Bulletin for Sunday January 21, 2018

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

Pastor’s Corner:  For the majority of mortals residing in New England, January holds little more than gray, gloomy and frigid days, annually dreaded for the seeming eternity with which their bleak hours pass.  It was never better. For example, January 26th, 1851 was just another such miserable winter’s day for the inhabitants of Stamford. Except for a handful of impoverished Catholic Irish immigrants and one travel-wearied Catholic bishop, who gathered to dedicate the wooden  clapboard chapel of Saint John the Evangelist, then located on Meadow Street—where the Mariott Hotel  stands today on Tresser Blvd.  The area was known as “Little Ireland,” itself a miserable corner of gravel pit bounded by the canal and the railroad tracks. As in all Connecticut’s Yankee colonial towns throughout, the central area of a town, usually known as “The Green”, was restricted to Protestant churches and government buildings. The “wrong side of the tracks” was the only place the anti-Catholic Yankee governments would permit Catholics to build or settle in the 19th century. The picture to the left shows the original church and convent. Notice its proximity to the railroad tracks—then on ground level. Not a very safe place for families. The Advocate is filled with notices about poor Irish immigrants walking out of church and being run over by freight trains! The dedication of the first Catholic church in Stamford merited a few lines in the local Stamford paper—on the bottom of the page, very far below the fold: “This very neat edifice which has been recently finished, on Meadow Street, in this village, was dedicated on Sunday last by appropriate ceremonies.  The services were conducted by the Right Rev. Bernard O’Riley, of Providence, R.I.”  Another news account is on page 7 of this bulletin: St. John’s in the News.
The wooden chapel measured 60 by 40 feet, and was under the jurisdiction and care of Father John C. Brady, Rector of St. Mary’s in Norwalk, who lived on Cove Road in Stamford, mid-way between both towns. Since the Catholic Church in the USA was considered “mission territory” at the time, there were no canonical parishes and no canonical pastors—just rectors of missions. It all seemed very temporary.
In mid-19th century Yankee Connecticut, Catholics were few, and priests even fewer.  Patrick Walsh, a native of Ballintaylor in Waterford, Ireland, wrote his immigrant son Michael, then living in Rochksborough [today, Roxbury Road], Stamford. In his letter of June 19, 1828, Patrick scolded his son for  not attending Mass:  “You tell me you have no Roman Catholick [sic] Priest nearer to you than New York. Nevertheless, mind your duty to God and your Master, which is the only way to forward you, here and hereafter” [Original letters in the Basilica archives]. The parish has a number of these letters between Patrick and his son Michael.
By 1851, there were about 100 Catholics in town. They were loud and insistent, having repeatedly complained to the Bishops of Hartford to impress upon him that Stamford’s tiny Catholic community meant business. They needed a church of their own with a resident priest living in Stamford who would care for their souls, not merely an occasional visit by an itinerant priest. And they got what they needed and wanted!  Stamford Catholics have always been a feisty bunch!!
A few decades later, those same two-fisted Catholic forbearers of ours were the men and women who also built our present church, assisted by the help of hundreds of other poor Catholic immigrants, whose presence swelled the Catholic community; and they  built more than just another church. They built the largest stone church in the Connecticut at the time.  Somehow, they raised the funds, and, somehow, a few more decades later, they built one of the largest schools in the city [where the parish parking lot is today], two convents, and Saint Joseph Hospital. Not bad! Those were the decades when the Church influenced the local culture by the Gospel. Now, 167 years after the dedication of the original tiny wooden clapboard chapel on Meadow Street, the same St. John’s is a Basilica—the pope’s church in Fairfield County.
So, happy anniversary of our first church dedication in 1851!  While the anniversary on the 26th of this month in the Year of Our Lord 2018 may not make your January days less dull, it should warm your hearts knowing that earlier generations of parishioners of Saint John’s so loved and cherished the same Catholic faith that we share today that they endured much to pass that faith on to us by providing God with the most beautiful church in the state.  Let’s do the likewise: it’s time to restore  and modernize the 1850 Rectory which is so much more than the priests’ house,  so we can preserve both faith and parish church for the subsequent generations of Stamford’s Catholics.

-Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Loretta Wallace, Elma Hefferna, Michael Scully, Roger Borrelli , Nyal Colies, Dorothy Keyes, Joevil Basulgan DelaCruz, Mary Duffy, Louise Morello, Joanne Santarsiero, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died: 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, 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, Susanne and Suzanne DePreta.

Church in Latin America Collection . . . Please drop your special Church in Latin America envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.

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.

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 app.formed.org/ Access Code WWT2NF.

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.

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 Fr. Vill at religioused@stjohnsstamford.com.

Not Married in the Catholic Church? Please call the parish 203) 324-1553, and speak with either  Msgr. DiGiovanni (ext. 11) 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.

Preaching to Baby Jesus: A pious practice begun by Saint Francis of Assisi: children of the parish enter the pulpit and tell Baby Jesus their thoughts and hopes. The children of our religious education program will do this each Sunday at 9 am until early February. Parents and family are welcome to attend.

DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY:  Our evening readings will begin on March 7th at 7:30pm in the Rectory. We will read a new translation of Dante:  Inferno translated by Anthony Esolen, The Modern Library, New York, 2002.  The parish bookstore will purchase a number of copies and will sell them at cost to those who wish to read Dante. Feel free to purchase your own copy, however, if you prefer. Those who have signed up can retrieve their copy of Inferno at the parish office, or wait until March 7th. If anyone is interested in joining us, please phone Msgr. DiGiovanni: 203-324-1553, ext 11.

Save the date: The next Faith on Tap will be Tuesday, January 30, 2018 from 7-9pm at Murphy’s Townhouse. The topic is Living Evangelical Poverty in a world of Materialism by Fr. Stephen CFR.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday         January 14, 2018                   $ 11,562.00
Sunday         January 15, 2017                   $ 11,690.74

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 28th Sunday Readings:  DT 18:15-20; 1 COR 7:32-35; MK 1:21-28

Saints’ Relics: Until February 2nd, the Feast of the Presentation,  two gilded relic towers are displayed on the high altar:
Left Relic Tower: contains the relics of Saint Constantine, a early sixth century king and martyr who worked preaching with St. Columba and was martyred in Scotland in 574 A.D.;
Right Relic Tower: contains the relics of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Saint Stephen, the first martyr to die in witness to Christ soon after Jesus’ death and resurrection.

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.

February 2: Candles will be blessed and distributed during the 12:10 Mass. All are welcome.

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.  We  meet Tuesday mornings in Msgr. Nagle Hall from 9:30am-11:30am. Childcare is available.  Register at: tinyurl.com/WWPTBSJ2017.  For more information, contact Rosa Federici at: wwptbsj@gmail.com or 203-536-5480.

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

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 projectrachel@diobpt.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.

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.  We currently have a  new student who needs a  tutor  in Japanese. For more  information or to volunteer and/or tutor, please contact Fanny Moran: fmoran@futurefive.org

Trinity Catholic School: Trinity Catholic High School is now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year. There will be a “Take A Look” day on Tuesday, January 30th. Also, the Open House will be held March 18th along with entrance exams on February 2nd & March 3rd. Details at: www.trinitycatholic.org/admissions.

Greenwich Catholic School: invites families interested in Kindergarten through Grade 8 to visit their beautiful 38-acre campus in the heart of Greenwich located at 471 North Street during one of our Open Houses. Open Houses will be held on Sunday, January 28th at 12 PM for families interested in grades K-5, and Thursday, February 1st at 6:30 PM for families interested in grades 6-8. For more information and to RSVP please visit gcsct.org/openhouse.​

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

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: lisakotasek@gmail.com

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: The Eaglet, the parish blog on our Basilica website, www.stjohnsstamford.com, is up and running, featuring a variety of thought-provoking articles on the Catholic Faith and Church. Feedback is welcome and discussion is encouraged, via a comments form at the end of each article. Please bookmark the page, visit often, and share the link with your family and friends .

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.

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

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.

Job Seekers: Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., is a leader in helping find jobs. Jobseeker’s Group will not be meeting during November and December, but please call or email Melanie Szlucha for a free 30 minute consultation. Meetings will resume in January 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, January 24th.  THERE IS NO CHARGE, this is free job coaching. Call Melanie Szlucha at 203-866-1606, or melanie@redincllc.com.

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. 21).

Men’s Night of Reflection @ 7pm, St Bridget on Tuesday, Feb 6. : Men, please join us to hear Fr. Ed McAuley present a Lenten inspiration – “Return to me with your whole heart”. This Men’s Night is brought to you by the Knights of Columbus Fr. Miller Council #5833. Contact Bill Nagle with any questions. M: 203-570-2593, email: billnagle@hotmail.com

A Day with MaryOn Saturday, February 17, 2018, the Basilica of St. John’s will be hosting a FREE Marian Eucharistic Day Retreat with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. The retreat will be from 8:45AM until 3:00PM. Please bring a bag lunch and call 475-529-6605 if there is inclement weather.

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, January 20, 2018
4:00   +Felicitas Cody 3rd Anniversary req. Cody Family
Sunday, January 21, 2018
7:30   +Frances Delaney 10th Anniversary req. Family
10:00 +Roledonne Samedi req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:00 +John Parham req. Dr. Joe McAleer
5:00   + Louise Epting
Monday, January 22, 2018
8:00   +William Rottman req. Angela and John Paul Marchetti
12:10 +Regina L. Grier req. John Pascale
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
8:00   +Louise Epting req. Dr. Joe McAleer
12:10   President Trump and Vice President Pence req. Josephine Languedoc
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
8:00     Terese Cadet req. Family
12:10 +Pericles Jean Philippe and Germaine Merisier req. Marie Florestal
Thursday, January 25, 2018
8:00   +Saverio Ferraro req. Jim and Lori Rubino
12:10 +Stacy Perry req. Erin and Chris Fisher
Friday, January 26, 2018
8:00   +Willy DeLeo req. John and Maggie Galatro
12:10 +Ann Cody Birthday req. Cody Family
Saturday, January 27, 2018
8:00     Francis Monaghan
12:10 +Michael Calomino req. his wife Marcia

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 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, 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. 21, for more information.

St. John’s in THE NEWS:

DEDICATION OF THE ORIGINAL CHURCH OF ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST, JANUARY 26, 1851.

THE BOSTON PILOT: February 3rd, 1851: Connecticut STAMFORD. “Mr. Editor: From a conviction of the interest which your truly Catholic paper has always taken in communicating through its columns the progress of our holy religion, I take pleasure in informing you of the dedication of our Church in Stamford, on Sunday, January 26th, by the Rt. Rev. Bishop O’Reilly.

 

The morning was beautiful and it would appear that the cross shone with more than usual luster: From an early hour in the morning the hills and valleys were literally covered over with the sons and daughters of the Emerald Isle, whose hearts and souls were overflowing with joy that the time at length arrived when they had a church to be dedicated to the service of Almighty God. This church has been commenced and completed by the indefatigable zeal of our pious and exemplary pastor, Rev. John C. Brady, with the cooperation of the whole-souled Catholics of Stamford. The Church was dedicated to Almighty God under the patronage of St. John the Evangelist, after which Confirmation was conferred on a considerable number, who were duly prepared by their Rev. Pastor; then High Mass was sung by the Pastor, and after the first Gospel the Bishop ascended the platform and preached a very eloquent and persuasive sermon on the Gospel of the day to a crowded congregation, many of whom were not of our religion, yet they were much delighted by the mild and charitable sermon. In the afternoon at Vespers he preached one of the most powerful and practicable sermons we ever heard.
On the following Tuesday he dedicated another Church, erected by the same pastor, under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary “St. Mary’s, Norwalk”, and administered Confirmation to those who were prepared here; he was assisted by the Rev. Mr. Lynch of Bridgeport, and Rev. Mr. Brady of Middletown. So now Mr. Editor you must think that our holy religion is flourishing rapidly along the Sound. A few years ago there was no cross erected to cheer the heart of a poor Irish emigrant coming from New York to New Haven, but now the emblem of salvation may be seen in every little village.
Yours truly, J. T. O’R.”

Bulletin for Sunday January 14, 2018

For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday January 14, 2018

Pastor’s Corner: MONEY, SEX & POWER! And anyone with a television, computer, IPhone, IPad, or who might still peruse a newspaper or magazine, is bombarded with ads & stories sex, money & power daily. Not only is sex savvy marketing, it is publicly touted that everyone must have sexual relations with some one or something on a regular basis—just like regularly brushing your teeth. Those whose lives lack regular sexual activity are judged strange, and sexual abstinence and virginity, definitely antiquated, valued only by the socially non-adroit, or by the garden variety religious fanatic. Anyone can be used for anything you want: people are only things, at least in the common wisdom of the marketplace. Many may never verbally state that as real, but many state that as true by their actions—People exist to be used as things, especially if money, sex & power are involved.  The reality is otherwise: In our world, sex has been degraded; people have been debased, and, both people and sex are now simply tools to be used, to get what we want or to sell what we have.
On January 21st the Church commemorates the martyrdom of a young girl, Saint Agnes, who died during the last persecution of the Church by the Roman Empire, under the Emperor Diocletian, in 303 A.D. This year the feast day is bumped since it is a Sunday, so much more reason to highlight this young saint.
Agnes was 12 years old [marrying age in 4th century Rome], the beautiful daughter of wealthy noble parents.  While “her beauty and riches excited the young noblemen of the first families in Rome”, as Dom Alban Butler wrote in his “Lives of the Saints”, Agnes responded repeatedly that she had one spouse already: Christ, to whom she had vowed her virginity.  Frustrated in their pursuit of the girl’s wealth and beauty, these young, wealthy, socially advanced and adept young men, angered that Agnes was unwilling to satisfy their lusts for power, money or sex, reported to the governor that she was a Christian, an enemy of Rome.  Her suitors and the governor, knowing the family and the girl, thought that the mere suggestion of a trial and torture would be sufficient to frighten and wear Agnes down so she would relent and marry herself and her fortune to one of them.  Yet, to the consternation of all, neither pleasant words, nor threats nor even the sight of instruments of torture could weaken her resolve to be faithful to her Heavenly spouse.  “You may”, she said, “stain your sword with my blood, but will never be able to profane my body consecrated to Christ.”
There was more going on here than simply a young girl protecting her virtue for Christ. Like today, sex, money & power were all too often closely linked. The Emperor Diocletian put a new spin on his persecution of Catholics: Now, if a nobleman or official of the Imperial Court was found to be a practicing Christian, his fortune, lands and all possessions could be confiscated by the state, and a cut given to the person who turned the Christian in to the authorities, unless he publicly disavowed Christ.  In Agnes’ case, that meant that her personal fortune could be confiscated by the local Imperial officials, unless she broke her vow of virginity to Christ and denied her faith in public. If her suitors could not succeed in depriving her of virtue or religion, the state officials and suitors could. It was now financially and politically worthwhile to kill Christians.
The great 4th century Church Father, Saint Ambrose, continues the story,
“Was her little body really large enough to receive the sword’s thrust? She was hardly big enough to be struck, yet was great enough to overcome—and then at an age when little girls cannot bear a mother’s stern look and think a needle’s jab a mortal wound. Agnes did not tremble when in the executioner’s bloody hand nor cringe at the harsh sound of chains. She did not know yet how to die, but was ready. Dragged to the pagan altar, she extended her hands to Christ in the flames of the pagan sacrifice, and turned the sacrilegious fire into a victor’s banner. She offered her neck and hands to the fetters, but they were too large for her tiny limbs.” [On Virgins, Book 1]
Finally, Agnes was led outside the City and beheaded: she courageously bent her head, praying for her persecutors, while the executioner, terrified and trembling, dispatched her with one stroke. From the moment of her burial, her tomb became a site of pilgrimage, embellished after the Peace of the Church in 313 by the Emperor Constantine, who built a small basilica over her tomb on the Via Nomentana.
For centuries since, there, each January 21st the pope would send an archbishop as his special emissary to bless two white lambs: each crowned with red and white roses, carried into the church by twelve young girls, likewise crowned with red and white roses.  Hundreds of people crowd the small church built above Agnes’ tomb, and join in the prayers of blessing, after which the lambs are taken away [in a Vatican Mercedes!!], to the convent of Saint Cecilia across the Tiber, where, once grown, their fleece is shorn, and is woven into a number of palia:  liturgical stoles of white wool with black crosses, which are placed within the Tomb of Saint Peter in the Vatican. The Holy Father gives these to newly-named archbishops on June 29th, the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, as a sign that their authority comes from Peter through his successor the Pope, and that apostolic authority to preach and teach is linked with the virtue in personal life, both symbolized by the wool of the lambs blessed at the tomb of Saint Agnes. Virtue and Faith: essentially linked.  Saint John, our parish patron, relates how highly virginity for Christ was held in the early Church: in the Book of Revelation, virgins are the companions of the Lamb of God, following Him wherever He goes [Rev xiv, 1-5].
Sex, money & powerl! But sexual relations outside a marriage of a man and a woman lead to disastrous unhappiness: because,  if we use one another for personal pleasure, then we debase one another. All we become are things to be used, commodities to be traded, and then tossed away. By doing this, we cheapen ourselves and we cheapen sexual love. For, we are not things to be used: we are the Image of God. It was true then, in the days of St. Agnes, and still true today. Let us teach our children to value purity and to practice it in daily life: preferring, as did Saint Agnes, to please Christ by loving virtue, and find true happiness, rather than using sexuality for personal gain or pleasure.  If we try actively to please God, we will never harm anyone, because we will not use anyone as a thing or object, for all are the Image of God.Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Loretta Wallace, Elma Hefferna, Michael Scully, Roger Borrelli , Nyal Colies, Dorothy Keyes, Joevil Basulgan DelaCruz, Mary Duffy, Louise Morello, Joanne Santarsiero, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Joanne Santarsiero, Carmen Colon Diaz, Kathryn Anne Marciano, Marilyn VanAuken, Joyce Patten, Katherine Kimberly, Mary Louise Wakin, David Kochosky, Jonathan Shearman, 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.

Banns of Marriage:  III Banns: Matthew David Almeida and Deborah Freier

Special Energy Collection . . . The second collection today will be the Special Energy Collection to help pay the Higher Energy and Fuel Costs for the parish.  Your generosity is appreciated.

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.

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 app.formed.org/ Access Code WWT2NF.

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.

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 Fr. Vill at religioused@stjohnsstamford.com.

Not Married in the Catholic Church? Please call the parish 203) 324-1553, and speak with either  Msgr. DiGiovanni (ext. 11) 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.

Preaching to Baby Jesus: A pious practice begun by Saint Francis of Assisi is that children of the parish enter the pulpit and tell Baby Jesus their thoughts and hopes. The children of our religious education program will do this each Sunday at 9 am until early February. All are welcome to attend.

DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY:  Our readings will begin on March 7th at 7:30pm in the Rectory. We will read a new translation of Dante:  Inferno translated by Anthony Esolen, The Modern Library, New York, 2002.  The parish bookstore will purchase a number of copies and will sell them at cost to those who wish to read Dante beginning on March 7th at 7:30pm in the Rectory. Feel free to purchase your own copy, however. If anyone is interested in joining us, please phone Msgr. DiGiovanni: 203-324-1553, ext 11.

Weekly Sunday collection: 

Sunday         January 7, 2018                     $ 14,670.34
Sunday         January 8, 2017                     $ 10,806.15

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 21st Sunday Readings:  JON 3:1-5,10; 1COR 7:29-31; MK 1:14-20

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 sixth century king and martyr who worked preaching with St. Columba and was martyred in Scotland in 574 A.D.;
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.

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.

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.  We  meet Tuesday mornings in Msgr. Nagle Hall from 9:30am-11:30am. Childcare is available.  Register at: tinyurl.com/WWPTBSJ2017.  For more information, contact Rosa Federici at: wwptbsj@gmail.com or 203-536-5480.

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

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  projectrachel@diobpt.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.

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.  We currently have a  new student who needs a  tutor  in Japanese. For more  information or to volunteer and/or tutor, please contact Fanny Moran: fmoran@futurefive.org

Save the date: The next Faith on Tap will be Tuesday, January 30, 2018 from 7-9pm at Murphy’s Townhouse. Living Evangelical Poverty in a world of Materialism by Fr. Stephen CFR.

Lost & FoundPlease check the Lost & Found in the Rectory for any items you may have left in the church. Feel free to call Keri at the Rectory, M-F, 9AM-4:30PM, 203-324-1553 x21.

Please do not leave valuables in the pews, especially when you go to Communion. Please do not light candles during Communion.

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

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: lisakotasek@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.

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

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.

Job Seekers: Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., is a leader in helping find jobs. Jobseeker’s Group will not be meeting during November and December, but please call or email Melanie Szlucha for a free 30 minute consultation. Meetings will resume in January 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, January 24th.  THERE IS NO CHARGE, this is free job coaching. Call Melanie Szlucha at 203-866-1606, or melanie@redincllc.com.

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. 21).

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: “The Eaglet,” the parish blog on our Basilica website, www.stjohnsstamford.com/eaglet, is up and running, featuring a variety of thought-provoking articles on the Catholic Faith and Church. Feedback is welcome and discussion is encouraged, via a comments form at the end of each article. Please bookmark the page, visit often, and share the link with your family and friends .

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, January 13, 2018
4:00   +Thomas Diffley req. Jimmy and Michelle Sagdati
Sunday, January 14, 2018
7:30   +James F. Berger req. Family
10:00 +Catherine Morris 33rd Anniversary req. Marion Morris and Family
12:00 +Maria Preziosi 25th Anniversary req. Marion Morris and Family
5:00   + Louise Epting
Monday, January 15, 2018
8:00   +Lupangelo Vaccarella req. Lawrence and Kathleen Bolanowski
12:10 +Paul Hughes req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
8:00     Alexandra and Gertha Laurent
12:10 +Beverly DiBlasio req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
8:00   +Daniel Finley
12:10 +Regina L. Grier req. Grace and Joseph Violone
Thursday, January 18, 2018
8:00   +Mary Milano req. Angela and John Paul Marchetti
12:10 +Barend van den Brink req. Carol and Bill Christiaanse
Friday, January 19, 2018
8:00   +Helene R. Guinee req. Angela and John Paul Marchetti
12:10 +Lorraine Beldoti req. Pinto Family
Saturday, January 20, 2018
8:00    Mandy Richardson req. Mainville Family
12:10 +Vincenza and Joseph Saglimbeni req. Mary Bridget Gaine

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 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, 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. 21, for more information.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:

145 years ago, or so:
Jan. 15, 1875:  Lecture on “The Jesuits.”  “Honorable W. C. Robinson, of New Haven, is announced to deliver a lecture on the above subject in the Town Hall Sunday evening. That the lecturer will be greeted with a good house is a foregone conclusion, for he is known as an eloquent speaker who handles an interesting subject with great ability, and the proceeds are for the benefit of the new Catholic church building on Atlantic Street, an enterprise which is being pushed forward with vigor, and which requires all the help its friends can give it.”

105 years ago, or so:
Jan. 15, 1913:  Holy Name Society Elects Officers. “At the regular meeting of the Holy Name Society of St. John’s R. C. Church, officers for the ensuing year were elected, and further arrangements were also made for the euchre which the society will hold in the Parish Hall, Jan. 31. The officers for the ensuing year are: President, Thomas Keegan; vice-president, John C. O’Connor; secretary William Hyland; treasurer, Rev. N. P. Coleman.”

95 years ago, or so:
Jan. 17, 1921: BISHOP MURRAY DEFINES MANHOOD. “At the meeting of St. John’s Holy Name Society, held last evening in the Alhambra Theatre, Rt. Rev. John G. Murray, Auxiliary Bishop of Connecticut, and David E. Fitzgerald, Mayor of New Haven, delivered addresses, the first on “The Holy Name Society and Catholic Manhood,” and the latter on “The Holy Name Society and Citizenship.” Senator Matthew H. Kenealy was chairman of the meeting. The local Catholic clergy and those from nearby towns occupied a box, and the local and out-of-town officers of the society sat upon the stage. The theatre was filled to its entire seating capacity.”

85 years ago, or so:
Jan. 21, 1932: Children of Mary to Have Social Jan. 27. “The Children of Mary of St. John’s R. C. Church will give a social on Wednesday, January 27, in St. John’s School hall, and will have as their guests the Children of Mary of the Sacred Heart Church.”

45 years ago, or so:
Jan. 18, 1974:  1,000 Expected At. Ecumenical Service Scheduled For St. John’s. “St. John’s Roman Catholic Church—one of the largest church edifices in Stamford—is to be the site of a service for Christian unity involving all the denominations of Stamford. With the joint sponsorship of the Stamford-Darien Council of Churches and Synagogues and the Roman Catholic Vicariate of Stamford, a congregation of about 1,000 persons is anticipated. Addressing the gathering will be the Very Rev. James P. Morton, Dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (Episcopal), New York City.”

When We Are Left To Ourselves 01/05/18

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The Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist

The Mother Church of Stamford • 279 Atlantic Street, Stamford, Connecticut 06901 • Phone: (203) 324-1553 • Fax: (203) 359-2660 • Email: stjc@optonline.net


"Alas, my dear brethren, we are poor stuff, and we should count very little upon our good resolutions!" – St. John Vianney

When We Are Left To Ourselves

By Ricky McRoskey

New Year’s resolutions often come across as cute. We know the ritual: At the end of every year, in the paper’s “Lifestyle” section, tucked between articles on books and interior decorating, there’s a charming Top 10 list on how to work out more or smoke less in 2018. Usually, there are some tongue-in-cheek quotes from personal trainers or self-help authors.

It makes it easy to forget that, at its heart, the New Year’s resolution is not just something endearing or useful. If you peel it back, you find evidence in it of something far more profound: a prayer.

The first and most important thing to know about resolutions is that they speak to something greater than themselves. That we want to make a resolution at all is an acknowledgment of two things: 1) there is such a thing as goodness, and 2) we’re not perfectly good.

As trite as that sounds, it’s worth reflecting on. If I want to become a better version of myself, it means there’s some standard, some ideal, of what is good. There is such a thing as Goodness.

The second thing to know about resolutions is that they reflect what matters to us. If we looked at the vast majority of resolutions out there, we might come to conclude that Goodness consists of being kind, fit, organized, and healthy. Nothing wrong with those things. But if the only resolutions we make have to do with our blood pressure or punctuality, it tells us that these are our standard, our benchmark of goodness.

If, on the other hand, we view goodness as something bigger, harder, and wilder – like being humble, chaste, or selfless – then our resolutions should reflect that bigger view of reality. We don’t just want to learn a new language; we want to hold our tongue when gossip is easy. We don’t just want to eat more vegetables; we want to do more to feed the hungry. We don’t just want to read more books; we want to read The Book more.

Put another way, if God matters to us, He will make it into our New Year’s resolutions. If He doesn’t, it’s because we’re looking to another standard of goodness.

The third thing to know about resolutions is that, even if they aspire to something morally good (“I want to be more forgiving of my spouse”), they are worthless if they don’t come pre-packed with humility. St. Bernard of Clairvaux was once asked to name the four Cardinal Virtues, to which he replied, “Humility, humility, humility, and humility.” In other words, it’s the foundation of all other virtues.

If we can’t acknowledge how dependent we are on God – how hopeless, lazy, and weak we are without Him – then we fail to grasp the single most important principle of life: He’s God, and we are not. If we accomplish any good thing – we stop smoking, we donate blood, we fast on Fridays – it is only because God has given us that ability. All success, all goodness, all ingenuity is entirely His; we are the agents.

So as we set our resolutions, the starting point is to beg God for the strength to accomplish it. If we accomplish it, the next step is to recognize that God was entirely behind it. And if we fail in our New Year’s resolutions, we would do well to smile, shrug, look to the heavens above, and say with resignation what St. John Vianney once did: “Dear Lord, what we are capable of when we are left to ourselves!”

Ricky McRoskey is a parishioner of the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist in Stamford.

Bulletin for Sunday January 7, 2018

For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday January 7, 2018

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: Loretta Wallace, Elma Hefferna, Michael Scully, Roger Borrelli , Nyal Colies, Dorothy Keyes, Joanne Santarsiero, Joevil Basulgan DelaCruz, Mary Duffy, Louise Morello, Joanne Santarsiero, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Carmen Colon Diaz, Kathryn Anne Marciano, Marilyn VanAuken, Joyce Patten, Katherine Kimberly, Mary Louise Wakin, David Kochosky, Jonathan Shearman, 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.

Banns of Marriage:  II Banns: Matthew David Almeida and Deborah Freier

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

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.

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 app.formed.org/ Access Code WWT2NF.

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.

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 Fr. Vill at religioused@stjohnsstamford.com.

Not Married in the Catholic Church? Please call the parish 203) 324-1553, and speak with either  Msgr. DiGiovanni (ext. 11) 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.

Preaching to Baby Jesus: A pious practice begun by Saint Francis of Assisi is that children of the parish enter the pulpit and tell Baby Jesus their thoughts and hopes. The children of our religious education program will do this each Sunday at 9 am until early February. All are welcome to attend.

DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY:  Our readings will begin on March 7th at 7:30pm in the Rectory. We will read a new translation of Dante:  Inferno translated by Anthony Esolen, The Modern Library, New York, 2002.  The parish bookstore will purchase a number of copies and will sell them at cost to those who wish to read Dante beginning on March 7th at 7:30pm in the Rectory. Feel free to purchase your own copy, however.
If anyone is interested in joining us, please phone Msgr. DiGiovanni: 203-324-1553, ext 11.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday         December 31, 2017               $ 24,051.60
Sunday         January 1, 2017                     $ 16,143.86

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 14th Sunday Readings:  1 SM 3:3B-10, 19; 1 COR 6:13C-15A, 17-20; JN 1:35-42

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 sixth century king and martyr who worked preaching with St. Columba and was martyred in Scotland in 574 A.D.;
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.

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.

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.  We  meet Tuesday mornings in Msgr. Nagle Hall from 9:30am-11:30am. Childcare is available.  Register at: tinyurl.com/WWPTBSJ2017.  For more information, contact Rosa Federici at: wwptbsj@gmail.com or 203-536-5480.

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

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  projectrachel@diobpt.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.

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.  We currently have a  new student who needs a  tutor  in Japanese. For more  information or to volunteer and/or tutor, please contact Fanny Moran: fmoran@futurefive.org

Save the date: The next Faith on Tap will be Tuesday, January 23, 2018 from 7-9pm at Murphy’s Townhouse. Stay tuned for the speaker and topic!

Lost & FoundPlease check the Lost & Found in the Rectory for any items you may have left in the church. Feel free to call Keri at the Rectory, M-F, 9AM-4:30PM, 203-324-1553 x21.

Please do not leave valuables in the pews, especially when you go to Communion. Please do not light candles during Communion.

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

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: lisakotasek@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.

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

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.

Job Seekers: Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., is a leader in helping find jobs. Jobseeker’s Group will not be meeting during November and December, but please call or email Melanie Szlucha for a free 30 minute consultation. Meetings will resume in January 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, January 24th.  THERE IS NO CHARGE, this is free job coaching. Call Melanie Szlucha at 203-866-1606, or melanie@redincllc.com.

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. 21).

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: “The Eaglet,” the parish blog on our Basilica website, www.stjohnsstamford.com, is up and running, featuring a variety of thought-provoking articles on the Catholic Faith and Church. Feedback is welcome and discussion is encouraged, via a comments form at the end of each article. Please bookmark the page, visit often, and share the link with your family and friends.

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, January 6, 2018|
4:00   +Thomas Diffley req. Marion, Bill and Richard Morris
Sunday, January 7, 2018
7:30   +Gregory A. Armeno req. Dr. Joe McAleer
10:00 +Jesus SantaMaria 1st Anniversary req. Ines Hincapie
12:00   Marion Morris req. Kung family
5:00   +Louise Epting
Monday, January 8, 2018
8:00   + Cardinal Bernard Francis Law
12:10 +Father Joseph Amato req. Ed Nemchek Sr.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
8:00   +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family
12:10   Ferry Galbert
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
8:00   +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10   Lori Longo Birthday req. Aunt Millie
Thursday, January 11, 2018
8:00   +Karl and Louise Wilk req. Sue Kremheller
12:10 +Frank and Josephine Mancuso req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte
Friday, January 12, 2018
8:00   +John Maloney req. Mary Maloney
12:10   Deceased members of the Churley & Kronk families
Saturday, January 13, 2018
8:00  +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10   Ferry Galbert

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 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, 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. 21, for more information.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:

155 years ago, or so:
Jan. 11, 1861:   “There was Mass in the Roman Catholic Church. The Rev. Father O’Neil read the Pastoral letter of the Bishop of the Diocese and made a brief address, evincing no sympathy with secession.”

105 years ago, or so:
Jan. 9, 1911:  Prosperous Year For Parish. “Rev. James C. O’Brien, pastor of St. John’s Catholic Church, read his annual report at the celebrations of Mass in that church yesterday. The report showed that the past fiscal year has been a prosperous one for the parish. There has been a substantial reduction of the indebtedness and the new fiscal year is begun with a considerable balance in the treasury. Father O’Brien is in the eleventh year of service as pastor of St. John’s Church.”

100 years ago, or so:
Jan. 14, 1918:  “The annual election of the Holy Name Society of St. John’s Catholic Church was held last night. The following being elected to fill offices for the year 1918: President, William Hyland; vice-president, John Tierney; secretary, John Grambley; chaplain and treasurer, Rev. Henry M. Callahan; marshal, John Mulvey.”

85 years ago, or so:
Jan. 11, 1933: Boys Qualify As Star Scouts. “At the January Court of Honor session of the Stamford Council, Boy Scouts of America, Scouts Laurence Benz and Joel Carrier of Troop 22, qualified for promotion to Star Scout rank.”

Jan. 8, 1935: HOLY NAME SOCIETY OF ST. JOHN’S MEETS. “More than 300 men attended the first smoker and get-together of the recently reorganized Holy Name Society of St. John’s R. C. Church in the school hall, last night. After a short business meeting, during which it was voted to hold a card party on Feb. 11, the gathering was entertained with feats of magic by Ted Seaman, local magician, who won first prize in 1934 for the best trick developed during the year by a member of the Society of Magicians. Members of the society will attend the 8 a.m. Corporate Communion Mass on Sunday.”

50 years ago, or so:
Jan. 9, 1968: Frozen Pipes Close School At. St. John’s. “Frozen pipes at St. John’s Parochial School shortly after 9 this morning caused the school to close for the day. School officials called parents asking them to pick up the children. Nuns and brothers took those home who did not have transportation. Heat also was out in the church and convent, whose heating systems use the same boiler. At 7:30 a.m. Mass was held without heat as was a funeral later in the morning. Heat was restored before noon.”

Bulletin for Sunday December 31, 2017

For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday December 31, 2017

Pastor’s Corner:   Once God became a man, born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary, everything changed: the relationship between creation and the now Incarnate-Creator became the heart of all existence, and the way we live should become different than if He had never become a man. Since the first Christmas, the personal happiness and fate of each person is now be determined by our daily response to this God become man in each of our lives.
God would touch the hearts of each human person born, and their response to that Divine intervention  would be seen, not merely in words theological, but in lives spiritual, clear and distinct in their bearing witness either that God became a man to change us into sharers of His eternal life, or witness that we really don’t care about God or eternity, but only about our personal here-and-now.
The saints give us such examples of men and women who succeeded in responding to the Incarnation actually, in daily lives and not merely in daily words or pretty religious sentiments. They are God bearers in their unbelieving centuries and cultures; their love for God formed their very thoughts and motivated their every deed. Since we are blessed in the parish with numerous relics of saints—rather real proofs that living to please God was possible in years past and is possible in the present, I would like to point out some rather interesting saints during this Christmas season.
On the high altar are two tower-like reliquaries: 19th century English works of superb craftsmanship of carved brass, donated by a parishioner. Each bears relics of saints: that on the left contains a large bone of Saint Constantine: the more imaginative of his biographers said he was the nephew of King Arthur! Actually, he came from Scotland, married the daughter of the King of Brittany and, after her untimely death, renounced his crown to become a monk, worked with Saint Columba in Ireland and St. Kentigern in South-West Scotland. He was elected abbot of his monastery and bishop on the Island of Kintyre, and while preaching God’s Incarnate mercy in Christ to local pagans, he was  martyred in 576 A.D.  He spent his life preaching God’s mercy, hoping that those who heard him would respond in faith and charity.
In the right-hand reliquary, are the relics of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of Our Lady, along with the relic of Saint Stephen, the first martyr. The legend of Joachim and Anne is that they were an elderly couple, who were unable to have children. Mocked by their neighbors, they separated, and prayed for divine guidance. Their prayers heard, and sent back to each other by God, their love and God’s grace finally accomplished the seeming impossible: Saint Anne conceived, and her daughter, Mary, would become the Mother of Our Lord, whose birth as a man we celebrate on December 25th. They trusted entirely in God and His promises, and found happiness by being able to participate in bringing salvation to the world.  Saint Stephen, a contemporary of Our Lady’s parents, of Our Lady, Our Lord and the Apostles, Stephen was one of the first deacons, as spoken of in the Acts of the Apostles, 6-7. Because of his forceful preaching and charity, he converted many. The Temple leaders were unhappy with his successes, had him dragged outside the walls of Jerusalem, and stoned to death. As he was dying, he prayed for the one who led his murderers: Saul, who changed his name to Paul. Stephen’s prayers, witness of God’s mercy in the flesh and charity towards his persecutors, even as he was dying, are said to have brought Paul to conversion. Saint Paul would work with Saint Peter as the two Princes of the Apostles, the founders of the Church in Rome. Stephen’s feast is December 26th, to remind us the day after Christmas that the birth of the Savior is serious business: neither Satan nor many people like the reality of God coming into the world, because it makes God too real, and demands an equally real personal response by us to God: we accept Him and live to please Him; or reject Him, and ignore Him in our daily lives.
These people, not really different from ourselves, understood that because God had become a man at a certain time and in a certain place, everything is changed: the Creator had become a man to reconcile all creation with the Father. These saints knew that their lives would bear immense importance by doing one thing: loving the God who took on human flesh, in their words and deeds, in order to share in the victory of the Christ born in Bethlehem, crucified and risen from the dead in Jerusalem. These saints are remembered around the world by millions of people throughout the centuries to the present today. Can you remember the names of the kings, princes or presidents who ruled when these saints lived? Can you name any public figures of their times, or politicians or any of the shakers and movers who lived in the same cities where these saints lived? No. Yet it is these saints who are remembered because they responded to the Divine Generosity manifest at Bethlehem: they lived to please the God who became man, so that one day they could share God’s very life. Let’s do the same: kneel at the altar rail after Mass today, and say a prayer to Saints Joachim and Anne the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and to the martyrs Saints Constantine and Stephen: we share the same Faith with them, and are part of the same Body of Christ, the Catholic Church, in which they are still members with us. Pray to imitate them in the New Year, since they imitated Christ perfectly, so we may all meet one day in Heaven.  —Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Loretta Wallace, Elma Hefferna, Michael Scully, Roger Borrelli , Nyal Colies, Dorothy Keyes, Joanne Santarsiero, Joevil Basulgan DelaCruz, Mary Duffy, Louise Morello, Joanne Santarsiero, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Carmen Colon Diaz, Kathryn Anne Marciano, Marilyn VanAuken, Joyce Patten, Katherine Kimberly, Mary Louise Wakin, David Kochosky, Jonathan Shearman, 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.

Banns of Marriage:  I Banns: Matthew David Almeida and Deborah Freier

Solemnity of Mary Envelope: Please drop your Solemnity of Mary envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.  There will only be one collection today.

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.

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 app.formed.org/ Access Code WWT2NF.

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.

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 Fr. Vill at religioused@stjohnsstamford.com.

Not Married in the Catholic Church? Please call the parish 203) 324-1553, and speak with either  Msgr. DiGiovanni (ext. 11) 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.

Preaching to Baby Jesus: A pious practice begun by Saint Francis of Assisi is that children of the parish enter the pulpit and tell Baby Jesus their thoughts and hopes. The children of our religious education program will do this each Sunday at 9 am until early February. All are welcome to attend.

DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY: Interested in reading Dante? We’ll begin during Lent [March 8th] with the Inferno, which is not a torture tour, but 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 through real life folly that ends invariably to unhappiness, pain and suffering in this life and in the next. NO Charge: just purchase the book. Interested? Call  Msgr. DiGiovanni, 203-324-1553, ext 11.

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.

Weekly Sunday collection: 

Sunday         December 24, 2017               $ 11,751.00
Sunday         December 20,  2015              $ 14,019.48
Sunday         December 25, 2017               $ 22,192.00
Sunday         December 25, 2016               $ 28,402.52

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 7th Sunday Readings:  IS 60:1-6; EPH 3:2-3A, 5-6; MT 2:1-12

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 sixth century king and martyr who worked preaching with St. Columba and was martyred in Scotland in 574 A.D.;
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.

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.  We  meet Tuesday mornings in Msgr. Nagle Hall from 9:30am-11:30am. Childcare is available.  Register at: tinyurl.com/WWPTBSJ2017.  For more information, contact Rosa Federici at: wwptbsj@gmail.com or 203-536-5480.

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

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  projectrachel@diobpt.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.

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.  We currently have a  new student who needs a  tutor  in Japanese. For more  information or to volunteer and/or tutor, please contact Fanny Moran: fmoran@futurefive.org

Save the date: The next Faith on Tap will be Tuesday, January 23, 2018 from 7-9pm at Murphy’s Townhouse. Stay tuned for the speaker and topic!

Religious Education: Classes for all students grades Kindergarten through 7th grade will resume on
Sunday, January 7, 2018. Classes begin at 8:30am and end promptly at 9:45am. Please be on time.

Lost & FoundPlease check the Lost & Found in the Rectory for any items you may have left in the church. Feel free to call Keri at the Rectory, M-F, 9AM-4:30PM, 203-324-1553 x21.

Please do not leave valuables in the pews, especially when you go to Communion. Please do not light candles during Communion.

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

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: lisakotasek@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.

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

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.

Job Seekers: Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., is a leader in helping find jobs. Jobseeker’s Group will not be meeting during November and December, but please call or email Melanie Szlucha for a free 30 minute consultation. Meetings will resume in January 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, January 24th.  THERE IS NO CHARGE, this is free job coaching. Call Melanie Szlucha at 203-866-1606, or melanie@redincllc.com

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. 21).

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: “The Eaglet,” the parish blog on our Basilica website, www.stjohnsstamford.com, is up and running, featuring a variety of thought-provoking articles on the Catholic Faith and Church. Feedback is welcome and discussion is encouraged, via a comments form at the end of each article. Please bookmark the page, visit often, and share the link with your family and friends.

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, December 30, 2017
4:00     Nelson and Maria Vargas req. family
Sunday, December 31, 2017
7:30   +Catherine Olnek req. Sharon Gannon
10:00 +Theresa Pereira req. Abdul and Sarah Aslam
12:00   Thanksgiving to God req. Ferry G.
5:00   +Fr. Rufin Kuveikis, OFM, Cap.
Monday, January 1, 2017
8:00   +Charles Cycon req. Thomas Cycon
12:10 +Joseph Comunale req. Mossa Family
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
8:00   +Charles Wentworth req. Frank and Beth Carpanzano
12:10 +Bryan Sclafani req. Mossa Family
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
8:00   +Dan McCarthy req. Erin and Chris Fisher
12:10 +Justine Lapolice req. Lisa and Darrell Ingram
Thursday, January 4, 2018
8:00   +Martin Alonzo req. Thomas Walsh
12:10 +Fr. Joseph Amato req. Lisa and Darrell Ingram
Friday, January 5, 2018
8:00     In Honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Frank Verrastro req. Uncle Ed Nemchek
Saturday, January 6, 2018
8:00   +Lou Augustin req. Jennie Sorese
12:10 +Patsy Denicola req. Pinto 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 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, 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. 21, for more information.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:

155 years ago, or so:
Jan. 4, 1860:   “New Year’s day passed off quietly, so quietly that we, who have always been accustomed to the noise and gaiety and rushing about of one half the city calling upon the other half, could hardly bring ourselves to believe that this was the veritable “Happy New Year.” It being the feast of the Circumcision, there was Mass in the Roman Catholic Church.”

125 years ago, or so:
Jan. 2, 1891:  St. John’s R. C. Church. “The Christmas services this year in St. John’s R. C. church were largely attended and were satisfactory in every respect. To see the long line of worshippers wending their way to this beautiful temple of worship at 5 o’clock in the morning was something which those who beheld it will not soon forget. There was not sitting room in the church for all who were present, and a low estimate will make the number at least 1,500. Rev. T. J. Keena was celebrant of the early Mass. The church was finely decorated with evergreens, and at 7:30, Mass was celebrated by Father Rogers. There was also a 10:30 Mass by Father Carroll. All of the Masses were well attended and the music was of a high order, showing not only great taste but great preparation. In the evening there were vespers and the benediction at 7:30, at which there was a very large attendance.”

105 years ago, or so:
Jan. 7, 1910:   Proceeds for Philanthropy. “There was an entertainment, last night, in St. John’s parochial school hall, under the auspices of St. Ann’s Ladies’ Aid Society which is interested in philanthropic work, and the proceeds went into the fund for that work. A pretty feature of the entertainment was a gypsy dance, given by a group of children from St. John’s parochial school. John Klinger gave a recitation, and Arthur Lee sang. This was followed by dancing.”

100 years ago, or so:
Jan. 6, 1917: “A merry time is in store for those intending to participate in Monday night’s “social” under the auspices of the Parochial School Alumni Association in St. John’s Parish Hall. Although the evening is one set aside by the committee as an open night for the entire parish, with a select entertainment provided expressly for the older folks, the dancing, which will follow, will make a stronger appeal to the younger generation. The customary invitation regarding the refreshments is extended to the fair sex.”

85 years ago, or so:
Jan. 6, 1932: “The January Court of Honor session of the Stamford Council BSA was held, last evening. Scouts Henry Moransky and Robert Graham, both of Troop 22, sponsored by St. John’s R.C. Church, qualifying for Eagle Scout, the highest Scout award.”

Bulletin for Sunday December 24, 2017

For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday December 24, 2017
Pastor’s Corner:   At Christmas, our minds turn to the birth of Our Lord in Bethlehem. During the first thousand years of the Church’s life, much emphasis was placed on understanding who Jesus is: is He God OR is He a man OR is He a man who became God? None of these is correct, nor does any answer the question, Who is Jesus? Our Lord asked His Apostles that question [Matt 16: 16-17]: “Who do you say that I am?” And Saint Peter, enlightened by the Eternal Father, correctly answered: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” In other words, there, standing in front of Peter and the other Apostles, was the invisible, unknowable God who existed forever, the Creator of the Universe, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses, in the flesh. While the truth of the two natures of Our Lord—Divine and Human—was believed by all during the early years of the Church, the stronger emphasis was upon His divinity, which made Him seem too distant a redeemer for us mere mortals, who was unable to understand the weaknesses or difficulties of our daily lives.  Even though the Christmas sermons by the Church Fathers such as Pope Saint Leo the Great, Saint Augustine or Saint Jerome were popular in tone, the official art and literature of the first thousand years of the Church’s life emphasized the Divinity of Christ, in answer to the various heresies of the times. Sculpted or painted images of Jesus’ birth existed, but only in cathedrals and large churches in big cities. Local parish churches were too poor for great art.
Saint Francis of Assisi began to change this by his preaching that by the Incarnation–because God became a man in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, born in Bethlehem, God actually does understand us. Why? Because God loved us so much that He became exactly like us, except without sin, in order to make us more like God.  It was Saint Francis of Assisi who gave the Church the first Nativity scene or Crèche. Placed in the local parish church, it was designed for poor people of small villages, with simple statues of the Blessed Mother, Saint Joseph, the shepherds with their flocks and the three kings around the Infant Savior. Here is a God who understood human hardship and suffering from the moment of His birth as a human child in a cold stable.  Saint Francis also introduced the Stations of the Cross, as a devotional aid for those people who could not afford a visit to the Jerusalem sites of Our Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. In their own parish church, people could visualize the real human sufferings Jesus endured to give us eternal life.
At the heart of these devotions concerning both the Birth of Jesus as well as His Death and Resurrection, is the historical fact that at a specific time and place —1st century Bethlehem—God the Creator of the Universe, became man. No myth or pretty story! He took on our Human Nature with its weaknesses and strengths, free will, rationality, ability to love, and mortality, and intimately joined it to His Divine Nature, with its omnipotence, divine omniscience, and immortality,  in the visible person we call Jesus of Nazareth.  Saint John, our patron, wrote that the historical fact that God became Man—the Incarnation—is so essential a reality, that anyone who denies that historic event and fact is the anti-Christ [I John 2:22-23].
The three stained glass windows above the High Altar in the Basilica sanctuary outline exactly why God became man in Bethlehem, as seen in the left window, that He could ransom humanity from sin and death by dying on the Cross [in the center window], and, on Easter Sunday, give humanity eternal life in the flesh by Rising from the Dead in His human body He had received in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary [in the right hand window]. God became man so in His human death all humanity could die to sin; and in His human Resurrection from the dead, all humanity could  rise to eternal life in the flesh. And this was in fulfillment of His promise He had made to Adam and Eve immediately after their sin of disobedience. There, God the Creator promised to take on human flesh in the womb of a child of Eve [The Virgin Mary], in order to destroy the power of Satan. Speaking to Satan and to Eve, God said, “I put enmity between you and the woman, and between her seed and your seed: she shall crush your head, and you shall snap at her heel” [Gen. 3:15]. While Satan would snap at our heel by temptation, it would be the daughter of Eve—Mary—who would crush Satan’s head by giving birth to God in the flesh, Jesus. As Adam’s downfall came through the fruit of the Tree of Life in Paradise, now by a new Tree of Life, the Cross, the Second Adam, Jesus, would bring eternal life for the Sons and Daughters of Adam, who would become Sons and Daughters of God  through Baptism and the Sacraments of the Church—the new fruit for a new Paradise, Heaven.
Because God became one of us, we can have a statue or a picture of Him: the Invisible God became visible in Jesus, in Bethlehem in the beginning of the first century. So, too, since God became one of us in Bethlehem, we can, through Christ, become like God, sharing in His everlasting life. So, during the next few weeks, visit our Creche on the Saint Joseph side altar, and let your heart be moved by this invention of Saint Francis, and thank God that the Eternal Son became a man so that we could become like God, through His Incarnation—God becoming man.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Michael Scully, Roger Borrelli , Nyal Colies, Dorothy Keyes, Joanne Santarsiero, Joevil Basulgan DelaCruz, Mary Duffy, Louise Morello, Joanne Santarsiero, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Kathryn Anne Marciano, Marilyn VanAuken, Joyce Patten, Katherine Kimberly, Mary Louise Wakin, David Kochosky, Jonathan Shearman, 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.

Christmas Day Collection . . . The second collection on Christmas will be the for the parish.  Your generosity is appreciated.

Banns of Marriage:  III Banns: Scott Oberst and Kristina Byrne

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.

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 app.formed.org/ Access Code WWT2NF.

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.

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 Fr. Vill at religioused@stjohnsstamford.com.

Not Married in the Catholic Church? Please call the parish 203) 324-1553, and speak with either  Msgr. DiGiovanni (ext. 11) 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.

Preaching to Baby Jesus: A pious practice begun by Saint Francis of Assisi is that children of the parish enter the pulpit and tell Baby Jesus their thoughts and hopes. The children of our religious education program will do this each Sunday at 9 am until early February. All are welcome to attend.

DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY: Interested in reading Dante? We’ll begin during Lent [March 8th] with the Inferno, which is not a torture tour, but 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 through real life folly that ends invariably to unhappiness, pain and suffering in this life and in the next. NO Charge: just purchase the book. Interested? Call  Msgr. DiGiovanni, 203-324-1553, ext 11.

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.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday         December 17, 2017               $  14,971.37
Sunday         December 18,  2016              $  13,162.71

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 31st Sunday Readings:  SIR 3:2-6, 12-14; COL 3:12-21; LK 2:22-40

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

December 25th, CHRISTMAS: is a Monday this year and people have asked about weekend and Christmas Mass attendance. Since Mass is essential to the Christian life, all are obliged to attend two Masses: one Mass for the 4th Sunday of Advent[on either the evening of Saturday, December 23rd or on Sunday, December 24th]  AND one Mass  for Christmas [on either the evening of Sunday, December 24th or on  Monday, December 25th]. Here is the schedule for the Masses on December 23, 24 & 25:
Saturday, December 23: 4pm Vigil for Sunday Mass;
Sunday, December 24: 7:30am, 10am, 12noon for Sunday Masses; 5pm Christmas Eve Vigil Mass;
Monday, December 25: 12 MIDNIGHT, 7:30am, 10am, 12noon for Christmas Mass.

DECEMBER 27TH, at 7:30pm: Chanted Evening Prayer of Saint John: This is our parish patronal feast, followed by traditional mulled wine and pastries in the parish hall. Everyone is welcome.

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.

Christmas Gift: By the generosity of the Bound and Parker families, the parish is offering a free gift of Rediscovering Jesus by Matthew Kelly this Christmas! Please feel free to take a copy home with you after the Christmas masses.

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.  We  meet Tuesday mornings in Msgr. Nagle Hall from 9:30am-11:30am. Childcare is available.  Register at: tinyurl.com/WWPTBSJ2017.  For more information, contact Rosa Federici at: wwptbsj@gmail.com or 203-536-5480.

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

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  projectrachel@diobpt.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.

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.  We currently have a  new student who needs a  tutor  in Japanese. For more  information or to volunteer and/or tutor, please contact Fanny Moran: fmoran@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

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: lisakotasek@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.

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

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.

Job Seekers: Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., is a leader in helping find jobs. Jobseeker’s Group will not be meeting during November and December, but please call or email Melanie Szlucha for a free 30 minute consultation. Meetings will resume in January 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, January 24th.  THERE IS NO CHARGE, this is free job coaching. Call Melanie Szlucha at 203-866-1606, or melanie@redincllc.com

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. 21).

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: “The Eaglet,” the parish blog on our Basilica website, www.stjohnsstamford.com, is up and running, featuring a variety of thought-provoking articles on the Catholic Faith and Church. Feedback is welcome and discussion is encouraged, via a comments form at the end of each article. Please bookmark the page, visit often, and share the link with your family and friends.

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, December 23, 2017
4:00   +Vito and Josephine Melfi req. Joseph Melfi
Sunday, Christmas Eve, December 24, 2017
7:30     Special Intentions Rev. Andrew Vill req. Ferry G.
10:00 +Feroze Aslam req. Abdul and Sarah Aslam
12:00   Marion Morris req. Agnes Kung
5:00   +Fr. Rufin Kuveikis, OFM, Cap.
MIDNIGHT MASS:  People of the Parish
Monday, Christmas, December 25, 2017
7:30     People of the Parish
10:00   People of the Parish
12:00 +Mary Audette req. her son
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
8:00   +Nang Nguyen req. Thang Nguyen
12:10  Thomas Cycon req. Jef and Mary Spetland
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
8:00     Priests of the Parish req. Ferry G.
12:10  Maria Trivino req. Lilian and Alvina Ramos
Thursday, December 28, 2017
8:00   +Randolph Samedi req. Anne Marie Samedi
12:10 +Sean Sullivan req. Gail Steward
Friday, December 29, 2017
8:00    Deceased members of the Churley and Kronk Families
12:10 +Carmine V. Longo Sr. req. Lucille Longo and Family
Saturday, December 30, 2017
8:00   +Wladek and Willemina Falek req. daughter
12:10   Special intentions of Andrew Mbabaali req. Ferry G.

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 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, 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. 21, for more information.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:
155 years ago, or so:
Dec. 27, 1861:  Christmas in the Churches. “Roman Catholic—Early Mass was celebrated, and at 10 o’clock, there were the usual Christmas services, and an appropriate sermon by the Rev. Father O’Neil. The church is handsomely decorated.”

100 years ago, or so:
Dec. 24, 1917:  CHRISTMAS DAY IN OUR CHURCHES. “At. St. John’s R. C. Church, Solemn High Mass, with special music will be celebrated at 5 a.m. There will be a Low Mass at 7:30, a Low Mass for the Italian people of the parish at 8:15, a Low Mass at 9, a Mass for the children of the parish at 9:30 and a Solemn High Mass, with special music, including an orchestra, at 10:30 a.m.”

75 years ago, or so:
Dec. 23, 1942: Birth Of Savior To Be Celebrated In Local Churches. “There will be special music for Christmas at the Masses tomorrow in the Catholic churches. St. John’s Catholic Church will have Masses at 7, 8, 9, 10, 10:15 and 11 a.m. tomorrow, with the 11 o’clock a Solemn High Mass. Music will be sung by a boys’ choir and a male choir, direction of Howard Fagan. The processional will be “Laetentur Coeli” of Carlo Carturan, sung by the boys’ choir, which will also sing the Offertorium, “Tollite Hostias,” by C. Sant-Saens. The two choirs will join in singing the Communion, Manzetti’s “Adeste Fideles” and the recessional, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” The “Mass in F Major,” by William Armstrong, will be sung by William Armstrong. Confessions at St. John’s will be heard this afternoon from 3:30 to 6 and this evening from 7 to 9 p.m.”

65 years ago, or so:
Dec. 24, 1951: City’s Churches To Offer Special Christmas Music. “The traditional music of the Christmas season will be heard in Stamford churches on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Special services have been arranged by many of Stamford’s churches. Services which have been announced include the following: St. John’s Catholic: The Children’s Choir of St. John’s Catholic Church will sing Christmas hymns at the 9 o’clock Mass on Christmas Day. Included are Magnificat by E. Verschneider; O Holy Night by Adolphe Adam; Adeste Fideles by Philip G. Kreckel; Silent Night will be sung A Cappella, composed by Franz Gruber; The Birthday of a King by Neidlinger.”

30 years ago, or so:
Dec. 24, 1986: New Creche boosts yule holiday spirit. “With just two days to go before Christmas, Rev. William A. Nagle said yesterday that a new creche arrived just in time to renew the holiday spirit. “There is a new feeling of Christmas joy now,” said Rev. Nagle. The creche completes the holiday festivities.”

Bulletin for Sunday December 17, 2017

For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday December 17, 2017

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: Marilyn VanAuken, Michael Scully, Roger Borrelli , Nyal Colies, Dorothy Keyes, Joanne Santarsiero, Joevil Basulgan DelaCruz, Mary Duffy, Louise Morello, Joanne Santarsiero, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Joyce Patten, Katherine Kimberly, Mary Louise Wakin, David Kochosky, Arthur DiGiovanni, Jonathan Shearman, 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.

Monthly Collection: The second collection today will be the monthly collection for the parish.

Banns of Marriage:  II Banns: Scott Oberst and Kristina Byrne

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.

Campaign Committee: A brief meeting of the capital campaign committee will be held in the Rectory on Wednesday, December 20th at 7:30pm.

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 app.formed.org/ Access Code WWT2NF.

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.

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 Fr. Vill at religioused@stjohnsstamford.com.

Not Married in the Catholic Church? Please call the parish 203) 324-1553, and speak with either  Msgr. DiGiovanni (ext. 11) 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.

DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY: Interested in reading Dante? We’ll begin during Lent [March 8th] with the Inferno, which is not a torture tour, but 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 through real life folly that ends invariably to unhappiness, pain and suffering in this life and in the next. NO Charge: just purchase the book. Interested? Call  Msgr. DiGiovanni, 203-324-1553, ext 11.

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.

Weekly Sunday collection:     

Sunday December 10, 2017 $  11,570.67
Sunday December 11, 2016 $  12,891.18

  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

December 24th Sunday Readings:  2SM 7:1-5, 8B-12, 14A, 16; Rom 16:25-27; LK 1:26-38

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

December 25th, CHRISTMAS: is a Monday this year and people have asked about weekend and Christmas Mass attendance. Since Mass is essential to the Christian life, all are obliged to attend two Masses: one Mass for the 4th Sunday of Advent[on either the evening of Saturday, December 23rd or on Sunday, December 24th]  AND one Mass  for Christmas [on either the evening of Sunday, December 24th or on  Monday, December 25th]. Here is the schedule for the Masses on December 23, 24 & 25:
Saturday, December 23: 4pm Vigil for Sunday Mass;
Sunday, December 24: 7:30am, 10am, 12noon for Sunday Masses; 5pm Christmas Eve Vigil;
Monday, December 25: 12 MIDNIGHT, 7:30am, 10am, 12noon for Christmas Mass.

DECEMBER 27TH, at 7:30pm: Chanted Evening Prayer of Saint John: This is our parish patronal feast, followed by traditional mulled wine and pastries in the parish hall. Everyone is welcome.

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  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: wwptbsj@gmail.com or 203-536-5480.

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

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  projectrachel@diobpt.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.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: “The Eaglet,” the parish blog on our Basilica website, www.stjohnsstamford.com, is up and running, featuring a variety of thought-provoking articles on the Catholic Faith and Church. Feedback is welcome and discussion is encouraged, via a comments form at the end of each article. Please bookmark the page, visit often, and share the link with your family and friends.

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: fmoran@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

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: lisakotasek@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.

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

Employmen: 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.

Job Seekers: Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., is a leader in helping find jobs. Jobseeker’s Group will not be meeting during November and December, but please call or email Melanie Szlucha for a free 30 minute consultation. Meetings will resume in January 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, January 24th.  THERE IS NO CHARGE, this is free job coaching. Call Melanie Szlucha at 203-866-1606, or melanie@redincllc.com

Lost & Found . . . Please check the Lost & Found in the Rectory for any items you may have left in the church.  Feel free to call Keri at the rectory, M-F, 9AM—4:30PM, 203-324-1553 x21.

Please do not leave valuables in the pews, especially when you go to Communion. Please do not light candles during Communion.

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. 21).

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, December 16, 2017
4:00   +Ann Annunziato Muchinsky req. Diane Costello
Sunday, December 17, 2017
7:30     Wilmar Contreras req. Nelly Contreras
10:00 +William Borkowski req. Ann and Michael Borkowski
12:00 +Allan Mitchell 6th Anniversary req. Marion Morris
5:00   +Fr. Rufin Kuveikis, OFM, Cap.
Monday, December 18, 2017
8:00     Souls in Purgatory
12:10   In Honor of St. Jude req. Blanca Soto
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
8:00   +Oswaldo Diaz req. Marion Morris and Dom Piria
12:10   Special Intentions Gail Piria req. Family
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
8:00   +Wladek and Willemina Falek req. daughter
12:10   Johvany Ospina req. Nelly Contreras
Thursday, December 21, 2017
8:00   +Doris McMahon req. Tom Timon
12:10   Vanessa Agudelo req. Nelly Contreras
Friday, December 22, 2017
8:00   +Juana Mazariegos req. Blanca Reyes
12:10   Deceased members of the Churley and Kronk Families
Saturday, December 23, 2017
8:00   +Philip and Mary Bayne req. Barbara Bayne
12:10 +Maria Imbrogno req. Frank and Beth Carpanzano

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 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, 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. 21, for more information.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:

105 years ago, or so:
            Dec. 23, 1912:  3,000 MARCH IN HOLY NAME SOCIETIES’ GREAT PROCESSION. “Favored with weather conditions that were ideal, Stamford witnessed, yesterday afternoon, perhaps the greatest religious demonstration in its history. Three thousand men and boys who are pledged to do all in their power to promote cleanliness in speech and conduct, paraded through streets of the city behind banners which proclaimed them to be members of the Holy Name Order. Each man wore a badge, or carried a banner, of the Order, and, as they marched, many of them sung or hummed in subdued tones the hymns of their church, which the bands were playing. The Town Hall clock had scarcely struck 3 when Chief of Police Brennan gave the words, “Forward, march,” and the members of the Order who attend St. John’s Catholic Church got under way. Behind Chief Brennan were a line of policemen, sixteen of them, and then came Kearney’s band. Walking with the men of their church at the head of the procession were Rev. Nicholas P. Coleman, and Rev. James Walsh.  Dr. John J. Ryle, deputy grand marshal, and John A. Waters, president of St. John’s branch of the Order, were in the van. On the reviewing stand, or the esplanade, were Bishop Nilan, Rev. James C. O’Brien, Pastor of St. John’s, Rev. William H. Flynn, the Bishop’s chancellor, Mayor Charles E. Rowell, and Corporation Counsel Homer S. Cummings. Out of courtesy to the visitors, none of the members of St. John’s Church entered the church edifice until all the visitors had been ushered to seats. There was not sufficient room in the upper nave of the church to accommodate the throng. An overflow service was held in the basement. Bishop Nilan preached the sermon.”

100 years ago, or so:
            Dec. 24, 1917:  CHRISTMAS DAY IN OUR CHURCHES. “At. St. John’s R. C. Church, solemn High Mass, with special music will be celebrated at 5 a.m. There will be a Low Mass at 7:30, a Low Mass for the Italian people of the parish at 8:15, a Low Mass at 9, a Mass for the children of the parish at 9:30 and a Solemn High Mass, with special music, including an orchestra, at 10:30.”

65 years ago, or so:
            Dec. 19, 1950: Sodality Plans Dance. “The Children of Mary Sodality of St. John’s R. C. Church met with sodality members from the Sacred Heart Church and St. Maurice’s Church this week to plan a semi-formal dance to be held late next month at Laddin’s Terrace.”

50 years ago, or so:
            Dec. 18, 1965:   AT THE TOP. “Daniel Shaub is the most recent Stamford Boy Scout to receive Scouting’s highest award, the Eagle Badge. He is a member of Troop 22, sponsored by St. John’s Roman Catholic Church. His brother, David Shaub, who is the assistant Scoutmaster, joined with him at the presentation.”

Bulletin for Sunday December 10, 2017

For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday December 10, 2017

Pastor’s Corner:   One of the most beautiful meditations about God becoming Man [the mystery we celebrate at Christmas] is that written by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux [1090-1153]. The “mystery” is why God would come to rescue us from sin and death, at all!? The answer to that is God’s love for us; and His hope that we will choose to love Him in return.  That’s what salvation is: understanding that God loves you, and deciding that you will love God in the way you live your life, thereby opening yourself to God’s grace, so you might live with Him forever. Saint Bernard’s meditation is about the response Our Lady made to the Archangel Gabriel, who was sent by God to ask Mary to co-operate with His plan to save humankind from sin and death.  Mary’s response changes the fate of all humanity: from being slaves to death,  to become free sons and daughters of God through Christ. As we read Bernard’s meditation, think of yourself as being in Our Lady’s room when the Archangel Gabriel appears: you’re eavesdropping, hiding behind the curtains. But, even while you’re doing something not so very nice, you become caught up in the scene of the angel before Mary: and, as you begin to understand the importance that Mary’s response to God is to YOU and to YOUR future, you begin to hope that Mary will say “yes” , and co-operate with God’s invitation to be the Mother of God. Her co-operation with God was essential  that you and all humankind might benefit in eternal life. This is what Christmas is all about.
Saint Bernard’s meditation is based on the Gospel account of  the Annunciation [Luke 1:26-38], which is also one of the most beautiful of the stained glass windows here at the Basilica: it is the on the side wall of Our Lady’s Chapel—to the left of the high altar: Mary kneels in prayer, and the Archangel Gabriel appears before her: and a small white dove can be seen descending upon Mary: the power of the Holy Spirit, by Whom Mary will conceive the savior in her womb.
Here’s the meditation by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, and he begins his narrative the moment after the Archangel invites Mary to be the Mother of God. This is not merely a reflection about something that happened in the past. Bernard writes this to be applied to each of us. The narrator is YOUR heart, beating more excitedly, hoping Mary will say “yes” daily to God’s will, just as God hopes daily that you will. Here is Bernard’s work:

“You have heard, Virgin Mary, that you are to conceive and bear a son by the power of the Holy Spirit. The angel awaits your answer, for he must now return to God who sent him. We too await your merciful word, Lady, for we are the wretches whom condemnation threatens. The price of our salvation is offered to you, and if you consent then we shall at once be freed. We were all created in God’s Eternal Word, yet now we are doomed to death because of Adam’s sin; in your short answer we shall be remade and summoned back to life.
“Adam and Eve stand here weeping with their poor exiled children and await your answer; Abraham is here and David and all the holy patriarchs who are your fathers but dwell now in the valley   of death’s shadow. The whole world is prostrate at your feet and waiting. What else can they do, since on your words depend the consolation of the wretched, the liberation of prisoners, the rescue of the condemned, and, in a word, the salvation of all Adam’s children of your whole race?
“Answer quickly, then, Virgin. Answer the angel and the Lord he represents. Give your word and receive the Eternal Word [The Eternal Son of God]; speak the word that passes and embrace the Word who abides forever!
“Why the delay and the trembling? Believe, confess, receive. Virginal simplicity must not forget wisdom. Fear not to be presumptuous, for though silent modesty is pleasing, your words of dedication are more needed now.
“Blessed Virgin, open your heart to faith, your lips to the praise of the Lord, your body to your Creator. The One for whom the nations yearn is knocking at the door. Delay, and he will pass by, and you shall begin again in sorrow to seek Him whom your heart loves. Rise up, run, open!
“She answers: ‘Behold the Lord’s servant. Do with me as you say’.”
[In Praise of the Virgin Mary, Sermon 4, 8-9]

Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick:  Cade Landeche, Joyce Patten, Marilyn VanAuken, Michael Scully, Roger Borrelli , Nyal Colies, Dorothy Keyes, Joanne Santarsiero, Joevil Basulgan DelaCruz, Mary Duffy, Louise Morello, Joanne Santarsiero, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died:  Katherine Kimberly , Mary Louise Wakin, David Kochosky, Arthur DiGiovanni, Jonathan Shearman, 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.

Retirement Fund for Religious Collection . . . Please drop your Retirement Fund for Religious envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.  There will only be one collection today.

Banns of Marriage:  I Banns: Scott Oberst and Kristina Byrne

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.

FORMED: Donated by a parishioner, this is a revolutionary online platform, provides access to the best Catholic audio talks, movies, ebooks, 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 app.formed.org/ Access Code WWT2NF.

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.

Not Married in the Catholic Church? Please call the parish 203) 324-1553, and speak with either  Msgr. DiGiovanni (ext. 11) 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.

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 first part of the Divine Comedy, The Inferno 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.

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.

Trinity Catholic High School is now accepting student applications for the 2018-2019 school year. They will hold an entrance exam on Saturday, December 16th, 2017, at 9am. Check out the website for details www.trinitycatholic.org/admissions.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday December 3, 2017 $ 15,172.75
Sunday December 4, 2016 $ 12,620.30

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 17th Sunday Readings:  IS 61:1-2A, 10-11; 1 Thes 5:16-24; Jn 1:6-8, 19-28

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

December 16th, at 6:30am:Rorate Mass: Solemn Choir Mass in English
in honor of Our Lady Followed by light breakfast.

DECEMBER 27TH, at 7:30pm: Chanted Vespers of Saint John: This is our parish patronal feast, followed by traditional mulled wine and pastries in the parish hall.

CHRISTMAS: December 25th is a Monday this year and people have asked about weekend and Christmas Mass attendance. Since Mass is essential to the Christian life, all are obliged to attend two Masses: one Mass for the 4th Sunday of Advent[on either the evening of Saturday, December 23rd or on Sunday, December 24th]  AND one Mass  for Christmas [on either the evening of Sunday, December 24th or on  Monday, December 25th]. Here is the schedule for the Masses on December 23, 24 & 25:
Saturday, December 23: 4pm Vigil for Sunday Mass of Sunday;
Sunday, December 24: 7:30am, 10am, 12noon for Sunday Masses; 5pm Christmas Vigil;
Monday, December 25: 12 MIDNIGHT, 7:30am, 10am, 12noon for Christmas Mass.

Campaign Committee: A brief meeting of the capital campaign committee will be held in the Rectory on Wednesday, December 20th at 7:30pm.

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

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  projectrachel@diobpt.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.

Xavier Society for the Blind will celebrate our annual St. Lucy Feast Day Mass on December 13th at 10 a.m. in the Lady Chapel of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City. St. Lucy is the patron saint of the blind. All are welcome.

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 Fr. Vill at religioused@stjohnsstamford.com.

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: fmoran@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

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: lisakotasek@gmail.com

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

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  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: wwptbsj@gmail.com or 203-536-5480.

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.

Job Seekers: Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., is a leader in helping find jobs. Jobseeker’s Group will not be meeting during November and December, but please call or email Melanie Szlucha for a free 30 minute consultation. Meetings will resume in January 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, January 24th.  THERE IS NO CHARGE, this is free job coaching. Call Melanie Szlucha at 203-866-1606, or melanie@redincllc.com

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, December 9, 2017
4:00   +Israel Noriega req. Noriega Family
Sunday, December 10, 2017
7:30    Mary Spetland req. Thomas Cycon
10:00 +Ilario Altamura req. Giannitti Family
12:00   Prayer for Priests req. Marion Morris
5:00   +Fr. Rufin Kuveikis, OFM, Cap.
Monday, December 11, 2017
8:00     Souls In Purgatory req. John and Jennifer Marciano
12:10 +Mr. and Mrs. Marcial Gloria req. Angeles Family
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
8:00   +Carmine V. Longo Sr. req. Lucille Longo and Family
12:10   Special intentions of Dureid Khamo
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
8:00   +Patrick Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10   Souls in Purgatory req. Nelly Contreras
Thursday, December 14, 2017
8:00   +Rose Donohue and Mary Hynes req. Marie Carr
12:10 +Penny Vitolo req. Mary Long
Friday, December 15, 2017
8:00   +Mary Churley req. Mary Petrizzi
12:10 +Julie Paul Beauzil req. Eveline Lauture
Saturday, December 16, 2017
8:00   +Hope and Joseph McAleer req. McAleer Family
12:10 +Frank Mulreed req. Diane Costello

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 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, 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. 21, for more information.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:

(Editor’s Note:  In July,1891, the Reverend Thomas J. Keena, Assistant Pastor of St. John’s from 1887 to 1897, led a group of St. John’s parishioners to the Shrine of St. Ann in Canada. On their return, the St. Ann’s Society was organized. Two years later, in 1893, it boasted of a membership exceeding 250. It is the oldest of St. John’s Societies still in existence.)

100 years ago, or so:
Dec. 14, 1914:  “St. Ann’s Society of St. John’s Catholic Church met yesterday and elected officers for the ensuing year as follows: President, Mrs. Mary Hubert; vice-president, Mrs. P. Larkin; financial secretary, Mrs. W. H. Thompson; treasurer, Miss Anna Picker; chaplain, Rev. J. C. O’Brien; executive committee, Mrs. M. Gallagher, Miss E. Rose, Miss K. Donahue, Mrs. Sarah Grant, Mrs. Mary Hart, Mrs. B. Nichols and Mrs. M. Tynes.”

95 years ago, or so:
Dec. 14, 1922:  DISTRIBUTE CHRISTMAS CHEER. “St. Ann’s Ladies’ Aid Society of St. John’s Catholic Church, which society, for a number of years, has distributed Christmas baskets among the needy people of the city, will continue the custom this season. It is estimated that the society will distribute about 125 baskets this year. There are families who need clothing, and wearing apparel will be included, this year, in the gifts the society makes. These Christmas baskets will go out on Saturday, Dec. 23. People who desire to help in this charity should send their donations to the office of St. John’s parochial school on Dec. 21. A Christmas basket sent out by this society usually contains one or more chickens, fruit, vegetables, tea, coffee, sugar, candy where there are children, cake and clothing where there are children.”

45 years ago, or so:
Dec. 14, 1973: St. Anne’s Society Card Party Plans Discussed. “The annual card party of St. Anne’s Society will be held February 13 in St. John’s parish hall. Plans were discussed and committee chairmen appointed at a meeting of the society this week. Miss Margaret Power will be chairman, assisted by Mrs. Ellen Troy, raffle; Mrs. Katherine Morgan, prizes and Miss Bridie Madigan, refreshments. A Christmas party followed the business session.”

25 years ago, or so:
July 22, 1992: ST. JOHNS’ CATHOLIC CHURCH, ST. ANNE’S DAYS. “St. John’s will have a Triduum in honor of St. Anne and St. Joachim, the parents of Mary, and the Grandparents of Jesus. The Triduum will take place at the 12:10 Mass Wednesday, July 22nd , Thursday, July 23rd and Friday, July 24th. Each day a brief homity will be preached as we honor St. Anne and St. Joachim. Veneration of the relic of St. Anne will take place each day at the Triduum.”

Bulletin for Sunday December 3, 2017

For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday December 3, 2017

Pastor’s Corner:   Friday, December 8th, is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the patronal feast day of the United States. In 1846,  the American Catholic bishops asked that the United States be placed under the patronage of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, as their sign of support for Blessed Pope Pius IX in his efforts to define the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception.  But there was more than the 19th century American bishops being “politically correct” by supporting the pope. They earnestly desired to place the growing nation under the protection of Our Lady: since it was Mary whose obedience had united God to humankind in her womb, and under whose tutelage and protection was placed the salvation of the world in the person of her Son, who was God become man. Mary would be the perfect spiritual mother for our nation. The pope desired to define formally this ancient belief of the faithful: Mary’s parents, saints Joachim and Anne had normal sexual relations as husband and wife. But, it was God’s grace that preserved Mary from the effects of Adam’s Original Sin, from the moment she was conceived in Saint Anne’s womb. This Original Sin is that with which each human being is born, the effects of which are our tendency to want to do wrong, and death. God never created us to die.
Why would the pope so desire to define this ancient belief in the middle of the 19th century? Because Pope Pius IX understood quite clearly that big governments and industry were developing in a way that would urge the world to forget God in favor of “progress”, while re-defining the human person. In 1848, Karl Marx had published his Communist Manifesto, which blossomed 70 years later in the Russian Revolution and the communist states.  The Industrial Revolution was in full swing, and would soon enslave millions around the world in the grip of grinding poverty and endless work to benefit the few.  Prussia, France and England were developing their individual excessive nationalisms, growing armies and military industries that would lead to two world wars. In all these movements, Pope Pius IX was the only world leader who spoke out warning that men and women were being re-defined by big governments and growing industry as worthy of life only if they were productive in industry, useful to a political party, loyal to the state, members of a socially acceptable race.  This was and is wrong!   Men and women are more than what we produce; more than  our race,  gene pool, or political loyalties. Pius saw his task as the one leader whose teachings would gain him nothing personally: to remind humanity about who we are: our dignity and right to exist comes from our very essence: created in the Image and Likeness of God, redeemed by God’s Eternal Son-made-man in the womb of the Virgin Mary.  So, in 1854, backed by the Catholic bishops and faithful from around the globe, Blessed Pope Pius IX showed the world the teaching power of the Catholic Church by formally reminding the world that nothing is more important in the world than God; and that nothing is more important to God than us. By forgetting God—in our work, the market place or public life—we are being controlled and used for the profit of others.
Our Lady is the most perfect example of a human being co-operating fully with God. God prepared her from eternity to be the Mother of His Son: she did not create God, who exists from all eternity. But she gave to the Eternal and unseen Son of God  a human mind, heart, soul, will, and body: the ever-existing God entered into human history and became man in the womb of Mary, in order to free us from sin and death. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux described God’s purpose beautifully:
“It befitted God to be born of none but a virgin, and it befitted the virgin that having borne God she should bear no other. The Creator of men, in becoming himself a man, had to choose, indeed even to form, the kind of mother he knew befitted him and knew would please him. Therefore, he wanted her to be a virgin so that from a spotless woman He, the Spotless One, might come forth to cleans away the sins of all mankind. He wanted her to be humble from whom He, as the man meek and humble of heart, would be born; He wanted her to give a salutary example of all the virtues. Therefore He made the Virgin conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit, for she earlier offered her vow of virginity to Him but had also won the merit of humility. These were the glorious jewels of mind and body that adorned the royal Virgin. Her beauty was known in heaven, whose citizens gazed on her with admiration; she attracted the eyes of the King to herself and sent down a heavenly messenger to greet her. The angel was sent to a virgin: a virgin in flesh and in spirit, a virgin by deliberate intention, a virgin such as the Apostle Saint Paul describes, holy in mind and body. The Lord did not stumble on her by accident but chose her from eternity; the Most High prepared her, the angels preserved her, the Fathers of  Israel pointed her out, the prophets promised her coming” [Sermon II, In Praise of the Virgin Mary].
And why did the pope accede to the American bishops’ desire that Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception be the patroness of America? Because the pope had great hopes for the United States as the only nation under whose laws and freedoms the Catholic Church might prosper and grow. And he was correct: in all European countries, throughout Asia, and in nearly all the countries of Central and South America, the Catholic Church was persecuted throughout the 19th and 20th centuries: Catholic schools, universities and churches closed, all church property seized, clergy and nuns imprisoned, killed and forbidden to wear clerical attire publicly. It is the same reason Blessed Pope Pius IX blessed the efforts of American bishops to build churches and schools for the millions of immigrant Catholics arriving in the United States, such as our own basilica, established as an independent parish in 1854—the same year of the definition of the Immaculate Conception; and the same reason that blessed pope established the American seminary in Rome in 1859.  The pope’s thoughts were: Nourish America, because it understands humanity’s need for freedom to worship God.
On December 8th, let us recall Our Lady’s faith and virtues, and the fact that the pope who began our Basilica parish gave her to us Americans as our patroness and guide to remind us that nothing should be more important to us than God, through His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Roger Borrelli , Nyal Colies, Dorothy Keyes, Joanne Santarsiero, Joevil Basulgan DelaCruz, Mary Duffy, Louise Morello, Joanne Santarsiero, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died:  Mary Louise Wakin, David Kochosky, Arthur DiGiovanni, Jonathan Shearman, 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.

FORMED: Donated by a parishioner, this is a revolutionary online platform, provides access to the best Catholic audio talks, movies, ebooks, 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 app.formed.org/ Access Code WWT2NF.

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.

Not Married in the Catholic Church? Please call the parish 203) 324-1553, and speak with either  Msgr. DiGiovanni (ext. 11) 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.

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 first part of the Divine Comedy, The Inferno 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.

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.

Immaculate Conception Novena: St. Mary Church in Greenwich will celebrate a Novena in preparation for the Immaculate Conception from November 30th to December 8th. 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 stmarygreenwich.org for more details.

Trinity Catholic High School is now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year. They will hold an entrance exam on Saturday, December 16th, 2017, at 9am. Check out the website for details www.trinitycatholic.org/admissions.

A Christmas Carol at Trinity Catholic High School:  Join us in celebrating the holidays this year, as the Trinity Catholic High School Crusader Players present A Christmas Carol, Friday, December 8th, and Saturday, December 9th, at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, December 10th, at 2:00 pm. To order your tickets online, go to www.trinitycatholic.org/student-life/crusader-players

Weekly Sunday collection:

Sunday November 19, 2017 $  11,285.98 (Parade)
Sunday November 20, 2016 $  11,131.76 (Parade)
Sunday November 26, 2017 $  14,936.33

Sunday November 27, 2016 $  13,366.69

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 10th Sunday Readings:  Is 63: 16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7; 1 Cor 1:3-9; Mk 13:33-37

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.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
Handel’s Messiah
:Part I & Hallelujah Chorus
Saturday, December 9th, 2017 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 www.stamfordsymphony.org.

Rorate Mass: Saturday, December 16th at 6:30 am
Solemn Choir Mass in honor of Our Lady in English
Followed by light breakfast

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

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  projectrachel@diobpt.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.

The Christmas Giving Tree: To benefit pregnant women and their families served by the Sisters of Life. For the next three weeks, a basket will be in the back of the church. The name of an 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 after each Mass on the weekend of December 10thstarting with the 4PM Mass on Saturday. Call Frank Carpanzano @ 203-975-8833 ext 3004. Thank you!

DO NOT DROP OFF THE GIFTS AT THE RECTORY OR LEAVE THEM IN CHURCH.

Xavier Society for the Blind will celebrate our annual St. Lucy Feast Day Mass on December 13th at 10 a.m. in the Lady Chapel of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City. St. Lucy is the patron saint of the blind. 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: fmoran@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

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: lisakotasek@gmail.com

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

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  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: wwptbsj@gmail.com or 203-536-5480.

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.

Job Seekers: Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., is a leader in helping find jobs. Jobseeker’s Group will not be meeting during November and December, but please call or email Melanie Szlucha for a free 30 minute consultation. Meetings will resume in January 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, January 24th.  THERE IS NO CHARGE, this is free job coaching. Call Melanie Szlucha at 203-866-1606, or melanie@redincllc.com

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, December 2, 2017
4:00   +Elizabeth and Thomas Daly req. Leon Taricani
Sunday, December 3, 2017
7:30   +Giuseppe Mastroluca req. Frank and Beth Carpanzano
10:00 +Claire Laginestra req. The Legion of Mary
12:00 +Edna Holt and Son req. Marion Morris & Family
5:00   +Fr. Rufin Kuveikis, OFM, Cap.
Monday, December 4, 2017
8:00   +Fernand Constant req. Geralda Constant-Berrouet
12:10 +Patrick Kane and Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane and Family
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
8:00   +Anthony and Betty Pierne req. Elizabeth
12:10 +Laura Pascale req. John Pascale
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
8:00   +Margaret Timon req. Tom Timon
12:10 +Penny Vitolo req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
Thursday, December 7, 2017
8:00     Deceased members of the Churley and Kronk Families
12:10 +Claire Laginestra req. Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Ingram
5:15   +James F. Hurley req. Mark and Deborah Dalton
Friday, December 8, 2017
8:00   +Virginia and Eileen Carr req. Marie Carr
12:10   Special Intentions Gail Piria req. Family
5:15     For the opening of the cause of Cardinal Kung
Saturday, December 9, 2017
8:00     Souls in Purgatory req. Nelly Contreras
12:10 +William Morrell req. Diane Costello

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 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, 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. 21, for more information.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:

150 years ago, or so:
Dec. 5, 1879: THE A.O.H. BALL. “This season’s ball by the Ancient Order of Hibernians society, which took place on Thanksgiving Eve, in Military Hall, was a very successful affair financially, and as a means of furnishing much enjoyment to all attending. Good music, which  is the life and soul of an entertainment of this kind, was not wanting , for the band of the famous 69th gave unlimited satisfaction. The spacious floor was well covered with dancers, whose energetic movements testified to their good spirits. The managers performed their several duties in a creditable manner, and left no cause of complaint from any. As for the supper, it is enough to say it was furnished by Melhongail. While the best of order was maintained in the room, there were more than one of the young fellows outside who seemed to be looking for a battle, and were usually able to find it.”

115 years ago, or so:
Dec. 8, 1903:  “Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and is observed as a Holy Day by Roman Catholics. In St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, a High Mass was celebrated at 9 this morning, by Rev. Father O’Brien, who spoke briefly on the significance of the day. There were two earlier Masses. At all the services, large congregations were present.”

110 years ago, or so:
Dec. 7, 1908: Junior Holy Name Society. “The Junior Holy Name Society of St. John’s R. C. Church, which was recently organized, held a meeting yesterday afternoon. The membership of the society includes for the most part working boys, and the principal aim of the society is to avoid swearing and loose talk generally, and to discourage such habits among others.”

100 years ago, or so:
Dec. 8, 1914: Church Feast Day Observed. “Special Masses in honor of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception were celebrated at the Catholic Churches here today, with a good attendance. At St. John’s Catholic Church, the Masses were 5, 7, 8 and 9 a.m.”

35 years ago, or so:
Dec. 3, 1981:   Annual Bazaar to take place this weekend at St. John, arranged by Church Societies. “The eighth annual bazaar at St. John Church, Atlantic Street is planned for Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring Christmas gift items including hand-knitted and hand-sewn clothing, hand-crafted decorations and stocking fillers, religious articles and books for children and grown-ups. A luncheon will be served throughout the day and baked goods and beverages will be available. There will also be a garage sale and awards. The event is sponsored by the Rosary Altar Guild, St. Anne’s Society and the Holy Name Society.”

Bulletin for Sunday November 26, 2017

For the entire bulletin with pictures, please click the following link: Bulletin for Sunday November 26, 2017

Pastor’s Corner:   Pope Pius XI began his pontificate in 1922. He faced the aftermath of the First World War, when the Church was the sole institution surviving on the European continent. Trust in big government, in the economy, in the military, in academia, in science, and in the brotherhood of men, all had failed, leaving Europe in ruins, and the lives of millions shattered. In his first encyclical letter (Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, Dec. 23, 1922) the pope said that the sufferings of the world
“. . . were due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law out of  their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in politics. That as long as individuals and states refused                 to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among             nations. Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ.”

He then dedicated his entire pontificate to Christ the King, and, three years later, established the Solemnity of Christ the King, which we celebrate this weekend. This was not simply a pious gesture. Pius XI was warning that unless individuals and governments of Europe changed and took Christ to heart, horrors worse than those endured during World War I would soon to overtake Europe and the world. He was correct: Fascism, Nazism, and Communism came to power, all ideologies dedicated to perfecting human society by excluding God from the public forum and from individual lives, and thus denying the human person and humanity as created in the image and likeness of God.
If people are not the image of God, they are disposable according to the whim or policies of the state, and the pope saw this happening in his own time. Only if we permit Christ, who is the King of Universe, to rule over our very lives, forming our daily relationships, and guiding our every action by the virtue of Christian obedience to God and charity to our neighbors who are the image and likeness of God, only then can the world hope for any semblance of justice or peace or prosperity. Without Christ, godless men and the totalitarian governments step in to take the place of God, and men and women became tools for the up-building of the state and of corporations. The state is not God, and we are not merely cogs in a machine. Pope Pius XI hoped that this annual celebration of Christ the King would annually remind the world of the necessity of Christ. “Christ’s kingly dignity”, the pope wrote, “demands that the State should take account of the commandments of God and of Christian principles, both in making laws and in administering justice, and also in providing the young a sound moral education.” That way,

“. . . the faithful will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal. If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn [merely] natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to Him. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls . . .” (Quas primas, Dec. 11, 1925)

The test whether Christ reigns in our daily lives is whether we keep the Ten Commandments—all of them: “He who says he knows Christ, but does not keep His Commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him” (I John 2:3-5). As we grow in grace, we move from them to exercising authentic charity: not merely obeying the laws of God because God gave them, although that is sufficient reason for doing so.  But seeking to naturally follow those Commandments by a life of active charity: we obey those Commandments without thought, as second nature, by always putting the interest of God and of His image—those around us, our wife or husband, our father or mother, our friend or stranger—before our own interests.  The practice of Christian Charity leads us to worship God, obey the Commandments, and reverence the Image of God in each other, since Charity permits of no injustice, subjugation, cheating or the using of another.  Let Our Lord be King in our hearts and lives daily, and find true joy being and doing that which He created us to be and do: His loving brothers and sisters, bound by faith and strengthened in charity.
Monsignor DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick: Dorothy Keys,  Joevil Basulgan DelaCruz, Mary Duffy, Louise Morello, 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.

Please pray for those who have recently died: Jonathan Shearman, 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.

Are you or someone you know interested in becoming Catholic, OR, are you an adult Catholic who has not yet received First Communion, Confession, or Confirmation? 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. Reminder for participants: HW: Part I: Chapter 7– The Holy Catholic Church (pages 97-116).

FORMED: Donated by a parishioner, this is a revolutionary online platform, provides access to the best Catholic audio talks, movies, ebooks, 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 app.formed.org/ Access Code WWT2NF.

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.

Not Married in the Catholic Church? Please call the parish 203) 324-1553, and speak with either  Msgr. DiGiovanni (ext. 11) 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.

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 first part of the Divine Comedy, The Inferno 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.

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.

Trinity Catholic High School is now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year. They will hold an entrance exam on Saturday, December 16th, 2017, at 9am. Check out the website for details www.trinitycatholic.org/admissions.

A Christmas Carol at Trinity Catholic High School Join us in celebrating the holidays this year, as the Trinity Catholic High School Crusader Players present A Christmas Carol, Friday, December 8th, and Saturday, December 9th, at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, December 10th, at 2:00 pm. To order your tickets online, go to www.trinitycatholic.org/student-life/crusader-players.
www.trinitycatholic.org/studentlife/crusaderplayers.

Weekly Sunday collection:

Not Available because of Early Bulletin Transmission Deadlines

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 3rd Sunday Readings:  EZ 34:11-12, 15-17; 1 Cor 15:20-26, 28; MT 25:31-46

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.

Saints’ Relics: The high altar displays the parish Relics of the Saints: these will remain on the altar throughout most of November to remind us of our calling to become saints—people who love God and strive to be perfect as Our Heavenly Father is perfect by our heroic acts of daily charity and virtue. Spend a few moments in prayer before or after Mass, asking the Saints to pray for you and your family.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
Advent & Christmas Concert: Saturday
Saturday, December  2nd at 7:30pm in our Basilica.

The seminarians of Saint Joseph Seminary in Yonkers, NY, will present a beautiful program of Advent and Christmas music. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on line: www.DunwoodieMusic.org or through the parish office: call Keri our secretary at 203-324-1553, ext 21. If you would like to take an advertisement for the program, please contact the seminary at the above website. Everyone is welcome!

Handel’s Messiah:Part I & Hallelujah Chorus
Saturday, December 9th, 2017 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 www.stamfordsymphony.org.

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

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  projectrachel@diobpt.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.

The Christmas Giving Tree: To benefit pregnant women and their families served by the Sisters of Life. For the next three weeks, a basket will be in the back of the church. The name of an 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 after each Mass on the weekend of December 10th starting with the 4PM Mass on Saturday. Call Frank Carpanzano @ 203-975-8833 ext 3004. Thank you!

DO NOT DROP OFF THE GIFTS AT THE RECTORY OR LEAVE THEM IN CHURCH.

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: fmoran@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

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: lisakotasek@gmail.com

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

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  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: wwptbsj@gmail.com or 203-536-5480.

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.

Job Seekers: Led by Melanie Szlucha whose company, Red Inc., is a leader in helping find jobs. Jobseeker’s Group will not be meeting during November and December, but please call or email Melanie Szlucha for a free 30 minute consultation. Meetings will resume in January 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, January 24th.  THERE IS NO CHARGE, this is free job coaching. Call Melanie Szlucha at 203-866-1606, or melanie@redincllc.com

Immaculate Conception Novena: St. Mary Church in Greenwich will celebrate a Novena in preparation for the Immaculate Conception from November 30th to December 8th. 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 stmarygreenwich.org for more details.

Mass Intentions

 +  Denotes Deceased

Saturday, November 25, 2017
4:00   +Bill Cody – 7th Anniversary req. Cody Family

Sunday, November 26, 2017
7:30   +Carmine V. Longo Sr. req. Lucille Longo and Family
10:00 +Enrico and Mary Imbrogno req. Gloria Mulieri
12:00 +Irene Scheck req. Christine Hylenski-Uzar and Family
5:00   +Ralph Branca

Monday, November 27, 2017
8:00   +Ronald Heinze req. Hawthorn Family
12:10 +Gaetano and Maria Conte req. Anthony and Carolyn Conte

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
8:00   +Aldo Iantorno req. Pasquale and Ida Carpanzano
12:10   Deceased members of the Churley and Kronk Families

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
8:00     Souls In Purgatory req. John and Jennifer Marciano
12:10 +Mary Churley req. Marion Morris

Thursday, November 30, 2017
8:00     For an end to violence and terrorism and peace for their victims
12:10 +John and Elizabeth Coughlin req. Family

Friday, December 1, 2017
8:00     Special Intentions Gail Piria req. Family
12:10   Patti Shuman req. Anne Marie Carpanzano

Saturday, December 2, 2017
8:00  +Maria Imbrogno req. Rocco Carmele Longo
12:10+Carol Rubin req. Lindsay Kennedy

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 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, 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. 21, for more information.

St. John’s in THE ADVOCATE:

DEDICATION OF THE BASEMENT CHAPEL OF ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST CHURCH—NOVEMBER 25, 1875.

DEDICATION OF THE R. C. CHAPEL:
The Advocate:December 3, 1875. “A memorable event—especially to the Roman Catholic people of the town—occurred on Thanksgiving day. The congregation assembled in the vicinity of the old church edifice, and marched in procession to the new church, where an audience numbering not less than sixteen hundred persons gathered to witness the dedicatory services of the new chapel, a spacious and substantially finished apartment, in the basement of the new edifice. A number of the Catholic clergy from elsewhere in this diocese and from the Archdiocese of New York took part in the ceremonies. The priests and attendant acolytes, to the number of thirty-six, walked in procession down the aisle of the chapel, and passing out, walked around the edifice, sprinkling holy water and reciting in Latin the prayers appointed to be used on such occasions. Subsequently High Mass was celebrated, followed by a sermon from one of the visiting clergymen, in which he took occasion to congratulate the pastor and people upon the superb edifice they have raised for the worship of God. “If this be the chapel,” said he, “what must the church be when it is all completed? I have no doubt it will be one of the most beautiful in the New England states.” The chapel is supplied with a new pipe organ, which, though much inferior in size to the grand organ to be used in the church, is a fine instrument, and was played in a masterly manner. The vocal part of the music was strikingly fine, and constituted no inconsiderable part of the service.”