Dear Friends in Christ:
Happy Memorial Day…Remember what we celebrate…as we find ourselves slowly coming out of this time of self-isolation and quarantine we do so as we approach Memorial Day Weekend. Traditionally, this is a weekend when our Town of Cheshire holds a parade honoring those who served in the pursuit of peace and to ensure our freedoms. This is a holiday that is about remembering; about being grateful, and about honoring the brave men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Remember the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend of our nation, to ensure our freedoms, and in the pursuit of peace. Remember also the men and women who have gone into battle all over the world. Remember those who have suffered the ravages of war, those who suffered bodily injury, and those who continue to suffer with emotional or psychological conditions.
We express profound gratitude for the unselfish sacrifices of the men and women in our armed forces have made through the years to God, to country, and to us. We salute them. We express gratitude for those who support and aid our veterans and those who work to advocate for a greater respect for and recognition of those who have served us.
We honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, who have literally laid down their lives for us, (like Someone else we know!) and we honor all those men and women who proudly bear the title Veteran who are still with us. This honor is not merely about monuments and memorials, nor simply the placing of flags in a cemetery as important as those are; this honor is about showing them the respect and support they deserve.
To all our parishioners who serve and have served I say thank you for your service and you have the promise of our grateful prayers for you!
Here is a Memorial Day Prayer that I think says it all…
Dear Lord, on this day, we remember those who have served us by
protecting our freedoms. When we celebrate our long weekend with our friends and family, help us remember, that our freedom to speak of you, and our freedom to worship you, and our freedom to do that which we ought to do, have all been bought at the price and sacrifice of many lives. Your Son died for our eternal life in heaven. So too, our military personnel often gave their lives to protect us here on earth. Help us be mindful this weekend always of the sacrifices made by those in uniform for all of us to enjoy our freedoms. Amen.
As a Catholic people we find ourselves liturgically in this “in between” time. We here in the Northeast celebrated this past Thursday, Ascension Thursday, the great Solemnity that marks the 40th day since Easter when we celebrate Jesus ascending to the Father’s right hand. We call this the “in between” time because Jesus has now ascended to the Father, and the Holy Spirit, the Advocate whom Jesus promised to send in His name, has yet to come! This Gift of the Spirit we celebrate at Pentecost, the 50th day after Easter. Even our first reading for this Sunday speaks of this “in between” time. “After Jesus had been taken up to heaven the apostles returned to Jerusalem…they went to the upper room where they were staying…devoted themselves with one accord to prayer.” One can only imagine that this prayer was for the Gift of the Holy Spirit that the Risen Lord had promised. It is in this very Upper Room where the Holy Spirit will descend upon the Apostles and the Church will be born by this Gift of the Spirit.
Isn’t it interesting how the liturgy so often corresponds to our reality? The Apostles were in an “in between” time and now we are as well. We find ourselves in this “in between” time of strict quarantine and self-isolation at the arrival of Coronavirus and now the beginning of some normalcy in day-to-day activity. With the slow openings happening in businesses, workplaces, and restaurants, some may still find themselves hesitant. And that is ok! Remember as I said last week I know we all long for getting back to some type of “normal” whatever that may be, but as we begin to see things reopen, please remember the COVID 19 pandemic continues. The virus is still active, it is still being passed on, and people are very sick and some even dying because of it. So as we see things start to reopen let us do our part to be smart and vigilant and protect one another from this disease. We also find ourselves in this “in between” time of awaiting the opportunity to celebrate Holy Mass with one another in our parish churches while, like the Apostles, finding ourselves devoted to prayer in our own homes. As we begin to move closer to some normalcy in our lives I pray that each of us will continue to draw ourselves closer to God in prayer each and every day of our lives.
WE WANT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS to help us communicate important information with you in a timely manner! As we begin to return to some normalcy it is only a matter of time before we can begin to communicate plans for public worship once again! To reach you all in the most efficient and effective manner it would help us to have your current email address! Many families when they registered in the parish over the years provided their emails, others when they got involved in a particular ministry in the parish then provided their email. IF WE DON’T HAVE YOUR EMAIL PLEASE SEND IT TO US!!! As we prepare to move into this next phase and begin to have more information regarding the resumption of public worship we will do our best to communicate that information to all our families in a timely manner. Please send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEND US YOUR RECIPES…SAINT BRIDGET OF SWEDEN PARISH COOKBOOK 2020…as we hear from so many this time of pandemic has been a time we are all growing in our culinary expertise. If you have tuned in to our Casual Conversations live from our living room on Saturdays you probably have noticed that a lot of inquiries have been made about what we have eaten, what we have cooked, and a cooking challenge has even arisen from these discussions!
That said, Father Federico and I thought it would be a great idea to take this time to create a Parish Cookbook with your family recipes or your favorites from this time of pandemic. I know cookbooks have been done in the past but now seems like a perfect time to create a new one for our parish family. Send us your recipes to email@example.com.
LOOKING FOR THE YOUNG ARTIST AMONG US…We are holding another art contest! It is that time of year again when we need to prepare for our annual parish Christmas card. We are looking for children of all ages to design our parish Christmas card. Last year it was a huge hit. I heard from so many people how much they loved that we used artwork from one of our young parishioners. We invite all school-aged children to think of Christmas and send us their design. The winner’s artwork will be the cover of our parish Christmas card which is sent to all parishioners and friends of Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish. All artwork must be submitted to the rectory by June 30th for consideration! We look forward to many submissions!
Next Sunday is Pentecost Sunday and our own Julia Atwood will be offering a special concert to our parishioners at 2PM. Similar to what we did on Mother’s Day we will be holding a special concert on our livestream. Julia will play some of our favorites from the collection of hymns used at various occasions in the life of the church. She will be taking requests too! If you have a favorite join us live and put in your request to hear that favorite hymn played and sung by our very talented music director. We look forward to joining her for this special concert and fielding your special requests! Please join us!
As always, remember to pray for our parish family and ask God’s blessings upon us all in this time of pandemic. With the gracious intercession of Saint Bridget of Sweden, our Patroness, may we be united with one another in prayer! Please pray for me and know that I am praying for you! Continued prayers for you all to know and experience the joy, the peace, and the hope of the Risen Christ!