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

Pastor’s Corner:The Mayflower set sail for the British Colony of Virginia in 1620.  A late departure, and a more difficult than anticipated voyage, brought her  instead to Cape Cod, not to Virginia, on November 10, 1620. With no royal charter to land in the north, grumblings of mutiny began among the agents of the original investors. To forestall any possible disintegration of the group, William Bradford, their leader, decided to draft a new agreement, albeit hurriedly, “that might be as firm as any patent, and in some respects more sure”, as he put it.
The Mayflower Compact of November 11, 1620, began by stating the reason for having sailed to the New World, and why they deemed it necessary to make political changes once they landed:
In the name of God, Amen. Having undertaken, for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our king & country, a voyage to plant the first colony, we by these presents solemnly & mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant & combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, & preservation & furtherance of the ends afore told.
The words were echoed 250 plus years later in our Declaration of Independence:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, . . . We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Happiness is a goal and a natural right for us: the Catholic Church has always held that. In Holy Scripture, the word “beatitude” means happiness. So, Our Lord’s teaching called The Beatitudes, delivered during His Sermon on the Mount, is actually a recipe how to be happy—both here on earth and in heaven.  But how do we find happiness?  By searching for it and doing something, not just by existing.
If you decide you are the most important person in your life, you’re in trouble. Being interested in getting as much of everything for yourself as possible is what leads to personal and financial problems, to begin with. The Catholic Church’s teaching is that of Our Lord: Charity—interest in the welfare of others first, is at the very heart of following Christ, AND the basis for real happiness, and for our nation, from the beginning.  Charity is not just giving money to beggars, it is more: doing good  to others without any expectation or demand of repayment. You die to your ego a little, just as Christ died on the Cross, not for some idea or lofty notion. You sacrifice yourself for some person—who is the Image of God, and hope your good deed may lead that person and yourself to God.
Besides those on the Mayflower, there were earlier visitors to this continent: Irish monks, under the rule of Saint Columban, who arrived in the 7th century, bringing the Gospel to the New World. They came to bring something to the inhabitants of the New orld—Christ. In his Instructions, St. Columban wrote this:
God makes man from the earth but ennobles him with the impress of his own image. Let us give back, then, to God our Father his image in us, an image kept spotlessly holy, for he is holy; an image spotless in charity and love, for he is Love; an image spotless in devotion  and truth, for he is devoted and true; Let us not paint an alien image in ourselves; the painter who is undisciplined, angry and proud paints the self-portrait of a tyrant, for that is what he is.  Therefore, lest we end with the self-portrait of a despot, let us allow Christ to paint his image in us, in charity for others.
That’s the story of the first Thanksgiving: a feast thanking God and the Native Americans whose shared survival skills and food saved the Pilgrims during their first harsh New England winter. Even if the details of the first Thanksgiving have been prettied up for today’s modern audience, its heart is true: charity for others, and the defense of the dignity of others in private and public, which is, likewise, at the heart of our nation.  As we labor to rebuild our country, let’s remember that.
                 Happy Thanksgiving!          —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Dorothy Keys,  Joevil Basulgan DelaCruz, Mary Duffy, 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.

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.

THANKSGIVING DAY MASS: There will be ONE Mass offered on Thanksgiving, November 23 at 10 am. The usual 8 am and 12:10 pm Masses are cancelled on Thanksgiving.

Are you or someone you know interested in becoming Catholic, OR, are you an adult Catholic who has not yet received 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. Reminder for participants: No class November 20th. Happy Thanksgiving.

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.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday November 12, 2017 $11,504.95
Sunday November 13,  2016 $ 13,217.96

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 26th Sunday Readings:  Ez. 34:11-12, 15-17; 1Cor 15:20-26, 28; Mt 25:31-46

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.

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.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
Advent & Christmas Concert: Saturday
Saturday, December  2nd at 7:30pm in our Basilica.

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!

Handel’s Messiah:Part I & Hallelujah Chorus
Saturday, December 9th, 2017 at 8PM in our Basilica.

Directed by New York’s Famed Ted Sperling and the Stamford Symphony with the Master Voices in this Special Holiday Performance:  For tickets: call today 203-325-4466 or go to www.stamfordsymphony.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

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

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.

The Christmas Giving Tree: To benefit pregnant women and their families served by the Sisters of Life. For the next three weeks, a basket will be in the back of the church. The name of an item is written on each tag in the Christmas basket that would benefit the woman in need. Please take a tag (or tags) and purchase the item on the tag. We will collect the unwrapped gifts after each Mass on the weekend of December 10thstarting with the 4PM Mass on Saturday. Call Frank Carpanzano @ 203-975-8833 ext 3004. Thank you!

DO NOT DROP OFF THE GIFTS AT THE RECTORY OR LEAVE THEM IN CHURCH.

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: fmoran@futurefive.org

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

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: wwptbsj@gmail.com or 203-536-5480.

SilverSource: 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: www.silversource.org.

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 melanie@redincllc.com

Immaculate Conception Novena: St. Mary Church in Greenwich will celebrate a Novena in preparation for the Immaculate Conception from November 30th to December 8th. Each evening a guest homilist will offer a special reflection on the role of the Virgin Mary in our lives. This year the younger clergy will speak on the Marian devotion of some particular saint. We will close our Novena with a Solemn Mass on December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The Choir will sing Mozart’s “The Sparrow Mass” with Orchestra. A light reception will follow. Visit stmarygreenwich.org for more details.

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, November 18, 2017
4:00   +Carmelle Pépin. req. Dominick and Eileen Carpanzano
Sunday, November 19, 2017
7:30   +George VanLangen req. Joyce Patten and Lorraine VanLangen
10:00 +Bill Cody – 7th Anniversary req. Cody Family
NO 12:00PM MASS (Stamford Thanksgiving Parade)
5:00   +Ralph Branca
Monday, November 20, 2017
8:00     Souls in Purgatory
12:10   In Honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus req. Blanca Soto
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
8:00  +Bruno Costa req. Lindsay Kennedy
12:10 +Juana Mazariegos req. Blanca Reyes
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
8:00  +Sister Caroline Marie CSJ Birthday Remembrance req. Marie Carr
12:10   Thanksgiving to Immaculate Heart of Mary
Thursday, November 23, 2017
8:00     NO 8:00AM MASS
10:00   People of the Parish
12:10   NO 12:10PM MASS
Friday, November 24, 2017
8:00   +Mary Churley req. Mary Petrizzi
12:10 +Peter Sabini req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Saturday, November 25, 2017
8:00   +Matthew Burke req. Melton Family
12:10 +Mary Kennedy req. Lindsay Kennedy

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 Keri, (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, Keri, 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:

150 years ago, or so:
Nov. 23, 1866: THIRD ANNUAL BALL. ST. JOHN’S ROMAN CATHOLIC BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION OF STAMFORD. “The third annual ball will be held at Seely’s Hall on Wednesday, November 28, 1866. Tickets one dollar. Music by the 69th Regiment Band of New York, D. Bradley, Leader. John Kenealy, President; Nicholas Donohue, Secretary”

135 years ago, or so:
Nov. 21, 1884: The Fair in the New Church. “The Catholic fair will remain open every evening this week and will probably continue for a part of next week. The political excitement, etc. interfered with the attendance at first, but the enterprise has been growing in interest and scoring larger success each evening for the present week. The Ancient Order of Hibernians visited the fair in a body, Monday, and that their visit told on the receipts goes without saying. Other Catholic bodies will attend on the remaining evenings of this week, and the general visitors will probably find Friday and Saturday evenings the best time to see the entertainment. It has many features of interest for everybody.”

110 years ago, or so:
Nov. 21, 1905: Priest a Good Samaritan. “The children were saved from the necessity of entering the County Home by Rev. Eugene Sullivan of St. John’s Catholic Church. Father Sullivan learned of their plight, and he appeared in court this morning. He told Prosecuting-Attorney Carter and Judge Downs that he would look after the family, see that the children attended school, and do all in his power to prevent them from becoming public charges. This promise was satisfactory to the Court and the prosecutor, and it filled the heart of the mother with joy. Her tear-stained eyes lighted up wonderfully and she left the court-room seemingly in a happy frame of mind.”

100 years ago, or so:
Nov. 25, 1916: Parochial-School Boy Finds Money. “One of Officer Jack Brennan’s charges got out of line, yesterday noon, when the parochial school children were being dismissed, and darted suddenly toward the middle of the street. He was back in a moment, holding out a fist which tightly clenched money. “Here it is, Jack; I just found it,” he said. And the parochial school kiddy turned over the fistful of money to Brennan, who reported the matter at headquarters and left the money there.”

90 years ago, or so:
Nov. 23, 1927: SPECIAL SERVICES IN THE CHURCHES THANKSGIVING DAY. “A special Thanksgiving Mass will be held at St John’s Roman Catholic Church tomorrow at 8 a.m.  There will also be a regular Mass at 7 a.m.”