Dear Friends in Christ:
ANXIETY…as I wrote about last week the word “school” is really garnering a great variety of reactions from children, parents, and educators. You see in these unprecedented times the unknown is really causing many to be anxious about returning to school. It doesn’t help that there are so many scenarios involved. But it is what it is and we have to deal with it as it comes our way.
We at St. Bridget School are returning to full in-person education while permitting some families to choose to keep their children home but remotely join their classmates. Some schools are going to school in-person some days and learning online other days. Other schools in the area are completely remote learning. The choice of what is best for one’s child is causing more anxiety for parents than a typical beginning to any school year.
We are aware that many are dealing with anxiety and we have a program designed just for YOU. Talking about this topic with our pastoral staff we said we have to do something to help our parents deal with this anxiety! And how blessed we are to have a parishioner, co-chair of our Parish Pastoral Council, Lynn Krieg, who immediately said yes when we asked her to do a program to give parents tools to cope with their anxiety. Lynn is a licensed psychotherapist in practice for over 30 years, a former educator herself having taught at Holy Cross High School in Waterbury, and an experienced healthcare worker. She has a vast experience of working with others dealing with anxiety issues at ALL ages.
She has entitled her program for you Sending My Child to School in the Midst of a Pandemic without Anxiety—NOT! This program will be offered Tuesday, September 1st and Thursday, September 3rd at 6PM in the School Gym. Sign-up by visiting our website www.stbridgetcheshire.org and clicking on events and using the Signup Genius or click this link to sign-up now https://bit.ly/2FWXbyt. Come learn how to deal with your own anxiety so you are better prepared to help your children during these unprecedented times. She will be offering coping exercises and there will be an opportunity to ask questions.
Lynn offered this program to our own faculty at St. Bridget School this past Wednesday and it was a great hit. The teachers have their own anxiety levels as well about returning during this time. One teacher said “I feel like I am better prepared to enter the classroom and make this year a positive experience for all my students even if they are feeling some anxiety because now I know some tools for dealing with my own.” Thank you Lynn for all you do for our parish family and for helping during this time most especially!
EXTENSION OF DISPENSATION FROM ARCHBISHOP BLAIR…Last week we received word that Archbishop Blair has extended the dispensation from the Sunday obligation through Saturday, November 28, 2020, which is the last day of the current liturgical year! I know that relieves some stress for those among us who are worried about returning to Mass “in-person” during these times due to underlying health conditions and or nervousness.
Mass book for first six months of 2021 is NOW OPEN…As announced last weekend the Mass book for 2021 is NOW OPEN through June. As Catholics we know that every Mass is offered for all the living and the dead, but it is our time honored tradition of offering the Mass for particular intentions. It is a beautiful and meaningful tradition to have Masses said for our beloved family and friends who have died. Even when we are not able to “be present in person” for a particular Mass, the celebration and prayers of that celebration of Holy Mass are offered for the soul of our loved one. Think about the power of those prayers to help our loved ones on their way to the heavenly table.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that, “from the beginning the church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God” (No. 1032). Isn’t that something we all want for our deceased loved ones?
The donation for a weekday Mass is $15, and that for a weekend Mass or Holy Day is $25. We are opening our books on Monday through June 2021 ONLY. We also still have some openings for Masses to be offered in 2020 if you so desire. The office will be open from 8:30AM to 4:30PM, Monday through Friday, to take your calls.
When we face the death of someone, even a person who is not Catholic, to have a Mass offered for the repose of his or her soul and to offer our prayers are more beneficial and comforting than any other expression of sympathy. Most importantly, we always should remember our own dearly departed loved ones in the holy Mass and through our own prayers and sacrifices to help in their gaining eternal rest.
We are so fortunate here in our Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish family to have so many Masses celebrated throughout the week for our loved ones. There are Masses always available which you can have reserved to remember your loved ones. Please call the office for more information.
The Pastoral Staff of our parish has begun meeting, once again, and are coming up with new ideas of programs we can offer in this time of pandemic. I am so pleased that we have been able to start to meet as a Pastoral Staff in person once again. Our weekly meetings are a source of inspiration to me. Recently I asked the members of our team to come to the meeting with new ideas of programs and events we can offer to you the parishioners that we can do within the guidelines and restrictions of this time of pandemic. I was NOT disappointed. Such ideas that came up were a series to watch and discuss Bishop Barron’s DVD The Sacraments, a series to watch and discuss the new television series The Chosen, a program on anxiety (already scheduled for next week as announced above), a bible study on the Gospel of Mark, a Prayer Group, and more. Be on the lookout in coming bulletins for more information!
I have said it before, but I say it again, we want to hear from you! Is there a particular ministry you would like the Pastoral Staff to work toward forming? Is there a particular devotion you would like to see us offer? Is there a particular topic you would like covered in an evening Adult Education Talk? Let us know. Write it out and email it to:
firstname.lastname@example.org or drop it in an envelope marked Pastoral Staff in the collection on the weekend. All ideas are possible for consideration.
One of the many programs that begins in a new school year is the R.C.I.A. or the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. The R.C.I.A., or the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, is the process by which adults, who are not Catholic or even not baptized, come to learn about the Catholic faith with a desire to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.
It is more than simply a course of instruction. The R.C.I.A. is an immersion into a Christ-centered way of living. This is accomplished through a process concerned with the total formation of a person into a believing, praying, and serving Catholic Christian. We do this through Scripture study and group discussions forming the members of the R.C.I.A. to be active and faithful members of the Roman Catholic community of believers.
Who can join the R.C.I.A.? Any unbaptized adult who now wishes to learn more about the Catholic faith with the possibility of becoming Catholic; or those baptized Christians, from other denominations, who desire to learn more about the possibility of coming into full communion with the Catholic Church; and those Catholics who were baptized, but have never received their First Holy Communion and have not been confirmed. It should be noted that a person who enters the R.C.I.A. makes no obligation to formally join the Catholic Church at this time. Is Christ calling you to learn more about the Catholic faith, if so please call us!
A personal invitation…I am so thrilled that we currently have a few people interested in joining the Catholic Church here at Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish. I personally invite anyone who is not Catholic but is interested in learning more about the Catholic faith to contact Donna Yatcko in our Religious Education Office at 203-272-6504 or email at email@example.com.
If you know a family member or friend who might be interested reach out to them and personally invite them to consider joining the R.C.I.A.
As always, remember to pray for vocations, pray for our young people, pray for our parish families and ask God’s blessings as we strive to 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.