Day of Service Begins and Ends in Prayer

BRIDGEPORT—“Today is an historic day in our Diocese with the inauguration of the Catholic Service Corps,” said Bishop Frank Caggiano in his Facebook entry last Saturday.

The bishop was excited by the launch of the first Diocesan Day of Service sponsored by the newly formed Catholic Service Corps.

The day began with prayer, followed by volunteer work, and Mass celebrated by the Bishop at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Sacred Heart University.

Young service corps members worked in a variety of settings including Merton Center in Bridgeport, St. Margaret’s Shrine, New Covenant Center in Stamford, and St. Thomas The Apostle Parish in Norwalk.

The CSC was one of the major initiatives that was approved in the recent Diocesan Synod to provide opportunities for all the faithful, especially young people, to deepen and broaden their Catholic faith by inviting them to embrace a life of Christian service and the call to be a missionary disciples.

“The young people who will begin to form the Catholic Service Corps will walk on the front line of faith, trying to overcome the temptation of spiritual complacency in their own lives by embracing, over time, a true lifestyle of service. Their witness will also encourage and challenge those around them to follow their example,” he said.

The bishop dropped in at a couple of the worksites to offer encouragement to the young people who worked in teams from different schools and parishes. He believes that the charitable work, grounded in prayer and reflection, is an important part of faith formation.

“My prayer is that the Corps will unleash a tidal wave of mercy that will slowly transform the face of our Diocesan Church, bringing the gift of loving mercy to every corner of our county. My dream is that such love will be effectively offered and received by every human heart seeking a path to God.”

“Given some of the challenges that we have faced as a Church over the past 15 years, many people may be tempted to believe that the best days of our Church are behind us. Today proves that our best days are yet to come,” he said.

Michelle Smith of Weston, a teacher at Fairfield Prep who is serving as Coordinator of the Catholic Service Corps, said she hopes the pilot program will expand to include more schools and parishes throughout the diocese.

For more information, contact Michelle M. Smith Coordinator, Catholic Service Corps, Diocese of Bridgeport, 238 Jewett Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut 06606. Email: