For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday April 22, 2018

Parochial Vicar’s Column:

I resemble that remark!

In the seminary, every student has what is called a “house job” which is essentially the chore for which one is responsible throughout the school year. In major seminary my house job was “kitchen prefect” which meant that I was in charge of keeping the student kitchen on the fifth floor stocked with freshly laundered dish towels, cleaning supplies, and dish soap for the students who would cook meals up there on various occasions. Because of this job, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen.

The director of liturgy at the North American College was a Benedictine Monk from Pennsylvania named Fr. Kurt. In addition to being the priest who taught us how to lector, serve at the altar, exercise our diaconal duties, and eventually prepare us to celebrate Mass, Fr. Kurt was an excellent cook. He used to be the head baker at his Archabbey back in Latrobe, PA. On top of that, he had German heritage and would cook German meals from time to time. We used to exchange ideas and techniques for baking and cooking and occasionally would cook together.

One particular Thursday afternoon we were in the kitchen preparing something or other and talking about a new cookie recipe that I had discovered. We had to end our conversation early in order to clean up and head to the chapel to pray Vespers. At the seminary we would pray Lauds (Morning Prayer) and Vespers (Evening Prayer) together as a community. It was beautiful to hear over two hundred and fifty male voices praying the psalms in unison. After Vespers and dinner that night I returned to my room and noticed that I had a voice message on my phone from Fr. Kurt. “Andy, please come see me in the sacristy after Mass tomorrow morning. There is something I would like to talk to you about.”

Excited to continue our previously interrupted conversation about culinary delights, I moved quickly to the sacristy to find Fr. Kurt after morning Mass had ended. “Hey, Fr. Kurt, I got your voicemail that you wanted to see me?” I inquired. “Andy, you pray too loud. Also, if you were to pray quieter, perhaps you could hear everyone else and keep pace with them. That is all.” And with a swish of his habit, he turned around and headed over to attend to one of the sacristans who had just showed up. “I pray too loud?” I repeated in my head. I was crushed. What about our shared love of baking? Where was the exchange of pleasantries about the next German dinner we would have? I left the sacristy deflated.

The reason that Fr. Kurt’s comments stung so sharply was not because he was wrong, but because what he spoke was true. I remember a saying from high school that many people love to learn, but few people like to be taught. When we hear criticisms about ourselves, it usually produces in us one of three responses.

The first response would be one of indifference or confusion. This reaction comes when a criticism is leveled against us which is totally off base. Last year I made a comment to someone about not having seen them in the gym for over six weeks. They became flustered and insisting that they have been in the gym faithfully every morning before I jokingly told them that I hadn’t seen them at the gym in so long because I hadn’t been in six weeks!

The second reaction that we can have towards a critique is to have a hardness of heart. St. Stephen had some strong words for the people of Israel when he said to them, [y]ou stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you (Acts 7:51). The words he spoke were true and should have led them to conversions, but the people’s response was to [cry] out with a loud voice and [stop] their ears and [rush] together upon him (Acts 7:57). Despite his words being true, they were unable to accept so they stoned him to death.

The third reaction that we can have is one of humble docility. When we receive the words of correction or even criticism we allow the Lord to change us because of it. This can be all the more difficult if the words are spoken against us in condemnation or in malice, but the truth of the words stand independent of their messenger. If we can say to ourselves honestly, “I resemble that remark”, let us not then harden our hearts with the disposition which says, “I resent that remark.” May we allow the Lord to work in our hearts through our humility and not allow our pride to keep us from being purified and from being made perfect in Him. Fr. Kurt was the director of liturgy and it was in fact his place to correct seminarians when it came to common prayer or the liturgies of the Church. I can’t say that I no longer “pray loudly”, but I am much more attentive to how I pray in common. When I hear a criticism today I don’t always respond to it perfectly. But, with God’s grace, I’m getting there!

-Fr. Andy Vill

Please pray for the sick:  Monsignor DiGiovanni,  Marva Mitchell, Michael Cole, Wyanna Burke, Rose Marie Clarke, Janet Caione, Joseph Kung, 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
Banns of Marriage: III Banns: Michael Joseph Altamura and Elizabeth Anne Myers

One Collection. . .There will only be one collection today.  Thank you for your generosity.

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

Easter Duty: What makes you a Catholic? The fact that you are “IN Communion” with the Successor of Saint Peter, the pope, and an active member of the Body of Christ, the Catholic Church.  We share the same Faith, the sign of that is receiving Holy Communion. The bottom line is that you receive Holy Communion: the Body and Blood of the Resurrected Christ—at least once each year. To receive Holy Communion you must be freed from serious, mortal sin, living a life of grace. The means you should also go to Confession  at least once each year. That is done at Easter—the Easter Duty.  Catholics are obliged to receive Holy Communion at least once between Easter [April 1] and Pentecost Sunday [May 20]. If you haven’t been to Confession for a while, you should repent of your sins and confess them as a preparation for receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.

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.


Saturday, June 23 : 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 and a panel of medical experts. The 4PM Vigil Mass will be offered by Bishop Caggiano. Register at

Wednesday, May 16 at 7pm – 9pm: Save the date! Wednesday, May 16 at 7pm – 9pm Talk & Book Signing by Jennifer Fulwiler in our parish hall. Bring your book “One Beautiful Dream” or buy your book at the talk. For tickets, Questions, contact Lisa Kotasek at

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday         April 15, 2018                         $  11,429.78
Sunday         April 17, 2016                         $  12,523.89

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 29th Sunday Readings:  Acts 9:26-31, 1 JN 3:18-24, JN 15:1-8

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- 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 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:

A Day with Mary– A Free Marian Eucharistic Day Retreat with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. Saturday, April 28th from 8:45AM– 3:00PM at St. Theresa Church, 5301 Main St. Trumbull, CT. Go to for more information.

TAG SALE: A Tag Sale, sponsored by the Rosary Society of St. Mary Church will be held on Saturday, April 28, 2018, from 9:00AM to 3:00PM at St. Mary Church, Hayes Hall (Lower Church), 566 Elm St., Stamford, CT. Lunch will be available.

Faith on Tap: Young adults age 21-39 are invited to join us Tuesday, May 15th 7:00-9:00PM at Murphy’s Townhouse Cafe , 97 Franklin St.“Stump the Priests”, with your questions on the Catholic Faith & Church.  Bring a friend or two!

Lauralton Hall Honor Roll: St. John’s Parish would  like to congratulate Biyeni Eusebio who was named to the third quarter Honor Roll at the Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall.

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,

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:

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: 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

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.

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.

Trinity Catholic Legacy Gala–  The gala will be held Friday, April 27th at 6:30PM at the Waters Edge at Giovanni’s. For more information, contact Betsy Mercede at 203.487.8243

Trinity Catholic High School College Fair-Trinity Catholic High School is hosting their Annual Spring College Fair on Thursday, April 26th from 6:30-8:30PM in the school gymnasium.

Summer Program at Sacred Heart- Space is available for the 2018 SHU Journey, an extraordinary six-day residential summer experience of faith education, self-discovery, and enjoyment for high school youth held each summer at Sacred Heart University. The week includes workshops, games, conversations with Catholic leaders, and a chance to experience university living – all at no cost. To register, visit

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, April 21, 2018
4:00     Special Intentions Millie Terenzio Birthday req. Family
Sunday, April 22, 2018
7:30     In thanksgiving for all our blessings
10:00 +Margaret Rutledge req. Abdul and Sarah Aslam
12:00   Special Intentions Marion Morris req. Jo Mitchell
5:00   +Hope McAleer
Monday, April 23, 2018
8:00     Deceased members of the Churley and Kronk Families
12:10 +Aimee Cowan req. Kate and Bill Skidd & Family
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
8:00   +Sandra Bolanowski 3rd Anniversary req. Lawrence Bolanowski
12:10 +John Richards req. John Pascale
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
8:00   +Peter J. Adamski req. Peter and John Adamski
12:10   Deceased members of the Churley and Kronk families
Thursday, April 26, 2018
8:00   +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
12:10  Healing for Msgr. DiGiovanni
Friday, April 27, 2018
8:00   +Minh Hai Do req. Thang Nguyen
12:10 +Maureen Flanders req. Emily Florio
Saturday, April 28, 2018
8:00     Aliana S. Kravar Birthday req. Fabiola C.
12:10 +Steven Anderson req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos

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:

150 years ago, or so:
April 22, 1870:  “The old house standing on the lot purchased by the Roman Catholic society, is being taken down. This we suppose is the first step towards the great work of building the new church.”

130 years ago, or so:
April 26, 1889:  “In St. John’s R. C. Church there were three Masses Sunday, at all of which the attendance was very large, also at Vespers. Sunday night, Father Downey, of Bridgeport, preached a very eloquent sermon which was listened to with great attention by a crowded audience. His subject was the resurrection. Father Downey was formerly of Stamford.”

110 years ago, or so:
April 23, 1906: CHURCHES HELP.  “In most of the churches of Stamford, yesterday, not only were collections taken for the sufferers in the San Francisco disaster, but the calamity was the theme of at least a dozen sermons. Next Sunday a special offering will be taken up in St. John’s R. C. Church for San Francisco. In announcing this yesterday, the pastor, Rev. James C. O’Brien, read the message which had been sent to Catholic Bishops by the Archbishop of San Francisco and then spoke briefly on the calamity, urging all to give liberally next Sunday.”

100 years ago, or so:
April 24, 1920:  BOY SCOUTS FAVORED BY CATHOLIC CHURCH.  “Stamford has three exceptionally fine Boy Scout troops, organized in the two Catholic Churches. Troop 11, in St. John’s Catholic Church with Rev. John Kelly, and James H. Giblin and James O’Meara in charge, has a membership of over fifty boys. Scouting is being brought to thousands of Catholic boys throughout the country, and the aim of the National Catholic War Council, in co-operation with the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, is to increase the number of troops in Catholic churches to at least 1,000 within a year. There are now approximately 300 Catholic troops, the achievement of six years.”

80 years ago, or so:
April 24, 1920:  “Rev. N. P. Coleman, pastor of St. John’s Catholic Church, announced today that a class of 350 will be confirmed next Tuesday. The Sacrament was last administered about four years ago. Children who will be confirmed are rehearsing every afternoon this week.”

10 years ago, or so:
April 26, 2008:  “Charis Chamber Voices present “Love Language: the Song of Songs” featuring settings by classical and modern composers of the Old Testament poem Song of Songs at 8 p.m., May 3rd, at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, 279 Atlantic Street.”