Updated: Jan 9, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ:
Happy Feast Day! TUESDAY is the Feast Day of our Patroness Saint Bridget of Sweden! Saint Bridget of Sweden, also written Saint Birgitta, was a mystic and saint. She was the foundress of the Bridgettines nuns and monks. According to Saint John Paul II, Saint Bridget of Sweden “was a master in accepting the Cross as a central experience of the faith, she was an exemplary disciple of the Church, professing complete Catholicism; she was a model of the contemplative and active life and a tireless apostle in the search for unity among Christians!” As we celebrate the feast day of our Patroness, let us implore her intercession as we continue to grow as disciples of the Lord as a family of faith under her patronage. Saint Bridget of Sweden pray for us! Happy Feast Day!
I ask you to think about coming to Daily Mass or Adoration during the quiet time of Summer…as Catholics our lives are centered on the Eucharist, the real and true presence of Jesus, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. In these quiet days, or somewhat more calm days of summer, I am asking every parishioner to consider coming to daily Mass (Daily Mass is normally 20-25 minutes in length). Perhaps you can come one day a week during the summer as a family, or maybe you can come more often on your own, or perhaps you can come on Friday afternoons and spend some time in quiet prayer before the Eucharistic Lord during Adoration (every Friday 1PM-4PM in Saint Bridget Church).
Each of these will be an opportunity for you to teach your children the importance of the Eucharist in our lives as Catholics and the importance of gathering as a family of faith around the table of the Lord to give Him thanks for His countless blessings. If you are a daily Mass participant, thank you for recognizing the importance of the Eucharist in your lives; if you are not, please consider coming even one day a week to be nourished by the Savior, and to give glory to God.
Updates on what is happening around our campuses…
Last Fall I asked all families in our parish to make a commitment to our parish family through the Annual Family Commitment to help us address some projects that needed to be addressed sooner rather than later. I am MOST grateful to the 825 families who made a commitment which totaled $275,903.52. That is extraordinary!
This generous response made it possible for us to address the projects as outlined in that letter.
New carpeting at both campuses! These past couple of weeks saw the carpet installers putting new carpet in Saint Bridget Church. I am so pleased with the carpet we chose as it goes very well with the terrazzo floor. I hope you like it too!
This past week saw the carpet replaced in the Education Wing at the Saint Thomas Becket Church Campus. Thanks to your generosity, we planned to address this issue quickly. During our annual insurance inspection it was noted as a high priority to replace this carpet because it had tears in various spots which posed a tripping hazard. You can see one example of this in the photo on the left, taken from the hallway in the education wing.
The carpet in the Church at our Saint Thomas Becket Campus will be replaced the week of July 29 through August 2. I cannot wait to see the new carpeting projects completed.
Prior to addressing the need for a fresh coat of paint at Saint Thomas Becket Church and the need for some repairs to the wood exterior of that building, we had to address the underground oil tank. As you may remember, the State of Connecticut has been performing surprise visits to properties that have an underground tank in an effort to get them all removed. This happened to a number of town properties last year, if I remember correctly. Well, we had an underground oil tank at the Saint Thomas Becket Campus, and it happened to be located in the back of the Church building right along the sidewalk. In this picture you can see that the ground is readied for new grass where the tank has been removed. You can also see that we are brightening up the exterior of our Church building with a lighter color on the trim. We have staff down there daily getting the trim work done and noting where repairs are needed to the wood exterior. This will be a longer process, but it will look very nice when done. I am so grateful to our Facilities and Grounds Staff and the Facilities and Grounds Committee for all that they are doing to address these projects.
We also mentioned in the Annual Family Commitment letter in 2018 that we have some gutter issues on Saint Bridget Church building which need to be repaired before the ice comes. During the time we began to address the gutter issues, it was brought to my attention that we also have an issue with some leaking in the closets in the choir loft. Not completely understanding what was being described to me, I ventured up on the roof with some of our staff and a contractor. Yes I was on the roof, not something I enjoyed, by the way, but it was necessary to understand what was happening. I had to see it with my own eyes. Here is a picture I took that shows what the issue is with that part of our Church building. There are literally pieces of the brick simply able to be pulled off with your bare hand. We need to repoint the bricks on the center section of the front of the Church. The rest of the Church building is fine, with regard to the mortar, but this section is not. It had been patched but not with the right material and so the matter has been made all the more serious. It is clear that this project and the gutter issues must be addressed before too long. We are currently in the process of securing three bids from masonry companies to correct this issue. Once that is decided upon, we will begin to solicit the necessary bids to address the gutter issues to ensure it is completed before winter.
All of these projects are made possible thanks to YOU and your great generosity to our parish family. Thank you!
In addition to these projects…some have noticed that we are having some work done in the rectory. In fact the first few days it looked like a slide was being installed on the side of the rectory, and I joked that it was going to be the way Father Federico could get in and out of the house. In fact, it is a remodeling of my bathroom which for a number of years has been in desperate need of repair. After months and months of consultation, it was determined by the Parish Finance Council to address this bathroom before it got worse. There were days in the past year as I was shaving in the morning, be it half awake, some of the tiles would fall off the wall around the medicine cabinet and crash into the sink or on my vanity, and yes one even hit me in the head as I was looking down into the sink. Time had come to address this issue, and I am grateful to the Parish Finance Council for putting this cost into our annual budget for 2019. The work is slated to be completed by the end of July. I am looking forward to that date as is Fenway (who is so confused each day now that we are living in the guestroom during the construction phase). Again, my gratitude to you for your understanding of the necessity of this project. It was not a cosmetic thing that could have waited; it had become a necessary item to address as soon as possible as you can see in the photo. Here is a picture of my vanity to show you where the tiles had fallen off around the medicine cabinet and to the left of the vanity along the top of the tiled section.
DON’T FORGET that the THIRD Annual Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish Family Picnic will be held on September 15, 2019, beginning with an outdoor Mass at 11 a.m. on the field behind Saint Bridget School. Thank you to our co-chairs Tracey and Vito Catalanotto, Rebecca and Barry Berkowitz, and Patty and Larry Richard who are working non-stop in preparation for this event. More details will be coming in the very near future, but I do hope you will SAVE THE DATE and plan to be with us for this annual parish family event. I am so grateful to the many parishioners who have stepped up to chair one of the sub-committees and to the countless people who have offered to help on the day of the event.
Please note that this picnic will NOT COST attendees anything. As we do each year, we are in the process of soliciting donations of items, and financial support from local businesses and business leaders to help defray the cost to our parish. If you or someone you know might be willing to assist us with a donation, please contact me at the rectory. Thank you for all that you do to make our parish a vibrant family of faith.
As always, remember to pray for vocations, pray for our young people, pray for our parish families and ask God’s blessings as we strive to 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.