For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday September18, 2016

Pastor’s Corner: September 23rd is the Feast of Saint Padre Pio. His was a remarkable life. The Catholic Faith formed the heart of the spiritual life of Padre Pio’s family: daily Mass and Rosary, the abstaining from eating meat three days each week in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, memorization of Scriptural passages, and the stories of the lives of the saints. Baptized Francesco, he consecrated himself to Our Lord when he was five years old, used to hum religious hymns, played Mass, and loved to pray. By the age of 10, he told his parents he wanted to be a priest, and, following the visit to town by a Capuchin friar, completed the picture by telling them “I want to be a friar with a beard.” He was just your basic kid who wanted to be a priest! His parents believed him and brought him to the nearest Capuchin monastery to make inquiries. They were told that since Francesco’s education was rudimentary, he would need to pursue his studies further before being considered for religious life. The only education could be had by hiring a private tutor. To pay a tutor, his father traveled to America to find work. Padre Pio always remembered his father’s great sacrifice: leaving his family and homeland to cross the ocean to earn money to pay for his Francesco’s education, so he could become a priest.

On January 22, 1903, Francesco received the Habit of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, taking the name Pio, after Pope Saint Pius V, the great pope of the Catholic Reform of the 16th century. He was ordained a priest on August 10, 1910, the Feast of Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr of the early Church.

A little past his one year anniversary of ordination, Padre Pio became seriously ill, and was eventually sent home, where he lived his Capuchin life as closely as possible in his family’s small stone cottage, offering daily Mass and teaching school. He was recalled to monastic life in September, 1916, and assigned to the small Capuchin community under the patronage of Our Lady of Grace, in the town of San Giovanni Rotondo. Originally there were seven friars, but because of the Italian military conscription laws, four of them had been drafted to serve in the Italian army during World War I. Padre Pio originally taught and served as the spiritual director in a small seminary; later he was named the rector. In August, 1917, Padre Pio himself was conscripted to serve in the Italian medical corps attending wounded Italian soldiers, a post he retained until March, 1918. Upon returning to San Giovanni Rotondo, Padre Pio also returned to his duties as spiritual director, living his motto, “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry.” He taught his students that they should follow a simple spiritual regimen: daily Communion; daily spiritual reading and meditation; daily examination of conscience, weekly confession, and charity. They should simply strive to please God in everything they did by seeking to live according to Our Lord’s own words, “Thy will be done.” One need not worry about anything else, he taught, so long as one sought God’s will in daily life.

In July 1918, Pope Benedict XV urged all Catholics to pray for the end of World War I. Padre Pio offered himself as a victim that the hostilities might end, willing to accept any sufferings as part of the Cross of Christ. From August 5th through the 7th, the young priest had a vision of Our Lord, who pierced Pio’s side, just as His had been pierced by a soldier as He hung on the Cross. It was an experience similar to that reported by Saint Philip Neri, who, while praying in the Roman Catacombs four centuries earlier, was overcome by agony, as his heart literally enlarged, breaking his ribs. Both saints interpreted these experiences as tangible signs of Our Lord’s Incarnate love for them, because Christ allowed them to participate in His Passion for the salvation of the world. On September 20th, Our Crucified Lord appeared again to Padre Pio, and he received the Stigmata—the five wounds of Christ, in his hands, feet and side—visible until the end of the saint’s life. He lived for God in daily prayer, hope and active charity.

Padre Pio is one of the most popular of saints, because he was very real. In his homily during the canonization of Pietralcina’s saintly son in 2002, Blessed Pope John Paul II told the crowds, “The life and mission of Padre Pio prove that difficulties and sorrows, if accepted out of love [for Christ] are transformed into a privileged way of holiness, which opens to prospects of a greater good, known only to the Lord. Is it not, precisely, the ‘glory of the Cross’ that shines above all in Padre Pio? How timely is the spirituality of the Cross lived by the humble Capuchin of Pietralcina! Our times have need of rediscovering its value in order to open the heart to hope.” Love for Our Lord, fidelity to His Catholic Church, a life of prayer and charity, form the legacy to each of us today, as the pope mentioned in 2002: John Paul continued, “Prayer and charity, this is the most concrete synthesis of Padre Pio’s teaching, which is proposed today to everyone” [Homily for Saint Pio’s Canonization].

The Basilica will host a Triduum of Prayer: September 21, 22 & 23, in honor of Saint Padre Pio, beginning each night at 7:30 pm. including Novena Prayers, a Sermon, Exposition and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Confession, and individual veneration of the relics of Padre Pio. On the final day, September 23rd, weather permitting, we will have an outdoor procession of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Benediction, veneration of the Saint’s relics, and refreshments for all in attendance. Everyone is welcome—bring your family and friends.
—Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Margaret Potolicchio, Joseph Kung, Jacqueline Domingue, Camille Lindstrom, Eilish Collins Main, Thomas McGuire, Antonietta Cerone, Sylvia Ardise, Sylvia Iannazzi, A.J. Barr, William Byrnes, Jonathan Victor, Sophia Petrafesa, Donald Gerbasi, Lyn Geikie-Rice, Addison Byrne, Ruth Coyle, Joyce Simoneau Rybnick, Brianna Petigny, Elaine Shoztic, Joan Kronk, John Kronk, Mary Lena Cocchia, Alexandre Laurent, John Murray.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Camille Lindstrom, Catherine Olnek, Dominick J. Marciano, John D’Agostino, Carol J. Toppin, John MacLean, Muriel Rysinski, Joan Terpack, Nancy Ligouri, Jean Corcoran, Paolo Cavallo, Ralph Bocuzzi, Robert Ix, Carolyn Gerwick, Denny Levi, Carmine Longo, Harry Bethea, Suzanne DePreta, Susanne DePreta.

Monthly Collection: The second collection today will be the monthly collection for the parish.

Banns of Marriage:
I Banns: Frantz Samuel Salomon and Marie Therese Fils
II Banns: Mulber Fieffe and Nancie Lochard
III Banns: Erik Richard Kremheller and Lauren Christine Wuennemann

Banners: September 8, 1955 was the day Bishop Ignatius Kung and hundreds of Catholics—many only high school and college kids—were arrested by the Chinese communist government because of their Catholic faith. They were imprisoned for 20-30 years, most in slave labor camps. The banners in the sanctuary bear a motto created by Bishop Kung to bolster the courage of those arrested: “Neither sword nor fire can break my faith in God.” Pray for the Church in China, and for the opening of the Cause of Canonization of Cardinal Kung.

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

Parish Finance Council: Will meet in the Rectory on October 6th at 7:30 pm.

MARK YOU CALENDAR
Padre Pio Triduum of Prayer: September 21, 22 & 23: 7:30pm: Exposition and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament, with Prayers in honor of Saint Padre Pio and veneration of his relics. Confessions will be heard. Everyone is welcome.

St. John’s Family Picnic on Sunday, September 25th at Cove Island Park! Food will be served from 12pm-3pm. The event is free; food will be served free of charge from 12 noon until 3pm. Anyone who would like to bring side salads and desserts, please contact Judy Defelice at (203) 322-6765.

Annual Rosary Procession, October 8th: with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Rosary, following the 12:10 Mass. We will renew our consecration of the Basilica and its families to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The preparation begins on September 4th, continuing through October 7th, using the small book “33 Days to Morning Glory,” available in our parish bookstore. Please join us during this holy month of prayer and consecration.

The Upper Room: October 18th: For Catholics 30 years of age and up, at Columbus Park Trattoria on Main Street, Stamford, for a delightful discussion of our Catholic Faith and life, a glass of wine and some good Italian food. Everyone is welcome.

Saint Jude Novena: October 20-28th following the 12:10 Mass. On September 28th, individual veneration of the first class relics of Saint Jude. Everyone is welcome.

Relics of All the Saints: October 26-November 7: In honor of All Saints Day[November 1], all the Basilica’s Relics will be displayed on the High Altar for convenient veneration.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday September 11, 2016 $ 12,363.00
Sunday September 13, 2015 $ 14,885.98

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

September 25th, Sunday Readings: Am 6:1a, 4-7; 1 Tm 6:11-16; Lk 16:19-31.

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.

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.

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

Birthright of Greater Stamford: is looking for very special people to volunteer. On Sunday September 25th, we will be holding an open house at our office at 388 Summer Street, Stamford, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Please come and see if your talents can help women in crisis give life to their unborn babies.

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.

Young Adult Mass and Holy Hour: Calling all young adults! Join us for our next monthly Young Adult Mass and Holy Hour, on Thursday, October 6th, 2016! Holy Hour begins at 6:30pm and Mass begins at 7:30pm. We’ll see you there!

Religious Ed Class: begins this Sunday, September 18th, at 8:30AM. ALL
STUDENTS  must be registered and have paid before the start of classes on September 18th.

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, Sept. 26th 7:30PM at Cosi: 230 Tresser Blvd, (in front of the Stamford Mall).

PRO LIFE EVENT:  Gospel of Life Society invites you and your whole family to participate in Stamford’s Life Chain on Sunday, Oct 2, 2016: 1pm-2:30pm. Please join us on Atlantic Street in front of the Basilica of St. John’s for the annual Life Chain: a peaceful witness of Americans praying for the end of abortion. Participants display signs (will be provided) urging passers-by to support the pre-born, reminding them of the sanctity of human life and join in prayer. For details, call Frank Carpanzano, at 203-975-0074.

Rainbows: Guiding our youth through the storms of life.
New session starting September 2016 – open to all teenagers and children.
Grieving the loss of a parent, grandparent, guardian, sibling, friend, or other loved one? (from death, divorce, deployment, illness, incarceration, violence, or other trauma.) You are not alone – an unbelievable 61 million children and teens in the United States (over 83%) will, at some point in their childhood, suffer a loss due to a parent, guardian, or sibling’s death; divorce; or other life-altering event. Sadly, seven out of ten teachers report having at least one grieving student currently in their classroom. Rainbows for All Children helps teens and children grieve and grow after loss, and develop appropriate coping skills for life. They learn that they can move through their grief, that significant loss or traumatic change does not need to hurt forever. Rainbows is confidential & free, and welcomes teenagers and children from all economic, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. New session starting end of September 2016 at Church of the Holy Spirit, 403 Scofieldtown Road, Stamford. Winter/Spring session will be held January-April 2017. If you or anyone you know could benefit from this program; you would like more information; or you would like to start a group in your parish or school, please: email rainbows@holyspiritstamford.org or call 203-322-3722.

Faith on Tap is back! Young adults age 21-39 are invited to join us at Murphy’s Townhouse Cafe (97 Franklin St., Stamford, CT) on Tuesday September 27th, 2016 from 7pm-9pm. This month’s topic, “Who are you voting for? Guidelines to voting as a Catholic”, will be presented by Fr. Michael Jones. Bring a friend!

Men’s Working Retreat, Stamford, CT – Oct 14 thru 16, 2016: All Catholic men are invited for the annual fall weekend retreat at Villa Maria Guadalupe. This retreat includes conferences on discipleship of Jesus Christ, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and heavy labor in the woods. Go to www.sistersoflife.org – “upcoming events / retreats” to register or contact Bill Nagle for more information, please contact billnagle@hotmail.com, or 203-570-2593.

Are you a student at UCONN Stamford? Please contact Fr. Andy Vill (frvill@diobpt.org). We are looking for some help/interest in some on campus activities this fall!

R.C.I.A. starts Monday October 3rd and will meet weekly 7pm-8:30pm in the Rectory. Cost is $25.00 for materials. Open to anyone interested in becoming a Catholic, or adult Catholics wanting to receive 1st Communion or Confirmation To register, call the office at 203-324-1553 x21.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, September 17, 2016
4:00 +Suzi Waguespack req. Patty Worley
Sunday, September 18, 2016
7:30 +Jack Van Langen req. Joyce Patten and Lorraine Van Langen
10:00 +Dr. Vincent and Theresa Kung req. Family
12:00 Special Intentions Norma Jarrett
5:00 Needs of parishioners, especially the sick
Monday, September 19, 2016
8:00 Souls in Purgatory
12:10 +Laura Pascale req. John Pascale
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
8:00 +Fortunato Operario req. Judith Jordan
12:10 Michael Muwanguzi req. Scholastica and Andrew
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
8:00 +Karl and Louise Wilk req. Sue Kremheller
12:10 People of the Parish
Thursday, September 22, 2016
8:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
12:10 +Selina Brocklebank – 12th Anniversary req. Louise Munro
Friday, September 23, 2016
8:00 Michael Muwanguzi req. Family
12:10 In Honor of Saint Padre Pio 48th Anniversary req. Marion Morris and Family
Saturday, September 24, 2016
8:00 +Wladek and Willemina Falek req. daughter
12:10 +Bill Morris 7th Anniversary req. Marion, Bill, Ricky, Jimmy and Michelle Sagdati and Grandchildren

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: After the 10a.m. Family Mass in the Monsignor Nagle Parish Hall.

St. John’s in THE NEWS:

THE NEW YORK FREEMAN’S JOURNAL AND CATHOLIC REGISTER:
160 years ago, or so:
Sept. 25, 1857: STAMFORD, CONN. “On the 6th inst., the Catholics of Stamford had the pleasure of witnessing the dedication of their neatly finished church, by Very Rev. William O’Reilly, Vicar General and Administrator of the Diocese of Hartford. A large congregation attended, and were well pleased with the sermons of Rev. Mr. Hart, of New Haven, and Very Rev. James Hughes of Hartford. The piety manifested showed that the people fully appreciated what had been done in their behalf, and many prepared themselves for the solemn occasion by approaching the sacred tribunal of confession and the Holy Table. The day will be long remembered by the inhabitants of this place; and those who heretofore have been careless for the beauty of God’s temple, felt a new impulse of religious pride in the decoration of our fine church. Rev. Father Cooney is our pastor, and to his zeal and efforts the new church is due.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: this celebration is of the twenty foot addition to the original St. John’s Church on Meadow Street built in 1851.)

THE STAMFORD ADVOCATE:
150 years ago, or so:
Sept. 25, 1868: Funeral of Father O’Neil. “The funeral of Father O’Neil took place on Tuesday, at the Roman Catholic church and was attended by a very large concourse of his late parishioners and friends. The funeral services, which were very impressive, were conducted by the Rt. Rev. F. P. McFarland, of Hartford, assisted by a large number of Catholic clergymen from different parishes of the State and elsewhere. The temperance society attended the funeral in full regalia. Father O’Neil was born in Sligo, Ireland and was 54 years old. He has been in charge of the Roman Catholic congregation in Stamford for ten years previous to his death. He was remarkable for a quiet enthusiasm in faithfully pushing forward the spiritual and temporal interests of his congregation. It is said he has left all his property—amounting to several thousand dollars—to the church .”

115 years ago, or so:
Sept. 20, 1900: Caucuses and Fair at Same Time. “Both the party caucuses will be held next week in the town Hall, while the Catholic Fair is still in progress. When Father Rogers, Pastor of the Roman Catholic church, arranged for the hall last spring, with Selectman Holly, the later remarked that the dates selected would doubtless include the time for the caucuses, and it was stated that they could be held in the hall without interfering with the fair. The Republican caucus will be held Tuesday, and the Democratic caucus Wednesday.”