Fr. Jeff Couture, St. Matthew Pastor

Dear Parishioners,

The Feast of St. Matthew falls on September 21. This year,  we will celebrate the Feast of St. Matthew, our Patron Saint, at the 4pm Mass on September 17, with a barbecue to follow on the Rectory grounds.  Everyone and their families are invited!

Calise’s Catering will be grilling burgers, hotdogs and chicken. Your favorite appetizers and desserts are welcomed. Come let us thank you for all you do for our parish and meet Fr. Ignacio, who will be starting as our new parochial vicar.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Jeff

 


September 15, 2022
Dear Parishioners,

Please join me as we welcome Fr. Ignacio to the St. Matthew Parish Family. We look forward to having him share his gifts and talents from God with our Parish Family.

Please be sure to take a moment to introduce yourselves this weekend after Masses and at our Saturday picnic celebrating the Feast of St. Matthew after the 4pm Mass.

Fr. Ignatio was appointed by
The Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano to our parish as Parochial Vicar, effective Sept. 15, 2022.  He was born and raised in the Philippines and educated at De Lasalle with the Christian Brothers. He was a seminarian with the Legionaries of Christ for eight years. Father Ignacio was incardinated into the Diocese of Bridgeport and was ordained on May 16, 2009.

In his thirteen years of service in Fairfield County, he has served the parishes of Saint Rose of Lima in Newtown, St. Lawrence in Shelton, St. Aloysius Parish in New Canaan and most recently St. Thomas More in Darien. Please keep Father Ignacio in prayer as he joins our St. Matthew Parish Family!

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Jeff


August 8, 2022: Fr. Jeff’s Interview with NDE Radio


The Hope of the Resurrection


ALL ARE WELCOME! Lent begins March 2, 2022.

Refurbished Chapel Tabernacle brings 24- hr access to Adoration
Read Fr. Jeff’s full letter on the refurbished Tabernacle here: Fr Jeff_Letter_Adoration Chapel

Dear Parishioners,

“Simple Exposition” is when the Eucharist is exposed in a special Tabernacle, and the laity can open a shutter on the Tabernacle door for Exposition (without accessing the Tabernacle) and close the shutter when they leave.

We have modified our Chapel’s Tabernacle by inserting a Luna holder in the door of the tabernacle. This now means that at our St. Matthew Chapel, one can go to adore Christ in the Eucharist at any time of the day or night, whenever they want.

Why is this so important? Because there are many consoling spiritual graces attached to the veneration of the Eucharist that we need, and many people cannot come or feel comfortable coming during the main hours when the church is open. This allows us the comfort that Jesus is present to us at any time we need Him in the Eucharist.

All one needs to do is enter the Chapel by an access code (which we will give you on request), walk up to the Tabernacle and open the shutter. Before you leave the Chapel, please remember to close the shutter. I hope many of you will find this Exposition of the Eucharist helpful in your spiritual growth and healing in times of need. Access to the Chapel is by keypad entry. For access, please email us at Chapel@StMatthewNorwalk.org and provide your name and contact info. You will be sent the code to unlock the Chapel door on the left, using the key pad.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Jeff


2021 CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM FR. JEFF, PASTOR

I want to welcome all those who are returning to Christmas Mass and all who will be attending Christmas at St. Matthew for the first time, as I will be.
Today we are reminded of the hope and joy of Christmas. There are many signs in the world that conflict with the message of joy. Christ teaches us in these times, that no matter how dark life might seem, or how distant we might be from those we love, there’s always hope and peace in this Christmas Season.
Through Christ, we’re present to one another in unity of the Christmas message. We encourage you to bring comfort and joy to one another, whether in person or in spirit – by calling someone, or messaging them through social media – and set aside all differences in feelings and actions that are contrary to the message of Christmas, which is peace, hope, and love. Please know that each of you will be in my thoughts and prayers this Christmas.
Masks are required for the safety of everyone, regardless of vaccination status, so please wear masks for the Holiday Season Masses. If you are feeling sick in any way, please stay home for the safety of all, and I invite you to join us online. We will be streaming three Masses to our websiteFacebook & YouTube: Christmas Eve 4pm; 11pm; Christmas Day: 10:30am.
Merry Christmas, everyone. Look forward to seeing you….
Joyfully Yours in Christ,

Fr. Jeff


December 23, 2021
Re Masks Required
Dear Parishioners,

Norwalk’s Mayor Harry Rilling announced the city is re-issuing its mask mandate because as coronavirus cases continue to rise in Norwalk. St. Matthew is following Bishop Caggiano’s request that all Churches comply with their city’s mask mandates, so masks are required in Church and the entire grounds, regardless of vaccination status. We thank you for your understanding in keeping everyone safe.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Jeff Couture


Accountability Sunday, December 5, 2021

Bishop Caggiano has established the First Sunday of December every year as Accountability Sunday when annual financial reports will be made available within each diocesan entity.

Please see attachments below for St. Matthew Church annual results:

 

November 2021
Dear Parish Family,As we celebrate our first Thanksgiving together, I want to thank each of you for the kindness you’ve shown to me in this first year as your Pastor, and I invite you to begin the celebration of this day in prayer together at our 9am Thanksgiving Day Mass on Thursday.Thanksgiving is a day in which the Pilgrims and Native Americans shared a meal together in friendship, charity and prayer. They gave thanks to God and supported one another in kindness.  As we celebrate our first Thanksgiving together, I want to thank each of you for the kindness you’ve shown to me in this first year as your Pastor and I invite you to begin the celebration of this day in prayer together. Please join me, Fr. Sunil, Msgr. Sabia, Fr. Paul, Sr. Sally and the Parish Staff as we give thanks to God for all the blessings He provides us at our 9am Thanksgiving Mass, and as we come together to support those in need.We also thank God for Msgr. Walter, and the many years he served this Parish. We’re grateful for his faith, his
leadership and his vision, which we will celebrate with a Dedication Mass, Reception and Open House for the Msgr. Walter C. Orlowski  Recreation Wellness Center, December 12 at 12pm. Let us also give thanks for all our family and friends who have gone before us, and those who are still with us on this Thanksgiving, that we continue be grateful for their influence in making us who we are.Thanksgiving Week at St. Matthew Church
Tuesday, November 23: 7:30pm Virtual Interfaith Prayer Service
Thursday, November 25: 9:00am Thanksgiving Day Mass
Please join me, Fr. Sunil, Msgr. Sabia, Fr. Paul, Sr. Sally and the Parish Staff as we give thanks to God for all the blessings God provides us as we come together to support those in need.
Please bring a bag of food to the altar for those in need, if you can, and don’t forget to pick up a loaf of Blessed Bread for your table.
To all those who are traveling and are unable to be here, you will be in my prayers. On behalf of Fr. Sunil, Msgr. Sabia, and Fr. Paul, have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Jeff

October 28, 2021
From Fr. Jeff…

As many of you may know I am a former youth minister, and high school and college chaplain. One question I get a lot of, “Is it ok for a Catholic to celebrate Halloween?” The answer is “Yes,” as long as it is in the spirit that it was started.

Halloween actually means “All Hallows Eve” (to be Holy) and is traditionally a Catholic holiday because it celebrates the eve of All Saints. Catholics historically believed that on these “Days of the Dead,” “All Saints and All Souls Day,” the veil between heaven, hell, and purgatory is the thinnest and at this time one is more likely to experience visits from the dead and their communication with the dead is stronger. In order to celebrate and evangelize the reality of purgatory and that demons and evil are real, medieval Catholics would dress up and, in a sense, act out this struggle through putting on plays and even visiting houses.

The truth is that Halloween does not have its origins in Paganism, Samhain, Celtic/Druidic festivals, the occult, or Satanism. This common misconception is modern anti-Catholic propaganda, with roots going back to the Protestant Reformation, and has no basis in historical fact.

The true origins come from the English, Irish, and French Catholic immigrants who brought their variety of local Catholic customs with them to America. Dressing up for Halloween comes from the French; Jack-o-Lanterns come from the Irish (originally carved turnips); and the English begged from door-to-door for “Soul Cakes,” promising to pray for the departed loved ones of those who gave them these treats. These traditions converged in the American melting pot.

I do admit that a misconception of Halloween has developed in culture, and some Catholics, even though they mean well, take Halloween too far and almost appear to appreciate the demonic side by glorifying witchcraft, etc. That we must never do. Witchcraft, the occult, and sorcery etc., are dangerous aids of evil and can compromise the soul.

Another misconception is from other Catholics who have gone in the other direction and have boycotted Halloween all together. This approach tends towards the misconception that anytime we make any mention of the demonic or spirits we are committing a sin. While I do see some reasoning behind it because we should be cautious, that belief is far from what the original reason why Catholics celebrated Halloween.

The reason behind Halloween is to bring light to the reality of truth that there is another place that exists, “Purgatory, Heaven and Hell” where the dead go and that we need to pray for the ones that go to purgatory so they can go to heaven and become saints, and that there are real agents of good and evil.

So, what can a Catholic do? What we need to do is celebrate Halloween appropriately. Not celebrating Halloween can rob the children of an opportunity to celebrate the feast and teach them what our faith is really about.

For this reason, I have taken the kids on trips to the Lake Compounce Haunted Graveyard and hosted Halloween parties so that they celebrate Halloween in a healthy way, and stay aware that there is evil but, that Jesus conquered it. For example, on one of my trips, a girl was dressed as a witch, and it led to a real
conversation about witches, and that witchcraft is bad, and there is a difference between innocent costumes and dress-up, which is participating in fantasy and trying to imitate or emulate something that is evil in reality.

The fact is that even if you do not promote Halloween, your kids are still exposed to it. Therefore, do the best you can to teach them the real meaning behind Halloween and the right way to celebrate it, because if you do not, someone will teach them the wrong way


OCTOBER 3, 2021


Sept. 15, 2021: NOTICE: PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO SPAM IMPERSONATING FR. JEFF

Please be aware that someone is impersonating Fr. Jeff via email and is sending messages requesting help. The Diocese has told us that this is a common scam targeting churches. If you have received one of these spam emails, please be aware that this is not Fr. Jeff. The only email account for Fr. Jeff is from the Diocese: FrCouture@Diobpt.org. If you ever have a question about a correspondence from Fr. Jeff, please do NOT respond to the email and contact the office at 203-838-3788.


Fr. Jeff’s Death Experience: click HERE


June 18, 2021: Fr. Jeff at St. Aloysius Graduation with St. Matthew Parishioners.


June 5, 2021: Fr. Jeffrey Couture’s Pastor Installation Mass
Click here for photos….



April 18, 2021: Video below: Fr. Jeff’s First Mass as Pastor
**Forward to the “20:15” mark to hear Fr. Jeff’s homily





 


3/10/2021: Fr. Jeff stopped by to meet the Staff: “Humbled and excited.”

“He Couldn’t Escape his Destiny to be a Priest: Jeffrey Couture wouldn’t come to Jesus, so Jesus came to him…in person, face to face, in all His majestic splendor,” read more here