For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday July 08, 2018

Pastor’s Corner: During these warmer months, I thought I’d offer some lighter summer fare for your weekly consideration, rather than the more heady stuff of past articles. Let’s do a type of walking tour of our basilica. We have the largest and oldest church building in the area. But I think few parishioners or visitors really notice the quality of construction or detail of artwork that makes Saint John’s so unique a treasure in  Fairfield County and the Diocese of Bridgeport. Here we go.

Let’s start from the outside and work our way inside during the next weeks. The property was purchased in 1868, and had been excavated in 1869 by Michael Coughlan, whose firm also laid the footings for the new church, all free of charge.  The church is built of granite, quarried from Leetes Island off the New Haven coast, the same quarry that supplied the granite used in the construction of the plinth for the Statue of Liberty. The exterior of our church was the design of James Murphy, one of the leading church architects in New England. When the church was completed in 1886, the press trumpeted the building as the largest stone church and “undoubtedly one of the very finest ecclesiastical edifices in the state” [The Stamford Advocate, June 1, 1886], and “In general style the new edifice is said to resemble the cathedral at Milan” [The New York Times, May 31, 1886]. Obviously, the reporter had never been to Milan! Nevertheless, the sentiment is appreciated, and, truly, the church exterior is imposing and impressive. Set in our magnificent gardens, it provides a true oasis in today’s downtown of high rise buildings.

The church is designed in the form of a Latin Cross: the central aisle and sanctuary run on an east-west axis [the front door faces east, just like Saint Peter’s in Rome], and the transept crosses on a north-south axis. The design allows the altars to be illuminated by the rising sun through the choir loft window. When Mass was offered by a priest facing the altar, the rising sun provided him the light sufficient to read the large Mass book known as the Missal.  Likewise, it shines through the choir window with the image of Christ, the light of the world, literally.

The are three impressive front doorways before which are pink granite stair cases on either side of which are pink granite side risers. Each riser is formed by a single 8-ton block of pink granite, which the press judged “not only beautiful, but durable.” [The Connecticut Catholic, September 27, 1884]

Originally, the bell tower was planned to be the tallest in the state, rising 250 feet and forming a pointed wooden steeple. Never completed because of a lack of funds, the tower was merely capped in 1886, slightly above the height of the lowest large tower window. In 1886, the most imposing element of the façade was the choir window, rising above the central door. To its left [south] are two smaller stone turrets: that nearest the central door is decorative; the larger one, closer to the rectory, houses the original circular brick staircase leading to the choir loft. At the base of this southern-most turret is a granite block carved with a Greek Cross. The lower course of the façade is pierced by three small lancet windows, and, above, between the turrets, a quatrefoil window. This window was  the gift of Fanny Meredith: a parishioner who was a washer woman, who saved her pennies to give the best she had to God in the form of a beautiful window.  Each early morning as the sun rises, this window daily lights up the Blessed Mother altar, just as Fanny intended in the 1880s!

The bell tower was finally completed by Fr. James O’Brien in the 1920’s in English Perpendicular Gothic style. You can see eight carved angels: two on each side of the tower. The smaller angels each hold an open Bible with the Chi Rho, the first two Greek letters for Christ; four larger angels, nearer the top, pray with folded hands.  More next week. 

—Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick:  Monsignor DiGiovanni,  Elizabeth Caserta, Ruth Coyle, Yolanda Bove, Agnes Ostrowski, 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, Timothy Lyons, Gene Gavin, Richard Ridge, June Roberts, Marie Cassis, Patricia Morgan, Vittorio Faugno, Dionysia Oliveira, 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: John Mellace, Lucy Hawthorn, 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:  John Cristal and Danica Ann Wilhowy

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

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.

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



July 13, August 13, September 13, & October 13: 7:00pm: Rosary in honor of Our Lady of Fatima. 

Attention 8-12 graders! Saturday, August 11th: Fan the Fire: Fr. Vill will be leading a group of teenagers from the Basilica Parish to Fan the Fire Youth Rally at St. Rose of Lima in Newtown, CT on Saturday August 11th. This is an all day event. The cost is $45, please register at Be sure to select “The Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist” as your parish when registering. Please see the flyers in the basilica for more details.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Not Available because of Early Bulletin Transmission Deadlines

  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

July 15th Sunday Readings:  AM 7:12-15, EPH 1:3-14 OR 1:3-10, MK 6:7-13

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 confirming your mass attendance by your use of weekly envelopes.

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. 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: Become a Future 5 College Prep Coach: Future 5’s College Prep Program ensures that low-income, motivated high school students receive the preparation needed to transition successfully from high school to college. They offer students a full array of help, including guidance on navigating college and financial aid applications, college visits, scholarship help, and detailed advice on college selection. A coach is matched one-on-one with a student, becoming a partner and mentor for the academic year. Future 5 will provide training in all aspects of the college application process. Time commitment: 2-3 hours per month (includes training and independent meetings with students) For information, please contact Peg Atchue at

EWTN Radio is coming to our diocese! Visit  to learn more and to support this apostolate dedicated to bringing faithful, entertaining Catholic programming to our community.

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.

Electronic Giving – Offertory Donations Made Easy…Consider using your credit card to make your weekly or monthly donation to St. John’s.  Easier for you, and less costly for the parish than the printing and mailing of weekly envelopes, credit card giving automatically sends your weekly offering to the Basilica of St. John’s.  Call the parish secretary (324-1553, ext. 21).

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:

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

Catholic Adventures: Join Catholic young adults in their 20s and 30s for adventurous activities throughout the year. Connect with us on Facebook (Catholic Adventures) or email us at for more information.

Job Seekers: Next meeting: Wednesday, July 25th 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

Regina Caeli Academy 2018/2019– Come join our exciting mission to form the next generation of Catholics!  Regina Caeli Academy ( is a classical, hybrid education in the Catholic tradition.  Pre K3- 12th grade students attend Socratic and hands-on classes taught by trained tutors two days a week and are home schooled the remaining days with lesson plans already outlined for in-home education. Location: 254 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT. For more information, a tour of our facility on July 12 (by appointment only), or information about a fall tour, please contact our admissions representative, Mrs. Katrina Hartsock at or (470)239-0259.

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, July 7, 2018
4:00   +June Hall Lovell req. Jagodzinski Family
Sunday, July 8, 2018
7:30   +Ken Munnick req. Dr. Joe McAleer
10:00   Terese, John, Francis and Mary Kung req. parents
12:00 +William McNamara req. daughters
5:00     Souls in Purgatory
Monday, July 9, 2018
8:00   +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
12:10   Deceased members of the Cole Family req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
8:00   +Pacifica Operario req. Judith Jordan
12:10 +Mary Ann Audette
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
8:00   +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Margaret M. and Samuel J. Potolicchio req. Family
Thursday, July 12, 2018
8:00   +Ann Furnaros req. Family
12:10 +Bernadette Martelli req. Martelli Family
Friday, July 13, 2018
8:00     Msgr. Stephen M. DiGiovanni req. Saint John Holy Name Society
12:10   Deceased members of the Churley and Kronk Families
Saturday, July 14, 2018
8:00   +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10 +Jocelyn, Sydney, Oswald & Kilda Machado 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:

130 years ago, or so:
July 11, 1890: The Meadow Street School. Flag Raising July 4th—Speeches, Recitations, Music, Etc. and Picnic at Woodside Park.  “Of late, flag raising on various schools in Stamford have been very frequent, and the last one was on July 4th, at St. John’s R.C. Parochial School, at which time there were very interesting ceremonies attending the presentation and raising of the beautiful flag presented to the school by the Cecilian Society of Stamford. The exercises began at 9 a.m., and the attendance was very large. The societies connected with the church were present, also the members of Hobbie Post, G.A.R., in a body, and the exercises commenced with the singing of the chorus, “Red, White and Blue,” by pupils of St. John’s parochial school. Rev. Thomas J. Keena then delivered an address on “Patriotism,” which address as well as that of Rev. William H. Rogers, which followed, has been highly commended.”

110 years ago, or so:
July 9, 1906:  WITH IMPRESSIVE SERVICE BISHOP TIERNEY LAID THE CORNER STONE OF NEW PAROCHIAL SCHOOL. “The corner stone of St. John’s school was laid, yesterday afternoon, with all the impressiveness of the Roman Catholic ritual and in the presence of a large and representative assemblage of townspeople. It was a notable gathering that was present, including public officials and men prominent in all walks of life, together with a distinguished array of clergymen, headed by the Right Reverend Michael Tierney, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Hartford, who officiated at the religious ceremony and also set the stone, using the conventional trowel of silver. All the arrangements had been attended to with the utmost care with the result that there was no confusion and the program was carried through without delay, the ritual, singing and address taking up only a little over an hour. St. Augustine Council, Knights of Columbus, was present some 300 strong, and the members assisted in preventing the crowd from becoming congested at any one point.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: St. John’s Parochial School was razed in 1972.)

95 years ago, or so:
July 12, 1922:  NEW CROSS PLACED ON ST. JOHN’S CATHOLIC CHURCH. REPLACES ONE BLOWN OFF ROOF IN STORM LAST SPRING. “A new cross, replacing that blown down several months ago, was placed in position on the top of St. John’s Catholic Church, yesterday, by Edward Gorman, the sexton, and his assistant Harry Young. The former cross, which had been in position for 10 or 15 years, came down with a crash in the Spring, and was broken into hundreds of fragments on the stone steps at the south entrance to the church. The new cross is made of wood, sheathed with copper and gilded. A support, imbedded in the stone of the church, holds the cross firmly. It stands six feet high and has a span of four feet.”