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Our faith calls us to action

Serving The Counties Of Middlesex, New London, Tolland, Windham, CT & Fishers Island, NY Volume 29 • Number 2 • February 2017

Faith Leads the Way as Haiti Mission Rebuilds The Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, D.D., Bishop of Norwich visiting the children of Paula’s Orphanage in Port-au-Prince.

On behalf of Bishop Cote, the Diocesan Ministries and all those we serve


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Four County Catholic, 31 Perkins Ave., Norwich, CT 06360-3613 FOUR COUNTY CATHOLIC Issue 2 February 2017 (PE 9934) is published monthly except July by Diocese of Norwich, 31 Perkins Avenue, Norwich, CT 06360-3613. Periodicals postage paid at Hartford, CT 06101 and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Four County Catholic, 31 Perkins Ave., Norwich, CT 06360-3613

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Four County






LET FAITH LEAD THE WAY God of Mercy, Grant Us a Missionary Spirit As we enter a new year together, we take pause to recognize, embrace and celebrate the increasingly diverse family that the Church has become. This is true across the Nation, and in our home diocese and parishes. We are blessed with an increasingly diverse and vibrant community of faith. One of the most welcoming recent initiatives by the United States Bishops Cultural Diversity Committee is the V Encuentro. This effort at all levels within the Church in America is intended to build greater awareness of the growing presence of our Hispanic/ Latino brothers and sisters as an integral part of the life and mission of the Church. It will further encourage us to become more active together in nurturing solidarity and a sense of family within the Church. For several months now, Sister Mary Jude Lazarus, Director of the Diocesan Hispanic Ministry, has kindly been updating the progress of the V Encuentro planning at the parish and diocese level. As she has noted in previous issues of the Four County Catholic, the V Encuentro involves conversations in parishes conducted over five sessions prepared to begin this month. By July, it will move to the diocesan level. Each diocese will then be sending representatives

to their respective regions; and regional delegates are later sent to the national event, where all the reports and conversations are discussed and reflected upon with thousands in attendance in Dallas in 2018. This initiative will help us become missionary disciples as we engage Hispanic/Latino parishioners in our own parish or encounter each other in neighboring parishes. In fact, the word encuentro fittingly translates to "encounter". This is true evangelization at work. It is understandable that many families joining us in recent years from as many as 20 South America and Latin America countries have been hesitant to become fully involved in the Church. V Encuentro presents a concerted effort for all of us to help reach out to them and help make our parishes and diocese more welcoming and accessible. Asking ourselves how our faith community can better respond to the needs and challenges of our Hispanic brothers and sisters can be the beginning of a breakthrough. We all know in our hearts that we live our faith best when we extend our goodwill and welcoming spirit to every corner and edge of our communities. Encouraging conversation, outreach and faith-inaction is where the V Encuentro will lead us.

It will also be a vital learning experience as we will ultimately receive actionable information shared from across the expected 175 dioceses, 5,000 parishes and over one million national participants. As His Holiness, Pope Francis, describes in his Joy of the Gospel encyclical, “An evangelizing community is supportive, standing by people at every step of the way, no matter how difficult or lengthy this may prove to be.” We will stand by and joyfully stand with our Hispanic brothers and sisters. Standing with each other means talking to each other, reaching out beyond our own parishes, respecting the God-given gifts we bring to each other, appreciating that we are one family and recognizing the many ways that our Hispanic members can and will contribute to a church ever more alive and inclusive. Consistent with the V Encuentro’s purpose of better understanding each other and building stronger bonds of faith, we need to be mindful of the high tensions surrounding current immigration policies and practices. It helps everyone sharing these concerns to assure one another that we support the position of the U.S. Bishops as expressed by Bishop Joe Vasquez, Chair of the Bishops Committee of Migration and Bishop of the Diocese of Austin, to “…remain firm in our commitment to comprehensive,

compassionate and common-sense immigration reform.” Our united purpose is to repair the existing immigration system to protect against dividing families and undermining human dignity, while respecting the security of the Nation in dangerous times. The V Encuentro is an opportunity to be sensitive to the struggle. To stand with each other. It is the kind of initiative that fosters togetherness and strengthens all we are and all we do as faithful followers of Jesus Christ. I encourage you to get involved in the conversation, join in the outreach, spread the good word of the Gospel and help enrich our lives with the beauty and strength of diversity. Please look for future V Encuentro updates from the Hispanic Ministry and from your parishes regarding next steps in this journey together. Sincerely yours in Christ,

Bishop Michael R. Cote

February 2017

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


Four County







February 2017

Dios de la Misericordia, Concédenos un Espíritu Misionero.


Mis queridos hermanos y hermanas en Cristo, Al entrar en un nuevo año juntos, tomamos una pausa para reconocer, abrazar y celebrar la creciente familia cada vez más diversa que se ha convertido la iglesia. Esto es cierto en toda la nación, y en nuestra diócesis y parroquias. Somos bendecidos con una comunidad cada vez más diversa y vibrante de la fe. Una de las iniciativas recientes más acogedoras del Comité de la Diversidad Cultural de los Obispos de Estados Unidos es el V Encuentro. Este esfuerzo en todos los niveles dentro de la iglesia en Estados Unidos tiene la intención de aumentar la conciencia de la creciente presencia de nuestros hermanos y hermanas hispanos / latinos como parte integral de la vida y misión de la iglesia. Nos alentará además a ser más activos juntos en el fomento de la solidaridad y el sentido de la familia dentro de la iglesia. Desde hace varios meses, la Hermana Mary Jude Lazarus, Directora del Ministerio Hispano Diocesano, amablemente ha estado actualizando los avances de la planificación del V Encuentro a nivel de parroquia y diócesis. Como ha señalado en ediciones anteriores en Four County Catholic, el V Encuentro implica conversaciones en parroquias conducidas sobre 5 sesiones preparadas para comenzar este mes. Para Julio, pasará al nivel diocesano.

Cada diócesis enviará representantes a sus respectivas regiones; y los delegados regionales serán enviados más adelante al acontecimiento nacional, en donde todos los informes y conversaciones serán discutidos y meditados con los miles que asistan a Dallas en el 2018. De esta manera, a medida que involucramos a los feligreses hispanos / latinos en nuestra propia parroquia o nos encontramos en parroquias vecinas nos convertimos en discípulos misioneros. De hecho, adecuadamente la palabra encuentro es la verdadera evangelización en acción. Es comprensible que muchas familias que se han unido a nosotros en los últimos años de 20 países de América del Sur y de América Latina han dudado en participar plenamente en la Iglesia. El V Encuentro presenta un esfuerzo concertado por todos nosotros para ayudar a llegar a ellos y ayudar a que nuestras parroquias y diócesis sean más acogedoras y acesibles. Preguntándonos como nuestra comunidad de fe puede responder mejor a las necesidades y desafíos de nuestros hermanos y hermanas hispanos puede ser el comienzo de un gran avance. Todos sabemos en nuestros corazones que vivimos mejor nuestra fe cuando extendemos nuestra buena voluntad y espíritu de bienvenida a cada esquina y borde de nuestras comunidades. Alentando la conversación, el alcance

y la fe en la acción es donde el V Encuentro nos guiará. También será una experiencia de aprendizaje vital ya que en última instancia recibiremos información procesable compartida a través de las 175 diócesis, 5.000 parroquias y más de un millón de participantes nacionales. Como lo describe Su Santidad el Papa Francisco en su encíclica “Alegría del Evangelio”: “Una comunidad evangelizadora es solidaria, de pie por la gente en cada paso del camino, por difícil o prolongado que pueda llegar a ser”. Y gozosamente estar con nuestros hermanos y hermanas hispanos. Estar de pie unos con otros significa hablar el uno al otro, llegar más alla de nuestras propias parroquias, respetando los dones dados por Dios que tenemos entre nosotros, apreciando que somos una familia y reconociendo las muchas formas en que nuestros miembros hispanos pueden y contribuirán a una iglesia cada vez más viva e inclusiva. En consonancia con el propósito del V Encuentro de entendernos mejor y construir lazos más fuerte de fe, debemos tener en cuenta las altas tensiones que rodean las políticas y prácticas actuales de inmigración. Contribuye a que todos compartan esas preocupaciones para asegurarnos unos a otros que apoyamos la posición de los Obispos de los Estados Unidos expresada por el Obispo Joe Vásquez, Presidente

del Comité de Obispos de Migración y Obispo de la Diócesis de Austin, de” …permanecer firmes en nuestro compromiso de amplia, compasiva y de sentido común”. Nuestro propósito conjunto es apoyar la reparación del sistema de inmigración existente para proteger contra la división de familias que quebranta la dignidad humana, mientras respetamos la seguridad de la nación en tiempos peligrosos. El V Encuentro es una oportunidad para ser sensible a la lucha. Para estar juntos. Es el tipo de iniciativa que fomenta la unión y fortalece todo lo que somos y todo lo que hacemos como fieles seguidores de Jesucristo. Les animo a involucrarse en la conversación, unirse a la evangelización, difundir la Buena Nueva del Evangelio y ayudar a enriquecer nuestras vidas con la belleza y la fuerza de la diversidad. Por favor, busque futuras actualizaciones del V Encuentro del Ministerio Hispano y de sus parroquias sobre el siguiente paso en este viaje juntos. Sinceramente en Cristo,

Obispo Michael R. Cote

Four County





A True Story – Part Two–

e follows Father Christopher’s advice. He still has consoling and difficult days, but he soon discovers that the fear passes if he turns to trust in the goodness of God the Father and longs to live in that peaceful stillness. He still fluctuates back and forth on occasion – some days experiencing gratitude when thinking about the possibility of God choosing him to be a priest, some days being afraid that he would not

be happy as a celibate man. However, he is noticing that the thought of the priesthood is gradually resulting in more and more peace and less and less fear. So, after six months of this occurring in his heart, Michael decides to go home for a weekend and finally tell his parents that he is strongly thinking about entering the seminary after graduation. His dad does not respond as Michael was hoping. His dad’s non-verbal body

New Vocations Feb FCC 2017_Layout 1 1/26/2017 9:17 AM Page 1

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

(860) 887-9294

February 23, 2017 • 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm holy family Church, hebron March 16, 2017 • 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Saints peter & Paul, Norwich April 20, 2017 • 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Saint Mary, Willimantic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

language spoke very strongly as he asked questions like, “Why would you want to do that when you could get a good job and have a family? Are you sure you want to be a priest? Are you sure you would be happy?” Michael feels deep sadness and rejection. However, his mother, who faithfully nurtured him in the sacramental life throughout his childhood, says, “Michael, ever since you were a little boy, I knew there was something special about you.”

Although his mother’s words console him, Michael feels hurt and some self-pity over his dad’s response. Then, in sharing his feelings with Jesus in prayers, Michael thinks about his own reaction and he is surprised by it. He is surprised that he feels resistance, instead of relief, to his dad’s response. A year ago, he would have wanted to agree with his dad’s response. Now, after these months of what he has been experiencing in his heart, he feels misunderstood by his father and resists it. He is surprised by how much the possibility of being a priest has come to mean to him; he is surprised by how personal it has become for him; he is surprised by how much his heart desires this. This awareness gives him a feeling of peace and clarity. Over the next days, he does fine when he focuses on his mother’s words and the surprise of his reaction

to his dad’s response. But Michael has great respect for his dad, so his response plays over in Michael’s mind and sometimes he focuses on it. When he does, he notices that his mind turns, confusion sets in and he feels pressure to resolve this whole thing. Finally, he again calls Father Christopher and tells him about his experience with his parents and that he is still struggling with his dad’s response. Father Christopher simply says, “Michael, through whom do you think Christ spoke to you, your dad or your mom? What is the voice of Christ like in you? Peace and clarity or pressure and confusion?” Discerning a call to the diocesan priesthood or religious life as a sister, brother or priest can be filled with moments of clarity, confusion, peace, and fear. If you find yourself considering a call by God to serve the Church as one of his priests or in religious life, then the story about Michael is for you. Do not be afraid to speak with a priest or someone in religious life about your own experience. Most importantly, pray and spend time with Jesus. The more familiar you become with Jesus, the easier it becomes to respond freely and without fear. Please know you are in the prayers of Bishop Cote, my prayers and the prayers of many of God’s family in the Diocese of Norwich.

February 2017


Following, is part two of the true story about a senior in college, Michael, whose major is chemistry. Part one ended with Father Christopher sharing four significant things regarding Michael’s discernment and the fear and confusion he’s been experiencing. To refresh your memory of the story, simply review this past January’s issue.


Four County



2017 Lenten Message My dear sisters and brothers in Christ, In his message for Lent, Our Holy Father Pope Francis writes, “Lent is a favorable season for deepening our spiritual life through the means of sanctification offered us by the Church: fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.” These cherished practices of every Lent unite us with Christ, the source and summit of our spiritual life. But what exactly are they?

February 2017

Fasting is an invaluable aid to understanding our reliance on God for our daily nourishment both spiritually and physically. It focuses our spiritual lives on Christ in the Eucharist and the nourishment our spiritual lives need by regularly receiving the Bread of Life come down from Heaven. By fasting, we identify more closely with the least of Christ’s sisters and brothers who hunger, thirst, are homeless, unemployed, ill, or in prison. Fasting helps us experience the deprivation of those who are less fortunate and their need for our assistance and the need each of us has for God and one another.


“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” How beautifully Saint Therese of Lisieux describes prayer. Saint John Damascene tells us that prayer begins by raising our minds and hearts to God. In that act, we see Christ and we hear Him speak to us in our hearts. Prayer is our communion with Christ the Son of God. In the Gospels, Christ teaches us to pray. When Christ prays, we witness the fullness of His humility as He always seeks to do the will

of the Father. For followers of Christ, Saint Augustine gives great insight into prayer. “Jesus prays for us as our Priest, prays in us as our Head, and is prayed to by us as our God.” The Lord teaches us to pray with the confidence that our prayer will be heard. “Everything you ask in prayer, believe that you have it already, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24) Imitating Christ as He prays to the Father, we begin by thanking the Father. Our gratitude demonstrates our faith in God, our confidence that He hears us, and our realization that Our Father is more precious than the gifts that He gives. Prayer ultimately brings us to Christ’s Cross, the greatest gift of God’s love. In reflecting on Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, we cannot help but be filled with gratitude and love. Indeed, the Cross leads us to prayer. Christ’s Cross raises our minds and hearts to God and calls us to live in His love, a selfless love, a self-giving love. Almsgiving helps us to appreciate our generous God who gives us life and faith and teaches us no matter how little or how much we have received, we need to share. Remember the poor widow who placed two small coins in the temple treasury. Jesus tells us that she has put more in the treasury than all those who have contributed because from the little that she has, she has given everything, “all she had to live on.” (cf. Mark 12:41-44) Almsgiving teaches us our need to share, to be concerned for those less fortunate – in short to live like Christ by living a life for others. “Lent is a favorable season for opening the doors to all those in need and recognizing in them the face of Christ.” (Pope Francis, 2017 Lenten

Message) The Holy Father points out that when we close our hearts to the “gift of God’s word, we end up closing our hearts to the gift of our brothers and sisters.” Once again, this Lent, in every deanery of the Diocese, we will observe 24 Hours for the Lord, on the weekend of March 24-25, when a Church will be designated by your Dean in which Confessions will be heard and the Sacrament of Penance will be celebrated. Lent begins our journey in faith with the reminder that we are dust and unto dust we shall return, and it ends with the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the gift of new life. Through the cherished practices of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, with the celebration of the Sacraments, especially Penance and the Eucharist, we will be more closely united with the Lord. We will be refreshed, renewed, and recreated to be the person God calls us to be, His daughter, His son, made in His image and His likeness. We will be one with Jesus Christ and experience the joy of His victory over sin and death, the joy of Easter! Sincerely yours in Christ.

Bishop Michael R. Cote, D.D.

Our Faith Calls US To ACTION Di






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February 2017

Your support of the Annual Catholic Appeal allows us to be the eyes, ears, hands and footsteps of Jesus. You are called to join our ministries and put your faith in action!

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Four County



“Our Faith Calls US To ACTION”


By Kathy Gaito

he theme for the 2017 Annual Catholic Appeal is “Our Faith Calls US to ACTION”. Each month we will feature someone who supports our Diocesan Ministries by following this motto. Kathy Capon has been volunteering with the ministries in the Diocese of Norwich since she moved to Connecticut over six years ago. She began her volunteer work with Sacred Heart School, Taftville (2010–2015) helping throughout the entire school day, 5 days a week. Kathy continues to help periodically at the school, mostly during the summer months in the library, but most of her current volunteer work is with Catholic Charities, assisting in Development. Kathy began volunteering when her own children were in school in the Ebensberg, PA area. She was instrumental in creating the Home School Association at Holy Name

Volunteer – Kathy Capon School, in Ebensberg. While living in Pennsylvania, Kathy served on the Catholic Charities Board and was an active member of the Altoona Johnstown Diocese Peace and Justice Committee. Even miles away, Kathy continues to volunteer in Ebensberg, PA, currently serving on the Development Committee at Bishop Carroll High School. Kathy’s background in Social Work has always led her to believe in giving back to the community. “The financial and emotional needs of our neighbors are present daily and will most likely get

worse. The hope is that the lives of our neighbors can be improved by the services volunteers provide.” To Kathy, volunteering is an extension of what she has always done, stating “Helping people better their lives is important to me whether it was through my career in social work or as a volunteer. There are many truly needy and forgotten segments of our community that can use help.” Through her volunteering, Kathy has seen success stories, but she knows there is still more to be done. Hearing that a grant she helped

prepare was awarded to Catholic Charities and knowing that the grant money will make a difference in many lives makes Kathy feel good about her work. After a brief moment of elation, Kathy goes back to work knowing that the daily strife many Catholic Charities’ clients face doesn’t go away, and helping people meet their basic needs is an ongoing process. Thank you Kathy from all of us here at the Diocese of Norwich for your volunteerism, you are truly appreciated! Volunteers are vital to our ministries that are supported by the time, talent and treasures of people in our Diocese. Your support and the support of others allows our ministries to continue their service to our community. Thank you for hearing and responding to: “Our Faith Calls Us To Action”

February 2017

Irish Immigration to North America



1 State Street, New Haven, Connecticut 203-865-0400 • Schools and groups welcome

Four County



Representing the Academy of the Holy Family in Baltic: First Row- from left to right: Maisy Rublee, Aithanh Nguyen, Sydney Dinh, Michelle Rublee, and Sister Mary Jane. Second Row-from left to right: Vicky Li, Edith Wolk, Faith Kowitz, Sister Kateri, Elaire Ward, Hayley Ault, and her mom, Sister Marie Lucette, Anna Wolk.


riday, January 27, marked the 44th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., the world’s largest annual pro-life rally. Tens of thousands of pro-life advocates from all over the country braved the cold winter weather to advocate for the protection of human life in the womb. But that should only be the beginning of a year-round witness to life, one pro-life leader says. “The bishops call Catholics to witness to the beauty of life all year around,” Deirdre McQuade, assistant director for pro-life communications at the U.S. Bishops' Secretariat on Pro-Life Activities, told the Catholic News Agency (CNA) in an interview. The March for Life “is a particular moment, but I encourage people to

be energized by it,” she said, calling on Catholics “to really take this beautiful vision of human life that we have and really invite others into it.” At the 2017 march, the theme was “The Power of One." Officials for the march explained that this referred to the good that just one person can accomplish by choosing to bring a baby into the world, adopt a baby, or pass a pro-life law that reduces abortions. The pro-life movement must make sure to support the life of the unborn child but also the well-being of the mother, McQuade said. The march should only be the beginning of year-round prayer, advocacy, and works of mercy to build a culture of life. “Your prayers and actions make a difference,” she told the crowd gathered at the march.

Catholics should be “educating people about the dignity of human life from conception until natural death,” she said. They should also be “praying for that protection and for a culture that would find abortion unthinkable, assisted suicide unthinkable and everything in between,” she added, and they should support laws that protect human life from evils like abortion, euthanasia, and assisted suicide. Among those at the march from Diocese of Norwich parishes and schools was an enthusiastic group of students from the Academy of the Holy Family in Baltic. Their experience is thoughtfully chronicled by Anna Wolk, a Junior at the Academy:

The March for Life this year was an amazing experience! This is my second time going on the march, and I must say that every year I am reminded more and more of how important it is to take a stand for life in our world. This year was definitely different from any marches in the past, as for the first time, the Vice President came to give us words of encouragement and support. Another speech that really left an impression on me was the one by Congresswoman Mia Love. It’s so refreshing to see that we have elected officials who care for preserving the sanctity of human life just as much as we do. And the people at the March are amazing. People come from all across the country and it’s really inspiring to see their commitment and their sacrifice. More and more I’ve become hopeful that the end of abortion in this country is near. The March for Life was a beautiful experience that, though full of sacrifice and often discomfort, is well worth the trip. Fighting for the right to life for all people, from conception to natural death, is something well worth the sacrifice. Anna Wolk

February 2017

Did You March For Life? Don't Let It Stop There.


Four County




March 1, 2017

Saturday, March 4

Saturday, March 11

New Rite of Marriage

Irish Night

10- Noon at St. Patrick Parish, East Hampton. Open to all who are interested, musicians, planners, etc., but especially to couples planning to marry in 2017. To register email For more information please contact 860-848-2237 ext.203.

St. Luke Church in Ellington presents Irish Night. Doors open at 5PM. Corned Beef and Cabbage with all the fixings and complimentary wine, beer and soda will be available, no BYOB please. Entertainment by the singing group "Irish To The Last Drop" along with Irish Step Dancing and a raffle. Tickets are $20pp, advanced purchase only. No tickets will be sold at the door. For more information or to purchase tickets please call Jane at the church rectory; 860-875-8552 weekdays between 9 and 1 pm.

Wednesday, March 8 Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Television Mass

Father Ray Introvigne At 10:00am Channel 11 WCCT Comcast Channel 20 WTXX Charter

New Rite of Marriage 7-9pm at St. Joseph Parish, Willimantic. Open to all who are interested, musicians, planners, etc., but especially to couples planning to marry in 2017. To register email For more information please contact 860848-2237 ext.203.

Sunday-Tuesday March 12-14 Lenten Mission - The Demands of Our Lenten Journey St. John Catholic Church, 5 St. John Court, Cromwell. Sunday: 6- 7:30pm. Monday & Tuesday: 7-8:30pm. As we begin our Lenten journey, we present the mother/daughter team of Carol and Kristen Kurivial. The 3-day mission begins each evening with a musical interpretation of a Biblical character who walked the Passion with Jesus. There will be refreshments following each presentation and Carol and Kristen will be available to greet the audience. Admission is free. For more information on Carol and Kristen, please visit www.

to Church Sunday!

Eucharistic Miracles

Sunday, March 26, 2017

February 2017

We hope to see you at Mass on Sunday!


Deacon Mike Puscas will provide a presentation on Eucharistic Miracles Wednesday, March 29th 7 pm. Our Lady of Lourdes, Gales Ferry There is no fee. Please contact the parish 860-464-7251 or to register.

Learn about Marian Apparitions from Dcacon Mike Puscas at Our Lady of Lourdes, Gales Ferry 7pm. Wednesday, March 15. There is no fee. Please contact the parish 860-464-7251 or to register.

Save the Date!

7th Annual Catholic Women’s Conference of the Diocese of Norwich Sponsored by the Office of Faith Events and Norwich Diocesan Council of Catholic Women

Keynote Speaker: ValLimar Jansen Saturday April 8, 8:30am – 3:30pm St. Bernard School-Uncasville, CT Includes Mass with Bishop Cote, Reconciliation, Lunch, Adoration, Music, Vendors and much more!



PICKUP AT THE CATHEDRAL OF ST. PATRICK AT 3PM GRADES 7-12 Cooper Ray will be leading our Service Event. Cooper is quickly becoming one of today’s more popular and sought after speakers, worship leaders and retreat facilitators. He is a dynamic and light-hearted speaker and musician who shares his faith with honesty and passion. Through music, story, humor, and audience participation, Cooper leads groups of all ages to greater awareness of who they are as Catholic Christians and how to recognize a presence in their lives.

• Students will collect pledges for the march which will be donated to help agencies who assist with drug addiction. (Minimum is $15 to participate) • March will begin at St. Joseph Church, Norwich where they will hear a witness about the realities of drug addiction, tour St. Vincent de Paul Place, and then March to the Cathedral of St. Patrick.

To Register: Contact Liza Roach at

Pope Francis @Pontifex

Peace is an “active virtue”, one that calls for the engagement and cooperation of each individual and society as a whole.

"Sock it to Me" Day The 8th Grade class of St. Joseph School, New London, sponsored a sock drive for St. Vincent de Paul Place in Norwich in January. The students, their families and faculty, contributed 555 pairs of socks. Warm feet for everyone! The idea came from an article that their Religion teacher, Mrs. Patricia Leroy read to them in class about socks being the most needed item in homeless shelters but the least donated. In discussing the article, the idea to do a sock day evolved from the students. Thank you to all who responded.

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CATHOLIC “If you (your name) FORGIVE others their transgressions (sins), your FATHER will FORGIVE yours (GUARENTEED!). But, if you do not FORGIVE others, neither will your FATHER forgive your transgressions (sins)!”

Matthew 6:14-15

Prayer and Discernment Board Monday, February 6 at 11:30am Spiritual Renewal Center York Correctional Healing Mass Saturday, February 11 & March 11 at 1:00pm Individual Prayer and Anointing Masses of Healing and Hope Mondays, February 13 & 27; March 13 & 27 at 2:00pm. Spiritual Renewal Center 7 Week Life in the Spirit Seminar Mondays, January 30, February 6, 13, 20, 27 March 6, 13 7:00pm to 8:30pm Spiritual Renewal Center, Charismatic Weekly Prayer Meeting Tuesdays at 2:00pm Spiritual Renewal Center Television Mass Ash Wednesday, March 1 at 10:00am Channel 11 WCCT- Comcast Channel 20 WTXX – Charter Celebrant – Fr. Ray Introvigne Music Ministry – Brothers and Sisters of Charity

spiritual renewal services Diocese of Norwich

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

February 2017


2x10 SpiritualRenewal Feb17FCC_Main 1/31/2017 10:29 AM Page 1


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Memorial Donations Continue the Legacy of J. Roger Marien


By Mary Ellen Mahoney

orwich lost a very good man on November 22, 2016. After a brief illness, Norwich native, J. Roger Marien passed onto eternal rest to be with our Lord. Roger, as he was known, was the son of the late Joseph and Irene Marien and the husband of Katherine Caufield Marien who predeceased him in 2003. Roger grew up in Norwich and made his adult home here as well. Many throughout the area knew Roger as an avid sports enthusiast. He played baseball in the early 1940s in the Norwich Twilight League with the likes of Yogi Berra and Bill Johnson of the New York Yankees while they were stationed at the base in Groton. He continued on to professional baseball in the South and later when baseball was over, took up golf and became the champion at the Norwich Golf Course. Roger’s work-life centered on his 37-year career at the Norwich Savings Society where he rose to the position of senior vice president. Despite a very busy schedule at the bank, Roger always found time to

help his community where he devoted many hours serving as treasurer of the Norwich Golf Course, chairman of the Norwich Recreation Advisory Committee, president of the Norwich Rose Arts Festival, Incorporator of Norwich Free Academy, member of the Norwich Community Development Corporation and treasurer of the Mohegan Community College Foundation. Roger was also an active parishioner with his wife, Katherine and their two sons, Thomas and John, at St. Patrick Cathedral in Norwich. He and his wife worked with Bishop Reilly on the Annual Catholic Appeal fundraising to help the diocesan ministries to assist those in our communities most in need. Roger was the kind of person who never said “no” to anyone who asked for his help. Angela Arnold, Executive Director of Development, who worked with Roger on many Chamber of Commerce Committees, remembers Roger as being “a gentle man who was always passionate about helping others. His passing is a huge loss to our community!”

Bishop Cote and J. Roger Marien in conversation at the diocesan Ministry Fair. While Roger was a champion of many causes, when he passed, his sons decided that they would encourage people to contribute in their father’s memory to the Diocese Office of Planned Giving in lieu of the purchase of flowers. “We remember when our mom passed and we were talking about where donations should be made. Dad was adamant that they should go to support the continued works of the Church” remembers his son John. The office received many contributions accompanied by thoughtful notes from donors honoring Roger. So far over $1,000.00 has been contributed in Roger’s memory. This money will be deposited into the Annual Catholic

February 2017

The Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, D.D., Bishop of Norwich, has made the following clergy and diocesan appointments in the Diocese of Norwich:


Clergy Appointments

Reverend Augustine Naduvilekoot, from Pastor, Saint Joseph Parish, Occum, to Retirement. Reverend Joseph Tito, from Pastor, Saint Mary Parish, Baltic, to Pastor, Saint Mary Parish, Baltic, and Saint Joseph Parish, Occum. Reverend Christopher Zmuda, from Parochial Vicar, Saint Mary Parish, Clinton, to Parochial Vicar, Saint Mary Parish, Baltic, and Saint Joseph Parish, Occum.

Appeal and thereby be distributed to the diocesan ministries doing the good work in our community that Roger was so passionate about. His son Tom noted “Our dad was always helping others. There were so many stories that we knew from growing up and so many more that we heard after he passed. He always felt blessed in life and knew he needed to pass it on”. Anyone interested in having memorial contributions made in honor of a deceased love one may contact Mary Ellen Mahoney, in the Development Office at 860-886-1928 or for more information.

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

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

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February 2017




Catholic Charities

February 2017



Providing help and creating hope with your support… • Behavioral Health Services provide non-judgmental counseling for depression, substance abuse and addiction.

th ANNIVERSARY SPONSOR Catholic Charities would like to thank everyone who • HelpTHANK YOU TO OUR 95for is provided to develop a plan self-sufficiency, assisting attended our 95th Anniversary Gala and supported the Stephen and Patricia Coan families in need of food, shelter and emergency transportation. good work that we do. THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS • Adoption planning program ensures theGALA placement To those that purchased a ticket, donated or purchased a of a child in a loving, committed Michael and Angela Arnold and safe family. silent auction item, purchased a Flame of Remembrance, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Tessman or simply made a donation to Catholic Charities; thank…Providing Help, Mr.Creating and Mrs. Kenneth Capano,1921 Sr. Hope Since you! Ms. Jacqueline Keller Ms. Christine Jackel Catholic Charities Locations: 7KHHYHQLQJVLJQLILHGD´1HZ%HJLQQLQJµIRU&DWKROLF Norwich Main Office Willimantic Mr. EverestMiddletown Brustolon New London 151 Broad 28 Huntington St. 88 Jackson St.Groton Charities and could not have been possible without your 331 Main St. Chelsea BankSt. 860.346.0060 860.443.5328 860.423.7065 860.889.8346 support. Dime Bank

´,W was an amazing night and celebration, allowing Catholic Charities to honor those in our community who support our organization through their hard word and unselfish dedication. We are truly blessed.µ said Edward J. Tessman, Executive Director

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Catholic Charities, Diocese of Norwich, Inc. Annual Report 2016 Providing Help, Creating Hope

By Edward J. Tessman, Executive Director

Below is a summary of our 2016 annual activity: 2,419 adults and children were served with the Emergency Food, Clothing, Shelter, Rent and Utility Assistance programs, providing 3,983 units of service. Our Emergency Food Pantries distributed

over 41,200 meals to families throughout Eastern Connecticut. Case Management services provided help to 88 households to develop comprehensive plans to use resources for success in greater self-sufficiency including obtaining and maintaining employment, stable housing, and better financial management skills. 676 individuals received over 6,042 units of direct service through our licensed Behavioral Health Service program. Clinical services were provided to people of all ages and situations to address issues including depression, anxiety, domestic

violence, sexual abuse, grief, behavioral problems and substance abuse to abusers and family members. These psychiatric, group, family and individual services included therapeutic interventions designed to meet a variety of family needs to improve the well-being of family members, reducing risks of crisis, abuse as well as neglect, with the goal of keeping families together. In our Parenting Education and Pregnancy Service programs, 446 families were assisted with services which included education about parenting, community referrals

Other Income 2%

Adoption 5%

Pregnancy 6% Immigration 3%

Fundraising 9%

Catholic Charities helped 240 families enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving. 143 families and 303 children had a blessed Christmas through our Very Giving Christmas Program.

Revenue Sources

Expenses by Program

Support Services 17%

and ongoing counseling and support. Our Adoption Program finalized 4 adoptions, placed 4 babies in preadoptive homes, completed 9 home studies, and completed 11 adoption searches, serving 173 persons through pre and post-adoption communication/adoption inquiries. As a member of the Catholic Immigration Network Inc. (CLINIC), our Immigration Assistance Program provided consultation and legal services for 316 foreign born immigrants or refugees wishing to become Permanent Residents or U.S. citizens with the commitment to address and support strong citizenship and communities.

Program Service fees 29%

Private Support 27%

Behavioral Health 35% Goverment Support 13% Emergency Basic Needs 25%

United Way 9% Diocese of Norwich 20%

February 2017

2016 was a banner year for Catholic Charities and we embarked on an aggressive campaign to strengthen the image of our organization, focusing not only on those who come to us for help and assistance but also on those who so graciously support the good work of our staff. Communication and transparency has been key to our success and will continue to be. Catholic Charities is charting a course of success and will continue down this path in 2017.


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Outreach to Haiti Rebuilding Clinic and Mission House


February 2017

uesday morning, January 31, Bishop Cote, celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at The Outreach to Haiti clinic in Christ Roi, Haiti. The Mass was a celebration of the completion of the Capital Campaign to rebuild the clinic and mission house which were largely destroyed in the earthquake of 2010. The Mass was concelebrated by Father Frank Rouleau, Chaplain of Outreach mission house, and Father Rouge, pastor of the Christ Roi Parish. Over 100 people, including the Director of Outreach, Daniel O'Sullivan, Operations Director Joel Jean-Louis, and all of the Outreach


“We consecrate this land and break this ground to construct a center for the ministry of healing and hope for the people of Haiti.” staff in Haiti, clinic patients, students, and neighbors of the clinic were in attendance. Directly after the Mass, there was a ground breaking ceremony. Bishop Cote began with a blessing that, in part, said we "consecrate this land and break this ground to construct a center for the ministry of healing and hope for the people of Haiti.” The initial breaking of the ground was done by Milor Luxama, who is on the Outreach staff in Haiti. Milor used a pick-axe with which he was very familiar. After the earthquake, Milor and his cousin worked for 11 straight hours, using only a pick-axe, to break through collapsed concrete to free two people trapped in the rubble. That pick-axe has been on

the wall at the mission house since. It was taken down to symbolically complete the circle at the groundbreaking, from the destruction of the earthquake to the genesis of a new era for Outreach and the neighborhood with the construction of the new clinic and mission house. Thanks to the Diocese and all the generous donors, including an extremely generous donation of $100,000 by the Padre Pio Foundation just before Thanksgiving, the capital campaign exceeded the original target and reached the adjusted target of $560,000 following a reassessment/inspection of the damage and necessary cost to rebuild. The Good News is that the Lord had provided for this even

before we knew we needed it! Bishop Cote completed the ceremony with the placement of mortar and stone in the hole dug by Milor, representing the foundation of the new building. When building is started, it is expected to take about a year to complete. Bishop Cote also had an opportunity while in Haiti to meet with Archbishop Guire Poullard, to stop at Notre Dame De Lourdes – a Parish twinned with St. Mark Parish in Westbrook and to visit the children at the Mother Theresa Nutrition program as well as the young women at Madame Paula Thybulle Foyer des Filles de Dieu, twinned with Mercy High School.

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Monthly Pro-Life Mass - Taking a Stand for Life


By Linda Norton

In his homily, Father Romanowski stressed the importance of the basic right to life and the dignity of all persons. He reminded us that we have to protect life from the beginning and defend it to the end, and that our job is to “give a voice for those who don’t have one”. He also reminded us that Jesus wants us to embrace the life God has given to us and then to share our lives with others.

For many years our diocese has been holding a First Saturday monthly prolife Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Norwich. On the morning of February 4th, Father Brian Romanowski celebrated the most recent Mass and was the homilist. Those in attendance continued the prayerful mission to end abortion and to lift up and respect all life. Linda Hayes welcomed everyone before Mass and was also the lector.

The readings of the day were from Hebrews and the Gospel of Mark.

Dedicating our service to

The well-known Responsorial Psalm 23 reminded us that even if we walk through the valley of darkness, God is always with us. With God we 14 Club Road are given the strength to Windham CT fight against evils such 860.456.1107 as the blatant disrespect and destruction of life that is the abortion industry. The psalmist’s reassurance was clear – the Lord refreshes our souls and we truly do not have to fear any evil because our loving God love, compassion and is with us. This battle will be won and life will our community. be respected once again.

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Deacon Bill Hayes proclaimed the Gospel in which Jesus called his followers to “come away and rest a while”. Coming to a Mass such as this is the best way to refresh one’s soul and to prepare for the journey ahead.

In a conversation after Mass, Florence Sammataro from Our Lady of Lourdes in Gales Ferry, shared that she has been coming to this monthly Mass for seven or eight years. She also prays in front of Planned Parenthood in Norwich every Thursday morning (10:00-11:00 AM) with Ellie Dowling and Tom McCoy from St. Michael the Archangel’s (Pawcatuck) pro-life group, and sometimes others. Everyone is welcome to join them – rain or shine – year round.

Suzanne Zito from St. John’s in Montville attended the Mass along with her two young adult daughters, Kristen and Stephanie. They’ve been coming to this monthly Mass for about sixteen years. When asked why they come, Kristen passionately stated that abortion “just has to stop” and that all life has to be respected. After the Mass some stayed to pray the rosary while others ventured over to Planned Parenthood to pray.

Although this Mass is typically held monthly, due to scheduling changes, there will be no pro-life Mass during the months of April, May, and June. There will be one on the first Saturday of March.

February 2017

anuary’s March for Life in Washington DC is over, but the fight for re-educating our society and transforming it into a culture of life continues.


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February 2017

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Solemnidad de la Virgen de la Altagracia Norwich - Bishop Cote welcomed a joyful crowd from the Connecticut Dominican Society to the Cathedral of St. Patrick on January 21st for the first diocesan Mass of the Solemnidad de la Virgen de la Altagracia (Solemnity of the Virgin of High Grace). This devotion which began in 1502, is based on the experience of a painting of Mary just after the birth of Jesus. Today, the painting is displayed in the Basilica in Higuey, in the Dominican Republic. It was originally brought to Hispaniola by the de Trejo family in the 16th century. The story throughout the generations is that the painting disappeared from the Trejo brothers’ home and later mysteriously reappeared in an orange tree. The faithful built the first church on the site of the tree. The title, Our Lady of Altagracia, was given to this image because Mary has the highest honor of all as

Yarinet Javier Melia, 11 yrs old and Juleisy Hernandez Gomez 10 years old. Both of Sacred Heart in Willimantic. the Mother of the Son of God. This image has been blessed and honored by Popes Pius XI and St. John Paul II. Ivo Jaquez began the Connecticut Dominican Society in 2011. He was concerned that the heritage of his

Defending Religious Liberty

people was being lost and their children, many born in the USA, were becoming confused about their heritage. Mr. Jaquez spent a considerable amount of time collaborating with parishes and

dioceses in order to reunite the Dominican community. As Bishop Cote processed down the aisle, a dozen young girls wearing white dresses and carrying baskets of oranges they then placed at the base of the large image of the Virgin of High Grace in the sanctuary. The Mass, said in Spanish, began with a hymn to Our Lady and a warm welcome by Bishop Cote. Deacon Mariano Ramos, proclaimed the Gospel from Luke which recounted the story of the angel Gabriel announcing to Mary that she would be the Mother of our Savior. Father Kennedy gave the homily, also in Spanish. He spoke about how the Virgin Mary has journeyed with the Spanish people throughout history and how she is a role model for all. This Mass is held every three years in Connecticut. In 2020, it will be held in Bridgeport. For more information, please visit: https://

The Catholic Church invests in the common good. It runs and operates schools, hospitals, universities, charities and social services. Our government and society have long relied on them for help and taken advantage of the vast network that churches and religious institutions provide to aid people in need and to help form good citizens. But, when we are told we’ve got to stop being who we are, to put aside our beliefs, or plainly go against our conscience in order to be allowed to contribute to the common good, we must speak out. If you haven’t done so already, please voice your opposition to the federal health care mandate by calling U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services at 202-205-5445, and your elected representatives. Let them know that the mandate is in violation of our First Amendment right to religious freedom.

February 2017

By Linda Norton


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By Andrea Hoisl he Norwich Diocese Office of Faith Events has joined the social media revolution by recently launching its own Facebook Page. To those of you who are on Facebook regularly this may not seem like a big deal, but for those of you who are not, an explanation is necessary. I am a generation (or two) behind when it comes to technology. All the new advances that keep us connected and informed seem like too much work to me. I can remember when a computer was just a big typewriter that was able to save your information. But we have moved way beyond that and our computers, cell phones and other devices have taken on tasks we never thought imaginable. We have certainly progressed since the inception of the first computer, but let’s just say I did not keep up with all the progress. Today’s technological advances include the rise of social media and its many uses. You can now get “Linked professionally,” “liked on Facebook,”


Facebook Your Faith! “tweeted at” and be in constant contact with any human being who shares the same love of technology or a comparable device. You can post photos on Instagram and Snapchat them whenever the desire arises. You can share the latest newsfeed or your favorite outfit whenever the spirit moves you. One of the uses of social media is to share wonderful pictures of family and friends who may live far way. It’s also a vehicle to reconnect and reacquaint yourself with others. These infinite possibilities to connect with other human beings were only a dream for our ancestors! To those of us who are not utilizing all these wondrous technological options, the use of technology might seem like “overuse,” and takes the “personal touch” out of the relationship equation. Why send a thank you note when you can send a

text? Why have a conversation when you can send an email? Why go for a visit when you can Snapchat from your living room to their’s? Some people do not have to go to the office anymore- they can work from home on their computers. Conference calls and on-line chats take care of all that interpersonal interaction. But we know from experience – from history – all things old and new need to have a healthy balance for us to be successful in all areas of our lives. That goes for our faith as well. That being said, the question remains why would the Office of Faith Events be starting a Facebook page? Because that is what we are called to do as baptized Christians – Catholics – give witness to our faith, and to be heralds of the “good news” to everyone that we meet! Our faith is our gift and all good gifts are meant to be shared. That is why we worship in community together, to support one

another and gain strength from one another. We are examples of Christ for each other. That is why we are on Facebook – to be a public witness of how important God and our Church is, especially in today’s world. In a world where there is so much pain and sadness, what is more uplifting than pulling up a page that has words of wisdom from our Holy Father, inspirational quotes, information about events that are offered to enrich your faith and so much more? Help us by becoming a herald too – look at our Facebook page every day and pass on a quote or an event to someone important to you. Especially our young adults and youth- they are the ones utilizing all that our technology has to offer. If we all did that every day the world would be a much happier place. We have this technology at our fingertips, let’s use it to remind the world how much God loves each one of us.

Catholic Schools Week Celebration at Sacred Heart School Taftville

February 2017

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intention for February


That all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized, may find welcome and comfort in our communities. Photo provided by Mother Christina

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Immaculata RetReatHouse A Ministry of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate 289WindhamRoad,Rte.32 Willimantic,Connecticut

SENIOR RENEWAL DAY Wednesday February 15 at 9:00am. Father Roger Couture, OMI invites all seniors to join him for this exploration on the “Lesser-Known Saints in the Church and Beyond”. INDIVIDUAL / GROUP RETREATS Conference halls, chef-prepared meals, private rooms w/bath, WIFI. Call for details. To register or for more information, please call 860-423-8484 or email

February 2017

136 Sachem Street Norwich CT 06360 860-889-2374 Fax 860-886-2396

LENTEN FRENCH WEEKEND RETREAT Friday- Sunday, March 10 -12 In the spirit for the gift of Jesus’ life and death, come to our Lenten retreat. “Making more room for God through the French School of Spirituality”. We will experience God’s love and mercy as it connects to the imitation of Christ, deepening our relationship with the Heart of Mary, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the call of all Christians to live a missionary life. There will be ample sharing, daily sacrament of the Eucharist, Reconciliation, Adoration and private prayer. Most of the retreat conducted in French. Overnite offering is all inclusive meals and private room accommoda-tions at $230.00p/p and Couples $360.00. Commuters welcome. Reservations required.


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OUR YOUTH Sacred Heart School, Groton

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

CATHOLIC Sacred Heart School, Taftville

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

Phone: 860-887-1757

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

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

Academic Excellence. Character. Self-Confidence.


SBS Students Perform for Pope Francis in Rome

February 2017

By Shari Marderness


bout 50 students from Saint Bernard School’s choir and band recently returned from a weeklong trip to Rome, Italy, where they got to perform for Pope Francis. A few lucky Saints even got to shake the hand of the Holy Father. “It was a fantastic experience to perform there in one of the holiest places in the world,” said senior Ben Ellery. “We got to showcase Saint Bernard School not only to the other choirs, but also to the world.” The SBS music groups, comprised of students in grades 8 to 12, performed in the 2nd Annual Youth and Young Adult Choir Festival for the Epiphany 2017. The group landed in Rome on New Year’s Day and spent the week performing and visiting tourist attractions, including the Vatican museums and the Colosseum. Saint Bernard School students performed for the Pope at the Mass for Epiphany at St. Peter’s Basilica, which was celebrated by His Holiness. All choirs performing in the festival St. Joseph School, North Grosvenordale

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

sang alongside the Sistine Chapel Choir. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said senior Michael Guth. The SBS choir and band gave additional performances at the basilicas of St. Peter, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ignatius, and in St. Peter’s Square. “It was a very cool experience to see all of these difference places we learned about here (at SBS) in theology like the four major basilicas. St. Mary-St. Joseph School, Willimantic

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

It really helped us to make the mental connection to the places Mr. Leone talked about in class,” said sophomore Claire McCarthy. She said performing in the presence of the Pope was amazing, as were the acoustics in the basilicas. “We’d stop singing and the sounds continued to ring in the room,” Claire said. While attending the Papal audience where the Pope was greeting the pilgrims and blessing religious articles, SBS freshman Amber Caldwell was one of the lucky few St. Michael School, Pawcatuck

Mrs. Doris Messina, Principal

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

who got to shake the Pope’s hand as he blessed her rosary. “I couldn’t believe it – I just got to shake the Pope’s hand! I know it meant a lot to my grandmother because she is the one who really raised my sister and me to be involved in the Catholic Church,” said Amber. “I know it meant a lot to her, so it also meant a lot to me.” Under the direction of Ms. Caitlin Meyer, the groups have had the honor of performing in many prestigious locations – including Saint Malachy’s Chapel and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City for Pueri Cantores, in Orlando at Disney World, and aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid. Ms. Meyer said the Saints were invited to perform at the Epiphany Mass after last year’s performance at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The Rome trip allowed the students to share their talents and faith on an even larger scale, she said. “I get to see their hard work and dedication every day - going to Rome was an experience for them to share their amazing talent with the world, and I could not be more proud as a music director,” Ms. Meyer said. St. Patrick School, Norwich

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

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St. John School, Old Saybrook

St. Joseph School, Baltic

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

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

Sr. Mary Patrick Mulready, SCMC, Principal

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

From the Superintendent’s Office….. Dear Friends,

We began this month with Catholic Schools Week, a national celebration of Catholic education. It was a week filled with services and activities that celebrate who we are and what our mission is. We also have yet another reason to celebrate. I recently received word from the K-12 director of New England Regional Office State and District Partnerships of The College Board that our Diocese has earned a place in the 7th Annual AP District Honor Roll. The Diocese of Norwich is one of the 433 school districts in the U.S. and Canada that simultaneously achieved increases in access to Advanced Placement® courses for a broader number of students and also maintained or improved the rate at which their AP® students earned scores of 3 or higher on an AP Exam. This speaks volumes for our Catholic high schools, and I could not be happier or more proud to receive this news.

St. Joseph School, New London

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

Bishop Cote Visited St. John Paul II Regional Catholic School

We especially take this month to thank you, as always, for not only choosing Catholic education for your children, but also for supporting our very important ministry. I encourage all families to enroll your children in our Catholic schools. Tuition assistance is available, and you will find our schools to be academically solid with the Holy Spirit present in all of our buildings. Our schools are very welcoming and would love to give personal tours to parents who are looking for educationally sound, safe, schools, where prayer is prevalent, not banned. I feel that one of the unique characteristics of our schools is that we are traditional in terms of the faith and modern in terms of academic success. When we recognize that our neighbors locally and globally are in trouble and need help, our school teaches service and social justice. What sets us apart is that the faith and moral values we espouse permeate all that we do. In these tough times, we need to be reminded that this life is only the beginning. The Catholic schools in the Diocese of Norwich prepare students for eternity, and not just the here and now. Our children are the future leaders of our world and Country. We need strong leaders who are not afraid to speak the truth. Our Catholic schools teach and model Jesus Christ, the most courageous speaker of truth - God Himself. Thank you for your support and prayers to the important ministry of Catholic education in our diocese.

Henry Fiore, Jr.

Bishop Cote is being treated to a musical piece by third grade students who are learning to play the recorder.

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Superintendent of Schools, Diocese of Norwich St. Bernard School, Uncasville

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

Academy of the Holy Family, Baltic

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

Marianapolis Preparatory School, Thompson

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

433 Main Street, Danielson, CT

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Mercy High School, Middletown

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

Xavier High School, Middletown

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

February 2017

God Bless,


Four County



CGA lacrosse Welcomes 13-year-old Joe Kolashuk as Its Newest Teammate

February 2017

By Vickie Fulkerson The Day staff writer


New London — Coast Guard Academy men's lacrosse coach Ray LaForte talks to his team about grit on a daily basis. LaForte refers to both the straight-up definition of grit: courage and resolve, strength of character. He also refers to GRIT as an acronym standing for greatness, respect, intensity and team. And then Wednesday afternoon, 13-year-old Joe Kolashuk of Oakdale walked into the Otto Graham Hall of Excellence on the Coast Guard campus, embodying the whole spirit of LaForte's message. Kolashuk, involved in a bicycle accident last March 5 that left him in a coma, hospitalized for 98 days at the Connecticut Children's

Joe Kolashuk, center, joins members of the Coast Guard Academy men's lacrosse team as they sing "Sweet Caroline" in the Otto Graham Hall of Excellence at Billard Hall on the New London campus. The 13-year-old Oakdale resident, who suffered serious injuries after being hit by a truck last March, signed a contract to join the team on Wednesday. (Pictured left with his Mom). (Tim Martin/The Day)

Medical Center in Hartford, signed a "contract" Wednesday which made him a part of the Coast Guard men's lacrosse team for the next three years. Sitting in front of a bust of Football Hall of Famer Otto Graham, once a coach at the academy, Kolashuk — grinning broadly throughout — took part in a press conference along with LaForte and Bears captain Blaise Curtis. Before an audience consisting of the men's lacrosse team, men's intramural basketball participants who stopped practicing to gather around, a few of LaForte's fellow Coast Guard coaches, local media members and his own friends and family, Kolashuk received jersey

No. 1 and a spot on the Bears' roster sheet. He ended the ceremony by joining the players for a rendition of "Sweet Caroline," Coast Guard's anthem following victories, LaForte said. Kolashuk, a sixth-grader at Saint Patrick Cathedral School in Norwich, was paired with the Coast Guard team through an organization called Team IMPACT. Kolashuk, with help from tutors and his family members, returned to school with his regular classmates this fall. His mother, Danielle, attends school with him each day to act as her son's teacher's aide. He has undergone 10 surgeries and has two more on the horizon. "It's a long process. Each day it

was pretty emotional," Danielle Kolashuk said Wednesday afternoon from a conference room inside the Coast Guard football offices. "His father taught him how to run again. He started as soon as he came home and he works out with his father. He never rests. "Every day he gets better and better," Michael Kolashuk said of his son. "Before we called him Social Joe. He talks to everybody. That hasn't changed.

LEARN. GROW. DISCOVER. Saint Bernard School

You have many choices of where to educate your child. That’s why we would like to invite you to visit our school where you can learn about our academic programs, athletics, campus life, and see why Saint Bernard School is a place for your child to learn, grow, and discover!

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SAINT BERNARD SCHOOL Grades 6–12 1593 Norwich-New London Turnpike Uncasville, CT 06382 860-848-1271 •

February 2017

We are accepting applications for the 2017–18 school year.

Call 860-848-1271 to schedule your private tour or register for our Open House on Thursday, March 16th.


Four County



USCCB Chairmen Welcome Preparatory Document for Next Synod Focusing on Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment WASHINGTON—The chairmen of two U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) committees issued a joint statement welcoming the Vatican’s release of the preparatory document for the upcoming Synod of bishops on “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.” The Synod takes place in October 2018. The full statement from Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R, of Newark, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and

Vocations; and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of Philadelphia, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, follows: The Church of the United States is filled with great anticipation as we welcome the preparatory document for the XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.” Our Holy Father Pope Francis has called us to

this important work, aptly entrusting the preparatory document to youth and young adults themselves as their “compass” on the journey ahead. As bishops, this document will be our compass, too. We pray that it will guide our steps as we walk alongside our young people in preparing for this global conversation. We also pray that youth and young adults across the United States, and those who minister to and with them, will help us more fully understand the experience of

young people in our Church and in our country—their hopes, dreams, fears, and struggles—so that the Synod may bear fruit in offering more insight and direction to our ministry with young people. May all young people respond generously to the vocation and mission the Lord Jesus is calling them to daily—to take up His cross, and to follow Him wherever He invites them.

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February 2017

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Prayer to St. Jude

Most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone. Make use I implore you, of that particular privilege given to you, to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever. I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.

25 Squire Street New London, CT For information call 860-442-1720

~ JJ ~

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BODY & SOUL Joseph Zuel, Resource Coordinator, Hartford Health Care Center for Healty Aging, will offer resources available for stress managment, coping skills, chronic illness mangament, unique needs and challenges faced by our aging population. Rev. Jeffrey Ellis, Parochial Vicar, at St. Bernard’s Church. Rockville & St. Matthew’s Church, Tolland, will speak on holiness. There is no admission fee for this event. Please contact Lynda Nappi at 860-423-5064 or Annette Murphy at 860-423-2397 to make a reservation. The deadline for reservations is Thursday, March 9th.

February 2017

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Four County



Physician-Assisted Suicide: A Neutral Position? By Michal M. Deren, MD

February 2017

Editors Note: The Four County Catholic appreciates the permission of Dr. Michael M. Deren to reprint his article on the topic of physicianassisted suicide as it appeared in the January 2017 issue of Connecticut Medicine, the monthly journal of the Connecticut State Medical Society. Dr. Deren, Editor of Connecticut Medicine is well known to the Diocese of Norwich family as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) and a friend and supporter of diocesan programs such as the Annual White Mass for Healthcare Professionals.


The arguments for and against assisted suicide have evolved dramatically in recent years and hence bear evaluation and debate. Society often interprets a neutral position on assisted suicide as the first step to legalizing physician-assisted suicide. Whether an organization should adopt a neutral position on physician-assisted suicide – a topic of importance, interest, and controversy – is part of that debate. The concept warrants scrutiny, especially in light of an expected renewed effort to legalize assisted suicide in Connecticut’s upcoming state legislative session. Civilization has recorded twoand-a-half millennia of social policy against suicide. Recently, interest in physician-assisted suicide (PAS) has been intense. It is worthwhile to examine the issue in light of this

interest, especially since a few states have legalized physician-assisted suicide. First, we need a firm grasp of terminology. Words mean something. Changing the terminology from physician-assisted suicide to physician aid in dying is deceptive, as it reframes the situation. Who would not want to assist a patient, a loved one, a friend at end of life, a necessary end that will come when it will come? People do not think aid in dying means suicide assistance. Aiding in the final stage of life implies virtue and helpfulness. It is a time when we as physicians should not consider abandoning our patients, but should comfort them. Aid in dying does not imply nor should it mean aid in suicide. Assisted suicide is the accurate and correct term, it should not be bowdlerized. To do so is deceptive, misleading, and unethical. We need to view the change in language as politically motivated, and not condone it. The American Medical Association (AMA) has a long-standing policy against PAS. The AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) Opinion 2.211 states, “[A]llowing physicians to participate in assisted suicide would cause more harm than good. Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer…” Although some organizations have altered their position on PAS to one of neutrality, the optics of the AMA changing its position from strongly opposed to neutral are different. The effect of such a change would be difficult to

predict since the AMA has opposed PAS since its founding. Let’s evaluate some arguments related to a neutral stance on assisted suicide. Philosophy tells us neutrality is not neutral. It is not making up your mind on an issue. When you don’t take a position or make a decision, you are actually taking a position. If you take a position, it is by definition a positive action and not neutral. Hence, one cannot take a neutral stance on torture. If you are neutral on torture, this position indicates that torture is acceptable. PAS’s legality in some states is not a cogent argument for a neutral position. Slavery and apartheid were legal, yet no one would argue that we should take a neutral stand on such issues. Neutrality with regard to PAS implies chilling acceptance that everyone – including the cognitively impaired, mentally deficient, and demented – have a right to PAS (and I will discuss the implications of this below). We should look at PAS truthfully. Physicians are reluctant to declare the cause of death an assisted suicide since it has life insurance implications. If a patient with pancreatic cancer dies in a plane crash, the cause of death is not pancreatic cancer. It is unethical to falsify a death certificate, even if laws are passed to legalize the practice. Doing so erodes the profession’s integrity. There can be no neutrality on that. At the recent AMA House of Delegates meeting, Daniel Salmasy, MD, PhD from the University of Chicago and others made some of

the following persuasive arguments in opposition to neutrality and PAS itself. With advances in palliative medicine, we almost never see patients asking for PAS for relief of intractable pain. The answer is and has been improvement in end-of-life care. Some patients fear loss of autonomy with end of life. Compassionate care, while respecting a person’s dignity, is what is called for, not suicide. Proponents of assisted suicide argue that the patient should be in control. Yet assisted suicide turns control over to the physician, as the patient cannot commit the act without a cooperating physician’s active participation. Some advocates indicate the people have spoken on this issue. This is obviously not true and is not an argument for neutrality and eventual legalization. Few states and countries have legalized PAS. Just because an action is legal in some states does not make it ethical. Laws legalizing slavery and racial discrimination are not ethical. The medical profession has high ethical standards that go beyond legal standards. Legal actions are not necessarily ethical actions. Some feel that PAS is a private right. PAS is never private as it affects those around us in two ways. First, a suicide can affect family and friends who may feel guilt or remorse that they did not do more to assist their loved one at end of life. Second, once PAS is socially sanctioned, it has led to a phenomenon described as suicide contagion, where the rate of suicides increases. Continues on next page

Four County



2x4 MercifulSaviour Feb17FCC 1/26/2017 8:53 AM Page 1

Others argue that PAS is rare and that it would be expected to remain so. This is a fiction. In countries with legalized PAS, it has been expanded to infants, children, and the mentally impaired. If some residents of a country have the “right” to assisted suicide, shouldn’t all have the same “right?” Surrogates then make decisions for those unable. It becomes sanctioned for various psychiatric diagnoses. Why treat depression when PAS solves the problem quickly and economically? End-of-life care can be expensive and the cost curve of medical expenses must be bent downward. As Daniel Salmasy points out, “PAS is bad medicine. Death is not a medical therapy. We should alleviate the pain, treat the depression, console, counsel, and care for those distraught over the loss of bodily control at the end of life.” PAS erodes patients’ trust in the medical profession. Patients must know that their physician

will not be a party to killing them, just as they must know that their physician will keep their most intimate secrets. The physician’s relationship with a patient is therapeutic; a patient’s death is never therapeutic. Physicians should never abandon patients during their final stage in life. Compassion is never futile. The passing of a patient is not a failure, as the price of life is mortality. Physicians are compassionate, caring professionals. For more than two centuries, CSMS and its physicians have toiled diligently to protect patients and the patient-physician relationship, always mindful to first do no harm. A neutral position leading to legalized physicianassisted suicide is incompatible with the role of physicians as compassionate healers. It should be rejected.

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Four County



Sports and Spirituality: A Delicate Balancing Act! By: Andrea Hoisl

February 2017

“Children are great imitators; let’s give them something great to imitate,” Anthony Jaskot, athletic director at Xavier High School, told parents and coaches to impress upon them the importance of being positive role models in their children’s lives. He made the remarks during a workshop on Sports and Spirituality held recently at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Gales Ferry. Jaskot went on to explain that since parents are their children’s first coaches, the values they give their children at a young age about faith, family and athletics will stay with them forever. He stressed that parents need to be able to show their children, through their actions, that their Christian values will make them better people as well as better athletes. Jaskot was joined at the presentation by Nicholas Cerreta, dean of student affairs at Xavier High School; Fr. Greg Galvin, pastor of St. Bridge of Kildare Parish, Moosup; and Andrea Hoisl, director of the Diocesan Office of Faith Events (OFE) which sponsored the event. Those in attendance could appreciate Jaskot’ s passion and energy for athletics while at the same time believing that character building and “coaching the whole 30 person” is imperative for success in

athletics and life. “Your children are individuals and have been given their own gifts and talents by Godwhen you can acknowledge that and celebrate that, everyone wins,” he noted. He went on to explain that coaching is a ministry that has a lot of responsibility attached to it. “Coaches are called to be listeners, observers and mentors for their players,” he said. A coach does more than “coach” the team, he or she creates a family atmosphere where everyone has a significant role based on his or her own strengths and weaknesses. Sports creates bonds that go beyond fields, rinks, stadiums and pools, he said. As a baseball coach, Cerreta explained how coaches change and grow each season just as much as players do. Recalling the death of one of his former baseball players, Cerreta spoke about how the importance of team/family building was critical at that time. Past and present team members came together to support one another and be present as a community. “I will never forget how much it meant to me seeing those young men supporting one another as teammates and me as their coach,” he remembers. “I have no words to describe it.” Concluding the workshop, Fr. Galvin, spoke about famous athletes we revere in our culture. While these athletes stand for hard work, and dedication. God is the ultimate

role model. He also pointed out that sometimes we take great concepts and misuse them. The famous quote “Winning isn’t everything…it’s the only thing” was not meant to inspire a four-year-old athlete just learning the game of t-ball. Fr. Galvin said parents need to spend as much time and energy instructing their children on their faith as they do taking them to practices and games. Children need to know God is there for them no matter what happens in life – success or failure. Children need to learn they have to “practice” their faith as much as they practice any sport they learn or hope to get good at. Let’s be a clear voice for our youth that God comes first. He is #1. In her opening remarks to the evening, Andrea Hoisl stressed the importance of balancing athletics and faith. The Church has always believed that developing the whole person, mind, body and spirit is important,” she said. The workshop was the first in a series of events meant to raise awareness about the importance of having a “healthy balance” between sports and spirituality. The Diocese of Norwich has joined the National Organization of Catholic Athletes for Christ. Although the OFE will oversee the diocesan chapter, it will include moderators in all the Catholic High Schools as well as the parishes. In addition, retreat models for students

and coaches have been developed and are available on community and parish levels. For more information about these programs, contact the OFE at 860-848-2237, ext. 304.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

O Most Beautiful Flower of Mt. Carmel, Fruitful Vine, Splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein you are my Mother. O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart to succor me in my necessity. There are none that can withstand your power. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Holy Mary, I place this cause in your hands.


Four County



Judge Neil Gorsuch Nominated to Fill Supreme Court Vacancy By Catholic News Service national debate championship. Gorsuch has the typical qualifications of a high court justice. He graduated from Columbia, Harvard and Oxford, clerked for two Supreme Court justices and also worked for the Department of Justice. He also is an adjunct law professor at the University of Colorado and he wrote a 2009 book arguing against the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia. Gorsuch hasn't written a ruling specifically on abortion, but he has strong views on religious liberty. He sided with the Little Sisters of the Poor in their challenge of the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act. And in Hobby


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statement. Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson said in a statement that the Knights applaud the president's Supreme Court nominee stating: "From his writings and his record, it is clear that he will interpret the Constitution as it was written, including our First Amendment right to religious freedom, and the right to life of every person." The Knights' Anderson noted that "It is hard to imagine a better, and more qualified, candidate," Anderson adding that the Senate should swiftly confirm him.


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Norwich, CT (860) 887-7468

Lobby Stores v. Sebelius, in June 2013, the 10th Circuit ordered the federal government to stop enforcement of the federal mandate against Hobby Lobby, the Oklahomabased Christian chain of retail arts and crafts stores. In his concurrence, Gorsuch said the contraception mandate substantially burdened the company's religious exercise -- a decision the Supreme Court later upheld. "All too often, our efforts to protect unborn children and other vulnerable humans have been overridden by judges who believe they have a right to impose their own policy preferences," Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, said in a

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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- President Donald Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the seat on the U.S. Supreme Court that has been empty since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last February. In his remarks, Gorsuch said he was thankful for friends, family and faith giving him balance. He also said he was honored and humbled to be chosen as a nominee to the Nation's highest court. He described Scalia as "lion of the law" and said he misses him. He said he respects the fact that Congress, not the courts, writes new laws. "It is the role of judges to apply, not alter, the work of the people's representatives.” Gorsuch, judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, is 49, making him the youngest Supreme Court nominee in 25 years. He was born in Denver. He currently lives outside of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two daughters. Gorsuch attended the Jesuit-run Georgetown Preparatory School where he won a




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