Dear Friends in Christ:
This past week, the State of Connecticut announced a move to Phase Three of reopening beginning October 8th which includes expanding the number permitted for indoor religious services to 50% capacity or 200, whichever is less. For us that means we can now have 200 people at every Mass! This is exciting news! And as I said the weekend in early September when I announced an additional Mass, all COVID-19 related things are constantly changing and we will continue to adjust based on the guidelines issued from the State and from the Archdiocese.
Therefore, we will reconfigure the pews to accommodate this change and we will adjust the Mass schedule. In the beginning of reopening we permitted extra space between the rows, certainly more than the required amount, as a means of being overly cautious and safe. Now with this change, we are going to open every other pew, which still permits proper social distancing.
WITH PHASE THREE COMES A CHANGE IN MASS SCHEDULE BEGINNING OCTOBER 10 & 11!!!
I know that the word CHANGE conjures up many emotions. We have certainly dealt with our fair share of change in these last few months as we deal with this pandemic.
I am SO grateful to Lynn Krieg and Jim Mitchell, Co-Chairs of our Parish Pastoral Council for all that they have been doing to assist us in this process of reopening!
As you can imagine with everything constantly in flux to have two people there to assist in making the necessary decisions really has been a true blessing. Their input and counsel have been a source of great inspiration to me! I am so grateful to them also for all the coordination they are doing to ensure we have enough volunteers at each Mass, to ensure we are adhering to the State Guidelines and the Archdiocesan Guidelines, and to ensure we are keeping a safe environment for all who come to Mass.
The new schedule will now be as follows:
Saturday at 4PM and 5:15PM
Sunday at 7, 8, 9, 10:30AM, and 12 Noon
How can this possibly work? It can but only WITH YOUR PATIENCE AND HELP!
Since we are still limited to no congregational singing due to the pandemic, we have noticed that Mass is taking about 30-35 minutes. It then takes about 5 minutes for our amazing volunteers to sanitize the church, and then 10 minutes for the chemical to do its work. That means we can open the doors between quarter of and ten of the hour for people to find their seats and say their pre-Mass prayers. WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PERMIT PEOPLE INSIDE THE CHURCH UNTIL SUCH TIME…please be understanding of this during this time.
With NO MUSIC at the 7 & 8 this enables us to continue the close proximity of those Masses with the 9 and then we have factored in additional time for sanitizing between the Masses with music.
What will this mean for intentions? Father, what about my intention for my mother for the 7:30AM Mass? See the chart below to help you figure this out.
We ask all who attend Mass here at Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish either weekday or weekend to continue to make a reservation online through our SignUpGenius available through our website at www.stbridgetcheshire.org, or by calling the parish office to have one of our staff members assist you in signing up in advance, enter by the front door or south door entrances only to check in, and that while in church PLEASE REMEMBER masks must be worn, especially now that we will a bit closer together than before.
Again, we ask that there be no congregational singing, and that when approaching for communion we would keep masks on, approach single file via the center aisle, remain six feet distant in the communion line from those not in our household, and receive communion in the hand, stepping to the side to briefly lower one’s mask to consume the host, then repositioning the mask and returning to one’s seat via the side aisle.
Also, just by way of reminder when receiving the host in the hand, please place one hand on top of the other, keeping the palm fully open, and waiting for the priest or extraordinary minister of Holy Communion to place the host in your hand before moving. Please do not cup your hand, try to take the host between your fingers from the minister, or move quickly. We have to do our part to avoid contact with the communion minister.
Donations for the collections may be put in the corresponding offering baskets on the communion rail (they are covered with a red cloth) or by using our online giving portal, available on the parish website at www.stbridgetcheshire.org.
Again, I personally thank you all for your flexibility and patience as we navigate these uncharted waters of the pandemic. Let us continue to pray for all those affected by COVID, and those working diligently for treatments, vaccines, and other remedies-physical, financial and emotional-that one day soon we can return to our regular worship practices and daily routines. Finally, if you or someone you know is in need of any assistance during this time, please contact me to let me know so that we may reach out to them with whatever help we may be able to provide. May God continue to bless us all!
Annual Family Commitment 2020…THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! As of Tuesday, September 29th, we have received pledges in the amount of $119,745.00 from 409 of our families representing participation from only 13.2% of our families.
Thank you to those families who have made a commitment to our parish family. As we continue to seek to address major capital projects and ensure our facilities are kept up-to-date we need the help of every family! This year I am personally asking every family to support the 2020 Annual Family Commitment. Your generosity to this year’s collection will help us to address the deterioration of the pews here in Saint Bridget Church (once the pandemic is over), and address some much-needed parking lot repairs and hopefully address some repairs to the West Wall at Saint Thomas Becket Church. These are projects, once again, that simply could not be addressed within the ordinary budget of our parish. Please be as generous as you are able.
Your gift, no matter its size, makes a difference, and 100% of all funds collected will be used here in Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish. We need your help! If you have not given yet please prayerfully consider doing so. Thank you for what you do to make Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish such a phenomenal and vibrant family of faith.
Last Sunday we welcomed the Knights of Columbus Silver Rose to our parish family and it was so nice to come together with so many of you to pray for a greater respect for the sanctity of all human life.
Every stop, at every parish, is an opportunity for Knights, parishioners, and community members to gather in prayer with the Holy Rosary and to pray for a greater respect for human life, for the spiritual renewal of our nation, and for the advancement of devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of America. Thank you to our local council, 2978, for all their efforts in welcoming others to our parish family for such an inspiring celebration!
WITH THE 1st of OCTOBER, this Thursday, ALSO BEGINS RESPECT LIFE MONTH. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has chosen as their theme this year, Live the Gospel of Life. More information can always be found at the website https://www.usccb.org/respectlife.
Some highlights of this coming Respect Life Month include:
1. This year Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish will host the Annual Pro-Life Mass for the Archdiocese on Sunday, October 18th at 2PM, with Archbishop Blair.
2. The 40 Days for Life program is running through November 1st praying for and fasting for an end to abortion. Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish will participate on Saturday, October 17th, from 10am-11am at the Hartford GYN Center at 1 Main Street in Hartford holding a prayerful vigil.
3. October 10th at the Bartlem Park Gazebo will be the Public Square Rosary across from the Cheshire High School from 12Noon to 1PM.
4. Please join us before the Eucharistic Lord on Fridays from 1PM-2PM during our Eucharistic Adoration to join us in praying that He may move the hearts of all to a greater respect for life as we seek to build a culture of life.
This Respect Life Month let each of us call to mind the need to promote a Culture of Life in our families, in our parish, and in the wider community, and let us ask God’s blessings on us as we strive to treat each and every person we meet as the masterpiece that he or she was created to be in His love. May we do all in our power to recognize the truth of His words, and be people who promote a culture of life.
As always, 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.