Updated: Jan 9
Dear Friends in Christ:
A GIFT FROM GOD! The day that God gave us to celebrate as a parish family was truly a gift! The Parish Picnic was simply amazing thanks to the beautiful day, the organizers, the volunteers, and each and every parishioner who came to be together for a day of faith, food, fellowship, and fun!
It is one of my favorite days of the year. As your Pastor, it warms my heart to see our parishioners coming together in such large numbers, to see people enjoying the afternoon on our parish grounds, to witness firsthand old friendships renewed and new friendships made, and to see our young people so excited whether at the bouncy houses or under the arts and crafts tent. I love seeing everyone enjoying themselves and building up our parish family!
It was so wonderful to see the younger families spread out throughout the field with the children enjoying the bouncy houses, the corn hole game, face-painting, arts and crafts, other sporting games, and just enjoying being together on the field. That is what it is all about! We can learn so much from how our younger parishioners come together and have fun, can’t we?
Likewise it was a joy to see some of our “more seasoned” parishioners enjoying their meals under the big tent and being entertained by the DJ and of course the Cupcake Contest! Father Federico said he will NEVER eat another cupcake, but we all know that he will!
Here are some comments from those who attended:
One parishioner told me the other night at another event, “Thank you Father for the Parish Picnic. You know I was there eating with my wife and ran into some longtime friends. I didn’t even know they were parishioners! It was great to catch up.”
One of our volunteers said, “What a great turnout it was with lots of smiles and people connecting with one another. It’s events like this that make me proud to be part of such a vibrant parish family.”
One of our older parishioners told me at Mass the next day that she “couldn’t get over how many young families are in our parish and what a joy it was to see the kids having so much fun at their church.”
One of our younger parishioners who is also a student in our parish school said, “Father this is the best day ever! I got my face painted and then played all afternoon with my friends on the field and in the bouncy house. We should do this every week!”
It may have been a hot day to be out in the sun, just ask those who got sunburned!, but everyone seemed so happy to gather together and grow together as one family of faith, and we certainly benefitted from the gift of that day!
A huge thank you to Rebecca and Barry Berkowitz, Tracy and Vito Catalanotto, and Patty & Larry Richard our General Co-Chairs of this AMAZING Parish Picnic. (Pictured here) I am sure I speak for all of us when I say THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK, DEDICATION OF TIME, AND TREMENDOUS ORGANIZATION OF OUR PARISH PICNIC. It ran so smoothly. Words can never fully express our gratitude for all that you have done to organize such an amazing parish building event, but THANK YOU!
Thank you to the countless volunteers who labored over the past few weeks and most recently last weekend to make it all happen. So many people were involved in so many different ways, over 100 VOLUNTEERS plus our High School volunteers in the bright shirts, to bring about such a huge undertaking, and thanks to each and every one of them and their efforts the picnic was not only a success but it ran so smoothly!
A big thank you to the Committee Chairs who planned and prepared for our picnic:
Clean-up Committee—Manuel Ribeiro and Sal Dominello
Cupcake Contest—Madelyn Banti and Tina Poet
Decorating Committee—Krista Ostuno
Kid’s Activities Committee—Stacey and Shawn Simpson
Grilling Committee—Tom Burkhard and James Gragnano
Kitchen/Serving Committee—Patti Flynn-Harris who organized a huge team of volunteers and worked so well all weekend assisting Jeff Strange, our Chef Extraordinaire, without whom we would never be able to do this!
Parking Committee—Knights of Columbus
Picture Committee—Rick Ciaburri
Set-up Committee—Alison McCormack and Matt Poet
Welcoming Committee and 50/50 Raffle—Mary Beth Chamberlain and Jill Hale
Youth Committee—Sal Dominello
Special Gratitude as well to our Musicians!!! Thank you to Mrs. Julia Atwood, our Director of Music, who coordinated such a large effort bringing together all musicians from our parish and school to make joyful song in praise of our Lord. Thanks to Kathy Mahmood, Alan Smith, David Caldarella, Rachel Nott, our Children’s Choir, our School Chorus, our Adult Choirs, the Folk Group, and the many instrumentalists from our parish and school who joined in offering the music for our outdoor Mass! It was such a special treat to see all the musicians working together to lead us in song, your talents provided us with such a prayerful and powerful experience, thank you!
Thank you, thank you, thank you to the many, many people who assisted in any and every way that day to help make it a success! Your kindness and generosity made it all possible. Thank you! A list of those individuals and companies that helped defray the costs of the picnic will appear in next weekend’s bulletin as it was not prepared in time for this printing.
It is with great joy that we welcome to our Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish Family Victoria Clarizio. Victoria joins our parish staff as the new Administrative Assistant for Communications. Victoria earned her Bachelor of Social Work from Marywood University in Scranton, PA, and her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University. She has extensive experience in communications working for Marywood University’s Wood Word Newspaper, and on the editorial staff at CausewayLit Magazine in Fairfield. She most recently was serving at Imago Dei Classical Academy in New Britain teaching academic writing, coordinating social media, and offering general administrative support. Victoria also spent four years discerning a call to Religious Life with the Franciscan Sisters, TOR, of Penance of the Sorrowful Mother in Steubenville, Ohio.
We are thrilled to welcome Victoria, and see her love for learning and her passion for the faith shine through her work helping us to utilize the media of today to spread the Good News. Welcome Victoria!
ABOVE ALL, please 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.