Friday, August 27, 2021

2021 Saint Sebastian's Church Centennial Anniversary Celebration Is Delayed Until May 2022 Due To COVID-19 Pandemic


The 2021 Saint Sebastian's Church Festival Centennial Anniversary Celebration has been cancelled and for the second year the festival will not be held due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Church organizers are not calling it a cancellation but rather a postponement of the feast until May 2022. There will not be any outside celebrations including the Annual "I Nuri Run" and the Laser Show on Saturday. The only remnants of the feast that will continue will be the High Mass in honor of Saint Sebastian on Sunday, September 19th and a church raffle.


Reverend Father James Thaikoottathil stated, "External feast celebrations are canceled for this year." The Tri-Chairmen and the Feast Secretary Dr. Gene Nocera, Salvatore Nesci, Frank Marchese & Karen Nocera stated "We hope your great anticipation for the Feast of Saint Sebastian can wait a little longer; we're postponing our Feast planned for September to May 2022. We're waiting to celebrate together after the latest coronavirus crisis has passed in our community and we can safely congregate in our usual large groups setting in and outside the church. Mass will be held on Sunday, September 19th at 11 a.m... No other activity is planned on the church grounds. Thank you for your understanding and we pray for your continued safety."


Nocera explained why the feast committee postponed the festival until next May 2022. "It is clear that with the Delta Variant that we had to come up with some strategies to control but it is a small site. Our site is not a site that we can control who comes in and who goes out. A small site and a big crowd."


The High Mass on Sunday, September 19th will still be broadcast on local radio stations WLIS/WMRD AM 1150 & 1420. 

Nocera said for the mass parishioners would have to wear their mask during the service and possibly social distance too. "Masks will be required or recommended of course. At this time, we haven't heard of restrictions of the size in the church. This could happen. Our Health Director recommends mask wearing in all public places indoors. We are recommending parishioners wear masks during the mass."  The mass will be celebrated by “Diocese of Norwich Bishop Michael Cote and will be Co-Celebrating the mass with priests from Connecticut,” according to Nocera.  


During the High Mass the original statue of Saint Sebastian will be unveiled.  This item from Sebastiano Marchese was the statue that “… the devotees carried in the procession on the first feast in 1921,” according to Father James Thaikoottathil.


The local, state and community leaders have been notified that the feast has been postponed and they are still free to come for the High Mass on Sunday according to Nocera.


There is a possibility after the latest COVID-19 Delta Variant surge has cleared that there may be a way to commemorate the Centennial Anniversary according to Nocera. "There could be. We may have a dinner, but it hasn't been planned. Our main concern is the safety. We are monitoring the positivity rate. In Middlesex county it is 4% right now per 100 individuals. It is predicted it will rise to 6-7% in the next 30 days."


"A Century of Devotion" an exhibit about the Saint Sebastian’s Festival will open towards the end of September 2021 at the Middlesex County Historical Society located at 151 Main Street in Middletown. The time and dates will be announced according to Dr. Jesse Nasta, Executive Director.  Nasta stated the exhibit will be up until June 2022.


Dr. Anthony Fauci stated on Monday, August 23, 2021 if most eligible people get vaccinated, we could have some control of the COVID-19 Virus by the Spring of 2022.  If you already had your COVID-19 Vaccines, please do not forget to get your booster shot when it’s time.


If you have not been vaccinated against the COVID-19 Virus, please get your shot.  Please click on the links below to find out how to get yours.


Enjoy the video.





No comments: