For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday January 6, 2019

Pastor’s Corner:   The Church celebrates the Epiphany this weekend, commemorating three historical events of great importance:  the veneration of the Christ Child by the Three Kings; the Baptism of Our Lord  by John the Baptist; and the miracle of the Wedding Feast at Cana.  Each of these events is important, because each explains precisely who this child is  born in Bethlehem, and what he was to do.

The Three Kings came, having followed the “star” rising in the east.  In reality, they saw a rare eclipse of Jupiter by the moon, the “king” of planets, the movement of which was interpreted in the ancient world as a portent of royal birth. They observed this, and understood that the baby they found in Bethlehem was no mere child, but a king, greater than any earthly monarch. Following the then common understanding of the stars and planets, the Three Kings believed that such a birth had been the result of the movements of heavenly bodies. How many today follow astrology in the same way!?  St. Augustine made this observation to clarify why the Kings followed the stars to the birth of Christ:

“. . . that star which the Magi saw did not have power over Christ, New-Born according to the flesh, but rather obeyed Him as witnesses to His birth. If we must speak of fate, then rather let us say, not that the star was Christ’s destiny, but that Christ was the destiny of the star, since He caused it to exist and rise in the east for the Three Kings.” [Contra Faustinum, II, 5]

Their gifts bore witness to the reality of Jesus’ identity: gold for a king; frankincense for a god; and myrrh, both a medicine and a burial herb in the ancient world, for one who was to cure humanity of sin and death by his own saving death.

St. John Chrysostom described it this way:

“The Son of God, Who is the God of all things, is born a Man in body.  He permits Himself to be placed in a crib, Who holds the heavens in His Hand. He is confined in a Manger whom the world cannon contain; He is heard in the voice of a wailing Infant, at Whose voice in the hour of His passion on the cross the whole earth trembled.  The Magi, beholding a Child, profess that this is the Lord of Glory, the Lord of Majesty,  . . .” [Sermon for  the Epiphany]

The Baptism of Our Lord, which feast we celebrate  this year on Monday, also points out who the man Jesus is: the voice from Heaven tells us “This is my beloved Son, on whom my favor rests; listen to him.” St. Gregory the Great wrote,

“Then,  baptized by John, Jesus comes forth from the water of the Jordan River, bearing the world with him, and the heavens which Adam had closed by sin to himself and his descendants are opened. The heavenly voice is heard, for it was from heaven that Christ had come, and the Spirit bears witness to Christ’s divinity by coming to him as an equal.” [Homily, On the Baptism of Christ]

And, finally, the Wedding Feast at Cana: the first of Jesus’ public miracles as he began his ministry. At the prompting of His Mother, Jesus comes to the aid of a newly married couple. Sparing them the embarrassment of having no wine for their guests, He changes water into hundreds of gallons of the best wine anyone had ever tasted:

“Jesus had ordered that the water be poured out to the chief wine steward at the wedding. Jesus astounded the man and the waiters who had poured water into the jars: Jesus had poured wine from the hidden boundaries of His creation. When he changed the water into wine, Jesus showed us that the Old Testament was also from Him; for it was at His order the water jars were filled.” [St. Augustine, Tract 9, On John’s Gospel]

Who is this Jesus? These three events tell us: Jesus is the Creator of the universe, whose word created everything from nothing, and is obeyed even by the basic elements of nature. The child born in the manger is no mere child: He is the only God, eternally existing, through whom everything was created in the universe; who, for love of mankind created in His image and likeness, humbled Himself to be born in the image and likeness of sinful man, taking on human flesh of the Virgin Mary; He entered His creation to recreate everything by His presence and sacrifice. He especially comes to recreate every human being, wounded by the sin of Adam and subject to death, whom He frees by His life-giving death on the Cross. This is He, born in Bethlehem, revealed at the Jordan at His baptism, manifested in his power at Cana: God who became a man so that you and I and all mankind  could share His divine life, if we cooperate with Him.  Happy New Year!

Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick:  Monsignor DiGiovanni, Lisa D’Acunto, Gary Vujs ,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

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

Sacraments for students in Catholic School: If you have students in Catholic school in Second Grade hoping to receive First Confession and First Communion this Spring, please contact Anne Marie at religioused@stjohnsstamford.com.

Saints’ Relics: During the Christmas season, two gilded relic towers will be displayed on the high altar:
Left Relic Tower: contains the relics of Saint Constantine, a early fourth century bishop and martyr from the area around Naples, Italy;
Right Relic Tower: contains the relics of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parent of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Saint Stephen, the first martyr to die in witness to Christ soon after Jesus’ death and resurrection.

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.

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 to set this up(324-1553, ext. 0).

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday         December 23, 2018     $  13,040.00
Sunday         December 24, 2017     $  11,144.63

 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

January 13th Sunday Readings IS 42: 1-4, 6-7, ACTS 10:34-38, LK 3:15-16, 21-22

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.

Domestic Church Evangelization Retreat: March 28th-31st at the Blue Army Shrine in Ashbury, NJ:A retreat for Sacramentally married couples that provides them with an opportunity to begin their spiritual journey together (or deepen it if it already exists) as well as an introduction to Domestic Church for those interested in beginning formation in a Domestic Church circle.   Register at: https://nolacatholicfla.regfox.com/domestic-church-evangelization-retreat-march-28-31-2019-blue-army-shrine

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.

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: Next Meeting: January 23rd. 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

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

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, January 5, 2019
4:00   +Walter H. Bradley req. Sharon Bradley
Sunday, January 6, 2019: The Epiphany of the Lord
7:30     Ely Binstock req. family
10:00 +Elizabeth Calascione req. Nick and Christi Wood
12:00   The Prayer Intentions of Saint Padre Pio req. by the Saint Pio Foundation
5:00   + Padre Alessio Parente, OFM Cap.
Monday, January 7, 2019: Saint Raymond of Penyafort
8:00  +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
12:10 +Sue Falvetti req. Amparo Herrera
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
8:00  +Patrick Kielty
12:10 +Virginia Nohai req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
8:00    Ferry Galbert
12:10 +Ashley Getman req. Marc Valois and Michael Chesonis
Thursday, January 10, 2019
8:00   Priest of the Parish
12:10 +Frank and Josephine Mancuso req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
Friday, January 11, 2019
8:00   +Sarah and Joseph Brennan
12:10   Souls in Purgatory req. Maria Isabel Gil
Saturday, January 12, 2019
8:00   +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer family
12:10 +John Maloney req. Mary Maloney

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.

JANUARY 6TH

ST. ANDRÉ BESSETTE
Watch: God’s Doorkeeper

SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

Study: YDisciple: Advent, Session 4: The Gift
Study: Discipleship Group: Advent, Session 4: The Gift
Watch: The Story of the Nativity
Watch: Brother Francis: O Holy Night
Ver: Hermano Zeferino: Nació el rey
Watch: Ready Reasons: Were the Magi at Jesus’ Birth
Read: Advent of the Heart
Read: The Blessings of Christmas
Read: Cradle of Redeeming Love
Listen: Prepare the Way of the King
Listen: The Story of Christmas
Listen: The King is Born
Listen: The Mystery of Christmas
Listen: Glory to the Newborn King
Listen: God Made Man

JANUARY  10TH

ST. GREGORY OF NYSSA
Listen: Holiness is Always in Season