Dear Friends in Christ:
The Penitential Rite of Mass usually takes one of two forms common to the practice of the liturgy. We typically do one of the following:
1. Pray the Confiteor, which begins, I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned... This is followed by the prayer of absolution by the priest, (although these words lack the efficacy of the sacrament of penance (GIRM 51), they are a fitting reminder that we all seek God’s mercy, especially as we come together to celebrate his sacred mysteries), May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. This then is followed by repeating Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.
2. Pray with a series of invocations addressed to Christ followed by the Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy. The most commonly used is:
You were sent to heal the contrite of heart, Lord, have mercy.
You came to call sinners, Christ, have mercy.
You are seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us, Lord, have mercy.
However, there is another option. I would like us to begin using this option over the next few weeks. It goes like this:
Priest: Brethren (brothers and sisters), let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Priest: Have mercy on us, O Lord.
All: For we have sinned against you.
Priest: Show us, O Lord, your mercy.
All: And grant us your salvation.
Priest: May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
This is a beautiful exchange between the Priest and the People based on the scriptural passages of Baruch 3:2 and Psalm 85:8. Let’s put it into use in the coming weeks and learn another way to acknowledge our sins and our need for God’s mercy!
This past Wednesday the Holy Father, Pope Francis, appealed to all people of goodwill to take any COVID vaccine “authorized by the competent authorities.” Here is the full statement issued:
“In a brotherly spirit, I join in this message of hope for a brighter future. Thanks to God and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from COVID-19. They grant us the hope of ending the pandemic, but only if they are available to all and if we work together.
Being vaccinated with vaccines authorized by the competent authorities is an act of love. And contributing to ensure the majority of people are vaccinated is an act of love. Love for oneself, love for one’s family and friends, love for all people. Love is also social and political, there is social love and political love, it is universal, always overflowing with small gestures of personal charity capable of transforming and improving societies (cf. Laudato si’, no. 231, cf. Fratelli tutti, 184).
Vaccination is a simple but profound way of promoting the common good and caring for each other, especially the most vulnerable. I pray to God that everyone may contribute their own small grain of sand, their own small gesture of love; no matter how small, love is always great. Contribute with these small gestures for a better future. God bless you, and thank you.”
That said, again as I have over the past few months, I urge all who are eligible to be vaccinated to PLEASE GET VACCINATED.
My friends, I know there are a lot of conspiracy theories out there, I know there are a lot of mixed views on the vaccines, I know there is misinformation about Catholic moral teaching, and I know there is hesitation in the minds of even some of you, but I urge you to get the vaccine! I did!
Archbishop Blair has declared in official statement that “Catholics should feel free in good conscience to receive any of the vaccines currently available…for the sake of their own health and the common good.” My friends, all three vaccines have proven to be safe and effective in combating COVID 19, and only by being vaccinated in great numbers will we realize the herd immunity that is essential to ending this pandemic.
So my message to all of you is very simple…it is not a sin to receive any of the vaccines…in fact it is an act of charity that could help protect others whom you encounter each day! Get vaccinated…it is an act of love!
UPDATE ON COVID19 Archdiocesan protocols…For the concern and respect for all Catholics in the Archdiocese of Hartford, Archbishop Blair announced and requested on August 7th, that all those attending Masses and other events be strongly encouraged to resume the wearing of masks due to the rise in the virus infections in our State. I personally think this is a wise and prudent decision and highly recommend ALL to wear a mask.
Important Information…last weekend an announcement was made in Christ the Bread of Life Parish in Hamden that will impact me in the coming weeks. I share the following announcement that will be in their parish bulletin this coming weekend with you so you are aware of this additional responsibility I will have temporarily:
“As was announced by Monsignor Shanley, Vicar for Clergy for the Archdiocese of Hartford, at all the Masses last weekend, our Pastor, Father Anyanwu is on a personal leave.
During this time Father Eduar Gutierrez, from Most Holy Trinity in Wallingford and Our Lady of Fatima in Yalesville, will be in residence here as Temporary Parochial Vicar and attend to the pastoral and sacramental needs of our parishioners. Father Jeffrey Romans, Dean of Deanery #6 and Pastor of Saint Bridget of Sweden in Cheshire, will be the Temporary Administrator and deal with financial and administrative matters. Please pray for our Pastor and for these two priests who are serving us at this time.”
This is meant to be short-termed assignment to assist this parish in a time of need. With Father Eduar there to handle the day-to-day ministry to the parishioners, and with the continued assistance here of Father Federico, I am confident this additional assignment will not effect the quality of ministry you have come to experience and deserve in the weeks ahead.
As you are aware, the parishes of Hamden are currently in the process of merging all into one parish similar to what we did here in Cheshire back in 2017. Please pray for all involved in this process and for the people of Christ the Bread of Life Parish.
SUPPORT OUR PARISH SCHOOL!!! One of the ways you can support our parish school is through the upcoming 8th Annual St. Bridget School Golf Tournament on Monday, September 27th, at the Waterbury Country Club.
This is one of the two major fundraisers for our parish school, please consider assisting us in any way you can.
Here are a number of ways you can assist us:
YOU can consider sponsoring our event. If you own a business or work for one who supports local charities consider asking them to be a sponsor or put an ad in our ad book for the tournament (we expect a pretty full field and additional people to attend the dinner following the tournament which means these booklets will be dispersed to a good number of friends from the greater Cheshire area). We really could use as many sponsors as possible…sponsorships make the tournament a success. https://stbridgetschool.ejoinme.org/Golf2021
YOU can join us! If you golf join us for a day of fun on the course ($225 per golfer/$900 per foursome), and if you don’t golf you can still get in on the fun by getting some friends together to come for a nice dinner that evening and support our parish school by your participation at this event and your opportunity to win a raffle prize. Cost for dinner only option is only $50.
YOU can donate an item for our raffle. We are in need of a variety of items for the raffle, which is held during the dinner at the tournament. Items such as: a grill, a big screen television, foursomes to local golf courses, any electronic equipment from entertainment to home improvement, gift cards to local restaurants, bottles of wine or spirits, or anything your creative minds can come up with. Items can be dropped off to the school office or parish office any day during the week, or in the sacristy at Mass on the weekend. Please be sure your name is on it so we may properly thank you!
ANY AND ALL information including registration forms and sponsorship forms can be found online at https://stbridgetschool.ejoinme.org/Golf2021. Thank you for whatever you can do to assist our parish school in this important fundraising effort.
As always, remember to pray for our parish family and ask God’s blessings upon us all in this time of pandemic. With the gracious intercession of Saint Bridget of Sweden, our Patroness, and Blessed Michael McGivney, and united in the Eucharist, may we be united with one another in prayer and reflect the presence of Jesus to the world! Please pray for me and know that I am praying for you!