For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday February 19, 2017

St Peter Pastor’s Corner: February 22nd is the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter. It reminds us of Jesus’ grant of His authority to Saint Peter and to his successors, the popes, as bishops of Rome. This was Our Lord’s means to assure unity in His Catholic Church throughout the ages: being in communion with Peter by sharing in his faith.

When Our Lord spoke these words to Simon Peter in the presence of the other Apostles, He did not single out a particular friend to grant some personal favor. Jesus would never have chosen Peter: Jesus was surprised that he, of all the Twelve, was the one who answered His question correctly: “Who do you say I am?” Not being the brightest of the Apostolic crowd, Simon Peter’s answer revealed to Jesus the Father’s choice to lead the Apostles as visible head of the Church. Next, Our Lord changed Simon’s name: whenever God changed the name of anyone in the Old Testament, as He did with Abram to Abraham, it meant that God was changing the very reason for that person’s existence. Abram became Abraham in order to be the Father of the Chosen People and all the faithful of Christ’s new covenant, whose “descendants would be more numerous than the stars” [Gen 23:17]. Those descendants would not be limited to the Jewish people, but would move beyond them—to the Gentiles, to include all who have faith in Christ. Jesus, the Son of God, changed Simon’s name to Peter, since Peter would bring that promise to fulfillment through the Catholic Church—the New Israel. Why did Jesus choose the name “Peter”? Why not George or Reginald? Because Peter means Rock in Aramaic, the language they spoke and in which the Gospel of Matthew was written: the word for rock is Kephas, or Cephas in the English transliteration, which is repeated in the Gospels and the Epistles of St. Paul [4 times in Galatians; 4 times in I Corinthians]. In English, this play on words doesn’t work: the name Peter doesn’t look anything like the word Rock; the closest in a modern language is the French word Pierre—for both Peter and Rock. Italian and Spanish have similar words for Rock and Peter.

Our Lord next told Simon that “You are Peter [Rock], and on this Rock [Peter] I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” [Matt 16:16-19]. The Church isn’t built on an idea, or a social movement, or ideology: it was established by and on the Divine Person of Our Lord, obedient to another Divine Person, the Eternal Father, and enlivened by the Third Divine Person, the Holy Spirit, guiding the Church to teach only the truth so that “the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” Since salvation is a matter of personal relationships, not shared ideology, ours with Christ and with others, the Church’s visible head is another person: Peter. But that office and duty Christ gave to Peter was not a personal gift to one man. Jesus was establishing a permanent Church, which would last until the end of time, and reach to the ends of the world, offering truth, grace and salvation to everyone. The Church Jesus personally founded is His Mystical Body, of which He is the actual head, and all the baptized intimately joined to Him as members of His Body. What is the symbol of that unity and Christ’s authority given to Peter?—the Keys of Heaven: Jesus just about quotes Isaiah 22:22, which refers to the king giving authority to his chief steward in the form of keys of the palace. That chief steward was given the keys of authority only for a while, and then they were passed to his successor. So too with Peter and the Church. Jesus did not make Peter the absolute Head of the Church: that is Jesus. But the visible head of the Church is Peter. Since Jesus’ Church is to last until the end of time, Jesus gave that authority through Peter to his successors, the Bishops of Rome, where Peter taught and died a martyr.

Our Lord knew that Peter was imperfect; He scolded Peter soon after giving him the Keys of Heaven when Peter objected that Jesus shouldn’t suffer and die. Likewise, Peter denied knowing Christ three times on the evening of His arrest, and abandoned Him the day He died on the Cross. Yet, Our Lord did not withdraw His grant of authority or His love from this weak and flawed Rock. After the Resurrection, Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” —offering Peter three opportunities to redress his triple denial of Jesus. Peter‘s triple reply, “Yes Lord, you know I love you” [Jn 21:15-19]. Our Lord gave Peter the opportunity to make up for that failure, and Peter responded with love. Peter grew into his new job as the Rock upon which Christ built His one Church: he had to understand that the only way to exercise authority in the Church was first to be so in love with Jesus that he wanted to imitate Him entirely, even to the point of martyrdom. For Peter that meant on a cross like Christ.

We are blessed to have an exact bronze replica of the statue of Saint Peter here, as found in the Vatican’s Basilica of Saint Peter. As in Rome, so too in Stamford: for Peter’s feast day, the statue is vested in pontifical vestments—red, the color of martyrdom and of popes: the color of Peter’s willingness to sacrifice himself in imitation of the Christ he believed in and loved. So, this weekend, or on any day you visit our Basilica, stop at the statue, say a prayer for the Holy Father, Pope Francis and, like the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”, kiss St. Peter’s foot as a sign of devotion. And we are in Rome, here in the pope’s church, sharing the same faith as the Apostles and Saints, in union with today’s Rock: Pope Francis, successor of the Fisherman from Galilee. Faith must lead to love of God, and we can all get there by Christ’s grace, even though we are weak and imperfect. —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Bill Rice, 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.

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

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

Annual Catholic Appeal: 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 generosity.

Saturday, May 6th: The Running of the Roses: the parish annual Kentucky Derby fundraiser. Live broadcast of the Race, plus superb food, live auction, mint juleps, and more. ALSO, to facilitate attendance by young couples, a Kids’ Derby will be held in the parish hall at the same time at a minimal charge, with games, food, and fun—no betting on the race!!!—and experienced adult supervision. Mark your calendar, and stay tuned for further details.
Sports Tickets: Got season tickets for games? If so, please consider donating a pair to a game as auction items for the upcoming parish Kentucky Derby. Give a call to Cindy at the Rectory: 203-324-1553, ext 21.

Men of the Parish [ages 18 and up]: Looking for a spiritual boost for Lent—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

R.C.I.A.: Next class: Monday, February 20th at 7pm-8:30pm in the Rectory. Topic: Baptism and Confirmation, Part III: Chapter 3, (pages 307-319).

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. Monsignor Thomas Powers, Vicar General of the Diocese of Bridgeport, will speak about “Where Do Bishops Come From?: How the Pope Chooses New Shepherds”. Bring a friend or two!

Latin Low Mass: In the Extraordinary Form each Friday at 2pm. Everyone is welcome.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday February 12, 2017 $ 9,577.57
Sunday February 14, 2016 $ 13,341.48

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 26th, Sunday Readings: Is 49:14-15; 1 Cor 4:1-5; Mt 6:24-34.

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’s love and mercy. Call 203-416-1619 or

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

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.

New Covenant House of Hospitality: Saint John’s parishioners staff the kitchens once each month to feed the homeless and less fortunate. For information, please call: 203-324-1533, ext 21.

St. Monica Latin Reading Group: Tuesdays at 12:45 in the Rectory. We are continuing our review of ecclesiastical Latin using Second Latin by Cora and Charles Scanlon. We are also reading excerpts from Ambrosi Epistulae Variae, letters of St Ambrose, Bishop of Milan and mentor to St Augustine.  These range from letters to the Emperor to letters addressed to relatives.  An intermediate reading ability in Latin is necessary. Please 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:

Are you a student at UCONN Stamford? in some on campus activities. Please contact Fr. Andy Vill ( 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 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

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

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

Oriental Carpet: Would you like one? We have a beautiful 30 year old, hand woven, golden, authentic oriental carpet, measuring 25 feet by 13.5 feet. This is free to take! In fact, it is the carpet on the sanctuary floor in the Basilica. If anyone would like it, please speak with Cindy: 203-324-1553, ext 21.

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.

Job Seekers: Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., is a leader in helping find jobs. More info, see: 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 18, 2017
4:00 In Honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus req. Margarita Arenas
Sunday, February 19, 2017
7:30 +George Terenzio Birthday Remembrance req. family
10:00 +Orrico Imerogno req. Marie Longo
12:00 +Brian MacTiernan req. Carla Coutant
5:00 +Antonin Scalia
Monday, February 20, 2017
8:00 Souls in Purgatory
12:10 +Angeline Kom Simo req. Heloise Nana
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
8:00 +Dominick Carpanzano req. Pasquale and Ida Carpanzano
12:10 +Clifford Studley req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
8:00 +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Michael Navaro req. Marie Pinto and Family
Thursday, February 23, 2017
8:00 +Mildred/JoAnn and Felix Fiore req. Leon Taricani
12:10 +John Stobbie req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
Friday, February 24, 2017
8:00 In Honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Raymond and Jutland Jean-Rene req. Nadege Baptiste
Saturday, February 25, 2017
8:00 +Mr. and Mrs. John Bayne req. Barbara Bayne
12:10 +William Joseph Carello req. your children

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:

140 years ago, or so:
Feb. 26, 1875: “Dr. McGlynn, who was to have lectured at the Town Hall Wednesday evening in aid of the new Catholic church, unfortunately failed to put in an appearance. A thousand people were disappointed-not having even the satisfaction of a dispatch to state the reason of his detention. Father Tierney, however, was equal to the occasion, and having expressed his regret at the disappointment, told the audience to receive their money back or to retain their tickets for the lecture next week. It is creditable to the parties to say that without a murmur almost every man of them kept their tickets and seemed to take their disappointment good naturedly. P.S. Since the above was written we learn that the gentleman left the train at Riverside by mistake. The Lecture will now be given on Monday evening next, at the Town Hall.”

100 years ago, or so:
Feb. 24, 1914: Don Donovan’s Estate. “The final account of the estate of Don Donovan, who died a year ago at his home in Roxbury, was approved by Judge Gregory of Norwalk, acting for Judge Keating in the local Probate Court, because the latter considered himself disqualified. The estate consisted of about $16,000 in real and personal property, and was divided in two shares-$8,000 [$192,000 in 2017 dollars] going to St. John’s Catholic Church, as the will of the deceased directed, and the remainder to two heirs-at-law, one of whom was Miss Jane Donovan, a niece, of New York. The Stamford Trust Company is the executor of the estate. Mr. Donovan, it will be remembered, died in his 90th year of age. He had no relatives closer than his nieces, and these he had not seen for many years. He came to Stamford in his youth, and worked for many years in the Roxbury neighborhood as a farmhand. He was a good Catholic and a member of the church to which he bequeathed the balance of his savings.”

Feb. 23, 1918: Stamford Boy on Torpedoed Ship. “James J. Marron of 54 Brown Street has arrived at an Atlantic port, after an adventurous voyage. He sailed for Liverpool, Jan. 5, on the S. S. Almanace, owned by the Garland Steamship Company of Baltimore. On Feb. 5 this vessel was torpedoed off the coast of Ireland, while he was on a lookout in the crows-nest. He was picked up by a tramp steamer and carried to a French port, where he remained but two hours, being carried to England on another tramp ship. He returned to America on the S. S. Leviathan, formerly the Vaterland. Marron entered the service on April 23, 1917. After training at Newport, he was placed on the U.S.S. Pennsylvania, from which he was transferred to the armed guard. He was graduated from St. John’s Parochial School, and attended High School for two years. He was a clever basketball player and an all-around athlete, and belonged to the Radio A.C. and the Y.M.C.A.”

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

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

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.

Trinity Catholic Presents Fiddler on the Roof: TCHS Crusader Players present Fiddler on the Roof, our in- house school play, scheduled for performances from 3/24/17 through 3/26/14.

Trinity Catholic Legacy Gala: Friday, April 28th, 2017, at The Italian Center. Honoring The Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano, Bishop of Bridgeport for his Legacy of Purpose, The Sam Cingari Family for their Legacy of Commitment, Art ’81 & Donna Mossa ’84 Murphy P’11,’14,’17 for their Legacy of Encouragement. For more  information contact Betsy Mercede at

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 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:

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.