Dear Friends in Christ:
Halloween is this weekend and in “normal times” we would be excited to answer the door of the rectory and greet the tricker treaters but these are NOT “normal times.” That said, we do want to give our youngsters candy to give them something in the spirit of this tradition. Therefore, at ALL Masses this weekend our volunteers will be at the doors of the church as you leave and will hand little baggies of candy to all the young people present for Mass. We look forward to next year, we hope and pray, when we can once again greet you and see the creative and interesting costumes our young people choose!
We remind you all that THIS SUNDAY we also mark the Solemnity of All Saints and then we celebrate the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed (All Souls’ Day) on Monday. At ALL THE MASSES THIS WEEKEND, candles will be lit in front of the altar as a special way to honor our parishioners who have died throughout the past year. Each family will be provided the opportunity after the Mass they attend to take the candle with their loved ones name on it as a reminder of our prayers for them during this time of loss, and as a reminder of our need to pray for our deceased loved ones. Please note the candles are arranged in alphabetical order by last name. ALL parishioners are welcome to join us in prayer for our parishioners who died this past year and for their families who mourn their loss.
On All Souls’ Day we will have the normal daily Mass at 7AM and 9AM in Saint Bridget Church. Please join us if you are able and then visit your loved ones at the cemetery. In “normal times” this indulgence is only from November 1 to November 8 and if you meet the requirements necessary for a Plenary Indulgence for the Souls in Purgatory. This year this has been EXTENDED for the entire month of November.
Traditionally, the faithful could receive a full indulgence each day from November 1 to November 8 when they visited a cemetery to pray for the departed and fulfilled other conditions ***, and, in particular, when they went to a church or an oratory to pray on November 2, All Souls' Day.
Bishops' conferences in countries where large numbers of faithful traditionally go to confession, attend Mass and visit cemeteries during the week had asked how the faithful could be accommodated given COVID-19 restrictions or in the case that a member of the faithful was ill, in isolation or in quarantine and the Vatican responded by granting this extension!
The full indulgence traditionally offered November 2 for those who visit a church or an oratory and ***recite the Our Father and the Creed can also be gained any day in November!
Those who cannot leave their homes or residence for "serious reasons," which includes government restrictions during a pandemic also can receive a plenary indulgence after reciting specific prayers for the deceased or reflecting on a Gospel reading designated for Masses of the Dead before an image of Jesus or the Blessed Virgin Mary in their home, or by performing a work of mercy.
In all cases, one also must fulfill the normal requirements set by the church for all plenary indulgences, which demonstrate a resolve to turn away from sin and convert to God. Those conditions include: *** having a spirit detached from sin; going to confession as soon as possible; receiving the Eucharist as soon as possible; praying for the pope's intentions; and being united spiritually with all the faithful.
The church teaches that prayer, particularly the Mass, and sacrifices may be offered on behalf of the souls in purgatory.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, "All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven." It is by our prayers and our obtaining for them the plenary indulgence that our loved ones are brought closer to their entrance to the heavenly kingdom.
A reminder…as we did last year, we as a parish family will be placing the All Souls’ Day envelopes (included in your offertory envelope package) on the altar for the whole month of November at all the Masses. These envelopes allow you to list your loved ones names on the back so that their names will be remembered in a special way at all the Masses in this month of Remembrance.
ELECTION DAY…Archbishop Blair has asked all parishes to offer the opportunity for Eucharistic Adoration on the Day of the Election. Therefore, on Tuesday, November 3rd we will have Eucharistic Adoration from 12-4PM. PLEASE JOIN US IN PRAYER ON THIS IMPORTANT DAY!
EXCITED!!! WE ARE SO THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE THIS NEW IDEA!!! So many of our beloved parishioners have been joining us “virtually” for Sunday Mass since the shutdown back in March. I have spoken to many of them, either by phone or written communication, and have heard directly how they miss receiving the Eucharist! We have been talking about what we could do to help meet this need while at the same time not requiring people to come into the church building with others present at the same time…and we have come up with a plan that has me super excited!
WE ARE GOING TO OFFER HOLY COMMUNION TO OUR VIRTUAL MEMBERS THIS COMING SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8th, FROM 2-3PM in the Church parking lot. You don’t even need to leave the car! Drive in and follow the signs. These signs will guide you through some preparation prayers, then to a station where Father Federico and I will be there one on each side of the car, roll down the windows and receive the Holy Eucharist, then pull forward to do your prayer of thanksgiving and be on your way.
PLEASE COME BY AND RECEIVE JESUS IN THE EUCHARIST!
Saint Thomas Becket Education Wing Roof is being worked on as I write this article. The work is nearly complete on the overlay roof project at the Education Wing and the Father Frisbie Hall at Saint Thomas Becket Campus. Your generosity to the 2019 Annual Family Commitment made this project possible and for that I thank you! With your financial generosity, your trust in me, and the support of our phenomenal volunteers on the Parish Facilities and Grounds Committee we were able to complete both roof projects in this fiscal year and have a 20 year warranty for both! Truly amazing! And throw in a pandemic and it was still completed! Thank you!
This is an opportunity for me to remind you of our 2020 Annual Family Commitment that is going on NOW!
As of Monday, October 26th, we have received pledges in the amount of $185,246.50 from 613 of our families representing participation from only 19.79% of our families.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to those who have already made a commitment!
To those who have not yet made a commitment to the 2020 Annual Family Commitment, would you consider doing so soon to help your parish family?
This year, as we face some much needed repairs, I am personally asking every family to support the 2020 Annual Family Commitment. Your generosity to this year’s collection will help us to address the deterioration of the pews here in Saint Bridget Church (once the pandemic is over), and address some much-needed parking lot repairs and hopefully address some repairs to the West Wall at Saint Thomas Becket Church. These are projects, once again, that simply could not be addressed within the ordinary budget of our parish. Please be as generous as you are able as these are projects that come with substantial costs. I am grateful to our own David Riccio, a Principal from John Canning & Co., who is working to solicit proposals for the pew project.
Your gift, no matter its size, makes a difference, and 100% of all funds collected will be used here in Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish. We need your help! If you have not given yet please prayerfully consider doing so. Thank you for what you do to make Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish such a phenomenal and vibrant family of faith.
With the changing of months comes the end of Respect Life Month. I publicly thank our Pro-Life Coordinators Rosa and Peter Spilka for what they do throughout the year to build a Culture of Life here in our parish and town. The Spilka’s recently joined other parishioners in peaceful prayer outside an abortion clinic in Hartford as we participated in the 40 Days for Life campaign held each year throughout the country prior to the elections. Thank you to all the parishioners who gave of their time throughout the month to come together and pray and witness to the Gift of Life.
WE WANT YOUR RECIPES…THE PANDEMIC SAINT BRIDGET OF SWEDEN COOKBOOK
started a few months ago when Father Federico and I were doing our weekly Casual Conversations during quarantine and we realized that the pandemic has caused a lot of people to start cooking and baking more than normal. People were sharing recipes on the Facebook posts so we figured why not put together a parish pandemic cookbook. A good number came in but we WANT more.
SEND US YOUR RECIPES!
At this time we are NOW looking for your favorite soups and salad recipes. Send in those family specialties to firstname.lastname@example.org.
WE ARE ALSO LOOKING FOR STORIES OF FAITH! We want to hear from you! The Pastoral Staff discussed the desire to hear from you about your story of faith! We would like you to write out your story and share it with us. We hope to highlight different stories from time to time in upcoming bulletins. Stories can be submitted anonymously or with your name on it.
Please tell us how you became Catholic and why you stayed Catholic. Describe what the Catholic faith means to you.
How has the faith helped you in the tough and dark times of life? How has your faith helped you during this pandemic?
Tell us about any incredible and uplifting supernatural experiences that have happened to you. Share with us why Saint Bridget of Sweden is your parish? We are planning to incorporate your story of faith into an outreach program for those friends and family members who have left the Catholic faith. The testimony and faith stories from people just like them will have a much bigger impact than if it came only from their priests. Your submission will not be shared without your permission. Please send your story to my attention through the collection or via email to email@example.com. Thank you!
As always, remember to pray and ask God’s blessings upon our family of faith 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.