For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday July 2, 2017

Pastor’s Corner: July 4th, the celebration of our nation’s Declaration of Independence, was always marked well in Stamford. This was particularly true following the American Civil War, when the sacrifice on the battlefields of so many thousands of Stamford’s young men was still a fresh and painful memory; and among the fallen were many Catholics from Saint John’s. Just ten years earlier, in 1855, a Stamford lawyer, William T. Minor was elected Connecticut’s governor, and the platform of his Know-Nothing Party was “to resist the insidious policy of the Church of Rome, and all other foreign influences against the institution of our country, by placing in all offices in the gift of the People, whether by election or appointment, none but native-born Protestant citizens.” The American Civil War provided a testing ground for much in America, including the popular Connecticut Yankee notion that Catholics could not be faithful Americans. Many would have willingly deprived Catholics of our rights granted by the U.S. Constitution. But the service of tens of thousands of Catholics on the battlefield proved this false.

After the Civil War, newspaper articles bore a much friendlier tone than prior to 1865. For example, the July 2, 1869 number of The Advocate ran a long article about the first notable post-War celebration of the Glorious Fourth in which “. . . our Roman Catholic friends appear to be determined to do their part in making the Fourth what it ought to be—a day of popular enjoyment.” A week later, The Advocate reported what had happened on July 4th, itself: church bells were rung, fire works exploded, citizens went to Shippan Point and Mianus Harbor to view the regatta. The paper observed, “The most exciting and interesting feature of the observances of the day is due to the public spirit and enterprise of our Irish-American [Catholics of Saint John’s ] citizens who celebrated the Fourth by a grand excursion and pic-nic in Woodside Park [today’s Scalzi Park]. Before proceeding to the park, a procession was formed which moved through the principal streets.” Parish priests, religious sisters, municipal dignitaries, along with the police and members of “the hook-and-ladder-and-hose company” joined with the throngs of Catholics marching through the city according to the various parish societies, accompanied by marching bands. “Last but not least, was a wagon drawn by four horses on which were grouped a number of young girls dressed in white, with red and blue favors, representing the several States in the Union.” Once arrived, refreshments, entertainments, games and dancing were provided until 7:00 p.m.

Those earlier Independence Day celebrations, especially following any of America’s wars, were of exceptional importance, as a means of paying tribute to the fallen heroes and to those living veterans who had endured the unimaginable horrors of the battlefield to preserve our nation and our rights. Liberty in America was deemed precious, and the rights of all sufficient cause to take up arms in self-defense. Since the Civil War, Catholics were considered neighbors worthy to be called Americans, because so many had fought valiantly and died courageously on the battlefield to preserve the Union and the Constitution.

And today? Is the United States a perfect society? No. But it is a society offering more possibilities than any other on the planet, just as it did in the 1870s. That is why so many strive to come here. Of course most come for work and the almighty dollar, certainly. But there is a more foundational reason for the arrival of millions to our shores, even if unspoken by the immigrant or misunderstood by the native born citizen. It is the existence of a near level playing field offered everyone by the unalienable rights given us by God, recognized and protected by law: the unalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”. The United States government does not give us these rights, nor does it create these rights. They are God-given to everyone on the planet. For the most part, these are unrecognized and certainly unprotected by governments beyond our Golden Shores, yet they are defended and protected as natural rights under the laws of our country, thank God.

My father taught me many things, including that “The summer is over” on July 4th. But he and my mother also taught my sisters and me an appreciation for home. It’s a great country, this U.S. of A. So, let’s thank God for it! It preserves and defends those unalienable rights God gave each of us when He knit us in our mothers’ wombs in His image and likeness: the Rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. And, it is the only nation on the planet that preserves those individual, God-given rights. Pray our country becomes more perfect. In the meantime, and on the Glorious Fourth, let us join in singing and praying, God bless America!

Pray for our country, for our President, our Congress and, especially, for our troops and police. The U.S.A. is still the greatest nation on the planet; that’s why so many people still make their way to our shores– and many even make it to Stamford, the greatest city in Connecticut, and once here, many come to Saint John’s! Happy Fourth!!! —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: June Roberts, Marie Cassis, Patricia Morgan, Vittorio Faugno, Robert Strada, Dionysia Oliveira, 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: Joseph Verrilli, Peter C. Schmitt, Sr., Joseph Prendergast, Msgr. Peter Dora, Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, A.J. Barr, John Kronk, Joseph Esperance, Terence Leydon, Maureen Flanders, Ann Touhey.

Banns of Marriage: I Banns: Christopher Xavier Fernandez and Lauren Michelle Strawn

Air Conditioning Collection . . . The second collection today will be the Air Conditioning 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. 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
June–July 4th: [Monday-Fridays, 9am-4 pm]:
St. John’s Parishioners 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.

Summer Reading: Looking for beach reading? Since it is a common mistake that science and religion are incompatible, I’m reading books about science and religion during my summer months. Here are three of the books on my list:
Stephen Barr: The Believing Scientist: Essays on Science and Religion.
Stephen Barr: Modern Physics and Ancient Faith.
James Hannam: The Genesis of Science.
All three were written within the past few years, are very readable, and available on Amazon books.com. Happy reading! [Msgr. DiGiovanni]

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday June 25, 2017 $ 13,317.32
Sunday June 26, 2016 $ 12,495.51

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

July 9th, Sunday Readings: Zec 9:9-10; Rom 8:9, 11-13; Mt 11:25-30.

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: Wednesday, July 26th. 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.

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.

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.

Electronic Giving – Offertory Donations Made Easy…Consider using your credit card to make your weekly or monthly donation to St. John’s. Easier for you, and less costly for the parish than the printing and mailing of weekly envelopes, credit card giving automatically sends your weekly offering to the Basilica of St. John’s. Call the parish secretary (324-1553, ext. 21).

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.

Channel 12 News: If you watch Channel 12 News, please notice the left side of the screen behind the anchors: You’ll see our Basilica of Saint John prominently up-front.

Mass Intentions
+ Denotes Deceased

Saturday, July 1, 2017
4:00 Martha Kung req. Joseph Kung
Sunday, July 2, 2017
7:30 +Ralph Boccuzzi req. Frank Verrastro and Family
10:00 Mary Helen McConnell Schwarzkoph req. Jagodzinski Family
12:00 Terese Kung req. parents
5:00 +Alphonse and Lucy Alagia
Monday, July 3, 2017
8:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
12:10 In Honor of the Visitation of the Blessed Mother req. Marion Morris
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
8:00 +John Maloney req. Mary Maloney
12:10 +Anthony Ramos req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
8:00 +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Jim Henson req. John Pascale
Thursday, July 6, 2017
8:00 +Gene Tushaj req. Age
12:10 Gavin Samedi Birthday req. Anne Marie Samedi
Friday, July 7, 2017
8:00 +Julie Paul Beauzil req. Eveline Lauture
12:10 +Patsy Cappiello req. Duffy Family
Saturday, July 8, 2017
8:00 +Dominick J. Marciano req. Rosa and Frank Federici
12:10 +Carol Toppin req. Juanita Evans

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:
150 years ago, or so:
July 8, 1870: The Fourth in Stamford. “Though there was no celebration of a public character-that is, none inaugurated by the town or borough-the Fourth was a day of mild excitements in the village. The popping of crackers and other Chinese contrivances was heard in the streets from early morn till early eve. The celebration of our Irish Catholic fellow citizens, was of the most enthusiastic character. At 8 o’clock a.m. the procession formed at the Canal House, headed by the Bridgeport City Band, and comprising the newly organized Union Guards, the St. John’s Benevolent Society, the Temperance Cadets, and a juvenile military company, who proceeded through the principal streets, making a march of some five or six miles, thence through Washington Avenue to Woodside Park. [EDITOR’S NOTE: today’s Scalzi Park] Several places on the line of march were honored by the procession-cheering etc. Among the rest, our domicile was duly recognized by the presentation of arms and cheers, for which we return thanks. At the Park there was the most unrestrained enjoyment. The dancing was engaged in with a zest that should be seen to be appreciated. The refreshments were in great abundance, and every provision made necessary for the full enjoyment of the day. The Union Guards had a target practice for several excellent prizes given them by their friends. Nothing occurred at the Park to mar the enjoyment of the occasion. Too much praise cannot be given by those participating to Rev. Fathers Fagan and Gaffney, for their untiring efforts in promoting the enjoyment and success of the picnic. We are pleased to add that there was not a drunken man to be seen on the grounds.”

100 years ago, or so:
July 5, 1917: CHURCH SOCIETIES. “There was a special meeting of the Children of Mary of St. John’s Catholic Church, in the School hall, Monday evening, to complete plans for the lawn festival and euchre to be held August 1st., on the school grounds. Ten captains were appointed in charge of the euchre tables, seven for the refreshment-stands, and seven for canvassing.”

80 years ago, or so:
July 8, 1937: STAFF APPOINTMENTS AT CAMP TOQUAM. “Junior staff appointments for the 1937 camp season at Camp Toquam have just been completed. Scouts have been chosen for their good work in Scouting during the past Fall and Winter. The following Scouts have been appointed: Craig Kellogg of Troop 22, (St. John’s R. C. Church.).” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Craig Kellogg attainted the rank of Eagle Scout on June 28, 1937. He was the sixteenth of twenty-one Eagle Scouts from St. John’s Troop 22.)