Updated: Jan 9
Dear Friends in Christ:
Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, otherwise known as Corpus Christi Sunday.
This Feast goes back to the 13th century, but it celebrates something far older: the institution of the Sacrament of Holy Communion at the Last Supper. It is the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ—which we celebrate each time we come together for Mass—that provides us the grace and strength we need to live as followers of Christ in our world. We know that during the persecutions of the early Church, the disciples would meet in the Catacombs to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because the Eucharist was the source of their strength to remain steadfast in their newfound faith.
And so for us today the Eucharist, the Mass, is the very center of our lives as Catholic Christians; it is the source and summit of our Christian life. At Mass we are fed with the Word of God and nourished by the Body and Blood of Christ so that we can go forth glorifying the Lord by our lives, and announcing the Gospel in our own words and deeds. Take away the Mass and we lose our identity—it is the source and summit of our lives as Catholic Christians. May we recognize the great gift the Eucharist is in our lives and may we always hunger for this food!
The Archdiocesan Synod is really moving full steam ahead. As you are aware, in addition to my duties as your Pastor I am also charged with being the Secretary for the Archdiocesan Synod. It has been ages since I have provided you with an update and so here it is. After months and months of listening sessions throughout the Archdiocese, the Synod Preparatory Commission finally established the main themes we will be addressing at the Synod meeting.
Encountering Christ—here will be addressed the personal conversion needed as followers of Christ. There will be a real focus on the Liturgy and devotional life as well.
Becoming Missionary Disciples—here will be addressed the need for formation as disciples. There will be a real focus on vocations, and faith formation of clergy and laity.
Sent on Mission—here will be addressed the topic of evangelization. There will be a real focus on the proclamation of the Gospel, using the tools of today for effectively communicating the Gospel, and the outreach ministry of the Church.
Collaborating in the local Church—here will be addressed a clear understanding of what it means to be members of the Church of the Archdiocese of Hartford. There will be a real focus on moving beyond parochialism, coordinating and collaborating ministries in the face of pastoral planning, and finding communion in our diversity.
We also were blessed with two extraordinary days of formation for all delegates which we hosted here in the parish. The talks were truly enlightening and engaging. On March 30th we hosted Father Steven Boguslawski, OP, who is Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese and he spoke on what is a synod, why are we having a synod, and what is the role of a delegate. That day we also welcomed Dr. Joan Kelly, a professor in the Catholic Studies Department at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, and she spoke on Connecticut’s Catholic Roots. On June 8th we welcomed Mr. Peter Burak, director of i.d.9:16, a young adult outreach of Renewal Ministries in Michigan, who came to offer two talks; one on the Synod theme of Grow and Go and the other on Discerning the Holy Spirit. All the talks have been made available for you to watch and I recommend that you do! Visit our website at www.growandgo.com to see the videos, you won’t regret it.
As we prepare for the Synod meeting in October we are looking to establish propositions under each of these themes for how we can address these concepts in four ways: as an Archdiocese, as a parish, as a family, and as individuals. It is our hope that these propositions will be very real ways in which we can together Grow as a disciple and Go make disciples! Please pray for the success of this historic Synod!
Foodstock for Kids…The Cheshire Clergy Association is pleased to announce we will be holding our Second Foodstock for Kids on Friday, June 28th from 5-7PM on the Town Green to support the Cheshire Community Food Pantry! The association of clergy here in Cheshire realizes that during the summer months donations to the Cheshire Community Food Pantry decrease due to vacations etc. and so we have decided to host a Town-wide Foodstock for Kids to collect donations of items families will need in the summer while their students are home on vacation from school. We will have live music, games, and a bouncy house on the Town Green. We are looking to collect non-perishable donations of boxed potatoes, fruit snacks, fruit cups, bottled juice, granola bars, Gold Fish, Cheez-Its, sandwich crackers, paper towels, toilet paper, and Kleenex. Come help us FILL THE TRUCK! All are welcome to spend time together on the Green, or simply drive thru and drop off your donation. We appreciate your support!
On Monday evening, June 10th, we gathered together with the Saint Bridget of Sweden Women’s Society for the celebration of the Eucharist to give thanks to God for all that the Women’s Society has done this past year and to ask His guidance upon them in the coming years. We then went to The Watch Factory for a dinner with the membership. At this dinner they awarded two $1,500 scholarships to two of our parishioners, Jessica Mollin and Matthew Kaplita. Jessica and Matthew are extraordinary young people! After listening to all that they are involved with, I joked I am not sure how they have time for their studies. Jessica will be attending Endicott College majoring in marketing, and Matthew will be attending the University of Vermont majoring in civil engineering. We wish them both well. Following the scholarships, we inducted the slate of officers for the coming year. We congratulate and promise our prayers to Patti Flynn-Harris, President, to Gail Rogers, Vice-President, to Kathy Kirby, Secretary, and to Kathy Demers, Treasurer.
At the dinner the Women’s Society also made a substantial donation to the parish. I am most grateful to the members of the Women’s Society for this gift. We used part of it to purchase this new Tabor for the Monstrance. A Tabor is the stand on which the Monstrance is placed, named after Mount Tabor the mountain on which the Lord Jesus was transfigured before three of his closest apostles. The Tabor elevates Jesus in the Eucharist, as much as Mount Tabor did, and allows others to see the beauty and glory of God that shines forth from the Eucharistic host. We thank the Women’s Society for this gift and for all that they do! Thank you!
The Saint Bridget of Sweden Men’s Club also gave a scholarship to a parishioner graduating from Cheshire High School and going off to college. Happiest congratulations to Madison Rossi who is this year’s recipient. Again, with all that Madison has been involved with, including serving at Holy Mass almost every weekend, it is hard to imagine she had time to do her studies. But she did and she did extraordinary. We wish her the best of luck as she will be heading off to New Hampshire to attend Saint Anselm College in the Fall. My seminary classmate is a Benedictine monk at Saint Anselm College, in fact his name is Father Anselm, and I told Madison we will be keeping an eye on her through him. I am confident she will exceed in whatever she does. God’s blessings.
We are holding another poster contest! This time we are looking for students of all ages to design our parish Christmas card. We invite all school aged children to think of Christmas and send us their design. The winner’s artwork will be the cover of our parish Christmas card which is sent to all parishioners and friends of Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish. All artwork must be submitted to the rectory by June 30th for consideration! We look forward to many submissions!
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.