Important Updates

Please check back to this page frequently as updates will be made as appropriate.

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3/26/2020 - Please click here to read a letter from Fr. Ian. The entire text is below.

Dear Parishioners of St Michael the Archangel,

With the latest directive from Bishop Caggiano that the Palm Sunday and Triduum celebrations of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil and Sunday are all to be celebrated privately by the priests of the parish, Fr Richard and I have decided to live stream our private celebrations of those liturgies from St Timothy’s Chapel.

In light of the fact that there will be no public Masses, the building committee has decided that we will take advantage of the directive/situation and begin construction at St Michael’s Church on April 1st instead of waiting until after Easter Sunday, April 12th. Fencing off of the construction site will be in place next week. St Timothy’s Chapel will then be open for daily private prayer from 7:00am-7:00pm.

The earlier start date will give us some cushion should we experience delays in delivery of building materials or town inspections of the building progress or other unforeseen circumstances.
To that end, I am inviting any parishioner, should you desire one of our current pews as a memento, for fond memories sake, please let the parish know by March 31 by sending an email to stmichaelsttim@optonline.net. The building committee had researched into refinishing the current pews but determined that new pews would be more cost effective. Only the pews are available for mementos at this point.

A reminder and an invitation that we are still live streaming daily and Sunday masses at 9:00am every day. Please look out for a separate Constant Contact invitation for you to tune in via ‘zoom.’ We will provide a schedule of the Holy Week celebrations to be live streamed at a later date.
Do know that you all continue to be in my prayers.
Let us pray for one another,

Fr Ian

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3/20/2020 - Please click here to read a letter from Fr. Ian. The entire text is below.

March 20, 2020

Dear Parishioners of St Michael the Archangel Parish:

When I was ordained a priest and especially when I was assigned to this beautiful parish of ours, I knew there would be days of joys and graces but also days of challenges and perhaps even suffering. However, none of us could have imagined that we would have to face a crisis like the Coronavirus pandemic. We all acknowledge the seriousness of this crisis and thus I want to write to thank you for your prayers and support and to assure you of mine and Fr Richard’s prayers and concerns for you and your loved ones during these extraordinary times. Out of necessity, my time over the last few weeks have been focused on pressing administrative and pastoral concerns. Now I want to reach out to you as your Pastor.

We have been advised by our Bishop that Parish Offices should be physically closed to the public but the services the office performs will continue. If you wish to reach us, please call our office telephone # 203-869-5421.

Important Information

  1. Celebration of private Masses by Fr Richard & I will be live streamed daily at 9:00am beginning Sunday March 22nd.
  2. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament every Sunday at St Michael’s Church from 12:00noon to 6:00pm, beginning Sunday March 22nd.
  3. Sacrament of Reconciliation every Sunday at St Michael’s Church in the cry/joy room from 12:00noon to 1:00pm and from 5:00pm to 6:00pm, beginning March 22nd.

Celebration of Mass – live streaming

As you are aware, the Bishop has suspended all public Masses and communion services but since Fr Richard and I will be celebrating masses in private, we would like to make our celebrations available to you via live streaming. At this point, we are choosing the platform ‘Zoom’ as it is the easiest method to employ without much setup. Through a separate email via constant contact, you will receive the opportunity to watch ‘live’ Fr Richard and I concelebrate mass daily at 9:00am beginning Sunday March 22nd.

Live streaming permits you to follow and participate at Mass from the comfort and safety of your home, while making a spiritual communion from home. As is the practice of the Church, one can make an Act of Spiritual Communion at the time the priests are receiving. The Act, which can be offered for all those who have died or are suffering from Coronavirus, can be a simple prayer, such, “My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.”

Other benefits of live streaming masses:

  • You are able to stay connected with your fellow parishioners who are also watching the live stream, even if you cannot gather together.
  • For Fr Richard and I, being able to look out via the live stream and know that you are watching will help to remind us of the circumstances of individual parishioners and remember you in our prayers.

The Diocese wants us to inform you that beginning March 22nd, Sunday Mass celebrated by Bishop Caggiano or Monsignor Powers will be available on our Diocesan Website (https://www.bridgeportdiocese.org/) or on Diocesan social media channels (https://www.bridgeportdiocese.org/dobsocial/home/).

Eucharistic Adoration
Since we still, to the best of our ability, have to sanctify the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord on Sundays, St Michael’s church will have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on the altar on every Sunday from 12:00noon to 6:00pm, beginning Sunday March 20.

People report experiencing a greater sense of intimacy with Jesus and attentiveness of mind and heart to prayer when they are able to actually “see” our Eucharistic Lord. The best reason for having exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is simply that God wills it. During His Eucharistic discourse, Jesus made this unmistakably clear: “Indeed, this is the will of My Heavenly Father, that everyone who looks upon the Son, and believes in Him, shall have eternal life. Him I will raise up on the last day” (John 6:40).

Sacrament of Reconciliation
Recognizing that a time of crisis is also an opportunity for personal conversion, we will hear Confessions on the first and last hour of the Sunday Exposition, that is from 12:00noon to 1:00pm and from 5:00pm-6:00pm in the Cry/Joy Room, which will permit anonymous or face-to-face confessing while maintaining the recommended 6 feet of separation. This will begin Sunday,
March 22nd.

Of course, you can still approach/call Fr Richard or I to make an appointment. Please call our office # 203-869-5421 and leave a message and we will be in touch with you.

Anointing of the Sick
We are still available to administer the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, but with an abundance of care for the wellbeing of all involved. Please call our office # 203-869-5421 and leave a message and we will be in touch with you.

Baptism
You may wish to postpone Baptisms until a later date in the spring or summer. For parents who do not wish to delay the sacrament, the celebration of Baptism should be limited to the parents, godparents, grandparents and other immediate family.

First Communion
Our First Holy Communion masses scheduled for April 22 and April 29 have been postponed to a date TBD.

Weddings and Funerals
The celebration of weddings and funerals may continue, but our Bishop has directed that the Rites should be celebrated outside of Mass. Also, the guests should be limited to immediate family and close friends only and their number must be less than 50 people.

Regarding the celebration of funerals, a Mass for the Dead will be celebrated in private for the deceased at the nearest possible date following death, or, if the family desires, a public memorial Mass could be celebrated at a later date for the repose of the soul of the deceased and the consolation of the family

Stations of the Cross
All have been cancelled until further notice.

All non-liturgical events have been cancelled:

  1. All Religious Education classes.
    • We are working on providing families with children material for your use at home, if you wish.
    • Faith Formation Registrations for 2019/2020 via online signups will be forthcoming.
  2. St Michael’s Women’s Association sponsored events:
    • Lenten Breakfast with Fr Marcotte on March 28th.
    • Movie Night with dinner
  3. The April 24th concert led by our music ministry has been postponed to a date TBD

As soon as we have directives from our Bishop with regards to Holy Week celebrations, from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday, we will inform you

Let us continue to place our trust in Jesus, the Divine Physician, through the loving hands of Our Blessed Mother, and to pray for an end to this illness. Let us also continue to pray for one another.

  Fr Ian

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3/16/2020 - Please click here to read a letter from Bishop Frank J. Caggiano regarding the cancellation of Masses through April 3, 2020. The entire text is below.

BRIDGEPORT—Effective this evening at 8 pm, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano has mandated that all weekday and Sunday public Masses celebrated in the presence of the lay faithful are temporarily suspended in the Diocese of Bridgeport. The temporary suspension will remain in effect until Friday, April 3. You will receive a confirmation or revision of that date on Monday, March 30th.

Beginning this Sunday, Sunday Mass celebrated by Bishop Caggiano or Monsignor Thomas Powers, Vicar General, will be available on our Diocesan Website (www.bridgeportdiocese.org) or on diocesan social media channels (www.bridgeportdiocese.org/dobsocial/home).

The bishop’s decision was made in response to the March 15, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that, for the next 8 weeks, any in-person gatherings of 50 people or more throughout the United States be cancelled or postponed. Governor Lamont today followed that directive and has limited crowds to less than 50 in the State of Connecticut.

“With those standards now in place, out of concern for the common good of ending the spread of the Coronavirus and for the wellbeing of the clergy (many of whom are older and at greater risk) and the lay faithful of the Diocese of Bridgeport, I would like to inform you of some important new directives that will be binding throughout the diocese,” the bishop said today in a letter to all priests and diocesan officials.

“Please know that I do not make this decision easily. However, this is an extraordinary—and, in some ways, unprecedented—time in the life of the Church, the country and the world, and it requires extraordinary action to ensure the safety of those whom we serve. I appreciate greatly the cooperation of our pastors in communicating this decision to parishioners in a clear and pastoral manner. May we continue to place our trust in Jesus, the Divine Physician, through the loving hands of Our Blessed Mother," the bishop said.

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3/12/2020 - Please click here to read a letter from Bishop Frank J. Caggiano regarding attending Mass and concerns with the coronavirus. The entire text is below.

As you know, many throughout Fairfield County – both Catholics and non-Catholics – look to the Church for leadership, especially in moments like the one we are currently facing. It is important that we, as a Catholic community of faith, remain faithful to who we are and place the celebration
of the Eucharist and trust in the Lord at the forefront of all decisions. At the same time, we are also members of a larger community and have a duty to abide by civil regulations and be co-responsible in seeking the common good.

Being situated in Fairfield County, we must be especially cognizant of the unique situation we face in regard to the Coronavirus. The southern part of the Diocese neighbors Westchester County, New York, which has seen numerous outbreaks of the illness, and many of our lay faithful travel to and from New York City on a daily basis or travel to foreign countries for business. Furthermore, our County has a growing population of elderly citizens, and several cases of Coronavirus have already been identified here,

most significantly the case in New Canaan, which is the first reported case of communal transmission in the State of Connecticut. Above any practical decisions made due to the Coronavirus, I would like to remind all of us to place all of our trust in the Lord, “who made Heaven and earth,” and to seek His help, healing and protection. This is a time, to lead by an example of confidence in His providential care and of charity to those who are in need. We should rely on all the spiritual tools we have – including the Rosary, votive Masses for times of special need, devotions – and beg for an end to this illness here and throughout the world. In that spirit, and given the developments over the last week, I would like to inform you of some new directives that will be binding throughout the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Beginning this Third Sunday of Lent (March 14-15) through the Fifth Sunday of Lent (March 28-29), I am temporarily dispensing all Catholics of the Diocese of Bridgeport from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. I am taking this action so that anyone who may be fearful of becoming ill or of spreading illness, especially healthcare workers, caregivers to the elderly or infirmed or parents with young children, may have peace of mind in knowing that, with this provision, they do not commit mortal sin if they choose not to attend Sunday Mass. For those who decide to refrain from attending Mass on the Sundays indicated above, I would ask that they treat the Lord’s Day with the honor it deserves and try, to the best of their ability, to view Mass online or to make time to read the Scriptures for the day.

In light of Governor Ned Lamont’s Executive Order of yesterday, which prohibits gatherings of 250 people or more throughout the State through the end of April, but makes an exemption for worship services, it may be the case that local authorities contact your parish to consider temporarily suspending the public celebration of Mass. Until then, there should be no changes to the public Mass schedule of any parish. Should that moment come, however, Pastors will be required to follow any ordinances or mandates published by legitimate local authorities, who have been entrusted to protect the community at large.

Offering of the Precious Blood of Christ is to be suspended at all Masses.

The Sign of Peace is to be exchanged without physical contact.

Holy Water fonts are to remain emptied.

Before the distribution of Holy Communion, suggest that your parishionersconsider receiving the Host in their hands and not on the tongue. Encourage those who are feeling ill or those who may have come in contact with someone with flu-like symptoms or have come to know that they had contact with someone in the last 14 days who has subsequently developed
flu-like symptoms to refrain entirely from receiving Holy Communion. Instead, as is the practice of the Church, one can make an Act of Spiritual Communion at the time others are receiving. (The Act, which can be offered for all those who have died or are suffering from Coronavirus, can be a
simple prayer, such as, “My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.”)

I also want to repeat my strong suggestion that non-liturgical, social events scheduled to take place in the immediate weeks ahead at parishes or diocesan institutions, especially those at which the elderly may be inclined to participate, be postponed or cancelled.

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano