Liz, Lisa, and I headed to Bridgeport for 7:45 am Mass with a plan of meeting Stephanie, Melissa, and Nancy for breakfast at Sherwood Diner afterwards to celebrate my first born child’s 25th birthday!! SO WEIRD!!!
So we got off of exit 28 of I-95, took a few turns, and landed at the church which was located on a triangle of land right next to the train tracks and/or I-95. Squarely in the middle of the triangle was the massive church. We entered through the back door into a beautiful, ornate, old church! The statures were everywhere, murals painted on the ceilings, four kinds of marble that I could see was wrapped around the altar, the columns were solid marble, and the alcoves for the candles and prayers held beautifully moving statues.
At 7:45, the ROSARY started! That was a first! It was lead by a man, who we later realized was the priest. This was a church that screamed, “OLD SCHOOL”. The rosary was a preamble to the Mass, the priest said Mass, while a gentleman his age served as his assistant. The communion time came and a nice man behind us told us we would have to kneel at the altar railing for communion. So we did; and the assistant held the gold tray at our chins and we all received by mouth – one at a time right down the railing. When Mass ended, we said the prayer of St. Michael. Everyone knew it by heart, except the three of us, but Liz at least had the card from her wallet to read from! Smart girl!!
After Mass, as we wandered around the church to take pictures, and quite honestly, take it all in! We watched as everyone knelt by Mary’s statue. They were kissing something in adoration that the priest held for each of them. A lovely older woman, wearing a navy blue lace head covering, called us to the statue, but we missed the opportunity to appropriately adore Mary.
We chatted with the woman for a few minutes. She was adorable and so proud of her church. She finally said, “You know, it will be Mary who saves us all in the end.” Of course, feeling witty, I said to her, “Of course, it’s going to take a woman to take care of us all!”. She chuckled for a second and added, “Well, it was a woman (Eve) who got us into the mess, so Mary will get us out!”. She was so cute and oozed a sense of conviction and love for Mary that was pretty cool to see!
This conversation was just an added bonus that gave us a great moment to share when we got to breakfast and for the rest of the day.
As I thought about the day as a whole, I am not sure what was stranger to me: the “old school, throw back kind of experience” we had, the notion that Mary is the ultimate “saver” of us all, not her son, “our savior”, or the fact that I have a 25 year old married daughter!
Happy Birthday, Steph! I love you!