A little “bite” of Broadway – Oct. 13th

Dear Parishioners,

There’s a nasty little secret in our towns that is not talked about in polite company. One out of every four women will experience it in some form, although it affects entire families. As a matter of fact, statistics tell us that it can impact anyone without regard for age, ethnic background, social status, gender, or sexual orientation.

Domestic violence…..it refers to a pattern of behaviors, including physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse in order to control or change the behavior of his/her partner. I recently met a woman who serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Women and Children of Eastern Fairfield County. She’s also a prosecuting attorney in the Bridgeport court systems and so has a good deal of experience with these kinds of cases. One thing led to another and pretty soon Debra Greenwood, the President of the Center, and Sarah Lubarsky, one of its directors, were telling us all about the Center over a cup of coffee at the rectory.

The Center serves the towns of Bridgeport, Fairfield, Easton, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull, with a main office on State Street in Bridgeport and satellite offices in Monroe and right here in Fairfield (on Mona Terrace). They also maintain a “safe house” called Kathie’s Place at an undisclosed location. It offers an amazing variety of services, everything from counseling and therapy to court advocacy and legal assistance to all kinds of community education for both students and adults—like grade-appropriate, in-classroom sessions on topics such as anti-bullying, date violence, internet safety, and sexual violence prevention. Through these kinds of programs they are able to help thousands of people in our own area every year. Go on their website (www.cwfefc.org) and I’m sure you’ll be as impressed as I am. In fact, please spread the word about these programs because they would like to increase awareness of what kind of things are available to battered women and children at risk in our towns.

With all the good that these people are doing, I was horrified to hear that their funds were cut by fifty thousand dollars last July. I wondered if we could be of help. I thought of how our own Lenten Soup Suppers have been so well attended, why not something along those lines? Except, instead of soup…..how about pasta? How about asking a group or two in the parish to make a pot of their favorite pasta sauce…marinara, Bolognese, pesto, white clam, Alfredo, aglio e olio, cacciatore, carbonara, whatever…? Then, we cook up a small mountain of penne and everyone can have fun trying different kinds of sauce. But let’s up the ante. Let’s bring some Broadway entertainment in….those Broadway performers I met at a party over the summer. Let’s turn the parish hall into a “Downstairs Cabaret” for a night and have some fun, something worth getting a babysitter for, something to get a group of friends together and make an evening out of: BYOB, taste different pasta sauces, an hour and a half or so of entertainment offered by four professional Broadway actors, a little bite of dessert, and everybody wins! People can donate at the door whatever they might have spent on dinner and a show. We’ll add a couple of fifty-fifty raffles during the evening and some singing waiters to sell them. Then, in true St. Anthony’s style, we give everything we make that night to the Center for Women and Children!

We’ll have a lot of fun and I hope you’ll reserve a table (or a couple of places at a table!) on Saturday, October 13th, right after the 6pm Mass, for a little “bite” of Broadway…..

Father John