By Paulina Angulo
The weather was perfect for the 89th Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 11, celebrated with the Saint Brendan the Navigator Community. The community, formed by four parishes -Saint Joseph Church and Saint Mary Star of the Sea Church in New London, Saint Paul Church in Waterford and Our Lady of Grace Church on Fishers Island is under the direction of their pastor, the Reverend Mark O’Donnell.
Jubilant parishioners gathered at Saint Mary Star of the Sea Church to venerate Our Blessed Mother in a solemn Mass with the main celebrant, the Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, Bishop of Norwich, accompanied by Reverend. Mark O’Donnell, pastor; Reverend Joseph Castaldi, retired pastor; Reverend Luis Henry Agudelo, Deacon Mario Ramos and Deacon Jorge Escalona. Saint Brendan the Navigator has a large Italian community as well as a Hispanic community, and the Mass was beautifully spoken in three languages: English, Italian and Spanish.
Bishop Cote reminded us that Mary’s hope is the most fundamental message. “Mary,” he said, “is the model of faith, the model of hope for us…Mary did not die because death is a consequence of sin…Mary accepted her mission with uncompromised faith. Mary, we know, suffered many trials in her life…we too face fear and hardship.”
The venerated statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was crowned by Flor Brennan-Almaraz, assisted by Miledis Hilario, Elviany Quiroz and Stephanie Rojas. Anthony A. Joyce, Jr. sang the “Ave María.”
After Mass everyone participated in a procession to Saint Joseph Church for the Blessing of the Sick. Following the blessing, everyone gathered at Saint Joseph School for a picnic, with delicious food provided by the Feast of the Assumption Planning Committee and prepared by the Knights of Columbus and Tony D’s Restaurant. It was a memorable day.