treat the day in which we celebrate the Resurrection as a day which is different and holy.

As the weekend approaches on Fridays most people get excited because work is winding down for a few days. I usually joke that my work week is just starting! The work of a priest however; offering Mass and Baptizing, hearing Confessions and performing weddings, is not the type of work that God is asking us to refrain from. These things [bless] the Sabbath day and [hallow] it. When our activity brings us closer to God and to our family, this pleases God. What the commandment is speaking to is the labor we perform every day. This means the things that need to be done at our places of employment, the chores around the house; that is to say the work which is necessary, but not necessarily holy.

Just as God “rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done,” human life has a rhythm of work and rest. The institution of the Lord’s Day helps everyone enjoy adequate rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social, and religious lives. On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body. Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest. The faithful should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health (CCC 2184-2185).

When I was in seminary I remember feeling guilty on Sundays because I would make a plan for the whole day and in the end get nothing done. I wanted to go to the gym and do homework. I thought that I should get a jump start on an upcoming project or clean up my room. When I set up these tasks for myself and didn’t accomplish them I felt like I had “wasted” my Sunday. It took me a while before I realized that (except for the stress I was causing myself), I was doing what God was asking of me on Sundays. I was going to the community Mass in the morning and enjoying brunch with the other men from the Bridgeport Diocese. I was praying in the chapel. I would relax with friends in the student lounge. I called my parents and siblings at home in CT. All of these things were contributing to my keeping the Sabbath holy. When I finally accepted this, I experienced the joy proper to the Lord’s Day of which the Catechism speaks.

What I came to realize was that my guilt came from the fact that there were things that needed to be done that I wasn’t doing throughout the week. The fault came not with being unable to do these things on Sunday, but with the fact that I hadn’t been diligent to get my school work done during the other six days of the week God gave me to do work on.

If you find yourself in the same boat as I did; here is my advice. Figure out what it is you are doing or want to do on Sunday that doesn’t really contribute to the building up of your family or relationship with God. Be realistic with yourself. Figure out when it can be done on Monday through Saturday. Try to go into Sundays planning to make it holy. Be intentional about “wasting” time with the Lord on Sundays. If you don’t succeed every Sunday, don’t worry, that’s what confession is for. It is important that we are moving in the right direction. Know that if you can grow in your ability to make the Sabbath holy, God in turn will be sanctifying you!