For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday January 7, 2018

Pastor’s Corner:   The Church celebrates the Epiphany this weekend, commemorating three historical events of great importance:  the veneration of the Christ Child by the Three Kings; the Baptism of Our Lord  by John the Baptist; and the miracle of the Wedding Feast at Cana.  Each of these events is important, because each explains precisely who this child is  born in Bethlehem, and what he was to do.
The Three Kings came, having followed the “star” rising in the east.  In reality, they saw a rare eclipse of Jupiter by the moon, the “king” of planets, the movement of which was interpreted in the ancient world as a portent of royal birth. They observed this, and understood that the baby they found in Bethlehem was no mere child, but a king, greater than any earthly monarch. Following the then common understanding of the stars and planets, the Three Kings believed that such a birth had been the result of the movements of heavenly bodies. How many today follow astrology in the same way!?  St. Augustine made this observation to clarify why the Kings followed the stars to the birth of Christ:
“. . . that star which the Magi saw did not have power over Christ, New-Born according to the flesh, but rather obeyed Him as witnesses to His birth. If we must speak of fate, then rather let us say, not that the star was Christ’s destiny, but that Christ was the destiny of the star, since He caused it to exist and rise in the east for the Three Kings.” [Contra Faustinum, II, 5]
Their gifts bore witness to the reality of Jesus’ identity: gold for a king; frankincense for a god; and myrrh, both a medicine and a burial herb in the ancient world, for one who was to cure humanity of sin and death by his own saving death.
St. John Chrysostom described it this way:
“The Son of God, Who is the God of all things, is born a Man in body.  He permits Himself to be placed in a crib, Who holds the heavens in His Hand. He is confined in a Manger whom the world cannon contain; He is heard in the voice of a wailing Infant, at Whose voice in the hour of His passion on the cross the whole earth trembled.  The Magi, beholding a Child, profess that this is the Lord of Glory, the Lord of Majesty,  . . .” [Sermon for  the Epiphany]

The Baptism of Our Lord, which feast we celebrate  this year on Monday, also points out who the man Jesus is: the voice from Heaven tells us “This is my beloved Son, on whom my favor rests; listen to him.” St. Gregory the Great wrote,
“Then,  baptized by John, Jesus comes forth from the water of the Jordan River, bearing the world with him, and the heavens which Adam had closed by sin to himself and his descendants are opened. The heavenly voice is heard, for it was from heaven that Christ had come, and the Spirit bears witness to Christ’s divinity by coming to him as an equal.” [Homily, On the Baptism of Christ]

And, finally, the Wedding Feast at Cana: the first of Jesus’ public miracles as he began his ministry. At the prompting of His Mother, Jesus comes to the aid of a newly married couple. Sparing them the embarrassment of having no wine for their guests, He changes water into hundreds of gallons of the best wine anyone had ever tasted:
“Jesus had ordered that the water be poured out to the chief wine steward at the wedding. Jesus astounded the man and the waiters who had poured water into the jars: Jesus had poured wine from the hidden boundaries of His creation. When he changed the water into wine, Jesus showed us that the Old Testament was also from Him; for it was at His order the water jars were filled.” [St. Augustine, Tract 9, On John’s Gospel]

Who is this Jesus? These three events tell us: Jesus is the Creator of the universe, whose word created everything from nothing, and is obeyed even by the basic elements of nature. The child born in the manger is no mere child: He is the only God, eternally existing, through whom everything was created in the universe; who, for love of mankind created in His image and likeness, humbled Himself to be born in the image and likeness of sinful man, taking on human flesh of the Virgin Mary; He entered His creation to recreate everything by His presence and sacrifice. He especially comes to recreate every human being, wounded by the sin of Adam and subject to death, whom He frees by His life-giving death on the Cross. This is He, born in Bethlehem, revealed at the Jordan at His baptism, manifested in his power at Cana: God who became a man so that you and I and all mankind  could share His divine life, if we cooperate with Him.  Happy New Year!
                                                                                                —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Loretta Wallace, Elma Hefferna, Michael Scully, Roger Borrelli , Nyal Colies, Dorothy Keyes, Joanne Santarsiero, Joevil Basulgan DelaCruz, Mary Duffy, Louise Morello, Joanne Santarsiero, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Carmen Colon Diaz, Kathryn Anne Marciano, Marilyn VanAuken, Joyce Patten, Katherine Kimberly, Mary Louise Wakin, David Kochosky, 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.

Banns of Marriage:  II Banns: Matthew David Almeida and Deborah Freier

One Collection. . .There will only be one collection today.  Thank you for your generosity.

Police: 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 Stamford’s EMS and Fire Department and our military women and men who protect our nation.

FORMED: Donated by a parishioner, this is a revolutionary online platform provides access to the best Catholic audio talks, movies, e-books, and video-based studies from trusted providers like the Augustine Institute, Ignatius Press, Catholic Answers, Sophia Institute Press, and St. Paul Center– right at your fingertips, without cost. Learn more at app.formed.org/ Access Code WWT2NF.

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.

Sacraments for students in Catholic School: If you have students in Catholic school in Second Grade hoping to receive First Confession and First Communion this Spring, please contact Fr. Vill at religioused@stjohnsstamford.com.

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.

Preaching to Baby Jesus: A pious practice begun by Saint Francis of Assisi is that children of the parish enter the pulpit and tell Baby Jesus their thoughts and hopes. The children of our religious education program will do this each Sunday at 9 am until early February. All are welcome to attend.

DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY:  Our readings will begin on March 7th at 7:30pm in the Rectory. We will read a new translation of Dante:  Inferno translated by Anthony Esolen, The Modern Library, New York, 2002.  The parish bookstore will purchase a number of copies and will sell them at cost to those who wish to read Dante beginning on March 7th at 7:30pm in the Rectory. Feel free to purchase your own copy, however.
If anyone is interested in joining us, please phone Msgr. DiGiovanni: 203-324-1553, ext 11.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday         December 31, 2017               $ 24,051.60
Sunday         January 1, 2017                     $ 16,143.86

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

January 14th Sunday Readings:  1 SM 3:3B-10, 19; 1 COR 6:13C-15A, 17-20; JN 1:35-42

Saints’ Relics: During the Christmas season, two gilded relic towers will be displayed on the high altar:
Left Relic Tower: contains the relics of Saint Constantine, a early sixth century king and martyr who worked preaching with St. Columba and was martyred in Scotland in 574 A.D.;
Right Relic Tower: contains the relics of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parent of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Saint Stephen, the first martyr to die in witness to Christ soon after Jesus’ death and resurrection.

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.

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.  We  meet Tuesday mornings in Msgr. Nagle Hall from 9:30am-11:30am. Childcare is available.  Register at: tinyurl.com/WWPTBSJ2017.  For more information, contact Rosa Federici at: wwptbsj@gmail.com or 203-536-5480.

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.

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.  We currently have a  new student who needs a  tutor  in Japanese. For more  information or to volunteer and/or tutor, please contact Fanny Moran: fmoran@futurefive.org

Save the date: The next Faith on Tap will be Tuesday, January 23, 2018 from 7-9pm at Murphy’s Townhouse. Stay tuned for the speaker and topic!

Lost & FoundPlease 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.

Please do not leave valuables in the pews, especially when you go to Communion. Please do not light candles during Communion.

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

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.

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.

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.

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 to set this up(324-1553, ext. 21).

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: “The Eaglet,” the 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. 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.

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, January 6, 2018|
4:00   +Thomas Diffley req. Marion, Bill and Richard Morris
Sunday, January 7, 2018
7:30   +Gregory A. Armeno req. Dr. Joe McAleer
10:00 +Jesus SantaMaria 1st Anniversary req. Ines Hincapie
12:00   Marion Morris req. Kung family
5:00   +Louise Epting
Monday, January 8, 2018
8:00   + Cardinal Bernard Francis Law
12:10 +Father Joseph Amato req. Ed Nemchek Sr.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
8:00   +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
12:10   Ferry Galbert
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
8:00   +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10   Lori Longo Birthday req. Aunt Millie
Thursday, January 11, 2018
8:00   +Karl and Louise Wilk req. Sue Kremheller
12:10 +Frank and Josephine Mancuso req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
Friday, January 12, 2018
8:00   +John Maloney req. Mary Maloney
12:10   Deceased members of the Churley & Kronk families
Saturday, January 13, 2018
8:00  +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10   Ferry Galbert

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:

155 years ago, or so:
Jan. 11, 1861:   “There was Mass in the Roman Catholic Church. The Rev. Father O’Neil read the Pastoral letter of the Bishop of the Diocese and made a brief address, evincing no sympathy with secession.”

105 years ago, or so:
Jan. 9, 1911:  Prosperous Year For Parish. “Rev. James C. O’Brien, pastor of St. John’s Catholic Church, read his annual report at the celebrations of Mass in that church yesterday. The report showed that the past fiscal year has been a prosperous one for the parish. There has been a substantial reduction of the indebtedness and the new fiscal year is begun with a considerable balance in the treasury. Father O’Brien is in the eleventh year of service as pastor of St. John’s Church.”

100 years ago, or so:
Jan. 14, 1918:  “The annual election of the Holy Name Society of St. John’s Catholic Church was held last night. The following being elected to fill offices for the year 1918: President, William Hyland; vice-president, John Tierney; secretary, John Grambley; chaplain and treasurer, Rev. Henry M. Callahan; marshal, John Mulvey.”

85 years ago, or so:
Jan. 11, 1933: Boys Qualify As Star Scouts. “At the January Court of Honor session of the Stamford Council, Boy Scouts of America, Scouts Laurence Benz and Joel Carrier of Troop 22, qualified for promotion to Star Scout rank.”

Jan. 8, 1935: HOLY NAME SOCIETY OF ST. JOHN’S MEETS. “More than 300 men attended the first smoker and get-together of the recently reorganized Holy Name Society of St. John’s R. C. Church in the school hall, last night. After a short business meeting, during which it was voted to hold a card party on Feb. 11, the gathering was entertained with feats of magic by Ted Seaman, local magician, who won first prize in 1934 for the best trick developed during the year by a member of the Society of Magicians. Members of the society will attend the 8 a.m. Corporate Communion Mass on Sunday.”

50 years ago, or so:
Jan. 9, 1968: Frozen Pipes Close School At. St. John’s. “Frozen pipes at St. John’s Parochial School shortly after 9 this morning caused the school to close for the day. School officials called parents asking them to pick up the children. Nuns and brothers took those home who did not have transportation. Heat also was out in the church and convent, whose heating systems use the same boiler. At 7:30 a.m. Mass was held without heat as was a funeral later in the morning. Heat was restored before noon.”