BRIDGEPORT—Last Sunday, July 14, 2018, St. Mary’s Parish of Bridgeport, lived a unique experience that allowed us to unify with nature in prayer.
Amanecer y Atardecer con Cristo was a one-day pilgrimage that took us to Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Litchfield.
It was an idea that arose in my time as vicar in St. Mary’s in Greenwich. During the five years I was working with Hispanic community there, we gathered in prayer at Bruce Park. It was always a total success! Due to different circumstances over the years I had not been able to return to this entire day retreat, although, I often thought of it.
In 2018, after having been the Pastor of St. Mary’s in Bridgeport for three years, I decided to try again and to have this experience with my community but on another level. This time God decided to take us to a more big and beautiful place, so we arrived at Grotto for a very special day of prayer and celebration guided by the Fathers of the Montford Missionaries.
Originally we only expected about 100 parishioners and we thought that many were not going to answer, because of summertime and families being on vacation, but how wrong we were.
What for man is impossible for God is not. Thanks to God, we had almost 300 people in attendance, from all different parts of the Diocese: Bridgeport, Norwalk, Stamford, and even from New York and Hartford. It was a total blessing. The day was beautiful and we were able to share the word of God, eat together, pray together, sing together and bless the Lord together, as brother and sisters, praising Him in every creation.
Despite the humidity, Our God blessed us with a great sun and shade and we ended the day with the Holy Eucharist. From 8 am to 6 pm, it was just amazing. Needless to say, God was with us at every moment. We are grateful for all those who shared their time, talent, and treasure– from the people who helped with breakfast and lunch, to those who cooperate with the rosary, cleaning and even the music.
I give thanks to Our Almighty God who helped us from the beginning to the end, everything was according to His will.
Our reflection for the day was, “Christ, Joy of the world, radiance of the Fathers glory, blessed is the morning that announces your splendor to the universe” (Morning Prayer Hymn, Sunday XV)
We hope next year, God willing, we can return to our parish Retreat not with only 300 hundred but with more people, guided by the Holy Spirit and Mary Our Mother.
By Fr. Rolando Torres,
Pastor, St. Mary’s Church, Bridgeport