Who was St. Bridget?
Bridget of Kildare (c. 453-523) was something of a legend in her lifetime, and afterward her fame soon spread to Britain and the Continent.
Her mother was a bondwoman and a convert to the faith; her father was a minor pagan chieftain. After Bridget’s birth he sold her mother as a slave to a druid. The child was placed in the care of a nurse and later traded back and forth between parents.
In her youth, and against her father’s plans, Bridget chose to remain a virgin and consecrate her life to Christ. Besides being the founder of the first religious community of women in Ireland, she was a renowned evangelist and a foremost church leader. Instead of a cloistered life she preferred to engage in extensive apostolic work traveling throughout her native land. Bishops and kings sought out her counsel and guidance, while she sought out the poor as the special concern of her ministry.
The numerous accounts written about her consist principally of miracles and anecdotes, often with far-fetched touches of folklore. But if some of the tales of Bridget tax credulity, her vision of Christ in the needy was never disputed. Her charity was the hallmark of her personality.
Just as the shamrock is associated with St. Patrick, so is the simple cross made of rushes linked to Bridget. Legend has it that while explaining the passion to a dying pagan, she wove a cross from the rushes strewn about his floor. For centuries St. Bridget’s Feast Day, 1 February , was the day crosses of woven straw were put over the doors of Irish cottages, and housekeepers repeated a rhyme which bids them bring out a portion of butter to divide among the working lads.
Bridget is a joyful, earthly, invigorating saint, who comes to us wiping her hands on her apron, her face shining with welcome, her heart filled with the Lord, her hand always out to the poor. More than anything else, she radiates the goodness, the wholeness, the attractiveness of the Christian life as revealed by a loving, faith-filled, free Christian woman.
|St. Bridget Prayer Chapel
We often yearn to look out of the daily world we live in and reach beyond. There is an inner longing for a relationship with the Devine that rests in our hearts. The Prayer Chapel is a place where we can step out of the busyness of everyday living to reflect, be still, and pray.
The chapel committee worked together over six months to help our parish community develop a quiet, meditative place to pray. The Prayer Chapel is a place where we can join in Centering Prayer or other forms of contemplative prayer. Fr. Thomas Keating’s “Open Mind, Open Heart” sums up our need for a place of renewal: “Contemplative prayer is the world in which our private self-made worlds come to an end; a new world appears within and around us and the impossible becomes everyday experience. Yet the world that prayer reveals is barely noticeable in the ordinary course of events.
Stained Glass Windows
Mother of the Incarnate Word
The Holy Child of Atocha
Dedication of the Chapel
The Chapel was dedicated and blessed by Father Scott Brubaker and Father William McNichols on November 19. 2006.
St. Bridget Chapel Committee
Tapestry of Love