For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday February 04, 2018
Pastor’s Corner: The border between Spain and France is one of misty mountain heights, mystic shrines of local gothic design, and winding roads following ancient paths of shepherds and pilgrims. It is a place of rugged beauty and mystery, and it is here that the climactic battle in the Chanson de Roland takes place: that 11th century epic poetic narrative of the fabled exploits and heroic death of the greatest of Charlemagne’s knights, Roland, during the Battle of Roncevalles in 778 A.D. The battle was real; the story myth. The ideal of French manhood, Roland is the perfect warrior, possessed of the best steed, the greatest strength and courage, whose loyalty and potent sword were legendary, and who was true to his liege lord, Charlemagne, the greatest of European princes. This was pure myth, of course, but it thrilled the 11th century imagination.
The young Bernadette Soubirous knew nothing of Roland. Uneducated, impoverished and sickly, she never entered the realm of mid-19th century scholars or of the privileged, ruling classes of Third Empire of France. The movers and shakers of culture, politics, industry and society in what is today France and Germany, resurrected and propagated myths of  national heroes and heroines. Set to prose, poetry and opera, these legends became potent cultural props for growing nationalistic sentiments and industrialized arms races that would blossom in the early 20th century in World War I. God was merely another prop to their burgeoning nationalism and the making of fortunes, led by men of far-reaching and vast vision. So they said about themselves. Yet, it was their self-interest, delusions, lust for power and wealth that were epic, and led to the deaths of millions and the destruction of Europe.
But not for Bernadette, who was pressed down by the tedious worries of daily practicalities, without which there was no survival during the bitter winters of Lourdes, a nothing town in a primitive part of southern France near the border with Spain at the base of the Pyrenees where Roland had marched. In pursuit of her daily chores on February 11, 1858, Bernadette saw a small young lady. Bernadette’s sister, Toinette and a friend were there, but saw no one. Bernadette returned, carrying holy water,  just in case the vision was from the Evil One. After sprinkling the site with holy water, the lady merely smiled, yet still said nothing. During the subsequent visits, the lady told her that she was “The Immaculate Conception”, a title recently defined by Pope Pius IX, yet unknown to the illiterate peasant girl. Bernadette was also told to drink from a spring nearby. Not seeing a spring, the girl began to dig in the mud, until finally water began bubbling up—today, more than 32,000 gallons of water bubble up daily from the original spring near the Grotto. As rumors of  the visions began, people from neighboring villages arrived: 30 on February 20th, 100, the next day, 150 on February 23rd and more than 800 on February 27th.  Since the tiny village was being overrun by strangers, the local police and anti-clerical mayor became involved, pressuring the family to stop Bernadette. On March 1st, more than 1,500 people were present, and witnessed the first miraculous cure: a local woman, Catherine Latapie, suffering from a paralyzed arm from birth, bathed in the spring water and her arm was restored.  On June 8th, the mayor barricaded the Grotto, and placed armed guards around the area. Bernadette knelt and prayed outside the barricades as Our Lady appeared to her for the last time.
The message of Our Lady of Lourdes is a simple one: do not forget Her Divine Son, obey the Ten Commandments, and love God.  Not precisely the message Emperor Napoleon III wanted to hear, as he worked for Empire by the most disgraceful means of the day, along with King Victor Emmanuel and Prince Von Bismarck. If one forgets God, and everything we hold important crumbles to dust—as would be seen in the Franco-Prussian War and the unification of Italy in 1870; the outbreak of World War I in 1914; the Russian Revolution of 1917; the collapse of Europe in 1918, and the tragic aftermath and the development of Fascism, Nazism and Communism after World War I and the Cold War. An entire world swept away, the effects of which remain today, as we continue to forget God and busy ourselves with ourselves.            February 11th is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Let’s remember that day—just one more during which God reminds us that we are important only in the eyes of God; and, when we forget that, we become props to movements, governments, marketing, political parties, schemes and fads, that hold us valuable only as consumers of popular ideas and commodities. God knows we are more: His sons and daughters, and He hopes we will one day realize that, as well.
Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick:  Rosemarie Drexel, Loretta Wallace, Michael Scully, Roger Borrelli , Nyal Colies, Dorothy Keyes, Joevil Basulgan DelaCruz, Mary Duffy, Pat Farenga, Kenyon Jimmy Valcour, 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: Lena Cocchia, Pasquale [Pat] Santagata, 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,  Susanne and Suzanne DePreta.

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 for a virtual tour of the interior, created and donated by Jonathan Powell of Matterport. Thanks, Jonation!

Save the dates

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.


            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.

Lenten Mission at St. Mary’s, Greenwich: St. Mary’s Lenten Mission, “Radiant in Christ,” will be led by Fr. Innocent Smith, O.P. Shortly before his Passion, Jesus leads three of his disciples up a high mountain apart by themselves and is transfigured before them. From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard: “This is my beloved Son, listen to him.” In this Lenten Mission, we will imitate those disciples by taking time to remain with Jesus, basking in the glow of his Divine radiance. Contemplating the mysteries of Christ’s revelation, we will recall how we have been transformed by his light and explore how we can reflect his light more clearly in our families and communities. The Lenten Mission will be conducted February 26 to March 1 at 7:30PM.

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 Access Code WWT2NF.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday         January 28, 2018                    $ 13,019.15
Sunday         January 29, 2017                    $ 12,429.87

  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 11th Sunday Readings:  LV 13:1-2, 44-46; 1 Cor 10:31-11:1; MK 1:40-45

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.

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:  For more information, contact Rosa Federici at: 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 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

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:

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 March 18th. Entrance examinations will be on March 3rd. Details at:

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.

Wine Tasting Young Adult Event: On Tuesday evening, Feb 13th from 6:30PM until 7:30PM in Nagle Hall, wine authority and St. John’s parishioner, Nicholas Troilo will lead our first Wine Tasting Experience – don’t Be A Goat.  You’ll learn how to sniff, swirl, sip, and spit like a wine pro. We’ll taste six different wines and you’ll learn how to detect the aromas of honey, cloves, black olive or wet dog in the best of wines. The cost of the evening is $30 of which $20 will go directly to helping complete a water pipeline in Beliti, Ethiopia. You’ll learn more about that amazing project while tasting and learning about wine. Why are we calling this Wine Tasting experience – don’t Be a Goat?  Read Matthew: 25  31-35

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

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:

JOIN THE CONVERSATIONThe Eaglet, the parish blog on our Basilica website,, 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:

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

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

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:

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 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, February 3, 2018
4:00    +Vito and Josephine Melfi req. Joseph Melfi
Sunday, February 4, 2018
7:30    +Kevin Nadin req. Glenn and Lynda Nadin
10:00  +Edwich Joseph req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:00  +Sylvia Ardise 1st Anniversary req. Marion, Bill and Richard Morris
5:00    +Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, S.D.B.
Monday, February 5, 2018
8:00      Deceased members of the Churley and Kronk Families
12:10 +Betsy Doran req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
8:00      Alexandra and Gertha Laurent
12:10 +Linda Price Ingram req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
8:00   +Patrick Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Lena Cocchia req. priests of the parish
Thursday, February 8, 2018
8:00   +Patricia Amman req. Melanie Szlucha
12:10 +William F. DeLeo req. Rivera Family
Friday, February 9, 2018
8:00   +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
12:10 +Feroze Aslam req. Abdul and Sarah Aslam
Saturday, February 10, 2018
8:00   +Vito Longo Birthday Remembrance req. Millie
12:10 +Domenico Iorfino req. Pugliese 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:
130 years ago, or so:
Feb. 8, 1889: Wedding at St. John’s R. C. Church. “Last Wednesday morning at 9 o’clock, the Catholic church held a very large audience, assembled to witness the marriage of Miss Minnie L. McClean to Mr. Thomas F. Stark. Solemn High Nuptial Mass was celebrated by Rev. James P. Ryle, of St. Patrick’s church, New Haven. Rev. James Lawless was deacon and Rev. R. Carroll, sub-deacon. The master of ceremonies was Mr. P. H. McClean, brother of the bride; groomsman, Mr. James F. McClean, twin brother of the bride; bridesmaid, Miss Julia A. Stark, sister of the groom.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Fathers Ryle and Lawless, and Mr. Peter McClean, later Monsignor McClean, were all vocations from St. John’s)

110 years ago, or so:
Feb. 11, 1907:  “The usual Lenten devotions will be held this year in St. John’s R. C. church, commencing Ash-Wednesday, with the customary distribution of ashes, which will  be done at services held at 8 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. There will be a Mass every morning at 8 and services every Wednesday and Friday evening.”

90 years ago, or so:
Feb. 10, 1927: RECEPTION TONIGHT FOR THE REV. HENRY M. CALLAHAN. “The Rev. Henry M. Callahan, curate of St. John’s Catholic Church, will be the guest of honor tonight at a reception to be given him by the parishioners of his church on the tenth anniversary of his mission here. The reception will be held in St. John’s School hall and will start at 8 o’clock. An entertainment is planned and there will be several speakers. The Musicians’ Union will send a 20 piece orchestra, which will play for dancing and also render several concert numbers. The public is invited, admission is free.”

55 years ago, or so:
Feb. 5, 1962: Parvuli Dei Pins Presented. “Thirty Catholic Cub Scouts received the Parvuli Dei award Sunday afternoon in ceremonies at Holy Name church. The awards were presented through the Catholic Committee on Scouting of the Alfred W. Dater Council, Boy Scouts of America. Award recipients included John Y. Connolly of Troop 22, St. John’s Catholic Church.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Doctor, and Eagle Scout, John Y. Connolly is presently a practicing physician in Maine.)

45 years ago, or so:
Feb. 11, 1975:  “Observances of the 40 days of Lent will begin Wednesday when area churches hold traditional services. At. St. John’s Catholic Church, Masses will be celebrated at 7:30 a.m., noon and 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Ashes will be distributed at St. John’s after each Mass. The Lenten theme at St. John’s this year is “Fasting for Hunger” to enable the congregation to help the hungry of the world.”