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

Pastor’s Corner:   The Mayflower set sail for the British Colony of Virginia in 1620.  A late departure, and a more difficult than anticipated voyage, brought her  instead to Cape Cod, not to Virginia, on November 10, 1620. With no royal charter to land in the north, grumblings of mutiny began among the agents of the original investors. To forestall any possible disintegration of the group, William Bradford, their leader, decided to draft a new agreement, albeit hurriedly, “that might be as firm as any patent, and in some respects more sure”, as he put it.

The Mayflower Compact of November 11, 1620, began by stating the reason for having sailed to the New World, and why they deemed it necessary to make political changes once they landed:

In the name of God, Amen. Having undertaken, for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our king & country, a voyage to plant the first colony, we by these presents solemnly & mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant & combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, & preservation & furtherance of the ends afore told.

The words were echoed 250 plus years later in our Declaration of Independence:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, . . . We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Happiness is a goal and a natural right for us: the Catholic Church has always held that. In Holy Scripture, the word “beatitude” means happiness. So, Our Lord’s teaching called The Beatitudes, delivered during His Sermon on the Mount, is actually a recipe how to be happy—both here on earth and in heaven.  But how do we find happiness?  By searching for it and doing something, not just by existing.

If you decide you are the most important person in your life, you’re in trouble. Being interested in getting as much of everything for yourself as possible is what leads to personal and financial problems, to begin with. The Catholic Church’s teaching is that of Our Lord: Charity—interest in the welfare of others first, is at the very heart of following Christ, AND the basis for real happiness, and for our nation, from the beginning.  Charity is not just giving money to beggars, it is more: doing good  to others without any expectation or demand of repayment. You die to your ego a little, just as Christ died on the Cross, not for some idea or lofty notion. You sacrifice yourself for some person—who is the Image of God, and hope your good deed may lead that person and yourself to God.

Besides those on the Mayflower, there were earlier visitors to this continent: Irish monks, under the rule of Saint Columban, who arrived in the 7th century, bringing the Gospel to the New World. They came to bring something to the inhabitants of the New orld—Christ. In his Instructions, St. Columban wrote this:

God makes man from the earth but ennobles him with the impress of his own image. Let us give back, then, to God our Father his image in us, an image kept spotlessly holy, for he is holy; an image spotless in charity and love, for he is Love; an image spotless in devotion  and truth, for he is devoted and true; Let us not paint an alien image in ourselves; the painter who is undisciplined, angry and proud paints the self-portrait of a tyrant, for that is what he is.  Therefore, lest we end with the self-portrait of a despot, let us allow Christ to paint his image in us, in charity for others.

That’s the story of the first Thanksgiving: a feast thanking God and the Native Americans whose shared survival skills and food saved the Pilgrims during their first harsh New England winter. Even if the details of the first Thanksgiving have been prettied up for today’s modern audience, its heart is true: charity for others, and the defense of the dignity of others in private and public, which is, likewise, at the heart of our nation.  As we labor to rebuild our country, let’s remember that.

Happy Thanksgiving!          —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick:  Monsignor DiGiovanni, Frank Seely, Julia Olyveira, Caitlin McNamee, Karin Moberg, 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

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

Our Lady’s Altar Votive Light: +Ed and Ann Cody, Bill and Felicitas Cody, members of the Burns and Cody families req. Erin Cody

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.

Diocesan Revised Liturgical Norms- For the next several weeks, we will be distributing catechetical materials related to the celebration of Mass in the Diocese of Bridgeport. These articles will precede the promulgation by Bishop Caggiano of the Revised Liturgical Norms on the first Sunday of Advent. To learn more about the norms, please visit  In the meantime, please be sure to take home a copy of this week’s article in the back of the Church.

THANKSGIVING DAY MASS: There will be ONE Mass offered on Thanksgiving, November 22 at 10 am. The usual 8 am and 12:10 pm Masses are cancelled on Thanksgiving.


Faith on Tap–  On Tuesday, November 27th,  Faith on Tap will be back at Murphy’s Townhouse Café from 7-9PM. Fr. Joseph Gill will be speaking on Spiritual Warfare. Anyone ages 21-39 are welcome.

Handel’s Messiah:Part I & Hallelujah Chorus
Saturday, December 8th, 2018 at 8PM in our Basilica.

Directed by New York’s Famed Ted Sperling and the Stamford Symphony with the Master Voices in this Special Holiday Performance:  For tickets: call today 203-325-4466 or go to ONLY FOR SAINT JOHN’S PARISHIONERS – 50% OFF tickets to Handel’s Messiah!  Use offer code: STJOHN18 when you select your seats. Offer valid until midnight,11/30/18.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday         November 11, 2018        $ 12,340.32
Sunday         November 12, 2017        $ 11,489.95

 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

November 25th Sunday Readings:  DN 7:13-14, RV 1:5-8,  JN 18:33B-37

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.

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..

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. 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.

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

The Christmas Giving Tree: To benefit pregnant women and their families served by the Sisters of Life Visitation Mission. At Christmas the Sisters celebrate the gift of the Christ Child and every birth of a child is a renewal of this greatest gift. Thank you for helping us to celebrate! For the next four weeks, a basket will be in the back of the church. The name of a gift item is written on each tag in the Christmas basket that would benefit the woman in need. Please take a tag (or tags) and purchase the item on the tag. We will collect the unwrapped gifts in the back of the church after each Mass on the weekend of December 8th starting with the 4PM Mass on Saturday through Sunday’s 5pm Mass. PLEASE DO NOT DROP OFF THE GIFTS AT THE RECTORY OR LEAVE THEM IN CHURCH.For more information. Please call Frank @ 203-975-8833 ext 3004.

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

Are you interested in becoming Catholic? Join us for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). Classes started 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.

Catholic Charities– As you consider your charitable support this holiday season, Catholic Charities of Fairfield Country ask you to consider supporting them. For giving options, please visit “Support CCFC” at

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.

Job Seekers: Next meeting: Wednesday, November 28th. 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 Saturday Dec. 8th at 9:30 a.m. WHERE: 179 Hamilton Avenue, Greenwich. Suggested donation of $10. Bring a fitness mat if you have one.

Immaculate Conception NovenaSt. Mary Church in Greenwich will celebrate a Novena in preparation for the Immaculate Conception from November 29th to December 7th. Each evening a guest homilist will offer a special reflection on the role of the Virgin Mary in our lives. This year the younger clergy will speak on the Marian devotion of some particular saint. We will close our Novena with a Solemn Mass on December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The Choir will sing Mozart’s “The Sparrow Mass” with Orchestra. A light reception will follow. Visit for more details.

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

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, November 17, 2018
4:00   +Francis Harrison req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Sunday, November 18, 2018
7:30     Souls in Purgatory req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski
10:00 +Bill Cody 8th Anniversary req. Cody Family
12:00   NO 12:00PM MASS (Stamford Thanksgiving Parade)
5:00   +Ralph Branca
Monday, November 19, 2018
8:00   +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
12:10   Souls in Purgatory
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
8:00   +Guido and Benita Rebula Wedding Anniversary req. children and grandchildren
12:10   Ann Blackson God’s Blessings req. Diane Strain
Wednesday, November 21, 2018: The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
8:00   +John Maloney req. Mary Maloney
12:10   Deceased members of the Churley and Kronk Families
Thursday, November 22, 2018 Thanksgiving Day: Saint Cecilia (10AM Mass Only)
8:00    NO 8:00AM MASS
10:00  People of the Parish
12:10  NO 12:10PM MASS
Friday, November 23, 2018: Saint Clement I, Saint Columban, Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro
8:00   +Angela Vill
12:10  Deceased members of the Isidro Family
Saturday, November 24, 2018: Saint Andrew Dung-Lac
8:00   +John Stagon the Bottaro Family
12:10   Souls in Purgatory req. Hope and Jim Jagodzinski

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

140 years ago, or so:
November 26, 1877:   “The Stamford Drum Corps connected with St. John’s Roman Catholic Church is to give a ball on Thanksgiving eve in Hubbard’s Hall.”

140 years ago, or so:
November 30, 1878:  STAMFORD.  “There will be Mass at 8 o’clock Thanksgiving Day, Vespers at half-past seven in the evening. There will be a free lecture given by Father Beards of Brooklyn, and a collection taken up, proceeds to go to the Convent. The lecture will be given after Vespers. This week, on Thanksgiving eve, the Ancient Order of Hibernians hold their second annual ball in Military Hall, Hubbard’s Block. From the sample preparations the society has made to the occasion, there is little doubt that it will be one of the best balls of the season.”

130 years ago, or so:
November 28, 1888:  “Regular Thanksgiving services will be held in the Roman Catholic church.”

115 years ago, or so:
November 18, 1902:  Football Notes. “The Altar Boys of St. John’s Roman Catholic Church will open the rugby season next Wednesday with the Tarrytowns on King’s field. This game should be interesting, for the teams are evenly matched. Friday of next week, they will play the Glenbrooks on King’s field. The Altar Boys would like to play third King’s and any other team under thirteen years of age.”

80 years ago, or so:
November 19, 1938:  “A turkey party will be held by St. John’s Holy Name Society in the parochial school hall at 8, Monday evening. Arrangements for the program were completed last night. Refreshments will be served. The committee includes William H. Brennan, Samuel Vento, William L. Shea, Joseph Poultney, Charles Gilbert, Fergus E. McOaker, John Lemon and Thomas Hogan.”

25 years ago, or so: 
November 17, 1993:  Thanksgiving Service “The second annual Ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving, will be a t 1:30 p.m. today at the First Congregational Church on Bedford and Prospect Streets. Four members of the Stamford clergy will participate including the Rev. E. Holcombe of First Congregational Church, the Rev. William A. Nagle of St. John’s R.C. Church, the Rev. G. Baxter of Union Baptist Church and Cantor Sidney G. Rabinowitz of Temple Beth El.”