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Volume 25 Number 10


Pope Francis shares his vision of the Church in historic interview.

For your continued support of the Four County Catholic Diocesan Newspaper


Four County Catholic November 2013

His words break through in a world cluttered with messaging...

3 atholic at c Four County

- Bishop Cote introducing the verbatim interview of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, by the Jesuit journal, La Civilta Cattolica.

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I see the Church as a field hospital after battle.... the thing the Church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful. - Pope Francis excerpt from the America interview.

With the closing of the Year of Faith, we might take some quiet time to consider how we have nourished and nurtured our faith these past months, and in what new ways we have put our faith into action.


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


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Bishop Leonard P. Blair is Appointed New Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Hartford Hartford, CT (October 29, 2013) - His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Leonard Paul Blair, STD as the fifth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Hartford. Bishop Blair was officially introduced as the new archbishop during a press conference at the Archdiocesan Center at Saint Thomas Seminary, 467 Bloomfield Ave., Bloomfield, on Tuesday, October 29th, at 10 a.m. Bishop Blair, 64, has been the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo since 2003. He was ordained a priest in 1976. He succeeds Archbishop Henry J. Mansell, who has been the Archbishop of Hartford since December 2003, and who had passed the age of retirement. Bishop Blair will be installed as the Archbishop of Hartford on Monday, December 16th at a ceremony at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph, 140 Farmington Ave., Hartford.

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Four County Catholic November 2013

The Most Reverend

Michael R. Cote, D.D.

Bishop of Norwich

Pope Francis Interview from America Magazine:

A Big Heart Open to God My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ: The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has in such a short time reached out to so many people in so many parts of the world. He is a gifted communicator. He seems to speak every man’s language. His words break through in a world cluttered with messaging, much of it of a secular nature. The breakthrough, of course, is in the content of his message. By most accounts, including mine, his recent interview published in the September 30, 2013, issue of America is a defining moment in


t is Monday, Aug. 19, 2013. I have an appointment with Pope Francis at 10 a.m. in Santa Marta. I, however, inherited from my father the habit of arriving early for everything. The people who welcome me tell me to make myself comfortable in one of the parlors. I do not have to wait for long and after a few minutes I am brought over to the lift. This short wait gave me the opportunity to remember the meeting in Lisbon of the editors of a number of journals of the Society of Jesus, at which the proposal emerged to publish jointly an interview with the pope. I had a discussion with the other editors, during which we proposed some questions that would express everyone’s interests. I emerge from the lift and I see the pope already waiting for me at the door. In meeting him here, I had the pleasant impression that I was not crossing any threshold. I enter his room and the pope invites me to sit in his easy chair. He himself sits on a chair that is higher and stiffer because of his back problems. The setting is simple, austere. The workspace occupied by the desk is small. I am impressed not only by the simplicity of the furniture, but also by the objects in the room. There are only a few. These

Pope Francis’ early papacy. You have been hearing excerpts of the interview, quick sound bytes and various editorials from within and outside the Church. I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity for you to read firsthand the entire interview. Following is the complete and unabridged text of the interview. As background, the interview took place over the course of several meetings with Father Antonio Spadaro, S. J., Editor in Chief of La Civilta Cattolica, the Italian

Jesuit journal. Father Spadaro conducted the interview on behalf of his publication, Thinking Faith, America and several other major Jesuit journals around the world. Each of the journals provided Father Spadaro with questions for the interview that was conducted in Italian. It was America who commissioned a team of experts to translate the text into English. For your interest, the interview took place at Pope Francis’ apartment at his Casa Santa Marta Vatican residence. Knowing how we will all be discussing

include an icon of St. Francis, a statue of Our Lady of Luján, patron saint of Argentina, a crucifix an f Joseph slee very simila the one wh had seen i office at Colegio M de San M where he w tor and provincial s The spiritu Jorge Bergoglio made of nized energ would call t of huma Christ, St. F Joseph and The pope me with that has al eled all a world, that that opens many things, but above all about his trip to

Brazil. The pope considers it a true grace. I ask him if he has had time to rest. He tells

of people his eyes actually rest on individual

this historic interview for some time to come throughout the Diocese, I wanted to be sure you had the word-for-word foundation for those discussions. I look forward to speaking with you on this subject going forward. May God guide us carefully as we contemplate and apply the Holy Father’s vision into our daily lives as faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Sincerely yours in Christ’s love, Bishop Michael R. Cote persons. Then the television cameras project the images and everyone can see them. This n feel free to remain in direct conast with his eyes, with the individs in front of him. To me, he seems out this: that he can be who he is, oes not have to alter his ordinary ommunicating with others, even is in front of millions of people, as on the beach at Copacabana. I switch on the voice-recorder we about other things. Commenting f my own publications he tells me wo contemporary French thinkers olds dear are Henri De Lubac, S.J., hel de Certeau, S.J. I also speak to ut more personal matters. He too me on a personal level, in particular election to the pontificate. He tells when he began to realize that he elected, on Wednesday, March 13, nch, he felt a deep and inexplicable d interior consolation come over g with a great darkness, a deep obout everything else. And those feelmpanied him until his election later A Big Heart Open to God Continued on page 4


Four County Catholic November 2013

A Big Heart Open to God Actually I would have liked to continue speaking with him in this very personal manner for much longer, but I take up my papers, filled with questions that I had written down before, and I turn on the voice-recorder. First of all I thank him on behalf of all the editors of the various Jesuit magazines that will publish this interview. Just a bit before the audience that the pope granted on June 14 to the Jesuits of La Civiltà Cattolica, the pope had spoken to me about his great difficulty in giving interviews. He had told me that he prefers to think carefully rather than give quick responses to onthe-spot interviews. He feels that the right answers come to him after having already given his initial response. “I did not recognize myself when I responded to the journalists asking me questions on the return flight from Rio de Janeiro,” he tells me. But it’s true: many times in this interview the pope interrupted what he was saying in response to

Continued from page 3

a question several times, in order to add something to an earlier response. Talking with Pope Francis is a kind of volcanic flow of ideas that are bound up with each other. Even taking notes gives me an uncomfortable feeling, as if I were trying to suppress a surging spring of dialogue. It is clear that Pope Francis is more used to having conversations than giving lectures. Who Is Jorge Mario Bergoglio? I have the first question ready, but then I decide not to follow the script that I had prepared for myself, and I ask him point-blank: “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?” The pope stares at me in silence. I ask him if this is a question that I am allowed to ask.... He nods that it is, and he tells me: “I do not know what might be the most fitting description.... I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.” The pope continues to reflect

and concentrate, as if he did not expect this question, as if he were forced to reflect further. “Yes, perhaps I can say that I am a bit astute, that I can adapt to circumstances, but it is also true that I am a bit naïve. Yes, but the best summary, the one that comes more from the inside and I feel most true is this: I am a sinner whom the Lord has looked upon.” And he repeats: “I am one who is looked upon by the Lord. I always felt my motto, Miserando atque Eligendo [By Having Mercy and by Choosing Him], was very true for me.” The motto is taken from the Homilies of Bede the Venerable, who writes in his comments on the Gospel story of the calling of Matthew: “Jesus saw a publican, and since he looked at him with feelings of love and chose him, he said to him, ‘Follow me.’” The pope adds: “I think the Latin gerund miserando is impossible to translate in both Italian and Spanish. I like to translate it with an-

other gerund that does not exist: misericordiando [“mercy-ing”]. Pope Francis continues his reflection and tells me, in a change of topic that I do not immediately understand: “I do not know Rome well. I know a few things. These include the Basilica of St. Mary Major; I always used to go there.” I laugh and I tell him, “We all understood that very well, Holy Father!” “Right, yes”—the pope continues—“I know St. Mary Major, St. Peter’s...but when I had to come to Rome, I always stayed in [the neighborhood of ] Via della Scrofa. From there I often visited the Church of St. Louis of France, and I went there to contemplate the painting of ‘The Calling of St. Matthew,’ by Caravaggio.” I begin to intuit what the pope wants to tell me. “The Calling of Saint Matthew,” Caravaggio “That finger of Jesus, pointing at Matthew. That’s me. I feel like him. Like Matthew.” Here the

pope becomes determined, as if he had finally found the image he was looking for: “It is the gesture of Matthew that strikes me: he holds on to his money as if to say, ‘No, not me! No, this money is mine.’ Here, this is me, a sinner on whom the Lord has turned his gaze. And this is what I said when they asked me if I would accept my election as pontiff.” Then the pope whispers in Latin: “I am a sinner, but I trust in the infinite mercy and patience of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I accept in a spirit of penance.” Why Did You Become a Jesuit? I understand that this motto of acceptance is for Pope Francis also a badge of identity. There was nothing left to add. I continue with the first question that I was going to ask: “Holy Father, what made you choose to enter the Society of Jesus? What struck you about the Jesuit Order?” A Big Heart Open to God Continued on page 12

Rejoice in Hope



November 15­17

Women’s Weekend: The Women of the Gospel

ADVENT December 13­15

Advent Family Retreat: The Best Preparation for Christmas for the Entire Family! With Deacon & Peggy Scari

With Sister Eugenia Brady, SJC

God invites us in the midst of the noise and distractions we face every day to a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him. Set some time aside for Him, book your retreat today!

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Living the Mystery of the Incarnation with Mary With Sister Eugenia Brady, SJC


11th Step for Men With Deacon Paul G.

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Four County Catholic November 2013

Director of Priestly Vocations

Reverend Gregory Galvin

New Vocations Website Up and Running That’s right! It’s been a while now that the vocations website of the Diocese of Norwich has been under reconstruction, almost two years. We are now fully running and hopefully more helpful to anyone in or outside the diocese. The site includes the vocations director’s blog - updated regularly. For example, go to the vocations director’s blog to see pictures and updates from the most recent ordination of one of our seminarians studying in Rome. Search a little further back and see similar blogs about the ordinations from earlier this past summer. There is also a seminarian blog button. The seminarians may update and post a blog about events going on at their respective seminaries. There is a faq button to help you review many different questions about seminary life and discerning a call to

priesthood. By clicking on one of the questions, you will receive an immediate answer. You will find a weekly mediation and a clip of our most recent television commercial. There are also links to the Vatican twitter feed and to seminary websites. Underneath the main banner you will see what I hope will be a very useful tool for everyone in the diocese. The Special Announcements box is updated regularly depending on what is going on around the diocese with regard to vocations. Also please notice in the top left column of the home page the box marked prayers for priests. That changes automatically every day and lists for us the one or two priests for whom we are asked to pray for that particular day. Please

join in keeping both our active and retired priests in your prayers. The Diocesan Vocations Prayer Team is always open to new members. We have just over one hundred members who have joined the prayer team for vocations. To subscribe please use the box in the lower left column of the home page. Hopefully you have seen our Monthly Eucharistic Holy Hour posters around your parish. It is our further hope that you have had a chance to join us for one of these holy hours. If not, and if remembering where they are being held is a problem, you can always click on the poster on the ride side column. This month, we will be praying at Saint Joseph Church in New London on

Clergy Appointments The Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, D.D., Bishop of Norwich, has made the following clergy and diocesan appointments in the Diocese of Norwich: Reverend Rafal Kandora, OSPPE, new to the Diocese, Parochial Vicar, Saint Joseph Parish, Rockville. Effective: October 21, 2013. Reverend Antony Alaharasan, 1 year renewal of appointment as Pastor, Saint Thomas More Parish, North Stonington. Effective: October 10, 2013. ~ Monsignor Robert L. Brown, Chancellor ~ November 21st from 7-8pm. A few thank you’s need to be offered at this time. Thank you to seminarian Jeff Ellis and his brother Derrick who painstakingly built the new initial inner workings and structure of our vocations page. They have both put in many hours of work helping bring this site to where it is today. Thank you also to the Diocesan Communications Office and Donna Antonacci who assisted greatly in helping us convert into the new diocesan structure and appearance. Finally, thank you to all of the members of our diocesan family who have donated to the ACA to help make possible the work of this ministry. Hopefully, our new website will enhance our continued efforts to develop a stronger culture of vocations which will continue to produce vocations both to consecrated religious life and the diocesan priesthood for years to come.


Four County Catholic November 2013

Saturday, November 16 Baskets, Books and Bake Goods Bazzar St Agnes Church, 22 Haigh Ave., Niantic. from 9:00am-3:00pm. Sponsored by the St. Agnes Women’s Club, the Bazaar will feature popular-themed baskets, yummy baked goods, and a second-time-around book sale. New this year, “baubles, bangles, and beads” will showcase previously loved jewelry and accessories for women and teens. Saturday, November 16 Journey Through the Psalms This day is dedicated to the Psalms: the school of prayer for all of life’s circumstances. Experience the power of the Psalms in the Mass, learn how to meditate on them fruitfully and study the many ways they foretell the life and mission of Jesus and much

more! 9:00 am – 3:00 pm at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 63 Old Norwich Road, Quaker Hill. Cost is $30.00, includes seminar packet and lunch. Pre-registration is required. Call Marge Vanner (860) 848-2237 ext 312 faithevents@ Saturday, November 16 Festival of Angles Fair St. Francis of Assisi Church, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Monsignor M. Davitt Fox Parish Center for their annual Festival of Angels Fair. This year, in addition to the teacup auction, tickets for $5.00 each will be available for a separate raffle featuring a 40 inch WiFi TV and a Keurig Coffeemaker. The parishioner’s arts and crafts table will feature handmade scarves, bags, ornaments, a variety of handmade items and always a hit, beautiful holiday baskets made

with fresh evergreens and handmade bows! Grandma's Attic is full of vintage treasures, vintage costume jewelry; and other booths to visit are the baked goods table, including homemade jams and preserves and the farmer's market featuring winter vegetables and fruits. Area artisans will feature their beautiful items also. Continental breakfast and lunch will be available. St. Francis of Assisi is located at 10 Elm Street, Middletown and the parish center is handicap accessible. Parking is free. Monday, November 18 Prayer & Discernment Board Meeting Spiritual Renewal Center, Norwich. For more information contact Spiritual Renewal at 860-887-0702.

Saturday, November 23, 2013 St. Peter Church Country Christmas Fair St Peter Church Hall, 30 St. Peter Lane, Higganum, from 9:00 a.m. 7:00 p.m. A Country Christmas Fair: Antiques, knitters nook, handmade 18 inch doll clothes, wreaths, trees and other decorations. The fair will also feature a bake sale, a variety of themed raffle baskets, a silent auction, our big raffle and a new booth - “The Attic” selling furniture. Mr. and

Holy Hour for Vocations The Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, D.D., Bishop of Norwich, leads the Holy Hour: November 21, 2013 • 7:00-8:00 p.m. Saint Joseph, New London

We Can Help

December 19, 2013 • 6:00-7:00 p.m. Saint Edward, Stafford Springs

We pray for our Seminarians....

Saturday, November 23 43rd Annual Sleigh Bells Ring Christmas Fair St. Maurice Church will hold its annual Christmas Fair – “Sleigh Bells Ring” – on Saturday from 9:00am until 3:00pm at 23 Hebron Road, Bolton. This much anticipated holiday event abounds with handmade gifts such as Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, unique hostess gifts, handcrafted ornaments, fresh evergreen baskets, American Girl clothes, a quilt raffle, Christmas tree skirts and of course – those favorite homemade apple pies and delicious holiday baked goods! Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there to delight the children and will be available for photos. Start your Christmas shopping early and stay for lunch. Homemade clam chowder, baked potatoes and chili are just a few items on the menu along with hot chocolate and spicy mulled cider. Over 35 talented crafters will be on the premises. For more information please contact Barbara Baker at 860-295-9254

To report inappropriate contact of any kind by a representative of the Diocese of Norwich or for assistance to victims, please call:

Father Greg Galvin, Director of Priestly Vocations

(860) 887-9294

1-800-624-7407 Podemos Ayudar

Kurt O’Brien 2nd Year College Holy Apostles Seminary Cromwell, CT

Jeffrey Ellis 1st Year Theology Mt. St. Mary Seminary Emmitsburg, MD

Juan Palacio 1st Year English Studies Clark University Worcester, MA

Deacon Martin Noe 3rd Year Theology Holy Apostles Seminary Cromwell, CT

Deacon Jonathan Ficara 3rd Year Theology Pontifical North American College, Vatican City State

Ruben Sanchez 1st Year English Studies Clark University Worcester, MA

Peter Langevin 1st Year Theology Mt. St. Mary Seminary Emmitsburg, MD

Thomas Griffin 1st Year Theology Blessed John XXIII National Seminary Weston, MA

Para reportar cualquier contacto inapropiado por un/a representante de la Diócesis de Norwich, o para buscar ayuda para víctimas, favor de llamar:


Mrs. Claus will be there too! Our traditional lunch including kielbasa & sauerkraut, sandwiches, quiche, soups and new items will be available for purchase. Something for everyone! A lasagna dinner will be served at 6:00pm Cost - adults $12.00, children under 10 $5.00. Advanced ticket purchase recommended. Take out will be available on a limited basis. For more information please call Elizabeth Yantosh at (860) 345-3191 Wednesday, December 4 Diocesan Prayer Meeting St. Mary Parish, 41 Freestone Ave., Portland. All Parishes and Prayer Groups are invited. 7:30pm. For more information contact Spiritual Renewal at 860-887-0702 Saturday, December 7 Pro-Life Mass Cathedral of St. Patrick, Norwich, at 8:30 pm. Fr. Ray Introvigne, Celebrant Saturday, December 7 Live Auction and Basket Raffle St. Joseph School Baltic, 10 School Hill Rd. Doors open at 4:30pm for viewing event promptly begins at 6:00pm Dinner and desserts available for purchase Thursday, December 12 Hearts of the Spirit Prayer Group Mass 6:30 pm, Sacred Heart Church Extension, Taftville. For more information contact Spiritual Renewal at 860-887-0702 Saturday, December 14 Christmas Cookie Sale St. Mark the Evangelist Church, 222 McVeagh Rd., Westbrook, will hold its 8th annual Christmas Cookie Sale from 9:00am to 12:00pm (or till sold out) in the church hall. Decorated wrapped plates of 2 ½ dozen assorted delicious home-baked cookies will be sold for $12.00. They make great hostess/office/teacher gifts, holiday platters or just for family munching. Themed baskets will be raffled. Proceeds will benefit the beautification of the church grounds and gardens. For further Cookie Sale information call Joan (860)767-1049 or Julia (860) 3885186.


Four County Catholic November 2013

“I (Jesus) have told you this (in ‘My Love Letter’, the New Testament), so that My joy might be in you and your joy might be complete. This is My commandment: Love one another as I love you (your name). No one has grater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friend. You are My friends – if......

...YOU DO WHAT I COMMAND YOU!” John 15:11-14

“I love you (your name) with an EVERLASTING love!” Jeremiah 31:3

Healing & Freedom Conference (Unbound) Saturday, Nov. 2, 8:30 am – 7:15 pm Spiritual Renewal Center, 11 Bath St., Norwich, CT Fr. Ray Introvigne, Mrs. Judith Hughes and Team Must Pre-Register at 860-887-0702 – Donation $25.

Monsignor Anthony S. Rosaforte was honored Sunday, October 13, 2013 at the 22nd Annual Italian of the Year celebration hosted by the Italian Heritage and Cultural Committee of Norwich at the Groton Inn and Suites in Groton, CT. Pictured above from left to right: Reverend Gregory Galvin, William J. Russell, Monsignor Anthony S. Rosaforte, Angela Arnold and Monsignor Robert L. Brown,

Prayer, Praise, Worship Adoration Every Tuesday evening at 7:00 pm – Renewal Center Leaders: Deacon James Delaney and Nancy Delaney

He is Alive Prayer Community Mass Monday, Nov. 4, 7:00 pm, St. Mary Convent Chapel, 218 Providence St., Putnam, CT Fr. Ray Introvigne & Mrs. Judith Hughes

Prayer & Discernment Board Meeting Monday, Nov. 18, 11:15 am Spiritual Renewal Center, Norwich, CT


Diocesan Prayer Meeting Wednesday, Dec. 4, 7:30 pm St. Mary Parish, 41 Freestone Ave., Portland, CT All Parishes and Prayer Groups are invited

Pro-Life Mass Saturday, Dec. 7, 8:30 pm Cathedral of St. Patrick, Norwich, CT Fr. Ray Introvigne, Celebrant

Hearts of the Spirit Prayer Group Mass

Sunday, December 8 at 7:30 PM. Cathedral of St. Patrick, Norwich Under the direction of Douglas Green, Cathedral Music Director, the Norwich Diocesan Choir and orchestra will perform the Christmas section of the oratorio. Soloists: Mary Beth Lee, soprano; Patricia Johnson, mezzo-soprano; Richard Schumacher, tenor; and Luke Scott, bass. “Messiah” was first performed in Dublin in 1742 and continues to be a seasonal favorite throughout the world. The concert is open to the public. Donations of $10 will be accepted at the door. For additional information, please call 886-0403.

December 12, 6:30 pm Sacred Heart Church Extension Taftville, CT “Everyone’s welcomed to these programs!

spiritual renewal services Diocese of Norwich

Dial-A-Prayer (860) 887-7767

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


Four County Catholic November 2013

22nd Annual Red, White & Blue Mass Honors Military Chaplains

‘Respond to Life’s Challenges in Heroic Ways’ Norwich - The large black doors of the Cathedral of St. Patrick, adorned with colBy Shelley Wolf Four County Catholic Contributor

orful fall wreaths and flanked by mounds of yellow and orange mums, opened wide on a breezy fall day to welcome military personnel and their families to the 22nd Annual Red, White & Blue Mass for the military on Sunday, November 3, 2013. Smartly uniformed personnel from all branches of military service were in attendance, including active duty, reserve, retired, veterans, auxiliaries and their families. Families of prisoners of war and of those missing in action were given special consideration and were seated in the front pews of the cathedral. The Red, White & Blue Mass is celebrated each year to honor service men and women as well as those who have given their lives in the line of duty. This year’s theme —military chaplains — honored chaplains of all denominations who serve alongside soldiers to provide for their spiritual needs. This year’s Mass began with a moving prelude, “American Anthem,” sung a capella by the US Coast Guard Academy Glee Club. The Mystic Highland Pipe Band followed, playing the theme songs of each branch of military service. After a lone trumpet played “Taps” and “Reveille,” Monsignor Anthony S. Rosaforte, rector of the Cathedral of St. Patrick, graciously welcomed the military members and their families. “You truly honor us with your presence,” Monsignor Rosaforte said. Color guard from all branches of the service processed into the cathedral, followed by the Knights

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy Glee Club performs at the 22nd Annual Red, White and Blue Mass, under the direction of Dr. Robert G. Newton, Photos by Donna Antonacci Director of Cadet Vocal Music at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London. of Columbus, 20 priests, and the Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, U.S. All told, the Archdiocese way served as a Navy chaplain in Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, J.C.D., of the Archdiocese for the serves 1.8 million men, women World War II. In 1945, Father D.D., Bishop of Norwich. Military Services USA, was the in- and children. Conway was onboard the USS InThe Bishop honored all who vited homilist. Located in WashArchbishop Broglio noted that dianapolis when it was hit by a serve in the military on land, air, ington, D.C., the Archdiocese for many stories of the actions of Japanese submarine at midnight and sea in the “ultimate mission of Military Services certifies Roman chaplains are a part of this nation’s in the Philippine Sea. peacekeeping,” especially military Catholic chaplains to serve active- history. He retold the story of one After the ship sank, Father Conchaplains. “We support your very duty military members, those in such chaplain, Lt. Thomas M. way and hundreds of men spent effective work with our prayers,” Veterans Administration hospitals, Conway, who was born in Water- several days in the shark-infested Bishop Cote said. and federal employees outside the bury, Connecticut. Father Con- waters awaiting rescue. Father


Four County Catholic November 2013

Conway swam from survivor to survivor, offering what aid and comfort he could. “In the end, exhaustion overcame him and he drowned, but many lived because of his efforts,” Archbishop Broglio said. “Like Father Conway, we can all respond to life’s challenges in heroic ways,” the A r c h bishop added. Speaking directly to the chaplains in attendance, Archbishop Broglio urged them to “be mindful of the sacrifice” of those in service. “As you pray for them, remember that they are weary of war,” he said. In addition, military personnel must keep their faith in tact in times of budget cuts, the Archbishop noted. “They defend democracy, religious freedom, and certain principles on which this country was founded,” Archbishop Broglio stressed. Those principals can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which states that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, he said. “These principles should determine our discourse,” Archbishop Broglio said. “As Catholics, it means we hold ourselves to these principles and not to the whims of the moment.” Following the homily, service men and women and their families representing all branches of the military brought the gifts to the altar. The US Coast Guard

Academy Glee Club sang “Mansions of the Lord,” “Eternal Father Strong to Save,” and finally “God Bless America,” which drew applause from all those in attendance. Following communion, the Mystic Highland Pipe B a n d , dressed in k i l t s , marched to the altar to the beat of a snare d r u m , t h e n played “A m a z i n g Grace” on the bagpipes with the sound resonating throughout the cathedral. The Mass concluded with the “Star Spangled Banner” and the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” This year’s printed program extended special thanks to Douglas Green, the director of music and organist at the Cathedral of St. Patrick, for his “superb musical arrangements and choir direction.” Next year’s Red, White & Blue Mass will be celebrated on Sunday, November 16, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. Let them say of me I was one who believed In sharing the blessings I received Let me know in my heart When my days are through America America I gave my best to you

21st Annual Firefighters/EMS Mass Honoring our Everyday Heroes Firefighters and EMS professionals gathered from around the State to celebrate the Diocese of Norwich Annual Firefighters/EMS Mass at the Cathedral of St. Patrick, Norwich, October 12, 2013. Ceremonies began with a procession of firefighters in dress uniform

side by side with EMS professionals -- marching from the Chelsea Parade to the Cathedral. There, Bishop Cote was the principal celebrant and Father Michael J. Leckie, Chaplain of the Northeast Association of Fire Chiefs, concelebrated Mass and delivered

the homily. Father Leckie praised the firefighters and EMS men and women as “everyday heroes.” Honor guards, drum and bagpipes, and the full force of the Cathedral pipe organ and choir brought the sounds of honor and celebration to a very special occasion.

- Refrain from “American Anthem,” music and lyrics by Gene Scheer, sung by the US Coast Guard Academy Glee Club

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Closing of the Year of Faith On November 24, 2013, the Solemnity of Christ the King, the Catholic world will obBy Sister Elissa Rinere, CP, JCD Office of Worship

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serve the closing of the Year of Faith. The Year began, you might recall, on October 11, 2012, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. The Year of Faith presented us with several very lofty goals: to know our faith, to celebrate our faith, and to put our faith into action. Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI wrote in 2012 that the entire Year was intended to be an invitation to “enter the door of faith,” and “a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord.” In the Diocese of Norwich, we were encouraged to make special visits to pilgrimage churches in the diocese. We had banners and prayer cards; parishes were encouraged to have special activities and programs for adults, children and families, all with the goal of revitalizing faith and its meaning in our lives. This diocesan newspaper printed several feature articles on the Year of Faith. This column focused on the lives of saints who gave extraordinary example of how faith is put into action. The Year of Faith was a central theme in the wonderful diocesanwide liturgical celebration at our Cathedral on July 27. Still to come is a diocesan pilgrimage to Greece and Rome during which participants will attend the closing ceremonies for the Year of Faith on November 24 in St. Peter’s Square

at the Vatican. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops launched several initiatives during the Year of Faith. On the website, the Conference posted

catechetical programs for adults and for families, and practical suggestions for how families could pray together, and share both faith and faith-filled activities. The Conference published documents on the “new evangelization” and even

Oct. 11, 2012 ~ Nov. 24, 2013 study guides to assist those who wanted to become more familiar with their faith through studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Of course, it must be mentioned that during the Year of Faith the


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whole Church entered into a time of transition with the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the election of Pope Francis. In his homilies and in interviews, Pope Francis has emphasized the image of the Church as a place of mercy and forgiveness, and he has given us many examples of how he puts his own faith into action. Surely, even if people missed the Year of Faith, they have not missed the words and actions of Pope Francis, which in so many ways embody its goals. With the closing of the Year of Faith, we might take some quiet time to consider how we have nourished and nurtured our faith in these past months, and in what new ways we have put our faith into action. For any who feel they might not have made the most of opportunities presented during the Year of Faith, there is still time! In the beauty of the life of the Church, we have at our doorstep a new year filled with new opportunities. This new year begins on December 1, with the First Sunday of Advent. Advent is the quiet time of the liturgical year. It is the time of new life and new beginnings, the perfect time for learning about our faith, celebrating it and putting our faith into action. Advent is the perfect time to separate ourselves as much as we can from the rush and bustle of buying, and take time to find that which is far more important. As Pope Francis said in one of his recent homilies: “Let us not be afraid to respond to Christ’s call, to trust in the working of the Holy Spirit, to pray and to strive for that holiness which brings true joy to our lives.”


Four County Catholic November 2013

A Year of Faith with Charity & Love There is so much to be thankful for during this monumental “Year of Faith with Charity and Love,” By MaryLou Gannotti Director of Planned Giving

here in the Diocese of Norwich. As the world wide Year of Faith concludes this month, our 2013 Annual Catholic Appeal, “Faith with Charity and Love,” continues through December 31st. It is through your support of the Annual Catholic Appeal that the Diocese of Norwich is able to carry out the important work of the Church, including evangelization, service and sacrifice. Christ’s message is conveyed through over 25 ACA sponsored ministries and programs. Generous donations from the faithful to the Annual Catholic Appeal has made so much possible in this year of “Faith with Charity and Love.” To date, nearly $3 million has been pledged in support of the ACA. We hope to raise more money in order to help more peo-

ple. Each and every dollar raised for the Annual Catholic Appeal stays in our region to help our neighbors in need. Your gift to the ACA supports soup kitchens, food pantries, emergency services, adoption and pregnancy support, faith events, our Catholic schools, spiritual renewal, and so much more. Your donation provides hope, healing, counsel and empowerment to those in need. The Annual Catholic Appeal has served as a lifeline connecting people in need to those who can help for over three decades. Your donation strengthens our communities. Your gift assists families who want to stay in their homes thanks to ACA sponsored mortgage counseling and foreclosure prevention programs. Your gift helps immigrants fulfill their American dream through immigration support services. Your gift helps to fill the oil

tank of a family struggling to keep their children warm on the coldest of winter nights. Your gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal makes a difference in so many lives. THANK YOU! November, a month where we typically celebrate our many gifts on

Thanksgiving Day, also marks National Philanthropy Day on November 15th. Created by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 1985, National Philanthropy Day was established to “recognize and pay tribute to the great contributions that philanthropy – and those people active in the philanthropic community –

have made to our lives, our communities and our world.” Those who coordinate the Annual Catholic Appeal for the Diocese of Norwich do our very best to make sure every day is a celebration of philanthropy! We are truly grateful for the outstanding stewardship displayed by the generous faithful in the Diocese of Norwich each year. This includes individuals, businesses, foundations and community groups that support the work of the Church. Thank you for your “Faith with Charity and Love.” You can learn more about the Annual Catholic Appeal by visiting, or call 860-8861928. While our “Year of Faith with Charity and Love” might be coming to a close; the need for help never ends. Thank you for answering the call to be a good steward and for helping your neighbors in need within the Diocese of Norwich.

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Prayer to St. Jude Most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithfl serant and iend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the paton of hopeless cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone. Make use I implore you, of that paricular privilege given to you, to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this geat need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tibulations, and sufferings that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever. I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindfl of this geat favor, to always honor you as my special and powerfl paton, and to gateflly encourage devotion to you. Amen.

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Four County Catholic November 2013

A Big Heart Open to God “I wanted something more. But I did not know what. I entered the diocesan seminary. I liked the Dominicans and I had Dominican friends. But then I chose the Society of Jesus, which I knew well because the seminary was entrusted to the Jesuits. Three things in particular struck me about the Society: the missionary spirit, community and discipline. And this is strange, because I am a really, really undisciplined person. But their disci-

Continued from page 4

pline, the way they manage their time—these things struck me so much.” “And then a thing that is really important for me: community. I was always looking for a community. I did not see myself as a priest on my own. I need a community. And you can tell this by the fact that I am here in Santa Marta. At the time of the conclave I lived in Room 207. (The rooms were assigned by drawing lots.) This room

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where we are now was a guest room. I chose to live here, in Room 201, because when I took possession of the papal apartment, inside myself I distinctly heard a ‘no.’ The papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace is not luxurious. It is old, tastefully decorated and large, but not luxurious. But in the end it is like an inverted funnel. It is big and spacious, but the entrance is really tight. People can come only in dribs and drabs, and I cannot live without people. I need to live my life with others.” While the pope speaks about mission and community I recall all of those documents of the Society of Jesus that talk about a “community for mission” and I find them among his words. What Does It Mean for a Jesuit to Be Bishop of Rome? I want to continue along this line and I ask the pope a question regarding the fact that he is the first Jesuit to be elected bishop of

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Rome: “How do you understand the role of service to the universal church that you have been called to play in the light of Ignatian spirituality? What does it mean for a Jesuit to be elected pope? What element of Ignatian spirituality helps you live your ministry?” “Discernment,” he replies. “Discernment is one of the things that worked inside St. Ignatius. For him it is an instrument of struggle in order to know the Lord and follow him more closely. I was always struck by a saying that describes the vision of Ignatius: non coerceri a maximo, sed contineri a minimo divinum est (‘not to be limited by the greatest and yet to be contained in the tiniest—this is the divine’). I thought a lot about this phrase in connection with the issue of different roles in the government of the church, about becoming the superior of somebody else: it is important not to be restricted by a larger space, and it is important to be able to stay in restricted spaces. This virtue of the large and small is magnanimity. Thanks to magnanimity, we can always look at the horizon from the position where we are. That means being able to do the little things of every day with a big heart open to God and to others. That means being able to appreciate the small things inside large horizons, those of the king-

dom of God.” “This motto,” the pope continues, “offers parameters to assume a correct position for discernment, in order to hear the things of God from God’s ‘point of view.’ According to St. Ignatius, great principles must be embodied in the circumstances of place, time and people. In his own way, John XXIII adopted this attitude with regard to the government of the church, when he repeated the motto, ‘See everything; turn a blind eye to much; correct a little.’ John XXIII saw all things, the maximum dimension, but he chose to correct a few, the minimum dimension. You can have large projects and implement them by means of a few of the smallest things. Or you can use weak means that are more effective than strong ones, as Paul also said in his First Letter to the Corinthians.” I believe that we always need time to lay the foundations for real, effective change. “This discernment takes time. For example, many think that changes and reforms can take place in a short time. I believe that we always need time to lay the foundations for real, effective change. And this is the time of discernment. Sometimes discernment instead urges us to do precisely what you had at first thought you would do later. And

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Four County Catholic November 2013

that is what has happened to me in recent months. Discernment is always done in the presence of the Lord, looking at the signs, listening to the things that happen, the feeling of the people, especially the poor. My choices, including those related to the day-to-day aspects of life, like the use of a modest car, are related to a spiritual discernment that responds to a need that arises from looking at things, at people and from reading the signs of the times. Discernment in the Lord guides me in my way of governing.� “But I am always wary of decisions made hastily. I am always wary of the first decision, that is, the first thing that comes to my mind if I have to make a decision. This is usually the wrong thing. I have to wait and assess, looking deep into myself, taking the necessary time. The wisdom of discernment redeems the necessary ambiguity of life and helps us find the most appropriate means, which do not always coincide with what looks great and strong.� The Society of Jesus Discernment is therefore a pillar of the spirituality of Pope Francis. It expresses in a particular manner his Jesuit identity. I ask him then how the Society of Jesus can be of service to the church today, and what characteristics set it apart. I also ask him to comment on the possible risks that the Society runs. “The Society of Jesus is an institution in tension,� the pope replied, “always fundamentally in tension. A Jesuit is a person who is not centered in himself. The Society itself also looks to a center outside itself; its center is Christ and his church. So if the Society centers itself in Christ and the church, it has two fundamental points of reference for its balance and for being able to live on the margins, on the frontier. If it looks too much in upon itself, it puts itself at the center as a very solid, very well ‘armed’ structure, but then it runs the risk of feeling safe and self-sufficient. The Society must always have before itself the Deus semper maior, the always-greater God, and the pursuit of the ever greater glory of God, the church as true bride of Christ our Lord, Christ the king who conquers us and to whom we offer our whole person and all our hard work, even if we are clay pots,

inadequate. This tension takes us out of ourselves continuously. The tool that makes the Society of Jesus not centered in itself, really strong, is, then, the account of conscience, which is at the same time paternal and fraternal, because it helps the Society to fulfill its mission better.� The pope is referring to the requirement in the Constitution of the Society of Jesus that the Jesuit must “manifest his conscience,� that is, his inner spiritual situation, so that the superior can be more conscious and knowledgeable about sending a person on mission. “But it is difficult to speak of the Society,� continues Pope Francis. “When you express too much, you run the risk of being misunderstood. The Society of Jesus can be described only in narrative form. Only in narrative form do you discern, not in a philosophical or theological explanation, which allows you rather to discuss. The style of the Society is not shaped by discussion, but by discernment, which of course presupposes discussion as part of the process. The mystical dimension of discernment never defines its edges and does not complete the thought. The Jesuit must be a person whose thought is in-

complete, in the sense of openended thinking. There have been periods in the Society in which Jesuits have lived in an environment of closed and rigid thought, more instructive-ascetic than mystical: this distortion of Jesuit life gave birth to the Epitome Instituti.� The pope is referring to a compendium, formulated in the 20th century for practical purposes, that came to be seen as a replacement for the Constitutions. The formation of Jesuits for some time was shaped by this text, to the extent that some never read the Constitutions, the foundational text. During this period, in the pope’s view, the rules threatened to overwhelm the spirit, and the Society yielded to the temptation to explicate and define its charism too narrowly. Pope Francis continues: “No, the Jesuit always thinks, again and again, looking at the horizon toward which he must go, with Christ at the center. This is his real strength. And that pushes the Society to be searching, creative and generous. So now, more than ever, the Society of Jesus must be contemplative in action, must live a A Big Heart Open to God Continued on page 14

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Four County Catholic November 2013

A Big Heart Open to God

The National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW) 2013 Convention was held September 25 – 28, 2013 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with nearly 500 participants from across the USA. The theme, “Be the Voice of Catholic Women: Confidence, Hope & Joy,” was based on the purpose of the women’s council which was created by the United States Bishops in 1920: “To give the Catholic women of the country a common voice and an instrument of common action in all matters affecting Catholic or national welfare.” Members voted to adopt resolutions of Prayerful Support for Pope Francis, and Conscience Protection and Religious Liberty. More than 60 priests from across the USA concelebrated daily Holy Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, and were available for confession. Holy Rosary was said on the beach. The National Council of Catholic Women consists of more than 3,000 affiliated Catholic women’s organizations in parishes and dioceses throughout the U.S., representing hundreds of thousands of Catholic women. The National Council of Catholic Women acts through its members to support, empower and educate all Catholic women in spirituality, leadership and service. NCCW programs respond with Gospel values to the needs of the Church and society in the modern world. At the Associates of NCCW, Inc. luncheon held on Friday, September 27th, two women from the Norwich Diocese were elected to the Associates Board. Judith K. Pappagallo from the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich was elected Vice President of the Associates (Judith had just completed two years of a four year term as Director on the Associates’ board) and Connie Gillies from St. Sebastian Parish in Middletown was elected to a four year term as a Director.

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profound closeness to the whole church as both the ‘people of God’ and ‘holy mother the hierarchical church.’ This requires much humility, sacrifice and courage, especially when you are misunderstood or you are the subject of misunderstandings and slanders, but that is the most fruitful attitude. Let us think of the tensions of the past history, in the previous centuries, about the Chinese rites controversy, the Malabar rites and the Reductions in Paraguay.” “I am a witness myself to the misunderstandings and problems that the Society has recently experienced. Among those there were tough times, especially when it came to the issue of extending to all Jesuits the fourth vow of obedience to the pope. What gave me confidence at the time of Father Arrupe [superior general of the Jesuits from 1965 to 1983] was the fact that he was a man of prayer, a man who spent much time in prayer. I remember him when he prayed sitting on the ground in the Japanese style. For this he had the right attitude and made the right decisions.” The Model: Peter Faber, ‘Reformed Priest’ I am wondering if there are figures among the Jesuits, from the origins of the Society to the present date, that have affected him in a particular way, so I ask the pope who they are and why. He begins by mentioning Ignatius Loyola [founder of the Jesuits] and Francis Xavier, but then focuses on a figure that other Jesuits certainly know, but who is of course not as well known to the general public: Peter Faber (1506-46), from Savoy. He was one of the first companions of St. Ignatius, in fact the first, with whom he shared a room when the two were students at the University of Paris. The third roommate was Francis Xavier. Pius IX declared Faber blessed on Sept. 5, 1872, and the cause for his canonization is still open. The pope cites an edition of Faber’s works, which he asked two Jesuit scholars, Miguel A. Fiorito and Jaime H. Amadeo, to edit and publish when he was provincial superior of the Jesuits in Argentina. An edition that he particularly likes is the one by Michel de Certeau. I

Continued from page 13

ask the pope why he is so impressed by Faber, and which of Faber’s traits he finds particularly moving. “[His] dialogue with all,” the pope says, “even the most remote and even with his opponents; his simple piety, a certain naïveté perhaps, his being available straightaway, his careful interior discernment, the fact that he was a man capable of great and strong decisions but also capable of being so gentle and loving.” As Pope Francis lists these personal characteristics of his favorite Jesuit, I understand just how much this figure has truly been a model for his own life. Michel de Certeau, S.J., characterized Faber simply as “the reformed priest,” for whom interior experience, dogmatic expression and structural reform are intimately inseparable. I begin to understand, therefore, that Pope Francis is inspired precisely by this kind of reform. At this point the pope continues with a reflection on the true face of the fundador of the Society of Jesus, Ignatius of Loyola. “Ignatius is a mystic, not an ascetic,” he says. “It irritates me when I hear that the Spiritual Exercises are ‘Ignatian’ only because they are done in silence. In fact, the Exercises can be perfectly Ignatian also in daily life and without the silence. An interpretation of the Spiritual Exercises that emphasizes asceticism, silence and penance is a distorted one that became widespread even in the Society, especially in the Society of Jesus in Spain. I am rather close to the mystical movement, that of Louis Lallement and Jean-Joseph Surin. And Faber was a mystic.” Experience in Church Government What kind of experience in church government, as a Jesuit superior and then as superior of a province of the Society of Jesus, helped to fully form Father Bergoglio? The style of governance of the Society of Jesus involves decisions made by the superior, but also extensive consultation with his official advisors. So I ask: “Do you think that your past government experience can serve you in governing the universal church?” After a brief pause for reflection, Pope Francis becomes very serious, but

also very serene, and he responds: “In my experience as superior in the Society, to be honest, I have not always behaved in that way—that is, I did not always do the necessary consultation. And this was not a good thing. My style of government as a Jesuit at the beginning had many faults. That was a difficult time for the Society: an entire generation of Jesuits had disappeared. Because of this I found myself provincial when I was still very young. I was only 36 years old. That was crazy. I had to deal with difficult situations, and I made my decisions abruptly and by myself. Yes, but I must add one thing: when I entrust something to someone, I totally trust that person. He or she must make a really big mistake before I rebuke that person. But despite this, eventually people get tired of authoritarianism. To be sure, I have never been like Blessed Imelda [a goodygoody], but I have never been a right-winger. It was my authoritarian way of making decisions that created problems. My authoritarian and quick manner of making decisions led me to have serious problems and to be accused of being ultraconservative. I lived a time of great interior crisis when I was in Cordova.” “I say these things from life experience and because I want to make clear what the dangers are. Over time I learned many things. The Lord has allowed this growth in knowledge of government through my faults and my sins. So as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, I had a meeting with the six auxiliary bishops every two weeks, and several times a year with the council of priests. They asked questions and we opened the floor for discussion. This greatly helped me to make the best decisions. But now I hear some people tell me: ‘Do not consult too much, and decide by yourself.’ Instead, I believe that consultation is very important.” I do not want token consultations, but real consultations. “The consistories [of cardinals], the synods [of bishops] are, for example, important places to make real and active this consultation. We must, however, give them a less rigid form. The consultation group of eight cardinals, this ‘outsider’ advisory group, is not only my deci-


Four County Catholic November 2013

sion, but it is the result of the will of the cardinals, as it was expressed in the general congregations before the conclave. And I want to see that this is a real, not ceremonial consultation.” Thinking With the Church I keep my questions focused on the theme of the church and I ask Pope Francis what it means exactly for him to “think with the church,” a notion St. Ignatius writes about in the Spiritual Exercises. He replies without hesitation and by using an image. “The image of the church I like is that of the holy, faithful people of God. This is the definition I often use, and then there is that image from the Second Vatican Council’s ‘Dogmatic Constitution on the Church’ (No. 12). Belonging to a people has a strong theological value. In the history of salvation, God has saved a people. There is no full identity without belonging to a people. No one is saved alone, as an isolated individual, but God attracts us looking at the complex web of relationships that take place in the human community. God enters into this dynamic, this participation in the web of human relationships.” “The people itself constitutes a subject. And the church is the people of God on the journey through history, with joys and sorrows. Thinking with the church, therefore, is my way of being a part of this people. And all the faithful, considered as a whole, are infallible in matters of belief, and the people display this infallibilitas in credendo, this infallibility in believing, through a supernatural sense of the faith of all the people walking together. This is what I understand today as the ‘thinking with the church’ of which St. Ignatius speaks. When the dialogue among the people and the bishops and the pope goes down this road and is genuine, then it is assisted by the Holy Spirit. So this thinking with the church does not concern theologians only. We should not even think, therefore, that ‘thinking with the church’ means only thinking with the hierarchy of the church. This is how it is with Mary: If you want to know who she is, you ask theologians; if you want to know how to love her, you have to ask the people. In turn, Mary loved Jesus with

the heart of the people, as we read in the Magnificat. We should not even think, therefore, that ‘thinking with the church’ means only thinking with the hierarchy of the church.” After a brief pause, Pope Francis emphasizes in a very direct manner the following point, in order to avoid misunderstandings: “And, of course, we must be very careful not to think that this infallibilitas of all the faithful I am talking about in the light of Vatican II is a form of populism. No; it is the experience of ‘holy mother the hierarchical church,’ as St. Ignatius called it, the church as the people of God, pastors and people together. The church is the totality of God’s people.” “I see the sanctity of God’s people, this daily sanctity,” the pope continues. “There is a ‘holy middle class,’ which we can all be part of, the holiness Malègue wrote about.” The pope is referring to Joseph Malègue, a French writer (1876– 1940), particularly to the unfinished trilogy Black Stones: The Middle Classes of Salvation. Some French literary critics have called

On Tuesday October 29, 2013 at the Waterfront Restaurant in New London, Bishop Cote recognized the recipients of the distinguished Pro Ecclesia Medal bestowed by Pope Francis for exceptional dedication and service to the Church. Left to right, Sister Sally Tolles, CONS. SEC. D.H.S., Coordinator of Diocesan Tribunal, Bishop’s Delegate to Consecrated Life; Brother J. Robert Houlihan C.F.X, Former Faculty, Xavier High, Middletown; Robert Miller, Ph.D., KHS, Parishioner of Our Lady of LaSalette, Brooklyn, and member of numerous diocesan boards; Michael E. Driscoll, Esq., Diocesan Attorney, Parishioner Cathedral, Norwich; Mrs. Alice Pudvah, Administrative Assistant to Bishop Cote; John F. Shine, Ph.D., KM, Former Superintendent of Schools; Ms. Jacqueline Keller, Former Director of Communications, Diocese of Norwich, Auditor/Assessor and Adm. Asst to the Diocesan Tribunal; The Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, D.D., Bishop of Norwich; Donald Macrino, Diocesan Review Board, Parishioner of St. Joseph, New London; William J. Russell, C.P.A., KHS, Diocesan Finance Officer, Parishioner St. John, Middletown; Sister Rita Johnson, S.S.N.D, Ministry to the Sick, Chaplain, Backus Hospital; Sister Mary McCarthy, R.S.M, President, Mercy High School, Middletown; Mother Mary Jude Lazarus, S.C.M.C., Director of Hispanic Ministry; David Belval, Director of Art Department at SBS, parishioner Sacred Heart, Taftville. More on this distinguished award and the recipients can be found in the December 2013 issue of the Four County Catholic. Photo by Donna Antonacci

A Big Heart Open to God Continued on page 16


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A Big Heart Open to God Malègue the “Catholic Proust.” “I see the holiness,” the pope continues, “in the patience of the people of God: a woman who is raising children, a man who works

Continued from page 15

to bring home the bread, the sick, the elderly priests who have so many wounds but have a smile on their faces because they served the Lord, the sisters who work hard

and live a hidden sanctity. This is for me the common sanctity. I often associate sanctity with patience: not only patience as hypomoné [the New Testament

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Greek word], taking charge of the events and circumstances of life, but also as a constancy in going forward, day by day. This is the sanctity of the militant church also mentioned by St. Ignatius. This was the sanctity of my parents: my dad, my mom, my grandmother Rosa who loved me so much. In my breviary I have the last will of my grandmother Rosa, and I read it often. For me it is like a prayer. She is a saint who has suffered so much, also spiritually, and yet always went forward with courage.” “This church with which we should be thinking is the home of all, not a small chapel that can hold only a small group of selected people. We must not reduce the bosom of the universal church to a nest protecting our mediocrity. And the church is Mother; the church is fruitful. It must be. You see, when I perceive negative behavior in ministers of the church or in consecrated men or women, the first thing that comes to mind is: ‘Here’s an unfruitful bachelor’ or ‘Here’s a spinster.’ They are neither fathers nor mothers, in the sense that they have not been able to give spiritual life. Instead, for example, when I read the life of the Salesian missionaries who went to Patagonia, I read a story of the fullness of life, of fruitfulness.” “Another example from recent

days that I saw got the attention of newspapers: the phone call I made to a young man who wrote me a letter. I called him because that letter was so beautiful, so simple. For me this was an act of generativity. I realized that he was a young man who is growing, that he saw in me a father, and that the letter tells something of his life to that father. The father cannot say, ‘I do not care.’ This type of fruitfulness is so good for me.” Young Churches and Ancient Churches Remaining with the subject of the church, I ask the pope a question in light of the recent World Youth Day. This great event has turned the spotlight on young people, but also on those “spiritual lungs” that are the Catholic churches founded in historically recent times. “What,” I ask, “are your hopes for the universal church that come from these churches?” The pope replies: “The young Catholic churches, as they grow, develop a synthesis of faith, culture and life, and so it is a synthesis different from the one developed by the ancient churches. For me, the relationship between the ancient Catholic churches and the young ones is similar to the relationship between young and elderly people in a society. They build the future,

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Four County Catholic November 2013

the young ones with their strength and the others with their wisdom. You always run some risks, of course. The younger churches are likely to feel self-sufficient; the ancient ones are likely to want to impose on the younger churches their cultural models. But we build the future together.” The Church as Field Hospital Pope Benedict XVI, in announcing his resignation, said that the contemporary world is subject to rapid change and is grappling with issues of great importance for the life of faith. Dealing with these issues requires strength of body and soul, Pope Benedict said. I ask Pope Francis, in light of what he has just told me: “What does the church need most at this historic moment? Do we need reforms? What are your wishes for the church in the coming years? What kind of church do you dream of?” Pope Francis, picking up on the introduction of my question, begins by showing great affection and immense respect for his predecessor: “Pope Benedict has done an act of holiness, greatness, humility. He is a man of God.”

The thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. “I see clearly,” the pope continues, “that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds.... And you have to start from the ground up.” “The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all. The confessor, for example, is always in danger of being either too much of a rigorist or too lax. Neither is merciful, because neither of them really takes responsibility

for the person. The rigorist washes his hands so that he leaves it to the commandment. The loose minister washes his hands by simply saying, ‘This is not a sin’ or something like that. In pastoral ministry we must accompany people, and we must heal their wounds.” “How are we treating the people of God? I dream of a church that is a mother and shepherdess. The church’s ministers must be merciful, take responsibility for the people and accompany them like the good Samaritan, who washes, cleans and raises up his neighbor. This is pure Gospel. God is greater than sin. The structural and organizational reforms are secondary— that is, they come afterward. The first reform must be the attitude. The ministers of the Gospel must be people who can warm the hearts of the people, who walk through the dark night with them, who know how to dialogue and to descend themselves into their people’s night, into the darkness, but without getting lost. The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials. The bishops, particularly, must be able to

support the movements of God among their people with patience, so that no one is left behind. But they must also be able to accompany the flock that has a flair for finding new paths.” “Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass, to those who have quit or are indifferent. The ones who quit sometimes do it for reasons that, if properly understood and assessed, can lead to a return. But that takes audacity and courage.” I take in what the pope is saying, and I mention that there are Chris-

tians who live in situations that from the point of view of the church are irregular or somewhat complex, Christians that, in one way or another, live with open wounds. I mention the divorced and remarried, same-sex couples and other difficult situations. What kind of pastoral work can we do in these cases? What kinds of tools can we use? The pope signals that he understands what I mean and he responds: “We need to proclaim the Gospel on every street corner,” the pope says, “preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing, even with our preaching, every A Big Heart Open to God Continued on page 18


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Four County Catholic November 2013

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kind of disease and wound. In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person. A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.” A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing. “This is also the great benefit of confession as a sacrament: evaluating case by case and discerning what is the best thing to do for a person who seeks God and grace. The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which

Continued from page 17

the Lord’s mercy motivates us to do better. I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?” “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.” The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is

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from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.” “I say this also thinking about the preaching and content of our preaching. A beautiful homily, a genuine sermon must begin with the first proclamation, with the proclamation of salvation. There is nothing more solid, deep and sure than this proclamation. Then you have to do catechesis. Then you can draw even a moral consequence. But the proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives. Today sometimes it seems that the opposite order is prevailing. The homily is the touchstone to measure the pastor’s proximity and ability to meet his people, because those who preach must recognize the heart of their community and must be able to see where the desire for God is lively and ardent. The message of the Gospel, therefore, is not to be reduced to some aspects that, although relevant, on their own do not show the heart of the message of Jesus Christ.” A Religious Order Pope Pope Francis is the first pontiff from a religious order since the Camaldolese monk Gregory XVI, who was elected in 1831. Thus I ask: “What is the specific place of religious men and women in the church of today?” “Religious men and women are prophets,” says the pope. “They are those who have chosen a following of Jesus that imitates his life in obedience to the Father, poverty, community life and chastity. In this sense, the vows cannot end up being caricatures; otherwise, for example, community life becomes hell, and chastity becomes a way of life for unfruitful bachelors. The vow of chastity must be a vow of fruitfulness. In the church, the religious are called to be prophets in particular by demonstrating how Jesus lived on this earth, and to proclaim how the kingdom of God will be in its perfection. A religious must never give up prophecy. This does not mean opposing the hierarchical part of the church, although the prophetic function and the hierarchical structure do not coincide. I am talking about a proposal that is always positive, but it should not cause timidity. Let us


Four County Catholic November 2013

think about what so many great saints, monks and religious men and women have done, from St. Anthony the Abbot onward. Being prophets may sometimes imply making waves. I do not know how to put it.... Prophecy makes noise, uproar, some say ‘a mess.’ But in reality, the charism of religious people is like yeast: prophecy announces the spirit of the Gospel.” The Roman Curia, Collegiality, Ecumenism Following up on his reference to the hierarchy, at this point I ask the pope: “What do you think about the Roman dicasteries [the various departments that assist the pope in his mission]?” It is amazing to see the denunciations for lack of orthodoxy that come to Rome. I think the cases should be investigated by the local bishops’ conferences, which can get valuable assistance from Rome. These cases, in fact, are much better dealt with locally.”The dicasteries of the Roman Curia are at the service of the pope and the bishops,” he says. “They must help both the particular churches and the bishops’ conferences. They are instruments of help. In some cases, however, when they are not functioning well, they run the risk of becoming institutions of censorship. It is amazing to see the de-

nunciations for lack of orthodoxy that come to Rome. I think the cases should be investigated by the local bishops’ conferences, which can get valuable assistance from Rome. These cases, in fact, are much better dealt with locally. The Roman congregations are mediators; they are not middlemen or managers.” On June 29, during the ceremony of the blessing and imposition of the pallium on 34 metropolitan archbishops, Pope Francis spoke about “the path of collegiality” as the road that can lead the church to “grow in harmony with the service of primacy.” So I ask: “How can we reconcile in harmony Petrine primacy and collegiality? Which roads are feasible also from an ecumenical perspective?” The pope responds, “We must walk together: the people, the bishops and the pope. Synodality should be lived at various levels. Maybe it is time to change the methods of the Synod of Bishops, because it seems to me that the current method is not dynamic. This will also have ecumenical value, especially with our Orthodox brethren. From them we can learn more about the meaning of episcopal collegiality and the tradition of synodality. The joint effort of reflection, looking at how the church was governed in the early

centuries, before the breakup between East and West, will bear fruit in due time. In ecumenical relations it is important not only to know each other better, but also to recognize what the Spirit has sown in the other as a gift for us. I want to continue the discussion that was begun in 2007 by the joint [Catholic–Orthodox] commission on how to exercise the Petrine primacy, which led to the signing of the Ravenna Document. We must continue on this path.” I ask how Pope Francis envisions the future unity of the church in light of this response. He answers: “We must walk united with our differences: there is no other way to become one. This is the way of Jesus.” Women in the Life of the Church And what about the role of women in the church? The pope has made reference to this issue on several occasions. In an interview he had affirmed that the feminine presence in the church has not been able to sufficiently emerge: the temptation of male chauvinism has not left room to give visibility to the role that women deserve in the community. He took up this question again during his return trip from Rio de Jainero, asserting that a profound theology of women has not yet been elaborated. So, I ask: “What should be

the role of women in the church? What can be done to make their role more visible today?” We must therefore investigate further the role of women in the church.*He answers: “It is necessary to broaden the opportunities for a stronger presence of women in the church. I am wary of a solution that can be reduced to a kind of ‘female machismo,’ because a woman has a different make-up than a man. But what I hear about the role of women is often inspired by an ideology of machismo. Women are asking deep questions that must be addressed. The church cannot be herself without the woman and her role. The woman is essential for the church. Mary, a woman, is more important than the bishops. I say this because we must not confuse the function with the dignity. We must therefore investigate further the role of women in the church. We have to work harder to develop a profound theology of the woman. Only by making this step will it be possible to better reflect on their function within the church. The feminine genius is needed wherever we make

McNulty, Reverend Robert E., ACSW, of Marshfield, Retired Executive Director of Catholic Charities/Catholic Family Services for the Diocese of Norwich, CT, November 8, 2013. Beloved son of the late John and Ellen (Gallagher) McNulty. Loving brother of David McNulty and his wife Mary of Bourne and the late Mary A. McNulty, John J. McNulty, MD, Eleanor J. Sylvia, Kathleen C. Macdonald, Bernard J. McNulty, William J. McNulty and his wife Marie and Edward P. McNulty and his wife Rita. Also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. Father McNulty was ordained to the priesthood in Boston on February 2, 1956. Father McNulty was pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Gales Ferry, CT from 1979 to 1984. Under his direction the new church was built. He is the recipient of the Patrici-Anne Award for his distinguished service to the Norwich Diocese. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Father McNulty’s memory to Catholic Charities, Norwich, CT.

The Second Vatican Council “What did the Second Vatican Council accomplish?” I ask. “What does it mean?” In light of his previous affirmations, I imagine that he will deliver a long and articulate response. Instead I get the impression that the pope simply considers the council an event that is not up for debate and that, as if to stress its fundamental importance, is not worth discussing at too great a length. “Vatican II was a re-reading of the Gospel in light of contemporary culture,” says the pope. “Vatican II produced a renewal movement that simply comes from the same Gospel. Its fruits are enormous. Just recall the liturgy. The work of liturgical reform has been a service to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel from a concrete

“Moral Principles do not depend on a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong. Right is right even if nobody is right.”

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important decisions. The challenge today is this: to think about the specific place of women also in those places where the authority of the church is exercised for various areas of the church.”

- Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, 1953

A Big Heart Open to God Continued on page 20


Four County Catholic November 2013

A Big Heart Open to God

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historical situation. Yes, there are hermeneutics of continuity and discontinuity, but one thing is clear: the dynamic of reading the Gospel, actualizing its message for today—which was typical of Vatican II—is absolutely irreversible. Then there are particular issues, like the liturgy according to the Vetus Ordo. I think the decision of Pope Benedict [his decision of July 7, 2007, to allow a wider use of the Tridentine Mass] was prudent and motivated by the desire to help people who have this sensitivity. What is worrying, though, is the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation.” To Seek and Find God in All Things Pope Francis’ words weigh heavily upon addressing the challenges of today. Years ago he had written that in order to see reality one must look with a gaze of faith. Otherwise one sees only small pieces of a fragmented reality. This is also one of the themes of the encyclical “Lumen Fidei.” I am also thinking of a few passages from Pope Francis’ speeches during the World Youth Day in Rio de Jainero. I quote them to him: “God is real if he shows himself in the here and now.” “God is everywhere.” These are phrases that echo the Ignatian expression “to seek and find God in all things.” Therefore I ask, “Your Holiness, how does one seek and find God in all things?” “What I said in Rio referred to the time in which we seek God,” he answers. “In fact, there is a temptation to seek God in the past or in a possible future. God is certainly in the past because we can see the footprints. And God is also in the future as a promise. But the ‘concrete’ God, so to speak, is today. For this reason, complaining

Continued from page 19

never helps us find God. The complaints of today about how ‘barbaric’ the world is—these complaints sometimes end up giving birth within the church to desires to establish order in the sense of pure conservation, as a defense. No: God is to be encountered in the world of today. “God manifests himself in historical revelation, in history. Time initiates processes, and space crystallizes them. God is in history, in the processes.” “We must not focus on occupying the spaces where power is exercised, but rather on starting long-run historical processes. We must initiate processes rather than occupy spaces. God manifests himself in time and is present in the processes of history. This gives priority to actions that give birth to new historical dynamics. And it requires patience, waiting.” “Finding God in all things is not an ‘empirical eureka.’ When we desire to encounter God, we would like to verify him immediately by an empirical method. But you cannot meet God this way. God is found in the gentle breeze perceived by Elijah. The senses that find God are the ones St. Ignatius called spiritual senses. Ignatius asks us to open our spiritual sensitivity to encounter God beyond a purely empirical approach. A contemplative attitude is necessary: it is the feeling that you are moving along the good path of understanding and affection toward things and situations. Profound peace, spiritual consolation, love of God and love of all things in God—this is the sign that you are on this right path.” Certitude and Mistakes I ask, “So if the encounter with God is not an ‘empirical eureka,’

and if it is a journey that sees with the eyes of history, then we can also make mistakes?” The pope replies: “Yes, in this quest to seek and find God in all things there is still an area of uncertainty. There must be. If a person says that he met God with total certainty and is not touched by a margin of uncertainty, then this is not good. For me, this is an important key. If one has the answers to all the questions—that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt. You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties; we must be humble. Uncertainty is in every true discernment that is open to finding confirmation in spiritual consolation.” “The risk in seeking and finding God in all things, then, is the willingness to explain too much, to say with human certainty and arrogance: ‘God is here.’ We will find only a god that fits our measure. The correct attitude is that of St. Augustine: seek God to find him, and find God to keep searching for God forever. Often we seek as if we were blind, as one often reads in the Bible. And this is the experience of the great fathers of the faith, who are our models. We have to re-read the Letter to the Hebrews, Chapter 11. Abraham leaves his home without knowing where he was going, by faith. All of our ancestors in the faith died seeing the good that was promised, but from a distance.... Our life is not given to us like an opera libretto, in which all is written down; but it means going, walking, doing, searching, seeing.... We must enter into the adventure of the quest for meeting God; we must let God search and encounter us.” “Because God is first; God is always first and makes the first move. God is a bit like the almond flower of your Sicily, Antonio, which always blooms first. We read it in the Prophets. God is encountered walking, along the path. At this juncture, someone might say that this is relativism. Is it relativism? Yes, if it is misunderstood as a kind of indistinct pantheism. It is not relativism if it is understood in the biblical sense, that God is always a


Four County Catholic November 2013

surprise, so you never know where and how you will find him. You are not setting the time and place of the encounter with him. You must, therefore, discern the encounter. Discernment is essential. If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing.” If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists¬—they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies. I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life. God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else—God is in this person’s life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.” Must We Be Optimistic? The pope’s words remind me of some of his past reflections, in which as a cardinal he wrote that God is already living in the city, in the midst of all and united to each. It is another way, in my opinion, to say what St. Ignatius wrote in the Spiritual Exercises, that God “labors and works” in our world. So I ask: “Do we have to be optimistic? What are the signs of hope in today’s world? How can I be optimistic in a world in crisis?” “I do not like to use the word optimism because that is about a psychological attitude,” the pope says. “I like to use the word hope instead, according to what we read in the Letter to the Hebrews, Chapter 11, that I mentioned before. The fathers of the faith kept walking, facing difficulties. And hope does not disappoint, as we read in the Letter to the Romans. Think instead of the first riddle of Puccini’s opera ‘Turandot,’” the pope suggests. At that moment I recalled more or less by heart the

verses of the riddle of the princess in that opera, to which the solution is hope: “In the gloomy night flies an iridescent ghost./ It rises and opens its wings/ on the infinite black humanity./ The whole world invokes it/ and the whole world implores it./ But the ghost disappears with the dawn/ to be reborn in the heart./ And every night it is born/ and every day it dies!” These are verses that reveal the desire for a hope. Yet here that hope is an iridescent ghost that disappears with the dawn. “See,” says Pope Francis, “Christian hope is not a ghost and it does not deceive. It is a theological virtue and therefore, ultimately, a gift from God that cannot be reduced to optimism, which is only human. God does not mislead hope; God cannot deny himself. God is all promise.” Art and Creativity I am struck by the reference the pope just made to Puccini’s “Turandot” while speaking of the mystery of hope. I would like to understand better his artistic and literary references. I remind him that in 2006 he said that great artists know how to present the tragic and painful realities of life with beauty. So I ask who are the artists and writers he prefers, and if they have something in common. “I have really loved a diverse array of authors. I love very much Dostoevsky and Hölderlin. I remember Hölderlin for that poem written for the birthday of his grandmother that is very beautiful and was spiritually very enriching for me. The poem ends with the

verse, ‘May the man hold fast to what the child has promised.’ I was also impressed because I loved my grandmother Rosa, and in that poem Hölderlin compares his grandmother to the Virgin Mary, who gave birth to Jesus, the friend of the earth who did not consider anybody a foreigner.” “I have read The Betrothed, by Alessandro Manzoni, three times, and I have it now on my table because I want to read it again. Manzoni gave me so much. When I was a child, my grandmother taught me by heart the beginning of The Betrothed: ‘That branch of Lake Como that turns off to the south between two unbroken chains of mountains....’ I also liked Gerard Manley Hopkins very much.” “Among the great painters, I admire Caravaggio; his paintings speak to me. But also Chagall, with his ‘White Crucifixion.’ Among musicians I love Mozart, of course. The ‘Et incarnatus est’ from his Mass in C minor is matchless; it lifts you to God! I love Mozart performed by Clara Haskil. Mozart fulfills me. But I cannot think about his music; I have to listen to it. I like listening to Beethoven, but in a Promethean way, and the most Promethean interpreter for me is Furtwängler. And then Bach’s Passions. The piece by Bach that I love so much is the ‘Erbarme Dich,’ the tears of Peter in the ‘St. Matthew Passion.’ Sublime. Then, at a different level, not intimate in the same way, I love Wagner. I like to listen to him, but not all the time. The performance of Wagner’s ‘Ring’ by Furtwängler at La Scala in Milan in 1950 is for me the best.


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But also the ‘Parsifal’ by Knappertsbusch in 1962.” “We should also talk about the cinema. ‘La Strada,’ by Fellini, is the movie that perhaps I loved the most. I identify with this movie, in which there is an implicit reference to St. Francis. I also believe that I watched all of the Italian movies with Anna Magnani and Aldo Fabrizi when I was between 10 and 12 years old. Another film that I loved is ‘Rome, Open City.’ I owe my film culture especially to my parents who used to take us to the movies quite often.” “Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones. There is a nice definition that Cervantes puts on the lips of the bach-

elor Carrasco to praise the story of Don Quixote: ‘Children have it in their hands, young people read it, adults understand it, the elderly praise it.’ For me this can be a good definition of the classics.” I realize that I have become utterly engrossed in these artistic references of his. I desire to enter into his life by passing through the door of his artistic choices. I imagine it would be a long journey, but certainly a journey worth taking. It would also include cinema, from Italian neo-realism to “Babette’s Feast.” Other authors and other works now come to my mind, authors and works that he has menA Big Heart Open to God Continued on page 23


Four County Catholic November 2013

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A Big Heart Open to God tioned in other occasions, also minor, or less famous, or even local ones: from the epic poem “Martín Fierro” by José Hernandez to the poetry of Nino Costa, to The Great Exodus by Luigi Orsenigo. I also think of Joseph Malègue and José Marìa Pemàn. Clearly I think of famous writers like Dante and Borges, but also of the Argentine writer Leopoldo Marechal, the author of the novels Adàn Buenosayres, The Banquet of Severo Arcángelo and Megafón o la guerra. I think especially about Borges, a writer with whom Father Bergoglio had direct contact in his earlier years. Back then he was a 28-year-old teacher of literature at the Colegio de la Immaculada Concepciòn in Santa Fé, Argentina. Father Bergoglio taught students during their last two years of secondary school and encouraged his pupils to take up creative writing. When I was younger I too had an experience just like his. Then, I taught at the Istituto Massimo of Rome, where I also founded the creative cultural project known as “BombaCarta.” I tell him the story. Finally I ask the pope to tell me about his own experience with teaching. “It was a bit risky,” he answers. “I had to make sure that my students read El Cid. But the boys did not like it. They wanted to read Garcia Lorca. Then I decided that they would study El Cid at home

Continued from page 21

and that in class I would teach the authors the boys liked the most. Of course, young people wanted to read more ‘racy’ literary works, like the contemporary La Casada Infiel or classics like La Celestina, by Fernando de Rojas. But by reading these things they acquired a taste in literature, poetry, and we went on to other authors. And that was for me a great experience. I completed the program, but in an unstructured way—that is, not ordered according to what we expected in the beginning, but in an order that came naturally by reading these authors. And this mode befitted me: I did not like to have a rigid schedule, but rather I liked to know where we had to go with the readings, with a rough sense of where we were headed. Then I also started to get them to write. In the end I decided to send Borges two stories written by my boys. I knew his secretary, who had been my piano teacher. And Borges liked those stories very much. And then he set out to write the introduction to a collection of these writings.” “Then, Holy Father, creativity is important for the life of a person?” I ask. He laughs and replies: “For a Jesuit it is extremely important! A Jesuit must be creative.” Frontiers and Laboratories Creativity, therefore, it is important for a Jesuit. Pope Francis, during a visit with the Jesuit priests and other staff members of La

Civiltà Cattolica, had articulated a triad of important characteristics relevant to the cultural initiatives of the Jesuits. I turn my thoughts to that day, June 14, 2013. I recall that back then, in a conversation just before the meeting with the entire group, the pope had already informed me about this triad: dialogue, discernment, frontier. And he insisted particularly on the last point, quoting Pope Paul VI. In a well-known speech, Paul VI had spoken directly about the Jesuits: “Wherever in the church—even in the most difficult and extreme fields, in the crossroads of ideologies, in the social trenches—there has been and is now conversation between the deepest desires of human beings and the perennial message of the Gospel, Jesuits have been and are there.” I ask Pope Francis for a further explanation: “You asked us to be careful not to fall into ‘the temptation to tame the frontiers’: one must go out to the frontiers, not bring the frontiers home in order to paint them a bit artificially and tame them.” What were you referring to? What exactly did you wish to tell us? This interview, as you know, was organized by a group of magazines directed by the Society of Jesus: what invitation do you wish to extend to them? What should their priorities be? Ours is not a ‘lab faith,’ but a ‘journey faith,’ a historical faith. “The three key words that I com-

mended to La Civiltà Cattolica can be extended to all the journals of the Society, perhaps with different emphases according to their natures and their objectives. When I insist on the frontier, I am referring in a particular way to the need for those who work in the world of culture to be inserted into the context in which they operate and on which they reflect. There is always the lurking danger of living in a laboratory. God has revealed himself as history, not as a compendium of abstract truths. I am afraid of laboratories because in the laboratory you take the problems and then you bring them home to

tame them, to paint them artificially, out of their context. You cannot bring home the frontier, but you have to live on the border and be audacious.” I ask for examples from his personal experience. “When it comes to social issues, it is one thing to have a meeting to study the problem of drugs in a slum neighborhood and quite another thing to go there, live there and understand the problem from the inside and study it. There is a brilliant letter by Father Arrupe to the Centers for Social Research and A Big Heart Open to God Continued on page 24

Defending Religious Liberty According to a lawsuit filed by the Archdiocese of Washington, the federal healthcare mandate requiring that Catholic institutions pay for prescriptions and procedures such as: abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilization that violate their religious principles is a deliberate plan to attack and marginalize Catholic beliefs “by holding them up for ridicule on the national stage.” We mustn’t permit the government to trample on religious freedom. To voice your opposition to the mandate, please call the Capitol switchboard in Washington, D.C. at 202-2243121 and urge your Congressmen or Congresswoman and/or U.S. Senators to support legislation that will overturn the mandate. You can also write to the White House at: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20500.

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Four County Catholic November 2013

A Big Heart Open to God Action on poverty, in which he says clearly that one cannot speak of poverty if one does not experience poverty, with a direct connection to the places in which there is poverty. The word insertion is dangerous because some religious have taken it as a fad, and disasters have occurred because of a lack of discernment. But it is truly important.” “The frontiers are many. Let us think of the religious sisters living in hospitals. They live on the frontier. I am alive because of one of them. When I went through my lung disease at the hospital, the doctor gave me penicillin and streptomycin in certain doses. The sister who was on duty tripled my doses because she was daringly astute; she knew what to do because she was with ill people all day. The doctor, who really was a good one, lived in his laboratory; the sister

Continued from page 23

lived on the frontier and was in dialogue with it every day. Domesticating the frontier means just talking from a remote location, locking yourself up in a laboratory. Laboratories are useful, but reflection for us must always start from experience.” Human Self-Understanding I ask the pope if and how this is also true in the case of another important cultural frontier, the anthropological challenge. The understanding of human existence to which the church has traditionally referred, as well as the language in which the church has expressed it, remain solid points of reference and are the result of centuries-long experience and wisdom. However, the human beings to whom the church is speaking no longer seem to understand these notions, nor do they consider them sufficient. I

begin to advance the idea that we now interpret ourselves in a different way than in the past, using different categories. This is also due to the great changes in society, as well as a broader conception of what it means to be human. At this point the pope stands up and takes the breviary from his desk. It is in Latin, and is worn down by continued use. He opens it to the Office of the Readings of the Feria Sexta, that is Friday, of the 27th week. He reads a passage to me taken from the Commonitórium Primum of St. Vincent of Lerins: “ita étiam christiánae religiónis dogma sequátur has decet proféctuum leges, ut annis scílect consolidétur, dilatétur témpore, sublimétur aetáte” (“Thus even the dogma of the Christian religion must proceed from these laws. It progresses, solidifying with years, growing over

time, deepening with age.”) The view of the church’s teaching as a monolith to defend without nuance or different understandings is wrong.The pope comments: “St. Vincent of Lerins makes a comparison between the biological development of man and the transmission from one era to another of the deposit of faith, which grows and is strengthened with time. Here, human self-understanding changes with time and so also human consciousness deepens. Let us think of when slavery was accepted or the death penalty was allowed without any problem. So we grow in the understanding of the truth. Exegetes and theologians help the church to mature in her own judgment. Even the other sciences and their development help the church in its growth in understanding. There are ecclesiastical rules and precepts that were once effective, but now they have lost value or meaning. The view of the church’s teaching as a monolith to defend without nuance or different understandings is wrong.” “After all, in every age of history, humans try to understand and express themselves better. So human beings in time change the way they perceive themselves. It’s one thing for a man who expresses himself by carving the ‘Winged Victory of Samothrace,’ yet another for Car-

avaggio, Chagall and yet another still for Dalí. Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning.” “Humans are in search of themselves, and, of course, in this search they can also make mistakes. The church has experienced times of brilliance, like that of Thomas Aquinas. But the church has lived also times of decline in its ability to think. For example, we must not confuse the genius of Thomas Aquinas with the age of decadent Thomist commentaries. Unfortunately, I studied philosophy from textbooks that came from decadent or largely bankrupt Thomism. In thinking of the human being, therefore, the church should strive for genius and not for decadence.” “When does a formulation of thought cease to be valid? When it loses sight of the human or even when it is afraid of the human or deluded about itself. The deceived thought can be depicted as Ulysses encountering the song of the Siren, or as Tannhäuser in an orgy surrounded by satyrs and bacchantes, or as Parsifal, in the second act of Wagner’s opera, in the palace of Klingsor. The thinking of the church must recover genius and better understand how human beings understand themselves today,

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Four County Catholic November 2013

in order to develop and deepen the church’s teaching.”


Prayer I ask Pope Francis about his preferred way to pray. “I pray the breviary every morning. I like to pray with the psalms. Then, later, I celebrate Mass. I pray the Rosary. What I really prefer is adoration in the evening, even when I get distracted and think of other things, or even fall asleep praying. In the evening then, between seven and eight o’clock, I stay in front of the Blessed Sacrament for an hour in adoration. But I pray mentally even when I am waiting at the dentist or at other times of the day.” “Prayer for me is always a prayer full of memory, of recollection, even the memory of my own history or what the Lord has done in his church or in a particular parish. For me it is the memory of which

St. Ignatius speaks in the First Week of the Exercises in the encounter with the merciful Christ crucified. And I ask myself: ‘What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What should I do for Christ?’ It is the memory of which Ignatius speaks in the ‘Contemplation for Experiencing Divine Love,’ when he asks us to recall the gifts we have received. But above all, I also know that the Lord remembers me. I can forget about him, but I know that he never, ever forgets me. Memory has a fundamental role for the heart of a Jesuit: memory of grace, the memory mentioned in Deuteronomy, the memory of God’s works that are the basis of the covenant between God and the people. It is this memory that makes me his son and that makes me a father, too.” I realize that I could continue on with this conversation, but I know

that, in the words of the pope himself, I ought not “mistreat the limits.” All in all, we spoke together for more than six hours over the course of three meetings on Aug. 19, 23 and 29, 2013. For the sake of continuity, I have chosen to write up our dialogue as one text, without marking the starting and stopping points of our various sessions. Our time together was, in truth, more a conversation than an interview, and my questions served simply to guide the discussion in a general sense, rather than enclose it within rigid and predefined parameters. From a linguistic point of view, we frequently shifted back and forth between Spanish and Italian, often without even noticing. There was nothing mechanical about it, and the answers were the result of an extended dialogue and a line of reasoning that I have tried to render here in a concise manner and to the best of my abilities.


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Fourth Annual Seton Scholarship Dinner Over 225 supporters of Catholic Education in the Diocese of Norwich turned out for the Fourth Annual Seton ScholBy MaryLou Gannotti Director of Planned Giving

arship Dinner, held on Sunday afternoon, November 3rd at the Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station in Haddam, Connecticut. Thanks to proceeds from ticket sales, generous sponsorships, donations and a basket raffle, valuable funds were raised in support of Catholic Education, which will be distributed through the Catholic Foundation to students in fi-

nancial need who attend Diocesan schools. To date, the Seton Scholarship Fund has given well over $100,000 to our Catholic school students demonstrating financial need, and the number continues to climb. The Seton Scholarship Dinner also served to recognize individuals who have dedicated much of their lives to education. Honorees included Reverend Roger Lamoureux, O.M.I, Pastor of Saint Mary Parish in Willimantic, the late Sister Patricia Anne Barry, former school principal and Superintendent of Schools in the Diocese of Norwich, and John F. Shine Ph.D., who retired as Superinten-

dent of Schools in the Diocese of Norwich in December of 2012. All three were recipients of the Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, D.D. Award for Contributions to Catholic Education in the Diocese of Norwich. Sister Jeanne Barry, sister of the late Patricia Anne Barry, was present to accept the award on her sister’s behalf. Following a state of Catholic Education address by Dr. Edward Shine, current Diocesan Superintendent of Schools, the awards presentation got underway. Each honoree was given the opportunity to briefly speak after being introduced by Dr. Shine and handed

To learn more, contact the Diocesan School Office, 860-887-4086, or contact one of the diocesan schools.


Four County Catholic November 2013

their award by Bishop Cote. Upon accepting his education award, Father Lamoureux, affectionately known as Father Red, was truly humbled. In jovial fashion, he compared himself to the jockey Ron Turcotte, who with the famed horse Secretariat was winner of the U.S. Triple Crown in 1973. Turcotte always seemed to defer to the horse when asked how it felt to win races. With great humility Father Lamoureux said “I am here because of St. Mary St. Joseph School.” He also noted “Catholic education is very precious,” and stressed the important role parents play in a Catholic education. Michelle Dougherty, who is a parishioner at St. Mary’s Parish in Willimantic, said of her pastor at the end of the evening, “Father Red is a wonderful inspiration, a wonderful man, and a spiritual leader.” Sister Jeanne Barry, in accepting the education award on behalf of her late sister, Sister Patricia M. Barry, spoke of her sister saying, “A quality Catholic education was her passion, and her life. She visited almost every Catholic school in New England.” She also amused the crowd with tales of Sister Pat’s persuasive nature in recruiting educators for a variety of projects during the school year. John F. Shine, Ph.D., who retired as Diocesan Superintendent of School in December of 2012,

Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited on your word, which you were ever ready to speak for those in trouble or anxiety. Encouraged by this thought, I implore of you to obtain for me (state request here). The answer to my prayer may require a miracle, even so, you are the Saint of Miracles. O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the Sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen. Promise publication and for nine consecutive days, pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be.

~ HC ~

asked the audience to ask themselves “what have I done, what am I doing, and what can I do in support of Catholic education?” Dr. Shine, known to many friends and colleagues as “Jack,” also shared some wit and wisdom with the crowd, and spoke of past honorees. In addition to the presentation of awards, basket raffle and delicious dinner, one of the evening included an essay recitation by Anna Wolk, an eighth grader at Sacred Heart School in Groton. Anna’s winning essay “What Catholic Education Means to Me” was chosen among a field of excellent entries. Anna’s message was clear as she told the audience, “My Catholic School has shaped me as a person and also helped me discover the person I want to be.” She continued, “Catholic schools allow each student an equal opportunity to be understood for who they truly are….I’ve grown in my faith, been taught discipline, and I have learned important morals about life. I will take all of these things with me as I begin my life long journey.” Anna’s winning essay was selected by Superintendent of School Edward Shine, Ed.D. Her essay can be viewed in it’s entirety by visiting the Diocesan School Office website at Diocesan school students were also involved in other elements of

the evening. Corbett Brassaw and Owen Ellis from St. Mary – St. Joseph School in Willimantic led guests in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Grace Mayeda, a harpist who attends St. Bernard School in Uncasville, provided music during the cocktail hour. Monsignor Robert L. Brown, Chancellor for the Diocese served as Master of Ceremonies and the invocation was provided by Very Reverend Leszek Janik, Vicar General. William J. Russell, Diocesan Finance Office, provided a toast. The growing support and popularity of the Seton Scholarship Dinner demonstrates the value people place on a Catholic education. Proceeds from the Seton Scholarship Dinner have made a Catholic education more attainable and more affordable for many of our Diocesan school students. We are most grateful for all those who supported this year’s event. According to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edward Shine, Diocesan schools help “bring our children closer to Jesus.” In his concluding remarks for the evening, Bishop Cote said “we evangelize through our schools.” If you would like to learn more about getting involved in the 2014 Seton Scholarship Dinner, please contact Mary Ellen Mahoney, Development Coordinator for Diocesan Schools at 860-886-1928 or

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Four County Catholic November 2013

Door-to-Door Seminarian Finding New Roads Going door to door to tell strangers about Catholicism and his plan to become a priest had to By Christina Capecchi Four County Catholic Contributor

be the most daunting assignment Neil Bakker had ever received. The 34-year-old from Austin, Minn., had never done anything like it – never gone door to door to sell coupon books or magazine subscriptions, let alone the Catholic Church. Before he entered seminary, the self-described introvert had worked in IT. Yet there he was, a broad-shouldered 6’6” with a youthful face and a neatly trimmed goatee, staring down a long block, sweating in the summer heat and feeling totally unprepared. It was Neil’s first week participating in “Evangelization in Action,” a new program of The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul, Minn., that enlists seminarians to study evangelization in the morning and practice it by evening.

Neil and two other seminarians were asked to pound the pavement around a small parish in an old suburb, and they started on an adjacent street to the east. The men took turns leading the conversation, a role that fell to Neil when they approached a red twostory house on the corner. A brunette Baby Boomer appeared, staying behind the screen door as she sized up the seminarians. She had been a member of the parish but was no longer Catholic, she said. It almost sounded like a caseclosed comment, but there was something in her voice that lacked finality. Neil stumbled through the script he’d been running in his mind until she interjected, signaling to the kitchen where she’d been making dinner. “I’m forcing this,” he thought. He decided to ditch the script, look her in the eyes and ask why she’d left the church.

The question hung in the air a moment – honest, earnest. Decades ago the parish priest had made a comment she found offensive. It compelled her to leave

son for him.’” Those simple words unlocked her. To know her wounds were recognized and would go toward a future good was powerful. A

the church. “No one ever called,” she told Neil. “I just disappeared, and they didn’t care.” She kept talking, Neil kept listening, and then she opened the screen door and stepped outside. Standing on the front stoop with Neil on the walkway below her, the two were eye level. “I found the best thing I could do,” Neil told me, “was apologize and say, ‘I’m sorry that the priest said what he said. I’ll learn his les-

wrong, at last, had been righted. The conversation continued for half an hour. She’d been attending a Methodist church, but when they got to discussing the Catholic sacraments, Neil sensed a yearning in her, a wistfulness. “God loves you,” he told her, “and he’s always inviting you back into his church.” The woman didn’t reclaim Catholicism on the spot, but Neil imagines that she feels less hurt

when she looks out her back window at the steeple and bell that once drew her in. He prays for her often. The rest he leaves to God. One in three Americans raised Catholic leaves the church. Neil wants to invite them back and help with the healing. He is challenged by Pope Francis’ call to action issued in his recent interview with Jesuit publications. “Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass, to those who have quit or are indifferent,” Pope Francis said. “The ones who quit sometimes do it for reasons that, if properly understood and assessed, can lead to a return. But that takes audacity and courage.” Christina Capecchi is a freelance writer from Inver Grove Heights, Minn. She can be reached at


Four County Catholic November 2013

Did You Know? November 11 Veteran’s Day, originally called Armistice Day, began with the celebration of the end of WWI in 1918. On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour an armistice or ceasefire was declared. Pray for peace and for soldiers who fight to keep us free.

November 13 World Kindness Day! Be kind to everyone you see. Read Ephesians 4:32.

November 14 Teddy Bear Day! Make a centerpiece with favorite teddy bears. Talk about bearing one another’s burdens in Galatians 6:2.

November 24

by Karen H Whiting

Feast of Christ the King and last week of the Church year. Next week celebrate the Church New Year!

Prepare Hearts for Christmas Get ready for remembering Jesus at Christmas. With your parents gather all the Christmas books, videos, and CDs you can find. Giftwrap and count them. Place them in a basket. Then start unwrapping on the first Sunday of advent (December 3) and enjoy them with your family. Do one every few days or so, depending on how many you have. Plan to do the last one just before Christmas. Read Bible scriptures as you open the gifts. Here’s a list of some Bible passages to read before unwrapping the day’s gift. Chat about them. Some are about prophecies long before the birth of Jesus and others describe what happened the first Christmas. • Isaiah Chapter 7-10

• Isaiah Chapter 11-14

• Micah 5:2

• Matthew Chapter 1

• Luke Chapter 2

• Matthew Chapter 2

• Luke Chapter 1

Prepare your heart by giving to the poor. Choose a name from a Christmas tree or locate places where you can donate gift items for the poor. Shop as a family for the gifts. Take an extra step. Add notes or little surprises to the gifts. For example, if you buy a pair of jeans, add little items into the pockets such as tiny toys, money, or gift cards. Write a note or prayer for the child who will receive the gift. Prepare to be thankful. Chat about unexpected gifts and ones that don’t meet your hopes. Think of the giver and how to respond. The person did take time to get a gift and give it to you. That shows some concern and care. Be thankful and know God will give you what you need even if it is not all you want.

Thanksgiving Acrostic Fill in the blanks with things you can be thankful for all year. Thank God for them and think of other blessings for which you can be thankful God has given you. 1.

T __ __ __

Items to play with


H __ __ __

Where you live


__ A __ __ __ __

The people who live with you


__ __ __ N __ __ __

USA is your homeland or this


__ __ __ K __

You read these


S __ __ __ __ __

Where students learn


G __ __

He made you


__ __ I __ __ __ __



__ __ V __

Parents give you this from their heart


__ __ I __ __

You believe, so you have this


__ __ __ __ __ N G __ __ __ __

Where believers live forever You play these

Answer key: 1. Toys 2. Home 3. Family 4. Country 5. Books 6. School 7. God 8. Friends 9. Love 10. Faith 11. Heaven 12. Games


Life Science at St. Edward School, Stafford Springs This year in Science, St. Edward School, Stafford Springs, Grade Two scientists are focusing on units in Life, Physical, Earth & Human Body Science and are now working on a unit in Life Science which is the study of living organisms like plants, animals, and human beings. Currently, students are studying the importance of the many different kinds of plants & have categorized some of their favorites into three groups of flowering, fruit & vegetable, & tree plants. They're learning that plants are used for food, clothing, fuel, shelter, and many other necessities of life, like in the air we breathe. They've deduced that eating plants is healthy: fruits & vegetables, leaves, flowers & roots are yummy & fun. They're also finding out about the history of plants. Submitted by Mrs. Carol Killoran


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Four County Catholic November 2013

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2013 B #




201 PR

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Four County Catholic November 2013  

The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Norwich, CT