Updated: Jan 13
Dear Friends in Christ:
Well 2020 is off to an interesting start isn’t it? Here we are only 12 days into the New Year and already I have heard from some regarding personal disappointment at the beginning of the year, disappointment at resolutions not being kept, and a general feeling that the year is not off to a good start! Bringing this to prayer it dawned on me that we can do something about it! We have the power in our lives to make it better, to change our mindset, and to ask God’s grace to help us make 2020 a year in which we not only manage our lives but truly grow in His grace through prayer and good works. So let’s get praying!'
Today is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Each year I see this Feast as an
opportunity to think about what baptism means in our lives, and specifically how am I living out my own baptism.
How many of us actually know the date and place of our baptism? I think it is safe to say only a handful have that information in their heads, yes many of us can look it up in our important documents, but really as followers of Christ we should celebrate our baptism just as much as our birthday, for it is the day we became a son or daughter of God and are promised the inheritance of eternal union with God!
Baptism according to Church teaching does five things specifically:
2. It makes the newly baptized person “a new creature.”
3. It turns the person into a newly adopted son or daughter of God. Baptism also incorporates one into the Church which is the body of Christ.
4. It brings one to share in the royal priesthood of Christ (1 Pet. 2:9-10). Catholic baptism gives us a share in the common priesthood of all believers and it also brings about the sacramental bond of the unity of Christians.
5. Last, but certainly not in the least, baptism leaves an indelible spiritual mark (character) of belonging to Christ on the soul. Nothing you can do will take away this mark even if you sin a million times. Those sins may not grant you salvation, but you will always carry the mark of a Christian on your soul, therefore making re-baptism impossible.
So, if you do not know your date of baptism, I encourage you to find it out, and to celebrate it with great joy for it marks the anniversary of your becoming a child of God.
Happenings in our parish family life…
The Annual School Auction…The Saint Bridget School Home and School Association is gearing up for the annual Auction with this year’s theme Country and Cocktails! This is the major fundraiser of the year for our school. WE NEED YOUR HELP AND SUPPORT!
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, February 21st, 2020, 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 cost 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.
PLEASE help us make this year’s Annual Auction a SUCCESS. It is the 25th year since the reopening of our parish school and helping to make this year’s auction a success will be a great way to celebrate these past years and prepare for a bright future.
For more information about the auction or to sponsor us, please visit the school’s website at https://stbridgetschool.ejoinme.org/sbsauction2020.
The 2019 Annual Family Commitment was a huge success thanks to the generosity of so many of our parish families. I am beyond grateful to the 712 families who contributed $203,020.00 to the 2019 Annual Family Commitment. These 712 families represent 23.08% 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 face the major costs associated with roof replacement, I pray, at both Saint Bridget Church and the Education Wing at Saint Thomas Becket Church. On behalf of our Finance Council, our Pastoral Council, our Trustees, and myself, THANK YOU for your generosity!
We are SUPER excited about our new Youth Minister Regis O’Neill and the work he is beginning. As you are aware Regis joined our staff back in December after spending a year with the Capuchin Youth & Family Ministry in Garrison, New York, running Catholic youth retreats and assisting with a local youth group! He has a tremendous amount of ideas to get our youth excited about living out the faith and I have full confidence that he will inspire our youth as he works with them. He has created a survey for all High School Age students in our parish to fill out! He wants to know what our youth want through the Youth Ministry Program. What day and time works best? What types of events would they like? What kinds of snacks would they like at meetings? Are they interested in becoming a Peer Minister? What should we call our youth group?
Regis is also looking for adult volunteers to work with him as he kicks off this new Youth Ministry Program. Adults will assist in the meetings and take an active role in walking the journey with our young people. Interested adults need not have a degree in theology but must love and live the faith and be Virtus trained or be willing to be Virtus trained. If you would like more information please contact Regis at ROneill@stbridgetcheshire.org or by phone at 203-272-6504.
JUST AS EXCITING is the beginning of our NEW Young Adult Ministry. We are
prepping for the start of this ministry this coming Tuesday evening at 7PM. We are meeting with some of our young adults and video conferencing with the team at id 9:16 Ministry to share how the Young Adult Ministry here at Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish will seek to effectively reach out to our young adults. Information will be shared about how often we will plan to meet, and other ways we can reach out to other young adults in the parish and beyond. It is our hope that from this initial meeting we will come up with a core group of leaders who will launch this Young Adult Ministry here in the parish.
If there are ANY interested young adults who would like to come to this informational evening please feel free to contact me or Father Federico by Monday.
TODAY the Knights of Columbus, Sante Fe Council #2978, are holding a membership drive. As you may remember I have been working for almost two years to help build up our Council and truly see our Council as a very visible and active presence right here in our parish family. In addition to the Tootsie Roll Drive, and their traditional Pancake Breakfast, the Knights of our Council have been becoming more and more active in our parish life. We see them helping to lead the rosary before the Saturday Vigil Mass, helping to organize the Clean-Up Days on our Church campuses, actively working to solicit support for our Parish School, and helping with any number of other improvements throughout the year. I am taking this opportunity to personally invite all men of the parish, over the age of 18, to consider becoming a Knight of Columbus, or if they are one already to become active in the Council once again! I am confident that we can accomplish much more for our Parish, our School, and the wider community with more Knights in our midst. Won’t you consider joining? Please see one of the Knights at the door on your way out of Church today to sign up!
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!