Pastor’s Corner: From nearly the first moment I arrived at Saint John’s in 1998, people frequently have asked about repairing the Rectory. Last November, as the UBS parade passed by the Rectory, some people on one of the floats yelled out to the priests, “You gotta fix that building!” So, the time has come to discuss the Rectory and the feasibility of a fund raising campaign to finance the essential repairs, modernization and improvement of our 1850 building.
You, the parishioners of Saint John’s, have been exceedingly generous during my 20 years as pastor, and the resulting restored Basilica, parish hall and property bears testament to your generosity. The good news is that we already have a good portion of the money for the Rectory project. During these past 20 years, I have been working to lease the parish parking lot to endow the parish for the future and to fund essential repairs. We finally succeeded: RoeCo of Stamford has signed a long term lease with Saint John’s for use of the parking lot. We agreed to an early up-front payout of a small portion of the rent: in July, Saint John’s was given funds that will provide us with $4 million to put toward the Rectory project. The estimated cost of the Rectory project is $6 million, which includes the construction of a new office wing, formal gardens for public use behind the Rectory, and updating and modernizing our 1850 building. For the Rectory project, I am asking the parish to raise $2 million. The Diocese of Bridgeport is considering its own financial campaign and has decided that Saint John’s should raise an additional $1,053,000 for the Diocese. So, the proposed financial campaign for us totals about $3 million.
To decide if this is feasible, the Diocese has hired a fundraising company, CCR. Some parishioners have been contacted by them asking their opinion. I invited 15 parishioners to the Rectory last month to voice their thoughts of the Diocese’s fund raising, and to answer the question if this is the right time to raise such a large sum of money. During the next weeks, many parishioners will be contacted by our parish secretary, Keri, asking that you come to the Rectory to give me your opinion, as well. Is it realistic to ask for parishioners to raise $3 million now?
In the meantime, I have hired an architectural firm, Centerbrook Architects, from Centerbrook, CT, and we have been working for months to develop a viable plan to restore the Rectory, to update it, and to make it more practical as the parish offices and meetings spaces for small lectures, concerts, religious education, counseling of individuals and couples, as well as all the parish weekday work, and a place for priests to live. The plans also include replacing the original 1850 single pane windows with new windows; introduce insulation into the walls; strip off the present lead-paint-covered clapboarding and replace it with new wood composite siding, while repairing and renovating the intricate decorative 19th century exterior woodwork. A new office wing will be built behind the Rectory. Anyone who has visited the parish office during the past 40 years knows how cramped and inefficient a space it is. The new office wing will provide a large wide-open office space, along with meeting rooms and new bathrooms.
Behind the Rectory, new gardens will be created, centered on a fountain and a horseshoe shaped steel Gothic trellis, which will offer the parishioners and visitors to the Basilica a restive and beautiful garden area. It will also serve as a place for outdoor processions, outdoor Rosaries, First Holy Communion parties and parish functions. It will not be rented out for private events, but will be open for the use by the parish for parish functions.
Besides the practical need for the Rectory to be upgraded is the reality that we must look to the next 100 years. We are a Minor Basilica—-one of only 82 minor basilicas out of the 35,000 Catholic churches in the United States. It is my hope, during the next ten years, in addition to being the spiritual heart of downtown Stamford, to develop Saint John’s to become a pilgrimage and spiritual center for Catholics in the Tri-State area. Your help is essential to accomplish this Rectory project, including the new gardens. That is why I’m asking your help now.
That help can be in the form of your suggestions and opinions about whether to proceed with this financial campaign now. Please jot down your thoughts, either in a note form or in an email to me: firstname.lastname@example.org Your ideas and comments will be greatly appreciated. Likewise, please pray that we succeed in this endeavor, if it be Our Lord’s will. —Monsignor DiGiovanni
Please pray for the sick: Louise Morello, Joanne Santarsiero, Louise Wakin, Pat Farenga, Kenyon Jimmy Valcour, Maria Izurieta, Jennifer Marciano, John Mellace, Ann Borkowski, Timothy Lyons, Gene Gavin, Richard Ridge, June Roberts, Marie Cassis, Patricia Morgan, Vittorio Faugno, Robert Strada, Dionysia Oliveira, Salvatore Piria, Mary Ellen Callahan, Louise Wiles, Frank Wruk, Isaac Lopez, Ron Frasca, Lisa Giugno, Michele Giugno, Helga Pecaric, Maria Trivino, Maria Gabriela Mossa, Diane DiNapoli, Gayle Moore, Paula Bennett, Mildred Beirne, Karen Hsu, Silvana Smith, Harriet Lockhart, Joseph Kung, Jacqueline Domingue, William Byrnes, Jonathan Victor, Lyn Geikie-Rice, Elaine Shoztic.
Please pray for those who have recently died: Jonathan Shearman, Debbie Schemmel, Ralph Dante Puzzuoli, Sr., James Tarzia, Sr., Antonietta Cerone, Mary A. Gaine, Grace Steele, Benita Rebula, Sylvia Iannazzi, Anne Hieronymus, Julia Fabrizio, Msgr. Joseph Kohut, Steven Bates, Catherine Dolan, Cesidro Piselli, John & Joan Kronk.
Archdiocese for Military Service Collection . . . The second collection today will be for the Catholic priest chaplains in the United States military. Your generosity is appreciated.
The Upper Room: For adults between 30 and 95 years of age resumes on November 8th at 7:30pmin The Upper Room at Columbus Park Trattoria on Main Street in Stamford. Our speaker: Fr. George Rutler, Pastor of Saint Michael’s Church in NYC will be our speaker. His topic: The Church as the Communion of Saints. All are welcome.
Are you or someone you know interested in becoming Catholic, OR do you need to receive First Communion, Confession, or Confirmation? Join us for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). Classes started Monday September 18th and will meet weekly 7pm-8:30pm in the Rectory. Cost is $25.00 for materials. Open to anyone interested in becoming a Catholic, or adult Catholics wanting to receive 1st Communion or Confirmation. To register, call the office at 203-324-1553 x21 or stop in the parish office between 9am-4:30pm Monday through Friday.
Children’s Choir: Ages 8-18 who are interested. Please speak with our choir master, David Indyk or leave your contact information in the parish office, 203-324-1553, ext 21.
Men’s Choir: Men who can even just hum a tune are welcome: contact David Indyk in person, or leave your contact information at the parish office, 203-324-1553, ext 21.
Not Married in the Catholic Church? Please call the parish 203) 324-1553, and speak with either Msgr. DiGiovanni (ext. 11) or Fr. Vill at (ext. 130 to make an appointment, to discuss the Church’s teaching on marriage and the possibility of getting married in the Church. This also applies to those who want to learn more about seeking an annulment.
DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY: Interested in reading Dante? We could begin during Lent with the Inferno, which is not a torture tour many view the work to be. Rather, it is a meditation on God’s plan for human happiness by loving Him, and humankind’s search for happiness that too often leads away from God to sin, which is real life folly that ends invariably to unhappiness, pain and suffering in this life and in the next. We could begin reading the first part of the Divine Comedy, The Inferno in Lent, then continue if people would like. NO Charge: you’d simply have to purchase the books. Interested? Call Msgr. DiGiovanni, 203-324-1553, ext 11.
Baptism/Confirmation Sponsorship Certificate: When asked to be a sponsor, a certificate is needed from your home parish. If the priest does not know you personally, or by sight, the only other way of knowing you as a practicing Catholic is by tracking your contributions by check or envelope.
Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form: Is offered every Friday at 2pm on the Saint Joseph Altar.
Saints’ Relics: The high altar displays the parish Relics of the Saints: these will remain on the altar throughout most of November to remind us of our calling to become saints—people who love God and strive to be perfect as Our Heavenly Father is perfect by our heroic acts of daily charity and virtue. Spend a few moments in prayer before or after Mass, asking the Saints to pray for you and your family.
Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday October 29, 2017 $ 13,367.25
Sunday October 30, 2016 $ 11,520.39
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
November 12th Sunday Readings: Wis 6:12-16; 1 Thes 4:13-18; Mt 25: 1-13
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
End Legalized Abortion: Abortions take place daily at Stamford’s Planned Parenthood, 35 Sixth Street. Help us stop this by joining parishioners in front of the facility on Wednesday or Friday mornings, 8am-10:30am, or even just for 30 minutes. We pray and silently bear witness to the sanctity of human life. Our presence has even helped convince expectant mothers to spare their children. To join us, or for specialized 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. Jobseeker’s Group will not be meeting during November and December, but please call or email Melanie Szlucha for a free 30 minute consultation. Meetings will resume in January 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, January 24th. THERE IS NO CHARGE, this is free job coaching. Call Melanie Szlucha at 203-866-1606, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SilverSource: Stamford, SilverSource is available to St. John’s parishioners both as a place to volunteer or an important resource to help parishioners as we age. SilverSource is looking for volunteers to help older adults live as independently as possible by reaching out to say “hello”, reading and visiting a senior, or running to the market. St. John’s parishioners who are seniors and require some help can receive financial assistance for housing stability, for eye glasses and hearing aids, or for transportation to and from doctor’s appointments. Call Michael Feighan: 203-324-6584, or website: silversource.org.
Advent & Christmas Concert: At our Basilica on Saturday, December 2nd at 7:30pm. The seminarians of Saint Joseph Seminary in Yonkers, NY, will present a beautiful program of Advent and Christmas music. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on line: www.DunwoodieMusic.org or through the parish office: call Keri our secretary at 203-324-1553, ext 21. If you would like to take an advertisement for the program, please contact the seminary at the above website. Everyone is welcome!
New York‘s Famed Ted Sperling leads the Stamford Symphony with the MasterVoices in a Special Holiday Performance: Handel’s Messiah, Part I & Hallelujah Chorus on Saturday December 9th, 2017 at 8PM at the Basilica of St John the Evangelist, 279 Atlantic Street, Stamford. Tickets starting at $25. Limited number of tickets available in the Basilica. Call today 203-325-4466 or go to www.stamfordsymphony.org.
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).
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. We also need tutors. For more information or to volunteer and/or tutor, please contact Fanny Moran: email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employment: Malta House in Norwalk is a transitional residence to promote the dignity of God-given life by providing a nurturing home environment, support services and independent living skills for pregnant and parenting mothers of all faiths and their children. Looking for a House Manager , anyone may apply for this position by forwarding a cover letter/resume to: John Hinshaw: John_Hinshaw@goodcounselhomes.org. We are located at: 5 Prowitt Street, Norwalk, CT. 06855.
Walking with Purpose: Reaches out to women who desire to grow in their faith using a Scripture based program that is fresh, relevant, and focused on conversion of heart more than intellectual development. We meet Tuesday mornings in Msgr. Nagel Hall from 9:30am-11:30am. Childcare is available. Registration is now open! Register at: tinyurl.com/WWPTBSJ2017. For more information, contact Rosa Federici at: email@example.com or 203-536-5480.
Lost & Found . . . Please check the Lost & Found in the Rectory for any items you may have left in the church. Feel free to call Keri at the rectory, M-F, 9AM—4:30PM, 203-324-1553 x21.
Regina Caeli Academy Informational Night: Are you looking for an affordable classical education in the Catholic tradition for your high school student? Come find out more about high school at Regina Caeli Academy at our Information Night on Sunday, Nov. 5th., from 4 pm-5:30 pm at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church (Church Hall), 46 Stone Street, Danbury, CT 06810. Kindly RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Mary Grunbok at (203) 701-9154.
Catholic Classical School Fundraiser: You’re invited to “An Enchanted Autumn Evening,” a Fall Gala to benefit Regina Pacis Academy on Saturday, November 18, 2017 at The Water’s Edge at Giovanni’s in Darien, CT. Please join us for cocktails, dinner, dancing, entertainment, and a silent auction. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.reginapacisacademy.com/fall-gala. Regina Pacis Academy is a small, private, classical Catholic school in Norwalk.
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, November 4, 2017
4:00 Tom Timon req. Noreen Timon West
Sunday, November 5, 2017
7:30 Deceased Members of the Do Family req. Thang Nguyen
10:00 +Vera Dandry req. John Pascale
12:00 Deceased Members of the Preziosi Family req. Marion Morris and Family
5:00 +Ralph Branca
Monday, November 6, 2017
8:00 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
12:10 Rev. Terrence P. Walsh
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
8:00 +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Julia Wynne Breunich req. Rosemary Reid
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
8:00 +Patrick Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Age Camaj req. Age
Thursday, November 9, 2017
8:00 +Julie Paul Beauzil req. Eveline Lauture
12:10 +Carmine V. Longo Sr. req. Lucille Longo and Family
Friday, November 10, 2017
8:00 +Deceased Members of the Nguyen Family req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 +Michael Reilly req. Catherine Perry
Saturday, November 11, 2017
8:00 +Edwich Joseph req. Sister Marie Loiseau
12:10 Maria Teresa Vargas req. Vargas 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: The St Monica Latin Reading Group meets on Tuesdays. Please call St John’s Rectory, 203 324 1553, ext. 21, for more information.
St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:
115 years ago, or so:
Nov. 7 1901: “St. Ann’s Ladies’ Aid Society of St. John’s R. C. Church is to give a euchre party in the Town Hall, on the evening of Thursday, Nov. 21. Handsome prizes will be awarded to the winners. At its last regular meeting, St. Joseph’s T.A.B. Society initiated eight new members. Fr. Eugene Sullivan of St. John’s R. C. Church addressed the members on the temperance question.”
105 years ago, or so:
Nov. 11, 1912: ONE NIGHT IN A FREIGHT CAR. “John Sibilou, 9 years of age, of Lipton Place, near Atlantic Street, returned Saturday morning after a night spent with a schoolmate who is 15 years of age, and whom John knows only by the name “Herb.” The boys are attendants of St. John’s parochial school, and, from the story told by the younger boy, “Herb” enticed him to go off and lead the life of a tramp, and have “a darn good time.” John consented, and after school was out, on Friday, they went into the local railroad yards, and jumped aboard a freight train, with the intention of going off in the car when it went. The two youngsters remained in the car all night, but it failed to move, and when John arose in the morning, and looked about, he felt that the pangs of hunger were, after all, of more consequence than the desire to “tramp,” so he jumped from the car, despite “Herb’s” entreaties, and went home. He was met on Atlantic Street by his father, who had spent a sleepless night in searching for the boy. The parent took the boy home and told him that the reform school was his after the next offense. John promised to be good and stay home in the future. The police had been warned of the runaway and they had been watching for the boys.”
100 years ago, or so:
Nov. 9, 1916: WILL OF MISS O’CONNOR. “The will of Miss Frances O’Connor, who died Oct. 16 last, has been offered for probate. The bulk of the estate is in New York City. Miss O’Connor bequeathed $1,000 to St. John’s Catholic Church of Stamford.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: That bequest is worth $23,750.00 in 2017 dollars. Miss O’Connor was the donor of the Stations of the Cross installed in the church in 1898.)
95 years ago, or so:
Nov. 12, 1921: CATHOLIC WOMEN ARE ORGANIZED. “At a meeting of Catholic women, of Stamford, last night, in the chapel of St. John’s R.C. Church, steps were taken to effect organization of the Stamford branch of the Connecticut Council of Catholic Women. A nominating committee was appointed with power to increase its number to ten and with instructions that it report to a meeting to be held on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 6 p.m. in St. John’s Chapel, a list of officers and committees to carry on the work of the local unit of the council. Miss Victoria A. Larmour of Bridgeport, an officer of the State Council, addressed the group.”