Bishop blesses statues of St. Joseph and the Sacred Heart of Jesus

BRIDGEPORT—On Sunday, May 2, at St. Augustine Cathedral, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano celebrated a special Mass to bless two statues generously donated to the diocese.

A beautiful statue, which depicts St. Joseph holding a young Jesus and a bouquet of white lilies, was gifted to the diocese by generous donor, Connie Von Zwehl, parishioner of St. Pius X in Fairfield. A new statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was also generously donated on behalf of Joseph and Mary Gauci.

In his homily on this special Fifth Sunday of Easter, Bishop Caggiano spoke of his visit to Clonmacnoise, a monastery in Ireland. He described a ritual that the monks engaged in when they lived there: blessing the perimeter of the monastery with Holy Water, asking the angels to keep that place safe and sacred. Giving context, Bishop Caggiano explained that at the time there were many pagan religions in Ireland, who may not have wanted other religions to be in their midst and live among them.

The bishop likened this time to what Christians are experiencing now, saying that we live in a world that does not always welcome faith, Christ, or even God. He explained that this was his reasoning behind wanting to consecrate the diocese when he first became bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport. “To create a safe and sacred perimeter, in which you and I can live and work and pray, and gather each other in strength, so that we may go out, equally as missionaries into a world to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.”

Bishop Caggiano said that the process of consecration began at the synod and was completed today.

At the diocesan synod, the bishop consecrated the diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. A statue of Mary was placed in the sanctuary of St. Augustine Cathedral at that time, which the bishop explained was the first step of asking the Holy Family itself to be our protector. “Each member of the Holy Family gives us a tool, which we will need to go out into the world to be safe and sacred.”

“Our Lady reminds us that if we are to go out into the world that it must always be Christ first, Christ always first,” the bishop said.

“Under the care of St. Joseph, we consecrate ourselves, because we will need to be reassured in the work that Christ has given us. So we ask his prayers and intercession so that we might be faithful, quiet workers to bear Christ into the world,” he continued.

“And so we consecrate ourselves to the Lord’s Sacred Heart so that we might be His heart in the world. For we are not going to bring people to faith by arguing with them, chastising them, punishing them or judging them. We are going to bring them to the feet of Jesus by loving them.”

In His Sacred Heart, the bishop said, we have every confidence that His victory will be ours.

“I am very grateful for the gift of these two beautiful statues,” the bishop said, thanking Mrs. Von Zwehl and the Grimes family. “For it now can physically remind every person in this diocese under whose care we now live.”

The bishop thanked both donors for their generosity and their faith. “These statues will do us no spiritual good if we do not use them to remind ourselves of what it is the Lord is asking of us.”

“We must pray every day to Our Lady, to St. Joseph and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus that we will never falter, that we will never waiver, and with His grace we will not fail,” said the bishop.

Prayers of Blessing for Images of the Sacred Heart and St. Joseph

Photos by Amy Mortensen