From the Pastor | September 11, 2021
11 September 2021
The unofficial end of summer was ushered in last weekend. Families are returning from their summer vacations, many of whom are eagerly awaiting the beginning of a new school year. Saint Ignatius Loyola School is ready to welcome 570 students at our Lower and Upper Campuses. The full complement of our professional choir has returned to the 11:00 AM Solemn Mass, and the Wallace Hall Family Mass resumes this weekend after a hiatus of 18 months. We are beginning to see glimmers of a return to our regular parish rhythm while keeping a close eye on all necessary health precautions for us to gather safely.
As we start up again in a more salutary way than this time last year, I wish to acknowledge with gratitude the entire parish staff who carried on the business of the parish under very challenging circumstances. The work of the parish and the routine of the Parish House were uninterrupted throughout the summer and performed either remotely or in person. I am happy to report that the parish staff is now back to work in person. Various ministries of the parish also remained active throughout the summer months, planning for the year ahead. Of particular note are the Parish Council and Strategic Planning Committee whose work will help to identify how we go about authentically becoming the parish we described in our recently published mission statement. Lest I become bogged down in reporting all the business of the parish I am delighted to report that planning is already underway for the annual Snow Ball Dance, scheduled for Saturday, 4 December. I hope that the prospect of continuing this new tradition of the parish will brighten our spirits as we look forward to the future.
There are two new faces around the parish you will begin to see more and more. Ms. Kate Noonan joins us as Pastoral Associate, Director of Religious Education and Youth Ministry. Kate brings with her a wealth of experience in pastoral ministry in various ministry positions in the Diocese of Bridgeport. She will introduce herself at this weekend’s Wallace Hall Family Mass. Please extend a warm welcome to Kate when you see her. Kate replaces Nicole Bedard who resigned in July to concentrate on being a full-time mom to her son, Miles.
Also joining the parish staff is Father Danny Gustafson, S.J. Father Gustafson was ordained a priest in June and will be with us for one year as part of his continuing Jesuit formation. He arrived in August and began to preside at Masses shortly thereafter. You can learn more about Father Gustafson in his own words in next week’s essay that will be published both in the parish bulletin and e-newsletter.
A celebration of who we are as a parish is long overdue, so let’s celebrate our return home. Please join us on Sunday, 19 September, for our very first Welcome Home Sunday. From 12 Noon until 2:00 PM we will have the opportunity to gather outdoors in a festive way to enjoy one another’s company and celebrate being a parish community that manifests in deeds what we profess in words. At the same time let us keep in mind that the most important celebration of all takes place inside the church. Returning home has its real meaning when we gather in prayer to worship God around the table that nourishes us with the Bread of Life.
I look forward to seeing you on the 19th and welcoming you home, and remember that your real homecoming will occur when you enter the church to attend Mass.
God bless you!
Sincerely in the Lord,