Reflections and news from our Pastor and Youth Minister

to help you stay connected and go deeper in your faith.

Dear Friends in Christ:

As we announced last weekend, at this time we are suspending the distribution of the Precious Blood at all Masses. The Connecticut Department of Public Health recently established that the Influenza Activity is NOW widespread in the State of Connecticut. Therefore, at this time, I have decided that it would be prudent to suspend the distribution of the Precious Blood until such time that it appears the flu outbreak is over.

Other precautions for you to consider during this time include:

1. If you are ill or suspect you are ill with a contagious illness, to stay home and watch the Mass on television. You can get the local Mass from the Office of Radio and Television on WTXX(Channel 10 or 11 on most providers) and also on EWTN.

2. Perhaps not hold hands with those around you during the Lord’s Prayer.

3. At the Sign of Peace consider a verbal greeting to those around you, or exchange peace with a bow instead of a handshake.

This decision to suspend the distribution of the Precious Blood brings to my mind the teaching on the Eucharist. From the first days of the Church's celebration of the Eucharist, Holy Communion consisted of the reception of both species in fulfillment of the Lord's command to "take and eat . . . take and drink." The distribution of Holy Communion to the faithful under both kinds was thus the norm for more than a millennium of Catholic liturgical practice. It appears that until about the late eleventh century this was the common practice. It is clear in the writings of theologians from the twelfth century, such as Peter Cantor, that the practice of Communion under one kind (referring to the Body of Christ) was the custom of the Church at that time.

In 1415 the Council of Constance took place and it was decreed that Holy Communion under the form of bread alone would be distributed to the faithful. At the Second Vatican Council in 1963, the Fathers of the Council authorized the extension of the faculty of Holy Communion to be distributed to the faithful under both kinds at the bishop’s discretion. We read in the Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion that “Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it takes place under both kinds. For in this form the sign of the Eucharistic banquet is more clearly evident and clearer expression is given to the divine will by which the new and eternal Covenant is ratified in the Blood of the Lord, as also the connection between the Eucharistic banquet and the eschatological banquet in the Kingdom of the Father.”

That being said, it should also be noted that the whole and entire Christ and the true Sacrament are received under either species as the Council of Trent points out in its document Doctrine on Communion Under Both Species and on Communion of Little Children. If one, therefore, receives either the Precious Blood or the Sacred Host, he or she receives the fullness of the grace of the Sacrament. That said, when we approach the altar of the Lord and receive the Body of Christ, the Sacred Host, we receive the full grace of the Eucharist just as if we had shared in the Cup of His Blood as well. So, receiving only one species, either His Most Sacred Body or His Most Precious Blood, we receive the whole Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity.

The Annual School Auction…The Saint Bridget School Home and School Association is gearing up for the annual Auction with this year’s theme Mardi Gras! This is the major fundraiser of the year for our school. WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We all need to come together and support our parish school and the Annual Auction.

Ways you can help:

1. You can mark your calendars and plan to join us at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville on Friday, March 1st, 2019, for a great night of food and fellowship as well as the chance to win a raffle item or an auction item.

2. You can place an ad in the evening’s program book or become a sponsor. Ads run anywhere between $50-550 and the sponsorships costs between $500-5,000.

3. You can donate an item for the silent or live auction, such as: sporting event tickets, theatre tickets, bikes, grills, jewelry, televisions or electronics of all kinds, golf foursomes to local golf courses or Country Clubs, overnight stays to a nice place, or any item you think will solicit support for our school.

For more information about the auction or to sponsor us, please visit the school’s website at:

The 2018 Annual Family Commitment was a huge success thanks to the generosity of so many of our parish families. I am beyond grateful to the 819 families who contributed $275,003.52 to the 2018 Annual Family Commitment. These 819 families represent 26.55% of the over 3,000 registered families in our parish. It is an amazing testament to the love you have for our parish family. This generosity will certainly help us: to replace the well-worn carpeting in both churches, make necessary repairs to the wood exterior of Saint Thomas Becket Church building, face the gutter issues at Saint Bridget Church building, and begin to address the roof issues at Saint Bridget Church building as well. On behalf of our Finance Council, our Pastoral Council, our Trustees, and myself, THANK YOU for your generosity!

As always, remember to pray for our parish family and ask God’s blessings as we build His kingdom here. Please know that I am praying for you, and I ask for your prayers for me, that together through the intercession of Saint Bridget of Sweden, our Patroness, and united in the Eucharist, we will reflect the presence of Jesus to the world.

Dear Friends in Christ:

Today is the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. While the hustle and bustle of Christmas ends for the majority of people throughout the world on December 26th, for us as Catholic Christians it DOES NOT. Christmas lasts for twelve days! So, during these twelve days it is certainly appropriate to continue to wish one another Merry Christmas!

Today, the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, we must remember that the very word “Epiphany” means “manifestation.” The Epiphany is a celebration of the revelation of God in human flesh. It could also be said that an epiphany is: “an intuitive grasp of reality through something simple and striking.” Something as simple as a child brings us the reality of God among us. Something as striking as a star, the star of Bethlehem, bring us the reality of God among us.

The story of the Visit of the Magi makes an important point about the role of the Messiah. Jesus is called “the newborn king of the Jews” by the magi who traveled from the east. These men were not Jewish yet they paid homage to the King of the Jews. Matthew, who wrote to a Jewish audience, hoped to express the universal role of Christ in this story. These men were foreigners but they honored Jesus as their king. Jesus is shown now to the whole world. God cares about all creation regardless of race, creed, or ethnicity.

Don’t let yourself miss this message! We can be so caught up in everything that we risk missing the simple reality of Jesus—God became man to save us from our sins! Jesus is the Savior for ALL, He is the Prince of Peace for ALL, He is the way to the Father for ALL. May we see in Him the love of God for ALL, remember John 3:16: “for God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” JESUS IS GOD…the One who became man to save us by His sacrifice and who will rule over all. Jesus transforms history not by some political scheme, but out of love for everyone--one soul at a time. He invites us to conversion and to follow Him!

A Word of PROFOUND GRATITUDE to so many who made our Christmas celebrations such wonderful expressions of our faith…Thank you to Father O’Neill, Deacon Iadarola, Deacon Wilber, Sister Patricia, our Pastoral Staff, and our Parish Staff. Special gratitude to each and every one of them for their extra efforts in preparation for Christmas. IT WAS AMAZING to see the crowds gathering on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to celebrate the birth of our Lord! I am grateful to the whole staff, both pastoral and parish, who worked so hard the days leading up to Christmas to ensure Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish was ready to welcome so many!

I am likewise thankful to Father James Shanley for his assistance on Christmas Eve. He is a personal and dear friend of mine and I was confident he would offer a beautiful Mass, but it is always good to hear that it was in reality for those who attended. I also was told that he joked if you hadn’t been to church in a few months that he was not Father Romans with hair. Yes, I laughed. Yes, he will pay for such a comment. (SMILE)

A special word of gratitude to our musicians! Thanks to Julia Atwood, Director of Music, who worked so hard to make sure the Masses had beautiful music to enhance our prayer. I heard many compliments from people at all the Masses about how beautiful the music was! Music really speaks to the heart and is so important in the celebration of Holy Mass.

I am also thankful to Kathy Mahmood and Alan Smith who with Julia organized the various music groups and prepared them for our Christmas celebrations. Thank you to all the cantors, instrumentalists, and children who participated in a variety of ways in the music program for our Christmas Masses. We are SO grateful that you have shared your talents with our parish family.

It is truly amazing to see so many come together at the various Masses to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. It is my hope that each person who came to celebrate Christmas Eve and Day with our parish family felt welcomed, loved, and encouraged.

My gratitude also to all the volunteers who serve our parish family throughout the year as Cantors, Musicians, Eucharistic Adorers, Lectors, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Altar Servers, Ushers, of course members of our Parish Decorating Committee (who worked so hard to decorate our Churches and the School for the Christmas celebrations, GREAT JOB one and all), to the Money Counters, office volunteers, our Parish Trustees, the Parish Finance Council, the Parish Pastoral Council, and the Parish School Board, and to the various members of the many ministries in our

parish family, I thank each and every one of you for sharing your time, talent, and treasure to provide for the needs of our parish family.

But most importantly, I wish to thank you the people of our parish family. I thank you for your love and dedication to our Parish Family, for your great generosity—especially financial generosity—which enables us to offer the great variety of programs and activities, and I thank you for your presence at Mass both daily and Sundays. We exist as a parish family because of each of you. This past year has indeed been a year of blessings for us as a parish family and I am most confident that God is indeed at work in our midst. God bless each of you and thank you for all you do for our parish family!

Italy! So many have commented that they are excited we are planning a pilgrimage to Italy. THERE IS STILL ROOM! Want to join us? We are going October 1-10, 2019 to visit the Almalfi Coast and Rome! We will be seeing a lot during these days! We will visit the Floral Gardens of Caesar Augustus in Capri, the Saint Andrew Cathedral along the Amalfi Coast, the excavations in Pompeii, the sites of the life of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio). We will also visit Lanciano, a town most noted for the Eucharistic Miracle which became the foundation for the Feast of Corpus Christi. Finally, we will spend a couple of days in Rome, the Eternal City, where we will see the Vatican Museums, Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Catacombs, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and more including plans for the weekly Papal Audience on Wednesday in Saint Peter’s Square.

This pilgrimage includes round-trip air from JFK, four-star hotels in Sorrento, San Giovanni Rotondo, and Rome, 6 dinners, breakfast daily, English-speaking licensed tour escort throughout, private motorcoach transportation, Daily Mass, and more. Cost per person in double occupancy is $3,779.00. Space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Initial deposit of $500 is due at time of registration. To register, please call Candy at Elite Travel at 203-271-0623 AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I hope you will join us!

As we continue to move into the New Year be sure to stay connected to the parish. Be sure you have visited our new and improved website at Through the website you will find out what is happening in our parish family. You can also “like” us on Facebook @stbridgetofswedenparish, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @sboscheshire, and don’t forget to sign-up for our parish app by texting APP to 88202 and searching for our parish through the application. We are really hoping to better utilize all these means of communication as a way to get information out to you in a timely manner. Of course, for more information on the life of our parish family and the many spiritual and social activities and events throughout the year including a parish calendar, simply visit the parish website.

As always, remember to pray for our parish family and ask God’s blessings as we build His kingdom here. Please know that I am praying for you, and I ask for your prayers for me, that together through the intercession of Saint Bridget of Sweden, our Patroness, and united in the Eucharist, we will reflect the presence of Jesus to the world.

Nota bene (Latin for “note well”) On the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, after the Gospel, the priest or deacon, in keeping with an ancient practice of Holy Church, announces from the pulpit the moveable feasts of the current year: Here is the announcement:

Know, dear brothers and sisters, that, as we have rejoiced at the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, so by leave of God’s mercy we announce to you also the joy of his Resurrection, who is our Savior. On the 6th day of March will fall Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of the fast of the most sacred Lenten season. On the 21st day of April you will celebrate with joy Easter Day, the Paschal feast of our Lord Jesus Christ. On the 30th day of May will be the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. On the 9th of June the feast of Pentecost. On the 23rd of June, the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. On the 1st day of December, the First Sunday of the Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom is honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.


Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish is a Catholic community in the heart of Cheshire. Together we can discover your path to a deeper, more fulfilling spiritual life.

Saturday Vigil Masses:

4PM St. Bridget Church

5PM St. Thomas Becket Church

Sunday Masses:

7:30AM St. Bridget Church

9AM St. Bridget Church

10AM St. Thomas Becket Church

11AM St. Bridget Church

Confession: Saturday 3PM St. Bridget Church




Parish Office

175 Main Street

Cheshire, CT 06410

North Campus

St. Bridget Church

175 Main Street 

Cheshire, CT 06410

South Campus

St. Thomas Becket Church

435 North Brooksvale Road

Cheshire, CT 06410

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St. Bridget School


171 Main Street

Cheshire, CT

© 2018 by Communications for St. Bridget of Sweden Parish