Pastor's Desk Notes

April 7, 2024

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As many of you know, last May I celebrated my 15th anniversary of priestly ordination. In the months leading up to that anniversary, I began a conversation with Bishop Caggiano about a unique opportunity afforded to priests of the Diocese of Bridgeport who have served for fifteen or more years: a sabbatical. The purpose of a priest’s sabbatical is to engage in a time of prayer, study, rest, and ministry that is otherwise not possible during his ordinary priestly ministry. Bishop Caggiano has very kindly granted me permission to take a three month sabbatical this summer, covering the months of June, July, and August. Just to make sure everything is clear: this is a sabbatical, not a leave of absence, and I will resume my pastoral responsibilities here at St. Pius X at the end of August. While I am gone, Fr. Brendan will serve as temporary administrator of the parish. I am very grateful to him for taking on this role and for his generosity in allowing me to step away for this time.

Part of the sabbatical is to give a priest the chance to engage in a ministry he does not ordinarily exercise. Since ordination, I have (mostly through St. Pius!) worked with Catholic Heart Workcamp and the young people who serve with them. As a chaplain for the last twelve summers, I have been introduced to the good work done behind the scenes of this organization, and have gained some significant insight into the needs of their staff. For a few years, I have had a conversation with CHWC about some of these elements, and this summer, they have invited me to assist with their staff training in June. From there, I will accompany a team of Catholic Heart Workcamp staff and serve as the chaplain at three of their camps. This is a ministry I have come to love and enjoy, and I look forward to spending June with CHWC.

Another important component of sabbatical is prayer. A portion of July will be dedicated to a time for retreat and solitude. After that I will make my way to Wyoming. There, I will offer daily Masses and some spiritual conferences to Catholic families at a ranch who come for a week of outdoor – device free – refreshment. With a fairly relaxed schedule, I will also have some time for reading and fishing. At the end of August, I will pack up and head back to Connecticut.

I am very grateful to have the chance to take this sabbatical. It is made possible by the generosity of Fr. Brendan and our parish staff who will keep things going here while I am gone. I am grateful to all of you, also, for your understanding. I am looking forward to this opportunity, and will keep you all in my daily prayers!


Fr. Sam