For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday January 15, 2017

Pastor’s Corner: The Church returns to Ordinary Time in the celebration of Mass and public prayer. A friend of mine once termed Ordinary Time “Boring Time”, because nothing special or exciting happens during this Ordinary Time. While a bit sarcastic, he was correct. The seasons of Advent-Christmas-Epiphany and Lent-Easter-Pentecost, obviously emphasize certain specific historical realities, events and moments of salvation history: the world expected a Messiah, He came and was born in Bethlehem, he preached and brought about our salvation by his sacrificial suffering, death and resurrection, and established the Church as the instrument through which He continues sanctifying all humanity, in every place and century, until He returns at the end of time. Ordinary Time celebrates no one event of our salvation, but it offers us the time to reflect upon the impact those historical events of Christ’s saving actions and events have for each of us now in our ordinary lives. While every moment of our ordinary lives are not earth shatteringly important or memorable, every moment of God’s ordinary life, and the Church’s ordinary life is. They change all existence for the better.

We are never separated from all of the events of Christ’s life or from all his works, even if performed nearly 2,000 years ago. In His Catholic Church, He remains present, and not just as a memory or idea. The Mass is unique in that it is a true sacrifice, whereby Christ Incarnate, Crucified and Risen is once again offered to the Father, but in a bloodless manner. But there is more to the Mass, in that every aspect of Christ’s saving life and work is present and expressed at each Mass. So, every Mass is Advent, the Immaculate Conception, Christmas, Epiphany, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, the Assumption of Mary, Christ the King, Holy Angels, All Saints, and All Souls Day.

For example, the people of Israel waited for the Messiah, as we see in the Old Testament. Each Mass recalls that waiting, and more, since He actually came at Bethlehem, and more, since He comes every day to individual souls in a sacramental way, especially during Mass. Another example, is redemption: it was made necessary by the sin of Adam and our own; it was announced and prepared for by the prophets, realized in the life, Passion, death and resurrection and ascension of Christ. But redemption, the triumph of Christ’s Cross, continues and is realized through the Church, and personally in the soul of each individual. This is achieved by the receiving God’s revelation by each of us, by the grace of the sacraments received by each of us, and by our individual cooperation with grace, which urges a turning from sin, live lives pleasing to God, and allows Christ to transform us to be more like Himself in our daily, ordinary lives. The color at Mass is green: just like spring, filled with hope that we’ll follow Christ.

The Mass is the one, single action by which all phases of the mystery of Christ are made present to us, not just symbolically, but truly and essentially, under outward signs, so we can understand them better. And, so we can incorporate them into our daily lives: what does it mean for you that God humbled Himself to become a man? –and humbled Himself further, dying as a criminal to grant you eternal life? If it means nothing, then you are a rather hard-hearted individual. Ordinary Time is that time to look at ourselves—not as we usually do, for vanity’s sake—but in humility before God. He did all this for you, how do you repay His love for you and His generosity to you? Your response in time—now–determines your future, beyond time. If you come to love Him, you will be with Him forever. If not, why WOULD you want to be with Him forever in heaven? Rather simple and ordinary: God’s love and our real response.

Get cracking on it, since Ordinary Time has begun. You might begin by reading Scripture: start with one of the Gospels, maybe a chapter each day. Get to know who Jesus, Mary, the Apostles and saints are. Then, choose on of the virtues—start with the big ones, Faith, Hope and Charity. Look them up in the Catechism of the Catholic Church or Google them [make sure you look at a CATHOLIC version, since the Protestant understanding of these is incomplete] if you don’t understand them, and then implement each in daily life. There are two parts: avoid evil, then do good, following Jesus’ advice. The invisible, unknowable God became “real” for us by becoming visible and knowable, as St. John mentions in his first letter. Now, as you grow in Faith, Hope and Charity, make your faith real—visible and knowable to others, so you can transform your ordinary daily tasks and life to be opportunities for loving God and leading others to eternity by example. God bless you. —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Gayle Moore, 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.

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

Annual Catholic Appeal: Begins the weekend of January 21/22. This is the annual appeal by the Diocese of Bridgeport to fund all the charitable, educational, and faith-based works of the Diocese of Bridgeport that assist thousands of people daily throughout Fairfield County. You will be contacted directly by the Diocese. Our parish goal this year is $110,000, so please be generous in your support. Our parish Appeal leaders are John & Eileen Tarleton, who have led our efforts last year so successfully. Thank you for your cooperation and generosity.

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

Men of the Parish: Looking for a spiritual boost—with coffee? Every Friday morning, about 30 men of the parish meet in the Rectory at 7 a.m. for coffee, then join together for twenty minutes of prayer and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament: all completed in time to attend the 8 a.m. Mass or to be on time for work. All parish men are welcome: 18 years of age and up. All are welcome without charge: Just walk in the Rectory front door, go down the hall, and you’ll find the coffee.

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 16th at 7pm-8:30pm in the Rectory. Topic: Some Fundamental Principles of Catholic Morality/Virtues and Vices, Part II: Chapters 3-4.

Faith on Tap: January 24th: Young adults age 21-39 are invited to join us at Murphy’s Townhouse Cafe , 97 Franklin St. in 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 31st: For Adults 39 and up in “The Upper Room” at Columbus Park Trattorria, 205 Main Street, in Stamford’s downtown: 7pm-9pm for “Stump the Priests.” All are welcome. Bring a friend or two!

Speaking to Baby Jesus: On Sundays January 22 & 29, the parish religious education students are invited to speak to the Baby Jesus represented in the parish Nativity scene on the St. Joseph Altar. These little 1 minute student reflections are the children’s way of thanking the Son of God for becoming a baby in Bethlehem, and will take place during the regular religious education classes on Sundays. Parents and families are invited to attend. The pious practice was begun by St. Francis of Assisi in the 13th century.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday January 8, 2017 $ 10,806.15
Sunday January 10, 2016 $ 13,797.69

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 22nd, Sunday Readings: Is 8:23—9:3; 1 Cor 1:10-13, 17; Mt 4:12-23.

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.
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MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
FEBRUARY 2: Candlemass: The Blessing of candles and procession will take place at the beginning of the 12:10 daily Mass. Everyone is welcome.

FEBRUARY 3: St. Blaise Day: Throats will be blessed after both daily Masses.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2017: The Heart of Saint Padre Pio will visit our Basilica all day on tour through the United States. Please mark your calendar for a day of prayer and blessings. Mark your calendars early: details to follow.
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Project Rachel Ministry: Offers free and confidential help to those seeking healing after abortion. Come back to God’s love and mercy. 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 Latin Reading Group: Tuesdays, 12:45 in the Rectory.  We are reading two works of St Ambrose:  De Mysteriis, on Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist [387 a.d.];  Epistula ad Sororem Marcellinam [385 a.d.], an account of Arian and Imperial Party politics to gain possession of a basilica in Milan. An intermediate reading ability in Latin is necessary. Information: 203-324–1553.

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.

Lauralton Hall: invites you to attend Take-a-Look Tuesday on February 7th at 8AM. Join us for coffee and a tour of Lauralton Hall. RSVP to 203-877-2786 ext.144. Lauralton Hall, 200 High Street, Milford.

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!

“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. There is no obligation or commitment required of those who attend. The meeting is purely informational. 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 29th, 10:00a.m.-12noon and Wednesday, February 1st, from 9:00a.m.-11:00a.m. For more information, please contact Mary Margarone, Director of Admissions, admissions.olss@gmail.com.

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

Villa Maria School: in Stamford has proudly inspired students with learning disabilities for more than 40 years, and will host a series of Open Houses on Sunday, January 22: 2-4 pm; Monday, January 23rd, 9:30-11:00am & 6:30-8:00pm. Contact Stephen Bennhoff, Assistant Head of School at Villa Maria School, at 203-322-5886 ext 104, or at sbennhoff@villamariaedu.org.

Job Seekers: Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., is 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 – at Stamford Corners, 1455 Washington Blvd, Stamford. Walk up the stairs, past the concierge to the club room. Go around to the left to right side conference room.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased

Saturday, January 14, 2017
4:00 +Eileen O’Grady Hogan req. Family
Sunday, January 15, 2017
7:30 +Mria Pjeter req. Age
10:00 +Roger O’Connor req. Elaine Knapp
12:00 +Maria Preziosi 24th Anniversary req. Marion Morris and Family
5:00 +Bryan Washington
Monday, January 16, 2017
8:00 Souls in Purgatory
12:10 +Deborah Fallacaro req. Melton Family
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
8:00 +Michael Siragusa req. John and Maria Mossa
12:10 +David J. Crozier req. John Pascale
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
8:00 +Patrick Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 People of the Parish
Thursday, January 19, 2017
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Maria
12:10 +Damaso Serpa req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Friday, January 20, 2017
8:00 +James Garzia req. Catherine Perry
12:10 +Evan Brookman req. Matt, Bill and Carol Christiaanse
Saturday, January 21, 2017
8:00 +Nel Rene req. Age
12:10 +Felicitas Cody req. Cody Family

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 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:

150 years ago, or so:
January 22, 1869: “The Catholic Fair, which commenced in Seely’s Hall on Tuesday evening is, we learn, a decided success so far. The Hall is tastefully decorated with flags, and the various tables are arranged with much neatness. An unusually large number of valuable articles are to be disposed of by lottery, the drawing to take place Saturday evening. Among these are a magnificent clock, gold watches, oil paintings, a gold mounted revolver and other articles too numerous to mention. From present appearances we have no doubt the Fair will be a success financially and otherwise.”

115 years ago, or so:
January 17, 1903: Roman Catholic. “Tomorrow will be the Feast of the Holy Name and will be specially observed by Roman Catholics. In St. John’s Church, the Holy Name Society, which has membership of about 500 men, will receive Holy Communion at the 7:30 o’clock Mass.”

75 years ago, or so:
January 18, 1939: Spiritual Retreat For Catholic Youth Of Stamford Planned. “The first annual mid-year spiritual retreat for boys and girls of high school age will be held in St. John’s Catholic Church, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 27, 28 and 29, it was announced today by the Inter-parish Council of the Stamford Catholic Youth Organization. The retreat exercises will be directed by Rev. Robert X. Sheridan, S. J., a member of the faculty of Boston College High School, who has had considerable experience with high school student retreats in New England.”

50 Years ago, or so:
January 16, 1964: Bishop Curtis Will Officiate At Scout Event. “The 11th annual Ad Altare Dei award presentation, sponsored by the Catholic Youth Organization of the Diocese of Bridgeport, will be held Feb. 1, at the Holy Name Church. The awards will be presented by the Most Rev. Walter W. Curtis, Bishop of Bridgeport. Those scouts who successfully passed the board of review include: Daniel J. Moriarity, Patrick J. Moriarity, and Daniel E. Shaub, Troop 22, St. John’s Church.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Daniel Shaub would go on to become an Eagle Scout on December 18, 1965)

45 Years ago, or so:
January 18, 1974: “St. John’s Roman Catholic Church is to be the site of a service for Christian unity involving all the denominations of Stamford. The service is to take place at 8:15 p.m., Jan. 25, according to the Rev. William A. Nagle, host pastor. With the joint sponsorship of the Stamford-Darien Council of Churches and Synagogues and the Stamford R. C. Vicariate, a congregation of about 1,000 persons is anticipated.”