St. Margaret's Chapel was built in the year 1942. The world was at war - men, women and children were dying - how does a community honor those people who lose their lives during such treacherous times? One community in suburban Bridgeport CT planned and erected the above St. Margaret's Chapel and Shrine partly for this purpose, it would be a Monument to Peace built in memory of those who had lost their lives. The people, who were of Catholic faith, chose the name St. Margaret after the shepherdess who is the patron saint of pregnant women and working girls.
Over the years, the area surrounding the church with its rocky terrain came to be the home of numerous religious shrines and gardens. This was an area where ordinary people came from all over to experience the feeling of a precious sanctuary - for moments escaping the harsh realities that they faced in their every day lives. It was and is a place to experience the spiritual side of things.
The Chapel is a small, simple structure; the scene of weddings and funerals, a room where parishioners go to pray together or alone, a place to meditate away from the outside, thoughts safe from intrusion. As neighborhoods change, some for poorer, some for richer, they must decide what shall stay and what shall go. St. Margaret's Shrine has stood the test of time - so far - despite the vandals and the ever present financial challenge to keep it up.
Today, most may not know why or how the Shrine of St. Margaret was built but the relevance of its original intent - to be a Monument to Peace, to honor those who die in war, to be a haven, a sanctuary - remains strong. Hopefully one day the wars will end and we will have our peace.
This work is dedicated to the memory of Nettie Massaro - a working woman who loved children, her religion and gave to all.
St. Margaret's Shrine has suffered greatly from recent vandalism - click here
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