Saint Catherine Center Celebrates Special Needs Mass

FAIRFIELD – On Sunday, December 2, Holy Cross Church in Fairfield was full of family and friends who gathered for the annual Mass Celebrating People with Special Needs, hosted by Saint Catherine Center for Special Needs.

“Even though it is just the first Sunday of Advent… today is like Christmas,” proclaimed Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, who celebrated the Mass. Twelve young people from eight parishes received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion. “This is one of the most important days of your life,” Bishop Caggiano said. “Thank you for saying ‘yes’ to Jesus.”

Each year, Saint Catherine Center offers the opportunity for individuals with special needs to receive one or more Sacraments of Initiation outside the typical faith formation program. Gail Milkosky, director of parish & community support for the Center, worked with directors of religious education throughout the diocese to coordinate preparation and participation.

Members of the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard, Saint Catherine Center board members and staff joined the celebration and a student from Saint Catherine Academy and an adult participant from the Center’s Day Program gave the readings for the Mass. “I thank the parents, sponsors and godparents who support these young people,” Bishop Caggiano said. He also acknowledged the staff of Saint Catherine Center for their work with young people with special needs. “They don’t just serve them,” he said, “They love them.”

“It’s so important that we remember that everyone is welcome in our Church and should feel included,” said Helen Burland, Executive Director of the Center. “This beautiful Mass reminds us of that.”

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Photos by Michelle Babyak