For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday January 21, 2018

Pastor’s Corner:  For the majority of mortals residing in New England, January holds little more than gray, gloomy and frigid days, annually dreaded for the seeming eternity with which their bleak hours pass.  It was never better. For example, January 26th, 1851 was just another such miserable winter’s day for the inhabitants of Stamford. Except for a handful of impoverished Catholic Irish immigrants and one travel-wearied Catholic bishop, who gathered to dedicate the wooden  clapboard chapel of Saint John the Evangelist, then located on Meadow Street—where the Mariott Hotel  stands today on Tresser Blvd.  The area was known as “Little Ireland,” itself a miserable corner of gravel pit bounded by the canal and the railroad tracks. As in all Connecticut’s Yankee colonial towns throughout, the central area of a town, usually known as “The Green”, was restricted to Protestant churches and government buildings. The “wrong side of the tracks” was the only place the anti-Catholic Yankee governments would permit Catholics to build or settle in the 19th century. The picture to the left shows the original church and convent. Notice its proximity to the railroad tracks—then on ground level. Not a very safe place for families. The Advocate is filled with notices about poor Irish immigrants walking out of church and being run over by freight trains! The dedication of the first Catholic church in Stamford merited a few lines in the local Stamford paper—on the bottom of the page, very far below the fold: “This very neat edifice which has been recently finished, on Meadow Street, in this village, was dedicated on Sunday last by appropriate ceremonies.  The services were conducted by the Right Rev. Bernard O’Riley, of Providence, R.I.”  Another news account is on page 7 of this bulletin: St. John’s in the News.
The wooden chapel measured 60 by 40 feet, and was under the jurisdiction and care of Father John C. Brady, Rector of St. Mary’s in Norwalk, who lived on Cove Road in Stamford, mid-way between both towns. Since the Catholic Church in the USA was considered “mission territory” at the time, there were no canonical parishes and no canonical pastors—just rectors of missions. It all seemed very temporary.
In mid-19th century Yankee Connecticut, Catholics were few, and priests even fewer.  Patrick Walsh, a native of Ballintaylor in Waterford, Ireland, wrote his immigrant son Michael, then living in Rochksborough [today, Roxbury Road], Stamford. In his letter of June 19, 1828, Patrick scolded his son for  not attending Mass:  “You tell me you have no Roman Catholick [sic] Priest nearer to you than New York. Nevertheless, mind your duty to God and your Master, which is the only way to forward you, here and hereafter” [Original letters in the Basilica archives]. The parish has a number of these letters between Patrick and his son Michael.
By 1851, there were about 100 Catholics in town. They were loud and insistent, having repeatedly complained to the Bishops of Hartford to impress upon him that Stamford’s tiny Catholic community meant business. They needed a church of their own with a resident priest living in Stamford who would care for their souls, not merely an occasional visit by an itinerant priest. And they got what they needed and wanted!  Stamford Catholics have always been a feisty bunch!!
A few decades later, those same two-fisted Catholic forbearers of ours were the men and women who also built our present church, assisted by the help of hundreds of other poor Catholic immigrants, whose presence swelled the Catholic community; and they  built more than just another church. They built the largest stone church in the Connecticut at the time.  Somehow, they raised the funds, and, somehow, a few more decades later, they built one of the largest schools in the city [where the parish parking lot is today], two convents, and Saint Joseph Hospital. Not bad! Those were the decades when the Church influenced the local culture by the Gospel. Now, 167 years after the dedication of the original tiny wooden clapboard chapel on Meadow Street, the same St. John’s is a Basilica—the pope’s church in Fairfield County.
So, happy anniversary of our first church dedication in 1851!  While the anniversary on the 26th of this month in the Year of Our Lord 2018 may not make your January days less dull, it should warm your hearts knowing that earlier generations of parishioners of Saint John’s so loved and cherished the same Catholic faith that we share today that they endured much to pass that faith on to us by providing God with the most beautiful church in the state.  Let’s do the likewise: it’s time to restore  and modernize the 1850 Rectory which is so much more than the priests’ house,  so we can preserve both faith and parish church for the subsequent generations of Stamford’s Catholics.

-Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Loretta Wallace, Elma Hefferna, Michael Scully, Roger Borrelli , Nyal Colies, Dorothy Keyes, 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: Emile Maignan, Regina Derrisaint, Joanne Santarsiero, 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, Susanne and Suzanne DePreta.

Church in Latin America Collection . . . Please drop your special Church in Latin America envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.

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: 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. Parents and family are welcome to attend.

DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY:  Our evening 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. Feel free to purchase your own copy, however, if you prefer. Those who have signed up can retrieve their copy of Inferno at the parish office, or wait until March 7th. If anyone is interested in joining us, please phone Msgr. DiGiovanni: 203-324-1553, ext 11.

Save the date: The next Faith on Tap will be Tuesday, January 30, 2018 from 7-9pm at Murphy’s Townhouse. The topic is Living Evangelical Poverty in a world of Materialism by Fr. Stephen CFR.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday         January 14, 2018                   $ 11,562.00
Sunday         January 15, 2017                   $ 11,690.74

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 28th Sunday Readings:  DT 18:15-20; 1 COR 7:32-35; MK 1:21-28

Saints’ Relics: Until February 2nd, the Feast of the Presentation,  two gilded relic towers are 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 parents 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.

February 2: Candles will be blessed and distributed during the 12:10 Mass. All are welcome.

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

Trinity Catholic School: Trinity Catholic High School is now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year. There will be a “Take A Look” day on Tuesday, January 30th. Also, the Open House will be held March 18th along with entrance exams on February 2nd & March 3rd. Details at: www.trinitycatholic.org/admissions.

Greenwich Catholic School: invites families interested in Kindergarten through Grade 8 to visit their beautiful 38-acre campus in the heart of Greenwich located at 471 North Street during one of our Open Houses. Open Houses will be held on Sunday, January 28th at 12 PM for families interested in grades K-5, and Thursday, February 1st at 6:30 PM for families interested in grades 6-8. For more information and to RSVP please visit gcsct.org/openhouse.​

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

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 .

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).

Men’s Night of Reflection @ 7pm, St Bridget on Tuesday, Feb 6. : Men, please join us to hear Fr. Ed McAuley present a Lenten inspiration – “Return to me with your whole heart”. This Men’s Night is brought to you by the Knights of Columbus Fr. Miller Council #5833. Contact Bill Nagle with any questions. M: 203-570-2593, email: billnagle@hotmail.com

A Day with MaryOn Saturday, February 17, 2018, the Basilica of St. John’s will be hosting a FREE Marian Eucharistic Day Retreat with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. The retreat will be from 8:45AM until 3:00PM. Please bring a bag lunch and call 475-529-6605 if there is inclement weather.

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, January 20, 2018
4:00   +Felicitas Cody 3rd Anniversary req. Cody Family
Sunday, January 21, 2018
7:30   +Frances Delaney 10th Anniversary req. Family
10:00 +Roledonne Samedi req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:00 +John Parham req. Dr. Joe McAleer
5:00   + Louise Epting
Monday, January 22, 2018
8:00   +William Rottman req. Angela and John Paul Marchetti
12:10 +Regina L. Grier req. John Pascale
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
8:00   +Louise Epting req. Dr. Joe McAleer
12:10   President Trump and Vice President Pence req. Josephine Languedoc
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
8:00     Terese Cadet req. Family
12:10 +Pericles Jean Philippe and Germaine Merisier req. Marie Florestal
Thursday, January 25, 2018
8:00   +Saverio Ferraro req. Jim and Lori Rubino
12:10 +Stacy Perry req. Erin and Chris Fisher
Friday, January 26, 2018
8:00   +Willy DeLeo req. John and Maggie Galatro
12:10 +Ann Cody Birthday req. Cody Family
Saturday, January 27, 2018
8:00     Francis Monaghan
12:10 +Michael Calomino req. his wife Marcia

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 NEWS:

DEDICATION OF THE ORIGINAL CHURCH OF ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST, JANUARY 26, 1851.

THE BOSTON PILOT: February 3rd, 1851: Connecticut STAMFORD. “Mr. Editor: From a conviction of the interest which your truly Catholic paper has always taken in communicating through its columns the progress of our holy religion, I take pleasure in informing you of the dedication of our Church in Stamford, on Sunday, January 26th, by the Rt. Rev. Bishop O’Reilly.

 

The morning was beautiful and it would appear that the cross shone with more than usual luster: From an early hour in the morning the hills and valleys were literally covered over with the sons and daughters of the Emerald Isle, whose hearts and souls were overflowing with joy that the time at length arrived when they had a church to be dedicated to the service of Almighty God. This church has been commenced and completed by the indefatigable zeal of our pious and exemplary pastor, Rev. John C. Brady, with the cooperation of the whole-souled Catholics of Stamford. The Church was dedicated to Almighty God under the patronage of St. John the Evangelist, after which Confirmation was conferred on a considerable number, who were duly prepared by their Rev. Pastor; then High Mass was sung by the Pastor, and after the first Gospel the Bishop ascended the platform and preached a very eloquent and persuasive sermon on the Gospel of the day to a crowded congregation, many of whom were not of our religion, yet they were much delighted by the mild and charitable sermon. In the afternoon at Vespers he preached one of the most powerful and practicable sermons we ever heard.
On the following Tuesday he dedicated another Church, erected by the same pastor, under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary “St. Mary’s, Norwalk”, and administered Confirmation to those who were prepared here; he was assisted by the Rev. Mr. Lynch of Bridgeport, and Rev. Mr. Brady of Middletown. So now Mr. Editor you must think that our holy religion is flourishing rapidly along the Sound. A few years ago there was no cross erected to cheer the heart of a poor Irish emigrant coming from New York to New Haven, but now the emblem of salvation may be seen in every little village.
Yours truly, J. T. O’R.”