Pastor’s Corner
Fr. Dave

4th Sunday of Advent/Christmas Eve – December 24, 2017

Amazing, the Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve Day!
Anyone who has heard me preach at a funeral knows that one of my favorite themes is that life is filled with mystery. Any number of times, I have done a funeral for a World War II veteran who was lucky, or rather blessed, to make it out alive. Had they not, the four generations present at the particular funeral would not exist. Now that speaks to the mystery present in all our lives.


1st Sunday in Advent December 3, 2017

Here we go, Advent is here and the Fourth Sunday of Advent is Christmas Eve day.

I must admit the thought strikes me with terror. These past two months have been astonishingly

busy. Five weddings in October, two funerals a week, many weekends with four

baptisms, as the song says, “ Stop the World, I Want To Get Off.” Yes, let’s admit the

truth, I am getting older and can no longer keep multiple balls in the air. Now comes a

shortened Advent, and Christmas is looming.


33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – November 19. 2017

Thanksgiving is upon us! Remember that we have two Masses for that holiday. On Thanksgiving eve, Fr. Mike will preside at the vigil Mass at 7pm. That celebration will feature a talk on thankfulness given by Sr. MaryAnn Powers, the provincial of the C.N.D. order. On Thursday, Mass will be at 9am and I will preside. Thankfulness is the most basic virtue, when you have it, everything else, including faith, hope, and love fall into place. Have you ever met a thankful person who was mean or selfish? I think not.


27th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 8, 2017

I am writing this on Wednesday, October 4th, the Feast of St. Francis. Once we hit October and the shorter days of sun, I know the holy days are fast approaching.
Remember that November starts with the Feast of All Saints on the first, followed by the Feast of All Souls on the second. Both days remind us of the important doctrine called the ‘Communion of Saints’. Because of the power of Baptism to make all who receive it part of the Body of Christ, we are all connected. The first two days of November additionally remind us of our deep connection to all those who have gone before us and died, saints and sinners alike. Soon, you will see a list for the names of all those who have died this past year. Let us remember and be grateful.


26th Sunday in Ordinary time – October 1, 2017

Last Wednesday I had the great honor to do the funeral of Mary Chuba, mother of Mike Chuba. The service was at St Charles in Bridgeport and the pastor, Fr. Frank Gomez, could not have been more welcoming. The day made me proud to be Catholic. It also reminded me of the close ties I have with so many of you. As I looked out at the Chuba family that day, I saw them as if they were part of my own family. In the Gospels, Jesus redefines family. His family is anyone who hears and acts upon the Word of God. It is a great blessing to me to have such a large extended family.
On another note, we will extend the second order of memorial bricks until October 15th. The next day the order will be placed. Our thanks to all who have made this project possible.


23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – September 10, 2017

This will be my last column in this series about Brian Doyle. I hope they have made you want to go out and purchase some of his novels, poems, and essays.
It saddens me that once I have finish reading everything he ever wrote, I already have read three of his five novels, there will be nothing more. He is now officially on my list of heroes.


22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – September 3, 2017

These past weeks I have been looking at essays written by Brian Doyle, a Catholic writer who died of cancer in May at age 60, leaving behind a beloved wife and two children. He worked as the editor of the Alumni magazine at Portland University in Oregon, a Catholic College run by the Holy Cross Fathers. Doyle says stories are prayers and at his school there are zillions of stories including some that make you “shiver and pray.”
In his essay, ‘One Night’, in his book, GRACE NOTES, he tells of a concert held in the chapel at the University. The concert is for boys who are visiting from a rehabilitation home. The boys are ones “upon whom unimaginable crimes have been committed, boys who had endured and survived more species of pain and desolation than I could account in a year.” The concert was given by a famous alumni and his rock band. The music was so rollicking that no one could sit still. Doyle watches this one boy who is rocking and rolling but who then burst into tears and cried for an hour, all the while jumping and responding to the music.


21st Sunday in Ordinary Time – August 27, 2017

In Brian Doyle’s essay, The Terrible Brilliance, found in the book GRACE NOTES, he talks about his wife who is an art therapist in a children’s hospital where the children are very sick. He describes her work “as a job filled hilarity and pain, a job she loves, a job that makes her shiver and go for long walks in the hills.”
One day Doyle came home to find his wife emotionally drained and questioning how much suffering one little girl could endure. “She’s being crucified said my wife. Everything they do to her hurts her,..she just accepts it. She never complains. She gets crucified every day, why does this happen?”


17th Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 30, 2017

This weekend is the 17th Sunday in Ordinary time as well as the last week of July. If all goes according to plan, the construction on the front of the Church will begin a week from this Monday on the 7th of August. During the construction, the front entranceway will be demolished and replaced. So, because of the noise, the daily Mass will be downstairs in the hall and the daily Mass congregation will need to enter from the Half Mile side of the parking lot.
Since the project will take two weeks to complete, weather permitting, a temporary entrance will be available from the East Rocks side for the weekend of August 12th and 13th. If any funerals come in we may have to do them at St Philip while the jack hammering is in progress. Keeping this in mind, we will be flexible. It will be worth the wait!


16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 23, 2017

As you know I am fascinated by beginnings, endings, turning points, and the stories shaped by these events. One thing I have been noticing of late is how many long term parish families are moving away. Two examples are Jim and Barbara Alvord and Ralph and Terri Fredericks. Some people become part of the fabric that is the parish and thus it is for both couples. They have helped and blessed the parish with their talents, faith, and devotion. Ralph and Terri have moved to Florida and Jim and Barbara are going up state. Their departure is a loss for us, but because we are all part of the Body of Christ they will still be tied to us by deep and significant bonds. Our thanks to them for all they have and continue to mean for us.