For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday June 4, 2017

Pastor’s Corner: The first Pentecost saw the Apostles receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Already commissioned by Our Lord to establish His Catholic Church everywhere, they now received the strength, courage and fortitude to do their work. More than 1,800 years later, a successor of the Apostles came to Stamford to dedicate the then newest outpost of Christ’s Church: “The audience assembled on Sunday morning last,” [May 30, 1886] “at 10 o’clock in the new Catholic church of Stamford, was limited only by the capacity of the building, which spacious as it is, could not contain all who sought admission within its walls. While hundreds more stood outside, not less than twenty-five hundred people, obtained entrance, and witnessed the impressive ceremonial of dedication by the Rt. Rev. Bishop McMahon and the priests chosen as his assistants for the occasion.” Thus did The Stamford Advocate begin its report of the dedication ceremonies of our church, adding, “The new church is undoubtedly one of the very finest ecclesiastical edifices in the state.” [The Stamford Advocate, June 1, 1886]

All in all, Stamford was quite impressed: Saint John’s was the largest stone church in the Connecticut, and the ceremonies were attended by nearly the entire 4,000 person Catholic population of the city. Nowhere in Yankee Connecticut had there been such an expression of the rapid growth of the Church as in Stamford that day. The preacher for the day was Father Ignatius Horstmann, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, who commented: “What a change forty years have brought about in the Catholic Church here in Stamford. The progress of Catholicity in your midst can be read from these facts: from the Mass offered up in private houses to the modest frame chapel on Meadow Street, that was twice enlarged and improved, then to this magnificent structure worthy to be called a cathedral. At first a few faithful, now one-third of the entire population of the town.” [The Connecticut Catholic, June 5, 1886]

The construction of our great church was not an easy project, and seemed doomed to permanent incompletion because of a lack of funding, until the arrival of an Irish immigrant via Chicago—John Ennis, one of the most interesting men in the history of our city. Born in Richmond Harbor, County Longford, Ireland in 1842, he and his family moved to Chicago. Ennis fought for the Union in the American Civil War. He worked as a contractor and built a number of churches in Chicago following the City’s Great Fire. He and his family moved to Stamford, and became members of Saint John’s. He fought to protect the rights of Irish Catholics, established a spa and hotel on Shippan Point, and gained fame as a world class athlete, capturing awards as a swimmer, crack rifleman, boxer, ice skater and long distance walker. He held the world record for 100-mile speed ice skating [he was 52 years old at the time!] and the record for walking across the United States: 50 days and 5 hours at the age of 68 years! [The Currier and Ives print on the left is entitled John Ennis the Celebrated Pedestrian]

After the lower portion of the exterior of the church was basically completed according to the plans of James Murphy, the original architect, construction stopped, due to lack of funds. Ennis came forward with another plan, and once he convinced the pastor, Father William Rogers that he could actually build the high vaulted ceiling without the building’s collapse, work began anew. Ennis later described his efforts at Saint John’s: “I had sole control of the construction of all the mechanical work, both as architect and general contractor and for four years I gave the work the best that was in me as a skilled mechanic and builder. They were the happiest years of my life: my heart as well as my head and all the physical energy I possessed was employed for a good purpose and a successful end. I remodeled the interior as follows: Restored seven feet of space in order to make a true Gothic ceiling; enlarged the pillars more than twice the diameter of the original plans; substituted circular stairs to the galleries, three flights, instead of plain box stairs, as planned by old drawings. The roof did not collapse as predicted, no one was killed or injured. . .” He described Saint John’s as “the most beautiful Gothic church building in the State of Connecticut”, and continued, “Every line and detail is mine.” One of his last gifts to Saint John’s was the stained glass window in memory of his beloved wife Mary, who died in 1892 [the third northern window, to the left of the baptismal font]. John Ennis died in 1929 of pneumonia at 78 years of age. This should be recognized as another working of the Holy Spirit in Our Lord’s Catholic Church.

So, Happy Pentecost and Happy Anniversary, St. John’s! Our Catholic parish is but one of tens of thousands of local parishes and chapels around the world, all part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Christ on the Apostles. Let’s remember John and his wife Mary Ennis in a little prayer today, as well as all our fellow Catholics of those earlier days, whose Catholic Faith, generosity and determination created this beautiful church as a sign of their Catholic faith, and as a gift to us and to future generations who would join them in worshiping God at this altar. —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Dionysia Oliveira, Emilio Gonzalez, Salvatore Piria, Mary Ellen Callahan, Louise Wiles, Frank Wruk, Erin Wiggin, Isaac Lopez, Richard Ridge, Debbie Schemmel, Ron Frasca, Lisa Giugno, Michele Giugno, Helga Pecaric, Kimberly Rice, Jimmy Berube, Maria Trivino, Maria Gabriela Mossa, Bill Rice, Diane DiNapoli, Gayle Moore, Paula Bennett, Mildred Beirne, Karen Hsu, Silvana Smith, Harriet Lockhart, Joseph Kung, Jacqueline Domingue, Eilish Collins Main, Antonietta Cerone, Sylvia Iannazzi, A.J. Barr, William Byrnes, Jonathan Victor, Sophia Petrafesa, Lyn Geikie-Rice, Ruth Coyle, Elaine Shoztic.

Please pray for those who have recently died: John Kronk, Joseph Esperance, Terence Leydon, Maureen Flanders, Ann Touhey, Barbara Itri, Daniel Murphy, Bernadette Martelli, John Thompson, Francesco Russo, Lillian Jacobs, Rosalie Liguori, William DeLeo, Sylvia Ardise.

Banns of Marriage: II Banns: Paul Brendan Ciarcia and Kelly Sullivan

HOLY COMMUNION: We welcome all visitors and guests to our basilica. For those who are not Catholics, know that you are welcome here, but we ask that you not come forward for Holy Communion. Receiving Holy Communion signifies full membership in the Church founded by Our Lord, called “Catholic” since the end of the first century. Those who are not Catholics are not in full communion with the Church, so please remain in your seats and pray during the communion rite of the Mass. God bless you.

Annual Catholic Appeal: We have reached our goal of $110,000 for the Annual Catholic Appeal. If you have not yet made a donation to the Bishop, please feel free to do so. Thank you for your generosity.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: “The Eaglet,” the new parish blog on our Basilica website,, is up and running, featuring a variety of thought-provoking articles on the Catholic Faith and Church, posted weekly. Feedback is welcome and discussion is encouraged, via a comments form at the end of each article. Please bookmark the page, visit often, and share the link with your family and friends.

May 15th – July 4th: [Monday-Fridays, 10 am-4 pm] St. John’s Parish in World War I Exhibit in the Rectory. Private visits on other days by appointment: Please call 203-324-1553, ext 11.

June 13, July 13, August 13, September 13, & October 13: 7:30 pm: Rosary in honor of Our Lady of Fatima during this centenary year of the apparitions at Fatima.

June 18, Corpus Christi: Following the 12 noon Mass, A Procession of the Most Blessed Sacrament through the streets of Stamford [Weather permitting-if raining, the procession will be inside the Basilica]. Everyone is welcome.

Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday May 28, 2017 $ 12,376.00
Sunday May 29, 2016 $ 10,706.78

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

June 11th, Sunday Readings: Ex 34:4b-6, 8-9; 2 Cor 13:11-13; Jn 3:16-18.

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.

The Sacrament of the Sick: One of the seven instituted by Our Lord, relieves the sick person by opening up the reality of God’s mercy, offering strength for the patient to endure any suffering without despairing. Please do NOT wait until a friend or family member is about to die before calling one of the parish priests for this sacrament or for Holy Communion to be brought to your home, hospital or nursing home.

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: 203-324-1553, 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 and reading excerpts from Ambrosi Epistulae Variae.  An intermediate reading ability in Latin is necessary.

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:

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

Job Seekers: Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., is a leader in helping find jobs. Jobseeker’s Group in the Monsignor Nagle Hall the 4th Wednesday of every month from 7:30 to 9PM. Topics include Job Interviewing, Resumes, Networking and Job Search Strategies. Next meeting: June 28th. THERE IS NO CHARGE, this is free job coaching. Call Melanie Szlucha at 203-866-1606, or

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. For a FREE introductory session, please contact Angela Marchetti at

Homeplace Wisdom: Is a Catholic women’s organization promoting friendship and vocational development with monthly speakers and gatherings, play dates, and a daily email list for sharing ideas, prayer requests, parenting or home-place questions, and reading material. To join:

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.

New Girls Catholic Academy: Pre-K-High School: The religious Sisters of the Company of The Savior 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:

The Face of Prayer: For all young Catholics of all ages [under 18 will need parental consent]: www.thefaceof Will you join the movement of prayer? Bishop Frank Caggiano invites you to be the face of prayer. Text your picture, a prayer intention, or the word “prayer” to 55778. The follow the prompts to complete your registration and commit to being the face or prayer! Participants will receive a prayer from Bishop Frank either every day or three times a week [your choice] as well as a weekly video from our bishop, access to great resources online, and the opportunity to pray together with friends from all around the Diocese of Bridgeport. This project is a partnership between the Diocese of Bridgeport and the Mater Ecclesiae Foundation. Privacy protections are in place.

WORK:A local Catholic family with two young children is seeking part-time household help on weekday mornings. They live in downtown Greenwich, CT near the train station. If you are interested, please email Stephen Schmalhofer:

Project Rachel: Are you or someone you know hurting from a past abortion experience?  There is help and hope.  Project Rachel is offering an Entering Canaan Day of Prayer and Healing on Saturday, July 15th for women who are suffering from a past abortion.  Please contact us at 203-416-1619 or for more information or confidential registration.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased

Saturday, June 3, 2017
4:00 +Carmine Longo req. Virginia and Paul Gerardi
Sunday, June 4, 2017
7:30 +Katherine Ann and Patrick McCann
10:00 In Honor to the Holy Spirit req. Ferry G.
12:00 Special Intentions Msgr. Stephen M. DiGiovanni
5:00 +Fr. Peter Rinaldi, SDB
Monday, June 5, 2017
8:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
12:10 +John A. Coughlin Jr. req. Family
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
8:00 Deceased members of the Spagnoli Family
12:10 +Salvatore Piria req. Rose Migliazza
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
8:00 +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 Special Intentions Msgr. Stephen M. DiGiovanni
Thursday, June 8, 2017
8:00 +Joseph and Margaret Curtis req. Mary Maloney
12:10 Msgr. Stephen M. DiGiovanni req. Millie Terenzio
Friday, June 9, 2017
8:00 Deceased members of the Catarella Family
12:10 +Theresa Huong Diep Nguyen req. Family
Saturday, June 10, 2017
8:00 +Frances Galinski
12:10 +Louise Munro req. Lectors of The Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist

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: Starts again in September, after the 10:00a.m. Family Mass in the Msgr. Nagle Hall.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:

100 years ago, or so:
June 8, 1918: A Liberty Lawn Party. “The mere fact that the colors have called many of the young amateur Thespians from St. John’s Catholic Church does not necessarily mean that the church cannot hold an entertainment in which young men appear. For instance, the church recently purchased several hundred dollars’ worth of Liberty bonds, in the name of the parish. It has been decided to hold a lawn party, to help pay for them on Wednesday and Thursday nights of next week on the lawn of the parochial school. It was decided to have a playlet on Wednesday night, and then it was discovered that most of the young men who formerly took part in these playlets are busily engaged in making the Germans hunt for cover in their trenches. But the young ladies of the parish, undismayed, decided that the playlet should be given, so they will take men’s parts on Wednesday night, when “Family Troubles” will be presented. And the young ladies insist, too, that they can do as well in masculine parts as they can in feminine roles. The young ladies who will be seen in the play are Miss Nellie Burnes, Miss Mary Quinn, Miss Elizabeth O’Brien, Miss Olive Martin and Miss Stella Comsky. Harry Smith is directing the play, and it will start at 8, followed by the playing of euchre. There will be four booths on the lawn, too, containing flowers, candy, novelties and cake. On Thursday night, the school children will have charge of the entertainment, and large crowds are expected on each night. Those who go will not be disappointed, for there will be plenty of entertainment for all.”

80 years ago, or so:
June 10, 1939: Father Lonergan Will Sing Mass. “The Rev. Thomas F. Lonergan, ordained to the priesthood a week ago by the Most Rev. Bishop John A. Duffy, in St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Buffalo, N.Y. ,will sing his first Solemn High Mass tomorrow morning. The son of Thomas and Katherine Gorman Lonergan, Father Lonergan completed his early education at St. John’s Parochial School in 1925, then entered St. John’s Preparatory School in Andover, Massachusetts, under the tutelage of the Xaverian Brothers. He began his ecclesiastical studies in St. Thomas Seminary, Hartford.”

65 years ago, or so:
June 7, 1952: “The Holy Name Society of St. John’s Roman Catholic Church will receive Holy Communion in a body at the 8 o’clock Mass next Sunday, June 15. Communion Sunday for the society is regularly the second Sunday of each month but it was postponed this month to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the ordination of the Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman, pastor of St. John’s Church. Other societies of the church will join with the Holy Name Society for corporate Communion next Sunday.”