Dear Friends in Christ:
Thank you so very much! Our first weekend within Phase 3 of the Reopening of the State of Connecticut went very smoothly. I am so grateful as I mentioned at all the Masses for your understanding and cooperation during these days when it seems like we are dealing with constant change.
I know that none of us likes this pandemic or anything about it, if you do perhaps you can share with me how and why, but the way in which our parishioners have shown such flexibility has truly been something I am so grateful to God for. I have heard stories from my fellow Pastors where they cannot find volunteers to welcome people or to help sanitize between Masses; or where they have people who don’t respect the social distancing recommended by the Guidelines for Reopening, or where they have parishioners that refuse to use the Signup Genius, or a variety of other situations that simply have me thanking God for YOU and your cooperation, understanding, support, and assistance during these past now 8 months!
So, simply, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! I am grateful to Father Federico, Sister Patricia, the Pastoral Staff, the Parish Staff, and ALL OF YOU. Know of my grateful prayers for each and every one of you! I echo the prayer of Saint Paul in our Second Reading this weekend when he writes, “we give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love.”
A word of gratitude also for your extraordinary response to the Annual Family Commitment 2020…THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! As of Tuesday, October 12th, we have received pledges in the amount of $148,645.00 from 493 of our families representing participation from only 15.9% of our families.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am, once again, overwhelmed by the phenomenal response. As we continue to seek to address major capital projects and ensure our facilities are kept up-to-date we need the help of every 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.
A word of gratitude also for your generosity to the Next Generation of Disciples and their efforts to illuminate our two campuses for Cheshire’s Lights of Hope. It was so encouraging to see our Youth present at all the Masses this past weekend and their excitement to be part of something that truly brings our town together. On their behalf, I thank all who donated to assist in illuminated our two campuses for this town wide event.
Cheshire’s Lights of Hope is one night a year when we truly break down all barriers and come together as one united community. Lighting up our campuses, your homes, and our town on the same evening creates a vivid image of a brighter world that is possible, a world where we can actually move beyond what divides us and focus on what unites us. Thank you for your generosity in helping our youth participate in this important event.
UPDATE ON ST. BRIDGET SCHOOL…I am so pleased with how the school year is progressing. YES, things are a bit different this school year to say the least. But our phenomenal faculty and staff have made the start of this school year one for the books. With the great Return to In-Person Instruction Strategy, the updates to our ventilation system, the access to the sprawling campus for outdoor time (masks breaks as we call it), and the cooperation of our faculty, staff, and students, we are indeed having a successful start to the school year.
Things are different but everyone is adapting to the best of our abilities to ensure we have a successful year of learning. Since the start of the school year we have welcomed almost 20 additional students to our school family. Will your child(ren) be next?
IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO register your child at St. Bridget School! WE HAVE OPEN ENROLLMENT and space available for your child. We especially have openings in our Pre-K and Kindergarten programs.
If you want your child to be “in” school in a safe and nurturing environment focused on educating the whole child, then St. Bridget School is the place for you. I do hope you would come for a tour and see all that we have in store for the new academic year. I want every family to consider St. Bridget School as an option for you and your children.
CHECK OUT OUR NEW AND IMPROVED SCHOOL WEBSITE…I am so excited about the redesigned school website. I was blown away, as they say, the other day when I needed to get some information for a prospective family and I took out my iPhone and brought up the school website and it was different. Now, before you think well certainly Father Romans knew they were working on the website, and yes you are correct I knew work had begun but I had no idea it was so far along. The new site is truly amazing. It is so much more user-friendly than before and has phenomenal visuals of all that makes St. Bridget School the awesome and amazing learning environment it has become. Please check it out and learn more about our mission, our return to school plan, our Pre-K program, and so much more. Visit https://www.stbridgetschool.org/. Please contact our Admissions Director, Mrs. Christina Cummings, or our Principal, Dr. Nancy Testa, at the school office at 203.272.5860 for more information or to schedule a tour.
November is coming and it is the month when we pay particular attention to the souls of our faithful departed, and we commemorate All Souls’ Day on November 2nd. As we have done in previous years, throughout the month of November we will place the All Souls’ Day envelopes (included in your offertory envelope package or available at the doors of the Church) 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. All Souls envelopes may be returned by mail, dropped off at the rectory, or placed in the collection baskets. If you give online and you wish to contribute that way then I invite you to email the list of names of your beloved dead you want prayed for firstname.lastname@example.org and we will print them and place them on the altar.
Each year when we celebrate All Souls’ Day and the Solemnity of All Saints the day before on November 1st we are privileged with the opportunity to teach our younger Catholics how special it is that we are united with all those who have gone before us in faith. Explain how in this month of November we unite in a special way, through the Communion of Saints, with our deceased family members and friends as we pray for them and they pray for us. This can be especially helpful to those who are younger and are experiencing a death of a loved one for the first time. A visit to their grave in this month may also provide a teaching moment as well as a moment of prayer.
We also want to remember in a special way our parishioners who have died throughout the past year. Due to COVID 19 our commemoration of their souls will be at ALL Masses the weekend of November 1st. A list of those who have died will appear in our parish bulletin October 31/November 1 and a candle will be lit that weekend for their memory at all the Masses.
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. 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.
A reminder from last week’s article:
WE WANT YOUR APPETIZER 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 looking for your favorite APPETIZER recipes. Send in those family specialties to:
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.
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.