For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday January 28, 2018

Pastor’s Corner:  February 2nd is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, also known as Candlemas.  The celebration recalls the historical event when, in obedience to the precepts of the Law of Moses (Exodus 13:1-3; Leviticus 12:1-8) the Blessed Mother presented her first born son in the Temple in Jerusalem 40 days after His birth.  It also recalls the mystical fact that Christ is the final sacrifice who brings about the salvation of the world, and that He comes to us daily in every Catholic Church where Mass is offered and the Eucharist received.
The earliest record of this celebration comes from the 5th century, as recorded by a Spanish lady named Egeria in her Diary of a “Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.” The Mass celebrated in Jerusalem recalled the historical presentation of Jesus in the Temple, while the procession with lighted candles referred to the mystical reality of who this Child is, and what His life and death would mean for the history and salvation of the world. By the 5th century it was already a very developed ceremony, as described by Egeria, which suggests that the ceremony was already an ancient one in Jerusalem by the time Egeria visited. It is an ancient celebration by the early Church because the feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple—Candlemas—speaks of the deepest reality of Christ, which is the basis of our ancient Catholic Faith and the basis of His Catholic Church.
Throughout the Old Testament, all the prophets spoke of the coming of the Savior. And as Jesus was presented in the Temple, as recounted in the Gospel of Luke 2: 21-40, two further prophecies are fulfilled: that of the venerable Simeon, who had been promised by God not to see death until he had first seen the Savior; and that of the prophetess Anna, who recognized the Savior as the incarnation of the generous God of Israel.  The Blessed Mother presented Her Son in observance of  the Old Law of Moses, but it also prefigured the work of Jesus by joining Jesus’ future sacrifice on the Cross to the prophetic words and sacrifices of the Old Law of Israel.  She presents Jesus to the Eternal Father, who will accept the sacrifice of His Son on the Cross to pay for human sin.  This feast day is the link between Christmas—God becoming man in the flesh—and Good Friday/Easter—that same Son of God dying in the flesh as the ultimate payment for human sin, to rescue us from eternal death. The reason why the Eternal Son, Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, took human flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mother was in order to offer on the Cross the humanity that was intimately joined to His divinity as the ultimate sacrifice, to pay for the sins of the world.  He took our punishment for our wrongs. And He could do this because Jesus is both God and man. If Jesus were only a man, his death would have no more effect than that of other men. But, since He is also God, his death has power to defeat Satan and death. If Christ had not taught anything, had He not healed or fed anyone, had  He done nothing other than offer Himself on the Cross, then His work would have been perfect.  Yet, in the generosity of the Father, Christ’s work also included His deeper revelation of the identity of God and our own identity and reason for existence to know and love and serve God, and how we should respond to Him in our daily lives.
On February 2nd, then, the Church blesses candles in honor of this historical and mystical event and reality. All candles used during the year in church are blessed on February 2nd, as well as candles for the faithful to bring home.  Each candle represents Christ, whose light illumines the world with the Truth about God and about mankind. The candle is also a sign of our faith in Christ, shining in the darkness and sin of the world. We are to imitate Christ in His obedience and love for the Father, and imitate Our Lady in her humility, obeying the Law of God by co-operating with the loving plan of God by which she conceived in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit, and then further expressed her obedience to God’s will by presenting Her Son in the Temple: the sacrifice God Himself provided for our salvation.  We are to imitate Mary and Her son in our lives of virtue.  Our Lord told His Apostles, “You are the light of the world.”  The candles blessed today represent Christ in our daily lives.  We should let Christ shine to the world by means of our lives of  virtue and holiness; especially by our charity and mutual forgiveness, striving to please God by our daily deeds.
The custom has arisen through the centuries of blessing throats on Saint Blaise day, February 3rd.  St. Blaise, a Catholic bishop, saved a child from choking while both were imprisoned because of their Catholic faith, during a persecution in the 4th century.  He is the saint to pray for healing of ailments of the throat.  We bless throats using two candles blessed on February 2nd–they represent Christ–and the candles are held to form a Cross, and placed on the throat of the person being blessed.  The prayer recited by the priest is “Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may you be delivered from all diseases of the throat and from every other evil, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”  It is the power of Christ and His Cross, by the intercession of Saint Blaise, that is invoked to heal us from the evil of illness on February 3rd. But, Saint Blaise does exactly what all the saints do: they pray for us daily in Heaven before the throne of God, for both they and we are members of the One Church founded by Our Lord, called Catholic since the end of the 1st century. There is something so very good that we share with the Saints, the Blessed Mother: it begins with a shared faith and shared sacraments, and matures to a shared love for God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—who share their lives with us through the Church.
—Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Loretta Wallace, 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, Gayle Moore, Paula Bennett, Mildred Beirne, Karen Hsu, Silvana Smith, Harriet Lockhart, Joseph Kung.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Elma Hefferna, Anne Mennona, 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.

Monthly Collection: The second collection today will be the monthly collection for the parish.  Your generosity is appreciated.

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.

Virtual Tour of the Basilica: Click on the parish website n www.stjohnsstamford.com for a virtual tour of the interior, created and donated by Jonathan Powell of Matterport. Thanks, Jonation!

Save the date
Faith on Tap will be Tuesday, January 30th from 7-9pm at Murphy’s Townhouse. The topic is Living Evangelical Poverty in a world of Materialism by Fr. Stephen CFR;
Upper Room will be on  Wednesday, February 7th from 7-9pm in Nagle Hall to discuss the parish Rectory project.

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.

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.

LENT begins on February 14th, ASH WEDNESDAY: Ash Wednesday is NOT a holy day of obligation. Ashes will be given  IN THE BASILICA during the 8 am and 12:10 pm Masses that day; AND in the Basilica at 7 am, 1pm  and 7:00 pm, without any ceremony.

ASHES WILL NOT BE GIVEN OUT AT THE RECTORY.

The Lenten rules of fasting and abstinence from eating meat apply on Ash Wednesday & Good Friday: Fasting refers to the cutting back on the amount of food eaten on certain days, and applies to those aged 14-60 years old, unless ill or suffering from a medical condition. Fasting means that only one full meal [on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday] is to be taken and NO snacking between meals. Abstinence from eating meat means that no meat be eaten on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, or on any Fridays of Lent. This is a simple way to begin doing penance for our  sins.  All Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence from eating meat for those 14 years and older, unless sickness or medical conditions prevent this.  If one is ill, 60 years or older, or suffers from any medical condition, these rules and practices do not apply.

Stations of the Cross: Each Friday during Lent at 4:00 pm in English in the Basilica.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday         January 21, 2018                    $ 12,734.12
Sunday         January 22, 2017                    $ 16,272.12

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

February 4th Sunday Readings:  Dt 18:15-20, 1 Cor 7:32-35, Mk 1: 21-28

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.

February 2: Candles will be blessed and distributed during the 12:10 Mass. All are welcome.
February 3: Throats will be blessed on the Feast of St. Blaise after the 8 am and 12:10 pm Masses.

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.  They are  in need of WINTER maternity clothes (all sizes). Call 203-348-4355 or www.birthright.org if you can help.

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.

DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY:  We begin on March 7th at 7:30pm in the Rectory readingthe translation of Inferno  by Anthony Esolen, The Modern Library, New York, 2002.  The parish bookstore purchased 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, retrieve  your 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.

Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form: Is offered every Friday at 2pm on the Saint Joseph Altar.

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” open house on Tuesday, January 30th & March 18th. Entrance examinations will be 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 at 471 North Street, Greenwich, during one of our Open Houses: Sunday, January 28th at 12 PM for families interested in grades K-5; 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 CONVERSATIONThe 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.

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.

A Day with Mary:  On Saturday, February 17, 2018, 8:45AM until 3:00PM at the Basilica of St. John This is a  Marian Eucharistic Day Retreat with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. There is no charge. Please bring a bag lunch and call 475-529-6605 if there is inclement weather.

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

Job Seekers: Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., is a leader in helping find jobs. Meetings are held in Monsignor Nagle Hall on the 4th Wednesday of every month from 7:30 to 9PM. Topics include Job Interviewing, Resumes, Networking and Job Search Strategies. Next meeting: Wednesday, February 28th. THERE IS NO CHARGE, this is free job coaching. Call Melanie Szlucha at 203-866-1606, or melanie@redincllc.com.

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

Open House at Regina Caeli Academy – March 3rd, 2018 at 3:00 pm, Wilton Baptist Church, 254 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897.RCA is a hybrid academy, serving students in grades Preschool-12th grade in the Catholic tradition. RCA provides fully accredited academic and extracurricular classes for homeschoolers. Students attend classes using the Socratic method two days per week and are home schooled the remaining days. For more information visit www.rcahybrid.org or call Mary Grunbok, Center Coordinator of Education at (203) 701-9154. We look forward to welcoming you to RCA!

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, January 27, 2018
4:00   +Eileen O’Grady Hogan req. Family
Sunday, January 28, 2018
7:30   +Frances Moriarty Kirkland req. John and Maggie Galatro
10:00   In Thanksgiving req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:00   Deceased members of the Giannitti Family
5:00   +Louise Epting
Monday, January 29, 2018
8:00   +Mr. and Mrs. Weising & Mr. and Mrs. Monaghan
12:10   Patrick Kane & Family req. estate of Catherine Kane & Family
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
8:00   +William J. Conboy II req. Pearl Moss
12:10   John Bulstra req. Scholastica Nabwire
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
8:00   +Joseph Pline req. Maude Hughes and Family
12:10 +Francis Sullivan req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
Thursday, February 1, 2018
8:00   +Michael and Rose Rubino req. Jim and Lori Rubino
12:10 +William M. McLean Sr. req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Friday, February 2, 2018
8:00   +Erzulia Joseph req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Walter Sutherland req. Bill Christiaanse
Saturday, February 3, 2018
8:00     Mary Coffey req. Thomas Cycon
12:10 +Lucas Salem req. Frank and Beth Carpanzano and 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 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:

105 years ago, or so:
Feb. 3, 1912: BLESSING THE THROATS. “The feast of St. Blaise was observed throughout the Catholic world  today. In the local Catholic Churches it was marked by the special ceremony of the blessing of the throats of the faithful, in keeping with traditions of the early years of the Catholic Church. According to the traditions of the church, St. Blaise was the Bishop of Sebaste, Armenia, in the early part of the Fourth Century, when under  the Roman Emperor Licinius and the Roman Governor Agricola, the Christians experienced many drastic persecutions. St. Blaise’s name is included in the roster of the 14 holy martyrs, commemorated in the calendar of the church. One story is told of his relieving a lad who was choking to death with a fish bone caught in his throat. This is the most familiar, while there are many other legends depicting the prisoner as a humane and able practitioner. He was beheaded. The Catholic Church has set apart Feb. 3 as the particular date for the feast of St. Blaise. Throats were blessed in St. John’s at the Mass at 8 a.m. This afternoon, at St. John’s at 3 and this evening at 7:30, throats will also be blessed.”

100 years ago, or so:
Feb. 4, 1919:  Stamford Boy Aboard Collier Whose Fate Remains a Mystery. “One of the mysteries of the war, the fate of the U.S. Cyclops, must remain a mystery, so far as definite information goes. The Navy Department has now decided that the collier was lost in a gale, this apparently for want of a better explanation. The Cyclops has not been heard from officially since Jan. 4, 1918, although it is apparent that the boat was safe as late as Jan 28, 1918, because a letter written by Second-Class Seaman John Henry Coulter of Stamford, on that date, is in the possession of his parents. The Cyclops was then in a warm climate, probably near the West Indies or South America. Second Class Seaman Coulter, who was aboard the Cyclops,  was 19 years of age when the Cyclops was reported as missing. He had enlisted in the Navy a year earlier. At the time he entered the Navy, he was in his senior year at St. Lawrence University, Montreal, preparing for a career in the priesthood of the Catholic Church. He was a graduate of St. John’s parochial school, Stamford.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Seaman Coulter was the only military death from St. John’s parish in World War I.)

85 years ago, or so:
Feb. 2, 1932: Card Party a Success. “The card party which was given by the members of the Children of Mary of the St. John’s R.C. Church, last evening, in the St. John’s School Social Hall, was a financial success. Upward of 400 persons played bridge, euchre or pinochle and nearly 200 prizes, donations of the members, were awarded highest scores. William Troy was in charge of the games and acted as announcer. Dancing was later enjoyed and refreshments were served during the course of the evening. Miss Margaret Cherry acted as general chairman.”