Wilton's Our Lady of Fatima unveils new altar and crucifix to congregation

WILTON — Along with celebrating its regular mass, congregants of Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church on Danbury Road also celebrated the dedication of their new sanctuary altar this past Sunday.

Bishop Frank Caggiano of the Diocese of Bridgeport, in town to bless and dedicate the new altar, preached the homily to well over 100 people gathered within the confines of the Wilton house of worship.

“Let it be the center of our praise and thanksgiving,” he said Sunday.

Placed beneath a new crucifix that was designed and crafted in Italy, the new altar contains a relic of early Christian martyrs, Saints Verecundi and Severiani, imbedded in its altar stone.

Other new features include a marble cover for the baptismal font, a new pulpit, processional crosses, renovated chairs and kneelers and new candelabra.

“You are a remarkable community,” Caggiano said, praising the work and the generosity of the congregants while presiding over the mass.

The new addition to the church was also well received by its parishioners.

“It is absolutely beautiful,” said Andrea Ashley of Wilton. “It just made (the church) so much nicer.”

Exactly one year ago to the day, Caggiano visited the church to dedicate a new memorial prayer garden, which was named in honor of a late parishioner named Philip Tai Lauria.

“You have a remarkable priest,” Caggiano said, praising the work of Pastor Reginald Norman.

Congregants concurred.

“He’s the heart of the parish,” said Emilia Furlo, formerly of Wilton.

She and her sister, Alexandra, both of whom now live in New York City, traveled north to Wilton for the service.

“I think they did a great job,” Alexandra said. “I think it looks great and everyone will be able to enjoy it.”

She recalled that the old altar, which she was familiar with during her days of attending mass at Our Lady of Fatima, was made of wood. On the wall near the altar, the prior crucifix had been made of stained glass similar to the adjacent window.

“It’s like the heart of the church, so I think it’s nice,” Emilia said of the new altar.

Norman praised the generosity of the congregation, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Something good came out of COVID,” he said, noting it was important to keep a positive focus throughout.

Highlighting their congregation as a welcoming one, he invited everyone from the community to come and see the new altar.

“This is open to everyone,” he said, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“Come and see it,” he said. “Come and spend some time with Jesus.”