NORWALK—“When I gather together with you, I know I am with family,” Monsignor Walter Orlowski addressed the congregation during his homily at this weekend’s Mass of Thanksgiving, honoring the 40th Anniversary of his Ordination.
Joy, laughter, priests, religious, dignitaries and five generations of parishioners packed the church. Processing into Mass were representatives from the 1,016 baptized by Monsignor while at St. Matthew, 2,252 First Communicants, 1,599 young adults he prepared for Confirmation and 407 Couples who received the Sacrament of Matrimony.
“I’ve spent more than a third of my life here at St. Matthew,” said Monsignor. “There has never been a day or week when one of you hasn’t come up to me with a prayer, word of support or a hug. It has meant the world to me.”
“It is you who inspires us,” he said to the faithful. “It is you who makes us better priests. It is you who fills us with your great spirituality that you possess in the community of St. Matthew. 40 years of priesthood has been a magnificent gift; I am blessed by you. 25 years and I have never felt alone – you have been there every step of the way. All of the great people of St. Matthew—it is you who make this place work. And I am grateful to God for you. God will take care of you, trust me,” Monsignor said.
At the end of Mass, Norwalk Mayor Harry W. Rilling and Lucia Rilling presented Msgr. Walter with a City of Norwalk Proclamation and Senator Bob Duff, Senate Majority Leader presented a CT General Assembly Citation recognizing Monsignor’s milestone service contributions to the community.
The Mass was followed by a reception in the great room with hors d’oeuvres served and souvenir prayer cards given out.