For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday June 18, 2017

Pastor’s Corner: It makes you want to stay Catholic”, an elderly lady said out loud for everyone to hear, during a parish pilgrimage to our Basilica from Virginia. She spoke in reference to the reality of Jesus present in His Catholic Church—Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Most Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist. And she knew this to be true, not because a priest told her so, but because she had read it in the Gospel of Saint John the Evangelist, in the sixth chapter.

Have you ever read the sixth chapter of Saint John’s Gospel? The chapter opens with Our Lord feeding five thousand people by multiplying five loaves of bread and two fish. Following the miracle, Our Lord took his apostles and fled to the mountains, because he knew the people would otherwise have forced him to be king of Israel. No one understood His real purpose and work: to save humankind from Adam’s sin and from Death, and to reconcile all with the Father. The Apostles are next seen in a boat on Lake Tiberias when Jesus walks on the water, and they are frightened, thinking he is a ghost. “It is I, do not be afraid,” Jesus told them. Finally, by verse 22, Our Lord begins his discourse on the Eucharist. The crowd he’d fed the previous day found him, and wanted more free food! Jesus began by teaching them not to work for food that will perish, but for that which will give eternal life. When they asked where they might find such food, he responded, “I am the bread of life”, and “I am the living bread from heaven. If anyone eat of this bread he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” Our Lord repeated this eleven times in one chapter, affirming over and over again, “My flesh is real food and my blood real drink.” What did he mean? Maybe he meant what he said. But, for those who had tracked Jesus down looking for more food, their response to His words was to abandon Him, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” If Our Lord were simply using a metaphor, don’t you think he would have run after those people to clarify that He was only speaking symbolically? But He didn’t run after them. He let them go. In fact, He turned on his apostles to ask them “Do you also wish to go away?”, seeing that they too found his teaching about the Eucharist hard to believe. He did mean what He said: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life everlasting and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, abides in me and I in him.” He meant precisely what he said, and the Church understood that immediately.

In the catacombs of Rome, and in much literature of the first three centuries, the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is clearly presented: in pictures of bread and fish. The early Church developed a simple undercover sign for Jesus: the fish. Since each letter of the word FISH in Greek [IXTHUS] is the first letter of a statement of faith about Jesus: “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” You might see this acronym today on bumper stickers—a fish with the name of Jesus.

When it was presented alongside loaves of bread in the frescoes of the catacombs, it represented the Eucharist: the outward appearance is bread, but the inner reality is THE FISH—Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior. At Mass, through the invocation of the Holy Spirit, the bread and wine are transformed into the actual resurrected Body and Blood of Christ. No mere symbol, but a deeper reality.

The Church commemorates this reality this weekend in the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. We, as part of the Church founded by Christ, will make a public profession of our faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist during our outdoor procession following the noon Mass on Sunday, June 18th. We will stop traffic, and bring Christ through Stamford’s Downtown, in order to expose everyone to the generosity of God in the gift of Christ in the Eucharist. There is nothing in life that should terrify or threaten us, for there is no place where Christ does not belong—even in downtown Stamford! As Jesus said to his apostles when they thought he was a ghost, “It is I, do not be afraid.” We too, should take heart despite the discouragements or fears in life, for Christ is really and truly present in the Eucharist—body and blood, soul and divinity—He humbles himself daily to feed us with his very self, so we can grow more like Him in our daily lives, even to eternity. Jesus meant what He said; the Church means what she professes, for that faith and that reality will lead to eternity.  —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, William Byrnes, Jonathan Victor, Sophia Petrafesa, Lyn Geikie-Rice, Ruth Coyle, Elaine Shoztic.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Peter C. Schmidt, Sr., Joseph Prendergast, Msgr. Peter Dora, Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, A.J. Barr, John Kronk, Joseph Esperance, Terence Leydon, Maureen Flanders, Ann Touhey.

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

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, www.stjohnsstamford.com, 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.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

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:
203-324-1553, ext 11.

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, followed by a parish cook out in the parking lot. [Weather permitting-if raining, the procession will be inside the Basilica]. Everyone is welcome.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday June 11, 2017 $ 13,897.00
Sunday June 12, 2016 $ 12,551.42

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 25th, Sunday Readings: Jer 20:10-13; Rom 5:12-15; Mt 10:26-33.

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.

Adult Education: Some parishioners have asked for more opportunities to study the Church’s teachings. We plan a Bible study to resume in September. For years we studied the Church Fathers with the St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies. If you have any suggestions for new adult programs, such as studying the Church Fathers, or the social teachings of the popes, or anything, please let Monsignor know: 203-324-1553, ext 11.

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.

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: fmoran@futurefive.org

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 melanie@redincllc.com.

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 angelamarchettifcp@gmail.com.

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: lisakotasek@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.

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: bridgeport@ciasalvador.org.

The Face of Prayer: For all young Catholics of all ages [under 18 will need parental consent]: www.thefaceof prayer.org 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. Then 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: stephen.schmalhofer@gmail.com.

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 projectrachel@diobpt.org for more information or confidential registration.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased

Saturday, June 17, 2017
4:00 +Charles and Josephine Davis req. Joseph Melfi
Sunday, June 18, 2017
7:30 +Robert E. Ix req. Dr. Joe McAleer
10:00 +John H. Hall req. Jagodzinski Family
12:00 Deceased Family Members of Vincent and Theresa Kung
5:00 +Fr. Peter Rinaldi, SDB
Monday, June 19, 2017
8:00 Souls in Purgatory
12:10 Rita Keane req. Beth Carpanzano
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
8:00 +Julia Wynne Breunich req. Rosemary Reid
12:10 +Christopher Vill
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
8:00 +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 Special Intentions Sue Kremheller
Thursday, June 22, 2017
8:00 +Conor Breidenbach req. Steven Terenzio
12:10 Beth Carpanzano req. Frank, Anne Marie and Marisa Carpanzano
Friday, June 23, 2017
8:00 +Mary Churley req. Mary Petrizzi
12:10 +Virginia and Eileen Carr req. Marie Carr
Saturday, June 24, 2017
8:00 +Wladek and Willemina Falek req. daughter
12:10 +Ann Cody req. Alice McMenamin

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.

THE LAYING OF THE CORNERSTONE OF THE NEW CATHOLIC CHURCH.
The Stamford Advocate: June 28, 1872: “On Sunday last, June 23rd, the corner stone for a new Roman Catholic church on Atlantic street, in this village was laid. The Rt. Rev. Bishop McFarland was present and performed in person the most important part of the ceremonies. A number of Catholic clergymen from neighboring towns and cities were also present. With the clergymen were Mr. James Murphy of Providence, the architect of the church, besides the local clergy, Rev. Father Fagan and his assistant, Father Healy. The ceremony was impressive, and was witnessed by a large concourse, numbering perhaps three thousand people. At half past three o’clock p.m. the strains of martial music denoted the coming of the procession which had been formed in the neighborhood of the old church. It was headed by the Howe Band of Bridgeport, numbering twenty musicians and drum major. The band was immediately followed by the ”Willis Guard,” an cadet company numbering one hundred, and presenting a neat appearance. These were followed by the various religious and benevolent societies connected with St. John’s R. C. Church, and by its members generally. When the procession reached the new church, the clergy, with their attendants and others invited, mounted a platform which had been erected on the massive foundations of the main tower. The platform was shaded by a large American flag, and in its center a stand was erected for the convenience of the speaker. The services were opened by an address from Rev. Father Hewett of New York, in which he congratulated his hearers on the occasion which had brought them together. He spoke of the remarkable growth of Catholicism in Connecticut during the last fifty years, and intimated that the edifice about to be erected in Stamford would be chief among the many fine churches erected by the denomination in various towns and villages of the State in recent years. He closed with an appeal for liberal subscriptions in aid of the object in view. A basket wreathed with flowers was placed on the corner stone and the people were invited to place their contributions in it. A large number came forward. The solid silver trowel and mallet used on the occasion will be presented to the person having the largest subscription. Meanwhile the Bishop, dressed in his official robes and accompanied by priests and acolytes-some of the latter bearing candles, others holy water etc.– walked in procession about the walls. The Bishop sprinkled holy water upon the walls and upon the cross erected where the altar is to stand. Returning to the corner stone, the Bishop, using a silver trowel and mallet, laid the enclosure in the cavity of the stone, and covered it with mortar. Appropriate services, according to the ritual of the Roman church, were then conducted by the Bishop. He then mounted the platform and delivered a brief but impressive address to the people. At the conclusion of the ceremonies the band headed the procession, which marched back to its original starting point in the same order in which it came.”