For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday December 16, 2018

Pastor’s Corner:

Everyone knows that we celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th.  But, who is He? For a variety of Christian and non-Christian groups and organizations, the answer to that question varies: was he a philosopher, or a prophet, or just another religious man, like Buddha, Mohammed, or the Dalai Lama? Those answers are not even close to the reality of Jesus: Jesus is much more, and His real identity is shown to us by the Church: He is both God—existing forever who became man—named Jesus so we could share God’s life.

Beginning December 17th, the Church gathers together some of the Old Testament prophecies about the Jesus the Savior, telling us who He is whose birth of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem we recall on December 25th.  These are biblical prophecies placed in verse form in the 7th century, each beginning with the exclamation, O! Called the O’ Antiphons, they are addressed to Jesus, and continue through December 23rd. They tell us who Jesus is: He is not merely another prophet; He is God the Creator who became man for us that we might come to share God’s eternal life. Here are the O Antiphons that identify who Jesus is:

Dec. 17th: “O, Wisdom of the Most High, ordering all things with strength and gentleness, come and teach us the way of  truth.”
Dec. 18th: “O, Ruler of the House of Israel, who gave the law to Moses on Sinai, come and save us with outstretched arm” [on the Cross].
Dec. 19th: “O, Root of Jesse [King David’s father], sent as a sign to the peoples, come to save us and delay no more.”
Dec. 20th: “O, Key of David, who opens the gates of the eternal kingdom, come to liberate from prison the captives [Adam and all his children, the human race] who live in darkness.”
Dec. 21st: “O, Morning Star, radiance of eternal light, sun of justice, come and enlighten those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death.”
Dec. 22nd: “O, King of the peoples and corner-stone of the Church, come and save mankind whom You made from the dust of the earth.”
Dec. 23rd: “O, Emmanuel, our king and lawgiver, come and save us, Lord our God.”

 Saint Augustine described the effect of the birth of God in human flesh: “The faithful God made himself our debtor, not by receiving something from us, but by his own promises. He even bound himself in writing in Scripture, as though handing us a written pledge; thus, when he would begin to carry out his promises, we could determine from the Scriptures the very order of fulfillment:

“God’s ultimate promise was of eternal salvation, unending blessedness with the angels, an everlasting and glorious inheritance, the sweetness of his face, his holy house in heaven, resurrection from the dead, and release from fear of death. . . Thus, he promised divinity to men, immortality to mortals, justification to sinners, and glory to the humble.

“Since all this might seem incredible to us, God not only put his promises in writing in Scripture, but also gave us a Mediator, his only Son, to show how he would lead us to the promised goal. More than this, he made his Son not only show the way but himself be the very Way” [Commentary on the Psalms; Psalm 109: 1-3].

On December 25th we celebrate that day when Our Lord, the Eternal Son of the Father, Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, the Creator of the entire universe, was born in human flesh, given in the womb of the Virgin Mother; He came as God in our flesh to rescue us from the power of sin and death.  The great Easter Hymn, the Exsultet describes God’s saving work for us in Jesus: “To ransom a slave, you gave away your Son.”  Humanity is that slave, as Saint Paul writes; we are slaves to sin and death. Our response should be one of immense awe and gratitude before this divine generosity, personal concern and charity for us.  The ancient Roman Martyrology described how God began this great work, by “leaping down from His eternal throne in the fullness of time”.  God became man in order to raise  us up to share His divine life forever, in the flesh. Not a bad Christmas gift, if you ask me!  Prepare for Christmas by repenting of sin and going to confession: make that your Christmas gift to God.

Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick:  Monsignor DiGiovanni, Thomas Timon, Margaret Jean Velanzon, Christopher Heap, Ruth Schlieper, John Walsh, Kendall Gleason, 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, 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:  Roger Borrelli , Barbara Schuerger, Mary Bauer, 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:   III Banns: Robert Anthony Vulaj and Audrey Maureen Smart

Monthly Collection . . . The second collection today will be the monthly collection for the parish.  Your generosity is appreciated.

Save the Date-  March for Life 2019 is Friday, January 18, 2019 in Washington D.C.– The Diocese of Bridgeport Respect Life office will be leading a pilgrimage to the March for Life with a bus stop here at the Basilica.  The bus will pick up participants at 6AM and arrive at the March by 11:30AM.  The cost is $75 dollars per person and please register at www.bridgeportdiocese.org/faith-formation by January 11th.  The bus will depart back for Connecticut at 4:00PM.

Faith on Tap: The December Faith on Tap will be on Tuesday,  December 18th at Murphy’s Townhouse Cafe from 7-9PM. Luca Badetti will be speaking about the L’arche Community. We hope to see you here!

Reception at BV’s: Following the 4PM Mass on January 5th, Bobby Valentine will be hosting a reception for the We Stand with Christ campaign at BV’s. All are welcome to attend!

Christmas Mass Schedule:

Christmas Eve:  December 24th:  4 pm: Christmas Vigil Mass
Christmas Day: December 25th: 12 midnight, 7:30 am, 10:00 am & 12Noon

THERE WILL BE NO 5PM MASS ON CHRISTMAS DAY.

Christmas Confession Schedule:

Christmas Eve: December 24th: 3-4 pm.
Christmas Day: December 25th: 7-7:25 am, 9:30-9:55 am, 11:30-11:55am

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday         December 9, 2018       $  12,011.63
Sunday         December 10, 2017     $  11,578.67

 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

December 23rd Sunday ReadingsMI 5:1-4A, HEB 10:5-10, LK 1:39-45

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 www.birthright.org 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  projectrachel@diobpt.org 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  www.stjohnsstamford.com for a virtual tour of the interior, created and donated by Jonathan Powell.

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.

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  patchue@futurefive.org.

JOIN THE CONVERSATIONThe Eaglet, the parish blog on our Basilica website, www.stjohnsstamford.com/eaglet.

Congratulations: to Biyeni Eusebio and Ashley Flynn , members of our parish, who were named to the Honor Roll at Lauralton Hall this quarter.

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

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 catholicyastamford@gmail.com

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 CatholicAdventuresStamford@gmail.com for more information.

Job Seekers: No Meeting in December. 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.

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 : wwptbsj@gmail.com

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.

Crossroads 4 Christ (C4C) is a community of Catholic young adults seeking to develop a relationship with Christ and one another through Eucharistic adoration, Christ-centered friendship, and the mission of evangelization. Every Thursday they meet from 7:30 – 8:30pm for formation and fellowship in Harbor Point (contact c4cstamford@gmail.com for address) followed by Eucharistic Adoration from 8:30-9:30pm at Saint John Fischer in Stamford. All young adults ages 18-39 are welcome!

The Crusaders for Life, a pro-life high school group at Cardinal Kung Academy, is raising funds to travel to this year’s March for Life in Washington, D.C. Help us witness to the whole world that we are the pro-life generation! No donation is too small- thank you for your generosity. To donate, please go to: https://bit.ly/2AOIloC

New Years Eve Holy Hour at St. John’s– Ring in 2019 with a Holy Hour at 11PM on December 31st followed by Midnight Mass celebrated by Fr. Vill. Midnight Mass will be a Mass for the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. This will fill your obligation for the Holy Day on January 1st, 2019.

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, December 15, 2018
4:00    +Concetta Tina Cerniglia req. Carpanzano Family
Sunday, December 16, 2018
7:30    +Mary Nadin req. Glenn and Lynda Nadin
10:00  +Antonietta Cerone req. Giannitti Family
12:00  +Douglas Skilton req. Dr. J McAleer
5:00    +Fr. Rufin Kuveikis, OFM, Cap.
Monday, December 17, 2018
8:00      Souls in Purgatory
12:10  +Mr. & Mrs. Alfredo Angeles req. the Angeles Family
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
8:00    +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
12:10  +Marilynn VanAuken req. the VanAuken Family
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
8:00    +Carmelita Sanchez req. Pearl Moss
12:10  + Nicholas DeVito req. The Carpanzano Family
Thursday, December 20, 2018
8:00    +Wladek and Willemina Falek req. daughter
12:10    Souls in Purgatory
Friday, December 21, 2018: Saint Peter Canisius
8:00    +Roger Borrelli req. Fr. Vill
12:10    Msgr. Stephen M. DiGiovanni req. Saint John Holy Name Society
Saturday, December 22, 2018
8:00    +Juana Mazariegos req. Blanca Reyes
12:10  +Romeo Loyola req. Juvy Loyola

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.

FORMED RECOMMENDATIONS
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Formed is an online platform that 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. Below are the recommended picks for the upcoming week.

DECEMBER 16TH:
 3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Study: Advent, Session 3: Watch & Pray
Study: YDisciple: Advent, Session 3: Watch & Pray
Watch: Christmas in Rome

DECEMBER 18TH : ST. FLANNAN
Read: Twenty Tales of Irish Saints

DECEMBER 21ST: ST. PETER CANISIUS
Read: The Young People’s Book of Saints