Dear Friends in Christ:
This week we celebrate a special feast in the life of the Church: The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (known in the former version of the Roman Missal as the “Triumph of the Cross”). This feast is celebrated on the 14th of September every year, so it is this coming Monday!
During the Fourth Century St. Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, traveled to Jerusalem to visit the many holy sites in the life of Christ. While she was there, Helena began the process of having a church built over the traditional site of the Lord’s burial place, the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. While excavating, the workers unearthed three crosses believed to be those of Christ and the two thieves crucified with him. Tradition has it that the true cross of Christ was identified when it was touched to a dying woman who was then miraculously healed. The cross immediately became a relic of veneration.
On Good Fridays, the wood of the cross would be removed from its reliquary, placed on a table, and all the people would pass by the cross, bow, touch the cross with their foreheads and eyes, and then kiss the cross before continuing on. This tradition of venerating the “wood of the cross” continues in our Good Friday liturgy to this day.
Because the cross is the instrument through which Christ won salvation for us, it is honored each year in this special feast of the Church on September 14th, the anniversary of the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem where the true cross was discovered.
On this Feast we think of how the Cross is and always has been a symbol of such significant meaning for Catholics and for all Christians alike. It holds such significance because it represents the Cross of Jesus Christ where He gave everything that He had for the sins of mankind and He willingly laid down His life for us.
The cross means a number of things for us as Catholic Christians, here are a few reflections:
1. It is a confession of faith. When we make the sign of the Cross we are visibly expressing our belief in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
2. It is also a reminder of baptism. Baptism for us as Catholics is the sacrament that signifies death and rebirth, like what Christ Himself did on the cross.
3. It is a mark of discipleship. It comes from the scriptures when we are told by Jesus Himself, “if anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”
4. It is a symbol of Christ’s ownership. For us as Catholics, the cross stands for belonging to and obeying God and His will in our lives.
5. It is a defense against evil. Making the sign of the cross is showing the Evil One that we are owned willingly by God and that He alone is our protector.
6. It is a sign of triumph over temptations. The temptations of life, such as anger, greed, lust and fear, can all be conquered and destroyed through the cross.
7. Ultimately it is a sign of love. The cross is the greatest symbol of love the world will ever know. Christ willingly gave Himself up for our sins.
Saint Pope John Paul II once asked a group of children if they knew the first letter of God's alphabet. They of course said "a." But the pope replied, no, the first letter of God's alphabet is not "a"; it is the cross.
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/
BY THE WAY THIS TUESDAY IS THE LAST CHANCE TO HELP MAKE THIS YEAR’S GOLF TOURNAMENT A SUCCESS FOR OUR PARISH SCHOOL…every bit of help is MOST appreciated!
THIS YEAR MORE THAN EVER, DUE TO COVID-19, WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT OF OUR PARISH SCHOOL. One of the ways you can help is to support the upcoming 7th Annual St. Bridget School Golf Tournament on Monday, September 21st, at the Waterbury Country Club. This is one of the two major fundraisers for our parish school, please consider assisting us in any way you can.
Here are a number of ways you can assist us:
1. YOU can consider sponsoring our event. If you own a business or work for one who supports local charities, consider asking them to be a sponsor or put an ad in our ad book for the tournament (we expect a pretty full field and additional people to attend the dinner following the tournament which means these booklets will be dispersed to a good number of friends from the greater Cheshire area). We really could use as many sponsors as possible…sponsorships make the tournament a success. https://stbridgetschool.ejoinme.org/Golf2020
2. YOU can join us! We have available spots for golfers ($200 per golfer/$750 per foursome), and if you don’t golf you can still get in on the fun by getting some friends together to come for a nice dinner that evening and support our parish school by your participation at this event and your opportunity to win a raffle prize. Cost for dinner only option is only $50 per person.
3. YOU can donate an item for our raffle. We are in need of a variety of items for the raffle which is held during the dinner at the tournament. Items such as a grill, a big screen television, foursomes to local golf courses, any electronic equipment from entertainment to home improvement, gift cards to local restaurants, bottles of wine or spirits, or anything your creative minds can come up with. Items can be dropped off to the school office or rectory office any day during the week, or in the sacristy at Mass on the weekend. Please be sure your name is on it so we may properly thank you!
ANY AND ALL information including registration forms and sponsorship forms can be found online at https://stbridgetschool.ejoinme.org/Golf2020. Thank you for whatever you can do to assist our parish school in this important fundraising effort.
A CHANGE IN MASS SCHEDULE IS COMING!!!
I know that the word CHANGE conjures up many emotions. We have certainly dealt with our fair share of change in these last few months as we deal with this pandemic. But the change we are announcing today is a good change. It indicates more people are coming to Mass and it is our way of accommodating more people for the celebration of the Eucharist!
Due to the number of people signing up each week this past month, and mindful that those were still summer weeks, we have decided to add a Mass, but doing so will require a few changes on the part of all of us.
We have had over 90 people at almost every Mass over the past three weeks and we are only allowed 100 people according to the State Guidelines dealing with COVID-19. And since next weekend, SEPTEMBER 20th, we would normally add a Mass anyway with the usual 4PM Mass on Sunday afternoons, we have decided to add a Mass to the morning schedule beginning next SUNDAY.
The new schedule will now be as follows:
Saturday at 4PM and 5PM
Sunday at 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11AM
How can this possibly work? It can. But only with your help and your patience. Since we are limited to no congregational singing due to the pandemic, we have noticed that Mass is taking about 30-35 minutes. It then takes about 5 minutes for our amazing volunteers to sanitize the church, and then 10 minutes for the chemical to do its work. That means we can open the doors between quarter of and ten of the hour for people to find their seats and say their pre-Mass prayers. WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PERMIT PEOPLE INSIDE THE CHURCH UNTIL SUCH TIME…please be understanding of this during this time. We cannot wait until the pandemic is over and we can have more people at a Mass than the limited number of 100. SO AS THINGS CHANGE, we will accommodate our schedule as well. SO STAY TUNED.
What will this mean for intentions? Father what about my intention for my mother for the 7:30AM Mass? Below is a chart to help you figure this out.
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.