Monday Message, February 28, 2022

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As promised, Confirmation request forms for Fall 2022 will be posted this afternoon in Documents section of this site. Instructions will also be posted. In keeping with our internal protocol, these will be sent to pastors this afternoon and posted here shortly thereafter.

You will also find the Confirmation Directives for Spring 2022. Bishop Caggiano’s preference is that we follow directive number 18 as written. Therefore, for the remainder of this Confirmation season, the Bishop will sit for the anointing.

To mask or not to mask. That is the question of the day. The short answer is that it is up to every pastor and DRE to discuss amongst themselves the right decision for their community and then to communicate it to your families in faith formation. Last night, I received this note from the Fairfield Public Schools superintendent. I thought the tone and challenge to all families under his charge was worth repeating.

After two years of required mask use Fairfield Public Schools begins a new phase of COVID response tomorrow when we move to a mask optional policy. On Friday we received updated guidance from the CDC. Due to a low number of cases in Fairfield County masks are optional on buses as well. I send this message tonight as a reminder to all our community members that this policy is implemented to serve the personal needs of each member. There is no right or wrong choice in a person’s selection. Some of us will remove masks completely, others will always keep them on, and many may take them on or off depending on the situation and out of respect for other’s decisions. Mask use has divided our community, it is time for that to stop. Tomorrow presents an opportunity for our community to reunite. Do not let this opportunity pass us by.

Even in my own household, some children went to school masked while others said they would start the day one way and then decide. If your parish opts for no masks at religious education, please do so after prayer and conversation. If you opt to require masks, please do so in the same pastoral way that you have approached these last few years. Remember that our numbers of infections are low because we worked together to follow the proper protocol. We got to today by listening to the experts and collaborating with one another.

Looking ahead, the Quarterly Gathering scheduled for March 17th will be cancelled so that we can all support and enjoy the BRED event, a Lenten Day of Reflection for all parish catechetical leaders on Thursday, March 24, 2022, 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM (lunch included) at St. James Parish Center, Stratford. Betsy Redgate is the facilitator. Please email Betsy if you plan to attend.

Finally, the LEAD dashboard launched on Friday. I will be in touch with a few of you today to test it for a few days. Once those folks report back that all is well, I will open it to everyone. If you wish to be a digital guinea pig, let me know.


“O my poor people, put on sackcloth, and roll in ashes. Make mourning as for an only child, most bitter lamentation…” (Jeremiah 6:26).
Centuries ago it was the custom at the beginning of Lent to sprinkle ashes on public sinners as they came to the church in repentance. Now we acknowledge publicly that we are all sinners in need of repentance. Carrying the ashes on our foreheads indicates our willingness to do penance for our sins. Prepare an “ash” or two: Write a problem, a disappointment, a concern of your heart on a small piece of paper; light a candle and let the flame consume the paper as you release its content into God’s hands, letting it rise to God as a smoke-accompanied prayer.
Resolve to Live Lent Well this year so that Easter joy means even more.