Updated: Jan 9
Dear Friends in Christ:
UPDATE ON the Church of the Epiphany—as you know from the reading of the Canonical Statement a couple of weekends ago and from information in the local newspapers, we are in the process of selling the Church of the Epiphany. It was determined months ago by our Parish Finance Council and our Trustees, and with consultation from our Parish Pastoral Council, that we could see no long term need for a third campus in our parish family. I realize, I do, that this may be hard for our parishioners who used to worship there and who called that Church building their spiritual home. I realize that the grief you have already gone through may come to the forefront once again and I promise you my prayers.
While we do have a very interested buyer I was hesitant to address this matter prior. That being said, I am well aware that the potential buyer did an interview with the Meriden newspaper and that many of you saw that. I AM SORRY you heard this information from the newspaper and not from your Pastor. I was advised not to say anything publicly until we were ready for the closing. I am sure you know from selling your own home a potential buyer is not always the one who eventually sits at the table at the closing so we did not want to get ahead of ourselves.
I am pleased that this potential buyer is another congregation that shares our belief in Jesus Christ. The Coptic Orthodox Church traces its roots back to Saint Mark the Evangelist. They are an Ancient Christian Church who believe God revealed Himself to us in Three Distinct and yet United Persons, they too believe in Scripture and Tradition, and hold belief in the Sacraments. The head of their church is the Patriarch of Alexandria of the Holy See of Saint Mark. So they do not recognize the Holy Father, Pope Francis. They split from the rest of Christianity after the Council of Chalcedon in 451AD. The Coptic language is the universal language of Coptic churches in every country.
Again, I remind you, we are simply in contract with this particular church. No closing date is set yet. I also must acknowledge that there have been a lot of comments made about this potential sale on the Community Forum of Facebook. It is unfortunate that some would put information on this Forum that is wrong. It is also disappointing to see people use this Forum to instigate anger and hatred. PLEASE think before you type. This is sound advice for all of us! Some of the things I read on that Forum are so mean spirited. Regarding the information in relation to this sale of the Church of the Epiphany I promise you will hear it directly from me here in this article or from the pulpit. Do not think that just because someone posts something on the Facebook Community Forum that it is valid. As always, if you have a question about something please contact me directly.
LENT IS ONLY A WEEK AND A HALF AWAY! The Pastoral Staff has been preparing for a busy Lent. We really have prayed about what our theme should be and what Lent offers to the soul.
Our theme this year is Encounter Christ #prayfastgive. The themes we will work on communicating through homilies, programs, and activities will be the 4 R’s of Lent: Renew, Reflect, Respond, and Repent.
HERE IS SOME OF WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT THIS LENT, in addition to regularly scheduled Masses and activities:
Weekly Confessions in Saint Bridget Church on Monday mornings from 7:30-8:30a.m. Please note this is in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Hartford and the Lenten Confession Program. We will also hold an evening of Confessions later in Lent.
Stations of the Cross…every Friday at Saint Thomas Becket Church at 3:30p.m. and at Saint Bridget Church at 7p.m.
Lenten Suppers…Every Friday evening of Lent from 5-7p.m., a Lenten meal is prepared at Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish Center. Menu always includes Pasta with sauce, salad, bread, a variety of soups each week, beverages and so much more. Cost is $10 per adult, $5 children and seniors, and $25 max per family.
A Lenten Evening of Reflection for ALL parishioners…on the evening of Tuesday, March 12th the Pastoral Staff will, once again, lead an evening of reflection. We will begin with a Pasta Dinner at 5:30 pm cooked by our Cheshire Knights of Columbus, which will be followed by presentations and age-appropriate activities for adults and children! There will be an adult presentation, presentation for High School Students, as well as various presentations with activities for children in various age groupings.
The Little Black Books…next weekend and on Ash Wednesday at the doors of the churches you will find the Little Black Books for your use each day of Lent with a short reflection for your prayer time. Be sure to take one!
Our Weekly Corporal Works of Mercy…see below…
We as a parish family of Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish will focus in a special and meaningful way on the Corporal Works of Mercy during the weeks of Lent. It will be an opportunity for us as a family of faith to reach out to others with the mercy and love of God and to fulfill the call of Pope Francis to be instruments of mercy in the lives of others.
We have developed a program that will run from the First Sunday of Lent right through Easter. Each week, at both of our church campuses, we will be focusing on a particular Corporal Work of Mercy and we invite you all to participate.
Weekend of March 9 & 10—Feed the Hungry
non-perishable food items for the Cheshire Community Food Pantry
Weekend of March 16 & 17—Give drink to the Thirsty
beverages (water, juice, coffee, etc.) for the Cheshire Community Food Pantry
Weekend of March 23 & 24—Clothe the naked
new (WHITE) socks for the Saint Vincent DePaul Shelter in Waterbury or onesies for use at Carolyn’s Place
Weekend of March 30 & 31—Shelter the Homeless
a monetary collection for the Saint Vincent DePaul Shelter in Waterbury
Weekend of April 6 & 7—Visit the Sick
children of the parish are asked to make Easter cards to be given to those in skilled nursing facilities or our homebound parishioners
Weekend of April 13 & 14—Palm Sunday—Visit the imprisoned
the chaplains in our prison ministry in the Archdiocese ask that we collect Good News Bibles and Pocket Dictionaries for use in prison ministry…you can purchase these at any retailer or on Amazon
Weekend of April 20 & 21—Easter Sunday—Bury the Dead
as we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus, we remember our loved ones who have gone before us in faith. May they share in His Resurrection!
As always, remember to pray for our parish families 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.