For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday October 21, 2018

Pastor’s Corner: The heart of the church is the  sanctuary.  On the morning of the church’s dedication, May 30, 1886,  the walls were simply whitewashed, the only color came from the stained glass. The original altar rail was carved wood, and there was no woodwork on the sanctuary walls, which was added in the 1930s. But the three windows in the sanctuary and the high altar were there, along with the heavy wooden bench or sedillia for the priests, a carved wooden “throne” for the bishop and a small wooden table as a credence table, presently in the rectory.  Today’s altar is original.

The altar and tabernacle formed the centerpiece of the church: everything in the building leads to this. Designed and constructed by the firm of Theis and Trueg, and costing a whopping $4,500 in 1886,
[equal to $112,140.00 in 2017 dollars] the altar and tabernacle were marveled at by the local press and citizenry of Stamford.  Periodic payments began on July 6th, and the first shipment of marble began arriving in Stamford train station by September. As the altar was being built, it was opined that, “when completed, the altar will be second to none in New England” [The Connecticut Catholic, September 12, 1885]. Until the church dedication in May, 1886, nearly every edition of The Advocate and The Connecticut Catholic ran articles on the progress of the church, construction, with particular interest in the altar. The Advocate’s  writers had front row seats, since the paper’s original offices were housed in the  Italian neo-Renaissance building still directly across from the church on Atlantic Street. By November, 1885, the interior of the church was nearly completed, and it was opened for inspection by the general public, who flocked to visit the largest stone church in the state. The Advocate noted that “Competent judges pronounce this ‘the most beautiful altar in the United States’” [November 20, 1885]. Originally the altar statues were not provided, since the parish could not afford them until years later.

The high altar is gothic in design, of carved white Carrara marble with columns and inlaid panels of golden Mexican onyx, rising to fill the church apse, and framed by the massive triumphal sanctuary arch. The unifying decorative motif is of grape vines intertwined with shamrocks on the capitals of the pillars and architraves of the altar. This motif is a  sign of the power of the Eternal Love of Christ which nourishes and supports us in the Eucharist. It was that Divine Love that strengthened and united the beleaguered founding Irish Catholic community of Stamford around its parish church in the 1880s, protecting itself from the decades of often violent intolerance by the local Protestant majority. The central image in the hear of the “table” or mensa of the altar,  is the Lamb of God, as described in the Book of Revelation.  Resting on the Book of the Gospels with seven seals, and bearing the banner of the Resurrection. The Lamb is Christ, triumphant over death, who reveals the truth of God through His Church in Scripture and living Tradition. On either end of the altar are carved arches, decorated with flowers and shamrocks, that originally served as credence niches for the altar servers.

Resting on the altar is the tabernacle, in the form of a castle with decorative turrets. A central marble baldacchino rises above the tabernacle. This canopy is a splendid piece of carved marble work. Open on the front side, its sole support is provided by two lithe golden pilasters at the rear of the canopy; the baldacchino supports an elegant structure designed originally as a throne for the exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament. It now houses the magnificent cast brass altar crucifix with chiseled sterling silver corpus of Our Lord, from the original 1851 church.  The marble reredos rises above the tabernacle. Raised on two steps, the reredos is composed of four niches between three taller towers. The niches were originally empty, but are now occupied by four marble angels, each 5 feet in height, with downcast eyes, leading the worshippers’ gaze to the tabernacle and altar table. The angels carry cruets of wine and water or an incense thurible, as if serving the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered on the altar mensa below them. The niches are gabled in marble, flanked with golden onyx pilasters and crowned by a  forest of turrets, graceful finials caped by fleurs-de-lis, and crocketed roofs. Flanking the two far ends of the reredos are two fifteen foot towers, likewise of white marble with golden onyx pilasters, inlaid panels and columns, crocketed roofs, turret, finials and fleurs-de-lis.  The entire altar is crowned by a central 30 foot tower, within whose niche a four foot marble state of the Archangel Gabriel sounds the trumpet of the Last Judgment. The tower is crowned by a marble cross. The sanctuary lamp dates from 1896, a gift from the Brennan Family to commemorate Fr. William Roger’s 25th ordination anniversary.

Whenever we enter our beautiful church, the Mother Church of all Catholic churches and institutions in southern Fairfield County, we should offer a little prayer for the parishioners, religious sisters, and priests who built this beautiful church for the glory of God and for the strengthening of the faith of subsequent Catholics of Stamford, like our own. We owe them a great debt, and praying for them is a good way to repay them.

Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick:  Monsignor DiGiovanni, Gayle Moore, Tom McKee, Maggie Ward, Bill Baumann, Debbie Valentine, Fr. Richard Hinkley, Bernardo Mieves, Elaine Mellace, Armella Roschella, Geard Roschella, Richard Ridge, George Johnson, Lucy Esposito,  Isaac Georges, Elizabeth Caserta, Ruth Coyle, Yolanda Bove, Agnes Ostrowski, Marva Mitchell, Michael Cole, Wyanna Burke, Janet Caione, Joseph Kung, Michael Scully, Roger Borrelli , Nyal Colies, Dorothy Keyes, 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, 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: Frank Santaro,  John G. Mossa, Sr., Marion Dal Molin, Todd Dowty, Gerald E. Clarke, Rosemarie C. Clarke, Joseph W. Evans, Nicholas Macca, Thomas Mills, Sr.Ellen Mary, Charlee Burns, Martha McRoskey, John R. Glover, Louise Morello, Joevil Basulgan DelaCruz, Glen Nadin, John Mellace, Lucy Hawthorn, Ann Borkowski, Art Reynolds, Lena Cocchia, Dr. 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:
I Banns: Donald Blaine Lanier and Mary Palmina Docimo

II Banns: John Thomas Torrenti and Madeline Elisabeth Merenda
III Banns:  LeRoy Franklin Musselman and Kelly Marie Coughlin 

World Mission Sunday Collection . . . Please drop your special envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.

Are you interested in becoming Catholic? Join us for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). Classes start Monday October 15th and will meet weekly 7:00pm-8:30pm in the Rectory.  Cost is $25.00 for materials.  Open to anyone interested in becoming a Catholicor adult Catholics wanting to receive 1st Communion or Confirmation. To register, call the office at 203-324-1553 x 0 or stop in the parish office between 9am-4:30pm Monday through Friday.

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.

Monsignor DiGiovanni’s new book, Armed with Faith: The Life of Father Vincent R. Capodanno, MM, is the remarkable story of one of this country’s greatest Catholic chaplains, who died heroically in Vietnam in 1967 and is now on the road to sainthood. The book is on sale in the Basilica Bookstore and on, in print and Kindle editions:

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.

Cardinal Kung Academy – Open House: will be held Saturday, November 3 from 11 am to 1 pm, at 278 Strawberry Hill Ave. in Stamford (in the school building of St. Bridget of Ireland Church).  The Academy, a division of Trinity Catholic High School, opened in September 2018 and is the only Catholic classical high school in the diocese.  Come meet the teachers, hear about the curriculum and classical education, and tour the facility.  Now accepting applications for 9th, 10th, and 11th grades. For more information, contact (203) 918-0992 or

Faith on Tap – This month’s Faith on Tap will be held on Sunday, October 21st after the 5PM mass in the rectory.  Sr. Anna Marie will give a talk titled Beginning Discernment. Refreshments will be served.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday         October 14, 2018        $ 11,173.07
Sunday         October 15, 2017        $ 13,221.18

 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

October 28th Sunday Readings: JER 31:7-9, HEB 5:1-6, MK 10:46-52

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.

Pro-Life Event. . . The Gospel of Life Society invites you and your family to participate in Stamford’s Life Chain, on Sunday, October 28th  from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm in front of Saint John’s. Last year, over 1,200 Life Chains were linked across America and Canada, including scores of St. John’s parishioners. This is a non-confrontational witness for life: we simply stand along Atlantic Street in front of the church with signs encouraging greater respect for human life, and we pray. For more info, please call Frank Carpanzano: 203-554-8211.

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 maternity and baby clothes, all sizes and seasons. Call 203-348-4355 or if you can help.

Project Rachel Ministry: Offers free and confidential help to those seeking healing after abortion. Men’s Day of Prayer and Healing will be held on November 10th. Come back to God’s love and mercy. Call 203-895-3554 or for more information.

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.

Admissions Events at Regina Caeli: * Open Admissions at Regina Caeli Academy! Looking for an amazing resource center devoted to a classical education and the Catholic faith? Regina Caeli meets at Wilton Baptist Church, 254 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT (Located inside Wilton Baptist Church), serving Prek-3 – 12th grade and is still open for admissions. Students attend Socratic and hands-on classrooms two days per week and are homeschooled the remaining days. *Fall Open House: Monday, October 22nd, 1-2:30 pm! Please join us for a tour of our facilities, a short presentation, and time for questions and answers! Refreshments served; children are welcome! To RSVP or schedule a tour, please contact Lisa Frawley, Coordinator of Education, or call (203) 701-9154.

Regina Pacis Academy– *Open Admissions! It’s not too late to discover how different this school year could be for your son or daughter. Regina Pacis Academy is a K-8 independent Catholic, classical education school in Norwalk, CT. Small class sizes, authentically Catholic, classical education, and affordable. To schedule a tour or to learn more, please email Kim Quatela at
*Fall Gala– Come and support a Catholic classical school who is seeing to reimagine Catholic education. This year, the Fall Gala– An Enchanted Autuum Evening-will take place on Saturday, November 10, 2018, at the Italian Center in Stamford, CT. To learn more information about this event, purchase tickets or become a business sponsor, please visit

Virtual Tour of the Basilica: Click on the parish website for a virtual tour of the interior, created and donated by Jonathan Powell.

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

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.

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.

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 0.

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

Job Seekers: Next meeting: Wednesday, October 24.  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

Walking with Purpose Registration is now open: WWP 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 more than intellectual development. We begin with the basics, knowing that we can never master the core truths; there is always greater depth to explore. We will meet Tuesday mornings in the Rectory from 9:30am-11:30am beginning on September 25th. Childcare is available. For more information, contact Rosa Federici at: 

Soulcore: Join SoulCore Leader Luisa Mendoza, to nourish body, mind & soul with SoulCore – a prayer experience that combines the prayers of the rosary with core strengthening, stretching and functional movement. No fitness level or experience required. All are welcome! Any question, email or visit for more information. WHEN: Thursday mornings 9:30 am, and on Saturdays Nov.10th and Dec. 8th at 9:30 a.m. WHERE: 179 Hamilton Avenue, Greenwich. Suggested donation of $10. Bring a fitness mat if you have one.

Speaker at St. Aloysius: On Thursday October 25th from 7-9PM, Bill Donaghy will be speaking at St. Aloysius Catholic Church. The Talk is titled Faith Matters: Sexuality-Discovering the meaning of life and God’s plan for love. High School teens, parents, and adults of all ages are invited to come and learn God’s plan for sexuality.

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:

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, October 20, 2018
4:00     Tony Galasso req. Jagodzinski Family
Sunday, October 21, 2018
7:30   +Rev. R. Seraphim Rohlman req. Dr. Joe McAleer
10:00 +Bernard P. Nasser req. Marc Nasser
12:00 +Anne Hieronymus req. Marion Morris and Family
5:00   +George B. Cooper
Monday, October 22, 2018: Saint John Paul II
8:00   +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
12:10 +William J. Carbone req. Florence Carbone
Tuesday, October 23, 2018: Saint John of Capistrano
8:00   +Juana Mazariegos req. Blanca Reyes
12:10    Deceased members of the Churley and Kronk Families
Wednesday, October 24, 2018: Saint Anthony Mary Claret
8:00   +Antionette Smeriglio req. Frank and Beth Carpanzano
12:10 +Mary McNamara req. MaryJean Dalmolin
Thursday, October 25, 2018
8:00  +Scholastica Lloyd req. Carmen Lara
12:10 +Anthony and Cecilia Conte req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
Friday, October 26, 2018
8:00    Msgr. Stephen M. DiGiovanni req. Saint John Holy Name Society
12:10 +Catherine Cingari req. Walking with Purpose
Saturday, October 27, 2018: Blessed Virgin Mary
8:00  +Jadwiga Fedyn req. Christina Gorbal
12:10 +Francis Cresio req. the Kolenberg 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 0). 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. 0, for more information.

St. John’s in THE NEWS:

130 years ago, or so:
October 22, 1887:
  “General Officers of the Order—Knights of Columbus Councils, Towns and Grand Knights: St. Augustine Council 41, Stamford, J.M. Fitzgerald.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: St. Augustine Council was organized at Miller’s Hall on May 8, 1887. John J. Fitzgerald was elected its first Grand Knight.)

85 years ago, or so:
October 26, 1931:  CATHOLIC PRAY FOR PEACE AND HUMAN WELFARE.  “The Rev. Charles A. Corcoran, preaching in St. John’s Catholic Church on Sunday, delivered a message in keeping with the observance of the Feast of “Christ the King.” Father Corcoran told the parishioners how the church has always given prominence to the kingship of Christ. He mentioned Old Testament references that the Messiah to come was to be kingly, and said that the ancient Jews, although they forgot that Christ’s throne was to be a cross and the principles he was to teach were universal peace and love, never for an instant erred in ascribing to Him the title of King.”

55 years ago, or so:
October 28, 1964:  New Rochelle Alumnae To Have Communion Breakfast On Sunday. “The College of New Rochelle Alumnae Association will have a Communion breakfast, Sunday, at the Roger Smith Hotel. It will follow 9 o’clock Mass at St. John’s Catholic Church. The Speaker will be Mother M. Celeste O.S.U., of the college, who will speak on “Post Conciliar Council.”

20 years ago, or so:
October 28, 2000:  God, Glory and Glass—St. John’s Honors its History and Prepares for the Future. “They depict biblical scenes of mysteries and miracles, but the stained glass windows at St. John’s Catholic Church of Stamford represent more than the parishioners’ faith. The collection of windows-one of the largest displays of American stained glass in the country-also marks the founding of the Atlantic Street church, built by Irish Immigrants in the 1870s and 1880s. Monsignor Stephen DiGiovanni, the church’s pastor, said those distinctions helped inspire the sense of duty behind the $1.5 million project that began in April. About half of the money will go toward refurbishing the church’s extensive stained glass collection. Many of the windows, dating to 1885, are etched with the names of the church’s founding members, who defied anti-Catholic persecution to establish St. John’s. By restoring the windows, we’re honoring the sacrifices these Catholic made to provide a beautiful church.”