For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday February 12, 2017

Pastor’s Corner: Lourdes was an ancient, obscure village situated on the Gave de Pau River at the foot of the Pyrenees in southwest France. In fact, there had never been anything in the town to recommend it to anyone’s attention, with only a ramshackle “castle” to add some touch of color to an otherwise downright ugly settlement. It is still rather ugly, but the obscurity and backwater life of the village all changed when the Blessed Virgin Mary began to appear to Saint Bernadette Soubirous between February 11th and July 16th, 1858. [Today, the shrine to Our Lady attracts more pilgrims each year than any other religious shrine in the world [contrary to the media, even more than to Mecca!].

Born to an impoverished family and sickly, Bernadette was not sent to school. In February, 1858, while collecting firewood along the river Gave near the grotto called Massabielle, then used as a garbage dump, she saw a young woman dressed in white and holding a rosary. Bernadette’s account of the vision met with disbelief from the local pastor, and rebuke by her family. Considered dull-witted, apparently unintelligent, and belonging to a lower-class family, her neighbors and family thought she was inventing the story to attract Our Lady of Lourdesattention to herself in order to fill her otherwise meaningless and useless life. On February 24th, the Lady called for penance to be done by the townspeople. The next day, the Lady directed Bernadette to drink and wash at a spring, instructing her to dig in the mud. Seeing her dig and wash in the mud, the town officials and people mocked the girl. Today, the spring produces 32,000 gallons of water daily and is used for baths by pilgrims in hope of healing—and there have been thousands of scientifically unexplainable healings. The French government of mid-19th century France was anti-clerical and actively opposed the Church, even despite the crush of pilgrims—20,000 people from all over France who were present for Our Lady’s March 4th apparition.

On March 25th, 1858, the Feast of the Annunciation, the visitor identified herself in the dialect of Lourdes saying, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” For an uneducated girl to invent this theological term was impossible. The doctrine of Mary’s Immaculate Conception without the stain of Adam’s original sin had formally been defined by Blessed Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854. Since Bernadette had received no education, and minimal religious instruction, she could not have known the fancy term nor understood what it meant. From June to October 1858, the mayor of Lourdes barricaded the grotto and spring “for hygienic reasons”, finally reopening them only after immense popular pressure, including the insistence by the French emperor, whose son had been miraculously cured.

The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes on February 11th, while not one of the most important on the Church’s liturgical calendar, is one of the most beautiful. Our Lady visits various people, not giving any new or private revelation, but communicating her concern for the world, that all come to know Her Son, return to Him with penance, and achieve the goal for which He took on human flesh in Her womb—eternal life with God. Let us pray to Our Lady of Lourdes, and to Saint Bernadette Soubirous, for an increase of faith and a deeper desire to live lives worthy of the name Christian. Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us! —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Diane DiNapoli, Evan Fernandez, Gayle Moore, Paula Bennett, Mildred Beirne, Karen Hsu, Silvana Smith, Harriet Lockhart, Joseph Kung, Jacqueline Domingue, Eilish Collins Main, Thomas McGuire, Antonietta Cerone, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Sylvia Ardise, Rosemary Pavia Grasso, Walter Bradley, Paul Hughes, Paul Polotaye, Joyce Simoneau Rybnick, Cathy Itri, Oswaldo Diaz, Maria Imbrogno, James Saunders.

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.

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 developed a pastoral plan to in response to the Synod. The Basilica’s pastoral plan can be found at www.bridgeportdiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/St.-John-the-Evangelist-Basilica-Stamford-Parish-Pastoral-Plan.pdf

Looking for work? Parishioners seek someone to serve as an aide for a homebound Alzeheimer patient: their mother. No medical experience or training required, since this is primarily to monitor the safety of the elderly lady, making sure she doesn’t wander off. Duties would include preparing lunch, helping her to the toilet, praying the Rosary, putting movies in the DVD, and the like. Monday, Wed, Friday, 12 noon to 6pm; Saturday from 7-11 am. Pay is $13.50 per hour, with sick days and holiday pay. The lady lives in Port Chester. Please call the rectory if interested: 203-324-1553, ext 11.

R.C.I.A.: Next class: Monday, February 13th at 7pm-8:30pm in the Rectory. Topic: Introduction to Catholic Liturgy/Introduction to the Sacraments, Part III: Chapters 1-2.

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 speak about “For I Was Hungry And You Gave Me To Eat”. Bring a friend or two!

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday February 5, 2017 $ 14,264.75
Sunday February 7, 2016 $ 14,685.79

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 19th, Sunday Readings: Lv 19:1-2, 17-18; 1 Cor 3:16-23; Mt 5:38-48.

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’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

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.

Young Adult Mass and Holy Hour: Calling all young adults! Join us for our next monthly Young Adult Mass and Holy Hour, Thursday, March 2nd! Holy Hour begins at 6:30pm and Mass begins at 7:30pm. We’ll see you there!

Ash Wednesday: Falls on March 1st this year, marking the beginning of Lent. What will you do for Lent? Those 40 days are the Church’s annual spiritual retreat, a time for spiritual battle against Satan. Use these weeks in anticipation of this holy season to consider how best to improve your relationship with Our Lord, through repentance for past sins, fasting, active charity for the needy, using money you saved from your fasting, and deepened prayer.

“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.  Engaged couples preparing for marriage, as well as married couples, 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.

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.

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, February 11, 2017
4:00 In Honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus req. Margarita Arenas
Sunday, February 12, 2017
7:30 +James F. Berger
10:00 +Alfred Johnsen req. Abdul and Sarah Aslam
12:00 +Aniello Preziosi Birthday Remembrance req. Marion Morris and Family
5:00 +Antonin Scalia
Monday, February 13, 2017
8:00 Rev. Terrence P. Walsh req. Lula Blackson
12:10 +Clifford Studley req. Ed Nemchek Sr.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
8:00 +Hien Do req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 +Helen Iello req. Bill Christiaanse
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
8:00 +Patrick Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +John Dalton req. Dalton Family
Thursday, February 16, 2017
8:00 Souls in Purgatory req. Maria
12:10 +Mary Carucci req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
Friday, February 17, 2017
8:00 +Alfred Pinto req. Marie Pinto and Family
12:10 +Raymond and Lionise Jean-Rene req. Nadege Baptiste
Saturday, February 18, 2017
8:00 +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10 +Hobart Simpson req. Carpanzano 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.
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:

100 years ago, or so:
Feb. 17, 1912: St. Anne’s Cake Sale. “A successful cake and apron sale was held yesterday afternoon and evening, in St. John’s Parochial School Hall, by St. Anne’s Ladies’ Aid Society. A substantial sum was realized from the sale, which will be used for work among the poor of the city during the winter. The ladies have already performed a large amount of charitable work and held this sale to replenish the funds.”

Feb. 17, 1915: BAZAAR CLOSES WITH COMEDY AND PRIZES. “Too Many Husbands” Made a Great Hit. “A crowd that filled every nook and corner of St. John’s Parochial School hall was delighted with “Too Many Husbands,” as it was presented by the Alumni Association of the school last evening. Applause was frequent throughout the clever farce-comedy, and the various actors drew their share of the encoring with clever work in the interpretation of the play, which involved a serious family mix up. This was the last night of the bazaar, which continued for four days very successfully. All of the prizes were bestowed upon the lucky number-holders last night, and then dancing followed until midnight, Kearney’s orchestra furnishing the music. Rev. James C. O’Brien, pastor of the church, appeared before the big audience after the last act of the play, and thanked all of those who had contributed to make the bazaar a success. He said that he was delighted to see so large an attendance on the closing night, and he was particularly grateful to the ladies and others who have been working for the success of the bazaar. One of the features of the entertainment came between the acts of the play, when Willy Panaparta and Mary Delafine appeared, being announced as Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Castle, and danced, while the orchestra played furiously. The crowd thoroughly appreciated the joke, and treated the youngsters to a hearty encore. They responded with another graceful dance. “Too Many Husbands” involved several families who are living in one boarding house. Two men are playing the part of false husbands, with special purposes behind their deceit, and at the same time these men are in love with young girls in the household. Everybody is mixed up about the other man’s wife, and, to increase the confusion, there is Rudolph Bauer, a detective, looking for a man with a spot on his arm, a criminal for whom he will pay a reward of $10,000. The last act brings reconciliation to everyone concerned. Rudolph finds his man, without having to pay the reward, in Chauncey Chilton, who has been working as private secretary to the Colonel in the household, and a minister is called upon to perform a double wedding as the marriage entanglement is solved. Assisting with the play last evening were Harry Smith, who directed the cast; Mrs. M. McMahon, assistant director; Father Farrell, stage manager, and Walter Greenly, property man.”

Bishop Announces New School!
Bishop Frank J. Caggiano recently met with Catholic school parents to unveil Imagine 2020, a three-year plan for Catholic elementary education in Stamford that will create a single, new flagship PreK-Grade 8 school. The four schools involved in the plan are Holy Spirit School, Our Lady Star of the Sea School, St. Cecilia School, and Trinity Catholic Middle School. The new school, which will open in September 2017, will be re-named and a new board will be formed in order to involve representatives from all four parishes.
According to the bishop, the new school will provide a superior education, in a renovated facility, located on a single campus in the heart of the city, whose mission will be enhanced by a rejuvenated and prospering Trinity Catholic High School. The new school will allow for more differentiated instruction and new models of teaching such as blended learning that will make classrooms more innovative and contemporary.
Priority registration for current school families will run until February 15, after which will open to new students. Applications for the Bishop’s Scholarship Fund will be accepted until April 1. The diocese has set up a hotline for anyone to call in and have their specific questions answered. The number is 203-209-2894. For
more information, including tuition rates and how to register, please visit www.catholicschoolsstamford.org.

Night of Unity in Christ: Come for an exciting evening of local Christian and Catholic speakers and musicians, gathering at Trinity High School in celebration of the unity we have in Christ! Hear wonderful talks on finding purpose and joy, and experience great Christian worship and rap music! The concert/revival is on Thursday, February 19 at 7pm in the Trinity High School auditorium. All are welcome, and the cost is free!

Stamford Lenten Adult Bible Study: The Scriptural Roots of the Sacraments will be a six-week Bible Study held at Trinity High School every Thursday in Lent, starting March 2nd, from 7-8:30pm. The study, led by Fr. Joseph Gill, will examine how the Sacraments of our Catholic Faith, such as the Mass and Confession, are grounded in the Word of God, both prefigured in the Old Testament and then coming in fullness in the New. Cost is free. All adults who want to grow in their faith are invited to join us! For more information, please contact Fr. Joseph at frjosephgill@gmail.com.

Lenten Pasta Dinner & Stations: Trinity Catholic High School is hosting two Lenten pasta dinners to help raise money for our teens to do a week-long service trip in Boston! Come and join us on March 10th and March 24th any time between 5:30pm-7:30pm for some delicious food, donated by Columbus Park Trattoria and cooked by their expert chefs! We will then celebrate the Stations of the Cross in the chapel at 7:30pm for those who wish to stay. The dinners are open to the public, and cost is $10 per person or maximum $40 per family.

2017-18 Admissions at Regina Caeli Academy: Looking for an amazing resource center devoted to a classical education and the Catholic faith? Regina Caeli Academy meets at Wilton Baptist Church, Wilton, CT, serving Prek-3 – 12th grade. Students attend Socratic and hands-on classrooms two days per week and are home schooled the remaining days. Our Open House will be on Saturday, March 4th, from 3-5pm at Wilton Baptist Church. Please contact Mary Grunbok at (203) 701-9154 or mgrunbok.fcc@rcahybrid.org to schedule your family tour or make reservations for the Open House.

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

The Learning Academy: at Trinity Catholic High School, Open House Monday February 13th, 6:30PM-8:00PM, a new learning academy for 9th & 10th graders for the 2017-2018 school year. A new & innovative approach for students with specialized learning needs. For more information please contact Jon DeBenedictis, Director of Admissions, jdebenedictis@trinitycatholic.org, 203-322-3401, ext. 302.

Lauralton Hall: invites you to attend Take-a-Look Tuesday on March 7, 2017 at 8:00a.m. RSVP to (203)877-2786 ext.144. Lauralton Hall, 200 High Street, Milford, CT.

Cardinal Ignatius Kung: was one of the great heroes of the Catholic faith, having suffered imprisonment in China for more than 30 years because of his faith. He died on March 12, 2000, and his funeral was here at the Basilica. To commemorate the anniversary of his death, and to promote interest in Cardinal Kung’s saintly life, the Basilica bookstore will offer a special sale of my biography of the Cardinal: Ignatius, The Life of Ignatius Cardinal Kung Pin-Mei, for $5.00 per copy, beginning this weekend until March 12th. I think you will find the book of interest, and the Cardinal’s life fascinating and inspirational.

ignatiusSM