Dear Assumption Families and Friends:

Seminarian Guy Dormevil: Let’s wish our Seminarian Guy every blessing as he is leaving us to continue his journey to the priesthood. Guy spent the summer with us worshiping, working the the youth group and getting involved in every aspect of our parish life. He will return to his studies at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in the fall.

Guy came to the United States over 20 years ago and was married. He lived in Norwalk and had two children. He has always been active in church groups and activities. He applied for the program after his wife passed away. We had a farewell reception Sunday after the 10:30 Mass. Click here to view photos of the event.

The Feast of the Assumption: What a spectacular event! I would like to thank all who came and thank everyone for all the food, donations, efforts and energy. The weather was terrific, the church looked magnificent (thanks to our Seminarian Guy Dormevil), the food was over the top and there was music and more. Click here to access pictures of the event.

God Bless,
Fr. Cyrus

Father Cyrus just returned from a trip to Lourdes, France. Click here to follow his journey.

June 21, 2019

Dear Assumption Family,

You may have noticed we now have three beautiful additions to our Parish. We have a new Parish Lawn Sign, a new Baptismal Font Cover and, most recently, a first-class relic of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. I received many positive feedback for these additions, and some asks explanations to the symbols on the parish sign and baptismal font.

First, our new Parish Lawn Sign. This past January a few parishioners had the wonderful idea for a new Parish Lawn Sign. As you remember, there was an old sign that was located on the front left side of the main entrance of the church that was deteriorating. A local artist created the new sign. It is simple, but elegant. The symbol on top of the sign is an old symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The “A” and the “M” came from the first letter of the “Hail Mary” in Latin (Ave Maria) with a crown above. This symbol is used frequently throughout the centuries and the blue background is the liturgical color of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  With its simplicity and elegance, this sign is one humble way to evangelize those in the community. As the words attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi, “Preach if necessary, use Words”.

Second, the new Baptismal Font Cover. The Cover is modeled after the domes of the churches throughout Italy. On the top of the dome is the figure of Saint John the Baptist with the little lamb next to him. It was hand carved by the world-renowned artisans from the Ferdinand Stuflesser Company, located in Northern Italy. Father Tom was instrumental in making this beautiful masterpiece a reality and a wonderful addition to our church. A generous donation from one of our Parishioners made this possible.

Third, we have a first-class relic of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. Francesca Saverio Cabrini was born July 15, 1850 in Sant’Angelo Lodigiano, in the Lombard Province of Lodi, at that time part of the Austrian Empire.  She founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (M.S.C.) in November 1880 and immigrated to America on March 31, 1889 along with six other sisters. She founded many hospitals throughout the United States.  Mother Cabrini died on December 22, 1917, was beatified on November 13, 1938 by Pope Pius XI and canonized on July 7, 1946 by the Venerable Servant of God, Pope Pius XII. Jo Ann and Charlie French donated this relic in honor of Sister Helen Stephens, S.S.N.D.

 

 

Week of May 26th

Dear Parish Family and Friends,

I would like to welcome you to our new website!

Please use this resource as a way to check out what’s happening around the Parish.

Next week, Sunday, June 9th (Solemnity of Pentecost) you are all invited to my Installation Mass at 12:00pm which will be celebrated by Bishop Caggiano. Following the Mass there will be a reception in the Parish Gym. I hope to see you all there as I begin my ministry as the 13th Pastor of Church of the Assumption.

God’s blessing to your all,

Fr. Cyrus

April 14, 2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

With the celebration of Palm Sunday, the Church begins the most sacred days of the liturgical year. Holy Week, in its name and in the mysteries it celebrates, is designed to open our hearts and minds to the truth of the Lord’s great mercy and our need for the power of the Cross. We begin the week with the reading of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Moments later, we will reflect on the story of His Passion and death on the Cross. These twin Gospels set the stage for what this week is all about. Today, we begin to walk with Jesus as He brings to fulfillment the plan God made for the salvation of fallen humanity.

Monday is “Reconciliation Monday” throughout the Diocese of Bridgeport. Several parishes throughout Fairfield County have been designated as locations where the Sacrament of Confession will be available from 3 PM – 9 PM. In Fairfield, St. Pius X and Our Lady of the Assumption are the two designated parishes. Assumption Church in Westport is also a site for these confessions. I encourage you to take advantage of this wonderful sacrament of God’s mercy!

Holy Thursday is the day on which we celebrate the Institution of the Eucharist and of the Priesthood. We begin with Morning Prayer at 8:30 AM in the Chapel. Later in the morning, the priests of the Diocese gather with the Bishop for the Chrism Mass, during which the Bishop consecrates the oil to be used throughout the year in sacramental celebrations. In the evening, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper (at 7:30 PM) brings us to the upper room with Jesus and the Apostles. We witness Jesus establish the Eucharist as the Church’s nourishing spiritual food, and His establishment of the priesthood for the sake of service in the Church and the celebration of the Eucharistic mysteries. At the end of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist is brought to an altar of repose, representing the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed with the Apostles before being arrested. I encourage you to participate in the ancient tradition of visiting the altars of repose at various churches in the area after the Mass.

Good Friday marks the day of the Lord’s Passion. It is a day of fasting and abstinence. We go with Jesus from arrest to trial to Calvary to tomb. It is a day of profound reflection and prayer. We begin with Morning Prayer at 8:30 AM in the Chapel. We will pray the Stations of the Cross at noon in the Church. At 3 PM, the Lord’s Passion is celebrated, with the veneration of the Cross. This year, we have moved the celebration of Tenebrae to Good Friday evening at 7 PM. Tenebrae is a beautiful liturgical practice rooted in monastic life, during which we prayerfully reflect on the words of Scripture relating to Jesus’ Passion as the darkness of night grows more profound.

Holy Saturday again begins with Morning Prayer at 8:30 AM in the Chapel. At 10 AM, we will have a special blessing of Easter baskets and food. Spiritually, it is a day of waiting and expectation. We await the good news of Christ’s Resurrection. The Sacrament of Confession will be available from 2 PM – 4 PM.  The Easter Vigil, the most important liturgical celebration of the entire year, begins at 8 PM. During this beautiful Mass, we proclaim the Resurrection and those who have been preparing to receive the Sacraments of Initiation are received in to the life of the Church. If you have never experienced the Easter Vigil, don’t miss it this year!

May your Holy Week truly draw you closer to our Lord’s merciful Heart and be for you a source of grace and sanctification!

Peace,

Fr. Sam

April 7, 2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

While throwing stones may be fun at the beach, the same activity undertaken with a human target is far less amusing. We hear in the Gospel this weekend about a woman who has been caught in the act of adultery and the scribes and Pharisees who are ready to inflict the punishment prescribed by law for this sin. This situation is no joke, but rather a literal matter of life and death. The serious nature of the charge, the punishment, the impact of the sin – all laid before Jesus who understands the import of the moment.

At first, it may seem strange that Jesus bends down and begins to write on the ground with his finger. Compared to other situations brought to Jesus, this is an abnormal response. In ordinary circumstances, Jesus says something almost immediately, gives an instruction, poses a question, offers some healing. But here He pauses, takes a physical posture markedly different from both the woman and her accusers, and it is only in response to repeated questions from the Pharisees that he speaks. Pay attention to His posture, first. The woman has been made to stand in the middle, surrounded by accusers who also stand. Jesus bends to the ground, touching the ground with his finger. The effect is two-fold. Jesus, God-Incarnate, writes in the dust, just as God formed man from the dust of the earth, and thus Jesus’ posture symbolizes His authority and power as creator and sole judge. On a human level, the woman made to stand in the middle is able to look down on Jesus, who by lowering Himself, has been removed from the circle of accusers. Just so does Jesus lower Himself for all of us – He enters our human condition, not to accuse us of sin, of betraying the purpose for which God created us from dust, but rather that we might stand, even in our sinfulness, and have hope of mercy.

As the Pharisees question Him, our Lord waits patiently. His words, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” does two things. First, it reminds the Pharisees that, for all their good intentions and knowledge, they are sinners. Second, it confirms for the woman that she is also guilty of sin. The penalty for the sin of adultery according to the Mosaic law is stoning, and Jesus allows that penalty, provided a sinless person is able to throw a stone. No one in this story (except Jesus) is innocent. As the accusers walk away, Jesus makes another change to His physical posture.

Now alone with the accused woman, Jesus stands. Whereas He had lowered Himself as a sign that He was not an accuser, now He stands to look the woman in the eye. Our Lord, the only one with the right to throw a stone, looks her in the eye to ask if she has been condemned. Then, showing His mastery of and authority over the law, Jesus refuses to condemn her and sends her away with a command: “Go, and sin no more.” In those words and actions, we see our own reflection. We are all the woman caught in adultery, we are all the Pharisees and scribes. We see the faults of others and we see the faults that are present in our own hearts and lives. Jesus sees and knows them also. The Lenten season in a special way is an invitation to reflect on our tendency to judge and condemn others, as well as our tendency to judge and condemn ourselves. The Lord wants to look you and me in the eye and speak to our hearts those powerful words “Neither do I condemn you.” Fortunately for us, Jesus has provided us with the opportunity to hear that sentiment in the Sacrament of Confession. By confessing our sins, we receive the great mercy of God. Fortunately, that mercy comes with an accompanying command “Go, and sin no more.” We know that if we continue in sinful behaviors, patterns, habits, or mentalities, we will bring condemnation and pain on ourselves and those around us. We need to change. As this holy season draws to a close, let us recognize our need to look Jesus in the eye, to stand before Him in humility and humiliation, and to hear both words of merciful love and words of command challenging us to virtue.

Peace,

Fr. Sam