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CATHOLIC Volume 29 • Number 4 • April 2017

Our faith calls us to action

Serving The Counties Of Middlesex, New London, Tolland, Windham, CT & Fishers Island, NY

No Greater Sacrifice

No Greater Love

Thank You

To Our Donors and Volunteers




Serving The Counties Of Middlesex, New London, Tolland, Windham, CT & Fishers Island, NY

­Established in 1989 and published each month except July.


Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, D.D. Bishop of Norwich




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31 Perkins Avenue, Norwich, CT 06360-3613 Fax 860.859.1253 Director of Communications/Executive Editor

Michael Strammiello, 860.887.3933



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April 2017

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2017 Minstry Fair See page 16

FOUR COUNTY CATHOLIC Issue 4 April 2017 (PE 9934) is published monthly except July by Diocese of Norwich, 31 Perkins Avenue, Norwich, CT 06360-3613. Periodicals postage paid at Hartford, CT 06101 and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Four County Catholic, 31 Perkins Ave., Norwich, CT 06360-3613

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Just recently, I happened to hear of a lecture to be given at a Catholic University, not that far from our Diocese, on the topic of "The Divided States of America." I have not had an opportunity to learn more about the speaker or the context of the lecture. Admittedly, I am under-informed about the program. Still, the title of the lecture I found disappointing, if not disturbing. We are living through a period of deep divides politically, socially and culturally. Divisive language does not help. As Catholics and good citizens of a great and caring Nation, we are committed to free speech and open debate as is our right in a healthy democracy. My concern with the title of the lecture was not related to free speech on a college campus. My concern is the excess of divisive rhetoric in headlines, book titles, lectures and the like when what we need are words of healing, hope, togetherness and faith. It is time for less division and more solidarity in our words and actions. This is a much needed course correction in our public discourse. People of faith are inclined toward finding common ground and the common good. Now is the time to be truly faithful Christians as well as good citizens determined to find unity not division. Among the many challenges shaking our sense of unity is the migration and refugee crisis. I am in full accord with my fellow bishops who have expressed their steadfast commitment to refugees as brothers and sisters equal before God. There

are many active ways we are providing assistance during this crisis through many of our ministries, parishes and even on a family to family level when possible. We bishops have formally appealed to Congress to pursue comprehensive immigration reform that is profoundly humanitarian while safeguarding our national security in dangerous times. Such reform can be accomplished without compromising our inclusiveness and the protection of the poor and vulnerable. We are one family. The foundation of a free and just society is family and community. Nurturing our family life and nurturing our togetherness within the Church establishes our sense of community. Living our faith as a community leads us to open our arms and hearts to those who need our help and comfort. Sometimes the core principle of love thy neighbor gets overshadowed by political rhetoric. The Church makes sure at every opportunity that the poor and the vulnerable are never overshadowed. His Holiness, Pope Francis, reminds us that "Christians are called to spread hope by supporting and encouraging one another, especially those in danger of faltering. We do so, with the strength provided by the Lord, who is our unfailing source of hope." Holy Week is now upon us. There is no more sacred time than these days of solemn reflection on the sacrifices we make to be worthy of helping our Lord carry His Cross. On Holy Thursday evening, we begin the Paschal Triduum, the summit of

the liturgical year. Over a three-day period, we immerse ourselves in the mystery of what it means to be Christian. The love and glory of Easter and the Resurrection will continue for fifty succeeding days. Let us be mindful of the moment as we are overcome by the enormity of Jesus laying down His life that we may be saved for all eternity. With the elevation of gratitude, love and compassion in our hearts and souls during this holiest of seasons, let us find peace. Let us draw on the infinite love of Jesus and contemplate how to be the best possible brothers and sisters to all who need us. Sincerely yours in Christ,

Bishop Michael R. Cote

April 2017

Very Reverend Ted F. Tumicki, S.T.L., J.C.L., J.V. 860.887.9294


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LET FAITH LEAD THE WAY Basándose en el infinito amor de Jesús


Hace poco, oí hablar de una conferencia que se daría en una Universidad Católica, no muy lejos de nuestra diócesis, sobre el tema de “Los Estados Divididos de América”. No he tenido la oportunidad de enterarme más sobre el orador o el contexto de la conferencia. Admito entonces, que estoy poco informado sobre el programa. Sin embargo, el título de la conferencia me pareció decepcionante e inquietante. Estamos viviendo un período de profundas divisiones políticas, sociales y culturales. El lenguaje divisivo no ayuda. Como católicos y buenos ciudadanos de una gran nación protectora, estamos comprometidos con la libertad de expresión y el debate abierto como es nuestro derecho de una democracia saludable. Mi preocupación por el título de la conferencia no estaba relacionada con la libertad de expresión en un campus universitario. Mi preocupación es el exceso de la retórica divisiva en los titulares, títulos de libros, conferencias y similares, cuando lo que necesitamos son palabras de curación, esperanza, unión y fe- en nuestros nuestros principios democráticos y fe como cristianos en el ministerio duradero de Jesucristo. Es hora de que en nuestras palabras y acciones haya menos división y más solidaridad. Esta es una corrección de curso muy necesaria en nuestro discurso público. Las personas de fe están inclinadas a encontrar un tema de interés mutuo y el bien común. Ahora es el momento de ser cristianos verdaderamente fieles, así como ciudadanos buenos y fieles, decididos a encontrar la unidad y no la división. Entre los muchos desafíos que sacuden nuestro

sentido de unidad está la crisis migratoria y de refugiados. Estoy plenamente de acuerdo con mis compañeros obispos quienes han expresado su firme compromiso de ayudar como hermanos y hermanas iguales ante Dios a los refugiados. Hay muchas maneras activas de brindar asistencia durante esta crisis a través de muchos de nuestros ministerios, parroquias e incluso de familia a familia cuando es posible. Nosotros los obispos hemos apelado formalmente al Congreso para buscar una reforma migratoria integral que sea profundamente humanitaria y que proteja nuestra seguridad nacional en tiempos peligrosos. Tal reforma se puede lograr sin comprometer nuestra inclusividad y la protección de los pobres y vulnerables. Somos una familia. La oración ayuda a reforzar ese espíritu de familia. La creación de una sociedad libre y justa en su origen es en gran medida un esfuerzo familiar y comunitario. Cultivar nuestra vida familiar y nutrir nuestra unión dentro de la iglesia establece nuestro sentido de comunidad. Vivir nuestra fe como comunidad nos lleva a abrirnos para dar la bienvenida a nuevos miembros en la familia. Nos lleva a abrir nuestros brazos y corazones a aquellos que necesitan nuestra ayuda y consuelo. A veces el principio básico del amor al prójimo se ve ensombrecido por la retórica política. La iglesia se asegura en cada oportunidad que los pobres y los vulnerables nunca sean ensombrecidos. Su Santidad, el Papa Francisco, nos recuerda que “Los cristianos están llamados a difundir la esperanza apoyándose y alentándose mutuamente, especialmente aquellos en peligro de vacilación. Lo hacemos con la fortaleza proporcionada por el Señor, quien es nuestra fuente inagotable de esperanza.”

La Semana Santa ahora está sobre nosotros. No hay tiempo más sagrado que estos días de solemne reflexión sobre los sacrificios que hacemos para ser dignos de ayudar a nuestro Señor a cargar Su Cruz. Comenzamos el Triduo Pascual, la cumbre del año litúrgico, en la noche del Jueves Santo. Durante un período de tres días, nos sumergimos en el misterio de lo que significa ser cristiano. El amor y la gloria de la Pascua y la Resurrección continuarán durante cincuenta días sucesivos. Entregándonos a este viaje de sufrimiento, compartiremos el regalo supremo de la vida eterna. Tengamos en cuenta el momento en que somos superados por la enormidad de Jesús dando Su vida para que podamos ser salvos por toda la eternidad. Con la elevación de la gratitud, el amor y la compasión en nuestros corazones y almas, encontraremos la paz durante esta temporada santa. Aprovechemos entonces el infinito amor de Jesús y contemplemos cómo ser los mejores hermanos y hermanas posibles para todos los que nos necesitan.


Our Prayers Are With Those Called To Serve


blessed and Happy Easter season to you. Thank you to all throughout the Diocese for the many ways you support the efforts of the vocation office. Without your prayers, your attendance at our monthly Holy Hour for vocations, your financial support and sacrifices on behalf of the men preparing for the priesthood, and your encouragement to those in your families, parishes and schools, we would not be heading in the very positive direction I firmly believe we are presently headed. Most recently, we have had two great gatherings of young men from around the Diocese with Bishop April 17FCC_Layout 1 3/24/2017 11:00 AM Page 1

Cote. One most recently at a Lenten evening with His Excellency, Bishop Cote, where he gave a reflection on discerning your vocation through praying The Stations of The Cross. We shared soup and bread for supper that evening and the men had a chance to share their thoughts and follow-up with questions to the Bishop following supper. During Holy Week, so many of the Diocese gather for the Holy Mass of Chrism, during which Bishop Cote blesses the oil of the infirm and the oil of catechumens and consecrates the oil of Chrism. Each of the Holy Oils is then distributed at the end of the Chrism Mass to

Holy Hour for Vocations The Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, D.D., Bishop of Norwich, leads the Holy Hour: Father Greg Galvin Director of Priestly Vocations

(860) 887-9294

Sinceramente en Cristo,

April 20, 2017 • 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

the parishes throughout the Diocese for sacramental use throughout the year. The Vocation Office will have several of the men who are discerning the possibility of studying for the priesthood in the future as guests both for the Mass of Chrism and for lunch with the Bishop. It is a great day for these men to be able to witness the priests of the diocese renew their vows during the Mass in front of representatives from around the Diocese, and the honoring of those priests who this year celebrate significant anniversaries of either 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 65 years of priestly ordination. We thank each of them as well for so many dedicated years of laying their lives down for the faithful people of God who live here in Eastern Connecticut.

Please continue to pray for these men who are discerning for us. If you know someone yourself in whom you recognize priestly qualities, encourage them by praying for them, pointing out the qualities you see in them and giving their name to your pastor so he can also encourage and work with them. With eight men studying for the Diocese presently, and twelve others I

am working with, I ask that you also remember the upcoming Annual Seminary Education Fund Appeal coming up this May 6-7th. We need to continue to build up the financial support for the men accepted to study for the priesthood. Presently, I ask your prayers for and offer my congratulations to seminarian Frank Gilbert who recently received his call to the order of transitional deacon for June 8, 2017. Frank will be ordained a transitional deacon at his home parish, Saint Mary of Czestochowa in Middletown Connecticut, that evening during a 7pm Mass of Ordination. Please keep him in your prayers as we hope that both Frank and Deacon Ron Blank will both be ordained to the priesthood sometime in the summer of 2018.

Also, we presently are working with both Dharen Brochero and Michael Castiblanco on their hopeful transitions from English programs into finishing college work and entering into seminary. These are two very fine men who both have worked very hard. Well done.

Saint Mary, Willimantic May 18, 2017 • 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm saint matthias, east lyme June 25, 2017 • 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Saint john, middletown

Obispo Michael R. Cote

We Pray for our seminarians Normand Laflamme 2nd Year PreTheology Mt. St. Mary Seminary Emmitsburh, MD

Michael Bovino 1st Year Theology Mt. St. Mary Seminary Emmitsburg, MD

Jacob ramos 1st Year PreTheology Mt. St. Mary Seminary Emmitsburg, MD

Dharen Brochero 2nd Year English Studies Clark University Worcester, MA

Frank Gilbert 3rd Year Theology Pope Saint John XXIII National Seminary Weston, MA

Rev. Mr. Ron Blank 3rd Year Theology Pope Saint John XXIII National Seminary Weston, MA

Lawrence Barile. 1st Year PreTheology Pope Saint John XXIII National Seminary Weston, MA

Michael Castiblanco 2nd Year English Studies Clark University Worcester, MA

We Can Help To report inappropriate contact of any kind by a representative of the Diocese of Norwich or for assistance to victims, please call: 1-800-624-7407

Podemos Ayudar Para reportar cualquier contacto inapropiado por un/a representante de la Diócesis de Norwich, o para buscar ayuda para víctimas, favor de llamar: 1-800-624-7407

April 2017

April 2017

Mis queridos hermanos y hermanas en Cristo,





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Congratulations to our Jubilarian Priests as they celebrate their Anniversaries

70 Years

Reverend Msgr. Thaddeus F. Malanowski May 15, 1947

55 Years Reverend John J. O’Neill, MS May 26, 1962

50 Years Reverend Msgr. Thomas R. Bride, PA, KCHS May 4, 1967 Reverend Edward M. Dempsey July 15, 1967 Reverend Edward J. Wisneski, S.T.D., Ph.D. May 4, 1967

45 Years

The Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, Bishop of Norwich celebrated Mass on April 5th as part of the ongoing cooperative Televised Mass program with the Hartford Archdiocese.

Reverend John S. Gwudz May 13, 1972 Reverend William J. Olesik May 13, 1972

35 Years Reverend Gregoire J. Fluet, Ph.D. May 22, 1982 Reverend Thomas J. Smith May 22, 1982

April 2017

25 Years


Reverend Msgr. Leszek T. Janik, VG May 30, 1992 Reverend Marek A. Masnicki May 30, 1992 Reverend Msgr. Kevin S. Randall July 25, 1992 Reverend Michael S. Smith July 25, 1992


“Our Faith Calls US To ACTION”!


By Kathy Gaito

During the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of St. Patrick, on April 11, all priests of the Diocese renewed their ministerial commitment, and a grateful Diocese honored this year's Jubilarians:

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Volunteer – Sue Whitmore

f you ask Sue Whitmore if God places people in our lives for a reason, her answer would be a resounding “Yes”! After being laid off from her job unexpectedly in 2010, Sue’s connection to Sister Ann Mack, R.S.M. set her on an unexpected but rewarding path. Sister Mack contacted her sister, Kathleen Kelly, the Amazing Grace Pantry Coordinator, and asked Kathleen to reach out to Sue. Kathleen and Sue knew each other, so it wasn’t a surprise when Kathleen contacted her. This connection started Sue on her journey as a volunteer at the Amazing Grace Pantry, a program of St. Vincent de Paul Middletown. Sue started volunteering at the Amazing Grace Pantry 2-3 days a week. For the first three years of volunteering, she helped customers at the pantry ‘go shopping’ for their basic needs. As Sue explained it, “each customer is assigned to a volunteer and given a grocery cart and they shop together.” Sue has since moved to helping with the meat delivery at the Pantry. Sue helps to sort and distribute the meat to customers. People can make their selections of the type of meat based on availability. As Sue explains, “The goal of the pantry is to provide for approximately 3 days of food in all categories for shoppers, all depending on availability and the number of clients on any given day. More clients come at the end of the month when other resources may have been exhausted.” The staff and volunteers at the Amazing Grace pantry estimate

crowd size based on the day of the month and try to distribute as much bread, meat and fresh vegetables as possible, while still keeping in mind that they have to have items available for the 4 days a week that they are open. Canned goods, packaged items and other food categories are distributed based on family size and availability. People are allowed to visit the pantry once a month. When not working with the meat delivery, Sue spends her time helping to stock shelves or assisting in other areas that need her help. “Anything can happen to anybody at any time. Having a place like St. Vincent de Paul Middletown can help make things easier for those who might need it at the time,” Sue reflected. She recounted a story of a woman who was shopping in the Amazing Grace Food Pantry who mentioned her child’s birthday. The women was hoping to possibly find a few items that would make her child’s birthday special. When the woman left that day, she had a tear in her eye. The staff and volunteers at the pantry on that day happened to have a cake, party hats, matching plates and napkins that they gave

to her to make her child’s birthday memorable. Sue, a member of St. John Parish, Middletown also gives back to her parish. Helping at Mass as a lector, assisting as a member of the RCIA team run by Sister Ann Mack, R.S.M. and acting as a coordinator for the twice-yearly ‘soup kitchen suppers’ that St. John’s sponsors at St. Vincent de Paul Middletown, Sue has found rewarding ways to fill her time. There is no better testimonial for volunteering than what Sue stated, “I

really like where I am.” Thank you Sue Whitmore from all of us here at the Diocese of Norwich for your volunteerism. You are truly appreciated! Volunteers are vital to our ministries that are supported by the time, talent and treasures of people in our Diocese. Your support and the support of others allows our ministries to continue their service to our community. Thank you for hearing and responding to: “Our Faith Calls US To ACTION!”

April 2017

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Diocese of Norwich Moves Forward with V Encuentro

Sister Mary Jude, SCMC

The V Encuentro is a program of evangelization and consultation. This is not about canvasing neighborhoods and knocking on doors, it’s about reaching out to those in our neighborhoods, families, workplaces who are longing to hear a word of hope and encouragement, longing to hear the Good News that they are loved infinitely and unconditionally by God. In the first five weeks of Lent, some 480 Missionary Disciples from St. Mary, New London; St. Mary, Norwich; St. Mary, Clinton; St. Francis Middletown; and Sagrado Corazón in Windham have been reaching out to those not connected with Church, one-on-one, to listen to their concerns, their dreams, their hopes, their fears, to share their faith with them and to hear from them how the Church might best respond to their needs. For most of these Missionaries, this has been an enormously rewarding and enriching experience, one that has strengthened them in their own faith journey. Faith-

sharing with co-workers, even family members, isn’t something that many of us are accustomed to doing, but it is what our baptism calls us to do. For many of our Missionaries this was a real challenge, so much so that a few choose not to continue, but for the majority who did, they quickly overcame their fears and began to settle into the experience of being Missionary Disciples. In the words of some of our Missionaries: “After the first session, I decided to talk with one of my co-workers. She always seemed so sad and troubled. I was very uncomfortable and nervous. I don’t know a lot about my faith, but as we talked and I shared with her how my faith has been a support for me and how it brings me peace, her eyes lit up and it gave me courage to go deeper. It never occurred to me to talk about my faith with anyone,

especially a co-worker. I am reaching out to others, but I continue to support her in her faith journey.” “The V Encuentro has awakened in me the desire to grow spiritually and to reach out to others. It has helped me to take off the blinders and to really see people and their needs. I am beginning to see that whatever their needs, their greatest need is really for God.” “I have been talking to some of the people in our parish and we want to see more of this happen after the 5 sessions are over.” “People have a great need just to be listened to. I feel blessed to be able to enter their lives and walk with them.” Some of our Missionaries saw immediate results when a family or individual with whom they had spoken or visited were in church the following week, others asked

April 2017





Dec. 30, 2018

1 State Street, New Haven • 203-865-0400 • • Free admission & parking


to be connected with a member of the pastoral staff for a follow-up conversation, for others it was just a coming to know that the Church was concerned about them and was there for them. Our Missionaries also ran into folks who wanted nothing to do with God or the Church. That too was an evangelizing moment because at least they knew that the Church was interested in them and was reaching out to them. The information gathered from the consultation will be compiled digitally and will form the working document for discussion at the concluding parish event, the Parish Encuentro. At this event, the parish comes together to celebrate the fruits of the missionary experience, to discern how best to respond to the needs and concerns voiced in the consultation, to discern how the experience of missionary discipleship can continue to form and inform the life of the parish, and to commission those who will be delegates to the Diocesan gathering, the Diocesan Encuentro, in the Fall.

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La Diócesis de Norwich Sigue Adelante con el V Encuentro

Sister Mary Jude, SCMC

El V Encuentro es un programa de evangelización y consulta. No se trata de pasar por el vecindario golpeando puertas; se trata de llegar a aquéllos en el vecindario, en la familia, en el trabajo quienes están ansiosos de escuchar una palabra de esperanza y aliento, ansiosos de escuchar la Buena Nueva del amor infinito e incondicional de Dios para ellos. En las primeras 5 semanas de Cuaresma, unos 480 Discípulos Misioneros de las parroquias de Sta. María, New London; Sta. María, Norwich; Sta. María, Clinton, San Francisco, Middletown; Sagrado Corazón, Windham han estado llegando a personas alejadas de la Iglesia, para escuchar sus inquietudes, sus sueños, sus esperanzas y sus miedos, para compartir su fe con ellos y escuchar de ellos cómo la Iglesia puede responder a sus necesidades. Para la mayoría de los Misioneros, esto ha sido una experiencia enormamente enriquezadora, una experiencia que los ha fortalecido en su propia jornada de fe. Compartir la fe con co-trabajadores, aún con miembros de la familia, no es algo que estamos acostumbrados a hacer, pero es algo que nos exige nuestro bautismo. Para muchos de nuestro Misioneros esto ha sido un reto, tanto así, que algunos decidieron no continuar, pero para la mayoría que, sí, continuaron, ellos rápidamente superaron los temores y se sentían cómodos en su llamado de ser Discípulos Misioneros. En las palabras de algunos Misioneros: “Después de la primera sesión, yo decidí hablar con una de mis co-trabajadores. Ella siempre parecía triste y con

mucha preocupación. Yo estaba muy incómoda y nerviosa. No sé mucho de la Fe pero mientras hablábamos y compartí con ella cómo mi Fe me ha sostenido y cómo me trae la paz, sus ojos brillaban y esto me dio valentía para seguir. Jamás me ocurrió la idea de hablar con otros de mi Fe, especialmente en el trabajo. Estoy llegando a otros, pero sigo

verdad las necesidades de la gente a mí alrededor. Estoy empezando a ver que cualquier que sea la necesidad de la gente, su necesidad más profunda es para Dios.” “He estado hablando con algunas personas en mi parroquia y queremos que esto continúe al terminar las 5 sesiones.” “La gente tiene una gran necesidad

apoyándola en su jornada de Fe. “El V Encuentro ha despertado en mí el deseo de crecer espiritualmente y llegar a otros. Me ha ayudado quitarme las vendas y así ver de

de ser escuchado. Me siento bendecido al poder entrar en sus vidas y caminar con ellos.” Algunos de nuestros Misioneros vieron resultados inmediatos cuando una familia o persona que

ellos visitaron asistieron a Misa el siguiente domingo, otros pidieron una cita con un miembro del Equipo Pastoral, para otros fue solo una cuestión de llegar a entender que la Iglesia estaba preocupada por ellos y estaba allí para ellos. También, nuestros Misioneros se encontraron con personas que no querían nada que ver ni con Iglesia ni con Dios. Esto también fue un momento evangelizador porque, por lo menos, ellos sabían que la Iglesia estaba interesada en ellos y estaba llegando a ellos. La información recibida de la consulta será recompilada digitalmente y será la base del Documento de Trabajo, para ser discutido en el evento de clausura en la parroquia – el Encuentro Parroquial. En este evento, la parroquia se reúne para celebrar los frutos de la experiencia misionera, discernir cómo mejor responder a las necesidades e inquietudes que sugirieron en la consulta, discernir cómo la experiencia del discipulado misionero pueda continuar formando e informando la vida de la parroquia, y comisionar los delegados al Encuentro Diocesano, el cual será celebrado en el Otoño.

April 2017

Four County





Catholic Community News & Events

Local events and area information

Friday, April 21 Author and speaker Immaculée Ilibagiza Immaculée Ilibagiza will share her story of survival, faith, and forgiveness amid the horrors of widespread violence. She is a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Held at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme at 7pm, this event is free and open to the public. A free-will offering will be taken. For more information, visit, or email

-ANNOUNCEMENTSunday, April 30th - 2 sessions

Witness of Mercy: The Story of Jennifer Trapuzzano St. Columba Church, Columbia: 12 noon

Light lunch followed by talk. For more information contact Kathy Hamilton @

St. Andrew Church, Colchester: 6:30–8:30pm. For more information contact: Carol Pettit

Saturday, April 29 Outreach to Haiti’s 10th Annual For the Love of a Child Gala The gala will be held at the Deanston House in Storrs. Tickets for the evening are $100 per plate. Tables can be reserved for groups of eight. Reservations can be made through the Outreach to Haiti Office at 860-877-1019, ext. 219. For further information about the efforts of the Outreach to Haiti please visit

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Television Mass Father Jospeph Whittel At 10:00am Channel 11 WCCT Comcast Channel 20 WTXX Charter

Pope Francis @Pontifex April 2017

May the certainty of faith be the engine of our lives.


Way of the Cross

A public procession of scripture and prayer Friday, April 14 • 6:00PM Chelsea Parade, Norwich

Pilgrimage to Cuba

January 8 – 17, 2017 Visit historic shrines, cathedrals, museums and landmarks of Old Havana and other towns and villages on the Island. Most of all, visit the charming and enduring people of Cuba as the light of hope begins to shine again on their homeland.

Call: Father Russell Kennedy, Pastor St. Francis of Assisi Middletown, (860)-334-8925

ELDER LAW What is it? Who needs it? How do I find an Elder Law lawyer?

Attorney Michael Lahan from Norwich will answer these & other Elder Law questions Wednesday evening, May 3 at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Rectory Meeting Room 1650, Rt. 12, Gales Ferry All Ages Welcome! You may discover strategies to begin planning now for the future. Admission is Free Please call/email by May 1 to reserve your seat!

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“As for YOU (your name), every hair on your head has been counted (I am special to Jesus!), so, do not be afraid of ANYTHING – and I (Jesus) PROMISE YOU, that WHOEVER gives a cup of water (a shoulder to lean on) to one of these ‘lowly one’, because he (or she) is a disciple (my Creation), will surely not lose his (or her) reward!” Matthew 10:30, 42

A Temporary Home For Homeless Mothers And Their Children

Leaders and Prayer Group Members Gathering Saturday, April 1 9:00am to 3:00pm Spiritual Renewal Center 7 Week Life in the Spirit Seminar Monday, April 3 to Monday, May 15 Please Call to Register Spiritual Renewal Center Prayer Group Healing Mass Wednesday, April 5 at 6:30pm All Hallows Church Hall, Moosup York Correctional Healing Mass Saturday, April 15 at 1:00pm Individual Prayer and Anointing Women’s Conference: “Your Grace is Enough” Saturday April 8 - 8:30am - 3:30pm Guest Speaker, Internationally known ValLimar Jansen St. Bernard High School, Uncasville Holy Week and Easter –Thank you Dear Jesus! Mass of Healing and Hope and Healing Service Sunday, April 30 at 1-4pm St. Thomas the Apostle Chapel 872 Farmington Ave., West Hartford Individual Prayer and Anointing Prayer Group Healing Mass Wednesday, May 3 at 7:30pm St. Mary Church, Portland

spiritual renewal services Diocese of Norwich

P.O. Box 6 • 11 Bath Street Norwich, CT 06360 • (860) 887-0702 email:

Father Richard J. Ricard, Pastor St. Bernard Parish Rockville and St. Matthew, Tolland participates in ribbon-cutting ceremony for Clairvaux House.


t. Bernard Church and the Cornerstone Foundation celebrated a new mission on Sunday afternoon, March 19th,with the blessing and opening of Clairvaux House in Rockville. Clairvaux House, named for St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the patron saint of St. Bernard Church, will serve as a temporary emergency shelter for homeless mothers with children. The house which has been owned by St. Bernard Church for 34 years and served many purposes over the years with the most recent being the St. Bernard Preschool, will be operated by the Cornerstone Foundation. The idea for Clairvaux House came from Cornerstone Executive Director

and Founder, Helen Syriac, who was frustrated three years ago when she was unable to help a homeless mother and her children. After pondering the situation, she thought to contact St. Bernard Church about the house; and after a lot of updating to town specifications, financial support and work, the house is now ready. Father Rick expressed joy to see the parish house transformed into a home for those who need to find a sanctuary of safety, peace, dignity and guidance. “Our prayers and support go out to the Cornerstone Foundation who will be managing Clairvaux House and to all the future resident families. May God bless them with a future filled with faith, healthy families and peace”.

April 2017

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Four County



Support Groups Provide Spiritual Support and Renewal ears ago, my brother Michael was murdered during a break-in at his home in Portland, Oregon. Finding it difficult to make sense of this tragedy, I attended a support group in Hartford called Survivors of Homicide. With trepidation I went to my first meeting and listened as others shared their stories, each one more horrific than the one before. Still, amidst the anguish and pain shared in that room, I was amazed to hear the laughter.

Have you and your spouse ever thought of creating a family through adoption?


April 2017

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Norwich, has been facilitating Adoption Services for over 80 years. For more information Adoption Services, please call Susan Sedensky, J.D., Catholic Charities would like to thank everyoneabout who our THANK YOU TO OUR 95th ANNIVERSARY SPONSOR Coordinator ofCoan Adoption Services at attended our 95th Anniversary Gala and supported the Stephen and Patricia (860) 889-8346 ext. 282 good work that we do. or see our website THANK YOU TO OUR GALA SPONSORS


To those that purchased a ticket, donated or purchased a Michael and Angela Arnold silent auction item, purchased a Flame of Remembrance, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Tessman or simply made a donation to Catholic Charities; thank Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Capano, Sr. ConfidentialMs. Birth MotherKeller Support Group meets the you! Jacqueline Ms. Christine second Wednesday of each month Jackel at 2pm, Catholic Charities, 7KHHYHQLQJVLJQLILHGD´1HZ%HJLQQLQJµIRU&DWKROLF331 Main St. Norwich. Mr. Everest Brustolon Any Women who has placed a baby for Charities and could not have been possible without youradoption is encouragedChelsea Groton Bank and welcome to meet with other birth support. Dime Bank at our monthly meetings. mothers ´,W was an amazing night and celebration, allowing Catholic Charities to honor those in our community who support our organization through their hard word and unselfish dedication. We are truly blessed.µ said Edward J. Tessman, Executive Director

We look forward to helping you with your dream

331 Main Street, Norwich, Connecticut 06360 / 860.889.8346 /

When I recall that time now, it is the laughter that had the most impact on me. In the midst of my darkness and despair, it gave me hope that one day I, too, would be able to laugh again. And, if it were not for that hope in those dark and difficult days, my heart would surely have broken. The people in that support group not only understood and could empathize with my pain, but they affirmed in me that the feelings that I was experiencing were normal. With the same understanding of the value of uniting people who share common experiences of loss and pain, the Diocesan Office of Faith Events (OFE) has recently organized and is overseeing three separate Catholicbased support groups for caregivers, divorced and separated Catholics and the bereaved. “Through these support groups, our office is trying to provide spiritual support and renewal to people who are going through difficult times and situations in their lives,” said Andrea Hoisl, director of the OFE. A Caregiver Spirituality Support Group for those taking care of a

loved one or friend or serving as a professional caregiver takes place the third Tuesday of each month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. rotating among three locations. Upcoming dates are April 18 at St. Philip the Apostle Church, 64 Pompey Hollow Road, Ashford; May 16 at St. John’s Parish, 19 St. John’s Square, Middletown; and June 20 at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Route 12, Gales Ferry. A Bereavement Support Group for those experiencing the loss of a loved one meets the third Thursday of each month also at three rotating parishes. Upcoming dates are April 20 at St. Mary’s Church Parish Center, 1600 Main St., Coventry; May 18 at St. Mary’s Church Parish Center, 34 North Main St., Jewett City; and June 15 at St. Mary’s Church Parish Center at 2018 Providence St., Putnam. A 12-session healing ministry and support group for divorced and separated Catholics meets the second and fourth Monday of each month through September 25 at Sacred Heart Parish Rectory, Sacred Heart Drive in Groton. This program is based on the Catholic’s Divorce Survival Guide DVD program and features expertise from Catholic psychologists, theologians and spiritual directors. Each session includes

a 30-minute video followed by discussion and support.

consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.”

The formation of all three groups resulted from needs expressed to the OFE by members of the diocese, Catechetical leaders and priests.

If you would like more information on attending any of these groups, please contact us at Office of Faith Events@ or 860-949-2237, ext 312.

When we provide a forum for people to reach out and receive comfort, encouragement and support from one another, we are fulfilling the words St. Paul wrote to his disciples in Corinth. In his Second Letter to the Corinthians he beautifully expressed the value of people supporting one another in their struggles: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our afflictions, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the



Catholic Charities presents

Comedy / Wine Tasting / Silent Auction Catholic Charities will hold a “Divine” afternoon of comedy, wine tasting and light fare. Join us for blessings, belly laughs, blarney and bingo with Father Aloysius Misgivings! Father Patrick Aloysius Misgivings will share divine stories of growing up Catholic.

Sunday, April 23rd 1:00pm to 4:00pm (Doors open at 12:30pm)

St. Sebastian Parish Hall 155 Washington Street Middletown

Join us to Provide Help and Create Hope for those throughout Eastern Connecticut

TICKETS: $35.00 in advance / $40.00 at the door Tickets can be purchased by contacting Susan Connelly at 860-889-8346, extension 264 or at Tickets can also be purchased online at or at any Catholic Charities Office location; Norwich, New London, Willimantic, and Middletown. This event is being coordinated with help from the Catholic Charities Middletown Advisory Board For additional information, please contact at 860-889-8346

April 2017


By Mary-Jo McLaughlin


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he people of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Pawcatuck have been on quite a journey since April 22, 2012. It was on that day that their pastor, the Very Rev. Dennis Perkins had to deliver the sad news that their beloved church, built in 1861, was no longer

safe for occupancy due to serious structural issues and it would have to temporarily close until a solution could be found. The next day parishioners were allowed to visit the church one last time. People prayed, took photos, cried, and reminisced about the memories generations of families had experienced within the sacred walls of St. Michael’s for 151 years.

A busy time of surveys, meetings, decisions, and capital campaigns began with the goal of getting everyone back in their church home on Liberty Street. The final decision was to reconstruct the historic church to make it look as it did in 1912. Last summer the church was dismantled and work began to firm up the foundation. Late this winter, the skeleton of the steeple was put in

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place. Within the last few weeks two truss signing events were held where parishioners and supporters signed the tops of the trusses so their names will be forever part of the new St. Michael’s. On April 3rd, the parish joyfully participated in an official “raising of the first truss” blessing ceremony with Bishop Michael R. Cote. Parishioners, friends, local

parishioners and offered continued support from the town. Bishop Cote thanked St. Michael’s pastor and parishioners for their hard work with this “tremendous undertaking”. He reminded everyone that St. Paul calls Jesus the “capstone of the Church” upon which all the other stones rest. It is the capstone who “assures all unity “and that “we are the stones”, the mystical body of Christ. Bishop Cote, Father Perkins, and with teen altar server Connor Beverly assisting, walked into the construction site and the Bishop signed and blessed the trusses. After the blessing, the construction workers lifted the first truss gently into place. Everyone broke out in cheers and applause! By the end of the day, four trusses were in place. St. Michael’s Church is starting to reach towards Heaven again and will once again be a beacon for the entire community and a spiritual home for its parishioners. If anyone would like to help with this historic project, donations can be sent to St. Michael’s Capital Campaign, 60 Liberty St., Pawcatuck, CT 06379.

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April 2017

Left to Right - Vermont Timber Works crew raises first beam; Bishop Michael R. Cote imparts blessing, joined by Father Dennis Perkins, Pastor of St. Michael's Church and altar server Connor Beverly.

dignitaries, and the students of St. Michael School gathered on church property to witness this historic event in the life of the parish. Mrs. Nadine Manfredi Sposato, a lifelong parishioner, summed up the emotions of the day for many by sharing that she found herself “in tears” as she was crossing the street towards the church lawn. Father Perkins told the crowd that they had reached this mark by “God’s grace and the gift of faith” and that the financial generosity of the community was “evidence of faith in action”. He thanked “a cast of thousands” including the town’s first selectmen, planning and building departments, Pawcatuck fire department, Petra construction, GNC engineers, Boundaries LLC, and Vermont Timber Works, and all parishioners who have been helping in their own way. He credited Vermont Timber Works for helping the committee see the project in a new way and for hosting the 8th graders of St. Michael School at their factory to see the trusses being crafted. Kate Rotella, Selectwoman and parishioner, and Rob Simmons, First Selectmen, congratulated the


Four County


ACA Ministry Fair “Our Faith Calls US To ACTION”

April 2017

By Mary Ellen Mahoney


hat better theme for this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal than “Our Faith Calls US To ACTION!” By providing financial support for the Diocese’s nearly 30 ministries, the ACA is truly a perfect example of how to put one’s faith into action. This year’s Ministry Fair, held at the Holiday Inn, Norwich, on a very chilly March 12th, provided an ideal setting for our ministries to showcase all the good they do each day to help our Diocesan families and community neighbors. Each year the Ministry Fair brings together ministry representatives and donors from all corners of our Diocese to an alternating location. Last year, the fair was held in Cromwell. Diocesan ministry directors and coordinators arrived early Sunday morning to prepare their booths and before long they were sharing their enthusiasm for their ministries with the many donors. Donors and ministry directors alike look forward to our Ministry Fair each Spring as it is an opportunity for parishioners to become better acquainted with the many ministries supported by the Diocese, thanks in part to the funds so generously donated to the ACA. This year, close to 400 donors energetically moved from booth to booth, learning first hand how their donations allow our ministries to continue their vital outreach in our communities. Each attendee was given a magnet in the shape of a cell phone containing the contact numbers for each of our ministries as well as the address of the Diocesan website. Each year, ministry representatives

tell donors about the crucial role the ACA plays in their ministry. Lynn Bellware, Case Manager at St. Joseph

and friendship, in which they lead others to do the same.” Once everyone was seated, Bishop

more than 4,200 people with emergency basic needs, educated more than 14,000 students in faith, gave medical care to more than 5,000 Haitians, and prepared close to 100 couples for marriage. Adding to the spirit of the day, Bishop Cote invited Jillian Corbin, Executive Director of St. Vincent de

Paul Place, Norwich and Ron Krom, Executive Director of St. Vincent de Paul Middletown to join him at the podium and presented them each with the Patrici-Anne Award for Distinguished Service to the Diocese of Norwich. This is the highest level award bestowed upon religious laity.

Ed and Genie Dypa Living Center, Windham explained, “We greatly appreciate the support we receive from the Diocese which allows us to better serve people in need throughout the Diocese in need of short term and long term nursing care.” She finds the fair to be a wonderful opportunity for her to conduct outreach, “I am able to share our ministry with others in the Diocese as well as learn more about their ministries. It allows St Joe’s to be a part of a larger community in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church, inspiring and equipping them for a lifetime of Christcentered evangelization, discipleship,

Cote welcomed all in attendance noting that the attendance was by far the greatest of any ministry fair and that he wanted to “say thank you to each donor for their presence as well as for the support you give to all of our ministries here today.” Bishop Cote also extended his gratitude to the ministry directors, coordinators and volunteers for their continued commitment to their ministries and all of the many ways they help our friends and neighbors. Last year Diocesan ministries provided more than 600,000 meals, helped

Reading from the award, Bishop Cote stated that, “This award is an expression of our affection for you and the esteem in which you are held by

hard providing meals, food pantry items, housing and shelter referrals, energy assistance, as well as financial counseling and oversight to the needy

Joanne and Ralph Coligan colleagues, friends and our Norwich Diocesan Family.” He continued, “ … you have distinguished yourself and the ministry you direct by serving the Lord’s neediest brothers and sisters… Your legacy is a caring spirit, proven leadership, indefatigable perseverance, unrelenting zeal, and unyielding love for your sisters and brothers who live in poverty.” Jillian has led St. Vincent de Paul Bottom Left to Right: Diocesan School Office Ministry represented by Place for the past 9 years, while Ron Diocesan Superintendent Henry Fiore Jr.; Jillian Corbin and Ron Krom has been at the helm of St. Vincent de Paul Middletown for the past 10 receive the Patrici-Anne award from Bishop Cote for their years. Both Jillian and Ron work

dedicated St. Vincent de Paul Ministry service.

of the Norwich and Middletown areas, respectively. Their presence and that of their staff is a lifeline to many of our neighbors desperately struggling to meet the challenges of daily life. Each year many attendees share their positive feeling about both the ACA and the Ministry Fair. For Lois Kane, a parishioner at St. Patrick Church, Mystic, the Ministry Fair was a first time experience that she truly enjoyed, “ I was sincerely impressed by all the booths. This has been a realization of how important the Catholic Church is to so many, helping to meet the needs

of our community.” John Legato, a parishioner at St. Andrew Church, Colchester also said it “was great to see all of the initiatives and services that the Diocese is involved in.” John noted that the Ministry Fair aptly reflected this year’s ACA theme, “Our Faith Calls US to ACTION! “ From soup kitchens, Outreach to Haiti, Catholic Charities and more, it is clear that people are very involved and demonstrating their faith in action” John commented. The Ministry Fair is one of the most important events for the Annual Catholic Appeal, a major source of critical financial support for our many Diocesan ministries. Through the kindness and generosity of donors from all of our 78 parishes and missions, last year’s ACA raised close to 3 million dollars. These monies enable our ministries to assist our neighbors to meet the challenges of daily life by helping them with their physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs. The 2017 ACA campaign, “Our Faith Calls US to ACTION!” began in parishes on the weekend of March 25-26. For more information on the ACA, to watch this year’s video or to donate online, please go to www. or contact the Development Office at (860) 886-1928. -ANNOUNCEMENT-

Caregiver Spirituality Support Group

April 18th from 6:30-8pm St. Philip the Apostle, Ashford May 16 St. John Middletown

April 2017




April 2017




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2017 Christopher Dinner Rejoicing in Our Donors' Generosity

By Mary Ellen Mahoney he Annual Catholic Appeal continued to celebrate its 2017 campaign, themed “Our Faith Calls Us To ACTION!” by hosting its annual Christopher Dinner on Saturday evening, March 18th at the Mystic Marriott. The Christopher Society recognizes those donors who make significant contributions to the ACA. The society is named after Saint Christopher who is believed to have carried the Christ Child across a raging river to safety. Today, the members of the Christopher Society give generously each year to the ACA and thereby do their part in carrying Christ to those in need. Mrs. Angela Arnold, Executive Director of Development for the Diocese, welcomed everyone to the evening, thanking them for the generosity they demonstrated in last year’s campaign, “MERCY: The Beating Heart of the Gospel”, noting that their kindness along with that of the many other donors to the ACA, amounted in a 2016 ACA total of $2,892,154.58 with an average gift of $254.82. Because of these gifts, the Diocese is able to continue to support its many ministries that help our friends and neighbors meet the struggles of daily life. Social service, spiritual guidance and educational programs are some of the ACA funded programs that provide comfort, sustenance and aid to those suffering hardships. Mrs. Arnold noted that members of the Christopher Society accounted for 43 percent of pledges toward the ACA’s overall total, with the average gift

Bishop Cote and Sister Rita Johnson entertain all with their popular George and Gracie routine. by a Christopher being $1,687.73. Each year the Christopher Dinner provides a very special opportunity for Bishop Cote to spend time visiting with donors and informally dialoguing with them about the needs of the Diocese and its many programs. After being welcomed to the podium by Mrs. Arnold, Bishop Cote remarked how wonderful it is to see an increased number of Christophers attending the Dinner each year, spreading their enthusiasm for the work of the ACA and the Diocese. Bishop Cote then thanked the Christophers for their enduring commitment to the ACA and explained to them that it is through their faithful dedication to giving that the ACA is able to assist so many. Bishop Cote stated, “Your unwavering

support of the Annual Catholic Appeal is an incredible demonstration of your faith in action.” He continued, “As Christophers, your support allows our ministries to demonstrate our Catholic Faith- a Faith that calls US to ACTION and a Faith that has allowed you to respond. Once again, I Thank You!” After Bishop Cote gave the Opening Blessing, Jacob Wallace of Norwich, a cub scout member of Pack 80 and soon to be boy scout, led the room in the Pledge of Allegiance. In keeping with this year’s ACA theme, “Our Faith Calls US To ACTION!”, Christophers received a magnet containing the phone numbers of each Diocesan ministry as well as the address of the Diocesan website. These cell phone shaped magnets were given with the hope that being

able to quickly direct someone in need to a ministry would result in many more people being helped. In addition, the book titled, A Lenten Pilgrimage: Journeying with Jesus, by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain was also given to the Christophers as a small token of appreciation. After a delicious dinner, Mrs. Arnold introduced Mrs. Andrea Hoisl, Director of the Office of Faith Events and members of her panel to conduct a Question and Answer Session. The ministry of the Office of Faith Events is an active resource for all within the Diocese, working to enrich lives and deepen our personal relationship with God through programs and events. The participants in the panel included Ms. Stephanie Gromko, a member of Sts. Peter and Paul, Norwich and a volunteer in the Office of Faith Events. She serves as a member of both the Diocesan Young Adult Council and the Diocesan Youth Council, where she is involved in the planning and implementation of the Diocesan Youth Explosion Retreat Day. Mr. Nicholas Cerreta, a coach and Dean of Students at Xavier, a co- presenter at the Office of Faith Events’ Sports and Spirituality Workshop and a member of the team implementing the Catholic Athletes for Christ program in the Diocesan high schools, was also a member of the panel. The panel was completed by Mr. and Mrs. Michael and Aidan D’Elia of Canterbury. Married for 7 months, the D’Elias attended a Diocesan marriage preparation class and found it very helpful as they embarked on their married life. The panel answered several Continued to next page

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Angela Arnold, Executive Director of Development, introduces Andrea Hoisl, Director of Faith Events, and members of her panel. questions addressing issues with which the Office of Faith Events is involved, in a very lively give and take with attendees. When asked about attracting adults back to the Church, the panel shared that hosting activities centered on faith is the key. The Office of Faith Events’ upcoming event, Wine, Wisdom and Why scheduled for April 27th at St. Andrew, Colchester, is a good example of an activity centered on bringing adults closer to the Church in a relaxed, but informative format. For the young adults, the Office has assembled a Young Adult Ministry team which they are in the process of training. The goal will be for members of the team to visit parishes and help them to develop programs geared towards young adults. The panel also referenced the new Sports and Spirituality program that the Office has developed. The goal of this new program is to help students to understand that Sports and Spirituality do not have to compete with one another but can operate in a complementary fashion. They also hope to get students to think about how their teams can work together to make the world a better place. The team structure allows for collaboration far beyond gyms and athletic fields. Attendees found the Question

and Answer Session to be very informative and also appreciated the Office of Faith Events sharing the dates and locations for upcoming programs. For information and a more comprehensive listing of all the programs currently being offered by the Office of Faith Events, please see faith-events or call (860) 8482237. A final highlight of the evening was the traditional George and Gracie exchange by Bishop Cote and Sister Rita Johnson, Director of Pastoral Care at Backus Hospital. For the past few years, the Bishop and Sister Rita have entertained attendees with a brief comedic exchange in the form of a George Burns – Gracie Allen routine. Attendees look forward to the humor and this year did not disappoint. If you would like more information on donating to the ACA or becoming a Christopher, please contact the Development Office at 860886-1928 or visit www.norwich The 2017 ACA campaign, “Our Faith Calls US To ACTION!” kicked off in parishes on the weekend of March 25-26. This year’s ACA video is online for viewing and online donations are also welcome.

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April 2017

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“Beautiful Things For Children”

SENIOR RENEWAL DAY: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 9:00am. Father Roger Couture, OMI invites all seniors to join him for this exploration on the “Lesser-Known Saints in the Church and Beyond”. Please join us this day for “Gianna Beretta Molla” in the 2016-2017 series. Rescheduled from March. Lunch included. Offering $10.00.


Four County

OUR YOUTH Sacred Heart School, Groton

Mr. Lawrence Fitzgerald, Principal 50 Sacred Heart Drive, Groton, CT 860-445-0611

CATHOLIC Sacred Heart School, Taftville

Mother Christina Van Beck, SCMC, Principal 15 Hunters Ave, Taftville, CT

Phone: 860-887-1757

St. Edward School, Stafford Springs Mrs. MaryAnne Pelletier, Principal 25 Church St, Stafford Springs, CT Phone: 860-684-2600

St. James School, Danielson Linda Marie Joya, Principal 120 Water St, Danielson, CT Phone: 860-774-3281

Four County

Our YOUTH St. John School, Old Saybrook


Mother Elaine Moorcroft, SCMC, Principal 42 Maynard Road, Old Saybrook, CT Phone: 860-388-0849

St. Joseph School, Baltic

St. John Paul II School, Middletown Dr. Darryl Bullock, Principal 87 South Main St, Middletown, CT Phone: 860-347-2978

Academic Excellence. Character. Self-Confidence.

Sr. Mary Patrick Mulready, SCMC, Principal

10 School Hill Road, Baltic, CT Phone: 860-822-6141

St. Joseph School, New London

Ms. Marianne Cote, Principal 25 Squire St, New London, CT Phone: 860-442-1720

From the Superintendent’s Office…..

My Dear Friends,

Second Annual March for Mercy Brings Teens Together

April 2017



Photos by L. Norton

ome of the 40 teens who attended the second annual March for Mercy weren’t sure what to expect when they walked in the doors of St. Joseph’s in Norwich on March 25th. Sure, a few teens came because they attended last year’s program and wanted to come again, but most were new and a little hesitant. To kick things off, Liza Roach, St. Joseph School, North Grosvenordale

Ms. Sharon Briere, Principal 26 Main St., N. Grosvenordale, CT Phone: 860-923-2090

Diocesan Youth Minister, warmly welcomed everyone to the event. She introduced Cooper Ray, a Catholic missionary and evangelist from Dallas TX. He began with guitar and song, leading a musical warm up activity called “Finish the Catholic Hymn”. Once everyone had their voices warmed up, the final hymn became the day’s opening prayer. Cooper gave an overview of the day and explained St. Mary-St. Joseph School, Willimantic

Ms. Abby Demars, Principal 35 Valley St, Willimantic, CT Phone: 860-423-8479

the reason for the main event – the “March for Mercy”, which would start there at St. Joseph’s and finish at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, about a mile away. Quoting St. Francis, Cooper told the teens that we are called to “preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words”. He explained that the March would give teens the opportunity to live that out. In preparation for the message the teens would be giving the community via the March, they listened to two speakers. The speakers’ focus was the timely message about the dangers of opioids and gateway drugs. Lisa Johnson from the organization “Community Speaks Out” spoke about being aware of addictions and shared how her son lost his life to drugs. The teens listened intently to St. Michael School, Pawcatuck

Mrs. Doris Messina, Principal

63 Liberty St, Pawcatuck, CT Phone: 860-599-1084

her talk. Bill Gilbert, the Director of Operations for Catholic Charities, spoke about the dangers of marijuana and alcohol. He stated that people may think they are benign drugs without much of an impact, but explained their danger and exhorted “Don’t go down that path. The best way to avoid rehab is never to pick up a drug.” Tapping into our faith, Bill urged the teens not to hate anyone who uses drugs and emphasized that while we must hate the sin; we must love the sinner, and reach out in mercy to help them. After instructions from Liza, the teens set about making posters which would carry the message of the March. One poster read “Choose God, not Drugs”, and another, “Get Help not High”. Once ready, the March began, led by teens taking St. Patrick School, Norwich

Mrs. Catherine Reed, Principal 211 Broadway, Norwich, CT Phone: 860-889-4174

turns carrying a 5’ wooden cross. The half hour march culminated in a group photo on the Cathedral steps and then everyone went inside for a pizza lunch and the afternoon program. Cooper shared more fun and wisdom with everyone. He reminded the teens that God has created them for greatness and encouraged them not to settle for comfort in what our culture offers, but to strive to their full potential. He reminded them that they are temples of the Holy Spirit. He asked: “What if we treated people like the tabernacles they are?” (A good question for all of us to

St. Bernard School, Uncasville

Mr. Donald Macrino, Headmaster 1593 Norwich-New London Tpke, Uncasville, CT Phone: 860-848-1271

ponder….) After a break, Cooper led some high energy games and tied in the games to the messages of the day. The next thing everyone knew, this “anything but boring” day was over and everyone left with smiles! Special thanks to Bishop Cote, Monsignor Rosaforte, and Father Washabaugh for the use of St. Joseph’s and St. Patrick’s for this event. Also on hand to help throughout the day were Andrea Hoisl, Diocesan Director of Faith Events and Diocesan Youth Council members.

May the Joy of the Risen Christ be with your families always,

Henry Fiore, Jr. Superintendent of Schools

Academy of the Holy Family, Baltic

Mother Mary David, SCMC, Principal 54 West Main St, Baltic, CT Phone: 860-822-9272

Marianapolis Preparatory School, Thompson

Mr. Joseph Hanrahan, Headmaster 26 Chase Road, Thompson, CT Phone: 860-923-9565

Mercy High School, Middletown

Mary McCarthy, RSM, President 1740 Randolph Road, Middletown, CT Phone: 860-346-6659

Xavier High School, Middletown

Brother Brian Davis, C.F.X, Headmaster Mr. Brendan Donohue, Principal 181 Randolph Road, Middletown, CT Phone: 860-346-7735

April 2017

By Linda Norton

We continue our Lenten journey this month followed by the Triduum. The Triduum marks the end of the Lenten Season, and leads us to the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday, and the Mass of the Resurrection on Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday. We encourage you to bring your children to church to experience the Triduum first hand. Father Francis X. Weiser, in The Year of the Lord in the Christian Home states, “This atmosphere of penitential devotion and quiet during the three great days of Holy Week is an experience that deeply affects the children and helps them more than any words could do towards an understanding of how important Christ's passion is for each one of us. It also induces them to meditate, mourn and pray with all sincerity. Thus, the grace of God is poured into their hearts, and great supernatural blessings are given them in these days.” This is what we teach and expose our children and young adults to in our Catholic schools. We also teach them that Easter is so important to the Catholic faith that it is not contained in just one day, but fifty days during the Easter Season. It is truly a season of joy. The Scriptures indicate that Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22), a trademark of the true Christian. Jesus said, “People will know that you are my disciples by your love” (Jn 13:35). God wants us to be joyful and loving people. Life is too short to be miserable, and we, as adults, need to express our joy and model it for our children. There is so much turmoil and negativity blasted instantly in our modern electronic world that joy is hardly mentioned or displayed. Jesus rose from the dead to give us life everlasting. All we have to do is believe. Our entire community of schools in the Diocese of Norwich not only believes, but is exposed to and follows the Gospel of Jesus daily. Now that is something to be joyful about. As a faith-based community, let us all strive to show our children what rejoicing is all about.


Four County


Mercy High Tech Tigers Claim Victory at Robotic Competition

ith six years of experience and learning behind them, on their seventh-year, Team 3654, the TechTigers of Mercy High School, claimed victory at the New England Waterbury District FIRST Robotic Event on March 5th, 2017. Their path to victory: strong recruitment, prioritization, and consistency.

“I’ve always hoped that I could feel the kind of elation that teams feel when they win competitions; and I had faith in our team that we’d get there someday. It turns out that day was Sunday, March 5th, at 5:33 PM, because when I turned around from the driver’s station at the end of the last finals match, I saw the scores and

went nuts. It was the best feeling of my life, and I’ll never forget being so happy. Then the day got even better when we won the Imagery Award. It was a banner day, pun intended! I’ve always enjoyed being on this close-knit team, and I think this victory brought us even closer together,” explained Devon Garrett, ’17 TechTiger Co-Captain. In the fall of 2016, the team was sure to have a presence at the Mercy High School orientation events and club fair. Thus, the team gained many talented and enthusiastic underclassmen. This was the start of a strong season. As the offseason progressed, the team worked on a project to develop new skills, as well as a plan of approach and a

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set of deadlines for the upcoming season. The offseason allowed for training new members and let veteran members get back into the flow. What made this year different for the TechTigers comes down to planning. They thought about strategy. Loading the gear across the robot reduced time at the loading station and the robot could get to work on the field. They selected a good motor choice. It was slower, but its good torque raised the robot. Prioritization was essential this year; recruitment, build on strengths, stick to deadlines, and practice. Suzanne O’Hara ’17 of the business section of the TechTigers explained why she felt the team won the Imagery Award for a second time, “When we found out the

game’s theme was steampunk, we were elated. The team had chosen steampunk as a personal theme in 2014, and we knew we could pull off something amazing. The business team got to work right away brainstorming ideas for the pit design, which we eventually presented to the rest of the team for a vote. We decided on a Grand Central Station inspired travel hub. This included vinyl flooring, faux marble walls, crown molding, and even a working clock! Steam had two meanings this year, we think of steam power in years past and in today’s age it stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM.) We used all those areas in designing and creating our pit and robot. As we got into the design more, we picked up more fun accessories for the pit, the robot, and the team members. Every person decorated a miniature top hat to wear at competition. The Imagery Award looks at a cohesive image throughout the entire team, and we won it because of our successful integration of steampunk in every aspect of our team. “

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Each year FIRST unveils the theme of the competition and details what the robots must do at their kickoff event. On January 7th, per a press release from FIRST, 83,400 high-school students, 3,336 teams at 123 venues around the globe joined the Kickoff via Twitch Livestream.

FIRST STEAMWORKS, invites two adventure clubs from an era in which technology relied on steam power to prepare their airships for the ultimate long distance race. Each three-team alliance scores points and prepares to take flight by building steam pressure, gathering materials to start the rotors, and boarding robots onto their airships. The adventurer club with the highest score at the end of the match is the best prepared for the race and wins.” At the Kickoff, teams were shown the FIRST STEAMWORKS game field and challenge details for the first time. Each team receives a Kit of Parts made up of motors, batteries, control system components, construction materials, and a mix of additional automation components – with limited instructions. Working with adult mentors, students have six weeks to design, build, program, and test their robots to meet the season’s engineering challenge. The third alliance, as they were now known in the tournament, continued undefeated, earning their

way into the finals, where they would remain undefeated and reign as champions and claim the coveted blue banner. The TechTigers gives a big thanks to the Techno Ticks in picking them and being a good alliance captain and the Birds of Prey for being amazing partners and cheering with them to victory.

At the end of the night, the team checked The Blue Alliance, a website for FRC rankings and event scores and found that Team 3654 was number four in the New England region. Regardless of how things end up, I am very excited that we got the blue winner’s banner! I still can’t believe it! Everyone--students, mentors, and parents-- are super cool and I couldn’t have wished for a better team to win with.” Commented Team Co-captain Eugenia Cho

Buff Bachenheimer, Science teacher at Mercy and a mentor for the TechTigers expounded, “The TechTigers cheered louder than ever, wildly shaking pom poms in the air. People screamed, people cried. Everyone was hugging each other, even the mentors could not resist being extremely excited and proud of this group of young women. Social media blew up, with Mercy Senior Housing in Cromwell, CT students and for those age 55 and over. team alumnae One and Two Bedroom Units congratulating Call for an appointment today! the TechTigers.” 860-632-1688

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April 2017



Four County




ather Edward J. Wisneski, STD, Ph.D, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his ordination. He was ordained on May 4, 1967 in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Norwich. Father Ned was born December 7, 1939 in Middletown to Edward and Margaret (Murphy) Wisneski. He graduated from St. John School and Middletown High School. He attended Georgetown University and graduated from Fairfield University.

Father Ned is a U.S. Navy veteran. He attended St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, MD. He received his doctorate in philosophy from Boston College and his doctorate in sacred theology from Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) in Rome. Father Ned served as a parochial vicar at St. Luke Church in Ellington, pastor at Our Lady of Grace, Fishers Island, NY and professor at Holy Apostles Seminary, Cromwell.

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Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Gales Ferry is presenting a 4 week series on Wednesday evenings May 10, 17, 24 & 31 at 7pm. Sessions will cover topics arising from the Middle Ages through modern times. Please register before April 30 at or 860-464 7251. An $8 fee for a participant book may be paid in advance or at the first session.

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St. Edward School in Stafford Springs to Close at End of School Year


FCC Newsdesk

ost Reverend Michael R. Cote, Bishop of Norwich and Superintendent of Diocesan Schools, Henry Fiore, Jr., have confirmed that St. Edward School will close at the end of the current school year, having faithfully and with distinction served its parish and the local Stafford Springs community for 142 years. Shifting population, demographics and the burden of 21st century costs of operation made it no longer feasible for the school to remain open. Every determined effort was made by school administration, St. Edward the Confessor Pastor and Parish, the Diocese of Norwich and friends

and alumni to keep the school open and functioning. Regrettably, the enrollment numbers continued to decline while necessary capital improvements grew substantially. This was further verified by one of the largest Catholic school consulting

Free Throw Southeast CT REGIONAL FREE THROW BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS The Knights of Columbus annually sponsor a national free-throw basketball competition open to the public. All boys and girls ages 9 to 14 are welcome to compete with parental consent. The Southeast CT Regional competition was sponsored by the CT State Council and was hosted at the St. John School gym by District 30: Father Hussion Council 2968, Old Saybrook. Thanks to the numerous proud parents, families and friends who attended to encourage the fantastic 25 district winners from across the area councils. Congratulations to the SE Regional winners who received Knights of Columbus trophies.

firms in the US, Catholic School Management. The firm was brought in to research the viability of the school before any decision was made. The decision to close was painfully difficult for all who loved and fought so hard to keep the school open for

as long as they could. Father Brian Maxwell and School Principal Maryanne Pelletier were tireless advocates of this historic faithcentered school that improved the lives of so many families for so many generations. Principal Pelletier and Superintendent Fiore have notified parents and other key supporters, and have offered to help place students in other Catholic schools. They will also assist teachers and administrators interested in opportunities in other Catholic schools. All who knew the school and admired its mission and purpose for so long, join with Bishop Cote in keeping the St. Edward School and parish community in our prayers.

-ANNOUNCEMENTSaturday, May 6 Norwich Diocesan Council of Catholic Women Convention. Open to all women. Hosted by the Shoreline District at St. Lawrence Parish, Killingworth. Registration at 9am.., Noon Mass with Bishop Cote. Keynote speaker: Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle. $25 registration includes lunch, to register contact Ellen Lincke (860)395-6630 or email:

April 2017

Father Wisneski Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Ordination

Four County



LEARN. GROW. DISCOVER. Saint Bernard School

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Saint Bernard School Students of the Month

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Teachers Encouraged to Celebrate Schools' Mission Daily “The workshop

was fabulous!”

T You have many choices of where to educate your child. That’s why we would like to invite you to visit our school where you can learn about our academic programs, athletics, campus life, and see why Saint Bernard School is a place for your child to learn, grow, and discover!

April 2017

Call us today at 860-848-1271 to schedule your private visit and tour the school. SAINT BERNARD SCHOOL Grades 6–12 1593 Norwich-New London Turnpike Uncasville, CT 06382 860-848-1271 We are accepting applications for the 2017–18 school year. Ask us about our Tailored Tuition Program to help meet your family’s unique financial situation.


Josephine Snarsky and Jerelyn Gatchalian

Saint Bernard School has named its March Students of the Month. Seventh grade student Josephine Snarski of Montville and freshman Jerelyn Gatchalian of Ledyard have been recognized this month. Snarski is a member of the cheerleading team and Student Council and is a gymnast outside of school. Gatchalian is involved in Campus Ministry, especially through her artwork, and is a member of the fencing team and the fine arts program. Both students were noted for being friendly and always willing to lend a hand to fellow students or teachers.

hat was the reaction of Principal Sharon Briere, of St. Joseph School in North Grosvenordale, following the March 13th Diocesan School Office Professional Development Day held at the Holiday Inn, Norwich. Diocesan Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Henry Fiore Jr. who hosted the 142 professional educators, board members and pastors, opened the workshop explaining that the diocese was taking a proactive position in addressing declining enrollment, shifting demographics and economic realities. “I was with all of the New England superintendents this past weekend at a conference and it was a hot topic of discussion”, he said. Mr. Fiore then went on to introduce Mr. Richard J. Burke, Senior Executive Consultant and Founder of Catholic School Management. Direct and to the point, Mr. Burke had the full attention of the group as he shared the latest research from CARA (Center for Applied Research on the Apostolate) and used examples from the world of advertising (Gablinger beer, Faberge shampoo and Olin ski’s) to illustrate the point that a good product, in this case, a Quality Catholic Education, isn’t all that is needed to have a successful school. “In 1960 there were 10,500 Catholic elementary schools - in 2016 there were 5,325. Why? Many Catholic

Mr. Richard J. Burke schools have done a poor job of effectively and consistently marketing themselves” said Mr. Burke. Even with the decline, Catholic schools still make-up the largest private school system in the world, saving taxpayers $24 billion per year. Mr. Burke recalled the Faberge Organics shampoo commercial from the early 80’s that featured Heather Locklear, full screen, then with two images of her on the screen and then 4 of her, eventually filling the screen with multiple images of herself all while saying, “You’ll tell your friends and they’ll tell their friends and they’ll tell their friends and so on and so on and so on”. Burke stated, “I’m here to tell you, that is the most important message of the morningyou tell two people, and they tell two people and they’ll tell two people” Mr. Burke went on to share strategies to improve recruitment, retention and a key component how to effectively communicate to Generation X and Generation Y parents. Mr. Burke explained that generationally, the consumers

of a quality Catholic education have changed. “Parents choose Catholic schools for a better quality education, safe, disciplined, nurturing environment, religious values and, since the year 2000, an array of co-curricular and extracurricular activities“. According to the USCCB, Catholic schools play an important role in the evangelizing mission of the Church. However, some parents no longer feel obligated to send their child to a Catholic school. They have options and choices, now and they choose to exercise those options. As a consultant, Richard Burke has 40 years of experience in helping Catholic schools succeed. He is no stranger to the Diocese.“I was fortunate to work with Mr. Burke in 2004”, said Principal Briere. “A number of the strategies Richard discussed have already been implemented in our school, leading to a slow and steady increase in enrollment. We’ve gone from combined classrooms with 2 grades sharing a teacher, back to individual

classes. As they say- slow and steady wins the race” “It’s not a matter of rebranding-it’s a matter of branding” Superintendent Fiore stated. He went on to say, “We are modern when it comes to education and traditional when it comes to moral values.” Principal Briere agreed and added, “We have to communicate these messages 12 months a year- not only during Catholic Schools week” Mr. Burke assigned homework to the principals, the professional educators, the support staff and the board members to speak about, live out, and celebrate the school’s mission on a daily basis. By Wayne Gignac

Trust in the mercy of God’s love. If you are carrying the grief and sorrow of past abortions, call

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Defending Religious Liberty

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Religious freedom is more than freedom of worship. It goes beyond protecting our ability to attend Mass or a religious service. It guarantees citizens of all faiths, or none whatsoever, the right to contribute to our common life. We Catholics and other religious people come to the table with what we are, and what we have. We put our beliefs, values and structures at the service of the common good, because our faith demands that we do so. When amending the mandate, pray that the new administration protects religious freedom.



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Parishes Working Together to Make A Difference


By Andrea Hoisl hat do St. Coleman Parish in Middlefield, Notre Dame Parish in Durham, St. Mary Parish in Middletown, and St. Pius X Parish in Middletown, all have in common? The Rise Against Hunger Food Packing Day they sponsored, planned and implemented, enlisting volunteers from all four parishes. The catechetical leaders from the four parishes spearheaded this event in hopes of getting their parishes to share their time and talents. The international service day involved parish fundraising as well as “hands on” food packing at the service event, which took place at St. Pius X in Middletown. The day consisted of three shifts of volunteers assembling food packets. 150 people participated in the volunteer event. The money raised by the parish communities was used to buy the food that was actually packed at the event. The packets, when completed, held ingredients for 4 meals for a family. The service day was a true celebration where laughter and fun

could be seen and felt by everyone in attendance. There was music playing which served as the backdrop to a collaborative, inspirational experience overall. “This event is truly an uplifting and inspiring experience” said Carol Butler, from St. Pius X. This is the second year that this event was held at St. Pius X, Middletown, CT. Rise Against Hunger has partners all over the world that provide education, refuge, and care for needy and hungry people. “Holding a food packing event gives everyone a


Serving All Faiths • Pre-Need Arrangements Traditional Services or Cremations Directors: Joseph R. Introvigne, Joseph R. Introvigne, Jr. & Michael J. Introvigne 51 East Main St. Stafford Springs, CT


chance to pitch in and work as a team for the greater good. This event is great because the church community comes together with the single

purpose of helping others in need”, added Kim Molski, coordinator from St. Pius X. The churches, by partnering together, were able to make a greater impact. When the project was completed there were 17,000 meals packaged and ready to be shipped to Rise Against Hunger. This organization works year-round to prepare for and respond to crises around the globe. “This was a great opportunity for the members of all our parishes to practice almsgiving in a very practical way this Lenten Season”, said Sue Ferraiolo.

-ANNOUNCEMENTThursday, April 27th

Wine, Wisdom & Why Night

7-9pm at St. Andrew Parish Hall Colchester. Learn more about your faith and share some fellowship with other Catholics. For more information call 860-848-2237 x 306

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April 2017



Four County Catholic April 2017  

The official newspaper of the Diocese of Norwich, CT.

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