For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday July 17, 2016

Pastor’s Corner: July 22nd is the feast of Saint Mary Magdalene. Mary was from the town of Magdala, near the sea of Galilee—hence her name, the Magdalene—the lady from Magdala. There really was a woman from Magdala named Mary, but for centuries, the tradition grew that the characteristics and actions of three different women in the Gospels named Mary were identified with the one Mary from Magdala, including a prostitute as reported in Luke 7. However, the true Mary Magdalene was the woman from whom Jesus expelled seven demons [Lk 8:2]; she was one of the holy woman who assisted Jesus and His Apostles during His public ministry [Lk 8: 2-3]; who was present at Jesus’ Crucifixion, as seen in the beautiful window above our high altar [Mk 15: 10]; and who was the first witness to the Resurrection of Jesus [ Mk 16: 9-11; Jn 20: 1-2; 11-18]. The Church has always seen in Mary Magdalene a woman who turned her heart to the True Love of all of us, Our Lord, and who spent the remainder of her life striving to please Him in her daily life of virtue, piety and charity.

After her meeting with the Resurrected Christ, she fled or was exiled from the Holy Land during the early Jewish persecutions of the Church, which you can read about in the Acts of the Apostles. There are two legends about her life: she finished her life either in Ephesus, Turkey, where she died a martyr; or she was set adrift in a rudderless boat with Saints Martha and Lazarus, coming aground at Marseilles, France. Whichever is true, during the remaining years of her life, she bore witness to the Resurrection, living a life of penance and virtue.

Whatever of these colorful stories, the reality of Mary Magdalene is much more enduring and important, since she was a real person, who became for the Church a wonderful spiritual heroine and example of one who loved Our Lord, and who bore witness to Him in daily life. Pope Saint Gregory the Great [pope 590-604 A.D.] composed a series of homilies about St. Mary Magdalene. In one he wrote of Mary at the tomb of Christ, overcome with grief once she could not find His body:

“Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. What love this woman had who would not leave the tomb, even though his disciples went away! She sought Him whom she had not found, wept as she sought, and yearned with loving desire for Him whom she thought they had taken away. He showed Himself only to her who had remained to search, for the power behind every good work is perseverance, and the Truth Himself says, ‘Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved.’ She sought and did not find; she persevered in seeking and finally did find. Her unfulfilled desire grew, and it held fast what it found. If it had failed when unfulfilled, it would not have been genuine desire. Anyone who has reached the Truth has been on fire with longing for it” [Sermon on The Gospels, 25].

Another beautiful testament to the Magdalene’s love was penned in the mid-19th century work by Father Alban Butler, reflecting upon Mary’s devotion at the Cross of the crucified Lord:

“She suffered by love of Christ, what He suffered in His body on the Cross. The same cross crucified Jesus and Magdalene in Him and with Him. The thorns pierced her heart with His head; and her soul was bathed in all His sorrows. But the crucifixion was in both a martyrdom of love; and that love which triumphed over Jesus, by making Him die on the cross, crucified her heart to all inordinate love of creatures, thenceforward to reign and triumph alone in all her affections, so that she could say in a twofold sense, my love is crucified” [The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and other Principal Saints, vol. VI, p 164, 1836].

From the earliest times, the Church venerated the authentic Mary Magdalene as the “thirteenth Apostle”, since she was the first to meet the Resurrected Jesus and speak with Him. Jesus sent her to inform the eleven Apostles that Jesus actually was raised from the dead in the flesh. In fact, after Our Lord, Mary Magdalene holds pride of place in the Resurrection narratives of the Gospel. For, while the Resurrection narratives in the Gospels mention that angels spoke to the others visiting the tomb with her, it was only the Magdalene who remained, and who saw and spoke with the Resurrected Christ.

Mary Magdalene is revered throughout the world, with innumerable churches and shrines dedicated to her memory; she is universally called upon as the patroness of those in need of grace, hope and mercy. Let her be your patroness, as well, in times of need and trial: love Our Lord as she did, and receive the divine assurances and comfort our Resurrected Lord offers to those who love Him.
—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.

Co-Operative Mission Collection . . . Please drop your Co-operative Mission Collection envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory. There will only be one collection today.

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

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

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 Amazon.com.

Calling all Teens! Join us for Fan the Fire Youth Rally on Saturday August 13th, 2016 from 9am-9pm at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Newtown, CT! This event is open to teens in grades 8-12 for the 2016-2017 school year. The cost for the event is $40 per person, and will include lunch, dinner, and transportation to and from Newtown. Please make checks payable to “The Basilica of St. John the Evangelist”. To download the registration form go to http://www.fanthefirerally.com/Fan_the_Fire/FTF_CT.html and click on “Minor Liability Form 2016” or stop by the parish office to pick one up. Please submit the forms to our parish office by Friday July 29th, 2016. Contact Fr. Andy Vill (frvill@diobpt.org) for more information.

Church windows: Work is completed on the six double clerestory 1885 wooden window frames on the south side of the Basilica. Classic Roofing did a wonderful job! I am grateful to those parishioners who contributed by means of this year’s parish Kentucky Derby to complete the work. Next year, we’ll move on to the other window frames.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday July 10, 2016 $ 12,398.73
Sunday July 12, 2015 $ 11,322.46

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 24th, Sunday Readings: Gn 18:20-32; Col 2:12-14; Lk 11:1-13.

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—$112,000, 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 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.

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 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.

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: fmoran@futurefive.org

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: www.redinc.biz or 203-866-1606: There’s no charge.
Next meeting: Monday, August 22nd 7:30PM at Cosi: 230 Tresser Blvd, (in front of the Stamford Mall).

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, July 16, 2016
4:00 In Honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel req. Marion Morris
Sunday, July 17, 2016
7:30 +Roseangela Zaccaria req. Larry and Kathy Bolanowski
10:00 +Dorothy Jagodzinski req. Jagodzinski Family
12:00 +Ada Marchetti req. Pinto Family
5:00 Needs of parishioners, especially the sick
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, July 18, 2016
8:00 Souls in Purgatory
12:10 Brittany Grace Lovell req. Jagodzinski Family
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
8:00 Deceased members of the Berger Family
12:10 +Jayson Jarrett req. Norma Jarrett
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
8:00 +Noemi Isidro req. daughters
12:10 +Alfred Preziosi req. Bill, Richard, Michelle Sagdati and Marion Morris
Thursday, July 21, 2016
8:00 +Anthony Meg req. Marion, Bill, Richard Morris and Jimmy and Michelle Sagdati
12:10 +Margretta DeVivo – 9th Anniversary req. DeVivo and Munro Families
Friday, July 22, 2016
8:00 +Lucie Charles req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Helen Duffy req. Duffy Family
Saturday, July 23, 2016
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Bento Mascarenhas
12:10 +Christopher Lemone req. Pinto 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.

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:
THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC
125 years ago, or so:
June 22, 1878: STAMFORD. “Rev. James Lawless celebrated his first High Mass on Sunday, June 30, in this parish, with Rev. Father Keena acting as deacon. Mr. Peter McClean as sub-deacon, and Rev. Father Carroll, master of services.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Father Lawless and Father Peter McClean were both vocations from St. John’s parish.)

110 years ago, or so:
THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
July 21, 1908: New Statuary in Catholic Church. “J. H. Scofield & Son have presented to St. John’s R. C. Church a beautiful baptismal statue, which has been placed on the baptismal font. The principal figure is that of St. John the Baptist, who is shown in the act of baptizing Christ, the whole thus being symbolic of the sacrament of baptism. The statue comes from Carrara, Italy, and is made from a splendid specimen of the marble of that place. It adds greatly to the statuary of the church, and gives a finish to the font, which is probably not equaled by that in any church in the diocese.”

90 years ago, or so:
July 20, 1926: St. John’s Nine Defeats Victory A. C. “The St. John’s defeated the Victory Athletic Club by the score of 15 to 3. Mullens, Ferrara, and Farrell starred for the winners. The St. John’s made a rally of eight runs which decided the game. The St. John’s challenge any team their size.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES:
80 years ago, or so:
July 20, 1935: Stamford Church Tower Is Razed by Lightning. “.Lightning struck a tower tonight on St. John’s Catholic Church and demolished it, scattering great chunks of granite on the street and sidewalk ninety feet below. One boulder weighing about 100 pounds was hurled across Atlantic Street through the skylight of a retail shop. Damage estimated at $2,500 was caused by the storm.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Today, that stone is on the path in front of the rectory]

55 years ago, or so:
THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
July 19, 1960: Scouts Attending Colorado Jubilee. “Stamford Boy Scouts who are attending the Golden Jubilee Jamboree in Colorado Springs, Colo., include: John Y. Connolly from St. John’s Catholic Church, Troop 22.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: John Connolly would go on to become an Eagle Scout. Dr. John Y. Connolly, MD, is presently a practicing physician in the state of Maine.)

A Daily Taste of Heaven
-Fr. Andy Vill

It wasn’t until I was a freshman in college that I can say that I really looked forward to going to Sunday Mass. I remember sitting in the break room at work on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening thinking, “I can’t wait to go back to church on Sunday!” Most of the people I worked with were also looking forward to the weekend, but rather than anticipating an encounter with Holy Spirit, they were looking forward to enjoying spirits of another kind at the bars on Friday and Saturday nights.

What was it that I looked forward to so much? There were three aspects of Sunday Mass that made me long for it each week. The first was an encounter with the God who loves me, the second was the encounter with the community I had come to be a part of and the third was the chance for true rest from my busy week.

As Catholics, when we go to Mass, we have an opportunity to encounter Jesus Christ present in a unique way in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. It was only the summer before that I had my “conversion” and came to believe in the True Presence of God in the Eucharist. Once I became convinced that the God of the universe made Himself present to me there, I couldn’t wait to encounter Him each week. We go to Mass because we love God and want to be with Him. We go to Mass to offer thanksgiving and to seek solace in Him. We go to Mass to be united with like-minded people who want to worship God in Spirit and in Truth.

In going to Mass each Sunday I had also found a community of faith that made me feel like I belonged to something big. (We do in fact belong to something big, the Catholic Church!) It was a joy to be with people who wanted to grow in virtue and faith together. At St. Mary’s in Ridgefield I was involved in their LifeTeen high school youth program and I was able to be with all of the young people who, like me, had been profoundly moved by an encounter with the Lord of Life and wanted to fall deeper in love with Him.

Finally, I found this time at Mass to be one of rest and refreshment. I began to arrive at least thirty minutes early in order to go over the readings in advance so that I could pay greater attention during the proclamation of the Word at Mass. I began to stay in the pews for a few minutes after Mass to give thanks to God for the blessings of the week. Being in the church was a welcome break from the craziness of every day. I was able enjoy a little taste of heaven. Looking forward to Mass throughout the week made me enjoy it all the more when I was there.

In the fall of my freshman year of college I spoke to the Vocation Director for the Diocese of Bridgeport about becoming a priest. The three things he told me to do as I prepared to apply to the seminary were to get a spiritual director, go to confession regularly, and start attending daily Mass as often as I was able. Making it to daily Mass was a sacrifice since it meant getting up much earlier than I had to otherwise. It meant planning my morning around getting to Mass and getting to work or school after. I went to Mass in Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, or New Canaan depending on my schedule and who was offering Mass when I could go. I even started attending daily Mass at the Basilica here between classes at UCONN! I remember bringing donuts to my 8:30am English class as an offering for arriving a few minutes late each day.

When I started attending daily Mass, I was able to receive a daily taste of heaven. I encountered Jesus in the Eucharist daily, I was with a community of people who came to know me (many of the elderly parishioners tried setting this future seminarian up with their granddaughters…), and I was able to receive this daily thirty minutes of rest from my day. It became for me a little Sabbath in my day.

At the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist we have daily Mass Monday through Saturday at 8am and 12:10pm with confession available from 11:30-11:55am Monday through Saturday. If you already go with some frequency, you know that you will see the same warm faces, most often sitting in the same pews. If you haven’t had a chance to get to daily Mass before, let this summer be the time you start. Whether you are retired, a mother bringing your young children with you, or a professional on your lunch break, know that you are always welcome and that God is always waiting!