For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday June 5, 2016

Pastor’s Corner: Work on the window frame restoration has begun, as everyone can see.
Windows The scaffolding was completed last Friday, and I tested it on Saturday morning, scampering up to get a close-up view of the woodwork that looks so damaged from the windows of my third floor rooms in the rectory.
The gothic wooden window frames are the original 1883 frames constructed and installed in the church during its construction. They are masterpieces of hand carving and wood-joining. Except for the window sills, the frames are in good condition. The sills are not rotted, but they are severely weathered and the damage is noticeable when seen up close. The last time work was done on them was in 2000, when we restored all the stained glass in the church. Rohlf’s Stained & Leaded Glass Studio did a superb job cleaning and restoring the 19th century glass, as well as replacing the lead framework with new metal lattice and framework. They did not do a great job with the window frames, at least on the windowsills. They caulked over the damaged wood, then painted the caulking. While that did no further damage to the frames, it did not do much to help the situation, either.

During the week, today’s workmen slathered a white paste paint remover over each of the window frames. They then encapsulated each window frame in heavy white non-absorbent covering that trapped fumes and urged the solvent to eat away at the successive layers of paint covering the woodwork since the church’s construction in 1885. After a few hours, the white covering was removed along with the solvent and old paint. The result is quite magnificent. The beauty of the woodwork is evident—at least from my third floor rectory window. The detail of workmanship is stunning. You might be able to see them clearly if you stand on the front porch or front lawn of the rectory—please feel free to do that: it’s impressive!

The next step is to repair any damage to the wood frames, put primer and a few coats of new paint on the window frames. The weather-worn window sills will be repaired and treated, as well. We are discussing now if the window sills should also be covered with a sheathing, possibly of copper, to provide additional protection. Some people have suggested that I simply replace all the window frames. While it sounds an easier solution, it would be nearly impossible: the Basilica is an historically important building. That would mean replicating the present window frames, and the cost would be absolutely prohibitive, even if I could find some one capable of such difficult woodwork. The easiest and most cost-effective plan is that which we are following: repairing the historic gothic wooden window frames. The present work will repair those upper clerestory windows on the southern side of the church—those closest to the rectory. These are the most severely damaged. Hopefully next year we can tackle those on the northern, Bell Street side. Then, of course, we have to contend with the larger wooden window frames housing the remainder of the stained glass windows. Repair work on historic buildings never ends.

This portion of the entire project is paid by parishioners who attended our Kentucky Derby in May. I am very grateful to you all for your generosity and help. With your continued dedication to our parish, we can do just about anything—and we’ll be here for another 100 years. God bless you.
——Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: A.J. Barr, Patricia McNamee, Renee Kahn, William Byrnes, Jonathan Victor, Sophia Petrafesa, Donald Gerbasi, Lyn Geikie-Rice, Addison Byrne, Ruth Coyle, Joyce Simoneau Rybnick, Brianna Petigny, Elaine Shoztic, 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: Robert, Ix, Carolyn Gerwick, Francimene Morisseau, Denny Levi, Salvator Preziosi, Carmine Longo, Harry Bethea, Michael J. Morello, 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.

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


Sunday, June 12TH thru Tuesday June 14Th: A Triduum of Prayer in honor of Saint Anthony of Padua, beginning each evening at 7:30 p.m. with Exposition and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament, a stirring sermon, and Triduum prayers.

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. The relics will be available for public veneration beginning at 7:30 A.M. and continue through the day, ending with an evening solemn Mass at 7:30 P.M. , and the closing of our Triduum of Prayer.

Thursday, July 14th thru Saturday, July 16th: A Triduum of Prayer in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. On Thursday and Friday, beginning at 7:30 pm, Exposition and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament, a homily, and Triduum prayers, with the opportunity for confession.

Saturday, July 16th at 9:30 am: A Solemn Missa Cantata in the Extraordinary Form, offered by Father Cyprian LaPastina. All are invited. July 16th is the 7th anniversary of Saint John’s being raised to the dignity of a Minor Basilica: a Plenary Indulgence is offered to all the faithful under the usual conditions. Please join us.

June 18th: Behold the Lamb is CANCELLED.

2016 Haitian Community Center Raffle: to benefit the Community Center in Lavallee Jacmel, Haiti. 1st Prize: 2016 BMW 325xi, 2nd prize: $2,000 Visa Gift Cards. $25 per ticket. Drawing Saturday, June 18th, 10PM Greek Orthodox Church. Call 203-945-8969 for tickets.

2016 Public Square Rosary: The Holy Rosary, at the Corner of Atlantic St. & Tresser Blvd. (near Rich Forum), Saturday, June 25 @ 12:00 Noon. For more information, contact: John Mossa, 203-329-1318.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday May 29, 2016 $ 10,706.78
Sunday May 31, 2015 $ 10,347.11

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

June 12th, Sunday Readings: 2 Sm 12:7-10, 13; Gal 2:16, 19-21; Lk 7:36—8:3.

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.

Practice for Heaven: True Stories from a Modern Missionary: is a new collection of writings by Cardinal Edward Egan, just published in form by Sophia Institute Press and edited by our own Dr. Joe McAleer. Filled with practical advice and priestly wisdom for all ages, it is available now in our bookstore and all bookstores and on

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 or Monsignor at

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.

Baptism/Confirmation Sponsorship Certificate: When asked to be a sponsor, a certificate is needed from your home parish. If the parish 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.

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:

Help End Legalized Abortion: Abortions take place daily at Stamford’s Planned Parenthood, 35 Sixth Street. To join the local prayer group or be trained as a Sidewalk Counselor contact Noelle at (857) 345-0808.

Life Runners: Are you a runner interested in joining the fight against abortion through LIFE Runners (( 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 for additional details.

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: Monday, June 27th 7:30PM Location: Cosi at 230 Tresser Blvd, (in front of the Stamford Mall).

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, June 4, 2016
4:00 Lucy Chow req. Joseph Kung
Sunday, June 5, 2016
7:30 +Jeanne Loughlin req. Eleanore Smith
10:00 +Terence W. Murphy req. Dewey Family
12:00 +Alma Liotta req. Marchetti Family
5:00 Poor Souls in Purgatory
6:00 People of the Parish
Monday, June 6, 2016
8:00 +Joseph and Margaret Curtis req. Mary Maloney
12:10 Deceased members of the Cole Family req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
8:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
12:10 +John Sebestyan req. Peter Sebastian
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
8:00 Monsignor DiGiovanni req. Ferry G.
12:10 Monsignor DiGiovanni req. Scholastica and Andrew
Thursday, June 9, 2016
8:00 +Patrick Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 Monsignor DiGiovanni req. Millie Terenzio
Friday, June 10, 2016
8:00 +Gjek Camaj req. Age
12:10 Rose and Leo Goodstadt req. Kung Family
Saturday, June 11, 2016
8:00 +Maria Mascarenhas req. Bento Mascarenhas
12:10 +Louise Munro req. Mary Jean Dal Molin

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: Starts again in September, after the 10:00a.m. Family Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall.

St. John’s in THE NEWS:

150 years ago, or so:
June 11, 1869: A Card. “The children of St. John’s Roman Catholic Sunday School take this method of expressing their thanks to Mr. Isaac Selleck, for the free use of his beautiful and romantic grounds, known as “Latin’s Rocks,” on the occasion of their first annual Picnic, held June 3d, 1969. To Mrs. J. Ayres—that estimable lady whose kindness to us during the Fair will not be forgotten; and who so generously sent us a supply of ice cream for our Picnic—we acknowledge our heartfelt indebtedness. Capt. Skiddy, for the generous loan of flags, will please accept our best thanks. J. B. Knapp, Esq., may rest assured that his liberal supply of ice will in no way tend to chill our tender affection for him. Our Sunday school teachers, who contributed so largely to our amusement during the day, will be remembered with lively gratitude. Patrick Reilly, Sup’t.”

130 years ago, or so:
June 6, 1885: STAMFORD. “Although the weather on Decoration Day was not what was really expected, the general parade surpassed any of former years. Great credit is due St. John‘s band, which never before appeared in such beautiful attire as on that day.”

100 years ago, or so:
June 12, 1915: DIPLOMAS FOR WRITING. “The following eighth grade pupils of St. John’s Parochial School received final certificates for writing last week, from the A. N. Palmer company: Margaret Ahern, Angeline Ambruso, Anna Brady, Violette Becker, Michael Barilla, Mary Burnes, Susan Boyle, Carrie Borgman, Elizabeth Connors, Fannie Coperine, Louise Engle, Mary Finch, Francis Fuchs, Mary Gunbar, Teresa Gasperino, Louis Groman, Mary Hynes, Judith Herbert, Phoebe Kennedy, Regina Kinney, Alice McMahon, Stella O’Comskey, Antoinette Passero, Francis Quinlan, Leta Saunders, Catherine Rutledge, Austin Tierney.”

80 years ago, or so:
June 11, 1938: To Add Junior High Department. “The addition of a junior high school department in Commercial and classical courses at St. John’s Parochial School, next year, was revealed, today, in an announcement by the Rev. N. P. Coleman, pastor, relative to arrangements for graduation tomorrow. Father Coleman said that many of the graduating class will continue at the school for another year because of the contemplated addition of the higher studies.”

A Slice of Humble Pie
-Fr. Andy Vill

In 5th grade I learned a new concept called “upstaging”. I was acting as the blind pirate Pew in the school musical Treasure Island. It was the first time I was in any serious stage performance (as serious as it can get for a 4th and 5th grade production) and the teachers wanted us to do our best to put on a good show. At a certain point during one of the practices, one of the background actors kept moving towards the front of the stage where the would-be audience could see him better. The director stopped the practice to explain in a gentle way not to upstage other actors who are supposed to have the spotlight. When we upstage someone else we divert the attention from them towards ourselves. It was an important lesson for us as 4th and 5th graders which has stuck with me to this day.

When I was in seminary we had choir practice to prepare ourselves to sing at liturgies. When singing as a choir, it is not good for one voice to stand out. We have all heard groups sing where one person is singing louder than everyone else. It does draw the attention away from the group towards that person, but generally it doesn’t make the listener think, “Wow, what a great voice!” but rather, “I wish they would sing a bit quieter!” When we take the limelight for ourselves we don’t highlight our talents, but instead illuminate our flaws. The most beautiful voices are often the ones that blend well with the group in a way that enhances the sound of the group and does not distract from it.

I’ve shared with you all before the wisdom which says that the only way to grow in humility is through humiliations. One evening in major seminary I received a phone call from the director of liturgy who is a Benedictine monk asking that I see him after Mass the following day. This priest loved to bake and he and I had been discussing a recipe I had used for a certain dessert. I assumed he had a culinary question for me and went to meet him the next day in the sacristy with excitement to discuss our shared loved of baking. “Andy, you need to speak quieter when we pray vespers together,” he told me. “And if you prayed quieter,” he continued, “perhaps you will more easily keep pace with everyone else. That is all.” I was crushed. What I thought was going to be a joy filled conversation about cookies and cakes turned out to be the serving of a slice of humble pie!

I speak loudly in general, but knowing that this was taking away from the group’s quality of prayer really struck me. Even if we are not consciously trying to upstage other people, sometimes our natural dispositions can lend to our taking away from the group. I realized that it is important to be mindful about how I act when I am with other people. It is important to think beyond our own selves, our own desires, and our own preferences. Ultimately, humility is about knowing your place before God and doing your part well.

I think back to my experience in the school play and other performances I have seen since then. The people who do the best job as the townspeople and other background actors are not the ones who draw attention to themselves, but the ones who, rather than looking to the audience to see if anyone notices them, act as if they are really a part of the background. They perform well by being humble and playing their part well.

Why then do we seek the limelight? It all boils down to the sin of pride. We seek validation to prove that we are worth it. We want to be assured that we are worthy of love. We self-promote in a hope of receiving compliments and validations. We want to be loved and know that we are loved. The humble person is able to do their job well because they know that they are loved by God and that they are precious in His eyes. They don’t need to be noticed by others because they recognize that, at the end of the day, God is the one who satisfies.

Let us make it our prayer that God may help us to grow in humility; that we might decrease so that He might increase. In welcoming God into our life every day we can let Him shine through us. May all that we do be for His greater glory and not for our own. We ask that He can help us to be humble and in doing so, play our part well.