Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This Sunday evening, the priests of the Diocese of Bridgeport will gather for a convocation in Newport, RI. We will spend the next few days together in prayer and reflection on our vocation to the priesthood and on the fraternal bonds that exist as a result of this shared vocation. These days are also an opportunity for us to pray as a presbyterate for all of you, the people whom we serve.
These days of prayer, reflection, and fellowship will be, I hope, a time of renewal for all of us. While no Masses will be offered in parishes on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday of this week, churches will, of course, remain open. Our Chapel doors are open to you to stop by for prayer at any time. The lack of Masses for a few days can serve as a good reminder to us of how fortunate we are to have such a plethora of Masses available to us in such close proximity. There are many places in this country and around the world where due to geography (rural and mountainous regions, especially) or an insufficient number of priests, daily Masses are not possible. While we in the Diocese of Bridgeport do not face these geographical or personnel challenges, perhaps these days can remind us all that 410,000 Catholics in Fairfield County are served by about 200 priests.
I ask you then, during our Diocesan Convocation, to pray for the priests of the Diocese of Bridgeport as well as for an increase in good, holy vocations to the priesthood in our Diocese. I will offer my time and prayer during the Convocation for vocations to the priesthood, with the special intention that God will call young men from our parish to serve His people here in the Diocese, and that those young men will have the grace and courage to respond generously to the Lord’s invitation.