For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following: Bulletin for Sunday July 24, 2016

Pastor’s Corner: July 26th is the Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of Our Lady. The celebration of this humble married couple belies the common place notion that religious faith doesn’t have much affect on real life. St Joachim Possibly the person who first coined that notion just didn’t have much religion to begin with, so its absence was a greater personal influence. Nevertheless, the homespun lives of Saints Joachim and Anne, while not very Hollywood, did change history, since their daughter participated significantly in the Incarnation—she gave the human DNA to be joined to the Eternal God in her womb, by which God entered into human history as Jesus of Nazareth, transforming all subsequent human history. A simple example: the common estimation of the year of any date is termed “Before Christ” [B.C.] or “In the Year of the Lord” [A.D. Anno Domini]: even if using modern terminology: “Common Era” C.E.—it is still based on Christ.

The fact that Mary had parents can be taken for granted, even if they are not mentioned in the Bible. But there is a very early document, known as the Protoevangelium of Saint James, written between 170-180 A.D. [For the full document, Google: ] It is one of the most famous apocryphal writings [meaning, not part of the Bible] of the early Church and, despite not having been included by the Church in its canon of Scripture, it was one of the most widely read religious works of its age. It was a best seller and ancient copies exist in Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Georgian, Arabic, as well as in Ethiopic
translations and paraphrases. It was quoted by many of the greatest Church Fathers. The work enjoyed an unparalleled influence in the popular devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the early Church, as seen by the development of various Marian feast days such as the Immaculate Conception, the Presentation of the Virgin, and that of Saints Joachim and Anne.  By the 6th century there were two massive churches built in honor of Mary’s parents in Jerusalem and Constantinople, and their feast day was celebrated in what is today Syria, Lebanon, the Holy Land, and Turkey; by the 8th century also in Rome, and from there, throughout Europe. While everything in the book cannot be taken as historically factual, much of it can, such as their devotion to God.

Why a devotion to the parents of Mary? First, in an earlier age, no family was considered complete without grandparents. Likewise, the story of a married couple struggling with the impasse of not being able to have children, was so touchingly real that it captured the attention of millions. Here is the story of the complete Holy Family, whose beginning is found in the generosity of God’s blessings on a man and his wife who asked God’s help. Not only are the faith and trust in God of Joachim and Anne repaid by their conceiving Mary, but, they mark the very moment when the Divine Creator intimately enters human history—God intervened in the womb of St. Anne, in the conception of her daughter Mary, who is the fruit of the very natural and intimate act of human love of Joachim and Anne as husband and wife. God preserved Mary from the stain of Adam’s Original Sin, with which we are all afflicted at the moment of our conception in our mother’s womb. In view of Mary’s role as the Mother of the Savior, the human nature to be joined to the Eternal God had to be fresh and without blemish. In anticipation of Christ’s saving sacrifice on the Cross that frees us from Adam’s sin, God intervened, for the sake of the salvation of the world.

Our parish is blessed with relics of Saints Joachim and Anne, which are on the high altar, in the tower-like reliquary to the right of the tabernacle. The parish’s images of Saint Anne are traditional, and can be seen on the pulpit, the parish’s 19th century banner, and in the small statue to the left of the altar, and in the painting to the left hand large window [in the southern transept]: These traditional images are of a mother teaching her daughter the ways of God. While Mary did play an essential role in our salvation by being the Mother of God, she needed instruction from her mother about God and life. She had to be educated and formed, as do all children, by their parents. Saint Anne provided much of that education, especially about God and His love, and how to be a faithful servant of God, according to Jewish law and customs. It was this education, spiritual guidance and human formation of Mary while young by her mother that further prepared Mary for her momentous role as the most important woman in human history—as the second Eve, through whom all creation would be recreated by her Son, Jesus—who is the second Adam. Simple, homespun words, examples of faith, charity, forgiveness, trust in God, and instructions about God as the most important One in their lives, and how to pray: these are some of the commonplace instructions that Saint Anne must have given her daughter; commonplace by their nature, yet exceptional in their results: Mary was prepared to be the mother of our salvation in Christ.

Saints Joachim and Anne are the patrons of married couples; they remained faithful to each other and to God, despite rough times in their marriage. Their fidelity and faith strengthened them to remain together, and their love helped to bring about your salvation. Nothing commonplace about their simple lives, daily formed by their love for God and each other. Not bad patrons and examples for real married family life. —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Phil DeFelice, 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: Joan Terpack, Nancy Ligouri, 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.

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

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

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 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 ( for more information.

Pilgrimage site: Saint John’s is now listed on the Web as an official Catholic Pilgrimage Site:
Please let your friends and family know they can check this website for useful information about our church, and about Catholic sites throughout the USA.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday July 17, 2016 $ 14,905.46
Sunday July 19, 2015 $ 14,248.54

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 31st, Sunday Readings: Eccl 1:2; 2:21-23; Col 3:1-5, 9-11; Lk 12:13-21.

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—$113,285, 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, August 22nd 7:30PM at Cosi: 230 Tresser Blvd, (in front of the Stamford Mall).

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, July 23, 2016
4:00 +Edward and Clementine Pagoda req. Jagodzinski Family
Sunday, July 24, 2016
7:30 +Alex Arthur Gorfain req. Marchetti Family
10:00 +Maria Mendicino req. Carpanzano Family
12:00 +Anthony, Amiano and Derrick Ramos req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
5:00 Needs of parishioners, especially the sick
6:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Monday, July 25, 2016
8:00 +Bonnie Keyes req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
12:10 +Bridget Cebulski req. Duffy Family
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
8:00 +Len Kolja req. Age
12:10 +Julius and Elizabeth Sebestyan req. Peter Sebastian
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
8:00 +Anna Do req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 +Patrick Dandry req. Pascale Family
Thursday, July 28, 2016
8:00 +Marino Mascarenhas req. Bento Mascarenhas
12:10 +Patricia Dalesio req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Friday, July 29, 2016
8:00 Special Intentions Rina Scafidi req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
12:10 +Charles and Matthew Austin req. parents
Saturday, July 30, 2016
8:00 +David Espinoza req. Lucy Espinoza
12:10 +Marion Bottomly Giordano req. Philip Giordano

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:

150 years ago, or so:
July 27, 1866: JUSTICE’S COURT. “Before Justice Daskam, Timothy Ryan was sentenced to pay a fine of $1 and costs for an attempted assault upon Patrick O’Reilly, teacher of the Roman Catholic School. It appears that Ryan’s son was punished by the teacher for misconduct, and the father thought he would punish the teacher for that same. But as he did not succeed in carrying out his design-his demonstrations being promptly vetoed-the Justice let him off with an nominal fine, but told him if the offense was repeated, he would give him the full extent of the law.”

125 years ago, or so:
July 26, 1889: “Rev. Father Buckley, S.J., will be at St. John’s R. C. church Sunday, August 4th, to establish The League of the Sacred Heart.”


(EDITOR’S NOTE: the certificate at left presently is displayed in St. John’s Sacristy.)



80 Years ago, or so:
July 26, 1937: Scouts Promoted at Court of Honor Held at Toquam, Sunday. “A Court of Honor held at Camp Toquam, Goshen, by the Stamford Council, Boy Scouts of America promoted to Life rank Fred Benke of Troop 22, Stamford, sponsored by St. John’s Roman Catholic Church. Fred first joined the Scouts in 1934, became a second class scout in 1935 and three months later was promoted to first class. Then, in September of 1936 he joined the Star Scouts and now is entitled to wear the Life badge. William Harrison, Troop 22, was promoted to second class.”

60 years ago, or so:
July 13, 1956: Mrs. Andrew Vill. “Miss Angela Chetcuti, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Chetcuti of 4 Garden Street, and Andrew Vill, son of Mr. and Mrs. Andreas Vill of Dietenheim, Germany, were married Saturday, July 7, in St. John’s Catholic Church. A reception followed at Turner Liedertafel. The bride was attended by her sister-in-law, Mrs. Charles Chetcuti, as matron of honor; Miss Mary Vetter, bridesmaid, and Vinnie Grech, flower girl.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: the happy couple are the grandparents of our own Father Andy Vill.)

Cross Shane Nunes is a seminarian of the Diocese of Bridgeport pursuing the priesthood at the
Pontifical North American College in Rome. He was born and raised in Shelton; his home parish is Saint Lawrence Parish. Shane will be with us through the summer as part of his training for the parish priesthood. I thought it might be of interest to young men considering the priesthood to hear Shane’s side of the story how he sensed God’s calling of him to serve Him as His priest for the salvation of the world. Shane will offer a weekly installment in each upcoming Sunday bulletin while he’s here. I hope you enjoy them. [Msgr. DiGiovanni]

Make God Laugh, Make Plans

There is a saying, “If you want to make God laugh, make plans.” If you told me I was going to be in Seminary on my way to the priesthood six years ago, I would have most likely laughed and said no way! Well I am not the one laughing now, except at jokes of course. The path that God has for us continues to amaze me as long as we do His will. As Psalm 139:13 says, “For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Scripture says it best in this instance. It is God, the creator of the universe, who knits us together in our mother’s womb. He forms us in such a way that we may fulfill his plan for each one of us….Salvation of our souls, everlasting life with Him. How amazing that is! The problem comes down to first accepting this path that He made for us, and then acting on it. I sure fell into this problem as I will explain.

Being born into a Catholic family and my parents always making me go to Church and receive the Sacraments is the best thing they could have done for me. I thought I knew best in my younger years but it is obvious that I did not. I have come across many people who regret their parents not introducing them to God and who are still struggling with finding themselves and a way for their life. I thank my parents for being responsible and introducing me to God whom I did not get to truly know and understand until many later years, but the seeds were planted.

It was in my younger years when I was in 5th grade that I was an altar server. At the end of Mass my mother met me in the sacristy and the priest asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I responded saying, “A priest!” My mother and the priest laughed…but they aren’t laughing so much now! I did not remember this story until, like a great mother, my mom reminded me of it when I was entering seminary. I felt the “call” all the way back when I was in 5th grade. Different people would come up to me, “Did you ever think about being a priest?” My response as I got older was, “It’s not for me.” Of course I thought it wasn’t! I was too interested in girls and playing sports, the last thing I wanted to be was a “boring priest.” It was not until later that I came to understand how God was forming me all this time.

In high school, I was very involved in sports, hanging out with friends, and as a typical boy I had different relationships with girls throughout high school including my first love my senior year. I was involved in youth group in high school, but was more interested in hanging out with friends and my girlfriend. As senior year was going along the last thing that was on my mind was priesthood especially since I was in love with my girlfriend. I ended up applying to Virginia Military Institute and got an early acceptance, which started to change a lot of things.

In the summer of 2004, I was heading off to Virginia Military Institute (VMI) with an Army scholarship and was planning on becoming a lawyer within the Army. Well God was sure laughing at this moment. After the first year at VMI, I had switched majors to Chemistry and opted out of the Army scholarship. Who would’ve thought? I was still involved my first year with going to Mass, but did not feel much of a pull to continue going. I stopped practicing the Catholic faith, and decided to do things “my way.” Of course I thought I knew best at 19 years old. I went through college and enjoyed much about it including the friendships and comradery I still cherish today. I graduated with my degree in Chemistry and a concentration in Molecular, Cellular Biochemistry and instead of going to graduate school like I was supposed to, I left to return to Connecticut. Once again, God had his “hand” in everything. It was upon returning home that things started to happen that I can only explain by the mere working of God…
-Shane Nunes