For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday January 29, 2017

Pastor’s Corner:   Thursday, February 2nd, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in Candlemasthe Temple, also known as Candlemas. The celebration recalls the historical event when, in obedience to the precepts of the Law of Moses (Exodus 13:1-3; Leviticus 12:1-8) the Blessed Mother presented her first born son in the Temple in Jerusalem, 40 days after His birth. It also recalls the mystical fact that Christ is the final sacrifice who brings about the salvation of the world, and that He comes to us daily in every Catholic Church where Mass is celebrated.

The earliest record of this celebration comes from the 5th century, as recorded by a consecrated Virgin named Egedia in her Diary of a “Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.” The Mass celebrated in Jerusalem recalled the historical presentation of Jesus in the Temple, while the procession with lighted candles, a liturgical addition from Rome, referred to the mystical reality of the identity of the Child who was being presented, and what His life and death would mean for the history and salvation of the world. Candlemas on February 2nd links Christmas and Easter, and explains why God became a man—in order to offer His human body and life on the Cross to reconcile humankind with God.

The major prophets [Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekial] of the Old Testament spoke of the coming and work of the Savior. And the Feast day of February 2nd commemorating Jesus presented in the Temple, two further prophecies are fulfilled: that of the elderly prophet Simeon, who had been promised by God not to see death until he had first seen the Savior; and that of the aged Anna, the prophetess who recognized the generosity of God in His Son, the Savior of the world.

The Blessed Mother presents Her Son today, not simply to observe the Old Law of Moses, but to prefigure the work of Jesus. She presents Jesus to the Eternal Father who accepted this final sacrifice of His Son on the Cross. The reason why the Eternal Son, Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, took on human flesh and a human nature in the womb of the Virgin Mother was in order to offer that human body on the Cross as the ultimate sacrifice to pay for the sins of the world. God united to Himself in the most intimate way, that which He did not have: a human heart, mind, body and nature, along with the ability to suffer and die. And, in exchange, joined to humanity what we do not have: eternal life. If Christ had not taught anything, had He not healed or fed anyone, if He had done nothing other than offer Himself on the Cross, then His work would have been perfect. Yet, in the generosity of the Father, Christ’s work also included His revealing who God is, and how we should respond to Him in our daily lives.

The Church blesses candles on February 2nd, in honor of this historic event and mystical reality. All candles used during the year are blessed February 2nd, as well as candles for the faithful to bring home. Each candle represents Christ, whose light illumines the world with the Truth about God and about humankind. We are, likewise, to imitate Our Lady in her humility, obeying the Law of God by presenting Her Son in the Temple. That obedience leads to love of God, since we humble ourselves for Someone—not just a rule or law. We humble ourselves to obey Him who loved us first in His Son. We are to imitate Mary and her Son by lives of virtue. Our Lord told His Apostles, “You are the light of the world.” The candles blessed today represent Christ in our daily lives. We should let Christ shine to the world by means of our lives of virtue, and holiness, and, especially, by our charity.

The custom has arisen through the centuries of blessing throats on the following day: February 3rd, the Feast of Saint Blaise. St. Blaise was a Catholic bishop who saved a child from choking while both were imprisoned because of their Catholic faith, during a Roman Imperial persecution in the 4th century. He is the saint to pray for healing of ailments of the throat. We bless throats using two candles that were blessed on February 2nd. The blessed candles represent Christ, the light of the World, which will be held to form a Cross, and placed on the throat of the person being blessed. The prayer recited by the priest is “Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may you be delivered from all diseases of the throat and from every other evil, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” It is the power of Christ the Light of the World, and of His life-giving Cross, by the intercession of Saint Blaise, which is invoked to heal us from evil.

Throats will be blessed at the end of the 8 a.m. Mass on February 3rd.—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: Rosemary Pavia Grasso, Walter Bradley, Paul Hughes, Paul Polotaye, Joyce Simoneau Rybnick, Cathy Itri, Oswaldo Diaz, Maria Imbrogno, James Saunders, Margaret Potolicchio, Richard Hughes, Israel Noriega.

Annual Catholic Appeal: Began 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. Each parish in Fairfield County is given a goal: ours 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 [ages 18 and up]: 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 go off to work. All parish men are welcome: 18 years of age and up. Just walk in the Rectory front door, go down the hall, and you’ll find the coffee.

Diocesan Synod: During the past year, the Diocese of Bridgeport has asked parishes to begin implementing the Synod of the Diocese of Bridgeport. Each parish was asked to develop a pastoral plan to guide its actions in response to the Synod. The Basilica’s pastoral plan can be accessed on the diocesan website: http://www.bridgeportdiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/St.-John-the-Evangelist-Basilica-Stamford-Parish-Pastoral-Plan.pdf

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 30th at 7pm-8:30pm in the Rectory. Topic: The Fifth Commandment: Moral Issues of Life and Death/The Sixth and Ninth Commandments: Sexual Morality, Part II: Chapters 7-8.

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!

Faith on Tap: February 21st: Young adults age 21-39 are invited to join us at Murphy’s Townhouse Cafe , 97 Franklin St. in Stamford’s downtown: 7pm-9pm. Bishop Frank Caggiano will be talking about “For I Was Hungry And You Gave Me To Eat”. Bring a friend or two!

Speaking to Baby Jesus: On Sunday January 29, as on the past four Sundays, 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 to give them eternal life, 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 and continues in Rome today.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday January 22, 2017 $ 16,272.12
Sunday January 24, 2016 $ 8,195.73 (Snow)

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

February 5th, Sunday Readings: Is 58:7-10; 1 Cor 2:1-5; Mt 5:13-16.

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:
Thursday, FEBRUARY 2: Candlemas: The Blessing of candles and procession will take place at the beginning of the 12:10 daily Mass. Everyone is welcome.

Friday, FEBRUARY 3: St. Blaise Day: Throats will be blessed after 8am Mass.

Saturday, SEPTEMBER 22 & 23, 2017: Relics of Saint Padre Pio will visit our Basilica at 5p.m. on Friday, September 22nd, remaining all day on September 23rd, as they tour the United States. Please mark your calendar for two days of prayer and blessings. 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. Help us stop this. To join us, 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, This 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: Natural Family Planning / Fertility Care – Are you seeking a family planning method that is natural, effective, and morally sound? The Creighton Model System is based upon a couple’s knowledge and understanding of their naturally-occurring phases of fertility and infertility.  Through this understanding, the couple is able to make decisions regarding the achievement or avoidance of pregnancy.  Engaged couples preparing for marriage, married couples looking to space out their pregnancies, and couples who are experiencing infertility issues can all benefit from using this system. The teachers of the Creighton Model System are trained allied health professionals, and specifically-trained physicians have been educated to incorporate the Creighton Model System into their medical practice.  If you would like to schedule a FREE introductory session, please contact Angela Marchetti at angelamarchettifcp@gmail.com.

Baptism/Confirmation Sponsorship Certificate: When asked to be a sponsor, a certificate is needed from your home parish. If the parish priest does not know you personally, or by sight, we can only presume you to be a practicing catholic by tracking your contributions by check or envelope. If you do not attend Mass regularly or practice your Catholic Faith, you cannot be a sponsor.

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.

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

World Day of Prayer for the Sick: St. Aloysius Church, Saturday, February 11th. Welcome begins at 2:30pm. Mass will be celebrated at 3pm with the Sacrament of the Sick. All, especially the sick, the handicapped and the frail are invited to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and World Day of Prayer for the Sick. Sponsored by the Order of Malta.

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 within the next few years. The priests of the Basilica parish support this project. If you are interested and would like more information, please contact Sr. Maria: bridgeport@ciasalvador.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, February 27th 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 28, 2017
4:00 In Honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus req. Margarita Arenas
Sunday, January 29, 2017
7:30 +Charlotte King req. Minchilli Family
10:00 Special Intentions Aljamol Jose req. Ferry G.
12:00 +Francis Delaney 9th Anniversary req. Arthur Wargo
5:00 +Bryan Washington
Monday, January 30, 2017
8:00 +Eugenia Carpanzano req. Pasquale and Ida Carpanzano
12:10 +Francis Sullivan req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
8:00 Priests of the Basilica of St. John req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +William McCabe req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
8:00 +Bertholin Paul req. Michelle and Krystal Paul
12:10 +Ann Cody req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Thursday, February 2, 2017
8:00 +Edwich Joseph req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Daniel Cammarota req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Friday, February 3, 2017
8:00 Mary Coffey req. Thomas Cycon
12:10 +Cecelia Costa req. Lindsay Kennedy
Saturday, February 4, 2017
8:00 +Natale Sposato req. John and Maria Mossa
12:10 +Enrico Imbrogno, Sr. req. Dolores and Vincent Fanning

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.
Baptisms are offered in English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

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 Patristic 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:
Feb. 5, 1869: The Catholic Fair. “The following list comprises some of the most prominent prizesFr O'Neildrawn at the Fair held by the ladies of St. John’s Catholic Church, with the names of those who were entitled to them: photo of Father O’Neil, by H. T. Smith, of New Hartford, Conn.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Father James O’Neil was pastor of St. John’s from 1858 to 1868. Henry T. Smith worked with his successor, Rev. John Fagan, to purchase the property on which the church now stands. In 1986, Doctor James Smith, great-grandson of Henry T. Smith, gifted the framed photo back to St. John’s. It now hangs in St. John’s rectory.)

100 years ago, or so:
Feb. 3, 1912: BLESSING THE THROATS. “The feast of St. Blaise was observed throughout the Catholic world today. In the local Catholic Churches it was marked by the special ceremony of the blessing of the throats of the faithful, in keeping with traditions of the early years of the Catholic Church. According to the traditions of the church, St. Blaise was the Bishop of Sebaste, Armenia, in the early part of the Fourth Century, when under the Roman Emperor Licinius and the Roman Governor Agricola, the Christians experienced many drastic persecutions. St. Blaise’s name is included in the roster of the 14 holy martyrs, commemorated in the calendar of the church. One story is told of his relieving a lad who was choking to death with a fish bone caught in his throat. This is the most familiar, while there are many other legends depicting the prisoner as a humane and able practitioner. He was beheaded. The Catholic Church has set apart Feb. 3 as the particular date for the feast of St. Blaise. Throats were blessed in St. John’s at the Mass at 8 a.m. This afternoon, at St. John’s at 3 and this evening at 7:30, throats will also be blessed.”

75 years ago, or so:
Feb. 2, 1943: St. John’s Wins From the Center. “The St. John’s courtsters made it ten straight by beating the Jewish Center, 38-15. The Saints opened up with Delia scoring three baskets for a 9-2 lead at the quarter. In the second quarter the Saints outscored their rivals, 7-2, to lead at the half, 16-4. In the third period Cullen and Harrington tallied two baskets each with the latter getting a charity shot. The Saints got six baskets in the last quarter. St. John’s s now leading the 15 and under division with a record of four and none. The Saints are also entered in the CYO 17 and under loop.”