Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Yesterday, the St. Augustine Medal of Service was awarded to volunteers from parishes across the Diocese of Bridgeport. Bishop Caggiano gives this award each year in recognition of the important contributions made by the generosity in time, talent, and treasure of so many people. Their service truly builds up the life of every parish and thus serves the whole Church. This year our honorees from St. Pius X Parish are Peter Carey and Claudia Carpanzano.
Peter Carey, a New Yorker by birth, joined St. Pius X Parish in 1975 with his wife Angela and their four children. Since that day Pete has been an active member of our parish community. Peter came up with the idea for the Young at Heart Senior Ministry in 2015 and has been leading the growing group ever since, with monthly luncheons, trips, and regular email communications. Peter is also a faithful Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and brings Communion to residents at Sturges Ridge Assisted Living every week. Pete has participated as a Gospel Leader with the St. Pius X RCIA team, walking with many on their faith journey by sharing his faith story. Outside of St. Pius X, Pete spent a lifetime enjoying time with the love of his life Angela (deceased,) four children, and nine grandchildren. Pete is a self-published author of “With God and Love, You Can Do Anything,” involved with Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, an avid Giants fan, and weekly golfer! Pete is a dedicated servant of our faith, a humble family man who gives generously and with love, and shares his faith with all he meets.
If you have not met Claudia Carpanzano, chances are you have one of her crosses in your pocket, in a cupholder in your car, bookmarking a page in your latest book, or you’ve been finding them in your kids’ pockets after Sunday Mass. From her sign in the church vestibule: “Claudia is a loving, joyful, vibrant 26-year old woman with mild autism and a mild intellectual disability who loves our Lord Jesus, our Blessed Mother, going to Mass, prayer, and praying the rosary. She loves her family and friends, and loves making new friends. Claudia really enjoys having something to give people – this is her ministry. She has needlepointed nearly 3,000 of these crosses.” At this point, I am confident that Claudia has doubled that number! Every week, she faithfully brings me a new batch of crosses to bless. I have lost count of the number of people who leave with one of her crosses in hand commenting how beautiful they are and how wonderful a reminder these simple signs are of God’s love and presence. The sign with her crosses does not do her justice. “Loving,” “joyful,” and “vibrant” only scratch the surface. She is a real delight to know, and often says goodbye to me with a little teasing: “Behave yourself, Fr. Sam.”
I am so grateful to Peter Carey and Claudia Carpanzano for their service to our parish community. Please join me in congratulating them as they receive the St. Augustine Medal of Service!