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Welcome

to the web site of

 

Saint Vincent Ferrer Church

A Roman Catholic Community of Faith and Good Works

Begun as a Mission in 1971 & Established as a Parish in 1975

 

1006 New Haven Road (Route 63)

Naugatuck, Connecticut 06770-4731 USA

 

 

 

Catholics Come Home!

 

“Even now, return to me with your whole heart.

Gather the people, notify the congregation,

assemble the elders, gather the children.

Come back to me!”

 

“Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I have sinned,

For I acknowledge my offense; my sin is ever before me.

A clean heart create for me, O God,

And my mouth shall proclaim your praise.”

 

 

Contact us:

(Note: convert the [at] to @ in the addresses below)

 

Church email: stvincentfer[at]sbcglobal.net

Pastor email: KevinJForsyth[at]hotmail.com

 

 

Visit our “Travel Services” section (fundraiser)

and our Gallery & color Bulletin pages.  Enjoy!

 

(Because the navigation column to the left disappears,

 to return to the parish website, simply click the back button)

 

 

Telephones:

Church: 203-723-7497

Fax: 203-729-2978

Child Care: 203-723-9094

Religious Education: 203-723-0782

Youth Ministry: 203-723-8735

Family Center: 203-723-7591

 

Parish web site: www.saintvincentferrerchurch.org

 

Our Patron Saint:

 

Saint Vincent Ferrer

“Angel of the Judgment”

 

Also known as Vincent Ferreri

Feast Day April 5

 

   Vincent Ferrer was born on January 23, 1350 in Valencia, Spain, the fourth child of the Anglo-Scottish nobleman William Stewart Ferrer (an immigrant to Spain) and his Spanish wife, Constantia Miguel.  They instilled in him a deep devotion to the Lord Jesus and the Blessed Mother and a great love for the poor.

 

   His father is reported to have had a dream in which he was told that Vincent would become a world famous Dominican friar.  Even still, Vincent joined the Dominican Order in his native Spain in 1367 at age 18 against his family’s wishes!  After brilliant studies, he received his doctorate of theology from the University of Lleida.  He was ordained a priest by Cardinal Peter de Luna - who would later figure tragically in Vincent’s life.  He was chosen Prior of the Dominican house in Valencia shortly after his ordination. 

 

   A handsome man, Vincent was of an ardent nature and practiced the austerities of his Order with great energy.  He had the gift of tongues (he spoke only Spanish, but all listeners understood him), lived an endless fast, slept on the floor, celebrated Mass daily, and was known as a miracle worker.  He is reported to have brought a murdered man back to life to prove the power of Christianity to the onlookers, and he would heal people throughout a hospital just by praying in front of it.  He worked so hard to “build up” the Church that he became the patron of people in building trades.

 

   Vincent was a priest, missionary and teacher of theology and advisor to the King of Aragon.  Everywhere crowds flocked to hear him, innumerable conversions and miracles occurred.  He converted thousands in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Holland, England, Scotland, and Ireland.  He was offered an appointment as bishop, but declined it.

 

   The Western Schism of 1378 to 1417 divided Christianity, first between two, then three, popes.  Clement VII (and his successor Benedict XIII) lived at Avignon, France, Urban VI lived in Rome.  (Later the third “pope” would emerge at Pisa – Alexander V and his successor, John XXIII).  Vincent was convinced the election of Urban of Rome was invalid, although Catherine of Siena was just as devoted a supporter of Urban as Vincent was of Clement.  (The papal line would eventually be established through Urban.)

 

   While in the service of Cardinal Peter de Luna– the one who ordained Vincent a priest - he worked to persuade Spaniards to follow Clement of Avignon.  When Clement died, Cardinal de Luna was elected pope at Avignon and became Benedict XIII.  He was also known as “Papa Luna.” 

 

   Vincent served as Counselor to Pope Benedict XIII and also as Apostolic Penitentiary and Master of the Sacred Palace.  But Benedict XIII did not resign as all the candidates in the conclave had sworn to do.  He remained stubborn despite being deserted by the French King and nearly all of the Cardinals.  Vincent became disillusioned as he believed any renewal in the Church depended on healing the schism.

 

   In 1398, Vincent became very ill with a severe fever (and disheartened by the schism), and had a vision of Christ, Saint Dominic de Guzman and Saint Francis of Assisi.  It was a life changing experience.  He was told he would recover and live to preach repentance like the two saints.  After the three departed from him, Vincent was instantly restored to health.  He received supernatural gifts and believed that he was sent as an “angel of the apocalypse” to prepare humankind for the Judgment of Christ. 

 

   An eloquent and fiery preacher, he took up the work of simply “going through the world preaching Christ,” spending the last 20 years of his life spreading the Good News and converting thousands in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the Low Countries and Lombardy, England, Scotland, and Ireland.  He was even invited to preach in Muslim Granada, all while working to end the Western Schism, stressing the need of repentance and the fear of the coming judgment.  (He became known as the “Angel of the Judgment.")

 

   Vincent labored to have Benedict XIII end the schism, and after an extended period of receiving empty promises, he tried, unsuccessfully, in 1408 and again in 1415, to persuade his former friend – Pope Benedict XIII - to resign.  Vincent finally concluded that Benedict was not the true pope and encouraged King Ferdinand of Castile to withdraw his support from Benedict XIII.

 

   In 1428, though once again very ill and weak, he mounted the pulpit before an assembly over which Benedict XIII himself was presiding and thundered his denunciation of the man who had ordained him a priest!  Benedict fled for his life, abandoned by those who had formerly supported him.  Strangely, Vincent had no part in the Council of Constance, which finally brought an end to the schism.

 

   Vincent died of natural causes at age 69 on April 5, 1419 at Vannes Brittany, France.  He was interred in the Cathedral of Vannes.  He was canonized by Pope Callistus III on June 3, 1455.  At the ceremony of his canonization, the stories of 800 of his validated miracles were read out loud; there were more, but the celebrants got so tired they decided to simply move on with the next part of the ceremony!

 

   Vincent Ferrer is the patron saint of reconciliation, brick makers, builders, Calamonaci, Italy, Casteltermini, Agrigento, Italy, construction workers, Leganes, Philippines, pavement workers, plumbers, and tile makers. 

 

   In Art, he is represented with a Bible, a cardinal’s hat, as a Dominican preacher with a flame on his hand, a Dominican preacher with a flame on his head, a Dominican holding an open book while preaching, a Dominican with a cardinal’s hat, a Dominican with a crucifix, a Dominican with a trumpet nearby, often coming down from heaven, (referring to his vision), a Dominican with wings, (referring to his vision as being an “angel of the apocalypse”), in a pulpit,  (representing his life as a preacher), a flame, (referring to his gifts from the Holy Spirit).

 

   In his book, “On the Spiritual Life, Vincent Ferrer wrote, “If you truly want to help the soul of your neighbor, you should approach God first with all your heart.  Ask him simply to fill you with charity, the greatest of all virtues; with it you can accomplish what you desire.”

 

 



1006 New Haven Road (Route 63), Naugatuck, Connecticut 06770-4731 USA
Phone: 203-723-7497 Fax: 203-729-2978
Reverend Father Kevin J. Forsyth, Pastor

www.saintvincentferrerchurch.org
site design by Robert Bari

web master Dom Francis