A New Parish Year

Dear Parishioners,

ChildrenThis Sunday, Religious Education classes begin for the new academic year, but it seems to signal even more: the beginning of a new pastoral year, a new ecclesial year, a new parish year…

There is something about the added burst of energy and attendance at the Masses (especially the lOam Mass!), along with the cooler weather, which announces the last lingering hours of summer vacation are over and we’re all settling into the regular routines of the fall. Yes, the children are back, which means the parking lot should be a little slower, both before and after Mass, watching out for those young ones who may be less interested in the traffic and more intent on running to Mom to show her the picture drawn in class. It also means a somewhat higher audio level in the church. Think of it as the sound of the future, the sound of a child having a good experience of church and it’s community. Remember that parents are trying their best to control chaos, and, parents, I hope you will remember that on those occasions when chaos is winning, you are free to take a break with your child, downstairs maybe, or outside, whatever might work for you. We’re just glad you’re here and understand how hectic it can be on Sunday morning!

On another news front in this new year of parish life, I am thrilled to be able to tell you about that Social Justice/Awareness/Action meeting we had a couple of weeks ago. About eighty people attended (!) which necessitated meeting upstairs in the church instead of downstairs as originally planned. A wide variety of topics were brought up—from aid to the Mercy Learning Center in Bridgeport, to legislative reform, to healthcare worries, to poverty and hunger issues — and all who spoke were eloquent and respectful. It is amazing to hear about what so many people in this parish are already doing (and have been ding fot ears in some cases!) to help the marginalized. This meeting was certainly a good start. The start of exactly what is up to the Spirit. More will definitely follow!

Finally, at this start of a new season, we are trying to organize pastoral care visits to those who are sick or hospitalized or homebound. We’ve enlisted the help of Deacon Tim Bolton, a wonderful and prayerful man who is the supervisor for pastoral care at St. Vincent’s Medical Center. Deacon Tim will hold an evening of questions and answers to help someone decide if this ministry would be a good fit. Then, in November, will offer a workshop on “pastoral visiting” to help new people get started or to provide practical advice to those who are already involved in this endeavor. Please see this bulletin for more information.

There are many other things to look forward to in this new year. We are quite blessed as a parish and God extends the invitation to be a blessing to others as well. Thank you so much for being a part of it all!

Father John