For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday June 26, 2016

Pope Keys & Hat Pastor’s Corner: “O Happy Rome, whose soil is ennobled by the blood of the two Princes of the Apostles, Saints Peter & Paul.” These words from an ancient hymn for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul [June 29th] sum up why the Church of Rome and the Bishop of Rome, the pope, exercise a unique position within Christ’s entire Church: because both Peter and Paul, the greatest of the Twelve Apostles, lived, ministered and were martyred in Rome under the Emperor Nero in 67 A.D. Devotion to them was universal even before their martyrdoms. Their tombs are still venerated under the high altars of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, and the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican. On the tombs—typical of Italians of every age—can be seen ancient graffiti, calling upon each Saint for help. There is a special link between the Church of Rome and its visible shepherd the pope as the successor to Saint Peter, who continues the ministry of Peter in our own day.

Our Lord gave the fullness of His authority to teach, govern, guide His Church, and to forgive sins first to Saint Peter and then to other Apostles. But Peter had a unique responsibility, symbolized by Christ having changed only Peter’s name, not those of the other Apostles: from Simon to Peter: which means Rock, and Our Lord told him “You are Peter, the Rock upon which I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.” [Mt 16.18-19] Our Lord promised that Satan, the father of lies, would not prevail against the Church that Jesus personally established on the shoulders of this imperfect fisherman. Jesus gave Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven: the power to forgive sins. So, despite the mistakes, human weaknesses, and even sinfulness of Peter and his successors the popes throughout the centuries, Our Lord guaranteed that nothing wrong that these weak men might do could destroy His Church, since Christ works through Peter and his successors, the popes.

Peter’s role as the Rock upon which Our Lord built His Church was confirmed by Christ. In the Gospel of Luke [22:31-32]: Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.” Knowing that Peter would deny Him three times on the night before He died, Our Lord told Peter not to despair, but that Christ Himself would pray for Peter. Our Lord knew that “when you have turned again”, meaning, as Peter grew in the faith and returned to faithfulness to Christ, especially after receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, part of Peter’s job would be to confirm and strengthen the other Apostles. After the Resurrection, Our Lord confirmed Peter’s commission, as recorded in the last chapter of the Gospel of John [21. 15-18]: “When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’ Peter said, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time Jesus said to Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ Jesus said to him a third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt because Jesus said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ Peter said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.” This He said to show by what death Peter was to glorify God. And after this He said to Peter, ‘Follow me.”

Saint Augustine tells us that Our Lord questioned Peter three times about the Apostle’s love for Him in order to allow Peter the opportunity to make up for the three times Peter had denied Our Lord the night Jesus was arrested. After that, Jesus confirmed Peter’s role, clarifying that Peter was to lead the way as the visible, human shepherd of the Church and head of the Apostles. The other Apostles received Christ’s authority to preach, baptize and to forgive sins, but only to Peter did Jesus give the promise that the Gates of Hell, whose instruments are error, sin and death, would not prevail over the Church built upon Peter—the Rock, and that Peter’s role was to strengthen the faith of all, including the other Apostles, and to be the chief shepherd and guide of the Church toward salvation. Peter grew into his job. We, like him, stumble, fall and make mistakes as we try to become more like Jesus on our journey of faith. By the time he was martyred, Peter got it right! He imitated Jesus perfectly: preferring to laying down his life for his brethren rather than deny Jesus.

Saint Paul taught the nations, and gave the Church much of its early formulations and expressions of faith: He put into words for future generations the Apostles’ experience of Christ. He bore witness to the Resurrected Christ who appeared to him while he was trying to destroy the early Church. Paul’s work brought all other nations outside Israel to know and share in God’s mercy through Christ in His Church. Let us pray to Peter and Paul for Pope Francis and for the Church today. Let us grow in the faith as did they, and imitate their perfect witness to Christ in our daily lives.
—Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Antonietta Cerone, Rosemarie Drexel, Sylvia Ardise, Sylvia Iannazzi, 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, 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, Silvana Smith, Mildred Beirne.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Jean Corcoran, Paolo Cavallo, Ralph Bocuzzi, 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.

Peter’s Pence Collection . . . Please drop your Peter’s Pence Collection envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory. There will only be one collection today.

Statue of Saint Peter: Our statue is an exact replica in bronze of the famous statue in St. Peter’s Basilica holding the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, in the Vatican. Like the original, ours is vested in pontifical vestments for the June 29 Feast of Saints Peter and Paul: a red cope, the color of Apostles and martyrs; a red priestly stole, sign that Peter was a priest of Jesus Christ; a ring; sign that he bore the fullness of Jesus’ priesthood, as do all Catholic bishops; and the tiara—the crown, symbolizing Peter’s role as the visible presence of Christ who is priest, prophet and king: the pope shares these duties through which Christ sanctifies the world. That duty is shared by each Successor of Saint Peter, the Pope, as the visible head of the Catholic Church, whose actual Head is Christ.

Relics of Saints Peter & Paul: Are displayed on the High altar, on either side of the tabernacle [St. Peter on the left; St. Paul on the right]

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

Banns of Marriage: II Banns: Thomas Francis Bafundo and Denise Klemm

Annual Catholic Appeal: This year’s parish goal set by the Diocese of $110,000 has been reached!!! Thank you to everyone who donated to this diocesan appeal. Since we are actually OVER goal—$111,000, we are done for this year. God bless you for your generosity.

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 marks the 7th anniversary of Saint John’s being raised to the dignity of a Minor Basilica. On July 16th, a Plenary Indulgence is offered to all the faithful under the usual conditions. The Triduum prayers will be offered at the end of usual the 12:10 pm Mass. Please join us.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday June 19, 2016 $ 12,777.51
Sunday June 21, 2015 $ 9,334.48

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

July 3rd, Sunday Readings: Is 66:10-14C; Gal 6:14-18; Lk 10:1-12, 17-20 or 10:1-9.

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: available in our bookstore, in 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 Acts of the Apostles. 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.

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

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, June 25, 2016
4:00 +Mary Darby req. Duffy Family
Sunday, June 26, 2016
7:30 +Anna Julia Iantorno req. Pasquale and Ida Carpanzano
10:00 +Kathy Robustelli req. Lucy Joyce
12:00 +Cardinal Edward Egan req. Joseph and Agnes Kung
5:00 Poor Souls in Purgatory
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, June 27, 2016
8:00 Souls of Rodrigues Family req. Bento Mascarenhas
12:10 +Margaret DiDonato req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
8:00 +Gjok Camaj req. Age
12:10 +Felicitas Cody req. Cody Family
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
8:00 Oscar Contreras req. Fabiola
12:10 Bruce DeCaro req. Sis
Thursday, June 30, 2016
8:00 Joseph F. Kravar req. Fabiola
12:10 Special Intentions Fr. Walsh req. Sue and Rich Kremheller
Friday, July 1, 2016
8:00 +Charles Pascale req. John Pascale
12:10 In Honor of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ req. Marion Morris
Saturday, July 2, 2016
8:00 Special Intentions Cindy Hulbert
12:10 +Mariana Baez req. Carpanzano Family

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 29, 1866: “A measure has been before the Legislature of this State having in view the transfer of the property of the Catholic church from the custody of the Bishop, to whom it has heretofore belonged, to the different parishes owning such property. An act of incorporation has just been passed by the Legislature, and signed by the governor, which vest the power heretofore held by the Bishop, in two trustees and the pastor ex-officio. This is a just measure and will obviate the necessity for such collisions between the clergy and laity as has taken place in New York, St. Louis, and other places. Our Catholic friends are under obligations to our representative, John D. Ferguson, Esq., for his advocacy and active support of the measure.”

140 years ago, or so:
June 22, 1878: STAMFORD. “On Trinity Sunday the members of St. Patrick’s T.A.B. [Total Abstinence] Society, in number one hundred or more, marched from their rooms to the church for Quarterly Communion. These sons of toll are no ephemeral blue ribbon men, but staunch and genuine abstainers from the fiery drink that steals men’s brains. The annual exhibition of the schools, under charge of the Sisters, comes off on the 26th inst., and a pleasant entertainment as well as a large audience is anticipated.”

110 years ago, or so:
June 29, 1908: DEFIED SPEED LAW. “Cyril Crimmins, the young son of John D. Crimmins, the contractor of New York, defied the automobile speed laws with impunity here this evening. Driving his powerful car to the limit of its speed, he dashed from the Wee Burn Golf Club in Noroton to St. John’s Catholic rectory here and took the Rev. Eugene Sullivan back to the clubhouse, three miles distant, where Mrs. Daniel Murphy lay dying by the roadside, so that she might receive the last rites of the Church. She lives near the Wee Burn Club House, and this evening used kerosene oil to start a fire. The oil blazed over her clothing. She rushed out of doors and ran about the yard. Her clothing was burned off, but she did not lose consciousness. Her husband, while trying to beat out the flames, was burned severely about the hand and face. Dr. J. J. Cloonan, young Mr. Crimmins, Felix Mulgrew, and other New Yorkers were in the Wee Burn club house, and hurried out. Dr. Cloonan did what he could for Mrs. Murphy to ease her pain. She was taken to Stamford Hospital with her husband, and physicians there said she could not live. She was burned from head to foot, and had inhaled the flames.”

It Takes Four “F’s” to Get Married -Fr. Andy Vill

Recently, our Holy Father Pope Francis made a comment about a “culture of the provisional” that leaves a great many of our Sacramental marriages today invalid. The Pope was making a generalization which has left many people upset. People should not think that a valid marriage is next to impossible to enter into, nor should one question the legitimacy of their marriage because of the pope’s comments. I don’t think it is appropriate for me to defend or criticize the pope’s choice of words about the validity of marriages in the context of this bulletin article, but rather I would like to briefly explain what is necessary to get married.

In a Thomistic view of the Sacraments, we speak of the form and matter of each Sacrament. The form is usually words and the matter is the “stuff” that constitutes the Sacraments. For example, in the Mass, the form is the Prayer of Institution spoken during the Eucharist Prayer and the matter is the bread and wine. Another example is the Sacrament of Confirmation, in which the form is the prayer: “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” and the matter is the Chrism. For the Sacrament of Marriage, the form is the consent given by the spouses (exchanged both in the vows at the wedding and in consummation on the wedding night) and the matter is the man and woman who are free (and freely choosing) to marry.

The Sacrament of Marriage is the only Sacrament in which the deacon, priest, or bishop is not the minister. It is actually the couple themselves who are the minister of the Sacrament. The priest merely witnesses on behalf of the Church that the Sacrament is taking place. Because consent is the form of the marriage, the disposition of the couple has everything to do with the validity of the Sacrament. Other Sacraments do not require consent in the same way. Obviously the Sacrament of Reconciliation requires the willful contrition on the part of the penitent, but technically a man could be ordained a priest against his will. (That is a discussion for another time).

In order for the marriage to be valid, the couple who wants to get married needs to “intend what the Church intends.” What then does the Church intend? To make it simple, I like to break it down into four “F’s”; a marriage is Free, Faithful, For-life, and Fruitful. Let’s briefly break each of those down. The first “F” is that a marriage is done in freedom. Marital love is all about giving yourself as a gift to your beloved in all that you are, so naturally, if done under duress, it is not really a true gift of self. The extreme case, where the life of a family member is threatened if one does not go through with a marriage, is an obvious case of compromised freedom and an invalid marriage, but there are other more subtle cases where a person is not really free to marry because they feel forced into the marriage.

The second “F” is that a marriage is faithful. The gift of self that one offers to their beloved is necessarily exclusive. God asks that you give yourself totally to the other and that the love between spouses be undivided. This means living chastity well in marriage and not lusting after other people. Fidelity means spouses loving each other and not using each other. Having a true understanding of exclusivity in marital love means that one recognizes that the love they have for their children exists in the context of the love they have for their spouse. The priority of love always needs to be God first, spouse second, and children third of all. Because love is dynamic and overflowing, the proper ordering of love does not diminish love as you go down the line. The person who loves God well, will be able to love their spouse even better. The spouse who loves their beloved well will, in turn, love their children even better, recognizing that the presence of children in married life is the result of that first love spouses have for each other.

The third “F” is that marriage is for life. As the wedding vows state, “‘till death do us part”, marriage is only dissolved by the death of one of the spouses. Marriage is not just about the two people in the Sacrament. Married couples mirror the love Christ has for His Bride the Church. The reason our marriages are indissoluble is because the bond between God and man is indissoluble. Jesus remains faithful to His Bride and God sustains the bonds of marriage. Pope Francis speaks of the indissolubility of marriage well in his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia: “The indissolubility of marriage – ‘what God has joined together, let no man put asunder’ (Mt 19:6) – should not be viewed as a ‘yoke’ imposed on humanity, but as a ‘gift’ granted to those who are joined in marriage… God’s indulgent love always accompanies our human journey; through grace, it heals and transforms hardened hearts, leading them back to the beginning through the way of the cross” (AL 62).

The final “F” of marriage is that it is fruitful or at least open to life. The importance here is the openness to children, not the reality of bearing children or not. Infertility is not an impediment to marriage. Children are a gift from God and consequently, the man and woman don’t have the final say about children being born into the world. What is an impediment is the desire to never have children. There are legitimate means of spacing out pregnancies through fertility awareness and natural family planning, but it is not legitimate for couples to use artificial contraception in their marriage to directly prevent pregnancies. The use of contraception goes against the dignity of the human person, the conjugal act, and the total gift of self in married love. (This too is a topic that needs to be taken up at a later time.)

It is important that we pray for those men and women seeking their future spouse. Pray for engaged couples as they prepare themselves to enter into the vocation of Marriage. Pray for those who are already married that they have the strength to continue in holiness. Pray as well for those who have broken or failed marriage that they might find healing and strength in God’s merciful love.