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

Pastor’s Corner: This weekend marks the seventh anniversary [July 16, 2009] of Pope Benedict XVI having raised our Keys Saint John the Evangelist Parish to the dignity of a Minor Basilica.

This honorary title is granted by the Holy Father to certain churches outside the City of Rome as special recognition of the unique historic and spiritual work of the people and priests of the parish. Saint John’s is known as “The Mother Church of Stamford”, in that all Catholic parishes and institutions in southwestern Fairfield County have their roots in this first Catholic church. Having been solely responsible for the preaching of the Gospel, the offering of the Sacrifice of the Mass and the celebration of the sacraments for Catholics in lower Fairfield County from 1847, St. John’s has continued to develop its role as a center for Catholic culture and the spiritual life up to the present day.

As a Minor Basilica, Saint John’s now enjoys a special relationship with the Successor of Saint Peter: in a real way, the Basilica of Saint John is the pope’s church and a center for the promotion of the teachings of the Church’s Magisterium. St. John’s already offers a wide array of classes in theology, Church history, catechetical formation, Biblical Greek and Ecclesiastical Latin, the St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies, symposia in liturgical music and Gregorian Chant, and so much more. These already set Saint John’s apart from the other churches of the diocese as an example of “the vibrant pastoral life”, as Bishop Caggiano called all parishes to be during the recent synod. Saint John’s was granted this dignity for another reason: because of the “particular importance for the liturgical and pastoral life” St. John’s holds within our diocese. The reverent offering of the Mass; the frequency that Confession offered to the faithful—more hours for Confession than any other parish in Fairfield County; the piety and deep faith of the parishioners; and the superb choir and liturgical music so essential to the worship of.

There are only 67 Minor Basilicas out of the nearly 18,000 parish churches that exist in the U.S.A. By this grant of the Holy Father, the Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist holds precedence among all the parishes of our diocese, being now ranked immediately after the Cathedral of Saint Augustine in Bridgeport. This grant to the parish underscores the unique nature of the Catholic Church: personally established by Our Lord on the 12 Apostles, whom He sent to preach the Truth and to establish the one Church wherever they went. The Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist in Stamford is a dramatic sign that, while the church building was created by local Catholics more than 150 years ago, the Faith, the Gospel, the Sacraments and the life of Grace weren’t started from scratch by some “guy” here in Connecticut. Nor can we change the Church at whim or to fit the changing tastes and fads of society. We receive our spiritual lives from Christ through His Apostles, handed down in an unbroken chain of Catholic bishops in communion with the Successor of Saint Peter, to our own Bishop Caggiano, who shares that priesthood with the priests of your parish, so the lives of Catholics can be enriched by the same forgiveness of sins, the same Body and Blood of Christ, the same life of Grace that Our Lord began when He first sent the 12 Apostles out to extend His work to the world.

July 16th is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, an important day for Saint John’s, since Pope Benedict XVI raised our parish to the dignity of a minor basilica on July 16, 2009. Because Saint John’s has a special bond with the Successor of Saint Peter, we enjoy unique spiritual privileges among the churches of the Diocese of Bridgeport, in that we can offer special plenary indulgences each year. Here are the dates when plenary indulgences may be obtained here at the Basilica:
—January 1st: The New Year: public recitation of the Veni Creator, asking guidance for the new year;
—February 22nd: the day of the liturgical inauguration of the title of minor basilica, and the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter;
—March 13th: Day of election of Pope Francis;
—May 30th: The dedication date of the Church of Saint John in 1886;
—June 29th: Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul;
—July 16th: Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the anniversary of our naming as a basilica in 2009;
—August 2nd: The Portiuncula, recalling Saint Francis of Assisi;
—November 2nd: All Soul’s Day;
—December 27th: The patronal feast day of Saint John the Evangelist;
—December 31st: The last day of the year: public recitation of the Te Deum in thanks for blessings received;
—Each parishioner may select one other personal day each year on which to receive the basilica’s plenary indulgence;
—The local bishop may determine another special day each year.

A plenary indulgence is a favor granted by the Jesus through His Church which removes, either partially or completely [plenary], the temporal punishment remaining for sins that have been forgiven in Confession. Sin affects us, even after we repent of it, it leaves a type of spiritual cholesterol on our souls. An analogy can be made with dieting: you stop eating fatty foods, but more is needed to remove cholesterol. A Plenary Indulgence removes that “spiritual cholesterol”. The Church, as the minister of Christ’s graces, grants these to faithful Catholics willing to perform a public act of devotion: in this case, by visiting the Basilica on the days noted, reciting an Our Father and the Creed for the intention of the pope; receiving Holy Communion on the day of the indulgence, and having gone to Confession at least 20 days prior to or following the day the indulgence is sought. One must be free from all attachment to sin in order to receive an indulgence.

Please take advantage of the Basilica’s special bond with the Holy Father, by visiting on those days and piously working for these blessings, while praying for the Successor of Saint Peter. —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Joan Terpack, Thomas McGuire, 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.

Monthly Collection . . . The second collection today will be the monthly collection for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

SEMINARIAN FOR THE SUMMER: Bishop Caggiano has assigned Mr. Shane Nunes to Saint John’s for the summer. Shane has just completed his second year of graduate major theological studies in Rome in preparation for ordination to the priesthood in 2018. Shane grew up in Shelton, attended public schools and was a member of St. Lawrence Parish. He entered the Virginia Military Institute for his college education, graduating in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry with a concentration in molecular, cellular biochemistry. Shane is a chemist in the field of vinamidinium salts, heterocycles and pyrroles, and his research has been published in Tetrahedron and Tetrahedron Letters, both prestigious organic chemistry journals. After graduating from Virginia Military Institute, Shane began work in the field of chemistry, working at Enthone in Orange, CT in the microelectronics department. There he was involved directly with research and development of copper-damascene plating to the point of 14nanometers. During his successful years at Enthone, Shane lived in Fairfield and attended St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, and unexpectedly found himself considering the priesthood. In 2012, he left Enthone and was accepted into the Saint John Fisher Seminary Residence to consider whether God was calling him to the priesthood. After two years in the pre-theology program, studying philosophy, theology and classical languages, Shane determined he would move forward for serious preparation for the priesthood, and was assigned by Bishop Caggiano to the Pontifical North American College in Rome in 2014. Shane will spend the summer here at Saint John’s as part of his training. It is our hope that young men from our parish will consider God’s call to the priesthood, and take advantage of Shane’s presence to discuss their possible vocation to the priesthood.
Welcome to the Basilica, Shane!

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

Banns of Marriage: II Banns: Alessandro Mazzola and Maryann Schinella

The July 14th & 15th Evenings of Prayer is Cancelled,
Saturday, July 16th at 9:30 am: A Solemn Missa Cantata with choir, 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. Everyone is welcome.
Sunday, July 17th at 12 noon: A Solemn High Choir Mass in English will be offered in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Please join us.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday July 3, 2016 $ 10,035.60
Sunday July 5, 2015 $ 12,560.33

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 17th, Sunday Readings: Gn 18:1-10a; Col 1:24-28; Lk 10:38-42.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Religious Ed: Please register now for 2016-2017 classes. Last day to register will be August 22nd. Forms are available in the church or you can register online or call the office, 203-324-1553 x21.

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, July 25th 7:30PM at Cosi: 230 Tresser Blvd, (in front of the Stamford Mall).

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, July 9, 2016
4:00 +Alfred Henry Lovell, Jr. req. Jagodzinski Family
Sunday, July 10, 2016
7:30 +Ilse Pollard req. Marchetti Family
10:00 +Samuel J. Potolicchio 25th Anniversary req. Family
12:00 +Ilse S. Pollard req. Melton Family
5:00 Needs of parishioners, especially the sick
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, July 11, 2016
8:00 +Gjyste Vulaj req. Age
12:10 +Irene Medwed – 12th Anniversary req. DeVivo and Munro Families
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
8:00 Alexandra and Gertha Laurent
12:10 +Pacifica Geli Operario req. Judith Jordan
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
8:00 +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 Deceased 4th Generation of the Mascarenhas Family req. Bento Mascarenhas
Thursday, July 14, 2016
8:00 +Joseph and Margaret Curtis req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Derek Hudson req. Daughter
Friday, July 15, 2016
8:00 +Theron and Lena Carr req. Marie Carr
12:10 +Rev. John Schmotzer, S.J.
Saturday, July 16, 2016
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10 Special Intentions Andrew Mbabaali req. Ferry G.

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.

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 ADVOCATE:

145 years ago, or so:
July 12, 1872: “Rev. Father Fagan, of St. John’s R.C. Church, desires publicly to express his thanks to the various residents of Washington Avenue and Broad Street who gave shelter to members of his congregation overtaken by the storm on their way home from the picnic of July 4th. Mr. Coit’s kindness was especially conspicuous, not only offering the shelter of his house to a member, but afterwards conveying them to their homes in his carriage.”

125 years ago, or so:
July 11, 1890: “Rev. William H. Rogers, of St. John’s R. C. church, has gone to the retreat for the clergy at St. Francis Orphan Asylum, New Haven. His assistants, Fathers Keena and Carroll, will make their retreat next week at the same place. Rev. John Halpin, S. J., is the preacher for the retreat.”

110 years ago, or so:
July 12, 1907: Alumni Association Formed. “St. John’s Parochial School Alumni Association was organized last evening at a meeting in the convent of St. John’s Catholic Church. The association began its career with 50 charter members. Only those pupils of the school who passed entrance examinations for the High School were considered as eligible for membership. The following officers were elected: President, Miss Jennie Terry; vice-president, John A. Maher; secretary, Miss Agnes Hanrahan; treasurer, Sister Mercedes. The association will meet every two weeks. The next meeting will be on July 25.”

75 years ago, or so:
July 13, 1961: Mission Sunday Speakers Slated For Area Churches. “Some members of religious orders will be speaking in Stamford Catholic churches Sunday in accordance with Cooperative Mission Sunday. Among the 80 representatives of Catholic orders, assigned to speak throughout the diocese on Sunday, will be the Rev. Richard B. Morrow, who will discuss missionary work of the Church of Bernadette, at Masses at St. Gregory’s Church, Danbury.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Father Morrow is a vocation from St. John’s Parish.)

70 years ago, or so:
July 15, 1946: St. John’s Wins From Hearts, 3:0. “It is the St. John’s who are the toast of the Twilight League fans today, after defeating the Sacred Hearts for the second time, 3:0. It was Gene O’Connell who spun a neat four hit game to pitch the Johnnies to a brilliant triumph over the Lionemen.”

The Importance of Good Christian Friendships
-Fr. Andy Vill

This upcoming Monday marks one year since I arrived at the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist. It is hard to believe that so much time has passed and yet how quickly it went! The experience I had last summer of returning from five years of study to finally enter into fulltime parish ministry is one that is shared by many men each year as they finish their seminary studies.

As many of you who attended the 12:10pm Mass on the first of July would remember, I had two of my friends from seminary visiting me for a few days here in Stamford. Fr. Matt from the Archdiocese of Washington DC and Fr. Chris from the Archdiocese of Baltimore had both just returned from five years of study in Rome to begin fulltime parish ministry last week. They each decided to take a short vacation to visit me before starting at their parish.

During their brief visit we spent time sharing meals, exchanging stories from our time together in seminary and stories of this past year, and most importantly praying together. I hadn’t seen these two men in over a year and the few days we spent together last week was precious. These two men are some of my closest friends from seminary. When I was ordained a priest in 2014, Fr. Chris was there and had served as the Deacon of the Word for the ordination Mass. Fr. Matt and I had hiked a portion of the Camino together during our Easter break last spring.

I read an article online recently about friendship which said that in order for close friendships to develop you need “proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other.” I think of the many friendships I have had throughout the years and how some of those have endured and others have faded away. With these friends in particular, we had spent four of my five years in Rome together. The article spoke about close friends becoming fewer as the years go on, but the intimacy of those friendships which remain becoming even deeper.

When we have Christ at the center our friendships, separation through distance and time spent apart does not erode the bonds of friendship in the way that it might weaken another type of friendship. We have an opportunity in Christian friendships to stay connected and united in Christ through our common participation in the Mass (even if separated by an ocean) and mutual support of one another in prayer; being united to each other in His Mystical Body.

In his work The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis brilliantly observes the unique quality of a Christian friendship.

In friendship…we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting–any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends, “Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.” The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.

These good friendships instruct us about our relationship with our Lord. It is not random, but we have been chosen in love by God. Having good Christian friendships is essential for a healthy Christian life. Both relationships; our friendship with God and our friendships with our neighbors, assist us in living out the other better. In loving these friends we learn how to love God more intimately and as our relationship with God grows, we can love our friends with His love. So give thanks to God for the friendships that you have. Pray for those friends asking the Lord to bless them and keep them in His love. In Him you have the possibility to have friendships that not only last life-long, but that endure throughout all eternity in the Communion of Saints!