Dear Friends in Christ:
Last week I had a horrific experience as part of a funeral procession that got me thinking “what has happened to our society?” Last Friday, as we pulled out in front of Saint Bridget Church I was in my car between the funeral director and the hearse. There were no cars coming but the funeral director waited for a car to come around the corner to get them to stop. The person slowed down but then proceeded to get between me and the hearse. She was now in the middle of the procession. The funeral director got out of his car to tell her she was now in a procession and, actually to his credit, was giving her a chance to get out of the procession and go ahead of us when all of a sudden she started to scream, using words I cannot print in our parish bulletin.
What has happened to our society? I was really bothered by this experience. I have been in other funeral processions on Route 10 when cars give it their all to get ahead of us before the two lanes turn into one lane. I have even been on highways when near accidents have been avoided thanks to the drivers in the procession. This experience last Friday really has been on my mind. Why are we so disrespectful to the dead?
When I was younger my parents ALWAYS pulled over and let the procession go by. They taught us from an early age to show respect for the dead. They told us when the procession is going by to stop and pray for that person even if you do not know them. It is the right thing to do and remember one day that will be you! We also were taught as the procession went by, if we were out of the car somewhere and had a baseball cap on to take it off as another sign of respect.
It is clearly obvious to many that younger drivers today are not being taught how to handle the oncoming funeral procession. But this driver was around my mother’s age. She was not a teenager though she had the language of a younger person I assure you. The problem is we live in a world that is getting busier and busier, more and more people could care less about giving the right of way to other drivers, or even respecting a funeral procession, because they feel they are too busy! Society tells us to be concerned with only one thing: me. This procession has nothing to do with me, and in fact it is inconveniencing me, so I do everything I can to get around it. Because society tells me to worry about myself.
How many of us have heard family and friends say things like “that procession was too long,” or “letting the funeral procession go by made me late for something,” or “I sped up when I saw the funeral procession ahead of me.” THESE are teachable moments to help instill some respect for the dead in our society and for their families. By STOPPING for a funeral procession you are paying your respect to that individual who has died and paying respect to their family who have lost someone close to them, someone who meant the world to them.
So let’s get back to showing respect in our society to one another. Let’s move away from being so focused on ourselves and more focused on others. Next time PULL OVER and let the procession go by whether it is for a few seconds or even a couple of minutes, it will not impact your schedule that much and you can use it as an opportunity to say a prayer for that person being brought to their place of rest. Rebuilding a culture of respect starts with one person, can I count on you to be that one person in your neighborhood or home?
KCHS…a few people have asked what the initials mean after my name in the bulletin and on other correspondence. These are the initials to indicate my ranking in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. They stand for Knight Commander of the Holy Sepulchre. This Symbol of our Order is the Jerusalem Cross I wear on my lapel pin as well when I have on a sport coat. I have been a member of the Order since November of 2013. We also have one other parishioner to my knowledge who is a member of the Order and that is our Parish Trustee, Candy Nesbit.
The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem is one of the oldest and most historic Chivalric Orders of the Roman Catholic Church. The Order originates from the time of the First Crusade in 1099, when Godfrey de Bouillon reclaimed Jerusalem and the Holy Lands from the Turks and established a guard of honor to protect one of the region’s most sacred sites – the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Today the Order is charged, in its Constitution:
· To strengthen in its members the practice of Christian life, in absolute fidelity to the Supreme Pontiff and according to the teachings of the Church, observing as its foundation the principles of charity which make the Order a fundamental means of assistance to the Holy Land.
· To sustain and aid the charitable, cultural and social works and institutions of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, particularly those of and in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, with which the Order maintains its traditional ties.
· To support the preservation and propagation of the Faith in those lands, and promote interest in this work not only among Catholics scattered throughout the world, who are united in charity by the symbol of the Order, but also among all other Christians.
· To uphold the rights of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land.
The Order of the Holy Sepulchre is open to Catholic lay men and women, clergy and religious who are at least 25 years of age. These individuals actively participate in and contribute to the activities and work of their local parish and diocese and are committed to actively support the Order’s mission as defined in its Constitution. Please realize there is a financial requirement each year for membership as well that goes to support the efforts of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land.
If there are any parishioners interested in becoming a member of the Order please contact me as soon as possible as the application for membership will be due on March 13th and we will need to get started on it soon.
Facility Coordinator Job Opening…as announced last weekend, unfortunately, the new Facility Coordinator for our parish has resigned as she was offered full-time employment elsewhere. THIS MEANS WE ARE HIRING. The Facility Coordinator is responsible for welcoming groups and organizations who utilize the school facilities from 5PM until 9PM Monday through Thursday as needed. If there are no events taking place on a particular evening then there are no hours. A schedule will be provided the week prior. The primary purpose is to have someone at the door of our facility to welcome those coming to programs, events, and meetings. This person will be responsible to ensure the people are directed to the proper room for their function. This person is also the point person in case of an emergency. If you are interested in learning more please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is envisioned that some light duties might be required in addition to welcoming and opening the facility. It is also possible to have different people for each night, so if you are interested in working one night a week in such a role please send your interest to the email email@example.com.
St. Bridget School News…as we continue the Search Process for the next Principal of St. Bridget School, we welcome to our School Family Ms. Margaret Sheehy as our new Associate Principal. Ms. Sheehy has an extensive background in Catholic School Education in the Archdiocese of Hartford. She has served as a Principal in the Archdiocese and before her retirement served as Director of Curriculum in the former Office of Catholic Schools. She brings to this position her extensive background in education and leadership to her new position with us.
I take this opportunity to express public gratitude to Mrs. Marilú Rochefort for her heroic efforts in the role of Interim Principal while still handling her duties as Assistant Principal for Academics. Ms. Sheehy will serve as a resource to Mrs. Rochefort and assist her in sharing some of the duties of the role of Principal. Mrs. Rochefort remains the Interim Principal, but will now have much needed assistance to cover the many tasks necessary. I am confident that together, and with the assistance of Mrs. Rowinski, they will lead our school with great enthusiasm as they seek to ensure the positive year we are having continues to be a success for our students. Welcome Ms. Sheehy to our parish and school family!
Connecticut State Council of the Knights of Columbus…the State Council is holding their annual raffle. Tickets are $10 each and are available in the Parish Office.
Prizes are as follows:
Winners will be drawn at the meeting of the Connecticut State Council Annual Convention on Friday, April 17th at 9PM. Ticket holders need not be present to win. Winner required to pay all Federal, State, and Local Taxes. Get your tickets today by visiting the Parish Office.
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.