Men’s Retreat

RetreatAll men of the parish are invited to a retreat at Holy Family Passionist retreat Center, West Hartford, CT. This year’s theme: Grace Enough. Discover anew how God’s grace is our greatest source of strength and courage in our lives. We will reflect on  how living in God’s grace leads us to true happiness and peace. The retreat includes: home-cooked meals, inspirational liturgies, uplifting music,  free  time  and  workshops.   It  begins with dinner at 6pm on Friday and concludes with Sunday brunch. For more information, call our parishioner, Steve Violette, at 203-451- 3339 or visit www.holyfamilyretreat.org

At all the Masses next weekend

Fr. Michael Boccaccio, will speak at all the Masses next weekend. Based on the 2nd Reading’s “calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love,” he will describe his serving as Director of our Diocesan Pontifical Mission office. He will offer specific ways to directly join with Pope Francis to care for our neighbor. Hence together we “give to God what is God’s” (Gospel of the day). Essentially, the Christian reaches our to and for all. The more particular, the more definite our involvement. So do you want to personally provide water, food, clothes, housing, etc., to Catholics and others in Kenya, Mongolia, Costa Rica, etc.? Fr. Boccaccio will provide detailed ways to do so. Visit www.missio.org

Join the St. Anthony Music Ministry

Rehearsals for the adult choir are held on Thursday evenings at 7:30pm in the choir loft of the church and have just begun. The choir is preparing for several events in the coming months including the Confirmation Mass this month, the Diocesan Mass for Hope and Healing next month, the Advent evening of reflection with Gregory Norbet, and the celebration of Christmas. Consider becoming a part of this important and vital ministry in our parish. Join us this Thursday! If you would like some more information, speak with Frank Macari, our music director, after Mass.

Bread For the World

bread for the worldOn Sunday, October 15th, St. Anthony’s Parish will join with churches across the country to observe Bread for the World Sunday. Moved by God’s grace in Jesus Christ, we pray for all of those who suffer from hunger and want, and we rededicate ourselves to ending hunger in God’s world. Bread for the World has as their goal the elimination of global hunger by the year 2030. We will take action during that weekend by holding an OFFERING OF LETTERS.  After each mass you are invited to join us downstairs in the church meeting room to sign a letter asking Congress to invest in and protect safety-net programs including WIC, global nutrition and SNAP, among other programs that help to feed people. Letters will be available for you to sign and they will be sent as a group to our congressional representatives.  Please take a few minutes to join us.

Adult Altar Servers Wanted

Adult Altar ServersWe are currently enlisting men and women (over the age of 18) to help with serving Mass on Sundays, principally at the 8am and 11:30am. If you may be interested, please contact Fr. John to talk about what is involved.

 

Adult Discussion Group

The Sunday Morning Discussion group will resume meeting on Sunday, October 1, at 8:45am, in the Community Room on the second floor of the Parish Hall. This hour-long, open discussion uses the Sunday Mass readings as a launching point for some “conversation and coffee” on matters relevant to Christian living.

October 16, 2017

Creative Ideas

•Dear Parishioners,

The Pastoral Council met last Saturday at the Ignatian Center for Spirituality at Fairfield University for a day of prayer, reflection, and discussion. As usual, we ended with thoughts, ideas, and inspirations collected over the months. Here are some highlights:

  • •Consider extending the parish nurse program  to include more outreach such as education programs, disease management, occasional “health spots” printed in the bulletin;
  • From a discussion on racism at the recent Men’s Discussion Group, there was a desire for more partnership in some way with other faith communities..suggestion to bring that idea to the Council of Churches;
  • Investigate more seriously “electronic giving”  as an alternative to envelopes/paper checks; many versions have been adopted and used by other parishes; (this came up with several people);
  • The idea of a parish book discussion club; read a book and discuss it together; Everyone Leads by Chris Lowney was mentioned as a good place to begin;
  • An observation from the parish picnic was that many new parishioners would like to get involved in something; on website, publish a list of annual events (i.e. Advent wreath making, Palm Sunday breakfast, golf tournament, etc.) so new members get an idea of what is happening;
  • Informal family social evenings maybe twice a year; maybe pasta and a movie in the parish hall?;
  • “Mary looks great!” many positive comments on fixing the peeling paint and wall in the church near the statue of Mary and in other places, (thank you Tom Grega, of Grega Painting!);
  • Base Confirmation service projects not so much on fulfilling a requirement, but by beginning with asking the young people “What bothers you? What issues in the world or community do you want to change?” and leading them through possibilities of solutions; aims for empowerment and a thoughtful connection of faith to action;
  • Possibility of instruction on Centering Prayer;
  • Build links in parish website to Bishop Caggiano’s inspirational pieces on the Diocesan website; also link into national and global Catholic social action websites and organizations;
  • Livestream the weekly Sunday Mass;
  • Promote in the parish the many local opportunities for community service (the wonderful work of Al’s Angels for example..a local organization begun by Al DiGuido, who is often at Mass with his wife Chris. (visit www.alsangels.org);

As you can see, a lot of good and creative ideas are being generated through the efforts of the Council, things to think and pray about!

Father John

October 16, 2017

Courage to Speak

Ginger and Larry Katz, co-founders of the Courage to Speak Foundation will offer a presentation at Assumption Parish in Fairfield on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 6:30 in the parish hall, inspired by the untimely death of their son Ian from a drug overdose. With the number of overdose deaths on the rise in Connecticut, many families are affected. If you or someone you know is facing a crisis or wants to be educated on related issues, please come! The presentation is open to parents, students, and community members. For additional information, please visit their website www.couragetospeak.org.

For more information about the evening, contact the parish office at 203-545-9065 or by email at into@olaffld.org.

 

October 8, 2017

Prayer is essential for change

Dear Parishioners,

A lone wolf.

That’s what they’ve been calling the 64-year-old shooter in Las Vegas who, with a semi-automatic weapon, fired into an outdoor crowd gathered for a concert. At the time of this writing on Monday, 59 people were killed and over 500 are injured.

Lone wolf. It not only implies a predator acting alone, but someone who is disconnected, someone lacking the social ties that bind us into a community. I bet the shooter at the Florida night club could be described the same way. And the man who shot the group of people studying the Bible in the church in Charleston. And the kid who walked into the elementary school in Newtown with a semi-automatic rifle and shot to death 20 first graders in cold blood.

Lone. Wolf. Devoid of affect and empathy. But armed to the teeth. What will be done? I assume the usual. Pretty much nothing. I figure if 20 slain children did not weigh heavier in the hearts and votes of our legislators than the profit margins of gun manufacturers, then real governmental change will happen at a glacial pace if at all. I do not mean to sound hopeless. We are never without hope, but our expectations for the quick modifying of law are not realistic. Our hope must broaden and include the inspiration which comes from the creativity of God.

On that note, we must continue to pray, of course. Prayer is essential for change. It not only calms the soul, but often sparks the imagination which, in turn, provides the impetus to act. I think of a comment the bishop made last Thursday night when we were gathered in the church for the celebration of Confirmation. He was addressing the young people in our parish who were about to be confirmed. He pointed at the seven or eight men and women seated in the sanctuary who were serving as Eucharistic Ministers and Altar Servers. He noted how impressed he was with such great adult involvement and held them up as role models for the young people, role models of involvement and caring.

Role model. That’s about as opposite as you can get from “Lone Wolf.” The adults in our parish who are involved in some ministry are very much connected and bound to and for the good of the whole community. None of those who served the Confirmation Mass were related to the ones being confirmed. They were there because they were asked to be and because they cared. Maybe Role Models are part of the cure for Lone Wolves…

So, besides your prayers, if you want to turn your frustration over this latest tragedy into something more tangible, something which God might well use as part of the solution to this sort of senseless violence, then invest yourself, become a more active and visible part of our faith community. Readng through this bulletin alone, I count at least ten different ways!

Let me suggest one that stands out because it made such an impression on the bishop: serving as an adult Altar Server. You probably realize that the only Mass at which children serve is the 10am. Men and women serve at all the others. It’s not a big time commitment (you’re at Mass anyway), just a little time ahead for preparing things before Mass and a little time afterward to straighten up for the next. We are recruiting for the 8am and the 1130am Sunday Masses. There will be an evening of training for all who are interested (but, believe me, it’s not rocket science, even I can do it!) What is required is the interest to act, to do something, to be involved. Put yourself out there and let God do the rest. You never know who might be influenced by your decision to act. You never know how God will use your decision to act. And that restores my hope…

Father John

September 29, 2017

Adult Discussion Group meets on Oct. 1st

CoffeeThe Sunday Morning Discussion group will resume meeting on Sunday, October 1, at 8:45am, in the Community Room on the second floor of the Parish Hall. This hour-long, open discussion uses the Sunday Mass readings as a launching point for some “conversation and coffee” on matters relevant to Christian living.

September 29, 2017

Lector and Special Minister Schedules

SchedulesThe new schedules for Lectors and Special Ministers are on the parish website, including a separate schedule for Christmas and the Holy Day. Also, please check the 11:30am Mass for your name, as well as your regularly scheduled Mass time. There are also some hard copies in the sacristy. Thank you for serving in these important ministries!

September 29, 2017

Women’s Group Meets on Oct. 2nd

Women’s GroupThe Women’s Group will meet Monday, October 2, at 7:30 pm, downstairs in the Church Meeting Room. All women are welcome!

September 29, 2017

Men’s Discussion Group

The men’s discussion group will meet on Monday, October 2, at 7:30pm, in the rectory. Copies of the article we’ll be discuss­ing can be found at the front doors of the church. All men in the parish are welcome to attend.

September 29, 2017

Pastoral Care of the Sick

Pastoral Care of the SickWe are in the pro­cess of developing and organizing a ministry to the sick, hospitalized, and homebound. Deacon Tim Bolton, supervisor of pastoral care at St. Vincent’s Medical Center is helping us in this endeavor by offering an informal evening of questions and answers of what is involved in this ministry. It will be held on Tuesday, October  10, at 7pm, in the church. Special Ministers of the Eucharist are especially invited to attend.