PARISH BLOG

Reflections and news from our Pastor and Youth Minister

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

Dear Friends in Christ:


It is Lent: Answer the call to Encounter Christ…how are we doing with our Lenten practices? Are we seeking ways to draw ourselves closer to Jesus? Are we truly practicing prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as a means to answer the call to Encounter Christ, to in fact become a better reflection of His light and love in and through our own words and actions?



We continue our Lenten journey mindful that there is still time to draw ourselves closer to the Lord. In particular, our readings this weekend call us to contemplate the need for reconciliation in our lives, or rather, the need to experience God’s mercy. (I wrote about the Sacrament of Reconciliation last weekend. So if you missed it visit our website and read it.) Saint Paul writes in our second reading this weekend, “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” I encourage you to consider this invitation and to avail yourselves of the opportunity to experience God’s mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Remember, you can stop by on Saturdays at 3PM or between 7:30AM and 8:30AM on Monday mornings to experience God’s mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.


Remember, it doesn’t matter how long it has been since your last confession nor whether you even remember how to go to confession. The priests are there to help you! You will not be judged, you will not be yelled at, and you will not be embarrassed.


Rather, you will be welcomed, loved, and forgiven by the mercy of God. SO WHY WAIT?!



A Lenten challenge from your Pastor! Will you accept? I challenge you to share with someone what we are doing in our parish. Share with them your experiences with the spiritual and social events and activities of our parish and, ultimately, invite them to join you! Bring a family member or friend to our Lenten Suppers, or Adoration, or Stations of the Cross. Bring someone who may have stopped practicing their faith to Mass with you. You are the means through which others come to know the Lord and His love. Why wait to bring them to the table where He nourishes us in Word and Sacrament? Can we all invite one person back to the Church, back to the practice of their faith? I think we can!

UPDATE…our Lenten Parish Corporal Works of Mercy…this past weekend the generous people of our parish donated 2,177 pairs of socks and 305 onesies as we Clothe the naked! Truly amazing! Your constant generosity to help those in need is so inspiring for me. It is evidence of your love for Jesus and your understanding that in helping those in need we are helping Jesus Himself. This weekend we are collected those Thinking of You, Praying for You, and Happy Easter cards to be delivered to our homebound parishioners as well as those in the nursing care facilities here in town as we Visit the sick. NEXT weekend we will be having a second collection to help Saint Vincent DePaul Shelter in Waterbury as we seek to Shelter the homeless.


It is NOT TOO LATE to come to one of our Lenten Suppers…I hope you and your family will join us for one of the remaining Lenten Suppers.


It is great to see so many from our parish family coming together, young and old, for a delicious Friday Supper, great conversation, and some fun activities for the kids. Supper is served from 5-7 PM. Come have a Lenten Supper then join us in the Church for Stations of the Cross at 7PM!



Thank you to Charlotte Alix, daughter of James and Heather, for providing us such a great advertisement! She thoroughly enjoyed her meal. Come and see why! I hope to see you there soon!


Saint Bridget School NEWS…A couple of Fridays ago we announced that our Principal Mrs. Jennifer Furlong has decided to resign as Principal of Saint Bridget School. In her letter to the school families Mrs. Furlong wrote, “The Saint Bridget School community has given me four wonderful years of professional and spiritual growth, new relationships, and wonderful memories. After much contemplation and discussion, I have made the difficult decision to resign as Principal effective June 30, 2019. This decision did not come lightly. Ultimately thinking of my family’s needs and the idea of my gifts being better suited in a smaller school, closer to home, is what led me to make this decision.”



I am sure I speak on behalf of all of us, school families, faculty and staff, and parishioners, when I express gratitude to Mrs. Furlong for her dedication to Catholic education, her leadership in the classroom, and for the past 4 years of leadership at our school as Principal. We wish Mrs. Furlong success in her future endeavors and promise her our prayers as we move forward.


In light of her resignation, I announce that I am forming a Search Committee to assist me in selecting the next principal for Saint Bridget Parish School. I am working with School Board Chair, Dr. Margaret Palmeri, in choosing those individuals who will assist us in this most crucial and important process.


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.



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Dear Friends in Christ:


MONDAY CONFESSIONS…Please consider availing yourself of the opportunity to go to Confession during this Season of Lent. In addition to Saturdays from 3PM until heard, we are also available on Monday mornings from 7:30 to 8:30a.m. so come by on your way to work!


One of my priest friends commented the other night at a priest gathering that his loneliest time of the week is when he sits in the confessional. Although he laughed it off, I think his comment points to a real problem and is really quite sad.



It got me thinking, why do many not avail themselves of the opportunity to experience the grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation? What is it that causes many Catholics to not come to seek forgiveness from God for their wrongdoings? Truth be told, his comment made me realize it was time for me to go to Confession and so I did that evening. Why wait?


When is the last time you went to Confession? Do you not want to receive the mercy of God? Do you not want a fresh start? Do you not want to be freed from that sin and burden?


I realize many do not consider Confession to be important to their spiritual life these days. This is truly concerning to me! Who wouldn’t want to be freed from their sin and begin a fresh start at trying to follow Jesus better?


Sacramental confession allows God’s loving mercy and His grace-filled absolution to be confirmed to us through the ministry of the priest. Christ, through the priest, invites us to let go of anything that gets in the way of our relationship with Him. Christ, through the priest, encourages us to open ourselves to the peace and grace which can only be found through God’s forgiveness.


Through the sacramental ministry of the Church and the Sacrament of Reconciliation our sins are forgiven and we are given the grace to be more like Christ; to experience and embody the saving ministry and healing grace of Jesus Christ.


I am also aware that some do not go to Confession because they are too nervous! If you're worried because you're "new at this," or because “it has been so long,” that's okay! It's okay to be nervous, it's okay to be afraid, but don’t let that fear hold you back. Just tell the priest how you feel. Let him know how long it’s been and that you are nervous and he will walk you through it. The priest is there to put you at ease and help you through your confession so you can experience the graces our Lord wants to pour out on you!


I urge us all to be open to God’s love and grace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation this Lent. Encourage family members and friends to do the same. Don’t wait to experience God’s mercy!


But Father, it has been so long since I went to confession I simply don’t know what to confess? That’s ok. Prepare for the Sacrament by examining your conscience. There are many good examinations of conscience out there that are available on the internet. We also have some copies of the one provided by the Knights of Columbus available at the doors of the church, which I think is very helpful. It can also be found on the internet by putting in this link: http://www.kofc.org/un/en/resources/cis/devotionals/2075.pdf.


I am asking every parishioner to give this some thought and PLEASE go to Confession! Don’t put it off. Come experience the mercy of God.


Please go to confession.


UPDATE…our Lenten Parish Corporal Works of Mercy…this past weekend the generous people of our parish donated 1,968 pounds of beverages to the Cheshire Community Food Pantry to give drink to the thirsty! Thank you! This weekend we are collecting WHITE socks for men, women, and children to be donated to the Saint Vincent DePaul Shelter in Waterbury to help clothe the naked.


VERY IMPORTANT CHANGE TO OUR CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY PROGRAM…Please note that we are switching the NEXT TWO corporal works of mercy. Next weekend, March 30 & 31, we will work to visit the sick so please bring your homemade Thinking of you and Praying for you cards to Mass next weekend. These will be distributed to the homebound parishioners and those in skilled nursing facilities. The following weekend we will work together to shelter the homeless by taking up a second collection. Thank you for your understanding with this switch in our schedule and for all you do to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate and for recognizing that in serving them we are serving the Lord.



Don’t forget about our Lenten Suppers…I hope you and your family will join us for one or all of the remaining Lenten Suppers. It is great to see so many from our parish family coming together, young and old, for a delicious Friday Supper, great conversation, and some fun activities for the kids. Supper is served from 5-7 PM. Come have a Lenten Supper then join us in the Church for Stations of the Cross at 7PM!


A Special Word of Gratitude…to our Pastoral Staff for organizing and leading a wonderful Lenten Evening of Reflection. Those who attended were given a simple supper, an age-appropriate talk and activity for the kids, and a wonderful presentation by Father José Mercado for the adults. We wish to say thank you to the Cheshire Knights of Columbus Santa Fe Council #2978 who gave of their time and talent to prepare the simple supper for those who attended. It really was a wonderful event that ended with a representative of each group sharing with the larger group what they learned and are taking into their prayer on this journey of the Lenten Season.



I wish to express A HUGE THANK YOU to our parish and community for your support of Saint Bridget School!!! A special thank you to all who assisted in so many ways to make the 2019 Saint Bridget School Mardi Gras Auction such a huge success. I am humbled and edified by the generosity of the greater Cheshire community. We are especially grateful to our major sponsors:


  • Mardi Gras Court Sponsor: Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish Family.

  • Marching Saints Sponsors: PPI Gas Distribution, Inc., Rowland Technologies, and Webster Bank.

  • French Quarter Sponsors: Biller Associates, Christopher & Lilia Bunick, Carrano Law Firm, Complete Environmental Services, Daniels Orthodontics, Feldman Orthodontics, Ion Bank, Professional Coaching, LLC, Ricci Construction Corp., SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford, and Votto Vines Importing.

  • Garden District Sponsors: Device42, Rupert & Pia Dogbey, Eastern Fuel Corporation, F.F. Hitchcock Company, Inc., LaRosa Construction, LIVE EVERY DAY A Physical Therapy, Orthotic & Prosthetics Co., Pediatric & Medical Associates, PC., Pepperland Marketing, Sound Spectrum/Club Lucent, and Viron Rondo Osteria.

  • Bourbon Street Sponsors: John & Kelly Brucato, Dr. Pingfei Guan, Anna and Cole Kowalski, Pediatric Associates of Cheshire, PC, and Richard & Wendy Thayer.


I am likewise very grateful to all the school board members, the companies, and all the families who donated items, took out ads (we had an amazing amount of support from companies placing ads this year), and all who came and enjoyed the evening and supported our school with their generosity.


Last, but certainly not least, our gratitude to this year’s co-chairs Mrs. Tonya Baril Pelletier and Mrs. Emily Negron and to the many people who served on the committee, solicited donations, and helped to make this event such a wonderful evening and a huge success. To you all I say “Thank you!”


The Saint Bridget School Auction, presented by the Home & School Association, has become the largest fundraiser for the school with all proceeds directly benefitting our students. The funds raised have helped us expand our educational technology, improve the safety and security of our school campus, as well as bring exciting and important educational school programs for our children to enhance their learning environment. The success of this event and so much of our fundraising is that the proceeds really do impact our students. It is all for the children! On behalf of our students and our entire school family I say “Thank you!”


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.



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Dear Friends in Christ:


As we continue our journey of Lent…we should ask ourselves: “how is it going?” It is never too early to take stock of how we are doing with our Lenten practices.

  • Ask yourself: How am I doing with my fasting? Have I remained vigilant in fasting from whatever I promised God and myself that I would fast from?

  • How am I doing with my prayer? Have I increased the amount of time I give to God each day? Have I made room for God, or more room for God, in my heart?

  • How am I doing with my almsgiving? Have I sought out opportunities to help those most in need? Have I participated in the Parish Corporal Works of Mercy in these first days of Lent by bringing food for the hungry or drink for the thirsty?

By fasting, prayer, and almsgiving we all renew and purify our hearts and are led to the fullness of grace. So how are we doing?


Lent calls us to pray more deeply, experience sorrow for what we have done and what we have failed to do, and to be generous to those in need among us.



As Catholics we joyfully engage in these Lenten disciplines because we are disciples. We pray, we fast, and we give because we follow Christ, who loved us so much that He gave His own life so that we might share in Eternal Life.


This weekend we continue our homilies emphasizing the Sacraments…last weekend we spoke about Baptism and this weekend we will be focusing on the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Since the Eucharist is the source and summit of our lives as Christians it is central to who we are! We need the Eucharist. The Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, offered to us in the Holy Eucharist unites us more closely to Christ and provides us the spiritual nourishment we need to answer His call to Follow Me…more to come this weekend in the homilies I am sure.



As we focus on the Eucharist in our homilies, let me take this opportunity to remind you all that we have Eucharistic Adoration EVERY Friday from 1-4PM in Saint Bridget Church. As we continue this Lenten journey seeking to EncounterChrist #prayfastgive I ask every parishioner to consider joining us for an opportunity to experience this prayer opportunity to sit before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and offer Him our prayers. We do ask everyone who comes to visit the Blessed Sacrament during this time to say a special prayer for the intentions we are praying for during that hour.


Our transfer of the Stations of the Cross is NOW COMPLETED. What a project! I am so pleased that the Stations of the Cross are now up in front of our parish school and what better time than in this Season of Lent! The Stations of the Cross is a powerful prayer experience in these forty days as we contemplate the Passion of Christ and the suffering He endured on His way to the Cross.




I am grateful to Larry Richard and all those who helped him to move the Stations from the Church of the Epiphany to our Saint Bridget Church Campus. It was a huge undertaking and not without its setbacks, but it is now done. One major setback as I reported, was the theft of a few of the bronze stations while they were still on the Epiphany Church Campus. Thanks to insurance we were able to replace the Stations but that certainly took time. Bringing a piece of the history of the former Epiphany Parish to the Saint Bridget Campus is yet another example of incorporating the former parishes together as we continue to merge into one parish family. They really are quite beautiful as well. I hope you will utilize the new sidewalk and make the way of the Cross perhaps at least once during these weeks of Lent.


Parish Corporal Works of Mercy update…this past weekend the generous people of our parish family donated over 1,000 pounds of food to the Cheshire Community Food Pantry to give food to the hungry! Thank you! This weekend we are collecting beverages to give drink to the thirsty and next weekend we will be collecting white socks for men, women, and children to help the clients at Saint Vincent DePaul Shelter in Waterbury, and onesies for babies at Carolyn’s Place to help clothe the naked. Thank you for all you do to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate and for recognizing that in serving them we are serving the Lord.


Lenten Suppers…we had an amazing group gathered together for the first Lenten Supper. We had over 200 people! It was just wonderful to see the adults getting to know each other, the young people enjoying time in the gym, and our family of faith being nourished together by food and fellowship. It was awesome!



Please join us as we come together for our Friday Lenten Supper, great conversation, and some fun activities for the kids. Supper is served from 5-7 PM, cost is only $10 per adult, $5 per child and senior citizen, and a $25 max per family. The menu includes pasta with sauce, salad, bread, a variety of soups each week, beverages, and a weekly special. Then, following the Lenten Supper, come and pray the Stations of the Cross with us in Saint Bridget Church at 7 PM.


In this Season of Lent let us strive above all to live holy lives as we make this journey with the Lord. May our Lenten journey be holy, prayerful, and fruitful.


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.



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ABOUT US

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

5:15PM St. Bridget Church

Sunday Masses:

7AM St. Bridget Church

8AM St. Bridget Church

9AM St. Bridget Church

10:30AM St. Bridget Church

12PM St. Bridget Church

Confession: Saturday 3PM St. Bridget Church

ADDRESS

203-272-3531

 

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

 

rectory@stbridgetcheshire.org

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