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Volume 23 Number 2

February 2011

Annual Bishop’s Appeal

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Cover photos submitted by Father Greg Galvin More on page 7


Four County Catholic February 2011

Inside Four County

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Our Diocese Bishop’s Column and Spanish Translation ........3 Vocations Corner ..............................................................5 Clergy Appointments ........................................................5 Calendar of Events ............................................................6 March for Life ......................................................................7 Annual Bishop’s Appeal Name Change ....................8 World Day for Consecrated Life ..............................9 Consecrated Life Mass Celebrated ........................10 Mystery Brings Joy............................................................11 Communities Within Communities ........................12 The Spiritual Journey of Others ............................13 Liturgy Notes ......................................................................14 Why Catholic? ....................................................................15

Serving the Counties of Middlesex, New London, Tolland, Windham & Fishers Island, NY

Established in 1989 and published each month except July. Publisher

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


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Meredith Morrison, 860.887.3933

Theological Advisor

Reverend Ted F. Tumicki, STL, JCL



Our Faith

Susan Underhill

Finding God ........................................................................17 Archbishop Dolan Writes to Congress..............18 Movie Review: The King’s Speech ..............................20



GateHouse Media New England Advertising

Meredith Morrison, 860.887.3933

Haiti Update Despite the Horror, She Couldn’t Leave Haiti ..............................................22

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FREE to Annual Bishop’s Appeal contributors and upon request to registered Catholics in the Diocese of Norwich, $20 per year for all others. Individual copies are $1 each.

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Holiday Good Works Continue Into New Year ..............................................24 Twenty Something ..........................................................25 Saint John’s Wins Basketball Tournament ......26 Family Page ............................................................................27

The editorial deadline is the third Monday of the preceding month. Articles limited to 500-word max; letters to the editor limited to 200-word max and must include name, address and phone number for verification. Email photos as .jpeg attachments and MS Word copy to or fax to 860.859.1253. Publication not guaranteed. The Editor reserves the right to reject, omit or edit all editorial and advertising copy. Published opinions and advertisements do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of this newspaper.

Our World Is Your Parish a “Marriage-Building” Community? ..........................................................................28 John Paul II to be Beatified on the Feast of Divine Mercy....................................30

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Four County Catholic February 2011

The Most Reverend

Michael R. Cote, D.D.

Bishop of Norwich

Forever Means Forever My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ: As the New Year begins to take hold and our harsh winter persists, our lives as caring Catholics and responsible citizens seem more crowded and challenged than ever. There are so many social concerns in need of our attention to help ease our fellow travelers’ burdens. It never ceases to amaze me how across the diocese you find the energy and generosity to help so many even when life can be so hectic and demanding. Although our diocese is for the most part a rural community of faith, 21stCentury information technology has removed most of the isolationism and made us more closely informed and connected. This is a good development, of course, although it does diminish

those quiet contemplative moments. It makes the quiet moments in our lives, when they do happen, even more conscious experiences. I had one of these moments recently. It happened at a late hour one night when I was catching up on the day’s mail. My attention was drawn to a single postage stamp amid a somewhat scattered stack of mail. It was a stamp that featured a finely detailed depiction of the Liberty Bell with routine black lettering and then the word “Forever” in gold type. It didn’t immediately dawn on me what was so fascinating about this stamp. Then it began to come to me. The Post Office had chosen the word, forever, to represent how this stamp will be accepted regardless of future postage increases. What struck me was that they would choose the

word, forever. They could have used “guaranteed” or the like. To me, it demonstrates how casually the consuming public interprets the word, forever. This common usage creates a stark contrast with the deep meaning of how we in the Catholic faith regard the term, forever. I could almost hear Bishop Fulton J. Sheen exuberantly scrolling FOREVER across his chalkboard and bringing the full and powerful meaning of the term to life from a faith perspective. Maybe today, Bishop Sheen, would be typing out a podcast or twitter message to the effect “Forever means forever, in my book.” Whatever the medium – whoever the messenger - the message is timeless and profound. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. (John 3:16)” Belief in Christ can lead to everlasting life. True and active faith leads to a relationship and

life with God that lasts . . . forever. This relationship and life is renewed each time we participate in the Mass and receive Communion. Some of the subtle changes to the liturgy of the Mass that will take effect later this year will help us connect even more closely with the sacred sacrifice of the Eucharist and the eternal union with God that awaits. It is our choice to live in grace and to thereby choose eternal life. This is a choice that strengthens our ability to withstand suffering and all the trials of our lives. I have spoken in this space before of how Pope Benedict has been leading the way toward reenergized evangelization. This forward movement is very much grounded on renewed faith in eternal life. This is one of the great dividing points in an increasingly secularized society. The materialistic inclination when it surfaces in our society, even during recessionary times, is a force contrary to the Catholic belief of sal-

vation and eternal life. Let us be reminded that the rewards of material accumulation are momentary. They are not eternal rewards. Faith, love and good works are the paths to life everlasting. There was more to that stamp than first meets the eye. No doubt the Holy Spirit had something to do with it. It really does help for us to occasionally stop and contemplate the very basic and wonderful teachings of the faith. It reminds us of the love and kindness inherent in the Catholic faith and it sends us on our way to live our faith with fresh enthusiasm. There are many battles to wage out there to defend the faith and to be good neighbors and good disciples. May the words of 1 Timothy 6:12 light the way: “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.” Sincerely yours in Christ’s love, Bishop Michael R. Cote

Siempre Significa Siempre Queridos Hermanos y Hermanas en Cristo: Mientras se desenvuelve el Nuevo Año y el difícil invierno persiste, nuestras vidas como Católicos humanitarios y como ciudadanos responsables parecen ser más atestadas y desafiantes que nunca antes. Existen tantas preocupaciones sociales las cuales necesitan nuestra atención para ayudar a aliviar las cargas de nuestros hermanos. Es asombroso como a través de la diócesis se encuentra la energía y la generosidad de ayudar a tantos aun cuando la vida puede ser tan agitada y exigente. Aunque nuestra diócesis en mayor parte es una comunidad de

fe rural, la tecnología de información del siglo veintiuno ha eliminado la mayor parte del aislamiento y nos mantiene más estrechamente informados y conectados. Aunque esta conexión disminuya los momentos de tranquilidad, es un desarrollo positivo. Debido a esto, cuando los momentos de tranquilidad ocurren en nuestras vidas, se convierten en experiencias mucho más conscientes. Recientemente tuve uno de esos momentos. Ocurrió que tarde una noche, cuando al fin tuve la oportunidad de mirar el correo del día, el sello de una de las cartas me llamó la atención. El sello tenia una imagen sutilmente detallada de la Cam-

pana de la Libertad con letras negras y escrita en un color dorado tenia la palabra “Siempre”. Unos instantes después pude entender el motivo por el cual el sello me pareció tan fascinante. La Oficina de Correos había elegido la palabra, siempre, para representar que este sello será aceptado en el futuro aunque el precio de los sellos aumente. Me pareció curioso que elegirían la palabra, siempre ya que podían haber usado la palabra “garantizado” u otra semejante. Para mi entender, esto demuestra cuan casualmente el público interpreta la palabra, siempre. Este uso común crea un gran contraste con el profundo sentido que en nuestra

fe Católica tenemos del término, siempre. Casi pude escuchar al Obispo Fulton J. Sheen exuberantemente deletreando SIEMPRE en su pizarrón y trayendo el pleno y poderoso sentido del término de una perspectiva de fe. Tal vez hoy, el Obispo Sheen, escribiría un podcast o un mensaje de twitter diciendo “en mi libro Siempre significa siempre.” Independientemente del medio o del mensajero, el mensaje es eterno y profundo. Cuando hacemos referencia a la vida eterna con Cristo nuestro Señor, la fundación del cristianismo es siempre. “Porque tanto amó Dios al mundo que dio a su Hijo

único, para que todo el que crea en él no perezca, sino que tenga vida eterna.” Juan 3:16. La vida eterna es un regalo el cual es renovado cada vez que recibimos la Comunión y al mismo tiempo reside en las palabras del Evangelio como palabras de vida eterna. Algunos de los cambios que ocurrirán este año en la liturgia de la Misa nos ayudarán a conectarnos aún más con el sacrificio sagrado de la Eucaristía y la unión eterna con Dios. Es nuestra opción vivir en la gracia y así elegir la vida eterna. Es una opción que fortalece nuestra capacidad de sobrellevar el sufrimSiempre Significa Siempre Continued on page 4


Four County Catholic February 2011

Siempre Significa Siempre Continued from page 3 iento y todas las pruebas de nuestras vidas. Por este medio, he hablado antes de como el Papa Benedicto ha estado mostrándonos el camino hacia la evangelización reforzada. Este avance esta basado en la renovación de nuestra fe en la vida eterna. Este es uno de los

grandes puntos de división en una sociedad cada vez más secularizada. Cuando la inclinación materialista surge en nuestra sociedad, aun durante tiempos de recensión, es una fuerza contraria a la creencia Católica de salvación y vida eterna. Recordemos que las recompensas

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del secularismo y la acumulación material son momentáneas. No son recompensas eternas. La fe, el amor y las buenas obras conducen a la vida eterna. Ese sello era mucho mas significante de lo que se podía notar a primera vista. Sin duda el Espíritu Santo tuvo algo que ver con ello. Es de gran ayuda para nosotros detenernos de vez en cuando y contemplar las enseñanzas básicas y maravillosas de la fe. Trayendo a memoria el inherente amor y bondad de la fe Católica y enseñándonos a vivir nuestra fe con un nuevo entusiasmo. Hay muchas batallas para pelear por la defensa de la fe y para ser un buen prójimo y un buen discípulo. Que las palabras de 1 Timoteo 6:12 muestren el camino: “pelea la buena batalla de la fe, conquista la vida eterna a la que has sido llamado.” Atentamente en el amor de Cristo,

Happy Valentines Day February 14, 2011 “Love rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4

Obispo Michael R. Cote Traducido por Rebecca McDougal

ST. EDMUND’S RETREAT Retreats Days of Recollection

St. Edmund’s at Enders Island

March 8 Mardi Gras Dinner & Talk "Laugh to Your Hearts Content!" – Fr. Frank Sutman, OP March 9 Ash Wednesday “Rearranging our values as we study attitudes of the heart this Lenten Season” – Sr. Eugenia Brady, SJC

Weekend Retreats February 11-13 “Partners in Faith and Family” Married Couples Weekend – Deacon Michael & Mary Berstene March 18-20 “11th Step on the Rock for Men” – Sr. Maurice March 25-27 “Mother Teresa” Lenten Retreat for Women” – Fran Karpiej

For further information call:


Or visit

Directed Retreats February 20-26 Silent Directed Retreat with Sr. Eugenia Brady, SJC Elijah did not hear the Lord in the Storms and the Fury, but in the quiet of the slightest breeze. Break away from the bustle of your daily life and draw closer to God during a week of prayer, reflection, and the peace-filled setting of Enders Island.

St. Michael’s Institute of Sacred Art Join us while we explore the history, the sacred nature, and the techniques of the Sacred Arts in a prayerful manor. February 13-19 Icon Writing in the Russian Style This introductory class offers lecture, theory, theological discussion and time to write a complete icon. March 13-18 Old Masters Oil Painting with Dr. Michael Sullo March 20-25 Traditional Drawing with Ann Marie Campbell Learn the same techniques Renaissance masters used for sacred figure drawings – “Madonna and Child”


Four County Catholic February 2011

Vocations Director

Reverend Gregory Galvin

The Heart of a Priest As the New Year begins, we return to the review of Chapter Five of the book To Save a Thousand Souls; by Fr. Brett A. Brannen, which focuses on twenty characteristics of a priestly vocation. As you read this review today, please, please, consider also how all of humanity is called to treat each other, to recognize each person’s dignity, and the commitment it takes for each of us as children of God to live well together in this world. We begin with point thirteen; “A good candidate for diocesan priesthood has a priest’s heart”. What does this mean? Fr. Brannen explains that a priest’s heart is modeled after the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This means that within the very core of the person, are characteristics that may come out in one’s personality, in the way they treat others, in the virtue that is continuing to grow in the person. Think of Christ Himself, and the traits or virtues that each of us know we should strive to emulate as one of His disciples. He loved to teach people about His Father and our Father! A man who has these traits and loves the faith, loves the Church, and shows a desire to bring others to Christ, probably is showing the sign of a possible priestly vocation. Say something to that man, and pray for him. The fourteenth sign of a priestly vocation is “having self-

mastery or self-discipline.” This is most important with regard to how a man speaks with others, especially when under stress or in difficult situations. He must always be making Christ present to others no matter how he may be humanly feeling inside. Fr. Brannen refers back to the words of a retreat master who once said, “the three most important qualities in the life of a priest are: Be kind. Be Kind. Be kind.” In other words, a man should be able to show self control in three very important areas; his thoughts, words and actions. Another important point made in this section is that selfcontrol is a sign of one’s dependability. It is very important that there be signs of dependability already having begun to take root when considering if a man might be called to a priestly life. Another sign one should consider is “does a man show stability in lifestyle?” Why is stability important? Stability is a sign of the level of one’s commitment. I often think of my parents and the many married couples in life who have lived the commitment they made to each other and to God on the day of their wedding as an example and an inspiration. A man called to diocesan priesthood has to be stable enough in life to be able to commit fully to God, the Church, his Bishop, and the people to whom he will be assigned to serve and make

Christ present. Christ often used the analogy of a shepherd. A shepherd is successful because of his stability. When one reflects on the qualities of a great shepherd, he is one who day in and day out remains always with his flock, guiding and caring for them both in good and bad weather, in the heat and the cold. A great shepherd is so present to his sheep that they truly can distinguish his voice, or his whistle from that of any other. The final point for this month is of great importance in the life of a man possibly called to priesthood. A good candidate for diocesan priesthood should be a “Christian Gentlemen.” This is of great importance because it is so lacking in today’s society. It underlines the very basis of Christ’s own example to us all of how we should treat one-another. Fr. Brannen’s phrase is “Public Propriety” as a term which means that one understands a fitting and proper way to act. That of course is a sign of great maturity. If a man is called to make Christ present to others through the priesthood, then living as a Christian Gentleman should already be evident in his lifestyle. I hope that the New Year is full of many blessings for you and your family. Pax Christi!


Holy Hour for Vocations The Holy Hour for Vocations will now be held in a different deanery and parishes each month. Bishop Cote will lead the prayers of the Holy Hour each month. The schedule is as follows: Feb. 17, 2011 Holy Family Church, Hebron March 24, 2011 Saint Mary Church, Putnam

4-5pm 7-8pm


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The Most Reverend Michael R Cote, D.D., Bishop of Norwich, has made the following appointments:

Clergy Appointments Very Reverend Leszek T. Janik, J.C.L., V.G., from Pastor, Saint Joseph Parish, Willimantic, to Pastor, SS. Peter & Paul Parish, Norwich. Effective: November 29, 2010. Reverend George J. Richards, Jr., J.C.L., from Pastor, SS. Peter & Paul Parish, Norwich, to Parochial Vicar, Saint Joseph Parish, Willimantic. Effective: November 29, 2010. Reverend Peter B. Liszewski, Renewal of Appointment as Pastor, Saint Mark Parish, Westbrook. Effective: January 4, 2011. Reverend Daniel C. Cronin, Renewal of appointment as Pastor of Saint Columba Parish, Columbia. Effective: January 11, 2011. Reverend Roger J. Lamoureux, OMI, Renewal of appointment as Pastor of Saint Mary Parish, Willimantic, and Defender of the Bond in the Diocesan Tribunal Office. Effective: February 4, 2011. Reverend Brian J. Converse from Active Duty, Chaplain, Connecticut National Guard, to Pastor, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Gales Ferry. Effective: February 11, 2011. Reverend Joseph F. DeCosta, from Pastor, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Gales Ferry, to Pastor, Saint Lawrence Parish, Killingworth. Effective: February 11, 2011. Reverend George Mattathilanickal, from Parochial Vicar, Saint Peter Parish, Higganum, and Saint Lawrence Parish, Killingworth, to Parochial Vicar, Saint Joseph Parish, New London. Effective: February 11, 2011. Reverend Francis Rouleau, from Parochial Vicar, Saint Joseph Parish, New London, to Chaplain and Director of Twinning, Diocese of Norwich Outreach to Haiti in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Effective: February 11, 2011 ~ Monsignor Robert L. Brown, Chancellor ~


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



Four County Catholic February 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011 Planning Meeting for Pentecost Celebration 7:00pm at Spiritual Renewal Services, 11 Bath Street, Norwich, CT. Saturday, February 12, 2011 Annual Valentines Day Pancake Breakfast Join us for a wonderful morning of Pancakes, Sausage, and Beverages. 8:30 – 11: 30am, Mount Saint John, 135 Kirtland Street, Deep River. Tickets are: Adults $6, Seniors $5, Children under 10 $4. Cookie bouquets for sale as well. Reservations are not needed, but recommended! Last year was a SELL OUT! Reserve your seat now! Mrs. McKenney at 860.343.1340 or All proceeds from this event will go towards programming and extra curricular activities for the young men at MSJ. Saturday, February 12, 2011 Valentine Dinner Dance St. Joseph School Home and School Association Request the honor of your presence at their Valentine Dinner Dance, Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 6:00pm at the Knights of Columbus Hall,

Route 12, North Grosvenordale, CT. Tickets are $25 per person or $40 per couple. For more information or for tickets, please contact St. Joseph School office at 860-923-2090 or St. Joseph Rectory at 860-923-2361. Sunday, February 20, 2011 Mass of Healing and Hope St. Peter Church, 30 St. Peter Lane, Higganum, CT, will host a Mass of Healing and Hope at 2:00pm. Pastor: Fr. Jan Swiderski. Celebrant: Fr. Ray Introvigne. Monday, February 21, 2011 Classes on Natural Family Planning The Sympto-Thermal Method is scientifically sound, easily learned and 99% effective. No dangerous chemicals, synthetic hormones or side-effects. Looking for marriage insurance? NFP couples have a less than 5% divorce rate. 3-part classes begin on Monday, February 21, 2011at 7:00pm at St John’s Church in Old Saybrook. For more information please call The Collision’s at 860-3998265. 3-Part Class in Westerly, RI begins on March 5, 2011 at 12:00pm. For more information


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please call the Brodeurs at 401596-3443. To register for a NFP class go to . Please register two weeks in advance for materials. Home study NFP course is also available at For more information please call Susan Williams, Office of Family Life, at 860-889-8346 ext. 283.

major choices. Presentation by Andree Grafstein. From 10:00am- 5:00pm (lunch included). Program Offering: $45. Register online at or send name, address and offering to: Holy Family Retreat Center, 303 Tunxis Road, West Hartford, CT 06107(860) 521-0440.

Friday-Sunday, February 25-27, 2011 Engaged Encounter Weekend Are you planning a wedding? One of the most important parts of your wedding planning is your marriage preparation program. Engaged Encounter is a weekend-long program and meets all the aspects of marriage preparation required by the Diocese. Engaged Encounter weekends: February 25-27, 2011 and April 8-10, 2011 at Immaculata Retreat House, Willimantic call 860-536-8665. March11-13, 2011 in Framingham, MA call 508-788-1142. Early registration is advised. Visit

Saturday, February 26, 2011 Mardi Gras Celebration Xavier High School’s 19th Annual Auction will be held on Saturday, February 26, 2011 from 6-10pm. This year’s theme for the auction is a “Mardi Gras Celebration” featuring “A Taste of Xavier” where several area restaurants will present items from their menus to delight the attendees. The event will feature a Silent and Live Auction. Tickets are $40 for advance sales or $50 at the door. Advance sales at www For more information or to donate an item or service please call the Xavier High School Office of Advancement at (860) 347-6079 or email

Saturday, February 26, 2011 Discernment: Noticing and Responding to the Promptings of the Spirit Come for a day to explore the process of discernment using the experience and wisdom of St. Ignatius Loyola and Elizabeth Liebert, S.NJ.M. This day will provide a holistic approach to noticing the day to day promptings of the Spirit as well as provide a framework for discerning

Thursdays, March 10, 17, 24, 31 & April 7, 14 Spirituality of World Religions During Lent this year, Sister Patricia Pauline Cook, R.S.M., Ph.D., will be team-teaching a “Spirituality of World Religions” Course at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich, open to the

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public, on Thursday evenings at 6:30pm to 8:30pm. This is an outreach program of the Mercy Center in Madison, CT. For information and registration, please call 203-245-0401. Saturday(s), March 19 & 26, 2011 Marriage Preparation Class for Engaged Couples The Office of Family Life is hosting “God’s Plan for a Joyfilled Marriage”. To register for the 4-session class please call 860-889-8346 ext.283. Saturday, March 19 & 26 & April 2 & 9, 2011 from 9:30am to 11:45am at St. John’s, 22 Maple Ave., Uncasville. $50.00 per couple for class materials. Friday-Sunday, March 18-20, 2011 Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat Are you silently grieving after an abortion? Are you looking for healing and peace? It is an opportunity any person who has struggled with the emotional or spiritual pain of an abortion to take the first steps of peace and healing at a retreat weekend. All inquiries are confidential. Retreat on March 18-20, 2011 in Litchfield call Mary at 203-8821326. Rachel’s Vineyard Website: Friday-Sunday, March 25-27, 2011 Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat Are you silently grieving after an abortion? Are you looking for healing and peace? It is an opportunity any person who has struggled with the emotional or spiritual pain of an abortion to take the first steps of peace and healing at a retreat weekend. All inquiries are confidential. Retreat on March 25-27, 2011 in Springfield, MA call Mary at 413-783-8619. Spanish Retreat March 25-27, 2011 in Bridgeport call Christina at 203-3943898. Rachel’s Vineyard Website:


Four County Catholic February 2011

Teens from the Diocese of Norwich turn out for March for Life.

Photo submitted by Jim Tabor.

March for Life 2011 Late in October 1973, grassroots prolife leaders became concerned that January 22, 1974, might come FCC News Desk

and go without properly memorializing the Supreme Court’s infamous abortion decisions and without petitioning Congress for redress. No established right-to-life organization was prepared to undertake the planning, financial and operational responsibilities for a high impact prolife March on the U.S. Capitol. But, grassroots prolifers wanted to march! About thirty prolife veterans resolved themselves into a committee and began making plans for the first March for Life. On January 22, 1974, the first March for Life was held on the West Steps of the Capitol. An estimated 20,000 committed prolife Americans rallied that day on behalf of our preborn brothers and sisters. In 1974, the March for Life was incorporated as a non-profit, nonpartisan, non-sectarian organization. On January 24, 2011, the 38th annual March for Life was the biggest and most enthusiastic ever! The number of marchers who made the journey to our nation’s capital once again exceeded the record number of participants that attended the previous year. Conservative estimates were in the 400,000-500,000 range.

Regardless of the actual numbers, marchers continue to be the shining beacon that grows brighter every year, fueled by their passion for protecting innocent life, and unquenchable in their desire to uphold the Life Principles. Many members of Congress braved the blustery cold and joined this year’s marchers, setting a new attendance record. Fifty members of the House of Representatives and one Senator came to express their deep concern for the plight of our preborn brothers and sisters and to pledge their support for legislation that will overturn Roe v. Wade. Those who attended are listed as follows: Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NY) Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH) Rep John Fleming (R-LA) Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) Rep. Steve Austria (R-MD)

Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) Rep. Todd Adkin (R-MO) Rep. Greg Harper (R-MS) Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL) Rep. Martha Roby (A-AL) Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-IL) Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH) Rep. Jeff Landry (R-LA) Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) Rep. Randy Hulgren (R-IL) Rep. Steve King (R-IA) Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) Rep. Vickie Hartzler (R-MO) Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY) Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) Rep. Paul Brown (R-GA) The next March for Life will be on January 23, 2012. For more information about how you can join the March, please go to

the site of the 2011 Regional FOCUS Convention. There, Bishop Cote met up with the UConn contingent, including Father Gregory Galvin, Father John Antonelle and FOCUS group leader Sam Mazzarelli. Bishop Cote, was both principal celebrant and homilist for Saturday’s opening Mass at the convention attended by over 1,500 students. On Monday, the students left Baltimore and headed to Washington to join in the historic March for Life, with its record attendance even in the middle of the worst winter on record in Washington and the northeast. With the young people of our diocese leading the way, the diocese was well represented every step of the way to the last moments of the 2011 March for Life on the steps of the Supreme Court.

Inactive Catholic?


t takes two to talk, to understand, to heal, to forgive. If you’ve been away from the Church, or are drifting away from it; if you’ve been hurt by the “Church,” or are angry because of your “Catholic Experience.” Please consider this invitation to come and talk with us. No matter what the reason for the separation of the length of time, we would like to meet with you. Please join us for an open session on...

Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday March 28, 29 & 30 • 7:00 pm at

Christ the King Parish Center 1 McCurdy Road Old Lyme, CT (860) 434-1669

There was a time when we were together. Perhaps it’s time to be together again.



Four County Catholic February 2011

Annual Bishop’s Appeal to Change Name to

Annual Catholic Appeal The Annual Bishop’s Appeal (ABA) was initiated in 1978 to provide for the ever-increasing By Thomas P. O’Brien Executive Director, Diocesan Development Office

educational, human, pastoral, and spiritual needs of the people of New London, Windham, Middlesex and Tolland Counties and Fishers Island. The Appeal enables our Church to implement and administer these and other critical services in a comprehensive framework in order to carry out the work of Jesus Christ. It would not be possible to carry out His work without your assistance. Through the Annual Bishop’s

Appeal, the Catholic Church of Eastern Connecticut assists elderly persons in need, families in crises, people who are homeless, lonely, vulnerable, youth, young adults and our parishes and Catholic schools. The Appeal also enables the Church to promote social justice, respect for human life and to communicate with all who seek to hear the teachings of Jesus Christ. Through their assigned campaign goal, every Parish and Mission is required to support our diocesan operations,

services and ministries that in turn meet the physical, educa-

tional and spiritual needs of thousands throughout our four county faith community that one Parish

could not meet alone. This allows each one of us, as one, united in faith, to fulfill God’s call to spread the good news and to love and serve one another. As we prepare for the conduct of the 2011 Annual Appeal, we are pleased to announce a number of changes and improvements for this year’s campaign. In an effort to better describe the comprehensive nature of the Appeal, we have decided to rename the campaign: The Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA). The timeframe of the ‘active

phase’ of the campaign will be changed to coincide with the Lenten Season. The Deanery Socials will be modified from seven Parish-based functions to three Diocesan-wide Socials. The traditional Pre-Appeal and In-Pew Commitment weekends will be ‘shifted- away’ from the first two weekends in May to avoid conflicts with First Eucharist Liturgies at the Parishes. For the 2011 Annual Catholic Appeal, PreAppeal Weekend will be March 26/27, 2011 and the In Pew Commitment Weekend will be April 2/3, 2011. This year’s Appeal theme is “Do This in Memory of Me,” which is part of the Eucharistic Prayer of Mass.


Four County Catholic February 2011

World Day for Consecrated Life February 2, 2011 In 1997, John Paul II called for consecrated life to be promoted, throughout the Church worldFCC News Desk

wide. He declared February 2, the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, to be observed as World Day for Consecrated Life (WDCL). In the United States, when February 2 is not on a Sunday, we celebrate on the Sunday after the Presentation. This year the WDCL was observed on February 6. The celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life invites all the Church to reflect on the role of Consecrated Life within the Christian community. Those who choose to live a consecrated life do so for the sake of the gospel. Some Christian women and men respond to God’s call to become followers of Jesus through profession of vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and a life dedicated to prayer and service. They live out the conse-

crated life in different ways. Religious sisters, nuns, brothers, religious priests, and monks consecrate their lives through their profession of the evangelical vows and live as part of a community. Single lay people may choose to make private vows to the local

Bishop as they live out their vocation in various walks of life. Secular institutes are another form of

living the consecrated life as single people. Those who become followers of Jesus through the consecrated life bless the Church through their ministries in the areas of education, healthcare, spiritual formation and social service. In the Diocese of Norwich we have been blessed with the gifts offered by a wide variety of institutes, communities and societies. As is the case worldwide, the majority of those in consecrated life in our diocese are women who are members of religious institutes. We have 25 religious institutes of women represented in the diocese. Together they have a total of 201 sisters present in the Diocese of Norwich. We also benefit from the presence of 73 religious men, brothers and priests, serving in the diocese, representing 19 religious institutes of men. Though we have no members of secular institutes in the diocese, we do have members of the secular branch of the Daughters of the

Holy Spirit, established with Rome’s approval and functioning under the laws applicable to secular institutes. There is one society of apostolic life that is made up of priests and brothers: The Society of the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles. They have 14 members of their society ministering in our diocese. We also have a consecrated her-

mit. The prayerful solitary life of the hermit is defined in a rule of life presented to and approved by the bishop of the Diocese. In the spirit of World Day for Consecrated Life, may lives of consecrated women and men be blessed with God’s overwhelming grace of love! May their lives inspire us to hear God’s vocational call.


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God our Father, we thank you for calling men and women to serve in your Son’s Kingdom as sisters, brothers, religious priests, consecrated virgins, hermits, as well as members of Secular Institutes and Societies of Apostolic Life. Renew their knowledge and love of you, and send your Holy Spirit to help them respond generously and courageously to your will. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Four County Catholic February 2011

Consecrated Life Mass Celebrated They have lives of prayer, sacrifice and service. And on Feb. 6, more than By Michael Gannon

100 priests, nuns and brothers who have taken

up consecrated life were honored by the Diocese in a Mass

at the Cathedral of St. Patrick. The Most Rev. Joseph Perry, auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, was invited to offer the homily. “The greatest achievement of living a consecrated life is overcoming one’s self for the glory of God,” Perry said. Perry spoke of the early monastics in the Sister Mary Paul Savickas, M.V.S. and Sister Margaret M. Bareika, M.V.S., celebrating their 60th jubilees. Photo by Michael Gannon

church who often, like Jesus, sought the isolation of the desert, and to be among its dangers and privations as a matter of faith. He said it takes work and an intimate knowledge of one’s own strengths and weaknesses. He said even the most devout will find it hard to forgo “the allures of secular trappings.” “But stripped of certain comforts and possessions, they are left standing naked for God to take His hammer and chisel to refashion us for work in the vineyards,” he said. The Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, Bishop of Norwich spoke of his association with Bishop Perry. “We came across each other in Canon Law Studies when we were attending school in Washington,D.C,” Bishop Cote said. “But I don’t think the (selection) committee knew that.” Seven guests were celebrating jubilees of between 40 and 60 years. Sister Linda Babineau, D.H.S. of the daughters of the Holy Spirit in Putnam, serves in the vineyards as a social worker. She was inspired by the sisters of

the order who taught her as a girl and young woman. “Our charism is to serve the poor, the sick and children,” she said. “When the time came I was going to choose between St. Joseph’s college and entering the order.” Sisters Mary Paul Savickas, M.V.S., and Margaret M. Bareika, M.V.S., both are celebrating 60 years. “We are both Lithuanian,” Savickas said. “My family had to flee the Russians or they would have sent us to Siberia.” She and Sister Margaret met when we attended the same gymnasium or school, in the American-occupied section of post World War II Germany. They came to the United States in 1949 and entered the convent together. “The time has gone very quickly,” Sister Margaret said. Other jubilarians included Brother Richard Cote, O.M.I. and Sister Irma Garcia, R.O.D.A. at 40 years; and Sisters Leslie M. Despathy, D.H.S., and Eleanor O’Malley, P.B.V.M. at 50 years.







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Four County Catholic February 2011

Mystery Brings Joy The call to religious life may seem mysterious, mostly to those who may not know much about it. By Colleen Egan

But for those who choose to give their lives totally over to God, the mystery brings joy, not just for the consecrated person, but for their families as well. “I feel very blessed,” said Libby Eddy, a parishioner at St. Mary Church in Coventry. Two of her three children are living in religious communities. Daughter Sarah Jean graduated from the Catholic University of America (CUA) with a bachelor of arts degree in engineering and earned a master’s degree in global systems from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She recently took her final vows at Our Lady of Grace Monastery in North Guilford, Conn., a cloistered Dominican order. Daughter Carol Ann graduated from CUA with a degree in biochemistry and a minor in philosophy. In August she entered the Dominican Sisters convent in Springfield, Ill., a community active in teaching, prison and health ministries. “They’re both happy,” Libby said. “I feel very comfortable. They are set in life. There will be no divorces, no strife.” Both daughters attended Catholic school until eighth grade, then went to public high school. Twenty-eight-year-old Christina Smith of Colchester is in the process of applying to the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, a fairly new order located in New Bedford, Mass. These sisters have a Marian charism, a contemplative active call to spread devotion to Mary. “Prayer is what led me to this point,” said Smith, who attended the Franciscan University at Steubenville. “I spent a lot of time before the Blessed Sacrament in adoration.” “It’s been a process through praying, asking the Lord what his will is for my life. I want to give my life to the Lord, a radical gift. My Lady is leading me,” she said. Smith attended public schools

until her last two years of high school. Seventeen-year-old Andrew Skonieczny of Middletown said he received his call from God at a very young age. “I’ve been thinking about this for a while, since my First Communion, I think.” He started actively looking into a possible vocation with the Capuchin Franciscans when he was Confirmed three years ago. Skonieczny attended public schools all his life. He said his family and friends all support his discernment process, which has included several weekends with the Capuchins. “It’s been a really good experience,” he said. “There is the mystery of vocations. I have a deep love of God and want to serve Him in the best way that I can.” Being accepted by others for choosing to live a consecrated life does not always come easily. For the father of the Eddy daughters, acceptance of their life choices has been challenging. David Eddy was not brought up Catholic, but came to the religion through his wife. He said he finds it “personally challenging” to accept his daughters’ vocations. “I couldn’t choose that for myself,” he said. “It makes me pay attention to how I live out my sacrament (marriage),” said David. “I see them making choices and I say, ‘What choices am I making?’ We all need to respond to the call that we hear.” While he has come to accept the life choices of his daughters, David Eddy said some members of the family struggle with the concept of religious life, especially cloistered life. In all cases, the people interviewed for this article who have joined or are thinking of joining a religious community were supported growing up with prayer and a strong family/parish connection. The Eddys provided their children with time not occupied by television or other media outlets. “They had enough quiet space in their life in which God could be heard. They could hear that inner voice. They had a good family

life,” said Libby. David Eddy said when anyone asks him what his children do, it’s an opportunity for him to witness to Christ. “When I visited the Sisters, I felt a profound sense of peace; the presence of the Holy Spirit.




Four County Catholic February 2011

Communities Within Communities The term “community of consecrated life” can conjure up visions ranging from 16th century munks By Michael Gannon

singing Gregorian Chant to Maria von Trapp’s cloistered mountain abbey in “The Sound of Music”. But in the Diocese of Norwich, the men and women of such religious communities often are conspicuous, vital members of the community at large. Take, for example, the Rev.Gerard Mulvey, O.F.M.Cap., of the Capuchin Friars in Middletown. Mulvey serves as guardian of the friary located on the grounds of St.Pius X Church, where he also has served as pastor for three years. “We’re part of the Franciscans, and our charism is based on strict obedience to church teachings,” he said “A lot of missions can come under that. Here we operate the parish. We help with chaplain du-

ties at Middlesex Hospital when we’re called.We do a lot of community outreach.” Many groups work with the poor, such as the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in Griswold, who also work with the sick and those with a lack of education. Education is part of the charism of several orders in the diocese. The Franciscans of the Immaculate, established by Pope John Paul II in 1990, also use the Internet, television, radio and the print media wherever possible to spread the word of their devotion to the Blessed Mother. They founded a Mission house and novitiate in Baltic in 1998. Father Dominic, F.I., who has been with the order for 14 years, was attracted by both the consecration to Mary and the strict community life. “We use the media whenever possible,” he said. “We run several

radio stations. We broadcast here in Connecticut. And we are applying for five more (radio) station licenses in the country with the help of a benefactor.” Father Dominic was drawn by the consecration to Mary in the example of Saint Maxamilian Kolbe, a Polish Franciscan who was martyred in a Nazi concentration camp in World War II while saving the life of fellow prisoner. Like others, Father Dominic said he was attracted to the strict community lifestyle, aside from the normal vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. “We are semi-cloistered,” he said. “We are more of a contemplative community than an active one. We wear our habits every day, even sleep in them, which is a Franciscan tradition. We pray together as a community for five to six hours per day. Other orders might allow regular visitations, but

we don’t see our families unless it is a special occasion such as a wedding or funeral. We don’t walk around with pocket money.” The Sisters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of the Church in Baltic run schools in the region, including the Academy of the Holy Family girls’ high school. The Brothers of St. Francis Xavier run Xavier High School for boys in Middletown. The priests of the Society of St.Edmund, who more than 40 years ago founded a community that has evolved into the independent St. Edmund’s Retreat on Enders Island, strive to improve higher education and the lives of the poorest Americans, particularly in rural areas. The Rev.Thomas Hoar, S.S.E., said his journey to Enders Island began at St. Michael’s College, founded by the Order of St.Edmund in 1904.

“I was there majoring in premed,” said the 59-year-old Massachusetts native.”I would attend daily Mass during Lent. Eventually I came to realize that this was the place where I belonged.” He now works with the retreat center on the island in Mystic, as well as its thriving recovery program for alcohol and substance abuse.” Hoar said a young man or woman who the calling to a vocation in the church should go to an order that fits the individual’s interests and talents. Hoar said while all orders would love increased vocations, the numbers are of secondary concern. “You want quality vocations,” he said. But he and Brother Mulvey are cautiously optimistic about the numbers too, Mulvey said the Franciscans’ vocations are up in recent years after a lull in the 1990s.

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Four County Catholic February 2011

Encouraging & Affirming the Spiritual Journey of Others After completing her public high school years, Patricia Pauline Cook, R.S.M., Ph.D., entered the FCC News Desk

Sisters of Mercy, a group she had read about in a magazine, but never encountered. She felt called to give her life to God in the service of the poor, the sick, the uneducated, as she had read in the Sisters of Mercy Mission Statement. Her first 22 years in ministry were in education, including Mercy High School in Middletown, St. Joseph College, Fordham University and Sacred Heart University. Then Sister Patty ministered as a Retreat Director and

Spiritual Director, before becoming a Guatemalan missionary. When she returned home from Central America, she became the Diocesan Director of Ministry Formation for Lay Ministers and Deacons, where she loved to call forth the many gifts of the candidates for service to others. Her fifth ministry was Prison Chaplaincy. This proved to be her most difficult and most cherished ministry. Often in her prayer, she would ask God why the prison ministry call had not come to her when she was younger and more energetic. God’s answer was clear: she was not yet ready for the challenge. No other service has so an-

imated Sister Patty, where she says, she most feels like a real Sister of Mercy, speaking freely and joyfully of God’s mercy in a place where there is often such a negative and cold ambience. She has loved every one of the different ministries of her 58 years of consecrated life, and found that each one, in God’s precious timing, was “always just right for her.” Sister Patty will serve as a Spiritual Director for a pilgrimage group, going to the Holy Land in the Spring. She always enjoys encouraging and affirming the spiritual journey of others, accompanying them in a spirit of faith and prayerfulness.

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Four County Catholic February 2011

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“The celebration of the Eucharist is an action of the whole Church.” This senBy Sister Elissa Rinere, CP, JCD Office of Worship

tence is found in several official documents of the Church, both liturgical documents and those dealing with the nature of the Church. At one level, it is easy enough to understand this statement intellectually, as a fact. The

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fact is that every time the Eucharist is celebrated, the whole Church, which is all those baptized into Christ, is involved and enriched and blessed. Such a statement of fact can also be understood in other ways, at different levels. For instance, we could come to understand this fact at the level of experience, by actually experiencing the truth of it. Has it ever happened to you that at a celebration of the Eucharist you became involved in the prayer in such a way that you actually felt you were united with all the people gathered there celebrating with you, and even those followers of Christ beyond the building? That experience would be a true reflection of the unity of the whole Church. The celebration is structured to bring about this awareness of our unity. One example of this is the interaction called for between the priest and the people, which begins with the Introductory Rite. We all come to Mass from our different lives and concerns, and the Introductory Rite is intended to bring us together as a community. The priest and liturgical ministers process into the church, and we all stand to greet them, and join together in the opening prayer and in singing the opening hymn. There is nothing like singing to bring a group of people together. Singing at Mass has quite a noble purpose for both priest and people, since it is the first action of the community. Following the procession, the priest greets everyone, inviting them to join together for worship. Together, priest and people begin with the Sign of the Cross, recalling our Baptism and making manifest the mystery of the Church. At the penitential rite, we are called on to acknowledge

our sins and failings and ask for mercy. Clearly, this part of the ritual, the admission of sin and a plea for mercy, is also important in the formation of a sense of community. Slowly, through these steps of the Introduct o r y Rite, the worshiping community is being formed; the pace of everyday life is replaced by reflection, and prayer. The last element of the Introductory Rite is the “Glory to God.” This ancient hymn, a song of praise and petition, comes to us from the early centuries of the Church. Here, again, music plays a special role in uniting the community. The “Glory to God” is best prayed when priest and people join together in singing. However, it is also possible for this prayer to be sung by the choir, or to be shared between choir and people. The point is that this is a song of joy which gives glory to God. Its role is to bring the community together in praise and worship of God. How does your Sunday experience of the celebration of the Eucharist fit with these expectations? Does the Introductory Rite as you experience it fulfill its purpose? Is there some sense of the formation of the worshiping community? As Mass begins, do you feel you have entered into holy space and time? “The celebration of the Eucharist is an action of the whole Church.” If the power of our ritual is set free, we can feel the sense of unity building within the community gathered for worship. We will feel the effect in our lives, since at its very heart, the celebration of the Eucharist is intended to be a life-changing event. In November 2011, when we begin to use new words at Mass, let us pray those words with renewed hearts.


Four County Catholic February 2011

Parishes Prepare for a Prayerful Lent with

Why Catholics Pray was the thought-provoking title of a series of faith enrichment sessions preBy Deirdre Malacrea

sented during January by Sr. Veronica Mendez, RCD, from RENEW International. These sessions were given throughout the Diocese of Norwich to build on the exploration of prayer begun in the first season of Why Catholic? and to prepare parishioners for Season Two. Sr. Veronica said that she was impressed by the faithfilled attitude she encountered at all of the sessions, “Most people who are serious about their faith and their relationship with God want and are looking to enhance their prayer life. It was wonderful to see the people’s enthusiasm and love for prayer and their desire to deepen their experience of prayer.� The second season of Why Catholic? begins the week of March 6, 2011 to coincide with the Lenten season. The six-week journey starts by offering an opportunity to delve into forms of prayer that may be less familiar to some Catholics, but are rich spiritual traditions in the Church, namely meditation and contemplative prayer. The third week of the season addresses difficulties one may face in prayer. Finally, the last three sessions plumb the depths of the Lord’s Prayer, called by St. Thomas Aquinas “the most perfect of prayers.� According to Sr. Veronica, these weeks in February, before Lent begins, are an excellent time to once more invite parishioners to join the Why Catholic? process that has been so helpful in deepening many

people’s faith. Parishes should, once again, use Sign-Up Sunday as a means to invite new people to grow the small Christian communities in their parishes. “People who are enthused about their small community experiences do the best job of encouraging others,’’ Sr. Veronica said. “Lent is a time when we traditionally look for something extra in our spiritual lives. Use this motivation to draw more of your parishioners into the small faith s h a r i n g groups.� Parishes and parishioners can still join this effort. For more information, please contact Father Joseph Whittel at (860) 443-1875, Marge Vanner at (860) 848-2237 x 312, or Sr. Mary Jude at (860) 4563349. RENEW International is a canonically-recognized Catholic organization operating under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Newark in New Jersey. RENEW International fosters spiritual renewal in the Catholic tradition by empowering individuals and communities to encounter God in everyday life, deepen and share faith, and connect faith with action.

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Four County Catholic February 2011

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Four County Catholic February 2011

Focus... and Finish Well! By Mary Tunison

one utter this aphorism, I wasn’t entirely convinced. But after having lived through an experience that proved the adage true, I’ve never since doubted. The constant barrage of little aggravations, irritations, doubts and disappointments can, if permitted, gradually wear away at the durability of our resolve, misdirect our focus and even take us off the path God has planned for our lives. While we fumble around trying to find our way, the devil, who happens to be very real, has his own plan for our lives – one of destruction. Satan knows that when confronted with the occasional major crisis, we will usually turn to God for help or family and friends will surround us with support. So, in his deviously subtle way, he keeps throwing little darts instead; until our thinking becomes flawed and our discernment clouded. He throws just enough to keep us gravitating further and further from our focus on Christ. They keep piling up until, shall I say, somewhere between the devil and the deep blue sea, we are ready to just throw up our hands and give it all up. We wish we could start life over, turn back the clock, retract words or actions and maybe get it right this time. We can’t go back. Life is a forward motion. All we can do is pick up the pieces and hope God really does write straight with crooked lines! God is standing by to help us. No mistake of ours catches Him by surprise. He has it all under control. He will rebuild our lives if we redirect our focus. In my spare time, I like to photograph the New England countryside. The lens of the camera can be adjusted to focus on the main elements of a composition. With a twist of the aperture, the

focal point sharpens as the nonessential details fade into the background. It is all regulated by the amount of light passing through this opening. Our daily lives are filled with a panorama of nonessentials that distract and detract from what is really impor-

tant. By redirecting our focus on Christ, obstacles diminish as we open to the light of His presence, power, and love. It is why Paul exclaimed, “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.” Life will dish out many things that grate, grind or rub us the wrong way. . .your son leaves the bathroom sink a mess, your sister hogs the bathroom for an hour; you live or work with a personality that irritates you beyond belief. . .we all have “button pushers”. We can either let such things tie us in knots, slowly bringing about our undoing or we can offer them up and rely on God’s strength - not our own – to rise above these things. If we focus on Christ, we will prevail. St. Bernard, the founding Abbot of Clairvaux Abbey in Burgundy was one of the most commanding leaders in the first half of the Twelfth Century as well as one of the greatest spiritual masters of all times and the most powerful propagator of Cistercian reform. There were days when he would have liked to have tossed a brother monk or two into the nearby well; but whenever things got tough, he used to prompt himself, “Bernard, why have you come?” – A simple yet effective reminder of his ultimate purpose and reason for entering the monastery. There’s nothing like

being in touch with one’s deepest desire to put things in perspective. Assessing decisions and gaining perspective is very important, because our wisdom is accumulated from looking back at situations, to learn and grow from them. That’s why, hopefully, as we get older,we grow wiser. Florence Chadwick was a world class swimmer who had swum the English Channel. Subsequently, she wanted to take on the 26 mile trip from Catalina Island to the California mainland. She got in the water with a number of boats surrounding her and she swam. Hour after hour she swam on a very foggy night. As darkness set in, she could barely see her hand in front of her face. After swimming 15 hours and 55 minutes, she waved to the boats and said, “I can go no further. I quit.” They hoisted her out of the water and they asked her, “Why couldn’t you keep going?” She said, “Because I couldn’t see. The fog had so blocked me that I couldn’t see.” After she had gotten in the boat, she discovered that she was only one half mile from the mainland - all that hard work and ever so close and she couldn’t get there! Florence Chadwick decided to do it again two months later. She got in the water and it looked bright and sunny but after 12 hours, darkness set in and more fog set in. And this time the fog was worse than it was earlier and she couldn’t see. This time she kept swimming finally to arrive at the California coastline. Then she was asked the question, “How did you make it this time?” She said, “Because this time is was easy. This time I kept a mental picture of the California coastline in my mind and as long as I didn’t lose sight of where I was going, I could handle the trip getting there.” Chadwick finally succeeded because she learned from her mistake and understood the importance of keeping focused on the goal.

Some people quit time and time again because they have lost sight of God or other people give up on them because they’ve made, in their estimation, one too many mistakes! Sadly, it can sometimes be just before God is about to bring forth something awesome in a person. But God never gives up even when the rest of the world draws the line. Is there ever one mistake too many if one truly learns from each one? Yes, we have battles to fight but Christ is in us supplying all the grace we need in every given situation we face. Christian perseverance is not a matter of struggling along by ourselves and hoping we make it. It is a matter of abiding in Christ, following his lead and

keeping our eyes fixed on Him so that one day we can say with St. Paul: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7 This year, when things get tough, when people let you down, betray you, hurt you, irritate you or stop believing in you – look to the One who never will; the One who has the power to do infinitely more than we could ever ask, hope for or imagine – and you will stay the course! Mary Tunison works for Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Hartford, and is a freelance writer, photographer, artist, and graphic designer. She can be contacted at


“It’s not usually the big things in life that defeat us; it’s the little ones.” When I first heard some-


Four County Catholic February 2011

Protect the Lives of the Most Vulnerable Archbishop Dolan Writes to Congress We present an abbreviated but not-edited text of a letter sent to all members of the 112th Congress of the United States from the Archbishop of New York and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Timothy Dolan. It expresses the public policy priorities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Courtesy of Catholic Online

Dear Member of Congress, As a new Congress begins, I write to congratulate you and to outline principles and priorities that guide the public policy efforts of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). As President of the Bishops’ Conference, I assure you of our prayers and hopes that this newly elected Congress will ad-

vance the common good and defend the life and dignity of all, especially vulnerable and poor persons whose needs are critical in this time of difficult economic and policy choices. We continue to seek ways to work constructively with the Administration and the new Congress and others of good will to pursue policies which respect the dignity of all human life and bring greater justice to our nation and peace to our world. As bishops, of course we approach public policy not as politicians but as pastors and teachers. Our moral principles have always guided our everyday experience in caring for the hungry and homeless, offering health care and housing, educating children and reaching out to those in need. We lead the largest community of

faith in the United States, one that serves every part of our nation and is present in almost every place on earth. From our experience and our tradition, we offer a distinctive, constructive and principled contribution to the national dialogue on how to defend human life and dignity, promote and protect marriage and family life, lift up those who experience economic turmoil and suffering, and promote peace in a world troubled by war and violence. Most fundamentally, we will work to protect the lives of the most vulnerable and voiceless members of the human family, especially unborn children and those who are disabled or terminally ill. We will consistently defend the fundamental right to life from conception to natural death. Opposed to abortion as the direct

killing of innocent human life, we will encourage one and all to seek common ground, reducing the number of abortions by providing compassionate and morally sound care for pregnant women and their unborn children. Efforts to force Americans to fund abortions with their tax dollars pose a serious moral challenge, and Congress should act to ensure that health care reform does not become a vehicle for such funding. In close connection with our defense of all human life and particularly the most vulnerable among us, we stand firm in our support for marriage which is and can only be a faithful, exclusive, lifelong union of one man and one woman. There is good reason why the law has always recognized this, and why it should continue to do so. In a manner unlike any

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other relationship, marriage makes a unique and irreplaceable contribution to the common good of society, especially through the procreation and education of children. Children need, deserve and yearn for a mother and a father. All human societies in every era of history, differing greatly among themselves in many other ways, have understood this simple wisdom. For this reason, we will continue to vigorously support the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and strongly oppose legislative or executive measures that seek to redefine or erode the meaning of marriage. We suggest Congressional oversight of executive actions that have the effect of undermining DOMA, such as the expansion of spousal benefits to two persons of the same sex, and the weak defense of DOMA in court against constitutional challenge. We will seek to reflect respect for the family in every policy and program. We will also continue to monitor legislation and federal regulations that protect our children and families from the destructive repercussions of pornography, which degrades human sexuality and marital commitment. Our nation faces continuing economic challenges with serious human consequences and significant moral dimensions. We will work with the Administration and Congress for budget, tax and entitlement policies that reflect the moral imperative to protect poor and vulnerable people. We advocate a clear priority for poor families and vulnerable workers in the development and implementation of economic recovery measures, including appropriate new investments, finding ways to offer opportunity and strengthening the national safety net. With regard to the education of children, we call for a return to the equitable participation of students and teachers in private


Four County Catholic February 2011

schools in programs funded through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. When students in private schools are counted in order to determine the total amount of federal education funds a public school district receives, the funds generated by these students should benefit them and their teachers, not be used for programs in which only public school students and personnel can participate. We also continue to support initiatives, such as tax credits and scholarship programs, which provide resources for all parents, especially those of modest means, to choose education which best addresses the needs of their children. We welcome continuing commitments to empower faithbased groups as effective partners in overcoming poverty and other threats to human dignity. As the Internet continues to grow in its influence and prominence in Americans’ lives, we support legislation and federal regulations that ensure equal access to the Internet for all, including religious and non-profit agencies, as well as those in more sparsely populated or economically distressed areas. True net neutrality is necessary for people to flourish in a democratic society. The Catholic Bishops of the United States have worked for nearly a century to assure health care for all, insisting that access to health care is a basic human right and a requirement of human dignity. Basic health care for all is a moral imperative, not yet completely achieved. We remain committed to our three moral criteria: 1) Ensure access to quality, affordable, life-giving health care for all; 2) Retain longstanding requirements that federal funds not be used for elective abortions or plans that include them, and effectively protect conscience rights; and 3) Protect the access to health care that immigrants currently have and remove current barriers to access. We will continue to devote our efforts to improving and correcting serious moral problems in the current law, so health care reform can truly be universal and life-affirming.

We will work with the Administration and the new Congress to fix a broken immigration system

which harms both immigrants and our entire nation. Comprehensive reform is needed to deal with the economic and human realities of millions of immigrants in our midst. We realize that reform must be based on respect for and implementation of the law and for the legitimate and timely question of national security. Equally, however, it must defend the rights and dignity of all peoples, recognizing that human dignity comes from God and does not depend on where people were born or how they came to our nation. On international affairs, we will work with our leaders to seek responsible transitions to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and promote religious freedom for all, acting against religious repression of our fellow Christians and others. In all foreign policy deliberations, we urge a greater emphasis on human rights, especially religious freedom, which we view as an essential good so intricately tied to other human rights and to the promotion of peace. We especially urge continued and persistent leadership to bring a just peace to the Holy Land, to promote peaceful change in Sudan, and to rebuild Haiti. We will continue to support essential U.S. investments to overcome global poverty, hunger and disease

through increased and reformed international assistance. Continued U.S. leadership in the fight against HIV-AIDS and other diseases in ways that are both effective and morally appropriate have our enthusiastic backing. Recognizing the complexity of climate change, we wish to be a voice for the poor and vulnerable in our country and around the world who will be the most adversely affected by threats to the environment. In closing, I thank you for responding to the noble call of public service and I renew our expression of hope and our offer of cooperation as you begin this new period of service to our nation in these challenging times. We hope that the days ahead will be a time of renewal and progress for our nation as we defend human life and dignity, seek greater justice for all God’s children, and bring peace to a suffering world. With prayerful best wishes, I am Faithfully and respectfully yours,

Timothy Most M.Reverend Dolan

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Timothy M. Dolan Archbishop of New York President, USCCB

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Movie Review: The King’s Speech By John Mulderig Catholic News Service

ship and determination. Its 12 Academy Awards nominations also speak to the quality of acting, directing and screenplay. Its highly controversial R rating is the problem. The reason for the rating is an outburst of profane language in one scene. In an effort to adjust the film to earn a more family friendly rating, the producer and director are

planning on editing the scene in question. Expectations are that the edited version of the film will be available in theaters beginning February 27th and in DVD format when released. This is movie worth seeing once edited. Worth the wait. Did an obscure London speech therapist contribute - indirectly but significantly - to Britain’s victory in World War II? The stirring historical drama “The King’s Speech” certainly suggests he did. With its opening scenes set in the 1920s and ‘30s, this is the story of the unlikely but fruitful

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relationship between Albert, Duke of York (Colin Firth) -initially second in line to the British crown - and little-known, but abundantly eccentric elocutionist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). Logue’s peculiarities come to the fore when Albert - at the instigation of his loyal wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) reluctantly places himself in Logue’s care, hoping to overcome the stammer that hobbles his public speaking, an indispensible aspect of his life and career as a member of the royal family. Defying protocol, the Au s t r a l i a n born Logue insists that he and the prince call each other by their first names, forbids his patient to smoke during their sessions and refuses to treat his august client anywhere but in his own office, a space carefully arranged to promote relaxation. All the while, Logue works to break through the rigid shell of Albert’s reserve. As he gradually does so, and as the two bond, the unflappable

(Michael Gambon), leads to his elder brother David’s (Guy Pearce) accession as Edward VIII. But David’s hopeless infatuation with twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson (Eve Best) swiftly forces the new sovereign to choose

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Logue discovers - and eventually helps to heal - the emotionally crippling childhood wounds underlying Albert’s impedim e n t . Outside e v e n t s , meanwhile, combine to m a k e Logue’s task all the more urgent. T h e death of A l b e r t’s f a t h e r, K i n g George V

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Editor’s Note: The King’s Speech is an excellent movie with multiple positive messages of courage, friend-

between the throne and - as he famously put it - “the woman I love.” As Albert unwillingly prepares to fill the void, a second worldwide conflagration looms. So too, with the ever-increasing influence of radio and newsreels, does the challenge of establishing a moraleboosting verbal relationship between the tongue-tied king and his millions of subjects throughout the commonwealth. Weaving into their main narrative of therapeutic, behind-thescenes friendship, the more familiar tale of one of the modern era’s most successful royal marriages, screenwriter David Seidler and director Tom Hooper create a luminous tapestry reinforced by finely spun performances and marred only by the loose threads of some offensive language. Though played for humor, within the context of Logue’s efforts to get Albert to unwind in front of him, these fleeting torrents of meaningless swearing prevent endorsement for teen viewers who might otherwise profit greatly from this touching and uplifting profile in compassion, determination and dedication to public service. The film contains two brief but intense outbursts of vulgarity, a couple of uses of profanity, a few crass terms and a mildly irreverent joke. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III - adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is (R) restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.


Four County Catholic February 2011

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Despite the Horror, She Couldn’t Leave Haiti One year after catastrophic earthquake, a survivor finds signs of hope Port-au-Prince, Haiti Pharra Hyppolite remembers a world of darkness made of white. By Kyn Tolson Development Director, Outreach to Haiti

It was just over a year ago, in Port-au-Prince, and she was on the third-floor balcony of Hospice St. Joseph. She worked then - and still does - for the nonprofit agency that runs a medical clinic, an education program and a shelter-building project in the surrounding city neighborhood. At 4:53 p.m. on Jan. 12 last year, Hyppolite was speaking with a college student who’d arrived from New York University to stay at the hospice while doing academic research. “You can’t believe how it felt,” she said of the first jolts of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake.

“There’re no words I can think of Hyppolite is 35 years old and a to describe those seconds.” resident of Norwich. Her parents As she felt the balcony give live there, moving shortly after way beneath her, she fell to leaving their homeland of the tiled floor. Seconds Haiti about 18 years ago. later, with a more powTheir daughter spent erful shockwave, she years there, too, when slid across the tiles like she was attending Easta tiny toy. The late-afern Connecticut State ternoon sun was blotUniversity and, later, ted out by clouds of the University of Conconcrete dust rising necticut. from the ground. After earning two Walls, homes, shops, degrees - in biology and schools - all built of humanitarian emercinder blocks - had gency administration crumbled outside the hosshe went on to spend eight pice gate, throughout the years with the National district, across the city. Guard. She was in the military “There was no light. Anypolice for an 18-month assignwhere,” said Hyppolite. “You can’t ment in Baghdad. imagine. Everything Throughout her time is white. But you can- Pharra Hyppolite of Norwich stands on the balcony of a away from the island of building at Hospice St. Joseph that overlooks Port-au- Hispaniola, not see.” Hyppolite Prince, Haiti. Photo submitted by Kyn Tolson

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knew she would come back home. “Even after the earthquake,” she said, “my family would say to everyone, ‘Oh, Pharra, we know she won’t leave Haiti.’ “ ‘We couldn’t leave’ Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, is where she has remained since the earthquake. She has made three visits back to Connecticut to be with her parents and other relatives, but she decided the morning after the earthquake that she wouldn’t leave. “Max and I sat right here, on the ground, and we said that no matter what had happened, we had work to do right here,” she said earlier this week, referring to the executive director of the hospice program, Max Delices. “We figured if everyone who survived around us could make it here, we could, too. We couldn’t leave.” Hyppolite had been with Hospice St. Joseph for about 15 months when the earthquake struck, killing more than 250,000 people and displacing well over 1 million in Port-au-Prince. Many still live in tent cities or under makeshift shelters of plastic, plywood and tin that they’ve set up among the ruins. The work of Hospice St. Joseph - also based in Norwich and recently renamed Outreach to Haiti after a merger with Haitian Ministries of the Diocese of Norwich - immediately changed after the earthquake. Its crushed main building was scattered across the courtyard, but tents and larger shelters of tarps and wood became a medical center for the emergency treatment of people from the neighborhood and beyond. Medical teams from various organizations and individuals from different countries came to help for short periods. Excruciating details of the afternoon of the earthquake and the hours and days that followed haunt Hyppolite. No one at the hospice was killed or injured, but


Four County Catholic February 2011

a year hasn’t wiped away the sights of broken bodies and the dead scattered on the streets or trapped under collapsed walls. Nor has it erased the screams of millions of people in terror. Even today, she refuses to sleep in a building in Port-au-Prince, choosing instead to keep her bed under a tarp. When she visits her family in Norwich, she doesn’t sleep at night. “Only during the day,” she said, “that’s when I can go to sleep. My father always asks what’s wrong. But it’s hard to explain. It’s here, still in my head.” Trauma, Hyppolite knows, is something everyone who was in Port-au-Prince a year ago has tried to come to terms with. She has wrestled with the horror, but she has also forged ahead. Since Day 2, she’s been back at work, helping the injured and the desperate and rebuilding Outreach to Haiti. Building shelters One of Hyppolite’s main occupations with Outreach is managing an extensive “Small Shelter” project in the community. With funding, plans and workers from the international agency Catholic

Relief Services (CRS), she has helped to guide a pilot project that has already erected more than 300 small but substantial dwellings that should last for at least three years. The single-family shelters of concrete, wood and metal have been built here and there - all on private lots cleared of rubble. Outreach and CRS hope the owners will eventually put up permanent homes on their land. Hyppolite said she has learned a lot about management from this project. More importantly, she added, she has learned the power of one firmly held belief. “You know,” she said, looking across the hospice courtyard, “this place has been here 20 years. And then the earthquake happened. Despite the challenges, it rose up, to live up to its name. We helped so many people. And they helped us. “I think it’s amazing. We thought we were so small, that we had very little impact. But it’s not true. This I know: Until we choose to lie down, we’re still alive. And there’s hope.” Reprinted from “The Day”

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Momentum of Holiday Good Works Continues Into New Year Families and students at Sacred Heart, Groton found many ways to reach out in their parish, By Ann Griffin

school, local community, as well as the world at large this holiday season working to brighten as many hearts as possible. Light the Tree is a Christmas tradition where families can purchase a light bulb made of construction paper to send a message or remembrance to special people. The money collected is donated to a family in need within the school community. The Middle School Student Council collected toys as admission to their December dance, donating those toys to help brighten the Christmas of three Sacred Heart families in need. Contributions to a Thanksgiving food drive were delivered to the very grateful Groton Food Locker. Another delivery to Groton Human Services in the form of gift cards to purchase Christmas gifts came as a result of a paid dress down day for all students, faculty and staff.

The Sacred Heart Stewards Club has been busy with several outreach projects. Members of the parish have been working with students to knit prayer shawls, which together with student created rosary beads are sent to the sick in our community to help warm them in their time of need.

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Stewards also had fun making Christmas card baskets out of pictures from Christmas cards. These baskets were filled with small items and then brought to those who are homebound within our local community. Another project our Stewards have been active with, in cooperation with the Sacred Heart Parish also raised money to build two houses and begin a third house in Haiti. Through contributions from a “Pennies war” at school, the creation of a live Nativity in the community, which accepted donations and sold baked goods, as well as a fund drive, the Sacred Heart School and Parish community showed a tremendous generosity to our Haitian brothers and sisters. As the New Year begins, Sacred Heart School continues to look for ways to reach out to others in need. The Stewards continue to knit, and make beautiful rosaries. They also have a book collection beginning to help the local book bank called Whales Tales distribute books to children in need. It is certain that other projects will continue to be created using the students generous hearts and creative minds to give to not only their local community, but reach across the globe.


Four County Catholic February 2011

A Short Life Bookended by Tragedy The youth choir Christina Green belonged to performs just once a month, on the second SunBy Christina Capecchi Four County Catholic Contributor

day at the 9 o’clock Mass. And sure enough, the day after the 9-yearold was killed in Tucson, Ariz., the youngest victim of the shooting targeting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, St. Odilia’s youth choir sang. It was Jan. 9, the feast of the baptism of the Lord, and there was just one baptism at that Mass, a 9year-old girl. That wasn’t lost on Father Richard Troutman, pastor of St. Odilia. “You realize how small they are,” he told me, “how much potential they have, how you really want to protect a 9year-old.” Father Troutman has been a priest since 1968, yet he approached that Mass as if it were his first, putting in extra prayer and still feeling a bit unprepared, like “a work in progress” pastor. He had heard the gun shots the day before and he was just as shocked as everyone else.

faithful, with one petition for all of Saturday’s victims and one for Christina. Communion was the high point, when Christina’s friends in the youth choir performed “We Are One Body,” an apt anthem for a devastated community being fed by the Eucharist. “We do not stand alone,” the grade schoolers sang. “He who believes in me will have eternal life.” There it all was inside that sloping church on the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, where the desert heat meets the snowcapped peaks: darkness and light; silence and song; grief and hope; one more baptized member, one less. “Faith and doubt go really close

together,” Father Troutman said on the eve of Christina’s wake. “God is the God of death and resurrec-

derstanding how tears and laughter can mingle, springing from what feels like the same origin. Life’s

tion.” Christina’s very arrival, born on 9/11, demonstrated that strange juxtaposition. Her mom says she took pride in being a grace note to a dark day. And surely Christina feels the same way about the loving acts performed after the Tucson shooting: parents who extended

contrasts bring meaning, just as a symphony has crescendos and decrescendos, rests and triplets. I’m also coming to appreciate

dtimes, giving an cookie; neighbors eaping helpings of er. get the more I acdictions in life, un-


the richness and rhythm of the liturgical calendar. Sometimes we fall into stride with it, naturally matching its tenor. Sometimes its melody feels miles away, but we hear the invitation and jump in at a key change, singing out or humming along. This short month is hinged on Valentine’s Day, and in Christina’s honor we should interpret it broadly, to gather all the love we can, to nurture it, celebrate it and act on it. Christina Capecchi is a freelance writer from Inver Grove Heights, Minn. She can be reached at

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about mystical union with God, a state that is preceded by unnecessary death. Baptism propels us toward community engagement and service, he said, which leads to events like “Congress on your Corner,” the public gathering where Christina was killed. Then came the prayer of the

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Four County Catholic February 2011

“Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even if she forget, I WILL NEVER forget you (your name here). See, I have written your name…

on the Palms of My Hands!”

(Isaiah 49:15)

Leaders & Prayer Group Members Gathering Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 9AM to 3PM Spiritual Renewal Center, 11 Bath Street, Norwich, CT 06360 Prayer & Discernment Board Meeting Monday, February 7, 2011 at 11:30 AM Spiritual Renewal Center, 11 Bath Street, Norwich, CT 06360 Planning Meeting for Pentecost Celebration Friday, February 11, 2011 at 7:00 P.M. Spiritual Renewal Services, 11 Bath Street, Norwich, CT 06360 Mass of Healing and Hope Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 2:00 PM St. Peter Church, 30 St. Peter Lane, Higganum, CT 06441 Pastor: Fr. Jan Swiderski Celebrant: Fr. Ray Introvigne

In the attached photo, Sister Elaine S.C.M.C, Principal of the school, is surrounded by the team as she proudly displays the 1st Place Trophy. Front Row: William Curran, Lucas Morris, Shane Henderson, Kevin Ryff. Second Row: Owen Curran, Brian Poeschl, Dominic Reynolds, Noah Kagel, Sister Elaine S.C.M.C. – Principal, Jack Schoonmaker, Connel Henderson. Back Row: Michael Lavallee, Coach Frank Henderson, Luke Schoonmaker, Jobe Finnegan, Coach Scott Schoonmaker. Photo by Aimee Finnegan

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Spiritual Renewal Services Diocese of Norwich

Dial A Prayer (860) 887-7767 P.O. Box 6, 11 Bath St. Norwich, CT 06360 (860) 887-0702 Email:

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


The Saint John School (Old Saybrook) Boys JV Basketball Team won the St. Mary’s Basketball Tournament (Branford) on Sunday, January 23, 2011. The tournament involved 12 teams in a double elimination format over the course of three weeks. The St. John Eagles defeated St. Mary’s from Milford in the semi-final game and then defeated St. Rita’s from Hamden in the finals. Luke Schoonmaker and Connel Henderson were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Proximo Travel, Your Catholic Tour Company 2011 Italy Regular: May 14-22, June 25-July 3, July 2-10, Sept 3-11, Sept 17-25, Sept 26-Oct 6, Oct 1-9, Oct 15-23, Oct 29-Nov 6… Italy/Switzerland: April 2-14, April 30-May 12, May 14-26, May 28-June 9, June 25-July 7, July 2-14, Sept 3-15, Sept 10-22, Sept 12-23, Sept 17-29, Sept 25- Oct 3, Oct 1-3, Oct 8-20, Oct 15-27, Oct 29-Nov 10… Holy Land: April 7-17, April 25-May 5, May 16-26, May 23-June 2, May 26-June 5, June18-28, June 30-July 10, Sept 1-11, Sept 15-25, Oct 6-16, Oct 20-30, Oct 25-Nov 3, Oct 31-Nov10…

France, Spain, Portugal: May 14-26, June 30-July 12, Sept 10-22, Sept 17-29, Sept 24-Oct 6, Oct 8-20, Oct 15-27… France: May 14-26, July 2-14 & Sept 10-22… Ireland/Scotland: May 14-26; July 9-21; Sept 3-15… Italy South: Sept 10-22… Italy/Holy Land: March 20-April 1, May 9-22, May 16-29, June 20-July 3, June 27-July 10, Aug 29-Sept 11, Sept 1225, Sept 26-Oct 9, Oct 10-23… Medjugorje/Lourdes/Fatima: May 4-15 & Sept 3-14…

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Four County Catholic Februar 2011


by Karen H Whiting

Faith of the Presidents

February 11 White shirt day. Wear white. Look up what the Bible says about white clothes in Isaiah 1:18, Matthew 28:3, and Revelation 7:9 February 12 Paul Bunyan Day so tell a tall tale! February 14 Valentine’s Day. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and then tell family members you love them. All Days Month of the Passion of Our Lord. Lent doesn’t begin until March, but you can still read how Christ died in one of the gospels. February 28 Purim, a Jewish fast celebrating the Book of Esther in the Bible.

Celebrate President’s Day and find out what some of our President’s said about Christianity by unscrambling the president’s name after each quote. 1. It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible. __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ s n o w t g a n h i 2. Here is the nation God has built by our hands. What shall we do with it? __ __ __ __ __ __ n l s o w i 3. God who gave us life gave us liberty. __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ f r e e j s f n o 4. It is not the talking, but the walking and working person that is the true Christian. __ __ __ __ __ __ __ d n s o m i a 5. I believe in the Holy Scriptures and whose lives by them will be benefited thereby. __ __ __ __ __ r t n a g 6. America was founded by people who believed God was their rock of safety. I recognize we must be cautious in claiming that God is on our side, but I think it’s all right to keep asking God if we are on His side. __ __ __ __ __ __ g r a a n e Answers: 1.) Washington, 2.) Wilson, 3.)Jefferson, 4.) Madison, 5.) Grant, 6.) Reagan

Did you know?

Valentines Day is a time to let friends know you care. Jesus enjoyed twelve close friends. It’s wonderful to have friends, even when friends are not perfect and hurt you. Jesus had problems with friends. Judas betrayed him and Peter denied he even knew Jesus. Most didn’t stick around when life got tough. Only John stayed as Jesus hung on the cross. But, after his resurrection, Jesus had a picnic with all but Judas. They remained friends because Jesus loved them, faults and all. Jesus loves you, too, and is your friend. Find out what Jesus said about being his friend in John 15:14-15. Proverbs 17:17 states that a friend loves at all times. That means to be kind, to forgive, and consider the other person first. A friend is a wonderful treasure. Try these ideas to be a good friend: • Listen well. Really hear what your friend says and respond to their needs • Be kind. Compliment your friend, don’t tease or put the person down • Be yourself • It’s okay to have different opinions and disagree, but do it with respect • Forgive your friend when he or she hurts you • Try to understand your friend’s moods and feelings • Do things together: play, share favorite books, talk, cook or make something together • Be trust worthy. If a friend tells you something don’t tell others • Be polite. • Be a good host when friends come over. Serve a snack, let the friend go first in games, and thank your friend for visiting. • Be happy for your friend when something good happens or he/she gets a great new gift


Four County Catholic February 2011

Is Your Parish a “Marriage-Building” Community? Connecticut


We All Have Love to G The Department of Children and Families needs foster famil tive families for children of all ages. We are looking for matu enced parents who are able to care for and work with childr adolescents who have experienced abuse and/or neglect an special care. Homes are especially needed for children ov old. During our Open House, we will give descriptions of ou gram in which parents are asked to provide temporary care needs children in our care and of the special needs adoption Wednesday February 16 at 7:00 p.m. Griswold Town Hall 28 Main Street Jewett City, CT

Thursday February 24 at 7:00 p.m. Waterford Public Library 15 Rope Ferry Road Waterford, CT

Wednesday March 2 at 7:00 p.m. Colchester Town Hall 127 Norwich Avenue Colchester, CT

Monday March 7 at 7:00 p.m. DCF 2 Courthouse Square Norwich, CT

Wednesday March 16 at 7:00 p.m. Montville Youth Services Bureau 289 Norwich NL Tpke. Uncasville, CT

Tuesday March 22 at 7:00 p.m. Waterford Public Library 15 Rope Ferry Road Waterford, CT

If you or someone you know are interested, please attend one of the informational meetings listed above. (For couples, both partners are encouraged to attend.) For more information, call 1 888 KID HERO. Los clases se ofrecen en español. Para mayor informa ción sobre la fecha y el lugar llame a Guadalupe R. Pillars al: 860 213 0763 (Spanish Only).

World Day of Day of Marriage (February 13) and National Marriage Week (February 7-14) proBy Richard McCord

vide us with an opportunity to celebrate, reflect and give thanks for the gift of marriage; also to realize the uniqueness of this call and its importance for the good of society. The continuing vitality of marriage as an institution cannot be taken for granted. This is a lesson learned during the past four

decades when our nation – including its Catholic population – has experienced a retreat from marriage. The marriage rate has declined; the cohabitation rate has increased; and the high divorce rate is holding steady. A recent national study reveals the weakness of marriage among middle class Americans. Another raises the question of whether marriage has become obsolete as

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the basis for family life. National surveys are finding an increased acceptance of so called “same-sex marriage” particularly among the younger generation of twentysomethings. The continuance of negative social trends is not inevitable. Today’s data are not necessarily tomorrow’s destiny. Nothing will change, though, if we don’t take action now. The Catholic Church has a long and rich history of teaching about the meaning and importance of marriage and family life. Happy and holy marria when they rest on three pillars: a transcendent vision, a range of skills that can lead to virtuous ges are a work of God’s grace combined with our human effort. Marriages are strong and enduring relationships, and a supportive community. Through theological, spiritual and pastoral resources, the Catholic faith tradition can help couples and communities put these pillars in place and thereby build strong marriages. A major resource is the “for your marriage” website ( ), a one-stop location featuring “resources for a happy and holy marriage.” It has articles on a wide range of topics, blogs, book reviews, daily marriage tips, Church teaching and even practical help for planning a Catholic wedding. These English-language resources have a Spanish-language complement in the website and in a radio campaign that is currently in pro-

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Four County Catholic February 2011

duction. In light of recent social and political developments, the bishops have also felt it necessary to organize an effort aimed at protecting the legal definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman and at promoting a better understanding of this truth that is based on right reason and divine revelation (see ). These resources will not be fully effective unless they are joined to an even greater resource, namely, the Catholic people themselves. A huge potential force for good exists in the witness and service of married couples and families who live and worship in

the more than eighteen thousand parishes throughout our country. What a difference it could make if every parish committed itself to become a “marriage-building community”! Becoming a marriagebuilding church, particularly at the parish level, is what the bishops envision when they urge “a renewed commitment by the entire Catholic community to helping those called to the vocation of married life to live it faithfully, fruitfully, and joyfully.” Dr. Richard McCord is executive director of the Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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Four County Catholic February 2011

John Paul II to be Beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on the Feast of Divine Mercy CHESAPEAKE - On April 2, 2005 at 9:37 p.m. the Venerable Pope John Paul II died. In April of Provided by Catholic Online

2009 his beloved successor, Pope Benedict XVI, told Pilgrims gathered in Rome “With you, I pray for the gift of beatification”. That prayer has been answered. Friday, January 14, 2011 the Holy See released the “Decree for the Beatification of the Servant of God John

Paul II.” The choice of the Feast of Divine Mercy, May 1, 2011 is not accidental. He had a deep devotion to his fellow Pole, Sr. Faustina Kowalska, and to the Divine Mercy devotion identified with her. In August 2002, in Lagiewniki, Poland where Sr. Faustina lived and died, John Paul II entrusted the entire world “to Divine Mercy, to the unlimited trust in God the Merciful.” The Decree of his Beatification

notes, “Since the beginning of his pontificate, in 1978, John Paul II often spoke in his homilies of the mercy of God. This became the theme of his second encyclical, Dives in Misericordia, in 1980. He was aware that modern culture and its language do not have a place for mercy, treating it as something strange; they try to inscribe everything in the categories of justice and law. But this does not suffice, for it is not what the reality of God


is about.” With millions of the faithful I prayed throughout those final days of his life before he entered the eternal communion of love. What a gift he was - and still is. He showed us how to live and how to love as did Jesus. He showed us that suffering joined to the Savior is a sign and vehicle of God’s mercy and an occasion of grace. Then, he showed us how to die, not with fear, but with faith. This Polish Pope was so filled with the love of God it was contagious. A talented and gifted “man of letters”, a playwright, a philosopher, an intellectual giant, a poet, and a genuine human being , he had a heart that embraced the

whole world like the Heart of the One whom he represented on earth. He traversed the globe, proclaiming freedom to the captives and truth to the victims of failed false ideologies that had ravaged the people of the twentieth century, the bloodiest in all of human history. He proclaimed the unchanging, Christian message with a prophetic urgency, profound clarity and contemporary relevance. Many tried to label him but he demonstrated how shallow the labels can be. He was simply a Christian who stood on the shoulders of giants, rooted in the ancient rich tradition of the Church while proclaiming Jesus Christ as “forever

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Senior Citizens Retreat Day: How As A Senior Do I Live Lent?

Presented by Fr. Roger Couture OMI, this Wednesday morning program explores how seniors can continue their spiritual growth even in this later phase of their life journey. Suggested offering: $10, includes lunch. Wednesday, March 2, 2011 ~ 9:00 AM to Lunch

Soup and Substance Lenten Evening Retreat Series: “Living in the Image and Likeness of God” We are created in the image and likeness of God, but how often do we think about that? What does it really mean in terms of our day-to-day lives and in our search for the divine? This is a video Retreat with talks presented by Fr. Ron Rolheiser,OMI a specialist in the fields of spirituality and systematic theology. Wednesdays February 9,16,23, 2011 Offering of $20.00 per evening or $50.00 for all 3 sessions (if paid in advance) is suggested. Delicious home made soup at 6:00 PM, followed by video and discussion, ending with Mass at 8:00. To register or for more information: Phone: 860-423-8484 or e-mail:


Four County Catholic February 2011

young.” Communism, atheism, secularism, and false humanisms, were exposed because he had the courage to stand up to tyrants with the bold message of the God who came among us to make us all new! He taught that Jesus Christ is the path to authentic personal, social and universal freedom! He authored more encyclical letters, apostolic exhortations, constitutions and letters than any Pope in the two thousand year history of the Christian Church. Once I started reading his writings as a young man I could not stop. I wanted to consume them, and I have done so, over and over. I also hoped to become them and offer them to others. On that front, I have a long way to go. It was the writings of this great Pope which prompted a later call in life for this lawyer to the Diaconate and then to the pursuit of a Masters Degree at his Institute and later studies for the PhD in Moral Theology at Catholic University, focusing on his contributions. I knew I was to be a part of the “New Evangelization” and “New Springtime” of world missions which he proclaimed. His successor, Pope Benedict the Builder, is now leading the work. This giant whose voice changed history was barely able to speak during those final hours. The once physically robust Pope presided over the Church from a wheelchair as a prophetic sign of the dignity of every human life; the message he carried throughout his pontificate. Just before he died he spoke to a friend at his bedside “I am happy. You should be too. Let us pray together with joy.” Then, on April 2, 2005 at 9:37 p.m. after asking, “Let me go to my Father’s House”, he died in peace. The world wept. Like millions, I am convinced that history will record him as “John Paul the Great.” However, I am also convinced that his message still needs to be unpacked in order to be used as material for the work to be done in this new missionary age. There is no doubt that we had a saint in our midst. A man so filled with Jesus Christ that, like the

7 1 . ble b e ila F e Ava t DaStill

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Apostle Paul, he no longer lived but “Christ lived in him.” (Galatians 2) The sentiment of the faithful expressed on the day on which his body was processed through the streets of Rome, “Santo Subito” has echoed as the Church has discerned the cause of his canonization. Now, he will be raised to the Altar on the Feast of Divine Mercy and the faithful will call him “Blessed John Paul II.”

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Four County Catholic February 2011

Four County Catholic February 2011  

The official newspaper of the Diocese of Norwich, CT