For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday March 18, 2018

Parochial Vicar’s Column:
A Proud Father!

I still remember the first time that I taught religious education class. I was a junior in college, in the first semester of my second year of minor seminary at St. John Fisher. Our rector Fr. Sam Scott had left our apostolic assignments in the mailbox of each seminarian. The slip of paper read, “Andy Vill: 8th Grade Religious Education at St. Gabriel’s Parish.” I was nervous. I had never taught anything before!
These eighth graders were all public school students who, after a full day of classes, had to be shuttled over to St. Gabriel’s parochial school (now Trinity Catholic Middle School) and sit in a classroom for another hour! The first day of class I arrived and thought, “I am going to be a ‘cool teacher’ and have the students call me ‘Mr. Andy’ instead of ‘Mr. Vill’”. I might as well have told them to call me “Mr. Pushover”, because that is what I communicated to them. I wasn’t confident enough in my own knowledge of the Faith let alone to teach someone else about what we believe as Catholics! I had no teaching experience or skills and I was trying to be a chapter ahead of what I was teaching each week.
On the last day of class, burnt out from a long and arduous year, I thought that I would be nice and bring ice cream to celebrate the end of the year. I would serve the ice cream only after we had finished our lesson. One of the boys asked me right away, “Can we play basketball?” “No!” I strained. “We need to finish this last chapter! We don’t have time for basketball!” I struggled through the rest of the class that afternoon. As my fellow seminarian [Fr.] John Connaughton exited the building with me he asked, “What did you end up doing for your last class?” “…I gave them ice cream and then they played basketball.” I said sheepishly. “It was a hard year. What about you?” I asked. John had been the catechist for the seventh grade that year. “Oh,” he said, “I taught my kids about the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist…” Talk about feeling useless! I was not very effective in helping these students in their formation in the Faith.
Happily, my ability to teach the faith has improved since those first years in seminary. Now I actually enjoy teaching the Faith! Over the last three years at St. John’s I have taught RCIA classes each semester. The interaction I have with the students of RCIA gives me instant feedback. I can see whether or not they understand the message of what I’m trying to say. I ask questions; they ask questions. We discuss the Faith. Monday nights have become one of the highlights of my week as a result!
When Msgr. DiGiovanni asked me to take on the role of Director of Religious Education in the summer of 2016 it seemed a daunting task. The role of being in charge of forming over 150 young people in the Faith is no small task. Especially as a priest, there is a real role of spiritual fatherhood that we live in forming our young people. This past year, the Confirmation coordinators Doug and Trish DePhillips, the assistant director of religious education Anne Marie Carpanzano, and I reorganized the Confirmation preparation program. We moved from weekly catechesis classes to a model that involves weekly Sunday Mass attendance (attendance recorded by me with a stamp which reads “I’m not a pagan!” in bright red lettering), a weeklong Catholic summer camp, and bi-monthly nights of family catechesis to prepare the eighth and ninth graders to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. They have listened to talks on the faith and spent time in Eucharistic adoration. Their Mass of Confirmation is scheduled for April 24th, 2018.
Before the ninth graders receive the Sacraments, they have to meet with me for a final interview in which I ask them questions about the Faith. Half of those interviews have already been conducted. Some of the questions I ask are: How many Sacraments are there? What are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit? What is the greatest commandment (according to Jesus)? The three questions which I ask every student are, “Why are we here? What is the purpose of our life? Why did God make us? “Father, those are easy. We are here because God loves us. He wants us to know, love, and serve Him in this life and to be with Him in the life to come. We are made for heaven.”
These students give me hope. They know the faith and are ready witness to it with their lives. As members of our parish community, we should all be proud of these young men and women. As their parish priest, I can tell you that I am truly a proud father!

                                                                                                            -Fr. Andy Vill

Please pray for the sick:  Monsignor DiGiovanni,  Rose Marie Clarke, Janet Caione, Joseph Kung, 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, Paula Bennett, Mildred Beirne.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Ann Borkowski, Art Reynolds, 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

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  www.stjohnsstamford.com for a virtual tour of the interior, created and donated by Jonathan Powell of Matterport.

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 or soft drinks or coffee, tea , alcohol consumed 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: This Friday’s Stations will be at 4PM as well as 7:30PM (Led by Young Adults of the Parish).

Faith on Tap:  Join us this Tuesday, March 20th at 7:00PM at Murphy’s Townhouse Café, 97 Franklin St, Stamford, CT. This months speaker is Fr. Bochanski speaking on “Sexuality and Identity in the Light of Faith.” This event is open to all young adults in their 20s and 30s. Please bring a friend.

Regina Caeli Academy Gala Dinner: “You’re invited to Regina Caeli Academy’s 4th Annual Gala Fundraiser on April 6th! Join us for an evening of dinner, dancing and auctions featuring the ever popular Nitro Jive Band (the swingiest little big band ever) as well as surprise performances from talented local priests! St Francis of Assisi Banquet Hall at 35 Norfield Rd in Weston from 6-11pm on April 6, 2018. Come support RCA and learn more about our growing community! We are a homeschool hybrid in the Catholic and classical traditions, providing the best of both homeschooling and traditional classroom-based education to children from Pre-K through high school.”

Save the Date: The Basilica of St. John’s is hosting an all day conference in honor of the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae on June 23rd. Speakers include Mary Eberstadt, Mary FioRito, and George Weigel. The 4PM Vigil Mass will be offered by Bishop Caggiano. More details to follow.

Confirmation– All parents of 7th grade students who are not enrolled in our Religious Ed program including those in Catholic Schools, please contact Fr. Vill at religioused@stjohnsstamford.com. An information meeting will take place on Sunday, April 15 at 8:30AM in Nagle Hall.

Weekly Sunday collection: 

Sunday         March 11, 2018          $ 13,726.94
Sunday         March 12, 2017           $ 12,397.90

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

March 25thSunday Readings:  MK 11:1-10; Phil 2:6-11 ; MK 14:1-15:47

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.

Lenten Plenary Indulgence: A plenary indulgence is the remission of punishment due for sin, which the Catholic Church has the authority to offer as part of Our Lord’s concession to St. Peter in the power of the keys [Matt. 16:18] to forgive sins. On Fridays during Lent, a plenary indulgence may be obtained if, after having gone to Confession and received Holy Communion, one prays the “Prayer before the Crucifix”—copies can be found at the St. Joseph side altar—and pray one Our Father or one Hail Mary for the pope. Likewise one must be free from attachment to sin.

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- Are you or someone you know hurting from a past abortion experience? There is help and hope. Project Rachel is offering an Entering Canaan Day of Prayer and Healing on Saturday, July 14, 2018 for women who are suffering from a past abortion. Please contact 203-895-3554 or projectrachel@diobpt.org for more information and confidential registration.

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 helped convince expectant mothers to spare their children. Call Noelle at 857-345-0808 for specialized training as a Sidewalk Counselor.

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 

PASTA DINNER: Trinity Catholic High School is having two Lenten Pasta Dinners on March 9 and March 23 from 5:30-7:30pm in the TCHS Cafeteria. The food is catered by Columbus Park Trattoria, so it’s guaranteed to be great! Cost is $10 per person or $40 per family. Proceeds support our Summer Mission Trip to serve the poor in Hartford. Come on out and join us for a delicious meal for the whole family!

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.

Not Married in the Catholic Church? Please call the parish 203) 324-1553 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.

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: Next meeting: Wednesday, May 2nd! No meetings March and April. 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.  THERE IS NO CHARGE, this is free job coaching. Call Melanie Szlucha at 203-866-1606, or melanie@redincllc.com.

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. Details at: www.trinitycatholic.org/admissions.
They will also be hosting a Clothing Drive Saturday, March 24th from 9:00AM-2:00PM.

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.

LAURALTON HALL: will host Discover Lauralton on Sunday, April 8 from 1:00-3:30pm for 5th, 6th, and 7th grade girls, and their parents.  Visit www.lauraltonhall.org/discover to register by March 28.  For further information, please call (203) 877-2786 ext. 115.

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.

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, March 17, 2018
4:00   +Danny Murphy req. Nick and Ann LePore
Sunday, March 18, 2018
7:30   +Peter C. Schmitt, Sr. req. Carleen Newman
10:00 +Patricia Amann req. Al Forte
12:00 +William Borkowski req. Michael and Ann Borkowski
5:00   +Edmond Cherbonnier
Monday, March 19, 2018
8:00   +Joseph William Cammarata req. Danny Rainho
12:10   Souls in Purgatory
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
8:00   +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
12:10 +Yvette Constant req. Geralda Constant-Berrouet
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
8:00   +Serafina Skidd req. Kate and Bill Skidd & Family
12:10   Deceased members of the Churley and Kronk families
Thursday, March 22, 2018
8:00   +Maryvonne Dezouches req. Janine O’Connor
12:10 +Tom Camaj req. niece Age
Friday, March 23, 2018
8:00    Healing of Msgr. DiGiovanni req. by a parishioner
12:10 +Anne Hieronymus req. Mary and Paul Giordano
Saturday, March 24, 2018
8:00  +Wladek and Willemina Falek req. daughter
12:10   Special Intentions Matthew Carello req. Bill Carello

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:
March 18, 1864:  “Yesterday was St. Patrick’s day, and, contrary to the general rule, the weather was fine in the morning. Mass was celebrated and a sermon preached by Rev. Father O’Neil, in the Roman Catholic Church. A full congregation was in attendance.”

130 years ago, or so:
March 14, 1890:  “Rev. Father Cronan, assistant pastor of St. Mary’s R. C. church, Greenwich, is expected to deliver an address next Sunday at 7:30 p.m., in the St. John’s R.C. church, Stamford. The sermon will be appropriate to St. Patrick’s Eve, and there will also be musical vespers, followed by benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.”

100 years ago, or so:
March 11, 1919:   “St. Patrick’s Day is to be celebrated  by the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Final preparations were made last night, by the committee in charge, for an entertainment in St. John’s Parochial School Hall, Friday evening, March 14, at 8:30. A program consisting of music and recitations has been arranged. The speaker of the evening will be Jonas McCarthy of New Haven.”

50 years ago, or so:
March 13, 1979:  Hibernian fete set Saturday.  “General Philip Sheridan Division, Ancient Order of Hibernians, will honor St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, Saturday with a Mass at St. John’s Catholic Church on Atlantic Street and a flag-raising ceremony in Heritage Park behind the Old Town Hall. Brendan Fitzsimons, editor of The Greenwich Times, will be the speaker at the 9:30 program in the park. State House Speaker Ernest Abate will be toastmaster, and Joseph Butler will be chairman of the breakfast. Before the breakfast at the Half Way House, Mass will be concelebrated at St. John’s Catholic Church by the division’s chaplain, the Rev. William A. Nagle, with three other priests. Following the Mass, the group will gather at Heritage Park, where the tri-color flag of Ireland will be raised at 9:30 a.m. in honor of St. Patrick.”

10 years ago, or so:
March 18, 2006:  Relic adds to Irish celebration Irish-Americans honored at St. Patrick’s Day Mass.  “The shrill call of bagpipes resounded off the arches and stained glass at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church as a procession of worshippers clad in green headed down the aisle yesterday morning. Near the altar, a small green candle flickered in front of a monstrance containing a tiny bone relic of the 5th century man celebrated as the embodiment of Irish-Catholic pride: St. Patrick himself. Along with St. Patrick, the Mass celebrated two local Irish-Americans: Msgr. William A. Nagle, chaplain emeritus of the Hibernians and Phyllis Doonan, a native or Leitrim, Ireland and a 38 year Stamford resident.”