For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday December 18, 2016
st-augustinePastor’s Corner: Saint Augustine was one of the clearest and most prolific ofwriters in the early Church. I have chosen the reading below as a beautiful mediation for Christmas morning: I hope you will take the time to read it to understand more fully why God became man:

“God had a time for making promises and a time for fulfilling them. The time for making promise lasted from the prophets to John the Baptist, the time for fulfilling them from then to the end of time.

The faithful God made himself our debtor, not by receiving anything from us, but by his own promises. He even bound himself in writing, as though handing us a written pledge; thus, when he would begin to carry out his promises, we could determine from the Scriptures the very order of fulfillment.

God’s ultimate promise was of eternal salvation, unending blessedness with the angels, and everlasting and glorious inheritance, the sweetness of his face, his holy house in heaven, resurrection from the dead and release from fear of death. All this is the goal we seek; once there, we shall not need nor want anything more. But he also made promises and predictions about the way to that goal of happiness. Thus he promised divinity to men and women, immortality to mortals, justification to sinners, and glory to the humble.

Since all this might seem incredible to us, God not only put his promises in writing but also gave us a Mediator, his only Son, to show how he would lead us to the promised goal. More than this, he made his Son not only show us the way but himself be the very Way.

God’s Son, then, was to come among us, take manhood to himself and be a man; to die, rise up, ascend to heaven, and sit at the Father’s right hand; to carry out the various promises among the nations; and finally, to fulfill the ultimate promise to come again and bestow on the unjust what he had threatened and on the just what he had promised. All this had to be foretold so that we might not be distressed by its unexpected coming but await it with faith.” [Commentary on the Psalms: 109, 1-3]

Christmas in Bethlehem that we celebrate on December 25th is the most dramatic and visible means that God keeps his promises to us. Let us kneel at Our Lord’s Crib at the side altar of St. Joseph, and thank him for keeping his word by loving so much that he became one of us so we could be more like him here and in eternity. Merry Christmas!
—Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Paula Bennett, Mildred Beirne, Karen Hsu, Silvana Smith, Harriet Lockhart, Joseph Kung, Jacqueline Domingue, 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, Brianna Petigny, Elaine Shoztic, Joan Kronk, John Kronk, Mary Lena Cocchia, Alexandre Laurent, John Murray.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Paul Hughes, Paul Polotaye, Joyce Simoneau Rybnick, Cathy Itri, Oswaldo Diaz, Maria Imbrogno, James Saunders, Margaret Potolicchio, Richard Hughes, Israel Noriega, 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, Ralph Bocuzzi.

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

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: +Ed & Ann Cody and Bill & Felicitas Cody req. Cody Family

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

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.

R.C.I.A.: Our next class will be Monday, December 19th at 7pm-8:30pm in the Rectory. Topic: The Forgiveness of Sins/The Resurrection of the Body/Life Everlasting —Part I: Chapters 8-10.

Advent Concert: The Diocese of Bridgeport Youth Choir—C4Y—is hosting a Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 18th at 6pm in the Klein Memorial in Bridgeport. Christmas hymns, carols, scripture readings and prayers will make up the concert. For information and to purchase tickets: www.theklein.org or (800) 424-0160.

Faith on Tap: January 24th: Young adults age 21-39 are invited to join us at Murphy’s Townhouse Cafe , 97 Franklin St., Stamford’s downtown: 7pm-9pm. Patrick Donovan of the Diocesan Leadership Institute will be talking about “Ten Ways To Evangelize Every Single Day”. Bring a friend or two!

Trinity Catholic High School: Grades 8 thru 12 – First Friday Fest – Every First Friday of the Month -Games, Adoration, Friends, Food – 7PM – 9PM.

Advent Centers of Mercy: Various parishes have been named “Centers of Mercy” by Bishop Caggiano, and will offer special confession times during Advent:
Tuesdays: 7-8:30 pm: St. Catherine, Trumbull; St. Joseph, Brookfield; Assumption, Fairfield.
Wednesdays: 7-8 pm: St. Pius X, Fairfield.
Thursdays: 7-8:30pm: St. Theresa, Trumbull; Sacred Heart, Danbury; St. Charles, Bridgeport.
Mondays-Fridays: 11:30-12 noon: St. Augustine, Bridgeport.

The Basilica of Saint John: while not a diocesan Center of Mercy, continues to offer the Sacrament of Confession every day of the week: Monday-Friday:11:30-11:55 am; Saturday: 3-4 pm; Sunday: 7-7:25am; 9:30-9:55am; 11:30-11:55am.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday December 11, 2016 $ 12,675.00
Sunday December 13, 2015 $ 14,006.49

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

December 25th, Sunday Readings: Is 52:7-10; Heb 1:1-6; Jn 1:1-18 or Jn 1:1-5, 9-14.

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: Anyone interested in beginning to learn the basics of Biblical Greek, OR Biblical Hebrew, please phone the Rectory [203-324-1553, ext. 11]

St. Monica Latin Reading Group: Tuesdays at 12:45 in the Rectory.  We are reading two works of St Ambrose:  De Mysteriis, a treatise on the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist cir a.d. 387;   Epistula ad Sororem Marcellinam, an account of the frustrated attempts of the Arian and of the Imperial Party to gain possession of a basilica at Milan, a.d. 385. An intermediate reading ability in Latin is necessary.  Please call the rectory for further information.

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 or for training as a Sidewalk Counselor, call 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, Thursday, January 5th! Holy Hour begins at 6:30pm and Mass begins at 7:30pm. We’ll see you there!

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, January 23rd at 7:30PM – Stamford Corners, 1455 Washington Blvd, Stamford. Walk up the stairs and past the concierge to the club room. Follow it around to the left to the conference room on your right.

The Christmas Giving Tree: The Sisters of Life would like to thank everyone for their generosity. This year’s event was a huge success. Merry Christmas to you and your families.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Sunday, December 25th: MIDNIGHT MASS at 12 MIDNIGHT: Our solemn Christmas Choral Mass in English. Everyone is welcome.

Tuesday, December 27th: Solemn Sung Vespers, procession and veneration of the first class relics of Saint John at 7:30pm on the Feast of Saint John the Evangelist, the patron of our parish. A light reception to follow in the Msgr. Nagle Hall. Everyone is welcome.
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“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 wwptbsj@gmail.com or 203-536-5480.

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. Teachers of the Creighton Model System are trained allied health professionals and specifically trained physicians. To schedule a free introductory session: Angela Marchetti: angelamarachettifcp@gmail.com

Catholic Young Adults of Stamford: We are Catholic young adults in our 20s and 30s, committed to strengthening community ties through regular meetings to growth in our faith, social events, and community service projects. Join us for our monthly Sunday dinner following 5pm Mass. Connect with us by joining our group on Facebook or Meetup. For more information, please email catholicyastamford@gmail.com.

Mass of Remembrance: A Mass of Remembrance for the loss of a child will be held on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at 7 p.m. at St. Ann Parish in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport. Father Perter Lynch, pastor, will celebrate the Mass. For more information, email OfficeofFaithFormation@diobpt.org.

Our Lady Star of the Sea School: Will be having Open Houses on Sunday, January 29, 2017 10:00a.m.-12noon and Wednesday, February 01, 2017 from 9:00a.m.-11:00a.m. For more information, please contact Mary Margarone, Director of Admissions, admissions.olss@gmail.com.

Villa Maria School: located in Stamford, CT and proud to have over 40 years of success in inspiring students with learning disabilities, will host a series of Open Houses in January. Dates and times are Sunday, January 22 from 2-4 PM, Monday, January 23 from 9:30-11:00 AM, and Monday, January 23 from 6:30-8:00 PM. To RSVP for Open House, contact Stephen Bennhoff, Assistant Head of School at Villa Maria School, at 203-322-5886 ext 104. Or email him at sbennhoff@villamariaedu.org.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased

Saturday, December 17, 2016
4:00 +Domenic Civitillo req. Angela Giannitti
Sunday, December 18, 2016
7:30 Special Intentions Maria Trivino req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
10:00 Special Intentions Rev. Andrew A. Vill
12:00 +Allan Mitchell 6th Anniversary req. Marion Morris
5:00 Needs of parishioners, especially the sick
Monday, December 19, 2016
8:00 Souls in Purgatory
12:10 Special Intentions Lilian Ramos req. Maria Trivino
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
8:00 +Wladek and Willemina Falek req. daughter
12:10 Padre Juan Pineda req. Maria Trivino
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
8:00 Special Intentions Rev. Terrence P. Walsh
12:10 People of the Parish
Thursday, December 22, 2016
8:00 +John Maloney req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Juana Mazariegos req. Blanca Reyes
Friday, December 23, 2016
8:00 +Andrew Borg req. Christina Gencarelli
12:10 +Heinz Ehlebracht req. Mark and Deborah Dalton
Saturday, December 24, 2016
8:00 People of the Parish
12:10 +Feroze Aslam req. Abdul and Sarah Aslam

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). Baptisms are offered for parishioners only.

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. Weddings are offered for parishioners only.

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:— Introduction to Biblical Greek or Biblical Hebrew: 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:

155 years ago, or so:
December 28, 1860: Christmas in the Churches. “There was early Mass at the Roman Catholic Church, and at the ten o’clock service a sermon appropriate to the season was preached by the Rev. Father O’Neil.”

115 years ago, or so:
December 19, 1901: St. Anne’s Society as Santa Claus. “St. Anne’s Ladies’ Aid Society of St. John’s R. C. Church will furnish Christmas dinners to about 50 poor families in town. The dinners will be prepared by members of the society and will be distributed on Christmas Day, in baskets. Any contributions of material, etc. for the dinners, will be received thankfully by the society.“

100 Years ago, or so:
December 23, 1916: Christmas Music in Catholic Churches. “Mass will be celebrated in St. John’s Catholic Church, on Christmas Day at 5, 7:30, 8, 9, 9:30 and 10:30 a. m. The Masses at 5 a. m. and at 10:30 a. m. Will be Solemn High Mass celebrations. The celebrations at 8 and 9:30 will be in the chapel [Downstairs church]. At the 9 o’clock Mass, Loesch’s Kyrie will be sung. John P. Reilly will sing “Christmas Song,” Miss Madeline Shea will sing “Star of Peace,” with violin obligato and the chorus will sing “Adeste Fidelis.” Loesch’s Mass in honor of St. Elizabeth will be sung at the 10:30 Mass, also Novello’s “Adeste Fidelis.” The soloists will be Mrs. W. R. Troy, soprano; Miss Catherine Kane, mezzo soprano; John P. Reilly, tenor, and James Murray, baritone; Herman Rheaume, bass. A stringed orchestra under Prof Metz’s direction will assist with the music. Miss M. M. Kennedy, the organist and choir director, will direct.”

75 Years ago, or so:
December 24, 1941: CATHOLIC CHORAL GROUP TO MAKE RADIO DEBUT WITH PROGRAM TONIGHT. “The initial radio appearance of a new choral group, under the direction of the Rev. Charles E. Hagearty of St. John’s Catholic Church, will be made this evening at 10. The group is comprised of voices from the Catholic churches of Stamford and vicinity and they will be heard throughout the year on the Angelus Hour, which begins on Sunday, Dec. 28 at 5:30 p. m. The Christmas Eve program will include the following numbers: “Ave Maria Stella,” (traditional Italian Melody); “Silent Night,” Gruber; “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” Mendessohn; “Jesu Redemptor Omnium,” Oreste Revanello; “Birthday of a King,” Neidlinger; “Adeste Fidelis,” Kreckel. In conjunction with the program of Christmas carols, there will be a short Christmas message delivered by the Rev. N. P. Coleman, pastor of St. John’s.”