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Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time—February 3, 2019

Updated: Jan 9, 2020

Dear Friends in Christ:

As you can imagine, preaching for Father O’Neill and I is one of the joys of our ministry to God’s people. I know that we both take it very seriously day after day and week after week. Last weekend for me was perhaps one of the hardest homilies I have ever had to give but it needed to be given. As the dark cloud of sexual abuse of minors by clergy continues to hang over our beloved church I, and Father O’Neill, felt it was necessary to speak about it directly.

The Scripture readings really provided us a basis from which to bring this message home. Remember as Saint Paul said in the reading from Corinthians, “as a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ…and…if one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it.” There are many who are suffering, be they victims of abuse, their families, those of us attempting to serve the church today as priests, and those who love and serve our beloved church throughout the world. There is so much pain and anger, disappointment and embarrassment.

Remember what I said in my homily and Father O’Neill said in his, the work of renewal in our church has to begin with each and every one of us living authentic Christian lives. The work of renewal in our beloved church has to begin in living lives that are pleasing to the Lord. We owe the Lord nothing less than striving to live out His way of life in our own day to day lives. I am convinced that the Spirit of God will work through you to renew the Church, and through the Church to renew the face of the earth!

These days are indeed very difficult and challenging for all of us as members of the Catholic Church. My friends, these are difficult days for Father O’Neill and I as well, and we ask for your prayers for us and we promise you our prayers daily! Further, to any parishioner who may be a victim survivor of abuse by a member of the clergy, we offer you our apology! We are sorry for what you endured and perhaps continue to endure. It is a cause of profound sorrow. We pray in a special way for you.

The Cold Season is upon us both in terms of weather and in terms of the number of people coming down with some sort of a cold. Please remember a couple of things:

1. As we announced in January, at this time we have suspended distribution of the Communion Cup at all Masses. The Connecticut Department of Public Health established that the Influenza Activity is NOW widespread in the State of Connecticut. Therefore, at this time, I have decided that it would be prudent to suspend the distribution of the Communion Cup until such time that it appears the flu outbreak is over.

2. Other precautions for you to consider during this time include:

a. If you are ill or suspect you are ill with a contagious illness, please stay home and watch the Mass on television. You can get the local Mass from the Office of Radio and Television on WTXX(Channel 10 or 11 on most providers) and also on EWTN.

b. Perhaps not hold hands with those around you during the Lord’s Prayer.

c. At the Sign of Peace consider a verbal greeting to those around you, or exchange peace with a bow or wave instead of a handshake.

DON’T FORGET YOU CAN HELP OUR PARISH SCHOOL…a reminder that we NEED YOUR HELP to make our Annual School Auction a success…This is the MAJOR fundraiser of the year and we need your support and help!

1. You can mark your calendars and plan to join us at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville on Friday, March 1st, 2019, for a great night of food and fellowship as well as the chance to win a raffle item, or an auction item.

2. You can place an ad in the evening’s program book or become a sponsor. Ads run anywhere between $50-550 and the sponsorships costs between $500-5,000.

3. You can donate an item for the silent or live auction, such as sporting event tickets, theatre tickets, bikes, grills, jewelry, televisions or electronics of all kinds, golf foursomes to local golf courses or Country Clubs, overnight stays to a nice place, or any item you think will solicit support for our school.

For more information about the auction or to sponsor us, please visit the school’s website at

Italy! So many have commented that they are excited we are planning a pilgrimage to Italy. And yet there is still room! Want to join us? We are going October 1-10, 2019 to visit the Almalfi Coast and Rome! We will be seeing a lot during these days! We will visit the Floral Gardens of Caesar Augustus in Capri, the Saint Andrew Cathedral along the Amalfi Coast, the excavations in Pompeii, the sites of the life of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio). We will also visit Lanciano, a town most noted for the Eucharistic Miracle which became the foundation for the Feast of Corpus Christi. Finally, we will spend a couple of days in Rome, the Eternal City, where we will see the Vatican Museums, Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Catacombs, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and more including plans for the weekly Papal Audience on Wednesday in Saint Peter’s Square.

This pilgrimage includes round-trip air from JFK, four-star hotels in Sorrento, San Giovanni Rotondo, and Rome, 6 dinners, breakfast daily, English-speaking licensed tour escort throughout, private motorcoach transportation, Daily Mass, and more. Cost per person in double occupancy is $3,779.00. Space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Initial deposit of $500 is due at time of registration. To register, please call Candy at Elite Travel at 203-271-0623 AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I hope you will join us!

Finally, I ask for your prayers for my project that I am working on for the Archdiocese. The Synod 2020: Grow and Go is gearing up and running full steam at this point. It is both exciting and stressful but I do believe that the Lord will work through the Archdiocesan Synod to put our Archdiocesan family of faith on the right path for a future filled with life, love, and faithful discipleship.

Please join me in prayer for the success of this Synod. Here is the Synod Prayer which Archbishop Blair wrote for our Synod which I hope you will say with me as often as you can:

Lord Jesus Christ, in the Gospel we hear the voice of the Father telling us to listen to you. It is your voice that we heed. It is your way that we follow. It is your Spirit who leads us into all the truth. Look kindly upon your Church in the Archdiocese of Hartford and upon the work of our Archdiocesan Synod. We pray that through the Synod our souls may be stirred and our hearts set on fire in order to bring new energy and zeal to the mission of our local Church. May the Synod inspire us to missionary discipleship, so that filled with the faith and boldness of the Apostles and first Christians, we may draw others to you and to your body and bride, the Church. At Pentecost Mary your Mother joined the Apostles in imploring the gift of the Holy Spirit. By her prayers, and those of her spouse, Saint Joseph, our Patron, may the same Holy Spirit inspire and direct us and the work of our Synod. Through you, Lord Jesus, we give glory to the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

As always, remember to pray for our parish family 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.

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