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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time—July 28, 2019

Updated: Jan 9, 2020

Dear Friends in Christ:

Last weekend it was a joy to introduce to everyone at Mass our new St. Bridget School Principal, Mrs. Catherine Szerszen. We are filled with excitement as we prepare for the upcoming school year. I do hope that you will consider St. Bridget School for your children and/or grandchildren. With Mrs. Szerszen leading our extraordinary faculty and staff I am confident we will continue the great legacy that belongs rightly to our school.

Our parish school is ready and willing to assist ALL parishioners in educating your child or children. Since opening in 1994, Saint Bridget School offers students a faith-based, challenging curriculum designed to promote academic excellence in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1 through 8. Committed educators guide our students through the day with lessons in faith development, math, language arts, social studies, geography, science, Spanish, music, art, and physical education. Our curriculum includes the use of state-of-the-art computer and science labs as well as an extensive library. We are thrilled with the presence of three religious sisters in our day-to-day operations with two Sisters from the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist on faculty and of course Sister Patricia Cigrand, ASCJ, our Pastoral Associate from the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, whose office is located in the school. In addition, Father Federico and I are looking forward to frequent visits with the classes as well as our privileged opportunity to celebrate Mass with the entire school community on Fridays at 9a.m.

Over the past few years there has been a lot of discussion regarding the Common Core State Standards, and we have had many parents come to our doors with questions and concerns regarding these Common Core State Standards. In fact just the other day I was asked about this very topic at the grocery store! I want to assure those with questions that Saint Bridget School, in keeping with the position of the Archdiocese of Hartford, does not adopt or follow those standards. The Common Core was designed to address many of the failing public schools in this country. It is simply a resource of minimum or “core” standards. Our work does not stop at minimum expectations for our students.

We are charged with exceeding national standards and so continue to implement curriculum that provides a challenging course, grounded in basic skills necessary for students to develop foundational skills that lead to higher, more complex thinking skills, rooted in Gospel values, and integrating Catholic social teaching across all disciplines, ensuring the development of the whole child. Students graduating from Saint Bridget School exceed state and national benchmarks, evidenced by our exemplary standardized test scores and high performance on high school placement exams. Most importantly, we truly educate the whole child: academically, socially, and spiritually.

What will you find in Saint Bridget School for your child or children?

· Faith Based Learning with a Real World Approach

· Spanish Language from PreK3 to Grade 8

· Advanced Studies and Curriculum Resources

· 1 to 1 iPads in the Middle School and technology in all other grades

· Athletic Fields and a Gymnasium

· Sports Program including Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Cross-Country, Cheerleading, and Soccer

· Air-Conditioning throughout our facility

· Extra-curricular activities such as Robotics Club, LEGO Club, Chess Club, French Club & more

· A Diverse Student Body

· Small Class Sizes with Differentiated Learning at ALL Grade Levels

· Enrichment Programs and Family Events

· Tuition Assistance

· Weekly Mass as a school family and Adoration

Do you know what tuition is for Saint Bridget School? I have heard from a few people out and about town that they could never afford tuition for our parish school. That may be the case but we do have some scholarship monies available as well that may make it more affordable for your family situation. I want to dispel the MYTH that is out there that tuition is around $10,000 a year. HERE ARE THE REAL NUMBERS…Tuition for one child in grades 1 through 8 at Saint Bridget School is $5,163; for Kindergarten it is $5,345; and our Pre-K program for five full days is $6,191, for five half days is $4,693, for three full days is $5,390, and for three half days is $4,089. Those families who are registered and active in our parish receive an immediate $500 deduction.

As I said above we are blessed to have some scholarship monies available to help families to be able to afford a Catholic school education for their child or children. Thanks to our devoted parishioners who contribute to our scholarship fund! This fund enables us to help families keep their children in a Catholic school even when family issues may arise that prohibit them from being able to afford the whole tuition rate. I cannot tell you how thankful these families are that this fund exists to help them in their time of need. If anyone from our parish family would like to assist us in maintaining this fund, please feel free to contact me at any time.

We still have room at all grade levels for the upcoming school year 2019-2020, and I hope you will consider Saint Bridget School for your child or children. I would love for all families to consider coming in for a tour. Please contact our Admissions Director, Mrs. Christina Cummings, or our Principal, Mrs. Szerszen, at the school office at 203.272.5860.

The weather did not hold us back from gathering to enjoy a Mid-Summer Movie Night. The excessive heat caused us to move our event indoors but it was refreshing to be in the air-conditioned gym in our parish school. A wonderful evening was had by all who attended our Annual Mid-Summer Movie Night. I am most grateful to Mary Beth Chamberlain and Cathy Niglio who coordinated the event and to the Confirmation students and the other volunteers who helped make this event a wonderful family experience. I am so grateful for their adaptation from being outside to inside without much notice. The kids that attended seemed to enjoy using the basketball hoop and just sitting together catching up on their summer activities. I was blessed to have my parents, my brother, sister-in-law, and nieces and nephew here for the event as was Father Federico to have his parents, sister and niece. It was a great family event!

I was so happy to see so many from our parish family and many of the new families who are part of our parish school community come together for an evening of food, fun, and community building. Some brought their own picnic set-ups, others enjoyed the pizza from Vespucci; and others came just for the movie. We had to use the Bingo grill to make the s’mores but that didn’t stop people from making more than one. It was clear throughout the evening that all who came were enjoying a nice evening with friends, new and old.

I love these moments when we can come together in a social setting and build up our family of faith! If you have an idea for a new event that will bring us together please send it to me at I would love to see more events.

Some things you may notice this weekend as you come to Church. Back in the Fall we received notice that every campus at every parish must have signage posted with the new parish name. I am thankful to Karl Krieg who took this directive and investigated many options. In the end, the Parish Finance Council decided to contract with Connecticut Signcraft to design the signs for each of our campuses. They were installed this week and I hope you will agree they came out great. I am particularly grateful that we will have a sign roadside at the South Campus. Since the church is setback from the road, visitors often go past the Church and have to turn around. Hopefully this will eliminate that from happening so often. I am also excited that the new sign at the North Campus will include the line Home of St. Bridget School since there is no visibility of the school as people pass by on Main Street. Let’s hope this will help with our enrollment in the years to come!

You may have also noticed a new addition to our North Entrance at the North Campus. During our annual insurance inspection from Catholic Mutual, our insurance agency, it was pointed out that a section of our sidewalk was in dire need of being replaced as it was deteriorating and becoming a tripping hazard. Instead of replacing it with more concrete I decided to go with brick pavers and put the cross in the center. I think it looks awesome and is a nice way to focus ourselves as we are entering the presence of God. Thank you to Larry Richard for completing this project!

As always, remember to pray for vocations, pray for our young people, pray for our parish families and ask God’s blessings as we strive to 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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