Updated: Jan 9, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ:
On this weekend known as Labor Day Weekend…we as Americans pause to reflect and relax from our labors. Labor Day constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
It is also good to think about work from a Catholic perspective. Work honors the Creator's gifts and the talents received from Him. It can also be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work in union with Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and the one crucified on Calvary for us, we collaborate with the Son of God in his redemptive work by our own labor. We show ourselves to be Disciples of Christ by carrying the cross, daily, in the work we are called to accomplish.
Let us always remember that work is for us, and not the other way around; we were not created for work. Everyone should be able to draw from their work the means of providing for his/her life and that of his/her family, and of serving the wider human community. Let us always remember to pray for those who are unemployed or underemployed that they may find a steady job with sufficient wages to care for themselves and their families.
This weekend is indeed a time to celebrate! So, Happy Labor Day!
Let’s also say a special prayer as we mark Labor Day!
Prayer for Labor Day
On this weekend, when we rest from our usual labors, loving Father, we pray for all who shoulder the tasks of human labor—in the marketplace, in factories and offices, in the professions, and in family living.
We thank you, Lord, for the gift and opportunity of work; may our efforts always be pure of heart, for the good of others and the glory of your name.
We lift up to you all who long for just employment and those who work to defend the rights and needs of workers everywhere.
May those of us who are now retired always remember that we still make a valuable contribution to our Church and our world by our prayers and deeds of charity.
May our working and our resting all give praise to You until the day we share together in eternal rest with all our departed loved ones in Your Kingdom as You live and reign Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Thank you to the Sante Fe Council 2978 of the Knights of Columbus for hosting the Silver Rose Program and permitting our parish a chance to participate in the program. It was a great blessing to be able to come together and pray in particular for a greater respect for all life from conception until natural death. I am grateful to the many people who came to join us in prayer. Here you see me standing with our Grand Knight Ron Painchaud and Connecticut State Deputy Gary McKeone next to the Silver Rose. It is my understanding that this Rose will travel throughout the country as are many others and they will all come together in Mexico for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and form a bouquet for the Feast.
For more information on the Silver Rose Program please visit the website www.kofc.org.
As last week saw the beginning of the new school year, we are excited about preparing for another yearly beginning. We are working hard to get ready for the new Religious Education year to begin! We have been planning for this for many months and look forward to a great year of our young people growing in relationship with Jesus Christ and their own knowledge of the faith.
WE NEED HELP! We need Catechists to help in this important ministry of our parish family. If you are interested, please consider this my personal invitation to you! Come help us teach our young people about Jesus Christ, His love for us, and the teachings of our faith.
Recruiting catechists is one of the most difficult challenges that parish leaders face, not only here, but in every parish throughout the world! While the invitation to become a catechist can be flattering, we also have to acknowledge that it can be intimidating. When one is asked to be a catechists, after the blank stare and some time for consideration, there is often the doubt that comes: “am I qualified?” I am asking everyone who loves God and loves working with children to consider becoming a catechist.
Do not let fear hold you back from this amazing opportunity. We are here to assist you in preparing to take on this new ministry. Being a new catechist is a time of learning the techniques and becoming comfortable sharing your faith! Training, materials, and support are provided.
At Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish we are blessed with so many who have accepted this responsibility. More often than not, after a few months, a new catechists will say something like “I am getting so much out of teaching the faith,” or “I am learning more about the faith than I thought I already knew.”
If you are considering the call to serve as a catechist, we hope you will call Donna Yatcko or speak with Father Federico or myself after Mass about the possibilities. If someone you know is considering the call to serve as a catechist, tell them to speak to one of us!
FACILITATORS ALSO NEEDED…we are also blessed with those parishioners who have recently been confirmed who come back to assist in our Confirmation Program as Facilitators. These are confirmed Catholics (usually in Junior or Senior Year in High School) who return to assist in our Confirmation Program. They commit to coming to each session, watching the presentation video with those in the class, and then assist in leading small group discussions in the classrooms following the video about the material that was presented. These young people work with a catechist and are given guidance so that they can prepare for each discussion prior to the session. THIS YEAR WE NEED 20 FACILITATORS FOR OUR PROGRAM. Any recently confirmed member of our parish family who would like to serve as a facilitator should call Donna Yatcko at 203-272-6504.
We are also busy preparing for the upcoming PARISH PICNIC...there are currently almost 100 parishioners who have signed up to assist with the upcoming Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish Picnic. I thank those who have answered the call to serve our parish family in this way, and invite those of you who may not have had a chance to sign-up to email the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the highlights of what can be expected at our parish picnic! First, and foremost, we will gather as a family of faith to celebrate the Eucharist out on the field behind Saint Bridget School. Mass will be celebrated on the patio overlooking the field, and parishioners will gather on the field. There will be some seating for those who cannot make it down to the field on the driveway near the altar. We also encourage families to bring lawn chairs or a blanket to sit out on the field if you wish.
Musicians from the various musical groups in our parish as well as our school will be providing the music for the Mass. It is always a treat to hear the various instruments and voices come together to give praise to our God!
Following Mass we will be serving the food! Hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue chicken, pulled pork from pigs that will be roasted on Church property!, peppers and onions, potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, tomato and cucumber salad, Italian Ice, various deserts, and water!
During the afternoon we will be entertained by so much more! We will have a DJ, a CUPCAKE BAKEOFF, in addition to bounce houses, a 50/50 Raffle, various sports and activities on the field for kids of all ages, arts and crafts, an information area where you can learn more about the many ministries that go on throughout the year in our parish, and more!
DON’T MISS OUT ON THE FUN AS WE GROW TOGETHER IN FAITH!!! Picnic sign-ups continue this weekend. You will find sign-up sheets both in the pews at Saint Bridget Church and on the yellow table in the foyer of Saint Thomas Becket Church for you to register you and your family for our picnic. Your signing-up helps to ensure we properly prepare.
I hope you and your family will join us for this parish event. The co-chairs, committee heads, and countless volunteers have everything in order for a spectacular event.
As you are aware, this is a free event open to all parishioners of Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish Family! The cost of the picnic falls in part to our parish budget, in part to in-kind donations of food, flowers, and other items from local businesses, and in part to the financial donations of generous parishioners. If you are able to help in any way to keep the costs of this picnic down by making a personal donation please contact me or simply put it in an envelope marked “Parish Picnic” at any Mass.
Lastly, please pray! Pray for good weather that day and pray for all those who donate their time, talents, and treasure to making our picnic a tremendous success. Without them we could never have such an awesome event, I truly hope to see you and your family there!
Saint Bridget of Sweden Women’s Society wants you to join! Next weekend after all the Masses the Women’s Society will be hosting a Membership Drive. Members of the Society will be at all the doors after the Masses to introduce themselves, answer any questions, and even enroll you into membership! The next day, Monday, September 9th there will be an Opening Mass for the membership at 6PM in Saint Thomas Becket Church.
Over the past few years, in addition to their scholarships, the Women’s Society has made significant donations to the Parish that have enabled us to purchase such things as new vestments, a new funeral pall, new ciboria, altar server robes, processional cross and candles at the north campus, and curtains for the Father Frisbie Hall at the south campus.
It is my hope and vision that the Women’s Society will become the group that assists with the needs of our parish and community. I am personally inviting all women of the parish to consider becoming a member of our Women’s Society, or if they are one already to become active in the Society once again! To have an active group of women in the parish who come together regularly for spiritual and social activities provides such a wonderful resource for our parish family. I am confident that we can accomplish much more for our Parish, our School, and the community with more members in the Women’s Society. Won’t you consider joining?
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.