Bulletin for Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pastor’s Corner . . . Today begins Holy Week: Thursday, Friday and Saturday are the holiest days:  Special services begin Wednesday:  Tenebrae (8:00 P.M.): a sung service recalling the abandonment of Christ by His Apostles, and His betrayal by Judas.

Holy Thursday’s evening Mass (8:00 P.M.) recalls the Last Supper and Our Lord’s institution of the Priesthood and the Eucharist; Judas’ betrayal; Peter’s denial; Jesus’ arrest in the Garden while his apostles slept. 

     Judas betrayal of Our Lord for 30 pieces of silver mirrored both humanity’s betrayal of our Creator for the brief satisfaction offered by sin, and Lucifer’s betrayal of God for power. 

     Jesus’ response to Judas and mankind’s betrayal is to affect our redemption by sacrificing Himself on the Cross, and by instituting the means by which His mercy, the effects of that sacrifice, are meted out in all places and all time:  the Priesthood and the Eucharist.

Good Friday (3:00 P.M.) is a memorial service of the Crucifixion. The church altar is absolutely bear; all images and statues covered over; no candles are lit; the church is dark. No Mass is celebrated anywhere today: the only day of the year.  We hear the prophecies of Christ’s sacrificial death; the Passion narrative; we venerate the Cross “upon which hung the Savior of the world”; we partake of Holy Communion, consecrated at the Mass of Holy Thursday.  All that is before us is God’s response to mankind’s sin:  mercy through the suffering of God in human flesh.

Holy Saturday (8:00 P.M.) is the Easter Vigil. The church is in total darkness. We gather at the Tomb of Christ, in a world in which the power of Evil apparently is victorious:  Satan has affected the death of God in the flesh! Yet, on Saturday, a fire is lit, representing Christ rising from the grave; a huge Easter Candle representing the Risen Christ is blessed and carried through the church; the ancient Easter hymn, the Exaltet, is sung to the Easter candle; seven selections from the Old Testament outline all salvation history; new converts are baptized.

If we love Our Lord, we should show that love in the way we live our daily lives.  He waits to forgive us; if only we humble ourselves and go to Him in the sacrament He gave His Church.  Want to do something in preparation for Easter? Go to Confession and make a pilgrimage.

        Going on a pilgrimage to a shrine or church is an ancient practice.  Early Christians visited the sites of Our Lord’s suffering, death and resurrection in Jerusalem; pilgrimages to the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul in Rome began immediately following their martyrdom in 64 A.D.;  pilgrimages were an essential part of medieval life; Saint Philip Neri, revived the Holy Week practice in the early 1550’s, gathering thousands to visit the seven great basilicas of the Eternal City. The Seven Church Walk on Holy Thursday evening came to America with the Catholic immigrants, and continues to our day, but usually using cars.

       Last Sunday the Saint John’s Holy Week schedule, was in the bulletin; on the back side, a small map with the addresses of churches in the area and the times they will remain open on Holy Thursday evening [April 9th] for the pilgrimage visits. Other copies are at the church doors, and on the parish website. Come to Saint John’s for the beautiful Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 8:00 p.m., and then get in your car and make the Pilgrimage to Seven of Stamford’s Catholic churches.

      Loving God is about doing something spiritual, not just thinking religious thoughts. So do something: go to Confession; avoid sin and live virtuously; and go on a pilgrimage on Thursday evening. You will become closer to God:  you doing something in response to what God has done for you in Christ Jesus.  Mons. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick  Ed Koplos, Rosemarie Drexel, John Castellano, Lily Rice, Marion Giordano, Ray Flaharty, Philip Renard, John Mellace, Christine Exantus, Evelyn Flaharty, Diane Ojohanna, Janet Rodgers

 

Please pray for those who have recently died Phil DeFelice, Sr., Alice Banning, Paul Eldridge, Antoinetta Fiore, Marie Corcoran, Eugene Rizzi, Denis O’Neil, Cecila Tucker, Edith O’Hara, Vincenzo Giannitti Alverta Sahd

 

CONFESSION April 7th is the last Tuesday during which Catholic Churches throughout Fairfield County will remain open for confessions from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., including St. John’s.   

 

A Parish Fundraising Event:

A SPRING GARDEN PARTY

Sunday, May 3, 2009.  We hope you will join us for a great event – fabulous dinner, musical charms, exciting auctions. Individual seats $75 per person, special tables available – Please call the Rectory for more information or for your reservation – (203) 324-1553, ext 21 or register online @ www.stjohnsstamford.com.

 

 

St. John’s Bible Study We are using The Bible Timeline Series every Thursday in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.  Join us! NO BIBLE STUDY HOLY THURSDAY, April 9th.  Next meeting:  April 16th .

 

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … We will next meet on Wednesday, May 6th in the rectory at 7:30 p.m. to study early Baptismal catechesis of the first centuries of the Church.

 

The Latin Reading Group… Is translating St. Augustine’s Confessions…And meets every Wednesday in the rectory at 6:15 p.m.   high school Latin is all that’s needed.  Just walk in. 

 

Introduction to Biblical Greek . . . meets each Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the rectory:  NO MEETING HOLY THURSDAY, AP. 9th.. Next meeting on April 16th:   Please, review Lessons XII & XIII.

 

Introduction to Ecclesiastical Latin… a goodly number of parishioners have asked about a parish Latin grammar course:  I’m willing if you are.  We could meet once each week, beginning the first week in June:  this could be your summer study course!  It will be basic grammar—Dick and Jane—so, don’t be afraid. If you’re interested, please give Monsignor a call: 324-1553, ext. 11.   Like all other parish classes/study groups, there will be no charge.

 

Parish Women’s Society Meets every Saturday at 9:30 a.m. in the Rectory for prayer, refreshments and conversation.  All are welcome; please, join us:  just walk in the first front door. NO meeting on Holy Saturday, April 11th. Our next meeting will be on April 18th. 

 

Religion Classes for Adults We meet in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.  The class is on a 7-week cycle April 15th, April 22nd and April 29th.   Please contact Providencia at (203­) 324 -1553 ext. 21.

 

Moms & Tots … A group of moms and their children meet with Fr. Walsh each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. in church for Eucharistic adoration, followed by snacks in the rectory.  Please join us.   Our next meeting will be on April 7th.

 

The 20’s and 30’s next meeting April 13th at Columbus Park.

 

Birthright needs volunteers to help with mothers. Volunteers provide pregnancy tests, listen to client concerns and connect women with needed resources. Schedules are flexible. Please call 348-4355 or www.birthright.org for more info.

 

 

Sunday, March 29, 2009   $ 11,644.84  

 

Sunday, March 30, 2008   $ 13,855.79

I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 

Sunday Readings for April 12th:   Acts 10:34a; 37-43; Col. 3:1-4 or Cor. 5:6b-8; Jn. 20:1-9 (42) or Mk. 16:1-7 (41) or, at an afternoon or evening Mass, Lk. 24:13-35 (46)

 

HOLY WEEK: Please note the special Holy Week Schedule, found at the church entrances and on the parish website. THERE WILL BE NO MASSES ON THURSDAY, FRIDAY OR SATURDAY OF THIS WEEK, OTHER THAN THE SPECIAL HOLY WEEK SERVICES.

 

Marriage Bann:  2nd Lionel Francisco Pina & Jody Ann Fay.

 

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 60  (2) 67.  The Creed for the Noon Mass may be found in the hymnal at No. 289.

 

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass . . . Mass Ordinary: Missa quarti toni – Tomás Luis de Victoria, 1548-1611. Offertory motet: Crucifixus a 8 – Antonio Lotti, 1667-1740 (He was crucified also for us, under Pontius Pilate: he suffered and was buried. [from the Nicene Creed]). Communion motets: Vere languores nostros – Victoria (Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. And with his stripes we are healed. Sweetest wood and sweetest iron, sweetest weight is hung on Thee. Thou alone wast counted worthy to uphold the King of heaven and Lord of all. [Responsory 3 at Tenebrae, Wednesday in Holy Week]); Miserere mei – William Byrd, 1540-1623 (Have mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness; according to the multitude of thy mercies do away mine offences. [Ps. 50:1]). The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Antiphon Hosanna filio David (Hosanna to the Son of David, the King of Israel. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.); Tract Christus factus est (Christ became obedient for us unto death, even death on a Cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every other name. [Phil. 2:8,9]); Offertory Improperium (My heart awaited reproach and misery; and I hoped for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none; I looked for one who would comfort me, and found no one. For food they gave me gall; in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. [Ps. 68:21,22]); Communion Pater, si non potest (Father, if this cup cannot pass away unless I drink it, thy will be done. [Matthew 26:42]). Postlude: Psalm 50 – Tonus peregrinus.

 

Calling all 10:00 a.m. Mass Singers for the Adult Choir . . . Rehearsals are Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. in the music room in the basement of the church.  For more information, call Scott Turkington 324-1553, ext. 18.

 

Interested in Reading at Mass? We are in need of lectors for the Saturday 4:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:00 noon Masses.  If interested, please contact Mary Bridget Gaine: 203-978-0249 or MaryBridgetGaine@aol.com

 

Coffee Hour is cancelled this Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday.  Coffee Hour will resume on April 19th.   

 

St. John’s in The News . . .

   . . . 100 years ago, or so:

 

April 7, 1906:  “Palm Sunday will be marked by interesting services in St. John’s R. C. Church, tomorrow afternoon and evening. In the morning, the regular service will be held, at which palms will be blessed and distributed. At 2:30 and at 7:30 p.m., the Passion Play will be presented by the Edison projecting kinetescope, and this will include a large number of splendid views of the famous play at Oberammergau. Aside from this feature, however, there will be special music arranged by the organist and choir director, Miss Margaret Kennedy. This will include the singing of “Calvary,” without accompaniment, by Miss Kennedy. Last Good Friday, Miss Kennedy attracted widespread attention by her rendition of this composition, and is to sing it tomorrow in response to numerous requests. Other soloists will be John A. O’Neill, who will sing “The Palms,” and John P. Reilly, the tenor, whose singing is receiving high praise in critical circles. There will also be Benediction, the music for which will be sung by the full choir.”

 

April 8, 1911: THE SEVEN LAST WORDS. Passion Music Tomorrow Evening in St. John’s Catholic Church. “The Seven Last Words of Christ, an oratorio by Dubois, will be sung in St. John’s Catholic Church tomorrow evening, by the choir, under direction of Miss Margaret Kennedy, organist. The order of service follows: Introduction, “O vos omnes qui transitis per viam,” (All you who pass by the way), soprano solo; 1st Word, “Pater dimittee” (Father, forgive them), baritone solo and chorus; 2nd Word, “Hodie Hecum Eris” (This day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise), duet, tenor and baritone; 3rd Word, “Stabat Mater Juxta Crucem” (By the cross the sorrowful Mother stood), soprano, tenor, bass and chorus; 4th Word, “Deus Meus, Deus Meus,” (My God, My God), baritone solo; 5th Word, “Sitio,” (I thirst), tenor, baritone and chorus; 6th Word, “Pater in Manus Tuas” (Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit); tenor and chorus; 7th Word, “Et Clamans Jesu voce magna dixit” (And Jesus crying out in a loud voice, said “It is consummated), soproano, tenor, baritone, chorus; Adoramus Te Christe (We adore Thee, O Christ), chorus. After a sermon by Rev. C. F. Kelly of Waterbury, the following will be sung: “The Palms,” tenor solo, by Faure, John P. Reilly; “O Salutaris,” tenor solo, St. Saens; John O’Neill; Tantum Ergo, sanctuary choir; Laudate Dominum, Gregorian; recessional, “Hail, Christ, All Glorious,” sanctuary choir. Mrs. James McMahon, soprano; John P. Reilly, tenor; Robert Hamilton, baritone; Miss Margaret Kennedy, organist and director.”

 

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Ladies’ Night OutSpring into Fashion fundraiser to benefit Trinity Catholic Middle School on Thursday, May 7th.  Please join us at The Italian Center for an evening of fashion, dinner, and fun! Great Basket Raffles and Exciting Silent Auction. Door Prizes!!  Tickets: $60. For details, or to make a donation to support Trinity Catholic Middle School, please call Ann Waters at 322-8470 or annwaters1@aol.com.

 

The Shippan Point Garden Club… May Market Fundraiser:  Plant Sale and Tag Sale, Raffle & Silent Auction. There’ll be great food!  On Saturday, May 9th, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at Our Lady Star of the Sea, 1200 Shippan Avenue. Proceeds for environmental programs, scholarships and civic plantings.

 

Sacred Heart Parish Card Party: April 17th, 6:30 p.m. $15. per person.  For reservations, call Judy Perugini: 322-1265, after 6:00 p.m.

Mass Intentions

Saturday, April 4

4:00      +Elvira Molgano req. son & daughter-in-law Robert & Marion Jordan

Sunday, April 5

  7:30    +Robert Rohr req. Dawn Hartnett

10:00    +John & Angelina Pascale req. John & Laura Pascale

12:00    +Teresa Mandera may her soul rest in peace req. Scholastica Nabwire

6:00      +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family

Monday, April 6

  8:00    Deceased Members of Mazza & D’Ariano Families

12:10    +Eva, Charles, Sr. & Nicholas Kronk & Mary Fedonchuks req. Mary Churley

Tuesday, April 7

  8:00    +John Maloney req. wife Mary

12:10    +Virginia Carr req. Marie Carr

Wednesday, April 8

  8:00    Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.

12:10   +Wally Thiel 1st Anniversary req. McAleer Family

THURSDAY, April 9: HOLY THURSDAY

  8:00   No Mass

 12:10  No Mass

   8:00 p.m.  Mass of the Lord’s Supper:  People of the Parish

FRIDAY, April 10: GOOD FRIDAY

    8:00 No Mass

 12:10  No Mass

   3:00  Liturgy of the Passion

SATURDAY, April 11: HOLY SATURDAY

  8:00   No Mass

 12:10  No Mass

 

Eucharistic Adoration:  Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

 

Holy Name Society For all men of the parish: The rectory every Friday morning for coffee, Eucharistic adoration benediction & prayer, from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.

 

Pray for an end to abortion every Wed. 7:00 -10:30 a.m., Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St, Stamford. 

 

Are you a registered parishioner? If not, please visit the parish office Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or call the office for more information [ext 21 or 17] or Register On-Line at our Website:  www.stjohnsstamford.com.

 

Credit Card Offertory…Make weekly or monthly donations by credit card. You can set up recurring credit card donations with the church secretary.  She can take your information over the telephone.  Call (203) 324-1553 x21.

St. Maria Goretti Society…For the spiritual formation of young ladies from 8th – 12th grades. Questions, please contact Rosa Marchetti at 348-0232.

 

Sponsor Certificates for Baptism or ConfirmationAre happily given to parishioners of St. John’s, i.e. Those who are registered members; those whose regular Mass attendance is known to the priests, or whose parish membership can be verified by the records of the weekly offertory (envelopes). 

The Stations of the Cross

– Fr Terry Walsh

 

            Reflecting on the Passion of our Lord, we are drawn into the path he traveled for our sake. As we contemplate each station we begin to experience in our hearts the pain he endured. At the same time, we are able to offer him our sufferings, our daily trials. Our suffering has value. When we offer it to our Lord, we participate in the redemption of the world. St Paul once said, “I will make up for what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ.” At first glance, one might wonder, what could possibly be lacking in the sufferings of Christ. After all, he offered the perfect sacrifice on the Cross. Indeed, all the suffering ever known or endured by mankind taken as a whole pales by comparison to the suffering the Innocent Victim endured. What was Paul talking about? Jesus tells us, “Pick up your Cross and follow me.” In other words, open your heart to a more perfect love. Be willing to go the extra mile for those in need. In this, we become more perfect reflections of Divine love.

            Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we die with Christ. In other words, we are meant to turn away from selfishness and instead humbly seek to live the Gospel, the Word of Life. In a general sense, we accomplish this by carrying out the ordinary daily circumstances of our lives with an eye toward Heaven. In providing for our families and encouraging one another in all our various activities as if we are attending to Christ Himself. Love God in our neighbor. More specifically, as we encounter the Cross through illness, loss of a job, struggles and disagreements with friends and family, the loss of a loved one, and so on, the Cross becomes heavier and more difficult to manage. Like Christ at the 1st Station, we are judged. Like Christ, we receive the Cross; we stumble, we fall under its weight. Yet, it is precisely in these circumstances that we receive the help we need to carry our Cross, to endure it – if we ask. Our Lord is most near us when we are put to the test. He promised he would never abandon us; he would always provide whatever we need in every circumstance- joyful or sorrowful – if we pray to him and give thanks for His generous love. We may encounter the Cross in many ways. Often times, the Cross comes to us. It might be light and temporary. It might be heavy and sustained. Others may lay the burden on our shoulders, or perhaps we willingly seek the Cross; that is, we go out of our way to satisfy the needs of others. Any sacrifice we make is an encounter with the Cross. And there is joy in it. It’s not that there is joy in suffering, which is always an evil. Rather, the joy comes in knowing we are growing in holiness – even in the midst of suffering and sacrifice; we are being made new through the graces we are receiving through our cooperation with the Holy Spirit as we fulfill our Baptismal Promises. Recall the 4th Station, where Jesus meets our Lady, Mary: “Behold, I will make all things new!” he tells Her. He accomplishes it through the Cross. We’re able to participate in His journey at each station. He allows us, indeed beckons us, to walk with Him. Jesus said, “Learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart.” As we seek to love our neighbor as Christ loves us, we will find a joy and peace that can only come from God. The little sacrifices that we can offer to our Lord each day – the kind word, the pat on the back, the errand done generously, the prayer offered for another’s intention – these unite us to the Cross. What Station are you experiencing today?

Bulletin for Sunday, March 29, 2009

–Pastor’s Corner . . . This Sunday ushers in the period of Passiontide.  Our attention is centered entirely upon the sacrificial aspect of Jesus’ life and ministry: Jesus’ Passion and suffering, death on the Cross, descent into hell, bodily resurrection from the dead and ascension to Heaven, are as so many acts in His conflict with Satan, and in His triumph over death. To underscore this, all statues and the crucifix on the altar are covered: the Church wears her “widow’s weeds”, as it were: she begins to mourn, and allows nothing to distract her concentration on the sacrificial death of Her Bridegroom, Jesus the Lord. Passiontide, likewise, recalls the victory of Christ’s Cross and of every faithful Christian over Satan, and not just the battle. 

            After the rediscovery of the True Cross in Jerusalem in the early 4th century—it had been buried and preserved beneath a temple to Jupiter, built atop the ancient memorial of Our Lord’s death at Calvary by the 2nd century Roman Emperor Hadrian—veneration of the Cross grew more popular.  The reality of the Cross had been expressed already clearly in the New Testament, especially in the Letter to the Hebrews and the four Gospels. By the fourth century these teachings became more popularly expressed: the Cross as the instrument of our salvation, but, also as the throne of Christ’s glory and the sign of His victory over Satan and death.  The ancient Holy Thursday Eucharistic hymn, Pange, expresses this: “Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle; over the trophy of the Cross, proclaim the noble triumph; tell how the Redeemer of the world won victory through His sacrifice. The Creator looked on sadly as the first man, Adam, was deceived, and as he fell into the snare of death, taking a bite of a lethal fruit; it was then that God chose this blessed piece of wood [the Cross] to destroy the other tree’s curse. You alone, O’ Cross, have been worthy to carry the ransom of the world; mankind’s ship had gone down beneath the waves, but you opened the way to our port of rescue.  For you, O’ Cross, are anointed with the sacred blood which sprung forth from the body of the Lamb.”

            Saint John’s is blessed in many ways. As we approach the holiest time of the year, Holy Week, one blessing stands out in my mind: the parish has a Relic of the True Cross: the wood upon which hung the salvation of the world in the person of Jesus. It was a gift a few years ago, and fully documented, set in a beautiful 18th century Flemish sterling silver reliquary. You may have noticed that the door of the tabernacle on the Saint Joseph side altar is missing: I’ve removed it, and will replace it with an unbreakable plexi-glass door set in a brass frame, which will lock. The small tabernacle will become a Shrine of the Holy Cross: it will be used as a permanent reliquary of the True Cross; the relic will be on permanent display for the veneration of our parishioners throughout the years, locked behind an unbreakable but clear door. Hopefully, all will be ready in a week or so.

            Spend some time during this week and during the one following, which is Holy Week, meditating on Christ’s generous sacrifice to save you: go to Confession, and join in the Holy Week services on April 9th, 10th and 11th.

Msgr. DiGiovanni

 

 

 

 

 

Please pray for the sick  Lily Rice, Marion Giordano, Ray Flaharty, Philip Renard, John Mellace, Christine Exantus, Evelyn Flaharty, Diane Ojohanna, Phil De Felice, Sr., Janet Rodgers, Aidan Moon, Mary Daniele

 

Please pray for those who have recently died Alice Banning, Paul Eldridge, Antoinetta Fiore, Marie Corcoran, Eugene Rizzi, Denis O’Neil, Cecila Tucker, Edith O’Hara, Vincenzo Giannitti Alverta Sahd, Frances Lorusso, Thomas Carucci, Sr.

 

CONFESSION During Lent, every Catholic Church throughout Fairfield County will remain open each Tuesday evening, from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. for confessions, including St. John’s.   Please drop by and avail yourself of this sacrament. Our regular schedule of daily confessions continues, as well.

 

STATIONS OF THE CROSS . . . each Friday during Lent:

4:00 p.m.  English Stations;   6:00 p.m.  Creole Stations

 

St. John’s Bible Study We are using The Bible Timeline Series every Thursday in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.  Join us!  Next meeting:  April 2nd.

 

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … We will next meet on Wednesday, May 6th in the rectory at 7:30 p.m. to study early Baptismal catechesis of the first centuries of the Church.

 

The Latin Reading Group… Is translating St. Augustine’s Confessions…And meets every Wednesday in the rectory at 6:15 p.m.   high school Latin is all that’s needed.  Just walk in. 

 

Introduction to Biblical Greek . . . meets each Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the rectory:   April 2nd:   Review Lessons XI & XII.

 

Introduction to Ecclesiastical Latin… a goodly number of parishioners have asked about a parish Latin grammar course:  I’m willing if you are.  We could meet once each week, beginning the first week in June:  this could be your summer study course!  It will be basic grammar—Dick and Jane—so, don’t be afraid. If you’re interested, please give Monsignor a call: 324-1553, ext. 11.   Like all other parish classes/study groups, there will be no charge.

 

Parish Women’s Society Meets every Saturday at 9:30 a.m. in the Rectory for prayer, refreshments and conversation.  All are welcome; please, join us:  just walk in the first front door.

 

Religion Classes for Adults We meet in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.  The class is on a 7-week cycle April 1st, April 15th, April 22nd and April 29th.   Please contact Providencia at (203­) 324 -1553 ext. 21.

 

Moms & Tots … A group of moms and their children meet with Fr. Walsh each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. in church for Eucharistic adoration, followed by snacks in the rectory.  Please join us.   Our next meeting will be on April 7th.

 

The 20’s and 30’s next meeting April 13th at Columbus Park

 

A SPRING GARDEN PARTY

A Parish Spring Parish Fundraising Event:

Sunday, May 3, 2009.  We hope you will join us for a great event – fabulous dinner, musical charms, exciting auctions. Individual seats $75 per person, special tables available – Please call the Rectory for more information or for your reservation – (203) 324-1553, ext 21 or register online @ www.stjohnsstamford.com.

We look forward to seeing you on May 3!

 

Sunday, March 22, 2009   $ 13,206.47  

 

Sunday, March 23, 2008   $ 10,472.46

I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 

Sunday Readings for April 5th:   Mk. 11:1-10 or Jn. 12:12-16 (37), Is. 50:4-7; Phil. 2:6-11; Mk. 14:1-15:47 or 15:1-39 (38)

 

Marriage Bann:  1st Lionel Francisco Pina & Jody Ann Fay.

 

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 50 (2) 69 (Tune: Picardy).  The Creed for the Noon Mass may be found in the hymnal at No. 289.

 

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass . . . Mass Ordinary: Mass for Five Voices – William Byrd, 1540-1623. Offertory motet: Peccantem me quotidie – Christóbal de Morales, c. 1500-1553 (The fear of death overwhelms me, who sin every day and do not repent: For in hell is no redemption. Have mercy on me. O God spare me!). Communion motets: Miserere mei – Tomás Luis de Victoria, 1548-1611 (Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me. [Ps. 6:2]); He was despisèd (from Messiah, Sarah Bleasdale, mezzo-soprano). The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Judica me Deus (Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly nation; from wicked and deceitful men deliver me, for you are my God and my strength. Send forth your light and your truth; these have led me and brought me to your holy mountain and to your dwelling place. [Ps. 43:1,2,3]); Tract Sæpe expugnaverunt me (Often have they fought against me from my youth. Let Israel now say: Often have they fought against me from my youth. Yet, they have not prevailed against me: my back has become an anvil for the hammering of sinners. They have long oppressed me with their iniquities. But the Lord of justice will break the necks of sinners. [Psalm 129:1-4]); Offertory Confitebor tibi (I will praise you, O Lord, with my whole heart; deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and observe your word; revive me according to your word, O Lord. [Psalm 119:7, 10, 17, and 25]); Communion Qui mihi ministrat (If a man would serve me, let him follow me; wherever I am, my servant will also be. [John 12:26]). Postlude: Psalm 50 – Tonus peregrinus.

 

Lenten Concert . . . A wonderful tradition here at St. John’s has become to observe today, the fifth Sunday in Lent, with a spiritual exercise through the great art of the composer Franz Josef Haydn. This afternoon at 3:00 p.m. the Arianna String Quartet will perform The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross.  One of most highly regarded string quartets of all time and among Haydn’s last and best works, this vivid musical portrait of the crucifixion of Our Lord is narrated by Msgr. DiGiovanni and is only about an hour in length.  There is a free pre-concert lecture by Scott Turkington at 2:30 p.m. in Nagle Hall.   $10.00 suggested donation. Please come!

 

Calling all 10:00 a.m. Mass Singers for the Adult Choir . . . Rehearsals are Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. in the music room in the basement of the church.  For more information, call Scott Turkington 324-1553, ext. 18.

 

The Shippan Point Garden Club… Will host its May Market Fundraiser:  Plant Sale and Tag Sale, Raffle & Silent Auction. There’ll be great food!  On Saturday, May 9th, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at Our Lady Star of the Sea, 1200 Shipppan Avenue. Treasure hunters come early!! All proceeds will be used for environmental programs, scholarships and civic plantings.

St. John’s in The News . . .

        . . . 50 years ago, or so:

 

March 30, 1956:  Catholics Crowd Churches For New Holy Week Rites. “Stamford’s Catholic Churches shared on Thursday an experience reported from many localities; unprecedented attendance at Holy Thursday Masses. This year, for the first time, evening Masses were the rule instead of morning Masses, in keeping with instructions from Pope Pius XII. The Pope pointed out that more people would be able to attend the evening Masses and that evening services would be closer in the time of day to the events of the Passion of Christ that are commemorated. Rt. Rev. Msgr. Nicholas P. Coleman said that although the 5 p.m. Mass at St. John’s Church was attended by a capacity congregation, this was not unprecedented for St. John’s Church. At morning Masses in previous years, the Church, centrally located, was attended usually by large numbers from that and other parishes who could go to morning Mass and still get to their place of work in time.”

 

April 4, 1956: $1 Million Goal Passed In Drive For Catholic HS. “The Stamford Catholic High School Building Fund Campaign exceeded the $1 million goal set for the first phase of the campaign when reports of pledges for memorial gifts were announced Tuesday night as totaling $1,030,189. The Most Rev. Lawrence J. Shehan, Bishop of Bridgeport; the Rt. Rev. Msgr. John J. Hayes, pastor of St. Mary’s, and the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Nicholas P. Coleman, pastor of St. John’s, spoke to the workers, expressing their pleasure over the results of the first phase and thanking the workers for their efforts.”

 

April 3, 1958: Stamford Churches Plan Programs Of Easter Music. “Programs of Easter music have been planned for special and regular services of most Stamford’s churches for Easter Sunday. In addition, many churches are planning special services and other observances for today, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. St. John’s – Holy Thursday, Solemn Mass and procession of the Blessed Sacrament, 5 p.m. Good Friday, Communion service and Adoration of the Cross, 3 p.m. Holy Saturday, Easter vigil service, 7:30 p.m., to be followed by the first Easter Mass. Easter – Music at 11 a.m. by the senior choir and boys’ choir. “Missa Stella Matutina,” by the adults, and Easter hymns and Alleluias by the boys. The girls’ choir will sing at 9.”

 

April 4, 1959: “The Children of Mary Society of St. John’s Church will meet Sunday after the 8 a.m. Mass in the school hall. St. John’s Holy Name Society will hold a special meeting at 8 p.m. Monday, in the lower Chapel.”

 

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Win a 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid!!!  Support Trinity Catholic High School.  Please support Trinity Catholic High School in their main fundraiser for 2008-2009 by buying a raffle ticket for a 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid.  Tickets are $100 each.  Only 800 tickets are being sold.  Drawing April 4, 2009.  If you would like a ticket, call Sheila at 203-849-1547 or visit our website at www.trinitycatholic.org.

 

Year of Saint Paul… A Plenary Indulgence is offered the faithful through June 29th: by visiting the adoration chapel at Saint John Fisher Seminary Residence on Newfield Avenue:  the chapel is open Monday through Thursday, 6:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m., and from Friday at 6:00 a.m. until Sunday 11:00 p.m.  The usual conditions apply: sacramental confession and communion, praying one Our Father and Hail Mary for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI.

 

Mass Intentions

 

Saturday, March 28

4:00      +Members of DeRosa, Kronk, Capobianco, families & Edwin Clark req. John & Joan Kronk

Sunday, March 29

  7:30    Thanksgiving to God req. Melissa Ternier

10:00    +Guglielmo Labrosciano rq. The Labrosciano Family

12:00    +Mrs. Shirley William req. Juanita I. Evans

6:00      +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family

Monday, March 30

  8:00    +Diane Greene req. Maude & Paul Hughes & Family

12:10    +Rose Giancola req. Millie & George Terenzio & Family

Tuesday, March 31

  8:00    Mr.  & Mrs. Robert Cassidy 50th wedding anniversary req. Denis & Kristen Cassidy

12:10    +Jeff Brown req. Paul Murphy

Wednesday, April 1

  8:00    +Tom Weathers req. Paul Murphy

12:10   Special Intention Ann & Jo Corcione req. Renella family

Thursday, April 2

  8:00   +Frank Walsh req. Cecilia Nino & family

 12:10  +Charles DeSilva req. daughter & family

Friday, April 3

  8:00    +Margaret Timon req. Thomas A. Timon

 12:10   +John Lancaster req. Susan Kremheller

Saturday, April 4

  8:00   +Maureen Elaine Smith & Smith family req. daughter

12:10               Special Intention Deliverance Philippe Renard req. mother

 

Eucharistic Adoration:  Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

 

Holy Name Society For all men of the parish: The rectory every Friday morning for coffee, Eucharistic adoration benediction & prayer, from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.

 

Pray for an end to abortion every Wed. 7:00 -10:30 a.m., Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St, Stamford. 

 

Are you a registered parishioner? If not, please visit the parish office Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or call the office for more information [ext 21 or 17] or Register On-Line at our Website:  www.stjohnsstamford.com.

 

Credit Card Offertory…Make weekly or monthly donations by credit card. You can set up recurring credit card donations with the church secretary.  She can take your information over the telephone.  Call (203) 324-1553 x21.

St. Maria Goretti Society…For the spiritual formation of young ladies from 8th – 12th grades. Questions, please contact Rosa Marchetti at 348-0232.

 

Sponsor Certificates for Baptism or ConfirmationAre happily given to parishioners of St. John’s, i.e. Those who are registered members; those whose regular Mass attendance is known to the priests, or whose parish membership can be verified by the records of the weekly offertory (envelopes). 

The Resurrection of the Body

– Fr Terry Walsh

“Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.”

– John 12

            As we approach the great Solemnity of Easter, we quite naturally meditate on the promise of Resurrection, all made possible by the death and Resurrection of our Lord. “If the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the One who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through His Spirit dwelling in you.” What hopeful words we hear from St. Paul. And how does it all come about? How do we receive the Spirit into our souls? Speaking through the Prophet Ezekiel, the Divine Word ushers in this hope when He proclaims: “When I open your graves and have you rise from them, O my people! I will put my Spirit in you that you may live…” He prepares the way for the Resurrection of the Soul through the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit – God living IN us; for when the Spirit dwells in us, we have a power that is not our own: the power to love, to forgive, to understand, to have wisdom and knowledge, and boundless grace. It is God’s strength working in us – through our faithful cooperation – enabling us to seek the Truth and to abide in the Truth; to seek holiness, and purity – it comes to us at a great cost: the sacrifice of Christ. Our Lord tells us: “I am the Resurrection and the Life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” Of course, Jesus is referring to Eternal Beatitude, being caught up into the love of the Holy Trinity’ – to bask in His light forever – a light that we receive through the gift of faith, nourished Sacramentally, especially through the Eucharist, Confession, and of course, prayer.

            Through Mary’s faithful consent, God took on our flesh in order to redeem it – to sanctify it – to enable us to rise with Him to new life. Jesus unbinds us from the shroud of sin and death so that we might live in the Spirit. Mary said yes to God. Jesus, likewise, was obedient to the will of the Father – even to the Cross. And so now our Lord asks us to choose. He offers life and blessings if we follow Him. What will you say? If you choose life in the Spirit, you will indeed be free from eternal death. He will remove every stain of sin, through the door of confession, and allow your soul to soar to heaven, unencumbered by the weight of sin.

            Think back for a moment to the tears shed by the Blessed Mother as Jesus was taken down from the Cross and laid in Her arms. As Mary carefully wrapped His Sacred Body, binding His many wounds, weeping and grieving at the evil done to Him, perhaps the echo of His words resonated in Her heart: “I am the Resurrection. He who believes in Me will not die.” What incomparable tears of sorrow must have streamed from Her eyes. Why did they reject Him? Why did they cling to their petty jealousies, their envy, and let their pride get the better of them? 

            Forty hours after He drew His last breath on the Cross, Jesus would rise from the dead – death had no power over Him – and now – through Him – it has no power over us. He cast aside the burial cloth, the Holy Shroud. Indeed, the radiant light of His Resurrection left an indelible mark on the Holy Shroud as testimony of His words and now it leaves an indelible mark on our souls through Baptism. Scientists explain that the image of his wounded body emblazoned upon the shroud is actually characteristic of the power and magnitude of a nuclear blast. All who believe in Him share in His radiant Light. ‘In His Light, we see light’ – never to be bound by the darkness anymore. We simply need to follow Him….   If the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through His Spirit dwelling in you.

Bulletin for Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pastor’s Corner . . . March offers two great solemnities: the 19th is that of Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary; and the 25th is the Solemnity of the Annunciation.  They are related, since Saint Joseph willingly sacrificed his hoped for joys of being a father when asked by God to do so for one reason: for love of God, and to play a far greater role as the foster father of the Savior, and the protector of the Mother of God. The opening prayer for the day says it perfectly: “Almighty God, in its beginning you entrusted the mystery of mankind’s salvation to the faithful protection of Saint Joseph. By his intercession may your Church. . .bring that salvation to full flower.”

      The ancient name for the Annunciation on the 25th was “the Feast of the Incarnation”, when the Word [the Second Person of the Trinity; the Eternal Son of the Father] took to Himself our human nature in the womb of Blessed Virgin Mary in Nazareth when she said to the angel Gabriel, “Be it done unto me according to thy word” [Luke 1:38].  It was exactly then that, by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, a body was fashioned from the Virgin’s flesh and blood, a rational soul was created and infused into that body [as in every instance of human conception in the womb of a mother], and, in the same instant, the complete human nature was united to the divine person of the Father’s eternal Son. God became a human being at the moment of his conception in the Virgin’s womb.  That is what the Church celebrated on March 25th–Nine months before Christmas. Why did God become a man? –In order to redeem mankind on the Cross.  God’s love for sinful mankind is so strong that He determined to save us by entering into man’s concrete destiny and experiencing his very life, suffering, death and Hell, in order to free us by means of solidarity with us, and raising us to share His divine life forever.  The God who feels no pain and knows no change because He is perfect and eternal, assumed a human nature and body like ours in order suffer and to offer it in sacrifice, so that the whole human person might obtain salvation.  As Pope Saint Leo the Great described it, “He descended into what is ours [our human nature and body] to assume not just the substance but also the condition of sinful nature.”[Sermon 71, 2]  Some of the earliest Church Fathers reckoned that March 25th was both the day of Adam’s creation and fall into sin, as well as the date of God’s Incarnation, and Christ’s death on Calvary: the second Adam [Christ] coming to rescue the first Adam by taking on flesh and sacrificing that flesh on the Cross.  While the history is more whimsical than accurate, the reality is clearly expressed:  Christ, the new Adam, came to save the old Adam. This was repeated by a medieval author:  “Hail festive day [March 25th], that staunches our wounds, the Angel is sent, Christ dies on the Cross, and Adam is created and falls on the same day.”  [Summa Aurea, vol. I, 602] Another medieval poem claimed that Christ’s Cross was fashioned from the wood of an apple tree, since mankind’s fall came when Adam picked and ate the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden.  While not historically accurate, the reality is expressed:  the final goal of the Incarnation—God becoming a man—is the Cross.  But there is more: God became a man to redeem us not only from but for something: entry, by grace, into the life of the Blessed Trinity.  The Three Divine Persons all contribute to our salvation, in the Incarnation, in order that we might share their life.   St. John of the Cross brought this out clearly in one of his poems: “Though the three Persons worked the wonder, it only happened in the One, so was the Word made incarnation, in Mary’s womb, a Son.”  The Incarnation, the Death and Resurrection of Jesus on the Cross, and Pentecost, the beginning of the Church, are all expressions of God’s love in the reality of our life, to lead us to share the life of the Trinity forever. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick  Marion Gioradno, Ray Flaharty, Philip Renard, John Mellace, Christine Exantus, Evelyn Flaharty, Diane Ojohanna, Phil De Felice, Sr., Janet Rodgers, Aidan Moon, Mary Daniele

 

Please pray for those who have recently died. . .  Antoinetta Fiore, Marie Corcoran, Eugene Rizzi, Denis O’Neil, Cecila Tucker, Edith O’Hara, Vincenzo Giannitti Alverta Sahd, Frances Lorusso, Thomas Carucci, Sr. Julia McCarthy

 

American Bishop Overseas Collection . . . Please drop your American Bishop Overseas Collection envelope into the ONE basket that will be passed at the Offertory.  There will only be one collection today.

 

CONFESSION During Lent, every Catholic Church throughout Fairfield County will remain open each Tuesday evening, from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. for confessions, including St. John’s.   Please drop by and avail yourself of this sacrament.

 

STATIONS OF THE CROSS . . . each Friday during Lent:

4:00 p.m.  English Stations;  6:00 p.m.  Creole Stations

 

St. Anne Society will meet on SUNDAY “March 22nd for Pizza and Pasta Night” in the Monsignor Nagle Hall at 5:00 p.m.  Dr. Joan Kelly will speak about Baptism and “The Family.”

 

Natural Family Planning Session (NFP) will be held on March 23, 2009 at 7:45 p.m. in the home of Lisa & Alex Frawley. To reserve a place please call Lisa Frawley at 203 254 6615.

 

St. John’s Bible Study We are using The Bible Timeline Series every Thursday in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.  Join us! Next meeting: March 26th.

 

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … We will next meet on Wednesday, March 25th in the rectory at 7:30 p.m. to continue studying Celtic Saints and their works.

 

The Latin Reading Group… Is translating St. Augustine’s Confessions…And meets every Wednesday in the rectory at 6:15 p.m.   High school Latin is all that’s needed.  Just walk in. 

 

Introduction to Biblical Greek . . . meets each Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the rectory:   March 26th:   Review Lessons X & XI.  

 

Parish Women’s Society . . . Meets every Saturday at 9:30 a.m. in the Rectory for prayer, refreshments and conversation.  All are welcome; please, join us:  just walk in the first front door.

 

Religion Classes for Adults We meet in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.  The class is on a 7-week cycle:  Wednesdays:  March 18th, March 25th, April 1st, April 15th, April 22nd and April 29th.  Please contact Providencia at (203­) 324 -1553 ext. 21.

 

Moms & Tots … A group of moms and children meet with Fr. Walsh each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. in church for Eucharistic adoration, followed by snacks in the rectory.  Please join us.   Our next meeting will be on April 7th.

 

The 20’s and 30’s next meeting April 13th at Columbus Park

 

Spring Parish Fundraising Event:

A SPRING GARDEN PARTY

Sunday, May 3, 2009.  We hope you will join us for a great event – fabulous dinner, musical charms, exciting auctions.   Please call the Rectory for more information or for your reservation – (203) 324-1553, ext 21 or register online @ www.stjohnsstamford.com.

We look forward to seeing you on May 3!

Sunday, March 15, 2009   $12,987.10  

 

Sunday, March 16, 2008   $ 10,771.13

I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 

Sunday Readings for March 29th:   Jer. 31:31-34,; Heb. 5:7-9; Jn. 12:20-33 (35) or, for Year A, Ez. 37:12-14, Rom. 8:8-11; Jn. 11:1-45 or 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45 (34)

 

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 262 (2) 54.  The Creed for the Noon Mass may be found in the hymnal at No. 289.

 

March 29th Lenten Concert . . . Franz Josef Haydn’s spiritual exercise The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross at 3:00 p.m., performed by the Arianna String Quartet.  One of most highly regarded string quartets of all time and among Haydn’s last and best works, this vivid musical portrait of the crucifixion of Our Lord is narrated by Msgr. DiGiovanni and is only 45 min. in length. There is a free pre-concert lecture by Scott Turkington at 2:30 p.m. in Nagle Hall. $10.00 suggested donation.  Please come! Concert is in the church at 3:00 p.m.

 

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass . . . Mass Ordinary: Missa de feria – Orlando di Lasso, 1532-1594. Offertory motet: Nolo mortem peccatoris – Thomas Morley, c. 1557 – 1602 (Nolo mortem peccatoris; Haec sunt verba Salvatoris. Father, I am thine only Son, sent down from heav’n mankind to save. Father, all things fullfilled and done according to thy will I have. Father, my will now all is this: Nolo mortem peccatoris. Father, behold my painful smart, taken for man on ev’ry side; ev’n from my birth to death most tart, no kind of pain I have denied, but suffered all, and all for this: Nolo mortem peccatoris.). The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Lætare Ierusalem (Rejoice, O Jerusalem; and gather round, all you who love her; rejoice in gladness, after having been in sorrow; exult and be replenished with the consolation flowing from her motherly bosom.” [Cf. Isaiah 66:10,11; Psalm 122]); Tract Qui confidunt (Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion; the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall never be shaken. [Psalm 125:1.2]); Offertory Laudate Dominum (Praise the Lord, for he is loving; sing in honour of his name, for he is gracious. He has accomplished whatever he resolved to do in heaven and on earth. [Psalm 135:3,6]); Communion Ierusalem quae ædificatur ut civitas (Jerusalem, built as a city whose parts are bound firmly together! It is there that the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord. [Psalm 122:3,4]). Postlude: Psalm 50 – Tonus peregrinus.

 

Calling all 10:00 a.m. Mass Singers for the Adult Choir . . . Rehearsals are Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. in the music room in the basement of the church.  For more information, call Scott Turkington 324-1553, ext. 18.

 

Holy Week . . . begins on Palm Sunday, April 5th.   Special Holy Week Services: Wednesday, April 8th, 8:00 p.m. Tenebrae; Holy Thursday, April 9th, 8:00 p.m., Mass of the Lord’s Supper with adoration ‘till midnight.  Good Friday, April 10th, 3:00 p.m.: Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion; Saturday, April 11th: Holy Saturday, 8:00 p.m. Easter Vigil.  Please mark your calendar and join us.

 

Melanie Szlucha’s company Red Inc… Helps people prepare for the job search through a clearly-written resume, strong job interview skills and innovative job search strategies.  Find out more about her at: http://www.redinc.biz.  Monday, March 23rd, 7:30 p.m. in the Rectory. Free! Bring your job search questions! 

S

t. John’s in The News . . .

        . . . 100 years ago, or so:

 

The Connecticut Catholic:

 March 28, 1885:  STAMFORD. “The Children of Mary will receive Holy Communion in a body on Sunday. On Sunday, at last Mass, the blessed palm will be distributed, as in former years. Father May, of Birmingham (now known as Derby), delivered a sermon on Wednesday evening, and impressed his hearers with the importance of a prompt conversion from sin. Confessions will be heard on next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings, consequently there will be no sermon on Wednesday. The ceremonies on next Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be of a very impressive nature.”

 

The Connecticut Catholic:

March 26, 1887: STAMFORD: “On last Thursday night, the 17th, Rev. Father Brady of Portchester, N.Y., delivered in the church a lecture on the life of Ireland’s patron saint in a manner that interested his hearers. There were many strangers present and were well pleased with the lecturer. Before the lecture there were grand musical vespers by the choir of the parish assisted by Mrs. J. Hayden Waud, who sang as soprano soloist and Mr. H. Lawyer Daskam, who sang as tenor soloist. The lecture was followed by benediction. Father Ryle of New Haven was in town Wednesday and that evening delivered a sermon and spoke in an able manner.”

 

The Stamford Advocate:

March 26, 1909: “The order of service in St. John’s R. C. Church, this week, was reversed – the stations of the cross being observed Wednesday evening and this evening, the service usually held Wednesday, with a sermon, will be held. Holy Hour was observed last night from 7:30 till 8:30, with singing by the children’s choir.”

 

The Stamford Advocate:

March 23, 1923: HONORS FOR THE REV. FR. KELLY. Retiring Principal of St. John’s School Receives Gifts from Children and Adults.  “Honors were showered all day yesterday upon the Rev. John J. Kelly, who has just taken charge of the new Italian parish. Beginning at the parish hall of St. John’s Parochial School in the morning, where the children took part in a demonstration, receptions were held during the afternoon and evening at his new rectory, 77 Fairfield Avenue. More than 600 children were present at the demonstration in the morning, which they greeted the retiring principal of the school with songs. The feature of this occasion was the speech of little Louis Racco, who concluded with a presentation to the popular principal of a purse of gold, coming from the pupils. Father Kelly responded fittingly. In the afternoon and evening he was made the recipient of many other gifts of a varied sort, as the hundreds of his former parishioners and new friends came and went. Among the gifts was a handsome one from the eight o’clock Choir of St. John’s Catholic Church. The committee in charge of the reception, composed of women of both old and new parishes, supplied refreshments during the reception. The new principal of St. John’s Parochial School is the Rev. Henry M. Callahan.”

 

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Year of Saint Paul… A Plenary Indulgence is offered the faithful through June 29th: by visiting the adoration chapel at Saint John Fisher Seminary Residence on Newfield Avenue: the chapel is open Monday through Thursday, 6:00 a.m.—11:00 p.m., and from Friday at 6:00 a.m. until Sunday 11:00 p.m.  The usual conditions apply: sacramental confession and communion, praying one Our Father and Hail Mary for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI.

 

Win a 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid!!!  Support Trinity Catholic High School.  Please support Trinity Catholic High School in their main fundraiser for 2008-2009 by buying a raffle ticket for a 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid.  Tickets are $100 each.  Only 800 tickets are being sold.  Drawing April 4, 2009.  If you would like a ticket, call Sheila at 203-849-1547 or visit our website at www.trinitycatholic.org.

Mass Intentions

 

Saturday, March 21

4:00      +William Borkowski req. Michael & Ann Borkowski

Sunday, March 22

  7:30    +John & Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Young

10:00    +Florence De Silva req. daughter & family

12:00    +Candida Ortega Ayes req. the Marchetti family

6:00      Thanks to God req. Elsie Valcour Cenelos

Monday, March 23

  8:00    Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.

12:10    Anne Marie & Mario Incalicchio req. Maude & Paul Hughes

Tuesday, March 24

  8:00    +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family

12:10    Special Intention Jerry Corcione req. Ann & Jo Corcione

Wednesday, March 25

  8:00    Jeannette Kim req. Sharon Gannon

12:10   +Jeannette Melsenti 1st Anniversary  req. Millie Terenzio

Thursday, March 26

  8:00   Thanksgiving to God req. Fabiola C.

 12:10  +Frank Tartell req. Michael Tartell

Friday, March 27

  8:00    +Ida C. Andersen req. Ann Bello

12:10    +Andrew & Katherine Bosilevas family req. son James

Saturday, March 28

  8:00   +Frank Janesch req. Cycon family

12:10               Emmett O’Hara & Family req. Maude & Paul Hughes

 

Eucharistic Adoration:  Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

 

Holy Name Society For all men of the parish: The rectory every Friday morning for coffee, Eucharistic adoration benediction & prayer, from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.

 

Are you a registered parishioner? If not, please visit the parish office Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or call the office for more information [ext 21 or 17] or Register On-Line at our Website:  www.stjohnsstamford.com.

 

Credit Card Offertory…Make weekly or monthly donations by credit card. You can set up recurring credit card donations with the church secretary.  She can take your information over the telephone.  Call (203) 324-1553 x21.

St. Maria Goretti Society…For the spiritual formation of young ladies from 8th – 12th grades. Questions, please contact Rosa Marchetti at 348-0232.

 

Sponsor Certificates for Baptism or ConfirmationAre happily given to parishioners of St. John’s, i.e. Those who are registered members; those whose regular Mass attendance is known to the priests, or whose parish membership can be verified by the records of the weekly offertory (envelopes). 

 

Spiritual Blindness

-Fr Terry Walsh

“Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness….Awake, O Sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” – Saint Paul

Lent is a season of Conversion: “Repent, and Believe in the Gospel.” It is a season of opportunity.  Our Lord is calling us to a deeper, more faithful relationship with Him. But, saying yes to God means turning away from worldliness which very often blind us to our true end, fellowship with God. The world tempts us to look away from God and place attention selfishly on ourselves. Consequently, the efficacy and even the mystery of the Sacraments can be lost. It takes effort to sit still for a few moments and silently reflect on how God is working in our souls; that is, how He mysteriously anoints us and administers supernatural graces that revive us and enable our spiritual eyes grow stronger. We become more adept at discerning truth and purity and holiness through a deeper prayer life and a more faithful reception of the sacraments. In order to bear fruit, we have to put these “gifts of the Holy Spirit” to work, and, in the quiet of our souls, become docile to the path God calls us to travel. When we’re filled with the Holy Spirit, we’ll begin to see as God sees.  We won’t be tempted to see as man sees: man who is so fallible, so proud; man who judges on appearances as if he possessed perfect knowledge and understanding. Pride blinds us. It darkens the eyes of our soul and makes us look silly.  It beguiles us along a very dangerous path that constantly chips away at our true identity as “Children of the Light.”

In the Gospel of John (chapter 9) we hear the story of the man born blind. Our Lord uses the occasion to teach that He alone is the True Light.  Through Him, we are able to see all that is True.  Humility is the key.  The Pharisees were the leaders of God’s Holy People, but they had lost their way.  They were angry men. Why?  Well, they were envious of this Jesus.  Could it be that they allowed themselves to be caught up in the imagination of their minds? Had they become ‘little kings’ unto themselves? Could it be that they preferred the appearance of being wise and learned and deserving of respect rather than humbly bowing down before God?  Had the Pharisees truly been wise, they would have been men of deep prayer and their prayer would have led them to spiritual purity.  They would have recognized Who it was that walked in their midst. They would have witnessed through the eyes of love and mercy the manifestation of the divinity of this Jesus, humbly healing the man born blind – relieving his life-long suffering. They would have rejoiced with hearts overflowing in awe and wonder – not only because of his merciful healing, but even more because they would have clearly recognized that the time of their own spiritual captivity would have been over. The great Healer was staring right at them! How could they possibly have missed Him?  They were looking right at Him! How could they have missed the very One they claimed to be waiting for – the Messiah! How?  Well, perhaps they weren’t really looking for Him after all.  Perhaps they were really only concerned about satisfying their own worldly desires.  Perhaps they allowed their conscience to be formed by the world – and not by God.  They weren’t really interested in spiritual purity. They were more interested in filling their greedy hearts with worldly stuff.  The man born blind, on the other hand, possessed a great gift, even before Jesus restored his sight.  The man born blind was filled with humility.  It was his humility that allowed the Holy Spirit to rush upon him.  It was his humility that that enabled him to forget himself so that he could focus his attention upon the Anointed One.  In the midst of the angry mob, that humble soul overflowed with love and gratitude, declaring unequivocally, “I do believe in the Son of Man! What could his foes do to harm his radiant soul?  They could beat him.  Perhaps even kill him.  It really didn’t matter – the Son of Man, the Messiah, knew his name – loved him – healed him and “led him beside restful waters and refreshed his soul.”  Those arrogant Pharisees couldn’t harm his soul.  It was protected.  That poor humble man knew well his own identity – he was a soul loved by God – and he in turn offered him thanks and praise!  

Bulletin for Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pastor’s Corner . .  St. Patrick wrote his Confessions at the end of his life.  He began: “I, Patrick, the sinner, the most illiterate and the least of all the faithful, and contemptible in the eyes of very many, had for a father Calpornius,…who belonged to the village of Bannavem Taberniae.  Now he had a small farm hard by, and there I was taken captive.  I was then about sixteen years of age. I did not know the true God; and I went into captivity to Ireland with many thousands of persons . . .”

     Born in England, he was captured by Irish slavers and brought to Ireland, where he endured six years’ enslavement as a shepherd, finally escaping to Britain. While born a Christian, he was actually a practicing non-believer, living a worldly life, until his capture. During his years of servitude, he had a true conversion and, following the voice of Christ and sought priestly ordination, for he dreamt that the Irish people were calling him back to the isle of his captivity to save them through Christ. He went to France and was taught by the saintly theologian, St. Germain of Auxerre, and was introduced to monastic life. Despite his late start, and incomplete education, Patrick was ordained, but his superiors refused to send him back to Ireland, despite his insistence.

  The reason was that Ireland was seen as a country of untamed barbarians, and Europe feared them. St. Palladius had been to Ireland nearly two centuries earlier, the first apostle to Ireland, sent by Pope Celestine I.  All refused to go to continue the work of St. Palladius—except Patrick, whose unique insistence that he be permitted to preach in the pagan wilds of Ireland brought him to the attention of the pope.  Patrick was appointed bishop, and began to preach in the north and west of the Emerald Isle, where no one had yet preached the Gospel. Since there were no towns or fortresses on the Roman pattern, Patrick established churches directly subject to him as bishop, with monasteries attached, similar to those found in Gaul, today’s France.  His principal home base of operations was Armagh. Patrick propagated monastic life, brought clergy from Europe, and taught Latin and theology to his younger priests. By this means, the Irish monks would re-Christianize Europe in the subsequent centuries, preserving the Catholic faith and the classical Latin literature of western culture when all had been lost during the centuries of the Dark Ages.  His primary opposition came from the Druids, and the English, especially after Patrick’s letter to the British prince Coroticus, who had raided the Irish coastal towns and enslaved some of Patrick’s Catholic converts. 

  St. Patrick’s influence on the development of the Church and of the culture of Ireland was immense, the effects of which continue to this day, nearly 1,600 after his death.  Let us pray for a dose of his love for the Church and his devotion to Our Lord that led him to forgive his persecutors and return to the place of his slavery in order to bring salvation to them who had once persecuted him. St. Patrick, pray for us.

  Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!! —Msgr. DiGiovanni

 

Saint Patrick’s Day Ancient Order of Hibernian Mass. . . Here at Saint John’s on Tuesday, March 17th at 9:00 A.M.: All are welcome!

 

I want to thank everyone who volunteered to represent Saint John’s and Bishop Lori at the Hartford public hearing to discuss Senator Andrew McDonald’s proposed bill #1098.  As you know, Senator McDonald cancelled the public hearing.  If and when this reappears, I hope you will once again lend your support to defeat the State’s interference in the Roman Catholic Church in Connecticut.  Mons. SMD

Please pray for the sick  Ray Flaharty, Philip Renard, John Mellace, Christine Exantus, Evelyn Flaharty, Diane Ojohanna, Phil De Felice, Sr., Janet Rodgers, Aidan Moon, Mary Daniele

 

Please pray for those who have recently died. . .  Antoinetta Fiore, Marie Corcoran, Eugene Rizzi, Denis O’Neil, Cecila Tucker, Edith O’Hara, Vincenzo Giannitti Alverta Sahd, Frances Lorusso, Thomas Carucci, Sr. Julia McCarthy, Ella Palumba, Vito Melfi,  Arthur Capalbo, Avery Cardinal Dulles

 

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

 

CONFESSION During Lent, every Catholic Church throughout Fairfield County will remain open each Tuesday evening, from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. for confessions, including. St. John’s.  Please drop by and avail yourself of this sacrament.

 

STATIONS OF THE CROSS . . . each Friday during Lent:

4:00 p.m.  English Stations;  6:00 p.m.  Creole Stations

 

St. Anne Society will meet on SUNDAY “March 22nd for Pizza and Pasta Night” in the Monsignor Nagle Hall. Dr. Joan Kelly will speak about Baptism and “The Family.”

 

Natural Family Planning Session (NFP) will be held on March 23, 2009 at 7:45 p.m. in the home of Lisa & Alex Frawley. To reserve a place please call Lisa Frawley at 203 254 6615.

 

St. John’s Bible Study We are using The Bible Timeline Series every Thursday in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.  Join us!

 

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … We will next meet on Wednesday, March 18th in the rectory at 7:30 p.m. and will study Celtic Saints.

 

The Latin Reading Group… Is translating St. Augustine’s Confessions…And meets every Wednesday in the rectory at 6:15 p.m.   High school Latin is all that’s needed.  Just walk in. 

 

Introduction to Biblical Greek . . . meets each Thursday evening at 7:30 pm in the rectory: March 19th: Review Lessons IX & X.  

 

Parish Women’s Society . . . Meets every Saturday at 9:30 a.m. in the Rectory for prayer, refreshments and conversation.  All are welcome; please, join us:  just walk in the first front door.

 

Religion Classes for Adults We meet in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.  The class is on a 7-week cycle: Wednesdays:  March 11th, March 18th, March 25th, April 1st, April 15th, and April 22nd.  Please contact Providencia at (203­) 324 -1553 ext. 21.

 

Moms & Tots … A group of moms and children meet with Fr. Walsh each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. in church for Eucharistic adoration, followed by snacks in the rectory.  Please join us.   Our next meeting will be on April 7th.

 

The 20’s and 30’s … next meeting April 13 at Columbus Park

 

Spring Parish Fundraising Event:

A SPRING GARDEN PARTY

Sunday May 3, 2009.  We hope you will join us for a great event – fabulous dinner, musical charms, exciting auctions.   Please call the Rectory for more information or for your reservation – (203) 324-1553, ext 21 or register online @ www.stjohnsstamford.com.

We look forward to seeing you on May 3!

Sunday, March 8, 2009   $ 12,075.96  

 

Sunday, March 9, 2008   $ 11,013.57

I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 

Sunday Readings for March 22nd:   2 Chr. 36:14-16, 19-23; Eph. 2:4-10; Jn. 3:14-21 (32); or, for Year A, 1 Sam. 16:1b, 6-7,10-13a; Eph. 5:8-14, Jn. 9:1-41 or 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38 (31)

 

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 50 (2) 65.  The Creed for the Noon Mass may be found in the hymnal at No. 289.

 

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass . . . Mass Ordinary: Missa brevis – Antonio Lotti, 1667-1740. Offertory motet: Miserere mei – Tomás Luis de Victoria, 1548-1611 (Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me. [Ps. 6:2]). The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Oculi mei (My eyes are forever turned towards the Lord; for he shall release my feet from the snare; look upon me and have mercy on me, for I am abandoned and destitute. Unto you, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul; O my God, I trust in you, let me not be put to shame. [Ps. 25:15,16,1-2]); Tract Ad te levavi (I have lifted my eyes up unto you, who dwell in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hands of their masters, and as the eyes of a maidservant to the hands of her mistress, so do our eyes look unto the Lord our God until he have mercy on us. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us. [Ps. 123:1-3]); Offertory Justitiae Domini (The ordinances of the Lord are right, bringing joy to all hearts, sweeter than honey or the honeycomb. Therefore your servant will observe them. [Ps. 19:9-12]); Communion Passer invenit (The sparrow has found herself a home, and the turtle dove a nest in which to lay her young: at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God! Blessed are they who dwell in your house, they shall praise you for ever and ever. [Ps. 84:4,5]). Postlude: Psalm 50 – Tonus peregrinus.

 

Calling all 10:00 a.m. Singers for the Adult Choir . . . Do you usually attend the 10:00 a.m. Mass? Come join us in the choir loft – we really need you!  Rehearsals are Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. in the music room in the basement of the church.  For those who want to learn or refresh their knowledge of the basics of music, there is a short optional Music Theory Class at 7:15 p.m. For more information, call Scott Turkington 324-1553, ext. 18.

 

A RING HAS BEEN FOUND IN THE CONFESSIONAL.  Please call Providencia at the Rectory: 324-1553, ext. 21.

 

Sign of Peace . . . will NOT be given during Masses for the next few months because of the high risk of contracting the flu.

 

Melanie Szlucha’s company Red Inc… Helps people prepare for the job search through a clearly-written resume, strong job interview skills and innovative job search strategies.  Find out more about her at: http://www.redinc.biz.  Meets Monday, March 23, 7:30 p.m. in the Rectory.  Bring your job search questions!  Tonight–bring a challenge you’re encountering.  I’ll provide my advice and perspective, and the wisdom of the group will also chime in.  The meeting is structured so everyone has a chance to really connect, learn about each other’s job search, and share advice. The meeting ends when all questions are answered.  If the weather is dicey that evening, call me directly before heading out: 203-866-1606.

St. John’s in The  ADVOCATE . . .

       . . . 50 years ago, or so:

 

March 16, 1957:  Irishmen Can Remember Stamford’s Own Dublin. “Mention Dublin to the average Irishman (pretending for the sake of argument that there is such a person as an “average” Irishman), and he will think of the River Liffey, O’Connell Street, the Abbey Theater, or possibly the famous Guinness establishment. But mention Dublin to an Irishman of the older generation in Stamford, and he will think of the part of the city that surrounds Meadow St., East Meadow St., New St., Jefferson St., and nearby areas. Actually Dublin, Stamford, was subdivided into Old Dublin and New Dublin. The name Dublin was acquired because the population of the area was about 100 percent Irish. One of the first structures, besides houses, to go up in Dublin, was the first Catholic Church in Stamford. It was a 60 – by – 40 frame structure erected in 1849 on Meadow St. The first parochial school in Stamford was built, also on Meadow St., in 1860.”

 

March 17, 1958: St. John’s Win To Retain Title In Diocese Play. “The Stamford St. John’s won the Cadet Division Laurels of the Bridgeport Diocesan CYO basketball playoffs in Bridgeport’s Notre Dame High School Sunday, defeating Our Lady of Assumption, of Fairfield, 49 – 40. Successfully defending its Cadet Division title, the Stamford quintet gained a 26 – 19 halftime lead. Fine rebounding and team work in the last two quarters protected the margin. Bob Gross, Al Macsata and Tommy Byrne were outstanding under the boards. Byrne was the high scorer with 19 points.”

 

March 16, 1959: Holy Name Society Of St. John’s Plans Annual Dinner.  “St. John’s Holy Name Society will hold its eighth annual dinner at 7 p.m. May 20 at the Half-Way House, John J. Church, president, has announced. Honorary chairman for the dinner is The Rt. Rev. Msgr. Nicholas P. Coleman, V. F., chaplain. General chairman is James E. Lynch, assisted by Frank G. Hickey, co-chairman, Secretary is Anthony P. Henry, treasurer, William E. Thomson, and program committee chairman, John R. Boyd.”

 

March 18, 1959: CYO Ping-Pong In Final Session.  “The CYO Ping-Pong League will stage its finals Sunday, with St. John’s of Noroton, leading with 16 points, and St. John’s of Stamford possessing 14 points. St. Cecilia is third with 7 and St. Maurice four with 3. In the recent matches, Chris Fumega, Grace Russo and Joan Bartolo of Noroton won their games over St. Cecilia. Robert Tymon was the lone St. Cecilia winner. Mike Murray, Jim Alexis and Joann Bracchi of the Stamford St. John’s won over rivals from St. Maurice, represented by Kenny Fondu, Paul Borgatti and Jane Coughlin. Ellen Fondu won the lone St. Maurice point.”

 

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Year of Saint Paul… A Plenary Indulgence is offered the faithful through June 29th: by visiting the adoration chapel at Saint John Fisher Seminary Residence on Newfield Avenue: the chapel is open Monday through Thursday, 6:00 a.m.—11:00 p.m., and from Friday at 6:00 a.m. until Sunday 11:00 p.m.  The usual conditions apply: sacramental confession and communion, praying one Our Father and Hail Mary for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI.

 

Win a 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid!!!  Support Trinity Catholic High School.  Please support Trinity Catholic High School in their main fundraiser for 2008-2009 by buying a raffle ticket for a 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid.  Tickets are $100 each.  Only 800 tickets are being sold.  Drawing April 4, 2009.  If you would like a ticket, call Sheila at 203-849-1547 or visit our website at www.trinitycatholic.org.

Mass Intentions

 

Saturday, March 14

4:00    Brian & Kathleen Fennessey

Sunday, March 15

  7:30  +Mary Vanorse req. Sister Jo Darling

10:00  Special Intention Francis Kung req. Joseph & Agnes Kung

12:00  +Rosario D’Amico req. his brother Frank

6:00    +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family

Monday, March 16

  8:00  +Jennifer Tomasello req. Jeannene McMurchy

12:10  +Henry Saraniero req. Ginger Drought

Tuesday, March 17

  8:00  +Mr. & Mrs. Naissance Jean-Guillaume req. Grandchildren

12:10  +Debbie Grandpre req. Gabriel Natarelli

Wednesday, March 18

  8:00  +John E. Lancaster req. David J. Lancaster

12:10  +Mrs. Rita Tracey req. Sharon Gannon

Thursday, March 19

  8:00 Special Intention Ana Margarita Ucero Birthday

 12:10 +Stephen, Irene & Nicholas Churley req. Mary Churley

Friday, March 20

  8:00  In Thanksgiving req. Joseph Alexander

12:10  +Julie Spremullo Mones req. Kate & Donna

Saturday, March 21

  8:00 +Tomas D. Rosete req. Rosita A. Domdom

12:10           +Ms. Fanelia Jean-Pierre & Constantin Gaspard req. by nieces & nephews

 

Eucharistic Adoration:  Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

 

Holy Name Society For all men of the parish: The rectory every Friday morning for coffee, Eucharistic adoration benediction & prayer, from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.

 

Are you a registered parishioner? If not, please visit the parish office Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or call the office for more information [ext 21 or 17] or Register On-Line at our Website:  stjohnsstamford.com.

 

Credit Card Offertory…Make weekly or monthly donations by credit card. You can set up recurring credit card donations with the church secretary.  She can take your information over the telephone.  Call (203) 324-1553 x21.

St. Maria Goretti Society…For the spiritual formation of young ladies from 8th – 12th grades. Questions, please contact Rosa Marchetti at 348-0232.

 

Sponsor Certificates for Baptism or ConfirmationAre happily given to parishioners of St. John’s, i.e. Those who are registered members; those whose regular Mass attendance is known to the priests, or whose parish membership can be verified by the records of the weekly offertory (envelopes). 

 

The Living Temple

-Fr. Terry Walsh

 

In the Book of Revelation, St. John reveals the Vision of Heaven that he was granted by God for our sake. And during the course of His beautiful description of the Heavenly Jerusalem, John speaks so eloquently about the “living water.” He said, “I saw no Temple in the city, for its Temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb…Then he showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the Throne of God and of the Lamb….also, on either side of the river, the Tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit…”(Rev. 21:22ff).

Jesus, of course, is the Lamb of God – He is the Temple. We become – as it were – “living stones” in Him, called to share in the glory of Divine Life. The “water of life” flowing through the Heavenly City is the love of God: the purpose of our existence is to share in that love! Those who respond to His call and open their hearts to God in this earthly journey receive these living waters sacramentally in “Spirit and in Truth” and, some day, perpetually in Heaven. This is all made possible through the One Perfect Sacrifice of Jesus upon the Tree of Life, that is, the Cross.  St. Paul reminds us of the cost:  “We boast in hope of the glory of God…and Hope does not disappoint – because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Prayer is the key. The Psalmist cries out: “Oh that today you would hear His voice, harden not your hearts!” But, are we listening? Or are we so caught up in worldly cares and concerns that are hearts have become attached to this world and have actually become deaf to the whispers of the Holy Spirit? The story about the woman at the well (John, chapter 4) helps illustrate the point. She was lost. She seemed so worn out, even bitter. Perhaps, over time, she had become accustomed to a gradual hardening of the heart. She had lost her true identity and took on a sort of defensive posture – imbued with “the spirit of world.” The garden of her soul had become a barren, dusty patch. And although she stood right next to ‘the well of living water,’ Jesus Christ, she did not recognize Him. How often our Lord stands beside us each day.  Have we likewise become spiritually deaf to His beckoning? Do we truly recognize Him?  Or, have our spiritual wounds turned off the faucet of grace?

When worldly concerns govern our hearts, our true identity becomes hazy – even to the point where we don’t recognize the call to divine life.  Like the Samaritan woman, our Lord thirsts for our return to Him. He waits for our humble prayer, the fruit of a ‘repentant spirit.’ “Lord, give me a drink. Lord, heal me.” Lord, give me the grace to pray better and to see the way of living you expect from me. Water the ‘garden of my soul’ with the living waters gushing from your wounded side.  Fill me with your love – that I may worship you ‘in Spirit and in Truth’ and so recognize your Presence in my soul.  It all begins at the door of confession.  What are we holding on to in our souls?  What are we carrying in the Bucket we call our heart? What faults and failings – what sins? Are we, like the Samaritan woman, willing to hand them over to God and leave that worldly bucket at His feet that He may empty it through Sacramental Confession?  Then, we’ll be free to take up the New Bucket – the one filled with living water.

 If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts!” The Scriptures caution us: “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit” – that is – don’t neglect reconciliation with God. Ask for forgiveness.  Humbly crack open the hard exterior shell and allow true contrition to flow out – and thus enable the healing balm of the Holy Spirit to water your hearts and so direct your souls into the Living Temple.

Bulletin for Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pastor’s Corner . .  There have been a few minor changes during the past few weeks in the sanctuary and side altars, as you may have notice.  Permit me to explain what and why we made those changes.

        Since my arrival at Saint John’s nearly 11 years ago, one of the little things that caught and kept my attention was the placing of the statues: Saint Therese of Liseux and Saint John the Evangelist on either side of Saint Joseph; the Sacred Heart and Saint Anthony of Padua on either side of Our Lady.  All are magnificent carved marble statues, purchased from the Daprato Statuary Company of Chicago, and delivered to the church on October 28, 1926 by the then pastor Fr. James C. O’Brien, who also installed the two side altars, completed the church bell tower, electrified the church and rectory, commissioned the murals behind the main altar, installed the two large transept windows, and built the school.  The two side marble altars cost $6540, and each of the six marble statues cost $500.—except St. Therese, which was a bargain at $400! 

     Since my arrival, I couldn’t help wondering why such beautiful statues were clumped together—each side altar reminded me of a bus stop, with people waiting for the next bus to arrive.  So, after sitting and looking at our glorious church for nearly 11 years, I decided to spread the statues out:  the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Saint John now stand in the center of the sanctuary beneath the central arch: the Sacred Heart on the left, behind the pulpit, and Saint John on the right, next to where the priests sit.  Saint Anthony of Padua, holding the Christ child on the Book of the Gospels, stands in front of the Blessed Mother Altar, closer to the altar rail; and Saint Therese of Liseux stands in front of Saint Joseph’s altar, closer to that altar rail.  I think they are much more prominent and visible now, and more accessible to anyone who would like to offer a prayer, even while seated in the pews.

    Wednesday, two pieces of furniture arrived: two choir stalls, one on either side of the sanctuary.  The choir stalls are carved chestnut: simple, classical lines, with four hand carved Ionic capitals atop each of the four pilasters. I found the stalls on EBay [where else??], and they were in Baltimore.  The day after Thanksgiving, with the assistance of Mr. Ferry Galbert, I took the train to Baltimore, rented a UHaul truck, packed up the choir stalls, and came home. A very generous mother and daughter of the parish came forward to finance the purchase and restoration work, for which I am very grateful.  We will use them for Tenebrae on Wednesday evening of Holy Week, for solemn Vespers on the May 30th anniversary of the dedication of our church, and, hopefully, in the near future, each Sunday evening with sung Vespers and Benediction.   I think the changes enhance the beauty of our church.

   Likewise, we’ve been replacing the electrical systems in the rectory and in the church. You will have noticed, I hope, the improved lighting in the sanctuary for the high marble altar.  These projects were paid for by the small income we received from the parking lot ground lease.  The next part of that project is to improve the chandeliers in the church, installing prettier globes and better, more efficient light bulbs.

    Many parishioners have asked about painting the church interior.  I would be delighted to do that, but the cost is enormous. I have two church painting companies coming in during the next few months to place bids for the job, just to get a realistic idea of the cost.   Please be calm: I’m just getting prices; in this miserable economy I won’t be asking parishioners to pay for such a huge job.  You might all do me the favor of offering a few prayers that some generous donors might step up to help, however.

    I’ll keep everyone informed about new developments concerning these big projects. Msgr. DiGiovanni

 

Please pray for the sick  Ray Flaharty, Philip Renard, John Mellace, Christine Exantus, Evelyn Flaharty, Diane Ojohanna, Phil De Felice, Sr., Janet Rodgers, Aidan Moon, Mary Daniele

 

Please pray for those who have recently died. . .  Eugene Rizzi, Denis O’Neil, Cecila Tucker, Edith O’Hara, Vincenzo Giannitti Alverta Sahd, Frances Lorusso, Thomas Carucci, Sr. Julia McCarthy, Ella Palumba, Vito Melfi,  Arthur Capalbo, Avery Cardinal Dulles

 

CONFESSION. . . During Lent, every Catholic Church throughout Fairfield County will remain open each Tuesday evening, from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. for confessions, including. St. John’s.  Please drop by and avail yourself of this sacrament.

 

STATIONS OF THE CROSS . . . each Friday during Lent:

4:00 p.m.  English Stations;  6:00 p.m.  Creole Stations

 

The 20’s and 30’s … The next meeting will be this Monday MARCH 9th at 6:30 and we will be meeting in the RECTORY here at St. John’s. The Sisters of Life will be giving a talk – bring a friend.

 

Moms & Tots … A group of moms and children meet with Fr. Walsh each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. in church for Eucharistic adoration, followed by snacks in the rectory. Please join us.  Our next meeting will be on April 7th.

 

St. Anne Society will meet on SUNDAY “March 22nd for Pizza and Pasta Night” in the Monsignor Nagle Hall. Dr. Joan Kelly will speak about Baptism and “The Family.”

 

St. John’s Bible Study We are using The Bible Timeline Series every Thursday in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.  Join us!

 

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … We will next meet on Wednesday, March 11th in the rectory at 7:30 p.m. and will study Celtic Saints.

 

The Latin Reading Group… Is translating St. Augustine’s Confessions…And meets every Wednesday in the rectory at 6:15 p.m.   High school Latin is all that’s needed.  Just walk in. 

 

Introduction to Biblical Greek . . . meets each Thursday evening at 7:30 pm in the rectory.  Review earlier chapters, and study Lesson IX.

 

Parish Women’s Society Meets every Saturday at 9:30 a.m. in the Rectory for prayer, refreshments and conversation.  All are welcome; please, join us: just walk in the front door.

 

Maria Goretti and Dominic Savio Societies…Bus Trip to the Natural Museum of History in New York City will depart from the rectory at 9:00 a.m. on March 14th.  Please turn in your permission slips as soon as possible.

 

A RING HAS BEEN FOUND IN THE CONFESSIONAL.  Please call Providencia at the Rectory: 324-1553, ext. 21.

 

Religion Classes for Adults Final Session for the year begins March 11th.  It is open to all Catholics who have not yet received Holy Communion or Confirmation, and for non-Catholics who wish to join the Church.  We meet in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.  The class is on a 7-week cycle:  Wednesdays:  March 11th, March 18th, March 25th, April 1st, April 15th, and April 22nd.  Please contact Providencia at (203­) 324 -1553 ext. 21.

 

Sign of Peace . . . will NOT be given during Masses for the next few months because of the high risk of contracting the flu.

 

Natural Family Planning Session (NFP) will be held on March 23, 2009 at 7:45 p.m. in the home of Lisa & Alex Frawley. To reserve a place please call Lisa Frawley at 203 254 6615.

 

 

Sunday, March 1, 2009   $ 12,811.43  

 

Sunday, March 2, 2008   $ 11,013.57

I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 

Sunday Readings for March 15tht:   Ex. 20: 1-17 or 20: 1-3, 7-8, 12-17; 1 Cor. 1:22-25/Jn. 2:13-25 (29), or, for Year A, Ex. 17:3-7/Rom. 5: 1-2, 5-8; Jn. 4:5-42 or 4: 5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42 (28)

 

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 249 (2) 62.  The Creed for the Noon Mass may be found in the hymnal at No. 289.

 

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass . . . Mass Ordinary: Missa de feria – Orlando di Lasso, 1532-1594. Offertory motet: Nolo mortem peccatoris – Thomas Morley, c. 1557 – 1602 (Nolo mortem peccatoris; Haec sunt verba Salvatoris. Father, I am thine only Son, sent down from heav’n mankind to save. Father, all things fullfilled and done according to thy will I have. Father, my will now all is this: Nolo mortem peccatoris. Father, behold my painful smart, taken for man on ev’ry side; ev’n from my birth to death most tart, no kind of pain I have denied, but suffered all, and all for this: Nolo mortem peccatoris.). Communion motet: Adoramus te, Christe – Orlandus Lassus, 1532-1594 (We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee, because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the World. Lord, have mercy upon us. [Antiphon at feasts of the Holy Cross]). The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Tibi dixit cor meum (My heart declared to you: “Your countenance have I sought; I shall ever seek your countenance, O Lord; do not turn your face from me.” The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? [Ps. 27:8,9,1]); Tract Commovisti (You have caused the earth to quake, O Lord, you have rent it open. Repair its breaches, for it totters. May your chosen ones escape the menacing bow and be delivered. [Psalm 60:4,6]); Offertory Meditabor (I will meditate on your commandments which I love exceedingly; I will lift up my hands towards your commandments which I love. [Psalm 119:47,48]); Communion Visionem quam vidistis (Tell no one about the vision you have seen until the Son of Man has risen from the dead. [Matthew 17:9]). Postlude: Psalm 50 – Tonus peregrinus.

 

Calling all 10:00 a.m. Singers for the Adult Choir . . . Do you usually attend the 10:00 a.m. Mass? Come join us in the choir loft – we really need you!  Rehearsals are Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. in the music room in the basement of the church.  For those who want to learn or refresh their knowledge of the basics of music, there is a short optional Music Theory Class at 7:15 p.m. For more information, call Scott Turkington 324-1553, ext. 18.

 

Co-Worker of Life Training with the Sisters of Life…Saturday March 14th at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Manhattan from 8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.   The Sisters of Life are seeking a group of faithful laity to be Co-Workers of Life in the Brooklyn area.  The Sisters of Life is a contemplative/active religious community of women founded in 1991 by John Cardinal O’Connor for the protection and enhancement of the sacredness of every human life.  Co-Workers of Life share their talents, time and their very self in service to pregnant women in need.  These needs can be as simple as lending a listening ear over a cup of tea, giving a ride to an appointment, or as involved as hosting a woman in your home.  All gifts help to build a culture of life, one heart at a time.  For more information about coworkers or how you can use your gifts in service of life, call (212) 737-0221 www.sistersoflife.org/pdfs/CoworkersBrochure.pdf

 

St. John’s in The  ADVOCATE . . .

        . . . 50 years ago, or so:

March 10, 1948:  Ship Fire Hero To Address AOH. “The Rev. Peter B. Duffee, O.F.M., of New York, who was severely injured in the S. S. Normandie fire six years ago, will be the speaker at the annual Communion breakfast of Gen. Philip Sheridan Branch, AOH, on Sunday at Hugo’s restaurant. Members will receive Holy Communion at the 8 a.m. Mass at St. John’s Catholic Church, meeting in the lower church. Father Duffee saved lives and valuable documents in the fire. He was permanently disabled. He was cited for heroism by the American Legion and received the Silver Medal of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Commander’s Medal of the Catholic War Veterans. Widely known for his lectures and writings on world Communism and international affairs, he is stationed at St. Francis Assisi Church, West 31st. St., New York.”

 

March 9, 1949: St. John’s Students Merit Award Winners. “Ann Forbes and Patricia Quinn, students in St. John’s Junior High School, were named Merit Award winners in the Hartford Courant Parade of Youth Scholastic Art Contest. Their work is among 500 examples of pictorial, graphic and commercial art, selected by a panel of judges as the best of 2,000 entries submitted by Junior and Senior high schools and technical schools of the same level throughout Connecticut. All 500 entries, now on exhibition in Hartford, will be sent on to Pittsburgh, where a national contest, sponsored by the Scholastic Magazines will be held at Carnegie Institute from May 7 through May 31.”

 

March 8, 1957: Services Listed For Girl Scouts.  “Girl Scout Week in the Stamford area will get underway Sunday morning with special services in area churches. Stamford. St. John’s Episcopal, Mrs. Karl Illigen, 9:30; First Presbyterian, Mrs. Olive Novak, 11; St. John’s Catholic, Mrs. Herman Beaudoin, 9; First Congregational, Mrs. Alexander Bills, 11; Zion Lutheran, Mrs. Roy Pickens, First Service; St. Maurice’s, Mrs. Emmerich Piebel and Mrs. Wilber Watt, 8:30; Union Memorial, Mrs. Ernest Franck, 11; Mrs. Charles Campbell and Mrs. H. Laube, 9:30.”

 

March 12, 1958: K of C To Honor Former Chaplain.  “Members of St. Augustine Council, Knights of Columbus, will honor their former chaplain and spiritual advisor, the Rev. John P. McNerney, at a testimonial dinner on April 8 at Hugo’s. Reginald E. Connolly, Grand Knight, announces that the Rev. Joseph D. Potter, chaplain, will be honorary chairman and John R. Boyd, general chairman, with the following to serve as committee chairmen: tickets, Michael J. Nagurney; guests, Redmond Tonner; entertainment, Thomas Kelly and Dominick Conti; program, James E. Davis; arrangements, William Thomson; publicity, Thomas A. Ryan; secretary, Joseph N. Broderick.”  (Editor’s note: Father Joseph Potter was an assistant Pastor at St. John’s; William Thomson was a Lay Trustee at St. John’s.)

 

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Saint Patrick Parade. . . Will be on Saturday, March 14th at 12 noon starting in lower Summer Street. Please join in.

 

Saint Patrick’s Day Mass . . .  The Ancient Order of Hibernians will host their annual St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th,  here at St. John’s at 9:00 am. All are welcome.

 

Year of Saint Paul… A Plenary Indulgence is offered the faithful through June 29th: by visiting the adoration chapel at Saint John Fisher Seminary Residence on Newfield Avenue: the chapel is open Monday through Thursday, 6:00 a.m.—11:00 p.m., and from Friday at 6:00 a.m. until Sunday 11:00 p.m.  The usual conditions apply: sacramental confession and communion, praying one Our Father and Hail Mary for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI.

Mass Intentions

 

Saturday, March 7

4:00      +Walter Dziuba req. Terry Mead & Roy Kertelits

Sunday, March 8

  7:30    +Peter Medwed 8th Anniversary req. De Vivo & Munro Families

10:00    Donald Samedi Birthday req. Anne Marie Samedi

12:00    +His Eminence Ignatius Cardinal Kung req. Cardinal Kung Foundation

  6:00    +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family

Monday, March 9

  8:00    +Kenneth McKallen req. Mr. & Mrs. Donald Gorman

12:10    +Patricia Guarino req. Bryan McKeon

Tuesday, March 10

  8:00    Veronica Kucera req. Anthony & Alma Falletta

12:10    +Mrs. Assunta Gelonesi req. Shelley Ward & Family

Wednesday, March 11

  8:00    Angelina Pagnozzi req. The Marchetti Family

12:10   +Charles Pascale req. John & Laura Pascale

Thursday, March 12

  8:00   +Henry Saraniero req. Sharon Gannon

 12:10  +Edith O’Hara req. Maude & Paul Hughes

Friday, March 13

  8:00    +Celeste Malitsis req. Gerald Gerardi

12:10    +Jeannette DeCamillo req. Catherine Longo

Saturday, March

8:00   +Hope & Joseph McAleer req. Family

12:10               The Boiteau Family req. Maude & Paul Hughes

 

Eucharistic Adoration:  Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

 

Holy Name Society For all men of the parish: The rectory every Friday morning for coffee, Eucharistic adoration benediction & prayer, from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.

 

Are you a registered parishioner? If not, please visit the parish office Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or call the office for more information [ext 21 or 17] or Register On-Line at our Website:  stjohnsstamford.com.

 

Credit Card Offertory…Make weekly or monthly donations by credit card. You can set up recurring credit card donations with the church secretary.  She can take your information over the telephone.  Call (203) 324-1553 x21.

St. Maria Goretti Society…For the spiritual formation of young ladies from 8th – 12th grades. Questions, please contact Rosa Marchetti at 348-0232.

 

Sponsor Certificates for Baptism or ConfirmationAre happily given to parishioners of St. John’s, i.e. Those who are registered members; those whose regular Mass attendance is known to the priests, or whose parish membership can be verified by the records of the weekly offertory (envelopes). 

 

Looking Toward Holy Saturday

– Fr. Terry Walsh

 

The following text is taken from an ancient homily on Holy Saturday, the author is unknown. It is a magnificent meditation on the “40 Hours” our Lord lay in the Tomb and a wonderful source of contemplation as we approach the Passion and Death of our Lord, and await His Resurrection……

 

“Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the Cross, the weapon that had won him the victory.  At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ Christ answered him: ‘And with your spirit.’ He took him by the hand and raised him up saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’

I am your God, who for your sake have become your son.  Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, o sleeper, to awake.  I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell.  Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.  Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image.  Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.

For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth.  For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you.  See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side.  My side has healed the pain in yours.  My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell.  The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

Rise, let us leave this place.  The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you.  I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God.  The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.”

Bulletin for Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pastor’s Corner . . Lent is the season when we intensify our Christian life in all its aspects in our daily attempt to free ourselves from sin and our attachment to sin, and by imitating Our Lord.  In his Conference on the Creed  [number 6], Saint Thomas Aquinas gave two reasons why Jesus, the Eternal Son of God, sacrificed Himself on the Cross: “He did it as a remedy for sin and as an example for action.”  St. Thomas continued: “On the one hand, then, we find in Christ’s Passion a healing remedy against all the evils that come to us because of sin.  On the other hand, the Passion of Christ is enough by itself to give shape and direction to our whole life. If a person wants to live perfectly, he need only scorn what Christ crucified scorned and desire what Christ crucified desired. The Cross is the example of every virtue.”

     Lent began on Ash Wednesday, when we received ashes on our forehead, with the reminder about who we are in the great scheme of things: “Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.”  A simple reminder of the reality that without God we are nothing; without a life that pleases God, nothing we do will have lasting effect.  While God created us in His image and likeness; while God created us good by nature, we are attracted to sin because we inherited Adam’s original or first sin. While this was removed at Baptism, and we became the adopted sons and daughters of God, we are still influenced by Original Sin, and do, indeed, sin. “If you say you are without sin, you make God a liar”

[1 John 5:14], because the reason God sent His Son was to save us from sin and sin’s fruit, which is death.

     Weaning ourselves away from sin is not easy. The opening prayer for Mass on Ash Wednesday acknowledged that: “Lord, protect us in our struggle against evil. As we begin the discipline of Lent, make this day holy by our self-denial.” What self denials? Lent is a time for penance, but not for merely religious actions. Our penances must be outward signs of our inner desire to be free from sin and love God more perfectly. God doesn’t want us to do more religious actions in our lives: he wants us to live better lives in our everyday world. “Let your heart be broken,”  God says in the Prophet Joel, “not your garments torn” [Joel 2:14]: the public tearing of garments was a religious ritual, showing a stylized grief for blasphemy. That’s not what God asks of us. We should be broken hearted in grief that we hurt the One who is so good to us that He came to our rescue in Christ, and change how we live, if we give grief to God by our lives.  Another example comes from the Prophet Isaiah: do you think you please God if you fast by giving up some food, or just pray a little more, while still sinning? Isaiah answers, “Look, you do business on your fast days, you oppress all your workmen; look, you quarrel and squabble when you fast and strike the poor man with your fist. Is not this the sort of fast that pleases me—to share your bread with the hungry, and shelter the homeless poor, to clothe the man you see to be naked and not turn from your own kin in need?” [Is 58:8-9]

    So, design your Lenten daily life in order to give up sin, whatever your favorite sin might be, and to be more virtuous—more like Christ, as St. Thomas Aquinas suggested.  Fast and abstain from sin, not just from food.  We each have a sin we are particularly good at, or at least singularly attached to: choose it to give up. Likewise, there are virtues that we are each too weak in practicing; choose one of those to work on daily. Work on virtues and vices for the forty days of Lent, and by Easter, you will find yourself happier and holier. My spiritual director has instructed me to work on patience, a virtue I am very lacking in. Two years ago the parish business manager tacked a note on my door, quoting St. Augustine: “Patience is the companion of wisdom.” So, I got the hint: my Lent is about being more patient and less angry/annoyed at people or events. Let’s see what happens.

Msgr. DiGiovanni

 

Please pray for the sick  Ray Flaharty, Philip Renard, John Mellace, Christine Exantus, Evelyn Flaharty, Diane Ojohanna, Phil De Felice, Sr., Janet Rodgers, Aidan Moon, Mary Daniele

 

Please pray for those who have recently died. . .  Eugene Rizzi, Denis O’Neil, Cecila Tucker, Edith O’Hara, Vincenzo Giannitti Alverta Sahd, Frances Lorusso, Thomas Carucci, Sr. Julia McCarthy, Ella Palumba, Vito Melfi,  Arthur Capalbo, Avery Cardinal Dulles

 

LENTEN FAST AND ABSTINENCE . . .On Good Friday, and all Fridays during Lent, all Catholics age 14 and older are obliged to abstain from eating meat, and all Catholics in good health between the ages of 18 and 60 are also obliged to fast.  Abstinence is not eating meat or meat products; fasting is having one full meal and two light meals during the day, with no snacks between meals.  Drinking water or taking medicine or vitamins does not break a fast.  All Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence from eating meat. Good Friday is a day of both fasting and abstinence.

 

CONFESSION. . . During Lent, every Catholic Church throughout Fairfield County will remain open each Tuesday evening, from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. for confessions, including. St. John’s. Please drop by and avail yourself of this sacrament.

 

STATIONS OF THE CROSS . . . each Friday during Lent:

4:00 p.m.  English Stations;

6:00 p.m.  Creole Stations

 

The 20’s and 30’s … The next meeting will be on Monday March 9th at the “Upper Room at Columbus Park” at 6:30 p.m. located at 205 Main Street here in Stamford.   

 

Moms & Tots … A group of moms and children meet with Fr. Walsh each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. in church for Eucharistic adoration, followed by snacks in the parish hall. Please join us.  Our next meeting will be on March 3rd.

 

St. Anne Society will meet on SUNDAY “March 22 for Pizza and Pasta Night” 

 

St. John’s Bible Study We are using The Bible Timeline Series every Thursday in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.  Join us!

 

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … We are studying Pope Saint Gregory the Great’s Four Books of Dialogues, Wednesday evenings in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.

 

Coffee and refreshments Following the 10:00 a.m. Mass, in the Monsignor Nagle Hall. 

 

Parish Women’s Society Will meet every Saturday, beginning Saturday, February 28th at 9:30 a.m. in the Rectory for prayer, refreshments and conversation.  Join us.

 

Maria Goretti and Dominic Savio Societies…Bus Trip to the Natural Museum of History in New York City will depart from the rectory at 9:00 a.m. on March 14th.  Please turn in your permission slips as soon as possible.

 

A RING HAS BEEN FOUND IN THE CONFESSIONAL.  PLEASE CALL PROVIDENCIA IN THE RECTORY 203-324-1553 AND GIVE HER A DISCRIPTION OF IT.

 

Saint Patrick’s Parade. . . Needs your help!  If you would like to make a small donation to help fund this wonderful annual Stamford event, please call Mons. DiGiovanni: 203-324-1553, ext 11.

 

The Latin Reading Group… Is translating St. Augustine’s Confessions…And meets every Wednesday in the rectory at 6:15 p.m.   High school Latin is all that’s needed.  Just walk in. 

Sunday, February 22, 2009   $ 12,389.79

                  

                      Sunday, February 24, 2008   $ 10,720.75

I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 

Sunday Readings for March 8tht:   Gen 22: 1-2, 9a 10-13, 15-18; Rom. 8:31b-34; Mk. 9: 2-10 (26)

 

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 54 (2) 50.  The Creed for the Noon Mass may be found in the hymnal at No. 289.

 

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass . . . Mass Ordinary: Kyrie XVII – Graduale Romanum; Mass for Three Voices – William Byrd, 1540-1623. Offertory motet: Tu pauperum refugium – Josquin des Prez, c. 1450/55-1521 (Thou hast been the refuge of the poor, of the mourning and sorrowing, Thou comforter, giving courage to the laborer, helper of erring men, Source of truth and life. And now, Redeemer Lord, I take refuge in Thee alone, Thou very God do I adore. Thou art my hope, my Salvation, Christ Jesus. Be Thou my help, for without Thy watchful care, while sleeping, death would claim my soul.). Communion motet: Adoramus te, Christe – Orlandus Lassus, 1532-1594 (We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee, because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the World. Lord, have mercy upon us. [Antiphon at feasts of the Holy Cross]). The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Invocabit me (When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will rescue him and honour him; with long life will I satisfy him. He who abides in the shelter of the Most High, shall remain under the protection of the God of Heaven. [Ps. 91:15,16,1]); Tract Qui habitat (He who abides in the shelter of the Most High, shall remain under the protection of the Lord of Heaven. He shall say to the Lord: “You are my protector and my refuge;” my God, in whom I trust. For he has set me free form the snare of the fowler, and from cutting words. He will conceal you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge. [Psalm 91:1-4]); Offertory Scapulis suis (The Lord will overshadow you with his pinions, and you will find refuge under his wings. His faithfulness will encompass you with a shield. [Psalm 91:4-5]); Communion Scapulis suis (The Lord will overshadow you with his pinions, and you will find refuge under his wings. His faithfulness will encompass you with a shield. [Psalm 91:4-5]).

 

Calling all 10:00 a.m. Singers for the Adult Choir . . . Do you usually attend the 10:00 a.m. Mass? Come join us in the choir loft – we really need you!  Rehearsals are Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. in the music room in the basement of the church.  For those who want to learn or refresh their knowledge of the basics of music, there is a short optional Music Theory Class at 7:15 p.m. For more information, call Scott Turkington 324-1553, ext. 18.

 

LENTEN PARISH RETREAT

Monday, March 2nd – Wednesday, March 4th, Msrg. James Turro returns to offer the 3-night parish mission and will speak on the Letters of St. Paul. All are welcome. We will meet at 7:30 p.m. in the Church and there will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

 

Confirmation Candidates in the Religious Education Program:  Note DATE CORRECTION for the Retreat at the Villa Maria Convent:  MARCH 29thPlease turn in your Permission Slips as soon as possible. Thank you.

 

Religion Classes for Adults Final Session for the year begins March 11th.  It is open to all Catholics who have not yet received Holy Communion or Confirmation, and for non-Catholics who wish to join the Church.  We meet in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.  The class is on a 7-week cycle:  Wednesdays:  March 11th, March 18th, March 25th, April 1st, April 15th, and April 22nd.  Please contact Providencia at (203­) 324 -1553 ext. 21.

St. John’s in The  ADVOCATE . . .

         . . . 100 years ago, or so:

 

March 1, 1878:  The Temperance Rally. “Last Sunday evening a grand temperance meeting was held in Military Hall, under the auspices of St. Patrick’s T.A.B. Society. It was presided over by Father Rogers, pastor of the Catholic church, and two earnest workers in the temperance cause, namely, J. J. Dempsey, Esq., of Middletown, Conn., and Patrick Kane, Esq., of Bridgeport, were introduced as the speakers for the occasion. The effectiveness of their strong appeals can best be judged by the fact that over three hundred persons signed the pledge. Other temperance meetings are to follow, let us hope with still grander results.”

March 6, 1905:  “The services in St. John’s R. C. Church during Lent will be the same as usual. Masses will be celebrated every morning at 7 and 8. Wednesday and Friday evenings, at 7:30 there will be services. A special Lenten sermon will be preached every Wednesday evening. The first will be given this week by Father Dominic who was the head of the Franciscan mission band which gave a mission here last October. Wednesday and Friday, will be, as usual, fasting days, but persons in frail health or those having laboring or exhaustive work are exempt from the Wednesday fast, excepting Ash Wednesday, and may also eat meat more than once on the days that it is allowed. The services Ash Wednesday will be held at 8 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.”

March 7, 1913: Catholic Churches and Societies.  “The Holy Name Society of St. John’s Catholic Church will receive Holy Communion Sunday, at 7:25 a.m., and will hold a regular monthly meeting in the chapel at 7:30 p.m. Father O’Brien is giving an interesting course of short sermons at St. John’s Catholic Church on Sunday evenings. On last Sunday he had for his subject “The Catacombs.” On Holy Thursday night, the Tenebrae will be held in St. John’s Catholic Church. Seldom is this service held in any church outside the cathedrals. Five years ago it was rendered at St. John’s. There are few of the Holy Week ceremonies of more symbolic interest.”

March 5, 1937: Hibernians Plan March 17 Party.  “In the two remaining weeks to St. Patrick’s Day, General Philip Sheridan Branch of the Ancient Order of Hibernians will be a busy organization, in preparation for its annual celebration in honor of the patron saint of Ireland. For nearly a half century, the Stamford branch of the A. O. H. has led the way each year with some affair in honor of St. Patrick. This year, it will sponsor a ball at the State Armory on the night of March 16, when O’Leary’s Irish Minstrels of Boston, as the chief attraction, will provide a concert of traditional Irish airs and music for modern dancing. Sheridan Branch was organized in 1891 and was then known as Division No. 2. The first officers of the Division were: F. T. Galagher, president; Dr. L. S. Buckley, vice president; James Devitt, recording secretary; James M. Picker, financial secretary; James McGee, treasurer. Since its organization, the branch has had a steady and sound growth.”

 

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Year of Saint Paul… A Plenary Indulgence is offered the faithful through June 29th: by visiting the adoration chapel at Saint John Fisher Seminary Residence on Newfield Avenue: the chapel is open Monday through Thursday, 6:00 a.m.—11:00 p.m., and from Friday at 6:00 a.m. until Sunday 11:00 p.m.  The usual conditions apply: sacramental confession and communion, praying one Our Father and Hail Mary for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI apply.

 

Introduction to New Testament Greek Class … Will NOT meet on Thursday, March 5th. Meets every Thursday evening in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.   The class is closed to new members.

 

Sign of Peace . . . will NOT be given during Masses for the next few months because of the high risk of contracting the flu.

Mass Intentions

 

Saturday, February 28

4:00          Anne & Leon Thibdeau, Carol A. Wakeman req. Kevin & Alison Toshches

Sunday, March 1

  7:30        +Joan Bankowski req. Doris Scarano

10:00        +Dorothy Wargo Birthday Remembrance req. Family

12:00        +Anna Young req. Joseph & Agnes Kung

  6:00        Thank you for Deliverance req. Silvita Pierre

Monday, March 2

  8:00        +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family.

12:10        +Margaret Timon req. Thomas A. Timon

Tuesday, March  3

  8:00        +Felix Fiore req. Peter, Tricia & Janice Ponziani

12:10        +Anna Fedorika req. Mary Churley

Wednesday, March 4

  8:00        +Evelyn Hardart Murray req. Richard A. Foreman

12:10       Sister Ellen, Mary CSJ Birthday req. Marie Carr

Thursday, March 5

  8:00       +Victor Cascante req. Jamil Locourt & JII Friends

 12:10      +Luigi Santangelo req. Giannitti Family

Friday, March 6

  8:00        +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family

12:10        +Ken Malone req. Anthony & Carolyn Conte

Saturday, March 7

  8:00       +Mary Theresa Mariano req. Sue Viggiano   

12:10       +Joan Mercia req. Eileen & Robert

 

Eucharistic Adoration:  Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

 

Holy Name Society For all men of the parish: The rectory every Friday morning for coffee, Eucharistic adoration benediction & prayer, from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.

 

Are you a registered parishioner? If not, please visit the parish office Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or call the office for more information [ext 21 or 17] or Register On-Line at our Website:  stjohnsstamford.com.

 

Credit Card Offertory…Make weekly or monthly donations by credit card. You can set up recurring credit card donations with the church secretary.  She can take your information over the telephone.  Call (203) 324-1553 x21.

St. Maria Goretti Society…For the spiritual formation of young ladies from 8th – 12th grades. Questions, please contact Rosa Marchetti at 348-0232.

 

Sponsor Certificates for Baptism or ConfirmationAre happily given to parishioners of St. John’s, i.e. Those who are registered members; those whose regular Mass attendance is known to the priests, or whose parish membership can be verified by the records of the weekly offertory (envelopes). 

 

 

Trust in God

-Fr. Terry Walsh

Do you trust God? Do you really Trust Him? At the Last Supper, only hours before He was about to begin the Passion, Jesus consoled the Apostles who, upon hearing that He wouldn’t be with them much longer, had become distraught and bewildered. There was talk of betrayal. There was fear. There was, in their hearts, some measure of uncertainty. But in those moments, Jesus brought peace to the Apostles. And he told them: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Neither let them be afraid.” In other words, ‘Trust ME. I’ll take care of you.’ He tells them to ask for whatever they want, it will be done for them – only, Trust ME….I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life…I’ve come to give you My peace. The Father and I will send the Holy Spirit, the Counselor, the Advocate…Trust ME. We will be with you – we will be IN you. Trust ME. We have all received the gift of Divine Life – the Holy Trinity dwells IN us. Yet, do we trust God? Notice that, after explaining all these things to the Apostles, Jesus gives them another command; he says, “Rise, let us go hence.” In other words, “Let’s get to work.” Ask for whatever you want – whatever you need to grow in holiness but then, apply these gifts – work at growing in holiness. Throughout Lent, we will hear from the Prophet Isaiah. Writing 750 years before the birth of Christ, the great prophet had the same message for the People of God then as we have today: “Trust.” In Isaiah 55:1-11, God is calling each one of us to freely choose Him. We have choices to make. But do we trust that He will feed us? That brief passage is filled with several active verbs signifying the active role each of us plays in our personal relationship with God: Come, Heed, Eat, Delight, Listen, Seek, Turn to the Lord! Listen to Him in your prayer. Do you hear Him? “COME to the waters” of My graces which I will pour into your souls through your faithful reception of the Sacraments. “HEED Me” – that is – ‘Keep My Commandments, Pick up your Cross, Love one another.’ “EAT well” – that is – ‘receive Me – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity – the Spiritual Food of Holy Eucharist – and with the strength of this food, Decrease those things that hinder progress in holiness – emptying them through Confession. Eat well and delight in the rich fare of the Sacraments – so that I may remain WITH you and live IN you.’ “LISTEN, that you may have life” Actively listen to the Word of God and think carefully about what our Lord is teaching us – when we HEAR the Word of God, it should open our hearts and prepare our souls to RECEIVE the ‘Bread of Angels – Holy Communion – instituted at the Last Supper – for love of all who are spiritually thirsty and “COME TO THE WATER!” SEEK the Lord while He may be found…TURN to the Lord for Mercy…” Naturally, we turn to Him everyday in our Prayer and seek Him in that Inner Room of our soul. It simply requires a little quiet time and some thoughtful effort to communicate with God – whether it’s here in the Church or in some quiet place in your home. When we make a sincere effort, we are responding to His call:  Rise, let us get to work – rise, let us go pray.’ St. John confirms all that we hear through the Prophet Isaiah in preparation for the coming Messiah. John tells us that “…whoever is begotten by God conquers the world – and the victory that conquers the world is our faith.” Our faith is active – it works through our love (as St Paul tells us) – constantly drawing us closer to God – by imitating His humility – his love. Jesus inspires an ACTVE relationship in our hearts – active in the sense of being spiritually aware of His Presence IN us – active in our use of the gifts that He has so graciously provided – so that we can accomplish our purpose – to truly love God and one another – and to dwell WITH God and IN God in heaven – eternally. We enter that life though faith.

 

Bulletin for Sunday February 22, 2009

Pastor’s Corner . . . Lent is much more than a time of increased piety or resolutions designed to break bad habits: Lent is the Church’s annual season of struggle against Satan.  That struggle began over 2,000 years ago when the eternal Son of God, creator of the universe, took on human flesh of the Virgin Mary and was born in Bethlehem.  The Creator became a creature to free the only creature made in His image and likeness-US-from the power of Satan and from the sway of his most potent weapon, death.  As one of the prayers for Christmas Mass reads: “Hasten, Lord our God, do not delay, and free us by Your power from the devil’s fury.”  What is “the devil’s fury”?  Moviegoers might imagine a scene from The Exorcist, or some other cinematographic nonsense.  The devil’s fury is subtler and more boringly mundane than anything Hollywood might imagine: the devil’s fury is daily temptation, which Satan ratchets up as we seek to fight it off by the practice of virtue.  By falling into sin, Satan wins, and his hatred of God bears fruit in our eternal damnation.

Lent is the Church’s great annual spiritual exercise with its focal point on the mystery of Christ’s redemptive mercy, foretold in the Old Testament, realized in the earthly life of Jesus, especially in His Passion, death, resurrection and ascension; and which is realized in us by our worthy and frequent reception of the sacraments, especially Confession and Holy Communion, and then in prayer, fasting, acts of mercy, spiritual reading, and a more intense practice of the Christian virtues in our daily lives. In other words, we open ourselves more readily to Christ’s transforming grace by living a more intense Christian life. According to Saint Peter Chrysologus, “Three things sustain faith, devotion, and virtue,”. . . “prayer, fasting, and mercy to others. Prayer knocks at God’s door, fasting wins us what we need, and mercy is the hand cupped to receive . . . Let him who prays also fast; let him who fasts have pity on others; let him who wishes to be heard hear those who ask his help, for such a person alone has God’s ear whose own ear is not closed to the needs of others.” [Sermon 43] 

                How to begin? Don’t make crazy resolutions that you’ll never keep. Decide to set sin aside, instead, and to open your heart to doing God’s will as the most important guide for all you do in your daily life.  First: go to Confession and use this first week of Lent to meditate on the Passion of Christ: look at His sufferings for what they are—Jesus suffering to save you from Satan and eternal death. “There is no greater stimulus to love our enemies [in which fraternal charity finds its perfect form] than the contemplation of the marvelous patience of Him who . . . offered His face to be spat upon and endured the other torments of His Passion  . . . Did anyone hear those sweet and loving words of Christ from the Cross: ‘Father forgive them. . ?”  Blessed Abbot Aelred continues, “If you are to love yourself correctly, you must not yield to carnal pleasure, by which is meant self-centered ness.  If you do not to yield to carnal pleasure, center your affections on the loving person of the Lord.” [Blessed Abbot Aelred, The Mirror of Charity, 3]. Start your first week of Lent by reading and meditating on the Passion narratives in the four Gospels. Read some each day, and think about them, and pray for a few minutes daily in gratitude to God for thinking so highly of you, personally, that He sent Christ to die for you.  Express that gratitude in acts of charity, fasting, prayer and penance.  Msgr. DiGiovanni

 

Parish Women’s Society Will meet every Saturday, beginning on Saturday, February 28th at 9:30 a.m. in the Rectory for prayer, refreshments and conversation.  Join us.

 

Knights of Columbus Mass  At Saint John’s with Bishop Lori on March 1st at 8:45 a.m.  Please join us.  For information about the K of C communion breakfast, 203-249-5842 or jmorgan@pmpalawyer.com

Please pray for the sick  Ray Flaharty, Philip Renard, John Mellace, Christine Exantus, Suzanne DePreta, Evelyn Flaharty, Diane Ojohanna, Phil De Felice, Sr., Janet Rodgers, Aidan Moon, Mary Daniele, Lena Cocchia,

 

Please pray for those who have recently died. . .  Denis O’Neil, Cecila Tucker, Edith O’Hara, Vincenzo Giannitti Alverta Sahd, Frances Lorusso, Thomas Carucci, Sr. Julia McCarthy, Ella Palumba, Vito Melfi,  Arthur Capalbo, Avery Cardinal Dulles

 

Energy Collection . . . The second collection today will be to help pay the parish’s high energy costs.  I know that everyone’s heating costs are high, the parish’s is exceptionally high for two reasons: the church and rectory are enormous old buildings, with no insulation and single-pane glass throughout. Here are the Yankee Gas bills for January 2008: Rectory was $2,363.34;

Church: $6,484.51; January’s total heating bill was $8,847.85. Please help!! Your generosity is appreciated.

 

ASH WEDNESDAY . . . is February 25th: It is NOT a holy day of obligation.  Ashes will be distributed during the 8:00 a.m. and 12:10 p.m. Masses, as well as during the day at the rectory office until 7:30 p.m.

 

LENTEN FAST AND ABSTINENCE . . .On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and all Fridays during Lent, all Catholics age 14 and older are obliged to abstain from eating meat, and all Catholics in good health between the ages of 18 and 60 are also obliged to fast. Abstinence is not eating meat or meat products; fasting is having one full meal and two light meals during the day, with no snacks between meals.  Drinking water or taking medicine or vitamins does not break a fast.  All Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence from eating meat.

 

CONFESSION. . . During Lent, every Catholic Church throughout Fairfield County will remain open each Tuesday evening, from 7:30 -9:00 P.M. for confessions, including. St. John’s.

 

STATIONS OF THE CROSS . . . each Friday during Lent:

4:00 p.m. English Stations;

6:00 p.m.  Creole Stations

 

The 20’s and 30’s … The next meeting will be on Monday March 9th at the “Upper Room at Columbus Park” at 6:30 p.m. located at 205 Main Street here in Stamford.  We will also discuss upcoming Service Opportunities such as “Christmas in April” and Ministry to the Homeless.

 

Moms & Tots … A group of moms and children meet with Fr. Walsh each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. in church for Eucharistic adoration, followed by snacks in the parish hall. Please join us.  Our next meeting will be on March 3rd.

 

St. Anne Society Schedule update:  We will meet in March and May. The February and April dates have been cancelled. 

 

St. John’s Bible Study We are using The Bible Timeline Series every Thursday in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.  Join us!

 

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … We are studying Pope Saint Gregory the Great’s Four Books of Dialogues, Wednesday evenings in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.

 

Coffee and refreshments Following the 10:00 a.m. Mass, in the Monsignor Nagle Hall. 

Sunday, February 15, 2009   $ 9,741.00

 

Sunday, February 17, 2008 $ 9,596.77

I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”—Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 

Sunday Readings for March 1st:   Gn. 9: 8-15; 1 Pt. 3: 18-22; Mk. 1: 12-15

 

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 198 (2) 216.  The Creed for the Noon Mass may be found in the hymnal at No. 289.

 

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass . . . Mass Ordinary: Missa brevis – Peter Mathews (born 1944). Offertory motet: O How Amiable – Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1872-1958 (O how amiable are thy dwellings, thou Lord of Hosts! My soul hath a desire and longing to enter into the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found her an house, and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young, even thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be alway praising thee. The glorious majesty of the Lord our God be upon us; prosper thou the work of our hands upon us. O prosper thou our handywork. O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and out eternal home. (From Psalms 84 & 90 and Isaac Watts). Communion motet: Lead, Kindly Light – Sir William Harris, 1883-1973 (The text may be found in the hymnal at No. 234). The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Alleluia Verba mea (Lend ear to my words, O Lord; consider my cry. [Psalm 5:2]); Offertory Intende de voci (Hearken to the voice of my prayer, O my King and my God, for it is you, O Lord, whom I implore. [Psalm 5:3,4]); Communion Narrabo (I will relate all your wondrous deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing to the honour of your name, O Most High. [Psalm 9:2,3]).

 

Calling all 10:00 a.m. Singers for the Adult Choir . . . Do you usually attend the 10:00 a.m. Mass? Come join us in the choir loft – we really need you! Rehearsals are Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. in the music room in the basement of the church.  For those who want to learn or refresh their knowledge of the basics of music, there is a short optional Music Theory Class at 7:15 p.m. For more information, call Scott Turkington 324-1553, ext. 18.

 

Confirmation Candidates in the Religious Education Program: Note DATE CORRECTION for the Retreat at the Villa Maria Convent:  MARCH 29th (not the 26th).

 

Religion Classes for Adults Catholics who have not yet received Holy Communion or Confirmation, and for non-Catholics who wish to join the Church, every Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the rectory.  The class is on a 7 week cycle:  If you miss one, we repeat it.  Interested?  Next cycle begins March 10th. Please contact Providencia at (203­) 324 -1553 ext. 21.

 

Saint Patrick’s Parade. . . Needs your help!  If you would like to make a small donation to help fund this wonderful annual Stamford event, please call Mons. DiGiovanni: 324-1553, ext 11.

 

The Latin Reading Group… Is translating St. Augustine’s Confessions…And meets every Wednesday in the rectory at 6:15 p.m.  High school Latin is all that’s needed.  Just walk in. 

 

Introduction to New Testament Greek Class … Meets every Thursday evening in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.   The class is closed to new members.

St. John’s in The  NEWS . . .

       . . . 100 years ago, or so:

 

The Connecticut Catholic.

March 2,1895 Stamford.  “On the evening of Washington’s birthday the town hall was crowded to its utmost capacity, the occasion of the entertainment given under the auspices of St. Ann’s Ladies Aid society of St. John’s R. C. church for the benefit of the poor and orphans. The affair was a most flattering success in every particular and was conceded by all to be the most distinguished affair given in Stamford this season. The hall was most artistically decorated and the refreshment tables laden with eatables, presented by the members of the society, was a sight which was a joy and a delight to the inward man. The affair reflects great credit on the entire society but especially upon Father Keena who had full management of the entire entertainment. Each number on the programme was greatly appreciated and elicited much applause, encore numbers being demanded in every instance. Dancing followed, St. John’s orchestra furnishing music and was continued until a late hour.”

 

The Stamford Advocate.

February 26, 1927: CATHOLIC CHURCH TROOP OF SCOUTS GETS ITS CHARTER. “Stamford Troop 22 Boy Scouts of America sponsored by St. John’s Catholic Church was formally presented with their troop charter at the installation ceremonies at the indoor track meet at the armory last night. The public ceremony was a feature of the athletic meet conducted by the St. John’s Recreation club. The ceremony included acceptance of office by the troop committee composed of Herman C. Rheaume, the Rev. Henry Callahan, and William J. O’Connell. William Foley, the scoutmaster of the troop, asked for loyal co-operation from his troop as follows: “Scouts of Troop 22, I bid you to give to your scoutmaster loyal co-operation, so that Troop 22 will ever be a credit to our church, our city and our country. As your scoutmaster leads you in the Scout Oath and Scout Law on this occasion, may it ever serve as a reminded of your obligation as a Scout.” As president of the Stamford Council, Alfred W. Dater presented the troop charter. The ceremony concluded with the pledge and salute to the flag in which the entire audience took part.”

 

The Stamford Advocate.

March 2, 1928: OPEN NIGHT AT ST. JOHN’S HALL FOR 40 YD. DASH.  “About 60 boys and girls took part in the 40-yard dash which was the feature event of the St. John’s Rec. Club open night performance held at the club hall last night. The boys and girls were divided into four divisions, girls over 100 lbs. and under 100 lbs.; boys over 100 lbs. and under 100 lbs. The summary of the  winners follows: Boys under 100 lbs. First, W. Kiley, second; J. Hennessey; third, D. Moore. Boys over 100 lbs. First, J. Carr; second, O. Deenihan; third, J. Lemon. Girls under 100 lbs. First, A. Kiley; second, M. Gillespie; third, Mary Bohannon. Girls over 100 lbs. First, F. DeMille; second, Elizabeth DeMille, third, E. DeMille..”

 

+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

 

Year of Saint Paul… A Plenary Indulgence is offered the faithful through June 29th: by visiting the adoration chapel at Saint John Fisher Seminary Residence on Newfield Avenue: the chapel is open Monday through Thursday, 6:00 a.m.—11:00 p.m., and from Friday at 6:00 a.m. until Sunday 11:00 p.m.  The usual conditions apply: sacramental confession and communion, praying one Our Father and Hail Mary for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI apply.

 

Sign of Peace . . . will NOT be given during Masses for the next few months because of the high risk of contracting the flu.

 

Mass Intentions

 

Saturday, February 21

4:00          +Gussie Cotroneo req. Bill & Patty Arnone

Sunday, February 22

  7:30        George Terenzio Birthday req. Family

10:00        The Marchetti Family req. Edelson Family

12:00        +Jean Evans Kirkland req. Juanita Evans

  6:00        +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family

Monday, February 23

  8:00        +Alice Mulligan req. Elizabeth & Frank Clarke

12:10        Thanksgiving to God req. Marie Frasier

Tuesday, February 24

  8:00        +Amy Reed req. Luz Contreras

12:10        +Rosario D’Amico req. his brother Frank

Wednesday, February 25

  8:00        +Joan Bankowski req. Mary Ann Blake

12:10       +Zenon J. Cybyk req. Mr.  & Mrs. Lawrence Bolanowski

Thursday, February 26

  8:00       +Jean Solon req. Helen Swaling

 12:10      +Bishop Michael J. Dudick req. Mary Churley

Friday, February 27

  8:00        Souls in Purgatory req. Nelly Contreras

12:10        +Michael Davies & Paul Fisher req. James Bosilevas

Saturday, February 28

  8:00       +Madeline Sell req. Citibank

12:10       +Patrick Feerick req. Bryan McKeon

 

Pray for an end to abortion every Wednesday, 7:00 – 10:30 a.m., at Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St, Stamford. 

 

Eucharistic Adoration:  Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

 

Holy Name Society For all men of the parish: The rectory every Friday morning for coffee, Eucharistic adoration benediction & prayer, from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.

 

Are you a registered parishioner? If not, please visit the parish office Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or call the office for more information [ext 21 or 17] or Register On-Line at our Website: stjohnsstamford.com.

 

Credit Card Offertory…Make weekly or monthly donations by credit card. You can set up recurring credit card donations with the church secretary.  She can take your information over the telephone.  Call (203) 324-1553 x21.

St. Maria Goretti Society…For the spiritual formation of young ladies from 8th – 12th grades. Questions, please contact Rosa Marchetti at 348-0232.

 

Sponsor Certificates for Baptism or ConfirmationAre happily given to parishioners of St. John’s, i.e. Those who are registered members; those whose regular Mass attendance is known to the priests, or whose parish membership can be verified by the records of the weekly offertory (envelopes). 

 

 

Why must I confess my sins to a Priest?

– Fr. Terry Walsh

       

Well, the short answer of course is that our Lord requires it. After all, Jesus Himself instituted each of the 7 Sacraments – those supernatural realities where we encounter our Lord in a mysterious and efficacious way. Sacramental Confession takes place through the Priest who says: “I absolve you – yet it is Christ working and speaking through His priest. Spiritual grace flows from God through the priest – even when the priest himself is not in the state of grace because the grace comes from God who is always Holy. St. Augustine once said: “As for the proud minister, he is to be ranked with the devil. Christ’s gift is not thereby profaned: what flows through him keeps its purity, and what passes through him remains clear and reaches fertile earth…The spiritual power of the sacrament is indeed comparable to light: those to be enlightened receive it in its purity, and if it should pass through defiled beings, it is not itself defiled.”

We truly meet Christ when we enter into the Sacrament of Confession. After the Resurrection, Jesus went to the Apostles – who were His Priests – and said to them: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men’s sins, they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are held bound” (Gospel of John 20:22-23). “Jesus entrusted the exercise of the power of absolution to the apostolic ministry which he charged with the ‘ministry of Reconciliation’(2Cor 5:18)”(ccc1442). Jesus pours new and plentiful graces into our souls that we might cooperate with Him in overcoming the temptations that confront us each day – and He accomplishes this through His priests. Speaking to Peter, Jesus says: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”(Mt 16:19). The Catechism reminds us: “The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health, has willed that his Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation, even among her own members”(ccc 1421). Citing the Scripture passages Psalm 51:17; John 6:44 and 12:32; as well as 1 John 4:10, the Catechism goes on to say: “This endeavor of conversion is not just a human work. It is the movement of a ‘contrite heart,’ drawn and moved by grace to respond to the merciful love of God who loved us first”(ccc1428). The penitent therefore must have true sorrow for sins committed, confess them to the priest, receive absolution and be willing to do penance in order for sins to be forgiven and to be reconciled with the Church.

       There are many resources that will help clarify understanding of this Sacrament beginning with the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Article numbers 1420-1498), along with many other Church documents such as Pope John Paul’s “Reconciliation and Penance”. John Paul wrote that it would be “foolish…to disregard the means of grace and salvation which the Lord has provided and…to claim to receive forgiveness while doing without the sacrament which was instituted by Christ precisely for forgiveness.”

“The confessor (priest) is not the master of God’s forgiveness, but its servant”(CCC1466)

Bulletin for Sunday, 2/15/2009

Pastor’s Corner . . .  In the Church’s calendar, two martyrs named Valentine are recorded, and their feast days used to be on February 14th. Both died around 269 A.D. According to the Roman Martyrology: “At Rome, on the Via Flaminia, the birthday [into heaven] of St. Valentine, Priest and Martyr, who, after many wondrous works of healing and teaching, was scourged with rods and beheaded under the Emperor Claudius.” And, “At Terni, St. Valentine, Bishop and Martyr, who, after lengthy ill-treatment was imprisoned; and since he could not be overcome, he was brought out of his prison in the silence of midnight and beheaded, at the command of Placidus, prefect of the city.”  Since the town of Terni is only about 60 miles outside of Rome, modern scholars believe that the two Valentines were actually one person, with two records of the same martyrdom. His tomb became a popular pilgrimage site, and a basilica was built over his grave outside Rome by the fourth century. The cult of St. Valentine proved a popular one, especially since his was the first martyr’s grave to be visited by pilgrims on their way to Rome.  

                The interesting practice of sending Valentine cards to one’s “significant other”, seems to have developed along two lines: the first comes from an ancient Roman pagan practice of the mid-February Lupercalia, when young men drew by lot the names of unmarried girls. The second, a supposed medieval belief, that on February 14th, birds chose their mates and began nesting.

                Even though the local sparrows and starlings have, in fact, begun building their nests in the rectory eaves, above my bedroom, these two ideas wouldn’t seem sufficiently impressive to justify an annual celebration of human love on St. Valentine’s day.  While obviously a modern product of Hallmark Cards, or somesuch enterprise, the Church’s one time celebration of this day on the feast of the saint’s martyrdom, can be linked to the Christian notion of romantic love: Saint John’s narrative in his first letter that “no one has greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend,” while describing Jesus’ unconditional love for us, has also been the foundation for the Church’s teaching on Catholic marriage. A man and a woman sacrifice their private lives and interests for the benefit of the other—Catholic marriage is a martyrdom of personal self-interest for love of the other, and the sacrifices necessary to remain faithful to that person, are those offered by each partner as a spiritual sacrifice, for the other’s eternal salvation.

                That is what a martyr does: offers his or her life rather than deny the Beloved, who is Jesus. Saint Thomas More, the Catholic lawyer-martyr under England’s King Henry VIII, in a letter to his daughter Margaret, explained why he could not deny Christ or His Church: “In the end, it is a matter of love.”

                So, pagan Roman fertility practices and nesting birds notwithstanding, the commemoration of human love on the February 14th  feast of the martyr, Saint Valentine, is of much greater importance: charity in two forms: giving oneself for one’s beloved with no hope of personal benefit—an offering of self because of love, which leads to eternity.

                While the Church no longer celebrates Saint Valentine’s Day on February 14th [it’s actually the Feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius, 9th century missionaries to Eastern Europe], we can still do so: husbands and wives can reaffirm their love for each other in Christ: a love, faithful until death, just like Christ’s love for us on the Cross: its result is eternity with God.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

 –Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick…  Ray Flaharty, Philip Renard, John Mellace, Christine Exantus, Suzanne DePreta, Evelyn Flaharty, Diane Ojohanna, Phil De Felice, Sr., Janet Rodgers, Aidan Moon, Mary Daniele, Lena Cocchia,

 

Please pray for those who have recently died. . .  Edith O’Hara, Vincenzo Giannitti Alverta Sahd, Frances Lorusso, Thomas Carucci, Sr. Julia McCarthy, Ella Palumba, Vito Melfi,  Arthur Capalbo, Avery Cardinal Dulles

 

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

 

The 20’s and 30’s … The next meeting will be on Monday March 9th at the “Upper Room at Columbus Park” at 6:30 p.m. located at 205 Main Street here in Stamford. We will also discuss upcoming Service Opportunities such as “Christmas in April” and Ministry to the Homeless. Finally, a schedule of Social Events will be listed for all interested: Ski rip, Ice Skating Social, Movie Night, and others.

 

Moms & Tots… A group of moms and children meet with Fr. Walsh each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. in church for Eucharistic adoration, followed by snacks in the parish hall. Please join us.  Our next meeting will be on March 3rd.

 

Religion Classes for Adults. . . Catholics who have not yet received Holy Communion or Confirmation, and for non-Catholics who wish to join the Church, every Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the rectory.  The class is on a 7 week cycle:  If you miss one, we repeat it.  Interested?  Please contact Providencia at (203­) 324 -1553 ext. 21.

NOTE CHANGE: Session III of RCIA—Adult catechism– will be held on WEDNESDAY NIGHTS beginning on March 10th.  Call the office for more details.

 

Parish Women’s Society… We would like to begin a parish society for the spiritual growth of women.  Please contact Monsignor if you are interested:  Ext. 11.

 

The Latin Reading Group… Is translating St. Augustine’s Confessions…And meets every Wednesday in the rectory at 6:15 p.m.  High school Latin is all that’s needed.  Just walk in.  

 

Introduction to New Testament Greek Class … Meets every Thursday evening in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.   The class is closed to new members.

 

Year of Saint Paul… A Plenary Indulgence is offered the faithful through June 29th: by visiting the adoration chapel at Saint John Fisher Seminary Residence on Newfield Avenue: the chapel is open Monday through Thursday, 6:00 a.m.—11:00 p.m., and from Friday at 6:00 a.m. until Sunday 11:00 p.m.  The usual conditions apply: sacramental confession and communion, praying one Our Father and Hail Mary for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI apply.

 

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … We are studying Pope Saint Gregory the Great’s Four Books of Dialogues, Wednesday evenings in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.

 

St. John’s Bible StudyWe are using The Bible Timeline Series every Thursday in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.  Join us!

 

Coffee and refreshments… Following the 10:00 a.m. Mass, in the Monsignor Nagle Hall. 

 

St. Anne Society Schedule update:  We will meet in March and May. The February and April dates have been cancelled.  Stay tuned for more details.

Sunday, February 8, 2009   $ 11,241.08

 

Sunday, February 10, 2008 $ 11,740.55

I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”—

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 

Sunday Readings for Feb. 22nd:   Is. 43: 18-19, 21-22, 24b-25;  2 Cor. 1:189-22; Mk. 2:1-12

 

Banns of Marriage…3rd: Dominic Dougherty & Karen Lewis

 

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 110 (2) 183.  The Creed for the Noon Mass may be found in the hymnal at No. 289.

 

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass . . . Mass Ordinary: Missa brevis – Andrea Gabrieli, 1532-1585. Offertory motet: Cantate Domino – Hans Leo Hassler, 1562-1612 (O sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord, all the whole earth.Sing unto the Lord, and praise his Name; be telling of his salvation from day to day. Declare his honour unto the heathen, and his wonders unto all people. [Ps. 96:1-3, trans. M. Coverdale]). Communion motet: If Ye Love Me – Thomas Tallis, ca.. 1505 – 1585 (If ye love me, keep my commandments, and I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that He may ‘bide with you for ever: e’en the Spir’t of truth.). The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Esto mihi (Be unto me a protecting God and a house of refuge, to save me; for you are my support and my refuge; and for the sake of your name you will lead me and nourish me. In you, O Lord, do I trust; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. []Ps. 31:3,4,2]); Alleluia Cantate Domino (Sing to the Lord a new song; for he has accomplished wondrous deeds. [Psalm 98:1]); Offertory Benedictus es Domine (Blessed are you, O Lord, teach me your commandments. O Lord, you are blessed, teach me your commandments. With my lips have I declared all the judgments spoken by your mouth. [Psalm 119:12,13]); Communion Manducaverunt (They ate and were fully satisfied; the Lord gave them all that they desired; they were not deprived of their wants. [Psalm 78:29.30]).

 

Calling all 10:00 AM Singers for the Adult Choir . . . Do you usually attend the 10:00 a.m. Mass? Come join us in the choir loft – we really need you! Rehearsals are Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. in the music room in the basement of the church.  For those who want to learn or refresh their knowledge of the basics of music, there is a short optional Music Theory Class at 7:15. p.m.. For more information, call Scott Turkington 324-1553, ext. 18.

 

Confirmation Candidates in the Religious Education Program: Note DATE CORRECTION for the Retreat at the Villa Maria Convent of the Sisters of Life will be MARCH 29th (not the 26th).

 

Bookstore…Check out titles by Scott Hahn, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R.,  Pope John Paul II and more.

St. John’s in The  ADVOCATE . . .

       . . . 100 years ago, or so:

 

February 20, 1899:  Father Mulville to Preach. “At the mass for children in St. John’s R. C. Church, which is held in the basement at nine o’clock, there was congregational singing yesterday for the first time. The children sang very well indeed. At the services Wednesday evening, Rev. Frank Mulville of Hartford is announced to preach. Father Mulville is a Stamford man, and, as he is said to be a preacher of considerable ability, much interest will be taken in the sermon.”

 

February 17, 1906: CHURCH SELLS REAL ESTATE.  “The property of St. John’s R. C. Church in Hawthorn Street and State Street was sold, this week, for an aggregate sum of $8,800, and after July 1 next, to which time the church has the use of the property, it will be transformed for commercial purposes, after a church career of 57 years. In 1849, this property, which consists of a couple of acres, was bought by the parish, which then consisted of a sparse 200 communicants. The pastor was Rev. John Brady. July 4, 1849, ground was broken for a small frame church. In 1854, under the pastorate of Rev. E. J. Cooney, the church was considerably enlarged and remained as the place of worship for Stamford Catholics until Thanksgiving Day, 1875, when the present church in Atlantic Street was completed to a point where it was possible to hold services in it. Then the old church was made over into a school, and with some additions that have been made to it, has been used for school purposes ever since. As a school, however, the building has been unsatisfactory for several years, both as to its condition and to location. For the past few years only a few grades have been taught there, the principal grades meeting in the schoolhouse in Bell Street. The convent, which is included in the sale, is a well-built house and has had many improvements made in it during the past few years. Its location was such, however, as to make it unsatisfactory for the convent in recent years.”

 

February 16, 1934: TWO BOYS ATTAIN EAGLE RANKING AT SCOUT CEREMONY.  “At the February court of honor of Stamford Council, Boy Scouts of America, two Scouts attained Eagle Scout rank, the highest Scout rating. They are James O’Brien, jr., and Robert Thayer, both of Troop 22, sponsored by St. John’s R. C. Church.”

 

February 21, 1955: Girl Scout Sunday To Be Marked By St. John’s Troops.  “The Girl Scouts of St. John’s School will observe Girl Scout Sunday, March 6, by receiving Holy Communion at the 8 o’clock Mass. Breakfast will be served in the school after Mass. On March 11, Friday of Girl Scout Week, the three troops will have a joint birthday party in the school gymnasium. Penny Raymond will lead the flag ceremony with Ann Gasperino, Ann Kilcoyne, Mary Daisey, Beverly Burke and Gloria Schultz as color bearers. Songs will be led by Jo Ann Mancinelli, Shery Raymond and Barbara Plomitallo.”

 

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Ash Wednesday… Just a head’s up:  February 25th –Lent begins. During Lent, all Catholic churches in the Diocese of Bridgeport will remain open every Tuesday evening for Confessions:  7:30-8:30 p.m.

 

Easter. . . April 12th.

Mass Intentions

 

Saturday, February 14

4:00          +Robert Hill & Ann Maliza req. Family

Sunday, February 15

  7:30        +John & Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Young

10:00        +Mary Louise DeLuca req. Linda Palmer

12:00        +Louis Meyer req. Josephine Languedoc and Diane Strain

  6:00        +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family

Monday, February 16

  8:00        +John the Baptist Do req. Thang Nguyen

12:10        Souls in Purgatory req. Anthony D’Ariano

Tuesday, February 17

  8:00        +Nick Romaniello, III req. Lisa Fabrizio

12:10        +Helen Iadanza req. Maryanne Koller

Wednesday, February 18

  8:00        +JoAnne Fiori req. Parents

12:10       James & Adele Henson req. John & Laura Pascale

Thursday, February 19

  8:00       +Margaret G. Mine req. Cycon Family

12:10       +Eileen McNamara Hayes req. Larry Hayes

Friday, February 20

  8:00        +Guglielmo Labrociano req. Sharon Gannon

12:10        +Daniella Frasier req. Marie Frasier

Saturday, February 21

  8:00       +Jane Hlavaty req. Anna Ferri & Dolores P. Biscaglio

12:10       +Jennie Carlucci req. Sam & Nicole Marciano

 

Pray for an end to abortion every Wednesday, 7:00 – 10:30 a.m., at Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St, Stamford. 

 

Eucharistic Adoration:  Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

 

Holy Name Society For all men of the parish: The rectory every Friday morning for coffee, Eucharistic adoration benediction & prayer, from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.

 

Are you a registered parishioner? If not, please visit the parish office Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or call the office for more information [ext 21 or 17] or Register On-Line at our Website: stjohnsstamford.com.

 

Credit Card Offertory…Make weekly or monthly donations by credit card. You can set up recurring credit card donations with the church secretary.  She can take your information over the telephone.  Call (203) 324-1553 x21.

St. Maria Goretti Society…For the spiritual formation of young ladies from 8th – 12th grades. Questions, please contact Rosa Marchetti at 348-0232.

 

Sponsor Certificates for Baptism or ConfirmationAre happily given to parishioners of St. John’s, i.e. Those who are registered members; those whose regular Mass attendance is known to the priests, or whose parish membership can be verified by the records of the weekly offertory (envelopes).        

The Call to Discipleship

– Fr Terry Walsh

 

In these early weeks of Ordinary Time in the Liturgical Year we have been hearing about the beginning of our Lord’s Ministry from the Gospel of Mark. Jesus has invited the Apostles to share in the work of Redemption; indeed, it is the duty and the privilege of all the baptized to share in ‘Building up the Kingdom.” I wonder what would be going through Jesus’ mind as He approached the busting activity of the diligent fishermen – Peter and Andrew, James and John – who were seeking to haul in a great catch (Mk 1:16). Might he have had a particular eagerness, a purposefulness to His step? John the Baptist, martyred out of love for Him, fulfilled his mission and now Jesus’ burning desire to proclaim the Good News would at long last finally begin – His love was on fire – he was pumped up and eager to announce the Good News of Salvation– it was the whole purpose for his becoming man and the moment had arrived – ‘that moment toward which all time and history, all human and divine longing have been directed’ – it’s here – finally. You can see it in His step. What’s more – he’s about to invite those he loves to share in His Mission. As He gets closer to the chatter of the men giving orders to each other in their boats, perhaps his smile unveils His excitement – He can’t contain it. He’s eager to get started….

Meanwhile, the typical busyness of the day occupies the attention of the fishermen as the sun rises higher in the sky and the gulls begin to gather in greater number to feast – the fish are cleaned as they are gathered. These hardworking fishermen hope for a slightly bigger catch in the next wave. Their thoughts quite naturally are focused on meeting their quota in order to support their families and pay their taxes – along with the other general cares and concerns of the day. Perhaps, their thoughts drift off to the future – maybe next year they’ll be able to add a boat, or at least hire another worker or two. Their restless concerns occupy their minds. Looking up from their nets, they see Him. As He approaches, they’re curious. He meets them. He invites them: Follow Me! Jesus is inviting each one of us – today- right now- to follow Him        – to be aware of the purpose of our existence – to come to know Him and grow in a deeply personal relationship with Him – and through that intimate relationship, to draw others to Him – to “Cast into the Deep.” Consider the response of the first Apostles. There was no hesitation. Peter, Andrew, James, and John left everything immediately and followed Him. For them, it wasn’t simply a matter of “coming after” Jesus; rather, it was much more profound. It was a matter of imitating him, casting aside anything that hindered their fidelity and their growth in virtue.

            Just as they had gutted and cleaned the fish, digging out and tearing away all the useless parts for the sea gulls, leaving only the lean, nutritious piece ready to be consumed – so too they scraped away whatever hindered them from preaching the Word of God and being active participants in the mission entrusted to them. Likewise, the leaner we are, spiritually speaking, the more faithfully we can focus on growing in virtue and responding to the Grace Jesus seeks to pour into our hearts in order to accomplish His work. Just as Jesus revealed His Kingdom to the Apostles and gave them a share in his mission and his suffering, so too, does he offer it to us. We’re called to an intimate communion with God. Trust Him – he will nourish you – through his grace – especially in the Eucharist – received in the State of Grace.

“I am the living bread which came down from Heaven; if anyone eats of this Bread, he will live forever…….”

 

 

Pastor’s Corner . . . Well, we’ve made it to February, and, to cheer you up even more, in just three weeks, Lent begins!!! Oh, boy. How fun is it to be Catholic??

By this point, everyone should have had their fill of ice and snow. Stuck inside because it’s too cold and gruesome outside, one can turn too far inside oneself, and seethe about nonsensical, humdrum and aggravating things which are of little import in the greater scheme of things. In the Inferno, the first section of his Divine Comedy, Dante proposes that the lowest circle of Hell is a frozen wasteland—it’s perpetual February—with Satan at the very lowest point of Hell, frozen solid, stuck in ice, forever. He’s entirely paralyzed by ice; isolated from everything and everyone, his mind seethes with frustration over his defeat by God and his eternal punishment. Having refused to serve God in Heaven, Satan rules in a Hell which is its own punishment—his perpetual hatred and frustration producing only a repulsive bloody froth, seeping from his tear ducts and mouth for all eternity.

My suggestion to avoid this fate—turning in on yourself, seething in frustration, isolated from everyone because of the ice and frigid temperatures, even for the short 28 days of February–is to do a few things:

–Practice charity: get out of your house and help someone: a relative or neighbor who needs a little assistance. Or, you might even volunteer at the Stamford Senior Center on Summer Street: I’m on the board of directors, and the Center has been helping seniors in a variety of ways for over 100 years. Give a call to Marie Johnson at 324-6584. You don’t need any training or specialized skills. Please identify yourself as a parishioner of St. John’s and that I asked you to call her;

–Volunteer at the New Covenant House of Hospitality, 90 Fairfield Avenue, behind the Yerwood Center at 964-8228. This “soup kitchen”, run by the Diocese of Bridgeport, is always looking for those who want to help.

–Volunteer at the Senior Nutrition Center, 30 Myano Lane, also run by the Diocese: 324-6175.

–Read a little Scripture: try the Gospel of Luke and Saint Paul’s Letters to the Thessalonians. Both great reads that should inspire gratitude to God for His generosity.

These are a few ideas to get you out of yourself during these last bleak weeks of winter. Forget the groundhog, and concentrate on doing what you were designed to do: act more like God in charity and be grateful to Our Lord. So, buck up your spirits: despite the weather, God has done a lot of hard work to make sure you don’t end up in that perpetual February freeze of Hell. Bring some warmth into someone else’s life by volunteering, and some warmth into your own by reading about God’s love for you. Msgr. DiGiovanni

10th Annual Catholic Awareness Day…State Capitol in Hartford on Monday, February 9th. In light of the pressing issues facing Catholics today during this session of the General Assembly, please be encourage to attend.

The 20’s and 30’s … The next meeting will be on Monday February 9th at the “Upper Room at Columbus Park” at 6:30 p.m. located at 205 Main Street here in Stamford. Our Topic this month will be “Stump the Priest” – come with your questions….bring your friends! We will also discuss upcoming Service Opportunities such as “Christmas in April” and Ministry to the Homeless. Finally, a schedule of Social Events will be listed for all interested: Ski rip, Ice Skating Social, Movie Night, and others.

Please pray for the sick Philip Renard, John Mellace, Christine Exantus, Suzanne DePreta, Evelyn Flaharty, Diane Ojohanna, Phil De Felice, Sr., Janet Rodgers, Aidan Moon, Mary Daniele, Lena Cocchia,

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Vincenzo Giannitti Alverta Sahd, Frances Lorusso, Thomas Carucci, Sr. Julia McCarthy, Ella Palumba, Vito Melfi, Arthur Capalbo, Avery Cardinal Dulles

 

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.

Moms & Tots… A group of moms and children meet with Fr. Walsh each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. in church for Eucharistic adoration, followed by snacks in the parish hall. Please join us. Our next meeting will be on March 3rd.

 

Religion Classes for Adults. . . Catholics who have not yet received Holy Communion or Confirmation, and for non-Catholics who wish to join the Church, every Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the rectory. The class is on a 7 week cycle: If you miss one, we repeat it. Interested? Please contact Providencia at (203­) 324 -1553 ext. 21.

NOTE CHANGE: Session III of RCIA—Adult catechism– will be held on WEDNESDAY NIGHTS beginning on March 10th. Call the office for more details.

Congratulations to MARISA CARPANZANO and CHRISTOPHER MEYER. . . Who are this year’s recipients of the Saint Thomas Aquinas Award for academic excellence! The award is given by Bishop Lori to exceptional students. Marissa is an eighth grade student at Trinity Catholic Middle School, and Christopher is an eighth grade student at Saint Aloysius School. Marisa and Chris are our parish academic champions, and we applaud them both!!

 

Parish Women’s Society We would like to begin a parish society for the spiritual growth of women. Please contact Monsignor if you are interested: Ext. 11.

 

The Latin Reading Group… Is translating St. Augustine’s Confessions…And meets every Wednesday in the rectory at 6:15 p.m. High school Latin is all that’s needed. Just walk in.

 

Introduction to New Testament Greek Class … Meets every Thursday evening in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.

Year of Saint Paul… A Plenary Indulgence is offered the faithful through June 29th: by visiting the adoration chapel at Saint John Fisher Seminary Residence on Newfield Avenue: the chapel is open Monday through Thursday, 6:00 a.m.—11:00 p.m., and from Friday at 6:00 a.m. until Sunday 11:00 p.m. The usual conditions apply: sacramental confession and communion, praying one Our Father and Hail Mary for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI apply.

 

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … We are studying Pope Saint Gregory the Great’s Four Books of Dialogues, Wednesday evenings in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.

St. John’s Bible StudyWe are using The Bible Timeline Series every Thursday in the rectory at 7:30 p.m. Join us!

Coffee and refreshments Following the 10:00 a.m. Mass, in the Monsignor Nagle Hall.

 

St. Anne Society Schedule update: We will meet in March and May. The February and April dates have been cancelled. Stay tuned for more details.

Sunday, February 1, 2009 $ 12,587.17

Sunday, February 3, 2008 $12,072.82

I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”—

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Sunday Readings for Feb. 15th: Lv.13 1-2, 44-46; 1 Cor. 10:311-1:1; Mk. 1:40-45

Banns of Marriage…2ndt: Dominic Dougherty & Karen Lewis

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 142 (Tune: St. George’s Windsor) (2) 234. (Second tune) The Creed for the Noon Mass may be found in the hymnal at No. 289.

 

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass . . . Mass Ordinary: Missa Dominicalis – Tomás Luis de Victoria, 1548-1611; Gloria More Ambrosiano (12th Cent.). Offertory motet: Ad te levavi – Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, 1525-1594 (To thee have I lifted up my eyes, who dwellest in heaven. Behold, as the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters, as the eyes of the handmaid are on the hands of her mistress; so are our eyes upon the Lord our God, until he have mercy on us. [Psalm 122:1-2]). Communion motet: Laudate Dominum – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756-1791 (O praise the Lord, all ye heathen. Praise him all ye nations. For his merciful kindness is ever more and more towards us, and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise the Lord. [Psalm 117]). The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Venite adoremus Deum (Come, let us worship God and bow down before the Lord; let us shed tears before the Lord who made us, for he is the Lord our God. Come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise unto God our Saviour. [Ps. 95: 6,7,1]); Alleluia Laudate Dominum (Praise the Lord all nations; praise him in unison, all peoples. [Psalm 117:1]); Offertory Perfice gressus meos (Render secure my footsteps in your paths so that my feet do not slip; incline your ear and hear my words; display your wonderful mercies, O Lord, Saviour of those who place their hope in you. [Psalm 17:5,6,7]); Communion Multitudo languentium (A multitude with diseases, and those who were troubled by unclean spirits, came unto him, because a power emanated from him which healed them all. [Luke 6:17,18,19]).

 

Calling all 10:00 a.m. Singers! . . . Do you have some singing experience? Do you usually attend the 10:00 a.m. Mass? Come join us in the choir loft – we really need you! Rehearsals are Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. in the music room in the basement of the church. For those who want to learn or refresh their knowledge of the basics of music, there is a short optional Music Theory Class at 7:15 p.m.. For more information, call Scott Turkington 324-1553, ext. 18.

Sponsor Certificates for Baptism or ConfirmationAre happily given to parishioners of St. John’s, i.e. Those who are registered members; those whose regular Mass attendance is known to the priests, or whose parish membership can be verified by the records of the weekly offertory (envelopes).

Confirmation Candidates in the Religious Education Program: Note DATE CORRECTION for the Retreat at the Villa Maria Convent of the Sisters of Life will be MARCH 29th (not the 26th).

St. John’s in The ADVOCATE . . .

. . . 100 years ago, or so:

The Connecticut Catholic:

February 11, 1888: STAMFORD. “Mr. John White, who has been engaged in the coal and wood business many years with Mr. Theodore Davenport, has started business for himself with Mr. Patrick Hanrahan, having bought out the interest of Mr. Davenport. The new firm of John White & Co. starts out with a practical knowledge of the business and has before it a bright field for success. Their many friends wish for them every success in their new enterprise.” (Editor’s note: Both Mr. White and Mr. Hanrahan are donors of stained glass windows in the church.)

The Stamford Advocate:

February 14, 1899: St. Valentine’s Day Weddings. “At 9:30 this morning, Michael Ryan and Miss Annie Ryan were married at St. John’s R. C. Church, by Rev. Father Sullivan. Another wedding took place at St. John’s a few hours later, the contracting parties being William Thomas and Miss Nellie Ward. This ceremony was performed by Rev. Father Rogers. Mr. Thomas is a popular young man, and is well known as a ball player, being a member of the old Stamford nine. At half-past five this evening, Clarence Weed and Miss Nellie McCarthy and William Francis Marron and Miss Sadie McCarthy will be married at the residence of the brides on Cottage Street, by Rev. Father Rogers.”

The Hartford Courant:

February 10, 1928: Stamford Priest Leaves Most of Estate to Churches. “Stamford: Preliminary inventory of the estate of the late Rev. James C. O’Brien, pastor of St. John’s Roman Catholic Church here for 25 years and a priest in the Hartford diocese for 50 years, was made and the will was admitted to probate today by Judge Floyd B. Bartram, who named Catherine A Rutledge, grand niece of Father O’Brien , as executrix. To St. Johns’, the will leaves $7,000. Other requests were: St. Anne’s Ladies Aid Society, at St. John’s $2,000. Catherine Rogos and Rose Mulvey, workers at the rectory and Edward Gorman, sexton at St. Johns, $2,000 each.”

The Stamford Advocate:

February 9, 1929: ANNIVERSARY WEEK OF BOY SCOUTS OPENS. “Observance of Scout anniversary week, marking the 19th year of Scouting in this country, began in Stamford last night when upwards of 360 Boy Scouts of the Stamford Council joined in a roundup and jubilee program in the new High School building, featured by the annual Scout dinner served in the cafeteria. Scout Troop 22 of St. John’s Catholic Church was awarded a handsome plaque , emblematic of the winning by that troop of the trophy for troop attendance and achievement during the year 1928. One of the newest to be organized under Stamford Council, Troop 22 carried off the honor in competition with all the other troops after setting up a notable record. President Alfred W. Dater , of the Stamford Council, made the presentation to Scout Ernest Tate because he had contributed the larges number of points toward winning the prize for his troop.”

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Ash Wednesday… Just a head’s up: February 25th –Lent begins. During Lent, all Catholic churches in the Diocese of Bridgeport will remain open every Tuesday evening for Confessions: 7:30-8:30 p.m.

 

Easter. . . April 12th.

Mass Intentions

Saturday, February 7

4:00 Brian & Kathleen Fennessey req. Fr. Terrence P. Walsh

Sunday, February 8

7:30 Baby Jesus; Our Lady, Virgin Mary & All Saints req. Constanza Ziom

10:00 +William & Eleanor Hayes req. Joan & John Hagan

12:00 Special Intention John Kung req. Joseph & Agnes Kung

6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family

Monday, February 9

8:00 +Vincenzo Rosano req. Teresa Canneto

12:10 +William J. Mason req. Patricia Sheridan

Tuesday, February 10

8:00 +Wallace Stewart req. Our Lady of Loreto Altar Guild

12:10 +Alice Caputo Vaccaro req. Catherine Longo

Wednesday, February 11

8:00 +Jerry Saljanir req. Julie Gjelaj

12:10 Special Intention Margarita, Roberto, Ana Ucero req. Sharon Gannon

Thursday, February 12

8:00 Special Intention, Guidance Ali Mauro

12:10 +Vito Longo Birthday Remembrance req. daughter Millie

Friday, February 13

8:00 +Members of the Morris Family req. Bill & Marion Morris & Family

12:10 +Mary C. Sykora req. Maryanne Koller

Saturday, February 14

8:00 +Hope & Joseph McAleer req. Family

12:10 +Marie Woolf req. Fabiola C.

Pray for an end to abortion every Wednesday, 7:00 – 10:30 a.m., at Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St, Stamford.

Eucharistic Adoration: Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

Holy Name Society For all men of the parish: The rectory every Friday morning for coffee, Eucharistic adoration benediction & prayer, from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.

Are you a registered parishioner? If not, please visit the parish office Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or call the office for more information [ext 21 or 17].

Credit Card Offertory…Make weekly or monthly donations by credit card. You can set up recurring credit card donations with the church secretary. She can take your information over the telephone. Call (203) 324-1553 x21.

St. Maria Goretti Society…For the spiritual formation of young ladies from 8th – 12th grades. Questions, please contact Rosa Marchetti at 348-0232.

 

 

The Sacrament of (Reconciliation) Confession

– Fr. Terry Walsh

 

“I FIRMLY resolve, with the help of Thy Grace, to sin no more, and to avoid the near occasion of sin.”

 

Perhaps one of the most comforting chapters in all of Sacred Scripture is found in St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, Chapter 8: “If God is for us, who can be against us?…Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?….. [Nothing/No one] in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Only sin can rupture our relationship with God – only by our own free choice can we be separated from Him. Yet, even in those occasions when we have rejected Him by sinning, He yearns for our conversion of heart. He calls us by name and invites us back to Himself. He calls and He waits.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation instituted by our Lord makes it possible for us to be restored to the grace of our Baptism – to the Body of Christ, the Church, when we have fallen off the Vine. Yet, it is essential that we hold to our promise to avoid sin – to employ practical ways to overcome those hurdles in our lives that may lead to sin. In addition to the obvious ways, such as avoiding situations that assail our desire for purity in thought, word, or deed, we may also ask for the grace, through prayer, to remain faithful to our Baptismal Promises. We may also make some small sacrifices to demonstrate ‘good faith’ in our effort to overcome a particular hurdle – perhaps giving up something we like to do – or maybe offering up a particular food or drink for a period of time. Our Lord will certainly help us in our effort to grow in holiness – in purity of heart and mind – if we make this effort.

Each time we approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we prepare by undergoing a good examination of conscience, ‘made in the Light of the Word of God.’ (What has God asked of me? How have I done in light of the 10 Commandments, the Gospel precepts, the Beatitudes, the Apostolic Exhortations?) After confessing our sins to God through His representative, the Priest, we offer to God our Act of Contrition, that is, our expression of sorrow along with our statement of intention NOT to sin again. Recall the words of our Lord to St. Peter when the Apostle asked Him how many times he should forgive the same sin. Our Merciful Lord told him to forgive it every time – that is, every time the person is truly sorry – every time the person is resolved to live a holy life. Every single time. But we would only be adding to our sins if we were to approach this Magnificent Sacrament of Love with presumption in our heart – ‘O, I’ll just go to confession…’ And how firm would our resolution to sin no more really be if we didn’t take some practical steps to overcome those things that lead us into sin? Are we truly giving our best effort? Our Lord became man in order to redeem us – to heal us – and to restore us to the Divine Life of Grace. What will our response be?

“Indeed you love truth in the heart; then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom. O purify me, then I shall be made clean; O wash me, I shall be whiter than snow…..A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, nor deprive me of your holy spirit.”

-Psalm 51

Bulletin for Sunday 2/1/2009

ON RECEPTION OF HOLY COMMUNION

This week we would like to share with you a recent article written by Fr. Greg Markey, Pastor at St. Mary’s Church in Norwalk. The Article, ‘Communion on the Hand,’ appeared on the Website, (www.catholic.org).

I encourage parishioners to give prayerful consideration to following Pope Benedict XVI’s lead by receiving Holy Communion on the tongue in the New Year.

 

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (Catholic Online) – The beginning of each year is often a time of “New Year Resolutions”, and a wonderful resolution for 2009 would be to start exercising the option of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue in Mass. Let me explain why.
This past summer Catholics were horrified when a professor at the University of Minnesota willfully desecrated the Eucharist. On the internet Professor Paul Zachary Myers invited anyone to obtain for him a consecrated Host from a Catholic Church so that he could desecrate It. Another man read about the request and took a Host from the London Oratory, videotaping Himself taking It from the Mass. He then sent the Host to Professor Myers and posted the video on the internet.
Professor Myer then proceeded to drive a rusty nail through the Host in order to show the “absurdity” of the Catholic belief in the True Presence, and posted photos of the event on his website. Unfortunately the event set off a series of copycat crimes, and these desecrations are all over the internet. What can be behind so much hatred? Even a child understands that it is not right to mock what others hold to be sacred. I have offered Mass in reparation for this sacrilege, and I know that many good Catholics have also done forms of prayer and penance in order to console the wounded heart of Our Lord. Do you remember last year here at St. Mary’s when we found a Host under one of the pews in the church? I know from other priests that this happens every once in a while in other parishes as well. These incidents remind us that it would certainly be more difficult for people to take the Host improperly if everyone were receiving Holy Communion on the tongue. As the Catholic Church teaches, “If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful” (Redemptionis Sacramentum, 92). Many people born prior to the Second Vatican Council will remember when everyone received Holy Communion on the tongue and kneeling. This has been the long held practice for thousands of years (although during certain periods of the early Church it did allow Communion in the hand). While many think that it was Vatican II that called for this change, it is important to note: Vatican II never called for Communion in the hand. Communion in the hand was the result of disobedience which forced the hand of the Church (no pun intended!). After the Second Vatican Council some dioceses in the world started to make their own rules about receiving the Communion in the hand, disobeying the laws of the universal Church.

Witnessing this practice without approval, the Vatican stated that it feared that this disobedience would lead to “…both the possibility of a lessening of reverence toward the august sacrament of the altar, its profanation, and the watering down of the true doctrine of the Eucharist” (Memoriale Domini). Therefore in 1968 Pope Paul VI graciously sent out a questionnaire to all the bishops of the world asking if there should be a prudent change in the Church’s practice on how Communion would be distributed. The poll numbers came back overwhelming against Communion in the hand. Hence the Vatican concluded: “The answers given show that by far the greater number of bishops think that the discipline currently in force should not be changed. And if it were to be changed, it would be an offense to the sensibilities and spiritual outlook of these bishops and a great many of the faithful” (Memoriale Domini). Nonetheless the disobedience continued and some of these dioceses petitioned Rome to officially permit Communion in the hand. A year later, in 1969, Pope Paul VI gave an indult to the French bishops permitting each bishop to decide the question in his own diocese (En réponse a la Demande). An indult is a special permission for a particular situation, rather than a universal norm. Nonetheless eventually the majority of dioceses in the world took advantage of the indult and simply permitted the practice. Why did the Pope allow it? Perhaps it can be best summed up by the words of Our Lord about why divorce was allowed in the Old Testament: “For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives” (Matthew 19:8). Their disobedience had reached such a point that it would have been difficult to have them return to the traditional practice. Nonetheless some countries like Sri Lanka did not use the indult, and maintained the long held tradition of receiving only on the tongue. Recently there have also been dioceses around the world such San Luis, Argentina and Lima, Peru that have returned to the traditional practice and no longer permit Communion in the hand. This is an option fully supported by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. Furthermore, if one does receive Communion on the hand, there is always the danger that particles may be remain in the hand. The Council of Trent infallibly teaches that Our Blessed Lord is truly present even in the particles as well: “If anyone denies that in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist the whole Christ is contained under each form and under every part of each form when separated, let him be anathema” (Chapter VIII, Canon 3). For this reason the priest always purifies his hands of particles at the end of Mass, and uses a corporal (a small white cloth meant to catch the corpus, or body, of Our Lord). Finally another major event occurred this past year when Pope Benedict XVI asked that from now on, all who receive Holy Communion from him must receive It on the tongue and kneeling. I am sure that by insisting on this ancient practice the Pope is trying to foster a deeper respect for the Eucharist as well. When Rome did give the indult to the French bishops in 1969 it stated, “The new manner of giving Communion must not be imposed in a way that would exclude the traditional practice.” Therefore Communion on the tongue is still the common practice for the universal Church. While both practices are permitted in most dioceses, I encourage parishioners to give prayerful consideration to following Pope Benedict XVI’s lead by receiving Holy Communion on the tongue in the New Year.

Please pray for the sick… Christine Exantus, Suzanne DePreta, Evelyn Flaharty, Diane Ojohanna, Phil De Felice, Sr., Vincenzo Giannitti, Janet Rodgers, Aidan Moon, Mary Daniele, Lena Cocchia,

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Alverta Sahd, Frances Lorusso, Thomas Carucci, Sr. Julia McCarthy, Ella Palumba, Vito Melfi, Arthur Capalbo, Avery Cardinal Dulles

 

Moms & Tots… A group of moms and children meet with Fr. Walsh each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. in church for Eucharistic adoration, followed by snacks in the parish hall. Please join us. Our next meeting will be on February 3rd.

 

Religion Classes for Adults. . . Catholics who have not yet received Holy Communion or Confirmation, and for non-Catholics who wish to join the Church, every Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the rectory. The class is on a 7 week cycle: If you miss one, we repeat it. Interested? Please contact Providencia at (203­) 324 -1553 ext. 21.

NOTE CHANGE: Session III of RCIA—Adult catechism– will be held on WEDNESDAY NIGHTS beginning on March 10th.Call the office for more details.

Congratulations to MARISA CARPANZANO and CHRISTOPHER MEYER. . . Who are this year’s recipients of the Saint Thomas Aquinas Award for academic excellence! The award is given by Bishop Lori to exceptional students. Marissa is an eighth grade student at Trinity Catholic Middle School, and Christopher is an eighth grade student at Saint Aloysius School. Marisa and Chris are our parish academic champions, and we applaud them both!!

 

Parish Women’s Society We would like to begin a parish society for the spiritual growth of women. Please contact Monsignor if you are interested: Ext. 11.

 

The Latin Reading Group… Is translating St. Augustine’s Confessions…And meets every Wednesday in the rectory at 6:15 p.m. High school Latin is all that’s needed. Just walk in.

 

Introduction to New Testament Greek Class … Meets every Thursday evening in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.

Year of Saint Paul… A Plenary Indulgence is offered the faithful through June 29th: by visiting the adoration chapel at Saint John Fisher Seminary Residence on Newfield Avenue: the chapel is open Monday through Thursday, 6:00 a.m.—11:00 p.m., and from Friday at 6:00 a.m. until Sunday 11:00 p.m. The usual conditions apply: sacramental confession and communion, praying one Our Father and Hail Mary for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI apply.

Sunday, January 25, 2009 $ 11,909.85

Sunday, January 27, 2008 $ 10,546.24

I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”—

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Sunday Readings for Feb. 8th: Jb. 7:1-4, 6-7; 1Cor. 9:16-19, 22-23, Mk 1:29-39

Calling all 10:00 a.m. Singers! . . . Do you have even a little singing experience? Do you usually attend the 10:00 a.m. Mass? Come join us in the choir loft – we really need you! Rehearsals are Thursday nights at 7:30 PM in the music room in the basement of the church. For those who want to learn or refresh their knowledge of the basics of music, there is a short optional Music Theory Class at 7:15 p.m. For more information, call Scott Turkington 324-1553, ext. 18.

Banns of Marriage…1st: Dominic Dougherty & Karen Lewis

10th Annual Catholic Awareness Day…State Capitol in Hartford on Monday, February 9th. In light of the pressing issues facing Catholics today during this session of the General Assembly, please be encourage to attend.

The 20’s and 30’s … The next meeting will be on Monday February 9th at the “Upper Room at Columbus Park” at 6:30 p.m. located at 205 Main Street here in Stamford. Our Topic this month will be “Stump the Priest” – come with your questions….bring your friends! We will also discuss upcoming Service Opportunities such as “Christmas in April” and Ministry to the Homeless. Finally, a schedule of Social Events will be listed for all interested: Ski rip, Ice Skating Social, Movie Night, and others.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … We are studying Pope Saint Gregory the Great’s Four Books of Dialogues, Wednesday evenings in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.

St. John’s Bible StudyWe are using The Bible Timeline Series every Thursday in the rectory at 7:30 p.m. Join us!

Coffee and refreshments Following the 10:00 a.m. Mass, in the Monsignor Nagle Hall.

Ash Wednesday… Just a head’s up: February 25th –Lent begins. During Lent, all Catholic churches in the Diocese of Bridgeport will remain open every Tuesday evening for Confessions: 7:30-8:30 p.m.

 

Easter. . . April 12th.

 

 

St. John’s in The ADVOCATE . . .

. . . 50 years ago, or so:

February 4, 1941: St. Joseph’s Hospital To Be Started March 19. “Contract for the construction of St. Joseph’s Hospital on Strawberry Hill has been signed with the date for breaking of ground set for St. Joseph’s Day, March 19, if weather conditions permit, Rev. N. P. Coleman, treasurer of St. Joseph’s Hospital Fund and representative of Most Rev. Maurice F. McAuliffe, bishop of the Hartford Diocese, has announced. The contract for the general construction was awarded to the Edward Corning Co. of 204 East 39th St., New York, at a price of $362,000. This sum does not include equipment, furnishings or grading. Announcement was also made that plans for the institution, drawn by Raphael Hume, architect, of 101 Park Ave., New York, with Charles F. Neergaard, one of the nation’s leading specialists in hospital design and construction, as consultant, have been enlarged to provide for 75 beds, instead of the 50 proposed when the project was first considered.”

February 7, 1942: St. Ann’s Society Has Been Helping Needy 52 Years – Founded in 1890 by Rev. Thomas J. Keena, Curate in St. John’s Church – Distribution of Thanksgiving and Christmas Baskets Is a Time-honored Custom. “St. Ann’s Society, a woman’s organization in St. John’s Catholic Church, which functions for the purpose of aiding the poor, has a long and flourishing history. Founded in 1890 by Rev. Thomas J. Keena, curate of St. John’s under Rev. William H. Rogers, especially because of the depression, which began in 1888, had been the cause of so much need. The group has continued the same practice ever since. It began its first meetings, which were each Wednesday afternoon in the church, to instruct children of the poor in sewing and on Wednesday evenings to carry on other work. This was done years after the present St. John’s church building was dedicated. The first officers were: President, Mrs. Nellie Brennan Plunkett; vice president, Mrs. Charles Donohue; secretary, Miss Anna Walsh; treasurer, Father Keena.”

February 7, 1955: Breakfast Chairmen Announced By K of C. “Frank V. Mastrianna, Grand Knight of St. Augustine Council 41, Knights of Columbus, has announced the appointment of chairmen of committees which will make arrangements for the annual communion breakfast. The affair is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 27, with Mass at St. John’s Church followed by breakfast at St. Mary’s School hall. About 800 Catholic men are expected to participate.”

February 8, 1956: Appeal For Funds For Catholic H. S. Under Way. “Rt. Rev. Msgr. Nicholas P. Coleman and the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Hayes have been named Chairman and Co-Clerical Administrator, respectively, by the Rt. Rev. Lawrence J. Shehan, Bishop of Bridgeport. Monsignor Coleman has announced that the nine participating churches of the Stamford area will be divided into two groups. Volunteer workers, to be recruited in the near future, will receive training in fund raising.”

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Mass Intentions

 

Saturday, January 31

4:00 +John & Evelyn Sexton req. Hannah Young

Sunday, February 1

7:30 +Alexander Munro 31st Anniversary req. De Vivo & Munro Families

10:00 +Father Mark Grimes req. Ginger Gerardi

12:00 Rev. Matthias G. Newell req. Juanita Evans

6:00 +Joseph E. La Cava req. L. Bolanowski

Monday, February 2

8:00 Lillian Janesch req. Cycon Family

12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Fabiola C.

Tuesday, February 3

8:00 Mary Coffey req. Cycon Family

12:10 +Eva, Charles, Anne & Joseph Kronk & Irene Churley req. Mary Churley

Wednesday, February 4

8:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family

12:10 Souls in Purgatory req. Luz

Thursday, February 5

8:00 Special Intention Healing Mrs. Arliss

12:10 +Rosanne Fazio req. her uncle Frank D’Amico

Friday, February 6

8:00 Thanksgiving req. Thang Nguyen

12:10 +Benita Acosta req. Raquel Mesa

Saturday, February 7

8:00 +Anthony Manuele req. Julie Gjelaj

12:10 +Michael Rubino req. Mr. & Mrs. Peter Louglin

Pray for an end to abortion every Wednesday, 7:00 – 10:30 a.m., at Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St, Stamford.

Eucharistic Adoration: Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

Holy Name Society For all men of the parish: The rectory every Friday morning for coffee, Eucharistic adoration benediction & prayer, from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.

Are you a registered parishioner? If not, please visit the parish office Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or call the office for more information [ext 21 or 17].

Sponsor Certificates for Baptism or ConfirmationAre happily given to parishioners of St. John’s, i.e. Those who are registered members; those whose regular Mass attendance is known to the priests, or whose parish membership can be verified by the records of the weekly offertory (envelopes).

Credit Card Offertory…Make weekly or monthly donations by credit card. You can set up recurring credit card donations with the church secretary. She can take your information over the telephone. Call (203) 324-1553 x21.

St. Maria Goretti Society…For the spiritual formation of young ladies from 8th – 12th grades. Questions, please contact Rosa Marchetti at 348-0232.

 

Note: Fr. Walsh’s column will return next week.

Bulletin For Sunday 1/25/09

Pastor’s Corner . . . January 25th is the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul. The Acts of the Apostles relates the entire history of the adult conversion of Paul, who, along with Saint Peter, is recognized as the greatest of the Apostles. Paul, whose name was originally Saul, was a fervent and zealous Jew, engaged by the Temple in Jerusalem to destroy the early Church. The Acts of the Apostles tells the story of the martyrdom of Saint Stephen, one of the first deacons, elected by the Apostles to help in the distribution of bread to the poor. Stephen is singled out by the Temple, tried for blasphemy because of his faith in Jesus as the Son of God. He was dragged outside Jerusalem and stoned. The narrative continues, “. . . and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he prayed . . . with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ And when he had said this, he fell asleep. And Saul was consenting to his death.” (Acts 7: 58-60)

Soon after, Saul received letters from the Jewish high priest to the synagogues in Damascus, empowering Saul to round up any Christians in Damascus and “bring them bound to Jerusalem.” (Acts 9:2) As he traveled to Damascus on this mission, “A light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?'” (Acts 9:3-4) He is blinded, and led by the hand into Damascus, where a Christian, Ananias, was instructed in a dream to heal him. Knowing Saul to be persecuting the Church, Ananias objects, but the Lord told him, “go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” (Acts 9: 15-16) Saul is healed, and realizes that he has been working against God, not for him, by persecuting His Church. Like Peter, his name is changed. Peter’s name was changed by Christ from Simon to Cephas-which means Peter, or the Rock; Paul changed his own name to symbolize the radical change of his life in Christ.

Both Peter and Paul, men whose lives were changed by the Resurrected Christ, established Christ’s Church in cities throughout the ancient world: Peter to the Jews, and Paul to the Gentiles, or non-Jews; both are considered the founders of the Church at Rome. After his conversion and baptism (Gal 1.17), Paul retired to Arabia to spend three years growing in his understanding of his new call and faith. He met with Peter and the other Apostles, and began his work among the Gentiles. His travels brought him around the entirety of the Mediterranean world, preaching and converting the pagans: enduring hunger, poverty, betrayal by friends, public beatings, attempts on his life, imprisonment, shipwrecks and, finally martyrdom in Rome. The celebration of his conversion is really a celebration of our faith, since most of us are of non-Jewish stock. We belong to the Church personally founded by Our Lord upon the Apostles.

A picture of Saint Peter and Paul, by the Renaissance monk-artist, Bartolomeo Della Gatta [1448-1502], can be seen in the sanctuary: Peter holds the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, symbols of the authority given him by Our Lord as the Rock upon which Jesus established His Church [Matt 16:16-20]; Paul holds the sword by which he was martyred by beheading.

Let us pray to both Saints Peter and Paul, founders of the Church, that we may imitate their fidelity to Christ, daily being re-converted to love Our Lord more fervently in our own lives. —Msgr. DiGiovanni

Please pray for the sick… Evelyn Flaharty, Diane Ojohanna, Alverta Sahd, Phil De Felice, Sr., Vincenzo Giannitti, Janet Rodgers, Aidan Moon, Mary Daniele, Lena Cocchia, Phillip Renard, John Castellano, Anthony Sansone

Please pray for those who have recently died. . . Thomas Carucci, Sr. Julia McCarthy, Ella Palumba, Vito Melfi, Arthur Capalbo, Avery Cardinal Dulles, Laurie, Jeannette Augustine, Vivian E. Torres, Margie Nicholson

Church of Latin America Collection . . . Please drop your Church of Latin America Collection envelope into the first basket that will be passed at the Offertory.

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.

Moms & Tots… A group of moms and children meet with Fr. Walsh each first Tuesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. in church for Eucharistic adoration, followed by snacks in the parish hall. Please join us. Our next meeting will be on February 3rd.

Religion Classes for Adults. . . Catholics who have not yet received Holy Communion or Confirmation, and for non-Catholics who wish to join the Church, every Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the rectory. The class is on a 7 week cycle: If you miss one, we repeat it. Interested? Please contact Providencia at (203­) 324 -1553 ext. 21.

NOTE CHANGE: Session III of RCIA-Adult catechism–which was scheduled to be held on TUESDAY NIGHTS beginning on March 10th will be held on WEDNESDAY NIGHTS instead, beginning on March 11th. Call the office for more details.

Parish Women’s Society We would like to begin a parish society for the spiritual growth of women. Please contact Monsignor if you are interested: Ext. 11.

The Latin Reading Group… Is translating St. Augustine’s Confessions…And meets every Wednesday in the rectory at 6:15 p.m. High school Latin is all that’s needed. Just walk in.

Introduction to New Testament Greek Class … Meets every Thursday evening in the rectory at 7:30 p.m.

St. Monica Institute for Patristic Studies … Will next meet on January 21st. We are studying Pope Saint Gregory the Great’s Four Books of Dialogues. Join us each Wednesday evening in the rectory at 7:30 p.m. Just walk in.

St. John’s Bible Study…We are using The Bible Timeline Series every Thursday in the rectory at 7:30 p.m. Join us!

Coffee and refreshments Following the 10:00 a.m. Mass, in the Monsignor Nagle Hall.

Year of Saint Paul… A Plenary Indulgence is offered the faithful through June 29th: by visiting the adoration chapel at Saint John Fisher Seminary Residence on Newfield Avenue: the chapel is open Monday through Thursday, 6:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m., and from Friday at 6:00 a.m. until Sunday 11:00 p.m. The usual conditions apply: sacramental confession and communion, praying one Our Father and Hail Mary for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI apply.

The 20’s and 30’s … The next meeting will be on February 9th at the Upper Room at Columbus Park at 6:30 p.m. Our Topic will be “Stump the Priest” – come with your questions….bring your friends!

Sunday, January 18, 2009 $ 10,152.52

Sunday, January 20, 2008 $ 9,311.26

I ask you one thing: do not tire of giving to God, but do not give your leftovers.”—

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Sunday Readings for Feb. 1: Dt. 18: 15-20; 1 Cor. 7: 32-35; Mk. 1: 21-28

Hymns for this weekend . . . (1) 166 (2) 169. The Creed for the Noon Mass may be found in the hymnal at No. 289.

Choral Music for the 12:00 Noon Mass . . . Mass Ordinary: Missa ‘Simile est regnum coelorum” – Tomás Luis de Victoria, 1548-1611. Offertory motet: Constitues eos – Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, 1525-1594 (Thou shalt make them princes over all the earth: they shall remember Thy name, O Lord. Instead of fathers, sons are born to thee: therefore shall people praise Thee. (Psalm 45. 17, 18). Communion motet: How lovely are the messengers (from Paulus) – Felix Mendelssohn, 1809-1847 (How lovely are the messengers that preach us the gospel of peace. To all the nations is gone forth the sound of their words, throughout all the lands their glad tidings. [Romans 10, vv. 15 & 18]). The Gregorian chants proper to this Sunday are: Introit Scio cui credidi (I know whom I have believed, and I am certain that He is able to guard the trust committed to me, against that day; being a just Judge. O Lord, You have probed me and You know me; You know when I sit and when I stand.); Gradual Qui operatus (He who worked in Peter for the apostleship, worked also in me among the Gentiles: and they recognized the grace of God that was given to me. The grace of God in me has not been fruitless; but His grace always remains in me.); Alleluia Magnus sanctus (The great Saint Paul, the vessel of election, is truly worthy to be glorified; who also deserved to possess the twelfth throne.); Offertory Miki autem To me, Your friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened.); Communion Signa eos (These signs shall follow them that believe: they shall cast out devils: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover.).

Calling all 10:00 a.m. Singers! . . . Do you have even a little singing experience? Do you usually attend the 10:00 a.m. Mass? Come join us in the choir loft – we really need you! Rehearsals are Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. in the music room in the basement of the church. For those who want to learn or refresh their knowledge of the basics of music, there is a short optional Music Theory Class at 7:15. p.m. For more information, call Scott Turkington 324-1553, ext. 18.

10th Annual Catholic Awareness Day…State Capitol in Hartford on Monday, February 9th. In light of the pressing issues facing Catholics today during this session of the General Assembly, please be encourage to attend.

Celebrate Catholic Schools Week… Trinity Catholic Middle School, 948 Newfield Avenue, Stamford is holding an Open House on Wednesday, January 28th at 7:00 p.m. Prospective and current parents are invited to learn about the curriculum and programs, meet teachers and tour the classrooms. Applications for admission will be available. All those who are interested in visiting while school is in session are invited on Thursday, January 29th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

New Year, New Ideas for Your Job Search…Monday, January 26th at 7:30 p.m., in the Rectory. Presented by Melanie Szlucha, Job Search Coach and owner of Red Inc. Want an effective one-on-one way to meet people in the same boat and share job leads or contacts at major employers? The meeting ends when all questions are answered. If the weather is questionable, check back on my website: http://www.redinc.biz or call me directly before heading out: 203-866-1606.

St. John‘s in The ADVOCATE . . .

. . . 100 years ago, or so:

January 31, 1899: Candlemas Day “Next Thursday, which is Candlemas Day, masses will be said in St. John’s R. C. Church at seven and eight o’clock in the morning. On Friday, services attending the blessing of throats will be held at seven in the morning and at 7:30 in the evening.”

February 1, 1909: “A representative of a Catholic orphan asylum of Boston, in which the Knights of Columbus are interested, was at St. John’s R. C. Church, yesterday, with eight children from the Home. All the children were taken by Stamford families.”

January 31, 1917: St. John’s Alumni to Dance. “As a fitting climax to a successful social season, St. John’s Alumni will hold an informal dance at the Hotel Davenport, Friday evening, Feb. 9. As there are a limited number of tickets for sale, requests for the same should be sent in at once, to enable the committee to make reservations. Rehearsals have begun for both principals and chorus of the new Alumni play, to be presented at the Stamford Theatre. From present indications it will uphold the enviable reputation earned by the Alumni in past performances.”

January 30, 1936: REV. JOSEPH KIRKBRIDE TO SPEAK AT MEETING OF ST JOHN’S SOCIETY. “The Rev. Joseph Kirkbride, superior of the Holy Ghost Fathers’ Seminary at Ferndale, West Norwalk, was announced today as a speaker to address members of the Holy Name Society of St. John’s Church at the meeting in the school hall Monday night. Another speaker will be Jim Crowley, football coach of Fordham University, who was one of the famous “Four Horsemen” of Notre Dame football. Father Kirkbride is known to a large group of Catholic men in Stamford having conducted a three day retreat for them at Ferndale last Summer. He was also a speaker at the Charles Carroll of Carrolton Club dinner at Hubbard Heights Country Club last Summer.”

January 31, 1952: CYO Starts Play In Second Half; Johnnies Titlists. “The St. John’s have been declared as first half champions in the CYO Basketball League’s High School division. The Johnnies won five and lost one in the regular play. A protest by the St. Maurice’s was disallowed, after presentation before a committee comprised of Ray Booker, Nick Carlucci and Moe Magliola. Had the St. Maurice’s won the protest, which would have called for play of a game forfeited for non-appearance, the first half would have ended in a tie. The second half begins tonight at the High School gyms, with the St. John’s meeting the St. Cecilia’s and the St. Mary’s engaging St. Maurice’s in 7 p.m. games. One tussle billed for 8 bill pit the Sacred Hearts and St. Clement’s.”

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St. Maria Goretti Society…For the spiritual formation of young ladies from 8th – 12th grades. We’ll next meet on Sunday, January 25th, in the rectory after the 12:00 Noon mass. Questions, please contact Rosa Marchetti at (203) 348-0232.

Vespers for the Conversion of St. Paul … On Sunday, January 25th at 4:00 p.m. Solemn Vespers and Benediction will be celebrated at St. Gabriel Church on Newfield Avenue in Stamford for the Feast of the conversion of St. Paul. Bishop Lori has graciously granted the plenary indulgence for the Pauline Year to those who attend. All are welcome for this special event to mark the Year of St. Paul!

Ash Wednesday… Just a head’s up: February 25th -Lent begins. During Lent, all Catholic churches in the Diocese of Bridgeport will remain open every Tuesday evening for Confessions: 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Easter. . . April 12th.

Mass Intentions

Saturday, January 24

4:00 +James Retter req. Mary Jean Dal Molin

Sunday, January 25

7:30 +Vincent De Vivo 51st Anniversary req. De Vivo & Munro Families

10:00 +Julius & Jane Shoztic, Barbara Schettino req. Richard & Elaine Shoztic

12:00 +Vincent & Teresa Kung req. Joseph & Agnes Kung

6:00 +Patrick Kane & Family req. Estate of Catherine Kane & Family

Monday, January 26

8:00 +Marion Roe req. Jason Pratt

12:10 Nora Henao Mesa req. Raquel Mesa

Tuesday, January 27

8:00 +Raymond Burns req. Mr. & Mrs. L. Bolanowski

12:10 +Marcello Santagata req. Angela Giannitti

Wednesday, January 28

8:00 + Jennifer Tomasello req. Mom & Dad

12:10 Rose

Thursday, January 29

8:00 Special Intention Healing Mrs. Weigel req. Tony J.

12:10 Carlos Nora req. Raquel Mesa

Friday, January 30

8:00 Mr. & Mrs. Beaublum req. Anne Marie Samedi

12:10 +Mrs. Loyola Palinkas req. Maria & Peter Macujewski

Saturday, January 31

8:00 +JoAnne Fiori req. Parents

12:10 +Walter Lijek req. Mr. & Mrs. L. Bolanowski

Pray for an end to abortion every Wednesday, 7:00 – 10:30 a.m., at Planned Parenthood, 1039 East Main St, Stamford.

Eucharistic Adoration: Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

Holy Name Society For all men of the parish: The rectory every Friday morning for coffee, Eucharistic adoration benediction & prayer, from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.

Are you a registered parishioner? …If not, please visit the parish office Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. or call the office for more information [ext 21 or 17].

Sponsor Certificates for Baptism or Confirmation…Are happily given to parishioners of St. John’s, i.e. Those who are registered members; those whose regular Mass attendance is known to the priests, or whose parish membership can be verified by the records of the weekly offertory (envelopes).

Credit Card Offertory…Make weekly or monthly donations by credit card. You can set up recurring credit card donations with the church secretary. She can take your information over the telephone. Call (203) 324-1553 x21.

St. Dominic Savio Society…For the spiritual formation of young men from 8th – 12th grades. Questions, please contact Frank Marchetti at (203) 434-4734.

Choose Life…

(Revisited) – Fr. Terry Walsh

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice, and cleaving to Him…” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

Choose life….

We must recognize that the path to eternal happiness within the Holy Trinity is a path we choose to take. Each of us is given the choice. We each have immortal souls and we are meant to live in God – but He does not force us to live in Him. Our decisions in this life determine where we live eternally. The Council Fathers of Vatican II put it this way: “Let all be convinced that human life and its transmission are realities whose meaning is not limited by the horizons of this life only: their time evaluation and full meaning can only be understood in reference to man’s eternal destiny.”

Sadly, our Culture rejects the gift of life – it rejects the Commandments – it has made itself ‘god’. And yet, consider what God has revealed to us: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” (Jeremiah 1:5); or again in the Gospel of Luke: “For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy”(Lk 1:44).

The Psalmist, too, sings of the wonder and magnificence of the human person created in the image and likeness of its Creator: “For Thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb…Thou knowest me right well; my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret…” (Psalm 139!).

God created us in His Image when He breathed the breath of life into us – creating us body and soul – a life that begins at conception. He included freedom in His plan – that we might freely choose to love Him, that we would choose the blessing and receive life. But do we contemplate the wonder of His love and marvel at His infinite goodness?

We are tragically caught up in a “Culture of Death’ – a culture that proclaims its independence from God, following in the footsteps of Adam. He willfully separated Himself from God. He tumbled out of Paradise and the State of Grace and found himself crawling in the dust. Why? God gave him life and, of course, every other gift and blessing in the State of Grace. But Adam took his eye off the ball. His pride got the better of him. Pride has a terrible effect on a soul meant for love. Adam thought ‘he knew better.’ Imagine the utter shock and horror that rocked his world when the bill showed up – when it came time to pay for his choice. Fast forward to our world today. We live in a culture of moral relativism that celebrates the right to kill what God has brought to life, violating the very commandments that lead to life.

Abortion, Destruction of Embryos, Euthanasia, Eugenics – the list goes on – all done in the so-called name of scientific advancement for ‘the benefit’ of mankind.” Has the subtle snake desensitized our moral and spiritual radar? Have we willfully turned away from God and embraced instead the culture of man? Neither Science nor Public Opinion has any power of absolution, yet it presumes this power. It calls evil (abortion, etc) good and ignores the consequences. It is utterly incomprehensible. Have we lost our way? Has science and technology been commandeered? Have we lost our moral compass and bitten the apple?

Again, the Second Vatican Council beautifully encapsulates our true relationship with God: “The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. The invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot love fully according to Truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his Creator.” Choose life….