Fairfield, CT- November 1, 2015- The sun shone through the stain glass windows of Holy Cross Church as Bishop Caggiano welcomed all to the annual Mass celebrating people with special needs hosted by Saint Catherine Center for Special Needs. Students from Saint Catherine Academy and two parishioners, one from St. Joseph Parish in Shelton and one from St. Edward the Confessor received one or more Sacraments of Initiation witnessed by over 150 in attendance.
“Today we gather as a faith community to witness the loving presence of Jesus in these young people and adults,” commented Helen Burland, Executive Director of Saint Catherine Center for Special Needs. “All seven participants have prepared for their sacraments working with their teachers at Saint Catherine Academy or within their parishes,” she continued. “These teachers are carrying out the mission of the Center and we are very grateful.”
During Mass, Saint Catherine Academy students, Vanessa Gomez, Patrick Nolan, Joanne Lindsy Paul, Jonathan Teixeira , Ellen Skoronski from St. Joseph Church and Francesco Cipollone from St. Edward the Confessor were confirmed. Heriberto Moya, as Saint Catherine Academy student received his First Holy Communion and Anthony Virgile, also a student at Saint Catherine Academy, was baptized and received his First Holy Communion. Fr. Robert Kinnally, Chancellor and Rector, St. John Fisher Seminary concelebrated and Peter DeMarco with Sharon Christie led the congregation in song.
Following Mass, everyone proceeded out of Church and headed to the new garden behind the Academy building for the dedication. The garden was made possible through the efforts of Andrew Aoyama whose Eagle Scout project created these raised beds and the generosity of donors, especially the CT Area Association of the Order of Malta. “We gather today to bless this garden and remember Kay and Jerry Luff,” began Burland. “Their vision and dedication to the mission of Saint Catherine Academy set an example for all of us. The children and young adults here are living examples of Jesus in our midst. This garden will serve as both an area for quiet reflection and active learning.” In attendance were Kelly Luff Weldon, member of the Board of Directors of Saint Catherine Center for Special Needs, Jennifer Luff Mitchell, Brad Luff and their families.
Bishop Caggiano proceeded to bless the garden and the crowd. Following the dedication, the crowd filtered through the Academy building and headed to the gym for refreshments and photographs. It was a wonderful day of celebration filled with hope and joy.