Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This Sunday, we say farewell to Fr. Eric Silva at the 9 AM Mass and with a coffee hour to follow. Fr. Silva has been in residence at St. Pius X for the past few years while serving as chaplain at St. Joseph High School in Trumbull. During that time, he has also made himself very available to say Mass and hear confessions for our parish community. I am tremendously grateful to Fr. Silva for his service to our parish community, and wish him well in his new assignment at St. Rose of Lima in Newtown. Later this week, we will welcome Fr. Brendan Blawie. Interestingly, Fr. Brendan is a native son of St. Rose of Lima, and though he has not been assigned there as a priest, it is a parish near and dear to his heart. Fr. Brendan was ordained to the priesthood on January 2, 2021, and is coming to us fresh off completing his graduate studies in Rome. A graduate of Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH, Fr. Brendan also completed the US Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in Quantico, VA, before discerning his call to the priesthood. After his initial formation at St. John Fisher Seminary in Stamford, Fr. Brendan studied theology at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Please join me in welcoming Fr. Brendan to St. Pius X, and be sure to introduce yourself to him next weekend.
Please keep in your prayers this week all the children who will be participating in the Vacation Bible School, as well as their teen and adult volunteers. I am so grateful to Mrs. Kerry Sweeney who started our VBS last year and has given so much time and effort to making this event possible. I am grateful also to Mrs. Shari Mellinger, our Director of Elementary Faith Formation, who has coordinated with Kerry to facilitate the week.
As you know, last week our Fairfield Life Teen high school youth ministry spent the week in Richmond, VA serving with Catholic Heart Workcamp. They and our outstanding adult volunteers made a huge difference in many lives. While the summer break from school provides space in the calendar for an extended period of dedicated service to those less fortunate, we always hope that the summer service trip inculcates a much deeper spirit of service that can be lived throughout the year. I am grateful to our young men and women, their chaperones, and to Ms. Emily Rauser, our youth minister, for their hard work and for the tremendous example of selfless service they have given this past week!
Speaking of youth ministry, I would like to share with you some exciting news about the future of Fairfield Life Teen. With the help of Bishop Caggiano and the Seton Collaborative, the pastors of Fairfield have worked together on a plan to collaborate on supporting the existence of Catholic youth ministry in the town of Fairfield. For the last several years, our youth ministry has welcomed students from the other parishes in town, but in an informal way. Going forward, the parishes of Our Lady of the Assumption, St. Thomas Aquinas, Holy Family-St. Emery, and St. Pius X will collectively support Catholic middle and high school youth ministry in Fairfield. While our campus here at St. Pius will be the main physical location for this ministry, Fairfield Life Teen itself is open to all students in Fairfield, regardless of parish affiliation. Our hope is that this collaborative model will strengthen the youth ministry that already exists, and provide opportunities for youth ministry to young people from those parishes where such ministries have not previously existed. This collaboration is also a reminder that we are one in the profession of our Catholic faith, and that this common bond transcends parish boundaries. I pray that sharing Fairfield Life Teen in this way will serve for greater unity among the parishes in Fairfield and foster the faith life of the young men and women who are such a vital part of parish life in our town.