For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday March 25, 2018

Pastor’s Corner: (Taken from Monsignor’s Pastor Corner in 2017)
Today begins Holy Week, recalling Our Lord’s last earthly days and His work for our salvation. Tenebrae, on Spy Wednesday (March 28 at 8pm) is a sung scriptural service setting the stage for the last three days of the week: Holy Thursday’s evening Mass (March 29 at 8p.m.) recalls the Last Supper during which Our Lord instituted the priesthood and the Eucharist, and when he was betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter and, later, arrested.  It is during this most profound offering of Himself for our salvation that humanity betrayed the Son of God in the person of Judas Iscariot. Judas’ betrayal of the Son of God for a mere 30 pieces of silver mirrored Lucifer’s betrayal of God for power. In Dante’s Inferno, Judas is placed in the lowest circle of Hell, named after him—Judecca. There, in the very heart of Hell, is Lucifer—frozen solid, raging in eternal isolation, yet unable to express his titanic hatred for God except by his bloody tears. Judas is with him. Satan, the betrayer of God the Creator and Redeemer, gnaws Judas, the betrayer of the Son of God, for all eternity.
The Gospel account tells us that Jesus knew the heart of Judas and the weakness of His other Apostles. Nevertheless, God, the Creator of the universe, who humbled Himself to be born in the flesh of the Virgin Mary, and who soon humbled Himself to feed His followers with His very Body and Blood, and who was about to sacrifice Himself on the Cross, bowed down before his Apostles to wash the feet of all Twelve, even those of His betrayer. Saint Augustine made this observation about Christ’s humility and love for us: “Why wonder, since He poured water into a basin wherewith to wash His disciples’ feet, who poured His blood upon the earth to wash away the filth of their sins?  In order, indeed, to gird Himself with the towel, He laid aside the garments He wore; but when He emptied Himself [of His divine glory] in order to assume the form of a servant [at His birth as a man], He laid not down what He had [His divine nature] but assumed that which He had not before [our human nature].  When about to be crucified, He was indeed stripped of His garments, and when dead was wrapped in linen: and all that suffering of His is our purification. When, therefore, about to suffer the last extremities of humiliation, He illustrated beforehand its friendly compliance; not only to those for whom He was about to endure death, but to him also who had resolved on betraying Him to death.  For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost.  And as he [Judas] was lost by imitating the pride of the deceiver [Lucifer], let mankind now, when found [by Christ], imitate the Redeemer’s humility.” [Tracts on the Gospel of Saint John, LVI, 7]
Humility is an important virtue, yet one rarely practiced or encouraged in our society. There is only one God, and it ain’t us!  During this Holy Week, let us meditate upon the humility of the most powerful Persons in the universe—God the Father, Son & Holy Spirit.  He humbled Himself to save us from our pride, which is the heart of all our sins.  Let us practice God’s humility, opening ourselves up to His saving grace—and go to Confession this week. Let our pride not lead us to imitate either Lucifer in his pride, or Judas in his betrayal of Christ.  If we love Our Lord, we should show that love in the way we live our daily lives.  He waits to forgive us; if only we humble ourselves and go to Him in the sacrament He gave His Church.  Go to Confession and prepare for a holy Easter.
Another pious preparation is by making a pilgrimage. The practice of making a pilgrimage to a shrine or church is an ancient one. Early Christians visited the sites of Our Lord’s suffering, death and resurrection in Jerusalem.  Pilgrimages to the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul in Rome began immediately following their martyrdom in 64 A.D.
Saint Philip Neri, one of the greatest of Roman parish priests, began the practice of the Pilgrimage of the Seven Churches during Lent in the early 1550’s.  By the end of the decade, there were thousands who joined him, visiting the seven great basilicas of the Eternal City. The Seven Church Pilgrimage on Holy Thursday evening came to America with the Catholic immigrants, and continues to  this day.  In today’s bulletin you will find a sheet of paper with Saint John’s Holy Week schedule, and, on the back side, a small map with the addresses of churches in Stamford and the times they will remain open on Holy Thursday evening [March 29th] Come to Saint John’s for the beautiful Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 8:00 p.m., and then get in your car and make the Pilgrimage to Seven of Stamford’s Catholic churches.
Spend some time there during this week—Holy Week, meditating on Christ’s generous sacrifice to save you from eternal death: repent of your sins, go to Confession, and join in the

2018 Holy Week services at the Basilica
Spy Wednesday, March 28th at 8 pm — Tenebrae, a chanted scriptural service;
Holy Thursday, March 29th at 8 pm — the Mass of the Lord’s Supper and adoration;
Good Friday, March 30th at 3pm — the Liturgy of the Passion of the Lord with Bishop Caggiano!
Holy Saturday, March 31st at 8pm — the Easter Vigil.
Join us on these days and enter more deeply into our meditation of God’s great love for you.

Monsignor DiGiovanni

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

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.

Statues Covered: During Holy Week, our attention is turned uniquely to Our Lord who offered Himself on the Cross for our salvation.  So, statues and holy pictures of saints are covered so that we will not be distracted in our prayers from Christ Crucified—not even by the saints.

Palm Sunday: Please pick up your Palms before mass, Palms will be blessed at the beginning of all the Weekend Masses: Saturday 4pm Vigil Mass; Sunday 7:30, 10:00, 12:00Noon, & 5:00pm.

Holy Week Confessions:
Monday—Friday: March 26-30: 11:30 am-12noon
Holy Saturday: March 31: 11:30 am-12:30 pm

Easter Sunday Masses, April 1st: 7:30 am, 10 am, 12 noon.
REMINDER: There will be no 5 pm Mass on Easter Sunday.

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.

Relic of the True Cross: Splinters of the actual Cross upon which Our Lord suffered and died are displayed on the Saint Joseph side altar. Copies of Prayer before the Crucifix are provided for your devotion.

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.”

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday         March 18, 2018          $ 11,045.74
Sunday         March 19, 2017          $ 13,805.53

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

April 1st Sunday Readings:  Acts 10:34A, 37-43; Col 3:1-4; JN 20:19 (42)

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, March 24, 2018
4:00   +Tony Sprackling req. Pearl Mayo
Sunday, March 25, 2018
7:30   +Joan Mercia req. Family
10:00 +Ed and Ann Cody, Bill and Felicitas Cody, members of the Burns and Cody families req. Cody Family
12:00 +Francis Cronin req. Louise Cronin
5:00   +Edmond Cherbonnier
Monday, March 26, 2018
8:00   +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
12:10 +Rev. James Sanderson req. Dorothy Coffey
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
8:00     Joseph S. Kravar Jr. req. Fabiola C.
12:10 +Julia Fabrizio req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
8:00   +Robert E. Reed req. Dr. Joe McAleer
12:10   Deceased members of the Churley and Kronk Families
TRIDUUM SACRUM
HOLY THURSDAY, March 29th The church remains open until 12 midnight for Adoration.
NO 8AM or 12:10PM Masses
8:00PM: Mass of the Lord’s Supper: People of the Parish
GOOD FRIDAY, March 30th
NO 8AM or 12:10 PM Masses
3:00PM Liturgy of Lord’s Passion
HOLY SATURDAY, March 31st
NO 8AM, 12:10PM or 4PM MASSES
8:00PM Easter Vigil: People of the Parish

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 25, 1864: GOOD FRIDAY. “Today is Good Friday, the day set apart by the larger portion of the Christian church as a day of fasting and humiliation, in commemoration of the crucifixion of our Savior. The usual Good Friday services will take place in the Roman Catholic Church.”

110 years ago, or so:
            March 24, 1910: SERVICES ON GOOD FRIDAY. “There will be solemn services this evening and tomorrow in several of the local churches. Services will be held in St. John’s Catholic Church  at 9 a.m., 2 to 3 p.m., and 7 p.m. The service of Stations of the Cross will be held at the latter hour.”

105 years ago, or so:
            March 17, 1913:  PALM SUNDAY VESPERS.  “A large congregation in St. John’s Catholic Church listened with reverent attention, last night, to some excellent singing by the church choir, augmented for the occasion to 30 voices. Margo’s solemn vespers were sung, and there were incidental solos, notably “The Inflammatus,” from Rossini’s “Stabat Mater,” the “Cujus Animan,” by Rossini and Haydn’s “Laudate Dominum.” Mrs. William R. Troy, who sang “The Inflammatus,” with chorus, and also the “Tantum Ergo,” was in especially fine voices. The comparative ease with which she attained high C and held the note was remarked after the service. She is a pupil of Theodore Van York of New York.”

95 years ago, or so:
            March 24, 1921:  Services Tomorrow In Catholic Churches.   “The solemn services of Holy Week began today in the local churches. In St. John’s Church, at 8 a.m., a Solemn High Mass was celebrated, and there was a procession in which the Blessed Sacrament was carried in state from the main altar to the altar of repository. The Sacrament was carried beneath a canopy by the clergy and a group of small girls, who wore white dresses and green wreathes about their foreheads, went ahead scattering cut flowers in the path. Altar boys carried lighted candles and the ceremony was very impressive. Tonight, at 7:30, the clergy and a male choir will sing the Tenebrae. Tomorrow, at 9 a.m., the Mass of the presanctified will be celebrated, and there will follow a procession similar to that of today, in which the Blessed Sacrament will be carried from the altar of repository to the main altar. The passion will be sung by the clergy, and afterwards, there will be adoration of the cross. From 2 to 3:15 p. m, there will be devotion in commemoration of the three hours’ agony of the Lord on the cross. Tomorrow evening, at 7:30, there will be the service of the Stations of the Cross. On Holy Saturday, the services begin at 7 a.m. with the blessing of the new fire and the baptismal fount, the singing of the twelve prophecies and the blessing of Easter water to follow. Then a Solemn High Mass will be held.”