New Beginnings 3/10/2023

Reflection from Fr. Joseph

We’re 16 days into Lent, and by this time it’s easy to reach a certain weariness of our Lenten penances. We really have 30 more days to go (counting Sundays)? Why does Lent have to be so long?

Numbers are hugely significant in the Scriptures. For example, 7 is the number of the covenant – if you see a 7, realize that God is swearing a sacred covenant with His people. The number 12 signifies the people of God (Israel is built on 12 tribes, the Church is built on 12 Apostles, and in the book of Revelation, John has a vision of all the saved, which numbers 144,000 – twelve times twelve, times a thousand).

The number 40, then, is the number of testing and purification. We’re all familiar with the 40s – Noah and the Ark when God purifiedthe earth of its wickedness…the 40 days that Moses fasted before receiving the Law…the 40 years that Israel was in the desert, being tested and purified by God…Jesus’ 40 days of testing when He was tempted in the desert. So our forty-day journey is likewise a time of both testing and purification. Testing, because it is easy to say that we love God, but to sacrifice for Him over an extended period of time puts that love to the test. Purification, because our penances are meant to strip us of carnal loves and worldly desires, that we may pursue Christ alone.

So, do not give up! This time of penance will lead to the overwhelming joy of Easter – not only Easter 2023, but the everlasting Easter feast!

One of the penances that the Church requires us to do is to abstain from meat from warm-blooded animals on Fridays. For many centuries, Catholics were famous for being “fish-eaters” (sometimes used derogatively). But where does this custom come from, and what does it mean?

It is interesting to note that originally, in the Garden of Eden, God had intended humanity to be vegetarian. It is only after Noah’s flood that He gives all of the animals as food (see Genesis 9:3). Well before Christianity, and even in pagan religions, abstaining from certain food was connected with one’s relationship with God. Observant Jews, to this day, will not eat shellfish, pork products, or meat & cheese in the same dish as a sign that they belong to a unique covenantal relationship with God. 

The Didache, which is an ancient text from c. 100 AD, mentions that Christians must fast “on Wednesdays and Fridays”, unlike the pagans who fasted on Mondays and Thursdays. This fasting didn’t mean to eat nothing (that’d be tough to do twice per week), but rather abstaining from certain foods. In the early Church, the Lenten fast was quite considerable. It was forty consecutive days without meat, fish, oil, alcohol, eggs, or dairy. Frequently it was required for Christians to take only one meal on those days (this type of fasting is still practiced by some Catholic monks and Eastern Orthodox believers).

In the ancient world, meat was a rare luxury, unless one were rich. Thus, this prohibition on meat was mainly a sacrifice on the wealthy, to help them identify with the poor. Most fish consumed in the ancient world was dried, salted…and pretty boring and tasteless. So while it curtailed hunger, it wasn’t something you looked forward to. Hence – a great penance!

When the Protestant Reformation arose, they wanted to throw out anything that smacked of “popery” (their slur for Catholics) so they tossed out any food restrictions – which led to Catholics taking their identity as “fish-eaters” very seriously.

There is no truth to the rumor that a Pope was trying to look out for the business of his fisherman relatives by mandating fish on Fridays – the tradition of fasting on fish is more deeply entrenched than that! It was Pope Paul VI in the 1960s who took away the requirement to avoid meat on Fridays outside of Lent (as it had been required every Friday throughout the year), in part because fish had now become more expensive than meat in developed countries!

So, three quick things to know about eating fish on Fridays…

First, Catholics can eat any cold-blooded animal on Fridays in Lent. So reptiles, amphibians, and insects are all fair game (if you so desire).

Second, we should keep the spirit of fasting and sacrifice even as we abstain from meat. So perhaps lobster isn’t the best choice on Friday in Lent…

Third, although Pope Paul VI officially allowed Catholics to eat meat on Fridays outside of Lent, he did so with the stipulation that Catholics had to substitute another kind of penance instead. Every Friday, we remember the incredible price that was paid for our salvation, so even outside of Lent we are required to do penance and sacrifice on Fridays, in commemoration of Our Lord’s death…although outside of Lent, the choice of penance is up to you.

Happy fish eating!

It is with great joy that we invite you to participate in the many celebrations and activities planned throughout this coming year to celebrate our Parish 50th Anniversary. Please see the Schedule of planned events in our website.



Monday March 27 - 6:00 PM St Jude Social Hall

Passover and the story of the Exodus have great symbolism for Christians and the Last Supper was a Passover meal. Come experience a traditional Passover Seder

Parish Seder Meal Sign Up and Information

One In Christ – The 2023 Bishop’s Appeal

Your gifts at work

Future priests of the Diocese of Bridgeport receive comprehensive formation in theology, pastoral ministry, personal growth, and, most importantly, the spiritual life at seminaries chosen by the Bishop to best suit the needs of the seminarian and of the diocese. Preparation for the Priesthood takes anywhere from six to eight years, depending on the age and educational background of the man when he enters. All of our seminarians receive graduate degrees in theology prior to their ordination.  Through your generous gift to the Bishop's Appeal, the Diocese will be better able to support men who are discerning priesthood and may respond generously and courageously to that call. 

Thank you for your gift.

To make a gift, or for more information, please visit us at, call (203) 416-1470 or scan with your phone.

Annual Bishop's Appeal Brochure and Home QR

Parish News

Ignatian Parish Pilgrimage

Please join us for the second lecture of the first phase of the Ignatian Parish Pilgrimage we are co-sponsoring with St. Stephen’s on Saturday morning, March 11th starting at 10:30 in St. Jude’s Social Hall. It will be the second of four lectures that will run through the last Saturday of March. It will be led by Fr. John Murray, a Jesuit priest with the Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Fairfield University. Bring a friend. The Pilgrimage is an important part of our Lenten journey for deepening our relationship with Christ, improving our relationship with each other, and helping us grow in personal holiness. Please see our parish website for more details.

Notes From the Music Ministry

Music and Lent

Having begun this Ash Wednesday and lasting through Good Friday, you will find at the ends of each pew pieces of cardstock. On that sheet is the Mass Setting, otherwise known as the Mass Ordinaries, that we will be using during Lent. During this more penitent liturgical season, we will sing the Kyrie and of course replace the Alleluia with an acclamation. We will also change the Holy, Holy (the Sanctus) to the familiar Latin Chant that should bring back some memories. All the music you need is right before you. Please participate - you will catch on quickly. 

Additionally, the music during the Lenten Season is also noticeably different. There will not be prelude or postlude music before or after Mass. This is to encourage quiet prayer before the Blessed Sacrament present in the Tabernacle. Musical interludes are omiited as well, and hymns are frequently set in a minor key, typically less pleasent to the ear. Liturgically, Lent is not "business as usual", just like our personal approach to fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. We have to enter the fallow desert with Christ in anticipation of a joyous Easter. 

Adult, Children's Choir, and Contemporary Choir

Now is a great time to consider stepping up and joining our group of volunteers in our Music Ministry. Please see me if you would like to participate in either any of our musical groups. 

Mass Intentions

Have you ever heard someone announce that "This Mass is offered for John Doe"? Most Masses are offered for specific intentions, usually for the repose of the soul of someone who is deceased. It's a way to apply the prayers, graces, and merits of the Mass for the soul of our deceased loved one (or for a living person, if Mass is offered for the living). Currently we have a number of daily Masses in March and April, and throughout the rest of the year, which no one has requested. If you have a loved one that you would like to pray for in a special way (living or deceased), consider having a Mass offered for them. Contact the parish office for available dates. The usual stipend for each Mass is $10.

St. Stephen Bereavement Support Group

Have you suffered the loss of a special person in your life? Our Bereavement Ministry can offer you hope of coping with your grief. It is open to anyone you may know who needs help. The 10-week course with a guided workbook provided will begin on Tuesday, March 21st from 4:00-5:30pm. Registration is required. Please call the rectory at 203-268-6217. A call will be returned to you by one of the bereavement facilitators. 

Food Pantry Update

Now that we have collectively begun our Lenten journey with the three pillars of Lent (prayer, fasting and almsgiving) in mind we ask that you consider a donation to our pantry. Preparations are underway for our Easter distribution with the items in greatest need at this time being: rice side dishes (Rice-A-Roni), canned soup, jarred pasta sauce, pasta and as always boxed children’s cereal. Please continue to monitor this newsletter for updates as we draw closer to our Easter distribution for assistance with perishable items. Thank you again for your continued support of our ministry!

Joint Stations with St. Stephen's!

All parishioners are invited to pray with our sister parish for Stations of the Cross on Friday, March 10 at 6:30pm at St. Stephen's! Join us for Adoration, a reflection, and then Stations of the Cross. A beautiful opportunity for our two communities to come together in prayer this Lent! Please note: there will be NO Stations or Adoration at St. Jude's that night.

The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, our Sr Megan Mary Thibodeau’s religious order is asking for our help. During Lent they are asking for prayers and for donations to help them build a Mother House in Corpus Christi Texas, where Sr Megan is the General Superior of the order. +

To quote their request:

It’s Lent and we are excited! ON Ash Wednesday we kicked off our 40 Days + 40 Dollars + 40 Friends campaign to raise funds for our new Motherhouse. We humbly ask you to consider donating 40 dollars during these 40 days of Lent and sharing our need with 40 friends or 10 friends to share with 4 of their friends. Please also keep an eye out for our Behind the Habit posts on Facebook which are short glimpses of the lives of our sisters who may one day live in this new Motherhouse.

Since Sr Megan was formed here at St Jude and we are her home parish it would be great to support this effort. If you feel the Lord move you to help, please send donations to: SOLT Sisters, PO Box 4116, Corpus Christi’s TX 78469.

The Healing Shawl Ministry would like you to know that they are free of charge and are made with love and prayers for the purpose of providing a tangible form of caring and compassion to those who are sick, bereaved, or in need of a hug. WE NEED YOU to let us know when someone in your family, a dear friend, or a neighbor might be in need of one. To request a shawl (we have them for men, women, and children), contact Angela Baril,  [email protected] or 203-452-0432. All requests are confidential.
Consider giving a PRAYER SQUARE (which are blessed and located in baskets in the church entries) to anyone you know who might need to have a pocket size reminder that God is always with us. 


Please join our Pro-life Ministers for a Prayer Vigil on Sunday, March 19th from 2-4pm in front of Planned Parenthood on Main Street in Bridgeport as we pray for an end to abortions including the abortion- inducing medications now available over-the-counter. 

MARCH FOR LIFE in Hartford. We encourage participation in this important March on March 22nd, especially since we have our own bus leaving from St.Jude's.

If you are unable to participate in the MARCH, please prayerfully consider joining us for ADORATION of the BLESSED SACRAMENT in Church following the 9:00 Mass any time between 9:30- 4:30.


       Shelton, CT


MARCH 3RD • 10TH • 17TH 5-8 pm

Clam Chowder, Fried Fish, Baked Fish,

Cole Slaw, Raffles and Much More…

50 Fairmont Place • Shelton

Parish Hall (Lower Church)



Bring home Saint Jude's traveling statue of the Holy Family. Materials will be included to do a 7-day preparation for Consecration to the Holy Family. To learn more, visit:

May God bless you and your family through the intercession of the Holy Family!


Rehearsals are under way for the Living Stations of the Cross, and we’re still looking for a few more actors, particularly teenagers who might be interested in the role of Jesus (All acting parts are silent — there’s nothing to memorize!)

Rehearsals are on Sunday evenings at 6 p.m. in the church, and the Living Stations will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Good Friday, April 7.

Email Peter Blair at [email protected] if you wish to join us.

Seeking Prayer Intentions to bring to

the Holy Land!

We have a group of parishioners who will be visiting the Holy Land next month. They have offered to take our Parish's prayer requests with them. You can submit them anonymously on this Google form.


Formed Resources for Lent
Family News and Updates

Communion Gift Sale after 9:30/11:30 Mass on Sunday 3/19

St Jude's religious gift shop has many beautiful communion items available for purchase. See list here. Contact Fran Cambra to purchase. Items will be available in the church foyer for purchase on Sunday 3/19 (or by appointment).

We have enough egg cartons for our Kid's Club craft - Many thanks to all who donated!

We are seeking gently used children's toys for children who come for childcare during the Choice Wine program below. If you have anything that you are interested in donating, e-mail Jessica Iannotta

Attention Newly Married Couples & Young Families!

Do you want to have a superabundant marriage?

If so, come join us and meet other young couples and learn 7 Steps to a Superabundant Marriage.

We invite you to join us in a series of talks to enhance your marriage and your spirituality. There is no cost.

First meeting for couples will be an introduction and social night on Saturday, March 25 at 5:30 PM in the St Jude Social Hall. It will be a pizza and wine event!

RSVP: Mike Bonomo phone/text 203-257-3224. Email: [email protected]

Please indicate if childcare needed at the event.




Summer with the Sacred Heart

June 26-30, 2023 8:30 am to 12:30 pm

for children entering Grades 1-6.

This year's theme is "Summer with the Sacred Heart"

Registration is now OPEN click here. Sign up early to secure a spot!

Email Jessica Iannotta if you are an adult or teen interested in volunteering or helping with preparation or donations.

Mom's Group Announcements

Next meeting Thursday 3/23 at 7:30 pm.

Our next monthly mother's Zoom rosary is Wednesday 4/5 at 9 pm and will continue on the first Wednesday of every month e-mail Jessica Iannotta for more information.

Youth Encounter and Kid's Club Reminders

Next Encounter 3/17 & Kid's Club 4/2

Please remember in your daily prayers:

Marge Tranzillo, David Nicolett, Maria Bertone, Marie Micholovich, Vincent Daniello, Dyana vander Wielen, Joe Pinto, Zoey Frigo, Daniel Louis Bianco, Max, Hung Vu, Alfred Zawadski, Dr. John Kezel, Joseph Sheridan, Francisca Testa & family, Catherine Belanger, Stephen Henn, Manny Cambra, Bennett Gulyas, Tom Pleva, James Buturla, Violeta Shala, Vito Melfi, Paul Verespej, Patti F. , Anne DeVita, Anna Harper, Jack Lane, Robert Freeman, Frank Kerekes, Marian Nanchy, Rose C., Joseph T., Rosario Pacheco, Antonia Tedeschi, Charles Metoyer, Liz Guaglianone, Tip B.

All healthcare workers, first responders, caregivers and the men and women in the military.

If you have anyone that you would like to add to the list, please call the office or email with the name to be added.

Visit our Website
Monthly Parish Petition

Please join us in praying our Monthly Parish Intention.


Please join us in praying our Monthly Parish Intention.

Our Petition for March is:

We pray that parents considering aborting their preborn babies, receive the grace to remember that God has given life to their babies and entrusted them to you....

    We pray to the Lord

Upcoming Mass Intentions

Sat    Mar 11       4:00pm                Deceased members of the Carlson and

                                                         DelMastro families


Sun   Mar 12      7:30am                 St Jude Parishioners


Sun   Mar 12       9:30am                 Rita Benoit


Sun   Mar 12       11:30am               Rick Buckley


Mon  Mar 13       9:00am                 Anthony D’Angelo


Tue   Mar 14      9:00am                 Louis Regina, Jr.


Wed  Mar 15       9:00am                Deceased members of the Cunningham



Thu   Mar 16       9:00am                 Rick Buckley


Fri   Mar 17       9:00am                 Andrew Henn


Sat    Mar 18       4:00pm                James Tierney, Sr.


Sun   Mar 19      7:30am                 St Jude Parishioners


Sun   Mar 19       9:30am                 Ljuba and Dragica Jovic


Sun   Mar 19       11:30am               Maria Emilia Monteiro


The Tabernacle Candle will burn in memory of Marie Goss during the month of March

Mass Schedule

Weekday Masses will be in the main Church at 9 am and live streamed.

The Weekend Masses inside the Church are Saturday at 4:00 pm and Sunday at 7:30, 9:30 and 11:30. Only the Saturday Mass at 4:00 pm and the Sunday 7:30 am and 9:30 Masses are live streamed.

(Live-streamed Masses may be viewed at )

Online Giving

Holy Trinity Catholic Academy

503 Shelton Avenue

Shelton, CT

For more information, go to:

or call: 203-929-4422


Pre-K 3 through 8th Grade

Men’s Bible Study

All men are invited to join for a discussion-based Bible Study on Saturday mornings at 8am in the School Meeting Room beginning September 17, as we study the Sunday readings. For more information, contact Bob Lux at [email protected].

First Friday Eucharistic Adoration

“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”. Matthew 11:28-30

The time that we spend with Jesus in front of the Blessed Sacrament is the best time we will spend on earth. Please join us on the first Friday of every month from 7:00 to 8:00 PM.
Divine Mercy Chaplet

Wednesdays at 3 pm in the Church

"Jesus we Trust in You"

Mary's Messengers Prayer Group Conveniently in between Wednesday’s Religious Education class sessions from 6-6:30 pm. We will learn to say the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, and other special prayers for the intentions of our families and Parish.

Flame of Love Rosary

Thursday mornings after 9 am Mass

"Spread the effect of grace of thy Flame of Love over all of humanity"

St. Jude Religious Gift Shop

St. Jude Religious Gift Shop is located downstairs in the Msgr. Sabia Social Hall. Fr. Joseph's Books and CD's are available in the Gift Shop. Also new items: Gifts and cards, statues, rosaries and more. St. Jude Religious Gift Shop will be selling Communion items at the 9:30 & 11:30 Masses on March 19th. 

Come in and browse. Call Fran Cambra 203-261-2573 or Parish Office 203-261-6404.

Confession Hours

Confessions on Saturday afternoon will be in the day chapel at 3:00 pm on Saturdays.  We are now offering Confession Weekend every first weekend of the month! Come take advantage of God's great mercy by coming to the Sacrament of Confession, offered before AND after every Mass starting the weekend of February 4/5!

Confessions are also by appointment, please call 203-261-6404, to set up and appointment or emailing.  

Parish Office Hours

MONDAY - THURSDAY 9:00 – 3:00

Please call (203-261-6404) or e-mail ([email protected]) before coming to the office. Much can be accomplished through a phone call or email, such as requesting masses/mass cards; sacramental records; registering for Baptism; etc. 
Email Us
St Jude Parish
707 Monroe Tpke
Monroe, CT 06468