For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday January 8, 2017

Pastor’s Corner: Saint John’s is quite a splendid little parish, if I do say so myself. It’s had a few st-johns-church decades of practice, you know, since its establishment in 1847. In order to function, the parish has a vast crowd of people who make it work, besides the three priests. I’ve always thought many people think that after Sunday Mass we shut off the lights until the following Sunday, and the priests do whatever religious ministers in Protestant parishes do, whatever that is. Besides offering daily Masses and Confessions, Baptisms, funerals, and weddings, we do much more on a daily basis. Catholic parishes are not like non-Catholic religions: we work throughout the 7-day week. Just look at the parish bulletin for the usual weekly schedule of activities for some idea that the place stays open daily, every day and most evenings for classes, language study, prayer groups, marriage preparation, planning committees, counseling, convert instructions, and, of course, the parish office. Or, drop by any day in the Basilica between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and see the hundreds of people who stop by to make a visit to Our Lord in the tabernacle. While the priests stay occupied with hospital calls, the sacramental schedule, teaching and personal counseling, and the salaried staff remains very busy making the place run, there is, likewise, quite literally, a battalion of volunteers who work thousands of hours annually behind-the-scenes to make St. John’s the best parish in Fairfield County.

Without naming names, because they would put a hit out on my life if I did, here is a small list of some of those unseen-yet-essential volunteers and their duties: the lady who opens the church weekdays at 6:00 a.m.-originally from Stamford, she now drives from Monroe each morning early to open the church, then goes off to teach school; the lady who maintains the sanctuary, cleans and polishes the altar, statues, and sacred Mass vessels, arranges the flowers, cleans and irons the altar linens, maintains the church supplies, and keeps the church in running order—she arrives each Monday, Thursday, and Friday at about 10:30 a.m., usually staying until 4:00 p.m.—on Fridays she leaves by 9:00 p.m.–working; Christmas, Holy Week and Easter require dozens more hours for her, daily; the ladies who repairs the Mass vestments, altar linens and altar ornaments, and makes the robes for Our Lady’s altar; various tradesmen and professionals who donate their time and efforts in parish repair and construction projects; the numerous lectors, Eucharistic ministers, choir members, and altar servers who; our ushers, who maintain order and take the weekly collection; those who sort and count the collection; the religious education teachers and their assistants who teach our children the Catholic faith weekly; the parishioner who designs all our advertising and announcements; volunteers who organize our parish societies; the men and women who volunteer to make all our social and fundraising events happen; the bookstore volunteers, and those who prepare coffee and refreshments each week after the 10:00 a.m. Mass; the members of our parish Finance Council and Parish Council; our parish Trustees and legal counsel, who do their best to restrain the pastor from doing too many dumb things. And this list does NOT include paid staff, such as our secretary, business manager, custodians, organist, housekeeper, tech support people, and their assistants.

That’s a lot of people!! And too often, their efforts and dedicated service to Saint John’s go unmentioned, unnoticed or unappreciated by us all, since we take it all for granted that when we come to the doors of the Basilica, all will be unlocked, clean, and well-running. Why do they do all this, and have done so for so many years? The lady who cleans the altars clearly told me soon after I arrived in 1998. I entered the church on a Friday night while she was up on a stool cleaning the marble statues with a toothbrush. I suggested that she take care not to lose her balance, suggesting that she didn’t have to do that kind of dangerous work. Her response was classic: “Don’t worry, Father. Besides, I’m doing all this for Our Lord, not for you!” And, she was correct!!

So, this weekend, I would like to thank all our volunteers for their generous and continued hard work, which is such a sign of their love for our parish and for Our Lord, and one of the reasons why St. John’s does work so well.
—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: Walter Bradley, 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.

Special Energy Collection . . . The second collection today will be the Special Energy Collection to help pay the Higher Energy and Fuel Costs for the parish. Your generosity is appreciated.

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

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

R.C.I.A.: Our next class will be Monday, January 9th at 7pm-8:30pm in the Rectory. Topic: The Essence of Catholic Morality/Human Nature as the Basis for Catholic Morality —Part II: Chapters 1-2.

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!

The Upper Room: January 31: For Adults 39 and up in “The Upper Room” at Columbus Park Trattorria, 205 Main Street, Stamford. 7pm-9pm for “Stump the Priests.” All are welcome.

Preaching to Baby Jesus: On Sundays January 8, 22 & 29, the parish religious education students will be invited to preach to the Baby Jesus, represented in the parish Nativity scene on the St. Joseph Side Altar. These little 1 minute student sermons will take place during the regular religious education classes on Sundays. Parents and families are invited to attend. This pious practice began in the 13th century by Saint Francis of Assisi, and continues to be practiced in the Roman parish church of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, near the Roman Forum. School aged children are invited to mount a small pulpit and say a few words thanking the Son of God for becoming a baby in Bethlehem so we could have eternal life. Parents and families of the children are welcome to join us.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Christmas December 25, 2016 $ 54,912.52
Christmas December 25, 2015 $ 45,717.00
Sunday January 1, 2017 $ 16,143.86
Sunday January 3, 2016 $ 12,727.84

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

January 15th, Sunday Readings: Is 49:3, 5-6; 1 Cor 1:1-3; Jn 1:29-34.

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.  Call the rectory for 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, February 2nd! Holy Hour begins at 6:30pm and Mass begins at 7:30pm. We’ll see you there!

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

“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: Looking for information to understand and appreciate your fertility? The Creighton Model 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, We regularly meet for social events and community service projects. Join us for our monthly Sunday dinner following 5pm Mass. Connect with us on Facebook or Meetup, or email us at catholicyastamford@gmail.com.

Men’s Night of Reflection: 7pm, at St. Gabriel’s church, on Wednesday, Jan 18th. Men, please join us to hear Fr. Joseph Gill present “How to Get More Out of the Mass” This Men’s Night is brought to you by the Knights of Columbus Fr. Miller Council. Please contact Bill Nagle with any questions, 203-570-2593, email: billnagle@hotmail.com.

New Girls Catholic Academy: Pre-K-High School: The religious Sisters of the Company of The Savior operate girls academies in Spain and in the United States. The mission of the Sisters is to provide faithful Catholic education to young and teen-aged girls. They hope to open a new girls’ academy in lower Fairfield County. The priests of the Basilica parish support this project, and invite parents, expectant parents, young adults, and engaged couples to meet the sisters at the Rectory on January 19th at 7:30pm to discuss their project. They are interested in speaking with Catholics of Stamford to ascertain if there is interest for such an academy. There is no obligation or commitment required of those who attend. So, please join us for the discussion. Please RSVP to the Sisters by January 14th: 203-368-1875, or bridgeport@ciasalvador.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 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.

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.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased

Saturday, January 7, 2017
4:00 Special Intentions Eric Cates Family req. Sally Mobilio
Sunday, January 8, 2017
7:30 Leila Carneiro req. Rainho Family
10:00 +Ralph F. Loglisci Jr. req. Mr. and Mrs. Albert Cucco
12:00 +Felicetta DiCarlo req. Marion Morris
5:00 +Bryan Washington
Monday, January 9, 2017
8:00 Ferry Galbert req. Andrew Mbabaali
12:10 +Catherine Pascale req. John Pascale
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
8:00 Lori Longo Birthday req. Aunt Millie
12:10 +Karl Wilk req. Sue Kremheller
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
8:00 +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Cecilia Ficko req. Patrick and Mary Walsh
Thursday, January 12, 2017
8:00 +John Maloney req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Francesco and Josephine Mancuso req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
Friday, January 13, 2017
8:00 +Mary Hays req. Stephen Darst
12:10 +Catherine Morris 32nd Anniversary req. Marion Morris and Family
Saturday, January 14, 2017
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10 +Robert Disney req. Lucy Joyce

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:
January 11, 1861: Fast Day. “Last Friday was observed here in accordance with the proclamation of the authorities as a day of fasting and prayer. The places of business were closed. There was Mass in the Roman Catholic Church. The Rev. Father O’Neil read the Pastoral letter of the Bishop of the Diocese and made a brief address, evincing no sympathy with secession.”

115 years ago, or so:
January 12, 1903: CHURCH DEBT REDUCED $10,000. “In St. John’s R. C. Church, yesterday, the pastor, Rev. James C. O’Brien, made several important announcements. The most interesting one came in the annual report of the parish which was the statement that $10,500 of the debt of the church had been paid during the past year. The total debt now is $55,000. If the record for last year is kept up, it will require only five years to wipe out the entire debt. Before reading his report, Father O’Brien announced that a division had been made in the parish, whereby the Poles, Hungarians, Slavonians and other kindred nationalities would have a parish of their own. There are 126 of these families and their population is between 500 and 600. For the present they will have the use of the lower chapel. Father O’Brien also stated that within a few years it would be necessary to build a new school, as the present accommodations were entirely inadequate. There are nearly 600 children enrolled in the parochial school.”

100 years ago, or so:
January 8, 1918: “Conde B. Pallen, editor of the Catholic Encyclopedia, will give a Catholic and patriotic lecture in the lower chapel of St. John’s R. C. Church this evening, at 6:15. The subject will be “Up Against the Real Thing.” There will be no charge for admission.”

75 Years ago, or so:
January 10, 1941: St. John’s Club Is Victorious. “The St. John’s Varsity Club traveled to Port Chester to defeat the Port Chester Y.M.C.A. Juniors, 39-24, in a fast and quick scoring game. This was the fourth victory in five starts for the local team.”

50 Years ago, or so:
January 9, 1968: Frozen Pipes Close School At St. John’s. “Frozen pipes at St. John’s Parochial School shortly after 9 this morning caused the school to close for the day. School officials called parents asking them to pick up the children. Nuns and brothers took those home who did not have transportation. Heat also was out in the church and convent, whose heating systems use the same boiler. A 7:30 a.m. Mass was held without heat as was a funeral later in the morning. Heat was restored before Noon.”