The Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) Newman Club, a Catholic student organization, will sponsor a prayer service on Wed., March 27, with Relics of the Passion from 12:00 – 1:45 p.m. in the Founders Hall Dining Room, 750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury. This event is timed to coincide with the worldwide Year of Faith initiative begun by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Relics of the Passion include fragments of some of the great historical and spiritual treasures of the Church, including pieces of the Holy Table (on which Christ celebrated the Last Supper), the Holy Pillar (on which Christ was scourged), the Crown of Thorns (which Christ wore on the Via Dolorosa on the way to Calvary), the Holy Nail (with which Christ was crucified), and the True Cross (on which Christ was crucified).

The Catholic Church recognizes three different types of relics: first, second and third class. The display at NVCC will be accompanied by a series of prayers which pertain to each relic.

A first class relic is an actual piece or body part of someone the Church recognizes as a saint. Included in the display is a skull fragment of St. Longinus, the Roman centurion who pierced the crucified Jesus with a spear but who later cried out, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” (See the Gospel of Matthew 27:54).

A second class relic is an object which belonged to or was used or touched by the saint in her/his lifetime.  Included in the display is an example of a second class relic- a fragment of the Holy Pillar, to which Jesus was tied on Good Friday. Finally a third class relic is any object which has touched a first-class relic.

The history of the veneration of relics is based on numerous passages in the Bible. Amongst these are 2 Kings 13:21, in which the bones of Elisha bring about the resurrection of a dead man. In the New Testament, Acts 19:11-12 describes how a handkerchief touched by St. Paul was used to heal the sick and to drive out demons.

The event is free and open to the public. Contact Dan Mathews, Archdiocesan liaison to the Newman Club, with any questions at or 860-354-8727.  

Naugatuck Valley Community College serves Beacon Falls, Bethel, Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Cheshire, Danbury, Middlebury, Naugatuck, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Oxford, Prospect, Roxbury, Sherman, Southbury, Thomaston, Washington, Waterbury, Watertown and Woodbury. The College is located on a 110-acre campus at 750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, Conn., and in Danbury at 183 Main Street. The College is one of 17 institutions governed by the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education. Visit for more information.