For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday October 23, 2016
Pastor’s Corner: Why are the traditional colors of Halloween black and orange? Today’s Halloween has little toskeltondo with the original. In fact, the only things left are the colors and the name: Hallow’een—abbreviated Old English meaning Hallowed Evening—the vigil of the holy day of obligation on November 1st of All Hallow’s, or as we call it, All Saints Day, which is followed by All Souls Day on November 2nd. In Catholic Europe, these days developed as a type of Miracle Play in small towns: a combination of pranks and costumes on October 31st representing the triumph of the Evil One from the fall of Adam and Eve until the coming of Christ. As the sun rose on November 1st, the Feast of All Saints, emphasis shifted to the triumph of Christ and His Saints over the powers of Satan and Death. November 2nd was the day when everyone remembered those who had died, praying to the Risen Christ for their eternal salvation. cross

The Halloween colors are taken from funeral Masses: The traditional color of mourning worn by people at funerals is black, and the priest often wears black vestments. The other traditional color for mourning is orange: the color of unbleached bees wax candles. The candles used on the altars are all made of bees wax: they are white, because they have been bleached clean. Unbleached bees wax is orange, and had been used for funerals. There are your Halloween colors: black and orange. Halloween became a popular symbolic link between time before Christ when evil ruled, and the triumph of Christ over death through the Cross.

The Solemnity of All Saints on November 1st, and All Souls Day on November 2nd call to mind the reality that the Catholic Church is the Body of Christ: composed of Christ its Head, as Saint Paul wrote [Col. 1:18], and the faithful—both living and dead—who form the members of His Body. The Catholic Church is not some human institution: Christ is intimately united to His Church that He personally started. All Saints Day recalls the innumerable men, women, and children who led lives of heroic virtue and great holiness: All the Saints, who are still members of the Church. They, in turn, pray to Our Lord for us. They are our friends in Christ and they continue to practice charity from heaven in our regard. All Souls Day on November 2nd calls to mind those innumerable men, women, and children who have died, but whose lives were less than perfectly holy. They, hopefully, are in Purgatory, being purged of the effects of their sins. They, too are still members of the Church. We remember them in a particular way as our act of charity by praying for them, since they remain members of the Church. Only those in Hell have excluded themselves from God.

The popular fallacy is that everyone will go to Heaven. Not so, at least not according to Our Lord’s revelation in Scripture and the Church’s consistent teachings. If we live without Christ, or live contrary to Christ now, then why would we want or expect to be with Christ forever in Heaven? The Church daily calls us to take Christ more seriously in real life. These are days of great hope, because God’s mercy is stronger than our sins; stronger than the power of Satan and death. Our Lord constantly calls us to repent and return to Him. As a sign of that, the Church offers special graces for the Souls in Purgatory. By our simple prayers, acts of charity, virtuous life, and proper intention, united with the Church as the Body of Christ, we can gain a Plenary Indulgence for deceased members of our families, and it costs nothing.

A Plenary Indulgence is the remission before God of the temporal punishment due for sins that had been already forgiven by Confession. Sin has a lasting effect on us, which can be cleansed only through penance. Hopefully, we can do these penances prior to our death; sometimes not. That is where we come in: The Church, established by Our Lord as the minister of Redemption, authoritatively dispenses and applies the treasury of graces won by Christ and His Saints. One Indulgence can be had each day from November 1st through the 8th, and each can be applied by us to one of the faithful departed per day: 1) go to Confession at least once during that week, and avoid sin; receive Holy Communion on the day(s) you wish the Indulgence; 2) visit any cemetery, and; 3) pray for the deceased—one Hail Mary and one Our Father for the intention of the Pope; 4) If you can’t visit a cemetery, then visit any Catholic church, fulfilling the requirements 1 and 3, and also recite the Creed. By doing these simple spiritual tasks and acts of charity, we demonstrate that faith. Let us be mindful of the goodness of Our Lord, ask the Saints to intercede for us, and pray for the faithful departed that they might one day see the God who loves us. —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Silvana Smith, Harriet Lockhart, 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: Margaret Potolicchio, Richard Hughes, Dennis Winski, Msgr. Robert McCormick, 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.

World Mission Sunday Collection . . . Please drop your special envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.

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

Saint Augustine Medal Recipient:  frank-cFrank Carpanzano of our parish has
been awarded this year’s Saint Augustine Medal by the Diocese of Bridgeport for his pro-life work. Congratulations Frank!

Saint Jude Novena:  October 20-28th following the 12:10 Mass each day. On October 28th, with individual veneration of the first class relics of Saint Jude. Everyone is welcome. Beginning Saturday, October 15th, and continuing through October 27th, the First Class Relics of Saint Jude will be on display on the side altar of Saint Joseph.

Faith on Tap: October 25th Young adults age 21-39 are invited to join us at Murphy’s Townhouse Cafe , 97 Franklin St., Stamford’s downtown: 7pm-9pm. “The Pro-Life Debate: It’s Not About Winning It”, meaning, it’s not just about winning discussions about life, but about protecting life. Features speakers from The Couture Project. Bring friends!

Relics of All the Saints: October 26-November 7: In honor of All Saints Day[November 1], all the Basilica’s Relics of the Saints will be displayed on the High Altar for convenient veneration.
Are you a student at UCONN Stamford? Please contact Fr. Andy Vill ( We are looking for some help/interest in some on campus activities .

R.C.I.A. Our next class will be this Monday, October 24th at 7pm-8:30pm in the Rectory. Cost is $25.00 for materials. Open to anyone interested in becoming a Catholic, or adult Catholics in preparation for First Communion or Confirmation. If you are interested, please stop by the office and pick up the materials.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday October 16, 2016 $ 11,753.54
Sunday October 18, 2015 $ 13,294.57

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

October 30th, Sunday Readings: Wis 11:22-12:2; 2 Thes 1:11-2:2; Lk 19:1-10.

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

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.

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.

Young Adult Mass and Holy Hour: Calling all young adults! Join us for our next monthly Young Adult Mass and Holy Hour, on Thursday, November 3, 2016! Holy Hour begins at 6:30pm and Mass begins at 7:30pm. We’ll see you there!

No Greater Love – Fr. Rob Galea in Concert: Our Lady Star of the Sea, Saturday, November 19th, 1200 Shippan Avenue. 5:30PM VIP reception; 7:00PM Showtime. $100 VIP, $50 Jr VIP (30 & under), $25 general admission. 50-50 drawing at the door! Order tickets online at or call the parish office at 203-324-4634.

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, November 28th at 7:30PM – contact Melanie for the location.

Handel’s Messiah, Part I & the Hallelujah Chorus presented by the
Stamford Symphony and the Pro Arte Singers, HERE at the Basilica on Saturday December 10th at 8pm – One night only!—Tickets start at $25. Limited number of tickets available.  Call today 203-325-4466 or go to

“Walking with Purpose”: a program of prayer and Bible Study for Catholic women, Tuesday mornings beginning at 9:30 am in the parish hall. For more information, contact: Rosa Federici at or 203-536-5480.

Electronic Giving – Offertory Donations Made Easy…Consider using your credit card to make your weekly or monthly donation to St. John’s. Easier for you, and less costly for the parish than the printing and mailing of weekly envelopes, credit card giving automatically sends your weekly offering to the Basilica of St. John’s. Call the parish secretary (324-1553, ext. 21).

Natural Family Planning & Fertility Care: Are you looking for information to help you understand and appreciate your fertility? The Creighton Model System is based on a couple’s knowledge and understanding of their naturally occurring phases of fertility and infertility. This system deals with the complete dimension of procreative ability. It can be used in conjunction with NaProTechnology to assist with infertility and sub-fertility issues in a natural way, while still embracing the union of husband, wife and God. Teachers of the Creighton Model System are trained allied health professionals and specifically trained physicians. If you would like to schedule a free introductory session: Angela Marchetti:

Men’s Night of Reflection: @ 7pm, Church of the Holy Spirit this Tuesday,
Oct 25th, 7:00PM to 8:30PM. Men, please join us to hear Patrick Donovan of The Leadership Institute, present “10 Ways to Evangelize Every Day.” This Men’s Night is brought to you by the Knights of Columbus Fr. Miller Council. Contact Bill Nagle with any questions. Please call: 203-570-2593,
or email:

Sidewalk Advocates: Would you like to learn how to help women in unplanned, crisis pregnancies choose life at the abortion clinic? Sidewalk Advocates for Life offers a peaceful, prayerful, law-abiding sidewalk advocacy method that seeks to reach that woman’s heart and fill her needs so she can confidently choose life! Our next training will be held: Saturday, November 19th from 8AM to 12:30PM, at St. John the Evangelist rectory. The cost is $25. If you would like to learn this method and check out our program, please contact Noelle at 857-345-0808 or More information at

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, October 22, 2016
4:00 +Regina Grabowski req. Duffy Family
Sunday, October 23, 2016
7:30 +Louise Munroe
10:00 +Anna Schiazza req. Laura and Mark Yunque
12:00 Marion Morris req. Mildred and Joan Beirne
5:00 Needs of parishioners, especially the sick
Monday, October 24, 2016
8:00 +Joseph and Margaret Curtis req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Ilse Pollard req. Szele Family
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
8:00 Elizabeth DeLuca req. Carol Cummings
12:10 +Anthony and Cecilia Conte req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
8:00 +John Maloney req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Onide Jean-Guillaume req. siblings, children and grandchildren
Thursday, October 27, 2016
8:00 +Sister Mary Rose Gallagher CSJ req. Marie Carr
12:10 +Louise Fazio req. Lucy Esposito
Friday, October 28, 2016
8:00 +Onide Jean-Guillaume req. Jean and Jill William
12:10 +John Depoli req. Marion Morris and Family
Saturday, October 29, 2016
8:00 +Ena, Osner and Ashley Lubin req. Marie Joseph
12:10 Marion Morris req. Diane Strain

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 ADVOCATE:

140 years ago, or so:
October 29, 1875: The Catholic Fair. “The largest attendance of last week was that of Wednesday and Saturday evenings, though on every evening since the fair opened, until its close, the attendance was large, and the interest unabated. On Saturday evening the scene was particularly brilliant, and fully one thousand persons were present. The apartment in which the fair was held is the basement story of the new Catholic church. It is capable of seating twelve hundred persons, and with the numerous graceful iron pillars, its black walnut and ash wainscoting, and the neatness as well as the solidity of its finishing, can hardly be surpassed in any ecclesiastical edifice in city or country. On Saturday night when its sixty globe-covered gas jets threw a flood of brilliant light over the finely dressed and moving throng below, the scene was in a high degree animated and picturesque. Around the walls, at regular intervals appeared on a shield, the state coat of arms of each of the states. On the west end of the building appeared the American and Irish flags and at the east side a platform was erected on which an orchestra of seven pieces discoursed eloquent music at intervals during the evening. This band, under direction of Mr. B. Lund, is wholly a Stamford institution, and being composed of enthusiastic and intelligent students of the art, who have had, moreover, the benefit of long practice together, its performance was really excellent. The programme heard on Saturday night included many pieces of high musical merit, and they were well performed. The five principal tables for the display and sale of fancy articles were designated as follows: “St. John’s Table,” “Mrs. Stout’s Table,” “Children of Mary’s Table,” “St. Patrick’s Table,” “St. Mary’s Table of Greenwich.” Each of these vied with each other in the number and elegance of articles displayed. Many of these articles were presented to the fair, and others were purchased at cost price. The fair closed on Wednesday evening.”

75 Years ago, or so:
October 28, 1939: More Than 12,000 Boys and Girls in Stamford Schools Help to Advance Chest Cause. “From tiny kindergartners to serious Seniors ready to take their share in the Community Chest at the earliest opportunity, pupils are devoting home room programs to the interpretation of the Community Chest. Under the slogan “Stamford needs the Community Chest,” St. John’s School has been conducting an active Community Chest program. Among the many compositions written on various phases of the work of the Chest agencies, that by Rita Cadin of the ninth grade, who wrote on the Catholic Welfare Bureau was selected as the best. Children of St. John’s School also offered prayers for the success of the campaign.”

Archbishop Chaput’s Weekly Column:
About Those Unthinking, Backward Catholics

Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

archbishop-chaputBack in 2008, in the weeks leading up to the Obama-McCain presidential election, two young men visited me in Denver.  They were from Catholics United, a group describing itself as committed to social justice issues.  They voiced great concern at the manipulative skill of Catholic agents for the Republican Party.  And they hoped my brother bishops and I would resist identifying the Church with single-issue and partisan (read: abortion) politics.

It was an interesting experience.  Both men were obvious flacks for the Obama campaign and the Democratic Party — creatures of a political machine, not men of the Church; less concerned with Catholic teaching than with its influence.  And presumably (for them) bishops were dumb enough to be used as tools, or at least prevented from helping the other side.

Yet these two young men not only equaled but surpassed their Republican cousins in the talents of servile partisan hustling.  Thanks to their work, and activists like them, American Catholics helped to elect an administration that has been the most stubbornly unfriendly to religious believers, institutions, concerns and liberty in generations.

I never saw either young man again.  The cultural damage done by the current White House has – apparently — made courting America’s bishops unnecessary.

But bad can always get worse.  I’m thinking, of course, of the contemptuously anti-Catholic emails exchanged among members of the Clinton Democratic presidential campaign team and released this week by WikiLeaks. A sample:  Sandy Newman, president of Voices for Progress, emailed John Podesta, now the head of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, to ask about whether “the bishops opposing contraceptive coverage” could be the tinder for a revolution. “There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages [sic] dictatorship,” Newman writes.

Of course, Newman added, “this idea may just reveal my total lack of understanding of the Catholic church, the economic power it can bring to bear against nuns and priests who count on it for their maintenance.” Still, he wondered, how would one “plant the seeds of a revolution”? John Podesta replied that “We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this . . . likewise Catholics United” (emphasis added).

Another Clinton-related email, from John Halpin of the Center for American Progress, mocks Catholics in the so-called conservative movement, especially converts: “They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.” In a follow-up, he adds “They can throw around ‘Thomistic’ thought and ‘subsidiarity’ and sound sophisticated because no one knows what . . . they’re talking about.”

On the evening these WikiLeaks emails were released, I received the following angry email myself, this one from a nationally respected (non-Catholic) attorney experienced in Church-state affairs:

“I was deeply offended by the [Clinton team] emails, which are some of the worst bigotry by a political machine I have seen.  [A] Church has an absolute right to protect itself when under attack as a faith and Church by civil political forces. That certainly applies here . . .

“Over the last eight years there has been strong evidence that the current administration, with which these people share values, has been very hostile to religious organizations.  Now there is clear proof that this approach is deliberate and will accelerate if these actors have any continuing, let alone louder, say in government.

“These bigots are actively strategizing how to shape Catholicism not to be Catholic or consistent with Jesus’ teachings, but to be the ‘religion’ they want.  They are, at the very core, trying to turn religion to their secular view of right and wrong consistent with their politics.  This is fundamentally why the Founders left England and demanded that government not have any voice in religion.  Look where we are now.  We have political actors trying to orchestrate a coup to destroy Catholic values, and they even analogize their takeover to a coup in the Middle East, which amplifies their bigotry and hatred of the Church.  I had hoped I would never see this day — a day like so many dark days in Eastern Europe that led to the death of my [Protestant minister] great grandfather at the hands of communists who also hated and wanted to destroy religion.”

Of course it would be wonderful for the Clinton campaign to repudiate the content of these ugly WikiLeaks emails. All of us backward-thinking Catholics who actually believe what Scripture and the Church teach would be so very grateful.

In the meantime, a friend describes the choice facing voters in November this way: A vulgar, boorish lout and disrespecter of women, with a serious impulse control problem; or a scheming, robotic liar with a lifelong appetite for power and an entourage riddled with anti-Catholic bigots.

In a nation where “choice” is now the unofficial state religion, the menu for dinner is remarkably small.
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Editor’s Note: Columns will be published each week on and can also be found at