BRIDGEPORT—2020 was a unique year to say the least, but there was still much to remember and celebrate in the diocese. This year, we continued our tradition between Christmas and New Year’s Day of counting down the Top 10 Hopeful Moments of 2020!
Our countdown began at #10 with the launch of the Digital Edition of our award-winning diocesan newspaper: Fairfield County Catholic. You can read the latest issue on our website!
This year, many of our parishes found themselves in need. The St. Francis Xavier Fund was launched by Foundations in Faith in April of 2020 to assist parishes in financial difficulty as a result of the pandemic. Generous people from around the diocese continue to help these parishes by donating, which is why we chose to highlight it as #9 on our countdown.
Back in January, Bishop Caggiano established the Quasi-Parish Our Lady of Aparecida Brazilian Catholic Community, and the Quasi-Parish Holy Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Community, which comes in at #8 on our countdown.
This summer, Bishop Caggiano ordained two men as transitional deacons on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at St. Augustine Cathedral, which comes in at #7 on our countdown. Please continue to pray for these men!
In May, our diocese was reconsecrated to Our Lady under the title: Mary, Mother of the Church. We streamed this beautiful service live on our website on May 1, and it comes in at #6 on our countdown.
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve done our best to stay safe and keep ourselves socially distant. That meant working on new opportunities to pray together. Thousands of people join us for Bishop Caggiano’s recorded Mass and for our weekly Zoom rosary, which sits at #5 on our countdown.
In other years, the launch of our first EVER podcast, especially one featuring our bishop, would be #1 on our list. But in this unprecedented year, number four on our countdown is the premiere of Bishop Frank’s podcast: “Let Me Be Frank.”
With public worship suspended in order to save lives as the pandemic worsened, the priests, deacons and lay staff members of our parishes rose to the occasion, finding innovative and reverent ways to safely minister to their communities. Number three on our countdown celebrates these courageous people: who learned how to stream Mass online, prayed over the diocese in a plane, offered drive-through confessions, celebrated Mass outside and much, much more.
As the first step in the diocesan response to root out the sin of racism and bigotry wherever it may be found, Bishop Caggiano and the diocesan Leadership Institute sponsored a weekly webinar series: “Conversations About Race.” This important step forward is #2 in our countdown of hopeful 2020 moments!
From early-March to mid-May, public Mass was not celebrated in our diocese due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While it was a great sacrifice for all of us, especially those who have watched a relative or friend fall ill, buried a loved one, or remained in isolation and even fear, we believe that observing the state’s shelter at home order saved many lives.
That is why our number one most hopeful moment of 2020 was obvious. On May 11, Bishop Caggiano announced a gradual return to Public Mass beginning later that month. Though there are still restrictions and guidelines we all must follow to keep each other safe and protect life, we were elated to begin welcoming our parishioners home.
We know, though, that not everyone can gather with us just yet. Let us pray that this coming year, as we anticipate the distribution of vaccines and treatments for this disease, we will be able to once again come together, all of us, back home in our parishes.
We are wishing a happy, safe and healthy new year to all!