Pastor’s Corner: In another week, the Church will celebrate All Saints’ Day on November 1st. The Solemnity of All Saints calls to mind an aspect of the reality of the Church which many people are unaware: The Catholic Church is NOT a humanly created institution. This is clear in the Book of the Apocalypse: “The angel said to me, ’Come and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married.’ He. . . Showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. . . The City stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” [Apoc 1:10-14]. Saint Paul continues the image: “You are part of a building that has the apostles and prophets for its foundations, and Christ Jesus himself for its main cornerstone.” [Eph 2:20] The Catholic Church was personally established by Our Lord, and has been called “Catholic” since the end of the first century. While its membership is made up of women, men and children around the globe, it is a living creation of God, with Jesus literally as its head, and we, literally as its members; just like your arms and legs are members of your own body, managed by your head. Through the Catholic Church, we are closely united with God.
Most people do not realize that there is an intimate relationship between Our Lord and all who are baptized, were baptized, and will be baptized: a relationship that begins on the date of your baptism, and continues forever, crossing all boarders of space and time. That relationship springs from our sharing in the very life of Jesus through Baptism and the Sacraments, especially that of His Body and Blood, the Eucharist, or Holy Communion, which we are privileged to receive during Mass. There is more: whenever we attend Mass, there are others present beside those standing and sitting in the church. All the saints and angels, and God Himself, is present with us—not as ideas or memories, but actually: in real time. All Saints Day on November 1st calls to mind that deeper reality of our unity in Christ and all the baptized, living and dead, through His Catholic Church. Jesus works through His Catholic Church to destroy the power of evil: and the saints take that role up in their lives on earth and in heaven.
That is why there are statues and pictures of saints in Catholic Churches. That is why the high altar is covered with relics of the saints: the statues, paintings and relics of saints remind us of the heroes of the Faith: real people just like us who loved Jesus so very much, and heroically, that their lives were forever changed, and they changed the world. As you look around our Basilica, can you name any of the statues or paintings of the saints? You should be able to. Let’s take a little tour of the images of those men and women who pray for each of us daily before the Throne of God.
Let’s start inside the basilica front interior doors. Standing in the center aisle, take a right: walk up the northern [right] side aisle: walk a few feet down the aisle to the baptismal font on your right, and stop. Face the font, and there, next to the font is a white marble statue: who are the two men? The one kneeling is Jesus, the one standing is Saint John the Baptist: the last and greatest prophet, who baptized Jesus, and then was put to death because he served God more faithfully than the local government. Turn to your right and face the back wall: there is a stature of Saint Rita of Cascia: a wife and mother who suffered greatly at the hands of her abusive husband and children; after their death she became a nun, dedicating her life to Christ for the salvation of the world, praying for her family’s enemies. Above her is a large oil painting of Our Lady: Jesus’ mother, who holds her divine son. The Blessed Virgin Mary was the first and most dedicated of Jesus’ disciples. Turn around, and walk down the aisle: at the front of the church is the side altar of Saint Joseph, the foster father of Jesus and husband of Mary. Next to the altar is a white marble statue of Saint Therese of Lisieux, a young girl who became a cloistered Carmelite nun, suffered from tuberculosis and offered her sufferings for the salvation of the world. Turn a little to the right, and there is a large seated bronze statue of Saint Peter: the chief Apostle, who died a martyr in Rome in 64 AD. The popes in Rome share his office given him by Our Lord as the visible head of the Church. Turn to the right and look up, and you’ll see four painted “statues”: on the far left is Blessed Pope Pius IX, next is Saint Patrick, then, on the other side of the large window, Saint Augustine and his mother Saint Monica. Turn round again, and walk to the exact center of the church, and face the high altar: on the right is Saint John the Evangelist; to the left is a statue of Our Lord with His Sacred Heart. Walk across to the other side, to the side altar of Our Lady, with Her Son standing below her. Next to the altar is a white marble statue of Saint Anthony of Padua holding the Infant Jesus. Now look up at the side wall: the far left of the large window is a painting of Saint Michael the Archangel; next, Saint Philip Neri; on the right of the window is Saints Joachim and Ann, the parents of Mary. These were real life people who loved God on earth, and still do now in heaven. They pray for you, daily.
Here’s your homework: Google each saint to learn more about their lives of faith: they, literally, changed their world around them because of their love for God. The saints are still part of the Catholic Church, who pray for you and me daily at the throne of God. Speak to the saints, just as you would your friends, for they are your friends in heaven. Ask their help and guidance; read their biographies on-line for inspiration and get an idea what to do with your life: how can you love Jesus?—how can you change the world? Through Christ, you can do great things.
Please pray for the sick: Joanne Santarsiero, Louise Wakin, Pat Farenga, Kenyon Jimmy Valcour, Maria Izurieta, Jennifer Marciano, John Mellace, Ann Borkowski, Timothy Lyons, Gene Gavin, Richard Ridge, June Roberts, Marie Cassis, Patricia Morgan, Vittorio Faugno, Robert Strada, Dionysia Oliveira, Salvatore Piria, Mary Ellen Callahan, Louise Wiles, Frank Wruk, Isaac Lopez, Ron Frasca, Lisa Giugno, Michele Giugno, Helga Pecaric, Maria Trivino, Maria Gabriela Mossa, Diane DiNapoli, Gayle Moore, Paula Bennett, Mildred Beirne, Karen Hsu, Silvana Smith, Harriet Lockhart, Joseph Kung, Jacqueline Domingue, William Byrnes, Jonathan Victor, Lyn Geikie-Rice, Elaine Shoztic.
Please pray for those who have recently died: Debbie Schemmel, Ralph Dante Puzzuoli, Sr., James Tarzia, Sr., Antonietta Cerone, Mary A. Gaine, Grace Steele, Benita Rebula, Sylvia Iannazzi, Anne Hieronymus, Julia Fabrizio, Msgr. Joseph Kohut, Steven Bates, Catherine Dolan, Cesidro Piselli, John & Joan Kronk.
World Mission Sunday Collection . . . Please drop your special envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.
Banns of Marriage:
II Banns: Elvin Efrain Caban and Odalys Aquino
III Banns: Justin Ross Abate and Sandra Cordoano
III Banns: Kevin Michael Baker and Nancy Alison Clayton
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
October 20-28: Novena in honor of St. Jude daily after each 12:10 Mass.
Pro-Life Event. . . The Gospel of Life Society invites you and your family to participate in Stamford’s Life Chain, on Sunday, October 29th 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: 203-975-0074.
The Upper Room: For adults between 30 and 95 years of age resumes on November 8th at 7:30pmin The Upper Room at Columbus Park Trattoria on Main Street in Stamford. Our speaker: Fr. George Rutler, Pastor of Saint Michael’s Church in NYC will be our speaker. His topic: The Church as the Communion of Saints. All are welcome.
Are you or someone you know interested in becoming Catholic? Join us for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). Classes started Monday September 18th and will meet weekly 7pm-8:30pm in the Rectory. Cost is $25.00 for materials. Open to anyone interested in becoming a Catholic, or adult Catholics wanting to receive 1st Communion or Confirmation. To register, call the office at 203-324-1553 x21 or stop in the parish office between 9am-4:30pm Monday through Friday.
Children’s Choir: Ages 8-18 who are interested. Please speak with our choir master, David Indyk or leave your contact information in the parish office, 203-324-1553, ext 21.
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.
DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY: Interested in reading Dante? We could begin during Lent with the Inferno, which is not a torture tour many view the work to be. Rather, it is a meditation on God’s plan for human happiness by loving Him, and humankind’s search for happiness that too often leads away from God to sin, which is real life folly that ends invariably to unhappiness, pain and suffering in this life and in the next. We could begin reading the Divine Comedy in Lent, then continue if people would like. NO Charge: you’d simply have to purchase the books. Interested? Call Msgr. DiGiovanni, 203-324-1553, ext 11.
Weekly Sunday collection:
Sunday October 15, 2017 $ 13,221.18
Sunday October 16, 2016 $ 11,757.54
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 29th Sunday Readings: Ex 22:20-26; 1 Thes 1:5c-10; Mt 22:34-40
Police: As 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 members of 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. Call 203-348-4355 or www.birthright.org.
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 even helped convince expectant mothers to spare their children. To join us, or for specialized training as a Sidewalk Counselor, call Noelle at 857-345-0808.
Let us pray: for the mothers and children of Good Counsel Malta House, who have been wounded from the affects of abortion or any physical, mental or sexual abuse, that they may they seek hope, forgiveness and God’s Divine healing.
Job Seekers: Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., is a leader in helping find jobs. Jobseeker’s Group in the Monsignor Nagle Hall the 4th Wednesday of every month from 7:30 to 9PM. Topics include Job Interviewing, Resumes, Networking and Job Search Strategies. Next meeting: Wednesday, October 25th. THERE IS NO CHARGE, this is free job coaching. Call Melanie Szlucha at 203-866-1606, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SilverSource: Formerly Senior Services of Stamford, 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: silversource.org.
The Catholic Academy of Stamford: will be hosting a Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Open House on Sunday, October 22, 2017, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. It will be held at the lower school campus, 1186 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, CT. You will have an opportunity to meet the Head of School, Ms. Patricia Brady, the Principal of the lower school, Mrs. Natalia Cruz, and the Teachers and their Assistants. This is a wonderful opportunity to see for yourself the great things that are happening in this wonderful community. Please mark your calendar!
Stamford Catholic/ Trinity Catholic High School: The Annual Memorial Mass for deceased graduates, faculty and staff will be offered on Thursday November 2nd at 7pm in the school auditorium. All are welcome.
Volunteers: FUTURE 5 is a non-profit organization to help motivated low income high school students in Stamford to improve themselves and their future. We need volunteers to do one-on-one student work, such as college coaches, job prep coaches, and teachers. We also need tutors. For more information or to volunteer and/or tutor, please contact Fanny Moran: email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com
Project Rachel Ministry: Offers free and confidential help to those seeking healing after abortion. Come back to God’s love and mercy. Call 203-416-1619 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
Not Married in the Catholic Church? Please call Fr. Vill at (203) 324-1553 ext. 130 to make an appointment. Meet with Fr. Vill 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 Classical School Fundraiser: You’re invited to “An Enchanted Autumn Evening,” a Fall Gala to benefit Regina Pacis Academy on Saturday, November 18, 2017 at The Water’s Edge at Giovanni’s in Darien, CT. Please join us for cocktails, dinner, dancing, entertainment, and a silent auction. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.reginapacisacademy.com/fall-gala. Regina Pacis Academy is a small, private, classical Catholic school in Norwalk.
Employment: Malta House in Norwalk is a transitional residence to promote the dignity of God-given life by providing a nurturing home environment, support services and independent living skills for pregnant and parenting mothers of all faiths and their children. Looking for a House Manager , anyone may apply for this position by forwarding a cover letter/resume to: John Hinshaw: John_Hinshaw@goodcounselhomes.org. We are located at: 5 Prowitt Street, Norwalk, CT. 06855.
Walking with Purpose: 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 will meet Tuesday mornings in Msgr. Nagel Hall from 9:30am-11:30am. Childcare is available. Registration is now open! Register at: tinyurl.com/WWPTBSJ2017. For more information, contact Rosa Federici at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-536-5480.
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 tracking your contributions by check or envelope.
Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form: Is offered every Friday at 2pm on the Saint Joseph Altar.
+ Denotes Deceased
Saturday, October 21, 2017
4:00 +Regina Grabowski req. Duffy Family
Sunday, October 22, 2017
7:30 +Juana Mazariegos req. Blanca Reyes
10:00+Elisa and John Prizio req. Elisa Pavia
12:00+Jeffrey Leon Donoso req. Lina Donoso and Family
5:00 +Robert and Karen Velline
Monday, October 23, 2017
8:00 +Mary Churley req. Mary Petrizzi
12:10+Gusta and Lena req. Age
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
8:00 +Carmine V. Longo Sr. req. Lucille Longo and Family
12:10 Diane Strain req. Lula Blackson
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
8:00 Deceased members of the Churley and Kronk Families
12:10 +Anthony and Cecilia Conte req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
Thursday, October 26, 2017
8:00 +Joseph and Margaret Curtis req. Mary Maloney
12:10+Paul Tomko req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Friday, October 27, 2017
8:00 Special Intentions Pietro Bertuca req. niece and nephews
12:10+William Eisler req. Tom and Olga Kolenberg
Saturday, October 28, 2017
8:00 +Sister Mary Rose Gallagher CSJ Birthday Remembrance req. Marie Carr
12:10+Victoria Santagata req. Giannitti 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 Cindy, (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, Cindy, 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: Tuesdays at 12:45 in the Rectory.
St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:
110 years ago, or so:
Oct. 23, 1907: Parochial School Alumni. “The regular meeting of the Alumni of St. John’s Parochial School will be held tomorrow evening in the school hall. The second of the series of short talks will be given by the Rev. James C. O’Brien, on the evening of the Feast of All Souls, the subject to be The Doctrine of the Catholic Church Regarding Departed Souls. These short talks are becoming very popular and the Alumni has been fortunate in being able to secure some of the best speakers in Stamford, as well as a few who do not belong here. A treat is expected when the worthy pastor of St. John’s lectures, for Father O’Brien is a very entertaining and convincing talker.”
105 years ago, or so:
Oct. 29, 1912: “Friday will be a Holy Day of Obligation in the Catholic Churches. This is celebrated as a Feast of All Saints. The Masses in St. John’s R. C. Church will be at 5, 7, 8 and 9 a.m. Thursday, the eve of the feast of All Saints, will be a fast day.”
100 years ago, or so:
Oct. 29, 1914: St. Ann’s Euchre Party a Big Success. “A pleasing and successful affair was the euchre held last evening by St. Ann’s Ladies’ Aid Society, in St. John’s Parochial School Hall. Between three and four hundred were present. For euchre there were about eighty tables. The proceeds will be used in work for the poor. At 8:30 p.m., the announcer, Dr. J. J. Ryle, started cards. Eight games were played in all. When it came time to award the many handsome prizes, it was necessary to draw for numbers. One player, Miss Mary A. Stark, had won all eight games. She took for her prize a cut-glass dish. Eight players had won seven games. They picked a tray, cut-glass almond dish, a purse, a second tray, a clock, a set of sherbet glasses and a picture.”
85 years ago, or so:
Oct. 27, 1931: Children of Mary Halloween Party On Thursday Night. “The Sodality of the Children of Mary of St. John’s R. C. Church will hold a Halloween party for members only in the Parochial School hall on Thursday, October 29. Festivities will begin at 8. An entertaining program has been planned with Miss Irene Kearney, Miss Grace Reilly, and Miss Helen Whitehead taking part. Numerous Halloween games have been planned and there will be a grand march, following which prizes will be awarded to the prettiest costumes, the most original and the most comical. Following the entertainment program, refreshments will be served by the refreshments committee of which Miss Alice Smith is chairman. Miss Mary Duplex is chairman of decorations and Miss Mae Finch is in charge of the programs. Every member is extended an invitation to attend and the committee assures everyone an enjoyable evening. Guests must come in costume or masked.”