BRIDGEPORT—As news continues to develop on the potential threat of the novel coronavirus to our area, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano has released multiple directives, along with the announcement of school closings and parish event cancellations.
With the closing of schools and programs throughout the diocese, there is a worry that some may be left without the resources they need.
“This is the time we need to be open to serve our clients, says Mike Donoghue, executive director of Catholic Charities of Fairfield County. “We are ready willing and able to step up.”
In an effort to combat worry, below is a list of the food pantries in the area that are still in operation:
The Thomas Merton Center—
43 Madison Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604
New Covenant Center—
174 Richmond Hill Avenue
Stamford, CT 06902
In the community
Bridgeport Public Schools will open emergency food service sites during the school closure. The sites will be open Monday-Friday to provide breakfast and lunch to Bridgeport Public School students.
Visit www.bridgeportedu.net for locations and time schedule.
Blessed Sacrament Food Pantry—
The Church of the Blessed Sacrament
275 Union Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06607
With many overbuying supplies in order to prepare, some grocery stores are left with sparse inventory. For those who have more than enough, there is the potential to donate to these food pantries. Especially during the season of Lent, when almsgiving is at the forefront of our minds, what can we do to help those who may be most adversely affected by the current crisis?
Catholic Charities of Fairfield County is making sure that they are ready and available for their clients at this time. That being said, they are also keeping the needs of their employees and volunteers in mind, encouraging anyone in an at-risk situation to stay home.
Donoghue has expressed that Catholic Charities of Fairfield County’s programs are currently taking measures to try and set up more to-go options at their food pantries, as well as putting together wish lists of items that are needed. “We want to be a place where people in need can come,” says Donoghue.
In a message of hope, Donoghue expresses that Catholic Charities has received calls from many college-aged kids and those who are in good health, who are ready to help, offering their time.
“Usually in times of crisis, this is when the best of people come out,” Donoghue says.
In a recent Facebook post, Bishop Caggiano offers this prayer: This is a time when we must offer intercessory prayers for all those who have died from this disease, that they may rest in the Lord’s peace. We must pray for consolation for their families and loved ones during their time of sorrow and grief. Let us also pray for those who have been sickened by the virus, that they will soon recover, and for all those who are quarantined and are living alone and in fear. Finally, let us pray that this emergency may pass and that our love for one another will help us to make the right decisions to keep each other safe.
The Diocese of Bridgeport is continually monitoring the status of the virus in the Fairfield County community, consulting with health care professionals and experts when appropriate.
In response to the growing number of calls and concerns related to the Coronavirus and its impact on liturgical practices, the diocese has produced a special web page to offer the latest news, resources and information.
(People throughout the diocese can visit the website at any time for updates: www.bridgeportdiocese.org/coronavirus-resources-and-information.)
(For more information on Catholic Charities’ programs visit: ccfairfield.org.)
By Elizabeth Clyons